THE WIFE, MY WIFE!

( PROVERBS 31:10-31 )

WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN? FOR HER PRICE IS FAR ABOVE RUBIES. THE HEART OF HER HUSBAND DOTH SAFELY TRUST HER, SO THAT HE SHALL HAVE NO NEED OF SPOIL. SHE WILL DO HIM GOOD AND NOT EVIL ALL THE DAYS OF HER LIFE. SHE SEEKETH WOOL. AND FLAX, AND WORKETH WILLINGLY WITH HER HANDS. SHE CONSIDERETH A FIELD, AND BUYETH IT: WITH THE FRUIT OF HER HANDS SHE PLANTETH A VINEYARD. SHE GIRDETH HER LOINS WITH STRENGTH, AND STRENGTHETH HER ARMS, SHE PERCEIVETH THAT HER MERCHANDISE IS GOOD:HER CANDLE GOETH NOT OUT BY NIGHT. SHE LAYETH HER HANDS TO THE SPINDLE, AND HER HANDS HOLD THE DISTAFF. SHE STRETHETH OUT HER HAND TO THE POOR; YEA, SHE REACHETH FORTH HER HANDS TO THE NEEDY. SHE IS NOT AFRAID OF THE SNOW FOR HER HOUSEHOLD: FOR ALL HER HOUSEHOLD ARE CLOTHED WITH SCARLET. SHE MAKETH HERSELF COVERINGS FOR TAPESTRY; HER CLOTHING IS SILK AND PURPLE. HER HUSBAND IS KNOWN IN THE GATES, WHEN HE SITTETH AMONG THE ELDERS OF THE LAND. SHE MAKETH FINE LINEN, AND SELLETH IT; AND DELIVERETH GIRDLES UNTO THE MERCHANT. STRENGH AND HONOUR ARE HER CLOTHING; AND SHE SHALL REJOICE IN TIME TO COME. SHE OPENETH HER MOUTH WITH WISDOM; AND IN HER TONGUE IS THE LAW OF KINDNESS. SHE LOOKETH WELL TO THE WAYS OF HER HOUSEHOLD, AND EATETH NOT THE BREAD OF IDLENESS. HER CHILDREN ARISE UP, AND CALL HER BLESSED; HER HUSBAND ALSO, AND HE PRAISETH HER. MANY DAUGHTERS HAVE DONE VIRTUOUSLY, BUT THOU EXCELLEST THEM ALL. FAVOR IS DECEITFUL, AND BEAUTY IS VAIN: BUT A WOMAN THAT FEARETH THE LORD, SHE SHALL BE PRAISED. GIVE HER OF THE FRUIT OF HER HANDS; AND LET HER OWN WORKS PRAISE HER IN THE GATES.

If you will notice this, I didn’t write the first ten verses of this chapter. I feel that I should write them now to begin to make my point.

THE WORDS OF KING LEMUEL, THE PROPHECY THAT HIS MOTHER TAUGHT HIM. WHAT, MY SON? AND WHAT THE SON OF MY WOMB? AND WHAT, THE SON OF MY VOWS? GIVE NOT THY STRENGTH UNTO WOMEN, NOR THY WAYS TO THAT WHICH DESTROYETH KINGS. IT IS NOT FOR KINGS, O LEMUEL, IT IS NOT FOR KINGS TO DRINK WINE; FOR PRINCES STRONG DRINK: LEST THEY DRINK, AND FORGET THE LAW, AND PERVERT THE JUDGMENT OF ANY OF THE AFFLICTED. GIVE STRONG DRINK UNTO HIM THAT IS READY TO PERISH, AND WINE UNTO THOSE THAT BE OF HEAVY HEARTS. LET HIM DRINK, AND FORGET HIS POVERTY, AND REMEMBER HIS MISERY NO MORE. OPEN THY MOUTH FOR THE DUMB IN THE CAUSE OF ALL SUCH AS ARE APPOINTED TO DESTRUCTION. OPEN THY MOUTH, JUDGE RIGHTEOUSLY.

Proverbs 31 is seen to represent a picture of a good wife. Many women read it and seek to be the type of wife that if revealed in these verses. We see here that it was actually a man, a king that wrote this chapter. He, the king was taught this by his mother seeking to prepare him to one day find this type of a woman to be his wife. Therefore, although it was given in scripture by a man, the wisom we see here was given by a mother; one that was concerned for the kind of woman her son would one day marry.

The question is asked, who can find a virtuous woman? I might add to that, is there any men that are truly seeking one? Can’t we; first of all give some credit to this mother for at least teaching her son what to actually look for in a wife. Not only teach it in words but, live those words in her every day life. It also says in this verse that ( her price is far above rubies ). Do we teach our daughters their true value today? Do mothers in general teach their sons what to look for when they begin to look for a wife? If not; why?

Not only did the mother teach this to her son but, he is now teaching it as well. Most women never stop to consider that ( a man ) wrote ( Proverbs 31 ). As far as I know, this king ( King Lemuel ) is not mentioned anywhere else in scripture. However, can you see just how powerful the words of this king and his mother became over time?

I personally admire any woman, any wife that desires to set her standards by the attributes we see in this chapter. ( I believe ) time as we look at it today becomes a problem. ( I believe ) our ability to have ( rubies ) rather than to be one is the mindset of often both, men and women. Within that mindset is where we spend the time in our lives that we should be spending becoming ( a ruby ) ( a pearl of great price ). That is for both men and women.

We seem to forget when boys and girls become men and women. We desire to push that age far beyond when it actually happens and, therefore we focus on the aspect of education that our children might have rubies rather than being one. In a lot of things I write I make this point about both men and women. We are born what we are; either a boy or girl. We have no choice in the matter. One day around the age of twelve or thirteen we become men and women, that is something else we have no control over. However, with both young men and women, whether we are ladies or gentlemen is completely up to the individual.

When we consider this time frame that means that a mother and father have just twelve or thirteen years to teach their sons and daughters to be ladies and gentlemen. That fact doesn’t mean they will marry at that age but, rather that they will be prepared to ( become rubies ) at that age. They’ll understand how to be rubies and, how to look for rubies. I’m using that word in reference to both men and women.

I’d say that my wife and I could be considered as perfect examples in one form or another of the average setting for children today. The only thing I might add is that it’s gotten worse over the years. As a man, a husband I was probably in my late thirties or even early forties before I realized that if I desired to have a ( ruby ) for my wife, I must first be someone that would attract such a lady. While I had been raised in Church I was never taught anything about the real responsibilites of keeping myself pure for one woman, my wife. The focus, while a little different was on work and earning a living. My wife, if she were speaking could tell you somewhat that same thing maybe with a little different slant but, still being abscent from the real understanding of what to be and,what to look for in a life long mate.

As usual, it’s always a spiritual education and something to be learned if we are willing to seek those things out. For instance; did you notice that it’s the mother teaching her son here? I’d like to build on this concept, even on the spiritual topic. Most people realize that young women mature quicker than the young men will. In every respectable sense of the word, the young woman has complete control. That is; until she freely yields that control to the man she will call her husband.

So, let’s put this into a Church setting on a local level. I’m going to use a verse I see in ( Acts ) to make my point here.

( Acts 4:19-20 )

BUT PETER AND JOHN ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, WHETHER IT BE RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD TO HEARKEN UNTO YOU MORE THAN UNTO GOD, JUDGE YE. ( 20 ) FOR WE CANNOT BUT SPEAK THE THINGS WHICH WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD.

If you will continue to read below these verses you will notice that when thay shared their stand within their own company, they all agreed with one accord with their stand. Let’s consider Peter and John as being pastors in a local Church, standing against ( established religion ) and the rest of the people being part of their congregation. That Church is the ( bride ) the ( wife ) of Jesus Christ. Therefore, wherein is the true power revealed? Is it not within the ( stand of the wife )? What if every local Church stood in unity and demanded that their pastor preach only what God spoke to his heart?

( The Church ) just as any young woman has the power within her to make any man be all he is suppose to be for Jesus Christ! She has the power to demand that a standard be set because she refuses to bend to anything less than what God expects from her or, the man she will call her husband. In this respect that man would be the pastor of the Church. The pastor of every Church stands where only Jesus Christ would be standing if he were here. If ( the Church ) is to be seen as a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife then she will except nothing less than the pastor of the Church to say and demand of her all that Jesus Christ would demand if he were here.

Any wife that is a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife desires her husband to be the very same way. She desires for her husband to be completely submissive to God’s will as the Spirit of God leads him. I’d like to add here that there is no such thing as any husband, wife, Church or pastor being perfect. A pastor or husband perfectly being ( like Christ ) is impossible. For any Church or wife to be perfrctly ( like Christ ) would have them to be is also impossible. It all has to do with ( will ) and God sees the desires of the heart.

In my heart; my wife truly seeks to be a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife. She, as my wife causes me to seek to be more like Juesus Christ. We both completely understand that neither of us can be perfect nor will we ever be but, the will is present in both of our hearts. She drives me to be more like Christ and, as I seek to do that it causes her to be more conformable to the will of God.

I’d like to take a moment here to share something personal in my life. The last brother on in my dad’s family died just a few weeks ago. He was also the youngest of my Grandmother’s children. There was something that my Aunt Christine and my Mother had very in common. Of course, they married brothers. However, neither of these men were in a family that attended Church on a regular basis. My mom and Aunt both were raised in Church. When they married both of these men were men that drinked alcohol on a regular basis. My dad really had a problem with it but, my Uncle, not so bad.

As time moved foward both of these women never gave up or sacrificed their walk with Jesus Christ. When their children were born they both made sure that their children were raised just like they were; in Church. They both went alone with no support from their husbands other than the fact that the men didn’t stop them from going. I’m sure it was from very trying times, I know it was for my mother but, as time moved foward both my Uncle and my Dad came to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior. I often tell this story. I told this at my dad’s funeral. Although my sisters and I seen a bad side of my dad, not one of his grandchildren or great grandchildren ever seen him as anything less than a saint of God. When my dad died, he was a deacon in the Church he attended, well respected as a born again believer. My Uncle, as far as I know was never a deacon nor did he have a desire to be. However, he was highly respected and loved by the members of his Church and in the community he lived in. Guess what? he was a deacon at heart! What people don’t often realize is this. You don’t have to have a ( title ) to be seen as a leader, first of all by God the Father and also, by the people around you.

I’m sure there are other stories to be told but, these two women were ( Proverbs 31 women ). They planted a garden. they gave to the poor, they were constant their whole lives in their will to walk with God. The wives, while they faced adversity, led their husbands to Christ, seen each of their children come to Christ. As far as I know, each of my Aunt and Uncle’s children, my cousins are born again. As far as I know all my sisters are born again, that includes me, the only son.

