A BURDEN FOR A NATION

Nehemiah 4:17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Thessalonians 5:17

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marhsall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

The Church

How you ever considered defining the Church? Is it something that you think needs defining? It is an entity that is very necessary and it is very important to know and understand the meaning of.

I believe that the word (Church) has purposely been redefined by the world expressly to keep people from the knowledge of truth. Let’s consider a few verses, starting with this one:

Matthew 16:18

AND I SAY ALSO UNTO THEE, THAT THOU ART PETER, AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH: AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT.

Matthew 18:17

AND IF HE SHALL NEGLECT TO HEAR THEM, TELL IT TO THE CHURCH: BUT IF HE NEGLECT TO HEAR THE CHURCH, LET HIM BE UNTO THEE AS AN HEATHEN MAN AND A PUBLICAN.

As far as I can find, this is the only two places the word Church can be found in the gospels and, it was never mentioned in the Old Testament. Since we see that and it is proven as a fact, I wonder what the disciples thought when Jesus Christ mentioned the Church? If you will notice he is the only person that uses the word Church.

Personally, I believe he’s planting a seed of thought into the minds of the disciples. Good spiritual teaching will often do just that. As we grow spiritually we will remember something that was said by way of teaching and it will cause us to have a better understanding of the whole spiritual picture.

As you consider this , you will notice that once we get into the epistles; we see the word Church very often.Let’s look into one more set of verses before we move on.

John 6:53-56

THEN JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, EXCEPT YE EAT THE FLESH OF THE SON OF MAN, AND DRINK HIS BLOOD, YE HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU. (54) WHOSO EATETH MY FLESH, AND DRINKETH MY BLOOD, HATH ETERNAL LIFE, AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY. (55) FOR MY FLESH IS MEAT INDEED, AND MY BLOOD IS DRINK INDEED. (56) HE THAT EATETH MY FLESH, AND DRINKETH MY BLOOD, DWELLETH IN ME, AND I IN HIM.

We actually need to read this whole chapter but we will talk about the events thereof and try and point out what Jesus Christ as the Savior of this world was seeing and what he is trying to converse to his people. If you will notice as you read and study these verses, even this chapter, Jesus refers them back to the manna their fathers were given in the wilderness. Let’s read verse:

(John 6:58)

THIS IS THAT BREAD WHICH CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN: NOT AS THAT YOUR FATHERS DID EAT MANNA, AND ARE DEAD: HE THAT EATETH OF THIS BREAD SHALL LIVE FOR EVER.

You can read about the manna in (Exodus 16). Jesus Christ has just taken two small fish and five barley loaves and fed a great multitude of people. All these people were simply in love with Jesus Christ for all the wrong reasons. They loved him because of what he had done for their flesh. Let’s look at:

John 6:15

WHEN JESUS THEREFORE PERCIEVED THAT THEY WOULD COME AND TAKE HIM BY FORCE, TO MAKE HIM KING, HE DEPARTED AGAIN INTO THE MOUNTAIN HIMSELF ALONE.

I’m going to show you one more verse in John and we’ll go back to talking about the true Church.

John 6:26

JESUS ANSWERED THEM AND SAID, VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU. YE SEEK ME, NOT BECAUSE YE SAW THE MIRACLES, BUT BECAUSE YE DID EAT OF THE LOAVES, AND WERE FILLED.

After that Jesus goes into the message about what it truly takes to have eternal life. That brings us to the true Church. Everyone of the people (believed) in Jesus Christ. Can we agree on that fact? Jesus Christ knew that they all believed in him and, that became a concern to Jesus as their Savior. Why? becaise these people were concerned completely about the wrong aspect of their lives.

I’m going to give you an example about something I see in scripture that Jesus used often.

(THE SEED)

I once had a man share this with me. He said that any man can count the seeds in one apple. However, no man can count the apples in one seed. Now, let’s consider. Almost every person that picks up an apple will eat the fruit off the core of that apple then throw the core out. Now, let’s say that core lands out in the forest next to his house. One of the seeds sprouts and becomes a tree. How many more apples will come from that one seed?

The fruit that the man ate of that apple might have satisfied is hunger but, while that apple was developing; the seed inside that apple was growing; being the most important part of that apple, not the fruit that the man ate. He might have thought it was but, it wasn’t.

Looking at this, if we go back to the very start of the apple on the tree, it started as a bloom. However, every part of that whole apple was within that bloom. As the apple begins to form it is nourished with all it needs to became a complete healthy apple.

In realty, while man can eat the fruit of an apple using it to supply what he needs to be healthy, that is actually not what the apple is all about. The fruit of an apple is around the seed to give that seed what it needs to one day as that fruit dies and decays the nourishment that seed needs to become a fruit bearing tree one day bringing about much fruit.

Let’s look at something else Jesus Christ said:

John 12:24

VERIFY, VERIFY, I SAY UNTO YOU, EXCEPT A CORN OF WHEAT FALL INTO THE GROUND AND DIE, IT ABIDETH ALONE: BUT IF IT DIE, IT BRINGETH FORTH MUCH FRUIT.

These things together become a perfect picture of the message Jesus Christ is trying to relay to the people about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. The people would not allow themselves to see anything beyond their own flesh. Do you realize that Jesus Christ in a body of flesh had to die. He, as a man was not here to live eternally. Let’s look at another 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 was not born to be the king of the Jews. Guess what? he was already their rightful king wasn’t he? Now, consider this. He came into this word to cause the (seed) within him to eat of his flesh and grow thereby and that other people might see the man within, the (seed) within and, allow that same seed to grow within themselves.

Let’s now go back to the seed. Can you see how within an apple, it takes some ingredients from a vine or tree to create the fruit of the apple and something completely different to form the seed within? We, as people are no different. As you eat to feed your flesh, it takes some things we eat to make bones and something else to make our flesh. However, all of that is just our flesh.

Each of us are born with another seed within us. We call it a God consciousness. It’s that part of us that takes the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ to cause it to become healthy and grow. All our bodies of flesh amounts to is the outward fruit that people see. How do we (eat his flesh and drink his blood)? Look at this verse:

Matthew 4:4

BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID, IT IS WRITTEN, MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.

That word is the only ingredient found upon the face of this earth that will feed that seed that lives within each of us. That food does not go into our bodies by our mouth does it? And, not only that but, it must be received when it enters our bodies through the avenues available to receive it.

I didn’t show you this verse in (John 6) a while back so, let’s read it now.

John 6:45

IT IS WRITTEN BY THE PROPHETS, AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD. EVERY MAN THEREFORE THAT HATH HEARD, AND HATH LEARNED OF THE FATHER, COMETH UNTO ME.

Aren’t we still speaking of the Church here? The Church that Jesus Christ referred to in the gospels and even the Church that we see often in the epistles has nothing to do with a building made with man made materials. Let’s look at this verse:

John 2:18-21

THEN ANSWERED JEWS AND SAID UNTO HIM, WHAT SIGN SHEWEST THOU UNTO US, SEEING THAT THOU DOEST THESE THINGS? (19) JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, DESTROY THIS TEMPLE, AND IN THREE DAYS I WILL RAISE IT UP. (20) THEN SAID THE JEWS, FORTY AND SIX YEARS WAS THIS TEMPLE IN BUILDING, AND WILT THOU REAR IT UP IN THREE DAYS? (21) BUT HE SPAKE OF THE TEMPLE OF HIS BODY,

In reality, the body of Jesus Christ was by definition the Church. He used every available part of his flesh to show the very Spirit of God that lived within that body of flesh. Look at these verses:

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

BUT NOW IS CHRIST RISEN FROM THE DEAD, AND BECOME THE FIRSTFRUITS OF THEM THAT SLEPT. (21) FOR SINCE BY MAN CAME DEATH, BY MAN CAME ALSO THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. (22) FOR AS IN ADAM ALL DIE, EVEN SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE. (23) BUT EVERY MAN IN HIS OWN ORDER: CHRIST THE FIRSTFRUITS; AFTERWARDS THEY THAT ARE CHRIST’S AT HIS COMING.(24) THEN COMETH THE END, WHEN HE SHALL DELIVER UP THE KINGDOM OF GOD, EVEN THE FATHER; WHEN HE SHALL HAVE PUT DOWN ALL RULE AND ALL AUTHORITY AND POWER.

I’d also like to add this verse o this:

Matthew 10:28

AND FEAR NOT THEM WHICH KILL THE BODY, BUT ARE NOT ABLE TO KILL THE SOUL: BUT RATHER FEAR HIM WHICH IS ABLE TO DESTROY BOTH SOUL AND BODY IN HELL.

As we look into these verses we see that when Jesus Christ spoke of the Church in the gospels, in reality he was speaking of himself and all those that would after him believe on him and allow the very same spirit that lived and thrived within his flesh to do the same thing in their bodies of flesh. He, Jesus Christ was the firstfruit of all those that would willingly eat his flesh and drink his blood.

Jesus Christ made a promise to those that truly followed him. we see that promise in:

John 14:25-26

THESE THINGS HAVE I SPOKEN UNTO YOU, BEING PRESENT WITH YOU. (26) BUT THE COMFORTER, WHICH IS THE HOLY GHOST, WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, SHALL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, AND BRING ALL THINGS TO YOUR REMEMBRANCE, WHATSOEVER I HAVE SAID UNTO YOU.

That promise was fulfilled in:

Acts 2:1-4

AND WHEN THE DAY OF PENTECOST WAS FULLY COME, THEY WERE ALL WITH ONE ACCORD IN ONE PLACE. (2) AND SUDDENLY THERE CAME A SOUND FROM HEAVEN AS OF A RUSHING MIGHTY WIND, ANS IT FILLED ALL THE HOUSE WHERE THEY WERE SITTING. (3) AND THERE APPEARED UNTO THEM CLOVEN TONGUES LIKE AS OF FIRE, AND IT SAT UPON EACH OF THEM. (4) AND THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND BEGAN TO SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES, AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE.

The Church was born! It started with one hundred and twenty believers. The very same spirit that lived and thrived within the body of flesh of Jesus Christ now lives within these people. Although they were seated in a building, it had nothing to do with that buliding. It has to do with just how willing each of those believers are to allow that spirit to live out in their flesh as they grow in the spirit that can now teach them.

In reality. now it becomes the responsibilty of these people to allow every aspect of their flesh to feed the seed that lives within. (eating the flesh of Jesus Christ and, drinking his blood). That flesh and blood is simply the word of God!

THE CHURCH

The Holy Spirit within every born again believer’s body of flesh is by definition, the Church. Just how willing we are to listen to, read God’s word and allow that word to grow within each of us and deny our flesh and what it desires is the very strength of the Church upon this earth. Let’s consider these verses:

Ephesians 4:1-3 and 13

I THEREFORE, THE PRISONER OF THE LORD, BESEECH YOU THAT YE WALK WORTHY OF THE VOCATION WHEREIN YE ARE CALLED, (2) WITH ALL LOWLINESS AND MEEKNESS, WITH LONGSUFFERING, FORBEARING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE; (3) ENDEAVOURING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE.

13

TILL WE ALL COME IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, AND OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATUE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST:

The Apostle Paul wrote this to the born again believers at Ephesus. He didn’t write it to a building but to people; seeking to help them to all be in the unity of the spirit. That means that every person that believes, when they hear the truth as it is taught becomes willing to yield their bodies to that Spirit within them. When spiritual truth is taught or preached inspired by God then we, as believers are eating the flesh and drinking to blood of Jesus Christ. We are in essence dying to self and becoming Jesus Christ.

