MARSHALL’S BLOG// LESSONS FROM SCRIPTURE, INSPIRED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

WHO AM I

I Heard a man make this comment once. He said that if a person that an opportunity to meet him and missed out on that moment actually, that person hadn’t missed a thing. By the same token if a person has the privilege of meeting Jesus Christ and misses that opportunity, he’s missed it all.

As I write and seek to build this blog or website, something I know very little about, it’s my passion to teach all about the man, Jesus Christ. My prayer is that he, through his spirit can use me to spiritually educate any person that is willing to hear what I have to say.

To be honest, I really don’t understand blogging or how to build a website. However, my passion to help prepare people that are either lost or deceived about their spiritual lives is so great I feel I must seek to learn the process that I might get my heartfelt passions out for the world to see.

To the best of my ability my opinions will never be shared. I believe that there is one truth and I do not own that truth. The word of God is that truth, we simply must be willing to study and seek that truth.

Truth has nothing to do with a religion, race, culture or denomination. The truth is hidden in scripture and is revealed by God’s spirit to those that possess that self-same spirit. There is only one spirit of God. Therefore we must move beyond our mindsets of religion or denominations and be willing to hear that one spirit when he speaks to out hearts.

This is who I am. I seek no fame or monetary gain only to give any person that is willing to read and seeks to understand the true and living God a chance to do so. I even understand that I can be wrong and, I desire for other people to teach and guide me to the truth in scripture if that is the case.

Therefore, as you read and study behind all the things I might write, allow the Spirit of God to teach you and not simply what I have to say. You, as a reader can also go deeper in the study of God’s word than I can and thereby, become my teacher.

TEACHING IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERY BELIEVER

— Marshall Clayton

Each child of God begins as a babe in Christ. The very next day, the second day of your new birth is a time to teach; even if it’s just what happened to you the day before. The second day of our salvation is a measured growth as designed by God the father and, we are able at that point, to call people to God’s glory and to teach new born babes in Christ. It’s never yet been seen what one person totally surrenders to the Spirit of God can do in one lifetime.

CAN A BIRTHRIGHT BE STOLEN AGAIN–ACTS 6

We’re actually studying ( Acts 6 ). In my desire to teach what is transpiring in the first part of ( Acts 6 ) I felt compelled to go all the way back to the Old Testamant because of what I began to teach in this chapter. In the last segment we seen that the The Apostles; in ( verse 2 ) it says ( then the twelve ). It also says In ( verse 7 ) that ( a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith ). When we see these things; I’m reminded of a verse we see in:

( Acts 2:42 )

AND THEY CONTINUED STEDFASTLY IN THE APOSTLES’ DOCTRINE AND FELLOWSHIP, AND IN BREAKING OF BREAD, AND IN PRAYERS.

When we see this and, see where the priest were obedient to the faith, exactly what were they being obedient to? As I ponder these things; I’d like to use a metaphor to make my point. When any person goes out to pan for gold; that person goes through a great deal of material to find just a little piece of real gold. We could say; the good stuff is hard to come by. It’s the very same way with scripture. If we are not careful ( led by the Spirit ) we will begin to call what is just common dirt ( gold ).

When we look at the term ( the Apostles’ Doctrine ) exactly what would that be? Is the ( Apostles’ Doctrine ) something we can cling to forever and, was this doctrine what the priest were obedient to? When we consider ( spiritual growth ) these questions must be answered and, we must let the Spirit of God reveal the truth about these things to our hearts. If you will remember I said that ( all things worked together for good for those that love God and are called according to his purpose. The ( Apostles’ Doctrine ) was a necessary stepping stone to bring the reality of the true ( Church of Jesus Christ ) into the reality but, we must be willing to leave those principles and seek to allow God’s Spirit to reveal truth to each of us beyond what any man might teach.

Before I give a starting verse that I’m going to use to teach this; I’d like to say this. The problem with many people is that they desire control or, at least like to think they have it. The eleven Apostles in Acts at this time and, the priest that had ( been obedient to the faith ); were they concerned about how much power they had and, were they afraid of losing the power they had as simple men?

Now, let’s see something that Jesus Christ taught them in the gospels:

( Matthew 19:30 )

BUT MANY THAT ARE FIRST SHALL BE LAST; AND THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST.

When Jesus made this statement to the Apostles he had just told them that they would sit on twelve thrones; judging the twelve tribes of Israel. ( The problem ) Jesus said; ( when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory ). They were still thinking that he would soon be sitting on that throne. That statement meaning that they thought they already had that authority. Not only that but, the priests that were coming to the faith were also seeing a need to be a part or, be left behind.

Now, I know I can’t prove what I just said and, I don’t mean in any way to diminish the authority given to the Apostles however, in this case we must consider the lack of spiritual maturity and what we see in the decisions they we making. For instance; if they remembered what Jesus Christ had told them concerning being judges over the twelve tribes of Israel, why would they ask the people to pick out ( seven men ) filled with the Holy Ghost to do the job they were given? I’m saying that all these things were happening because of their misunderstanding of all the things that had to unfold before they would have their position on the thrones.

Let’s look at another verse of scripture that we see in the New Testament. This verse is actually related to what I’m saying about ( the first shall be last ).

( 1 Corinthians 6:4 )

IF THEN YE HAVE JUDGMENTS OF THINGS PERTAINING TO THIS LIFE, SET THEM TO JUDGE WHO ARE LEAST ESTEEMED IN THE CHURCH.

Here, the Apostle Paul speaking to the Church is making the same point. Can you see that happening in any Church. Most Church leaders like the power thry have and, are not likely to allow it to be taken away from them. However, can you see how that when a leader is willing to do just what he’s saying here, he can actually gain power? Do you remember when Jesus Christ ( humbled himself )?

( Philippians 2:8 )

AND BEING FOUND IN FASHION AS A MAN, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF, AND BECAME OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH, EVEN THE DEATH ON THE CROSS.

If you continue to read here you will see what he gained by becoming obedient. There’s a great picture of this in the Old Testament. While I can’t write the whole story about the events that unfolded maybe I can give you a launching pad to start to understand what is being said.

( Genesis 37:5 )

AND JOSEPH DREAMED A DREAM, AND HE TOLD IT HIS BRETHREN: AND THEY HATED HIM YET THE MORE.

As we get into the spiritual aspect of what we see here remember, the question is ( can a birthright be restolen )? And, we might add, what do I mean by that question? In the quest to see what it means when Jesus made the statement ( the fist shall be last and, the last shall be first ), the son Joseph was not the last son to be born to Jacob. He was the eleveneth son. Benjamin was the twelfth. However, as we move foward in time, we do see where that David being the youngest son of Jesse. He, being ( the last ) God made him king; looking past all his other brothers. ( 1Samuel 16:10-13 ).

In the scripture we’re looking into in ( Genesis 37 ) Joseph is a type of Jesus Christ. We see that he becomes, not only the savior of the Gentile nation but, also the savior of the Nation of Israel. I feel we need to point this out as well. The mother of Joseph was Rachel. She was the ( last wife ) of Jacob. As a matter of fact, Joseph and Benjamin were the last two sons of Jacob coming from the last wife of Jacob.

As you read the whole account of the life of Jacob after he stole the birthright of Esau in ( Genesis 27 ) it’s a great spiritual point to be made. When the birthright was stolen, those two brothers parted, becoming bitter enemies. Esau was the first born and, Jacob was the second born. These two brothers are a type of each born again believer and, the battle we fight once we are born again with our flesh.

In a spiritual sense; when we see the fact that ( Rachel ) could not have children, even that can be seen as a spiritual point. As time moved foward in the lives of Esau, being of the flesh and Jacob, the second born, being a type of the ( new birth of a believer ) we see that these two brothers finally come together in peace. As we, as born again believers grow spiritually, we slowly overcome the weaknesses of our flesh; being more conformed to the very will of God.

We see in :

( Genesis 32:24-25 )

AND JACOB WAS LEFT ALONE; AND THERE WRESTLED A MAN WITH HIM UNTIL THE BREAKING OF DAY. ( 25 ) AND WHEN HE SAY HE PREVAILED NOT AGAINST HIM, HE TOUCHED THE HOLLOW OF HIS THIGH; AND THE HOLLOW OF JACOB’S THIGH WAS OUT OF JOINT, AS HE WRESTLED WITH HIM.

As born again believers, this is the place we all need to come to in our spiritual lives. The place that we refuse to allow our flesh to dictate our lives anymore but, ask our Lord to give us the strength to overcome the weakness of our flesh and, only yield our complete being to his will.

I also like to point this out here. God touched the hollow of his thigh. From that time on, you could see a difference in the way he walked. In a spiritual light I like to put it this way. As Jacob’s grandchildren sit upon his knee, they might ask him ( grandpa ) what makes you walk like you do? At that question he would get the priviledge of sharing with them how the spirit of God changed him for what he was to who he is now.

You see, just because we get saved doesn’t mean we automatically yield ourselves to the will of God, it’s a life changing event when it happens. We have a battle to fight with our first born bodies of flesh, one that it takes our willingness to allow God to change our direction to make that difference. The picture of Esau and Jacob is one of our personal spiritual battle as our life unfolds. Within that battle we also see how ( the first becomes last ) as the younger man; being the spiritual man matures and begins to take control of our physical bodies.

As we read through Genesis and watch the life of Jacob and his twelve sons; we also see another ( last become first ). As you read about how Joseph, the eleveneth son born to Jacob became the savoir, not only of Egypt but, also of Israel; you will notice that after all those years Jacob learned from his brothers that he had a younger brother, Benjamin. Now, I want toy to notice something about Benjamin.

(Genesis 45:22 )

TO ALL OF THEM HE GAVE EACH MAN CHANGES OF RAIMENT; BUT TO BENJAMIN HE GAVE THREE HUNDRED PIECES OF SILVER, AND FIVE CHANGES OF RAIMENT.

How do we tie that fact to ( the l;ast shall be first )? As we get back over into the New Testamant, we see a strange thing that the eleven Apostles could not see in ( Acts 6 ). At this, both Joseph and Benjamin were not liked by their older brothers because their father was so close to both of them. Now, look at these verses:

( Luke 10:17-20 )

AND THE SEVENTY RETURNED AGAIN WITH JOY, SAYING, LORD, EVEN THE DEVILS ARE SUBJECT UNTO US THROUGH THY NAME. AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, I BEHELD SATAN AS LIGHTNING FALL FROM HEAVEN. ( 19 ) BEHOLD, I GIVE YOU POWER TO TREAD ON SERPENTS AND SCORPIONS, AND OVER ALL POWER OF THE ENEMY: AND NOTHING SHALL BY ANY MEANS HURT YOU. ( 20 ) NOTWITHSTANDING IN THIS REJOICE NOT, THAT THE SPIRITS ARE SUBLECT UNTO YOU; BUT RATHER REJOICE, BECAUSE YOUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN.

I only show you that verse to help you see that their are things in our spiritual lives that are far more important than all that we might have in any form right here upon this earth. Remember the title? Can a birthright be stolen again? Again, let’s look at another group of verses:

( Romans 12:1-3 )

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. ( 2 ) 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 ( 3 ) FOR I SAY, TO EVERY MAN THAT IS AMONG YOU, NOT TO THINK OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK; BUT THINK SOBERLY, ACCORDING AS GOD HATH DELT TO EVERY MAN THE MEASURE OF FAITH.

Do you realize that the Apostle Paul, the man that wrote this came out of the tribe of Benjamin? ( Philippians 3:5 ) ( Romans 11:1 ). He also says that he is the least of all Apostles. ( 1 Corinthians 15:9 ). The last! The last shall be first! He was also the Apostle to the Gentiles ( Roman 11:13 ).

So, where is the power of God revealed today? Is it not within the Church, the body of Christ in which the Holy Ghost gave unto the Apostle Paul to establish?

( Ephesians 3:1-11 )

FOR THIS CAUSE I PAUL, THE PRISONER OF JESUS CHRIST FOR YOU GENTILES, ( 2 ) IF YE HAVE HEARD OF THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD WHICH IS GIVEN ME TO YOU-WARD: ( 3 ) HOW THAT BY REVELATION HE MADE KNOWN UNTO ME THE MYSTERY; ( AS I WROTE AFORE IN FEW WORDS, ( 4 ) WHEREBY, WHEN YE READ, YE MAY UNDERSTAND MY KNOWLEDGE IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST ) ( 5 ) WHICH IN OTHER AGES WAS NOT MADE KNOWN UNTO THE SONS OF MEN, AS IT IS NOW REVEALED UNTO HIS HOLY APOSTLES AND PROPHETS BY THE SPIRIT;’ ( 6 ) THAT THE GENTILES SHOULD BE FELLOWHEIRS, AND PARTAKERS OF HIS PROMISE IN CHRIST BY THE GOSPEL: ( 7 ) WHEREOF I WAS MADE A MINISTER, ACCORDING TO THE GIFT OF THE GRACE OF GOD GIVEN INTO ME BY THE EFFECTUAL WORKING OF HIS POWER. ( 8 ) UNTO ME, WHO AM LESS THAN THE LEAST OF ALL SAINTS, IS THIS GRACE GIVEN, THAT I SHOULD PREACH AMONG THE GENTILES THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST; ( 9 ) AND TO MAKE ALL MEN SEE WHAT IS THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY, WHICH FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD HATH BEEN HID IN GOD, WHO CREATED ALL THINGS BY JESUS CHRIST: ( 10 ) TO THE INTENT THAT NOW UNTO THE PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS IN HEAVENLY PLACES MIGHT BE KNOWN BY THE CHURCH THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD, ( 11 ) ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PURPOSE WHICH HE PURPOSED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD: ( 12 ) IN WHOM WE HAVE BOLDNESS AND ACCESS WITH CONFIDENCE BY THE FAITH OF HIM. ( 13 ) WHEREFORE I DESIRE THAT YE FAINT NOT AT MY TRIBULATION FOR YOU, WHICH IS YOUR GLORY.

