OUR OWN SPIRITUAL RACE OF LIFE

THE INTRODUCTION

The Bible says, "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside ever weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1-2). Now, in being New Testament Christians, we are running a Spiritual Race of life so that we can inherit the Spiritual Blessings of eternal life. Therefore, we should run the Spiritual Race of life so that we can inherit the Divine Blessings of eternal life. Remember: All Scriptures which are used in this article will be taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

THE EXHORTATIONS FOR OUR OWN SPIRITUAL RACE

1. In being alien sinners, we are admonished to save ourselves from this evil generation. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and "Christ. Now when they heard this, they were picked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 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 Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continue steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:36-42).

2. In being the sons of God by regeneration, we are exhorted to pray for all men everywhere. "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

3. In being the disciples of Christ, we are admonished to serve the living God with an acceptable service. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1-2).

THE HINDRANCES FOR OUR OWN SPIRITUAL RACE

1. In being New Testament Christians, fleshly lust will hinder our own Spiritual Race of life because we must run until we finish the race. "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lust, which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11).

2. In being the sons of God by regeneration, an evil heart of unbelief will interfere with our own Spiritual Race of life because we must walk by faith not by sight. "For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:12-13).

3. In being the disciples of Christ, becoming embittered will obstruct our own Spiritual Race of life because we must have a good attitude in this life. "And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostle's hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that in whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hat neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me" (Acts 8:18-23).

THE REQUIREMENTS FOR OUR OWN SPIRITUAL RACE

1. In being New Testament Christians, we must forsake all manner of sin so that we can run that Spiritual Race of life without any hindrances. "Let not sin therefore reign (rule) in you mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 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" (Romans 6:12-13).

2. In being the sons of God by regeneration, we need to run that Spiritual Race of life with patience so that we can endure unto the end. "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count the happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" (James 5:10-11).

3. In being the disciples of Christ, we should run that Spiritual Race of life with heavenly vision so that we can look unto Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith. "If ye then be risen with Christ (by the act of baptism), seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead (to the old life of sin), and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory" (Colossians 3:1-4).

THE BLESSINGS OF OUR OWN SPIRITUAL RACE

1. If we are running that Spiritual Race of life, we are growing in grace and in knowledge of the truth. "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious" (1 Peter 2:1-3).

2. If we are running that Spiritual Race of life, we are being transformed more and more into the image and the glory of our Lord. "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (freedom from our sins). But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

3. If we are running that Spiritual Race of life, we will be given a crown of life in heaven. "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).

THE APPLICATION

1. If we want to run a Spiritual Race in our life upon the earth, we must be willing to learn that the damnable heresies of the Denominational World is what makes a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in a religious way upon the earth because they simply make the Clergy and the Laity Class of persons to exist in their man-made churches.

2. The New Testament Church of Christ must Scripturally teach that a Ranked Hierarchy can not rule in the Lord's Church upon the earth because each congregation of the New Testament Church must be autonomous (self-ruled), and under the leadership of its own qualified elders or bishops. For an example:

THE FALSE DOCTRINES OF A RANKED HIERARCHY

THE DAMNABLE HERESIES OF THE DENOMINATIONAL WORLD

Our Lord said, "Ye do err not knowing the Scriptures nor the Power of God" (Matthew 22:29).

1. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because Christ (not a redeemed man) is the Head (the Ruler) of the Lord's Church. Paul said, "He (Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning,, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence", i. e. being first in power, rule, and authority (Colossians 1:18). (KJV) Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth, this greatly enriches the whole being of our own Redeemed Nature of life because a redeemed man can not rule over the Lord's Church.

2. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because each congregation of the Lord's Church must be autonomous (self-ruled) and under the leadership of its own qualified elders or bishops. Luke said, "And when they had ordained them elders (more than one person) in ever church, and had prayed, with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed" (Acts 14:23). (KJV) Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth, this greatly exalts all aspects of our own Redeemed Nature of life because a presiding elder can not rule over other elders or bishops, nor can a presiding priest rule over other priests in the Lord's Church.

3. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because all New Testament Christians are made to be kings and priest unto God so that the Lord can help them to rule over the forces of evil. John said, "Unto him (Christ) that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. And hath make us kings and priest unto God and his Father; unto him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (Revelation 1:6-7). (KJV) Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth, this greatly magnifies the total sum of our own Redeemed Nature of life because no redeemed king or priest can be any greater in power, rule, and authority than another redeemed king or priest in the Lord's Church.

4. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because no one religious man can be first in power, rule, and authority which concerns his leadership in the Lord's Church. John said of Diotrephes who wanted to be first in power, rule and authority, "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence (wanting to be first in power, rule and authority) among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth prating against us with malicious words; and not content therewith, neither doeth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church" (2 John 9-10). (KJV) Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth, this greatly upgrades the whole being of our own Redeemed Nature of life because no one redeemed man can be first in power, rule, and authority in the Lord's Church.