When (becoming Jesus Christ) is stated; we know we can never be just like him but, the desire to yield to him is still just as real. That concept is the Church. Look at this verse:

Matthew 18:20

FOR WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER IN MY NAME, THERE AM I IN THE MIDST OF THEM.

Therefore, if I, my wife and child are sitting at out dinner table, my child is sharing gospel truth to my wife and I, isn’t that a Church? Even my wife and I alone constitutes a Church. If we seek to add unity of the Spirit to that then we are eager to hear the truth, even about ourselves and are very willing to let that truth cause us to die to our flesh and let God’s Spirit be seen in us.

Basically speaking, the true Church is an unseen vessel. That is, unless the person that has it wirhin their heart allows it to be seen through their flesh. There’s been a few times in my life that I’ve been in buildings where the people within that building allow God’s Spirit to be seen with great power and that to the salvation of other people but, not often.

Here’s a question that almost demands an answer. Is there a difference in the spirit within a local Church and the actual Spirit of God? The answer is, yes! God’s desire is to have believers that can sense the difference in those two spirits and not be deceived by one that is false.

The true Church will stand! However, every building will fall with those that trust in the wrong spirit.We need to open our spiritual eyes to truth, knowing Jesus Christ and the Church he is speaking of. We need to look far beyond our Church leaders, that is the people we see in buildings and allow God’s Spirit to teach us truth!

I truly believe many people have been rocked to sleep spiritually by the false teachers of this world. Many of the teachers are very close to truth but they dismiss the Holy Spirit of God as necessary part of their teaching.

One of my favoritr verses is:

2 Peter 1:10

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

We see that it is actually left up to each individual to be sure they are members of the Church of Jesus Christ, never a Church building. Seek to know him! Allow his Church to be seen within your everyday life. One day, you will be glad you did!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

TRUTH SOCIAL MEMBERS-SPIRITUAL LESSON

SUNDAY MORNING, AUGUST 14,2022

THE ENEMY WE FIGHT- THE PATH TO VICTORY

First of all this morning I’d like to point out a very real truth. While I, as a born again believer for now a little over forty-two years, love to write and share the gospel truth through the words I write, I don’t consider myself as a very good writer or an author. I’ve even written a couple of books! Those books are not written, and will not stand up to any literary standards at all, they’re simp;y written the way I talk and with a true passion to help people see the spiritual aspect of their lives.

I’ve learn this fact about people like me in time; while I use as my hashtag I guess you might call it, (TruthPastor) a man is not a pastor unless someone allows him to be. It’s an earned title! Any person can say they are called by God the Father but just how effective they might become is within that single person’s ability to speak and draw people to the bleeding side of Jesus Christ and his truth.

As members of TruthSocial and patriots, just who is our enemy and what weapons must be used to destroy that enemy? Another question we might asked is; are we as patriots willing to pick up the weapon we need to destroy our enemy?

I’d like to share a true story with you. Something I did some years ago in a Church I attended in Virgina. This small Church was very patriotic in the way they presented themselves. On this Sunday morning as I went to Church, the pastor was recognizing members of the military. I can’t remember if it was on Independence Day or Memorial Day. However, the pastor that day basically talked about the bravery of our Veterans and got each of them to stand and be recognized. That was the jest of the service that Sunday morning.

When he finished, I asked him if I could speak? he replied, yes. I stood up and looked at the members of the Church and said this: I’m a very patriotic person, I love our country. I’ve never served in any branch of our military but I highly respect you men and women that have and tthe people serving in our military now. What I’m about to say is not meant to take away from what any of you have faced in any way but rather simply to make a point.

Every soldier goes to a battlefield, more than likely a foriegn country to fight for a causel He or she is helping both those people and keeping the enemy from fighting in our country. That is very commendable and much appreciated. At that time we had troops in Afghanistan. So, I told that Church, right now we are there seeking to free that country from evil. Our soldiers are dying for that cause.

This is what I’d like to see this Church do. Today, let’s all sign up for the army of God. Let’s try and get five thousand people to sigh up with us, I’ll put my name at the top of the list. When we get those five thousand, let’s storm the Nation of Afghanistan, each of us preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ from the time we get there until the last one of us is dead. As soon as all of us die, five thousand more will hit the shoreline, still preaching the very same gospel until we win that country to Jesus Christ! Anyone of you willing to sign your name, here’s my name on the list?

How many names do you think I gained that day? Patriots, listen to this humble servant of Jesus Christ. What are we willing to die for? Today, that enemy is on our shores whether we choose to admit it or not! It’s now a proven fact that our military with all its power cannot win against that evil with weapons alone.

As patriots I want you to consider something. Our country became a nation after we won the Revolutionary War. We, as a Nation have faced many wars, even the Cuvil War among ourselves. Even fighting among ourselves, we remained (One Nation Under God). We fought World War One and Two being victorious over both. Did somethig begin to change in the Korean, Vietnam Wars? If so, what?

I Believe it was the power of prayer, the power of a Christian Nation. Before those two wars we sent something much more powerful than our militaty forces in front of the battles we fought. We can call it the very Spirit of God.

In the last few generations since World War two have we lost that gift of prayer and the presence of the power of God on our Nation? The enemy we now face is not a foreign nation, it’s not on foreign soil. In more cases than not, we might even find that enemy in our own homes, businesses, Churches and hearts!

If you remember, I told a little Church that I would preach Jesus Christ on the shores of Afghanistan asking them if they would go with me. Today, I see that the battle we must win if we are to remain a free nation, a nation under the leadership of God we must first win the battle that rages within our own hearts. The battle between Jesus Christ and Satan himself for the control of our flesh.

That battle must begin down on our knees, praying, learning to do so humbly before a Holy and Righteous God that use to be the cornerstone of every victory of the nation we live in and love. It must begin with the knowledge of how to love and pray for our enemies, the very people that work against us.

If we can’t by faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ learn to love our enemies then we become just exactly like our enemies. The secret of our nation winning battles is within the true Ambassdors of Jesus Christ. Another way of saying it is we are fighting for the truth in God’s Word first and formost. Because we put him first, the victory is ours!

ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS, MARCHING AS TO WAR WITH THE CROSS OF JESUS GOING ON BEFORE,

CHRIST, THE ROYAL MASTER, LEADS AGAINST THE FOE FORWARD INTO BATTLE SEE HIS BANNERS GO.

ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS, MARCHING AS TO WAR WITH THE CROSS OF JESUS GOING ON BEFORE.

AT THE SIGN OF TRIUMPH SATAN’S HOST DOTH FLEE, ON THEN CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS, ON TO VICTORY. HELL’S FOUNDATIONS QUIVER AT THE SHOUT OF PRAISE, BROTHERS LIFT YOUR VOICES, LOUD YOUR ANTHEMS RAISE.

LIKE THE MIGHTY ARMY MOVES THE CHURCH OF GOD, BROTHERS, WE ARE TREADING WHERE THE SAINTS HAVE TROD, WE ARE NOT DIVIDED, ALL ONE BODY WE, ONE IN HOPE AND DOCTRINE, ONE IN CHARITY.

WHAT THE SAINTS ESTABLISH THAT I HOLD FOR TRUE, WHAT THE SAINTS BELIEVED, THAT I BELIEVE TO. LONG AS EARTH ENDURETH, MEN OF FAITH WILL HOLD, KINGDOMS, NATIONS, EMPIRES, DESTRUCTION ROLLED.

CROWNS AND THRONES MAY PERISH, KINGDOMS RISE AND WANE, BUT THE CHURCH OF JESUS CONSTANT WILL REMAIN. GATES OF HELL CAN NEVER AGAINST THAT CHURCH PREVAIL. WE HAVE CHRIST’S OWN PROMISE, AND THAT CANNOT FAIL.

ONWARD THEN, YE PEOPLE, JOIN OUR HAPPY THRONG. BLEND WITH OURS YOUR VOICES IN THE TRUUMPH SONG. GLORY, LAUD AND HONOR UNTO CHRIST THE KING, THIS THROUGH COUNTLESS AGES MEN AND ANGELS SING.

As I say these things, Lord help me to be a spiritual leader, praying, lifting up your name first and foremost as a patriot. Help me to love those that are my enemies praying fervently that they might be saved. Help me by my very actions, living a life that represrnts you to draw my enemise to your bleeding side instead of me acting like they are. Lord, open my spiritual eyes and help me see your power in me and that above mine enemies! AMEN, Asking in the name above all names, Jesus Christ!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

FALLING AWAY FIRST ( 2 THESSALONIANS 2:3 )

LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU BY ANY MEANS: FOR THAT DAY SHALL NOT COME, EXCEPT THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST, AND THAT MAN OF SIN BE REVEALED, THE SON OF PERDITION;

As we begin this, I’d like to make a comparison to all that I see within the country that I live in. In the United States of America our national capital was named after our first President, George Washington. he was also a leader in Revolutionary War. I’ve made the statement that if George Washington were alive today he’d go to the White House with his weapon in his hand and demand that they take his name off of the treasonous city that bears his name. If he has the authority now, many people would be hung or shot for treason. Their very acts would condemn them.

What brought about that change? It’s the mindset within the hearts of many people, especially of the people in control of our country at this time in history. However, is it the mindset, the hearts of the people? The people that gave those people control by voting them in? More than likely, No! The people were deceived by what men/women told them. They told them one thing but in reality, never meant to do as they stated they would.

When I mention every day citizen, it’s related to the fact that some people in our country have never been born again. As a matter of fact, according to scripture, most have not. Yet, many of those people have ended up in the leadership of our Churches. Those people, like politicians that lie, are not concerned about the spiritual well being of true born again believers. They can’t be because they don’t even understand the spirit of God at all. These Church members as well as lying politicians are only concerned about their worldly well being. When I make statements like these, I always go back to these verses.

As we consider this, what brought about this change over time? I believe we can see that in the leadership of the Churches in our country and all we see there. However, as I make that statement, it’s something we must understand. When we read the phrase (come a falling away first) it has nothing to do with the people of this world, such as the every day citizens of the United States of America.

Matthew 7:13-14

ENTER YE IN AT THE STRAIT GATE: FOR WIDE IS THE GATE, AND BROAD IS THE WAY, THAT LEADETH TO DESTRUCTION, AND MANY THERE BE WHICH GO IN THEREAT: (14) BECAUSE STRAIT IS THE GATE, AND NARROW IS THE WAY, WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE, AND FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.

We like to look at the people around us, our friends, our family members and think they are all saved, born again but, while we can’t be a judge of any person, according to these verses we must be aware of the fact that many are still on the broad road to destruction. The Bible also says in:

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.

Herein is where I see a problem with all that has happened over the last two hundred and fifty years, or since this country was founded. There’s something I believe we miss in how God the Father has chosen over the life of this world to reveal himself. Basically, in the Old Testament God has a people, a nation, the nation of Israel. In the heart and mind of God this nation would be a picture of him, his voice. Within that, that Nation would become the most powerful nation on the face of this earth. So,what happened? SIN!

In the Old Testament economy; if Israel would have stayed true to God the Father, stayed away from sin and simply obeyed his voice, his will, then the whole world would have been there’s to control. Every person would have submitted to their leadership, the authority of God or died, no exceptions!

If Gentiles would desire to live, they would have been under the loving leadership of that nation. And; as per God’s will, it would all be under the loving fellowship of God the Father. We know that the sin factor stopped that from happening so, God cursed Israel. Therefore the (TIMES OF THE GENTILES) was brought about. The time in which we now live.

Be aware! Not one thing that has ever happened caught God the Father by surprize! He knew what Adam would do concerning the Tree of Life, he knew what men would do after Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, he knew what man would do after the Ark of Noah had setteled back to earth.. He also knew what Israel would do concerning the Law.

