True Repentance

When he was a little boy, we were trying to teach our youngest son, Caleb, to say, “I’m sorry” when he did something wrong. This became a very eventful series of lessons because as he was trying to conquer this new level of manners, he would spontaneously go up to his older brother, Logan, punch him on whatever body part was most accessible, and then yell, “SORRY!”

Over and over this would happen because in Caleb’s mind, he was learning the correct usage of a new word. His parents, however, (and his big brother) wanted him to feel the word. We wanted him to feel the conviction, the remorse, the contrition and the humbleness that true repentance brings. We wanted him to actually be sorry, not to just say sorry. We also wanted him to stop doing the thing that he was continually having to be sorry for, and especially not to pre-meditate the act. Lots to learn here.

True Repentance Is The Death of Self.

In repentance, we associate ourselves with Jesus’ death. Jesus was God in flesh. We often focus on Him being God, but not so much on him being flesh. He was a man who felt desires, temptations, emotions and distractions, having to make the daily decision of whether to follow the leading of the Spirit of God that dwelled in him, or to cater to the flesh in which he was clothed.

It is no different for us today. Regardless of the trial, temptation, addiction or emotion, we must follow Jesus’ example in the Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:39 says he, “fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

True Repentance Is Brokenness.

Pride cannot repent. Arrogance cannot be humble. If we desire God’s forgiveness, then we must allow His Spirit access to our hearts. We must allow ourselves to be broken in His Presence. Repentance is not a simple, “I’m sorry”. It is an honesty before God. It is an opening up and a purging out. It is an awareness of His Holiness and our smallness. It is seeing ourselves in the light of His Word. It is crying out like King David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23)

Pride cannot repent. Arrogance cannot be humble. Click To Tweet

True Repentance Is A Turning Away.

To continue to do a thing that you know is wrong, and ask God to forgive you, knowing that you will do that thing again if given the opportunity, is not true repentance. To pre-meditate on doing a thing, planning ahead of time to ask God to forgive you, is not true repentance. True repentance is a conscious decision to turn away from sin and live a life that is pleasing before God. After a person takes that initial step, a lifetime of commitment should follow. You might be wondering how it is possible to live from this point on without sinning. Jesus did, while living in a body just like yours. Hebrews 4:14 says He, “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

What if I slip up? What if I make a mistake? I have great news for you! Jesus, our wonderful Savior, is full of mercy and compassion. His greatest desire is to bring us into, and keep us in, a saving relationship with Him. The Apostle John says in 1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” We all make mistakes. Just remember that making a mistake is not the same as willful sin. God knows the very thoughts and intents of our hearts. Repentance should be a regular occurrence in our lives, not a one time thing. The Apostle Paul explained it best when he proclaimed in 1 Corinthians 15:31, “I die daily.”

True Repentance Is The Christian Way.

No matter who you are or what you have done, good or bad, a repentant heart is essential to your salvation. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” (Acts 17:30)

Let’s be honest with ourselves and God. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) We have His assurance that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

No matter where you’ve been, where you are now, or where you want to go on your journey with Christ, repentance is the starting place to moving forward in that relationship.

How To Get Back Up After Failing God…Again

“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” (Micah 7:8)

I have loved this verse of scripture from the first time that I heard it preached. It gives such a sense of power and determination to get up and keep fighting the good fight.

THE CRUCIAL TEN SECONDS
The execution of getting up isn’t always as easy as it seems, however. When a fighter has been knocked down, there is a time limit involved. He only has a short ten seconds to get back up on his feet and show the referee that he is fit to continue fighting. If he fails to get up, he is “down for the count,” and the fight is over. His opponent wins.

GET UP QUICK!
The key to winning, both naturally and spirituality, is in learning to get up quick. The devil knows every second that he can keep you down makes you more likely to stay down. Moments turn into days, days into weeks, and weeks into years.

It sounds easy enough. Just get back up. But if you have ever failed God, you know it’s not as easy as it sounds. There is a mental process that begins the moment you realize you have failed God. It is the same thing that happened in Adam & Eve’s minds that caused them to hide themselves from His Presence.

“What’s the use? I might as well stay down.”

Do these thoughts sound familiar? Guilt, shame and embarrassment are overwhelming. Even though these feelings are necessary for true repentance, there must be a PROCESS to get from guilt to victory.

