(THE TESTIMONY OF MARSHALL CLAYTON)

I’d like to begin this with some scripture said about himself.

Romans 7:18-25

FOR I KNOW THAT IN ME (THAT IS IN MY FLESH,) DWELLETH NO GOOD THING: FOR TO WILL IS PRESENT WTH ME; BUT HOW TO PERFORM THAT WHICH IS GOOD I FIND NOT. (19) FOR THE GOOD THAT I WOULD I DO NOT: BUT THE EVIL WHICH I WOULD NOT: THAT I DO. (20) NOW IF I DO THAT I WOULD NOT, IT IS NO MORE I DO IT BUT SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME. (21) I FIND THEN A LAW, THAT, WHEN I WOULD DO GOOD, EVIL IS PRESENT WITH ME. (22) FOR I DELIGHT IN THE LAW OF GOD AFTER THE INWARD MAN: (23) BUT I SEE ANOTHER LAW IN MY MEMBERS, WARRING AGAINST THE LAW OF MY MIND, AND BRINGING ME INTO CAPTIVITY TO THE LAW OF SIN WHICH IS IN MY MEMBERS. (24) O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM! WHO SHALL DELIVER ME FROM THE BODY OF THIS DEATH? (25) I THANK GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. SO THEN WITH THE MIND I MYSELF SERVE THE LAW OF GOD: BUT WITH THE FLESH THE LAW OF SIN.

As I deliver my testimony, I’d like for each of you to know that all I am is a sinner saved by the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I, like the Apostle Paul still struggle with my flesh and I realize I will until my journey through this life is complete.

I often tell people that my greatest burden in my born-again experience is for those that are members of Churches, say they believe in Jeus Christ, been baptized and joined a local Church but have never experienced the new birth it takes, be born into the family of God. More than likely for a good portion of my spiritual life this has been something that was present with me but, because of the weakness of my flesh, I didn’t understand all that Our Lord was instructing me to do. With that being said, my testimony might reveal to you why I can clearly see what happens to many people that are deceived about their own personal salvation.

In my life I have basically always been in Church. As a boy my mom seen to it that my sisters and I went to Church each Sunday, taught us how to dress and basically started the foundation of salvation in our lives. I remember when I turned sixteen, on a Sunday morning my mom came to my bedroom door to tell me to get up to go to Church. She said this: today will be the last time I ever call you up to go to Church, you’re sixteen. From now on you’re on your own. You can decide for yourself what you want as far as Church is concerned.

Guess what? I quit going! From that morning up until I was around twenty-three years old, I only went to Church for maybe Easter, mother and Father’s Day. Just being respectful. I often tell young people that you can make mistakes between the age of fifteen and twenty-five that you won’t live long enough to get over. What we fail to understand is this. Jesus Christ has already forgiven each of us for our sin. That’s a simple statement and very true. However, if you choose to live in sin, you will suffer the consequences of the sin you live in.

When I make that statement, understand this. Every person that ever died or will die and spend an eternity in hell, their sin, every one of them was covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Thet just simply didn’t except the sacrifice he offered.

When I was eighteen, I made a girl pregnant. While the young woman and I never married, I made up my mind that I’d support the baby as long as I was supposed to. However, the baby died at birth. Well, do you think that ended it as my life moved forward? Far from it my friend. As you see, I’m even writing about it now. Can you see how that one thing changed that young woman’s life and mine for as long as we live?

You also must realize that that was just one thing in my sinful life! However, that was a very big thing. You have to understand, my mom and all three of my sisters were people that sought to walk with Jesus Christ. I felt like I had let ever person that was important in my life down. Now remember, I’m not going to Church anywhere.

My sister actually got married to a young man that went to an Independent Baptist Church. Before she was married, she would often come home and tell us that we didn’t know what we were missing in our Church experience. She and the young man got married in that Church that he was a member of. I had already told the young woman that was pregnant I would take her to their wedding. So, we went and that was the last time I had anything to do with her. To be honest, I can’t remember whether even she knew she was pregnant at that time, really doesn’t matter.

My oldest sister got married on (October 5, 1969). In March the next year they had a revival at that Church. I was dating someone else at that time. Being very grieved about how I had let my family down, she and I went to revival one night. You must understand that as a sinful young man I was seeking a way to make myself look better in the eyes of my family as well as other people. That night when the alter call was given, I went down to the alter.

As I knelt at the altar, the man that was preaching revival came and knelt beside me. He asked me if I had been saved, I replied (no). He then asked if I would like to be, I replies (yes). He then took his Bible and took me down what I now know as (the roman’s road). That simply showing a person how to be saved using the Book of Romans in the Bible. I answered all the questions just as he desired for me to. He then helped me pray the (sinner’s prayer). When we stood up, he announced to the Church that I had just been saved!

Just as soon as I could, I ran out of That Church. I went by the pew where my girlfriend was sitting, got her hand, as I went out, I shook a few people’s hands but, I was really ready to get out of that place.

From that night on, not one thing changed in my life. I still cursed, I still done things with my girlfriend I shouldn’t have done. I had a problem stealing, not big things but just little things I wanted, However, that’s still stealing! The only thing that changed in my life was this. If you or any person ever asked me if I had been saved, I’d reply (yes). Why, just because I had been down to an altar, made a profession of faith and said the sinner’s prayer. From that night until sometime in 1973 I never went back to any Church.

I was married in 1970, August. In July 1973 my wife and I had a little baby girl. We had just moved into a new house we had built on June 1 that year. Sometimes In August I remember going up the steps to our house thinking this. I need to at least give my daughter the same opportunity I had as a boy, I need to take her to Church. My wife and I stared going back to the same Methodist Church that my mom had always taken us to. Two of my sisters and my mom still were members of that Church. At that time another one of my sisters had married and her husband taught Sunday School in that Church, we were in his class.

We went to that Church until 1975. There was an independent Baptist Church that had started in the little town we lived in. My sister and her husband had begun to visit that Church on Sunday nights. They would often tell us to visit with them. For a while I refused stating I was fine where I was. However, as time moved forward, we started to visit with them;

The very first night I visited, when we walked in the entrance of that Church, I knew something is different here. Our second daughter was born in January 1975. She was just ten months old. As we sit down on the second or third pew from the front, she was squirming around in my lap. I’ll be honest, what I was feeling and her squirming, I was ready to leave. A woman (Mrs. Wagner) came over, just took her out of my lap and said, I’ll take her to the nursery so you can enjoy the service.

Every time I give my testimony, I always give her credit for being a part of my salvation. I say that on that Sunday night I probably actually heard the salvation message for the first time in my life. That doesn’t mean it hadn’t been preached in my presence, I just didn’t listen. In October 1975 I was just short of being twenty-five years old. While I didn’t go to the alter that night, we continued to visit on Sunday nights. Then, we enjoyed it so much we decided to go on a Sunday morning sometimes in November.

On that Sunday morning, I often tell people that I was so bad about cursing I probably cursed someone out on my way to Church that morning. However, that Sunday morning as I listen to the message, God’s Spirit spoke to my heart. When alter call was given, I went down to the alter. Not one person came around me, no pastor, no deacon, not one Church person met me at that alter. However, I want you to know that Jesus Christ met me there on that Sunday morning! When I left that alter, my life was changed forever!

I often tell people this. I went to Church that Sunday morning cursing but at that alter, God cleaned my vocabulary up! I tell them now if I even start to think, not say just think curse words I realize I need to be drawn back into a closer walk with Jesus Christ! That Sunday morning, I was born-again! I want you to consider this. There was a factory just across the street from our Church. I’m an electrician by trade and we were working in that factory. There, in that factory not many weeks after I was born-again, we were working. I have never seen a (self-tapping screw) at that time. Now they are a very common thing but, not then. Another contractor that we were working with had a whole box of them. I wanted some. When no one was around, I reached down to get me a handful of them. As I reached down, God’s Spirit said (NO) they’re not yours! At that point, I stopped! I never forgot that moment! I did ask the other contractor if I could use some and he said to help myself. What a blessing! Before that we would always have to drill a hole and use a stove bolt but now, we can use self-tapping screws!

The rest of my life is history! Over the years I have always used a (King James Bible). I don’t study anything else. I often hear people say that they can’t understand the (King James Bible), I wonder, do they understand the one they read? You see, it takes God’s Spirit to reveal God’s word. When I was lost, I couldn’t understand it because I didn’t have that, Spirit.

My burden! Just how many people is it that’s living just like I lived from (March 1970 until November 1975) confessing to be saved but have never experienced the new birth by being born again? That is what drives me to my knees and causes me to be as much of a witness as I possibly can in every way!

I’d like for you to recognize something with me. From (March 1970 until November 1975) if you Rember if someone asked me if I were saved, I always reply (yes). However, if they took it a step farther and asked (Do you know you are going to heaven when you die)? My answer would always be (I hope so).

I’d like to try and explain one difference I see in me since I am born-again. When my dad was a boy, he was raised in a Primitive Baptist Church. They say you have no choice, if God wants you to go to heaven, he takes you. If you are predestined to go to hell, then you will go. In the Methodist Church I went to they believe you can fall from grace because of sin. Once you say you’re saved if you sin afterwards, you have to be saved again. The Baptist Church I went to preached (eternal security).

Now, I’m not saying I understand all about the Primitive Baptist’s belief or the Methodist. I still have a lot to learn about all scripture teaches. However, when I was born-again, I remember thing, just who is this man? What makes him right? Why can’t we say the Methodist or Primitive Baptist are correct and he is wrong?

To those question, I made up my mind. It’s not up to any man to teach me. If the answer to my questions can be answered it will be because of scripture. I began to pray, Lord, teach me! I don’t want to be Baptist, Methodist, Primitive Baptist or any other man’s belief or opinion. My desire is for you Lord to teach me!

I’ve now been studying for forty-two years. I’m still seeking for a few or, many answers but I refuse to simply take any man’s word for what turns out to be (my eternal destiny). I don’t believe you should either!

I’ve learned over the years to listen to people. Take what I can use for God’s glory and leave the rest alone! As you read my testimony, look at your spiritual walk. Where do you stand? (I know) I’m going to be with my Lord when I die. I don’t say that because someone else told me that but rather because I studied, listen to the Holy Spirit and learned at his feet! You can do the very same thing!

I’ll close with this. I was once asked by a man if I knew I was going to heaven when I died? I replied, yes, I do! There was another young man standing close by listening to us. This is what he said: (No hell you don’t, nobody knows where they are going when they die). I looked at him and asked, sir can I asked you a question? He said, yes. I asked, just how much time have you spent studying your Bible? He said, I probably haven’t read two verses my whole life. To that I replied, I’ve spent now a major part of my life seeking answers from that book and you think you can honestly say that? He never said another word, just walked off!

All I might know in my heart. While I might be able to enlighten you in your Seach for truth it still has to be what you know that helps you as you seek for answers about eternal security. It’s there! Please, don’t just let someone else tell you how to think. Find a know so answer and let them do whatsoever they please! There’s only one Holy Spirit, one truth. God’s Spirit will always reveal truth, nothing short of the truth. Let him be your teacher in all things spiritual and learn just how much you can trust him. It’s your eternal future we are talking about!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

(A CHURCH) DOES IT (DRAW IN) OR (SEND OUT)?

As I sit here and seek guidance from God’s Holy Spirit about how to begin this, my mind wanders to missionaries being (sent out) from any given Church. Speaking of missionaries, I know my calling is to the lost members of Churches, Church members that have said they believe in Jesus Christ, been baptized and even joined their local Church but, they have never been born again. They know nothing about the new birth in Christ Jesus.

With that being said, I remember a missionary coming to a Church I was a member of once and telling us he felt led to go to the Philippines to do mission work. As a young believer, I wonder, how does he know that? How does he know that God is calling him to that area of the world?

What missionaries in most denominations have to do is to come out to local Churches in their denominations and do what they call (deputation work). It’s the art of getting local Churches to support you on the mission you say you fell led to go on. After some time, one day I and my pastor were together on visitation. I asked him about how I felt concerning understanding the leadership of God’s Spirit. I used that missionary as an example. My pastor told me that the missionaries’ wife was from the Philippines. I said, Oh! Now I understand!

Now, I ask you, did God’s Spirit lead the man? I can’t say, I’m not his judge. However, I can say that God has impressed upon my heart to reach out to the people that are lost within the average local Church. It has nothing to do with any denomination, any desire for the support of any group of people and I’m not seeking to approval of any particular local Church. As a matter of fact, not many pastors will allow me to even confront their congregation about (making their calling and election sure)!

(2 Peter 1:10)

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

Our Churches today are calling as many people as possible in but sending very few out! I believe that one of the first things we must understand is: (What is the Church)!

Jesus Christ said this:

Matthew 16:18

AND I SAY 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.

Now, let’s look at these verses as it concerns the Apostle Paul:

Acts 21:11-13

AND WHEN HE WAS COME UNTO US, HE TOOK PAUL’S GIRDLE, AND BOUND HIS OWN HANDS AND FEET, AND SAID, THUS SAITH THE HOLY GHOST, SO SHALL THE JEWS AT JERUSALEM BIND THE MAN THAT OWNETH THIS GIRDLE AND SHALL DELIVER HIM INTO THE HAND OF THE GENTILES. (12) AND WHEN WE HEARD THESE THINGS, BOTH WE, AND THEY OF THAT PLACE, BESOUGHT HIM NOT TO GO UP TO JERUSALEM. (13) THEN PAUL ANSWERED, WHAT MEAN YE TO WEEP AND TO BREAK MINE HEART? FOR I AM READY NOT TO BE BOUND ONLY, BUT TO ALSO DIE AT JERUSALEM FOR THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.

I’d like to take the time here to teach another lesson. We see in (verse 10) that a prophet named Agabus shared this with Paul and the people in that place. What I believe about what is happening here is this. Up until the birth of the Church God spoke to his people by prophets, During the life of Jesus Christ, we see in the gospels that God spoke to us by his Son.

Hebrews 1:1-2

GOD, WHO AT SUNDRY TIMES AND IN DIVERS MANNERS SPAKE IN TIME PAST UNTO THE FATHER BY THE PROPHETS, (2) HATH IN THESE LAST DAYS SPOKEN UNTO US BY HIS SON, WHOM HE HATH APPOINTED HEIR OF ALL THINGS, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS;

I show that verse to back up the statement about God speaking by his Son. However, since the birth of the Church, now God’s Spirit is within every born-again believer. Personally, I don’t believe that the prophet Agabus understood that as he was speaking about, and to Paul. Possibly, many of the people in that place didn’t completely understand it as well.