As a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife ) a ( Proverbs 31 ) Church seeds are sown, the fruit of those seeds are seen and, as our lives move foward we can look back and see where the real, true strength is, where it comes from. I realize that the Bible says that the woman is the weaker vessel. However, a ( Proverbs 31) wife and Church is the completion, the real strength of the men that they say they love.

I’ll go as far as to say this. I know this is a very hard saying but, any Church that will allow their pastor to be lass than what God desires for him to be actually doesn’t love him. That Church should, like the two women I spoke of, live a life that demands a change toward perfection, forcing the hand of the pastor to become all he should be in Christ. Any wife that conforms to the will of a husband that is less than what God expects rather than setting a Godly stand to the best of her ability neither truly loves her husband or her children. I’ll also say this, any man that treats his wife in an abusive maneer, being less than ( loving his wife as Christ loved the Church ) is , more than likely not saved and, he is very ( self centered ). He will never be pleasing to God the Father as long as he acts in that way.

What we often fail to understand is that the world has its way of defining ( love ) just as the Word of God defines it. Many people that say they are saved use the world’s definition of love to define their actions. That’s toward their children, husbands and wives.

If you will notice in ( Proverbs 31 ) it says that the husband of a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife is recognized in the gates among the elders. Don’t we have to give her some credit for that fact? As I say that, we must understand that in a Godly marriage relationship the husband and wife become ( one in Christ ). That means that they both are seeking to be pleasing to God and, have left the cares of this world far behind as a couple.

To try and put this in perspective as a marriage relationship. both of these people in a ( born again marriage relationship ) can be seen as a couple that are Ambassators of one country, living in a foriegn nation. While they are living in that country, they are still citizens of the home country. They might do things with the people they live among and try to be a part but, their mindset and heart is to show those citizens of that nation what their country is all about, trying to show a better way.

A born again couple; while that couple might live in this world they seek to show ( this world ) a picture of how the God of the universe would have them look in love, living and every aspect of their spiritual life.

So, Lemuel”s mother. The woman that taught her son this in ( Proverbs 31 ) was seeking to teach her son to look for such a woman to be his wife. KIng Lemuel never forgot the teaching as he began to grow and understand. I personally believe that as we consider this chapter, the responsibility of the husband and wife in the natural relationship and how it all relates to the need of true spiritual growth as we begin to grow in our natural lives, we will quickly learn how the weakness part of us will always become our strength ( spiritually speaking ) which is the actual only strength that will ever truly matter in the end.

I want you to notice these verses as it relates to this thought.

( 2 Corinthians 12:10 )

THEREFORE I TAKE PLEASURE IN INFIRMITIES, IN REPROACHES, IN NECESSITIES, IN PERSECUTIONS, IN DISTRESSESS FOR CHIRST SAKE: FOR WHEN I AN WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG.

( 2 Corinthians 13: 4 )

FOR THOUGH HE WAS CRUCIFIED THROUGH WEAKNESS, YET HE LIVETH BY THE POWER OF GOD. FOR WE ALSO ARE WEAK IN HIM, BUT WE SHALL LIVE WITH HIM BY THE POWER OF GOD TOWARD YOU.

Reading these verses we notice that true strength comes through our weakness. It’s all realative whether we are speaking of ( a Church ) being the bride of Christ. ( A wife ) being the strength of the husband through weakness or, ( an individual ) being strong in Christ through the weakness of their own flesh.

The ( Proverbs 31 ) mindset is a choice! It’s a spiritual choice! It takes spiritual knowledge to understand the concept that is being taught. The education or teaching of this concept has to begin in our homes, demanded to be taught in our Churches and stood up for by those that have the opportunity to do so.

I’ve already stated that ( the members of the Church ) and ( young women ) must demand this mindset instead of selling out for ( worldly popular ) mindsets. Could we name a few of those mindsets?

Let’s first look at a verse:

( Matthew 6:16 )

MOREOVER WHEN YE FAST, BE NOT, AS THE HYPOCRITES, OF A SAD COUNTENANCE: THAT THEY MAY APPEAR UNTO MEN TO FAST: VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD.

A ( proverbs 31 ) mindset spiritually understands that this world is not home. There is something far more important to work toward and build on than just what we can ever have in this life. If! And I do say if a wife has a husband that is a ( spiritually minded man then, while she is helping him while on this earth to have all the necessities of this life, they are both working toward a reward far above this earth.

So, let’s start with the Church, ( the bride of Christ ).

( 2 Corinthians 11:2 )

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

The Apostle Paul looked at himself here as the father of the ( bride of Christ ). He taugtht the Church from the very beginning to keep themselve pure from the cares of this world, to seperate themselves from the things of this world. In essence, he was teaching them to be ( proverbs 31 ) wives. To focus on the desires and needs of her husband, to be mindful of his desires and dreams. He was teaching them that although they were weak, to become his strength, standing on the principles he built that his house might be full.

A spiritual man desires the same for his daughter which will become a young woman. His wife will seek to teach his daughter that very mindset and to keep herself for one man, a man worthy of her and, that she is worthy of. While the wife is teaching this girl, young woman this, she is also teaching her what she needs to teach her children.

Therefore, worldly what have we seen? We see Churches that while they speak the name of Jesus Christ; they sell out his very principles for popularity and the love of money Those Churches commit ( spiritual fornication ) against the very man that truly loved them. Can you imagine Jesus Christ ( the Church’s husband to be ) sitting at the right hand of ( God the Father ) and hearing ( a Pastor ) standing and saying things that he never said! Sitting there and proclaiming, ( that’s not what I said )! You’re teaching, allowing things that are causing fornication! I don’t know these people!

How about a wife teaching her daughter anything less than keeping herself pure for one man? Even a father not caring about what she does or, being more concerned about her education, her ability to look after herself than to be concerned about her actual ( spiritual dedication ) her ( ability as the weaker vessel ) to become the very strength of some man?

Lord, how far we’ve fallen from the very picture you desire for us to paint with our lives! Now, we put young women on birth control, worrying more about physical problems rather than teaching them ( spiritual purity ). I wonder, how many young women now wear a white dress at their weddings that truly represents their purity to the people that they stand before, the man she is marrying? Do mom and dads even consider that fact now. There was a time that most pastors, if they knew that a young woman hadn’t kept herself pure would not even perform a wedding ceremony for her if she wore a white dress!

The world and, the Church it has designed cares little about the true things of God. Folks, it’s never too late to change! A ( Proverbs 31 ) wife, in whatsoever aspect you want to describe her knows who she is, where shes been and all her imperfections. However, she is determined to go foward from who she was into the perfect wife. Let’s say you as a young woman didn’t keep yourself and, you wore a white dress when you married. Does that mean you can’t take the knowledge of what you have been, your weaknesses and now begin to teach all that God wants you to teach?

God is looking for a ( called out people ). A people that see themselves in all of their imperfections and sin yet, are willing to walk away from this world and become a ( Proverbs 31 ) wife! Do you realize that ( Jesus Christ ) when he came to this world, born of a virgin; he already knew that he would not find a pure bride. However, his desire was to set himself within each person that believed and, to have each of them ( transform themselves ) into exactly what he was looking for.

If a young man is wise he will understand this. Every young woman was raise by another man, her father, she was taught, through her mother his ways. While we can say that those ways were either spiritual or otherwise, it was still by another’s mindset. When that young man desides to take a young woman to be his bride he must understand that there will be a transformation that must take place, By God’s grace it will be a ( spiritual transformation) but it will take time. He must be willing ( through the love ) he has for her to be patient. That’s a lesson for another day!. However, if his new bride truly loves him , she will be willing ( in time ) to be transformed into his way of thinking, yielding to him.

( WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN )? This is the very first question, thought mentioned as we began this. Can a young woman also asked this: ( WHO CAN FIND A GODLY MAN )? Is not one just as important as the other? If we go back to the story of my mother and Aunt, these two women became a transforming factor in their husband’s lives.

In closing, I’d like to tell one more true story. This is a true story I heard an evangelist tell once. He shared that a Church once chose a man to be their pastor that was a very hardened sinner until he was born again. God called this man to preach and, he excepted the call of this Church to be their pastor.

One morning as he was preaching, he began to use ( curse words ) in his sermon. When he realized what he had done; he closed his Bible, offered his resignation to the Church and simply walked out. That Sunday afternoon the deacons met to discuss the matter. As they talked, they came to this conclusion. We need to go to him and asked him to come back and continue to be our pastor. Any man that will get or become that passionate and angry about sin, we need him behind our pulpit!

Far too often we are not patient enough with each other. That being a ( woman with he husband ) a ( true Church with their pastor ) ( a Pastor with his Church ) or a ( husband with his wife ). We often expect our spouse to be something we are not! It’s a very challenging thing to learn to become ( one in Christ )!

In ( Proverbs 31 ) you see nothing about the man and what he does do you! Why would you say that is? Because there is nothing more powerful than seeing yourself as being the weakest, yet using the power within you to bring about ( spiritual growth ). And that; within any person that thinks he has more power! When we begin to lean on our weakness and forget the true power we have then, God’s word and will, becomes completely to none effect in our lives! For instance, if a young woman simply gives herself to any man, is she not ( leaning on her weakness )? If a Church allows less than what God truly desires from its pastor, is she not ( leaning on her weakness )? If any young man chooses the things of this world over the will that God offers, is he not ( leaning on his weakness )?

I often asked myself this question! ( AM I HALF THE WIFE I EXPECT MINE TO BE )?

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

Grey Hair and Old Bones: Continuing Four

As we continue with this picture we see here in Genesis and unfold the spiritual points that can be seen here, something caught my spiritual eye as I read through the account of Rebekah making the decision to follow the servant and leaver her family. We’ll start with that simple little word in this segment of our story. ( Genesis 24:55 ) And her brother and her mother said, let the damsel abide with us a few days,( AT LEAST TEN ); after that she shall go.

If you will notice here, they are speaking to the servant and not to Rebekah. This point is made to show that she is yielded to him and not her own will. He gives his answer in the very next verse ( 56 ) And he said unto them, hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, one that realizes that it’s the spirit of God that teaches and not just the people I’ve known in my spiritual walk, I want to pause here and make a point that I see. While this point is taught in scripture, I see it very vividly in our world today.

Our spiritual eyes are so dimmed and, in more cases than not, blinded by the world today that we are simply not led by the spirit of God. We like to think we are, tell people we are but weare so far from spiritual reality that I wonder sometimes if salvation is present in them that spiritually lead us. I know that’s a hard saying but I make it with all gravity to make the reader pause and look at themselves. Is it the spirit of God that is leading, teaching you?

Are you yielded to the spirit of God or are you still hanging around with your family? As I read this and noticed that it referred to ( ten days ). The spirit of God reminded me of a verse of scripture with a phrase found in it( Revelation 2: 10 ). It says, and ye shall have tribulation ( TEN DAYS ). Can you see the connection here?