“I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” (Micah 7:9)

CONDEMNATION VERSES CONVICTION
Satan will do anything within his power to keep you under condemnation. Jesus will always bring you under conviction. They both feel terrible, so what’s the difference?

-Condemnation is a destination that offers hopelessness.
-Conviction is a starting point that promises restoration
.

Condemnation is a destination. Conviction is a starting point. Click To Tweet

If Satan has his way, he will keep you in the place of wretched condemnation forever. How does that feel? Like you are hopeless, without options, and there’s no use trying to move forward.

Jesus will continue to reach out to you through conviction. How does that feel? Like a breath of air to a dying soul. Like your heart will explode in your chest if you don’t try to move forward.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

1st Step: TRUE REPENTANCE
The purpose of conviction is to bring people to repentance. True repentance is accompanied by godly sorrow, which is followed by a change of course, whether in thought, word or action. People often say they have repented of their sins without changing any of their actions. Repentance without godly sorrow and a course correction is no repentance at all.

2nd Step: ACCEPT FORGIVENESS
If you have truly repented of your sins, then you must accept Jesus’ forgiveness. This shouldn’t be difficult, but it often is. This is the point that so many get stuck and never come back to God. The anguish of knowing that we failed Him and our sense of unworthiness keeps us from reaching out and taking the forgiveness that He so willingly offers. Walking by faith involves accepting forgiveness.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)

3rd Step: WALK SOFTLY
Everyone is susceptible to failure, so it behooves us to walk softly before God. We should never get to a place in our spiritual walk that we feel like we can’t fall. We should spend more time looking inward at ourselves, rather than outward at others.

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

4th Step: SET BOUNDARIES
It is astounding how many people fall into the same sinful habits again and again. Don’t be one of those people. Redeem your failures. Make them count for something. Take mental notes of what triggered the failure, and set boundaries to protect yourself from future temptation.

IN CONCLUSION: Every fighter gets knocked down at some point. Every Christian falls short in his walk with God at some point. This is in no way a license to sin. God forbid. It is simply an acknowledgment that we live in flesh, and are in a continuing fight. If you have found yourself in a place of failure, begin this process now to get from guilt to victory:

-Repent with godly sorrow and a course correction.
-Accept forgiveness.
-Walk softly before God and your fellow man.
-Set boundaries.
-Get up quick!

Warm Regards,
-Pat Vick

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter, and email me Pat@PATVICK.COM

Lies Suicide Will Tell You

There is an enemy among us. She has crept in with subtlety. Into our homes, into our schools, into our workplaces, and even into our churches. She has begun to tear away the very fabric of our society by devaluing the gift of life, itself. She has worked quietly and purposefully while we have looked the other way. She has filled the minds of our loved ones with lies as they go silently about their days. We must expose SUICIDE for the liar she is.

LIE #1: No One Loves You.

The Truth is there are a lot of people who love you. You have family members and friends who love you. You may not understand one another, or have an easy time communicating. Even if your relationships are on rocky ground because of misunderstandings or hurtful words and actions, that doesn’t diminish their love for you.

Furthermore, and most importantly, God loves you. The Creator of the universe was manifest in the flesh as the man, Jesus Christ. He was born, lived, suffered, died for your sins, and rose victorious because He loves you. Yes, He did it to offer all of humanity a way of salvation…but if there had been no other people to save, He would have done it just for you. He loves you that much.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

LIE #2: You Are All Alone.

The Truth is you have family, friends, church congregations, and a community that cares about you. There are people all around you that care how you feel, and want you to be okay. Many of them are people you have never met or gotten to know yet. It may be difficult and embarrassing, but please reach out to someone around you. If that person doesn’t take you seriously, reach out to another person. They might not be equipped to help you themselves, but they can point you to someone who can.

Even beyond all of these is Jesus. People will fail us, but God never will. Be filled with His Spirit as the scripture says, and you will truly never be alone.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:17-18)

LIE #3: They’ll Be Better Off Without You.

The Truth is suicide is the most hurtful thing you could ever do to your family, friends, church family and community. They would NEVER get over it. They would NEVER recover from losing you. They would think of their loss EVERY DAY for the rest of their lives. Even rare joyful days would leave them wondering how you might have enjoyed it. Your death would impose a life sentence of sorrow on those you love the most.

