( THE CENTER ) AND THAT OF GOD’S WILL!

This is a term that I have often heard used over the course of my born again experience. However, what I wonder is; can someone tell me where that place actually might be? I thought that I might try and give my thoughts on the topic and, you then can allow God’s Spirit to let you know whether I am correct or completely wrong.

Let’s begin this with this verse:

2 Peter 3:9

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

Can’t we assume from this verse that our Lord’s will is that every person be saved, coming to repentance?Now, I’m going to say this. In every sense of the word, the only sin that any person actually repents from the moment that asked Jesus Christ to be their savior, being born again is (unbelief). I will also say this. Very often when people get saved; there are certain sins they know they are guilty of therfore they stop at the time they get saved simply because they have the knowledge of the sin they live in.

If I use myself as an example, the Sunday morning I got born again, I had a very foul mouth, cursing almost every word in my everyday walk of life. The moment I go saved, I cleaned my vocabulary up! However, salvation in the general sense is simply placing your faith, all that you are under the blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, If I hadn’t cleaned my vocabulary up at that time, I would have still been saved. That aspect of my life would have been simply God would have to convict me of on a later date.

When you consider that I quit cursing as the same time I got saved, can you imagine just how many other things I have changed in my sin cursed life since the moment I got saved? I confess, there have been many things I have had to repent from since that morning and, some I’m still working on as of this day.

When it comes to the center of God’s will and a desire to be there; can’t we look at the word repentance as an evolving thing, not just any one event? One way to look at it is to say that the moment you are saved, that starts a process of each person’s born again experience working toward the center of God’s will. I will say that (the working toward) is the center of God’s will.

As an individual, born again believer it’s not my place to be a judge of any person. I might look at a person and clearly see sin in their lives which we all have the ability to do. You, today can look at me and see sin in my life. I know that because I see it much more clearly than any other person. And, I’m daily seeking to turn from my ungodly self. However, I cannot look at any person and say they are not born again simply because they are not just like me, can I?

I’ll share this true story with you. As an electrician, I once wired a single wide mobile home for some kinfolks of mine. The woman was there for a while as I worked on the mobile home. As she talked to me concerning her own family she made this statement, mind you, I’m just listening as she talks. She shared with me that she didn’t believe that one of her sisters or her mother had been born again. Now, I knew them both very well, knowing they both were faithful to their Church and living very good spiritual lives as far as I knew. When she made that statement, I looked at her and replied; I don’t think you are saved! She looked at me puzzled and said, well, why wouldn’t you think I’m saved? I replied, well, I have just as much right to doubt your salvation as you do theirs, don’t I?

Everyone of us are at a different spiritual level as it relates to God’s will for our lives. Now, let’s consider something. Can you see how both this ladies mother and sister could have been daily seeking to find exactly where God’s will was for their lives when the lady speaking might not have even been considering what God thought about her thinking she was good enough just as she was?

When we speak of God’s will it has all to do with the desire within our hearts, not what people might see in our lives. I’ve been saved since 1975. I still today see myself as a hell desirving sinner, know my sin very well! I seek daily to allow God’s Spirit to tranform me into all he desires for me to be.

I’ve share this story before. An evangelist once stated (IF YOU KNEW ME, LIKE I KNOW ME) you’d get up and walk out of this building right now. After we chuckled and a short pause; he said this: (IF I KNEW YOU LIKE YOU KNOW YOU) I’d leave with you! That my friends is truth! On our very best day, we are nothing more than sinners, simply saved by God’s amazing grace because to the blood of Jesus Christ!

If you truly desire to be in the center of God’s will, All it takes is a willing heart and mind. One that is willing to hear him as he speaks and move in the direction he desires for you to go. The problem begins when we get content living just as we are. Many people live their lives never even considering changing anything for his glory. The truth is that salvation is in all three tenses. If you have been born again then that is (past tense salvation). You’ll never have to go there again, that’s past. As we live our lives each day, if we are seeking God’s will for our lives then that is (present tense salvation). God’s Spirit is seeking to cleanse us from our sin and guide us to his will as we live out our lives. Do we seek to hear him and change? (Future tense salvation) will be when we actually stand in his presence, our worldly struggles are then past tense, we have our reward!

Can I say here that God’s will is not static? If your spiritual life is static then you truly have a problem. When I use that term and seek to define it I mean that God’s will is not the same for every person in the sense of our spiritual growth, it always moving and, if we are where God desires for us to be we are changing a little everyday to be like him.

The center of God’s will is within our desire to find it. Having no desire to find it becomes a very great sin in our lives. Seeking to find the center of God’s will is a very special thing in the heart of God the Father bringing about very great rewards when we stand in his presence.

Are you seeking that center in your life? Then that makes you a very special person in the eyes of God the Father! If you not, then if I were you I’d (MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE)!

2 PETER 1:10

WHEREFORE THE RATHER, BRETHREN, GIVE ALL DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YE DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FAIL:

This whole chapter is very enlightning to the spiritual growth of a born again believer. My greatest concern in my life is for those that think they are saved but, are not! What I often say is that I’m not the judge of any person but, that doesn’t mean that I’m not concerned!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SPIRITUAL STEPS TO FIX A FALLEN NATION

When the United States of America was at its best, what was the true power behind it? Was it the political leaders? Was it the work ethic found in its people? What was the power that made the United States great and the most powerful nation on earth?

I believe that was an unseen force that we seldom mention today and, if we truly desire to have our nation back again there are a few things we must put in place to bring that about. Are we, as a nation willing to do our individual part to become great once again?

I’ll just mention three or four things that I believe will have to happen to become what we once were as a nation.

(1)

WE NEED REAL SPIRIT FILLED MEN TO LEAD OUR CHURCHES

The true Church has never had but one teacher. That teacher is the very Holy Spirit of God. We, as individuals might not be correct in all the spiritual decisions we make but, that spirit will never lead us into falsehood. We must reestablish the pastorial authority in our Churches and as Church members we must be willing to allow that spirit to speak to our hearts and yield ourselves to his leadership.

As a pastor, does God’s Spirit speak to you or, do you have to have some educational material to tell you what to preach? Does some council dictate what you can or can’t say? Whether it’s the fault of the Church members being unwilling to hear God as he speaks to them therefore, picking and choosing to whom they will allow to speak or hear, or the actual pastor that will not yield himself to God’s Spirit, this must change if we desire to have our country back as it was.

The true power, the real strength of this nation has always been granted by the willingness of God’s people to walk in the statutes of God the Father, to pray, truly seeking his face for the answers we need.

If you will notice, I said (MEN)! We have forgotten the very precepts that our Churches we founded on allowing people that God never called to pastor to stand behind our pulpits. Not only women but men that do not meet the qualifications of a pastor. Yet, we expect God to bless us in this? Why should a righteous God bless us when we are not willing to listen to anything he says?

The Bible makes this statement about the nation of Israel : ( THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND ROSE UP TO PLAY). ( Exodus 32:6) ( 1 Corinthians 10:7). The scripture in the New Testament is comparing the Church to that nation in the way it’s presenting itself.

We very often confuse the riches of this world that we gain with the true blessings from God. We think because we are rich or have a lot physically that it is of God, and it’s not. Look at this scripture:

Revelation 3:17

BECAUSE THOU SAYEST, I AM RICH, AND INCREASED IN GOODS, AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING; AND KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART WRETCHED, AND MISERABLE, AND POOR, AND BLIND, AND NAKED: (18) I COUNSEL 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.

God the father desires to be in our Churches. He wants his voice to be heard from every pulpit but, he stands at the door and knocks, not one person will let him in. ( Revelation 3:20).

As we seek to find a resolve to where we are, I believe there’s a scripture that we all need to stop and ponder, allowing God’s Spirit to speak to each of us. We see this scripture in the Old Testament. So, let’s look at these verses and see where we stand.

Genesis 9:20-27

AND NOAH BEGAN TO BE AN HUSBANDMAN, AND HE PLANTED A VINEYARD: (21) AND HE DRANK OF THE WINE, AND WAS DRUNKEN; AND WAS UNCOVERED WITHIN HIS TENT. (22) AND HAM, THE FATHER OF CANAAN, SAW THE NAKEDNESS OF HIS FATHER, AND TOLD HIS TWO BRETHREN WITHOUT. (23) AND SHEM AND JAPHETH TOOK A GARMENT, AND LAID IT UPON BOTH THEIR SHOULDERS, AND WENT BACKWARDS, AND COVERED THE NAKEDNESS OF THEIR FATHER; AND THEIR FACES WERE BACKWARD, AND THEY SAW NOT THEIR FATHER’S NAKEDNESS. (24) AND NOAH AWOKE FROM HIS WINE, AND KNEW WHAT HIS YOUNGER SON HAD DONE UNTO HIM. ( 25) AND HE SAID CURSED BE CANAAN; A SERVANT OF SERVANTS SHALL HE BE UNTO HIS BRETHREN. (26) AND HE SAID, BLESSED BE THE LORD GOD OF SHEM; AND CANAAN SHALL BE HIS SERVANT. (27) GOD SHALL ENLARGE JAPHETH, AND HE SHALL DWELL IN THE TENTS OF SHEM; AND CANAAN SHALL BE HIS SERVANT.

As we read through these verses; what is the main things that stand out to you? I’ll give you my two. The Lord God of Shem is blessed and, we are all servants to that Lord God. Just that simple. As we consider whether we are willing to pay whatsoever price we need to pay that God might bless our nation once again; These verses and others as well come into play. Let’s consider this. When God spoke to Noah and instructed him to build an Ark, do you believe that was a divine order from God? I do! If you answer is yes, what’s the difference in what is being said here and the order to build the Ark?

Let’s look at one other scripture before we leave these thoughts.

