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Midnight Ministries affirms and believes that there is one God who is eternal in His existence, triune in His manifestation, being the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that He is sovereign and absolute in His authority; that this one God (Deut. 6:4-5), who is the God of the Universe, comprises three distinct persons who makeup the Godhead (Col. 2:9), whose Offices are not interchangeable in this present age of Christian Grace.
That the Father is God, Creator of the universe. (Gen 1:1; John 1:1). According to Strongís Concordance, the Hebrew word "Lord" (#3068) is Jehovah God of the Old Testament. Thus, it is Jehovah God who is our Father in Isaiah 63:16, none other.
That Jesus Christ is Jehovah God, Creator of the universe: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible . . . all things were created by him and for him" (Col. 1:16).
"Thou Art Worthy, O Lord, to Receive Glory and Honor and Power: for Thou Hast Created All Things, and for Thy Pleasure They Are and Were Created" (Rev. 4:11). Note: Here, it can only be Christ as the Son of man who will be deemed worthy in the future. Thus, again, all things were created for the pleasure of Jesus Christ!
God who was eternally pre-existent became the incarnate Son without human father, by being born of the Virgin Mary in the flesh. As a result, the dual natures of humanity and divinity in Jesus Christ are self-evident and most distinct in the New Testament: namely, Christ is both the Son of man and the Son of God.
To effect salvation as a man, our Lord lived a sinless life and died on the cross: the second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45-49). Never did our Lord Jesus use His God nature to overcome any temptation to sin, but as a man relied upon the power of His heavenly Father to overcome all temptation (John 5:30; Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:21-23). If He had used His power as God, the Lord Jesus would have abrogated all right to save the human race as the second Adam.
Examples? If He had used His own power to change the stones into bread (after forty days of fasting); if He would have used His own power to deliver Himself lest He dash His foot; if He would have used His own power to live right and overcome temptation, we couldn't be saved through faith in Christ, because Christ would have cheated.
Thus, it is written of Christ, after our Lord Himself was personally tempted: "It is written AGAIN, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" (Matt. 4:7)! (Note: It was Christ who was personally tempted the first time with the temptation of making the stones turn into bread, not His Father in Heaven.)
Midnight Ministries believes and affirms that God Himself is indeed the Holy Spirit of Godóthat Spirit (John 4:24); that the Holy Spirit in the Creation moved upon the waters of the deep (Gen. 1:2); who also is the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9), being the one Spirit of whom we stand fast within our Christian walk (Philip. 1:27). Also, being the ONE Spirit of whom we must deal: "For through him we both have access by ONE SPIRIT unto the Father" (Eph. 2:18). "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man . . . .can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit. Now there are diversities of gifts, but THE SAME SPIRIT" (1 Cor. 12:3-4).
That the Bible records the Holy Spirit to both think and act, for He has a cognitive ego. Case in point: He was lied to, tempted, and accordingly, He responded (Acts 5:3, 4, 9). Moreover, because of His cognitive ego, it was the Holy Spirit Himself who instructed Isaiah to pen the following unanswerable question: "Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counselor, has taught him?" (Isa. 40:13)! Moreover, the Holy Spirit, according to the book of Romans, has a mind (Rom. 8:27).
That God Himself, fully taking on human nature (not the inherit nature to sin) in human flesh, suffered on the cross, died, was buried, and rose from the dead, "sinlessly" offering a "substitutionary" penal atonement for all of our sins; that we as Christians might have salvation through simple belief in Jesus Christ (Luke 3:22; Philip. 2:5-11; John 5:24, 6:47!!!), the Grace and Gift of God.
That Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; that no man comes to the Father except through Him (John 3:36; John 3:31-32; John 14:6; 1 John 5:12).
That humanity in Adam has sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23); that we see this inherit weakness of sin in our daily imperfections, and in the imperfections of others; that through the fall of Adam every human has estranged themselves from God (Rom. 3:10), but in Christ, the second Adam, all who receive Him by faith have reconciliation with God (1 Cor. 15:22), and peace with God.