As a man with grey hair and old bones I have wondered about that ( ten days )  for years. I believe that the spirit of God has just revealed something to me as his servant. In Bible numeric the number ( 10 ) stands for: testimony, law and responsibility. In other words ( our total lives ). So if we compare these two verses  it will be saying the same thing in the two different aspects of our lives. In ( Revelation 2: 10 ) he is saying that they will suffer tribulation for their testimony, law and responsibility their whole spiritual lives.

In Rebekah’s case the ( ten days ) they were referring to was her whole life as well. They didn’t mind the choice she had made but physically they wanted her to stay the same. If you will notice, she didn’t answer, the servant did. Who’s answering the questions in your life, you or the spirit of God?

We can physically see a change in Rebekah’s life from this point on can’t we? Where she lives, to whom see is subject too, even her desires. ( Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new ).

As a man with grey hair and old bones I am forever spiritually learning. I’m fascinated by God’s ability to teach if I’m only willing to study and continue to search. I’ll say this and we’ll move on to ( Genesis 25 ).

I noticed a few days ago while writing something else that God made this statement after he had finished his work each day as he was creating this earth. ( And the evening and the morning ) and that of each day, except the seventh day. He says on the seventh day that he ended his work, but the day has no end.

Here in ( Genesis 24 ) we see that Rebekah and the elder servant make the journey back to Abraham and Isaac but starting in ( Genesis 25 ) to talk about Isaac and his bride and their Children. We also that very quickly here Abraham dies, leaves everything to he has to Isaac.

We’ll get back to this, but they journey from Rebekah’s family back to Abraham is somewhat the same way we see as God speaks of the seventh day. Within the journey that she makes with the elder servant is the picture of the journey of the Church as it continues toward meeting Jesus in the clouds. The things we’ll be talking about within the lives of Isaac, Rebekah and their Children is reflective of that journey. The picture of the Church.

The mention of the seventh day is typically a picture of God finishing his work and on the seventh day he is now watching things as they unfold until the end of this journey on earth.

In the beginning of ( Genesis 25 ) we see a few things as they unfold. Abraham remarries and has other children. Notice in ( verse 5 ) he gives everything he had to Isaac. Also notice that he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from  Isaac, ( while he yet lived ).This line is very powerful and make a tremendous point. After we die we cannot do anything for the glory of God. We, like Abraham must ( work while it is day ). ( John 9:4 ) I must do the work of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. We must teach the spiritual aspects above all to the people we love and make sure what we teach our children is led by the spirit and not our flesh.

Abraham was sure that he made a distinction between the spiritual aspect of life and the physical aspect. This, to the point that he sent all the physical away from Isaac. That one point needs to be made here is that our Churches, in this present day needs to stress that point more. While we still live in our flesh and the battle with our own selves is tremendous it’s a battle that can be won with proper Holy Ghost filledpreaching and teaching. That’s the responsibility of the leaders in our Churches. That’s what God calls them, each of us to do. Wehear people use the term ( being filled with the Spirit ). That’s what they are talking about. The ability for us t die to ourselves and continually seek t do God’s will in our lives. The Bible calls it separation or sanctified. Most Church people today are afraid of those terms.

If we look at Abraham and consider what would have happened if he hadn’t created separation in this picture; what would he been saying? He would have been saying that calling yourself spiritual and still living in the flesh is fine. Very contrary to what God through and by his Holy Spirit teaches. This is true, we just don’t hear it today.

Do you realize that we, in our Church today have the same mindset as the members of the Church of Galatia? The pastor at that Church was preaching ( legal separation ). What is meant by that statement? It means that they were expecting the member to separate themselves from certain sins and, if so, that made them right with God. This is now, nor has it ever been true. When a pastor preaches as the spirit leadsall sin will be look at as a need to separate from. The point is that, as messages go out, filled with God’s spirit people will look at themselves as never measuring up to the standards set by God. It will always be something else to lay aside as taught by his spirit.

How would be the best way to explain this? Do you realize that there are people that say they believe but use curse words every day? However, they never use them in front of their pastor or certain Church members. The reason for this is they have never been taught holy ghost spiritual separation, they just know what is expected by certain members. Most Churches don’t have a dress code. And, in reality, they don’t need one. However if the word of God is preached in its entirety, he, the spirit will set a dress code for his children. You might say ( God doesn’t care how I dress. When is the last time you ask him? Again,it’s not up to the Church to decide for anyone. The choices come from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit through and by the preaching of God’s word powered by the Holy Spirit.

Abraham could, in his flesh separate members of his family and make choices between that which was sent by God and the things he done in his flesh. We cannot as Churches do that. We just like to think we can. More than likely, if the word of God is being preached as led by the Holy Spirit God, that spirit is trying his best to make you, as a person that is judging someone else, see something in your own life.It’s

 very possible he is not even speaking to the one you might see as needing to change. He, the spirit might be dealing with that person but not about what you think he or she needs to change.

We have tried to streamline our Churches. In our mind we think that if people live a certain way, that makes them right with God.We think and truly believe that the absentsof sin in our lives is what pleases God. In reality it is not. Actually, the only true spiritual attribute it is to living a godly life is causing people around you to see you in a different light which is pleasing to God. God’s true desire for you is for you to hear his voice and yield to his will.Now you might be saying that I’m saying sin is alright as long as we do what he asks. That’s not what I’m saying but I will argue that seeing yourself as a person that sins not is a far cry from being right with God.

The point is that what we see physically here with Abraham separating the God man from the physical part of his family is an inward change that happens to each of us by the spirit of God.

( 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ) All scripture is given by inspiration of god, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteous: ( 17 ) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

This is the responsibility of a pastor or teacher.When we use scripture, as led by God’s spirit then the Holy Ghost can do his job. If we try to correct people own our own it might clean a man up, but he is still no closer to God until the spirit of God cleans him up.

We could say more about biblical separation, but we do see that spiritual mindset here in Genesis. Before we move on to Abraham giving Isaac and giving gifts to  others I’d like to make another point about Abraham and Sarah.

In a biblical sense, Abraham and Sarah are the spiritual aspect we are looking for in scripture. They together had one son, Isaac. This son is the continuation of that spiritual line. We see a lot of things that these two people done in their lives. Abraham remarried, had more children. He and Sarah both made choices that are recorded in scripture that did not represent the things that God would have directed them to do. They also, in their lives chose to seek God’s will and created or lay a spiritual trail that is easily identified and followed. However, they each died ending the trail of their lives whether good or bad. After their death the mantle was placed on Isaac’s shoulders to carry on. He and his with Rebekah were responsible for the same spiritual things that Abraham and Sarah were responsible for. What did they do with that spiritual responsibility?

Ever since Adam and Eve its been the same way. One generation gives way to another. Right now, the burden of setting spiritual guidelines is upon my shoulders. Not only mine but ever person that is born into God’s family in this generation. I often wonder about the job I’ve done in the continuation of spiritual growth with my children and beyond? Just as Abraham and Sarah could only do the things they did and could not control what happened with the decisions Isaac and Rebekah made, aren’t we the same way?

Just as Abraham gave all he had to his spiritual son, Isaac so did God the father do the same to me. I have the word of God in my hand, what am I doing with it? In my physical flesh, God gave my gifts, things, we might even say treasures. All those things will decay with time and come to naught. However the one true blessing he gave to me as his son is himself and all that he has. How am I using that tremendous treasure?

Every pastor, every born again believer has that same treasure. What are we placing in the hands of our children or the next generation? If I have within myself the spirit of God, the truth and I do not allow that truth to come out of my mouth, what have I done to my children, my people, the people I say I love?

I realize my ignorance of some things in scripture. I still have a lot to learn and might not be able to explain many things as well as I should, but I want to share this thought with you. Nehemiah was a man that had an opportunity to go back to his homeland and look around after the people of Israel had been in captivity for some years. As he stood there and looked over the city, what he seen drew him to his knees. He knew all God had given Israel and how God’s people had wasted and destroyed it. Look at this verse of scripture.

( Nehemiah 4:17 ) They which built on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, everyone with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

What passion, what determination. We could build another message on that thought alone. For instance; what tools are we leaving our children? What weapons?

I believe that within each born again believer there is a power that we fail to unleash. Far too often we listen to our flesh and stay the hand of God, the power within us. The power of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was weakened because of their flesh. Are we guilty of the same to even to a more powerful level?

Now we move on to Isaac. If you notice in ( Genesis 25 ) it gives the names of the sons of Ishmael. It also tells us he died and was buried with his people. However that’s all that it tells us. As we continue we will see the life of Isaac and his family. This represents the two aspects of our own lives. Ishmael is a type of our flesh, Isaac is a type of the spiritual man that lives within each born again believer. That is the only aspect of our lives that is important to God. We have already seen that Abraham, being a type of God the father did give gifts to the people of the flesh. We know that God does bless us in our flesh, he does that every day. He even blesses people that does not know him or honor him in any way. But, we also must remember that those blessings end at the end of our life here. If we have not fed the spirit or, in the case of those that are lost, excepted God through Jesus Christ his son, we or they have nothing. I believe there is a powerful point to be made after that statement. What is the spiritual difference in a person that says they are saved bur never does anything through or by God’s spirit and a person that is simply not saved at all? If we go by to Abraham we see he had a true passion to separate the fleshly from the spiritual, do you?

At any rate, we see that Biblically we follow the life of Isaac and his family and not the life of Ishmael. I also want to point out that everything that even Abraham did was not noticed, that is no more than a mention. We quickly began to talk about Isaac and his wife in ( Genesis 25 ).

Notice one of the first things mentioned. ( Genesis 25:21 ) And Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord we entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

Can you see a picture here of Jesus Christ and his desire for his bride to bare children in the spiritual sense? That is the picture we see here. If you’ll notice, Rebekah is with child or, should I say children. She will be having twins, two boys. I also point out here that those two boys ( struggled together ) within her. We see another picture. These two boys will be a type of our flesh and the spirit man the lives within each of us.

Before we go forward with this I want to mention another woman in Genesis that bare twins ( Genesis 38 ) You can read the whole account if you like but my desire is to show a simple point about this. Reading through this chapter we see how important it is that the woman, the wife gives birth. These wives are all types of the Church. The spiritual lesson is how important it is for a Church to bring about spiritual birth, born again experience. At the end of this chapter we see that the woman had twins. When she was in hard labor one of the babes put forth his hand. The midwife tied a scarlet thread around it saying that child came forth first. But, in reality the other son was born first. Although this was true the one with the scarlet thread around his hand was recognized as being the first born. If you study the names of these two boys, we see something significant. The child that was born first is named ( Pharez ). that name means ( breach or burst forth ). The babe that was actually born second but had the scarlet thread around his has is named ( Zerah ) This name means ( east; brightness ). Can you see the spiritual importance there? Our flesh which is always born first desires to breach or burst forth. It’s desire to always be first. But what part of us truly needs to have control of our flesh?I look at the word ( east ) as a type of the sun coming up, the brightness of the day. This is a picture of the Holy Spirit and his desire to shine through our flesh. I just thought I’d mention that since the spirit of God brought it to my remembrance as I was going through the birth of Esau and Jacob.

