Project Bible 365 Day 67 Rituals Or Righteousness
When I first began to write, this message I thought my testimony would formulate itself from the words, adverbs, and adjectives I would speak. The deeper I thought on the title, the answer to question is this a testimony came to be. Yes, this message is a testimony based on a certain set circumstances and events. For this message tonight I will bring you four major topics to think on as you here tonight’s message.
As a child, a boy can come certain age, and understand the differences between right and wrong. Also as a child that same young boy can go to church most of his life and not understand a word that the priest speaks. The only matters of faith that I was ever exposed to was mostly broadcast news reports from Rome and more importantly the Vatican. I grew up feeling superior to a lot of people simply because of my background. I thought Italians were special to God, because we had a religious figure who called himself the Pope. It is my belief that everyone would like to go heaven, but that is not decided on one’s heritage or nationality.
I left the Catholic Church at age ten, because my family couldn’t get passed the idea of praying to different saints, for safety, protection, and who knows whatever else… At age 14, I witnessed for the first time, the real battle for souls between God and Satan. One tried to torture me with visions of death. The other one did all he could to dry my tears. These two spiritual forces came to me as I would say a final goodbye to my grandmother. I call her my grandmother, but she acted like my mother most of the time. My own parents struggled with how to best give me a better life, so that I can be like the other kids in school. As a result of that struggle I spent 10 years living with my grandparents on the weekends. If I was ever hungry she fed me, if I was ever thirsty she gave me something to drink, and if that didn’t work she always had chocolate.
When both my grandparents died in March of 1999 and November 2003, my heart broke. In March 1999 I lost my appetite, the only thing I could do was cry. The loss of my grandma broke my spirit. My body was so sore, it felt like a rusty car with a gas leak and no matter how much I tried to eat, I just didn’t have the strength to and because I barely ate, I wouldn’t have much energy to do a lot of things. When I lost my grandfather in 2003, the fear felt only multiplied because I felt lost and confused. I didn’t know if I have the strength to endure the many battles that would arise both in a physical sense and spiritual sense. As I think back as to just what I had to go through, I am reminded that God’s word warns against what enemy has come to do. John 10:10 “The Thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy.” As far as the mind battles go, they came like a ferocious army of yellow jacket bees.
As I reflect back on the mind battles, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we are fighting against something bigger than man. Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers and rulers of darkness of this world.” I did not struggle with the loss my grandparents for six, a year or even three. I struggled with it for nine years even though I told people about it, they told me to keep my mouth shut and I should get over it. The truth is, you never get over the death of loved one, you just learn to move on, you can even have peace if you truly lean on Jesus. God hates death. Death was not God’s plan
for mankind. Sin caused death. The devil created it as a way to separate man’s soul from God. I hate death as much as God hates it…. How many sins can one man commit and still get into Heaven? I asked myself this very question for seven years. The answer doesn’t change no matter how much man wants it to change. The answer is still “The soul that sins it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20
I thought to myself, after losing ¾ of my grandparents in the span of 4 years I better get right with God because Jesus is coming back, and I want to get to heaven. That idea was admirable at best. I just didn’t know how to look for a church that taught about Jesus coming back. Fast Fwd a little bit, I’m now 23 entering college for the first time and my important priority is not my grades in school but rather, my top priority was to find a good church. It didn’t take me long to find a church right down from where I was living.. I walked into church like a scared 10 year old boy. The Pastor was preaching about Jesus coming to save his people. I had one question; Who were his people? I didn’t know who his people were. Was I bad because I was born into an Italian family? I didn’t understand what was happening, all I could remember is after the service, one guy came up to me and introduced himself to me, saying, I have a Bible Study Group that meets every Friday, would you like to join. I thought for a moment and to myself I said, well I’m already at Church, so what do I have to loose? I said yes to him. Every Friday on cue we studied the Bible. I didn’t know one could do that. The first book we studied was Paul’s letters to the Romans. One scripture that has stuck with me all these years is Romans 3:23 “For we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Even though that was one of my favourite verses, I didn’t fully understand it until I tried to be a Christian in College. I didn’t fully understand the verse until I understood how sin has effected the human race through one man, Adam. 2 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.17 For if by one man’s offence death
reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Romans 5:12-17.