A book could be written of all that is being said in these verses but, my intent, my desire is to show that God uses the least, the last in everything we have seen in what we have studied through this segment: ( can a birthright be stolen again )? Even as we look at the local Church today; we have a tendency to put men, pastors, teachers, deacons on a pedestal when; unless they are willing to become or, be last they are of no value to God the Father at all.

Look at yourself. What good is your flesh if you’re not willing to yield it to the Spirit of God that was born into you at some point after you were first born? ( The Last ). Now, the question is; can a birthright be stolen again? To bring this whole mindset into light, we must go back to the only two sons of Isaac: ( Esau and Jacob ). Do you realize that Jacob was the ( last born )? And, that the men being Joseph and Benjamin we also the ( Last Born )?

There’s no end to the study we can continue, such as Esau reconciling that Jacob was the man in front, giving him that authority. The spiritual life is a continual battle to allow that the inner man to completely control your life. However, if we ever allow our flesh to begin to overrule the spirit man that lives within us then our flesh is stealing the birthright that we gave to the spirit within us.

God the Father will never force you to be obedient to his Spirit, that my friend is your freewill! God’s desire is for each of us to work for him because we make a choice to do so, not ever as something that is forced upon us.

As we consider the picture of the ( last being first ) and ( a stolen birthright ), the flesh, the part of each of us that is always born first will always feel cheated when we begin to yield our members to the will of God. Our flesh is sinful and desires to be pleased with sin; having pleasure in the process of sin.

If we, once we are born again allow ourselves to go back to allowing our flesh to be pleased instead of yielding our members to the will of God then; our flesh is seeking to ( steal the birthright back ). The desire of our flesh is to reset itself as the leader of us, seeking to make the Holy Spirit to none effect.

In closing this lesson, I’d like to share something I noticed in scripture. My wife and I try to read scripture each night together. Right now we are reading in the Old Testament. I noticed something about the Nation of Israel. as time moved foward, king after king; the nation either walked with God or didn’t according to the will of the king. If the king was evil. Israel also done evil, if the king walked in God’s statues then, so did Israel. I realize that I’m putting every member of that nation in the same basket however, so did God the Father. As it might relate to the basic members of Israel or, any Church; I see a problem with the fact that far too many people simply follow the mindset or spiritual thought of someone else! If we, even we; have to be made to live like God desires for us to, where is our birthright? To whom are we serving? If we go to Church and, we live righteous lives that are dictated by what the Church or pastor expects from us, what actual good are we for God’s glory?

We are seen as a blessing to God when we decide ( to him ) to give our birthright. My desire is to have my flesh to die while I am alive on this earth and for God’s Spirit to be seen within my daily walk. That is the picture we see within the lives of Esau and Jacob.

As all this relates to the first part of ( Acts 6 ); can you see the possible lack of spiritual leadership with the choices that were made, even the fact that the priest were obedient to the faith. If you remember the fact that I questioned the Apostle’s ( casting lots ) for the twelieth Apostle, don’t we see the same picture here?

We see, spiritual leaders, priest and, in this case ( Apostles ) make decisions that have nothing to do with the Holy Ghost leading them. That has been a problem from the very beginning of the Church. Often we allow our flesh to steal the birthright, that is; as far as our spiritual leadership is concerned. I would like for you to show me one place in scripture that God the Father, God the Son or God the Spirit ever left any choice up to just people.

For instance; when the Apostle Peter spoke on the Day of Pentecost, who picked him to do so, or as we continue to move throught the first few chapters of ( Acts ) why is he the main speaker? As we continue to read in ( Acts 6 ), we see Stephen have a very powerful voice. Was that because he was picked to be a deacon or, simply because he was filled with God’s Spirit? Look at this:

( Acts 6:8-9 )

AND STEPHEN, FULL OF FAITH AND POWER, DID GREAT WONDERS AND MIRACLES AMONG THE PEOPLE. ( 9 ) THEN THERE AROSE CERTAIN OF THE SYAGOGUE, WHICH IS CALLED THE SYNAGOGUE OF LIBERTINES, AND CYRENIANS, AND ALEXANDRIANS, OF THEM OF CILCIA AND OF ASIA, DISPUTING WITH STEPHEN.

We are looking into this thought ( the stealing of a birthright ).( The first shall be last ). The ability to allow the spirit of God, the last born in our lives, the person to whom we gave our birthright to is a challenge to every person. The reality of the the ( first born ) the flesh of any person desiring to be in control is the battle we all face.

I contend that it’s very possible that when many priest seen what was unfolding; they desired to have some control over all they seen. The priest were possibly starting the different ( synagogues ). We see the word ( faith ) used, ( being obedient to the faith ). Exactly what were they being obedient to, what faith?

We read in ( Ephesians 3 ) where the birthright was given to the ( the last ) ( the least ). In ( Acts 6 ) that hasn’t happened yet, therefore, there is completely no way that the original eleven Apostles or, the priest could have been ( obedient to the faith ) as we know it today. As a matter of ( Biblical teaching ) we can see where the Apostle Paul had a hard time convincing the eleven that he was actually an Apostle. We see that in almost every one of the Apostle Paul’s letters to the Church. ( Paul and Apostle of Jesus Christ ). It says it in different ways seeking to make the point that he is an Aposptle called by Jesus Christ.

I’ll make one other point and I’ll close this lesson. Do you realize that the ( Holy Ghost ) is the last part of the Godhead. God the Father spoke in the Old Testament, God the Son spoke in the gospels and, since the birth of the Church, that part of God’s design that he chose the last Apostle, the least Apostle to unveil the truth about; the Holy Spirit speaks the heart of nan by the preaching of truth in God’s word. There is no other part of God that will ever be seen, not in this world. The Spirit of God speaks only truth and, that of God the Son. Even after the rapture of the Church; if any person desires to be saved they must recognize that Jesus Christ is God in flesh.

We seen in ( Acts 6 ) where there were ( certain of the synagogue ), I believe they were the priest that were obedient to the faith; that set these ( synagogues up ). What’s the difference if we now call these ame places ( Baptists, Methodists, CHurch of God, Pentecostal, Lutheran and so on? The Bible tells us in ( Revelation 2-3 ) that within the Church there are things that God is dipleased with. That displeasure can be traced all the way back to the early Church. There have always been those that desire to ( resteal ) the birthright, to allow the flesh to dictate the moves of people, the Church rather than allowing God’s Spirit, the last born to be in complete control.

We now live in the last days. Look at the last Church mentioned in :

( Relevation 3:14-20 )

AND UNTO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH OF THE LAODICEANS WRITE; THESE THINGS SAITH THE AMEN, THE FAITHFUL AND THE TRUE WITNESS, THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD; ( 15 ) I KNOW THY WORKS, THAT THOU ART NEITHER COLD NOR HOT: I WOULD THOU WERT COLD OR HOT. ( 16 ) SO THEN BECAUSE THOU ART LUKEWARM, AND NEITH COLD NOR HOT, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH. ( 17 ) BECAUSE THY SAYEST, I AM RICH, AND INCERESED WITH GOODS, AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING; AND KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART WRETCHED, AND MISERABLE, AND POOR, AND BLIND, AND NAKED: ( 18 ) I COUNCEL THEE TO BUY OF ME GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE, THAT THOU MAYEST BE RICH, AND WHITE RAIMENT, THAT THOU MAYEST BE CLOTHED, AND THAT THE SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS DO NOT APPEAR; AND ANOINT THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE. ( 19 ) AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN: BE ZEALOUS THEREFORE, AND REPENT. ( 20 ) BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK: IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE, AND OPEN THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, AND WILL SUP WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME.

In all this, I mentioned ( the Apostles’ doctrine ):

( Acts 2:42 )

AND THEY CONTINUED STEDFASTLY IN THE APOSTLES’ DOCTRINE AND FELLOWSHIP, AND IN BREAKING OF BREAD AND IN PRAYERS.

What was and, how can we define this doctrine? Let’s see if we can begin to define by asking you a simple question. If you are born again and the Spirit of God lives within you; the very second that you were born again, how much true knowledge did you have of ( the leadership of God’s Spirit )? Could you have formed a doctrine from what you knew? That is, a true doctrine; designed by God’s spirit?

The Apostles were teaching all they knew to teach, looking at the ( Doctrine of Christ ). Jesus Christ had a responsibility, a calling. He carried that out to the letter of the law. Within his doctrine, he did things to prove to the Nation of Istael that he was who he said he was. Why was Jesus born? Was he born to raise the dead, to heal the blind, to cause the lame to walk? No! He said this:

( John 18:27 )

PILATE THEREFORE SAID UNTO HIM, ART THOU A KING THEN? JESUS ANSWERED, THOU SAYEST THAT I AM A KING. TO THIS END WAS I BORN, AND FOR THIS CAUSE CAME I INTO THIS WORLD, THAT I SHOULD BEAR WITNESS UNTO THE TRUTH. EVERY ONE THAT IS OF THE TRUTH HEARETH MY VOICE.

Jesus Christ was ( God the Father in flesh ). His purpoose, his doctrine was to be the savior of the world, period! For example, Joseph was the savior of Egypt and Israel but, he was not the last was he? Benjamin was the last! Does that take anything away from who Joseph or Jesus was? No, of course not. If anything it inhances it! We see the same picture in every individual that allows the last to be first. Doesn’t walking in the Spirit of God make a believer a better person in the flesh? In reality, isn’t even Jesus Christ waiting to marry his bride?

Can we argue this point. When Jesus Christ looked at the Apostles and said this:

Matthew 19:28 )

AND JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT YE WHICH HAVE FOLLOWED ME, IN THE REGENERATION WHEN THE SON OF MAN SHALL SIT IN THE THRONE OF HIS GLORY, YE SHALL SIT UPON TWELVE THRONES, JUDGING THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL.

Was it not the very same as the Holy Spirit speaking unto them? Wasn’t what Jesus said then just as stedfast as the Holy Spirit speaking now? When Jesus told them to ( go to Jerusalem an wait for the promise ). Can you see how the ( first ) might have to wait much longer for what was promised than the last? It’s more to it than just having the Spirit of God, It’s about hearing and obeying what he says. It’s just like your flesh, being yielded to God’s Spirit. Your flesh will have to ( wait for the promise ) while the spirit works out this will in your life.

I said I was closing however, it’s so much to teach. I still contend that if anyone is going to understand ( the Church ) they must begin by understanding the ( Book Of Acts ).

The Apostle Paul said this in:

( Hebrews 6:1-3 )

THEREFORE LEAVING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, LET US GO ON UNTO PERFECTION, NOT LAYING AGAIN THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, AND OF FAITH TOWARD GOD, ( 2 ) OF THE DOCTRINE OF BAPTISMS, AND OF LAYING ON OF HANDS, AND OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, AND ETERNAL JUDGMENT, ( 3 ) AND THIS WE WILL DO, IF GOD PERMIT.

The Apostle Paul; ( the last ) ( the least ) is speaking to the Hebrew believers. He’s instructing them to move from where they are. If you will notice; he says ( principles of the doctrine of Christ ). He’s saying we have to leave that principle. I can see how the Apostles were clinging to those principles and, it became ( a doctrine ) of the Apostles.

The Apostle Paul said this ( And this we will do, if God permit ). What did he mean by that statement? The Apostle Paul knew; as revealed to him by God’s Spirit that ( blindness in part had come to the Nation of Israel ). Within that, the ability for any person to allow ( the last to be first ) within them is a challenge. That’s what this nation was facing. The Apostle Paul knows that God the Father is not going to allow the whole nation of Israel to understand this at this time however, any individual can become born again and, see what has transpired spiritually.

( The Apostles’ doctrine ) ( the Doctrine of Christ ). There are still people today that are following these doctrines, refusing to see the truth that ( the Last )( the least ) as directed by God’s Spirit has revealed. One of the most difficult things to happen to any person is for them to spiritually denounce a doctrine that they have been following and, begin to acknowledge truth! That fact is true, even today. Why is that? Because we seek as ( in our flesh ) to maintain our birthright.

Can a birthright be stolen again? Yes it can! When we, as born again believers allow anything, any doctrine, any principle other that that as revealed by God’s Spirit to guide us then ( that God given birthright ) is being ( stolen again ).

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7 )

wHAT IS TRUE PRAYER?

Over the years as a born again believer I’ve come to realize something; especially about myself and prayer. There is a vast difference in what I prayer out loud that people might hear and, what I might be saying to my Lord from the depths of my heart. Does anyone else feel this same way?

I heard a true story from a pastor once that had taken a stand from his pulpit. One family in his Church disagreed with his stand and stopped attending Church. The pastor went to each household seeking to get them to reconsider their position. This to no avail. As time moved foward the ( head of the family ) which was the father of the grown children got very sick. He was in the hospital and, they didn’t know whether he would live or not.

The family called this same pastor; desiring that he come and pray for their father. When the pastor got to the hospital room, the whole family was there; very concerned about their father. The man was deathly sick. His family shared with the pastor all they new to say about his sickness, The pastor listened as they spoke to him. When they had finished, the pastor asked the old man if he wanted him to pray for him? The man replied; yes.

AS the pastor began to pray thanking God for the family, he began to bring in their spiritual condition and saying, Lord, My desire is to see this family in perfect fellowship with you. Their father is sick and possibly next to death. Lord, I pray whatsoever it takes, if you have to take this man; at that; the old man stopped him from praying. He said, pastor, I don’t want you to pray that prayer. The pastor replied; sir, it doesn’t matter whether you stop me from praying out loud or not, my prayer has already been ( whatsoever it takes ) to bring your family back into fellowship with the Lord. At that, the pastor got up to leave and, reminded them all that he would continue to pray as he had.

I’d like to point out one other thing here; who was this family actually following? Even if the pastor was completely wrong; you mean to tell me that every member of that family felt exactly the same? This is something that happens often in Churches. Without realizing it, we follow people, even pastors and never even consider what God the Spirit is trying to say to us.

The elderly man got well and, they all came back to Church. The point is that this pastor didn’t just pray words to make those people feel good. The Bible tells us that ( the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much )!

( James 5:16 )

CONFESS YOUR FAULTS ONE TO ANOTHER, AND PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. THE EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILETH MUCH.

