SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS ( JULY 18-25,2021 )

( HEBREWS 6:19-20 )

WHICH HOPE WE HAVE AS AN ANCHOR OF OUR SOUL, BOTH SURE AND STEDFAST, AND WHICH ENTERETH INTO THAT WITHIN THE VEIL; ( 20 ) WHITHER THE FORERUNNER IS FOR US ENTERED, EVEN JESUS, MADE AN HIGH PRIEST FOR AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC.

Within these two verses, the Apostle Paul is bringing together all that he has been speaking about in all of this chapter and even before in Hebrews. I’d like to start this today by making some comparisons as examples. First of all, let’s consider the earth we live on. Would you agree with me that most of what it’s made up of we cannot sell? Most of it is just dirt, simple dirt. The things of value such as gold, silver, diamonds and so on are much harder to come by. Can you see how we can use that as a spiritual lesson?

In this chapter; we see where God called out a man man named Abraham to bring about a nation, ( Israel ). Actually, this same thing we see here has happened twice before in a spiritual sense. God created man, placed him in a garden, he failed. God called Noah to build an Ark, eight souls were saved, a new beginning, sin once again overtook them. Now we see Abraham and the nation of Israel.

When comparing the rare values we find in this earth such as gold silver and precious stone, we can say that ( The Nation of Israel ) was suppose to be that very precious part upon this earth. It was to be ( the very power of God ) revealed in one nation, one people. If they, being completely obedient to God, they would be the very controlling force upon the face of this earth overtaking every other people in time. The problem, they failed to be obedient to God the Father. They were to be the city on the mountiantop so to speak.

With this being said, it was never about anything physical or, anything they might gain. It was always about God’s voice being amplified through that nation, God’s will being done on this whole earth. It has to do with ( the anchor of the Soul ). Whether we are speaking of a nation or, just any one person it’s all about God’s Spirit living and thriving within them.

We see the term here: ( entereth into that within the veil ). What do we ( enter into ) within the veil? This question is what Israel struggled to understand and, many people still struggle with it today. I’d like to use ( Noah’s Ark as an example here. On the day that God told Noah to enter the Ark, he and his family, what more could they do? ( Their hope ) was within that Ark. And that, by faith. When they entered that Ark, the door to that Ark stayed opened for seven days after they entered. Any person that had a desire to; could have come within that Ark, by faith. However, as some point ( God himself closed that door ).

When Jesus Christ died on the Cross, the veil of the temple was rent from top tp bottom. Can you see ( an open door ) there? We can read that in:

( Matthew 27:51 )

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

This event happened the very second that Jesus Christ gave up the Ghost on the Cross of Calvary. Up until the very moment, any person that went behind that veil would die instantly, even the High Priest if he hadn’t followed the ( letter of the law ) to perfection. We can read that and, study it in Exodus and Leviticus.

Jesus Christ had just become the fulfilment of the law for every man.

( Matthew 5:17 )

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, of the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Jesus Christ done what no other human could even attempt to do. He kept the law to perfection; thereby pleasing God the Father. He became the veil that the Jews were use to seening. That is what was and is so hard for many to see. Now, let’s go back to ( Noah’s Ark ). If any person, this includes Noah and his family, made the choice to enter the Ark, it didn’t mean they were any less sinners did it? It simply meant that they had placed their faith in the words that Noah preached and, the vessel that was being prepared for their protection.

When Jesus Christ became the spiritual equal to the veil that was rent, it means that when we trust or, place our faith in his finished work on Calvary, we enter into that veil. He is that spiritual veil. We, enter into an ( anchor for our souls ) ( sure and stedfast ) when we enter into that veil.

Just like Noah and his family weren’t trusting in their ability not to sin within the Ark, we are not depenting on our ability not to sin in Christ. Just as Noah and his family depended on God to keep the Ark secure, we depend on the ( righteousness of Christ ) to keep our souls secure.

( Philippians 3:9 )

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

( Romans 3:20-24 )

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ( 21 ) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; ( 22 ) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: ( 23 ) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; ( 24 ) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

When we are willing to walk behind the veil of law, realize that we are completely guilty as charged of it completely and, unable to help ourselves, we can’t keep it! The fact we confess that and, realize that Jesus Christ became sin for us, nailing all our sin to his cross:

( Colossians 2:14 )

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

When we are willing to walk behind one veil, we enter into a covering of his blood. We aren’t depending on our righteousness; past, present or future tense to keep us secure in Christ. It’s his righteousness we are secure in. He is the anchor of our soul that keeps us ( sure and stedfast ).

I know I’ve probably made this point before but, we must understand it. In a basic sense what the Jewish people, the Hebrews were use to doing was this; each year they would come and make an offereing for their sin to the high priest. He would take it behind that veil and, for one more year they would go back home and continue as they were. They would do this year after year.

So, what did God prove with the simple flesh of the Hebrew people. He proved that withinn the simple flesh of man it is impossible to be pleasing to God. Something else is needed. Within the concept of ( the righteousness of Christ ) what is needed has been fulfilled. There are many people that say they believe in Christ but, at the same time seek to continue to please him by keeping the law. They have the same mindset as the Jews had. We will continue to sin, then offer our sacrifice. Many people want to see their sin, confess that sin and, expect God to place them back on speaking terms ( so to speak ) because they confessed their sin. At the same time, go back out and continue as they have always been.

Now, what was it about Jesus Christ that enabled him to live above sin? It was God in him. In the process of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the end product was the ability of that same spirit to come and live in those that believe. When we, by faith, admit we are unable to be pleasing to God the father in our flesh ( walk behind that veil ) and, except the righteousness of Jesus Christ as our covering, we also now receive the ( gift of th Holy Ghost ). The very same spirit that lived in Jesus Christ now will come and abide within those that except Christ by faith. ( That act ) is being born again. God’s spirit now lives within a sincured body, like mine.

If we will be honest; We were sinners before that spirit moved within our bodies! ( we are sinners ) and will be as long as we live. By the power of ( the gift ) of the Holy Spirit; God wants us to see and recognize our sin and, turn from it when we see it. His spirit, not only shows us our sin but, gives us the strength to turn from that sin. We also understand, because of the knowledge he gives us that we are ( weak through our flesh ). That means that we are still very like to fall back into that same sin pattern.

Within his love, mercy and grace, he knows that! He tells us this:

( 1 John 1:9 )

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

What do we see within that verse? We see a savior that is faithful and just. However, that verse is not there to give us the ability to sin or, to live in sin. Now, let’s read this whole group of verses:

( 6 ) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

What is having fellowship with him? If Jesus Christ is living within you, he’s walking along with you as you walk through your ( born again ) life. He’s speaking to you and, you are speaking to him. It’s just like you and any other friend would be walking along and talking, sharing together. If you have a thought of doing something, saying something that is unrighteous, he speaks and let’s you know his displeasure in what you are doing or saying.

If we, with our mouth say he is in us but, we still live in darkness do ungodly things, then what we say is a lie, we are simply not telling the truth.

( 7 ) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. That fellowship ( one with another ) is fellowship between Jesus Christ and you or I.

I’d like to use an example here. When I was a boy, even on up into my teen years and as a young adult. I cursed and smoked cigarettes. However, my mom and dad never knew I done either. I didn’t do those things in front of them. Of course, I’ll just mention those two, there were other things as well. Therefore, actually I didn’t have fellowship with my parents did I? They actually didn’t know who I was, I was doing things in darkness that needed to be brought to the light.

If I cursed or smoked in front of my parents, judgement was coming. Therefore, I could not go behind that veil. Now, what if my parents found out that I smoked and cursed? What if they would have told me, if you want to smoke and curse, you don’t have to hide it, we love you and simply want what’s best for you. Now, I can step behind that veil in fellowship. More than likely, I wouldn’t have cursed or smoked in front to of them and, Their very actions might have caused me to change my sinful habits even when I wasn’t around them.

Now, look at this net verse:

( 8 ) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in is.

What if I, being away from my parents and with my friends, cursed and smoked? However, when I got home, being in fellowship with my parents shared with them, without the fear of judgement what I had done. What if their actions would have been this, well son; that’s not wise on your part. Because you are allowing the mindset of others influence you and guide you. They don’t love you like we do. However, you confessed it so therefore, you’re forgiven.

Can you see how they knew I was a sinner, I knew I was a sinner but, my fellowship with my parents could help me to mature? If I just live or stay in darkness, I can’t mature! Another problem that comes to mind is ( the art of comparing ourselves to other people ). That happens often in our Churches. we believe that ( just because ) we are like someone else, we’re right with God.That brings us back to ( verse 9 ) and beyond. In ( verse 10 ) he says if we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. It’s not other people we need to compare ourselves to but, we need to allow God’s Spirit to help us mature spiritually.

God’s will has never been to condemn us but rather to help us to have righteous fellowship with him. He undserstands our weaknesses and desires to help us turn from them by showing us love and not judgement. He desires to talk to us and guide us. However, we must be completely honest with him about our weaknesses.

In these verses, we see truth. The truth is that if our lives do not reflect his truth then he is simply not in us. When we seek to have people think we live above sin then we make him a liar. And, guess what? He’s not the liar; We are!

He is an anchor for our soul, both sure and stedfast. I Often seek to compare being born again to the act of a woman becoming pregnant. I know I’ve said this before but to me it’s very important to understand. The very moment a woman conceives, life begins. Once that life within her is birthed, at that point that little life begins to learn. Can we say that even before birth that little life is already learning things? I’d say so! It’s learning the very foundations of life.

When we are ( born again ) it’s the very same picture. The very moment we are born again ( spiritual life ) begins. The Holy Spirit is teaching us each day to become a ( spiritually mature believer ). I’d say we could teach a lesson within a lesson here. Do you remember me talking about my mom and dad? Can you see the tremendous spiritual responsibility and, a complete picture of how the Spirit of God works to bring us to maturity? In both cases we simply must be willing to hear and yield to wise instrution. The only difference is, God will always tell you truth and bring to to maturity if you are willing to hear him. Often, as parents we fail to live to our physical and spiritual responsibilities.

If we go back and read the events in the Old Testament; God the Father truly sought to lead Israel to spiritual maturity, the problem, they would not hear him. It’s one thing if a child will not heed to wise councel, quite another if the parent fails to teach and give wise councel.

One of the worst things that can ever happen to anyone is to assume you are righteous or worthy of something when you are not. In a physical sense; the nation of Israel assumed that since that were chosen by God to be his people that they automatically would receive blessings from him. The truth, is now and was then that God was never pleased with the flesh. We must, like Israel, forget our flesh and yield to his Spirit as he speaks to each of us.

Often people are lead to believe that ( the local Church ) is ( the Church ) when it’s not. I once heard a preacher say this: You can join every local Church within the area to which you live and, be baptized until the tadpoles know you personally but, unless you have been born again you will never see heaven!

I’ve often sit in a local Church and watched parents get excited because their child joined Church, was getting baptized. Boy; what excitement! This, the whole time thinking within myself that, all this has nothing to do with being born again.

When we fail to teach the difference between ( the physical aspects ) of life and ( the spirtual aspect ) of life we do people a tremendous injustice. Often in our local Churches we seek to teach people how to live righteous lives when, the art of righteous living has nothing to do with being born again. Righteous living simply makes us look good in our flesh to other people. No matter how righteous you live or how good you look to other people, you are not going to please God the Father in your flesh.

( I believe ) that every pastor in every Church should look at every person within his Church as a possible candidate for salvation everytime he preaches. Every message should be about or, built around the art of being born again! it should be teaching people how to die to themselves and allow God’s Spirit to me seen, above all within their lives.

The veil that was rent when Jesus died on the cross took away the ( ordinances that was written against us ). What does that mean? To begin with ( he took our place ). However, we still have to ( enter into ) that protection that he now offers. Every man’s sin debt has to be paid! Being born again is the act of you excepting Jesus Christ and his finished work for the payment for your sin debt. If any person doesn’t except that payment then that person will have to pay his own sin debt.

When we see ourselves as ( hell deserving sinners ) and that ( without any hope ) on our own. We can now walk right up to the throne of God and tell him, we’re quilty, I confess what I am and all that I deserve. As a sinner, I deserve hell.

At that point, we ask that Jesus Christ become our redeemer, our Savior, excepting his shed blood for a covering for our sin. At that point we enter into him, he becomes our shield from the very wrath of an Almighty God. ( our hope is built on nothing less that his blood and his righteousness )! He is ( the anchor of my soul ) it is ( stedfast and sure ).

As a born again believer, I seek to live a righteous life. Although I fail, I seek to because of my great love for him and all he’s done for me. I don’t try to live righteous for my salvation; I’m trusting in his righteousness for my salvation, ( in him is my hope ) not in any ability of my own.

Have you been born again? Or. are you just a local Church member?