Genesis 3:16

UNTO THE WOMAN HE SAID, I WILL GREATLY MULTIPY THY SORROW AND THY CONCEPTION; IN SORROW THOU SHALT BRING FORTH CHILDREN; AND THY DESIRE SHALL BE TO THY HUSBAND, AND HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE.

Do you see there it says ( and he shall rule over thee)? As we consider these verses we see that we are all servants to someone, no exceptions! I’d like to point this out. When Noah said: (blessed be the Lord God of Shem), Shem was already seeking to serve his Lord God, just as Noah had. Therefore, both his brothers need to allow him to lead them, teach them. So, let’s just say that Shem, their oldest brother just became their pastor, are they willing to submit to that leadership? The answer to that question is, no. They both took their own families and went their own way.

I believe this is also worth pointing out. Out of the loins of Shem came the Nation of Israel, God’s chosen people. So, we also need to show this verse:

Genesis 12:3

AND I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE, AND CURSE THEM THAT CURSETH THEE: AND IN THESE SHALL ALL THE FAMILIES BE BLESSED.

It doesn’t matter whether we are speaking of Shem and his brother, Israel and the rest of the world or a simple pastor that is trying his best to preach what God lays on his heart. It all boils down to each of us being willing to be obedient to the Lord God of Shem. That word, the word of God is going to come through the mouth of another person to you as an individual and in that sense you must be willing to become a servant to what that person is preaching, yielding, not so much to that person but, the one that he is serving.

Let’s build a case here. What if Japheth and Ham would have listened to Hoah and both would have yielded themselves and their families to Shem’s leadership? Then Shem would have been a loving brother, teaching truth, not in a forceful way but in kindness seeking to help those families. Look at this verse:

1 Peter 5:1-3

THE ELDERS WHICH ARE AMONG YOU I EXHORT, WHO AM ALSO AN ELDER, AND A WITNESS OF THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST, AND ALSO A PARTAKER OF THE GLORY THAT SHALL BE REVEALED: (2) FEED THE FLOCK OF GOD WHICH IS AMONG YOU, TAKING THE OVERSIGHT THEREOF, NOT BY CONSTRAINT, BUT WILLINGLY; NOT FOR FILTH LUCRE, BUT OF A READY MIND; (3) NEITHER AS BEING LORDS OVER GOD’S HERITAGE, BUT BEING ENSAMPLES TO THE FLOCK.

We are still speaking of pastors leading their Churches and how that leadership must work. All this is also relative to the leadership of a husband and how his wife is to submit to that leadership. What happens far to often is that the, shall we say (master) becomes demanding, seeking to be lords over what God has given him. When this happens it causes the servants to rebel against the master. In this case it doesn’t matter whether it’s a husband or a pastor. I’m seeking to bring the problem in our nation down to the simpliest form of spiritual leadership.

Now, let’s consider something here. I offer these things as the root problem of all we see in a nation that cries that (WE ARE ONE NATION UNDER GOD). God desires to meet with us first in our homes and in our Churches. From those two centers of spiritual leadership we, once again can find the power and strength that our nation use to have.

In considering these things, let’s answer this question first. Does God lead a pastor or a man he has called to a Church or an area of service? (I believe) he calls a man to an area, not a Church building. Let’s say your (church building) is looking for a pastor. Therefore, that assembly of people invites a man that they actually have never met to speak at the church building. The man they invite meets all the qualifications of a (God called) preacher. As we consider rebuilding a nation, this qualification is a very important spiritual asset. Therefore, I feel I must take the time to explain these qualifications.

1 Timothy 3:1-5

THIS IS A TRUE SAYING, IF A MAN DESIRE THE OFFICE OF A BISHOP, HE DESIRETH A GOOD WORK. (2) A BISHOP THEN MUST BE BLAMELESS, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, VIGILANT, SOBOR, OF GOOD BEHAVIOR, GIVEN TO HOSPITALITY, APT TO TEACH; (3) NOT GIVEN TO WINE, NO STRIKER, NOT GREEDY OF LILTHY LUCRE; BUT PATIENT, NOT A BRAWLER, NOT COVETOUS; (4) ONE THAT RULETH WELL HIS OWN HOUSE, HAVING CHILDREN IN SUBJECTION WITH ALL GRAVITY; (5) (FOR IF A MAN KNOW NOT HOW TO RULE HIS OWN HOUSE, HOW SHALL HE TAKE CARE OF THE CHURCH OF GOD?)

Each of these things listed here becomes very important if we truly desrie to have our nation back as it was, no exceptions! If you will notice, we see (IF A MAN DESIRES)! Another one:(HUSBAND), another, (ONE WIFE). are we, as a nation willing to agree that in thses things the pastor of any Church must be a man? And, if you are not willong to admit that then, therein lies one of our problems!

If you will notice; it also says: (RULING WELL HIS OWN HOUSE)(HAVING CHILDREN IN SUBJECTION WITH ALL GRAVITY).

What can we see here? This means that it takes more than simply being married to a woman. This man and his wife have been married long enough that the people that are looking for a pastor can look at his children and see whether they are (under subjection) (with all gravity) or not. In this segment of this verse, it also includes his wife, being under subjection to his leadership! Can we agree that (HAVING HIS HOUSE) also includeds his wife?

I asked the question: does God call a man to a churh or an area? The burden on a God called man has nothing to do with a building and, never will! So, let’s paint a spiritual picture here. Let’s say a man is blessed enough to be the called to service at a well established church building that has all benefits and, also a very good salary. However, this man is very determined to be led by God’s Spirit in all he says; not a people pleaser but always preaching a very spirit inspired message.

Not long after he begins his ministry in this building, the members rebel against him desiring to vote him out because they are not happy with the leadership of the God he preaches. Therefore, this spirit filled man is voted out of this Church. Well, I’m going to guess that not every person in that (church building) feels the same way! Therefore, why can’t this man simply get a job, rent a building and continue to preach his spirit filled messeges as he has always done? Some of the people in that assemby will support him and even draw others to the place he is now preaching and, souls can still be saved!

We also see in this verse: (THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE). Can we agree that this excludes any woman from pastoring any Church that has a desire to be pleasing to God? The Bible teaches us that because of Eve listening to the Serpent, God placed her under to sujection of her husband. Whether we want to admit it or not, that hasn’t changed! Also, look at this verse:

Ephesians 5:22

WIVES, SUBMIT YOURSELVES UNTO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS, AS UNTO THE LORD.

Let’s take it one step farther:

Ephesians 5:25-26

HUSBAND, LOVE YOUR WIVES, EVEN AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED THE CHURCH, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT; (26) THAT HE MIGHT SANCTIFY AND CLEANSE IT WITH THE WASHING OF THE WATER BY THE WORD,

Therefore, what has happened in a once very powerful nation like the United States of America? First of all; our men fell in love with the riches of this world and the things that money could by. When this happened it changed the very mindset of the families that they were a part of, children and wives alike. If we make a spiritual comparison here, where is the actual spiritual strength of any Church? Isn’t it in essence, Jesus Christ. However, that spirit must come through the spiritual yielded bodies of the husbands of the church. That spiritual leadership must be seen first of all in our homes with strong spiritual husbands and wives that yield to the spiritual leadership by choice.

We often asked the question; what came first, the chicken or the egg? So, here in our nation, what happened first? Did the men began to weaken spiritually or, were they somewhat forced to by the weaker vessel? Can we agree to the fact; this statement is an oxymoron? In my opinion, it’s all a moot point! Our nation is in the condition it’s in because pastors sold out for money, men, in most cases stopped acting like men and women or, wives desired to take control in our homes, churches and government.

Let’s insert another scripture here:

1 Timothy 2:8-12

1 WILL THEREFORE THAT MEN PRAY EVERY WHERE, LIFTING UP HOLY HANDS, WITHOUT WRATH AND DOUBTING. (9) IN LIKE MANNER ALSO, THAT WOMEN ADORN THEMSELVES IN MODEST APPAREL, WITH SHAMEFACEDNESS AND SOBRIETY; NOT WITH BROIDED HAIR, OR GOLD, OR PEARLS, OR COSTLY ARRAY; (10) BUT (WHICH BECOMETH WOMEN PROFESSING GODLINESS) WITH GOOD WORKS. (11) LET THE WOMAN LEARN IN SILENCE WITH ALL SUBJECTION. (12) BUT I SUFFER NOT A WOMAN TO TEACH, NOR TO USURP AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN, BUT TO BE IN SILENCE.

Now, I asked you, does this sound anything like our nation today? That, whether it be in our homes, churches or government? Can we look back to a time when this was somewhat true in our nation and, how this nation was at that time? Consider this; as a woman, a wife are you willing to surrender the position you have in the home, the Church or in government? As a man, husband, are you willing to pick up the spiritually responsibility that God’s word requires of you in the home, at church and in government?

As a pastor, a male pastor, are you willing to forget about your salary, your benefits, your prestige or popularity and begin to seek God’s Spirit in all you preach only using his word as your guide? Let’s give a simple example: Let’s say that every man, husband in your local church, starting with the pastor get up and stand behind the pulpit and confess, (we’ve failed) in our spiritual leadership. But from this day forward, we will not fail our Lord. At that time, every woman, wife stand and confess their failure to submit but say that from this moment on (I will)?

In our government, the men stand and demand that we start everyday with prayer ( in Jesus Christ name) recgnizing him as the God this (One Nation Under God) respects, submits to, prays to and desires to serve. Those same men acknowledge that ( the Bible) is God’s word and, our government will be just as obedient to that word as any church in our nation. At that point asking every woman to step down in their leadership role, yielding their authority to a man wilfully. Every woman at that time submitting to that God given authority of the man.

Let’s asked a few questions as it all relates to a timeline in our nation. When this nation went through the period of time that we see as (equal rights for women); was that inspired by the Holy Spirit? Can we see in scripture a verse to prove that equality and say it is inspired by God’s Spirit?