I often wonder if we, as Church members have made our Churches and our prayer lives into an extention of the hospital’s emergency rooms. In the true story I just shared with you, let’s consider! In every sense of the word; this pastor was concerned about the ( spiritual wellbeing ) of this family, not the physical. We could make the argument that the pastor was wrong about the stand he took. Also, that the family didn’t need to go to his Church or, any Church. However, true prayer is always going to be a communication between a person and God the Father. With that in mind, the spiritual aspect will always be first and formost.

Man can always be seen as wrong. Man is and, always will be imperfect. However, if you meet a person that is truly concerned about your spiritual wellbeing over any physical problem you might have then that can be seen as a true spiritual communication line between that person and God the Father.

( In my opinion ) most of the prayers we hear, God the Father pays little attention to. Why would I say that? Because, in reality; we are not speaking in terms that even gets God attention! Let me use an example of what I’m saying. In ( Acts 1 ); look at this prayer:

( Acts 1:24 )

AND THEY PRAYED, AND SAID, THOU, LORD,WHICH KNOWEST THE HEARTS OF ALL MEN, SHEW WHETHER OF THESE TWO THOU HAST CHOSEN, ( 25 ) THAT HE MAY TAKE PART OF THIS MINISTERY AND APOSTLESHIP, FROM WHICH JUDAS BY TRANSGRESSION FELL THAT HE MIGHT GO TO HIS OWN PLACE,

Here, we’re focusing on the the phrase ( they prayed ). Would you mind explaining to me why God would hear and answer this prayer? Hadn’t God, in the body of the risen Jesus Christ already given them instruction to ( go to Jerusalem and wait )?

( ( Luke 24:49 )

AND, BEHOLD, I SEND THE PROMISE OF MY FATHER UPON YOU: BUT TARRY YE IN THE CITY OF JERUSALEM, UNTIL YE BE ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH.

Far too often we act and get ahead of God and the leadership of his Spirit. Just as these Apostles did. The reason is that we desire physical control of spiritual matters and, that cannot be! Also, far too often we are not willing to pay the spiritual price it takes to bring about true spiritual change.

Pether was exactly right when he made the statements that led up to them picking an Apostle in ( Acts 1 ) There truly needed to be twelve of them, Jesus had told them that in ( Matthew 19:28 ); but Jesus himself does the chosing of whom those men will be. Now, who was the man Jesus Christ chose to be that Apostle? We leearn that in ( Acts 9 ). However there was a tremendous price paid by a man to bring that about.

That brings us to another prayer! As far as I can see; this is the second prayer recorded in the ( Book of Acts ). In :

( Acts 7 ) where Stephen had just preached a very powerful message to people that didn’t have a desire to hear truth. Because he preached this message; he was stoned to death. Just before he died, look at the prayer he prayed:

( Acts 7:60 )

AND HE KNEELED DOWN, AND CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE, LORD, LAY NOT THIS SIN TO THEIR CHARGE. AND WHEN HE HAD SAID THIS, HE FELL ASLEEP.

If you’ll go back a little and read you will see where Stephen actually seen the glory of God and Jesus standing at his right side. ( Acts7:55 ). What’s the difference in the two prayers? Stephen was filled with the Holy Ghost. Now, I’m sure he, like the rest of us had a desire to live but, he willingly preached what God laid on his heart, gave himself to God’s glory. The man that would become ( the twelieth Apostle ) was there and, the men that stoned Stephen laid their coats at his feet.

His name at the time was ( Saul ). He became the ( Apostle Paul ). We also see in scripture that he had a hard time getting the rest of the Apostles to believe he was truly an Apostle.

I only make this point to show a difference in two seperate prayers and true results from the prayers we pray. So, let’s make some points here. Why did the eleven Apostles have to cast lots to decide who they thought the Apostlse should be? Why wasn’t it as simple as God the Father communicating with the men he had chosen? Isn’t true prayer as simple as ( a believer ) talking to his savior? I use these two examples of prayer to show the difference in any person praying as inspired by God’s Holy Spirit and, when the Spirit of God is not present.

While I know that God”s Spirit can be heard in a prayer when it’s prayed out loud, I also know that we often are just going through a motion when we are ask to pray out loud for different things such at meal time. It can also be the same way when we pray simply speaking to God from our hearts; that is, if we are not truly seeking God’s will when we pray.

Personally, I believe we can pray in ignorance as a child might not knowing or understanding what they are asking for. ( I believe ) the eleven Apostles did this. They were seeking or, desiring for Jesus to soon return and establish his kingdom on this earth at that time. They were seeking to have things prepared in their mind for that to happen. They didn’t understand at that time that God, by his Spirit, the Spirit he had promised was to usher in the Gentiles as well as the Jews.

Aren’t we often guilty of the very same ignorance, just seeking our own will when it concerns cetain people or desires? As I look at these two aspects of prayer; I think of parents and their own personal dessire for their children to be saved, born again. When you consider the two prayers we see here; are you willing to pay whatsoever price it takes to see the salvation of others, not just your children or, do you simply desire things like you want them to be?

We pray for our own children to be saved, we do the obvious, we take them to Church, enrole them in Sunday School, youth groups and so on. However, we never go about to witness to a lost and dying world; proving that we are more concerned about our own desires more than the true will of God. We can see within our own selves the difference in the prayers of the eleven Apostles and the prayer of Stephen.

Without being able to prove what I’m saying, ( I believe ) that the choice that the Apostles made in the very beginning and, the inability of some of them to see their wrong brought about some false teaching in the early Church that still stands today. Even if every one of the Apostles at some point seen the error and sought to correct it, the damage in some cases had been done in the minds of some people.

True prayer will always be as inspired by the Spirit of God and, truly seeking God’s will no matter what we have to face in our lives. Isaiah, talking to the Lord when the Lord asked a question, replied this ( Then said I, here am I, send me! ) The voice of the Lord had asked ( Whom shall I send )? ( Isaiah 6:8 )

If you will read the next few verses, you will see that what Isaiah had just said he would go do would not be a pleasant task! We sit in out perspective Churches Sunday after Sunday. We hear a sermon, even prayer that Basically God the Father has nothing to do with. Why? Because God’s Spirit is not a part of what is being preached or prayed!

The prophets that were speaking to Israel were making their ears tingle. They said basically what made the people feel good. ( I believe ) that far too often, even in our Churches we pray to the ( god of this world ) and we don’t even realize it. Often what we consider ( true prayer ) is a prayer that is offered for our own personal gain and has nothing to do with God the Father or, his will. We even rejoice when the ( god of this world ) answers our prayer not even realizing the contempt we just brought to God the Father.

While seeking to define ( true prayer ) I’d like to teach my understanding of:

( James 5:16 )

CONFESS YOUR FAULTS ONE TO ANOTHER, AND PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. THE EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILETH MUCH.

In these verses we often use what it’s saying as a verse for the healing of the flesh. We like to say that ( the effectual fervent prayer availeth much ). However, if we read this chapter it has nothing to do with the sickness of the flesh. It’s all about spiritual affliction and sickness. The healing has to do with the healing of the soul from sin. ( The effectual fervant prayer ) is designed to bring the sinful condition of a man’s heart to the forefront of his thinking and a desire for that man to be spiritually healed from who and what he is.

As a matter of fact, ( effectual prayer ) might be the reason for sickness in the flesh. While a righteous man is praying for ( whatever it takes ) to bring about ( spiritual healing ), those that might be praying to the ( god of this world ) is praying for ( physical healing ). And, it’s very possible that ( the things of this world ) doctors, medicines and so on might heal the body of that person but, don’t they still have to die at some point?

We very often confuse those two aspects of our lives; ( spiritual and physical ). Do we realize that a man that doesn’t even consider what God’s will is can be helped by the doctors and medicines of this world? That’s not to say that Godly people are not blessed by the same things but, we must see people for what they are and, pray for their spiritual condition first and foremost as ( fervent prayer warriors ). If not, we are not being spiritual at all.

Now, I want you to look at something with me. Let’s read:

( verse 7 )

BE PATIENT THEREFORE, BRETHREN, UNTO THE COMING OF THE LORD.

What is he saying here? This coming has to do with the Spirit of God moving upon the heart of a man or person. If you will notice the verses before this one you will see he is describing people of this world and what they believe to be their riches. However, they are not riches at all! He even says that what you have will be a witness against you. It will eat your flesh as it were fire. Notice this verse:

( Verse 5 )

YOU HAVE LIVED IN PLEASURE ON THE EARTH, AND BEEN WANTON, YOU HAVE NOURISHED YOUR HEARTS, AS IN THE DAY OF SLAUGHTER.

He saying that these people have basically had things like they desired; not considering the end product. However, he makes the point that ( the husbandman ) waits for the precious fruit of the earth and, has long patience for it, waiting for the early and latter rain.

This is a metaphor of what a ( prayer warrior ) must be willing to do. When a farmer plants seeds in the ground he must wait and allow things to progress that he might reap the fruit thereof. In the real world, there’s nothing else he can do. That is; unless he chooses to just place artificial fruit on the table to look upon.

In the process of reaping true fruit; it takes work, patience and simply waiting to see the things as they grow. In our spiritual lives we often try to say our prayers are answered when we atrificially create ( Godly circumstanses ). Let’s say we pray for a sick person, that person’s situation gets better but, that person spiritually remains the same. Can you see how their physical condition being ( made better ) ( by our prayer ) could be seen as a hinderance to their actual ( spiritual condition )? Even praying selfishly for the salvation of our friends and children can be seen the same way.

I desire to see my children join Church, get baptized. I ask our Church to pray about that. We also created ( worldly things ) other than the simple preaching under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to enhance this effort. My children desire to be a part so, they say they believe in Jesus Christ, get baptized and join Church. We are excited about that. However, were they truly born again? or, did they just get caught up in a ( worldly situation ) that was actually not a part of the ( effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man )?

Can you see how that allowing spiritual things to unfold in an ungodly world might be more beneficial to those we love rather than being impatient and just creating what appears to be salvation? I use children because I can see how we like for our children to make us look good. We like to have people around us, especially if we are Church members; to see only good things out of our homes. We like to be seen as perfect. We raise our children in Church, we; like every other parent say we pray for our children’s salvation.

One day when they go down to the alter, they profess faith and so on, then, as far as everyone sees, they live just like we live. Therefore ( God answered our prayers ). When; in reality was it the ( god of this world ) that answered our prayer?

Now, let’s use some scripture to prove my point.

( Luke 15: 11-12 )

AND HE SAID, A CERTAIN MAN HAD TWO SONS: ( 12 ) AND THE YOUNGER OF THEM SAID TO HIS FATHER, FATHER, GIVE ME THE PORTION OF GOODS THAT FALLETH TO ME. AND HE DIVIDED UNTO THEM HIS LIVING.

I’d like to take this passage, not just these two verses but, the whole accout of what we see concerning what we call the prodigal son and make the point about ( true prayer ) if I can. One of the first things to notice is that there are ( two sons ) the older and the younger. In a spiritual sense; that can be seen as a picture of every person that is ever born. That is; if we are born again. The elder is a type of our fleshly bodies. The younger is our spiritual being; being born at a later time.

However, we see in scripture that the father gave ( them ) all his living. I take that to mean that he gave both his sons all he had. Both sons made a choice of which they would do with what he had given them. In the sense of being two people; we all have a ( God consciousness ) that is, even if we don’t recognize him as our savior. Our inner man desires to help each of us in our flesh to ( come to ourselves ) yielding our bodies to the will of God.

That is the picture we see in these two sons. I realize that we don’t see where this father ever prayed for his sons, however; we do know that he was with the elder son each day, he seen him prosper in all thay had as time went by. He didn’t even know where the younger son was.

We have the priviledge of seeing our children the very same way. We can watch their lives and see all the good things they do and the bad mistakes they make but, we can’t see the true spiritual part of their lives until they are willing to reveal them to us. ( True prayer ) is the power to pray for that change in people and, to be willing to wait on God as he brings about that change. The change that cause each of us to surrender our flesh to the will of the ( Father ).

If you will notice, there was no change in the elder son at all. That is, until the father begin to bless the younger son. At that point we can see the true heart of the elder son and, the great difference in the mindset of the two sons as time went foward.

I show this to try and point out the heart of the father and, how it might relate to true prayer. The father could have assumed that the eldest son was right with God in his heart. He could have thought that the youngest son needed to make some spiritual changes in his life. The truth is and, we see it as it unfolds; they both had spiritual problems.

Another point is ( the price that has to be paid ). The father gave ( all his living ) for his two sons. Didn’t Stephen give ( all his living ) for Saul to be saved? Can you see how that Stephen could have looked at Saul and thought; this is a righteous man, very religious. Since that was the case; Stephen could have chosen to just simply not say a word. However, was it not God’s Spirit that was speaking far above the flesh of Stephen?

Far too often we look at the flesh, the actions of people around us and assume they are where God desires for them to be. We even pray prayers to relate to what we might think instead of even considering the Spirit of God.

So, with this being said and, seeking to understand what ( true prayer ) is, let’s see if we can find the very divine nature of God the Father. True prayer is seeking that divine nature and, allowing it to act out in our lives. We looked at ( James 5:16 ). We made the point that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man might just be the reason a person is sick. Let’s take it a step farther.

( 1 Corinthians 11:29-30 )

FOR HE THAT EATETH AND DRINKETH UNWORTHILY, EATETH AND DRINKETH DAMNATION TO HIMSELF, NOT DISCERNING THE LORD’S BODY. ( 30 ) FOR THIS CAUSE MANY ARE WEAK AND SICKLY AMONG YOU, AND MANY SLEEP.

As we read these verses; including ( James 5:16 ), prayer is designed between any person and God the Father to bring about spiritual change in the hearts of people. There’s no such thing as any person being perfectly free from sin. However, any person can obtain the very divine nature of God with their heart with a true desire to see people ( lost and saved ) to reach that same divine nature.