At the end of the Law which was the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God ushered in the Church. Within that concept or way he dealt with mankind, he also knew what men would do! This brings us back to the Church.

The Church is a (called out) group of people. It has nothing to do with buildings, denominations or religion. The men, people of this world has made it about religion, denomination and buildings. Now, let’s look at some important things to consider. First of all, when the men and women, people that believed in Jesus Christ in the early days of this nation, they used a Bible called the Geneva Bible. So, let’s simply ask a question. The way it appears to me through study, that Bible was still the Bible of choice during the Revolutionary War. At that time, the KIng Jame Bible was available. It came about in 1611. My question is, why change God’s word anyway? I understand that it needed to be translated into different languages. So, let’s just assume that the people that translated the word of God into a different language, no matter the language, they done the best job humanly possibable in doing so, then why change it again?

At the time of the Revolutionary war, the very concept of righteous living was a very powerful thing. Even though many people might not have been born again, the influence of God’s word and ( the Church) was felt far and wide. Here’s the picture:

Matthew 5:13-14

YE ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH: BUT IF THE SALT HAVE LOST HIS SAVOR, WHEREWITH SHALL IT BE SALTED? IT IS THENCEFORTH GOOD FOR NOTHING, BUT TO BE CAST OUT, AND TO BE TRODDEN UNDER FOOT OF MEN. (14) YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A CITY THAT IS SET ON A HILL CANNOT BE HID.

If you will notice, it says, (the salt of the earth). When you consider salt, if you put a single grain of salt on your tougue, that grain mixes with the moisture on your tongue and quickly spreads over a big portion of your tongue.(The Church) in early America was so powerful, so respected at that time that even those that didn’t believe live up to a standard set by those that did believe. You might say that in a spiritual sense some of the things they did was unnecessary. However, right or wrong, they set a Godly standard.

Can you imagine living in 1611 when the KIng James Bible came out! CHANGE! I can hear those bellievers screaming now. We will not except anything less that the Geneva Bible! So, let’s consider that fact. Not being an historian and, simply seeking to be led by God’s Spirit, what about the change to the King James Bible? Do you realize that in less than a hundred years that the KIng James Bible had multiple books removed because a group of people declared they were not needed?

Now, that Bible was written in 1611. In less that two hundred years it was being excepted, and now we are taking some of the books out of it. I’d like to know, did the Holy Spirit inspire either of those moves? Either the writing of the KIng James or, the dropping of some of the books?

I will say, no! It’s not that the KIng James can’t be used and that God’s Spirit can still use that book but, what we are seeing is simple suttle changes that is part of a plan of Satan as the big picture unfolds. What he is seeing is this. He can question those that say they believe and slowly change the mindset of what they say they believe!

The word of God can be only one example. What Bible do you use today? It doesn’t matter does it? Because today in the average Church there is absolutely no argument about what is truth and what is not. It might be five different versions in the same Church but, not one person, even the pastor questions whether anything is right or wrong! My whole point is the (falling away effect)!

Did you know! That when people began to use the Kimg James Bible and began to recognize it as the authority of God’s word, soon after there were other versions coming out. It took years for people to begin to except those other versions. Now, no problem. Someone desires to write another version, it’s basically readily excepted as just a way to better understand God’s word.

So, let’s notice: the Geneva Bible, then the KIng James, a little later it changed, in a little bit of time, we have many versions. I say and contend, that is not of God but, Satan’s handiwork!

My contention is this; it has nothing to do with the language, meaning the wording in any version. Now, as I say that, when it is changed by the will of man then the truth will never be understood. The secret to understanding God’s word is to first have the Spirit if God within your heart and with that, as desire to know absolute truth.

I personally believe that the word of God had already comprmised long before the Bible had been tampered with. Man can tamper with God’s word without changing anything about it. I personally believe that from the very moment that the Apostle Paul was beginning to write the (mysteries) concerning the Church, even as soon as God’s Spirit fell on the (Day of Pentecost) Satan was busy, seeking to destroy truth.

If I were to use a methphor about this and, we can see it in scripture, it would be this.

Galatian 5:9

A LITTLE LEAVEN LEAVENETH THE WHOLE LUMP.

Satan is the most patient of all of God’s creations! So are they that work for him even if they don’t realize it. Just as on the (Day of Pentecost) the truth of God’s word begin to spread far and wide, Satan was also beginning to destroy the effectiveness of that very word. The verse we quoted is often seen as about how sin works in our lives and, it is. However, it’s also true as with how Satan works over time. Another point I often make is that just as God the Father needs a body to work his will through, so does Satan.

I’ll use these two people in Acts to make my point.

Acts 5:1-2

BUT A CERTAIN MAN NAMED ANANIAS, WITH SAPPHIRA HIS WIFE, SOLD A POSSESSION, (2) AND KEPT BACK PART OF THE PRICE, HIS WIFE ALSO BEING PRIVY TO IT, AND BROUGHT A CERTIAN PART, AND LAID IT AT THE APOSTLES’ FEET.

This, we see was an attempt at lying about truth. If you read this account you will see that they were killed. So, if we go back in Acts and read, we will see that the (religious leaders) of that day was also attempting to stop the truth. So, let’s say this was a rotton spot on a fruit. Satan himself is a rotton spot on the truth in God’s word. When people allow that one little spot to remain, such as in the beginnig, it’s going to destroy the whole lump.

Over the last two thousand years Satan, using the flesh of man has gained an advantage over the Church. It happened a little at a time to the place where, using a piece of fruit as an example, now the whole fruit is almost rotton. Just as I mentioned in the beginning, it’s not the world that is fallen away but, it’s those that name the name of Christ. The weakening of God’s word and the lack of even seeking to hear God’s spirit as our pastor’s preach has created a (great falling away) over the last fifty years.

I use a KIng James Bible as, what I call the word of God. After reading and research I also believe that it’s very possible it is somewhat less than what we could glean spiritually from the Geneva Bible or, we might even say if we could go back to the original text we might be able to see things that we’re missing now. However, it’s impossible for Satan to completely destroy God’s word as long as his Spirit is here. But, just how much Holy Spirit is around today? How much truth is being shared by our Churches?

Let’s say I stand up in your Church and try to contend that we need to go back to using the Geneva Bible, the same Bible they used as in the early days of America; what are your members going to say? Let’s say we need to go back to the day when only men pastored Churches, what’s going to happen? If I say let’s go back to having men as head of households, wives being submissive to Godly husbands, can we find those men? Are wives truly willing to submit to those type men?

Even in our nation, have we crossed the point of no return? We use as our nations motto (IN GOD WE TRUST). What is our nation’s desire to at this point? What god are we trusting in? Even in the worst times, it’s the responsibility of we, as born again believers to still be the voice of truth as led by the very Spirit of God.

In essence, the Church was to be the replacing body for spiritual Israel. It is all inclusive. Where Israel was a nation of one group of people, now within the Church it’s (whosoever will). Where Israel allowed sin to overtake them and weaken God’s will in this world, the Church was to become the spiritial governing body, the voice of God the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I believe that we are living in the last days! A time when many people have become reprobate and cannot hear the Spirit of God as he seeks to speak! (I believe) that in every service in every Church the pastor should preach as if every person in that building was lost and on their way to hell! He should assume that not one person in that building knows Jesus Christ as their Savior! However, haven’t we come to the place where that style of preaching is past tense? Now, the pastor in every Church speaks as though he is talking to all born again believers.

As I began this, I started it off with, what I believe to be the weakening of the power of God’s word and, sought to bring it to where we are as a people today. It’s so much to be taught, even seen as it relates to (A GREAT FALLING AWAY) that it’s almost impossible for one person to reveal it all. I often say this. The Apostle Paul started a Church in Galatia. Not long after he departed, false teaching set in and corrupted the very Church he had started with the gospel of truth. What that Church began to teach is still with us today! The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to that specific Church. We see it in his Epistle ( Galatians). What I say is that more than likely when the then pastor of that Church opened and read that letter, that’s where it stopped! I say he never read it to his people! However, God seen fit to place it in the New Testamant that we might learn from what the Apostle Paul sought to help those people with.

Why would I say that he didn’t read it to his people? Human fleshly nature! Let’s say I write a letter to any Church today, trying to explain the error of the teaching within that Church. Do you think that pastor will read that letter to his Church? If he, or any pastor that preaches false doctrine reads a letter like that to his people it will be in a way that will belittle truth! The very fact that he preaches false doctrine is because he doesn’t believe or care for truth.

It’s not but so many ways to say it but, we are living in a time when what we call as Church doctrine has become rotton to the core! Let’s consider something, just how many truths can it be? We see in:

John 16:13

HOWBEIT WHEN HE, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, IS COME, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: FOR HE SHALL NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF; BUT WHATSOEVER HE SHALL HEAR, THAT SHALL HE SPEAK: AND HE WILL SHEW YOU THINGS TO COME.

With that in mind, look at:

Ephesians 4:4

THERE IS ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT, EVEN AS YE ARE CALLED IN ONE HOPE OF YOUR CALLING;

You can read the rest but the point is there is just one spirit. Now, when we see in (John 16:13) this: he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: what is he saying there? That Spirit has to be within a man or person. That person, being born again, having that one spirit is going to speak what God’s Spirit reveals unto him and not just something he thinks. And, it’s not but one Holy Spirit. Therefore, since that Spirit is within a man he is giong to seek the truth. He might see things wrong and teach them wrong but, as he learns from that one Spirit, he will change and speak that truth.

That’s what amazes me about denomination! Since there’s not but one Spirit and, that one Spirit is only going to reveal one truth, can’t we agree that in the end any person that is truly seeking truth is going to come to the same spiritual conclusion? When any person is willing to except less than truth and call it righteousness then Satan can that advantage of the fact that it’s not truth. That is exactly what has happened! We have reached a place where we never question whether the word of God is truth, what any Church teaches is truth and, now just about any person that chooses to can call themselves a pastor of a Church and that’s not questioned either.

To make a simple point. Today, in the average Church most of the fruit is rotton to the place that the rotton is excepted as a normal thing!

I’d like to share two personal things that has happened to me over the last few years. My own Sunday School teacher in the Church I attend basically knows where I stand on most Biblical issues. Without going into any great detail, when he and I talk on a personal level he will acknowledge his agreement with me. However, in a Church setting he knows he must maintain a certain amount of loyalty to the status quo. In other words, he refuses to rock the boat. I was once asked to teach Sunday School and did for a year or two. When I agreed to teach, I told the pastor that I wouldn’t be using the quarterly, my desire was to teach what I felt led by God’s Spirit to teach.

As time moved toward to time for me to begin teaching, the pastor approached me and asked me, if I would use the quarterly since they has already orderd them for that quarter? To that I replied, I’ll use them for this quarter but, don’t order them for me any longer because I won’t use them. I will use them since you already have them. He agreed. So, I used them for that quarter. At the end of that quarter, guess what? There was a stack of new quarterlys on my podium just before the end of the quarter.

As the teacher of that class, I stood up before my class, told my students the story I just told you and dropped the whole bunch of the quarterlys in the trash can. I sought the rest of that year to teach what God laid on my heart. I found that most of the people weren’t interested in understanding God’s word. Basically speaking, the attitude was just teach for an hour and let us out of here.

That is part of the great falling away. As far as falling away, it has nothing to do with the world and, all to do with Churches. I find that most people to day have a (hope so) salvation. They don’t seek to know or understand anything. In a general sense, you could do away with preaching and teaching altogether in most Churches, just make it one big time of singing and fellowship and go home. The teaching and preaching is just there as necessity, having an apperaance of desiring God without him actually showing up.