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:” (1 Corinthians 12:18-22)

LIE #4: Death Is The Only Way Out.

The Truth is Jesus has a plan for your life, and if you walk in His ways, He will guide you through your problems. That doesn’t mean life won’t be difficult or painful. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have to suffer repercussions for your actions. It doesn’t mean you won’t have to endure hardship. What it DOES mean is that you will never be alone, and if you will be attentive to God’s Word and Spirit, He will lead you the best path through your circumstances.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

LIE #5: Death Is Like Falling Asleep.

The Truth is death is more like waking up. There is no long night of peaceful slumber after you die. There are no sweet dreams after death. Your body may rest in the ground, but your soul (the part of you that thinks, knows and is aware) awakes immediately to eternal reality.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27)

LIE #6: Your body is yours.

The Truth is your body is on loan from God, its Creator. It is the very first thing He entrusted to your care, and He expects you keep it in good repair and use it for His glory.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

LIE #7: You can finally have peace.

The Truth is there is no peace outside of God’s will. He created you to be filled with His Spirit, live according to His Word, and be beneficial to His Kingdom. Living for Jesus brings true peace.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

LIE #8: Suicide Is Your Friend.

The Truth is Suicide is the enemy of your soul. It is of the devil. It comes only to steal, kill and destroy your mind, your body, your soul, your hope and your future. Living for Jesus brings life.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

LIE #9: God will forgive you.

The Truth is that God is a God of mercy, but He is also a God of judgment. His Word assures us that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins if we repent. However, you cannot repent of suicide. Once it is done, it cannot be undone. Nor can you repent and ask the Lord to forgive you for what you are going to do. That is not true repentance, and will not be accepted as such by God.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38-29)

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30)

LIE #10: Suicide Is Your Idea.

The Truth is suicide is a spirit. It is unholy. It roams the earth in search of hopeless people to seduce into following it into the lake of fire, which is its eternal judgement. This ungodly spirit cannot force you to do anything, but it uses the power of suggestion, lies and every negative emotion to persuade you into harming yourself. If you are having thoughts of suicide, I assure you, it is not your idea.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

LIE #11: You shouldn’t say anything.