I often make this statement: If I look at you and Judge you to be born again; am I not judging you just like I’d be if I judged you yo be lost? Any spiritual person understands that we can’t know what’s in a person heart. ( I believe ) that every message any pastor preaches should be viewed as to every person in his Church as possibly being lost. Common sense will tell us that every person can grow spiritually as long as they live. Therefore, every message should run the spectrum from preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to seeking to feed the most spiritual in the Church.

The spiritual communication between any spiritual person and God the Father will never be simply about the healing of the flesh. It will always be about the spiritual relationship between a person and God the Father. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t pray for the healing of the flesh but, to always have a desire to see a spiritual difference in the lives of people moving foward.

When you consider yourself as a born again believer; just how real do you believe God is? Just what do you think he’s capable of? How willing are you to allow him to decide the fate, the life span of every person on this earth;even yours?

As a born again believer, prayer is all about life, period. That life being eternal. Eternal life must have a beginning. It begins with being born again. It’s not only about life but, life more abundantly. Another statement I make a lot is this. Just because God will save you ( just as you are ) does not mean he will allow you to say ( just as you are ).

The fervent prayer of a righteous person will always be about you leaving where you are in a spiritual sense and seeking the divine nature of God the Father. My flesh, our flesh is of this world. God the Father is seeking to allow his Spirit to control everything our flesh does. If we go back and consider the flesh of Stephen. In the mind of God; he used the destruction of the flesh of Stephen for the spiritual transformation of a man named Saul. Although Stephen might have died at a relative young age, his death can be credited with every person that has ever been saved through the ministry and writings of The Apostle Paul. So, the question would be as far as your flesh is concerned; what do you want the most? What do you pray for? Would you rather die at a young age with the blessings of God on your life or, live a long life; never pleasing God the Father?

Do we even consider God’s will in any situation when we offer up a prayer to heaven? There’s a vast difference in what we see with our eyes, our emotional connection to our prayer life and what God the Father actually sees in every situation. What we fail to understand is this fact:

( 2 Peter 3:9 )

THE LORD IS NOT SLACK CONCERNING HIS PROMISE, AS SOME MEN COUNT SLACKNESS; BUT IS LONGSUFFERING TO US-WARD, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.

God sent his Holy Spirit into this world. His desire is for every person to hear that spirit and, yield to that Spirit. I could argue that the very life span of every person is directly related to God’s desire to bring people to him. We could also say that when men reject the call of God’s spirit it places him on very dangerous ground as far as where he will spend eternity:

( John 3:36 )

HE THAT BELIEVETH ON THE SON HATH EVERLASTING LIFE: AND HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT THE SON SHALL NOT SEE LIFE; BUT THE WRATH OF GOD ABIDETH ON HIM.

So, when we consider the ( fervent prayer of a righteous man ) what all can that man see? First of all; no person can see the heart of any other person. We are limited in our understanding of every other person’s heart. Men that are fervent in their prayer have the same heartfelt desire to see salvation to every person just as God does. Those people that fervently pray also understand that God’s Spirit will not force himself on any person. But, if a person has rejected God’s call then. they themselves place themselves in the situation that they are in.

Now, besides this there are at least two other groups of people. There are those that truly seek to walk where God asked them to and, those that are ( born again ) but choose to live carnal lives. Look at these verses:

( Hebrews 12:6-8 )

FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVETH HE CHASTENETH, AND SCOURGETH EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVETH. ( 7 ) IF YE ENDURE CHASTENING, GOD DEALETH WITH YOU AS WITH SONS; FOR WHAT SON IS HE WHOM THE FATHER CHASTENETH NOT? ( 8 ) BUT IF YE BE WITHOUT CHASTISEMENT, WHEREOF ALL ARE PARTAKERS, THEN YE ARE BASTARDS, AND NOT SONS.

Can you see the two groups of people within these verses? If carnal people choose to live as they please then, God the Father is going to ( chasten them ). If they can live as they please without that chastening then he’s saying they are ( bastards ). God is not their father.

A true prayer warrior understands that we cannot see the true heart of any person therefore, we trust God’s dicisions in how their lives unfold. Every verse we have read points to how God the Father sees people and their relationship with him. Things we cannot see. His will is for all of us to stand before prepared to do so. That is; in salvation and our spiritual maturity as well.

We like to look at people and decide in our own minds whether that are where God desires for them to be or not. We like to say people are saved or, people are lost depending on what we see. We often; because of this, ask God for things that cannot or, should not be.

Actually, ( James 4 ) addresses this. The chapter just before we read about the ( prayer of a righteous man ). Personally, ( I believe ) our Church leadership and pastors do their congregations a great disservice by not revealing these facts to their congregations and, leaving them in complete ( true prayer ) ignorance. Look at what he is saying in:

( James 4:4 )

YE ADULTERERS AND ADULTERESSES, KNOW YE NOT THAT THE FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD?

I’d like to use this one verse and, possibly build around what he is saying here. In the mind of most of the people that might read this verse they automatically assume that he is speaking to people; mem and women that commit adultery. However, that is not the case. He is speaking of ( Spiritually adultery ) and that by those that say they are married to him by salvation but, are still in love with the things of this world. As I say that; he is also specifically speaking of the things in our prayer life, the things we ask for.

I know that what I’m about to say can be seen as very deep spiritual thinking. However, I believe it is very important to see these things as we seek to learn about ( true prayer ). Prayer that reaches the heart of God and, changes the spiritual aspects of the people we are praying for. To whom is James speaking as he writes this complete letter? It’s two things we see as we ponder that question. First, he speaking to the ( twelve tribes ) that are scattered abroad. That’s his people in the nation of Israel. Secondly, the mentions ( brethren ). We see these two groups of people in ( James 1:1-2 ).

As I looked at this I realized that; as I speak to every person that reads this, I can be seen in the very same ( spiritual light). James was a born again believer, he was also an Israelite. I, am a born again believer. I’m speaking to the Church. In both cases only the Holy Spirit can know for sure who ( the brethren ) are; the people that are truly born again. However, the message goes to all those that will listen. ( You have not because you ask not ),( when you do ask; you ask amiss ). ( You ask that ye may consume it upon your lust ).

He says or, calls them ( adulterers and adulteresses ) meaning that they are truly born again but, living and praying of this world. I say this. In the average local Church, there are a lot of people lost, never been truly born again. There are some that are members that are saved, born again but, in love with the things of this world. Add, there are a very few that are actually sold out to the true will og God. That is the same picture James seen as he looked at the Nation of Israel.

Notice one other point he makes in ( James 4 ). ( From whence come wars and fightings among you )? ( Come they not hence, even of your own lusts that war in your members )? ( A Church ) is a body. It’s no difference than you own personal body. We have to truly seek to ( die to our flesh ) in order to seek to pray true prayers that reach the heart of God the Father.

Just as a side note: If a man refuses to be the head of his house, surrendering himself to the will of God, Can he be seen as committing ( spiritual adultery )? If a wife refuses to submit to her husband, a man seeking to follow the leadership of God, can she be seen as committing ( spiritual adultery )?

A Church can be just like any one individual. That Church or individual can become ( their own worst enemy ). We do that by yielding to the desires of our flesh and, when this happens, true prayer is hard to come by. With that being said; if we’re not careful we’ll become content ( just as we are ) and start believing we are blessed by God when he actually has nothing to do with what we are calling blessings from him.

As we look at all these scriptures, ( 1 Corinthians 11 ) there are many weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. ( Hebrews 12 ) If ye are without chastising the ye are bastards and not sons. ( James 4-5 ) the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much ), can you see that God isn’t playing when it comes to our relationship with him or our prayer life?

One more verse and I’ll close:

( 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 )

KNOW YE NOT THATTHEY WHICH RUN IN A RACE RUN ALL, BUT ONE RECEIVETH THE PRIZE? SO RUN, THAT YE MAY OBTAIN. ( 25 ) AND EVERY MAN THAT STRIVETH FOR THE MASTERY IS TEMPERATE IN ALL THINGS. NOW THEY DO IT TO OBTAIN A CORRUPTIBLE CROWN; BUT WE AN INCORRUPTIBLE. ( 26 ) I THEREFORE SO RUN, NOT AS UNCERTAINTY; SO FIGHT I, NOT AS ONE THAT BEATETH THE AIR: ( 27 ) BUT I KEEP UNDER MY BODY, AND BRING IT INTO SUBJECTION: LEST THAT BY ANY MEANS, WHEN I HAVE PREACHED TO OTHERS, I MYSELF SHOULD BECOME A CASTAWAY.

The ability to pray ( true prayer ) has to be taught and understood. God’s desire is to truly bless every person upon the face of this earth but, he is a jealous God and very demanding of his children in a spiritual sense. The Apostle Paul here is saying that ( he ) is responsible for his own spiritual life. ( He ) and he alone knows where he is walking in a spiritual light with God the Father. It becomes the responsibility of each born again believer to ( bring themselves ) under the sujection of the Holy Spirit of God that we might be able to pray and understand the true will of God.

In our Church, just as in the Nation of Israel; every person can think you are a gift from God and, every member of your Church can highly esteen one another but, if God is not pleased with you then all your words become ( a sounding brass and a tinkling symbol in his presence!

In closing. a true prayer warrior’s prayers that he or she prays in private when no one hears but God is probably the most powerful of his prayers. For instance; As I now pray for each person that might read this, I pray that in every situation ( whatsoever ) it might take to bring you, as a believer to the center of God’s will, that including every member of your family; I ask God the do that at his will that we all might stand before God prepared to do so. I also ask you to pray the very same prayer for me and my family. All in the Name Above all Names Jesus Christ!

BUT WHOM SAY YE THAT I AM?

This is a question that Jesus Christ asked his disciples once as they sit and he had just told them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Saducees. The disciples took the word ( leaven ) and assumed he was talking about something as simple as the bread they might eat because they had not eaten yet. You can read this account in ( Matthew 16 ).

I’d like to take this same account and build something that burns in my my heart and draws me to my knees. In doing this; let’s go all the way back to the tower of Babel. In a spiritual sense; it’s important that we understand something. The tower of Babel was an event that took place after the flood of Noah. We know that the Ark had only eight people on it. These eight people ( by faith ) entered that Ark and were saved from the destruction that was to come.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that all three sons of Noah were sold out to the will of God and, they taught their children these precepts as they began to replenish this earth with people. With that being said, we also know that out of the lineage of Shem came Abraham which was the father of the nation of Israel.

The tower of Babel was seeking to be built by the descendants of Ham. Nimrod was the son of Cush, he was to build the tower. You can study this out in ( Genesis 10-11 ).

My point in seeking to teach this is a spiritual one. Of the three sons of Noah, each having the very same opportunity upon this earth to seek and do God’s will; just how devoted were they to the will of God? What did they teach their children? Just how sincere were they about truly seeking God’s will for their lives and, the lives of their children?

We can even say that, although each of Noah’s sons were sinners and, even if they truly sought to teach their children in the ways of God, the possibility of the mindsets of people change as one generation gives way to another.

All through scripture we see this same picture as life unfolds. In the context of the verses we are looking at in ( Matthew 16 ); consider something. As Jesus sit and talked to his disciples, we see two other sets of people memtioned: ( Pharisees and Saducees ). Where do we see those people as it relates to any aspect of spiritual living before the birth of Jesus Christ? What do either of these two sects have to do with anything?

In ( Matthew 16 ) Jesus asked his disciples: who do men say that I am? His disciples began to tell him who men said he was. John the Baptist, Elias, Jeremias or one of the other prophets. In all of this and, we will look deeper into it, what is it that truly matters? The only thing; as far as one individual is concerned, that truly matters is ( what is your individual relationship with Jesus Christ?

Back in the generation of Noah, what do we see? We see men named Nimrod seeking to build ( a way ) to get to heaven apart from the truth of God the Father. Later on in the very Nation that God called out for his own, don’t we see the very same thing with the Pharisees and Sadducees? Aren’t they seeking to build a way to God rather than simply seeking truth. As a matter of fact, they denied Jesus Christ!

Even if we go back to the time before the flood, look at what we see:

( Genesis 6:5 )

AND GOD SAW THAT THE WICKEDNESS OF MAN WAS GREAT IN THE EARTH, AND THAT EVERY IMAGINATION OF THE THOUGHT OF HIS HEART WAS ONLY EVIL CONTINUALLY.

Looking back one more step and, seeking to make the point that I’m trying to make; didn’t even Cain offer a sacrifice? The Bible says in:

( Genesis 4:3 )

AND IN THE PROCESS OF TIME IT CAME TO PASS, THAT CAIN BROUGHT OF THE FRUIT OF THE GROUND AN OFFERING UNTO THE LORD.

Couldn’t we say that ( as time processed ) that in the days just before the flood that men had also devised their own way of being religious? These people looked at Noah and his family as a deranged family; seeking rather to stick with their own man made way of worship. So, can we ask the question maybe from an aspect of Noah speaking? Who did men say that Noah was? ( Who do you say Noah was )? I say that Noah was a man that taught the very same type of grace that was seen in the blood sacrifice God offered for the sins of Adam and Eve!

That is the grace that Adam taught his children and they taught their children. However, as the years passed; many, basically all devised their own way of seeking to please God just as Cain did. As we look at the people all the way from Adam to Noah, even from Noah to Abraham and, from Abraham to Moses; it’s always the same. Every person that believed by faith, seen by faith the blood sacrifice that God himself did in the Garden of Eden. That truth was relayed by every generation.

Long before ( the law ) ever came into being. the questions were being asked, ( who do men say that I am ) ? And, ( who do you say that I am )? The gospel ( the good news ) that God offered his grace through shed blood was the messeage that was preached. That, not in a building by a particular man or person but, rather by those few people that actually believed that single thing by faith. Can you see how it was the responsibility of the head of each family to share that truth with his family? Can you see how it was still up to every individual to see that truth and build their lives around that truth?

The Bible actually make it this simple:

( John 1:17 )

FOR THE LAW WAS GIVEN BY MOSES, BUT GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST.

Since ( I believe ) that ( God was in Christ ) wasn’t it the same Christ that killed the animals, shed blood to make coats for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? ( Genesis 3:21 ) Wasn’t that the same Christ that met Abram in the body of Melchisedek? ( Genesis 14:17-24 ) If you remember; when Moses turned to see the burning bush and, God spoke to him. what did God say?