Midnight Ministries asserts that the blood of Jesus Christ atones for all of our sins and iniquity. Moreover, it is through faith in Christ alone, which includes the fact of His shed blood, whereby we are saved and are ultimately set free from the bondages and the forces of darkness (Rom. 5:9-11; Eph. 1:7; Rev. 12:11).
That the Holy Spirit is God indwelling His Temple, the everyday believer; who is but a part of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 3:16, 12:27). Now the Holy Spirit in Scripture is called the Comforter, and the Spirit of Truth (John14:17, 14:26). Moreover, as the Word says, He will lead us into all truth. Especially the truth of faith that works by love, which particular saying in the Scripture is likened as "the truth" in the New Testament (Gal. 5:6-7).
That every believer in the Body of Christ must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Apart from this closeness with the Lord as the Lord, we can do nothing (John 15:5), for it is Christ within and only Christ within who empowers us to live godly lives. This is especially seen when the believer is found to abide in Christ (1 John 1:7, 2:6, 27; 2 John vs. 9).
That we are to participate in godly living while pursuing a holy life (Heb 12:14, Philip. 3:14). Those who deny the born again experience through their religion, deny the power of an indwelt Christ to live right. And here lies one of the many reasons for which this work was written. That is, to caution those who are "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth," to stop denying the power of God's love to increase their faith (2 Tim. 3:5, 7), and to grow in the Grace of God through Christ (2 Pet. 3:18).
Midnight Ministries asserts and believes that the Bible is the true infallible Word of God, which Word has the capability of cleansing our very being by the washing of the Word (Eph. 5:26). The Holy Scriptures alone possess the words of eternal life; that all Scripture is inspired by God Himself as He dictated it to holy men of old (2 Tim.3:16; 1 Pet. 1:24-25; 2 Pet. 1:21, 3:2 ).
That we are to renew our minds daily by the Word of God; that we must strengthen the inner man; that we are to be conformed to the image of Christ; that we are to allow His Word to mold and shape our character through the power of Christ (Rom. 12:1-3; Eph. 3:20, 4:23-29; Philip. 4:8, 13).
That justification is by faith alone; that we are indeed saved solely by the Grace of God the moment we believe (John 5:24, 6:47). Additionally, that salvation is free and apart from any work of man as a result of the sovereign Grace of God (Eph 2:8-9, Rom 5:1). What must we do to be saved? The answer: Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31); it is the power and/or grace to become the sons of God (John 1:12). (Note: many cults deny that they're saved by their simple acceptance and belief in Jesus Christ.)
Midnight Ministries asserts and believes that it is Christ, according to the power that worketh in us, who is the author and finisher of our faith; that every good and godly work conceivable to a Christian, is only Christ working within us when we abide, or allow Him to do His perfect work. That we have no boast in any good work, for without Him, as the Scripture says, we can do nothing. "For by grace are you saved THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
Indeed, apart from the indwelt Seed of Christ (1 John 3:9), who was freely received by our initial simple faith; indeed, apart from His indwelling power of agape love that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5), we reiterate that we are nothing and can do nothing. Moreover, without His love in action, coupled with the growth of that Seed, we cannot fulfill the most Holy Law of God (Rom. 13:8; Gal. 5:14; Rom. 12:1-3; Eph. 3:20, 4:23-29; Philip. 4:8).
That we through the Spirit hope for righteousness (living right) through faith (Gal. 5:5), which is not faith in the Law of God. That perfect saving faith, although it can be a one time act on a personís death bed, is an ongoing process for all other Christians; that the time comes in every longtime Christianís life wherein they are no longer justified by faith alone (Just as James wroteóJames 2:24); but by godly fueled works in obedience to Christ (2 Tim. 3:17; Eph. 2:10, James 2:24).
This process is called abiding (1 John 2:27), that the fruit of the Holy Spirit might be borne within us. For we know that no Christian will be saved who willfully transgresses and refuses to abide in the Doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-10). And, as James wrote: "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (So this author asks: But wilt thou know O vain man that some "Sardis type" Christians are really dead? Even though they are part of the saved Church? And are presently in the Book of Life?)