The Truth is keeping you silent is the biggest deception of all. As long as you are silent, the lies suicide tells you are all you can hear.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

~~~~~~~

*** I am not a counselor; nor am I a medical professional. I am simply someone who loves you, and wants God’s best for you. If you are toying with the idea of suicide, I beg you to reach out to someone.

!!!FOR HELP!!! Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255                                   or follow this link to the SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE WEBSITE.

Follow this link to LOCATE A MINISTER who will pray with you..

Other choices include a Pastor, Counselor, Teacher, Coach, Friend or Family Member. There are people who care. Make them understand you are in trouble. Let them point you in the right direction.

Warm Regards, -Pat

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM.

Choosing To Live In The Face Of Terror On 9/11

Anyone who knows my husband and me very well, knows that in recent months we have ramped up our travels out of the country doing Missions work. Today, in light of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11, I will answer the question that people have begun to ask me on a regular basis, “Aren’t you afraid to travel so far?”  The answer to that question is, “Yes, sometimes I am.”

FEAR ISN’T ALWAYS BAD
That being said, fear isn’t always a bad thing. It actually causes you to live your life on purpose. Fear is only bad when it paralyzes you from living. Healthy fear should cause you to keep your head up and your senses alert to make wise choices. It causes you to take inventory of your life, and make sure it is filled with worthwhile endeavors. Living fully for God, and working for His Kingdom, are definitely worth a calculated risk.

King David declared in Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…”

DEATH IS UNAVOIDABLE
I have a newsflash for you: Everyone dies. We had just lost a close family member when I turned to my oldest son, looked him square in the eyes, and spoke these words. They washed over him the same way they just washed over you -thick, cold and sticky. I don’t regret saying them. I wanted him to know he only has one life, and it needs to be spent wisely.

THE TROUBLE WITH PLAYING IT SAFE
Here’s another newsflash for you: Living in certain safety doesn’t keep you from dying; It only keeps you from living. I choose to think of my life as currency. It’s going to be spent on something. That something might as well be eternal.

Living in certain safety doesn't keep you from dying; It only keeps you from living. Click To Tweet

NOT A LICENSE FOR FOOLISH LIVING
Healthy fear should cause you to move cautiously, not foolishly, forward. People that are running from God live foolishly. Taking crazy chances with your life is not using wisdom. Living strung out on whatever new and exciting high is just around the corner doesn’t bring glory to God. Get yourself under control and live with eternity in mind!

FEAR VERSUS TERROR
On September 11th, 2001, weak and foolish people attacked our country. They spent their lives in one swift payment to induce a state of terror upon their perceived enemies.

I’ll admit that in the wake of those events, I was panicked. Then I was numb. Then I was angry. After a while, I realized I wasn’t really living anymore. I was paralyzed by my fear…just like the terrorists wanted all along. It’s what they spent themselves for. One day I decided to send all that terror back for a refund. I refuse to give them what they paid for.

HONOR WHERE HONOR IS DUE
Who do you want to honor with your life? Terrorists? When you allow yourself to live in terror, that’s who gets the honor. Do you want to honor the victims? Our military? Our first responders? God? That won’t be done by hunkering down in a quivering puddle and refusing to live your life.

Are there more bad guys? Affirmative. Could something really bad happen again? Absolutely. Do bad things happen to good people? Unfortunately so.

When I’m tempted to allow my fear to paralyze me, I remind myself of the text that my friend in the Middle East sent me the night before I flew.

“Pat, I want to thank you for conquering your fear and getting on that plane…”

Because we got on that plane in the face of our fear, thirty-three people received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost for the first time. Most, if not all, of those thirty-three people have now been baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of their sins. Thirty-three faces that I will see in Heaven when my life is spent.

Lest you think I am promoting self, and are tempted to say, “God could have done that without you,”…Yes, but He chooses to use people.

So, today, in light of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11, I will not cower and give place to terror. Instead, I choose to live fully and on purpose for the glory of God and the furtherance of His Kingdom.

I will leave you with one of my very favorite quotes:

Safety is not in the absence of danger, but in the presence of the Lord.” -Unknown

Warm Regards, -Pat

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM

 

If It Doesn’t Include Water And Spirit, It’s Not The New Birth

In John 3, a Pharisee named Nicodemus had an encounter with Jesus. He came to Jesus by night and affirmed that He knew Jesus was a “teacher come from God.” Jesus preempted all of his unasked questions with the most important thing that He wanted Nicodemus (and us) to know, that every individual must experience a New Birth in order to be saved.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

At Nicodemus’ confusion at how it was physically possible to be born a second time, Jesus explained further that this New Birth would include two elements, water and Spirit.

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