Now, getting back to Rebekah. ( Verse 22 ) We have seen where the two children within her and made to point about our fleshly and spiritual struggle. If you’ll notice also in this verse she questions God the father. She says ( if it be so, why am I this )? She is having a problem understsndingwhy she is having so much trouble if this is an answered prayer of Isaac’s. It this be of God it shouldn’t be this bad.

Never forget that Rebekah is a type of the Church. How long should I stay here? Would you agree with me here that one of the biggest reasons Rebekah is having this problem is that she is submissive to her husband? Isaac’s desire to have children and, her desire to please him is the only reason she has this problem at all. If we bring this same picture to a normal, spirit filled Church setting there is never a spiritual birth within a true Church that is not twins. It will always be a battle to be fought with the spirit man and the fleshly man.

Let’s go back to another point I’ve made earlier. When any person is born again, that very experience is ( at conception ) and the journey last until the day we cease to exist on this earth. If we attempt to do away with the spiritual and fleshly struggles within a Church are we not creating ( spiritual abortion )?

I’m going to insert something here. You have the right to agree or disagree with me, but I see a point that needs to be made. The leaders in our Churches must have enough spiritual wisdom to discern the battle between the spirit and flesh.We must learn to do the job as spiritual leaders and all others to take care of the physical problems. Let’s look at this verse:

 ( Acts 6: 1-3 ) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. ( 2 ) Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, it is not reason that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. ( 3 ) Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the holy ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

The dispute between the Grecians and the Hebrews had nothing to do with spiritual things. In the average Church today we make nodistinction between the two. Our pastors are so tied up trying to take care of physical things they don’t have time even to hear God if he does speak. The Church members are whining about the physical, things that would more than likely take care of themselves if they would grow up spiritually. Because of this the spirit man is to some degree aborted and dies within the heart of the believer.

What is meant by allowing the spirit man to die? One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is; are you truly born again? Does the spirit of God live within you? In the pictures we are seeing both boys are alive and well. Once you see yourself as born again and you know that God’s spirit lives within you then it becomes a question of who are you going to allow to win? The battle to allow the Spirit of God to control your flesh and cause your flesh to do the things that is within his will. When we face physical  challenges we need to ask God to teach us a spiritual lesson from that challenge. We need to learn that spiritual lesson  and day by day die to self that the spirit of God might control us.

This struggle that began in the womb of Rebekah. Do you realize that it will be years after these two boys are born before this struggle is settled? There’s a lesson we need to learn here and, in time we will.

As she inquires of God, God gave her an answer. ( verse 23 ) Look at this answer. ( Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

We know that Rebekah had two children in her womb. Here, God explained to her how this world would unfold. These two nations are still struggling today and always will until Jesus returns to conquer the world and establish Israel here on this earth and be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If you study scripture you will notice that there are other people other than just the descendants of Esau and Jacob which are her two sons. However, it’s always been and still is the spiritual lineage and the worldly lineage. The picture here is one of our flesh battling the spirit man that live within us. Where it is still two nations the spiritual battle is the same.

Now let’s look at ( the elder shall serve the younger ). If you remember the two sons of Adam, Cain and Seth. Cain had killed Abel and Seth was, we might say, his replacement in a spiritual sense. The main point is that the second born, being the younger is the spirit man. Just as we see in Esau and Jacob.As we see in the next few verses these twins were born, Esau being born first and then Jacob. The elder shall serve the younger. The flesh shall serve the spirit. Again, we see the struggle. The Bible says in ( verse 26 ) that during the birth, although Esau was born first, Jacob took hold to his heel. I hadn’t put a lot of thought into this, but I can see how the spirit man is already trying to take control of the physical or fleshly part of this birth. That’s the same way the spirit inside of each born again believer attempts to control our flesh. It’s not that it’s a controlling grip but rather a gentle tug to go in the spiritual direction.

We also see in ( verse 28 ) that Isaac loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. This is another point that I haven’t put much time in but just on the surface I can see a spiritual lesson. Jacob being a type of Jesus Christ and, saying he loved Esau which is the physical or fleshly side of us, I can see that God loves our flesh to as a vessel of his service. In other words we have Church that we, in our flesh can attend that we might be saved by his Spirit. God’s desire is for our flesh to be used for his glory, but he also knows that in our flesh, without his spirit we are no good to him. The Bible says in ( Romans 8:7-8 ) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be, ( 8 ) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

When we see both of the boys we see both aspects of our own personal lives. God loves us, in our flesh so much that he sent his son Jesus to die for us in our flesh, just as we are that his spirit might take abode up in out hearts, and his spirit might direct our flesh. In that sense I see why Isaac loved the fleshly man, Esau. However, once we are a part of his Church, Rebekah, being a type of that Church she is more concerned about the spiritual aspect of the same body. Therefore, she loved Jacob, the second born, more. The second born being a type of each of us after we are born again.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I realize that these are hidden things that are seen in scripture.We spoke about themas seen in ( I Corinthians 2:7 ) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto his glory:

These things are not for the world or worldly people to see but we as believers can see them if we seek after the spirit of God. Let’s look at the next three verses. ( I Corinthians 2:8-10 ) Which none of the  princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. ( 9 ) But it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear  not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. ( 10 ) But God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit: for the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

The believers that seek that understanding will strengthen their spiritual maturity and give you great confidence in the Lord we walk with.

As we finish out this chapter, looking expressly at the last five verses it’s my prayer that we will be able to see somethings relative to what we see in our Churches today and set a course to change the direction they are headed. Of course, as we study scripture we also know that certain things are going to unfold as we near the day of the  coming of Jesus Christ for the true Church which is his bride.

As always I point out the we are individuals. Our walk in this world, even in a time of a humanistic Church. it’s up to individuals to know truth and grow thereby.

THE SELLING OF THE BIRTHRIGHT

( Genesis 25:29 )

And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came in from the field and he was faint:

It’s my personal belief that it’s nothing in God’s word just to fill up space. Every paragraph, every sentence and every word are there to tell or teach a spiritual lesson. As Bible students it’s up to us to pray and seek spiritual answers. The Bible says to Ask,and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: ( Matthew 7:7 ). To whom do we ask,seek and knock? It’s none other than the Holy Spirit. Now, as I make that statement, it’s more to it than that. I say often to people that have a desire to learn to play the guitar, you can’t learn to play it with it laying under the bed. Is it not the same way with scripture? You can’t simply sit in Church, hold your Bible and see all the things God has in store for you. We need to pray, seek his face and allow him to teach us the spiritual facts of life.

People are in their flesh. The spiritual aspect of our lives must be awakened. Even with things I might teach it still takes the spirit of God to reveal it to you. If we are not willing to open our spiritual eyes we never will see the hidden things or understand the mysteries in God’s word.Neither God or his spiritual knowledge is something you can buy with money. The Bible says Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. ( James 4:8 ) It also says in that same verse to ( Cleanse yourhands, ye sinners, and purify your heart, ye doubleminded.

If we, as being in our flesh truly desire to know God, draw nigh to him, don’t you think these two things would be first and foremost in our hearts and minds? Don’t you think that ( the sin that so easily besets you )  and, ( the things in this life that weigh you down ) would be things that you would turn away from? We see this in ( Hebrews 12:1 ) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Not to do so is being doubleminded. Our hearts are full of self and not filled with the power of God so therefore he cannot teach us. In other words, not to do so  is saying you are a child of God bit continuing to live ( Just  as you always have been.

As we go through this segment of ( Genesis 25 ) we will see the unfolding of how the flesh yields to the spirit man. It’s not an easy task and it takes time even to grow a little. God is not necessarily concerned about how much you yield to the spirit, but his desire is to at least ( a willing mind ) to yield to his voice.

( 2 Corinthians 8:12 )

For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to what he hath not.

If you will notice in this chapter he’s not only speaking of monetary giving, but he mentions in ( verse 7 ) abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in diligence, and in your love toward us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

We’ll get back to Jacob sodding pottage and Esau being faint in a moment. Do you realize that I, or any other person can only teach you what I or they know? In most cases that can be very limited. We depend on people to teach us and that apart from the spirit of God that we truly need to listen to.

There is no such thing as ( the greatest spiritual or Biblical teacher ). The word of God has no top, nor bottom, nor sides.No man can teach or even learn it all. That means every person or any person that is born of thespirit can learn and teach any other person things that they did not know. We limit ourselves when we neglect to seek our wisdom from the spirit of God and only allow man to teach us. Again, I stand on the fact that it’s the hidden wisdom and mysteries of God that strengthens our eternal security as far as our faith is concerned. I declare that I know I’m going to heaven when I leave this world. Many people will argue that point with me.They say that no man or person can know for sure they have eternal life. They, in most cases will admit also their lack of study in God’s word.

Again. I say, It’s simply you and God. His desire is to reason with you. What are you going to do with the opportunity you have to seek his wisdom?

In ( Genesis 25:29 ) we see the start of a conversation between Jacob and Esau. At this point we are forgetting about Isaac and Rebekah. It becomes between the two sons. It says here that Jacob sod pottage. It also days that Esau came from the field and was faint. So, who do we see as the strongest here? The second born is the one with strength and, the first born is asking for help. Let’s think about this a little. Can you see that on a normal day, everything being as it should be that Esau would never ask Jacob for anything? He was a cunning hunter, a man of the field. He didn’t need help from anyone, he was self-sufficient. We see ourselves the same way in our flesh don’t we? We think we’ll be fine. We don’t need any spiritual help, we think we can fix our own spiritual problems.

When Esau came to a place that his way didn’t work is when he asksJacob for help.We can compare this to the story of the prodigal son in  ( Luke 15 ). We’ll be looking at ( verse 14& 17 ). I just want you to notice these two parts of those verses,( Verse 14 ) says ( when he had spent all. ( Verse 17 ) says when he came to himself.

All three of these attributes are pictures of where we have to come to in order to recognize our need for the spirit of God in our lives. Esau was at a weak point in his life. He actually made the statement that (I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright be to me )?( Mark 8:36 ) says: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

In both of these pictures we see a younger son and an older son. In ( Luke 15:20 ) we see immediately the younger son submitted to the father. ( 21 )  And the son said unto him, father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no longer worthy to be called thy son. We also see again that it’s the oldest son that is struggling with the father’s decision. We see that in ( verse 28 ) And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. Look at what he says to his father. ( Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.