That any longtime saved Christian who willfully chooses to turn permanently from the Holy Commandment (faith and agape love) as an overall lifestyle, after they have KNOWN it, will lose their salvation (2 Pet. 2:21-22). Note: The Holy Commandment from the Father, is clearly illustrated and presented in the book,Midnight's Cry.
For that Christian who refuses to abide in the faith of the Holy Commandment as an overall lifestyle, will be cutoff as a dead branch and thrown into the fire (John 15:5-6). Because he or she despised and turned from the Knowledge of the Truth after receiving it (Heb. 6:6, 10:26). To be clear, that experience is to turn permanently from the Father's Holy Commandment of faith that works by love for others (1 John 3:23), being the Fatherís Holy Commandment that is to life (Rom. 7:10; John 12:50).
Actually, John the Apostle had no greater joy than to see believers walking in the truth of the Father's Commandment (2 John vs. 4). No greater joy? Think about it! When an Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ said that he had no greater joy than to hear that thy children walk in truth, or in faith that works by Christ's loveĖĖthat should capture our full attention as to the strength of this New Testament Commandment! Thus this commandment, the Father's Holy Commandment, yet needs to be fully known and accepted within the Body of Christ.
No, we are not speaking of any commandment of the law, but solely of the Holy Commandment of Faith, being the commandment that can make us holy by the use of faith mixed with Christís love. Indeed, faith that works by love is the Father's Holy Commandment (1 John 3:23), and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. Indeed, the end, or the goal of the Commandment is agape loveóbeing the only commandment of the Bible, through obedience, that can generate holiness in us. Here is another reference to the Holy Commandment of faith that works by love:
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart (Faith that works by love is the goal or the end of the commandment), and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murders of fathers and murders of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine. (1 Tim. 1:5-10)8:
As Paul said in Galatians, "You did run well. Who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth?" How did the Galatians run well? The answer: By faith that works by love (Gal. 5:6-7). Indeed, "the truth" of faith that works by love is also a manifested biblical truth known as "the truth," which, by its use, again, can lead to a personal knowledge of Christ's power of love within youóthe Knowledge of the Truth!
Midnight Ministries asserts that there are two major types of biblical works: This is especially seen when we contrast the works of love derived from faith (James 2:20-24), with the self-generated works of the law (Gal. 2:16). Here is a description of those two types of works:
1.) The first type is the righteousness by the self-generated works of the law, which doesn't enable one to bear fruit: "But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law . . ." (Rom. 9:31-32).
2.) The other type is the righteousness obtained by faith in Christ, which does enable one to bear fruit: "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness (right living) which is of God by faith" (Philp. 3:9).
Within the Body of Christ there is a gross misunderstanding of God's Grace. Fostering this misconception, is the widespread belief that grace is grace, a separate entity apart from faith and godly love. However, grace is not a separate gift apart from faith and godly love. In fact, combined, these exemplify the Grace of God in truth, being His workmanship within us.
Although it may seem strange to some, the actual biblical interpretation of "grace" far exceeds that of the gift of salvation. For grace, among other things, is the divine influence on the human heart; a process of such magnitude that it is by no means restricted to the understanding of man. Peter wrote of this process, "But GROW in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18.).
To reiterate, faith and godly love are not segregated gifts apart from grace (Rom. 4:16, 12:3; 2 Cor. 8:7), but one gift. In simpler terms, it is in vain for God to impart grace without a measure of faith and His love (Jude V. 3; Rom. 5:5, 12:3).
Aptly, when Christians come boldly to the Throne of Grace in a time of need, it is to obtain more faith and love, not more salvation (the general understanding of grace). Paul wrote, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16). Understandably, then, an extra measure of faith and love represent the "grace to help in time of need," and the fuel for good works that God has "ordained that we should walk in them."
Another popular interpretation of the word "grace," is the "unmerited favor" of God, however, this is only illustrates one facet of grace. More than embracing this view, is the fact that Jesus "was full of grace and truth (John 1:14)," but not full of the unmerited favor of God in covering His sin. Thus Jesus, being sinless, was full of faith and love, the favor and truth of God.