He then reiterated that He was not talking about a natural birth, but about a Spiritual birth, so there was no reason to be alarmed.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:6-7)

Following repentance, every New Testament conversion experience included these two elements of WATER and SPIRIT. Read the Book of Acts for yourself. The four main recorded accounts of New Testament conversions are clearly detailed in chapters two (2), eight (8), ten (10) and nineteen (19).

Read the Acts of the Apostles for yourself. Click To Tweet

ACTS 2

As  instructed by Jesus, the Apostles went back to wait in Jerusalem for “the promise of the Father.” They held a ten day prayer vigil, until the Holy Ghost was poured out, and they all spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave them hem utterance.

At the crowd’s confusion, Peter preached the first message of the New Testament Church, giving the people clear instructions.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)

ACTS 8

Philip went down to Samaria and preached about Jesus. The Samaritans received his preaching with enthusiasm, and responded by being baptized in Jesus’ name.

“But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)

When the Apostles at Jerusalem learned that the Samaritans had received the Word and been baptized in Jesus’ name, they sent Peter and John down to pray for them to receive the Holy Ghost, as well.

“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)” (Acts 8:15-16)

The Samaritans were filled with the Spirit in such an extraordinary way that Simon (who was a brand new Believer) offered money for this power to lay hands on people and give them the Holy Ghost.

ACTS 10

Cornelius was a Gentile. Until this time, only the Jewish people had experienced the New Birth, and they assumed it was only for them. God arranged supernaturally to send Peter to preach to Cornelius and his family. While Peter was still preaching, the Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and his family.

“And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” (Acts 10:45-48)

ACTS 19

While on a missionary journey, Paul came to Ephesus, and found twelve of John the Baptist’s disciples. He was thrilled to find that they were Believers, and wanted to know if they had fully experienced the New Birth.

“He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” (Acts 19:2)

When Paul realized that not only had they not received the Holy Ghost, but that they had not even heard of the Holy Ghost, he immediately questioned their baptism.

“And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.” (Acts19:3)

At this point, Paul understood the situation perfectly. He explained to them that John’s baptismal formula was only for repentance, and reminded them that John had said they would need to believe on and follow the One who was coming after him, that is on Jesus.

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:5-6)

THE PATTERN

It is very clear and obvious in the book of Acts how the Apostles interpreted and followed through with Jesus’ instructions to be Born Again of the WATER and the SPIRIT. We have no instructions from Jesus to change the pattern. Today, two thousand years later, the New Birth experience remains the same, and will continue to be so until He returns for His Church.

Water Baptism in Jesus’ name
+ Baptism of the Holy Ghost
——————————————
= New Birth

Warm Regards, -Pat Vick

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE HERE to my newsletter, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM!

 

 

 

 

The Most Pivotal Moment Of My Life

Some of the most joyful moments in my life include the day 30 years ago that I married my high school sweetheart, the three days that each of my children were born, the day my first child got married and the day my grandson was born. If you can remember the joy you felt when you passed these same milestones, you might take offense when I tell you there was a pivotal moment in my life that brought me even more joy than these.

When I was a Junior in high school, I began to date the boy who later became my husband. His Pastor taught us a twelve week Bible study, during which I was introduced to Jesus and the New Testament plan of salvation. Repentance, Baptism in Jesus’ name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2:38.

Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t unchurched. From the ages of four through seven, I had attended a Baptist church. From then until age seventeen, my family attended a United Methodist church. I also had a precious Episcopal grandmother who I often went to church with. All of this church background fostered a great longing in me to know Jesus, for which I will be forever grateful, but I never met Him in a trinitarian church.

Once in junior high, I went to church with a friend. Her family talked to me about my hunger to know Jesus and my need to be baptized. I allowed their preacher to put me under the water in the titles, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I don’t have any memory of the actual baptism. I only remember standing in front of the congregation with my hair still wet. Everyone was so excited for me, giving me hugs and words of affirmation. That part felt good, but I didn’t feel any different inside…I definitely didn’t meet Jesus that day.

During the course of the Bible study, I saw my need to be baptized in Jesus’ name. I saw that it was invoking the actual name of Jesus that would remit my sins, not simply referring to His titles -Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as with my previous baptism.

At the completion of the study, I presented myself to be baptized again, but this time was different. The Man of God said the words, “I now baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. One second to go down, one second under the water, and one second to realize I was cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