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( JULY 10, 2021 )

( GENESIS 11:4 )

AND THEY SAID, GO TO, LET US BUILD US A CITY AND A TOWER, WHOSE TOP MAY REACH UNTO HEAVEN; AND LET US MAKE US A NAME, LEST WE BE SCATTERED ABROAD UPON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH.

This week in our Sunday School lesson I’m going to leave Hebrews for at least this Sunday. The Lord has impressed upon my heart this week to go in a somewhat different direction. I’m going to call this lesson:

THE CONCEPT OF MAN WITHOUT GOD

If you follow or study the Bible you know that the verse we are using is in a period of time a few years after the flood of Noah. In the days before that flood; the Bible say this:

( Genesis 6:5 )

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

We know that ( Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord ). We know that after 120 years of building the Ark; only eight people boarded that Ark and were saved from the flood that came. There’s one other thing that was saved on that Ark above the people and all the animals that were aboard. That was the ability for man to sin and to continue to be wicked in the sight of God.

Now, I like for you to notice also in ( Genesis 11: 10 ) that the bloodline to Jesus Christ came from Shem, the first born of Noah. If you choose to study it, you can follow him all the way to Jesus Christ.

Well, what about the other two sons? We see what they were doing in the earlier verses of ( chapter 11 ). They were seeking to build their own way to heaven. I believe that we often misrepresent the abiity of man and all he can do on his own. We simply assume that the people of those days were ( less civilized ) than we are today. I can’t say for sure how smart they were but, we can see that God stopped what they were attempting to do at that time, even after the flood of Noah.

In a mere 2000 years from the days of Christ, what are we seeking to do today? In these verses, God confounded the languages. Do you realize that now, I can take my computer, you can speak any languager you choose to and I can translate it into a language I speak? Do you realize today that doctors can actually look inside your body and see death coming? Within the mind and heart of a man, he can do and learn anything he chooses to. We have a vessel on the planet Mars, we’ve been to the moon more than one time. What is it in man’s ability that he cannot do?

I personally have a son in law. He actually died at his house in his early thirty’s. My daughter called EMS and gave him CPR until they arrived. They, the EMS members estimated that he was dead 15 minutes and, they worked on him right there in that bathroom for 48 minutes before they transported him to a hospital. The hospital put him on life flight and sent him to Duke Hospital. They pulled his temperature down to what they called ( cold storage ) for about three days to preserve his organs and then began to bring his body temperature back up to norrmal.

That’s been at least 12 years ago. A few Sunday’s ago he spoke at his home Church. I seen him day before yearterday and, basically, he has a very clear mind and is doing well.

In all this, what am I trying to get you to see? Man not only has the ability to kill you, he also has the ability to keep you alive! Let me ask you something. Let’s say in the normal course of my life I have appendicitis. I’m in terrible pain. What’s going to happen to me if I can’t get to a doctor? I’m going to die! Have you ever heard this quote: ( If we could have just got him to the hospital on time ) we could have saved his life. Have you heard that?

When I was a young boy, I had two sisters to die, eight weeks old on average. I also have a sister born between those to sisters that is still living. If those two sisters had been born today, they could have easily fixed the problem they had with thier hearts.

God’s word tells us that ( it is appointed unto man once to die ). And, you can count on it, you are going to die at some point. Let’s go back to my appendicitis. Let’s say that I’m twenty years old,I never had any time for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I live just as I please and, I’m not the least bit concerned about what God thinks about what I do. Now, I have appendicitis. Let’s see what God thinks about that as far as my flesh is concerned.

( John 15: 6 )

IF A MAN ABIDE NOT IN ME, HE IS CAST FORTH AS A BRANCH, AND IS BURNED, AND IS WITHERED; AND MEN GATHER THEM, AND CAST THEM INTO THE FIRE, AND THEY ARE BURNED.

Here I am, man twenty years old with something wrong with me that will kill me if someone of this world can’t stop what is going to happen! Now, let’s go back a little. I was born into the world a boy, something I had no control over. One day about the age of twelve or thirteen, I became a man, still had not control. However, what about what I did learn from that time foward? How much attention did I pay to what I had access to? In my case God had already let me know I needed salvation and I rejected the very salvation he offered. I just happened to have a very Godly mother, a praying mother that continually put my name before our Lord.

Many young people are not that blessed. They don’t have parents that teach them Godly things or even right from wrong. Guess what? That doesn’t matter! Whose fault is it if every child in this world is completely without the knowledge of God? God has done all he could to present his grace and mercy to every person.

I’ll use this ture story to make my point. I was working one day and a friend of mine came to me with another young man. He introduced me to him; calling me pastor. I shook the young man’s hand and asked him, son do you go to Church any where? He rplied, no. I said, do you have Children? He replied, yes I have a little boy and girl. I then said, son; you are a grown man, if you choose to die and go to hell, you have every right to do so. However, you have two little children! For heaven’s sake, don’t take them with you, at least give them a chance to make up their own mind. You have that God given responsibility as a parent.

My whole point in saying these things is this. God looked at me when I was about twenty years old and thought, boy you are not any good to me, why should I allow you to live? Now, I thank God for what he has allowed men to learn and what he has given men the knowledge to know. All that knowledge that man has can be used for good or evil.

Man might be able to prolong life but, at some point we are going to die. When I was twenty five, I asked Jesus Christ to be my savior, I was born again. Since that time I have sought to allow him to live through my fleshly body. Because of good sound spiritual teaching as a new born believer, I came to understand that God’s true desire is for me to forget all that I might desire in this world and allow him to live, thrive and speak through me.

That is God’s desire for every person that is born upon the face of this earth. If we seek to paint a true picture of God’s will; this is what it would be. Every child born upon the face of this earth would be born to parents that are born again with a passion to, from the first day their children are born, began to feed them the spiritual food God’s Spirit allows to flow through the hearts and minds of the parent. By the time every Child reaches the age of twelve, that child is prepared with the spiritual knowledge they need to become born again, born in the same spiritual family their parents are in Christ Jesus.

There’s a saying I’ve heard over the years: ( Heaven and earth will soon be passed, only that that’s done for Christ shall last ). If we go back to ( Genesis 11 ) where men were seeking to only build something for themselves, actually we see within that; the very grace of God. God could have, once again, killed them all but didn’t. Do you realize that anyone of us could die of anything at any time? To be honest, even in the Old Testament God didn’t even care about the flesh of Israel if they were not willing to use their fleshly bodies to do his will.

Look at this verse:

( Romans 3:20 )

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

There are those that often critize God the Father for his actions as far as killing people in the Old Testament. Just in a physical way of looking at it, I can clearly see what they saying. Those that denounce God have a right to feel anyway they choose to. If we consider for instance; someone with that mindset, let say they get cancer. When they go to the doctor seeking help they are simply seeking to help of men to fix their physical body. It has nothing to do with God does it? Why? Because they don’t acknowledge him in any way.

With that being said, let’s say that you say you believe in Jesus Christ. You acknowledge that he gave his life for ransom for your sin, you say you believe that. However, at the very same time, you live as you please, do as you please, never once even considering what the Holy Spirit is desiring from your flesh, you get cancer. Aren’t you calling on the same worldly doctors, in their worldly wisdom and knowledge to keep your flesh so you can continue as you please? I’ll have to at least give the person that is an atheist his due credit. He’s not calling on Church members to pray for him in his condition. He or she is simply seeking the help of this world.

You on the other hand, you that live just as you please but, acknowledge that you believe will now ask Godly people to ask God to help you. My question is, why should he? What the difference you in and those of the Old Testament that didn’t pay any attention to him? I have some bad news for you, there isn’t any difference!

Consider this: when God confounded men in the Old Testament, changing their language, he didn’t kill them did he? They continued to live. However, where are they today? Didn’t they all die? Let’s say that you’re an Atheist or someone that believes in word only, you both get cancer and the doctors actually heal your body, you feel so blessed! Isn’t death still in front of both of you?

There are people in all walks of life that live and die at all ages. It doesn’t matter if you are a saint or sinner, young or old. Tomorrow is not promised to any person, including the most Godly man it is. There are very Godly families that lose children to sicknes at an early age and the same goes for sinners of all sorts.

I’m going to give this verse in closing and a few comments:

( Colossians 3:9-10 )

LIe NOT ONE TO ANOTHER, SEEING THAT YE HAVE PUT OFF THE OLD MAN WITH HIS DEEDS; ( 10 ) AND HAVE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, WHICH IS RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE AFTER THE IMAGE OF HIM THAT CREATED HIM:

We could use a whole new lesson to prove all I’ll be saying here. However, what actually takes place when salvation is real in a person’s heart, when the act of be born again takes place; God sees that person as ( dead ) and that in Christ Jesus. From that very instant foward a new person is suppose to be developing in the very same physical body you still have. All that you are, as far as your desire is going to change. According to these verses we are ( renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created us ). We are to now, begin to think like God the Father.

While the average local Church are very willing, in most cases to speak out against ( abortion ) often even ( birth control ) of any form; they practice ( spiritual abortion ) and ( spiritual birth control ) in every service they hold. The problem is they just can’t see what I’m saying! I’m going to say something I told my very own pastor once. I told him that all I needed to do was to bring a tape recorder, tape one of the services he has, then, I can just stay home and listen! It’s the same rerun every week!

I’m going to give you another verse here. I can say the same thing here, a whole other lesson!

( 1 Timothy 5:5-6 )

NOW SHE THAT IS WIDOWED INDEED, AND DESOLATE, TRUSTETH IN GOD, AND CONTINUETH IN SUPPLICATIONS AND PRAYERS NIGHT AND DAY. ( 6 ) BUT SHE THAT LIVETH IN PLEASURE IS DEAD WHILE SHE LIVETH.

I know well what these verses are saying, I’m not a fool! But, can you see the spiritual aspect as well? Just taking as a physical point, we see a wife that her husband has died and she is a true widow, sold on prayer and supplications. If every Church member is born again, isn’t her husband dead? The first person that every member was married to ( dead to them ) being ( Satan himself )? Can we say that every Church member is ( continuing in supplications and prayers night and day )?

And, if not isn’t that whole Church, as far as the spiritual aspect is concerned ( dead while it is alive on this earth )? If all this world can see is your flesh then you are completely worthless to God the Father. I don’t care how rich you are, how blessed you thing you are, how healthy you are. You are simply experiencing to ( blessings of men ) the ( knowledge of men ). Many people and Churches as well want to think, even giving God the praise for all they have when, in reality if they are not listening to and yielding to the very spirit of God then ( they have their reward here ).

Often when we are in need physically and we ask for prayer; all we’re doing is praying to this world, seeking the blessings of this world for the blessings upon our flesh and, the worst part ( God, because of our own actions, is not a part of it )!

Lord, I pray that you can use this lesson to open the spiritual eyes of those in spiritual need!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( JUNE 26, 2021 )

( HEBREWS 6: 7-9 )

FOR THE EARTH WHICH DRINKETH IN THE RAIN THAT COMETH OFT UPON IT, AND BRINGETH FORTH HERBS MEET FOR THEM BY WHOM IT IS DRESSED, RECEIVETH BLESSINGS FROM GOD: ( 8 ) BUT THAT WHICH BEARETH THORNS AND BRIERS IS REJECTED, AND IS NIGH UNTO CURSING; WHOSE END IS TO BE BURNED. ( 9 ) BUT, BELOVED, WE ARE PERSUADED BETTER THINGS OF YOU, AND THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION, THOUGH WE THUS SPEAK.

I look at and, understand this to be one of the most revealing couple of verses that is found in scripture; especially to the Hebrew believers. If you remember the first part of this chapter he says, ( leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ ). As a teacher, I sought to lay out some of the things that only pertained to that particular doctrine. Here, the Apostle Paul is using a picture of the way the earth works to make the same point, that is; in a sense.

As you read; you will notice that the earth takes in the water that’s rained upon it. It brings forth food that can be eaten. however it also brings forth thorns and briers that are good for nothing but to be burned. As you read through the Old Testament you will notice that the ( Nation of Israel ) worked the very same way. When they yielded themselves to the will of God, blessings flowed upon them and, all that were contrary to God were destroyed. When that same nation followed God they were blessed with the riches of this earth, when they didn’t; famine would come.

Even once, as we read in Genesis, Josepth was sold into Egypt; which was totally contrary to God the Father. Although that was the case, because of his obedience to God the Father, he became ( the savior ) of his own people. You can read this in ( Genesis, chapters 37-46 ). As you read that, you can see a picture of ( the Church ) in this world. Born again believers in this world can flourish ( spiritually ) if we will surrender or yield our members to the will of God.