( Exodus 3:14 )

AND GOD SAID TO MOSES, I AM THAT I AM: AND HE SAID, THUS SHALT THOU SAY UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, I AM HATH SENT ME UNTO YOU.

Didn’t Jesus Christ use the same term here in this verse? Who do men say that ( I AM )? We often, even in our Churches seek to seperate Jesus Christ from God the Father indirectly. As a matter of fact; any time we seek to tie ( the law ) to salvation we seperate the two. It’s not that the law is not important because it’s very important. It shows us the we are sinners and, that we need Jesus Christ as our redeemer.

When the Apostle Peter answered Jesus and said this ( THOU ART THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD )! He was acknowledging that Jesus was the same person that killed the animals in the Garden of Eden. He was the same person that met Abram in the body of Melchisedek. He was the same person that spoke to Moses at the burning bush.

As a matter of fact, he is the same person that spoke to Noah,; telling him to prepare an Ark, When all was finished with the Ark, he was the person that closed the door to the Ark. He was the person that spoke to Noah and gave instruction when the Ark had settled back to earth.

( Genesis 9:1-17 )

Instead of writing this whole segment; I’ll offer this one verse and, we’ll go back to a verse in ( Genesis 8 ).

( Verse 6 )

WHOSO SHEDDETH MAN’S BLOOD, BY MAN SHALL HIS BLOOD BE SHED: FOR IN THE IMAGE OF GOD MADE HE MAN.

Now, let’s look back at:

( Genesis 8:20-21 )

AND NOAH BUILDED AN ALTER UNTO THE LORD; AND TOOK OF EVERY CLEAN BEAST, AND EVERY CLEAN FOWL, AND OFFERED BURNT OFFERINGS ON THE ALTER. ( 21 ) AND THE LORD SMELLED A SWEET SAVOUR; AND THE LORD SAID IN HIS HEART, I WILL NOT AGAIN CURSE THE GROUND ANY MORE FOR MAN’S SAKE; FOR THE IMAGINATION OF MAN’S HEART IS EVIL FROM HIS YOUTH; NEITHER WILL I AGAIN SMITE ANY MORE EVERY THING LIVING AS I HAVE DONE.

There’s a lot to be seen here! However, I’d like to make one point and we’ll move on.

( Genesis 7:2 )

OF EVERY CLEAN BEAST THAU SHALT TAKE TO THEE BY SEVENS, THE MALE AND HIS FEMALE: AND OF BEASTS THAT ARE NOT CLEAN BY TWO, THE MALE AND HIS FEMALE.

We see that God had already, himself prepared for the ( burnt offering ) that Noah was to make. Noah, being a man of faith, built an alter to God, not because God commanded him to but, rather because it was his choice to do so. We see that ( the Lord smelled a sweet savour ) and ( said in his heart ). The actions of Noah moved God! I often make the point that God saved a part of everything living on the Ark. That included sin. We see that as we continue to read. Therefore, I wasn’t the absence of sin that was pleasing to God but, a willingness to acknowledge him by faith.

It’s not that God doesn’t desire us to live a life pleasing to him but, that we recognize our sinful conditions and, walk with him by faith. As we move foward from here we see the progressive sinfulness of man right in the family of Noah. The willingness to walk with God by faith is an individual choice. This choice is one that very few people ever come to realize.

In every family, before and after the flood we see the very same thing. Most of the people chose to follow the lust of the flesh, living to please their ownselves rather than seeking to walk with God the Father.

The Bible proves out that Jesus Christ, all the way back to Adam and Eve has always been in the mind and heart of God the Father. Look at this verse:

( Revelation 13:8 )

AND ALL THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH SHALL WORSHIP HIM, WHOSE NAMES ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE OF THE LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.

In the mind and heart of God there has always been a place called Calvary that he, in the body of Jesus Christ would offer himself as the eternal sacrifice for the sins of this world. The blood he shed would cover the sins of all men all the way back to the sin of Adam and Eve. And, also to the very last man or woman that will ever be born.

What we often fail to realize is that the only difference is that the people in the Old Testamant looked foward to the Cross and the people in the New Testament look back to that same Cross, The Cross where Jesus Christ, God in a bady of flesh became the sin sacrifice for this world. Actually, we can see this in scripture. For instance: when the Old Testament saints died,; where did they go?

As we study through ( Hebrews ) we’ll get to this. However, the Bible says in:

( Hebrews 9:8 )

THE HOLY GHOST THIS SIGNIFYING, THAT THE WAY INTO THE HOLIEST OF ALL WAS NOT MADE MANIFEST, WHILE AS THE FIRST TABERNACLE WAS YET STANDING:

We’ll get to that later but, we see in this verse that what they were doing was not perfect but, jusy a picture of what was to come. So, what happened the very second that Jesus Christ gave up the ghost on his Cross?

( Matthew 27:51 )

AND, BEHOLD, THE VEIL OF THE TEMPLE WAS RENT IN TWAIN FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM; AND THE EARTH DID QUAKE, AND THE ROCKS RENT; ( 52 ) AND THE GRAVES WERE OPENED, AND MANY BODIES OF THE SAINTS THAT SLEPT AROSE, ( 53 ) AND CAME OUT OF THE GRAVES AFTER THE RESURRECTION, AND WENT INTO THE HOLY CITY, AND APPEARED UNTO MANY.

Now, let’s take this another step:

( Ephesians 4:8-10 )

WHEREFORE HE SAITH, WHEN HE ASCENDED UP ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE AND GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN. ( 9 ) ( NOW THAT HE ASCENDED, WHAT IS IT BUT THAT HE ALSO DESCENDED FIRST INTO THE LOWER PARTS OF THE EARTH? ( 10 ) HE THAT DESCENDED IS THE SAME ALSO THAT ASCENDED UP FAR ABOVE ALL HEAVENS, THAT HE MIGHT FILL ALL THINGS. )

Again, there’s a lot to teach here however, God the Father has been building his kingdom for the body of Jesus Christ from the beginning of thr world. ( The problem ) only a few people see that by faith. As you go back through the OldTestament, we see many people but, few that actually walk with God by faith.

Now, God the Father didn’t have to allow these people to be seen did he? He did that for the benefit of those that were in doubt! Also, to inspire those that believed. I’m simply making the point that those Old Testament saints we not able to go in the presence of God the Father until the perfect sacrifice was made and that, in the body of Jesus Christ. Those Oldtestament saints were waiting for that time.

To bring the title back into focus: ( WHO DO MEN SAY THAT I, THE SON OF MAN AM? ) AND, ( ( WHO DO YOU SAY, I THE SON OF MAN AM? ) Just as those Old Testament saints were waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ, so are we today! We have Churches that are filled with people but, how many truly know him for who he Is?

So, what has happened over the years? It’s exactly like it was before the flood and, between that Ark returning to earth after the flood , even after the law. Men wandered away from the true and living God, they devised a way that they could worship. They made ( the creature more important than the creator ) ( Romans 1:25 ).

Its been this way from the beginning and, nothing has changed. We like to say we go to Church to worship but, who are we worshipping? When Adam and Eve sinned and God shed blood for their covering, those two people truly knew what had been done for them. They knew the sacrifice, the grace of God. Eve longed for a son that would continue to teach that same power!

Although we go through a motion, even naming the name of Jesus Christ; most people, members of Churches have little to no true passion for the ( grace of God ). That fact shows through the lives they live every day. Most Church members are tightly woven into the fabric of the things of this world.

Remember the tower of Babel? Nimrod, seeking to build a way to heaven? Now, we can say that those people had a mindset for God; why? Because they were seeking heaven! However, do you think they were sharing what had transpired in the Garden of Eden between God the Father, Adam and Eve? No, it had nothing to do with grace!

Now, let’s put this in an average Church setting. What is the Church building? Consider the members. Do they invite you to come to their Church, to join their Church or, do they sit down with you and, share Jesus Christ and his saving grace?

Adam and Eve were facing death; what does that mean? They had broken God’s law and were facing an eternity in hell which is ( death defined ). When is the last time a Church member came to your house or, met you on the street, maybe in a cafe, looked in your eyes and said this; friend, just like you are ( hell will be your home ) you are a hell deserving sinner! You must be born again! When is the last time you heard your pastor even say this?

We build up our Churches, the places we love; we even do it in the name of Jesus Christ but, we deny the power thereof! Have you ever considered why? The reason is that most members are just like the people building the ( Tower of Babel ). They know something needs to be done but, refuse to change anything about themselves to bring those changes to pass.

In reality, it goes back to the simple statement Jesus Christ asked his disciples. ( who do men say that I am )? ( Who do you say that I am )? When we get away from the roles we play in Church, forget what our Church might ask us to do and; look at ourselves, answering that question with our own hearts; who is Jesus Christ to you? Forgetting the message you pastor preaches, the fact you were baptized, the fact you joined Church, does Jesus Christ truly live within your heart?

These questions are paramount to your own personal salvation and, your relationship, not with a Church but, with Jesus Christ himself! From the time of Adam and Eve to the first destruction of this earth; only eight people ( believed ). From the giving of the law to Moses to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Pharisees and Saducees ( built ) different religions in the name of God the Father.

On the day of Pentecost; 120 believers were filled with the spirit and that number grew; fighting the religions of that time tooth and nail. Now, some two thousand years later, how many people are truly born again, washed in the blood of jesus Christ?

Can you see the same picture happening time and time again? Are you caught up in that evil deceit? Who do you say ( the Son of Man ) is? Are you truly born again or are you just a member of a local Church?

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( AUGUST 29,2021 )

( HEBREWS 7:22-28 )

BY SO MUCH WAS JESUS MADE A SURETY OF A BETTER TESTAMENT, ( 23 ) AND THEY TRULY WERE MANY PRIESTS, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT SUFFERED TO CONTINUE BY REASON OF DEATH. ( 24 ) BUT THIS MAN, BECAUSE HE CONTINUETH EVER, HATH AN UNCHANGEABLE PRIESTHOOD. ( 25 ) WHEREFORE HE IS ABLE ALSO TO SAVE THEM TO THE UTTERMOST THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM, SEEING HE EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM. ( 26 ) FOR SUCH AN HIGH PRIEST BECAME US, WHO IS HOLY, HARMLESS, UNDEFILED, SEPERATE FROM SINNERS, AND MADE HIGHER THAN THE HEAVENS; ( 27 ) WHO NEEDETH NOT DAILY, AS THOSE HIGH PRIEST, TO OFFER UP SACRIFICE, FIRST FOR HIS OWN SINS, AND THEN FOR THE PEOPLE’S: FOR THIS HE DID ONCE, WHEN HE OFFERED UP HIMSELF. ( 28 ) FOR THE LAW MAKETH MEN HIGH PRIESTS WHICH HAVE INFIRMITY; BUT THE WORD OF THE OATH, WHICH WAS SINCE THE LAW, MAKETH THE SON, WHO IS CONSECRATED FOREVERMORE.

As we get into these verses to which a book could be written if we chose to cover all that is said here, I also realize that there are those that will disagree with what I might teach however, I will say this: just because you might disagree with me; doesn’t make what I teach wrong. I contend that it takes God’s Spirit to open blinded eyes and never simply the teaching of men.

We see that in ( verse 22 ) it says that ( Jesus made a surety of a better testament ). Although we know from study that Jeus Christ in his body of flesh was a sinless being and, that by design, he ussered in a ( better way ). Better than what? As far as the Hebrew children were cancerned, ( better than attampting to keep the law ).

( 2 Corinthians 5:21 )

FOR HE HATH MADE HIM TO BE SIN FOR US, WHO KNEW NO SIN; THE WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.

Although we see that and, know it as a fact; the flesh of Jesus Christ was not the first flesh that God used to create ( a new way ) was it? There was however one basic difference in Jesus Christ and all the rest. In that; ( he knew no sin )! Do you realize that from the very beginning of creation, God has done that? When Adam fell in the Garden of Eden; God covered his flesh with the skins of a slain animal. ( Sacrifice )! That was the grace of God to fallen man. Now, by study we know that both Adam and Eve took that very Grace of God with them when they departed the Garden of Eden.

Adam and Eve shared that Grace with their children. We know that one received that grace and the other didn’t. Cain rejected it but Abel received it. We can study this in ( Genesis 4 ). We see there that ( Cain slew Abel ). You can count on it; the flesh will always seek to destroy anything that is of God or, seeks to show forth his grace by faith. However, this is the verses that I desire for you to see.

( Genesis 4:25-26 )

AND ADAM KNEW HIS WIFE AGAIN; AND SHE BARE A SON, AND CALLED HIS NAME SETH: FOR GOD, SAID SHE, HATH APPOINTED ME ANOTHER SEED INSTEAD OF ABEL, WHOM CAIN SLEW. ( 26 ) AND TO SETH, TO HIM ALSO THERE WAS BORN A SON; AND HE CALLED HIS NAME ENOS: THEN BEGAN MEN TO CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD.

The point that I’m seeking to make here is that ( Eve ) was seeking to have a son that would carry on the faith that was lost in the death of Abel. She had that burden! As we move to ( Genesis 5 ) and we note that ( by God’s grace ); there has always been ( a seed ) that carried his grace foward. Eve, being a type of the Church, we should see that same passion in ever local Church. If you will notice in :

( Verse 4 )

AND THE DAYS OF ADAM AFTER HE HAD BEGOTTEN SETH WERE EIGHT HUNDRED YEARS: AND HE BEGAT SONS AND DAUGHTERS.

I also think it might be important to point out what it says in:

( verse 3 )

AND ADAM LIVED AN HUNDRED AND THIRTY YEARS, AND BEGAT A SON IN HIS OWN LIKENESS, AFTER HIS IMAGE; AND CALLED HIS NAME SETH:

As we look at this we see that Adam had many children however, we follow only one of his seeds. That seed is Seth. We see that in ( verse 3 ) it says the Adam begat a son ( in his own likeness ) ( after his image ). Can’t we say that every child that Adam had was ( after his image )? But, that doesn’t mean they were like him does it?