It’s a couple of things to point out here. First, the spirit, being a thy always of the youngest son is always willing to quickly submit to the father, it’s always the flesh, the first born that is stubborn, even within ourselves. The second,  many people,  in their flesh are convinced they are pleasing God with their good works, they are very deceived in that mindset. If we live our whole lives living a, what we call, clean life and that without asking the spirit of God to come into our hearts to direct out footsteps then we actually do nothing for the glory of God.

So we see the two sons in Luke are exactly like the two sons of Isaac; in both case the eldest has to come alongside the youngest and his mindset which is the born again, spiritual mindset.

We actually see this unfold in ( Genesis ) with the two sons of Isaac, being Esau and Jacob. In ( Luke 15 ) we see the picture of the youngest be the spiritual man and the eldest being angry with him but here we’ll see it unfold and the flesh and spirit come together in the end.

So we move on.

Grey Hair and Old Bones: Continuing Three

 A Bride for Isaac

We now move on to ( Genesis 24 ). I realize as a man with grey hair and old bones that there is a lot more that can be found in the earlier chapters of Genesis as well as all through each book of God’s word. The hidden things and mysteries we speak of. The things that both, enhance and increase our faith in Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father. Even as I write this, my spiritual mind wanders through scripture with a true desire to teach all that I know and can prove to anyone that trust this book, being the word of God. That is one of the mysteries and hidden things. I must ask, are you settled that you can believe and stand on this book alone for all the answers you need without even my help or the help of any man? As we have stated before, all the help we can have is, if fed by the Spirit of God, ordained of God, beneficial to each of us to use for his glory. With that being said, even with what I teach as a man with grey hair and old bones it must be weighed by you and through the spectrum of the Holy Spirit of God in you.

Without a doubt, every man is a sinner and very capable of misleading other people. Every man is also capable of being led by the wrong spirit as he teaches or preaches. Any man can easily follow the flesh, for example, if you are hungry, you eat. Jesus Christ went forty day and nights without food and was tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread. He could easily have done that miracle. That, at a time when he needed it the worst, but he didn’t. He basically told Satan that it was more to this life than food or drink. ( Matthew 4:4 ) It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Have we learned that lesson? What aspect of our lives are we feeding to most, our flesh or our spirit? As men and women of God, as preachers and teachers what are we feeding the most to our students?

As I hold my Bible in my hand, I see it as a pearl. As I share that fact, I see each word as pearls of great price in a spiritual sense. To have the pleasure of gleaning those pearls is priceless to my spiritual being. Those hidden things and mysteries are food for my soul and hopefully to all that learn from them. To me, not to teach or try to see those things and share those mysteries and hidden things to other people is the greatest sin any man can commit. In not doing so, that is , not sharing those things, we leave the people we say we love in spiritual ignorance and darkness.If I don’t search scripture, then I stay in spiritual darkness myself.

In all that we can say or do. I’m speaking from the aspect of a man with grey hair and old bones. One that’s seen a lot in his spiritual walk. Most of the experience has come from one that sits and observes other people or listened to what others say. Some of it is from being involved myself, sometimes in my own ignorance.

If you know my life, that is, at least since I’ve been born again. Do you think anything that has happened to me ever caught God the Father by surprise? I think not, he has the ability to teach me even in my own stupidity if I’m open to learn. It’s the same way with each of us but we must be opened to hearing and seeing spiritual things from scripture.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I’ve stated this and will continue to stand on it. It’s not what is easily seen in scripture that teaches us spiritual things but the things that are not easily seen. As members of our local Churches, we are not important. The only thing that is and ever will be important is the uplifting of the name of Jesus Christ and allowing the spirit of God change and direct our lives.

Satan will never walk right into your Church and say anything. He slides in, he’s sneaky and knows exactly how to get his will done, through our flesh without even being noticed. He causes us to be more concerned about our flesh and the flesh of others than we are about the spiritual aspects of this life and beyond. For example, if a man that is lost without God goes to a local Church, this man has cancer and his desire is to be healed. This is a very well-known man and well respected. He asks the Church to remember him in prayer, and we do; we pray for God to heal his body, lo and behold he is healed, no cancer can be found in his body. This man is happy camper and now desires to join our Church, says all the right things but, actually never truly excepts Jesus as his Savior. Is this man any better off?

AS we go through this segment of ( grey hair and old bones )( Continuing three ) we’ll see a picture of the true desire of the Church.

( Genesis 24:1-4 )

And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. ( 2 ) And Abraham said unto his eldest servant in his house, that ruled over all that he had, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: ( 3 ) And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, the God of the earth, that their shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the canaanites, among whom I dwell: ( 4 ) But thou shalt go unto my country and to my kindred, and to take a wife unto my son Isaac.

It’s a challenge to know where to start here. We see so much in these verses, as it concerns the Church that all I can do is hit the high points as I travel through.

Let’s look at this point. Do you realize that when Isaac was offered on ( Mount Moriah ) as a sacrifice, he never came down? The Bible says that Abraham returned unto ( his two young men )( Genesis 22:19 ) but the Bible never mentions Isaac again until Abraham tells his elder son in ( Genesis 24:4 ) to pick Isaac a bride from among his people.

I’m just going to give you something to think about here, something to build on. Here, Abraham is a type of God the father. When he came off the mount he reunited with his two ( young men ). Isaac is still on the mount. This is a spiritual thing. Can we say here that these two young men are types of the son and the spirit?

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, please understand, all this is type. But is not Jesus still above us today? Now Jesus is still at the right hand of the father, actually he hasn’t come down for his bride yet has he? In typology, God the father, God the son and God the spirit came off of that mountain.

When Abraham came off that mountain, remember where he went? He actually went to the families of descents of Ismael.God promised the mother of Ismael that he also would be the father of a great nation. I say, as a man with grey hair and old bones that this nation is nothing less than the Church, the body of Christ, I’ve made that statement before.

I want to make another point here. We, a born again believers stand on the concept that God is in three persons. God the father, God the son and God the spirit. All three of the persons are seen here in one form or another. We, in our Churches are instructed today to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. ( Matthew 28:19 ) Think about this; when Jesus makes this statement about baptism here in Matthew, it’s after he has been raised from the dead. So, at this time is it not more evident that it’s God the father speaking than ever? Today, the only evidence we have of the existence of God is through and by the Spirit of God. We believe that they all three are the same. We can’t see either of them today can we? Yet we believe. We talk and preach of Jesus Christ, we believe that he was and is God in flesh, we believe that his Spirit also lives within us. The power of God is within every born again believer through and by his Spirit.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, my mind rolls through all these things. How do I teach it all and show how it ties together?

I’m going to make this point and we’ll get back to Abraham. The baptism of Jesus by John is mentioned in all four gospels. Wonder what John the Baptist said when he baptized Jesus? What did he say when he baptized anyone?( I believe ) that the baptism at that point and time spoke for itself. The basic people of the nation Of Israel did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. When anyone was baptized by John that act of just being baptized by John spread like wildfire.

It might be, beside the point what he might have said. However, when John was baptizing this is what he was preaching; ( repent and be baptized for the ( kingdom of heaven ) is at hand. All the people that were being baptized at that time were doing so, saying that they believed that Jesus was the coming messiah. Jesus, when he was baptized simply was making himself one of those that believed that fact in his flesh, before the people that he came for at that time.

I’ll just throw this in as a study point. I don’t believe that the word ( baptize ) or any form of that word is found in the books of the Old Testament. However, Abraham did ask his eldest servant to swear an oath.

The elder servant here took that oath very seriously. Do you think that we should take baptism the same way? Does it mean the same thing to us as it did the elder servant or even the people of Jesus’ day?

Just by way of comparison, let me ask you something, what is the difference in your vows to your spouse and being publicly baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Do you mind if I tell you what I think? There is actually no difference, the only thing we could mention is the fact that we actually don’t see the Father, the Son or the Holy Ghost, we do our spouse.

As I write this, I think, we might not take it very seriously, but God the Father does.

Now, back to ( Genesis 24 )

WE see Abraham sending his eldest servant to fetch a bride for his son Isaac. We mentioned the fact that it was two young men. Could we say here that Abraham is the oldest, being a type of God the Father, the eldest servant would be second being a type of God the Spirit and the youngest would be a type of Jesus Christ. It’s just a picture but we can see a resemblance of the three parts of the God-head.

Actually as we go forward we know that Isaac is the type here of Jesus Christ. This is just something to consider as you study.

Isaac is not seen here. Typically, where is Jesus while the Holy Spirit is on earth seeking his bride? Is he not on high with the father?

I know that this might seem scattered, at the same time it’s important that we see this as it unfolds in scripture. All this is not something our flesh craves, but rather the Spirit of God that hungers within our being. He desires to be fed.

Jesus Christ in the gospel of John said this: ( John 16:7 ) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

In this gospel Jesus is revealing himself as ( God the Son ). God, through the fleshly body of his son Jesus Christ is revealing that the flesh has to leave. His true desire is that ( God the Spirit ) came and be with us. It has nothing to do with the fleshly body they are looking at.

We never see this in any other gospel. I just like sharing this:

In the gospel of ( Matthew ) Jesus Christ is revealed to us as the King of the Jews.

In the gospel of ( Mark ) Jesus Christ is revealed as the servant of man.

In the gospel of ( Luke ) Jesus Christ is revealed as the son of man.

In the gospel of ( John ) Jesus Christ is revealed as the son of God.

In ( Matthew ) we see the genealogy of Jesu in the king line of David.

In ( Mark ) we don’t see a genealogy at all, as a servant, it’s not relative.

In ( Luke ) we see the genealogy of Jesus as a man in the flesh all the way back to Adam.

In ( John ) again we see no genealogy because God has no generations before him.

We compare scripture with scripture. We need to take the time to do just that. I tell you that in the hidden things in scripture is where we increase our faith and establish our walk with Christ. ( I believe ) without this teaching and, we might could say, feeding of the meat of the word, we starve to death spiritually. We never gain the confidence of the security of our salvation. Remember the ( hidden things )  (the mysteries ) we spoke of in ( 1 Corinthians 2:7 )? The Apostle Paul said he could not speak to them as spiritual but as unto babes in Christ.

I realize as a man know with grey hair and old bones that it takes time. Just how much is you stand before God worth to you as far as your time is concerned?

Again, as a man with grey hair and old bones, I watch people, people that say they are born again and wonder when they are going to begin to mature in Christ. I’m not, nor will I ever be a judge but what It see concerns me as a person that knows just how short our existence is on this earth, how little time we have to be prepared to stand before the God that gave his all for us.

I personally don’t think people realize that ( we are not our own )( we have been bought with a price). If any person dies without Christ, that person spends an eternity in a place called hell. Well, what happens to any person that dies in Christ, being born again but fails to prepare as a believer to stand before the very same God?

