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

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

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

 

The Oneness of God: It Isn’t Just Semantics.

Years ago, when our oldest child was going into his second grade school year, we made the decision to homeschool. We had previously been very pleased with his school, but during his first grade year, we began to see quite a bit of New Age material coming home in his daily parent packets.

In the state we lived at the time, every homeschool had to have an umbrella school that they were accountable to. The only umbrella school that we knew of at the time was a trinitarian based church school.

When we approached the principle of the school about homeschooling under their umbrella, I made sure to explain to him what we believed doctrinally. He listened patiently, and then said with a shrug, “No problem. It’s just semantics.”

Honestly, I didn’t even know what the word “semantics” meant at the time. I could tell from the flippant manner in which he tossed out the word that he wasn’t appreciating the difference between our two drastically different doctrinal viewpoints.

I could have taken the approach that said, Well, if it’s not a big deal to him, then it’s not a big deal to me. After all, my son would never actually be in a classroom setting with him.

Yet, it was very important to me. I would never have wanted him or anyone to think that I agree with the trinitarian doctrine, when the Oneness of God is the foundation of knowing God. Because of this, I wrote out on a piece of paper, briefly describing my belief in the Oneness doctrine, and signing and dating it for him to put in my son’s school file.

Trinity doctrine contends that the one God exists in three separate co-equal and co-eternal persons. There is no logic in this teaching. No matter how it is softened or rationalized or explained, three co-equal and co-eternal persons means three, not one.

Oneness doctrine contends that God is a Spirit. The Holy Spirit. The Eternal Spirit of God manifest Himself to the world in the body of the man, Jesus Christ. This is the INCARNATION. That man was the son. The son is not eternal. He had a beginning. He was the only begotten of the Father. After Jesus died, was resurrected, and ascended into Heaven, the same Holy Spirit of God that dwelled in Jesus, infills Believers today as the Holy Ghost. Three manifestations/roles/offices of God. Not three separate beings or persons.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

Why is it so important to understand the Oneness of God? As long as we believe in Him, love Him, and do our best to serve Him, isn’t that enough?

The first reason, I have mentioned. God’s Oneness is the foundation that He expects all other knowledge of Him to be built on. It is the first of all commandments, according to Moses’ and Jesus’ teaching. It is not our place to try to make God who we imagine Him to be. It is His prerogative to define Himself to us, not vice verse.

Secondly, just as in building a natural structure, if the foundation isn’t sure, every level that is built on it will be more and more structurally unsound. So it is with doctrine.

Where the trinity is taught, rarely are Jesus’ name baptism and the in filling of the Holy Ghost taught as a necessity to salvation. Even further removed from the unstable foundation of trinity doctrine is the subject of holiness.

On the contrary, where the Oneness of God is taught, you will almost certainly find the clear and biblical teaching of the New Birth as in Acts 2:38 -Repentance, Baptism in Jesus’ name, the infilling of the Holy Ghost, and a lifestyle of Holiness.

I now know that Semantics is the interpretation of language meanings. The principal was saying it didn’t matter what I believed, verses what he believed about God. That it was fine to interpret the godhead in whatever manner each of us chose to do so.

No, my friend.

All paths do not lead to the same destination. It matters what you believe about God. Click To Tweet

The Oneness of God isn’t just semantics. It is Truth.

Warm Regards, -Pat

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE HERE to my newsletter, and email me at pat@patvick.com

 

What Is The First Commandment Of All?

When Jesus was approached with this question, “What is the first commandment of all?” He didn’t hesitate to answer with complete clarity.

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:29-30)

Notice the red letters. This was Jesus, Himself, reiterating Moses’ teaching in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:”

Moses spoke this to the children of Israel just before they were to go in and take possession of the Promised Land. This was to be the bedrock, foundational commandment that all the others were grounded on.

The people were instructed to teach the commandments to their children at all times, especially this first and greatest commandment of the Oneness of God. They were to write it as a reminder everywhere, as frontlets between their eyes, and upon the posts of their houses, and gates. Everywhere. All the time.

One way the Jewish people followed through with this commandment was the use of the Mezuzah. It is a small rectangular box, ranging from simple to very ornate, which they attached, literally, to the door frames of their homes. Inside the Mezuzah are the scriptures, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, as a perpetual witness of the Oneness of the God of Israel.