You see, God would bless Israel ( physically ) when they were obedient unto hin, even in Egypt. Israel would have victory over their ( physical enemy ) as long as they were seeking to do God’s will. If not, they would always be defeated. In the Old Testament God would have a spokesman so to speak. He would tell Israel the direction they were to go and basically every move to make. For example: in Joshua we can read about the walls of Jericho falling down flat. ( Joshua 6 ). If you look at all they did; it might look foolish to the world but, the victory was won. That, is or, can be seen as a ( physical victory )

Personally, ( I believe ) that if Israel as a nation would have yielded themselves to God the Father; they could have conquered the whole world. Today, Jerusalem would have been the Capitol of this world and we all wpuld have been submissive to that nation, bu they would not as a people follow God’s will. All that we see there was ( physical victories ).

Jesus Christ being born into this world in the Nation of Israel; as their rightful King was suppossingly God’s last effort to cause them to see and follow his will as a nation. While I might say that; we recognize that it was not to be. Jesus Christ was not born into this world to be king at that time but, to be the Savior of the whole world. I like this verse of scripture:

( Matthew 12:24-33 )

( Verse 31 )

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

You can read that whole account however, I want to basically show you what he is saying. The Jews had rejected the voice of ( God the Father ) all through the Old Testament; As we see here, now; the same thing is happening to ( God the Son ) ( Jesus Christ ). Jesus is basically looking right into the eyes of the pharisees and saying. All this is blaspheme and, it will be forgiven unto. ( God the Father ) and ( God the Son ) will put this behind you but, I’m sending the Holy Spirit, this will be your last chance, if you reject that Spirit, there is no forgivemess, ever!

All this time the Nation of Israel has been looking for physical blessings from God, even all the way through the gospels when Jesus Christ walked with them. Now, look at what the Apostle Paul is telling them in verse ( 9 ) But, Beloved, we are persuaded ( better things of you ) ( and things that accompany salvation ) though we thus speak.

I want you to notice the phrase ( things that accompany salvation ). What are some of the things that accompany salvation? First, what is salvation? Salvation can be defined as the ability of God to place himself within the physical body of any individual that will allow him to do so. This is an act that the Nation of Israel had never experienced before. God had always placed his spirit upom whom he chose to. It wasn’t within man’s ability to possess his Spirit like it is today. I’d like to show you a verse that I often relate to how Israel looked at things vesres; how it had become as the Apostle Paul was teaching here.

( 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 hands of the Gentiles.

( verse 13 )

Then Paul answered, what mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

As you consider these two verses; you can imagine Agabus as the prophet doing the same thing he had always done, not realizing that now, not only would God speak to him as a prophet but, ever person that was born again had the very same spirit living within them and had the ability to yield to the voice of that Spirit.

In a sense, the prophet Agabus was still seeking to live as things were before the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul here in Hebrews is trying to get the Hebrew believers to see ( a better way ). Even today many people struggle with the ( things the accompany salvation ). Often we still desire to be physically when there are things we should be more concerned about as we seek to die to our flesh and yield to the Spirit wihin us. In:

( Galatians 5:22-23 )

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, faith, ( 23 ) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

These are ( things that accompany salvation ). What comes along with your body each time you move? Can you leave your house and leave your hands or feet behind? It’s the very came way with the Spirit that lives within you as a born again believer. You just can’t say ( I have God’s Spirit ) but, I don’t have the ability to have joy, love, peace and so on. It’s very understandable that it might take time to reachsome of these things but we don’t have the ability to say that they are not within our bodies if we are born again.

We often fail to realize that the very same spirit that lived within the body of Jesus Christ now lives within each born again believer. The question is; can you yield the members of your body to that spirit? ( I’m persuaded better things of you )! It’s never a question of ( Can ) it’s always a question of ( Will )! Let’s look at this list again. You see and recognize what you see of yourself in this list. ( LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS, TEMPERANCE. )

What are your weak points that are listed there? If you recognize any then God’s Spirit desies to help you with those weaknesses and, he will if you are willing to allow him to. Personally; ( I believe ) that what we call the modern day Church has become a great handicap for the average person that says they are born again. We rarely go beyond what our pastor says, we only follow a Sunday School quarterly, it we even do that. These are things we are taught by our leaders causing us to be spiritually weak. Let’s say you have no patience. Well, if you continue to take the same pill you’ve been taking for years, you never will. There is ( a better way )! That’s what the Apostle Paul is saying to the Hebrew believers.

The better way is for an individual to look at themselves, see their spiritual need, pray and study God’s word for the answers we have need of, truly willing to yield to him as much as possible.

I’d like to share something I see. First of all; what is the actual function of a local Church? It’s true fuction is to draw people to Christ and, to enable them to grow to spiritual maturity. It’s focus should the to become missionaries to the community it is centered in, teaching its members to lead people to Christ.

As I sit in Sunday School and, ( what we call ) worship service, almost every prayer request that is made has to do with the physical needs of people, never spiritual. In most cases, you never even hear the pastor mention prayer for someone that is lost. For instance; let’s say I go to work, I witness to an individual asking them if they are born again, and the man answers no. I can’t convince him to be saved. On Sunday morning in Sunday School and worship service; I stand up and say. I have a burden for Marshall Clayton, he is lost without Christ and in need of salvation. I request that this Church help me pray for him and, if you see him, tell him we are praying for his salvation. What if every Church member had that same burden for souls like it should be?

The Hebrew believers were clinging to the physical aspect of their lives and, starving to death spiritually. Are we not doing the same thing in our Churches? The Apostle Paul said; for him ( to live is Christ, to die is gain ). When we begin to treasure this life or the lives of others more in the physical sense then we have lost the true meaning of what Church or salvation is all about.

I think the next time someone asks me to preay for a physical need for someone, I’ll ask them; does this person know Jesus Christ as their savior, are they born again? It the person asking for that prayer says ( they don’t know ) then, I’ll say go ask them, if not witness to them, let’s seek to to get them saved first!

I’d like for you to consider this: In the Old Testament, didn’t God instruct Israel to completely destroy all of their enemy, any nation that walked with false gods? If you’re asking God to heal a man that is not born again, tell me, what good is that person’s flesh to God the Father? If that person is not willing to change their spiritual direction, even if it’s me, what good am I to God the Father?

The Apostle Paul was seeking to show the Hebrew believers ( a better way ). Today, the Church is that part of any community that seeks to show a people a better way, if not then we as members of that Church become just as the rest of the community and are completely worthless as part of God’s work?

We’ll continue this next week!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

WHAT IS A FOOL? WHO IS A FOOL?

When did I become a fool?

These questions are questions that truly needs clarity! If I told you that ( I was born a fool ). Is that a fact that can be proven? If I told you, I will die a fool, can that be proven as well? What if we say; every person is a fool, can we prove that statement? To look into these things, we must first understand who is speaking and why. For instance: I worked with a young man once that was working with us on work release from prison. He had raped a woman at knife point. At that time I was a born again believer and, I witnessed to him. One day as we worked; he called me a pervert. I asked him, what is a pervert? He replied, ( a person that deviates from the norm ). I said to that, no! If that’s how it’s defined, you might consider yourself to be normal! A pervert is someone that deviates from what right.

When I gave that definition, that is ( my definition ). We can find the word ( pervert ) used often in scripture and, I believe that the way I defined it is close to the way it’s used in scripture. However, we can see that words can be ( as defined by any person ). The young man I spoke of had a way he defined ( pervert ) , so did I.

I can see how; every person becomes a fool and every person can be seen as wise if we allow any single individual to define the word just as they choose to. What wisdom will always do is to allow every word to be defined by God the Father and, understand the actual text that word is being used in.

Look at these two verses:

( 1 Corinthians 1:18 )

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

( 1 Corinthians 1:21 )

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Now, let’s see what it says between those two verses:

( 1 Corinthians 1:19-20 )

( 19 ) For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. ( 20 ) Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

As we look at these verses we see that wisdom and foolishness is ( as defined by whom ). The world has one way to define these words but God has another. I, myself have always been a fool! When I was like the people in ( verse 18 ) ( perishing, on my way to hell ) the preaching of God’s word was foolish to me. I thought those that done so ( were foolish ) They, on the other hand seen me as the fool. Now, I’m a preacher of the gospel ( the foolishness of preaching ) I just happened to be on the other side of the fence!

I often tell people this; every person is a fool for something! As for me, since I’m going to be a fool; I’m going to be one for Jesus Christ! ( I believe ) that a man that calls himself ( a preacher ) is a fool if he’s not willing to be seen as a fool for Christ.

Why did scripture say ( the foolishness of preaching )? The Bible says; ( we are fools for Christ’s sake )

( 1 Corinthians 4:10 )

We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but we are strong, ye are honourable, but ye are despised.

The Apostle Paul is making my case here. The whole concept of being foolish has to do with where you consider your home. If you consider yourself to be ( of this world ) then everything that is done spirituall becomes foolishness to you. If, on the other hand you are born again and, you see heaven as your home, being not a part of this world then, the things we see as believers ( in this world ) become foolishness to us.

I said that ( I believe ) that a man that calls himself ( a preacher ) but, is not willing to become a fool, for Christ is foolish. What can I possibly mean by that? Many pastors and preachers seek to align themselves as close as possible with what ( the world ) expects them to be as a pastor or preacher. They are taught in a ( worldly school ) how to speak, how to dress, how far to wander from the pulpit. All the do’s and do not’s as a man of God. They are taught what to say and, how to say it. Their messages has to meet a certian criteria each week. They take speech lessons, learn how to read. By reading, I mean, which words to emphasize, how to make a sentence come to life and things such as that. I call this foolishness, that is; as how it relates to God’s Holy Spirit!

How would we define ( the foolishness of preaching )? In other words, what is God expecting? How does he desire for preachers to present themselves?

I believe that in the average local Church we use every means available to draw people to a building, the singing, what we call worship, children’s Church, different kinds of activities. The reason, the preaching is so ( hum drum ) that it will never cause people to come! It’s like watching the same rerun show over and over again!

( THE FOOLISHNESS OF PREACHING ) There’s a book I read once called ( The story of John Jasper ). It’s the story of a slave that God called to preach. He preached 25 years a slave and 25 years a free man. This man was completely uneducated, that is, as far as we look at education. The very book about him is written in ( Negro Dialect ). It is one of the most powerful books that I ever read! In the book, it says this: If you desired to hear John Jasper preach, whether you were black or white, you would have to be a his Church around 6:00 am on Sunday. On the average Sunday Morning, it would be standing room only inside the building, people standing right outside the windows and, all out in the Church yard, black and white!

What was it that drew these people to this man. Was he dressed right? Did he speak perfect english? Did the people come for the food? Did they present the parents with Children’s Church and a youth pastor? What kind of activities did they have?

I don’t remember this or, can’t even say that it was mentioned but, I’d be willing to bet that he could not be paid for his service when he was a slave. I do remember that ( while he was a slave ) it had to be a white man standing on the platform with him or, he could not preach. Can you see what this one man went through just to be able to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. ( HE ) My friends ,( was a fool, for Christ ) He makes me feel foolish ( as in unworthy ) even to say that I’m a preacher of the gospel!

The people were drawn to this man, this Church because of the very power of God in his life! The convicting power of the Holy Spirit that is expelled from a man that is filled with God’s Spirit is the only real ( transforming power ) for a man’s soul! If it’s anything else that draws you to any Church; it’s more than likely ( the foolishness of this world ). Do you see that it was nothing fancy about ( this man’s ) Church? No air conditioning, no padded pews, no carpet, no special events. His preaching was the only ( special event ). Also, nothing special about him, he didn’t speak good english. had no paper accolades from colleges, probably had very few clothes to wear. But, it was one thing for sure ( He was a fool ) and that for Jesus Christ!

I was doing electrical work in a Uptown Church once. I, and the care taker was the only ones there. We struck up a conversation about Being born again and even attending Church. He said this to me. He said often I’m here on Sunday mornings, I stand right here at this door and listen to the pastor as he speaks. The door he mentioned was the door that went from the sanctuary back into the educational wing of the Church. He said, you know this pastor, when he preaches uses words that I have no idea what they mean, I don’t understand what he is talking about.

I told him. well I pastor a little Church. I’m not educated but, if I tell you ( I ain’t got no money ) that’s not good english but, do you understand what I’m talking about? He laughed and said ( I sho do )!

Now, here ,just as a start, the word of God has proved that we all are fools, it just depends on what you are foolish about! Do you realize that ( at our best ) we can be seen as foolish in the eyes of God the Father

Look at this: ( 1 Corinthians 1:20 )

Where is the wise?where is the scribe? where is the disputer of the world? Hath not God made foolish is wisdom of this world?

I know that what is being said in this verse can be simply speaking of the people of this world that are apart from God but, in reality, left to ourselves we can still make worldly choices. Therefore, even as born again believers we can be seen as ( foolish ) in God’s eyes.

What if we just take the book of Proverbs and consider what God’s word says about fools.