I was talking to the pastor of a Church in our area one day and struck up a converstation about Isaac and his wife Rebekah being a type of Jesus Christ and the Church. He said, man that’s a lot of typology! I replied, yes it is! The word of God is filled with those things, it’s mysteries that God’s people need to know and understand so they might spiritually mature in Christ Jesus!

The Bible we use, the search for truth, the true preaching with power, the will to know Christ, the true Church has basically all fallen away, become a thing of the past for most people. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is now foriegn in most Church settings. If someone truly desires to speak spiritual truth they ase quickly shut down and seen as trouble makers today.

Although the world, the religious world has always sought to keep the truth in the dark, it has truly been excellerated in the last fifty or sixty years. If you think for one minute that the desire to change God’s word, the mindset of many denominations and religions are not a part of Satan’s desire to destroy, you’re badly mistaken. Even the fact that now every pastor has to be educated by man is a simple trick of Satan.

God, being seen in the body of Jesus Christ and now speaking through his Spirit doesn’t understand but one kind of life. (eternal life). When you are left with a (hope so) salvation that is a down fall of spiritual teaching in the Church you attend! That mindset is a part of the (great falling away). It keeps people confused and, it also makes them feel a need for a part of a building that desires the money they give and the work they give seeking to be pleasing to God. That my friends is deception!

God designed the local Church but, if that local Church is not in complete obedience to the Holy Spirit in every way or, at least seeking to find truth then Satan controls that work! Now, I want you to understand something. There are people that are born again in a lot of Churches but just have never been spiritually educated to know and understand salvation and the growing process thereof.

However, there are more people within the average Church that have never been born again and that because of the falling away. If we go to Revelation as we have looked at time and time again we’ll see what God is saying to the Churches in chapters two and three. He often or, at least twice says (I have somewhat against thee). However, the last mentioned (Laodicea) you do not see where he is pleased with anything within that Church. You can read it and notice what he says but, my point is that we are living in a time when we see a great (falling way) in our Churches. Even in our Churches the truth is evil spoken of.

In the very beginning of the Church a rotton spot began to form. That spot has been growing now for some two thousand years to the point it’s almost completely rotton. I’d like to share a true story with you, one that happened to me some years ago. I was doing electrical word in an addition to a local Church. We were almost finished and my helper that gone to our shop to pick up a few more light bulbs. I was just standing near the entrance waiting for him when an elderly gentlemen came into the building. He told me who he was and asked me if I went to Church anywhere? I replied, yes and told him where I attended Church. He replied to that; it doesn’t matter because it’s no difference in them.

At that, I replied, I believe it is! He said, what’s the difference? I said well, I know I’m going to heaven when I die, do you? He then said, no, I don’t. noboby knows, not even you. I said, now sir just because you don’t know doesn’t mean that you can’t know. It means that you just don’t know. The Bible teaches you can know. He replied, no it doesn’t! I told him to come with me. We found a Bible and I turned to this and ask him to read it.

1 John 5:13

THESE THINGS HAVE I WRITTEN UNTO YOU THAT BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, AND THAT YE MAY BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD.

The elderly gentleman read this verse out loud, looked it for a little and then replied, I don’t care, I still don’t believe it! I then said, well sir, it’s not that it doesn’t teach it because it does, you just simply don’t believe God’s word.

Now, we can look at that in two ways. This man could have been born again and just ignorant of truth because of the lack of good sound doctrinal teaching within the Church he attended. Yet, he could have been simply a lost member of a local Church. I’m not a judge but, that doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about the souls of men!

In closing, let’s consider you as an individual. Where do you stand spiritually with Jesus Christ? In the world we live in it has become so simple to just say we believe in Jesus Christ, get baptized and join a local Church and consider the rest as history, never growing even a little from that point. I personally blame our Churches for that but, that fact will not matrer in eternity. Your pastor, your Sunday School teacher and every one of the deacons and lay people you know might be lost and undone without Jesus Christ. They might even have to best of intentions however, when you stand before Jesus Christ it will be you and you alone. You can’t say my pastor said because the responsiblity in the end for your spiritual growth is on your shoulders. I often say, this world is going to hell but, that doesn’t mean you have to go.

Don’t get caught up in the corruption of the Church. Look at this:

2 Corinthians 6:17-18

WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPERATE, SAITH THE LORD, AND TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING; AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU, (18) AND WILL BE A FATHER UNTO YOU, AND YE SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS SAITH THE LORD ALMIGHTY.

I was born again in an independant Baptist Church. I truly appreciate the ministry and the Church that helped me see myself as a sinner and to be born again. However, It’s easy to get caught up into the mindset that you are the only one’s that is right, in other words, you become self righteous. I know, I’ve been there! People simply believe what a pastor tells them to believe, become wrapped in what that one Church is and we never move forward in true spiritual growth. It actually doesn’t matter whether it’s false or true. The simple fact that we fall in love with a building or a man ties our spiritual hands.

The last Church mentioned in (Revelation 3) is (Laodicia). Some people might disagree with me here but, this is my stand. You can study and see where you satnd and also see if you agree with me. In:

Revelation 4:1

AFTER THIS I LOOKED, AND, BEHOLD, A DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN: AND THE FIRST VOICE WHICH I HEARD WAS AS IT WERE OF A TRUMPET TALKING WITH ME; WHICH SAID, COME UP HITHER, AND I WILL SHEW THEE THINGS WHICH MUST HEREAFTER.

When this happens there is no other mention of the Church in Revelations until the last two or three chapters. I believe this is the rapture of the Church when born again believers leave this world and Tribulation begins. We now live in the (Laodicean age). A time of a great departure, not necesserily from the Church building but from truth. A time when we use the name of Christ but, we never even try to allow God’s word, which is Jesus Christ to speak to our hearts and transform us into what he desires us to be.

There’s always been a falling away in one form or another, It simply get progressively worse as time moves forward. It will always be the world trying to destroy the Church however, when it’s so much world within the Church that a truly spiritual person can’t tell the difference then that falling away moves rapidly. When we tie the world and Church together it’s because it isn’t but to basic groups of people. We can mention a third but, what happens is that within the Church we have (wolves in sheep’s clothing). Maybe this could be a topic to start another section.

When we talk about a third group of people it’s because of the lack of interest in any spiritual growth which brings about the situation of the world gaining access to the leadership of a Church.

Where do you stand with Jesus Christ? Can you say that you know you’ve been born again? When we speak of (falling away) those people are not leaving this world in the Rapture! They will be here during the Tribulation period if Jesus Christ returns for his Church. It’s just this simple, either you are born again or you’re not! Only you can answer that question. Your pastor can tell you what he thinks all day but, in reality the truth is within your heart.

There are millions of people that go to Church on Sunday, say they are worshipping God but, the god they’re worshipping is not Jesus Christ although his name is used on a very regular basis. I often close with these verses:

2 Peter 1:9-10

BUT HE THAT LACKETH THESE THINGS IS BLIND, AND CANNOT SEE AFAR OFF, AND HAS FORGOTTEN THAT HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS. (10) WHEREFORE THE RATHER, BRETHREN, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YE DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FALL:

It has to be you, you must make sure what and who you are. In a time of great falling away, don’t get caught up in the mindset of worldly Churches. Try every spirit and make sure that the teaching is of the Holy Ghost. Don’t settle for another person’s opinion about (your salvation) ( your spiritual growth) ( your eternal destiny). Allow God’s Spirit to teach you using every good thing that you can but you come to the conclusion of what you are as the Spirit of God leads you. That is, even if you have to stand alone in this sin cursed world!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

Speaking of more than two groups of people, we’ll call the next segment: ( THE FOUR) WHICH ARE YOU?

STRONG DELUSIONS (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

AND FOR THIS CAUSE GOD SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION, THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE A LIE: (12) THAT THEY ALL MIGHT BE DAMNED WHO BELIEVED NOT THE TRUTH, BUT HAD PLEASURE IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.

As we continue our study about tribulation, we’ve looked into why it is going to come to pass. I shared that not one person, simply because of God’s grace, has to face tribulation. Whether you are Jew or Gentile, every person upon the face of this earth can be born-again be caught up in the rapture of the Church and watch from a position of being with Jesus Christ as God creates a new heaven and earth. Of course, we know from scripture that, it will not happen.

The simpliest way I know to see this is found in:

Matthew 7:13-14

ENTER YE IN AT THE STRAIT GATE: FOR WIDE IS THE GATE, AND BROAD IS THE WAY, THAT LEADETH TO DESTRUCTION, AND MANY THERE BE WHICH GO IN THEREAT. (14) BECAUSE STRAIT IS THE GATE, AND NARROW IS THE WAY, WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE, AND FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.

The absolute greatest burden in my life is seeking to help people find that narrow gate! It doesn’t matter if you’re a Church member or if you’ve never been in a Church, It’s my desire to help you be sure you know about that narrow gate and enter in at some point in your life.

As we look at this phrase (strong delusion) I pray I can show you just what he’s speaking of and, at the same time teach the salvation message. I’d like to share something I believe is a critical point in our world today. So, let’s begin with me. According to the standards of this world, I’m very poorly educated. I barely finished High School. I know very little about using the English language correctly and, I am very limited in the (how to’s) of proper Church etiquette.

However, the will to understand and teach God’s word since 1975 has been a passion of mine. In 1984 I surrendered to God’s call to preach. God already knew my education level and still chose to use me for his glory. Can God use a man like me to reach the masses for his glory? It’s all about (will) (a passion) ( a desire) to do just what God calls you to do.

There’s a Church about forty miles from where I live that I have never visited. However, I know the testimony of the man that started that Church. When he was born-again he could neither read nor write. His passion was so tremendous to bring the gospel to the lost that he took his Bible and cassette tapes of God’s word, listen and learned to read and write because of that passion. That Church today probably seats 500 people.

Now, look at these verses:

Romans 10:13-16

FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED. (14) HOW THEN HOWSHALL THEN SHALL THEY CALL ON HIM IN WHOM THEY HAVE NOT BELIEVED? AND HOW SHALL THEY BELIEVE IN HIM IN WHOM THEY HAVE NOT HEARD? AND HOW SHALL THEY HEAR WITHOUT A PREACHER? (15) AND HOW SHALL THEY PREACH, EXCEPT THEY BE SENT? AS IT IS WRITTEN, HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THEM THAT PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, AND BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS! (16) BUT THEY HAVE NOT ALL OBEYED THE GOSPEL. FOR ESAIAS SAITH, LORD, WHO HATH BELIEVED OUR REPORT?

There’s a lot stated in these verses. However, can you see the importance of, first of all, hearing, then believing? Then, how about a preacher? How many are sent? Do you believe that just because a person is standing behind a pulpit, God called him?

Within these verses, you can hear the passion of the Apostle Paul and, just how important it is that the gospel be preached in truth. I have that same passion! When we see the part of this that says (BUT THEY HAVE NOT ALL OBEYED THE GOSPEL), he’s speaking of people (men and women) that stand behind a pulpit but are not concerned about the truth! So, with that fact being understood, we’ll start with that.

I want you to see this verse, speaking about the Apostle Paul.

Acts 9:13-16

THEN ANANIAS ANSWERED, LORD, I HAVE HEARD BY MANY OF THIS MAN, HOW MUCH EVIL HE HATH DONE TO THY SAINTS AT JERUSALEM: (14) AND HERE HE HATH AUTHORITY FROM THE CHIEF PRIEST TO BIND ALL THAT CALL ON THY NAME. (15) BUT THE LORD SAID UNTO HIM, GO THY WAY: FOR HE IS A CHOSEN VESSEL UNTO ME, TO BEAR MY NAME BEFORE THE GENTILES, AND KINGS, AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL: (16) FOR I WILL SHEW HIM HOW GREAT THINGS HE MUST SUFFER FOR MY NAME SAKE.