Today, as a member of the body of Christ (the Church) each of us have God’s Spirit within us. God has the ability to lead all of us to do different things even if the Church we attend totally disagrees with what we say we feel led to do. We can even debate this. Was The Apostle Paul right in his decision or wrong? My answer to that would be, as far as the Apostle Paul’s relationship with Jesus Christ is concerned, what difference does it make what any man might think?

I’d like to share this story about a friend of mine many years ago. This young man actually married one of my former pastor’s daughters. We were members of the same Church. As time moved forward, his father-in-law, my pastor resigned the Church. My friend and his wife left the Church, but I stayed.

After a few months my friend visited me at my house just to talk and share his feelings. He told me that he believed God was calling him to preach. He knew that I had surrendered to preach and just desired to seek some answers or to see what I thought about it. He also said that he had shared his feelings with his pastor. He said that his pastor had told him he needed to go to school if God was calling him to preach.

When he told me that, I replied, is God calling you to preach or your pastor? I told him that God wasn’t calling him to go to school but to preach his word. He told me he couldn’t afford to go to school with two children and a wife to support.

This story happened about thirty-five years ago. this young man never surrendered to preach. Now, I ask you, who did he listen to God the Father or his pastor (that of a local Church)? To whom did he listen?

Our Churches today are far more concerned about (drawing people in) to the local Church and having control of what they as individuals do than they are allowing God’s Spirit to (send people out) to do his will. For the most part people are more inclined to listen to Church leadership than to be obedient to the call of God. As a matter of fact, we now have a mindset that the local Church is the very voice of God when it’s often far from it!

So, let’s consider some things. When Jesus Christ said: (upon this rock will I build my Church and, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it). What was he saying? Who is the Church? The Church are those that believe that (THOU ART THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD)! It has very little to do with local Church membership, being baptized or, for the most past the fact you say you believe in Jesus Christ!

I want us to look at a word we see in:

Revelation 2:6

BUT THIS THOU HAST, THAT THOU HATEST THR DEEDS OF THE NICOLAITANES, WHICH I ALSO HATE.

If you will notice here, he says (deeds of the Nicolaitanes). Now, look in verse:

Revelation 2:15

SO THAT THOU ALSO THEM THAT HOLD THE DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES, WHICH THING I HATE.

Here we see it changes to (THE DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES). So, in the Church of Ephesus what was simply deeds, now, in the Church of Pergamos it has become a doctrine. Do you realize that this word cannot be found nowhere else in scripture? However, (NIKSO)means (to conquer). (LAOS) means (the people). These two words are (root words) of the word Nicolaitanes. So, what is being taught here?

Look at these two verses:

First: 1 Timothy 2:3-4

FOR THIS IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE IN THE SIGHT OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR; (4) WHO WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, AND TO COME UNTO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.

Second: 2 Timothy 3:7

EVER LEARNING, AND NEVER ABLE TO COME TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.

Now, let’s look at those verses in the light of the Apostle Peter that said this: (thou art the Christ, the son of the living God). When we watch Peter’s life we see where he made many mistakes as he walked with Jesus Christ. However, he, at the same time was gaining a spiritual education that was given him by, at that time Jesus Christ and later on, the very Spirit of God that came upon him on the (Day of Pentecost). God didn’t expect Peter to be perfect, ever. However, he was expecting him to (come to the knowledge of the truth). Although it might have taken years for the Apostle Peter to come to an understanding of (the Church) that Jesus Christ spoke of and, (the Church) that the Apostle Paul was given the mystery concerning: (Ephesians 3). he did, in the end recognize exactly what he was teaching! Look at these verses:

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 IN ALL HIS EPISTLES, SPEAKING IN THEM OF THESE THINGS; IN WHICH ARE SOME THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, WHICH THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST, AS THEY DO ALSO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, UNTO THEIR OWN DISTRUCTION.

So, who brought the Apostle Peter to this truth? Was it a council of men? the rest of the Apostles? No, it was the Spirit of God within him that revealed that truth to him! I showed you to word (Nicolaitans) to make the point that men have a desire to control how you think, what you know and to govern you. Almost every Church you might attend today has a group of men that govern how that Church is run outside of that group of Church members. In other words, that Church is not led by God’s Spirit but rather what man says is God’s will for you to know, what to teach, how to spend the money within that Church, how you decide your missionaries, pastors and so on.

This is what Jesus Christ is saying in (Revelation 2) that he hates! The Church today desires to control who comes in and who goes out and where! I was born again in an Independent Baptist Church. Exactly what does that mean? By definition it appears that that Church is completely self-governed apart from any other Church or group of people. Now, that, in some cases might be true but, I learned very quickly that in most cases if you don’t agree with some other pastors of other Churches, you’ll be cut off from any fellowship with them and any other people they might have influence over.

Can you see how that if that happens then you’re not independent at all? You are bowing to the will of men. Let’s consider something else here. When the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to any Church, do you see where there is a denomination, he sends it to? Of course not! He’s sending that letter to born-again believers within that area, not to a pastor.

Let be honest! Most Church denominations today are seeking to draw as many people into those denominations as possible. As far as any of those people going out to do anything beyond what that denomination desires for them to do is not even considered. We now boast about how many members we have. We never say one word about how many men are called to preach from our Church, how many missionaries we send out from our Church. How many new Churches we have helped establish, even supplying the pastor we helped to start.

I believe in the local New Testament Church! I also believe that within that assembly there are multiple opinions, mostly wrong, sometimes even the man that is called pastor has a wrong opinion. I believe that within that assembly ever person has a God given right to voice out loud what they believe. At the same time, I say that I also believe that each born-again believer has a hunger to learn truth and is willing to listen to every other person as they share. How each local New Testament Church handles the way that is carried out must be (descent and in order).

The Bible says that (God is not the author of confusion):

1 Corinthians 14:33

FOR GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, BUT OF PEACE, AS IN ALL CHURCHES OF THE SAINTS.

What? Does that verse mean that you are not confused? No, it doesn’t! Most people in the average Church today are confused about something in scripture, they just don’t ever say anything about it. We are so afraid of being wrong that we just except wrong and never say a thing about it. Our pastor can say something we disagree with, and we will never even question what he said, not out loud anyway.

(I believe) that when people are born again then God’s Spirit will show them truth, no matter who it comes from. Let’s say there is someone in an assembly that questions eternal security. In open assembly that person stands and tells the congregation how he feels. The pastor, after the question is asked reveals that he doesn’t know if he can answer that question rightfully. Therefore, a member of the congregation stands and says, I can! Therefore, the pastor allows him to speak. He takes God’s word and, look at this verse:

Titus 1:9

HOLDING FAST THE FAITHFUL WORD AS HE HATH BEEN TAUGHT, THAT HE MAY BE ABLE BY SOUND DOCTRINE BOTH EXHORT AND TO CONVINCE THE GAINSAYERS.

This man that is speaking is allowing God’s Spirit to speak through him. When this happens, he both exhorts and convinces the people that question (truth). This is not because he is anything special but rather because he is speaking truth and God’s Spirit is doing the teaching!

We have built what we consider to be Churches! However, our Churches often are far too big, with too many people to be able to properly allow God’s Spirit to work within them. Often the people are confused and unlearned spiritually but they never move forward from the place they are spiritually.

I’ve shared this true story before, but I believe this is a good place to share it again. My wife and I visited a mega Church one Sunday. After the singing was finished and the pastor took the pulpit, he made this statement. He said that he knew that many of the people had a desire to speak in tongues. If you feel you have something, you need to share see one of our deacons, share it with him, if he deems what you have to say worthy to be heard then we will allow you to speak.

I thought to myself, what is this? So, a man gets to decide whether another believer has a right to speak? Of course, not one person said a word, including me! It was just excepted as being spiritual insight. Look at these verses:

1 Corinthians 14: 27-31

IF ANY MAN SPEAK IN AN UNKNOWN TONGUE, LET IT BE BY TWO, OR AT THE MOST THREE, AND THAT BY COURSE; AND LET ONE INTERPRET. (28) BUT IF THERE BE NO INTERPRETER, LET HIM KEEP IN SILIENCE IN THE CHURCH; AND LET HIM SPEAK TO HIMSELF, AND TO GOD. (29) LET THE PROPHETS SPEAK TWO OR THREE, AND LET THE OTHER JUDGE. (30) IF ANY THING BE REVEALED TO ANOTHER THAT SITTETH BY, LET THE FIRST HOLD HIS PEACE. (31) FOR YE MAY ALL PROPHESY ONE BY ONE, THAT ALL MAY LEARN, AND ALL MAY BE COMFORTED.

Can you see hear where on a normal Church service the man that calls himself the pastor may never get to speak? In the story I said that person, if it was a man had every right to be recognized and allowed to speak. If he spoke in an unknown tongue and there was no one to interpret what he said, then what he said was all a moot point. He can just sit down. Now, personally I don’t believe the Spirit of God would be in that! It would be useless for God’s Spirit to allow any man to stand and speak when no one there could understand what he was saying. However, if any person desired to stand in any Church and speak on any given meeting then that person should have that right even if the pastor didn’t speak that morning.

Have we built a conglomerate of Churches where no one ever learns anything? I can see how a pastor should be prepared to preach on any given service, but he should always allow any person that is at that service to speak, ask questions or give a testimony even if he never gets to speak. I can also see how he, being the leader of the service could feel compelled by God’s Spirit to speak at any given service as well, being led by God’s Spirit.

I believe we have built doctrines and Churches of men and God’s Spirit has very little to do with what is happening. Therefore, the people are starved for spiritual food! As many of you know my burden is for people, members of Churches that have never been born-again. I personally believe that this is where the problem lies. There are so few people that have God’s Spirit living within them that most are not concerned about (Knowing Him) or (understanding God’s Word). If we are to simply know the truth that is within the average Church member’s heart, I’d say it would be this. They go about their average work week doing the things that their local denomination asks them to do with the act of satisfying their Church members, looking good to them but, at the very same time most of them, a very high percentage are concerned about where they will spend eternity if they die. They have no assurance of the salvation the say they have! They never speak about it but down in their hearts, they wonder!

Most of the pastors are not (God Called). They are Church called, sent to a school to make sure they teach, say and act like that Church thinks is correct. They do what they do as a career, a job. They have a boss, maybe more than one. They know they have to make sure the Church members are happy with them and, they also listen to (The Presbytery). We see that word one time that I know in scripture.

1 Timothy 4:14

NEGLECT NOT THE GIFT THAT IS IN THEE, WHICH WAS GIVEN TO THEE BY PROPHECY, WITH THE LAYING ON OF THE HANDS OF THE PRESBYTERY.

We truly need to understand this. What is the gift that is in a man of God? And, once this group of men he is calling the presbytery (so to speak) anoints this man, what else do they have to do with him?

Now, let’s look at how this world defines this word:

Presbytery

THE PRESBYTERY IS THE NAME FOR AN AREA IN A CHURCH BUILDING WHICH IS RESERVED FOR THE CLERGY. IN THE OLDEST CHURCH IT IS SEPERATED BY SHORT WALLS, BY SMALL COLUMNS AND PILASTERS IN THE RENAISSANCE ONES; IT CAN ALSO BE RAISED, BEING REACHABLE BY A FEW STEPS, USUALLY WITH RAILINGS.

So, we see this word one time in scripture. In the scripture it’s saying this: (with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery). Did a building or an area in a Church lay hands on Timothy?

Now, let’s take it a step farther.

(Revelations 2:6 and 2:15). We have already looked at this but what happened is that men took an act of approving a man into the gospel ministry and created a way to control that man or men, even people totally apart for God’s Spirit. The Bible says that God hates the deed and doctrine of the Nicolaitans. However, the world loves it because of the control they have.

I’d like to make a point here. I, as an individual surrendered to preach in June 1984. Even before that day and still until this I have had (continuing education) daily. That education is always solely given to me by God’s Spirit that lives within me. Often his continual education comes through other people, they might even be lost. Sometimes it will be by other pastors, other brothers and sisters in Christ. Very often it will be through life experiences and little simple things I see as I live out my day. However, it always goes back to scripture and the study of God’s word done by me personally alone with the Holy Spirit.

Although I had a group of men lay hands on me, ordaining me into the gospel ministry, even giving me a license to preach, I haven’t seen but one of those men since that day. As far as I know, they are all dead now. In other word. I have never answered to those men. Do you realize that most pastors today have to have yearly continual education presented by the (Presbytery) they are licensed by? And, if they don’t conform to that bylaw of (continuing) their license, they can lose that license? That my friends is ( the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans)!

I’m very concerned about the size of our Churches today. The fact that people are drawn into a building but, many are never sent out? I often said this. There is completely no difference in God Spirit’s need for a body to work out of than it is for Satan to have a body. They both need someone to use to carry out their will! The problem comes in when people can’t tell what’s of God and what’s of Satan.

We are often deceived in our thinking that just because a man uses a Bible for his text and the name of Jesus Christ what he’s saying is truth. What I always try to emphasize is that you are and individual and you will stand before Jesus Christ as an individual. It doesn’t matter how many members are in your Church, how many great things might be said about you as a member of your Church, or all the great things are said about at your funeral. All that will matter is have you been born again and, what kind of walk did you have in your life for Jesus Christ.

What we often fail to understand and are very seldom taught is this: Salvation is in all three tenses. (PAST TENSE SALVATION) is the fact that you have been born again, God’s Spirit has moved into your heart. I often tell people that the day of their (past tense salvation) the only sin they actually repent of is (unbelief). Then we see (PRESENT TENSE SALVATION). Each day we live, God’s Spirit is showing us or, should be showing us sins, things that he desires that we turn away from (repent of). He teaches us daily to be transformed into what he desires for each of us to be. The we see (FUTURE TENSE SALVATION). One day our journey will be complete! We will stand before our Lord in our new home. If we have been faithful to him as he directed us, we will receive rewards given to us by him!

In closing, I can’t remember whether I have made this statement in this article or not but, it bears repeating. The Nation of Israel started out with just one man and his wife. That man and his wife grew to become a nation. That nation was to become the very voice of God in this sin cursed world. It was to represent the complete value system of all the God embodied. However, the more it grew the more like the world it became.