( Proverbs 1:7 )

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

According to this verse; if you do not fear the Lord, the knowledge you think you have is worthless. The only way you can gain worthwhile knowledge is to ( fear the Lord ). The point being, if you don’t fear him then your whole life is based on nothing and, will end in destruction. If I look at you and say: the way you are headed will not take you to a good place that you desire to call home. However, you despise and reject my words, is that not foolish? Now, I’m speaking as a person that is giving Godly instructions. It says there that ( you despise wisdom and instruction.

I want you to consider something here. Let’s look at the Church you attend as a ( train headed to destruction ). You love your Church, your pastor and the people you have around you. You continue to get on and off that train each week as it moves through time. Never one time do you stop and consider, where are we all headed? My love for my Church, my pastor and the people around me, is it wise just to believe we are going in the right spiritual direction without me, at least praying and seeking God’s voice in the matter of my direction? It is wise to just assume my pastor and the people that say they love me are ( fearing the Lord )? Is the knowledge they give me coming from God’s wisdom ?

What is the ( fear of the Lord )? I’m going to show you some verses here and, offer a personal experience to make my point,

( Hebrews 12:7-9 )

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? ( 8 ) But if ye are without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not son. ( 9 ) Futhermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live.

We notice here that scripture is showing us that God the Father deals with us just like our earthly father does when he loves us.

When I was a boy, I had three sisters. My parents worked away from home and, when we would get home from school my dad would have a note written laying on the counter to tell me what I was suppose to do when I got home. Often my sistes would want me to play ball with them or, they would have something else in mind to do other than what my dad desired for me to do.

The problem was ( I feared my dad )! I knew the circumstances that would unfold if I didn’t at least attempt to do what he had written on that piece of paper. That note was ( scripture ) to me! What if one of my sisters hid that note? What if they attempted to change what was on that note? First of all, I knew dad’s hand writing.

Jesus says this: ( John 10:27 )

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

When I would read that note, it was like I could hear my dad speaking to me. Would you agree that it’s the very same in scripture? If something is not right; ( his sheep know it ). It doesn’t matter whether it’s a message from a pulpit or in print.

I’ll use this also as a example of understanding what ( the fear of the Lord is ). Basically speaking, the ( King James Bible became the standard Bible for english speaking people for about three centuries. Some where around the turn of the twentieth century we began challenging that version with a new version. Now, we have multiple choices to pick from.

Many pastors today won’t even attempt to direct their people to at least one version. They simple leave that argument alone. However, In ( my humble opinion ), the new versions are going exactly the wrong direction! If I, as one of God’s children am going to do anything as far as questioning what is said in his wrd, I’m gong to go the other way. I’m going back to the original text and, seek God’s face on which is correct.

If my sisters tried to forge my dad’s handwriting then, I’d, even with that; think! Now is this something my day would say? I’d be a fool not to consider that! We often sit in our perspective Churches, listen to our perspective pastors, get up and go home. Even if we don’t agree with something he says, we don’t seek God’s face for true answers. In the real world; there is not one person that knows all the answers. The possibility of a pastor being incorrect is real! If he is a wise man , he will admit that to you and, tell you to study behind him.

A spiritually wise person, one that understands God’s Spirit and knows how to hear that Spirit will never simply take any man at his word. Every message, every word he says will be questioned, that without a doubt. One reason I can make that statement is because a wise person understands the price for being wrong. They know that it matters how we stand brfore God the Father. Just as I realizing the consequences of not obeying my earthly father if I was misled by my sisters, a spiritual person will be the same way because of their understanding.

Look at this verse: ( Proverbs 1:22 )

hOW LONG, YE SIMPLE ONES, WILL YE LOVE SIMPLICITY? AND THE SCORNERS DELIGHT IN THEIR SCORNING, AND FOOLS HATE KNOWLEDGE?

A fool loves the simplicity of a Church building. They can simply fo to that building, say and do the things that please the people therein, pay their money, join that building, listen to the man or woman that speaks, get up and go home. The very fact that a fool might have to study for himself, pay any price with his or her time and effort is ( simply ) asking far too much.

Concerning this; I’d like to show you tow verses that ( I believe ) actually shoows a picture of our ( foolish Churches today.

( Colossians 1:18 )

And he is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; in that in all things he might have the preeminence.

In that verse, the word ( preeminence ) means: the fact of surpassing all others: superiority.

If you read the verses before this one you will see that he is speaking of God the Father and, his son Jesus Christ. Now, look at:

( verses 9-10 )

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual undestanding; ( 10 ) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.

This is the very definition of a local Church. The very first thing is to make sure that ( Jesus Christ ) is the one that is being the most recognize. That, not just in name but in understanding by his word just who he is. One step beyond that is that each member might die to themselves and allow him to be seen within them above all. His preeminence is seen in the Church and lived in the lives of all that belong to that Church.

Now, look at this verse:

( 3 John 1:9 )

I wrote unto the Church: but Diotephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

When we allow this to happen in any person, Church or situation we become worldly fools. I once made this statement: the word of God is just words if the Spirit of God is not being utilized within it. A man or woman is worthless unless God’s Spirit is within them and being utilized. A pastor is just a spokesman if God’s Spirit is not speaking through him, it’s the same with any teacher.

As you read that verse in ( 3 John 1:9 ) do you think that the name of Jesus Christ was not mentioned? Sure it was talked about, the Devil seen to that however, the focus of the whole body was not on ( knowing him ) or ( allowing him to be preeminant ). People, pastors, teachers and Churches use the word of God but Jesus Christ is not the priority in in part of their lives. Within this ( they are foolish ) but they are not ( fools for the right person ).

( Proverbs 1:22 ) uses the word ( simplicity ). THe simple fact is that there is no pain in a woman talking about having a child is it? There is no pain when you watch someone else work such as digging with a shovel is it?

Look at this verse: ( Galatians 4:19 )

My little children, of whom I travail in birth until Christ be formed in you.

There is nothing simple about preaching or teaching with the power of God flowing from you. There is nothing simple about witnessing to a person about their very soul. If we do it as inspired by the Holy Spirit; pain will always be present. Why would you say that God hates fornication, adultery, homosexuality? One of the greatest reasons is because there is no passion for having birth there is it? Do you realize that God, in his word , uses words such as ( whore ) ( adulterous ) when naming his people? Why would he do such as that? It was because they were going through the motion of an act but, had no true passion for creating new life! When I use the term ( His people ) I’m referring to the ( Church ) or the ( nation of Israel ).

The Apostles Paul made this statement:

( Romans 9:6 )

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect: For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.

This one thing can help us understand our foolishness within our Churches. Just as the Apostle Paul is pointing that evevery person that is in Israel is not of Israel; the ame picture should be recognized in a Church. Not every person that are members of Churches are born again. God’s whole intent, even from the beginning was all about the spiritual aspects of every life. The Nation of Israel was to be the feet, hands and body of God Almighty here on this earth; ( they were foolish not to be ). Now, the Church is to be the ( mouth, feet, hands and body ) of God Almighty on this earth. ( the Church is foolish not to be ). Born again believers make up the ( Church ) the ( body of Jesus Christ ). We as born again believers are ( foolish ) when we are not used of him.

When we seek to build a Church with many people but, completely viod of the power of God them we are fools! The verse we are considering in ( Proverbs ) also says this ( the scorners delight in their scorning ). What does that mean? It also says ( they hate knowledge ). What happens is that when any person begins to cause a Godly transforming by the word of God; that’s knowledge. We call it truth and it sheds light on who and what we truly are. Do you remember the birth pains? When truth is received, it’s always going to drive out the ungodliness in our beings. That is, unless we are not willing to change. If we are not willing to change then we begin to scorn the truth teller, the very voice of God. We delight when that voice is scorned and silienced.

I’ll say this and we’ll move on to another verse. Any man, even I can be considered ( a fool ) if he doesn’t seek to speak or become the very voice of God when he stands behind a pulpit. I never desire to be loved by the people I pastor unless that are craving to ( Know God ) and are truly desiring for ( new birth to be formed in them ). In other words, the harder I preach truth, the more truth they desire.

I desire my heart to be so keen to the will of God that every person I preach to has to go through me to get to ( HELL ). God placed me behind a pulpit to be that man that would stand in the gap between heaven and hell for every person I have the priviledge to preach to. I don’t want to let, either God or those people down. One day when this life is over, I don’t want one person to be able to look at me and say ( you could have told me truth but you didn’t )!

For any born again believer, especially a man called to preach to any less concerned about the souls of people makes them very foolish in the eyes of God. As I look out over a congergation, I see every person there as lost without God and, in need of spiritual growth. To think that any person has reach a spiritual top of their lives is foolish thought. This puts great pressure on any man that preaches. To help the lost see their need for salvation and also to feed every person their spiritually. Normally, I won’t happen in every message but, the spiritual of God will help each person as the weeks go by..

( PROVERBS 1:32 )

FOR THE TURNING AWAY OF THE SIMPLE SHALL SLAY THEM, AND THE PROSPERITY OF FOOLS SHALL DESTROY THEM.

This verse is actually a continuation of what we seen in ( verse 22 ). Therefore, let’s look at what he is saying all the way through here. If you will notice he is using the word ( them ) as in more than one. Whether we like to admit this or not; most people are followers and not leaders. It was that way in Israel and, it’s the same way in Churches. If you are a true spiritual leader you will lead people to righteousness and Godly living. So, what if we consider the ( simple as being those that are followers. THen , how can we define the term ( prosperity of fools )?

Look at these verses and we’ll get back to this:

TURN YOU AT MY REPROOF: BEHOLD, I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT UNTO YOU, I WILL MAKE KNOWN MY WORDS UNTO YOU. ( 24 ) BECAUSE I HAVE CALLED, AND YOU REFUSED; I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HAND, AND NO MAN REGARED; ( 25 ) BUT YE HAVE SET AT NOUGHT ALL MY COUNSEL, AND WOULD NONE OF MY REPROOF: ( 26 ) I ALSO WILL LAUGH AT YOUR CALAMITY; I WILL MOCK WHEN YOUR FEAR COMETH; ( 27 ) WHEN YOUR FEAR COMES AS DESOLATION, AND YOUR DESTRUCTION COMETH AS A WHIRLWIND; WHEN DISTRESS AND ANGUISH COMETH UPON YOU. ( 28 ) THEN SHALL THEY CALL UPON ME, BUT I WILL NOT ANSWER; THEY SHALL SEEK ME EARLY, BUT SHALL NOT FIND ME: ( 29 )FOR THAT THEY HATED KNOWLEDGE, AND DID NOT CHOOSE THE FEAR OF THE LORD: ( 30 ) THEY WOULD NONE OF MY COUNSEL, THEY DESPISED ALL MY REPROOF. ( 31 ) THEREFORE SHALL THEY EAT OF THE FRUIT OF THEIR OWN WAY, AND BE FILLED WITH THEIR OWN DEVICES.

As we consider ( fools ); I can see how these verses could be speaking to those that lead, not necessarily to the simple. However, who is it that is so simple minded that they can’t see a spiritual need? Even the one that can be considered the simpliest can open his eyes. For instance; if you’re old enough to realize that day by day you are inching closer and closer to death however, your ( so called ) spiritual leaders are my doing anything to enhance your spiritual life; can’t you see a need to change your spiritual leaders? Look at yourself, what’s the spiritual difference in you now than a year ago? If you, being simple minded seen a new born babe, watched it for a whole year but seen no growth; could you assume something was wrong?

There is nothing wrong wit being simple minded or being a follower rather than a leader. However, even a follower becomes a better follower by watching his leader. Often followers become leaders. It has to be, it not; the whole world would collapes in time.

God is speaking here of spiritual growth or, the lack thereof. There is another verse we can consider here.

( Matthew 15:14 )

LET THEM ALONE: THEY BE BLIND LEADERS OF THE BLIND. AND IF THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND, BOTH SHALL FALL INTO THE DITCH.

If we compare what is said in ( Matthew ) to what we see in ( Proverbs ) it need to be an unnderstanding, using wisdom to whom you follow. The first part of the verses says to the ( simple ) ( Turn ye at my reproof, behold, I will I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you ).

A fool puts his trust in a blind man to lead him. The fool is blind as well. Helen Keller, a lady that was both deaf and blind once answered a question that was asked of her like this. THe question was ( what could be worst than being totally blind )? Helen Keller replied: ( having 20/20 vision and not being able to see )! Our religious world and most of our Churches are filled with people that meet this disscription. Physically, they have 20/20 vision but spiritually they are blindes by their own what they have developed as ( their own way ). Many people fall in love with pastors and Churches, even the word of God but, what good is it if you use it foolishly?

I oftern said that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a man, woman, Church or scripture, without the presence of God’s Holy Spirit, it’s just and empty vesslel or just Words. You can take a dictionary with every know word in your language in it, read every word in it but not understand the meaning of one word when you’re done. Basically speaking, this is what happens in any religion. The blind leaders desire to keep the people that follow them as blind as possible so they will keep following them.