We see hear that the Apostle Paul had a calling laid on him by the Holy Spirit. Let’s just consider, what if he failed? As we go back and look at what was said in Romans, we see in those verses that the last part was (being sent). So, let’s do it in reverse. How shall they preach except they be sent? How shall they hear without a preacher? How shall they believe in whom they have not heard? How shal they call on him in whom they have not believed?

We’re looking into the phrase ( God will send them strong delusions). When we consider the call of God on the Apostle Paul’s life and the very necessity of that truth coming into the hearts of men that they might understand, then ( he, the man must not fail at his calling! Actually, it’s no different today. How can any person know truth if it’s not revealed to him?

I believe there are a lot of people standing behind pulpits today that fit this phrase: (BUT THEY HAVE NOT ALL OBEYED THE GOSPEL)! If I’m correct, there’s a lot of people that will stand before God with the blood of many souls on their hands. Why? Because they willingly stood in a place that carries tremendous resposibility without being willing to pay the price to share the whols gospel with the people they preach to.

When we see the phase (God shall send them strong delusions) we’re speaking of people that are living when the rapture takes place. Those people have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit has drawn conviction on their hearts, they know they need to be saved but, they rejected the call of God to be saved. My point in writing this about the pastors of Churches is that there are many people that have said they believe in Jesus Christ, been baptized and joined Church but, in reality, they have never truly heard a message that brought great, soul saving conviction on their hearts. Therefore, they haven’t had a chance to reject what they haven’t heard.

God’s grace is always available. This is another difference we see in the Church and the Ark. After the door of the Ark was closed, God’s mercy was gone. When the rapture of the Church occurs, during a period of time after the Church is caught up, people can still be saved. However, the verse we are looking into is saying this. If a person had an opporunity during God’s time of grace to except him but rejected it, God will send that individual (strong delusions the he might believe a lie).

I’d like to share this: I do not believe that any man that has God’s call on his life will purposely deceive anyone. If God’s call is on your life, you will do all you can to find truth and reveal that truth to the people you have the priviledge to share with. The problem is that many men and women today have made pastoring a carrer and have never been called by God!

I’d like to share this with you. We all are (hell deserving sinners) if we ask for justice, we’ll all burn in hell for an eternity. As far as God the Father is concerned, there’s not one thing about our fleshly bodies that deserves salvation. Since here I’m talking about (strong delusions) I want take the time to prove all this but, we can prove this from scripture. God himself, came down to this world in body of flesh. He was born just as we are. His mother in the flesh was a virgin, we call him Jesus Christ. That body, God in flesh live a completely sin free life. He was hated and despised by men. He was placed on a Cross, suffered more than any man, died on that Cross, was buried. On the third day he arose from the grave, victorious over death.

After his resurrection, he was seen by over five hundred people at once. He lived among men for forty days after his resurrection. Not only that,he promised that he would send us the comforter which is (his Spirit) to dwell among us. That Spirit came on the (Day of Pentecost). He will remain with us until the Church is caught up to meet him in the clouds.

What God is saying is this. I done all that. I loved you that much. Yet, you rejected me, you rejected my call for you to be saved. Therefore, don’t expect me to extend my grace to you now! It’s too late! As a matter of fact, I’ll do all I can. I’ll try my best to make you believe a lie!

I wrote extensively about Churches today. The fact that they don’t represent God by allowing God’s Spirit to use them in the messages they preach. I contend this. The members of our Churches today, those that call themselves Christians are among the least educated people about what they say they believe of any group we can mention on this earth. There’s a reason for that. The true Church, the people that are members of the body of Christ are (peculiar people). They cannot be taught by man! While God uses men to teach, those men must be people that will allow God’s Spirit to speak through them.

We are not of this world! If you desire to be a teacher in a school, you can be educated by this world to do so. It you desire to be a doctor, you can be educated by this world to do so. Electricians, plumbers, welders, truck drivers, laywers, bookkeepers, bankers, the list can go on forever, While any of these people can be born-again, having God’s Spirit living within them and, still have a profession or trade, if they are trained or educated to be a preacher or teacher then, it must be taught to them by God’s Spirit.

Far too often the only training that pastors and teachers have is (of this world). This fact leaves many Church people ignorant of what it means to be born-again. This means that although they have been in Church or, a building for years, they still have never had a chance to hear God’s Spirit and reject the salvation he offers.

We are individuals before God. Only you as an individual can say where you stand with God! Far too often we like to look at it as simple as Churched and unChurched. However, it goes much deeper in a spiritual light than just that statement. When it comes to (strong delusions) God knows who you are and, how often he has tried to help you see yourself as a sinner.

I know that this is a hard saying but, I believe there are whole Churches that actually don’t have one born-again believer as a member among them. Although they were started by men and women with the very Spirit of God directing them now, they have become (lukewarm) and God spued them out of his mouth.

So, what happened? We see in Noah’s day that (the sons of God) married (the daughters of men). There were people in those days that sought to teach their children righteousness but their children rejected that teaching. As one generation led to another, one day the whole concept of righteousness was gone! I personally believe this. Even while many people are still living, God no longer deals with their hearts. It’s not so much as he will not deal with them but, the whole concept of the Holy Spirit is gone from the place they live their lives, even if it’s within a Church.

In many Churches, we use the name of Jesus Christ in vain and, God the Father knows that! If I call the name of Jesus Christ but refuse to speak the truth about him, what good is his name? Look at this verse:

Philemon 1:6

THAT THE COMMUNICATION OF THY FAITH BECOME EFFECTUAL BY THE ACKNOWLEDGING OF EVERY GOOD THING WHICH IS IN YOU IN CHRIST JESUS.

The communication of the name of Jesus Christ must be tied to the word of God and the truth within that word. The only way it can become effectual is for God’s Spirit to be the one that is acknowledging it. I’m tring to make the point that if you have never been under conviction by God’s Holy Spirit, even if you pastor a Church, are a leader in a Church or just a Church member then, you are no different that any other person that has never experienced the new birth, being unchurched.

However, if you know that God has spoken to you and, you rejected his call for salvation then he will send you strong delusions if you are still here in the Tribulation period. Now, in the Tribulation period if you are able to see your need for salvation then, it won’t be easily obtained like it is during this period of time. As a matter of fact, you will have to seal your faith in Christ with your own blood. That, we can see in our study of Revelation.

Revelation 13:15-16

AND HE HAD POWER TO GIVE LIFE UNTO THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST, THAT THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST SHOULD BOTH SPEAK, AND CAUSE THAT AS MANY AS WOULD NOT WORSHIP THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST SHOULD BE KILLED. (16) AND HE CAUSETH ALL BOTH SMALL AND GREAT, RICH AND POOR, FREE AND BOND, TO RECEIVE A MARK IN THEIR HAND, OR IN THEIR FOREHEADS.

This is what I’m speaking of. We see the word (saints) here. Every person that was born-again has left at the time of the rapture. I’d like for you to consider something. Right now there are people that have never been born-again that have heard about what we call the (Mark of the Beast). That mark has been talked about for years, many are aware of the period of time that we speak of. It’s events that men do such as putting a chip in animals for identification, taking a vaccine and so on that those people will refuse to be a part of because they have heard of that mark and fear that mark. However, they do not understand the born-again experience!

Consider this: I mentioned whole Churches that don’t have one born-again believer in them. That means that when the rapture takes place, they will be completely ignorant of the fact it happened. I’m going to say something to simply make a point. Today, we hear a lot about Climate Change. Well, Tribulation period is or will be a great climate change. That doesn’t mean that the people pushing it understands anything about Tribulation. There’s a well known politician that made a statement simular to this. He stated that at some point climate change will make many perople disappear.

Within that statement, Satan will use the rapture to make people believe that climate change caused people to disappear. And God will send strong delusions on them that had an opporunity to be saved and didn’t before the rapture. However, there will be those that will remember somethings about scripture and will refuse to take that mark.

In every peroid of time, God causes the change to be subtle. When Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, it was very little change up until the flood, when God gave Moses the law, it was very little change for most of mankind, when the Church was born in (Acts 2) it was very little change as far as this world was concerned. When the rapture takes place it will be very little change in this world for the first three and a half years. Most people will think that things are as normal. However, when Satan demands for men to worship him, it will open the eyes of some and they will choose death rather than to submit to him!

You can read this in: Revelation 6:9-10. However, let’s read:

Revelation 20:4

AND I SAW THRONES, AND THEY SAT UPON THEM, AND JUDGMENT WAS GIVEN UNTO THEM: AND I SAW THE SOULS OF THEM THAT WERE BEHEADED FOR THE WITNESS OF JESUS, AND FOR THE WORD OF GOD, AND WHICH HAD NOT WORSHIPPED THE BEAST, NEITHER HIS IMAGE, NEITHER HAD RECEIVED HIS MARK UPON THEIR FORHEADS, OR IN THEIR HANDS; AND THEY LIVED AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS.

As I show you this, be aware! These people never felt the convicting hand of God while the Holy Spirit was here before the rapture. If they had, God would have sent them strong delusions that they might believe the lie of the antichrist.

We live in a time right now of great apostasy, a time when many are led by the spirit of Satan and know not the truth. I often say this and I’ll close this segment. Satan will always come to any person dressed in Sheep’s clothing to deceive, even now. It’s one thing to be hurt by a known enemy but when we are deceived by those that say they love us, that is truly the worst! Our pastors, parents, friends, we don’t expect to be deceived by those that say they love us. However, you must understand that if you could see the enemy, you wouldn’t listen.

There are those that fall in love with pastors, they pay very little attention to what he says because they are blinded by the fact (he/she says they love them. While all the time they’re being deceived by that very blindness. If that fact is true, even with the fact that we have the presence of God’s Spirit today, what do you think it will be like when that Spirit is gone and plus, God sends strong delusions on top of that.

THe Bible tells us that it not God’s will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

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

God the Father done all he could to have people saved! However, if you reject his salvation in the time, be careful; that can be very dangerous as far as eternity is concerned if Jesus returns in the rapture.

In conclusion; God granted the Gentiles, the Jews, whosoever will a period of time to ask Jesus Christ to be their Savior. In the KIng James Bible, in (John 3:16) the word (loved) is used. When God came down in a body of flesh and dwelt among men, we call him Jesus Christ! He done all that was needed for every person to be saved. He even sent his very own Spirit to guide us, help us understand all we can about who he is.

I know that what I’m about to say might be seen as crude. However, it’s true. What God is saying is this: during this time, after I done all, you can either asked Jesus Christ to be your savior or (YOU CAN GO TO HELL)! At that; the same man that could have been your savior will become your judge!

Hell was simply designed for the devil and the angels that followed him. However, if you choose to follow him, then you can go live with him for eternity!

Matthew 25:41

THEN SHALL HE SAY ALSO UNTO THEM ON THE LEFT HAND, DEPART FROM ME, YE CURSED, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE, (PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS.

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

The next segment will be (MORE ABOUT FALLING AWAY FIRST)!

ARE ALL HUMANS (HUMAN)

Before we get started with this topic there’s a couple of things I’d like to say. First, I was born again in November 1975. Since that time, I’ve been a student of God’s word, seeking truth for myself and for the ability to teach other people the things I learn, proving the truth with scripture, not just what I might think.