If we want to talk about the (seperation of church and state), can we see Biblical grounds for that in God’s word? Can we even seperate a person from what’s inside him? If we say we can then, what is it that is actually inside that man? For instance: what kind of born again man would even submit to a government that will not pray to the God he serves? What is actually in the heart of any woman that simply refuses to submit to the aouthority of a Man?

I’ll step out on a limb and say; most Americans will say they desire to have our country back. However, are we willing to pay the price for it to return to the days of its glory? In reality, the world is a place that is happy without praying to God, in Jesus Christ name. The world is a place that demands equal rights for woman or, even all people. There’s a great difference in (equal rights) and all men being created equal. Actually, the average person, especially in the leadership of our nation is not interested in any part of equal rights. It’s simply a phrase they use politically. Can I prove that? Let’s see! In our government; they desire to pass a law that makes the minimum wage fifteen dollars and hour. Ok! Let’s let that start with the President on down. Every Senator, Congressperson, every person period that works for a paycheck! Let’s also make sure (equally) that every citizen gets the very same health care they get in our government.

Thye Bible says this:

Romans 2:11

FOR THERE IS NO RESPECT OF PERSONS WITH GOD.

So, with God; all men are created equal, with equal opporuntity, the same chance as any other person. However, if we are going to talk of equal rights, we must understand our spiritual responsibility within that statement. And, we must be willing to stand in the position of spiritual responsibility as we seek those equal rights.

As a nation; if we are going to allow the world to define all the terms we live by then, we will be judged by the standards of this world, and; that by God the Father. If we truly seek to be seen as a God fearing nation then every person must allow themselves to be governed by the standards set forth in God’s word.

We can actually take this just a little farther. In the beginning, God created male and female. He told that male and female to go forth and to replenish the earth. At some point in time, the world gave us (birth control) and (abortion). Is that part of God’s desire to go forth and replenish the earth? or, is that something the world, once again gave us? Can you give me scripture for either one of these terms?

At some point, those things became an accepted part of our everyday lives, just look where we are now! Today, people live together out of wedlock! they use the sexual aspect of their lives for pleasure more so than for the reason God designed it. It’s not that we are not suppose to enjoy it but, it was designed to be between a man and his wife. Often today it doesn’t even matter whether that pleasure comes from a male or a female as long as we are satisfied. Can you give me scripture for this kind of lifestyle? Can we define God in any of this?

So, let’s asked a question here. What’s the difference in our country and the world? If this world chooses to disobey God and go to hell, the United States doesn’t have to go with the world does it? Yet, seemingly we have chosen that course. If we, as a nation will not allow ourselves to see the fact that we have fallen from the spiritual guidelines that use to govern us then we are on a sinful road to destruction as a people.

I’d like to make a spiritual point here. One that I very often think about as an individual that grow up in this nation, seen a spiritual decay as it slowly happened over time.

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 TRODDEN UNDER THE FOOT OF MEN. (14) YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A CITY THAT IS SET ON AN HILL CANNOT BE HID. (15) NEITHER DO MEN LIGHT A CANDLE, AND PUT IT UNDER A BUSHEL, BUT ON A CANDLESTICK; AND IT GIVETH LIGHT UNTO ALL THAT ARE IN THE HOUSE. (16) LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS, AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.

There has never been a time in our nation or any nation that every person was born again. There has always been those that are lost without Jesus Christ. However, in the history of our nation it has been a long period of time when the very Spirit of God was so powerful, his light was so bright in the lives of God fearing people that even those that were lost were compelled by that spirit to lives somewhat Godly lives.

As we look at these verses; actually they are written to the nation of Israel but; it can relate to any nation or individual that makes a choice to allow the light of Jesus Christ to be seen in them and all they represent. The United States of America was once such a place. It was a shining light in a dark sincursed world. We, as a nation stood for something more than just wealth and prosperity. While that might have been a part of any spiritual life, that was not what this nation’s focus was on. For instance: if an individual from another country came to this nation, a person that followed another religion, we allowed that person in ( in the legal sense) with open arms and even allowed he or she to practice their religion. However, that person was going to hear about Jesus Christ in every way possible. He would hear his name on the radio, on the TV and, even on the streets of any city he might choose to live in. It was up to that individual to make a choice, one never forced on him but, it was always put before him in every way possible.

Let’s look at a few things

(1)

A NATION FILLED WITH GODLY MEN

Can we first agree that this will not just happen but a price must be paid? Let’s start with this question. When does a boy become a man? The Bible teaches that the change takes place somewhere around twelve years old. What does it take to bring this to pass. That young boy must have a (God fearing man) for a father and a ( God fearing woman) for a mother. Now, I say that knowing well that the young boy is going to change to be a man whether he has that type of parent or not. Therein is the problem! We simply allow the years that we need to be training our boys to be (Godly Men) go to waste because neither therir father or mother is willing to be servants of the most High God. We have allowed the finanical aspect of our lives govern what and how we teach our young boys, forgetting our spiritual responsibility completely! We want them to have good paying jobs and to be well educated! That is, if we even desire that. In more cases than not, it’s just good times and do whatsoever you like!

I can see what I would call a (catch 22). Men don’t know and are never taught how to submit to the Spirit of God and, wives are never taught to submit to their own husbands All Godliness is completely push aside. That leaves only one spirit to be yielded to, the spirit of Satan.

Godly men know how to treat their wives and discipline their children. Godly men understand that they must work, it’s their responsibility to care for theit families. Godly men teach their sons to respect their mothers and sisters. They know how to lead their families in devotion and prayer, they do it basically on a daily basis. Their very lives reflect Jesus Christ in the way they walk and talk. Although these men work for money; that’s not the whole purpose or even the most important part of their lives. They know how to give and become a blessing to a community to which they live.

Godly men take a leadership role in their local church. As they sit and listen each Sunday to their pastor,; they make sure that what he is teaching, preaching is truth as inspired by God’s Spirit. He will even stand against his own pastor if his pastor tries to preach falsehood or doctrine that is not sound. This is something that we very often misunderstand. A pastor is a servant; first, to God the Father and also to the members of his church. In a perfect situation, the men, Godly men will demand that their pastor preach with the very power of God on their lives. Why? Because the salvation of their families, their wives and children is what’s at stake.

A church is a micro picture of our nation. Just as (we the people) are the voice of authority behind our goverment, the members of the church is the voice of power in every church. When we allow the servants to become our leaders then the power of God will always diminish. Pastors that preach with the power of God are to be respected because they are willing to do just that. However, Godly men are the cornerstone of all that the pastor is.

Personally, the power of any Church or nation is with the power of the individual’s ability to think and reason for themselves. When individuals seek to be in (unity with God’s Spirit) and we can get multiple Godly men all seeking that same individual spirit then our church are in the (unity of the Spirit). When righteousness dictates the will of any government directed by God’s men as individuals all seeking to do what pleases God then we have a strong nation and form of government.

If every Godly man is truly seeking to know God’s truth then God’s Spirit will reveal that truth to him and, he will willingly submit to that truth. We are missing that desire in our nation and our Churches! Since that is a fact then it puts every woman, wife in a bad spiritual situation. That must be corrected if we, as a nation every desires to get back to the place we once were.

One point I’ll make here; as far as men are concerned, even our government has severely handicapped men almost making it illegal to act asa a man. I’ll mention a couple of things here. I often make this statement; I do not believe that a man or, husband should ever hit his wife for any reason. I’ll also add that it will never be in the mindset of any spiritual man but, you must remember he’s still in the flesh. Also, every woman, wife should be able to have the trust in her husband that he will not hurt her but, that he does have the power to do so. It can be seen as very relative to God and the church. Just because God doesn’t do bad things to the church, wise members of the church knows very well that he can if he chooses to!

A man, husband in scripture is never instructed to force or demand anything from his wife. He is to lead her by instruction, speaking his will to her however, it then becomes the woman’s, wife’s responsibility to yield to his leadership. With this being said; I’d like for you wives to consider something. I’m going to talk about (a woman’s right to vote here). Personally, I don’t have a problem with it but, in a spiritual sense isn’t it a moot point? Why would I make that statement? Since today you, as a woman have been given the right to vote; let’s ask a question. If your husband told you who to vote for, would you yield to his voice? If so, and every woman is spiritually submissive to her husband, won’t the outcome still be the same? Isn’t a husband and his wife seen as one in the sight of God?

Now, let’s asked another question. When women started a campaign to fight for the (right to vote), was that act inspired by God’s Spirit? There’s a saying: (you’ve come a long way baby)! Well, a long way from what? Can we argue in a spiritual sense: (a long way from where God would have you be)?

I’d like for you to notice two men and their wives in scripture. The first one is Abraham. You can read this stoty in (Genesis 16). God, at this time had already promised Abram (Abraham) that he would be the seed a of a great nation. (Genesis 12) Well. in order to be the father of a great nation, he must have a son. In (Genesis 16) both Abraham and Sarah are growing old so, Sarah offers her handmaiden to her husband that he might bare children by her.

Every husband should be able to listen to his wife for wise spiritual council. Every wife should be that kind of wife. However, every man, husband should be spiritually wise enough to know wise spiritual council from God’s Spirit and that which is not. In this case, Abraham yielded to his flesh, not to God’s Spirit. He should have told his wife that what God had promised, he will deliver! Both husbands and wives can make bad spiritual dicisions. That why husbands and wives are to be one that they as a couple can cover each other.

Now, Let’s look at another.

(Job 2:9)

THEN SAID HIS WIFE UNTO HIM, DOST THOU STILL RETAIN THINE INTEGRITY? CURSE GOD, AND DIE. (10) BUT HE SAID UNTO HER, THOU SPEAKETH AS ONE OF THE FOOLISH WOMEN SPEAKETH. WHAT? SHALL WE RECEIVE GOOD AT THE HAND OF GOD, AND SHALL WE NOT RECEIVE EVIL? IN ALL THIS DID JOB NOT SIN WITH HIS LIPS.