Now, we’re to look at another verse of scripture:

( Matthew 7:21-23 )

Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven, ( 22 ) Many will say unto me that day, Lord, Lord. have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name doe many wonderful works? ( 23 ) And I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Let me ask you, don’t you think that these people have very good intentions? These people meant well, done many good things but, they were fools because they never made sure in their hearts about anything concerning Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. They ( simply ) follow man.

I’d like to share part of my testimony concerning this topic. I was raised in a Methodist Church. I was baptized ( sprinkled ) at the age of twelve and, became a member of that Church. As time moved foward and after a sinful life, feeling guilty of how I disgraced my family; I went to a revival in an Indepentant Baptist Church, during invitation, I went to the alter. A preacher came to me, asked if ai were saved? I replied, No. Would you like to be? Yes, I replied. Head showed me some scripture, He and I prayed the ( sinner’s prayer ) and we got up, he anounced to the Church I was saved.

I left that Church and, not one thing changed in my life, not one but, if you asked me if I were saved? I’d always reply yes, why? Because I had been through a motion of salvation. As time moved foward, I married, had two daughters and we began to attend the same Methodist Church I grew up in. A few years went by, I was asked to visit another Independant Baptist Church. At this Church, on a Sunday morning, under great conviction, I went to the alter. Not one person came to my side, I guess they thought I was saved. However, that morning Jesus Christ met me at that alter, when we, he and I communed, I got up from that alter, a born again believer.

I, and my family started to attent that Church. In just a few weeks as the preacher preached he began to speak about ( eternal security ). I had never heard that! Sitting on that pew, I thought, who is this man? He is just a man like any other, why should I believe anything he says. We left Church and I couldn’t get that off my mind.

My dad was taught that ( what would be, would be ) you didn’t have a choice. He attended a Primitive Baptist Church ) growing up. The ( Methodist ) taught you could fall from grace. Therefore, who is right? As I pondered with, fought with these things, I concluded, no man had that answer! I made up my mind that, it must be in the word of God and, I was bound to find the answer for myself and, that apart from any man.

At that time ( I became ) ( a Fool For Christ ). Although I’ve been taught by many men and women, I’ve learned to only depend on God’s Spirit to show me truth. I once told a pastor, at that time, my pastor; you can do anything you like, right or wrong. What you do, the choices you make, how you direct this Church will not change me at all. ( In my spiritual knowledge ) he was going to make a great mistake. However, I don’t have to answer for his mistakes, just mine!

( I believe ) that there are many Church members that have never truly experienced the new birth. They are just as I was for many years ( just a Church member ). That was the problem with the ( Nation Of Israel ) in the Old Testament. They were never able to grasp the concept that God desired to speak to them as individuals, lead them as individuals. Our Churches have that problem as well.

The whole concept that we are seeing on ( Proverbs ) is about people being foolish in being subjected to the leadership of fools. We see and used the word ( scorn ). There are many Churches where a man filled with God’s Spirit can stand up and speak absolute truth. However, If the pastor or leaders of that Church disagree with what is said the congregation will ( scorn ) the very person that told them truth. This is the very definition of a fool! Blind leading the blind!

I’d like to use a spiritual metaphor here:

( John 21:3 )

Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They said unto him,We also go with thess, They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

Most of the people in this verse were disciples of Christ. He had been crucified and risen. He had even presented himself to the Disciples being joined together. Thomas wasn’t there at that time. Now, notice this. in ( John 20:22 ) it says that Jesus breathe on them and said ( Receive ye the Holy Ghost ). Thomas not being part of that group. However, can we safely assume that Peter was there and the disciples that were with him that went fishing?

My point is that Jesus Christ just preached a message that was filled with the Holy Ghost. Peter is a supposingly; ( spiritual leader. But, what was he teaching and, look who followed him. I’ll also add this. is it possible that when the disciples shared what had happened to Thomas, they were not very convincing, they didn’t use the ( Holy Ghost ) that Jesus had breathed on them?

Here, I’ll also make another point. As you read the gospels you will notice that there are three basic apostles that Jesus Christ is often around; ( Peter, James and John ). In just my personal observation, I’d say that these three men were the most determined to stay as close to Jesus as possible. When men and women that are ( supposingly ) close to Jesus Christ but refuse to listen the the Holy Spirit within them, just look how many people are following them.

Peter, at the point that he said: ( I’m going fishing ) was being very foolish in his judgement. We can say that all that followed him were foolish as well but, can you see ( leaders and followers here )? Again! look at the picture. In reality, God the Father has always been the leader but, who follows? If we relate this to the Old Testament we can see that prophet that truly listened to God’s voice but, was rejected by the people. We can see this often but, I’ll show you this one verse:

( Matthew 23:31 )

Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

So, if we look at this as the way that the average people move, what do we see? We know by scripture that Jesus Christ had breathed on these people the Holy Spirit. We also know that each of them is still living in their flesh. If you remember back when Israel had just crossed the Rea Sea on dry land and God was leading them. they continued to say basically ( we want to go back to Egypt ) we’re starving. Wew see that came picture here! Peter is going back to what he use to do, and many are following him.

In ( John 21 ) Jesus Christ is seeking by example to get his leader, the man he is depending on not to act as a fool. to stand up and lead those that are following him. In ( John 20 ) the previous chapter, I just noticed something that we need to see. Look at these verses:

( John 20:22-23 )

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and saith unto them. Receive ye the Holy Ghost: ( 23 ) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them: and whose soever sin ye retain, they are retained.

There’s a couple of questions we need to answer here, First, wasn’t this the same Jesus that was standing by the seashore? Why didn’t they recognize him? Second, did they receive the Holy Ghost he breathed on them?

As we consider these two questions, are they not presented to leaders and followers as well? If we are not careful within our ownselves, we get so far from Jesus Christ we don’t even recognize him when he presents himself and, we become fools! We act as fools! We will also begin to ( scorn ) the very truth we say we desire!

When Peter and the gang had fished all night, they caught nothing. ( there nets were filled with nothing ). If the Holy Ghost is not present in our Churches then ( our Churches are filled with nothing ). We are a fool if we think anything else!

In all that I say, I seek to speak to individuals. Whether they be leaders or followers seeking to become leaders. Look at the last verse in:

( Proverbs 1 ) ( verse 33 )

But whosoever harkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

In ( John 21 ) all those that follow Peter to go fishing, not one of them recognized Jesus Christ; the one that had just a short while back spoken to them. Why? Because their minds and hearts were not ( stayed ) on Jesus Christ. As an individual, what or who are you following? Have you become so ingrained in your Church, your activities, your pastor that; that;s all you see? I’ll close this segment witha story we see in scripture.

( Matthew 2:12 )

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Herod was king, he met with his wise men sending them to find Jesus. However, when they seen Jesus, being warned of God in a dream: ( they left another way )! Can you see to whom ( wise men ) are obedient? What would have happened if they had listened to the one that sent them ( their leader )? Jesus Christ would have been killed! Do you see the spiritual picture here? As individuals we simply need to make sure we hear the right voice and, follow that voice. Fools listen to the wrong voice and, ( they never leave another way ) A walk with Christ will always cause you to ( walk another way )!

( Psalm 14:1 ) ( Psalm53:1 )

These two verses veritually say the same thing.

The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, There is none that doeth good.

The fool hath sid in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable inquity: there is none that doeth good.

As we look at these two verses; let’s consider something. Do you remember back in Proverbs we seen a verse that said ( God will laugh at your calamity )? Now, consider this verse:

( Matthew 12 : 34 )

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

We are speaking of fools! You say you believe in God with your mouth but, what is the basic thing that comes out of that same mouth? What is in your heart? God says he will laugh at your calamity when your trouble come! So, let’s say; all of of a sudden, you get deathly sick. You’re going to the doctor and they are doing all they can to help you, you ask people to pray for your. WEll, pray to whom? Look at yourself, do you want God to heal you so you can continue in this life ( Just AS You Are )? Would you mind explaining to me why he should do that?

( A wise man ) one that is living his life every day seeking to do God’s will understands that even he is not worthy of anything from God. If a wise man gets sick, all he will ask for is for God’s will to be done. A fool lives his life, no matter what he says, his life says there is no God. If your life doesn’t reflect Jesus Christ and, now you’re trying to get people to pray for you, what do you think God is saying to you? Do you think God might be laughing at your calamity, your time of trouble?

What often happens is that the foolishness of men seeks to bring God down to their level. We can read about that concept in:

( Romans 1: 21-25 )

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither they thankful: but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. ( 22 ) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, ( 23 ) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. ( 24 ) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: ( 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.

When we read this verse many people desire to take it to the most corrupt type of sin. It’s often hard for us to see our own foolishness. However, just how hard is it to ( to change the truth of God into a lie )? With this thought, let’s move to another chapter.

CHAPTER TWO

HOW DO WE CHANGE THE TRUTH OF GOD TO A LIE?

Many people will look at this verses: ( Romans 121-25 ) and allow their minds to go straight to the homosexual aspect of what he is saying here. I agree; what we read has a lot to do with that lifestyle but, that’s not all he’s saying. Have you ever considered the term ( homosexual Church ) or, can we coin that phrase? As a mature adult that’s been around for now seventy years; I’ve noticed something that I don’t think that many have related the two things together. That is how strongly the ( coming out of the closet ) of homosexuals relates to the weakening of the Spirit of God in our Churches.

And, not only that! almost every sexual sin that is known to man is more rampant as the Church grows weaker in the moving of God’s Spirit in our Churches. Have you noticed how young people now live together out of wedlock, seemingly thinking very little of it. Not only that, there are many people that actually have children and never even consider marriage. Can you see how people become ( vain in their imaginations )? People become very foolish when they never even consider how God sees their actions and, that’s what he is saying.

If a couple goes to a pastor of some Churches; seeking someone to marry them, that pastor desires to counsel them before hand. If they are living together, he tells them they must stop for a certain length of time before he will do the ceremony. There are even Churches today that will marry homosexual couples, never considering how God sees their actions.

What I desire for you to see is the foolishness of the actions apart from the very Spirit of God. They have began to worship the ( creature more that the creator ). I realize that all the things I mentioned and, we could mention more but, what is the greatest sin that we never consider? When we look at the ( sexual sins ) such a homosexual lifestyle, fornication, adultery and even sexual sins beyond our imagination; the problem is that they have no real desire for ( the fruit ) it was designed to bring about.

The term ( homosexual Church ) actually has that same mindset even if it’s not readily recognized. Just like the physically sins we commit in our flesh is foolishness to God the Father, seeking to have Church without the presence of the Holy Spirit is also one of the most foolish things that could ever happen in the mind of God. Most people that are grown know exactly what it takes to bring about children in this world. The homosexual is the fartherest lifestyle from that possibility. The other sexual sins do things necessary for preventing child birth from happening.

In the ( homosexual Church ) the same thing happens. Personally ( I believe ) that the average member doesn’t even realize actually whay it takes to bring about ( God given ) new spiritual birth. In a lot of cases; even the pastor has no idea what is missing, if the Holy Spirit is missing. However, you can count on this, Satan knows it and, those that are working on his behalf; they know exactly what they are doing!

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( JUNE 20, 2021 )

( HEBREWS 6: 4-6 )

FOR IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO WERE ONCE ENLIGHTENED, AND HAVE TASTED OF THE HEAVENLY GIFT, AND WERE MADE PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST, ( 5 ) AND HAVE TASTED THE GOOD WORD OF GOD, AND THE POWERS OF THE WORLD TO COME, ( 6 ) IF THEY SHALL FALL AWAY, TO RENEW THEM AGAIN UNTO REPENTANCE; SEEING THEY CRUCIFY TO TEMSELVES THE SON OF AFRESH, AND PUT HIM TO AN OPEN SHAME.

Just before we get into these verses I feel a need to talk about ( Verses 3 ) just a little before we move on. ( and this we will do, if God permit ). The Apostle Paul was also a ( hebrew believer ). He had a great burden for his people. He understood the will of God for that nation and, also for the Gentile world. When he makes the statement ( if God permits ) he speaking of seeing as many Jews as possible come to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior.

When we look at this verse of scripture:

( 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.

I realize that; in this verse it’s speaking of worshipping basically Satan however, I want you to see that, in the mind and heart of God, Jesus Christ was slain before he formed the world. The Apostle Paul understood, that God’s plan had place ( Israel as a Nation ) in a certain place and ( the Gentile or whosoever will ) being ( the Church ) the bride of Christ also in a certain place in time. Another way to look at it is to say; we that live today and, the believers in the Apostle Paul’s day are simply watching that plan unfold. They being, more at the beginning to this age and, we, more toward the end of the same age.

When you consider that the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the ( born again Believers ) in Christ but, his calling was not to them as a nation. He was sent, by God to the Gentiles,. ( Ephesians 3 ) and ( Acts 13:46 ). However, even within this truth, the Apostle Paul was desirious for as many Jews to be born again as possible.