Conversely, Christians, because of their sin nature, partake of the unmerited favor of God, that they might be filled all the more with faith and love, the manifold Grace of God:
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God. (1 Pet. 4:10)
In the above, every man has received the gift! So then, every person in Christ has the ability to exercise Godís agape love, being the ability to exercise charity. Indeed, every person in Christ is to use Godís love that we may be "good stewards of the manifold grace of God," and this, through an ongoing faith in Jesus Christ.
Now it's impossible to be saved by grace without faith, for we, as longtime Christians, are saved "by grace . . . THROUGH faith," that process, none other. Certainly, then, again, there is no such thing as grace that doesn't contain a measure of faith.
Does the above suggest that longtime Christians are saved by works? No, we are never saved by works. Nevertheless, after we are initially saved we must continue to abide just as Paul writes in the above, or continue to receive Christ's nourishment by well doing (Again, faith works by agape love in action for others!). Fittingly, Romans 2:7 also suggests that there is more to works than readily meets the eye, such as "patient continuance," which is the process of bearing fruit.
Righteousness through faith, which is really the process of living right by faith, represents the works of Godís Grace that God before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10). In other words, righteousness through faith is not representative of self-generated law works, but by faith works, what a difference. (Christ growing withinówhat a difference!)
Indeed, these are the very works of which Christ says to Thyatira, "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations." Additionally, these are the very works of which John wrote, "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds (works) may be made manifest, that they are worked in God" (John 3:21).
In retrospect, our works of faith come about by partaking of Christís power (Eph. 3:7) to love (Eph. 3:17; Rom. 5:5), and this, so that our works may be made manifest that they are worked in God. Thus the works of faith, even though they are works, are also the gift of Godís Grace. "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Through faith? Living right by faith? Many foster the idea that works have nothing to do with the Grace of God, and again, this is true concerning "law works," but not true concerning the works of godly faith. On this very accord, Christ told Sardis: "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God." Fittingly, Sardisí works that arenít perfect before God, are the works not perfected by Godís love for others (1 John 4:12). Indeed, Sardisí works are not perfected by the growth of Godís Grace.
In Scripture, there are two unalterable elements of Godís Grace that go hand-in-hand. First, it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb. 11:6). Second, faith, after its inception, can only remain effective by the use of Christís indwelt love. Thus, to fathom the significance of faith and love is to know the Grace of God in truth. It is to know the ďhowĒ of abiding. The same abiding that is ďthe exceeding grace of God in you,Ē ďcreated in Christ Jesus unto good works.Ē In suit, ďLet us labor therefore to enter that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief Ē (Heb. 4:11).
Now does all this mean that the cross of Christ, His blood atonement, death and resurrection, arenít sufficient to save us without works? To justify us without works? God forbid! The blood atonement and death of Christ (on the cross) for our sins, cant be added to, or subtracted fromóthere is nothing greater than Christís blood atonement, death and resurrection for our salvation, a finished work.
Nevertheless, the Grace of God in Truth encompasses more than the cross and Christís blood atonement, death and resurrection. Meaning, the Grace of God also embodies the exacted will of God for our lives, that is, after we have become Christians (Eph. 2:10). In this vein, again, our faith saves us the moment we believe in Christ as our substitute sacrifice (John 5:24), yet that is not the whole story. Because Christ still reserves the right to abrogate the promise of eternal life; that is, if a longtime Christian refuses to abide in Him and bear fruit (Matt. 5:13; John 15:2-6; 1 John 2:24-25).
Surely the Lord is the potter and we are the clay; again, without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). Thus so, what vessel can claim that they are a vessel of the Lord, and not allow Christ to shape and form them? What sheep can leave the flock forever, denying the works of God, and survive (Titus 1:16)?
Midnight Ministries asserts that believers should be water baptized by immersion for the circumcision of their hearts. It is through baptism that we publicly identify with the death (cross), burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:3-6; Col. 2:11-14; Acts 2:38).