Adam And Eve, especially Eve desired for the world to know that God offered grace to the sinner. As I say that; Eve being the ( wife ) is the one that shows that passion. What can we see spiritually there? In this picture, Eve is a type of the Church. At this point, Adam has already done his part. Adam was not deceived when he bit the fruit, Eve was. Adam willingly bit that fruit because he loved his wife.

That is a picture of Jesus Christ and the price he paid to be with his bride. Eve was carrying out the will of her husband. That’s exactly the responsibility of the Church. Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. It’s the Churches responsibility to carry out his will on this earth today.

As we move foward here, we also see that Seth had many children. We also see that we only follow the life and descendants of one of his sons. We can see that all the way to Noah. Although each of these men had many children, as time moved foward the desire to seek the grace of God grew less and less with each generation until Noah. In his life we see that; as he built the Ark, it was only he, his wife, their sons and their wives.

In all of this, even those that did follow the grace of God; we see at least one thing in common. They still all died. As we see this, it was all before a priest of any kind was mentioned. So, let’s see what we can find here. Do you realize that the next time we see any sacrifice offered in scripture; after God shed blood to cover Adam and Eve was when Noah’s Ark came back down to the earth?

That signifies that Noah still seen the need of sacrifice for sin. Within that concept we know that the passion of Adam and Eve was still alive and well! The revelation of the grace of God by faith had come through all that had happened in this world. All this just by simple faith in what God had done and, it had been ( shed abraod ) through these generations.

We can conclude this; that God’s spirit was alive in the heart’s of men! Although that faith was shared with ever child that was born to every person, it was not acknowledged by every person and, it became less and less as the generations went by.

Another point to be made is that even with the one seed that we see of every man, even the children of that seed didn’t receive the grace of God by faith in what was being taught. I’ve said this before. I believe that Melchisedec was ( God in Flesh ) revealing himself to Abram.

Would you mind if I share something here that I wonder about? In:

)

( Genesis 3:8 )

We read this:

AND THEY HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD GOD WALKING IN THE GARDEN IN THE COOL OF THE DAY: AND ADAM AND HIS WIFE HID THEMSELVES FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD GOD AMONGST THE TREES OF THE GARDEN.

Can you see in this verse that normally God would come down and fellowship with Adam and Eve? God the father completely revealed himself to ( two perfect humans ) in the very beginning. The fact that he changed that was because of sin in man. We see that he ( shed blood ) killing animals to make a covering for both, Adam and Eve. Just as God came down in the cool of the day to fellowship with Adam and Eve, his desire is still to have fellowship with man.

The point is that its always been ( God’s grace ) given by the shedding of blood. I tried to get you to see that Eve craved a child that would continue to share this truth. I’d also like to make this point. Of all the people that ( believed by faith ) in the shedding of blood to make a covering for those that believe; not one of those people can be considered ( Israelites ) can they? All these were saved before that nation; to whom God gave the law, came into being.

Many people get obcessed with ( keeping the law ) and look at it as a necessity when that is not why any part of ( the law ) was designed, These thing are the point that the Apostle Paul was seeking to show the Hebrew believers.

Look at this verse and let’s see if we can tie Melchisedec and Jesus Christ together as in ( after the order of Mechisedec ).

( 2 Corinthians 5:19 )

TO WIT, THAT GOD WAS IN CHRIST, RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM; AND HATH COMMITTED UNTO US THE WORD OF RECONCILIATION.

Where we might be able to argue about whether God was in the body of Melchisedec or not, we can’t argue this verse if we are to believe God’s word. The Bible also says this:

( Hebrews 9:22 )

AND ALMOST ALL THINGS ARE BY THE LAW PURGED WITH BLOOD; AND WITHOUT SHEDDING OF BLOOD IS NO REMISSION.

All this; and every person and every priest ( died ), no exceptions! However, we don’t see where Mechisedec died do we? He had no beginning nor end.

The faith comes in if we can see Jesus Christ in this same way. When we look at the fleshly body of Jesus Christ, we know he was born and, he died on the Cross. However, by faith I see him just as I see ( God the Father ) in the body of Melchisedec.

God placed himself in the fleshly body of Mary, he had no beginning and death could not touch him. He proved that by raising the fleshly body of Jesus Christ from the grave. Man did not place God in the womb of Mary and, man cannot kill him.

Under the law, blood sacifices were made. That went on for many years, every year. The Apostle Paul says that ( the Son ) is forevermore! In the case of Melchisedec, God the Father made a man to visit and bless Abram. With Jesus Christ ( God the Father ) was born of woman live a life just like any other person yet, without sin. In this he was able to become the ( captian of our salvation ).

( Hebrews 2:10 )

FOR IT BECAME HIM, FOR WHOM ARE ALL THINGS, AND BY WHOM ARE ALL THINGS IN BRINGING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, TO MAKE THE CAPTIAN OF THEIR SALVATION PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERINGS.

As we look at at least three different aspects of God’s hand. ( 1 ) We see Adam and Eve gaining the knowledge of their sinful weakness, ( 2 ) We see God shedding the blood of an animal for a sacrifice for sin. ( 3 ) We see God in a fleshly body becoming that same blood sacrifice.

When we consider Jesus Christ; we can see his suffering as man. No animal could do that. That’s why he is the captian of our salvation. He faced every possible situation that any man would ever have to suffer. The animals that God the Father killed for Adam and Eve could never suffice; neither could those that were sacrificed under the law.

There’s no end to what we can teach concerning these things. However, I close with this. Abram, the man that met Melchisedec and offered tithes to him when we was blessed of him came to the knowledge as he matured spiritually that the sacrifice that he was trusting in would not suffice. God would have to do something else at some point. As I say he spiritually matured, God ask him to offer his son as a sarifice. I want you to notice what Abraham said to Isaac; his son when he went to offer him to God.

( Genesis 22:8 )

AND ABRAHAM SAID, MY SON, GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB FOR A BURNT OFFERING: SO THEY WENT BOTH OF THEM.

Did you see how that was worded? ( God will provide himself a lamb ). I often say this: when Abraham was going up the mountian to offer Isaac, it’s a type of the Old Testament believers looking foward ( by faith ) to the crucifixcion of Jesus Christ. When he and Isaac were coming back down the mountian; it’s a type of we today, looking back to the Cross by faith.

There are those that get caught up in the necessity of keeping the law. The truth is that God doesn’t even consider that as a part of any salvation, he never has. God proved the weakness of our flesh in Adam and Eve. He proved to the Nation of Israel their weakness or inability to keep his law and, we as members of the Church also come to that knowledge when we ask Christ to be our sacrifice.

As Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, they taught ( the blood sacrifice ) God’s grace toward them. The Nation of Israel taught, by their actions ( the blood sacrifice ). We, as members of the Church today teach the necessity of ( the blood sacrifice ).

As we look at Melchisedec and Abram and the eternal grace of God offered in the blood of Jesus Christ, it has always been forevermore! Again, Abraham and every believer in the OLd Testament looked back to the blood sacrifice that God offered for Adam and Eve by faith and they looked foward to the day that God would offer himself as that same sacrifice.

We that believe today trust, by faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, We totally trust his righteousness and realize that even at our best we are just sinners. We have no righteouness at all!

One moe thing: when every believer from Adam and Eve foward considered themselves; they didn’t even consider or look at Adam and Eve keeping the law but, rather the mercy God showed them by his grace. The message of Adam and Eve could have something like this: We both are complete failures, we deserve whatever punishment God could place upon us but, God in his mercy ( shed blood ) and covered us with his righteousness. Their message was never about them but it was all about God and his mercy!

That’s my message as well!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( AUGUST 22. 2021 )

( HEBREWS 7:11-15 )

IF THEREFORE PERFECTION WERE BY THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD, ( FOR UNDER IT THE PEOPLE RECEIVED THE LAW, ) WHAT FURTHER NEED WAS THERE THAT ANOTHER PRIEST SHOULD RISE AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC, AND NOT BE CALLED AFTER THE ORDER OF AARON? ( 12 ) FOR THE PRIESTHOOD BEING CHANGED, THERE IS MADE OF NECESSITY A CHANGE ALSO OF THE LAW. ( 13 ) FOR HE OF WHOM THESE THINGS ARE SPOKEN PERTAINETH TO ANOTHER TRIBE, OF WHICH NO MAN GAVE ATTENDANCE AT THE ALTER. ( 14 ) FOR IT IS EVIDENT THAT OUR LORD SPRANG OUT OF JUDA; OF WHICH TRIBE MOSES SPAKE NOTHING CONCERNING PRIESTHOOD ( 15 ) AND IT IS YET FAR MORE EVIDENT: FOR THAT AFTER THE SIMILITUDE OF MELCHISEDEC THERE ARISETH ANOTHER PRIEST, WHO IS MADE, NOT AFTER THE LAW OF A CARNAL COMMANDMENT, BUT AFTER THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE.

There’s a verse of scripture I’d like to point out here:

( 1 Corinthians 2:7 )

But we speak the wisdom of of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.

As we read these verses in ( Hebrews 7 ); God the Father didn’t make things simple for the world to see. Even when ( we as born again believers ) seek to know truth, we must be willing to find that ( hidden wisdom ) ( those mysteries ). The phrase, ( before the world unto his glory ) means, it’s right in front of the world, they simply can’t see it. The simplicity of the Gospel of Christ is all around but, who can see it? It first must be a willingness to know! A desire to hear from God the Father! A heart to receive him and, to know truth. We’ve looked at the point that ( perfection ) cannot come through the Levitical law. Man cannot perfectly keep that law. Actually, the whole reason that God gave the law was to prove that point to man. ( Galatians 3:24-25 )

WHEREFORE THE LAW WAS OUR SCHOOLMASTER TO BRING US UNTO CHRIST, THAT WE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH. ( 25 ) BUT AFTER THAT FAITH IS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A SCHOOLMASTER.

We see in ( verse 25 ) that after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. We also see in the verses we read in ( Hebrews ) that ( our Lord ) sprang out of Juda, which had nothing to do with the priesthood. Jesus Christ, our High Priest came after the ( similitude of Melchisedec ) not after anything pertaining to the priesthood of Aaron. Not after a carnal commandment but, ( THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE )!

So, where does this place us or, leave us? Can I draw a spiritual picture, with words to make the point that he is making? Let’s first go back to Abram or Abraham which is the same person just at different times in his life. I mention Abram because when he met Melchisedec, he was still called Abram. We can see here, even at this time that Abram had faith, he trusted God and, sought to be pleasing to him.

The Bible says concerning Abraham this:

( Romans 4:3 )

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. ( 4 ) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. ( 5 ) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Looking at the whole life of this man ( Abram or Abraham ) he never had any law. He did however, have faith in the God that created all things. Because of that faith, God gave him righteousness. We can say that ( his faith ) came after to order of Melchisedec. ( Personally )I believe that ( Melchisedec ) was God in a body of flesh. You don’t have to believe that but, I do! We do know this:

( John 1:!4 )

AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US, ( AND WE BEHELD HIS GLORY, THE GLORY AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER, ) FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH.

That, as far as we that are born again, believe by faith just as Abraham believed by faith and, it was counted unto him for righteousness, just as it is us! Now, I want you to see something that we hear very little about. As we read here in ( Hebrews ) we clearly can see this. There is a distinct difference in ( the priest ) made after the similitude of Melchisedec and ( the priest ) made after the similitude of Aaron. We see there are priest made after the carnal law and, a priest made after ( the power of and endless life ).

Jesus Christ is that Priest! Therefore, why would we even seek to keep a law that was never designed for us? I showed you a verse in ( Galatians ) that shows the reason for that law. It was actually given to the Hebrew children, not to Gentiles.

( Roman 3: 2 )

Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

That is the only advantage they have, if you can call that an advantage. However, that very same law also shows each of us that we are sinners and in need of a Savior. That is an advantage for every man. The ability to see what and who we are. Let’s consider something here. Let’s say that every person that the Apostle Paul is speaking to in Hebrews, be jews actually seen and met Jesus Christ in the flesh. Can you see that; that fact does not mean that even one of them are born again? Can you see that; it they, from that point sought to ( keep the law ) seeking to be pleasing to God by doing so, that all they were doing was vain?

In that sense, they are no different than we are when we seek to keep the law to be pleasing to God. The Apostle Paul is trying to get them to see this point. We need to see the very same thing. As I make this next statement, consider what I’m saying. Very often in our Churches we seek to teach people ( how to ) live a good ( Christian life ). We teach them the ( do nots ) in Christian living but, we hear very little about the ( to do’s ). Another way to say it is like this. We’re taught about ( the sins of commission ) but, not much about the ( sin of ommission ). Often our Churches get caught in the legal aspect of ( the law ) and can’t see or, are not thaught the truth about actually knowing Jesus Christ as their savior.

When we come to the realization that we cannot keep the law that make us sinners and, we can except Christ by faith. We are doing exactly the same thing that Abraham did, even before the law. Now, look at these verses:.

( John 15:10-14 )

IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; EVEN AS I HAVE KEPT MY FATHER’S COMMANDS, AND ABIDE IN HIS LOVE. ( 11 ) THESE THINGS HAVE I SPOKEN UNTO YOU, THAT MY JOY MIGHT REMAIN IN YOU, AND THAT YOUR JOY MIGHT BE FULL .( 12 ) THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT, THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. ( 13 ) GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS. ( 14 ) YE ARE MY FRIENDS, IF YE DO WHATSOEVER I COMMAND YOU.

In those verses; who did Jesus Christ say ( kept the Father’s commands )? How did Jesus Christ abide in the father’s love? He kept his commandments. How do we abide in the love of Christ? By abiding in his love. And, keeping his commandments. We didn’t keep the ( ten commandments ) Jesus Christ did! We can’t. There’s a lot of spiritual points to be made here. This is what I’d like to point out first.

( Romans 5:5 )

AND HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED; BECAUSE THE LOVE OF GOD IS SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS GIVEN UNTO US.