Here, we see that Job did not yield to the voice of his wife. He had basically lost everything but his wife but, he still would not curse God!

In our nation today, the spiritual mindset of both men and women, husbands and wives must be returned to the leadership of God’s Spirit if we are going to repair our nation. We, far too often look at this as a minor thing but, just look at where we are as a nation today! We must learn to discern the difference between the rights our world affords us and the rights that God’s Spirit gives each of us freely. As a husband, can you do that?As a wife, can you do that?

In closing this segment. I personally believe that most households, churches and school systems are governed by the will of the children, that in every institution completely without even considering the will of God. If you doubt me, pastors try and discipline the children from your pulpit and see just what happens. Husbands, try correcting your children and see just what happens. principals, try to bring real discipline to the children and see what happens. All this because of the lack of spiritual leadership in a once great nation!

MORE LATER!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

the bible and man

Is it possible to draw a picture with words of the contradiction in these two terms? I believe so! At least a picture that God’s Spirit might use to teach us a spiritual lesson about ourselves as God, by his Spirit, as he seeks to transform man into all he desires him to be.

Let’s first look into the Bible as it reveals itself. Look at these verses:

Genesis 1:2-3

AND THE EARTH WAS WITHOUT FORM, AND VOID; AND DARKNESS WAS UPON THE FACE OF THE DEEP. AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD MOVED UPON THE FACE OF THE WATERS. (3) AND GOD SAID, LET THERE BE LIGHT: AND THERE WAS LIGHT.

As we consider those verses it is the beginning of God revealing himself , his Spirit to man. It doesn’t mean that God was not before that time but, the he now has decided to show himself to mankind. Now, look at this vese:

Hebrews 10:7

THEN SAID I, LO. I COME (IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME,) TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.

As we read that verse, to whom is the (I) referring? It’s referring to the third part of the Godhead. The very Spirit of God. We can continue to study (that Spirit) and how it relates to what we are looking into here. (In my Opinion) we see this more vividly in the gospel of John. John is the gospel that reveals Jesus Christ as (the Son of God). I’ve said this before: Matthew reveals Jesus Christ as the (King of the Jews). Mark reveals Jesus Christ as the ( Servant to man). Luke reveals Jesus Christ as the (Son of Man) and, of course John reveals Jesus Christ as the (Son of God). Now look at thses verses:

John 16:7-15

I’ll just write two verses but you can study them all.

(13-14)

HOWBEIT WHEN HE, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, IS COME, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: FOR HE SHALL NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF; BUT WHATSO EVER HE SHALL HEAR, THAT SHALL HE SPEAK: AND HE WILL SHOW YOU ALL THINGS TO COME. (14) HE SHALL GLORIFY ME; FOR HE SHALL RECEIVE OF MINE, AND SHALL SHEW IT UNTO YOU.

This is the responsibility of the Spirit of God. From the very beginning of the Bible; ( Genesis 1:1) all the way to (Revelation 22:21) that very same Spirit has sought to direct the footsteps of every person. Actually the only difference today is that now that Spirit has the God granted power to live within the heart of man and grant each person that will allow him to live within them the power to see and understand (God)!

The Bible; from beginning to end is simply put, who God is, how he thinks, how he reacts to every situation and so on. We just must be wiling to allow his Spirit to guide us to an understanding of who he is.

Do you ever feel that sometimes God seems to submit to us a double standard about certain things as you read? Well, aren’t we all the very same way? What if a book was written about every thought and deed have ever done, what would it say?

There was an old evangelist that just died a few years ago that once preached a message on marriage and divorce. After the service as people began leaving to Church; he was stand at the door, shaking hands with people as they left. This lady shook his hand and asked him this; preacher, have you ever considered divorcing your wife? He paused for a minute and replied; well, no but, I have considered killing her a few times.

Can you see in this story the point I’m making about even God and each of us? If we were to write about this man’s life, this would be revealed but that is or was not who he was, was it? He didn’t kill his wife nor did he divorce her but, that is part of his story. I’ll be honest, these things have crossed my mind a few times as well but, that’s not who I am. In the Bible, God reveals his truthful self to each of us and he also desires for us to know exactly who he is if we will take the time to do so.

As we study God’s word, his mercy and grace toward man is very overwhelming. In every situation he always sends grace before he sends judgement. His love and grace endures forever! His desire is for each of us to allow his spirit to grow and overtake our own personal desires. As individuals we are completely undeserving of his love but, through his grace as we see in scripure, he offers it still to each person.

The question is, will you allow that book, the Bible, who God truly is to come alive within your sinful flesh so the people can see God’s Spirit far above all that you are as a sinner? That’s the spiritual call of each and every one of us!

As we consider; who you are, where you’ve been, what you have done and just how sinful we all are, it doesn’t matter. God’s love and grace can cover a multitude of sin and will. His Spirit within us can put all our ungodliness behind us. He will never remember it or bring it up again. other people might, but he won’t!

The word of God, the Bible is here for you. It is a very special gift from God to you! Why not pick it up, begin to pray in God’s Spirit and allow that word and his Spirit to transform you into all that God desires to be within you, starting today!

This is Actually: January 1, 2023. The very beginning of a new year. Why not let God become either a more important part of your life or if you’re lost without him, ask him to be your savior today!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

WHAT IS TRUTH

John 18:28

PILATE SAITH UNTO HIM, WHAT IS TRUTH? AND WHEN HE HAD THIS, HE WENT OUT AGAIN UNTO THE JEWS, AND SAITH UNTO THEM, I FIND IN HIM NO FAULT AT ALL.

Today, as individuals; Do we seek to know truth? I’d like to point this out about what Pilate went out and said unto the Jews. He said (I FIND IN HIM NO FAULT AT ALL). Can we say here that Pilate shared with the Jews absolute truth as revealed unto him by God’s Spirit? It can be argued that he listened to his wife if you read the whole account here in (John 18) but that’s still not what she told him to say, is it? As a matter of fact, she didn’t tell him what to say.

As we consider this; it actually doesn’t matter as it relates to the Jews does it? Even if it was absolute truth, they rejected it, didn’t they. With this being said, can’t we say that today, if we are to hear truth it will have to come from the lips of sinful man? We can argue all day about whether PIlate was born again or not. We don’t know. We can however say that the words he spoke was truth. There was no fault to be seen in Jesus Christ.

This morning as my wife and I had devotion and prayer; I shared this with her. I stated that God took the dust of the earth and formed Adam. He then took a rib from Adam’s side and made Eve, two perfect people. In the garden where they lived; God placed a tree. He told them that they could eat of every tree of the garden but that one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We know that they both ate of that tree. God killed an animal and make coats for a covering of them both.

Now, from that point on, even up until this day, if truth is to be heard, it must come from the lips of sinful people. Sinners revealing truth to sinners. I say all this to make a very powerful point. First of all, when Pilate spoke truth to the Jews they were not interested in truth, they were interested in pleasing their own selfish desires. They never even considered what the truth might be.

Today, as you pick up a Bible, any version, we must understand that they were all written by man. Look at this verse:

2 Peter 1:21

FOR PROPHECY CAME NOT IN OLD TIME BY THE WILL OF MAN: BUT HOLY MEN OF GOD SPAKE AS THEY WERE MOVED BY THE HOLY GHOST.

Even in this verse, they were men. These men had to be willing to put aside all they thought and simply allow God’s Spirit to direct what they wrote down. I wonder how many people in that day looked at these men and said. Oh! I know him, his life, all he has done, I will not listen to him. Let’s consider the Apostle Paul. The very first man that he came to as directed by God was Ananias. Look at what he said:

Acts 9:13

THEN ANANIAS ANSWERED, LORD, I HAVE HEARD BY MANYOF THIS MAN, HOW MUCH EVIL HE HATH DONE TO THY SAINTS IN JERUSALEM:

Here, we see where God’s Spirit has spoken to a man and instructed him in the things he desires for him to do. Because of the knowledge this man has heard from others, he questions God’s Spirit. If we continue to read; we see that God continues to speak and this man yields to his will. Now, let’s consider something her. Although Ananias listened to God’s Spirit in this cases, when the Apostle Paul began to expound truth as a (Holy man of God) was Ananias now willing to hear what God’s Spirit was speaking through him?

What the Apostle Paul preached was completely contrary to what Ananias had been taught from his youth up. When we hear truth from someone that believes something contrary to what we’ve been taught all our lives; are we willing tro hear God’s Spirit within us over the voices of those we have been use to hearing?

We mentioned Adam and Eve. Both of these people heard directly from God. Ananias was exactly the same way, he heard directly from God. Now, Ananias trusted that voice completely being directly from God, a familar voice. But, once Adam and Eve began to share truth, even the Apostle Paul, can man hear that same voice from a lips of a sinful man is the question?

In reality, it’s never men that reveal truth. It’s always God’s Spirit. It’s just that people must be willing to share that truth. Then and only then can God’s Spirit use that sinful being to reveal his truth. (It must be truth)!

I thought about this today as I began praying about this article. In 1975 when I was born again, born into God’s family, I didn’t take an oath of any kind, at least not one that was spoken with words. I did however get baptized but, even within that act if something hadn’t changed within my heart then the picture was completely worthless.

When I was ordained into the gospel ministry (by men) I had already been pastoring a Church for a little over a year. One of the preachers that was part of the ordination commitee asked me this question: If we, as a group of men decide not to ordain you, what are you going to do? I looked at him and replied, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing! God called me into the gospel ministry and that has nothing to do with what you, as a group of men decide what I should do.

