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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Is there the concept of ther Unversal Church in the Bible?

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Yeshuafan
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Hebrews 12:22-24 specifically mentions "the general assembly and CHURCH of the firstborn" -- "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."

What does this passage reveal about this "general assembly and church of the firstborn"?

1.  The Who - It encompasses those whose names "are written in heaven," including the "ye" who are on the earth in the present time, as per the phrase "YE are come" in verse 22.

2.  The When - It is present tense, as per the present tense verb "ARE come" in verse 22.

3.  The Where - It is in heaven, as per the statement in verse 22, "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the HEAVENLY Jerusalem."

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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2 hours ago, Yeshuafan said:

One Church, as the true Church is all of the redeemed from various local churches!

The word "church", by definition is an assembly of people. How do you assemble people from all over the world? You can't.

If you say, as you did "all the redeemed from various local churches", then you are talking about universal church. 

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45 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

The word "church", by definition is an assembly of people. How do you assemble people from all over the world? You can't.

Thank you for the the excellent, logical, and correct, usage of the word 'assembly' Jim.

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59 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

The word "church", by definition is an assembly of people. How do you assemble people from all over the world? You can't.

If you say, as you did "all the redeemed from various local churches", then you are talking about universal church. 

The Body of Christ is made up of all of the redeemed, past, present, and future!

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15 hours ago, Yeshuafan said:

The Body of Christ is made up of all of the redeemed, past, present, and future!

No it isn't. The Scripture I quoted, conclusively proves that the local church is the body of Christ. This Scripture was spoken to the church at Corinth, a single, local church. "1 Corinthians 12:27 (KJV) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."  

When the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture defines it in this manner, and so obvious and plain; I'll take the words of God over yours every time.

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16 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

No it isn't. The Scripture I quoted, conclusively proves that the local church is the body of Christ. This Scripture was spoken to the church at Corinth, a single, local church. "1 Corinthians 12:27 (KJV) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."  

When the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture defines it in this manner, and so obvious and plain; I'll take the words of God over yours every time.

The true Church is the Body and Bride of Jesus Christ, not just local baptists!

1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

I fear that this discussion is not distinguishing that which is on the earth from that which is in heaven.

Church has the Apostles ikn it as founding fathers, and they were not really part of a local Baptist church!

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34 minutes ago, DaChaser said:

The true Church is the Body and Bride of Jesus Christ, not just local baptists!

Church has the Apostles ikn it as founding fathers, and they were not really part of a local Baptist church!

What? The Apostles were the founding fathers but they were not really a part of a local Baptist Church?
They were the very first Baptist Church, the church at Jerusalem.

1Co 12:27  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

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6 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

I fear that this discussion is not distinguishing that which is on the earth from that which is in heaven.

Hmmm. Maybe I need to express myself further - The "general assembly and church of the firstborn" does INDEED exist in the PRESENT; but it does NOT exist on the earth.  Rather, it ONLY exists in HEAVEN.

(By the way, I have not said a single thing in this thread discussion about "Baptists" in specific.)

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5 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

What? The Apostles were the founding fathers but they were not really a part of a local Baptist Church?
They were the very first Baptist Church, the church at Jerusalem.

1Co 12:27  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Think first Baptists historitcaly were in Middle Ages, after the reformation!

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2 hours ago, Yeshuafan said:

Think first Baptists historitcaly were in Middle Ages, after the reformation!

If an individual holds that the present-day Baptists are the "doctrinal descendants" of the Anabaptists (as I do), then historically they existed BEFORE the reformation.

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4 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Hmmm. Maybe I need to express myself further - The "general assembly and church of the firstborn" does INDEED exist in the PRESENT; but it does NOT exist on the earth.  Rather, it ONLY exists in HEAVEN.

(By the way, I have not said a single thing in this thread discussion about "Baptists" in specific.)

The church of the firstborn does exist on earth. I can't even believe I'm hearing this.

As sure as you and I are here on earth we have also already been spiritually raised again, joined with the body of Christ and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Eph. 2:6).

Ephesians 3:10 -To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Is Paul speaking of the church in heaven or the church on earth in that verse revealing these things? He's speaking of both of the present.

Ephesians 1:20-23

[20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
[21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
[22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
[23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Christ is presently head over all things to the church presently (vs 22) not just in the future when we all assemble in heaven.

Christ is presently head of the church, presently as in on earth and in heaven.

The "fullness of him that filleth all and all". 

The body of Christ, i.e. the church, fills the whole universe because Christ fills the whole universe. This is an amazing mystery that Paul stated he hoped we could grasp in Ephesians 3:18.

We are not sitting around waiting for death or the Rapture before we are joined to the church of the firstborn in heaven we are already part of it here on earth we are just sojourning in a strange land presently.

By the way, the "general assembly and firstborn in heaven" is the completed church after the Rapture. The epistle of Hebrews is written to the Jews in the last days (Hebrews 1:2). 

 

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54 minutes ago, SureWord said:

The church of the firstborn does exist on earth. I can't even believe I'm hearing this.

As sure as you and I are here on earth we have also already been spiritually raised again, joined with the body of Christ and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Eph. 2:6).

I did NOT say that "the general assembly and church of the firstborn" does not include members who are presently on the earth.  Rather, I said that "the general assembly and church of the firstborn" does not EXIST on the earth.  Hebrews 12:22-24 is quite clear, that "the general assembly and church of the firstborn" exists as a part of those that are come unto "the HEAVENLY Jerusalem."  In fact, the first verse that you quoted above also makes this clear.  Ephesians 2:6 indicates that we New Testament believers are presently "made to sit TOGETHER [assembled] in HEAVENLY places in Christ Jesus."  Both passages precisely tell us that this assembly is IN HEAVEN, not on the earth.