Secondedly, just as always, what I teach has to become your truth, not mine. You must be able to see what I’m saying from scripture and not just agree with me or any person just because we say something or teach a certain point. It’s the same way with this topic. We can’t just say things without God’s Spirit proving to our hearts that what is being taught is his truth and not our own.

The Apostle Peter said this about some things written in scripture:

2 Peter 3:15-16

AND ACCOUNT THAT THE LONGSURRERING OF OUR LORD IS SALVATION; EVEN AS OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL ALSO ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN UNTO HIM HATH WRITTEN UNTO YOU; (16) AS ALSO IN ALL HIS EPISTLES SPEAKING IN THEM OF THESE THINGS; 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 DESTRUCTION.

(i BELIEVE) that there is nothing in God’s word by mistake, it’s perfect! All we have to do is find the patience to seek out truth. It’s not easy, it takes patience and study! We live in a time when we like things simple and, often we simply except what others say because it’s the easiest thing to do.

So, let’s start this looking back in the Old Testament.

Genesis 6:3-7

AND THE LORD SAID, MY SPIRIT SHALL NOT ALWAYS STRIVE WITH MAN, FOR THAT HE IS ALSO FLESH; YET HIS DAYS SHALL BE AN HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS. (4) THERE WERE GIANTS IN THE EARTH IN THOSE DAYS; AND ALSO AFTER THAT, WHEN THE SONS OF GOD CAME IN UNTO THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN, AND THEY BARE CHILDREN TO THEM, THE SAME BECAME MIGHTY MEN WHICH WERE OF OLD, MEN OF RENOWN. (5) AND GOD SAW THAT THE WICKEDNESS OF MEN WAS GREAT IN THE EARTH, AND THAT EVERY IMAGINATION OF THE THOUGHTS OF HIS HEART WAS ONLY EVIL CONTINUALLY. (6) AND IT REPENTED THE LORD THAT HE HAD MADE MAN ON THE EARTH, AND IT GRIEVED HIM AT HIS HEART. (7) AND THE LORD SAID, I WILL DESTROY MAN WHOM I HAD CREATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH; BOTH MAN, AND BEAST, AND THE CREEPING THING, AND THE FOWLS OF THE AIR, FOR IT REPENTETH ME THAT I HAVE MADE THEM.

This is the seen just before God instructed Noah to build the Ark. If you will notice in (verse3) he says this (for he is also flesh). Men allowed their flesh to begin to direct their walk instead of the Spirit of God. He says, (the sons of God) began to see the (daughters of men). This, in time weakened the very voice of the Spirit of God as each generation came and went. I got to the place that man didn’t pay any attention to the very voice of God and (every thought of his heart was evil continually).

So, we see Noah’s Ark. Now we’ve come to (what we might call) the second Ark. His name is Jesus Christ. He can become our (Ark of security) today if we allow him to by being born again. Ever since time began every person born has had a mother and father. Each person is created the very same way. It’s no different than Adam and Eve had their children. When God created Adam, the Bible say this:

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.

I know there are people that will argue with what I’m about to say but, to me it has meaning. God didn’t say that man had life. He said (he became a living soul). The fact that God breathed into man gave every man a (God Consciousness). We all, at birth have a (God Consciousness). When we see that in time every though of man became evil continually, each of those men in the beginning of their lives had a God Consciousness. What they each chose to do with it was a choice each of them made.

Teaching can become complicated, trying to touch every base. For instance: the period of time between Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark can be called (the dispensation of Consciousness). We know that the very fact that Noah built, an Ark brought about an opportunity to share the purpose of that Ark. We also know that Adam and Eve had a son that was what we can call a spiritual son. (Seth). He followed God by faith. He trusted the blood sacrifice that Adam and Eve had shared with all their sons. (Cain) on the other hand rebelled against that very same sacrifice.

That’s where the (sons of God) and the (daughters of men) come in that we see before the flood. The men that were of God in Seth’s line began to marry the women that were in Cain’s line. After a while there was no more remembrance of God and the sacrifice at all. If you will notice in the scripture, we read it says this: (MY SPIRIT SHALL NOT ALWAYS STRIVE WITH MAN, FOR THAT HE IS ALSO FLESH). We’re going to keep that in mind as we move forward into the New Testament and see how some verses relates to what we see here.

But first, I’d like to simply give you something to think about. I often make this point as I study and teach about Adam and Eve in the Garden. When Adam and Eve sinned, and God placed them outside of the garden the only thing we see in scripture that we know for sure is that they began to have children. We know that they had to go to work by the sweat of the their brough. We know that the animals also were outside the garden because we see them placed on Noah’s Ark.

What I wonder is just how compatible were all the animals to man at that time? We see that Eve had a conversation with the Serpent. That fact seemed to be a normal thing at that time. We don’t see where very much changed from that point all the way up until Noah’s Ark settled by to dry land. At that time, if the Serpent could talk and communicate with man, could all the animals do the same thing?

From the time that man left the Garden of Eden until the Ark landed, every animal was tame. How do we know that? Look at this verse:

Genesis 9:2

AND THE FEAR OF YOU AND THE DREAD OF YOU SHALL BE UPON EVERY BEAST OF THE EARTH, AND UPON EVERY FOWL OF THE AIR, UPON ALL THAT MOVETH UPON THE EARTH, AND UPON ALL THE FISHES OF THE SEA; INTO YOUR HAND ARE THEY DELIVERED. (3) EVERY MOVING THING THAT LIVETH SHALL BE MEAT FOR YOU; EVEN AS THE GREEN HERBS HAVE I GIVEN YOU ALL THINGS.

My point being that as they left the Garden everything remained the same all the way to the Ark settled back to dry land. Is it possible that, at that time, men and beast were very compatible? If so, just how compatible were they? We know for instance that Eve had a conversation with the Serpent, that fact didn’t seem to bother her at all. Is it possible that all animals could talk like men at that time? Did men corrupt all living creatures in one way or another? If not, then why did God have to destroy all of those creatures? Why not just destroy man?

Some of these questions cannot be answered but, God’s desire was to have men that he might be able to fellowship with them. As we read, we see how man separated himself from God by being desirous of pleasing his flesh and forgetting about any part of God.

Do you realize that the word (human) is not found in the King James Bible? Normally we see the word flesh. The Latin word for earth or ground is (humus). In Latin the word (Humanus) means man. When we use the word (human) in the English language, what are we referring to? What would be the difference in a human and any other animal? What we call (human) is just this simple. It means that we are made up of body, soul and spirit. Some things have a body but no spirit, like a plant. Some have body and spirit only like a dog. We, being human are the only beings with body, soul and spirit.

The soul of man is his conscience. That conscience belongs to God the Father. However, every man also has a freewill. Man, himself gets to decide whether he will use his conscience to do good or evil. The Bible tells us that in the days of Noah, it had gotten so bad that only eight people walked onto the Ark. The rest of mankind had followed their flesh and their desire was to do evil continually. Had men begun to act more like animals than (men of Conscience)?

I’d like to teach something here that we need to consider. In the age we live in, being (the age of Grace) (the Chruch age) men are born no different than people have always been born. However, now God has sent his own Spirit to live within any person that will make the choice to allow him to live within them. That Spirit fell on the (Day of Pentecost) (Acts 2) on one hundred and twenty believers and quickly begun to spread to other people as each person believed.

That same Spirit has continued to live in each generation, even up until today. (Whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved) (Romans 10:13). I make that point because it hasn’t always been that way. For instance: when God showed Adam and Eve his grace in the Garden of Eden and, they had to leave that Garden then it was up to them to share the grace that they had received of God to their Children. The definition of (conscience) is this, (an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior). Within each man’s consciousness, that individual had to decide who he desired to follow.

In the case of Noah, his three sons heard what he said and obeyed, following their conscience. As we look forward, God begins to use prophets to guide his people. In the gospels, he spoke to us by his son. Now, God will place himself within to flesh of every person that will allow him to do so. We call it the Holy Spirit.

Before we bring this to a conclusion and move to the New Testament, I’d like to show you this.

Genesis 9:24-27

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

Here, God the Father is instructing the sons of Noah by speaking through Noah. It appears that his son Shem was already serving the Lord God. Here, we see Noah instructing his other two sons to follow that same Lord God as his son Shem followed. If you will continue to study through Genesis, the next couple of chapters you will see that both of them went their own way. Now, it might not sound like a big deal, not to have God’s Spirit living within you to direct you but, it is a tremendous blessing to always have him present.

Just consider this: as children grow into adulthood the conscience within them causes them to be conscious of right and wrong, as we get into this, we are moving into how things now work in the age we live in. Now, I want to show you a verse that I believe separates us from those that lived in the Old Testament.

John 16:13

HOWBEIT WHEN, HE THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, IS COME, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: FOR HE SHALL NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF, BUT WHATSOEVER HE SAHLL HEAR, THAT SHALL HE SPEAK: AND HE WILL SHEW YOU THINGS TO COME.

The Church is the responsible body to share the spirit within them to a lost and dying world. That particular way of God dealing with man came about and the spirit that Jesus Christ is speaking of came about on the Day of Pentecost.

I’d like to asert this here; In the Old Testament, whether we are speaking of Adam, Noah, Abraham or, the prophets. When each of these people shared their faith in God and sought to instruct the people, their children in righteous then each individual made a choice. Do I walk righteously or, after my flesh? That as directed by their conscience only. In nother words, God’s Spirit didn’t move into their hearts to instruct them at that time. They only sought to do righteously or evil.

Now, ( the Church) is that voice that seeks to teach men righteously. (The Church) is not a building made of stone but, it is a body made up of every person that is born again. We don’t point people to a Church building, we point them to Jesus Christ and him crucified. The main difference today is that when any person is born again, God allows His Spirit, Himself to move into that person that he might be that person’s guide to righteousness.

When we speak of (Are all humans human)? The fact that nothing has change in the course of history as far as how people are born means that every man, even today are born with a (God consciousness). However, every man also has a sin nature. So, let’s say that the Church does its job spreading this truth. The preacher says that we are sinners with a sin nature meaning that it’s a common thing that we all naturally sin. That fact is there because we all came from the loins of Adam.

Although we gain the knowledge that we need salvation, the salvation offered by the blood of Jesus Christ, some reject that truth, choosing to remain as they are. Personally, I believe that God will often deal with a person many times. I know he did in my life. Look at this verse:

2 Peter 3:9

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

God’s desire is for all to be saved and his Spirit will do his office work in every heart to try to cause that to come to pass. Now, let’s see what happens in the heart of many people.

Roman 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 THING WHICH ARE NOT CONVENIENT;

We often relate that verse to a homosexual lifestyle but, if you read this chapter, you will learn that it goes much deeper than just that one sin. For instance:

Verse 25

WHO CHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD INTO A LIE, AND WORSHIPPED AND SERVED THE CREATURE MORE THAN THE CREATOR, WHO IS BLESSED FOREVER, AMEN.

The world is overrun with this type of people. I’m going to tell you a true story about a young man that is actually my nephew. He’s dead now. he was shot. They were never able to understand whether he shot himself or someone else did. He and I had a family member to die. My half brother-in-law preached the funeral. I’ll have to say that he preached one of the most spirit filled messages at this funeral I have ever heard, very, very tough but, truth. As a matter of fact, the daughter of the woman that passed away told him she desires for him to preach a message to make people stop and consider where they stood spiritually. At this funeral, I believe two people asked Jesu Christ to be their savior. This pastor had an alter call. The people knelt at the coffin to pray.

The young man that I’m speaking of went to the preacher after the service and told him that when he died he wanted him to preach his funeral. However, he also said that who and what he was, he wasn’t changing. he’d die just like he was.