I remember every nanosecond. I felt exactly when the chains of sin fell from me while I was still under the water, literally suspended between Heaven and Earth. Weightless, and surrounded by heavenly light. I remember wishing that feeling would last longer. Perhaps that is what a redeemed soul feels like that has been set free of earthly bonds.

Pictured, is the exact moment when I realized my sins were washed away. I want you to take a good look. This was the moment that altered my life forever. Receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential to salvation, as well, but this was the dividing line. The moment I took on the name of Jesus in baptism.

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

Many people receive the Holy Ghost, and never let Him lead them into all Truth. If you prescribe to the trinitarian doctrine, you most likely have never been baptized in the saving name of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ name baptism is the dividing line between Truth and error.

Jesus' name baptism is the dividing line between Truth and error. Click To Tweet

When Lazarus died, Jesus told his disciples, “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.” (John 11:15)

I imagine Him saying the same thing to me concerning my first baptism in the titles… “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe…”

I regret ever being baptized in the titles, but I’m glad for the insight it gave me. There is most definitely a difference.

I humbly ask you to prayerfully consider being baptized in the only saving name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. I also invite you to share your story of being baptized in Jesus’ name in the comments.

Warm Regards, -Pat Vick

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM

Beyond The Veil: Ministering in the Gulf States

“And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!” (Genesis 17:18)

We had anticipated this trip for months with mixed emotions. We had heard it over and over, “You’re going where?!” The exclamation mark that ended our preparations and began our final and longest leg of travel to the Gulf States happened in the bowels of the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport, as we were about to board our Etihad Airlines flight.

Flanked on every side by men in white robes and head wraps, and women in black abayas and hijabs, our emotions were on high alert. Looking to foster a sense of camaraderie, my husband casually asked a fellow traveller if he was going to be on this flight. Unfortunately, his response of, “NO, I’m not getting on that plane!” did nothing to alleviate our tension, and just like that, we were off to the Gulf States.

After flying through the night, we arrived Wednesday at midnight, exhausted, and very relieved to see the Worker’s smiling face there to welcome us. He loaded our luggage into his SFC vehicle and drove us to his home to get some sleep.

Early the next morning, we woke to a myriad of new sights, sounds, and smells, assuring us that our long journey had not been a dream. The Muslim call to prayer broke the predawn hush, sounding completely foreign to our ears.

Our senses were overloaded as we got out for some sightseeing on Thursday. We spent the day getting acclimated, touring downtown, the market and the local mall. We saw beautiful architecture the likes we had never seen before, and a vast desert landscape resembling a windswept canvas. Transposed against the muted earth tones of the desert, and the stark black and white robes, were the vibrant colors of the people’s zeal for living. Plush rugs, cashmere scarves, fringed veils, and always the aroma of incense wafting in the air. Amber, Jasmine, Frankincense.

Over all, we saw people going about their daily lives. Even though the unfamiliarity of their wardrobe and language seemed strange, seeing families with their children in tow, while they shopped for groceries and other household necessities, helped us to put things in perspective. People are people all over the world.

People are people all over the world. Click To Tweet

As darkness fell on Thursday night, it was time for our first service. It was to be a preliminary meeting for the official anniversary service that would be the next morning. Anxiety, that had been dispelled through the day, snaked back into our minds, as we wondered how we could have service in such a closed place.

Several people, dressed in traditional attire, walked by in front of us as we crossed the street to enter the rented building. At this point, we simply had to trust the Workers’ judgement, who were living and raising their family here.

You might expect that we found a pitiful group of worshippers, huddled together in whispered prayer, fearfully looking over their shoulders. You would be mistaken. This group of 30-40 believers welcomed us with joyful embraces and hand shakes. They listened intently as the Word was delivered, and worshipped afterward with zealous abandon.

The keyboard, drums and electric guitars were just as loud as any back home. We cast several questioning glances at the Workers, to which they simply smiled and continued their enthusiastic worship. We had no choice but to trust and enjoy the atmosphere of pure praise. Later, it was explained to us that the platform and windows were lined with sound reducing material, which kept much of the sound localized and muted to the outside.

Friday morning, which is the religious day in this area of the world, we gathered in a banquet room of a local restaurant. To the Believers, it was their sixth anniversary service. To everyone else, it was just another festive occasion, complete with decorations and a buffet afterwards. Once again, the worship was unrestrained, and this time, there was no soundproofing to buffer the enthusiasm. This small group knew how to throw a great “party,” as seventeen people received the Spirit!