Although, he wrote this letter to his people; the other Apostles and, other men were preaching the gospel to the Jews. I’ll seek to use an example here. I live in one little place in the United States of America. However, I have a heartfelt desire for the people in other nations, such as Africa to be save. I’m possible never going to preach to the people in Africa however, ( if God permits ) someone else will, and this letter is going out to those people.

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the ( Hebrew believers ). He was doing all he could to bring about salvation the a people he had a true burden for although, he had to leave the preaching the gospel ( as God permitted it ).

As we get into ( verse 4 ) the Apostle Paul is seeking to teach his brethren ( the Hebrew believers ) the basic difference in what they had been use to and, how the Holy Spirit within them worked. If we, as believers will look back, we can see the very same thing he is pointing out here. There’s another verse that the Apostle Paul wrote that actually makes his point here:

( 2 Corinthians 7:10 )

For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

I’m going to try and use my own personal testimony to make the point the Apostle Paul is making. When I was about twelve years old, we went to a Methodist Church close to our house. At that time they had revivals. One night at a revival meeting, after the preacher had preached the message, I felt great conviction as he had the alter call. I knew without a doubt; God was dealing with me as a sinner. However, I left that Church, that night just like I went in.

I’m am now seventy years old, I still remember that night. Now, let’s say that I would have died some time before I asked Christ to save me. Let’s say I stood before him as my judge. It would be ( impossible ) for me to tell him that I didn’t feel his convicting power. I had been ( enlightened ) I had ( tasted the heavenly gift ) I had been a ( partaker of the Holy Ghost ) I had ( tasted the good word of God ) and ( to powers to come ). What did I do? I ( crucified the Son of God afresh ) and ( put him to open shame ).

In ( verse 6 ) it says this: If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance ). All it saying is that I cannot go back and deny that the Holy Ghost did his job. The word ( repent ) means to turn away. I cannot tuen away from that fact no matter how long I live.

Now, let’s move foward a few years. As I grew as a young man, I committed grievious sins. Sins that made me feel as though I had shamed my families name. Once again, I went to a revival, this time in a Baptist Church. Once again, I heard a message from God’s man. At the invitation, this time I went to the alter. A preacher came to my side and asked me if I had been saved, I said ( no ). He then asked me if I would like to be? I replied ( yes ). He took his Bible and showed me some scripture in ( Romans ) I now know that is called the ( Roman’s Road ). After he read a few verses; he asked me if I believed what it said? I sais ( yes ). He then lead me through the sinner’s prayer and I prayed that prayer.

When we stood up. he announced to that Church that I had just been saved. Just as quickly as I could, I left that Church. To the best of my knowledge I didn’t go to another Church, including that one until 1973. However, if you would have asked me if I were saved, I would reply; ( yes ) Why? Because I had been to an alter and made a profession of faith. I still cursed, stole, lied, you name it, I probably done it. Another way of putting it; nothing changed in my life.

You see, I was ( worldly sorry ) for my actions. Many times people desire for their families, friends and so on to look at them another way. They will say they are sorry for the way they acted and, in most cases people will forget the past and move on. Worldly sorrow doesn’t mean anything pertaining to God the Father. Just because men forgive you doesn’t mean that God is pleased with what you did.

I’d like to show you a couple of verse of scripture and we’ll move on: First

( Romans 5:1 )

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Second: ( Philippians 4:7 )

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Just by way of teaching; what is the difference in the term ( Jesus Christ ) and ( Christ Jesus ) in these two verses? We often change scripture and think little of it when; if we will study we might find that those little things matter. I’ll try and show you what I mean. In ( Romans ) we can say that a person just ask Christ to save them. Once we are born again, God the Father is satisfied with us being covered by the blood of Christ. The Holy Spirit is living within is, therefore we have ( peace with God ). He is completely satisfied with our salvation. You might still be anxious, unsettled even doubting your salvation at that time. You’re just a babe in Christ but, God is completely satisfied. Another way of saying it; I don’t see any change in your fleah but, Christ is within you. To use my name we could say ( Marshall Christ ).

In ( Philippians ) he uses to term ( Christ Jesus ). He’s speaking of having the very ( peace of God ). In other words, you are just as satisfied with your salvation as God the Father is. You have grown spiritually to that place in your spiritual walk with Christ. Now, not only is Christ in you but, people all around you can see the completely changed individual. We can say that you have become Christ. We can change the term to ( Christ Marshall ).

When Jesus was young he was just Jesus, we can say but, as he grew every person around him began to see God in him, God in the fleshly body of Jesus.

Now, as time moved foward, I finally started to go to Church again in 1973. We went to a Methodist Church. My daughters, my wife and I were even members. With that being said, nothing had changed in my life other than the fact that I now went to Church.

In late summer, 1975 I started to visit another Church on Sunday nights. I’m telling you that the power of God was so strong in that Church that a sinner was very uncomfortable just being there. We went a few Sunday nights and then we decided to go on Sunday morning. In November, that year on a Sunday morning, under great conviction, I went to the alter. Not one person came to my side to speak to me, no preacher, no deacon and no Church member. However, Jesus Christ met me at that alter. On that Sunday morning, I became ( Godly Sorry ) for who and what I was. The Holy Spirit of God moved into my heart and, I was now ( born again ). At that moment, I had ( peace with God ) however, you understand it took a while for me to spiritually receive the ( peace of God ). that surpasses all understanding.

As we get back to ( Hebrews 6: 4-6 ) and, understand that the Jews were use to doing the yearly sacrifice year after year. That had to learn what it meant to actually have the Holy Spirit within them. The Apostle Paul, assuming they all were born again was simply showing them that once they had been enlightened and, understood that, they could not go back to that place again. Can you see that he might have been concerned that many of them were just like I was, they had ( worldly sorrow ) but not ( Godly sorrow ).

Have you ever put something in your mouth, tasted it and then spit it out? That means that you had tasted it, you were enlightened to how it tasted, undertood you didn’t like it and, spit it out. That is a physical picture of what many people, just like me; do spiritually with the Holy Spirit. We can be baptized, faithful to Church, make many people think we are doing good but, the Holy Spirit is not within us, we have never been born again. However, if you have felt that conviction that comes from the preaching of God’s word, felt that drawing power of the Holy Ghost then, you can never again say to a righteous God that you didn’t feel that drawing.

I thank God that he is very longsuffering toward all of us. He allows his Spirit to draw conviction on our hearts more that once. In our ignorance we often reject that Spirit for any number of reasons but if that conviction moves, he is still willing to save us to the uttermost.

I personally believe this; God uses the preaching of his word to draw conviction on the hearts of those that hear it. That drawing power can take place multiple times in the course of a life. That same conviction is present when we have sin in our lives and God’s is seeking to cause us to turn from that sin as believers. However, in either case if we continue to reject that call, that conviction, one day; that same word will harden our hearts and we will never feel conviction again or, at least we won’t pay any attention to it when it happens. Actually, the next two verses explains what I am saying.

We all must be born again to go to live with our Lord. Conviction is a very valuable commodity in our spiritual lives. We must be willing to hear and yield to his spirit when he is drawing; understanding that as long as we live, we will never reach perfection. We must be willing to slowly die to ourselves and be all he desires for us to be.

Next week we’ll look at ( Hebrews 6: verses 7-9 ). Until then, May God bless each of you and grant you the peace of God that surpasses all understanding!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( JUNE 13, 2021 )

( HEBREWS 6: 2 )

OF THE DOCTRINE OF LAYING ON OF HANDS, AND OF RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, AND OF ETERNAL JUDGMENT.

I suppose we could spend a little time on the thought here ( the resurrection of the dead ). We haven’y actually said anything about that. So, I’ll say this as a way to create thought and to cause you to study to prove me wrong. As you already know I teach that ( the book of Acts ) is a transition period from the ( Age of Law ) to the ( Age of Grace ). In the last part of the ( Age of Law ) and the first part of the ( Age of Grace ) we see the ( Doctrine of Christ ).

If I were to create a metaphor about what we see here; this is what I’d say. You, as an individual became ( a living soul ) at the very moment of conception. Your mother’s body nourished you for the first nine months of you being. Once you were actually born she also feed you with food from here body ( milk ) and, you were slowly ( transitioned ) to a totally different diet which also caused you to grow and mature.

We can see people that were raised from the dead all through the Old Testament and, until the end of the ( Book of Acts ). I challenge you to show me any person that was raised from the dead after the ( Book of Acts ), that is in any of the epistles. As a matter of fact; we now are supposed to build ( Church Doctrine ) designed according to the epistles of the Apostle Paul. I also continue to contend as the Bible teaches in:

( Ephesians 3: 1-4 )

For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, ( 2 ) If ye have heard os the dispensation of the grace of God ( WHICH IS GIVE TO ME TO YOU-WARD:) ( 3 ) How that by revelation the ( MADE KNOWN UNTO ME ) THE MYSTERY, ( AS I WROTE AFORE IN FEW WORDS, ( 4 ) Whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).

Today, there are complete Church doctrines built falsely because of the lack of understanding these verses we see here. Within this concept and, looking at all things said ( Hebrews 6:1-2 ) the most outstanding in my opinion is the fear of ( eternal judgement ). I’m going to address this today however, I’d like to make a spiritual point before we get to that.

When we consider the term ( resurrection from the dead ) what are we saying? We know that Jesus Christ and his Apostles had actual power to raise people from the dead. Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the grave, we can see events where the Apostle Paul raised a lad from death in ( Acts 20:9-12 ) when he fell asleep sitting in a window. However, like I said, we never see any of this in the epistles. The only other place in the New Testament I see a person raised from the dead is in (Revelation 13:14 ). This is referring to ( the beast ) the great imitator of Jesus Christ.

Over my years as a born again believer I came to realize a point that I believe needs to be made here. I’d also like to say that ( I believe ) God the Father has the power to do anything he chooses to do, no exceptions. He stepped out on nothing and spoke the world into existence. However, that doesn’t mean that God is going to move in every way we think he should move today does it. We live in a time of faith but, faith in what? ( I ) must understand what we can expect from God in the ( dispenstaion ) to which we live. Look at this verse:

( Acts 5:16 )

There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

( Luke 6:18 )

And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.

Do you see the same picture in ( Luke ) or the gospels and ( Acts )? Notice ( they were all ) ? Can you show me where we see ( faith ) there. If these people had faith it was in a man and, ( his God given ability ) My point is that it was not their ( great faith ) that did any thing. It was within the ability that was given by God to men.

Whether it’s ( healing ) or ( raising the dead ) it was past of the ( Doctrine of Christ ) to which the Apostle Paul is saying ( Leaving ), as in ( past tence ). My faith is spiritual today. I’ll show you this verse and how faith relates to me and we well move on.

( Romans 8:28 )

Foe we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

I’ve never been deathly sick. I’ve always enjoyed pretty good health. I will say ( I Love God ) and it’s my desire to be ( called according to his purpose ) and not my own. If God chooses to use a slow method of death to take me out of this world then, I desire for my faith in him to shine! above all! I want my exit from this world to be ( according to his purpose ) no matter how tough it is on me. The only way that I choose to be healed of any sickness is if it’s God’s will for me to be healed. We could talk about this one thing all day. However, ( I believe ) God gives us wisdom and spiritual insight to walk through this world. If I have a tooth ache, I go to the Dentist, if I’m sick, I go to the doctor and, I take medicine. If I see a tree falling, I get out of the way. That’s common sense!

Now, back to what I said I’ve noticed. This has to do with ( eternal Judgement ). The people that can’t put ( raising from the dead ) ( healing ) ( laying on of hands ) ( dead works ) and so on behind them will almost always be concerned about ( eternal judgement ). What I mean by that is; those people believe you can fall from grace as they call it. ( They fear ) eternal judgement.They never get to the place that they can put their ( dead works ) behind them.

We need to ralk about this. Do you remember, in a former lesson I said that the ( Jewish people ) each year beought their sacrifices to be offered, they were excepted and, they went back to doing just as they always had, lived the same way as they did the year before? That being the case, just how much did they appreciate the forgiveness they just received?

That lamb was just a picture of ( the sacrifice to come ) being ( Jesus Christ ). He became the perfect lamb of sacrifice. I think I’ve also said this. When these people offered their lambs to the priest; he didn’t look at the person that was offering,, the priest was concerned about the lamb meeting all the qualifications for the sacrifice. Jesus Christ became that ( perfect sacrifice for me ). I want you to know ( I truly appreciate him ). I seek to allow him to live through my life. I willing desire to give up all I want and allow him to direct my life.

One day when I stand before him, I’ll be a sinner, I realize that however, Im not depending on my ability to meet any standards, I totally ( placing my faith ) on his ability to meet every standard. I don’t have to worry about ( etenal judgement ) becauce ( by faith ) I know I can trust him. God the Father, in that sense, will be looking at the perfect sacrifice, not me as I am judged. Actually my judgement for sin has already taken place in his death, burial and resurrection, by faith I trusted that.