I try my best to help people see the vast difference in ( calling yourself a Christian ) and actually being ( born again ). When any person is born again, at that very moment, the very love of God is placed within their hearts. The very same love that Christ understood. Now, just because that love is within me, do I have to allow that love to be seen? Look at what he said. ( Greater love hath no man that he lay down his life for his friend ). That my friend is a choice. Jesus Christ made that choice! We are not speaking of dying on the cross of Calvary, we are speaking of the ability to yield yourself to the love that is now within you, even to death if necessary.

( In my personal opinion ) although the death on the cross was a very hard thing to face for Jesus Christ, it could be considered a ( piece of cake ) as far as he, being able his whole life to show forth the ( love of God ) in every circumstanse he faced while he lived among men.

Let’s take this one step farther. When we speak of the ( LOVE OF GOD ); HOW DOES THAT RELATE TO THE LAW? The Bible says that:

( 1 John 4:8 )

HE THAT LOVETH NOT KNOWETH NOT GOD; FOR GOD IS LOVE.

Can we also say that ( since ) ( God is love ) then ( love is righteous )? Therefore, if I love you with a Godly love,; how then can I steal from you? How can I lie to you? How can I commit adultery against you, taking your wife or husband? How can I kill you? One of the greatest battles we , as born again believers fight is allowing God’s love to be seen in all that we do.

Abraham believed God! Does that mean that Abraham was perfect in his flesh as it pertains to the law, as in the law given to Moses? No, it doesn’t! It has nothing to do with keeping the law but rather growing spiritually as our lives unfold. If you walk with Abraham through his life you will see this as it develops. We all are the same way. The day we are born again we simply begin our spiritual journey. As we grow in grace we slowly shed off our fleshly weaknesses and also allow God’s love to flow out of our very being.

For instance, God loves, even those that hate him and, he is very willing to give them salvation simply for the asking. That is something we, as believers have to grow to develop. When we are first saved, we don’t have that ability and, might always fight with that concept but, speaking as for myself, I have no hate now for people that strike out at me, I love them and still seek to share truth with them.

In all that I say, I’m simply pointing out the difference in the ( law of Christ ) and the ( law of Moses ). The law condemns but, Jesus gives life!

( John 1:17 )

FOR THE LAW WAS GIVEN BY MOSES, BUT GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST.

Every since the events that took place in the Garden of Eden, mankind has deserved ( hell ). Everything that God has done has pointed and, proven that fact. At the very same time, the grace of God has always been available for man simply by ( believing ). I’d like to make one more point that I believe is important to understand and, I’ll use this verse to do so:

( 1 Corinthians 10:23 )

ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL FOR ME, BUT ALL THINGS ARE NOT EXPEDIENT: ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL FOR ME, BUT ALL THINGS EDIFY NOT.

In this verse the Apostle Paul is speaking to ( supposingly ) born again believers. If you will study this book, you will see they were living very carnal lives meaning they basically lived as people that were not saved. When we consider salvation and, the fact that it’s not based on keeping the law, the life they lived had nothing to do with their salvation did it? However, for what purpose were they living ( after they were saved )? Can you see how, if we live as we please, we are seen as no different than the people we say we desire to help? If I desire for my life to edify Jesus Christ then I must allow ( the love shed abroad in my heart ) to be seen through my flesh. If I desire to expedite his love to others then, although I might be able to do as I please and still be saved, I cannot live like my flesh might desire and be someone that points people to Christ.

If you hate me and, I hate you back, what’s the difference in us? If you curse me and, I curse you back, what the difference in us?

In closing, I’ll share this story about me. I was preaching a message once in a little country Church, seeking to make this very point. As I preached, I walked out into the congregation, down an isle, right in front of two ladies. I told them that befoere I was born again, I could curse with the best of men. I shared that every one of those words were still within me, I knew them all and, could still say them if I chose to! I asked, would you like to hear them? They nodded their heads ( no ). The Church got a kick out of that!

However, that is a fact! The point is that, me being a born again believer, it’s expedient that I keep myself as much ( like Christ ) as possible. Why? That I might be a vessel for his use and, not for this world!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( AUGUST 15,2021 )

( THE TITHE )

I’d like to take one verse here and show something that many never consider.

( Hebrews 7: 5 )

AND VERILY THEY THAT ARE OF THE SONS OF LEVI, WHO RECEIVE THE OFFICE OF THE PRIESTHOOD, HAVE A COMMANDMENT TO TAKE TITHES OF THE PEOPLE ACCORDING TO THE LAW, THAT IS, OF THEIR BRETHREN, THOUGH THEY COME OUT OF THE LOINS OF ABRAHAM.

We’re still looking into Melchisedec and, in this case how Abraham paid tithes unto him. So, what is the point that the Apostle Paul is making? If you will notice in this verse that he is pointing out that ( by law ) the sons of Levi were to take a tenth by commandment. That is what we can read in the Levitical law.

( Numbers 18:21-26 )

And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. ( 22 ) Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come high the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. ( 23 ) But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statue for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. ( 24 ) But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. ( 25 ) And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, ( 26 ) Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LOrd, even a tenth part of the tithe.

Now: ( Leviticus 27:32 )

And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord;

I show you this to make a point. This tithe was not given of the people, it was taken under law. One tenth of all that Israel had shall we say was to be give to the Levites for their services. At that, then one tenth was to be offered as an heave offering to the Lord. This was commanded. It was nothing freewill about it. So can we assume that the tribe of Levi was ten times richer than any other of the tribes of Israel? And, they were given that for their services for Israel unto the Lord.

Now, what if we compare that to what Abraham did to Melchisedec? Can you see that there was no law that forced Abraham to give Melchisedec anything? Abraham gave out of the willingness of his heart, seeing the blessings he received. Can you also see that what Abraham gave Melchisedec had nothing to do with the livlihood of Melchisedec? Melchisedec had no need of what Abraham offered. In that sense; it was more about ( a willing heart ) rather than ( a need ).

As we move foward to when Moses gave the law,it was all about need wasn’t it? The tribe of Levi had no inheritance. They depended on the rest of Israel for their wellbeing, their livlihood. With that being said, the question becomes whether the people of Israel could recognize the blessings they received from God or, whether they gave what they gave because they were commanded to.

Let’s see if we can build a spiritual picture here. Had Abraham ever met Melchisedec before this day? We see that this man had no ( beginning of day ) or ( end of life ). What if he was actually no man at all? Abraham, being a servant of God sought to destroy anything that was not of God. God blessed this mindset and, Abraham reverenced that blessing with his tithes, willingly knowing that he was not worthy of the victory or of the blessings. When we see that ( Abraham was returning from the slaughter of the kings ) what can we see? Can you see that Abraham was willing to sacrifice himself for something greater than he, himself, by faith in the God he believed in?

This is what the Apostle Paul was seeking to get the Hebrew believers to understand. The willingness to give has nothing to do with seeking to receive a blessing or, what the law might say. It has to do with a belief by faith in something far greater than any law or man! Look at the story in:

( Luke 21:1-4 )

And he looked up, and saw rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. ( 2 ) And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. ( 3 ) And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: ( 4 ) for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offers of God: but she of her penery hath cast in all the living that she had.

Do you see the pharse ( all the living that she had )? The poor widow was liken unto Abraham. It wasn’t the money that God was concerned about was it or, how much. It was ( all her living ) he was looking for. If you go to your lacal Church, the Church you are a member of and give your tithe; thinking that God is being blessed by what you give then you are greatly deceived. God doesn’t desire your money, he desires ( all your living ). This is what many cannot see by faith. Your obedience to the law is not what pleases God. It’s your willingness to die to yourself, to sacrifice yourself for the cause of Christ.

Even though the Hebrew believers were born again they had to learn that ( keeping the law ) ( being obedient to the law ) was not what God was looking for. God was looking for them to be willing to ( die to themselves ) like Abraham. Now, I want you to notice something. This whole time I’ve been calling Abram, Abraham. Are we speaking of the same person or, what would be the difference? Notice also that Abram had a son born unto he and Hagar; his wife’s handmaid. When this event took place ( Genesis 16:1-11 ) God had already promised Abram he would be the seed of a great nation. He was married to Sara, his wife. ( Genesis 12:1-5 ).

Abram was a man ( in his flesh ) that believed God. With that being said; just how much does he trust God? Abram was just like we are the first ( born again ). Although we have trusted God by faith, we still have a lot of spiritual maturing to to. In other words, when Abram began his journey in ( Genesis 12 ) it was a journry to spiritual maturity. Look at:

( Genesis 15:6 )

And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Abram, believed God. This was long before the law was given to Moses. Just like each of us, we grow spiritually all of our lives. Abram could not see all that God had in store for him howeveer, as he grew he would learn and mature. When we assume that ( just because we tithe or, have spiritual blessings we are ( mature in Christ ) we are deceived, greatly. We can see that as we watch abram’s life unfold.

Do you realize that ( Abram and Hagar ) had a son named ( Ishmael )? We see that both Abram and Sara ( doubted ) what God was able to do. That’s the only reason ( Ishmael ) was born. But, was that what God had promised Abram in ( Genesis 12 )? No, it wasn’t! Each of us, even after we are born again do many unwise and foolish things. We, as we spiritually mature in Christ slowly leave these foolish things behind, that is, if we spiritually mature. Abram did!

We see in scripture that Abram desired for Ishmael to be that ( promised )child.In:

( Genesis 17:1-4 )

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. ( 2 ) And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. ( 3 ) And Abram fell to his face: and God talked to him, saying, ( 4 ) As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. ( 5 ) Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

Now, let’s move down to:

( verses 15-16 )

And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. ( 16 ) ) And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her:

Again, look at this verse:

( verse 19 )

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Now, look at this verse

( 18 )

And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

Abramham cou;ld not believe Sarah could have a child in her old age, therefore he want God to let ( the son of his flesh ) be blessed.

However, it’s never our flesh and the things of our flesh that pleases God. What God promises, he will deliver. We might think we can ( Obey the law, tithe and so on ) to pleas God but it’s the spiritual aspects of our lives that we must understand that God has promised to bless, never our flesh! We might be able to build great things in our flesh but,it’s only what we can spiritually accomplish that will matter to God in the end.

Without realizing it, Ishmael would become a nation, we call them Gentiles today. They are blessed because of Jesus Christ, the seed of Isaac and salvation so full and free!

As we mature in Christ we become people that God can depend on far beyond tithing. We see that in Abram. We also become ( someone else ) other than who we are in our flesh. When we think that tithing is the maturity level God is pleased with than we never get to where God is looking for us to reach in our spiritual walk.

That also goes with seeking to keep the law. When we assume we can tithe and seek to keep the law and, that makes us ( pleasing to God ) we are far from what God expects. This is what the Apostle Paul was trying to get the Hebrew believers to understand.

When we meet the Holy Spirit as in ( a salvation experience ); that’s like Abram meeting Melchisedec and offering tithes to him. As we walk through our spiritual lives, we grow and we slowly become another person, not that we physically die but we spiritually allow ourselves to be changed into all that God expects us to be. We sacrifice ourselves, all for his glory!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON (AUGUST 8,2021 )

( HEBREWS 7:1 )

FOR THIS MELCHISEDEC, KING OF SALEM, PRIEST OF THE MOST HIGH GOD, WHO MET ABRAHAM RETURNING FROM THE SLAUGHTER OF THE KINGS, AND BLESSED HIM;

Last week we looked at Melchisedec and how he relates to Jesus Christ. We even talked about something we see here in ( chapter 7 ) where Melchisedec was without father or mother, he was without descent, he was kin to no one. He had no beginning and no end, we never see where he died.

We see here where he met Abram ( returning form the slaughter of the kings ) and ( blessed him ). I’d like to build a Sunday School lesson on the fact that Melchisedec blessed Abram after this slaughter.

I can see how we first must look at Lot, the nephew of Abram. First of all, according to what God had commanded Abram; Lot shouldn’t have been with him at all. In ( Genesis 12: 1 ) God had told Abram to get out of his country and from his kindred. Abram made the choice to take Lot, even against the command of God. When saying this; I can see how Abram must have felt. Lot was the son of Haran, Abram’s brother. Haran had died and Lot was his only son. Abram had no children therefore, it appears that Abram felt somewhat obligated to help lot.

However, that’s not what God commanded is it? I’d like for you to notice something here. Abram is in the bloodline of Shem, Noah’s oldest son. We follow that bloodline all the way to Jesus Christ. I only mention that that we might see the picture God is painting for us to see. It is now and, always has been that God honors the part of us that walks with him and never our flesh. As we look at all we see concerning Abram and Lot; it’s the spiritual aspect that God desires for us to see and it never has anything to do with flesh.

As you read through ( Genesis 12 ) you will see that Abram, in his fleah made many mistakes in judgement. He brought Lot with him when he should have left him with his kindred, that was his first mistake. So, let’s look at the spiritual aspect of what he is saying here.

When God spoke to Abram and told him to leave his kindred; it’s a type of salvation. The spiritually powerful point here is that Abram listened to God. Can you see somewhat of the same picture here that we seen with Noah? These men were willing to hear what God instructed them to do. In both instances we also see where the families of these men also were obedient. In Naoh’s case; his wife and children and Abram, his wife.

In effect, these people were allowing their flesh to yield to the will of God, everyone of them. We can asked the question; were any of them perfect? The answer is no, they weren’t. However, God seeks those that are willing to yield their flesh to his will. The only part of any man or person that is worthwhile to God the Father is that part of our flesh that we are willing to allow God to use in his service.

As we look at this we see that God used Noah and his family to bring about even Abram. We see that within the loins of Abram God brought about a whole nation that it was his will to yield themselves to his voice. We also see where they all died! They all were cursed by sin after the similitude of Adam. The point being that ( even in sin- cursed bodies of flesh, God’s will was done and, his will moved foward because of the willingness of men to hear his voice.

Basically, all we see is based on that concept. I’d like to say something here to give you something to think about. Why did it take ( 120 years ) for Noah to build the Ark? What if; let’s say ( 2000 ) other people would have joined in to help him build it? Can you see how, with that amount of people working. seeking to do God’s will that it could have been finished quicker?