I stand in agreement that "the general assembly and church of the firstborn" exists presently, not just in the future.  I stand in agreement that New Testament believers who are presently on the earth are indeed members of that "general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven."  However, I contend that the existence of that "general assembly and church of the firstborn" is in HEAVEN ONLY, not on the earth.  The Lord our God Himself defines this "general assembly and church of the firstborn" from His perspective, wherein we are already come unto the HEAVENLY Jerusalem and are already seated together in Christ in HEAVENLY places.

 

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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54 minutes ago, SureWord said:

Christ is presently head over all things to the church presently (vs 22) . . .

Certainly.

55 minutes ago, SureWord said:

. . . not just in the future when we all assemble in heaven.

But this is wherein you have a wrong doctrinal assumption.  Our assembly in heaven is NOT a future matter.  According to Ephesians 2:6 we New Testament believers are ALREADY, PRESENTLY seated TOGETHER [assembled] in HEAVENLY places.

57 minutes ago, SureWord said:

We are not sitting around waiting for death or the Rapture before we are joined to the church of the firstborn in heaven . . .

Correct.

58 minutes ago, SureWord said:

. . . we are already part of it here on earth we are just sojourning in a strange land presently.

Yes, we ARE already at present members of that "general assembly and church of the firstborn;" however, the existence of that ASSEMBLY and church is IN HEAVEN, not on the earth.  There is NO universal ASSEMBLY on the earth.  There is ONLY a universal ASSEMBLY in heaven (presently, right now).  We are NOT all seated together here on the earth.  We are ONLY all seated together "in HEAVENLY places."

1 hour ago, SureWord said:

By the way, the "general assembly and firstborn in heaven" is the completed church after the Rapture. The epistle of Hebrews is written to the Jews in the last days (Hebrews 1:2). 

False.  The "general assembly and church of the firstborn" existed in the PRESENT when the epistle to the Hebrews was originally written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  ("Ye ARE come.")  Furthermore, the epistle to the Hebrews was written to New Testament Jewish believers "in THESE last days," the days wherein God the Father "hath" spoken unto us, not by the prophets, but "by his Son."  (See also Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3)

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15 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

If an individual holds that the present-day Baptists are the "doctrinal descendants" of the Anabaptists (as I do), then historically they existed BEFORE the reformation.

Which viewpoint do you hold with?

https://www.theopedia.com/baptist

14 hours ago, SureWord said:

The church of the firstborn does exist on earth. I can't even believe I'm hearing this.

As sure as you and I are here on earth we have also already been spiritually raised again, joined with the body of Christ and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Eph. 2:6).

Ephesians 3:10 -To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Is Paul speaking of the church in heaven or the church on earth in that verse revealing these things? He's speaking of both of the present.

Ephesians 1:20-23

[20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
[21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
[22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
[23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Christ is presently head over all things to the church presently (vs 22) not just in the future when we all assemble in heaven.

Christ is presently head of the church, presently as in on earth and in heaven.

The "fullness of him that filleth all and all". 

The body of Christ, i.e. the church, fills the whole universe because Christ fills the whole universe. This is an amazing mystery that Paul stated he hoped we could grasp in Ephesians 3:18.

We are not sitting around waiting for death or the Rapture before we are joined to the church of the firstborn in heaven we are already part of it here on earth we are just sojourning in a strange land presently.

By the way, the "general assembly and firstborn in heaven" is the completed church after the Rapture. The epistle of Hebrews is written to the Jews in the last days (Hebrews 1:2). 

 

The true Church of Christ are those in heaven right now and we who are alive here right now!

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2 hours ago, Yeshuafan said:

Which viewpoint do you hold with?

https://www.theopedia.com/baptist

Using the terminology of the article above, I would be ranked within the 3rd category - "A continuity of Baptist forms of faith through the centuries."  I would contend that Baptists are to be defined, not by their name, but by their belief system.  As such, I would contend that Baptists historically preceded the Reformation, and that Baptists historically are NOT actually Protestants, since they did not "come out" of the Roman Catholic church.

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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Using the terminology of the article above, I would be ranked within the 3rd category - "A continuity of Baptist forms of faith through the centuries."  I would contend that Baptists are to be defined, not by their name, but by their belief system.  As such, I would contend that Baptists historically preceded the Reformation, and that Baptists historically are NOT actually Protestants, since they did not "come out" of the Roman Catholic church.

I tend to see the Christians in Acts as not being Baptist, but having Baptist like doctrines and practices!

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3 hours ago, Yeshuafan said:

I tend to see the Christians in Acts as not being Baptist, but having Baptist like doctrines and practices!

Actually, faithful Baptists will have New Testament like doctrines and practices.  The name Baptist as a descriptive for those who hold to "Baptist like doctrines and practices" is a shortened form of the the name AnaBaptist.  The name AnaBaptist means "rebaptizers," and was coined for them by their opponents (primarily the Roman Catholic Church organization).  Historically the "anabaptists" did not take up this name for themselves.  In fact, for quite some time they declared that the term "anabaptist" (rebaptizer) was false descriptive, because they argued that they only administered the FIRST Biblical baptism to believers, and that the previous "baptism" was NO Biblical baptism at all.  (That is -- You cannot REbaptize those who have never truly been Biblically baptized previously.)

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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