Even though I went to church, I didn’t know about the seventeen works of the flesh, the judgments, and the power of the blood, living free from sin, the good Holy Ghost or even tithing. For many years, I listened to other people and they told me that tithing was just putting a 20 dollar bill in the collection plate each week. I was taught that the only reason the apostles could heal the sick, is because they were chosen by Jesus. It wasn’t long after that that I left the church and turned to other things to read and pass the time. As a child, I loved to read and it continued through my teen years well into adulthood. I looked for facts. I watched TV, DOCUMENTARIES, READ BOOKS, I wanted to find the real deal, but most of the churches weren’t preaching or teaching the things I was looking for. Sure they would sing the songs, but without holding on to the power of the Holy Ghost, there is no holiness just a temporary hold on worldly activities.
Perhaps the most misunderstood portion of the Bible that most of the world church doesn’t grasp the concept of is tithing 10% of your income to the Lord. I know this sounds difficult from a physical standpoint , but it’s really not.
You don’t even have to be good at math, I assure you that it is easy to tithe take it from me who’s least favourite subject in school was math. Maybe that’s why I became a journalist in college because all the cool jobs like a policemen or firemen were taken. If you were to make 1000 a month than your tithe would be 100.00 and if your income would be 2500 a month than your tithe for the month would be $250.00 Sounds simple enough right?
Malachi 3:8-10King James Version (KJV)
8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
I have learned that I spent too many years tying the hands of God without proper knowledge. I’ve learned that a 20 dollar bill Canadian, no matter what colour our government demands it be just won’t cut it. Since coming home to Grace Cathedral back in July 2014, I have learned more about God from the three Holy Ghost filled ministers in one year than I have 20 years of going to churches of the world. So where is my thirst for wisdom, it still exists, My soul very much hungers for as much as the word of God as I can possibly get. It’s a proven method that works because in the span of two months, I finished three courses with the online Bible College and I’m going to continue
until all courses are complete. My last and final topic I will discuss tonight is a picture of the blood. I’m not a scientist but I think I can speak for all Canadians here listening tonight. This is in regards with our unsaved family members. I gather that a lot of fellow Canadians think we are just a little strange. Some of them can’t fathom why would choose to drive five to seven hours just to attend church. I can only reply to them using these simple five words. “God will make a way.” He has made a way for all of us, through the blood and the drawing power of the great Holy Spirit. This is the last hour, So if anybody asks you why you come to Grace Cathedral respond to their questions using the sword of the spirit. “These signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall cast out devils and they shall lay hands on the sick and the sick shall recover.” Mark 16:17 The B part of that verse explains it to all. They shall speak with new tongues.
The power of God has not faded. His spirit is falling upon all men, women and children of all who accept him.
Once you come to Calvary you can get a clear picture of what sin has done to world and why the blood of animals wasn’t enough to satisfy God’s need for all to be redeemed. Once you get a clear of the blood that staind the old rugged cross, than you will begin to understand that God is for you and if God is for you than who can be against you….
Although I understand the concept of rituals. I don’t understand the real need for them now. The rituals were for the old testament and they were used as a type of the real thing kind of like a shadow. Since the time of Jesus. There is no further need for any rituals. The only ritual I would ever agree with these day is reading your Bible everyday…. The reason that the old testament rituals were put into place was because they were under the Law. The New Testament separated the law and ushered in the era of Grace.
HOWEVER… Just because we are under Grace it doesn’t neglect the fact that whenever we do something that isn’t pleasing to God, it doesn’t mean we don’t have to be accountable for it…
Romans 6King James Version (KJV)
6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.