What Path Will You Follow

According to Jesus there are two paths, the narrow and the wide. One leads to light and the other leads to darkness. These two paths are totally different in nature and at one point in our lives we need to understand that it is our choice on which path we take. One path is easy yet at the end the most dangerous. The other is very hard to stay on in fact you might think you are walking a tight rope but the reward is great. After this choice is revealed to us we must decide where we go from there.

The wide path is one where God’s Word is present but not followed. It is the ways of the world with little attention to the desire of having God in our lives. If fact you could say that it is literally having the devil as your guide.

The narrow path is God’s. It is where the Word is ever present and followed the best we can in our misshapen, human lives.  We are held to a standard that is very difficult to keep but the difference between the two paths is in whom we put our faith, our trust in. It is who we turn to in times of trembling.

The narrow path leads to the Kingdom of Heaven. God sent Jesus to guide us to the path and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide us and keep us on the path. Yes we have free will but unlike the wide path where free will allows for no immediate punishment for our mistakes, the narrow path corrects us and keeps us there.

The wide path keeps people in the world. It is filled with woes and worries over basic needs and wanderings. There is no clear cut edge on either side so there is much wavering. You can still know God and stay on the wide path but you will not see God and feel His presence once your path ends.

The path we take is determined by us when we reach the crossroad between innocence and understanding. It is a choice we make on our own but there is always still time to change our minds. We can choose to live in the world and gain nothing at the end, or choose Christ and gain everything.  God wants us to choose life with Him. What will you choose?

Brothers and Sisters there is a fine line where the grey is so thin that it is barely seen. It is thinner than a strand of hair. We cannot stay there but must choose the path we will take. I urge you to trust God and Keep His Word on your heart. That will help you stay on the narrow path to life.

There are so many ways the devil deceives and we could be walking the wide path while thinking we are on the narrow, that is why God gave us His Word, His Commandments, His Son. I have said before that there is a difference in believing and being in Jesus, this is where that is the most important. Being in Christ, walking in His ways the best we can is the way to stay on the narrow verses just believing and not walking beside Him.

The Choice is yours.

Rob, Servant of God

Baptize in the Name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit

Baptism

Jesus commanded His Disciples to “Go make Disciples of all men, Baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Teachings of the Apostles explains Baptism in a short but informative instruction.

Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water. But if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, then in warm. If you have very little, pour water three times on the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Before the baptism, both the baptizer and the candidate for baptism, plus any others who can, should fast. The candidate should fast for one or two days beforehand.

Baptism is the outward expression of the inward acceptance of the covenant made through the blood, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. John the Baptist made people clean through a repentant baptism in preparation for the coming Messiah by washing the sins away in the flowing water of the Jordan. For he said, “Repent and be baptized”.

The best way to baptize is in water that flows. This is done so to symbolize a removal of the sins. Nowadays we have a Baptismal that water is poured into and is still. It is good but a flowing one would be better. Why cold water? the temperature of the water is important because if you are baptized in cold water the pours stay closed so that no new sin can enter in. But it is ok for warm water due to the temperature of the surrounding area and how quickly the pours would close. Full immersion is preferred but a pouring is acceptable. Even before going into the water one should not eat or drink for one to two days. Why? Because you must enter the covenant humbly, with the understanding that the earthly foods only fill the body while the spirit needs the bread of life. By fasting, the body becomes dependent on God’s Word so it is a full acceptance of Jesus through the trust that His Word is sufficient for life.

Notice two things that did not have an alternative mode here. First the person must understand and accept the Word and the sacrifice that Jesus made finishing the need for the blood sacrifices for our salvation. Secondly, the fasting. The only thing about the fasting is the time limit. A child can fast for one and be good but an adult, two days.
The waiting for Resurrection Day to be baptized did not start until late first century to early second century. Instead it was basically an on the spot acceptance and washing bringing more and more into the Body of Christ. This was both right and proper going along with the Great Commission.

Perry Stone wrote on the first century Byzantine Church. In his explanation of things the men and women were baptized separately because they went into the water in the nude. This was the process: After the fasting was complete, the candidates lined up dressed in white robes and entered into a cavern inside a hill. At the lowest point there was a pool of cold flowing water. Upon entering the water, the outer garment was removed and the appointed priest, deacon, or elder, asked for confirmation of beliefs then the person was immersed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Upon exiting the water they were given their white garment and a glass of milk mixed with honey to cleanse the inner self. When all Baptisms were complete, the whole Community of Believers shared in Communion then a celebration meal. Now that is a blessed time.