Afterward, as we gathered for the meal, several of the Workers’ local friends joined us for fellowship. The women talked about raising babies, and the men spoke of their shared interest in business and farming. There was much that went unsaid among the group, but was understood nevertheless. I looked around the table at the diversity of nationalities, cultures, languages, and was in awe of the privilege to be in this moment. As I was pondering what it all meant, and where it would lead, a young Muslim wife, dressed in her black abaya and head covering, walked around the table to where I was sitting, knelt at my feet, and presented me with the gift of a beautiful bracelet that she had brought from her village. She held my gaze with her dark henna eyes, as she offered me her friendship. I wondered, if the roles were reversed, would I have offered the same to her?

Location-1 was outgrowing its borders. Forty to fifty Believers are all that can congregate together without drawing undue attention. The Workers took us to see a fifth floor apartment, which had been newly acquired for a second meeting place. We were thrilled to learn that one of the rooms was to be used to start the first Word School in the country. Again, this facility was padded with extra thick carpet, a lifted platform, sound reducing material packed into the windows, and heavy drapes. As you read this, Location-2 is thriving, and working toward a third location in the city.

We traveled south by plane to a more remote city for another assemblies’ one year anniversary service. Location-1 had been flying two people weekly for a year to this city in order to establish, teach and stabilize this daughter work.

We stayed in a beautiful hotel where the group assembled in a banquet room each week. We were definitely not going to blend in here, where everyone that we passed in the hallways was dressed in their traditional attire. Once again, we asked ourselves how we could possibly have a service in this clearly closed place.

The next morning we awakened to rhythmic percussion and voices lifted to lively music. The banquet room was a few doors down, and these Believers were apparently very serious about their praise team practice. My husband and I looked at one another in disbelief, and I said what proved to be prophetic, “You know they’re only going to get louder.”

Once again, we had a powerful celebration service, complete with music, decorations, and a buffet filled with food. Sixteen new Believers were Spirit filled in that service, making a total of thirty-three new babies in all. Most of these were immersed in the Only Saving Name at a later time, after we and the Workers had left.

Although we have a long list of personal stories we could tell about the people we met, one most reflects the hearts of the people we encountered. My husband and the Worker went out for a few hours on a guy excursion to visit a nearby camel farm. As they wandered up, uninvited and unannounced, there was a group of shabab (young men) in their late teens and early twenties hanging out, as youth do.

My husband’s spiritual sensors immediately went on alert as he wondered how he would be received. He had no need to worry. Hospitality permeates even the culture of their young people. The young men welcomed them into their tent, made them hot tea, which they drank while sitting on the floor, talking, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. My husband was even treated to a free camel ride, which he may or may not have fallen off of.

We think often of the man in the airport, at the beginning of our journey, who reacted with such hostility at the thought of boarding “that plane.” When we juxtapose that image alongside these young men’s hospitality, and the memory of my new friend on her knees at my feet, offering a gift, our hearts are saddened to realize the majority of the people we know and love will never have the opportunity to overcome their fear, and come to know these precious people.

I have heard that the Total Immersion Technique is the most productive when learning a new language. This is exactly what we experienced. We were totally immersed in the culture of the Gulf States. In twelve days, we went from being anxious and awkward, to loving these people like family. The sights, sounds, smells and faces, once so foreign, are forever part of us. We will continue to carry the people they represent with us, and lift them up in prayer. Their story has become ours, and we are honored to be able to tell it for them.

Warm Regards, -Pat Vick

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM.

*NOTE: This article was previously published in the May/June 2017 issue of The Pentecostal VOICE of Tennessee magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Hoping For Heaven, But living Like The Devil?

Years ago, I knew a lady who lived like the devil. She had enough Church influence to know right from wrong. If you happened to get into a conversation on the Bible, she knew all the right answers, and could even quote scriptures.

She knew and believed the Oneness of God. She knew and believed the New Birth experience as taught in Acts 2:38-39. She knew and believed in Holiness. She had a general knowledge of Endtime events.

Did I mention she lived like the devil?! Being a young Believer, and full of zeal for the Lord, I was astounded at this phenomenon.

As is often the case with people who know the Truth, but aren’t living Him, she loved to engage others in conversation about the Bible. One evening, we were having one such discussion concerning the Rapture and the Mark of the Beast. She said to us, “I know I’m not living right. I know I won’t make the Rapture, but when the time comes, I have decided, no matter what, I won’t take the Mark.” (I’ll reserve my comments on her belief in a pretribulation Rapture for another post.)

Being a young Christian, I didn’t know what to say to her then, but in the years that have passed since, I have often thought of her remark. If someone were to say the same thing to me today, I would share with them Jeremiah 12:5.