When people are truly born again ( eternal judgement ) is past tense! Is sin in our lives ( past tense )? No, it’s not! Every born again believer will battle the ( practice of sin ) until we die. Basically, we are dying to sin daily, we are seeking to do all to please him, not because we have to but rather because we choose to. Often when people tell me that they believe that a person can fall from grace or, lose their salvation, I asked them; have you ever lost your salvation? Almost every time the answer is ( No ), they always see someone else that has; in their opinion.

The greatest reason for this is they look at a physical act and, consider that salvation. They watch someone go to an alter, make a profession of faith, get baptized and join Church. None of that is salvation. I often tell people, I’m not a judge ). I can’t look at you and tell that you are lost. If I look at you and ( I say ) you are saved, am I not ( judging you ) to be saved when I can’t see your heart? God’s Spirit gives us discernment, I realize that but, we can also be wrong. We can’t completely depend on our ability to decide who is lost and who is saved. I like this verse of scripture:

( Romans 8:16 )

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

By faith the Holy Spirit assures us as believers that we are God’s children. I can say that ( I know ) I’m saved. At the very same time our spirit, that Holy Spirit within is can discern often when another person is one of his children or, not. The point is that; while I can say of a certianty that the Holy Spirit lives in me, just as you can say that about your own self if he lives with in you but, we can be a judge for certainty of anyone else, lost or saved.

You must understand, I didn’t get this assurance the day I was born again. I had to spiritually grow and understand. I often say I’m the product of many spiritual teachers but, I myself had to study to gain that assurance. My knowledge and spiritual groweth might help you to gain that assurance but, that is a blessing that is completely between you and the Holy Spirit as you grow.

As you read this, do you fear eternal judgement? Have you been born again? My greatest burden in this life is one that I’ll have to say that I can’t know for certain the salvation of others. What I mean by that is that ( I believe ) there are many people that are members of Churches that have never been born again. While I’m not a judge of any man, that doesn’t mean to I am not concerned. ( I believe ) that our Churches today far too often leave the perception that ( saying you believe in Christ ) ( getting baptized ) and ( joining Church ) is salvation. Most Churches never teach the concept of what it means to be born again. This leaves people to stay in spiritual darkness about what it truly means to be born again. Their lifestyles are never challenged and, their salvation is never questioned.

The Apostle Paul is actually doing a great job of preaching here in ( Hebrews ). He’s challenging these people to ( leave ) ( move foward ). That, not in a physical sense but, spiritually to an understanding of spiritual new birth. ( I believe ) that a pastor should preach every message to the place he causes every person to question their salvation every Sunday or every time he preaches. When we, as individuals reach that spiritual point that our salvation can’t be brought into question; then we are truly growing to the spiritual level we shoud be. If we still fear ( eternal judgement ) it’s not that we aren’t saved but that we haven’t reach the spiritual level we need to that we understand what being born again is all about.

Only you can decide whether you are born again or not! However, I’ll do my best to make you doubt that you are saved until you grow to the place that you have the assurance from within that the Holy Spirit lives within you!

I’ll close with this: ( I’m so sure of my salvation that I’ll swing out over hell on a rotton grape vine and spit in the Devil’s eye. He cannot touch my salvation! He can tempt me, sometimes cause me to fall but, he can’t touch my salvation.

This is the place that I desire for you to reach as a born again believer. This verse in closing:

( 2 Peter 1: 10 )

Wherefore the rather, brethren, giving diligence to make you calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

( verse 12 )

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remeberance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

You should read starting in ( verse 1 ) and notice,

( Verse 9 )

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar of, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Just as spiritual teachers before taught me to grow spiritually, I now have that responsibility to you. However, only you can allow God’s Spirit to teach you and move past ( eternal judgement )!

Until next week,

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( JUNE 6. 2021 )

( HEBREWS 6:1-3 )

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

I realize we have spent a lot of time on these three verses and, we aren’t done yet. However, It’s very important that we understand the transition that happened to the people that lived during the time of Christ and the next few years after his death, burial and resurrection.

There are many people that don’t like the word ( dispensation ) and simply refuse to see the ( landmark changes ) that have occurred since the days of Adam and Eve. Without seeing those things it is impossible to ( go on unto perfection ). The Apostle Paul is trying to get the Hebrew believers to see one of those ( transitional changes ) here in these verses.

Our lives are full of ( things that pass ) and can never be seen again. My wife and I often speak of our parents and our childhood. We, to some degree yearn for those days however, the only way we can go back to those times is simply in our minds. For instance, both of my pearents and hers have passed. We live in the very house I grew up in. I can sit and think, even see things in this house that use to be but, I can’t go back and relive those experiences in any way.

Each of these things we speak about in these verses, while they did still exist in the book of ( Acts ) as the Church began to grow slowly disappeared in time. Just like any man or woman seeking to cling to their childhood, it can’t be done, We must grow up and take on the responsibilities of maturity as men an women.

In this lesson we are looking into ( laying on of hands ). We can find many places in the gospels , as Jesus walked this earth that he laid his hands on people and something changed. One such place is in :

( Mark 8:23 )

And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

You can read the whole account. I simply show that verse to show the act of ( laying on of hands ) that is part of the ( Doctrine of Christ ). Jesus Christ also gave his apostles this same power. They each had virtually the same powers that he had and, they used them during their complete lives. As I mention that, let’s look at this verse:

( Luke 10:19-20 )

Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. ( 20 ) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

Although we read this verse; we see very few times that the apostles used these powers in the gospels. We also see here in Luke that seventy people had special powers, that’s to whom Jesus is speaking in these verses. The point I’m making is that this act was part of the ( Doctrine of Christ ). The complete ( Doctrine of Christ ) was all about helping the ( Nation of Israel ) see and understand that he was who he claimed he was.

I’ve often stated this; even after the resurrection of Christ, the acts we see in the first few chapters of ( Acts ) it was still to the ( Jew first ). Personally, I believe that even at that ( IF ) the Nation of Israel as a whole would have excepted Christ, he would have set up his KIngdom there at that time. I also realize that God, in his foreknowledge knew that it wouldn’t happen. Jesus Christ didn’t come to this world to be their King at that time. He came to be the Savior of this world.

( 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. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.

We know that God had blinded their eyes as a Nation. However, he still desired for them to believe on his name. Even after Jesus had called the Apostle Paul, it was still that he preached unto the Jew first. All through the book of Acts we see that ( as long as the Apostles lived ) they had special powers. However, look at what the Apostle Paul said unto them:

( Acts 13:46 )

Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, it was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

There’s a book that could be written on that one verse! I just might do that one day! I want you to know that from the creation of the Nation of Israel, all the way up to this verse, that Nation had opportunity after opportunity to simply seek God’s will, but they would never change, they lived in ( unbelief ). Again, we must consider all that is said in that one word! That word is not saying they didn’t believe in God, it’s saying they never learned to trust him.

It’s so much to teach! The laying on of hands in the early days of the Church as the end of ( the Doctrine of Christ ) had to do with helping individual Jews to place their faith in Jesus Christ and his shed blood. That is, as many as possible in the early days of the Church. It’s a lot I’d like to say here but, maybe in a later lesson.

I’d like to show you something here:

( Acts 3:6 )

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

In that verse if you will read the whole account, we never see anything about the ( Laying on of Hands ) do we? We do see that Peter took him by the hand, he did touch him. But, ( laying on of Hands ) is not mentioned there. The point is their gifts were use in many different ways. In most cases in Acts that gift was used that people might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. However, we can see times when ( laying on of hands ) weren’t used. Look at:

( Acts 19: 1-6 )

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, ( 2 ) He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. ( 3 ) And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, unto John’s baptism. ( 4 ) Then sais Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus ( 5 ) When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. ( 6 ) And when Paul had laid his hands opon them. the Holy Ghost came upon them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

We can also see both baptisms there. the former and the baptism we receive now. However, the baptism didn’t change a thing. ( the power of the Apostle did ). He laid his hands on them. When he laid his hand on them, they spoke in tongues and prophesied. This was just a mere sign that they had received the Holy Ghost. The Jews ( sought a sign ). It appears, just by reading ( Acts 18 ) that these people were Jews. They had just never heard of the Holy Ghost.

The Apostle Paul is telling the people, the Hebrew believers that they need to forget this aspect of their lives because it’s not a part of the Church any more. It had its place but now the Doctrine of Christ had been transformed into the Doctrine of the Church, a completely different way of walking in Christ.

I’d like to share something with you. When I was ordained into the gospel ministry a group of men layed their hands on me and prayed. Just before they brought me out before my congregation to do that ordaination, one of the men in that group asked me this question. He said, sir, if we decide not to ordain you, what are you going to do? I answered, well, I was preaching before you came, expounding God’s word, leading people to Christ. If you men decide not to ordain me, I’ll just keep doing what I do.

Although those men laid their hands on me and prayed, it meant nothing. They could have stood back ten feet from me and prayed and, accomplished the very same thing. I, as a member of the body of Christ have matured and moved far beyond the ( Laying on of Hands ) to being about God’s will in a person’s life. The Holy Spirit is what moves on any person to do the needed changes in every life and, that apart from anything any man or woman might think they have the power to do.

Our Churches today truly needs a special gift from God. That gift is wrapped up in our willingness to submit to the power of the Holy Ghost that now lives within the heart of every born again believer. When we learn to simply let him speak through our lips of clay, get our flesh and our will out of his way then, salvation can come to multitudes of people. As long as we stand in his way, as long as we think we can do anything, we are simply being deceived by our very own pride.

After the ( laying on of hands ) there are two more things mentioned. ( resurrection from the dead ) and ( eternal judgment ). Then we go to ( verse three ) And this we will do, if God permit.

Is it possible for us to grow up spiritually today? God will permit that, that is, if we are willing to turn from ourselves and do so. Do you remember the verse of scripture that says we must ( hate ) our father, mother, brothers and sisters? This can also mean forsaking the members of the Church you belong to. Can you be willing to stand up and proclaim truth even if every person disagrees with what you teach? Look at this verse:

( Titus 1:9 )

Holding fast the faithful word as it hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Do you realize that there cannot be but one truth? We’ll get into this next week but, just considering ( eternal judgement ) as a believer, are you still worried about dying and going to hell, facing eternal judgement? Just as a starter, the Hebrew children were still looking at having to bring a sacrifice each year for their sins. They couldn’t relate to Jesus being their perfect sacrifice. We have people today that still worry about ( if they sin ) then they are lost again! Same picture!

We’ll continue next week.

Marahall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( MAY 30, 2021 )

( HEBREWS 6:1-3 )

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

We’ve been looking into these verses now for a few weeks to try and show the difference in the way that the Hebrew people viewed Jesus Christ while he walked with them and the transition that took place on the ( day of Pentecost ). We have discussed the ( repentance from dead works ) and are in ther process of trying to define the ( doctrine of Christ ) within all the things we see in these verses. We also considered ( faith toward God ) and the difference in the way we view that faith today verses how they did at that time.

As we continue; we will be seeing how all the things mentioned here were part of the doctrine of Christ and, that the doctrine we live by today as members of his body are not the same as it was when he walked on this earth. This is what the Apostle Paul is teaching his brothers and sisters in the flesh. ( the Hebrew children ).

Today, I’d like to look into what he means by the ( Doctrine of Baptism ). We have already said a few things about this however, I truly feel impressed to look into it in a more revealing way that we might see how it ties to the doctrines he speaks of. The word ( doctrine ) means or is a set of beliefs by a person or group of people. It’s what they teach or stand on. Therefore, today when we are baptized; we are establishing a standard that we believe that Jesus Christ lived, was crucified, died and rose again for our sins. We are saying in the picture of baptism that we are willing to die to ourselves and allow him to direct our lives and live through our bodies.

What I believe; is my doctrine. Most people, when they are baptized actually have no idea what they are being baptized into. I was the very same way when I was baptized. What I mean by that is that I knew very little about all that can be said about Jesus Christ and, the differences in all the doctrines we can see in scripture. I don’t look at that a being a bad thing. It’s simply a learning process! If we bring it down to a physical level, it would be like saying the day you were born, you knew very little about what you were being born into. We could say that you built ( your doctrine ) as you grew and matured.

As I make that statement; can you see how that, as you grew, one day being born again, you had to change the doctrine you lived by? Sometimes completely? This is to a very overwhelming degree what happened to the Hebrew Children, those that believed on the ( Day of Pentecost ). Let’s make an argument here. On the day Of Pentecost when the one hundred and twenty believers were ( filled ) with the Holy Ghost. How much did they understand about that ( baptism )? The day that you asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior, receiving that same Spirit, how much did you understand about that baptism? Look at this verse:

( Matthew 3:11 )

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Here, John the Baptist is making a distinction between his baptism and the baptism of Jesus Christ. Therefore, when John the Baptist was baptizing, what was the ( Doctrine of Baptism )? Let’s argue that all one hundred and twenty believers on the ( Day of Pentecost ) had been baptized by John the Baptist. When they were baptized they were simply standing on the doctrine that they believed that Jesus Christ was to coming Messiah. They believed the Jesus Christ was the rightful King of the Jews. As they went down into the water, let’s say in the river of Jordon, all the people that stood and watched, that heard from that day foward knew that they ( believed in ) the fact that ( Jesus Christ ) was who he said he was.