The preacher shared that story at his funeral! This young man was one of the vilest people I had ever met. To be honest, I ‘d even like being around him. He’d often share things he’d done in his life (details) that would cause people to walk off and leave him standing.

When is it or, can it be that humans stop being human, That means that they have crossed that line where God has (give them over to a rebrobate mind)! When we read things like we read just before the flood and, how the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were evil. We think very little of it. But, we are now living in the same type of world that those people lived in. Let’s look at a couple of scriptures here:

2 Peter 2:12-16

BUT THESE, AS NATURAL BRUTE BEAST, MADE TO BE TAKEN AND DESTROYED, SPEAK EVIL OF THE THINGS THAT THEY UNDERSTAND NOT; AND SHALL UTTERLY PERISH IN THEIR OWN CORRUPTION; (13) AND SHALL RECIEVE THE REWARD OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, AS THEY THAT COUNT IT PLEASURE TO RIOT IN THE DAY TIME, SPOTS THEY ARE AND BLEMISHES, SPORTING THEMSELVES WITH THEIR OWN DECIEVINGS WHILE THEY FEAST WITH YOU; (14) HAVING EYES FULL OF ADULTERY, AND THAT CANNOT CEASE FROM SIN; BEGUILING UNSTABLE SOULS; AN HEART THEY HAVE EXCERCISED WITH COVETOUS PRACTICES, CURSED CHILDREN: (15) WHICH HAVE FORSAKEN THE RIGHT WAY, AND ARE GONE ASTRAY, FOLLOWING THE WAY OF BALAAM THE SON OF BOSOR, WHO LOVED THE WAGES OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS; (16) BUT WAS REBUKED FOR HIS INIQUITY: THE DUMB ASS SPEAKING WITH MAN’S VOICE FORBAD THE MADNESS OF THE PROPHET.

Jude 1:10

BUT THESE SPEAK EVIL OF THOSE WHICH THEY KNOW NOT: BUT WHAT THEY KNOW NATURALLY, AS BRUTE BEAST, IN THOSE THINGS THEY CORRUPT THEMSELVES.

If you will notice, in both of these scriptures we see the term (BRUTE BEASTS). These people are acting just life animals with no conscience at all! Look at this verse:

1 Timothy 4:1-2

NOW THE SPIRIT SPEAKETH EXPRESSLY, THAT IN THE LATTER TIMES SOME SHALL DEPART FROM THE FAITH, GIVING HEED TO SEDUCING SPIRITS, AND DOCTRINES OF DEVILS; (2) SPEAKING LIES IN HYPOCRICY, HAVING THEIR CONSCIENCE SEARED WITH A HOT IRON;

In our lives, we make choices! Just as the men in the beginning did. Let’s just take Adam for example. We know that he desired to teach his children to live by faith. Seth recieved that faith. However, the weakness of our flesh is very overwhealming! As time moved forward, men allowed their flesh to be seen far above the will of God in their lives, That was what their children were seeing. At some point, there was no consciousness of God at all. It wasn’t even considered because (their conscience) had been seared with a hot iron!

In (2 Peter 2:14) we see this phrase (CURSED CHILDREN). We wonder why we see young people capable of doing very grievious things. It’s because as time moved forward in their families they have lost all consciousness of a God. Righteousness means nothing to them and they are not taught even the simpliest concept of any fear of dying in sin! Consider this: many might even be raised in what we call a Church!

Well, wasn’t every person up until the flood direct descentants of Adam and Eve? It’s no difference today. When we leave the very concepts of righteousness, the teaching of the art of being born-again then at some point people become (brute beasts). The fact that they look human is a moot point! They act, live and treat people like animals without any consciousness of God, period!

I read a story once about this woman that had two dogs. These two dogs just love her, very gentle, no threat al all to her. However, they got trapped, I think it was on a small yacht. Their food ran out. When they found this yacht, the two dags had eaten to woman! I know that is a terrible thing to tell but the point is that those dog were just dogs with a nature of survival!

Even in my lifetime; I’ve seen Churches that use to have very powerfuf, spirit filled pastors that the people became weary of the very power of God he preached with. They dismissed those men and found a man or woman that would preach a message more of their liking. Our own government reached a point where it forced God completely out of all it does! We see homes across our nation that has done the very same thing.

Our world is now basically controlled by (brute beast), Men and women that are filled with all unrighteousness and they have no concept of a loving savior such as the one I believe in (Jesus Christ).

God’s desire is to have people to turn to him, to be washed in the blood of Jesus Christ and to be born-again. His Spirit is still in this world. He still calls out to the very souls of men seeking to guide each person to be filled with his Spirit. I can’t say who has become a (brute beast0 acting less than human. I can’t decide who hears God’s message of salvation and who doesn’t.

It doesn’t matter what sin you have committed, what your lifestyle is right at this moment. If you’re reading this and God is speaking to your heart then he desires to come and live within you! The qusetion: will you allow him to come in and guide you to the righteousness he desires for you to have?

If God’s Spirit is dealing with your heart that is one of the most special feelings and one of the greatest gifts of mankind. If he’s dealing, take heed to his call. One day, it might be closed forever! And, even beyond that, consider the younger people, your own children.

I was once introduced to a young man, The man that indroduced me was a friend of mine. When he indroduced me, he told ther young man I was a pastor. I shook hands with the young man and asked him, do you go to Church anywhere? He replied; no. I then asked him if he had any children? He said yes, I have a little boy and a little girl. I then said to him; Sir, you’re a grown man, If you choose to die and go to hell, that’s your choice, you have that right. However, for God’s sake, don’t take your children with you, at least give them a choice as their dad!

I’ve only seen that young man twice in my life. A few years after that, I was working at a house. A young man come up behind me and taped me on my shoulder. I turned around and looked at him. he said, do you remember me? I told him, no, I can’t say I do. He reminded me of that day, I replied, yeah, I remeber you. He said, I want you to know I have my children in Church, I appreciate your concern and what you told me!

Friends, we must as people consider God’s gift, his righteousness and our responsibility in carrying it to the next generation! God placed the responsiblility of sinners on the shoulders of sinners that have been born-again! Please help us not to stand before God not doing the responsibility he has laid on our shoulders!

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON/ ANY GIVEN SUNDAY (THE SALVATION YOU HAVE)

Let’s start this study with this verse:

Romans 6:23

FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

As we see in this verse there are (wages) and a (gift). Because of the fact that Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden every person born of Adam are seen as sinners. The Bible says here that the wages of sin, the fact that each of us are sinners means that we must die. Now, what does it mean to die? If you will notice in Genesis, the Bible says this:

Genesis 2:17

BUT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, THOU SHAL NOT EAT OF IT: FOR IN THE DAY THAT THOU EATEST THEREOF THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.

We see if we keep reading that Adam did indeed eat of that fruit. However, the day that he ate thereof he didn’t die, not as we see death did, he? He lived to be a very old man and also had many children before he physically died. The point we often miss is that it’s not the way we see death that matters, it’s how God sees death. God defines death as separation from him and sin causes that separation. The very instant Adam bit the fruit, in God’s mind, he died. He was separated from the living God.

It is a fact that because of Adam’s disobedience we all have to face physical death, but physical death is not separation from God that is, unless we refuse to acknowledge our need for him while we are alive. If we fail to acknowledge our need for him in our lives, then spiritual death has already occurred within us just as it did Adam the day, he bit the fruit.

If we take the time to study this out, we will see that Adam knew the minute he bit the fruit that something had changed in his life.

Genesis 3:7

AND THE EYES OF THEM BOTH WERE OPENED, AND THEY KNEW THAT THEY WERE NAKED; AND THEY SEWED FIG LEAVES TOGETHER, AND MADE THEMSELVES APRONS.

Can I ask a question here? At what age in your life did you begin to fear death? Do you remember? I would like for you to consider something. On the day that you began to fear death, who was it that told you to start fearing death? Was it your mom, dad, sister, brother, pastor, who? The truth is that you found out on your own to fear death, no one had to teach you that fact! In:

Genesis 3:10-11

AND HE SAID, I HEARD THY VOICE IN THE GARDEN, AND I WAS AFRAID, BECAUSE I WAS NAKED, AND I HID MYSELF. (11) AND HE SAID, WHO TOLD THEE THAT THOU WAST NAKED? HAST THOU EATEN OF THE TREE, WHEREOF I COMMANDED THEE THAT THOU SHOULDEST NOT EAT?

Let’s take this slowly. First of all, Adam wasn’t naked, was he? They had made fig leaves and clothed themselves. Secondly, the very fact that they had broken God’s law caused fear to come upon them. It comes a point in every life when we realize we are sinners, we realize we are going to die.

We draw back from the penalty of death because we are unprepared to face God! At the same time, every person tries to find a way to cover themselves from the sin they know they are guilty of. At some point we gain the knowledge that (the wages of sin is death). In more cases than not , people try to cover themselves in some form. It might be religion, Church membership, we often even deny our sin, using that as a covering for what and who we know we are. People can say what they please but in reality every person that tries to cover themselves with something other than God’s grace still has an empty feeling inside that is not satisfied.

Now, still considering Adam. Adam and Eve, both covered themselves with leaves. They did that because they realized that they were naked. Well, it was no one there but Adam and Eve. They have seen themselves all this time and thought nothing of it, why now? Can we again, take this back to you as a baby or child? When did you, as a child realize you were naked? At what point in your life did you start putting clothes on, not because your mom told you to but simply because you did not want other to see your nakedness?

You see folks, it’s within us! It’s a God consciousness that causes us to be aware of truth and where we stand with God. Let me ask you something. Let’s say that a law was passed that you never had to wear clothes again, what would you do? Let’s say one Atheist marries another Atheist. They both say they have no respect for any part of God; therefore, can they simply commit adultery at will, living like dogs? Can a group of Atheist steal one from another and not think anything about it? If this world completely done away with all law concerning anything, how would Atheist live? how would you live?

We can say and deny anything we choose to, even become reprobate in our lives but the fact is that at one point in your life, you knew and that’s what governs your movement even if you choose to deny that fact!

Another thing about Adam can be related to the life we live. Although Adam covered himself with leaves, seeking to hide himself, he still had to stand before God a fallen being. Here, is where we might say we begin our look at salvation.

After Adam and Eve had covered themselves with leaves, they still had to face God. We can look at the fact that God came down with them and made them coats of skin in two different ways however, the point still remains that they had to at some point stand before God. Look at verse:

Genesis 3:21

UNTO ADAM ALSO AND HIS WIFE DID THE LORD GOD MAKE COATS OF SKIN, AND COVERED THEM.

In order for God to make coats of skin, blood had to be shed, an animal had to die. It also says that God covered them. Consider this: if the Lord God was willing to make a covering to his satisfaction, killing an animal, shedding blood to do so then that act was already in the mind of God whether Adam and Eve accepted that sacrifice or not. There’s a point here that has to be considered. God was willing to make a way out for Adam and Eve. Once he did his part it, it was still a choice for Adam and Eve to accept the free gift.

Another way to say it is this. God didn’t ask Adam and Eve about it did he? God didn’t ask. Adam, if I kill an animal will you except my sacrifice as a covering for your sin? God did what he did out of love willingly whether Adam and Eve excepted it or not! The fact that both, Adam and Eve covered themselves with the coats of skin didn’t in any way change the fact that they were sinners. However, now God is not looking at them but rather the coats of shin that he, himself had made.

There we see the (free gift) of salvation that is offered by Jesus Christ our Lord. There’s a lot to teach here. However, the fact that Adam and Eve accepted God’s sacrifice is (shall we say) a turning point that needs to be recognized. Actually, it wasn’t the coats of skin that covered Adam and Eve from their nakedness. It was the (shedding of blood).