The Church was to be the replacement for the failed Nation of Israel. In the beginning of the Church, it was a very powerful voice for the Holy Spirit of God. However, as it grew the more like the world it became. The Bible says this:

1 Corinthians 10:7

NEITHER BE YE IDOLATERS, AS WERE SOME OF THEM; AS IT IS WRITTEN. THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND ROSE UP TO PLAY.

Here, he’s making a spiritual comparison between what he sees within the Church and what happened to the nation of Israel. Be not deceived people! Know who you are, know where you as an individual stand with Jesus Christ. Often, we are far better off to take the road less travelled! It can be lonely but far more rewarding in the end.

Don’t allow any Church just to simply draw you in. Be an individual that (goes out) seeking to be used for the glory of God! That is, even if you have to go alone! I’ll also add this. Be sure that what you say you are led to do spiritually can be supported by God’s word. Like I’ve stated, there are many things we see in this word that is done in the name of Jesus Christ, often being supported by Churches that have little to do with the will of God!

I could name a few but, I’m going to name one such organization the bothers me simply by the name they use. (MY LIFE MATTERS). What are we teaching our young people there? Does your life matter? I have some very bad news for those that are taught that their lives matter, if your life hasn’t been transformed by the (BORN AGAIN EXPERIENCE) then it makes no difference what you might do in this world, your life doesn’t matter to Jesus Christ.

Are we teaching people that they can say they believe in Jesus Christ, basically stay as they are, pursue the dreams of this life and, at the same time be prepared to stand before Jesus Christ as our Judge? There is nowhere in scripture that teaches that! That organization teaches the same mindset that we see in most Churches today. It has a tendency to draw people in but, they never go out and do anything for Jesus Christ!

I might (stand-alone) there! But that’s the very opposite of all the God’s word teaches. I’ll stand before God as a concerned believer in what I’m seeing. Again, I often say: (God and one is a majority). It is now and always has been. If you say you disagree with me, fine. At least, as an individual look into yourself, see where you stand with Jesus Christ!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR ANY GIVEN SUNDAY

ARE WE FIGHTING THE WRONG BATTLES?

As a citizen of the United States of America I can clearly see the things that are transpiring in our nation. With that in mind, I’d like to begin this lesson by saying this. Often my wife and I will sit and talk about being lonely for things we use to see as common place in our lives. Most of those things have long since passed and will never come back in our lives. For instance, all of our parents have now passed away. Even though we now live in the house I grew up in it is impossible to bring back the things that I can only think about now.

My wife will often speak of childhood events and her family as well. Speaking of a loneliness that cannot be fulfilled in a time when often the places, the people have long since gone. WE have to learn to comfort each other, remembering that now we have the responsibility of creating the same types of memories that we once had in our lives.

In a spiritual sense, do we not often do the very same thing as we look at the very nation we live in? I long for a time once again when I at least think that I can trust and depend on my government. A time when the people in our nation looked at abortion as sin. We see living together, having children out of wedlock as ungodly. We could look at a man or woman and tell exactly, with clarity what they were. A time when our nation, being led by God’s Spirit called the act of sodomy sin and condemned the very of such things.

I long for a time when teachers, the kind of teachers that taught me in grade school set an example of morality and character and expected the children she or he taught to do the very same thing. A time when discipline was mainstream and often used to set an example that others might see the consequences of the lack of discipline in their lives.

I long for a time again when I can sit in any Church and see the preacher preach with a God given power, that with a passion for those people that are lost in a world of sin without a loving, forgiving Savoir. A time when Godly people will not except any less from the man that stands behind the pulpit in their home Church.

A time when the Church in our communities is a pillar of spirituality conviction, the members seek to be seen as different from the things of this world and even hate the sinful failures in their own lives. I long for a time when the truth is not evil spoken of, and that evil men and women cannot prevail within the cities they live in because the majority of the citizens are God fearing people and will not tolerate wickedness in any form. A time when our children are taught respect for the policemen and women, any people that stands for justice, not because of who they are but because to the righteousness and justice they hold sacred.

I pointed out that my wife and I often are lonely for something that we cannot go back to but, can we get back to this place as a nation? Yes! I believe we can. However, I also believe we are fighting the wrong battles as a nation or, the common citizens of this nation.

If you follow or study the things, I write you will notice that I make it a point to never call out Churches by name or even religious organization. I simply try to allow God’s Spirit us use what I might write to change individuals, if necessary, in their spiritual walk no matter what Church they might attend. However, here I’m going to call a religious organization by name. I remember back in the late 1950’s when John F. Kennedy was a candidate for President. One of his famous quotes was this: (Ask not what your country can do for you but, what can you do for your country). One of the things that the people didn’t like at that time about him was he was Catholic. It was often discussed by the news media, many wondered if he could be elected simply because of that one aspect of his life.

1960 has now been over sixty years ago! What has changed in our country? Anything? Most people know that John F. Kennedy did become President of our country. And, I might add that he, being Catholic has nothing to do with where we are as a nation. However, the spiritual mindset of our people has a great deal to do with where we are.

I only bring that up because I believe that our nation, during that time and even a few years before began a spiritual decline, bring us to the point we are today. In 1960 we, as a nation were just fifteen years beyond the conclusion of World War Two. Lat’s consider some things that were beginning to unfold. Many people at that time that were just beginning to start families had a desire, was determined to have their children live better lives than they had. Seemingly the focus was more on worldly goods and accomplishments that it was the spiritual aspects of life.

Many people became obsessed with bringing about the integration of our black and white schools and so on. It actually became a spiritual battle in our Churches. It doesn’t matter what side you might have fallen on, whether it was a black Church in favor or a white Church against it. The problem was that we left the very concept of preaching God’s word and turned to that issue.

Now, while we’re here let’s consider something. From the very beginning of our nation, if it was ever a place that integration should be a recognized normality, should it have been in every local Church? One of the cornerstones of the teaching in God’s word is the fact that we are all seen as equal. No Jew, no Greek, no Gentile. We are all one in the spiritual sense of Jesus Christ.

With that point being made, that wasn’t the case, was it? In our Churches, many pastors were segregationists as well as many people that were members of those same Churches. When these things became a debate in our country, the very institutions that should have been a power of spiritual teaching and a place of understanding became a place of great resistance, even to the very will of God.

I read a book once named (The story of John Jasper). You can still find it online. This book is about the life of a man that God called to preach. He was a black man. He preached fifty years, twenty-five as a slave and twenty-five as a free man. While in slavery a white man had to stand on the platform with him the whole time he preached. That was before the Civil War. What if God’s people at that time would have taken a stand for righteousness and declared that he was an equal to them no matter what color he was.

The point is that even born-again believes, the body of Christ on this earth far too often get caught up in the wrong battles because we are often afraid to be seen as different from the world. When, in fact we are different! Look at this verse:

John 12:32

AND I, IF I BE LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.

John 3:14

AND AS MOSES LIFTED UP THE SERPENT IN THE WILDERNESS, EVEN SO MUST TO SON OF MAN BE LIFTED UP:

I realize that both of these verses are speaking of the necessity of Jesus Christ being crucified on the Cross. However, it also has a spiritual application as well. God’s people are to (HOLD UP) the name of Jesus Christ. Not only his name but all that he represents. It’s actually relating to (Knowing Him) and the power of his resurrection. We are trying in our Churches to fight the worldly battles in our flesh without to authority granted us through the blood of Jesus Christ and his saving grace.

We, for instance try to get the world to look at abortion just as we, as believers do. It’s not up to us to change the habits of this world but rather the hearts of the people of this world. Often that, it at all will be one person at a time.

We can use another Old Testament picture of Moses to make my point.

Exodus 17:11-12

AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN MOSES HELD UP HIS HAND, THAT ISRAEL PREVAILED: AND WHEN HE LET DOWN HIS HAND, AMALEK PREVAILED. (12) BUT MOSES’ HANDS WERE HEAVY; AND THEY TOOK A STONE, AND PUT IT UNDER HIM, AND HE SAT THERE UPON; AND AARON AND HUR STAYED UP HIS HANDS, THE ONE ON THE ONE SIDE, AND THE OTHER ON THE OTHER SIDE; AND HIS HANDS WERE STEADY UNTIL THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN.

The Bible also tells us this:

2 Thessalonians 3:13-14

BUT YE, BRETHREN, BE NOT WEARY IN WELL DOING. (14) AND IF ANY MAN ABEY NOT OUR WORD BY THIS EPISTLE, NOTE THAT MAN, AND HAVE NO COMPANY WITH HIM, THAT THEY MAY BE ASHAMED.

It’s our responsibility hold up the oracles of the very word and will of God. To know what his will is and to stand and proclaim that will. It’s easy to get weary in well doing and to allow people that are not of us to crepe in to undermine the things that God desires for us to do. We often hear a term (the dumbing down of America). Well, we see that same thing in our Churches. It causes us to fight the wrong battles; that; completely apart from what we are called to do. It’s not that the causes might not be good things to fight but that it must our secondary calling, not our first.

The primary concern of any Church should always be the true act of the (born again) experience) and (the spiritual education) of that new babe in Christ.

I’d like for you to consider something here. Right now, in the United States of America we are facing the situation where schoolteachers are trying to teach our children about sexual orientation beginning at the age of five. Some years ago, we were told to or forced by law to send our children to a public school. Look what we have now!

Also, in our Churches we now have (Children’s Church). we send our young children to that Church rather than making them by our own discipline to sit in Church and hear God’s word. We also have (youth group) which, in many cases have their own pastor. Well, in a spiritual sense, whose responsibility is it to teach our children? Exactly what are they being taught in children’s Church and in our youth groups? (In my opinion) and you can agree or disagree. It all starts with the (lack of true spirituality) of the Senior pastor. He is teaching a false salvation in the very name of Jesus Christ, never mentioning (YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN) and that same false teaching is taking place in every pastor below him!

In most cases, the parents desire for their children to acknowledge Jesus Christ. From birth they, we they call dedicate their Children to the Lord in front of the Church, the pastor overseeing that formal dedication. As time moves forward, children’s Church, youth Group normally from a very young age. One day the child we say we love tells the pastor they desire to join Church just they have been taught. The say they believe in Jesus Christ; we watch them get baptized and join Church. However, there is never any mention of any Holy Ghost, sin cursed conviction and, not one of those children are ever challenged about their salvation again!

We spend millions of dollars paying pastors, buying religious literature, Sunday School quarterly’s and so on that is used to indoctrinate our children and ourselves to a gospel that is not of Jesus Christ! We fight the wrong battles often because we dodge our responsibilities and would rather pay someone else to do our jobs. How often have you either said or heard this: that’s the pastor’s responsibility? Let someone else do that. I’ll teach a Sunday School class, but you must give me a quarterly, I’ll teach what someone says, I can’t understand the Bible.

Have you noticed that now, anytime we have a funeral in our Churches? No one goes to hell. they all go to heaven! You might be sitting there thinking something completely different but, you’ll never say a word to anyone about it. Often in our Churches we fight against the very Holy Spirit, the only Spirit that can truly set us free. We don’t even realize we are fight the wrong battle.

In our Churches we have people that fight against abortion. It’s a very worthy cause but let’s look a little deeper. Let’s say there is a teen in your Church that is pregnant but not married. We know that sin happens, even to the very best of us. You are this teens youth pastor so; she confides in you. She says she is considering an abortion. The very first thing you should do is to question here salvation, not because she’s pregnant but because of the choice she is making. You should ask; haven’t you been born again? If she replies yes then next, what would God’s Spirit have you do. You can also tell her that God’s Spirit would never lead her to have an abortion unless it is a medical reason to do so. As a young man, I’ve been there! I had a very wise pastor listen to every word I said, never interrupted me one time the whole time I spoke. Once I finished this is the first thing he said: (two wrongs will never make one right)! When he made that statement, it’s like a light turned on in my being!

The problem is, no matter what choices we make, the very fact we sinned in the beginning will live with us our whole lives, no exceptions! As I look back at my life, do you realize I was baptized at the age of twelve and joined our Church? I question, was it just the lust of my flesh that brought about the sin in my life or, did it have just as much to do with the lack of real spiritual teaching and instruction from my parents and the Church I attended. Abortion is sin! So is fornication! Do we teach our children from an early age those things? Look at this verse of scripture:

Matthew 23:23-24

WOE UNTO YOU, SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! FOR YE PAY TITHE AND MINT AND ANISE AND CUMMIN, AND HAVE OMITTED THE WEIGHTER MATTERS OF THE LAW, JUDGMENT, MERCY, AND FAITH: THESE THINGS OUGHT YE TO HAVE DONE, AND NOT TO LEAVE THE OTHER UNDONE. (24) YE BLIND GUIDES, WHICH STRAIN AT A GNAT, AND SWALLOW A CAMEL.

We read that verse of scripture and assign it to those people of that day. However, doesn’t it fit us just as well if we neglect to give our children the spiritual education and knowledge they need? Often, we are trained very well to be Pharisees. We become hypocrites because with our mouth we say one and in our actions another.

We have pregnancy centers fighting against abortions. we have grief ministries fighting against grief seeking to comfort those that are grieving but, in all of these things we forget even to pray to share Jesus Christ and his saving grace. Even if we do, we forget to change babe into spiritual giants by instructing them in scripture, allowing the Holy Spirit to do the things we are seeking to change.

Do you realize that the world has its own definition of love? The way the world defines love has crept into the average Church. And the way God shows his love has greatly diminished to the point that often salvation never happens. We are seeking to fight spiritual battles with the weapons of this world! I often say that our greatest enemy is standing behind the pulpit in our Churches.

Our Churches are seeking to change the habits of this world without changing the very heart of the people we are talking about. Let’s say we actually get laws passed in our land totally against abortion. Now it’s completely illegal. Has that changed the heart of even one person? If every baby is now born, a perfect birth; what happens to that child if they grow up never knowing the truth about their never dying souls because the Church never tells them truth?

What happens is that we have fought a very good battle but lost the war! What happens if we help people through a very hard time in their lives but forget to share Jesus Christ helping them to see the true spiritual need in their lives? Again, we have won the battle but lost the war!

In closing, I’d like to make a couple of points to make the point of the whole matter using this verse:

Matthew 6:31

THEREFORE TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE EAT? OR, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? OR, WHEREWITHAL SHALL WE BE CLOTHED?

You can go to that chapter and read the whole account that he’s speaking of there. I would like to show you one other verse right below this one.

Matthew 6:33

BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE OTHER THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.

Our lives, our Churches have become saturated with the things of this world! Have we become so vain within ourselves that we never even consider the righteousness of God? If we are going to begin to seek out a new Church to attend; what would be the reason or, what would be some attributes of any Church that might draw us to that new Church to become a member?