A CONTINGENT BLESSING

“Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 6:3)

Now, here we are in America, the most blessed land in the world other than the nation of Israel. The only other nation in the history of the world to be founded solely on the principles and commandments of the one, true living God. How can it be that the majority of people who proclaim Christianity today in America believe and teach the false doctrine of the trinity?

The Hebrews were given the Promised Land because its original inhabitants worshipped multiple so-called gods, making idols and bowing down in reference to a variety of imagined deities. The pure and unadulterated Truth of the Oneness of God was to be the foundation of His people.

Although you would be hard-pressed to find a church-going person in America today that would say they believe in three Gods, to believe the doctrine of the trinity is to believe the same doctrine that got the Canaanites evicted from their land.

WHAT IS THE ONENESS OF GOD?

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

God is a Spirit. He doesn’t HAVE a Spirit; He IS a Spirit. The Holy Spirit. A Spirit is invisible. God manifest (revealed) himself into the world in the body of the man Jesus Christ. Suddenly, He was visible, tangible, perceivable. Jesus was not the second person in a trinity of beings. He was and is the IMAGE of the invisible God.

Moses testified of it. The Mezuzah testifies of it. Jesus testifies of it, and Oneness Apostolic Pentecostals all over the world testify of it…

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

Warm Regards, -Pat

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE HERE to my newsletter, and email me at pat@patvick.com.

 

 

Carpe Diem! (Why does God speak to me in Latin?)

I woke early this morning with the phrase “Carpe Diem” in my head. It was my very first thought, before I was even awake enough to think. I rolled over and looked at the clock. It was a few minutes after 5:00 a.m. Six a.m. is my normal time to get up, so I stayed in bed another thirty minutes and got up at 5:30.

I went about my morning routine of making coffee, and settling into my library chair to read the Bible, pray and write. It was still before my 6:00 a.m. rising time.

My curiosity was in full sprint, so I opened my iPad and googled the phrase “Carpe Diem.” I had assumed the word Diem referred to God in some way, as in Deity. Not so. Turns out, Carpe Diem is Latin for “Seize the Day.”

So, very early in the morning, God woke me up by speaking the phrase, “Seize the day!” In Latin, no less. I was pretty amazed by this, and told Him so.

I continued with my morning routine of Bible reading, feeling quite fulfilled that I had already heard from the Lord. I was reading in Jeremiah chapter seven, when this happened.

“And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;” (Jer. 7:13)

And this…

“Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:” (Jer. 7:25)

From these scriptures, we can conclude that it is God’s Standard Operating Procedure to rise up early every day to speak to His people. Not that God sleeps, but we do. So, as the earth rotates, causing the sun to rise in each time zone, God begins to communicate with His people. He calls us personally, but we don’t hear or answer Him.

GOD, WHY WONT YOU SPEAK TO ME?
How many times have we asked God to speak to us? How many times have we longed to hear a word of direction or encouragement? Jeremiah 7:13 assures us that He is doing His part to communicate with us early every day. He is always talking, but we must be listening.

GOD, WHY WON’T YOU DO SOMETHING?
How many times have we asked the Lord to move on our behalf? To work in our present troublesome situation? Jeremiah 7:25 assures us that just as He set about every day to send His prophets to speak into the Children of Israel’s lives, He is setting events in motion daily for us. His Spirit is always moving and working on our behalf, but we don’t recognize the people or events that He sends our way.

CARPE DIEM!
Why Latin? God knows I don’t speak or understand Latin. Fact is, God is all about getting our attention. He knew my curiosity wouldn’t rest until I had figured out what my morning wake up call meant. He is much more interested in the mechanics of our lives than we give Him credit for, and is even willing to use unorthodox means to engage us in conversation. Just ask Jonah, or Balaam, or Peter.

GOD, WHY SO EARLY???
• Blessings can be missed if we don’t seek the Lord early in the day.
• God’s will can be delayed if we do not seek Him early.
• Our spiritual senses are most sensitive first thing in the morning.
• The unexpected always happens as the day progresses.
• God has always chosen to speak to His people early.
• If God wants to speak to us, do we need any other reason?