Hebrews 9:22

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

So, as we move forward from Adam and Eve, what did they teach their children about the (sin sacrifice)? Let’s just assume that after Adam and Eve, every person from that point on, beginning with their children killed animals to make clothes for a covering for themselves. Did that fact cover their sins? Not in any way. So, look at this verse, a statement made by Abraham.

Genesis 22:8

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

Can I show you one other verse?

Revelation 13:8

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

Although in this verse he is speaking of people that never believed in Jesus Christ, he also makes the point that (the Lamb) was slain from the foundation of the world. From the time Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden until the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, every person that believed, believed that (God would offer himself a sacrifice) at some point. The only difference in the people in the Old Testament and the believer in the New Testament is that while we look back to the Cross by faith, they looked forward to the day that Jesus Christ would become that perfect Lamb of God.

In the Old Testament when the priest would offer a lamb for a sacrifice, the skin of that lamb didn’t become a coat for the man that offered it did it? No, because it was the blood sacrifice that is or was the picture. We see Jesus Christ and his shed blood as our (sin covering).

This is what a lot of people misunderstand about the salvation they have. Let’s start this with some verses:

Romans 3:25-26

WHOM GOD HATH SET FORTH TO BE A PROPITIATION THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, TO DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS THAT ARE PAST, THROUGH THE FORBEARENCE OF GOD; (26) TO DECLARE, I SAY, AT THIS TIME HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; THAT HE MIGHT BE JUST, AND THE JUSTIFIER OF HIM WHICH BELIEVETH IN JESUS.

In the whole picture of salvation, from the coats of skin for Adam and Eve, the lambs and other animals that were offered all through our study of the Old Testament, even the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of these things will never change the fact we are sinners in need of a savior. I often say, I might have already mentioned this, but the priest didn’t look at the man that offered the lamb to see what he looked like, he already knew he was very sinful. That’s why he brought the lamb. The priest made sure the lamb met the qualifications to be offered.

God’s not looking at our righteousness to see if we are good enough, he already knows the answer to that question, no we’re not. He looks at the perfection he sees in his Son, Jesus Christ. We are not depending on our own righteousness but rather the righteousness of Jesus Christ for our salvation.

Galatians 2:20

I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST: NEVERTHELESS I LIVE, YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME: AND THE LIFE WHICH I NOW LIVE IN THE FLESH I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, WHO LOVED ME, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.

If you will notice in that verse he says: (I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD). My complete trust is all Jesus Christ! I live and trust (his faith) and not my own! We, as sinners are all weak through the flesh but, you can trust everything about Jesus Christ! I totally realize I’m not perfect, no matter how hard I try, I’m still a sinner. I do however seek to live a good clean life but, I don’t do that seeking to please Jesus Christ for my salvation, I do it because of my love for him. My sin debt has been paid!

Let’s look at a perfect picture of salvation in the gospel of Luke. We’ll look at two verses and explain it. You can read the rest and allow God’s Spirit to speak to you.

Luke 15:19

AND I AM NO MORE WORTHY TO BE CALLED THY SON: MAKE ME AS ONE OF THY HIRED SERVANTS,

Luke 15:21-22

AND THE SON SAID UNTO HIM, FATHER, I HAVE SINNED AGAINST HEAVEN, AND IN THY SIGHT, AND AM NO MORE WORTHY TO BE CALLED THY SON. (22) BUT THE FATHER SAID TO HIS SERVANTS, BRING FORTH THE BEST ROBE, AND PUT IT ON HIM; AND PUT A RING ON HIS HAND, AND SHOES ON HIS FEET: (23) AND BRING HITHER THE FATTED CALF, AND KILL IT; AND LET US EAT, AND BE MERRY.

If you will notice here the change that has happened in the heart of the younger son. He said, I am no more worthy to be thy son, make me as one of thy hired servants. However, what did the father do? He excepted him back as his son. I like to point out here that the father said to (bring forth the best robe and put it on him). If you will notice, he said nothing about taking a bath first, getting to stink off of you but simply to but on the best robe.

All that was still there, it was covered by the best robe! All of our ungodliness is still within us when we are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, It just can’t be seen by God the Father! The real difference was made within the heart of the son in all that he recognized. What he did from that day forward was the true test of whether he meant what he said, not his father and what he did.

For instance: it’s now the responsibility of the son to clean himself up, to get the filth and stink out of his life, to act like a servant just like he said to his father instead of a son. The Father excepted him back (JUST AS HE WAS)! Weather the son meant what he said was now to be seen by the change in his life!

Do you remember when Moses said this: (I choose to suffer the afflictions of my people than to live in sin for a season)? (Hebrews 11:25) It’s a separation from the world. Moses could have been seen as the king if he made a choice to but, he chooses to suffer with his people. We see by his actions from that time on, he meant what he said.

Salvation is a transformation of one’s heart. We make a choice to walk away from the things of this world and from that point to become a willing servant of Jesus Christ seeking his will and not the things of this world. We are (by nature) of this world. The way we think, the things we do, the words we use, the lifestyles we have. The spirit of this world that leads us when we are (of this world) is replaced by (God’s Holy Spirit) as our guide once we are born again.

The son we are speaking of acted like all his father had, was his, at least part of it. I want what’s mine he said. Now since he returned, he sees who he is, not worthy of anything but now, he’s will to listen to his father and do his complete will.

Salvation takes a change of heart, no matter who you are. If you will continue to read, you will see that the elder brother became jealous of the younger. He even said to his father:

Luke 15:29

AND HE ANSWERING SAID TO HIS FATHER, LO, THESE MANY YEARS DO I SERVE THEE, NEITHER TRANSGRESSED I AT ANY TIME THY COMMANDMENT; AND YET THOU NEVER GAVEST ME A KID, THAT I MIGHT MAKE MERRY WITH MY FRIENDS:

There are many people that assume they are right with God just because they think they live right. However, can we see a rebellious spirit within the heart of this older brother? Does he not think he deserves something just because he thinks he’s done well?

I’ll show you something just by way of spiritual teaching. If we go back to Adam and Eve and their two sons, we see that the oldest (Cain) was not pleasing to God but, (Abel), being the younger was. We see the same picture here. Although the youngest so left, he returned a different man. He oldest stayed but remained the same.

The spiritual point to be made in both situations is this. Both the oldest and youngest sons become a picture of you as one person. Although you have been born-again, you still live within the same sinful body you always have. You can count on this fact. You, as becoming a spiritual man within will always have to fight to overcome the (older man) that you once were.

Salvation is just this simple. As an individual you allow God’s Spirit to come in and live within your heart, the center of your being. When that transformation happens, we daily learn to yield our members to his will. Often it takes a lifetime to see yourself sold out to him, beating the battle we face with our flesh. One of the best pictures of this I know of in scripture is found in Genesis. I’ll simple show you a verse that refers to this and share a little about it.

Romans 9:13

AS IT IS WRITTEN, JACOB HAVE I LOVED, BUT ESAU HAVE I HATED.

The scripture that is referring to begins in (Genesis 25:24). Isaac was married to Rebekah; she has just given birth to twin boys. We see that Esau was first born, then Jacob. As we continue to read, we see where Rebeka helps Jacob, her younger son, steal her older son’s birthright. Here, Rebeka is a type of the Church. The responsibility of every Church is to a newborn believer, being the second born to steal the birthright from the older you. Jacob actually steals Esau’s birthright. From that moment on those two brothers are at complete odds with on another.

If you will continue to study, you will see that years later they come back together. This is a picture of every born-again believer finally winning their battle over the flesh. Most believers understand that the battle is never completely won. We will never be just like Jesus Christ until we are in his presence.

I often say it this way. Our salvation is in all three tenses. Past, present and future. The moment you yield yourself to God’s Spirit, asking him to come into your heart (salvation is accomplished) That is past tense. Each day we live we are continually dying to ourselves and becoming more of what God desires for us to be. (Present tense salvation) last from the moment we are saved until the day we die in our flesh. As we spiritually learn God’s will and fight the battle with our flesh, we become more and more like Christ. Future tense salvation will be when we actually complete our spiritual journey, standing in the presence of Jesus Christ. We see here where I mention (dying in our flesh). In the spiritual sense, the way God sees death, we died the very moment we became born again!

This is something that ever person must consider. Only you can know for certainty that you are born-again. No other person can say for sure, no pastor, no preacher, not your mother or dad, no one! Only can know for sure that God’s Spirit lives within you. The Bible tells us this, speaking of God the Father:

Hebrews 13:5

LET THIS CONVERSTION BE WITHOUT COVETOUSNESS; AND BE CONTENT WITH SUCH THINGS AS YE HAVE: FOR HE HATH SAID, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.

You can read the rest of that but, that’s a promise to those that are of the family of God (born-again). The verse just before this: (verse 4) says this:

MARRIAGE IS HONOURABLE IN ALL, AND THE BEDROOM UNDEFILED: BUT WHOREMONGERS AND ADULTERERS GOD WILL JUDGE.

Although we can see this verse in a physical light as well as spiritual, the Holy Spirit is showing us how God sees us as members of his family, if we continue to walk in the things and ways of this world. If we are Born-again, he’s not going to forsake us but, you can expect to be judged as one of his children. You can also read (Hebrews 12:1-15) to see what I’m speaking of.

In closing, have you come to the end of yourself realizing you are a hopeless sinner in this sin-cured world? Have you humbly bowed before God, asking him to be your personal Savior? Forget what any denomination might teach, whether you are a member of a Church or, if you’ve been baptized, while each of these things are a part of salvation, none of them will ever be salvation. One last scripture and we’ll close.

2 Peter 1:10

WHEREFORE, THE RATHER, BRETHREN, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU 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.

If you’ll read the first nine verses here, you will notice it begins with faith, it ends with charity., He mentions faith, virtue, knowledge, Temperence, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity,

Beginning with faith, that is salvation. It’s placing your faith in what Jesus Christ has already done for you. In the end, we see Charity. What you are willing to give to him by showing his love through brotherly kindness, It’s a growing process. It enables each believer to gain a (know so) salvation. We can’t gain that with any other person’s knowledge, it has to be (what we know)!

If we consider our physical life, isn’t it filled with up’s and down’s. We have many failures, often few victories but we grow to maturity because of what we learn in all that happens to us, good and bad. Your spiritual life is the same way, I remember when I was first saved, we started a visitation program in our Church. I remember the very first person we went to see, I even remember his name, As I witnessed to him, he looked at me and smiled, He asked, who did Cain marry? He was speaking of Adam’s first son. I didn’t have the answer. Therefore, he laughed at me. However, I didn’t allow that to stop me from going on visitation, As I continued to study, one day I thought; now I can answer that question. You can read it as well! Read (Genesis 5:1-5). You’ll see where Adam has both (sons and daughter), So, he could either pick a daughter or a niece. I actually don’t care who he married; the point is he had someone to marry.

If you are born-again, allow that salvation to grow within you. I once heard a man give testimony. He said this: I’m addicted to the love of Jesus Christ and a desire to know truth. I work forty hours a week to support that addiction! I feel the same way. If you can use something I teach to help you spiritually, then praise God, If not then don’t give up the search for your security in Christ. Study until you (know him) and the power of his resurrection. (Philippians 3:10)

Lord, I pray for every person that might read this. I pray that each person knows your saving grace and, I pray for their spiritual education as they are drawn closer into a walk with you by your spirit. Open the eyes of the blind, fill each of them until their cup runs over with your amazing grace. I pray in Jesus Christ name and, all for his glory! Amen.

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

(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