Let’s look at this from a strictly spiritual perspective. The very first thing I’d say would be to leave your children completely out of your decision or choice, no matter what they might say. With that point being made, if you visit a Church that focuses on the youth or children’s Church; that within itself might tell you something about that Church. The fac that you didn’t allow your children to have a voice, you already know that the children in that Church speak very loudly.

As (the husband) prayer while seeking spiritual direction for his family, it takes spiritual wisdom to make wise spiritual decisions! It’s so much to say here! However, let’s start here in:

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 BLAMELES, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, VIGILANT, SOBOR, OF GOOD BEHAVIOUR, GIVEN TO HOSPITALITY, APT TO TEACH; (3) NOT GIVEN TO WINE, NO STRIKER, NOT GREEDY OF FILTHY LOCRE; BUT PATIENT, NOT A BRAWLER, NOT COVETOUS; (4) ONE THAT (RULETH WELL HIS OWN HOUSE, HAVING HIS 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?) (6) NOT A NOVICE, LEST BEING LIFTED UP WITH PRIDE HE FALL INTO THE CONDEMNATION OF THE DEVIL. (7) MOREOVER HE MUST HAVE A GOOD REPORT OF THEM WHICH ARE WITHOUT; LEST HE FALL INTO REPROACH AND THE SNARE OF THE DEVIL;

As we read these verses can’t we say that this is the way a Godly home should be even if the man does not desire the office of a bishop? If the question I presented is not true, does that mean that since I don’t desire the office of a bishop my wife doesn’t have to submit to me, and my children don’t have to be subject unto me, and don’t have to have a good report of those outside the Church? And we can add all the rest that is said here also.

Now, how about the wife? What is her responsibility in the decision making? How should she fit in? I honestly believe that in the average (Christian) household we are force today to fight the wrong battles as men and (supposedly) spiritual leaders. A wife should never be forced to submit unto her husband. She is commanded by God to do so but, it a choice she must make, a desire she must have.

The problem is that according to the world we live in that never needs to happen, as a wife see should be free to do as she pleases even when she is married, the husband has nothing to do with her choices, if he tries to, he is the one out of line. In most cases we have put the cart, even ponies in front of the cart!

The children like what they see in a Church, mom’s desire is for the children to be happy, and the dad says OK; knowing that he is going to lose the battle! There is no spiritual, Holy Spirit leadership whatsoever!

I’m going to say something here that, to me makes perfect sense. You can see if you agree with me. The wife, being a woman has, or if she is spiritual has far greater peripheral vision that a man, her husband will ever have. (I even believe) that a man’s wife can be considered much wiser in her ability to make decisions than the man. If not, why would it be considered a curse to have to submit to the man? (Don’t forget) we are seeking to learn to fight the right spiritual battles. Any woman can be lazy and simply want the husband to do all the work, just look after her. But that’s not what we are talking about.

A wise spiritual wife understands her position in her marriage, knows full well what the Holy Spirit expects from her. Often, by the world’s standards a (stay at home mom) is seen as someone that doesn’t have to work. However, she has a much tougher job if she does what she is supposed to do than any man ever will. As a matter of fact, her shift is never over even as she sleeps.

There is nothing more powerful that a man that understands his spiritual position in his family and a wife that submits to him and helps him make wise spiritual decisions while being completely submissive to his leadership. A wise man that has a wife he can trust will always listen to her advice as he seeks to see the whole spiritual picture through her peripheral vision. What she does is to bring the whole picture into his tunnel vision sight that can better help him make wise spiritual decisions, she is being willing to follow him even if she doesn’t like the choice he made, bringing her children with her as they follow him.

Because of the lack of spiritual teaching in our Churches and in our homes, we often don’t even understand the battles we have to fight. Let’s look at these verses:

James 4:1-6

FROM WHENCE COME WARS AND FIGHTINGS AMONG YOU? COME THEY NOT HENCE, EVEN OF YOUR LUSTS THAT WAR IN YOUR MEMBERS? (2) YE LUST, AND HAVE NOT: YE KILL, AND DESIRE TO HAVE, AND CANNOT OBTAIN: YE FIGHT AND WAR, YET YE HAVE NOT, BECAUSE YE ASK NOT. (3) YE ASK, AND RECEIVE NOT, BECAUSE YE ASK AMISS, THAT YE MAY CONSUME IT UPON YOUR OWN LUST. (4) YE ADULTERERS AND ADULTERESSES, KNOW YE NOT THAT THE FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENEMITY WITH GOD? WHOSEVER THEREFORE WILL BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD. (5) DO YE THINK THAT THE SCRIPTURE SAITH IN VAIN, THE SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN US LUSTETH TO ENVY? (6) BUT GOD GIVETH MORE GRACE, WHEREFORE HE SAITH, GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, BUT GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE HUMBLE. (7) SUBMIT YOURSELVES THEREFORE TO GOD, RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU.

As we speak of (fighting the wrong battles; I believe it’s something we need to consider here. The Apostle James is an Apostle to the Jews. Actually, he is one of eleven that were strictly for the Jewish people. The Apostle Paul was the only Apostle to the Gentiles. As I make that statement, this is something we must see. Once the Church came into being, at that very moment there was neither Jew nor Gentile. That actually changed at the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. We can even say that through it all it has always been only two types of people that God recognized: those that believed and those that believed not. That picture became crystal clear at the birth of the Church.

I say all that to say this. When we speak of fighting, it doesn’t matter if it’s between a husband and wife, a Church and a pastor, two countries, two cities or two people it’s all of this world if no one has the Spirit of God. That is the point that the Apostle James is making to the Jewish people and, even us if we are not saved.

Let’s take a perfect spiritual marriage situation. Here’s a husband that loves his wife as Christ loved the Church, he seeks to be always obedient to the Spirit of God as that Spirit directs him. His wife is completely submission to him in every way possible. This couple sits down to talk, they pray, she gives her spiritual input, and he listens. Within that, when he makes a decision, she follows her husband.

Well, as they move forward, they begin to have children. Can you see the importance of instilling these same spiritual values within their children as they begin to grow? Each of these children will be born in sinful flesh. They will have a mind of their own, not their mothers or fathers. At the very est these two parents can do they will have to contend with a very corrupt world as they daily seek to instill spiritual values in their children and by grace see them born-again by God grace.

If we, as born-again believers fight any other battle other than that very concept then we fight the wrong battle! Most of us have to fight daily battles. We fight a battle for money to pay bills, to keep a house over our head, food on our table, pay insurance, for a automobile to drive, the list goes on and on!

However, those things are because we live in a sin cursed world. We cannot allow those things to become our main focus. If we do, then it’s very possible we will lose our children and the aspect of a spiritual community and family will be weakened.

I’d like to point out a scripture that I think we often don’t get and possibly never taught in our Churches.

Matthew 4:19

AND HE SAITH UNTO THEM, FOLLOW ME, AND I WILL MAKE YOU FISHERS OF MEN.

In this verse, Jesus was speaking to Peter and Andrew his brother. These two men would later become two of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, however there is no way they could have known that when Jesus said to them (I will make you fishers of men). The point is that when we say we are going to follow Jesus then everything else such as fishing becomes less important in our lives. It’s not that we don’t still do things, but we now have a totally different priority.

I realize that there is no such thing as a husband or wife, even being born-again being perfect. We all know that! The secret is to get our priorities in order. Let’s be honest, most husbands spend a lot of time doing the things they like to do, that apart from the family. Things like fishing, golfing, racing, sports, we can go on and on. Although they say they believe in Christ, nothing, not onr thing changes in their lives.

In most cases today, we don’t understand marriage, a marriage relationship, salvation or the relationship with Christ. Therefore, we spend our lives fighting to wrong battles!

A MESSAGE TO MY SOCIAL TRUTH FOLLOWERS

I thought today that I would take the time to share this message with those on truth social that follow me. If you wish you can retruth the message to other people. This verse of scripture often comes to mind when I begin to mention these things.

Matthew 12: 32

AND WHOSOEVER SPEAKETH A WORD AGAINST THE SON OF MAN, IT SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM: BUT WHOSOEVER SPEAKETH AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST, IT SHALL NOT BE FORGIVEN HIM, NEITHER IN THIS WORLD, NEITHER THE WORLD TO COME.

If you follow this through the gospels, you will see that the Pharisees had just called Jesus Christ a blasphemer. Think about that! Here’s a common man, looking into the eyes of the very Son of God, God in flesh and calling him a blasphemer.

I’d like to give you my take as a pastor on this partial of scripture. If we go back to the Old Testament, we see that God the Father spoke directly to men. We could name some of those men such as Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah. It was then those men’s responsibility to tell God’s people what God had given them to say.

Once we leave the Old Testament, we get to the gospels. Here, Jesus Christ is born, and we actually hear from the very Son of God, Jesus Christ. Although we see the gospels in the New Testament; Jesus Christ lived in the very end of the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, the Old Testament came to an end the very moment Jesus Christ died on the Cross of Calvary. As far as I can see, God the Father only spoke twice in the gospels. You can check me out. One time he said this: (THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED). The other time he said this: (THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, HEAR YE HIM). Therefore, in the Old Testament, God the Father spoke, in the gospel, God the Son spoke.

This Pharisee called Jesus Christ a blasphemer. In the verse that we read Jesus told him this. You can reject me if you like. However, if you reject the Holy Ghost there will be no forgiveness for you in this world or, the world to come. As we watch the Bible unfold, we see that Jesus Christ was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day he arose from the dead. As we get into (Acts) we see where the Holy Ghost fell on 120 believers and the Church, the body of Christ was born. Within the concept of the Church, we now hear God the Spirit speak. Although God still uses men to speak, it’s not that man we need to hear, it’s God’s Spirit that now speaks to our hearts.

In the Trinity there are three very distinct parts of the Godhead. God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. God the Father sent his son to this world to die for the sins of men. (God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself). Jesus Christ was God! God, himself became our sacrifice for sin. He offered himself for every man, woman, boy and girl.

I seek to share truth! There are very few people that like truth anymore, they actually run from the very concept of truth. When Jesus Christ was speaking to the Pharisee, looking into his eyes, the Pharisee had no idea what all he was saying! One reason he didn’t know was because he was all wrapped up in religion and not even considering the truth. There were those in that day that were looking for the events that were unfolding because they had studied the Old Testament and knew what was about to happen. However, religion will never tell you the whole truth. If it would then, it would cease to be religion and become truth.

Although many people were looking for that truth as it unfolded, most or, all of them was exactly like you and I. Once the Holy Ghost had fallen on them, they became babes in Christ and, at that point began to grow in the knowledge and truth of Jesus Christ.

We now live in a time when the Holy Spirit is upon this earth. Within the picture of the Godhead, he is it! another way of saying it is to say that God the Father will not send anyone or anything else that we, the people of this world might turn from our wicked ways to him. The Holy Spirit is it! When Jesus Christ told the Pharisee that he’d be wise not to reject the Holy Spirit, that’s exactly what he was saying. God the Father tied, God the Son tried and now God the Spirit is seeking to draw all men to God the father.

Within the concept of the course of this world since the Holy Ghost fell in (Acts 2) men have seen a lot of changes in the way we live. We can see that picture of the Church as it unfolds in (Revelation 3). In the last part of that chapter, we see that basically the Church has locked the very Spirit of God outside and will not let the very Spirit that offers salvation even in the building! You can read the whole chapter but, look especially at this verse:

Revelation 3:20

BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR, AND KNOCK: IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE, AND OPEN THE DOOR I WILL COME IN TO HIM, AND WILL SUP WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME.

Jesus’ call is to individuals (any person) that will hear him, the Church in a lot of cases has locked him out! Many people have locked him out of their hearts! They simply reject truth!

Many people that follow me know very well my position on the King James Bible. It’s the only one I study. I don’t push that Bible on anyone else but all that I might teach comes from that book.

I only point that out because I’d like to show you this verse:

John 3:16

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM, SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.

If you will notice in that verse, the word (LOVED) is used. That word is past tense! With that being said, what else did God do once he had offered his only begotten son? Within the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ also game the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ promised us in scripture that if he went away he would send a comforter and, he did!

Since God loved us so much he gave us the Holy Spirit to draw conviction on our sinful hearts that we might be saved by grace.

(IN MY OPINION) it’s getting harder and harder to find a Church, a person or anything now we’re you can feel the conviction that’s required for salvation, the transforming power of God through his word.

Blaspheme is the rejection of God’s Spirit. Often, that Spirit will speak to a heart multiple times in the course of a life trying to draw a single person away from sin into the very grace of God through the blood of Jesus Christ. I, for one know that for a fact, he did me! It took me a while to see myself as a sinner in need of salvation.

It’s a very terrible thing to fall into the hands of an angry God! God’s done all he’s going to do! This world, even many Churches is rejecting God’s Spirit. The world has chosen its own way of religion and that apart from Jesus Christ. However, God’s Spirit is still speaking to people if we will listen!

FOR GOD SO LOVED! Right now, God’s on his throne, his son, Jesus Christ on his right side. The Holy Spirit is within we that are born again and it’s our responsibility to share the gospel story to this world!

I often try to get people to see God’s point of view by putting it this way. Some two thousand years ago God sent his son as a sacrifice for the sins of this world. The blood his Son shed on the cross covered the sin of every person that ever lived on the face of this earth.

No matter what your sin is, it’s been paid for by that blood. All any person has to do to receive the gift of salvation is believe! Ask Jesus Christ to move into your heart!

Consider, the sin of every person in hell today was paid for by the blood of Christ, they simply didn’t except that free gift!

That Spirit I speak of will soon leave this world! We call that (The Rapture). God, in his love for mankind gave all he had to give! (HE LOVED) us that much! What he’s saying, that’s it! You can now except my son, or you can go to hell!

Now, I realize that sounds cut and dry! But, is it? Just like in my case, how many times has God spoken to you but you didn’t listen?

There’s no greater joy than knowing Jesus Christ as savior! If you don’t know him, ask him into your heart today!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

WHAT IS TRUTH? ABOUT, PEDOPHILES, TRANSEXUALS AND HOMOSEXUALS

Have you ever considered the fact that God has a word? We call it the Bible. He tells us that he comes (in the volume of the book it is written of me).

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.

Not only did he come in the volume of a book, but he also came in flesh.