My whole point is that the only thing that matters is what God’s Spirit reveals to your heart and, your willingness to accept that truth! I thank God for Holy men of God! Yesterday, today and forever! These men, against all odds spoke and revealed God’s truth often even to their very death. Men has always done all they can to destroy God’s word and truth. They do it to keep God from being able to speak to the heart of people. In the very beginning Satan looked at Eve and said: (Hath God said)? This, causing her to doubt truth!

When we consider (WHAT IS TRUTH), then where can we find it? Is it standing behind ever pulpit? Is it in every version of the word of God? Can we simply trust any denomination or religion to reveal ( THE TRUTH) to us? In our quest to find truth; it’s something we must be aware of. Satan will always have a certain amount of truth in everything he will present to every person! Wisdom tells us to beware of partial truth and to seek whole truth as individuals. Look at these verses:

Matthew 4:1-10

THEN WAS JESUS LED UP OF THE SPIRIT INTO THE WILDERNESS TO BE TEMPTED OF THE DEVIL. (2) AND WHEN HE HAD FASTED FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS, HE WAS AFTERWARDS AN HUNGRED. (3) AND WHEN THE TEMPTER CAME TO HIM, HE SAID, IF THOU BE THE SON OF GOD, COMMAND THAT THESE STONES BE MADE BREAD. (4) BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID, IT IS WRITTEN, MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD. (5) THEN THE DEVIL TAKETH HIM UP INTO THE HOLY CITY, AND SETTETH HIM ON A PINNACLE OF THE TEMPLE, (6) AND SAITH UNTO HIM, IF THOU BE THE SON OF GOD, CAST THYSELF DOWN: FOR IT IS WRITTEN, HE SHALL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE CONCERNING THEE: AND IN THEIR HANDS THEY SHALL BEAR THEE UP, LEST AT ANY TIME THOU DASH THY FOOT AGAINST A STONE. (7) JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, IT IS WRITTEN AGAIN, THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT THE LORD THY GOD. (8) AGAIN, THE DEVIL TAKETH HIM UP INTO AN EXCEEDING HIGH MOUNTAIN, AND SHEWETH HIM ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD, AND THE GLORY OF THEM; (9) AND SAITH UNTO HIM, ALL THESE THINGS WILL I GIVE THEE, IF THOU WILT FALL DOWN AND WORSHIP ME. (10) THEN SAITH JESUS UNTO HIM, GET THEE HENCE, SATAN: FOR IT IS WRITTEN, THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE.

Can you see in these verses how that Satan uses a certain amount of truth to try and convince people to doubt God or be deceived? If you will notice, the first two things he said, he used scripture but, the third thing there is no scripture involed in what he said. However, Jesus still used scriptue to shut him up!

I’ll close with this. God’s will is to reveal truth to every person, using people that have committed themselves to allow God’s Spirit to work through them. However, even within that concept we must seek, as individuals truth, trying ever spirit for what it is.

1 John 4:1

BELOVED, BELIEVE NOT EVERY SPIRIT, BUT TRY THE SPIRITS WHETHER THEY ARE OF GOD: BECAUSE MANY FALSE PROPHETS ARE GONE OUT INTO THE WORLD.

Jesus Christ, speaking to man said this:

Matthew 7:7

ASK, AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN YOU; SEEK, AND YE SHALL FIND; KNOCK, AND IT SHALL BE OPENED UNTO YOU: (8) FOR EVERY ONE THAT ASKETH RECEIVETH; AND HE THAT SEEKETH FINDETH; AND TO HIM THAT KNOCKETH IT SHALL BE OPENED.

Truth can be found! It’s not in any particular version of God’s word, it’s not in a religion or denomination but it is in the will of man or people to know truth. Truth is metaphorically like looking for gold, it might be rare but, it’s there and, it is also more precious.

I’ll close with this. Men, over the years have tried to simplify God’s word. They write different versions trying to help people to understand it. In my mind, if I am going to Ask, Seek and Knock then I’m going exactly the oppostie direction. I’m going back to the original (Holy Men of God) to Ask, Seek and Knock for truth! There’s a game people use to play that makes my point very well. They would put all the people say; at a party in a circle. One person would whisper something in the ear of the person beside him and, that person would whisper what he or she thought they heard in the next person’s ear all the way to the last person. Then, that person would say out loud what he or she heard. In most cases, the end statement would be nothing like the first person’s remark.

That simple game can make my point but, that’s just simply misunderstaning what someone says. What happens when we add the ability of Satan to try and destroy the truth of God? Can you see just how dangerous it can be to simply trust what every man says?

The Bible says this:

John 8:32

AND YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE.

There is a truth! It can be found and understood! It will never be my truth or a truth that is stated by man but, it’s the truth that we can find when we truth seek it in God’s word and it will be revealed to each that seek it by God’s Holy Spirit. If you, as an individual read God’s word then (a sinner) is reading that word. However, it still takes God’s Spirit to share truth to you. If you listen to me speak then, you’re listening to a sinner as I speak, seeking to share truth but, it’s still God’s Spirit that has to reveal truth to each person that hears.

Lord, touch us and help us to hear your spirit as you speak and give us wisdom to hear your truth as we listen to any person speak or, write! In Christ Jesus Name, AMEN.

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

A CHILD’S PRAYER
Mama and daddy; we love you.
We just want you; to love us too.
Not with lips made of clay,
but from your heart, everyday.
Oh! mama and daddy, we love you.

Mama and daddy, we need you.
To teach us, and show us the way.
Not with words, that you say,
But with your deeds along life’s way.
Mama and daddy, we need you.

Mama and daddy; we love you,
Mama and daddy; we need you,
Just take our little hands, and
teach us where to stand;
Mama and daddy, we beg you.

Mama and daddy; we see you.real t
Mama and daddy; we watch you,
God help my parents to see,
Just all that we can be,
Mama and daddy, he sees you.



ACTS TWO (120 BELIEVERS) WHAT DID THEY BELIEVE?

I’ve often stated and truly believe that the Book of Acts is a transitional book that must be understood if we are ever going to gain true knowledge of the Word of God and the things that God’s Spirit truly desires to reveal unto every believer. This transition is not only important to all believers today but, it was especially important for the very first people to every receive God’s Holy Spirit to come to the knowledge of. As I make that statement; that knowledge is not something that either they or we just automatically gain. It takes time and study, even good spiritual teaching to bring about the spiritual growth we all truly need.

With these things in mind, let’s dig into some things about (Acts two) and see where we end up. We see the phrase (when the day of Pentecost was fully come). I’m sure that most of the Israelites and, especially those 120 believers understood what the (Day of Pentecost) was in a physical sense but, what about in the spiritual sense? What did they know about what God’s Spirit was actually going to allow to transpire in them on that day?

For centuries the Jews, God’s chosen people had celebrated this time along with other feasts we see in their law. You can study these feasts in Leviticus and, you can see (the Pentecost) in ( Leviticus 23 ) starting with (verse 15). The word (pentecost) is not seen in the Old Testament but we do see it used in the New Testamant to describe that feast.

I personally believe that there were those in the Old Testament that spiritual understood what God, through the feasts was revealing to his people. However, that doesn’t mean that the majority of Israel knew or, even cared what God was trying to teach them. It’s not much difference than what we see today. We often automatically assume just because a man stands behind a pulpit or has been to a Bible College that all he teaches is truth but, in more cases than not the truth is very hard to come by! God purposely designed it like that. What it all boils down to is just how much do you, as an individual love him and just how much do you desire truth?

In this article it’s my desire to provoke thought and to cause spiritual thought to be created in the mind of the reader. There’s absolutely no way that spiritual teaching or understanding can be seen as being easy. It’s a challenge to see truth and then it becomes a challenge to bring that truth to light in the heart of another person.

Let’s look at these 120 believers on this day. We know that eleven of these believers were the remaining Apostles, Peter being one of them. As we read in (Acts two), do you think it strange that the Apostle Peter is the man doing the speaking? Why not one of the other Apostles or any one of the other believers? There’s a reason that the Apostle Peter spoke on that day and maybe we can point that out but, my desire is to show you what the majority of the believers believed. I personally think that Steven, even Luke might have had a better spiritual understanding of the (Day of Pentecost) than the Apostle Peter did. I can’t actually prove that other than just by simple statements that both of these men made; Steven in (Acts 7) and Luke in (Luke 1:1-4). However, Jesus Christ had ordained the Apostle Peter to speak on this day.

Matthew 16:18-19

AND I SAY ALSO UNTO THEE, THAT THOU ART PETER, AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT. (19) AND I WILL GIVE UNTO THEE THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT BIND ON EARTH SHALL BE BOUND IN HEAVEN: AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT LOOSE ON EARTH SHALL BE LOOSED IN HEAVEN.

The Apostle Peter would use these keys three times in the Book of Acts. These keys would unlock the door of the gospel of Jesus Christ first, here in (Acts 2) to the Jews, the nation of Israel. We see his message here in this chapter. If we study, we can find two other times he, Peter uses these keys in this book.

Now, what is the message that the Apoostle Peter preached on this day? Within the message we can see somewhat of what these people actually believed. Within all that he said, let’s just look at the alter call the gave so to speak.

Acts 2:28

THEN PETER SAID UNTO THEM, REPENT, AND BE BAPTIZED EVERY ONE OF YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST.

I feel compelled to make a point here before I go any farther. These 120 believers have just received the Holy Ghost. Just how much did they understand about that? I often relate this situation to the day of my salvation. Although God’s Spirit had just moved into my heart, I knew absolutely nothing about God’s word and nothing about the spiritual aspect of my life. Even if we go back to what Jesus Christ said to the Apostle Peter. (I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH)? What did any of these men know about the Church? It had never even been established yet.