That all Christians need to partake of the communion elements which represent the Lord Jesus' body and blood. For it is by participating in the Lord's Supper that we proclaim His death until He comes (John 6:53-58; 1 Cor. 11:23-30). However, we are not to eat (take communion), or even keep company with fornicators, or persons of ill repute who name Christ, but, who don't live a lifestyle conducive to repentance (1 Cor. 5:8-11).
Believers in large congregations, who readily participate in the communion elements without personal knowledge of the behavior of its fellow members, leave themselves open to the violation of this sacrament. A solution to this problem is the need in every Body of Believers to branch off during the week into smaller groups (this can be done at their Church or homes, or both), that the congregation might partake of communion in the setting of intimately knowing one another in the bonds of Christís love. (Lest there be spots in your feasts of charity, or those Christians who have forsaken the abiding in Christ by the use of His agape love, just as Jude wrote in verse 12).
No, Church is not to be a place where Christians go once a week, knowing not their brothers and sisters in the Lord. Conversely, Church is to be a lifestyle of really knowing and loving one another through Christ. Moreover, communion coupled with the hope of Christís literal return, is to be done often!
Midnight Ministries asserts and believes in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the signs of the various gifts, not just the one gift of speaking in tongues: are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? (1 Cor. 12:29-30)
Although Paul's rhetorical questions don't warrant an answer, it's to our benefit to see the answer in the context of "diversities of tongues," or varied gifts of tongues (1 Cor. 12:28): Are all apostles? Of course not. Are all prophets? Of course not. Are all teachers? Of course not. Are all workers of miracles? Of course not. Have all the gifts of healing? Of course not. Do all speak with tongues? Of course not. Do all interpret? Of course not. Does everyone have the same gift? Of course not! (Note: Our Seventh Day Adventist brethren claim they accept the gifts, but no person in their denomination exhibits themĖĖso far, only the gift of the late Ellen White has been accepted.)
Again, tongues is not the only evidence of salvation. Now some extreme Charismatics would be quick to tell us that being filled with the Spirit only equates to speaking in tongues, and that this is the real meaning of the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. True, for some, tongues very well may be a result of being filled with the Spirit. However, to truly know Christ is to use the love of God in our relationships with others. For the record, faith doesn't work by speaking in tongues, but by Christ's agape love in action: ". . . faith which worketh by love" (Gal. 5:6). For this is fullness of God and His power in us (Eph. 3:16-20). For this is to pass from death unto life (1 John 3:14); and this is to have an endless source of light in our walk (1 John 2:9-10)! Indeed, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (agape love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal (1 Cor. 13:1).
Moreover, never are the gifts of the Spirit to supplant the fruit of the Spirit as evidence for salvation. Point in fact: Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.
Now baptism is the second principle of Christ's Doctrine. Fittingly, in the New Testament there are two distinct baptismsóa water baptism (Acts 1:5)óa Spirit baptism (John 1:33; Acts 8:17; 10:44-47), of which in essence, both are really one baptism (Eph. 4:5). Accordingly, we're saved (We have eternal life.) in the sense of being baptized into the Lord's Body by His Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13) the moment we believe (John 5:24; 6:47.) For which reason, the Scripture records that "baptism doth also now save us" (1 Pet. 3:21).
In all reality, water baptism doesn't save anyone. Only initial faith can save a person (Eph. 2:8; John 5:24). Sustaining this view is the veritable point that Paul wasn't sent to baptize (1 Cor. 1:17), but, in fact, was thankful for baptizing none of the Corinthians, save two (1 Cor. 1:14). Therefore, if salvation came strictly by water baptism, or by any other kind of baptism, then Paul could never have been thankful in his unwillingness to baptize the Corinthians.
The laying on of hands is another principle of Christ's Doctrine (Heb. 6:1-2). In itself, the laying on of hands shows that the Body of Christ is to depend upon one another in receiving God's blessings (1 Tim. 4:14; Acts 6:6-7). Nonetheless, the laying on of hands isn't necessary to receive the Holy Spirit, or salvation, especially since the Holy Spirit can fall freely without hands upon those who hear and receive the Word (Acts 10:44).