John 1:14

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

That very word became flesh and walked among men. Now, we can deny that act as if it really doesn’t matter. We can even burn every Bible in existence but will never change the fact that God does have a word. He reveals to those that will seek to know him everything about him and all that he fells with passion, desiring that we might know and, love him as he is.

I once had a man ask me if I knew I was going to heaven when I died? I replied, yes, I do! There happened to be a much younger man standing there when I gave my answer that we weren’t even talking to but, when I gave my answer; this is what he said, and I quote: no, hell you do not know, no man knows where he’s going when he dies.

I then looked him and said, sir, do you mind if I ask you a question? He answered, no, go ahead. I asked him to tell how much of God’s word he had read or studied? He answered, you know, I probably haven’t read more than two or three verses in my whole life. The I replied, but you have the knowledge to me, a man that been studying for about twenty years what I know or don’t know? To that, he didn’t say another word. However, I did a little witnessing to him!

I only share that story to make the point that each person has a God given right to their own personal freewill. There are people that call themselves by a word that this world had come up with to define what can be said with a person’s mouth, using his God given tongue and the ability afforded him by a loving God. The word is Atheist! The people that call themselves by that name ssy that there is no God. The Bible has another name for a person that makes that claim, (A FOOL)!

At that, I’d like to begin with (TRUTH) according to God’s word. Truth whether any person chooses to except it or not. First of all, what is it that makes men, women, humans different than other animals? The actual only difference is people, ever person is born with a (God Consciousness), no exceptions! We see that in the creation of Adam.

Genesis 2:7

AND THE LORD GOD FORMED MAN OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND, AND BREATHED INTO HIS NOSTRILS THE BREATH OF LIFE; AND MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL.

now, look at these verses:

Genesis 1:24-25

AND GOD SAID, LET THE EARTH BRING FORTH THE LIVING CREATURE AFTER HIS KIND, CATTLE, AND CREEPING THING, AND BEAST OF THE EARTH AFTER HIS KIND: AND IT WAS SO. (25) AND GOD MADE THE BEAST OF THE EARTH AFTER HIS KIND, AND CATTLE AFTER THEIR KIND, AND EVERY THING THAT CREEPTH UPON THE EARTH AFTER HIS KIND: AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD.

We can clearly see here that God breathed into the nostrils of man, Because of the fact, the fact that God created man in his own image, every man has a soul, a consciousness of God the Father.

So, let’s start here with an Atheist. This person is not an animal. An animal can kill. An animal can commit what we would call adultery without any consequences. As a matter of fact, you can point a gun at an animal and will not even draw back from the fear of it. An Atheist, by law it he kills, he will be held accountable. It’s the same with committing adultery or any other sin, he’s accountable, and that person cannot deny that fact.

The Bible says this:

Psalms 53:1

THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE OS NO GOD. CORRUPT ARE THEY, AND HAVE DONE ABOMINABLE INIQUITY: THERE IS NONE THAT DOETH GOOD.

We see that twice in scripture. the other place is (Psalms 14:1). Why would God call a person that says there is no God a fool? Because when that person was a younger person (they knew truth)! The, at some point knew there was a right and wrong. They also know the difference in what sin is and, what sin is not. Their God consciousness revealed that truth to them whether they admit it or not. That’s why God calls them a fool, they know better. Not only that, but they also rejected the very knowledge that revealed himself to them. How stupid is that!

We’re actually not talking about Atheists, are we? I just thought I’d mention them because once a person becomes a reprobate, there’s no difference in them. So, as we get into Pedophiles, homosexuals and transgenders, let; s look at some scripture. Before we take a look at scripture remember, all these people were born of woman, they had a father and, they grew to adulthood. Within that time, no matter what they might say with their mouth, the God consciousness within them revealed truth to them. That is an undeniable fact, if not then they cannot be human. However, their ability to do human things even reveals truth!

If a child is born a girl, as time moves forward, one day she will become a woman. When that happens there are things within her body that are going to take place just because of that simple fact. We can say the very same thing about any man! Now, let’s look at these verses:

1 Corinthians 10:13-14

THERE IS NO TEMPTATION TAKEN YOU BUT SUCH IS COMMON TO MAN: BUT GHOD IS FAITHFUL, WHO WILL NOT SUFFER YOU TO BE TEMPTED ABOVE THAT YE ARE ABLE; BUT WILL WITH THAT TEMPTATION ALSO MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO BEAR IT. (14) THEREFORE, MY DEARLY BELOVED, FLEE ADOLATRY.

We’ll be looking at some more things here but, first I’d like to share another true story with you. I had a nephew that was a homosexual, (past tense), he gone now, he died from a gunshot wound. One of his aunts, his mom’s sister passed away. He and I both attended that funeral. The man that preached the funeral was my half-brother and his uncle. He preached one of the hardest messages I ever heard at a funeral. I shared with you that this homosexual was at that funeral. Just a year or so later, the homosexual was dead. The same preacher also preached his funeral. At the beginning of that message, he shared this story. He said that this young man approached him at this aunt’s funeral. He told him he preached a good message. He said, when I die, I want you to preach my funeral. He told him exactly what he was and told him he was not going to change! He would die just as he was!

Now, you tell me, if this young man died and went to hell, whose fault, was it? Didn’t God offer him a way of escape? This young man was raised in Church. He had heard these types of messages all his life! He made his choice!

The truth is that every person whether they are an Atheist, homosexual or transgender knows exactly what they are in the beginning of their lives. As each person grows and matures physically the very God of this universe gives them and, every person the knowledge of Good and evil. Each of us comes to a point that we know that we have a God consciousness. We all have the ability to deny that if we make that choice to.

Rich this minute I can write anything I like. Any person can say anything they like. The problem is we can’t change things to make them like we want them no matter how hard we try. That is and be pleasing to the God that created us. I’ve often said this, if we as a people made the decision today to completely except the mindset that there is no God, a person has the right to be any sex he chooses to live a homosexual lifestyle or to be a transgender and completely change who he or she is. We all still have to stand before Jesus Christ and give an account. All we might try to change doesn’t change one thing about what already knows and the fact that he, being our God consciousness tried to direct our footsteps.

What most people that choose a lifestyle apart from being what God would have them be is this. There is no such thing as a person that is not struggling with some type of sin. We all are sinners! I want to share one more scripture that I believe is very telling before I close this.

Hebrews 4:15

FOR WE HAVE NOT AN HIGH PRIEST WHICH CANNOT BE TOUCHED WITH THE FEELING OF OUR INFIRMITIES; BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN. (16) LET US THEREFORE COME BOLDLY UNTO THE THRONE OF GRACE, THAT WE MAY OBTAIN MERCY, AND FIND GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED.

Do you realize what this verse (verse 15) is saying? There is no sin that we can face in our flesh that Jesus Christ didn’t face himself. Now, I want you to consider something. As a man in my lifetime, I’ve been tempted to commit adultery often. However, I can’t say I’ve ever been tempted to be an homosexual. I

ve been tempted to steal, even done it a few times. I’ve been very tempted to kill but, only in my mind have a actually killed anyone! I could go on but you get my point. I know that each person that reads this can offer things they have both been tempted to do and, things they have done.

The point is that none of us can say we have been tempted (in all points) like Jesus Christ was! Do you remember Jesus Christ crying from the Cross (My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me!?

Matthew 27:46

AND ABOUT THE NINETH HOUR JESUS CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE, SAYING, ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI? THAT IS TO SAY, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKED ME?

I’d like for you to put some thought into this point. The very God of the universe lived within the fleshly body of Jesus Christ. According to the verse (verse 15) even Jesus Christ was tempted in his flesh to believe there was no God! That, while that God, God the Father lived within him! I’ve been born again, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ and, I confess, I’ve been tempted to believe there is no God as well!

Therefore, even an atheist cannot say that Jesus Christ was not tempted as he or she is. Can you imagine being tempted to commit every sin known to man yet never committing even one of them?

The next verse here (verse 16) is very often misunderstood and miss quoted. It’s a call for every person to come boldly to the throne of grace. That verse is not just for believers but for all people. In:

Isaiah 1:18

COME NOW, AND LET US REASON TOGETHER, SAITH THE LORD: THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW; THOUGH THEY BE RED LIKE CRIMSON, THEY SHALL BE AS WOOL.

If we will simply become willing to bow before God at His throne of mercy, we can obtain mercy. His desire is for us to come to him no matter what sins we are guilty of. He desires to show us mercy forgiving us of all sin. Now, this is where a lot of people misunderstand. He says we can (find grace to help) in our time of need. That doesn’t mean that we won’t still be tempted at times to commit sin, we will but, when we asked Jesus Christ to move into our hearts, filling our God consciousness with the power of the Holy Spirit we will have the strength mot to allow those sins to dictate our lives.

Often as born again believes we, even I tend to be too hard on people that we are not like. For instance, I stated that I’d been tempted to commit adultery. Well, not only have I been tempted to but, I have since I’ve been born again. I fallen short. That truly bothers me! However, that is not the lifestyle I live. I confessed at his throne of mercy, and found grace continue to move forward as a believer seeking to be just like Jesus Christ.

Often when we see someone such as a homosexual it’s hard to allow that person to be less than perfect in our minds. If he or she is truly born again that doesn’t mean that they are not still tempted to commit the sin of their weakness, just as we are. Let’ put it this way. If you, are I lay in our bed at night, all in our mind can’t we commit adultery in the darkness of the night being all alone? Can’t a homosexual do the very same thing?

Romans 7:24-25

O WRETHED MAN THAT I AM! WHO SHALL DELIVER ME FROM THE BODY OF DEATH? (25) I THANK GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. SO THEN WITH THE MIND I SERVE THE LAW OF GOD: BUT WITH THE FLESH THE LAW OF SIN.

We are all frail, sinful people in need of the blood of Jesus Christ. God help each of us to know that! What often happens to people that live in sin and refuse to (come to the throne of grace) (to obtain mercy to help), God turns them over to a reprobate mind. At that, they no longer hear God’s Spirit as he seeks to speak to him. What a terrible place to be!

Right this minute, if you are reading this and God’s Spirit is speaking to your heart, yield to that Spirit! He loves you and truly wants to reason with you! Help you in your time of need! It’s your choice now, it always has been!

Marshall Clayton

@ Timothy 1:7

AND EASTER MESSAGE FOR ANY GIVEN SUNDAY

I’d like to teach this lesson by comparing the Nation of Israel to what we call the Church today. To do this we’ll use this verse to kick it off:

Philippians 3:10

THAT I MIGHT KNOW HIM, AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION, AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERING, BEING MADE CONFORMABLE UNTO HIS DEATH;

Each year at this time we celebrate the actual resurrection of Jesus Christ. As I make that statement, look at these verses:

Matthew 28: 10-15

THEN SAID JESUS UNTO THEM, BE NOT AFRAID: GO TELL MY BRETHREN THAT THEY GO INTO GALILEE, AND THERE SHALL THEY SEE ME. (11) NOW WHEN THEY WERE GOING, BEHOLD, SOME OF THE WATCH CAME UNTO THE CITY, AND SHEWED UNTO THE CHIEF PRIESTS ALL THE THINGS THAT WERE DONE. (12) AND WHEN THEY WERE ASSEMBLED WITH THE ELDERS, AND HAD TAKEN COUNCEL, THEY GAVE LARGE MONEYUNTO THE SOLDIERS, (13) SAYING, SAY YE, HIS DISCIPLES CAME BY NIGHT AND STOLE HIM AWAY WHILE WE SLEPT. (14) AND IF THIS COME TO THE GOVERN OR’S EARS, WE WILL PERSUADE HIM. AND SECURE YOU. (15) SO THEY TOOK THE MONEY, AND DID AS THEY WERE TAUGHT: AND THIS SAYING IS COMMONLY REPORTED AMONG THE JEWS UNTIL THIS DAY.

WE can get very deep into this! However, we see here where there were some that were bound and determined not to allow Jesus Christ to be seen as anything special, at least not to be seen as the Messiah that was to come as they had been taught and knew very well as being taught in the Old Testament.

I often teach a principle that I believe to be true. Way back when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, God used the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil to show that man was not able to live up to expectations of God the Father on his own. We know that God shed the blood of an animal to make a covering for their sin.

As we move forward, we also see the Nation of Israel. If we simply begin with Moses, also looking at every person, even the prophets God sent, no matter what God spoke to that man, Israel as a nation would not conform to his voice coming from the men he spoke through.

In the verses I shared in (Matthew 28) wasn’t it the high priests of that day that conspired to bring about the conspiracy to bring a lie to pass in the mind of Israel? Going again, all the way back to Adam, man is a fallen being, corrupt and a sinner by nature.

My point is that people in their natural sinful flesh will never be changed simply by trying to keep the law as presented by another man, even if that man is perfect, such as Jesus Christ.

From the very beginning, God has spoken to man seeking to have man yield to his will! What we often fail to understand is that God, in the body of Jesus Christ already knew that no matter what he did before men, mankind was not going to follow him as a whole. We also know because of scripture that he didn’t come to this world to be the King of the Jews or to be followed at that time. Look at this verse:

John 18:37

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

Jesus Christ came to this world, born of a virgin, born of woman to become the sacrifice for the sin of the world. His express mission was to live a perfect sin free life, that without blemish that he might be the perfect Lamb of God. He shed his blood, died and on the third day he arose from the dead, proving that God the Father had excepted his sacrifice.

When he has done all, he was supposed to do, he returned to the right hand of the Father. In all this, to all of us that believe; it is a small thing that God raised Christ from the dead. We always knew he had the ability to do that!

We need to understand what the Apostle Paul is saying in (Philippians) the power of his resurrection. Because of the resurrection of Christ, each of us can be born again allowing the very Spirit that lived in Jesus Christ to also live, grow and mature within our own hearts.

Almost every day of my born-again life I try to recognize that power within me! Let’s consider something! When we are born-again, we become members of the bride of Jesus Christ. As long as we live on this earth, as along as the Church is allowed to stay here the fact that we are espoused to become married to Christ, we have the awesome responsibility to allow Christ Jesus to speak through us.

Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father, therefore where is his strength upon this earth? It’s in his bride (the Church)! We, as members of the bride of Christ are the power of his resurrection! In essence, on Easter when we celebrate his resurrection, we should be celebrating the fact that his life is now within us because of his sacrifice!

The Apostle Paul said this in:

(Philippians 3)

YEA DOUBTLESS, I COUNT ALL THINGS BUT LOSS FOR THE EXCELLENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS MY LORD: FOR WHOM I HAVE SUFFERED THE LOSS OF ALL THINGS, AND COUNT THEM AS DUNG, THAT I MIGHT WIN CHRIST.