The weakness of all flesh and, the enability to yield to the will of God will always create problems. We see that same thing in Abram. First of all, he took Lot which became a hinderance to all God wanted to do, we can see that as we read. Secondly; Abram himsel showed how weak he was in the flesh. A famine came to the place God had sent him therefore, he went to Egypt. ( Genesis 12: 10 ) He made mistakes in Egypt but, he did return to ( the land of the alter ) where God had placed him. We also see that as Abram matured, he seperated himself from Lot ( Genesis 13:5 ).

As time moves foward Abram becomes Abraham. He and his wife, Sarah would be around ( 100 years old ) when the promised seed would be born. Again, can you see how; if Abram could have had the faith to stay where God desired for him to be , how that it’s possible that ( Isaac ) the promised seed could have been born earlier?

If we fast foward until today. We don’t consider this often but. Jesus Christ ; lived, died on his cross and rose again to purchase ( His Church ). Just exactly like the Ark, when any individual believes and excepts Christ for their savoir, they are placed spiritually inside that Church which is ( his body ). The Ark only had one door, Jesus Christ is the only way to get into his Church. We, as believers have now been working on that Church for some ( 2000 years ). Can you see how that if more people were willing to be witnesses, sell out, all for God’s glory, it’s possible that ( Church ) could be complete by now?

The problem; we don’t want to leave ( Lot ). When things get tough ( famine ) we have little faith and we go to where we can trust things in this world. Let’s look at Lot first. It’s often hard for we, as believers to seperate our love for our families and, even friends to do or, go where God would have us go, to simply follow his will. Let’s consider something about each of us. As a husband, if God spoke to your heart as the spiritual leader of your house, leading you to leave the house you live in, the community you live in, even the job you have; could you do it? Would your wife and children follow you as the spiritual leader?

If you look at Abram, we see his willingness to obey God. It made it easier that his wife was willing to go with him. However, it became hard when he had to leave lot. Later he found out that it was best to obey God the father. As long as we are in the flesh, we will never reach spiritual perfection. We can grow spiritually to do great things as we see in the life of Abram, that became abraham.

When we see Melchisedec bless Abram it’s a type of Abram being willing to destroy all flesh or, any part of this world that doesn’t bring glory to God the Father. We often get misguided when we see all the killing in the Old Testament but, it’a all simply a picture of how God desires for this world to be. God will never honor any person that seeks to do his own will. That is, ( walking after the flesh ). If we follow Abraham, notice what we see! When God told him to leave his country and kindred, he took Lot with him. However, as time moves foward, we see in ( Genesis 22 ) that God told Abraham to offer his only son ( Isaac ). Abraham didn’t even hesitat at that command! His faith had grown to understand he could trust God, no matter what he asked him to do.

When we consider the creation of this world by God the Father. His desire was to have a world to was submissive to his divine will. Even the creation of Israel; he desired a nation that would wholly submit to his will. As believers in Christ; his desire is for each individual to hear his vioce and die to their fleshly desires, yielding to his will.

As we look today at a man and his family. It’s not much different that any other situation that God has ever set up. To have a husband, wife and children all willing to submit to God’s will as in aloowing the Man or, head of the house lead them is a very tough call today. However, can you see how ( the will ) within a man is pleasing to God? That is, even in our own flesh. To have the will to die to our own will and to give ourselves completely to God the Father is what blesses the heart of God the Father. The Apostle Paul in the New Testament put it this way:

( Romans 7:18 )

For I know that in me ( that is, in my flesh, ) dwelleth no good thing: for the will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

When we consider the battle we have as individuals with our flesh. What about a family, a Church, a nation and a whole world? It all boils down to how we, as individuals seek to obey his will. I wrote a while back that God the Father has no use at all for a body of flesh that has no desire to follow him or please him. We have never been our own. To think that we have a will of our own is a deceprion of Satan himself. Every move you make is either pleasing to Satan or God the Father.

Jesus, speaking to the woman at the well said this:

( John 4:23 )

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

That’s what its always been! God never desired to have to make people love him, follow his will.When we ( come to ourselves ), realize we are worthless and, we are very deserving of hell if we live as pleasing our flesh. At the very same time, God the Father gave himself freely that we could obtain ( eternal life ) dying to our flesh by simply trusting the finished work of his son; Jesus Christ on his cross.

In essense, we are not trusting in our flesh to get to heaven, we are trusting in ( the flesh ) of Jesus Christ, his perfection to gain our salvation. When we forget our will, the will of our flesh is when God becomes pleased with us. When we seek to know him and his will is when we are pleased with us.

Melchisedec, the king of righteousness, the king of peace, blessed Abram because he sought to create a place ( sold out to God the Father ). About the best I can do is seek to ( sell out myself ) to God the Father. At the same time seeking to reach out to other people, teaching them God’s will for their fleshly lives.

We, as believers ar the salt of the earth:

( Matthew 5:13 )

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men.

As individual, just like Abram we realze that we can’t save one person. All we can do is become what God asked us to be; becoming the ( salt of this earth ). When we are ( the will of God ) shedding his will through our ungodly flesh then God can take what we do and draw other people to his perfect will. This world is full of people that seek to do as they please. Consider this: We referenced the verse in ( John 4 ). There, he was speaking to a woman that had been married five times and, the man she was living with at that time was not her husband.

God the father, in the fleshly body of Jesus Christ was sharing ( truth ) with this woman. Now, look in:

( John 4:29-30 )

Come, see a man, which told me all things that I ever did: is not this the Christ? ( 30 ) Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.

The women became the ( salt of the earth ) and, a whole city came to Christ! That is the will of God for each of us. He desires that we forget our flesh and seek his will in this world!

If you look at my life, you will see a sinful man, very undeserving of any part of God the Father. However, I choose to live my life seeking to do his will, forgetting my flesh, as in ( killing my flesh ) and seeking all he desires of me as a born again believer.

Have you been born agaim? Are you washed in his blood? That is God’s will for each person! That every person of flesh become all he desires of each of us to be!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( AUGUST 1,2021 )

( HEBREWS 6:20-HEBREWS 7:1 )

As a student of God’s word for now some 45 years; It’s my desire to teach these verses or, at least set a trend toward giving you a desire to understand what is being taught here. I often say that I’m simply a vessel, the Holy Spirit is the only true teacher. With that being stated; that means that the self-same spirit that inspires me to seek to teach these verses must also be the spirit that helps you to understand what is being said and, even gain a better understanding than I might be able to teach.

Just by way of beginning; every person that we can study out in scripture has a genealogy. We can see who their parents were and , in most cases; that all the way back to Adam and Eve. That even includes Jesus Christ. You will have to study this out but, actually we see in the book of ( luke 3:23 ) the genealogy of Mary, the mother of Jesus. As you read that, it appears that it’s talking about ( the genealogy ) of Joseph but, if you study you will notice that it can’t be, it has to be Mary. We see the genealogy of Joseph in ( Matthew 1 ) notice ( verse 16 ). We can see that both Joseph and Mary can be seen in the King line of Israel. Joseph was the son of Jacob and, the son in law of Heli. He was also a descendant of David.

When we see this, if the world desires to say that Joseph was the father of Jesus, Jesus Christ was still in the King line. I personally just believe by faith that Jesus Christ was virgin born, therefore God the Father was his father. However, in the sense of being ( after the order of Melchisedec ) he had no beginning or end. We can’t find where Melchisedec had a father or mother in scripture. We never see where he died either.

Melchisedec was not a priest appointed by any man. That’s what it means when it says that ( Christ was High Priest after the order of Melchisedec ) When we see the Aaron line of priest, all of those priests were appojnted by man. The Bible says in ( John 1:1 ) In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. In ( Romans 6:9 ) it says ( Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

The reason God sent his son into this world was to ( fulfil the law ). He did what no other person could possibly do and, he done it for mankind.

I’d, once again like to point out that all these things are just for our information, we except these fact by faith, in my case without question! No one has to prove to me that Jesus is my High Priest, that he was virgin born or, that he arose from the dead. I believe that and except that by faith.

I’d like to say this as concerning me. In 1975 when I got born again; I was under great conviction by God’s Spirit. He, himself drew me a to an alter. Since then I have learned to trust his leadership. As the Apostles Paul uses these verse to teach the Nation of Israel or ( the Hebrew believers ) what he is saying here, he is seeking for that same spirit to use scripture to help them understand the priesthood of Christ.

( Hebrews 6, Verse 5 )

Whither the forerunner is entered for us.

The Hebrew children understood this in the Old Testament. For instance, if the High Priest went behind the veil and came out, that meant that they had victory over their sin. The sacrifice had been eecepted by God the Father. The resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ meant the very same thing. For any man to die without their sin-debt being paid means eternal death.

That fact needs to be understood. What exactly is ( death ) ? Or, what eaxactly is life? I know how those terms are defined by man but how does God the father see them? Because of what is being taught here, I’d like to say some things here that might truly make you, as the reader stop and think. All I ask is that you allow God’s Spirit to speak as you read.

Let’s look at;

Genesis 2:7 )

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breathe of life; and man became a living soul.

Now, since man was a living soul, did that mean that he had life? What did Jesus say?

( John 11:25 )

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he be dead, yet shall he live: ( 26 ) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

You can read this whole account in ( Genesis 2-3 . After Eve had bitten the friut, she then offered it to Adam. When the Serpent was tempting Eve, do you think Adam was standing there? No, he wasn’t! Satan will never cause you to fall to sin when you are walking close to our Lord. It’s when we are led away of our own lust when we fall.

Jesus said: ( I am life ). Just as soon as God formed man, he ( God the Father ) gave that man a commandment to keep. When I say this, I always point out that ( the woman ) hadn’t been created yet. Therefore, to whom was given the responsibility to tell her truth? Adam had that responsibility. I personally believe that Adam’s failure was not eating to fruit that was offered him by Eve but rather, he failed in his responsibility of giving her spiritual instruction.

( James 1:14 )

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and indiced.

Can you see how that Eve could have been drawn , by temptation to that tree, just simply lusting to see what it taste like? Lo, and behold, who met her in her temptation? Also, can you see how she should have been standing ( methphorically ) working hand and hand with her husband? She could have been right beside Adam meaning that Satan couldn’t have tempted her but,she was drawn away by her lust to know.

When Adam appeared, where was the Serpent? He had done his evil deeds and left. Noe, this is what I want you to see. When she offered the fruit to Adam, He knew exactly what he was facing when he bit that fruit. He knew, if I don’t bite or, eat this fruit; I’ll be forever seperated from my wife. He willingly bit that fruit to stay with his wife!

( 1 Timothy 2:13-14 )

For Adam was first formed, then Eve. ( 14 ) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Now, look at this verse:

( Genesis 3: 12 )

And the man said, the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

We often like to look at that verse and say that Adam was blaming ( the woman ) for what he had done but, he’s not; he’s simply stating truth. Did you notice that she didn’t make him eat of that tree did she? I also want you to notice that they both ( hid from the from the Lord ). ( Genesis 3: 8-10 ).

What happened to Adam and Eve? Adam gave in to the temptation of his wife to be with her and they both died a physical death. With that being said, when Adan and Eve ate the fruit they didn’t die physically did they? So, how did they die? They died spiritually, they seperated themselves from God the Father. However, God’s grace was with them. God shed the blood of an animal and made them a covering for their bodies. There’s a lot to learn here but, I want you to see that Adam’s actions brought forth physical death to all men. God, in his mercy and grace gave Adam and Eve ( eternal life ). Although they each had to die physically, they lived eternally.

When Jesus Christ faced death, he never yielded to the sin of his bride. Therefore, when he walked behind that veil, he was able to face death, without dying; that is, in the spiritual sense. As far as Jesus Christ being raised in the physical sense from death was for the benefit of those of that day, even us that we might know for certain that he arose from the dead.

He was raised for our justification:

( Romans 4:25 )

Who was delivered for our offences, and raised for our justification.

So, what is death and what is life? The very second that we realize that we are sinners and, we know we need a savior, God sees us as dead from that moment on. We look at death often as when we take our last breath and life when we are conceived or, when we take our first breathe. God sees us as ( with life ) the very moment that we ask Christ into our hearts. He is life!

( Romans 5:8-20 )

But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ( 9 ) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. ( 10 ) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. ( 11 ) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. ( 12 ) 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 Adams’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 free gift: for the judgment was by one to comdemnation, but the free gift of many offences unto justification. ( 17 ) For by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. ) ( 18 ) Therefore as by the offence one judgment came upon all men to comdemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

To put this in perspective; when Adam sinned, physically he didn’t die right then, not in the flesh but, he did spiritually. When Jesus Christ died in the flesh, he didn’t die spiritually but only physically bringing about our ability through his blood and physical death to obtain the life eternal that he purchased for us by his actions.

Basically, if you are born once, you will die twice. Your first death will be spiritual and the second death will be eternal.

If you are born twice, you will only die once. That death will occur the moment you ask Jesus Christ to be your savior.

The second death still has nothing to do with the minute you breathe your last breathe. Look at this scripture:

( Revelation 20:10 )

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Jesus Christ died physically, look straight into the face of the law and it had no effect on him at all! The law had no power over him because of his perfection. Death could not hold him! By his resurrection he became the firstfruits of the resurrection for all that believe by faith. He, like Melchisedec had no beginning and will never have an end. In him all that trust him by faith will never face the second death. We, as believers have passed already from death unto life.

( John 5:24 )

Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.

( 1 John 3:14 )

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

Many people, including to Hebrew believers struggled with the concept of ( being dead while we are still alive and, having ( life eternal ) even before we actually face physical death. However, this is what Jesus Christ was able to purchase by his perfect life and, willingness to suffer on a cross for all that believe.

I often say this. Every sin of every person that is in hell right now and, every sin of every person that ever will go; their sin-debt was paid for on the Cross of Calvary. The problem, those people just never received the free gift that Christ offered to each and every person.

Look at yourself, you are a sinner just like every man or person that ever lived. Your sin-debt is paid for, no exceotions. Have you asked Christ to be your savoir? If not, you can today. He is very willing to be your savior if you are willing to drop your pride and ask him to!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7