Once again, Christians are baptized into Christ's Body the moment they believe (one baptism), because when a person receives Christ by elementary true belief, they receive eternal life right then and there (John 5:24; 6:47). Afterward, if a Christian should seek water baptism, or even a Spirit baptism by the laying on of hands, they are only being acquiescent to their inward faith by outward obedience.
That Christians must be filled daily; that the evidence of the Holy Spirit's indwelling presence is a changed life (Acts 2:4; Eph. 5:18-21); a life which bears the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them"!
Midnight Ministries asserts and believes in the manifestation of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the Lord ministers to His people through tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy; words of knowledge and wisdom, the discerning of spirits, faith, working of miracles, and healing (Mark 16:15-18; Acts 5:16; 2 Cor. 12:1-11). Moreover, today's Body of Christ is to be edified by the gifts of the Spirit (Eph. 4:12).
That the worshiping of the Lord in spirit, song, dance, and with the raising of our holy hands, are all biblical practices. Moreover, we are literally to praise and worship our Lord Jesus, the Jehovah of the Bible, with our whole being (Psa. 150:1-6; John 4:24). Yet, with respect to bearing the fruit of temperance (self-control), let all things also be done decently and in order (1st Cor. 14:40), as not to discourage our brothers and sisters in the Lord who do not know Him after this manner.
Midnight Ministries asserts and believes that it is God's will to heal and deliver His people today as He did in the days of the first Apostles. For by the stripes of Jesus we are healed, delivered and made whole (Isa. 53:5). Additionally, we have authority over sickness, disease, demons, curses, and every circumstance in life (Luke 10:19; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; 1 Pet. 2:24); that is, according to the power that works individually within us (Eph. 3:20).
Now many donít want to hear the idea of "faith amounts" in getting their prayers answered; however, the Scripture teaches us plainly that faith works by agape love (Gal. 5:6-7); that faith is to grow (2 Thess. 1:3); that the Grace of God itself is also to grow (2 Pet. 3:18); that Christ within us begins as a seed, and a seed is to grow (1 John 3:9); that when prayers go unanswered, it very well could beóas our Lord said, "Oh you of little faith"! Moreover, faith also works by servitude. We see this clearly taught in Luke 17:5-10.
Nevertheless, all unanswered prayer is not always a lack of faith. Sometimes, unanswered prayer is a patience and trust builder, or waiting on the Lord. Or sometimes, unanswered prayer is because we need to be more determined in our spiritual warring, just like the poor widow in the Unjust Judge Parable. There, the poor widow gave us an example of determination and godly fortitude (Luke 18:7-8). Another reason for unanswered prayer is due to a petition's lack of God's perfect will in a given situation.
Thus so, the aspects of faith, not to mention our petitions by faith, are also to include Godís perfect will in our every request, for all things are to be according to His very will. It is the bottom line. "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, he heareth us" (1 John 14).
To affirm this, one must only realize that most of the Apostles, men of exacting and dynamic faith, died in and by fatal persecution. Allowing those misfortunes of murder, the Lord took them home. Nevertheless, we are to have a faith to faith relationship with Christ, or a relationship which covers every area of our life. Paul wrote: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. . . . For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).
As Christians, or even as ministers of the faith, we are not hinder the faith of any believer because their doctrine doesnít agree with ours. Why do we say these things? Because we know and realize that no Christian is saved by the attainment of spiritual knowledge; or by their correct understanding of doctrine; or by their record as a Christianóbut by faith in Christ Jesus, nothing else (John 5:24; 6:47)!
Additionally, we know from experience that God doesn't wait until a believer understands all doctrine correctly before He answers a prayer, or accepts a believer. Moreover, like it or not (especially apologists), God doesn't wait until Christians become perfect before He imparts the gifts of the Spirit (Bless the Lord for His goodness and mercy; His ways are so much higher than ours.). In other words, don't be shocked to see dynamic gifts of the Spirit by Christians who walk after the flesh in some areas of their lives. Simply, the Lord uses His gifts and calling to accomplish His will, not ours.
Rightly so, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, meaning in this instance, though a Christian may abdicate their faith forever, God will not repent or change His mind from the good that came out of the gifts and/or calling before the abandonment of that personís faith. More expressly, if a fallen believer wholly plummets into wickedness as a lifelong lifestyle, that person will still have used Godís calling and/or gifts before their fall to help others; therefore, God is without repentance.