Baptism has sure changed since then as it is a full community observance. Certain denominations do things a little backwards by baptizing before the candidate even realizes what is going on, then later has to go through classes to explain everything and then accept the covenant. There is a clear statement that in order to be baptized, one has to personally make the choice to accept Jesus. Someone else cannot make that choice for you. The Great Commission that Jesus spoke before He ascended said to make Disciples of all mankind baptizing and maintaining obedience to the Word. To make Disciples one must first explain everything to which they outwardly show their acceptance through baptism then they are followed up with constantly through the speaking of the Word. That is the process of Baptism.

Have you been immersed in the waters of Baptism? I personally was Baptized as a baby through the Lutheran Church, went through the Catechism, and had my first Communion by the time I was 8. But I did not truly know Jesus. I was chosen to give a sermon when I was 9 on a children’s Sunday, but I still did not know Jesus. I went through 25 1/2 years thinking I was good to go until I truly discovered what Jesus was doing in my life. When I truly became aware of Jesus, I gave a public confession and was Baptized by immersion. I was 26 when I truly gave my life to God. When did you?

The Choice

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God, our creator, once had a great relationship with us. The Garden of Eden was and is Heaven on Earth. It is the physical manifestation of the heavenly realm. Thing is, it is currently invisible to us because of one man. God told Adam (Eve was not created yet) not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. He listened. When Eve was created and he was telling her the rules set forth by God we have to wonder this, who added the part about not even touching the tree? The first lie on record. When Eve told the serpent this, the conniving creature was able to convince Eve that the fruit would not kill her. She was convinced the serpent was right and she ate. The first sin was not eating of the tree but the lie. So the question is, who said it first. Did Adam not want Eve to even go near the tree so he told her not to even touch it? Or was it so that when she was near and was tempted she told that to the serpent as a way to get it away from her which backfired? Of this we will never know. Either way the fault still is in Adam. Lies can Kill
Lies are very harmful especially when they backfire and the person who told it usually gets in some kind of trouble almost immediately. Once Adam and Eve chose to eat of the tree, they were awakened to knowledge of good and evil and chose to hide from God because they knew they did wrong but also misunderstood why they had this feeling. We all know that we cannot hide from God. He sees and knows everything. When God found them the two immediately went into the blame game. “She gave me the fruit and I ate”, said Adam. “The serpent told me it was okay”, said Eve. Then God spoke with the council and they agreed to kick them out of the Garden of Eden in the off chance that they choose to eat from the Tree of Life. It was probably very heart breaking (if you can imagine God’s disappointment in them) but He set them apart from paradise and punished the serpent.
God covered them with animal skins to ensure them that He still cared but then made it perfectly clear who was in charge of their life which was made very difficult. This in turn made them see that trusting in God praising Him in all things and asking Him for help in times of trouble was a way to have Him close but no longer visible. He then shut the gate to the Garden until the appointed time.
How come we still are not let into the Garden while we are in our mortal state? We are no longer the perfect creation that God made us to be initially. The fruit gave us the freedom of choice to be good or evil, to desire communion with God or live our own lives away from Him. Our human eyes cannot bear to see the brilliance that is God’s eminent light so we must choose to live for Him now to be able to see Him when we pass from this life into the next. Those who choose to avoid and or disobey God will not see the light until it is too late.

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So, herein lies the question, “How can a loving God send us to darkness in Hell?”. We should not be asking this question because we know the answer is because some choose not to trust in Him. Instead we need to ask, ”How can the Perfect, Sinless God allow us to live with Him in Heaven?”. This is answered in the simplest manner but it is the hardest choice to make. Because He loves us and wants to commune with us again. Those of us who choose life in the Savior whom He sent as the final blood sacrifice and defeater of death, follow His ways and trust in Him to positively mediate our case with the Father, are allowed to commune with Him.
This means we must not trust in the ways and means of man though we must live in the world. We must not be of the world dependent on the false idols to make it through the day. We must start our day and end our day in praise and thanksgiving of God through His Word, following the instructions and examples of Scripture and keeping Him in our heart at all times. In doing so we are defended against the temptations of Satan. Though we do let our guard down and are not perfect (me included), as long as we ask forgiveness and seek God through Christ we will see Him again.