The Apostle Peter was offering the very same message that John the Baptist had preached during the beginning ministry of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was the fore runner of Jesus Christ. Look at these verses:

Matthew 3:1-2

IN THOSE DAYS CAME JOHN THE BAPTIST, PREACHING IN THE WILDERNESS OF JUDAEA, (2) AND SAYING, REPENT YE: FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.

Now, look at this verse:

Matthew 4:17

FROM THAT TIME JESUS BEGAN TO PREACH, AND SAY, REPENT: FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.

This message was expressly to the nation of Israel, the Jews. John the Baptist was the first to preach it, Jesus Christ then began to preach it and now the Apostle Peter is again offering that same message to the Jews on this special Pentecostal day. The sharing of the Holy Ghost had never happened until this day, at least not to all the people at once. Beginning on this day, simply by believing; any person could have God’s Spirit move into their heart. However, the knowledge of truth would still take time.

I personally beleve that even at this time if the whole Nation of Israel could have repented then Jesus Christ could have been their King at that time. As I make that statement, we know that God already knew that Israel as a nation would reject his Kingship. Nonetheless, The Bible tells us this:

Acts 1:8

BUT YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER, AFTER THAT THE HOLY GHOST IS COME UPON YOU: AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME BOTH IN JERUSALEM, AND IN ALL JUDAEA, AND IN SAMARIA, AND THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH.

It’s always been to the Jew first!God’s grace is always overwhelminlg powerful and will always go much farther than any of us deserve. Even after the Jews had rejected Jesus Christ, hanging him on the cross, God’s Spirit still was offered to them first as a nation before moving on to the rest of the world. In the hearts and minds of these believers, even those that would believe in the next few days, they truly believed that Jesus Christ would return at ant minute and set up his kingdom right here on earth; being their king for eternity.

in essence, that was why had a (God chosen people) ( the Nation of Israel). That nation, from the very beginning was to become the very beating of God’s heart causing this whole world to be under submission to God’s leadership. However, that nation rejected the will of God bring about what we now know as the Church.

These things can be understood by study. As I’ve already said, we know that God alreadys knew just how people would react to everything he attempted to reveal to them. It’s no different today! The closer we get to the coming of Christ, the more we see the Church rejected. The fewer people we see even truly seeking the truth as revealed in God’s word.

I’m going to take the time to point out the three uses of the keys by the Apostle Peter. We see the first use here as he unlocked the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews. If we read in ( Acts 3:1) we see the Apostle Peter once again being used by the Holy Spirit. Here we see a man lamed from his mother’s womb begging at the temple gate. Now, what I’d like for you to notice is the difference in the Apostle Peter’s invitational message to these people.

Acts 3:19

REPENT YE THEREFORE, AND BE CONVERTED, THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT, WHEN THE TIMES OF REFRESHING SHALL COME FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD;

The big deal here was that the man that was lamed was not a Jew, so to speak. We might say he was Jewish in part either being from Samaria or Judaea, not recognized by the Jewish people. He couldn’t enter the temple and, it was an amazing thing that God’s blessings was upon him as well as the Jews, This is the Keys being used to open the door of salvation to Judaea ans Samaria. We also see (be converted) (that your sins may be blotted out).

The Apostle Peter’s message is changing as he grows and understands the spiritual aspect of the things that are transpiring. So, let’s now look at what he says when he uses the keys the last time to open the door of salvation the the Gentiles.

Acts 10:43

TO HIM GIVE ALL THE PROPHETS WITNESS,THAT THROUGH HIS NAME WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHALL RECEIVE REMISSION OF SIN.

We see in the very next verse that while Peter was speaking the Holy Ghost fell on all of them that heard the word. You can continue to read and study but, my desire is to show you the spiritual growth that is unfolding here, Asd we leave this chapter the Apost;le Peter will begin to fade as the lead spokesman and the Apostle Paul will now take the lead. Let’s see what he says about receiving salvation.

Acts 16:30-31

AND BROUGHT THEM OUT, AND SAID, SIRS, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? (31) AND THEY SAID, BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED, AND THY HOUSE.

We have just witnessed the complete transition of Jesus Christ being simply the (King of the Jews) to the (Savior of the world). We just seen the transition from the nation of Israel to the uttermost parts of the earth and to every person.If you’ll study the Apostle Paul’s letters to the churches you will notice in almost every letter he was struggling to gain the respect of the other Apostles and even people that he was an Apostle of Jesus Christ. His message was completely different than the message of the other eleven Apostles. However, he became the teacher! ( The last became first)! It’s all about spiritual growth and spiritual understanding. Look at what the Apostle Peter said concerning the Apostle Paul as time went by.

2 Peter 3:14-16

WHEREFORE, BELOVED, SEEING THAT YE LOOK FOR SUCH THINGS, BE DILIGENT THAT YE MAY BE FOUND OF HIM IN PEACE, WITHOUT SPOT, AND BLAMELESS. (15) AND ACCOUNT THAT THE LONGSUFFERING OF OUR LORD IS SALVATION; EVEN AS OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL ALSO ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN UNTO HIM HATH WRITTEN UNTO YOU; (16) AS ALSO IN ALL HIS EPISTLES, SPEAKING IN THEM OF THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, WHICH THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST, AS THEY DO ALSO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.

All in time, the Apostle Peter has come to the spiritual knowledge that the Spirit of God has revealed through the Apostle Paul. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ was never about just the Nation of Israel or Jesus Christ being their King at that time. It was all about the salvation of the world for time and eternity.

You see, the Jews in (Acts two) believed that Jesus Christ would soon return to Jerusalem and be their king. The original 120 believers and most of those that recieved the Holy Ghost truly believed that. It’s not that they weren’t saved but that they, just exactly like each of us have to be taught the spiritual truth as we grow in Christ.

I personally believe that every; what we call denomination today can be traced back to the days recorded in the Book of Acts. Each of them stem from a lack of desire to seek and know truth. As we speak of the 120 believers and the first eleven Apostles, how many of them went about and formed their own spiritual mindsets of what they believed to be truth rather than actually allowing the spirit within them to direct their spiritual growth?

I’d like to share a true personal story with you here. I’d also like to start with this. I was born again in an Independant Baptist Church. For years I would say I was Independant Baptist but, now I refuse to tie myself to any denomination. I simply tell people I’m born again, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Far too often we, as people will allow our spiritual lives to revolve around a denomination rather than truly seeking truth as revealed by God’s Spirit.

I’ve shared this story many times. Some years ago I was working, doing electrical work in a Methodist Church. I was standing at the door waithing for my co-worker to return with some supplies we needed to complete the job. An elderly gentleman came up the walk and entered the door. He came up and shook hands with me, asking me if I attended Church anywhere? I replied, yes. He said, where do you go to Church? I told him I went to Faith independant Baptist Church. He said, Oh! you’re Baptist, It’s not any dfference in us. I replied, I disagree sir, I believe it is! He asked, what’s the difference? I said well, I know I’m going to heaven when I die, do you? He answered, no I don’t and, you don’t either. I replies, now sir, how can you tell me what I know? The bible tells us we can know it!

He wanted to argue, telling me that the Bible didn’t say that. I said, well, let’s find a Bible and see. So we went to a Sunday School room to find a Bible. I took that Bible and turn to this scripture and asked him to read it.

1 John 5:12-13

HE THAT HATH THE SON HATH LIFE; AND HE THAT HATH NOT THE SON OF GOD HATH NOT LIFE. (13) THESE THINGS HAVE I WRITTEN UNTO YOU THAT BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, AND THAT YE MAY BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD.

He read this outloud to me, stood there for a minute, looked at me and said, I don’t care; I still don’t believe it. Is this not exactly what the Apostle Peter is saying in the verses we read? Men, people allow themselves to get stuck in a spiritual rut and will not allow themselves to grow beyond what some man teaches them.. That happened in the early Church and, it still happens today.

God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit. He gave us his word to grow thereby. He even tells us the he gave some evangelist, pastors and teachers to help us know truth. Whether we receive those gifts and allow them to guide us to truth is entirely up to each individual. I, as a man have tried to share some Biblical truth with you here. Am I right? Can God’s Spirit use this to teach? As you, as an individual read through this only you can decide to allow God’s Spirit to teach you truth, with or without me. However, if you see something within this that helps you better understand scripture then, to God be the Glory. You can take what I’ve said and grow far beyond the things I’ve said, all for God’s glory. Even if you see me as wrong, then within that allow God’s Spirit to teach you Biblical truth!

I stated that the Apostles couldn’t have known what Jesus Christ was speaking of when he mentioned the Church in the gospel of Matthew. I can amaging them or, at least some of them thinking ( what’s he talking about)? However, most of them might be like the average Church member today. The simply say ( he’s just preaching) not even considering seeking to know truth. Most people sit in their local Church and actually hear very little that the pastor ever says, right or wrong. (THEY SIMLY ARE COMPLETELY UNCONCERNED)1

Spiritually speaking, we can look at the early Church in Acts as a simple picture of every person that is ever truly born again. It’s a beginning and all spiritual knowledge will have to grow and be learned from that moment forward. Where do you stand in Christ? What are you willing to give up of yourself to (Know Christ)?

Just by way of teaching, In (Acts 5) we see a man and his wife, Ananias and Sappira. These two people died because of lying about what they GAVE! Can we see a spiritual picture here of what people are actually willing to give of theirself to know Christ and, also see the reason many remain in spiritual darkness all their lives?

Consider this!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

NOAH’S THREE SONS (GENESIS 9:24-27)

AND NOAH AWOKE FROM HIS WINE, AND KNEW WHAT HIS YOUNGER SON HAD DONE UNTO HIM. (25) AND HE SAID, CURSED BE CANAAN; A SERVANT OF SERVANTS SHALL HE BE UNTO HIS BRETHREN. (26) AND HE SAID, BLESSED BE THE LORD GOD OF SHEM; AND CANAAN AND CANAAN SHALL BE HIS SERVANT. (27) GOD SHALL ENLARGE JAPHETH, AND HE SHALL DWELL IN THE TENTS OF SHEM; AND CANAAN SHALL BE HIS SERVANT.