I do not think we, as believers are taught that aspect of our salvation, that drives me to write, the burden for those people is very overwhelming.

 ( Let’s get back to Abraham )

Why did Abraham desire for Isaac to have a bride from his people and not one from where he was living, what is the significance of that?

A better question to ask at this point might be; what has Abraham learned from all that has transpired in his life to this point? And, since you, if you have been born again, what has happened spiritually in your life? Abraham was made a promise by God the father that involved he and his wife. He doubted what he, being God the Father, had promised and leaned on his own understanding but, God is faithful and still kept his promise.

Abraham is getting a spiritual education as his life unfolds. He’s learning, not what he thinks or desires but what God the father is looking for in him. That’s the same lesson that we all need to learn, it not about what we desire but what he desires in us.

Actually the nation of Israel is not in existence yet, its existence is, at this point only in the mind of God. Can we agree on the point that the Nation of Israel is ( one )? Adam, as a man was also ( one ) . God does not now, nor has he ever desired to be alone. He said of Adam, it is not good for man to be alone.

 ( Genesis 2:18 )

And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

The very fact that God created woman from man is a picture of what we are seeing here in Abraham seeking a bride for his son Isaac and, within that picture God is creating a ( help meet ) as he calls it for himself. That is the nation of Israel. God took a rib from Adam’s side didn’t he?  Adam said of Eve ( she is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh )( Genesis 2:23 ).

God did not take of the earth again to create woman, but he made woman from what he had already made from the earth, man.

Abraham is living, as we might say  ( of the earth ) He is living among the people that exist simply because of his disobedience of the voice of God. His desire is to, spiritually speaking to make sure that Isaac’s wife is not of the earth, so to speak but of his own people.

If we go back to Adam, was it not Eve that created the situation where Adam bit the fruit? Looking at Abraham, was it not Sarah that brought about Abraham going into her handmaid? Looking ahead to the nation of Israel, did not Israel bring about the situation that caused Jesus Christ to be born, be crucified and raise again for the creation of the Church? Are we not supposed to be ( bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh )?

Now, let’s take this a little farther along. Did Adam stop loving Eve because of what happened? Did Abraham stop loving Sarah because of what happened. Did God stop loving Israel because of what happened? What we are seeing is a picture, all these things are relative to what we see in our world today. Once again Isaac will have a bride that is ( bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh ).

Do you remember a while back we talked about the ( spiritual seed )? That seed started with Abel, the second born, we talked about that picture. Well, that seed is continuing now through Isaac, still in that same line. Jesus Christ is in that same line.

When we come to the Church. Jesus Christ is the bridegroom; the Church is born of the spirit. Is not that therefore in the same line?

We know that every person is born of the flesh. These things are mere pictures of what is real or the true desire of God the Father. These things are a true passion of God the Father, he took them at that time very seriously, he also takes those same things very seriously at this time and age in which we live. We don’t take it seriously, but he still does. There’s a verse of scriptures we see in ( Ezra ) that

 ( I believe ) will fit very well here. ( Ezra 2: 63 ) And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.

Before we get into this, let’s look at one other verse; ( Amos 7:14 ) Then answered Amos, and said to him, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was a herdsman, and a gather of sycamore fruit. ( 15 ) And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me. Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

I’d like to define what the words in Ezra mean:

Tirshatha:- The feared, man with power like a governor. When this person speaks, there is no arguing with what he says.

Urim:- Light, there’s no darkness at all, nothing hid.

Thummim:- truth, simple truth.

Amos said this; I’m not a prophet, nor am I a prophet’s son but God told me to say this.

I make all these points to simply show you just how important it is to God the Father that the seed of righteousness continues. It’s not a game we play, it’s not a good time, at least, not in the mind and heart of God.

Eve, being a type of the Church played with Satan and lost;

Sarah, being a type of the Church played with Satan and lost;

Abraham learned and did not desire to make the same mistake.  As I say that, now we know Israel played with Satan and lost. Is the Church today playing with Satan? Is your Church playing with Satan?

One day, in front of each of us a man with power is going to stand up just as in the case of Israel. God determined ( 70 weeks ) of desolation upon the nation of Israel. They have been through ( 69 ) of those weeks ) one more to come, and it’s in front of that nation. It’s also in front of us as members of the body of Christ. What? Do you think that God’s going to do us, as the body of Christ any different that he did Eve or Sarah? Even Israel?

Jesus Christ, our bride groom is the Tirshatha, He alone is light and truth. In Ezra, the nation of Israel was in captivity, at this time they were being set free from that captivity, they want to continue things just as they always had before they were captured but, while in captivity they played with the world or Satan and now they want to forget how they lived and those they allowed themselves to associate with.

I’m sorry friends but that’s not how it works. The Church today is playing with the world. Do you realize that each person is accountable for their own actions? Even something as simple as what I write and send to other people, I’m accountable for what I say and that before God my judge.

Abraham took his responsibility to his son, to his God very seriously. He was simply a Godly father. If you have the responsibility of leading people, you are accountable before God. An elected official, they might not realize it, but they are accountable to God himself.

A president, a governor, a sheriff, police chief, all these people are actually appointed by God whether we like it or not. A pastor, teacher, all these people are accountable to God the father. Every person that claims the name of Christ is accountable to him and will stand before that; man to fear, that light and that truth one day, you can count on it.

So, we see Abraham sending his elder servant to seek a bride for his son Isaac. The next time we see Isaac mentioned, unless he is mentioned to the bride the servant is seeking will be when he sees the bride coming.

All the bride knows about the bridegroom is what the servant tells her about him. Basically speaking, the bride is being led and instructed completely by the elder servant, that is all the way until she sees the bridegroom.

Can you see the Church in that picture? Is not the Church completely supposed to be led by the spirit? We’ll get back to some of this in a minute but the fact that Abraham sent his servant back to his own people is related to how the spirit of God lives within each of us and that is where our hearts and minds are to rest. We are to lean completely on that spirit as we journey back to our bridegroom.

That spirit is completely separate from this world. It’s not of this world and, when we try and relate it, in any way to this world it becomes ( spiritual adultery ) against the man that we are to marry at some point in eternity.

Abraham sent his elder servant to get a bride for his son Isaac. God the father sent the Holy Spirit to get a bride for his son, Jesus Christ. God the father doesn’t want any part of this world seen in the bride, his spirit selects for his son, just as Abraham didn’t want a bride for his son to come from the descendants of Ismael.Can you see that picture?

In my flesh I am of this world to which I hate the deeds that I yield to at times, in my spirit I am not of this world and my desire is to that spirit to obey his will as I walk through this world of sin.

It’ my desire to bring this down to the Church and how it does or does not relate to this today. We’ll see whether I can do that effectively or not.

I  feel the necessity of adding a point at this time. In ( Genesis 24: 5 ) we see where the elder servant was concerned about whether a woman would be willing to follow him back. He was thinking on the lines of possibly having to take Isaac, the son back with him at some point to help a woman decide by what see could see rather than simply going by what he would say to her.

This brings up an interesting point. As we go through this we will see where a woman named Rebekah was, indeed willing to make that journey. Wonder why?

Seeing here that Isaac is a type of Christ and, Rebekah is a type of the Church what do we see in a spiritual sense?

Today, and ever sincethe actual creation of the Church in ( Acts 2 ) all we have had to have the ability to know Christ is the defining of him in scripture. None of us have ever seen him in the flesh. The question is, can you or have you fallen in love with Christ from just the words you read in this love letter we have? Now, as I ask that question, it’s easy to say that you love him, wouldn’t you say? Many people make that statement. Maybe, as we look into Isaac and Rebekah we will see how much see loved him?

The point is just how much do you love him? Do you love him just as he is, or have we tried to change him over the years to make him more like the husband we desire for him to be?

Have you ever considered, as it relates to Church and Christ what you are truly in love with? I always try to bring things down to an individual level. Looking at yourself, how much do you truly know about the Christ that the word of God reveals? ( I believe ) we are more in love with the ( idea of the Church ), ( the fellowship of the people ) than we are with the true knowledge of Jesus Christ. ( I believe ) we are very limited in the knowledge of him, and that being by choice and by possibly the leadership we afford ourselves.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, I remember when I was a boy my dad would tell me I needed a haircut. It didn’t matter whether I liked my hair like it was or not, I got a haircut. We don’t see that mindset today, in homes, in Churches, in schools, not anywhere. Why is that? We have allowed ourselves to believe that, just because Christ tells us he will take us ( just as we are ) that we can stay ( just as we are. )The spirit of God births us into the family of God ( just as we are ) it’s the responsibility of the Church to prepare us to be what he would have us to be; and you can count on it; he’s not happy with you ( just as you are ).

Rebekah was asked to give the elder servant a drink of water, she did that. The fact that she offered to water his camels was something she had to be taught beyond just doing the minimum. Our parents, schools and Churches have a responsibility. Our parents bring us into this world. They are not content with us ( just as we are ) are they? We begin to go to school as we grow, those people in our lives are not content with us ( just as we are ) are they?

In our Churches, we go to Church ( just as we are ) and hopefully, saved ( just as we are ) but our Churches should never be content with us ( just as we are )

As a man with grey hair and old bones, my hair still grows, my dad is gone but, because of the teachings of my father, now I realize the importance of the way I present myself.

Salvation is the minimum requirement for eternal life. Is that where we are supposed to stay?

Rebekah came out of the world see knew. Now, let’s look at her. The only desire of the elder servant is to find a bride that, first of all, is willing to come and , is pleasing to the son.

Let’s look at what happens here. We’ll first see what the servant prayed: ( Genesis 24:12-14 )

And he said, O, Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. ( 13 ) Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water; ( 14 ) And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

The Bible says in the very next verse that before he had finished speaking; Rebekah was there. She done exactly what the elder servant had prayed. As we read we see that this damsel was of Abraham’s family, she was fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her.

Are we not looking at two different aspects of the very same thing here? I’ll try and tie it all together and allow the Holy Spirit to use me as we go through this. First of all, can we see that the elder servant is seeking nothing for himself? Although he is ( just a man ) it’s not him we are seeing is it. It’s the willof the father or, in this case, his master. Can you see how the elder servant can be a type of the pastor of a Church? If a pastor of any Church is truly seeking to do his job is he not also looking for exactly what the father or the son or his master is looking for? This elder servant is not here as something he is seeking is he? He is a man that is sent to do a job, he is completely yielded to the will of his master. He is seeking perfection but not for himself but rather for the one he is yielded to completely.

Let’s now look at something the Apostle Paul says in the New Testament; ( 2 Corinthians 11:2 ) For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you a chaste virgin to Christ.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, I feel a necessity to also write the next verse here. ( 3 ) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

How simple would it be for the elder servant to simply go and find woman and bring her back to be Isaac’s wife? It would work fine until she actually got back to the place where she actually met the father. Once the father began to ask a few questions the truth would come out, also in most cases 9 actions speak much louder than words ). Once the elder servant, the bride, the son and the father are back together, the truth would be known.