What he is saying is that he desires too completely forget all that he is and become all that Christ is! Let’s put it this way, while Jesus Christ truly appreciates the fact that we show our gratitude. it pleases him much more when we are willing to die to ourselves and allow him to live through us, doing his will each and every day.

I’m going to say this here. I realize it can be a very controversial statement but, it needs to be understood. Can you see how any person that chooses a homosexual lifestyle is doing exactly contrary to what Christ is asking of them? He or she is drawing everything possible unto themselves and not giving anything at all to the will of Christ. I even might add that it’s not only that, but it also even goes to any person that chooses to do things pleasing to themselves rather than even considering dying to themselves, their will and allowing Christ to live in them.

We have members of Churches that got up this morning early and went to sunrise service, they paid attention to (Good Friday) thinking that these things made them please God the Father when tomorrow or, even today, they will simply continue their lives as they always have never even considering dying to themselves that Christ might speak through them.

In closing, if you are born again then you are or, can be the power of his resurrection. The Bible says this (and the word became flesh and dwelt among us). Yes, it did! Now we are to become the word in our flesh that dwells among men, speaking, living his word! If we don’t, does that mean that we are spiritual homosexuals, drawing all thing unto our own selves? (MY CUP RUNNETH OVER) is that not supposed to be who we are? So filled with the love of God that we can’t help but allow him to shine through us?

In our Churches aren’t we doing exactly the same thing the nation of Israel did. We listen to a man, believe what he says, stay just as we are and say we believe. We never venture out to make our calling and election sure. What we hear becomes our truth, right or wrong, whether God id content with us or not!

Is Christ alive in you? Or are your actions speaking so loud not one person can hear a word Christ is saying? All they see is (YOU)! All they hear is (YOU)! because, all it is (IS YOU)!

Have you been born again? Has Christ been resurrected within you? If not, then I pray for you daily!

Marshall Clayton

@ Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ANY GIVEN SUNDAY FROM THE CHURCH OF ROXBORO TO THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD!!!

THE WICKED BLIND WORLD WE LIVE IN!

THROUGH IT ALL, GOD ONLY SEE TWO THINGS!

As we consider all the things we see today, seeking to remember that there is only one true and living God, can we do anything to cause people to open their blinded spiritual eyes that salvation might be there’s?

In the world we live in there’s always been a spiritual battle between evil and righteous. I’ve now lived on this earth for seventy-one years and have seen a lot of changes in the time I’ve lived here. Whether we can see it as good or bad might be as seen through the eyes of any given group of people. However, in reality the whole process has caused a downward spiritual spiral whether we choose to see it or not.

So, let’s go back in time and see what we can find. As we look at some of these things, you might not like what I have to say but, at least consider the thoughts before you judge me to be right or wrong. First of all, I believe it has all to do with the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of a one world order. In that one world order there will be no righteousness. The truth will be as defined by Satan himself and, if you defy that truth, you will die!

Let’s look at two things that began to happen some sixty years ago. If you remember I said: God only sees two things as far as this is concerned. As God looks down upon this earth, he either see people that are born-again or, people that are lost. To him, there’s no such thing as male or female in the sense of salvation, nor is there black or white, red or yellow. As I make that statement; as we live upon this earth, there are spiritual positions we all have within the very mindset of God.

My whole reason for writing this is to speak to the people of this world. Is this world all that you have? As stated, any person that has been born-again is not of this world. If we say we are born-again and, at the same time make the affairs of this world our main focus then we are not where God the Father would have us be.

When we make the cares and causes of this world our main focus, we then void the very reason we say we are born-again. Look at these verses:

1 Peter 2:9

BUT YE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, AN HOLY NATION, A PECULIAR PEOPLE; THAT YE SHOULD SHEW FORTH THE PRAISES OF HIM WHO CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT: (10) WHICH IN TIME PAST WERE NOT A PEOPLE, BUT ARE NOW THE PEOPLE OF GOD: WHICH HAD NOT OBTAINED MERCY, BUT NOW HAVE OBTAINED MERCY.

As we move forward from here, look at this verse:

John 18:37

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

What’s the difference in Jesus Christ and you and I? I confess, when I was born in the flesh, I was of this world. However, when I was born-again that birth is not of this world. Where Jesus Christ was born in the flesh to fulfill a responsibility, as born-again believers, we are now born with the very same responsibility.

Was Jesus a politician? Did he seek the riches of this world? Did he seek to be the equal to any other person or place himself above any other person? It appears that there are many people that say they are born-again. At the same time, it appears their main desire is to involve themselves with the cares of this world. According to (1 Peter 2) we were not even a people, but we became a people in Jesus Christ.

Look at this world! There are women seeking to be equal to men. There ate women seeking to be men and, men seeking to be women. There are blacks fighting against both blacks and whites. There are whites fighting against both blacks and whites. There are nations against nations, states against states, religions against religions, denominations against denominations. Shall I go on?

As we consider these things; it appears that we are trying our best to not appear to be racist, we are seeking to make it appear that women are equal to men in every respect. We paint pictures with TV and radio, with words we say to make people think things whether it’s real or not. I want you to consider this:

Proverbs 23:7

FOR AS HE THINKETH IN HIS HEART, SO IS HE: EAT AND DRINK, SAITH HE TO THEE; BUT HIS HEART IS NOT WITH THEE.

We become even greater sinners because of the lies we live. I mentioned looking back fifty or sixty years. We went through great rebellion. A lot of the things that were being fought for might have been needed to bring about change in this world. We still hear about equal rights for women, equal rights for blacks. We even seen it necessary about that time to do away with the very God we said we served. I wonder why we did that? Was it because some of the stands we took were directly related to the God we served? If we continued to walk in his light, we couldn’t bring about the changes necessary?

Often when we set out to bring about certain changes such as being equal, the people that think they are being mistreated are never satisfied, no matter how hard we try or, how equal we might become!

When we consider the only two things in this whole world that God sees, it brings into focus why we see such chaos in our world today. As stated, God the Father sees you as either born-again or still lost and on your road to hell. There is no middle ground! It doesn’t matter what color you are, whether you are male or female. what nation you belong to or, what you might think of yourself.

The part of any person that keeps them from being content is the very God consciousness that lives within every person. I argue and, will continue to say that there is no such thing as an atheist. That word like many words are words that this world devised to define a person that lies about what they already know within their own selves. For instance, the word transexual. There is no such thing. That word was made up to define a person that desires to be something other than what God made them to be! Within themselves, they know! The very God consciousness within them tells them what and who they are.

May I share something with you? I’m not a fool, I realize that the sexual orientation of any individual can vary just as the very color of our skin. There are men and women that are born with far more sexual drive toward to opposite sex than normal and, there are those born with a sexual drive toward the same sex. There are people born with very dark skin all the way to very light skin. That my friend is just the way it is in this sin-cursed world. We don’t even have to stop there, we can even mention a desire to steal, lie, murder, worship a false god, love of money, you name it, the world is completely filled with sin-cursed people of all colors, creeds and sexual orientation. Actually, there is no difference in any of us other that the choices we make. We are all sin-cursed sinners. The only difference is what we are willing to yield ourselves to.

Today we see that fact more than any time in history as we know it. Most of it came about because of the breakdown of the family the sixties. More than likely it started long before that time but, the fact that we as a nation turned our backs on God along that time truly advanced the wickedness in our society.

It just so happens that I, as an individual made a choice many years ago not to involve myself with the affairs of this world. I am not of this world, I’m born-again and am an ambassador for Jesus Christ. When it comes to being a witness, I don’t see male or female, black, white or any other color. At the same time, I see every person as my equal. The ground is now and has always been level at the foot of the Cross of Calvary. Another point that must be made is that since the love of God is shed abroad in the heart of every born-again believer it becomes impossible to know hate for any person.

If you are white and harbor hate in your heart for any person that is black, then the love of God is not in you! If you are black and harbor hate in your heart for any white person, the love of God is not in you! In a political sense, if you have the ability to hate any member of any other party, the love of God is not in you!

Right now, we hear a lot about (BLACK LIVES MATTER) (ALL LIVES MATTER) and so on it goes. We even have a organization in the town in which I live that is called (MY LIFE MATTERS). All those things and I could mention more is all of this world, God has nothing to do with it. The organization in our town is said to be (Christ centered). However, even Jesus Christ himself warned us against things being done in his name.

Before we move on let’s look at a couple of scriptures:

1 John 4:20

IF A MAN SAY, I LOVE GOD, AND HATETH HIS BROTHER, HE IS A LIAR: FOR HE THAT LOVETH NOT HIS BROTHER WHOM HE HATH SEEN, HOW CAN HE LOVE GOD WHOM HE HATH NOT SEEN?

I mentioned that a little while ago.

Matthew 7:22-23

MANY WILL SAY TO ME IN THAT DAY, LORD, LORD, HAVE WE NOT PROPHESIED IN THY NAME? AND IN THY NAME HAVE CAST OUT DEVILS? AND IN THY NAME DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS? (23) AND THEN WILL I PROFESS UNTO THEM, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.

I’m a member of the Church of Roxboro. I’m seeking to get the people of this world to understand this fact. There are those that are influencing your life, directing you to see certain things about your own life that are leading you in the complete wrong direction! The world we live in is trying its best to get people to except homosexuals, transgenders as their equal. They are trying to get the people that live these lifestyles to fir in as a normal group of people in our communities. If, at some point this world, your town, your community does look at this lifestyle as normal then, so be it. However, if you think God has changed one thing about how he views those lifestyles, you are badly deceived by the very people that are leading you!

Let’s make an argument here. Let’s just assume a homosexual is born like they are. Well, guess what? I was born just like I was born as well. I, like every other person on this earth had to come to the resolve within myself that God was not pleased with me (the way I was born)! Look at this verse:

Romans 3:11-13

AS IT IS WRITTEN, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT ONE: (11) THERE IS NONE THAT UNDERSTANDETH, THERE IS NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD. (12) THEY ARE ALL GONE OUT OF THE WAY, THEY ARE TOGETHER BECOME UNPROFITABLE; THERE IS NONE THAT DOETH GOOD, NO, NOT ONE. (13) THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN SEPULCHRE; WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY HAVE USED DECIET; THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS:

WE need to understand this fact! There’s not but one hell. I am equal to every sinner that ever lived. Also, any sinner, no matter what sin it is, if they die as a part of this world will burn in the very same hell with every other sinner!

I want you to consider this, if you happen to be white. if you teach your children, they are special simply because they are white; all you are doing is lining them up with the linage of this world and, and possibly sending them to the very same hell that the rest of this world will go to! If you happen to be born black and you’re teaching your children that (black lives matter), making that the focus of your home, Church, school and community it’s very possible that you are setting them up to spend a lifetime in a place called hell, part from the very grace that is offered freely by Jesus Christ our Lord.

We’ve come to the place in our world that we try to make Jesus Christ a part of all of our little petty issues we see in this world. Even our Churches become magnets for the things of this world.

The point I’m trying my best to make is this. No matter who you are, you are born as a member of this world. That fact must change because being a member of this world alone brings about destruction in hell for eternity! I’m not speaking to you as a member of this world. I was a member of this world but, that citizenship changed the very moment I asked Jesus Christ to be my Savior! I now have citizenship in a place we call heaven. The only reason I’m still hear is to share the truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ with every member of this world.

What part of this world are you caught up in? Please consider what I’m saying. Let’s say you are a member of a local Church that takes meals to senior citizens each week, you call that your ministry. However, you take the meals to those people every week, feeding their physical bodies but never one time tell them about Jesus Christ, never asked them if they are born-again, you have no passion for their soul. If you say you are born-again, you have missed the very calling God the father has placed on every one of his children!

Is it important to feed the poor? Sure, it is however, as citizens of heaven, ambassadors of Jesus Christ there is a much higher calling than just looking after the flesh of men, we must realize that spiritual fact!

Look at these verses in closing:

2 Peter 1:10-11

WHEREFORE THE RATHER, BRETHREN, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE; FOR IF YE DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FALL: (11) FOR SO AN ENTRANCE SHALL BE MINISTERED UNTO YOU ABUNDANTLY INTO THE EVERLASTING KINGDOM OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.

I’m sure that there are well meaning parents, teachers, pastors, civic leaders and so on all across this country that are seeking to truly help people in some small way. However, the pit of hell is filled with people with good intentions! It also isn’t partial in any group of people, color or creed. If you die in ignorance and end up in hell then, hell is filled with people that listened to what someone else taught them in ignorance.

Yor, as an individual, black, white, male female, Church member. Check your heavenly status! Make (YOUR) calling and election sure. Don’t let even the most passionate person, such as I stop you from knowing truth by acknowledging Jesus Christ and becoming a citizen of the world he is from!

John 3:7

MARVEL NOT THAT I SAID UNTO THEE, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.

No if’s and’s or but’s about it. You cannot remain a citizen of this world, fight for the things of this world and be what God desires for you to be. Ye must be born again. Become a citizen of the world of Jesus Christ!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

THE LIFESTYLES OF THIS WORLD, THE REPROBATES THEREOF

As far as I know the word reprobate is only mentioned three times in scripture. Most people that read God’s word would relate it to:

(Romans 1:28)

AND EVEN AS THEY DID NOT LIKE TO RETAIN GOD IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, TO DO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT CONVENIENT;

Now, let’s see what it says in the next four verses:

(Roman 1:29-32)

BEING FILLED WITH ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, FORNICATION, WICKEDNESS, FULL OF ENVY, MURDER, DEBATE, MALIGNITY; WHISPERERS, (30) BACKBITERS, HATERS OF GOD, DESPITEFUL, PROUD, BOASTERS, INVENTERS OF EVIL THINGS, DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS, (31) WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING, COVENANTBREAKERS, WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION, INPLACABLE: (32) WHO KNOWING THE JUDGMENT OF GOD, THAT THEY WHICH COMMIT SUCH THINGS ARE WORTHY OF DEATH, NOT ONLY DO THE SAME, BUT HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM.

I’d like to make a point here that I feel is very important. As we read here in Romans, the Apostle Paul is speaking to people that call themselves saints.