Of course, we are not to deny the power of God in our Christian experience, or in the experiences of others (2 Tim. 3:5). Indeed, we are to partake of every aspect of the Lordís power and encourage faith in every believer (Rom. 15:3; Eph. 1:19, 6:10; Col. 1:10-11; 2 Tim. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:4-5; 2 Pet. 1:3), so that we can fulfill the Law of God by the use of our agape love actions toward them (Gal. 5:14).
For when we love all the brethren with Christís agape love, we have fulfilled the entire Law of God (Rom. 13:8). Additionally, through our love actions, we know and have experienced the biblical meaning of watching (compare 1 Thess. 5:6 with verse 8). More importantly, loving the brethren is how we KNOW that we have passed from death unto life, no matter who doesnít like this so-called "love-works" Scripture in 1st John 3:14!
Vice versa, he who hates his brother (a Christian brother), regardless of his or her personal faith in the Lord Jesus, abides in death (1 John 3:14). And, of course, we know that every dead Christian needs to repent (Eph. 5:14). And this includes those in Sardis, who were originally saved (Rev. 3:3), but now have gone out to their new supposed way of truth in joining a non-Christian cult (Note: All non-Christian cults deny the deity of Jesus ChristĖĖthe fact that God Himself became a man, dying for our sins in and by His humanityónone other.).
As we should see, the deity of Christ is also a faith issue. If we have the wrong Jesus, then our faith is in the wrong Jesus. Likewise, different aspects of the law are also a faith issue. Case in point: If the law isn't used lawfully, then it can cause a breach of the faith between the brethren.
Speaking of the Law, unlike the weekly Sabbath, which lacks the promise of inheritance (Gal. 3:18, 21), the rest characterized by the "true Sabbath" is permanent, having much promise (Heb. 4:2, 11!). Literally, the true Sabbath is the promise of eternal life through faith in our Lord Jesus (Eph. 1:13), which is for one to be "under the law to Christ" (1 Cor. 9:21), rather than under the Law of God, and the oldness of its written letter (Rom. 7:6).
So too, the weekly Sabbath, being part of the law, was but "a shadow of good things to come" (Heb. 10:1; Col. 2:17), and again, not the promise (Heb. 8:13). Certainly, then, we need not endeavor to enter the shadow, or the legalistic keeping of the weekly Sabbath, whether one esteems Saturday or Sunday. But we need to enter the true Sabbath, or the true image of our rest by faith, who is none other than the historical Jesus Christ of the Bible (Heb. 4:1-11). Indeed, it remains that some must enter therein by belief alone (Heb. 4:6); that is, some who hold the law in such high esteem as to negate the power of faith, whether it be in their experience, or in their judgment of the experiences of others! Now this isn't to say that Christians can't keep the weekly Saturday Sabbath, if it is their wish to do so! However, let every person in Christ prove their own election and calling. Note: We must remember that Israel kept the shadow or the weekly Sabbath for centuries, yet they entered not into the Lordís rest (Heb. 4:6).
For those who do enter by elementary belief, they enter the glorious light of the Gospel, the true rest of the Sabbath, which again, is not the shadow or its letter. Surely the letter killeth, but the Spirit gives eternal life through simple faith in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:4-6). The question is, Do we believe it?
Midnight Ministries asserts and believes that tithing, a part of the Law of God, is for the Old Covenant for the nation of Israel, not New Covenant Christians.
Now the doctrines of the Rapture and Second Coming are discussed in-depth on this site.
Midnight Ministries affirms and believes that in the end-times there will be a seven-year Tribulation, which is the night segment of the Day of the Lord before it dawns.
In sum, we are most pleased to close with the following:
Grace unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet (you are worthy), because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity (Christís inner agape love) of every one of you all toward each other abounds. (2 Thess. 1:2-3)
To each his own in ChristóGod Bless you, and Bless the Lord, including His very Being and Name. His name is Jesus Christ!
Robert C. Harris,Founder of
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