The elder servant here takes his role very seriously; just as any pastor should. There’s a day coming when he, the bride, the father and the son will come together.

Let’s take this a step farther, what is the difference in these two terms found in what we are reading in ( Genesis ) and what we read in ( 2 Corinthians ) ? The Bible says of Rebekah; ( she is a virgin, neither had any man known her ), the Apostle Paul speaking of the Church says his desire is to present a ( chaste virgin ). What the difference here in, or why didn’t they both just use the word ( virgin ) instead of adding ( chaste ) and ( neither had man known her )?

As a man with grey hair and old bones, I wonder, how old Rebekah was when she came out to the well? This I can’t say however, I do know she was more than just a virgin according to scripture. No matter what age she was, she had been taught to keep herself for one man, being her husband.She was far beyond just being a virgin, she had been taught to keep herself from every aspect of any man touching her in any way. This is a physical picture of a spiritual aspect of man. Do you realize that the day you are born again you become ( a new creature in Christ Jesus )? Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new. From that day forward the Apostle Paul has a desire to keep you a picture of purity as directed by the Holy Spirit of God.

On the day you are born again, you and Rebekah have something in common. When Rebekah agreed to go back with the elder servant, at that moment she became espoused to Abraham’s son, Isaac. The day you were born again, you became espoused to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The only difference here is Rebekah is taught physically from her youth to keep herself pure for one husband, we should be taught that as well. In a born again believers walk, it has nothing to do with your former life but your walk with Christ once you are born again, from that time forward.

What are we actually teaching our children today, from a physical standpoint by our families, schools and in our everyday life? In this case, we are referring to a young woman, but it can apply to young men as well. Technically, there is no boundary in most cases is there? How about in our Churches? Do we press any boundaries in that respect? Do we teach staying unspotted from the world within our marriage to Christ?

Just as a way of making a point, Rebekah in her willingness to give the elder servant a drink of water was the virgin part of her life, the fact she offered to water his camels is the never touched by man part. In comparison, a person being born again is the virgin part and the spiritual growth would be the chaste part of your life.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, I’ll give an analogy I once used to make a point. I was speaking to this young convert that was struggling with spiritual weakness. It happened to be a cow standing in a pasture in front of their house. The fence and the cow wereso far away from the house that it was almost impossible to tell what side of the fence the cow was standing on. I used that as an example of our walk with Christ. Far too often we walk sofar away from Christ, the world can’t see Christ in our lives or tell whether we are born again or not. In other words, if we are born again it can’t be seen in our lives.

When is the last time you heard the word ( sanctification ) in the Church you attend as it related to you walking with Christ? Just something to consider. If we are not taught to be chaste or kept, how can we know?If we are born again but live lives that don’t reflect Jesus Christ, then what good is our salvation to Christ?

If Rebekah could actually call herself a virgin because she had never been with a man but, in reality every man in the community had kissed on her, had their hands all over her then tell me, what difference did it make?

While mentioning these two aspects of our lives; one seen in the physical life of Rebekah and the other seen in our spiritual walk in Christ, let’s look at another verse. ( James 1:27 ) Pure religion and undefiled before God and the father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep thyself unspotted from the world.

Looking at this verse of scripture we can see something. Rebekah, in the religious sense, kept herself from the world. This, in itself is a very good accomplishment and it paints a spiritual picture for us. We just seen in James the word religion defined. Therefore, is that all it is to a Church setting? Do you think, if you simply do what that verse defines, God is pleased with you? Is that all we are taught?

While the things mentioned in this verse is very important because it reveals something about you to the world, that’s not all it is to it. The day you ask Christ into your heart the spirit of God takes abode up in your heart and has a desire to direct your footsteps. Typically speaking, the moment you got saved you became a virgin in Christ, now it’s his desire to teach you by his spirit to be chaste.

This would be the picture that we see in Rebekah from her physical birth to whatsoever age she is now. She has been taught to keep herself for one man.

What this means is, not only is it important for a born again believer to show religion in front of the world but, that same person has to be willing to hear what God directs him to do in his spirit. To the born again believer, one is no good without the other. It might look good before the world, but God is not pleased because you are not obeying his voice and not seeking his will. That is basically what James is trying to get us to see but we tend to focus far too greatly on the physical and not the spiritual.

If I were to use a metaphor here it would be this: Joseph was espoused to marry Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary claimed she had never known a man but, she is with child, what would that say to you, or to Joseph? Physically speaking that is impossible. So if Joseph has simply gone on the physical aspect of what he could see, he could have walked away. However, God spoke to his spirit and instructed him as to what his plan, we might say, was. Therefore, Joseph being willing to hear that spirit did not put her

away.

We can also see a picture of Christ in Joseph, but can you see the picture I’m speaking of. To the religious world Joseph had every right to leave Mary and still would have been in great standings with the people of the religion. The truth is that it’s more to his life than what the world can see, just as it is supposed to be ours.The spirit of God spoke to and directed the path of Joseph. That goes far beyond any religious aspect of any organized religion, now, just as it did in his day. Our Churches are filled with people that religiously look good to the world of religion. The question is, are you hearing what the spirit of God is asking you to do?

It’s an easy thing to satisfy religion, any religion. It’s not that complicated to yield to the spirit of God but, in more cases than not, the world or the religious people will not be happy with what you do and say.

From this point, the point where the elder servant meets Rebekah until they actually leave to return to Abraham there are multiple things we can see as types as it concerns the Church today. One of the most significate is how her family is willing to listen to the elder servant. Although Rebekah is a type of the Church, so is her family in this picture. Can you see how they all readily except the voice of the spirit or elder servant?

( I believe ) that the picture here is more about ( the Church ) and its relationship to the spirit of God than just the real picture we see of a bride for Isaac in which is, in itself a picture of Christ and the Church.

Twice here in ( Genesis 24 ) we see the urgency of the servant’s journey presented. That urgency, that is the job that the servant has been sent to do is far more important than any other mindset or will of the family of Rebekah. We see in ( Genesis 24:23 ) that there was set before the servant meat to eat. However, he answered, that he would not eat until his errand  was shared. We see again in

( Genesis 24: 55 ) where the family of Rebekah had decided to allow the servant to take Rebekah that they wanted her to stay a few days. The servant refused and desired to start his journey. We also see that the ultimate decision was left up to Rebekah. She yielded to the desire of the elder servant.

In both of these cases the family listened and yielded to the voice of the servant.This servant is a type of the very spirit of God the father. In this picture we see a family, a Church member all yielded to the very voice of God, through his servant, his spirit.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, I wonder, are we missing that aspect of God almighty in our Churches today? There is absolutely nothing more important in any Church setting that hearing the very voice of God, starting with the voice behind the pulpit and extending out to every person that is seated in the complete Church.

In essence, who would you say has control of the average Church today? Are we, as individuals, am I as an individual, or the whole Church as a group, willing to yield control of our lives the to the spirit of God?

Again, as a man with grey hair and old bones, this one thing I have learned. I’ll state this and bring an end to this segment of our journey.

Whether you are sitting at home typing on a laptop, standing behind a pulpit, teaching Sunday School or just simply sitting in a large or small congregation of people, doesn’t matter. There are only two things in this whole world that has the power to lead you. You are being led by the very spirit of God or you are being led by the spirit of Antichrist, which is Satan himself. There is no middle ground.

In this case, the picture we see here. The elder servant knew one thing for sure. He knew, in time he would have to stand before Abraham and give an account for his actions. This one thing brought about anurgency to everything he did.

The majority of our lives are filled with sinful deeds that we must be forgiven for. The very day I, as a man with grey hair and old bones got saved there was an urgency placed within me. That urgency was led by the very spirit of God. In my lifetime, far too often I have allowed the wrong spirit to lead me. I know the challenges that each younger person faces as they start the journey toward home. I also know the importance of spiritual leadership from the very day salvation is given by the spirit of God. I know that the spirit that moves into each heart has to be fed by that self-same spirit.

In some of these writings I used the example that spiritually we are being developed like a babe in a mother’s womb. That baby is fed by the very flesh of its mother. The new birth is the very same way. If a new formed baby is not fed by the flesh of its mother, it dies. If a new born again believer is not fed by the same spirit that birthed it, it dies.

Lord, help me to never be part of spiritual death but rather a vessel of the bread of life. Help me to feed only through and by that self-same spirit that lives and thrives within me. God fill me with urgency as your servant, a servant willing to give anything, pay any price that your will might be done. Help me overcome the very weakness of the flesh you live in that I might do your will.

No matter what age we are, young or old, there’s a journey ahead of each of us; help us to prepare for that journey, In Jesus Name.

Grey hair and old bones: Continuing

CONTINUING

GREY HAIR AND OLD BONES

1 Corinthians 2:7

BUT WE SPEAK THE WISDOM OF GOD IN A MYSTERY, EVEN THE HIDDEN WISDOM, WHICH GOD ORDAINED BEFORE THE WORLD UNTO HIS GLORY:

This is the verse we’re looking into, building on. The Apostle Paul told these people, at this Church in the first of the next chapter that he couldn’t speak unto them as spiritual but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. ( I Corinthians 3:1 )  The same Man, the Apostle Paul said about himself: THAT I MAY KNOW HIM, AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION, AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERING, BEING MAKE CONFORMABLE UNTO HIS DEATH; IF BY ANY MEANS I MIGHT ATTAIN UNTO THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. ( Philippians 3:10-11 )

What does he mean ( attainunto the resurrection of the dead?) The word attain means: ( to succeed in achieving something that one works for.) As a man with grey hair and old bones I’m trying to attain the same thing. Jesus said:( John 12:24 ) Verily, verily, I say unto you , except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.  With this in mind,if this seed could talk and explain to you its desire it would tell its dream is to attain unto death. This seed realizes that, like it is, it’s worthless but if it dies it can bring forth much fruit. The Apostle Paul is one of those seeds. His flesh is only the hard shell of that seed. He realizes that unless that shell falls of that the spirit of God cannot grow.

We think in fleshly terms, and that my friend is worthless. We look at dying as something that happens and we cease to exist. Let me give you an example of something I know. I often plant a garden. I’ll buy, let’s say squash seed. When I look at them they are hard and dry in my hand, no life at all. I take half of them and plant them and simply place the rest of them on a shelf. The seed I plant grow and produces squash. They also have seeds that develop in them that can be planted and produce again. But what about the seed on the shelf? That seed will stay there, lay worthless for a long time. At any time I could pick them up and plant them and the will produce as well. But a day will come when the life in that seed will vanish. It will still look like a good seed. That a picture is of us lying in a coffin. All we could have done is over. We laid on a shelf and never attained unto the resurrection of the dead.The main difference is, the seed knows nothing, we have to have a desire to attain unto that death that we might reproduce spiritual fruit.