Romans 1:7

TO ALL THAT BE IN ROME, BELOVED OF GOD, CALLED TO BE SAINTS, GRACE TO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD OUR FRATHER, AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Therefore, let’s look at a man’s life as respect to that man being born and, in the process, of time being born again. No man is ever born a reprobate. Personally, I believe that there are reprobates that are lost as well as people that are born again. Have you ever considered what the only sin is that a person repents from the very minute they are born-again? If a preacher is preaching a message of salvation to a congregation of people that has within it those that are not saved, it’s very possible that he will not even mention any specific sin that a person might be guilty of.

The message could be a general message proving that all people are sinners and, desperately in need of salvation. It’s very possible that a person can feel the convicting hand of God as far as their nonbelief in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That person can come to an altar, confessing their belief in Jesus Christ, never even realizing that a certain lifestyle they live is sin.

I’ll give you an example. As a young believer I went to Church one Sunday just as I would on a normal Sunday. There was also another young man there, a friend of mine that had gotten saved a few weeks after I did. That particular Sunday morning our pastor preached a message that revealed a sin that he and I both were guilty of. After the service as we were leaving the other young man came out of Church and found me. As we stood and talked one to another, he asked me; did you hear what the preacher said about that sin that we are both very guilty of? I replied, yes, I did! It brought about great conviction on me. He told me that it did him as well however, I don’t think I can quit living like I live. To that, I replied, I know but I’m going to ask the Lord to help me with it, you should do the same.

We left Church that day, he never came back. However, I’ll confess, I still struggle with that sin in my life! I’m still seeking daily to walk in the light of the gospel of Christ, I’m also maturing spiritually in Christ, always asking him to allow himself to be seen in me and not, me, myself.

Here, we can argue whether this young man was saved or not. However, there are also those that will doubt whether I am saved or not! We are speaking about being a reprobate. It doesn’t matter whether or not a person is saved. What matters is whether a person is willing to hear God’s Spirit and yield to the very voice of God.

I want you to notice these three verses, all in different books:

Colossians 4:14

LUKE, THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN, AND DEMAS, GREET YOU.

Philemon 1:24

MARCUS, ARISTARCHUS, DEMAS, LUCAS, MY FELLOWLABOURRERS.

2 Timothy 4:10

FOR DEMAS HATH FORSAKEN ME, HAVING LOVED THIS PRESENT WORLD, AND IS DEPARTED UNTO THESSALONICA, CRESCENS TO GALATIA, TITUS UNTO DALMATIA.

The man Demas we see here, was he saved? Look at this verse:

Galatians 5:7

YE DID RUN WELL, WHO DID HINDER YOU THAT YE SHOULD NOT OBEY THE TRUTH?

The Apostle Paul here is again speaking to a whole Church. Were they saved?

In Romans, the first chapter it appears that the Apostle Paul is speaking to people that are living a homosexual lifestyle, that is, at least some of the people are. I’d like for us to consider something here. At the time the Apostle Paul was writing this letter to the Romans, the whole concept of the Church, even the New Testament was a brand-new concept. The Apostle Paul is also preaching, teaching Gentiles that have no concept of anything spiritual concerning the true and living God.

So, let’s say that the Apostle Paul went to Rome simply preaching a salvation message. Sharing that we all are sinners, we all have fallen short of God’s glory. However, Jesus Christ died on a Cross for our sins and, God desires to save ever man. As you read the verses in (Romans 1:28-32) we see a picture of the type sins were present on the day he preached that message of salvation. These people, hearing the gospel message came forth and asked Jesus Christ to become their savior!

Before we go any farther, let’s look at another verse:

Galatians 4:19-20

MY LITTLE CHILDREN, OF WHOM I TRAVAIL IN BIRTH AGAIN UNTIL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU, (20) I DESIRE TO BE PRESENT WITH YOU NOW, AND TO CHANGE MY VOICE, FOR I STAND IN DOUBT OF YOU.

What is salvation by definition? It’s being born again! It is the act of excepting Jesus Christ into your heart. Therefore, who is Jesus Christ?

Colossians 2:9

FOR IN HIM DWELLETH THE FULNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY.

If we look at salvation from the perspective of God, the Father, we can define it this way. We can say that salvation is the express desire for any person to show a will to die to self and, allow God to be form in their body.

Salvation has nothing to do with being perfect but, a desire to become as much as possible like the body of Jesus Christ which was perfect. (I believe) that what we see today, and call abortion is a perfect picture of what happens in the hearts of many people. If abortion occurs, then that means that two people have gone through a motion of bringing life into this world. However, a choice has been made not to accept that life.

When any person goes to a Church for instance. On the morning that they are at Church the preacher preaches a message that draws great conviction on their heart as a sinner. If we stop here, no matter what they do from that point, wasn’t the conviction on their heart? That fact cannot be changed! God’s Spirit has done his job. Here we see two people, a preacher yielding to God’s Spirit and a sinner. The seed has been planted.

So, let’s say that this sinner goes down to the alter. The sinner says, they desire Jesus Christ to be their savior. Well, no matter what they say or do, hasn’t the seed been planted? Without saying a word. What they do from that moment on will become their life! Let’s get a little closer. The very fact that you are under conviction proves that the Holy Spirit has convinced you that you are a sinner. The fact that you go down to an alter is confessing that fact. Even though you might say you desire for Jesus Christ to be your savior, you actually don’t know Jesus Christ at all!

Hebrews 6 puts it this way:

HEBREWS 6:1-3

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

I mentioned that the New Testament was just being written, the Apostle Paul is one of the writers. Consider this: as Apostle Paul left the Church of Rome, he left someone in charge. In the case we read about in Acts, it was a group of men call Elders. These men had the responsibility of seeking to hear the Spirit of God, the very same Spirit that spoke to the Apostle Paul.

Were they willing, not only to hear that Spirit but, yield to what he was saying? The Apostle Paul is writing this letter to people that say they are saved but, they are allowing things to take place that is unbecoming to a born-again believer. I showed you a verse where he says (I stand in doubt of you)! It’s not his place to say whether any person is actually born-again or not. Neither he nor the people, like me can be a judge. However, just like the picture of baptism being an outward picture of an inward transformation, our lives should also show that transformation.

Becoming a reprobate can occur in at least two ways. One way is that the word of God is preached to us but, we reject the truth we hear. We could argue that this is the only way it can take place. However, what happens when the man that is preaching doesn’t preach complete truth. Let’s say he convinces you that you are a sinner, you ask Christ to be your savoir but, you never understand what sin is. You are left to believe that you are fine just as you are. Maybe we can’t call that person a reprobate but, isn’t he still living an unprincipled life, just in ignorance?

My whole point is this. Salvation means more than you just saying (you believe) in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul says (he travails) until Christ be formed in you! I’ll use a metaphor to make my point. Let’ say you are about to drown. Just before that you do, a person comes by, throws you a rope and, pulls you to safety. Yor are very excited, very thankful for what that person did for you. Therefore, you asked, do you mind if I walk along with you? The person that just saved you, says, yes you can, I’ll be glad to have you.

As you two walks along and fellowship he begins to share who he is, what he expects of those that desire to be a part of his life. Yor begin to reconsider whether you like walking with him or not. He’s actually asking you to give up things in your life you would rather stay the same. In just a little while, although you are thankful for being saved by him, you decide to walk another way, more pleasing to the way you think.

Doesn’t the fact that you are saved still remain? I realize that this is just a metaphor. However, in a spiritual sense I can see it both ways. While I can’t say whether you are saved or not, I can see how both lost sinners and saved sinners can become reprobate being not willing to submit themselves to the very will of Jesus Christ.

In (Hebrews 6) the Apostle Paul is making this point. In a true spiritual setting, we can’t just simply preach a salvation message and expect our members to grow to a mature spiritual level. That’s why I say that it’s possible to be unprincipled in your spiritual walk but not know it. The people teaching you have let you down spiritually.

As you read the list of things that the Apostle Paul mentions in (Romans 1) often we like to point out the homosexual lifestyle here but neglect to mention all the other things he says.

I feel compelled to use this scripture here;

Matthew 13:3-9

AND HE SPAKE MANY THINGS UNTO THEM IN PARABLES, SAYING, BEHOLD, A SOWER WENT FORTH TO SOW; (4) AND WHEN HE SOWED, SOME SEEDS FELL BY THE WAY SIDE, AND THE FOWLS CAME AND DEVOURED THEM UP: (5) SOME FELL UPON STONY PLACES, WHERE THEY HAD NOT MUCH EARTH; AND FORTHWITH THEY SPRANG UP, BECAUSE THEY HAD NO DEEPNESS OF EARTH: (6) AND WHEN THE SUN WAS UP, THEY WRE SCORCHED; AND BECAUUSE THEY HAD NO ROOT, THEY WITHERED AWAY. (7) AND SOME FELL AMONG THORNS; AND THE THORNS SRUNG UP, AND CHOCKED THEM: (8) BUT OTHER FELL INTO GOOD GROUND, AND BROUGHT FORTH FRUIT, SOME AND HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTYFOLD, SOME THIRTYFOLD. (9) WHO HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.

This is a picture of what I’m saying. The difference is we are the people that actually make the choice whether the seed falls on good ground or not. The question is (do you desire to hear? In a Church setting, if the man of God is preaching under the power of the Holy Ghost; the same truth goes out to every person under the sound of that preacher’s voice. What we do with what we have the ability to hear is up to us! Now, let’s move on:

(Verse 28)

AND EVEN AS THEY DID NOT LIKE TO RETAIN GOD IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, TO DO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT CONVENIENT:

I believe we could write a book on this alone! Look at the very first one: (unrighteousness). When we consider all the things mentioned below this one word being unrighteous, why would he mention this word? There is a very good reason for it. There are many people, this world is filled with the unrighteous They are not guilty of any of the things he mentions here however, they still never even consider seeking God’s will. As a matter of fact, there are possibly more people like this than any other sinner that we can name!

In other words, they are righteous in their own minds. The pastor is always speaking to some else, not them! Let’s look at a couple of verses here:

Romans 10:3

FOR THEY BEING IGNORANT OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS, ARE GOING ABOUT TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUS, NOT HAVING SUBMITTED THEMSELVES UNTO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.

2 Corinthians 5:21

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

God’s righteousness is Jesus Christ! Do you remember (until Christ be formed in you)? Let’s consider what we are seeing often today. Our Churches are seeking to teach us how to live righteous. They call out sin we might say and seek to get you to refrain from living in those sinful ways. Most people might appear to be living that righteous life to those that see them. What does Jesus Christ say about that?

Luke 11:39

AND THE LORD SAID UNTO HIM, NOW DO YE PHARISEES MAKE CLEAN THE OUTSIDE OF THE CUP AND THE PLATTER, BUT YOUR INWARD PART IS FULL OF RAVENING AND WICKEDNESS.

let’s look at another verse:

Matthew 12:44-45

THEN HE SAITH, I WILL RETURN INTO MY HOUSE FROM WHENCE I CAME OUT, AND WHEN HE IS COME IN, HE FINDETH IT EMPTY, SWEPT AND GARNISHED. (45) THEN GOETH HE, AND TAKETH WITH HIMSELF SEVEN OTHER SPIRITS MORE WICKED THAN HIMSELF, AND THEY ENTER IN AND DWELL THERE: AND THE LAST STATE OF THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST. EVEN SO SHALL IT BE ALSO UNTO THIS WICKED GENERATION.

We’re speaking about being reprobate, unprincipled. When we decide to clean up our lives, even say we asked Jusus Christ to come into our lives; we can say we empty ourselves, our hearts from evil. So, what do we fill it back up with? Our own righteousness? The righteousness of a Church or some religion?

If we go back to abortion, the act of two people, through that process something is happening inside a body that we don’t like. Therefore, we stop its growth. Isn’t it the very same way spiritually? The Holy spirit has moved on your heart. He is attempting to place something in you. His desire is to transform you into the very will of Christ. However, you refuse that transformation!

As we consider the word (reprobate) (unprincipled) I might have already mentioned this but, it’s worth saying again. The very principles we are speaking of is (as defined) by God the Father. We, as the people of this world don’t get to define that word. (I believe) there are whole Churches, religions and spiritual organizations that are completely reprobate. Look at this verse:

2 Corinthians 6:17

WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AN BE YE SEPERATE, SAITH THE LORD, AND TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.

Now, why did he say that? You can read this whole chapter but, I’ll only write one verse to make my point.

2 Corinthians 6:12

YE ARE NOT STRAITENED IN US, BUT YE ARE STRAITENED IN YOUR OWN BOWELS.

I’m going to say something here that I believe God’s Spirit laid on my heart. As I go about my days, I often will ask people, members of Churches if they are saved. In most cases they will reply (yes)). Then, I will change the term and say (are you going to heaven when you die)? There reply (I hope so)! Is that not a contradiction in terms? How do we define salvation if it’s not going to heaven?

Can you imagine going to Church your whole basic life and still being unprincipled as far as God is concerned? Your whole life you listened to what some Church taught and missed the true meaning of being born-again! All you know is what some Church taught you to know. In many cases, in situations such as this, even if you attempt to show them truth, they are so engrained in what they have been taught, they will not hear truth!

Since we started this in (Roman 1) and many people relate that to a homosexual lifestyle; let’s consider something here. There are many people that are very guilty of some of the other sins mentioned in (Roman 1). However, they view a homosexual as being unprincipled as taught by the Church they attend. Let’s say that in a local Church there’s a lesbian that desires to be a member of that Church. In her heart, she has asked Jesus Christ to be her savior, she truly desires for her heart to be transformed into all God desires her to be. The members of that Church, they know her lifestyle and reject her on that very principle. She is truly trying to turn from her sin but, she is rejected by the very place that God designed to help her.

In that Church, among the membership there are (whisperers)! They are talking among themselves, making sure the deacons, the pastor and other members know this woman’s lifestyle. While the lesbian is truly seeking to turn her life to Christ, be transformed into what God would have her be, the whisperers hadn’t even considered themselves as (her equal). Who would you say is the most spiritual?

These people have been (straitened in their own bowels)! They are a (law unto themselves)! I know and completely realize that there are homosexuals that have become reprobate, that’s their choice. That doesn’t mean they all have! And, I might add, I don’t know of any whole Church with that mindset! However, there are whole Churches that are reprobate having (been straitened in their own bowels)!

Isn’t it very possible that if I ask a homosexual if they are saved, their reply would be an instantaneous (yes, I know I’m going to heaven when I die)? At the very same time there are those that will not say that but, judge them when they do, all because of being straitened in their own bowels!