“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5)

I fear that there are many people that think like this lady did. They think that after living their lives in whatever manner they choose, that somehow, by sheer determination, they will be able to decide to do right “when the time comes.”

If you are one of those people, I would ask you the same question that Jeremiah did. If you can’t serve God and do right while living in peaceful times today, how do you think you will find the resolve to live for God when hard times come tomorrow? When persecution comes? When tribulation comes?

Willpower is a lousy disciplinarian when it comes to spiritual matters. If you are not truly CONVERTED to Christianity, If you are not truly BORN AGAIN of the WATER and the SPIRIT, your willpower is like a spider’s web in satan’s face.

Willpower is a lousy disciplinarian when it comes to spiritual matters. Click To Tweet

The Apostle Paul told the young minister, Timothy,

“In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:25-26)

You may think you are calling the shots while being backslidden. You may think that one day, in the future, when you have sown the last of your wild oats, when you have achieved a certain measure of success, when you have gained notoriety among your peers, when you have consumed all of this world’s pleasures…that you will simply “decide” to come to God.

You are being deceived, my friend, and it is the most delicious deception the devil offers on his buffet of deceitful delicacies. The Truth is that you are being held captive at his will. Not only is he calling the shots, but he is doing so in relatively peaceful times.

What true persecution does the North American Church know of? If you squirm when someone asks whether you go to that Pentecostal Church, do you truly think that you will have the fortitude to live for God when the “Horsemen” arrive? When the whole world is reeling out of control?

I implore you. I beg you. I reason with you. If you feel the tug of the Spirit reading these words, don’t wait to “decide” to serve God. Turn to Him now. FIND A CHURCH that teaches the Acts 2:38 New Birth message, and go there as soon as possible. Repent of your sins, be baptized in the name of Jesus’ Christ for the remission of those sins, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Commit to living a life of Holiness.

If you have known the Lord, but have walked away, if you have filled your life with the world’s delicacies, WAKE UP! Realize your soul has been snared. Turn away from satan’s table of deceit, and turn back to God, while His Spirit is dealing with you. The horsemen are fast approaching, and you need to be prepared for spiritual battle.

Warm Regards,
-Pat Vick

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter, and email me PAT@PATVICK.COM.

 

 

How Were You Baptized? (It Matters, You Know.)

In Jesus’ final instructions to His disciples, He commanded them to go into all the world and baptize converts to Christianity. He also expected the disciples to teach these converts all the doctrine that He had entrusted to them for the three and one-half years that He had mentored them.

Although there are many scriptures on baptism in the Bible, two are used most frequently to teach from. The first, Matthew 28:19, is most often referred to by trinitarians, and Acts 2:38 is most often referred to by Oneness believers.

Knowing that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, and without contradiction, let’s take a look at BOTH to see how they COMPLIMENT one another.

MATTHEW 28:18-20

18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

ACTS 2:38

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

 

A FEW OBSERVATIONS:

1. Matthew 28:19 is spoken by Jesus. (Notice the red letters.)
2. Matthew 28:19 mentions titles.

3. Acts 2:38 was spoken by Peter.
4. Acts 2.38 mentions a specific name, Jesus.

How can both of these baptismal formulas be correct? I have heard people say, “Well, I’m going to use the formula that Jesus said to use.”

I COULDN’T AGREE MORE!!!

Does that mean that Peter and the rest of the Apostles disobeyed Jesus’ command, and baptized new converts incorrectly after He ascended back into Heaven?

Does it mean that every baptism that is recorded in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles is heresy?

Does it mean that for 229 years, from Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection in 33AD until 325AD, the Apostles were using an ineffective baptism formula, and baptizing people wrong by calling the name of Jesus Christ over them, as they put them under the water?

It should be noted here that it was at the Council of Nicea in 325AD that the Roman Catholic Church decreed that to baptize in Jesus’ name was anathema (a curse). Before this time, the early Church always baptized in Jesus’ name.

…OR…

Could it mean that when the Apostles baptized new converts by calling on the name of Jesus Christ, that they were actually FULFILLING Jesus’ commandment in Matthew 28:19 by invoking the ACTUAL NAME of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?

Could it be that Jesus was expecting the Apostles to do what He said, and not just say what He said when they baptized? (Stop. Read that statement again and think about it for as long as it takes to sink in. Selah.)

Could it be that Jesus felt confident that the Apostles understood that He was speaking of Himself?

Could it be they knew JESUS was the NAME of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?

Could it be that they called on Jesus’ name in baptism because they understood that His name is the only name that has the power to remit sins?

Could it be that Oneness Apostolic Pentecostals have been doing it right all along?

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

So, I’ll ask you again…How were you baptized?

…It matters, you know.

Warm Regards, -Pat

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and email me at PAT@PATVICK.COM