5.
A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because we can not make any priest (a religious person) to be our Spiritual Father upon the earth. Our Lord said, "Call no man (a religious person) your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, who is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9). (KJV) Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth, this greatly amplifies all aspects of our own Redeemed Nature of life because no one redeemed man can be our Spiritual Father upon the earth. For an example, we can not make any church leader to be called: Father Jones, Father, Brown, Father Burke, and etc.

6. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because we can not made any redeemed man to be our Reverend upon the earth. The Psalmist said concerning the Divine Name of God, "Holy and reverend is his name" (Psalms 111:9). (KJV) Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth, this greatly enhances the total sum of our own Redeemed Nature of life because we can not make any church leader to be called by this Religious Title. For illustrating purposes, we can not make any church leader to be called Rev. Jones, Rev. Brown, Rev. Burke and etc.

7. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because we can not pray to any angel or a loved one who has departed this life. Paul said, "Let not man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility (making others to be greater than you are in a religious way) and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind" (Colossians 2:18). (KJV) Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth, this greatly elevates the total sum of our own Redeemed Nature of life because only the Lord -not an angel nor a departed loved one - can help us to overcome the forces of evil.

8. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because the distinction of the Clergy and the Laity Class of persons can not exist in matters of the New Testament Christianity. Paul said to the Church at Corinth which was making the characteristics of the Clergy and Laity Class of persons to rule in that Church, "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal"? (1 Corinthians 3:3-4) (KJV) Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally RULE in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth, this greatly extols all aspects of our own Redeemed Nature of life because the Clergy and the Laity Class of persons can not exist in matters of New Testament Christianity.

Our Lord said, "Ye shall know the truth, and THE TRUTH shall make you FREE", i. e. of sin (John 8:32).

THE CONCLUSION

THE RELIGIOUS INSANITY OF A RANKED HIERARCHY

I. You can not Scripturally make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because Christ (not a redeemed man) is the Head (the Ruler) of the Lord's Church.

2. You can not Scripturally make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because each congregation of the Lord's Church must be autonomous (self-ruled) and under the leadership of its own qualified elders or bishops.

3. You can not Scripturally make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because all New Testament Christians are made to be kings and priest unto God so that the Lord can help us to rule over the forces of evil.

4. You can not Scripturally make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because no one religious man can be first in power, rule, and authority which concerns his leadership in the Lord's Church.

5.You can not Scripturally make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because you can not make any priest (a religious person) to be your Spiritual Father upon the earth.

6. You can not Scripturally make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because you can not made any redeemed man to be your Reverend upon the earth.

7. You can not Scripturally make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because you can not pray to any angel or a loved one who has departed this life.

8. You can not Scripturally make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth because the distinction of the Clergy and the Laity Class of persons can not exist in matters of the New Testament Christianity.

QUESTIONS

THE RELIGIOUS FOLLY OF MAKING A
RANKED HIERARCHY TO RULE IN HEAVEN

I. T - F: How can you Scripturally teach that a Ranked Hierarchy can rule in Heaven among those Heavenly Persons who created and redeemed your own body, Soul, and Spirit free of sin because God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit could not be the three Ranked Persons who created and redeemed your own divine nature of life?

2. T - F: Why can't you Scripturally teach that a Ranked Hierarchy can not rule in Heaven among those Heavenly Persons who created and redeemed your own body, Soul, and Spirit free of sin because God and Christ are the two Surnames in which three Equal Persons are made to work in matters of your own creation and redemption of life?

THE RELIGIOUS MADNESS OF MAKING A RANKED
HIERARCHY TO RULE IN THE LORD'S CHURCH

1. T - F: How can you Scripturally teach that a Ranked Hierarchy can rule in the Lord's Church upon the earth because the Scriptures forbids the Clergy and the Laity Class of persons to exist in religious matters?

2. T - F: Why can't you Scripturally teach that a Ranked Hierarchy can not rule in the Lord's Church upon the earth because each congregation of the Lord's Church is autonomous (self-ruled) and under the leadership of its qualified elders or bishops?

THE APPLICATION

THIS IS THE GREATNESS OF YOUR OWN CREATION AND REDEMPTION OF LIFE

1. T - F:  Since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in Heaven among those Heavenly Persons who created and redeemed your own body, Soul, and Spirit free of sin, this greatly magnifies the whole being of your own creation and redemption of life because you are created and redeemed in the image and after the likeness of God and Christ who are the two Surnames in which three Equal Persons are made to work in matters of your own creation and redemption of life.

2. T - F: Since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church of Christ upon the earth, this highly amplifies the total sum of your own creation and redemption of life because you are equal with any created or redeemed person in matters of your own creation and redemption of life.

YOU SHOULD LEARN AND OBEY THE TRUTH OF GOD

Be sure that you know and understand all of the above statements and questions because this is what life is all about. You only get one chance at life so you should learn all that you can about it because life is all that you possess and life is all that you will ever possess.

Please get others to read this article so that they can learn more about the Divine Blessings of their own being of life.

We in being New Testament Christians possess a created and a redeemed nature of life which we need to know about and understand fully in order to overcome the forces of evil.

May the Lord bless you and give you wisdom so that you can learn more about the Spiritual Blessings of your own being of life because your life is priceless.

>Charles G. Burke: Elder / Minister