As we look into the spiritual aspect of what is being said here, it becomes very telling. I’ like most people have a tendency to see the physical aspect in scripture and never look at the things that God’s Spirit would have us see. so, let’s see if we can find something spiritual here.

Firdt of all; I’d like for you to notice that when Noah mentions his eldest son, he names him in the respect of to whom he serves. Blessed be the Lord God od Shem. We’ll have to admit that in the story Shem in his flesh did exactly the same thing that Japheth did. Therefore, the only difference we can see is his devotion to his Lord God.

If we place this in a place we might understand it better, just look at the people that attend Church with you. Basically, everyone is a member, they’ve been baptized and say they believe in Jesus Christ. However, just how many are truly sold out for the work of Christ, showing that by witnessing to the lost outside the Church they attend? How mant of them have died to their flesh and are now walking in God’s Spirit?

In this picture, when Noah seen his son Shem, he only seen (his Lord God), not Shem. Right on the other hand, he didn’t see that in either of his other two sons. When we underwstand that all these people (believed), that to the point that they actually walked on the Ark with Noah, actually had a part in building it; that doesn’t mean that they were sold out to what they said they believed. Now, on the back side of the flood we can clearly see that.

We see in the last two verses in this chapter were Noah died. Now, just who was it that carried the same message he preached to the masses of this world? Again, as we read in the next two chapter we can clearly see that Shem took on that responsibility. We also see that neither of Noah’s oher two sons were obedient to the voice of Noah, choosing rather to go their own way; rejecting the Lord God of Shem. It’s one thing to say you believe but, being obedient to the voice of God is a completely different thing.

Many people look at salvation as just a simple lifeboat to keep them from destruction. People with this mindset are perfect pictures of Japheth and Ham. We’ll lookat them a little later but let’s first looat at what we see and the spiritual aspect of Shem.

If you will notice it says in the very last part of the verses that God would enlarge Japheth and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant. What can we see as the spiritual implication here? To begin to find this answer, let’s look back to The time before the flood. Both Japheth and Ham heard the message of Noah and yielded to that message. Weren’t they blessed because they yielded to that message? In essence, weren’t they yielding themselves to the Lord God of Noah?

The three sons of Noah became (servants to) the Lord God of Noah. Noah did’t force them to do that, it was a wilful act by all three sons. Noah just happened to be the leader. Now the flood has passed, Noah is dead and, Shem becomes the very same voice that formed the leadership of a family. Can you see how that both Japheth and Ham would be much better off if the would have yielded to the (Lord God of Shem)?

If we bring this op to present and compare it to what we see today, Shem is a picture of every man that stands behind a pulpit in a Church and tries his best to say exactly what his (Lord God) tells him to say. Every person that is listening to him is like both Japheth and Ham.

Japheth is a metaphor to those that think they are doing fine as they are. Actually, it’s not relative to whether they are born again or not. The fact is that they are not interested in yielding themselves to the leadership of the Lord God of the pastors that are speaking because he is preaching to someone else, not them.

WHAT CAN I SAY TO INSPIRE A NATION?

WE THE PEOPLE

In the United States of America, our slogan is (IN GOD WE TRUST). I believe with a passion that among (we the people) that slogan still rings true in our hearts!

In our nation we the people see very clearly what happens when education and the love of money takes away the clear vision that we have by the Spirit of God that truly desires to lead this nation.

(We the people) go to all kinds of different denominations of Churches, some of us don’t even go to Church however, although we might not all see things in the same spiritual light, we all basically, in our simple way seek to know Jeaus Christ and have a yearning to walk close to his will.

The deception of education in our schools and even in our Churches has greatly weakened the ability of (we the people) to fight against the powers that be.

(We the people) placed our trust in our government and our spiritual leaders only to have them become our worst enemies to the destruction of our freedoms of liberty and religion.

Just as our government seeks to weaken or even change our constitution, now even the word of God has been changed to the place that we never even argue over what is truly his word anymore.

If we stay on the same course we are currently on, one day will we simply accept anything our government says to be true in our constitution? Will we become a rogue land void of any solid foundation to stand on, just as our Churches have become?

(I believe) that the watering down of God’s word was the prerequisite to the downfall of the ability of (we the people) to have control of our governemt.

It all happens just a little at a time, Satan is a picture of patience! He woos us to sleep while we changes our leadership into a people he controls rather than the Spirit of God being the voice that speaks to our hearts.

Often, even the people he is using is unaware of his tactics.

Jude 1:4

FOR THERE ARE CERTAIN MEN CREPT IN UNAWARES, WHO WERE BEFORE OF OLD ORDAINED TO THIS COMDEMNATION, UNGODLY MEN, TURNING THE GRACE OF OUR GOD INTO LASCIVIOUSNESS, AND DENYING THE ONLY LORD GOD, AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

My desire is to help (we the people) understand where their spiritual focus must be! This has nothing to do with a personal desire to lift up any denomination or religion or any one version of God’s word. My desire is not to degrade any political party but simply to show what has happened to (we the people) myself being one of those people in the very sense of deception.

(I believe) that our political eyes are being opened at this time to the political corruption in our nation however, I don’t see the same (eye opening experience) as it relates to the spiritual corruption that (I believe) brought about the possible destruction of the nation that uses as it’s motto (IN GOD WE TRUST).

We seen in the verse we read this: (certain men) ( of old ordained to this condemnation). So, when did all this start? That might be a hard question to answer however, I believe America as a nation was at its strongest when the original text of the word of God was at its peak. Once men begun to allow (themselves) to tamper with God’s word, a downfall began!

Being ( ONE NATION UNDER GOD) is a very powerful statement. But, what is the essence of that statement? What that statement means is that the leadership of our nation recognized what the word of God was, read his word, listened to his spirit as he spoke and moved toward the will of God as he;the Spirit moved on their hearts.

The men that (crept in Unawares) had nothing to do with politics persa. However, their actions had politcal assertions whether they meant for them to or not. It’s impossible to change God’s word without it effecting a (whole nation under God), impossible.

The United States as a nation was completely unaware of the transformation that a single spiritual act or, the lack thereof could do. All it takes is time! Many things might be done with well meaning intentions but, the mindset that forgets to consider God’s Spirit as he speaks will always allow God’s will to be missed until, that Spirit is heard and obeyed once again.

What I write, where I stand is a place you don’t have to agree with. However, it’s not up to me to convince you of truth. God’s Spirit wants me to the best of my ability to reveal truth to you, it’s up to that same Spirit to reveal that truth to you. Once that occurs, it’s up to you to believe what God’s Spirit reveals to you and act on it accordingly.

Do you realize that up until the late 1800’s every attempt to change the word of God into the English Language was done only using the original text written in Hebrew and Greek? At that point man begun to change the words in scripture revising the King Kames Bible, not the original text. I’ve often wondered, was it God’s Spirit that moved on man’s heart to remove the books of the Apocrypha from the King James Bible? Did God inspire man to do that in the late 1800’s? If not, then under whose authority was it done, was it Satan?

That act took place over a hundred years ago, look within our Churches at what we have today! What do we see that is inspired by God today, anything? Is it even debated? My point is that what man use to look at as a very sacred book is not ever considered to be that way today. Now, you can take any version you like, any book you like and call it God’s word. Not one person ever questions it in many cases. As a matter of fact, if it is then the person that questions it becomes the enemy!

I’ll be the first to admit. I cannot begin to understand all that has happened over the years as it relates to God’s word. I do however know its been changed multiple times. Please understand my point. Do we actually hear from God today is all I’m trying to ask. My whole desire is to help people understand that God deals with individuals. With that being said, we far too often just hear what man has to say to us rather than seeking to allow God’s Spirit to speak directly to us. That fact has allowed Satan to (slip in unaware) weakening our Churches and even our nation.

There was a time when men were so passionate about our nations constitution that they would fight against any person trying to misuse that document. It was the very same way with the Word of God. We placed a value on those two documents above our very lives knowing the consequences if either one of them lost their power.

In reality, if we lose our constitution, we lose our freedom. If we lose the true word of God then, what do we lose? Do we not lose our very souls, the souls of our children and grandchildren to a place called HELL? I see that happening in my very own family! What the very power of God use to be is now almost unspoken of by the very children that were raised in God fearing Churches. The word of God being changed and its power being deminished.

In our country today we see an uprising of patriots because many of our politicians are not keeping their oath to the Constitution of the United States of America they swore to uphold. I truly appreciate that passion because I stand with those patriots. However, why don’t we have that same unwavering passion for the true word of God. Can we agree that losing our own soul, the souls of our children and grandchildren to that place called HELL is worse that losing our freedom?

In my desire, my passion to try and create in or inspire a nation; I’d like to ask every reader a simple question. Will you say that you know you’re going to heaven when you die? Or, do you just have a (hope so) salvation? Without saying a word outloud, possibly, God just spoke to your heart! You see, we are no longer spiritually taught a (know so) salvation and we are not spiritually pressed by preaching with passion to come to that (know so) place in our spiritual walk with Christ.

I believe this fact is directly tied to the lack of the knowledge of the true word of God! Our Churches have now created a passion for almost every movement we can think of other than simply going outside the doors of the Church building and sharing a (know so) salvation. If you can’t say that (you know) you’re saved, how can you share what you have with anyone else? Our witnessing has now become inviting others to our Church and desiring for them to join our Church family.

All I’m trying to point out is that we have lost our passion for the true word of God and, we don’t have true confidence in what we have. This is because of the watering down of God’s word and also the preaching without the power of God.