May your prayer life and walk with God rise to a new level of spiritual maturity as you SEIZE THE DAY.

Warm Regards, -Pat

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE HERE to my newsletter, and email me at pat@patvick.com.

 

Three Things a Christian Must Learn To Harness

We all want to live productive lives. Lives full of meaning. Beneficial to our families, our communities, and to the Kingdom of God. Most of humanity goes through life hoping for this to be true, but we don’t have to leave it to chance.

If we are going to be all that God has called us to be, we must break free from the lackadaisical mindset of simply drifting through life. Do we really want to live from day to day just hoping for the best outcome? Surely not.

God has called each one of us to be victorious and productive for the Kingdom. There are three areas, if we learn to harness and redirect the energy from, we can expect to live more fully in our high calling for God.

TIME

We’ve all said it before, “There just isn’t enough time!”

We don't know the length of our lives, but we all have the same amount of time as it passes. Click To Tweet Sixty seconds in every minute. Sixty minutes in every hour. Twenty-four hours in every day. Three hundred sixty-five days in every year. Ten years in every decade. Ten decades in every century.

The question is, how do we spend it? What activities do we allow to consume our allotted time?

The more time we spend on one thing, the less time we have for others. Click To TweetEveryone needs down time to relax and refresh, even the occasional vacation to regroup with family. However, countless hours are wasted on a myriad of activities that do not play a meaningful part in our life’s purpose.

Think about how many hours, on average, you spend each day on things like television & movies, social media, hobbies, sports, and talking or texting on the phone. Be honest with yourself. Now, multiply those hours by 7, and multiply that total by 365. How many of your hours last year were spent on insignificance?

That number should be sobering. It represents time that can never be retrieved. It can never be used for anything else. It has already been spent.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

The psalmist understood that we are only allotted so many twenty-four hour periods, and we should use them wisely. We must harness the energy from time spent on frivolous pastimes, and focus it toward activities that will grow us spiritually, and benefit the Kingdom of God.

God expects us to anticipate and make a plan for our days. Click To Tweet

One way to do this is to refrain from time-stealing activities. Another, is to make a written plan for the next day, week, month, year, and decade. This plan can and will be altered as you go along, but will give you a starting point to a life full of purpose.

APPETITE

More. That is the nature of flesh. Always more. Rarely, will flesh say, “That’s enough.” Whether it is food, entertainment, sensual pleasures, or possessions, the flesh wants more.

Our flesh must be disciplined. It must be brought into submission to us, as we are in submission to the Spirit. God has given us fasting to teach our flesh to be satisfied, as well as to destroy every stronghold that controls us.

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6)

Left to its own, flesh will bankrupt your soul. Click To Tweet

Every Christian should have a regular fasting day each week. If fasts are not scheduled, there will never be a convenient time. A good fasting goal to work toward is one day a week, three days a quarter, and seven days a year. Start small and consult with your physician on how to implement fasting while taking medications.

Along with fasting, another way to gain control of your appetite for more in every area of your life is to commit to live more simply. BECOMINGMINIMALIST.COM is a very helpful website to get you started.

THOUGHTS

Did you know that not every thought that comes through your mind is your own? The devil has perfected implanting his own thoughts into people’s minds. When a thought pops into your mind that is not in your nature to think, and doesn’t line up with the Word of God, it must be captured and restrained.

Countless people's lives have come to shipwreck over one thought that wasn't even their own. Click To TweetWe can’t just let our thoughts run wild and reek havoc. It is possible to take control of our thoughts before we think them.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”(Philippians 4:8)

When we realize a thought has breached our filtering system, we must capture it immediately, and bring it into submission.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Use this process as many times as necessary to take control of your thoughts:

• Identify the rogue thought.
• Acknowledge that it does not line up with the Word and Spirit of God.
• Repent of thinking it.
• Refocus your thoughts by reading and speaking scriptures.
• Redirect your thoughts to productive and spiritually mature topics.

CONCLUSION

It will take effort, focus and consistency to harness the wasted energy consumed by our time, appetites and thoughts. The reward, however, will be so beneficial to our lives, and spiritual growth, that we will only regret not taking control of these areas sooner. You will find that it only takes a few, simple, consistent decisions to set your life on a course filled with productivity and purpose.

Warm Regards, -Pat

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