Are you reprobate, not having the principles of God governing your walk? Have you been convinced in your own bowels that you are going to be alright? I’m not the justifier of any sin. I’m simply saying that we all are sinners in need of Jesus Christ as our Savior. Any of us, no matter what our sin might be can become reprobate meaning that will can no longer hear God as he seeks to speak to us and direct our paths.

(I believe) that the greatest reprobate of all times believed in Jesus Christ! His name was and is Lucifer, we call him Satan. He is also the (prince of the power of the air). (Ephesians 2:2) He, right at this moment is working in the children of disobedience. He appears as (an angel of Light) (2 Corinthians 11:4). Every person that is a reprobate is controlled by his spirit. He teaches in our universities, our colleges, our Christian schools. He teaches in Sunday School; he stands behind pulpits. He holds the office of deacon. You can always expect him to mix some truth with the lies he tells!

One of his greatest lies of all times is that you are fine just as you are! Just come to the alter and confess your belief in Christ, get baptized and join our Church! (In my opinion), that means you don’t have to agree with me! People that allow themselves to be taught by reprobates, become reprobates by default. What do I mean by that statement? I stated that I believe that both people that are born-again and those that are lost can become reprobate in their mindset. If I teach you a falsehood, even if you are saved. You allow yourself to be led by that same spirit, won’t you stand before God accountable for the same things the people that are teaching you will? If you are lost and you allow yourself to fall for false teaching; won’t you go to the same hell your teacher does?

The Apostle Paul made this statement: (I am the least of all Apostles). (1 Corinthians 15:9) As you consider this; also consider that the Apostle Paul was a man that had started Churches and was now seeking to help these same Churches see the truth we now find in God’s word.

The people that might read this are very special to me. Each of you have an appointment with Jesus Christ our Lord. You have no reason to listen to me! I, like the Apostle Paul am the least of all men! However, I know this; the truth is very hard to come by! There are very few people, pastors and teachers today that truly seek to hear the very voice of God. I like this verse:

Matthew 13:46

WHO, WHEN HE HAD FOUND ONE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, WENT AND SOLD ALL THAT HE HAD, AND BOUGHT IT.

If you’ll look around the city, the village, the town you live in you will see many Churches that you might have the opportunity to visit. If you make a choice to visit one or, are already a member of one it still boils down to this. You are an individual that is very loved by Jesus Christ. Far beyond any Church you might attend, he desires to speak directly to you! If you’re lost without him, he desires to save you. If you are already born-again, his desire is to share truth with you, lead you through this troubled world, fellowship with you on a daily basis.

Reaching reprobate status means that you can no longer hear the spirit of God as he speaks to you. You have rejected his call and you now only hear what you choose to. If you are reading this, is God still dealing with your heart? Can you feel the nudge of God’s spirit seeking to lead you into his divine will? If so, you’re not a reprobate! You might be lost, you might be a Church member confused, you might even be born-again but haven’t been shared the truth of God’s word. God’s Spirit is right there in your midst! His love for you goes far beyond all that you might think and, no person’s love will ever come close to just how much he loves you!

Forgetting all that I might say or teach, seek to hear truth from him! Learn to pray, listen to him, read his word. Allow His Spirit to be your teacher! In every person that might teach you, including me, always weigh what is taught in light of God’s word as directed by his Spirit!

One day, you will be glad you did!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

THE COURSE WE WALK!

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR: SUNDAY, MARCH 27,2022

Ephesians 2:1

WHEREIN IN TIME PAST YE WALKED ACCORDING TO THE COURSE OS THIS WORLD, ACCORDING TO THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, THE SPIRIT THAT NOW WORKETH IN THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE:

This is one of my favorite verses in scripture and I refer to it very often. In this verse and in verse three we see the phrase (in times past). That means that if you are a member of the Church, the body of Christ something has happened to you! Something has caused you to do a turnabout in the way you walk.

Although the Church at Ephesus was an actual place, a place the Apostle Paul started a Church; in this book he is revealing the true Church. It goes far beyond just what a local Church is but all it should be! I feel compelled here to make one point that is often missed as we speak of the true Church. Just as in any Church or family there are people that are mature and, from that place we can find members all the way down to newborn babies.

So, as we consider this; let’s look at it from a family standpoint. My dad and mom had four children, three girls and one boy. When my oldest sister was born; can you see how the maturity of my mom and dad had to be in place to bring about growth in my sister? As each child was born and grew to a place to become some help to my mom and dad, even in aiding the in education of the younger; that’s what each child did.

What if my mom and dad just began to act like children, babies when each child was born? That’s exactly what happens often in a spiritual sense in our local Churches. The Bible, in Ephesians shows us just how it’s supposed to work.

Look at these verses:

Ephesians 5:25-27

HUSBANDS, 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, (27) THAT HE MIGHT PRESENT IT TO HIMSELF A GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT, OR WRINKLE, OR ANY SUCH THING, BUT THAT IT SHOULD BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLIMISH.

The last wedding, I had the privilege to preside over, I believe the bride’s dress cost fifteen hundred dollars. That was probably cheap compared to some dresses. But why? Why would any young woman spend that kind of money to buy one dress for one event? Can’t we say they would be just as married if they both, husband and wife simply wore their work uniforms? It all has to do with how we desire to present ourselves to the people around us and, to our husband to be!

I went to a Wednesday night service at a Church once. I was dress in a white shirt, a tie and Khaki pants. As I sit there waiting, one of the deacons came in, a friend of mine dressed in a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. I looked at him and said, man what’s wrong with you, look how you are dressed? He replied, God doesn’t care how I dress. To that I replied, when’s the last time you asked him? If you think for one minute you can lower your spiritual standards in any way and, your children do not drop theirs lower, you’re badly mistaken!

Now, I suppose you or we can argue about that but, what if Jesus would have lowered his standards? We now look at every aspect of our Churches as being a symbol of this world, seeking to draw people into that building. We rarely if ever even consider how God sees all that we do! I suppose that I’ve done some of my best preaching in my work uniform, even while I was working. However, there’s a stand of spiritual excellence I sought to put out even in my work uniform.

I often see pastors of Churches preaching in a tee shirt. I understand that the message is just the same. However, do you realize that as he stands behind that pulpit, he is standing where only Jesus Christ would be standing if he were here? I once made a statement using a canal as an example. I said that it doesn’t take much to lower a ship down from one water level to another, all you have to do is pull a plug. However, if your desire is to raise a whole ship to a higher level, it takes power?

Isn’t it the same way spiritually? Anyone can lower the spiritual standard of any Church. No problem! All you have to do is simply set low standards in all, you do! Have we allowed the (course of this world) to set our standards in the place we call Church? The verse we are looking into says that we (walked) being in the past tense (according to the course of this world)! Have we allowed (the course of this world) in every aspect to become a part of our Churches?

Look at this verse:

Ephesians 5:21

SUBMITTING YOURSELVES ONE TO ANOTHER IN THE FEAR OF GOD

The Bible, even here in Ephesians uses an example of a man and his wife as it relates to our relationship with Christ. There’s even going to be a marriage supper of the Lamb that we as believers will be attending one day. The verse we see here tells us to submit ourselves one to another. So, is there any other standard that we see set in that verse? It says, (IN THE FEAR OF GOD).

Let’s say that all is now said and done. We as the Church, the body of Christ is just before marrying Jesus Christ, God in flesh. Everything is now set. Jesus Christ is standing at the altar; he’s waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle to stand beside him for the marriage to take place. How do you suppose he will be dressed? He represents all the Godhead bodily. He is complete perfection!

(IN THE FEAR OF GOD) is a very powerful statement! I realize that the way we dress might not be as important as our actual spiritual life but, don’t we often relate how we dress to certain aspects of our lives? All I’m saying is that the Church is supposed to set a standard that is seen as not a part of the world. It’s supposed to set a standard that prepares us to walk down the aisle for marriage to the most perfect man that ever lived one day.

In a wedding ceremony often the father of the bride will walk his daughter down the Asile. The pastor will ask who gives this woman to be warried to this man? In a spiritual setting, I believe that we can call the Apostle Paul the Father of the Bride in this case. He will be the one that presents the bride to Jesus Christ.

Look at this verse:

2 Corinthians 11:2

FOR I AM JEALOUS OVER YOU WITH GODLY JEALOUSY: FOR I HAVE ESPOUSED YOU TO ONE HUSBAND, THAT I MAY PRESENT YOU A CHASTE VIRGIN TO CHRIST.

Any father that has a daughter, if this man understands the spiritual aspect of marriage with love for his wife and for his daughter desires to present his daughter to a spiritual man that will lead her unto righteousness just as he, the father has sought to teach her spiritual values all her life.

The responsibility of doing just that to the body of Christ, the Church was laid by Jesus Christ on the shoulders of the Apostle Paul. Even from the very beginning Satan has sought to destroy the spiritual beauty of the Bride of Jesus Christ. So, what happened to the Church that the Apostle Paul started at Ephesus?

Revelation 2:1-4

UNTO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH OF EPHESUS WRITE; THESE THINGS SAITH HE THAT HOLDETH THE SEVEN STARS IN HIS RIGHT HAND, WHO WALKETH IN THE MIDST OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS; (2) I KNOW THY WORKS, AND THY LABOUR, AND THY PATIENCE, AND HOW THOU CANST NOT BEAR THEM WHICH ARE EVIL: AND THOU HAST TRIED THEM WHICH SAY THEY ARE APOSTLES, AND ARE NOT, AND HAST FOUND THEM LIARS; (3) AND HAST BORNE, AND HAST PATIENCE, AND FOR MY NAME’S SAKE HAST LABOURED, AND HAST NOT FAINTED. (4) NEVERTHELESS I HAVE SOMEWHAT AGAINST THEE, BECAUSE THOU HAST LEFT THY FIRST LOVE.

John the revelator is looking at this from a purely spiritual aspect. For instance, the first love of any person that makes this statement is the world. (Wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world). In that respect, that was your first love. However, now being born-again and now separated spiritually from this world by the blood of Christ; you love is completely toward Jesus Christ. He’s saying to the people of Ephesus that they have left that love they had for Christ!

Personally, I don’t believe that today the average Church member ever feels that true loving relationship with Jesus Christ. This is a burden on my heart! I believe many join a Church, a group of people, never even truly seeking to know Christ! In that, we never truly turn from this world and the world actually becomes a part of the Church.

The Church that the Apostle Paul is speaking of is totally separate from any aspect of this world. While we as born-again believers live in this world, we are not of this world. That line has to be clearly drawn, if not then there is a problem within our Churches.

The problem! How do you get people to see this? How can we get the members of the average local Church to see that the course they are walking is still governed by the love of this world? Look at these verses:

2 Peter 3:15-18

AND ACCOUNT THAT THE LONGSUFFERING OF OUR LORD IS SALVATION; EVEN OUR BELOVED 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; IN WHICH ARE SOME THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, WHICH THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST, AS THEY DO ALSO OTHER SCRIPTURES, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION. (17) YE THEREFORE, BELOVED, SEEING YE KNOW THESE THINGS BEFORE, BEWARE LEST YE ALSO, BEING LED AWAY WITH ERROR OF THE WICKED, FALL FROM YOUR OWN STEDFASTNESS. (18) BUT GROW IN GRACE, AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. TO HIM BE GLORY BOTH NOW AND FOREVER.

Here we see two completely separate groups of people. The Apostle Peter even tells us that some things written by the Apostle Paul is hard to understand. However, they can be understood. He’s saying that many people, Church people struggle with these and other scriptures. He says they are unlearned and unstable.

Which group are you in? Actually, there is nothing wrong with being born-again and struggling with scripture if we are seeking to focus on learning things as taught by God’s Holy Spirit. It’s when you are not born-again and have no desire to be taught by his spirit that makes you still a part of this world. Even if you are a Church member with no interest in spiritual teaching, you do that to your own destruction.

When we are born-again, that fact changes the course of our lives. Often, it’s someone with spiritual maturity that brings about our yearning inside to know all we can about Jesus Christ. In the spiritual mindset it’s supposed to be our pastors and teachers that inspire that desire in us. It will always come from a cleansing process in our worldly walk through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.

It’s an established fact that I can’t work with a plumber every day if I expect to be an electrician. I must work with an electrician and also allow that person to correct me as I move toward my goal. That instruction will be just as much in teaching me where I’m wrong as I learn the things I need to do. It works in tandem, one with the other. It’s called growing toward maturity, learning to stand on our own two feet.

The truth is, you can’t continue to walk in the course of this world and expect to grow spiritually. Old things must pass away, and all things must become new. Do you remember the verse in the gospels (new wine in old bottles)?

Matthew 9:17

NEITHER DO ME PUT NEW WINE INTO OLD BOTTLES: ELSE THE BOTTLES BREAK, AND THE NEW WINE RUNNETH OUT, AND THE BOTTLES PERISH: BUT THEY PUT NEW WINE INTO NEW BOTTLES, AND BOTH ARE PRESERVED.

Spiritual learning is the very same picture. If any person is still seeking the course of this world, no spiritual truth will absorb into his being because his mind is corrupt by the things of this world We must put on the new man and, then we can learn the spiritual lessons that are taught to us. I’ll also add this. It must be new wine that is taught. Many teachers are not attempting to teach new spiritual truth. They are actually pouring old wine into old bottles, doing nothing as far as the spirit is concerned.

Don’t be deceived people. I often try my best to bring all I teach down to one individual, you! If every person around you desires to stay as they are, (come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord). Don’t allow pastors and teachers, even friends keep you on the course of this world. Stand up! Be heard or, allow God’s spirit to speak to you! Find that place of spiritual growth in your life even if someone gets upset with you and, often they will!

In closing, God’s desire is to use his Spirit to fill you with himself. We see where the Apostles Peter praised the Apostle Paul in the epistle he wrote. (In my opinion) it took the Apostle Peter a little time to get to the place he understood the teaching of the Church and the importance of all the Apostle Paul was teaching. Just like Paul, Peter, me or any spiritual person you know, it takes time to be spiritually educated but, we must start somewhere!

I truly believe that it’s by design that many of our Church’s desire to keep us in spiritual ignorance. Their desire is to cause you to only see their spiritual knowledge, if you can call it spiritual. Please, I challenge you to step outside their little bubble and allow God’s Spirit to direct you to his perfect will for your life, in Jesus Name! Don’t allow yourself to continue to be caught up in the course of this world! Don’t forget, (all religion is of this world and, not of God)! Learn to know the difference between the religions of this world and the leadership of the Spirit of God, choosing to walk the course laid out by God’s Holy Spirit!
Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7