As far as how all this relates to the passion we have for our constitution and our desire to bring it back to where it once was, I believe we will have a better chance of doing that than we will bringing the true word of God back to the place it once was. While Satan might have a hand in the destruction of the constitution he has a much greater desire to destroy God’s word and the power of the preaching thereof than he does the constitution.

Why would I say that? because the constitution has to do with our physical liberty while the word of God our spiritual liberty and wellbeing. Personally, I believe if we can inspire people to reconsider what God’s true word is with a passion to change their own mindsets toward his will with the passion of the preaching thereof then we won’t have a problem rebuilding our constitution. However, trying to reset the Constitution without first seeking the actual document it was based on will be almost impossible.

The very foundation of our constitution was based on the foundation of God’s true and Holy Word. The men that laid the foundation of the Constitution believd that word to be on a solid foundation and stood on its precepts. Did they all agree on it all? No, they didn’t! Just exactly like we don’t but, they agreed that it was the true and living word.

consider this: What does it take to change the Constitution? Although it is a process by law to change the Constitution, it can be done. However, what does it take to Change God’s word? Can it be changed? Has it been changed?

I believe it’s a great misunderstanding about this. The actual misunderstanding is just to whom is giving the responsibility to teach God’s word. The actual ability of man to change God’s word is within man’s ability to change who people will listen to. When Satan in the body of a Serpent looked at Eve and said: ( Did God say)? To whom was Eve listening? Man actually asked that same question today but, not in the same words. Often men will use things taught by professors to make a point. They’ll say; Professor so and so put it this way. Well, what differnece does it make what the professor said or taught?

What we’re missing is that it’s not the man speaking that has the responsibility to teach you but, that responsibility to left to the Holy Spirit of God that lives within each born again believer. All I or, any person can be is the mouthpiece of that Holy Spirit. It’s man’d responsibility to expound the truth of God’s word. That’s all he can do.

How can I inspire a nation to return back to the old paths of expounding God’s word? How can I get people, Church members to demand that their pastors preach the truth with power, those people knowing and understanding that Holy Ghost power?

At some point we fell in love with Church buildings, pastors and Sunday School teachers and we forgot the old paths of the true word of God and we forsook the Holy Ghost power we so desperately need to change a nation.

What can I say to help you as a individual understand that it’s very possible the Bible you say you read, the one you take to Church is not a book that is inspired by God the Father? What can I say to help a person see that the reason they can’t understand God’s word is not because of anything other that the absence of the desire to hear from God’s Spirit in our Churches and often, in our very own hearts? What can I say that will cause you to turn from your Church, your pastor, your Sunday School teacher and drop to your knees, begging God to teach you from his word, by his Spirit? What can I say?

WHAT’S MISSING?

As we get into what’s missing, speaking expressly to individuals; I’d like to have you to consider yourself, spiritually forgetting every other person, including me and every other part of your life that might give insight to where you are as an individual. I want you just to look at what things you know about your personal spiritual life.

(I believe) that to inpire this nation the way it should be inspired is relative to the faith that God’s people actually put into what the say they believe. At one time in our nation the Church house was the meeting place for believers, for a school to teach our children and also a place where concerned citizens met to come to important issues in their communities. The faith that believers put forth was like a sweet smell even to those that didn’t believe.

So, let’s make this missing fact (1). Do you realize that from 65 to 75 percent of Americans call themselve Christians? With that fact being known, notice just how little Jesus Christ is mentioned outside the Church we attend. As you look at yourself, when is the last time you looked straight at another individual and asked; have you been born again, are you saved?

While it’s a possible three fourths of the citizens of our country that say they believe, Jesus Christ is one of the least talked about subjects at our homes and our work places Considering yourself, am I speaking to you? or, are you the exception?

Still speaking about the things we discuss around our homes or our work places and, changing a nation, exactly what would you like to change it to? Can you see how that question is answered just might be one of the greatest problems we have in our country? Let’s consider some things we now see in our people (Christian people and Churches). Before we get into this, there’s a saying that I believe relates to this. (If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime).

Today, there are Christians who have as their passion to stop abortion. That’s their passion! Christian people set up pregnancy centers and organizations such as that. Their purpose is to seek to change the minds of young women about abortion offering them alternatives to abortion. Let’s say the organization wins, the process works and a life is saved. Is salvation acomplished or sin felt conviction drawn by the holy Spirit? Is that aspect of the true calling of the Church even considered? Can you see the same concept here as the fish and fishing? I am totally against abortion! However, all I’m saying is that in all we do, we must get our priorities right, seeking to win people to Christ above all.

I realize the things I have to say might not be popular but, they must be seen and recognized, above the passions we have in our lives. If not, we place ourselves on the eternal losing side. It we don’t consider these things we will focus far too much on the physical side of things and not nearly enough on the spiritual side, gaining eternal life for those concerned.

Let’s consider this as born again believers. Can we accept God will as we go through this worldly life, no matter what that will is? As ambassadors of Jesus Christ, where do we draw the line? Can we draw a line?

As we consider inspiring a nation, we must look into the physical and spiritual aspects of our lives. I believe that the physical abilities of this world, what man is capable of doing today blurs the spiritual mindsets of even spiritual people.

I’d like to get inro some of the things I consider as time moves forward. However, My prayer is that some of the things I have already stated with help turn a nation back to the heartfelt spiritual mindset that will inspire each of us toward a loving God, one that truly desires to help us if we are willing to truly seek him.

What is your spiritual condition? Where do you stand with God the Father? Can he use us to inspire a nation back to his his will and his guidance?

Meditate on these things!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

A BURDEN FOR A NATION

Nehemiah 4:17

THEY WHICH BUILDED ON THE WALL, AND THEY THAT BARE BURDENS, WITH THOSE THAT LADED, EVERY ONE WITH ONE OF HIS HANDS WROUGHT IN THE WORK, AND WITH THE OTHER HAND HELD A WEAPON.

If you will read this book in the Bible you will see that Nehemiah had been given permission by the king to go and visit Jerusalem and the walls around it. The people of Israel were in captivity and he hadn’t seen his hometown in years. When he returned the king could see in his face that he was disturbed and, that king gave him permission to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.

In the verse we wrote it says this: (AND THEY THAT BARE BURDENS). As I considered this it dawned on me that it’s possible that every person that went back to help rebuild that wall wasn’t actually able to do very much work but, they were just as burdened as the man that could do about anything that needed to be done.

It also says that every person used a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other. I’m going to call this (multitasking). Just because the king had given them permission to rebuild the wall didn’t mean that there wasn’t people of other nations that would be fighting against their very will to do so.

As I look at Nehemiah and the fact he had been gone from Jerusalem for a while; In reminded of all the great American people that have died, leaving this country in a very stable, well governed condition. What if (the king) would grant just one of them permission to come back to our country and view it now, what would he see? When that person got back to the king would he see a troubled look on his face?

I think so! Just as the people all around Jerusalen could care less about that city at that time, we now have the very same mindset of people right here, all around us. The individual that, let’s say came back from a period around 1950 would be very grieved with what he sees, I know because I am that man!

I’d like to share what I believe to be the necessary weapon we each need to carry in out other hand as we do our perspective jobs in an attempt to rebuild this nation. One of the first things we can do, even without using our hands is to (pray without ceasing). We see that in:

1 Thessalonians 5:17

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.

If we as patiots truly have a desire to put a country back to the place where and when God blessed us the most it must come from a humble heart, a heart that is in constant communication with God the Father, that; within our ability to speak to him and hear/listen to his direction.

Something I often say is this. Any person that can’t tell you one thing that they would be willing to die for actually doesn’t have anything to live for, they just can’t see it. Can you see how that has to do with what any person desires the most? What I’m looking for cannot be just about me. I must be concerned about something much greater than just my own personal life.

This is another point that I often consider. Do you realize that Jesus Christ is the only person that ever lived that never got one single person to be just like the desired for them to be? Basically speaking, he never got his way, not even one time yet, he gave his all for us!

We all have tools, attrtibutes, abilities as we seek to rebuild a nation, restore the walls that are torn down. We have the ability to use one of our hands to use the tool we have been given by God’s grace to bring about something great. However, the weapon we must have in our other hand is the word of God! That weapon along with our prayers to him and hearing him as he speaks to our hearts will create one of the most powerful forces this world has ever seen (again)! I believe it was once here, right in this nation!

Somewhere along life’s way we laid God’s word down, we stop praying for the things that are truly important and began to see ourselves as greater than any other thing that matters.

My dad lived to be 92. I use to jokingly say to him: yeah, ya’ll build those super highways so we can drive and travel more freely, our children can pay for them! Look where we are now! Our great great grandchildren can’t even pay off the debt. All this because of what we desire for ourselves.

Please don’t misundestand, I realize that corrupt politicains have basically placed us where we are today. More than likely, it was the same with Nehemiah, the leadership in God’s Chosen People led them into captivity. However, Nehemiah desired, as an individual to change that course inspired a nation!

We, as a people can do the very same thing. The tools we need are at hand, all given by God the father and empowered by him through the Spirit he places in the hearts of all that believe.

I once heard a story about a missionary that was retiring from a mission he had spent his entire life to build in a foriegn country. The flight he took to come home also has a rock and roll band on it as well, they were headed home as well. When the plane landed there were thousands of people to meet the band as they got off the plane but, not one soul was there to greet the missionary.

As he walked through the airport he prayed; Lord, all this time I’ve worked for you and all these people came to see these band members when they got home but, not one for me. The Lord spoke to his heart and replied (YOU’RE NOT HOME YET)!

We, as patriots must realize the greater cause while we seek to save a nation. We must put our priorties in the right place seeking God’s will in all we do. There are people with great talents among us but they seek fame and fortune using their talents. Every talent is God given and God’s desire is for each talent to be use for his glory. If not, it all ends at the grave!

Can we be Nehemiahs and see the greater picture and cause?

Marhsall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7