The Hebrew children when they were baptized were exactly like we are the day we get baptized. There is absolutely no change in any of us spiritually, it’s just an outward picture of an inward change. Actually, when we were baptized an actual change had ocurred within our hearts, the Holy Spirit had moved in. However, that didn’t happen when the Baptism of John took place, that is what he is saying.

When we consider the ( Doctrine of Baptism ) and, the Apostle Paul teaching ( not laying again ) of that doctrine, just how deep does that go? Listen to this phrase:

( REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND ).

( Matthew 3:2 )

What would be the difference in the ( Kingdom of Heaven ) and ( the Kingdom of God )? Within the understanding of those two phrases is hidden the whole concept of what the Apostle Paul is teaching in ( Hebrews 6 ) as concerning the ( Doctrine of Baptism ). Consider this: the Hebrew children were looking for the return of Jesus Christ in bodily form right after the ( Day of Pentecost ). Didn’t he actually return on the ( Day Of Pentecost )? You see, he ( Baptized each of them that day with ( the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and with fire ). From that moment on, ever time any person believed, that same spirit moved into their hearts.

When Jesus Christ walked upon this earth in a body of flesh, God’s Spirit ( the Holy Ghost ) lived within his body. He was ( God in Flesh ). When that self-same spirit lives within each of us, isn’t the ( Kingdom of God ) within us? The ( Kingdom of God ) is where God lives. The baptism of John the Baptist didn’t create that situation. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost did! This is the concept that the Jews struggled with.

I want to take you to a different place in scripture now.

( Acts 8:12 )

BUT WHEN THEY BELIEVED PHILIP PREACHING THE THINGS CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, THEY WERE BAPTIZED, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.

Do you realize that this is the first mention of baptism as of in water since the ( Day of Pentecost )? However, what had just happened? We must read the next few verses to realize the whole situation.

( Acts 8:14-17 )

NOW WHEN THE APOSTLES WHICH WERE AT JERUSALEM HEARD THAT SAMARIA HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD, THEY SENT UNTO PETER AND JOHN: ( 15 ) WHO, WHEN THEY WERE COME DOWN, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: ( 16 ) ( FOR AS YET HE WAS FALLEN UPON NONE OF THEM: ONLY THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. ) ( 17 ) THEN LAID THEY THEIR HANDS ON THEM, AND THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST.

There’s actually a lot of things happening here. I feel that I must teach through them all. I missed ( verse 13 ) on purpose because in this study I’m more interssted in the teaching of baptism than I am teaching about Simon. The question we need to ask is this. When Philip here preached Jesus to these people at Samaria, why didn’t they automatically receive the Holy Ghost? Why did Peter and John have to come down and lay hands on them?

If you remember, I said that just because a person received the Holy Spirit did’t mean they understood all things concerning that Spirit. When Philip was preaching to these people he was still preaching the ( Baptism of John the Baptist ). ( Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand ). He was baptizing them into that belief; that Jesus was the coming Messiah.

Now. let’s take this a step farther. Look at this verse:

( Matthew 16:18-19 )

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

Also remember this:

( Acts 1:8 )

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

We see in this verse that Jerusalem was first. We can also find this in other place in the gospels. What happened was that Jesus Christ was preached to the Jews first. On the ( Day of Pentecost ) the Apostle Peter used the first key to unlock to door of salvation to the Jews. In ( Acts 8 ) he used the second key to unlock the door of salvation unto Samaria. It took the Apostle Peter to unlock the truth, revealing the Holy Ghost to those that believed.. Up until this time it was only to the Jews, now we see that the gospel is spreading to Samaria, the second mentioned in ( Acts 1:8 ). We’ll see those keys used once more in ( Acts 10:34-48 ). As far as I know this is the only three times these keys were used. To the Jew first, to Samaria and then to the Gentiles.

On more thing here and I’ll close this lesson. If you will notice Philip here in ( Acts 8 ); we see where thse people are baptized. Look on down to ( Acts 8: 26-37 ) you will see where Philip was led by to Spirit to join a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch and he preached unto him. In verses ( 36-37 ) The eunuch want to know what hindered him from being baptized. Philip told him if he believed he could be baptized. They stopped the chariot at water and philip baptized him. This is the first time that any person was baptized the same way we are baptized today. The difference, we don’t see any mention of the Holy Spirit, it’s all about what is in a man’s heart and his willingness to be transformed by that Spirit.

Next week we’ll continue more about the ( LAYING ON OF HANDS ) and how it all related to the ministry of the Apostle Peter. My prayer is that you can see the difference in what is being said about the ( belief and baptisms ), the Jews,Samaria and so on. I’m the first to admit that it takes God’s Spirit within the believer to convince each believer of truth. In other words, he is your teacher, I’m only a vessel for his use!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( MAY 23, 2021 )]

( HEBREWS 6:1-3 )

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

I sought to show in the last two lessons that the term ( repentance from dead works ) is having to continue to confess the same sin time after time. When we, as born again believers have God’s Spirit within our hearts he helps us to daily, weekly monthly and yearly turn from ourdelves to a ( vessel fit for the Master’s use ).

Last week we looked at this: ( Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ ), ( let us go on unto perfection ). I shared with you how that Jesus Christ lived in the time of the law. His death on the Cross ended that period of time. I’d like to show you something that many never consider.

Let’s use Abraham and the thief on the cross as examples. Where did they both go when they died and, why? Abraham lived 430 years before the law was given. Yet he believed. The thief on the cross lived at the same time Jesus did. ( Luke 23:43 ) We can also mention Lazarus in ( Luke 16:19-31 ). First, Jesus told the thief this: ( today thou shalt be with me in paradise ). We see in ( Luke 16 ) that Abraham and Lazarus was already there.

I say all this to make the point that something changed when Jesus died on the cross. He was the perfect lamb that was sacrificed by God the Father. Every person that believed before the crucifixion went to a place called paradise until the perfect sacrifice was made. I argue that the thief on the cross stayed in paradise a shorter time than any other person.

If we look in:

( Matthew 27:51-53 )

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

We know that God didn’t have to do this however, he wanted to show the change to the people in Israel. As we look at these verses in ( Hebrews 6 ); all that we see is concerning the nation of Israel. If we take it a step farther. notice this:

( Acts 1:8 )

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

When I seek to teach this, I always make the point that the four gospels reveal Jesus Christ in four different lights. ( Matthew ) reveals Jesus as the King of the Jews. ( Mark ) reveals Jesus as the servant to man. ( Luke ) reveals Jesus as the Son of Man and ( John ) reveals Jesus as the Son of God.

That; in itself can be a whole different study but, the fact is that Jesus offered himself the the Nation of Israel first. In the verses we are studying, when the Apostle Paul says ( leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ ). He then list the things that are part of that doctrine. The things he mentions were things that would help Israel to know that he was the King of the Jews, that he was ( God in flesh ). We, as believers today just have to understand how each thing he mentions is defines or, how they seen it. I’d like to try in this lesson to do just that.

Since we have already looked at ( repentance from dead works ) and how it relates to us, let’s look at the next phrase: ( FAITH TOWARD GOD ). To help you see what is actually being said here; it will probably take this whole lesson if I choose to teach it all the way through. When looking at this and, to understand the spiritual aspect of what is being taught, we must understand this very important fact. The Nation Of Israel are an earthly people with earthly promises. Born again believers are a spiritual people with spirtual promises. When the Apostle Paul is teaching in Hebrews, he is teaching ( members of the Nation of Israel ) that are now ( Members of the bnody of Christ ) as well.

There’s a tremendous spiritual lesson to be learned here if we can grasp it! You were born a physical being with a physical mother and father. If we would like to put the word ( faith ) here we can. From the time you were born until you reached a level that you could walk away from you mother and father, your faith was completely in their ability to look after you. They provided you clothes, your food and the place you lived. Can we say that: ( at some point ) you left the ( doctrine ) of your parents? You moved foward and placed you faith in your own ability to provide for yourself.

That fact had nothing to do with how much you loved your mother and father did it? If they were good parents, they laid out good principles for you to live by and, moved foward from living under their wings.

In many cases; we are people that have lost all concepts of what our physical and spiritual lives are all about, that is; as far as this world is concerned. Do you realize that we as people become ( physically responsible ) and spiritually resonsible ) somewhere around the age of twelve? Along that age is the age that our parents and the Holy Spirit should be able to begin to let us start to become responsible on our own.

Therefore, when we look at ( faith toward God ) what are we seeing and what is the Apostle Paul saying to the Hebrew believers? To answer this we must watch things as it unfolds in the ( Book of Acts ). If we can understand that the ( Book of Hebrews ) is directly tied to the first ( Hebrew children ) that received God’s Spirit on the day of Pentecost it might help to enlighten us on what he is actually saying.

For instance: In ( Acts 2 ) we see where the new believers sold all that they had and brought the money and gave it to the Apostles. Why did they do that? And, why don’t we do it today? When the Hebrew believers did that; they were showing their ( Faith Toward God ) the only way they knew how. They truly believed that Jesus Christ was going to return at any moment! Remember how he took ( two fishes and five loaves of bread ) and fed the multitude? In their minds, when he returns he will supply all their needs, he’ll be their King and ( by Faith ) he will do what God the Father has always done.

Can you see a picture there of how a child never gets away from the fact that their parents have to suppy their every need? The Apostle Paul is telling the Hebrew believers that they have to leave that aspect of ( Faith toward God ). They are now ( spiritual children ) with ( spiritual promises ). They are just exactly like any Gentile believer once that have experienced the new birth.

Here, I’d like to make a point; you prove me wrong. Once we leave the gospels and the ( Book of Acts ) which is a time of transition from the ( Age of Law ) to the ( Age of Grace ), I’d like for you to show me one time where any person is raised from the dead. If I’m not mistaken, we don’t even see anyone that is healed. We can see in the ( Book of James ) healing mentioned but, ( I believe ) that spiritual minded people understand what he is saying.

The whole point is that there’s a great difference in a believer having faith in the spiritual aspect of their lives and the physical aspects of their lives. That is what the Apostle Paul is seeking to teach the Hebrew children.

There’s so many things that can be taught here as it relates to our physical and spiritual walk through this life. God desires for us to understand how much he loves us and all that our relationship ( by faith ) has to do with him. I love using this verse of scripture:

( Romans 8: 28 )

AND WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, TO THEM WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.

Just how much do you love him? How willing are you to be ( called according to his purpose ) and not your own? That is the question! God desires to bless us physically ( according to his purpose ). His desire is to bless us spiritually ( according to his purpose ).

The book of ( Ruth ) has only four chapters. I often refer to that book when teaching these things. If you will read it you will see that Ruth was gleaning in Boaz’s field. She was working, seeking to feed her family. Boaz loved her! He told his reapers to ( leave her ) ( handfuls on purpose ). I believe that God does us the same way. When we are willing to do spiritual work for our Lord, seeking nothing in return then; God will physically give us blessings because we are seeking to do his ( spiritual will ). That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but it does mean we are willing. As a ( well known sinner ) it is my desire to seek to do ( God’s spiritual will ). Because of that fact, God blesses me physically in small ways.

God never asks us to die physically for him but, to live physically for him. He does desire that we be willing to die physically for him if that time should come. I’m going to give you this verse and I’ll close for this week’

( 1 Corinthians 11:29-30 )

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s supper. ( 30 ) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

In the Old Testament the Hebrew children wandered for 40 years in unbelief, they all died in that unbelief but Joshua and Calab. Moses sent out twelve spies to spy out the land. Only two of them returned with the faith that God would help them take that land, ( Calab and Joshua ). Many people that say they believe cannot grasp this aspect of their spiritual walk. They live in the same kind of unbelief. That’s what he is saying in these verses.

Our spiritual walk by faith must be a walk to we are willing to be used of God, even in sicknes and death if necessary. However, when we live a selfish physical life void of true faith then it creates a situation where we are often ( sick and many even die ). This has nothing to do with salvation, not in the verses we are speaking of but, it has to do with our willingness to grow to spiritually mature believers.

We must understand the difference in our physical walk and our spiritual walk as it relates to the faith we say we have. When the Apostle Paul was teaching the Hebrew Children, that’s what he was saying. There’s a difference in ( faith in God ) physically and, ( faith in Jesus Christ ) spiritually.

Until next week!

Marsall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7