Let’s look at something here. Let’ say that my wife and I desire to have children. Well, one day, in just a moment of time she becomes with child. O,K. actually, she, at the very first doesn’t even realize it, does she? As time moves on, one day she comes to the knowledge that she is with child. Therefore she shares her knowledge with her husband, me. Well, now two people is aware the she is with child; Guess what, the child still is not aware  that he or she or both even exist. In just a short time a lot of people might know about the child, but the child still doesn’t he exist. One day me and my wife actually hold our little baby in our arms, we take our child home and many people see our child for the very first time. The child still is not aware but he or she is gaining in knowledge each day.

I realize that children gain knowledge at different ages. What can you say is your earliest remembrance?

The point is that a child, any child is conceived, it grows and one day is actually matures if everything takes its natural course. Most, or I should say normally, children grow and mature and it’s very pleasing to that Child’s parents. Shouldn’t it be the same way spiritually? When at first we are born again, we might not know anything, spiritually speaking but we should mature spiritually as time moves on, if not what’s wrong?

The Apostle Paul, when looking at himself, if you read this account in Philippians, he saying; I’ll pay any price, makes no difference. He’s saying that he desires to see ( death of his flesh) to be resurrected in Christ. Simply that he might know him and the power of his resurrection.

Therefore we can say that the Apostle Paul grew to spiritual maturity. He paid the price and along the way he shared that same passion that other people might grow to that same spiritual level of maturity. He had the battle scars to prove it.

The Apostle Paul went into a city called Corinth. I have no idea what he faced there to bring about the birth of a new Church for the glory of God. Maybe some of you can tell me what he suffered, in that city to bring about spiritual birth. However now he’s writing a letter to the people that he paid a price for to bring about their salvation and calling them a bunch of babies that still drink milk. I fed you with milk, not with meat and I still can’t give you meat because you are still child- like.

The Apostle Paul is telling these people that there are hidden treasures in Christ, also mysteries that you, in your childish ways cannot see because you refuse to, you refuse to grow up spiritually.

Have you ever seen a little puppy when it’s first born? His eyes are closed. His mother cares for him until he matures enough to be on his own. AS he grows, his eyes slowly open that he might see. Being born again is just like that puppy. We have spiritual new birth, but our eyes are closed spiritually. The Church is our mother. Its design is to nurture each of those new babes until their eyes are open. As we mature we began to see this hidden wisdom and, wisdom of God in a mystery. It appears that the people of the Church of Corinth, when, in a given time should have been men and women spiritually, they were still babes.

We, my friends are relating the skill of ( physical righteousness ) in our Church members as being spiritual growth and it’s not. We are wrong in our spiritual mindsets. When the Apostle Paul was Saul before he was born again he said of himself: of the law I was basically untouchable. He had to die to that mindset. And began to see the spiritual things of Christ. ( Philippians 3:1-6 ) The Apostle Paul said, at that time, before he was born again, he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Don’t we do the same thing? I’m a member of such and such Church. I’m highly recognized in that Church. Even the members of the Church of Corinth could boast of being a member of a Church. In the Church of Corinth, these people were not even untouchable or blameless when it came to the law.  With that being said, even if we meet certain criteria physically in any Church it doesn’t make us spiritual does it?

As a man with grey hair, looking back I made somewhat the same mistakes. When I say that I’m looking at my children. Did I simply teach them to live a righteous life, expect that from them and did I look at that, their clean living as being spiritual? When that was taking place was I feeding them anything that would make them hungry for the hidden things of God or to seek the mysteries in scripture?

We’ll get back to our journey in Genesis in a little, I promise. However, these things are pressing on my heart. Just consider! When you are viewed, and you are, do you want to be seen as a babe in Christ or a spiritual giant? A spiritually mature, all grown up believer? Are you willing to die to self that you might know all the mysteries an see the hidden things in scripture or are you content just to drink milk?

AS a man with grey hair and old bones I see our Churches filled with babes. I see teaches and pastors that are spoon feeding their flocks, and in some cases still bottle feeding them. Our Churches are more like the Church of Corinth than they are the Church of Philippi.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, my desire is to help to feed, never to hurt. I’m not anybody’s enemy. Unless you are the enemy of the cross of Christ. If that’s the case we might be enemies but not by my choice.

I realize that the book of 1 Corinthians is in scripture. We all can see that. However I’m not sure that the very people that the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to ever got to read it. Can you see how that the leadership of the Church of Corinth might have received this letter, didn’t like what it was saying, therefore concealed it from the very people that needed it? The very meat that was sitting before the Corinthians on their spiritual table, their leadership withheld it from them.

But, by the grace of God, we have it don’t we? If we can take what is being said by the Apostle Paul to these people and  be spiritual enough to look at ourselves as it relates to this book, we can grow thereby. We must simply be willing to die to self that God’s spirit might teach us.

Basically speaking, under normal circumstances my mouth is the only way my body receives what it needs to stay healthy. I’ve learned as a man with grey hair and old bones to put in my mouth what my body need to sustain my health. I’m not perfect at that but I do at least realize that, over the years, as I matured in my flesh, I had to change my diet.

How does my spirit, the spirit within, how does it get fed? The first thig that most believers might say would be reading scripture or by their pastor or teacher. I’ll agree, those things are necessary tools in any spiritual growth. However, I simply cannotallow myself to limit my spiritual growth to just listening to other people and reading a daily devotion. If we do allow our spiritual walk or life to be governed by these things then we are babes in Christ our whole lives. My mama, when I was a child, to fed me. If I only allow another person to give me scripture, is not that the same picture? And, also, can you show me the verse in scripture that instructs me to read scripture? ( Study, it says: to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth  not be ashamed, rightly dividing to word of truth. ( 2 Timothy 2:15 )

God’s desire is for born again believers to study, to know him, to hear him, not the pastor, not the teacher but Him through his Spirit.

At one time I listened to my mom and dad and followed their instruction. At some point I became a man and began to think on my own. I still showed them respect but began, as I matured to make my own decisions. Believers should be the same way. The pastor and teachers in your Church are or should be related to school teachers or someone that begins your spiritual journey. We however have made a spiritual career out of going to school, with no further education.Our pastors and teachers should be like grade school or high school in our lives. At some point we graduate and seek higher education, the members of the Church of Corinth were still in kindergarten.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I charge you to grow up spiritually, one day you will be glad you did. In my journey as a believer I’ve had some great pastors and great teachers. I’ve also had some that were not so good. However, I, as a man that desired to know learned from every one of them. Friends, do you realize when you stand before God, in the body of Jesus Christ you can’t blame any other person but yourself for where you are spiritually? It’s not your pastors or your teacher’s responsibility for your spiritual growth. It’s yours. You’ll find that out when you stand before him.

There’s no such thing as a perfect pastor, teacher or person. I can teach my pastor some things, he can teach me some. I can teach my teacher some things, he can teach me some. But if either of them or I are not willing to learn, no one can teach us anything, like the puppy, our spiritual eyes are still closed.

God, help us to open our eyes, open our understanding, help us to grow, help to attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Now, back to Genesis.

AS a man with grey hair andold bones; ( I believe ) that the Church can be seen in through the whole book of Genesis. I also believe that some of the spiritual people in the Old Testament could see certain segments of it and God was pleased with them for their interest. I also realize as a man with grey hair and old bones that I see and understand very little about the hidden things and mysteries that I could understand if the spirit man, being the Holy Spirit that lives within me could fight his way through my weak flesh. As I go through this book and point out little things that I see with my spiritual eye; you look at the verses between what I point out and see what you can glean.

My desire is to talk about Simeon in the book of Luke a little but first I feel impressed to say something else.

WE see a little book in the Old Testament called Ruth. I’m not going to turn to it, but I believe it only contains four chapters. In that little book we read a story about a man named Boaz and a woman named Ruth. They eventually married. Ruth, being a poor woman would go and glean in the fields of the rich man named Boaz. She would gather the grain that the reapers would miss. Boaz seen her doing this and told his reapers to leave her some ( handfuls on purpose ).

Ruth was just like me. She and I both are very undeserving people> We, both however are willing to search to feed ourselves. The only difference is, she was searching for food to feed her flesh, I am searching to feed my soul, the hungry spirit that lives within me.

Simply speaking, common sense will tell you that if she was not out seeking, she would find nothing. It’s exactly the same with any believer, if we are not seeking, we will never find. Because of her determination to find, Boaz loved her and blessed her with ( handfuls on purpose ) He is a type of God the Father. When God, through his spirit sees his children seeking he does the same thing. Sometimes when I’m searching for one thing I’ll stumble on one of the biggest piles of spiritual knowledge that just swells within my spirit and  squeezes tears from my eyes.

WE look at people in the flesh that we say are lazy. We wonder, why don’t they just get a job and try to do better. I guess they are simply content with nothing. Aren’t we the very same way if we say we are born again and never take the time to seek out spiritual lessons or knowledge? Don’t we just expect the teacher or our pastor to do all the work? Or, are we just expecting God the Father to give us something for nothing?

AS a man, now with grey hair and old bones, I remember when I was a boy. Just five years old. My dad gave me the Job of carrying the ( slop bucket ) to the hog pen to feed the hogs. The slop bucket was a five gallon bucket, in most cases fil of milk and table scraps. The hog pen was about four to five hundred feet from our house. Time, to me, at that age didn’t mean anything, I didn’t have anything else to do anyway. But even at that may dad would tell me to hurry back. He was not hare on me about it but set boundaries you might say, teaching me to be responsible with my time, even as a five year old. I would straddle that bucket, lift it with both hands and move it one step at a time until I reached the hog trough. It was always easy to bring it back.

AS a boy, I went to work at five years old. My dad and mom, at an early age begin to teach me and instruct me on life lessons, mainly how to be a man. In Genesis, God the Father is teaching at an early age how to see spiritually, how to open our spiritual eyes.AS I grew, I learned to put that bucket in a little red wagon, my dad gave me the wagon as a Christ- mas present. Sometimes he would even help me put the bucket in the wagon. What a blessing. But it all started because of discipline and my willingness to listen to instruction.

I also remember from an early age another point I can make. My dad and I were down at Farmer’s Exchange  when they had their grand opening. I was about  seven or eight at the time. For you that live in my home town, that is the same building to we know as Southern States today. As we were looking around in that new store I spotted a little airplane that a boy, like me could fly. I didn’t ask my dad for it because I figured he won’t buy it anyway.

Years later, not long before he died. He and I were sitting and just sharing things. I ask him if he remembered the time when farmer’s Exchanged opened, he replied, yes. I told him the story I just shared with you. He told me, he, as a man with grey hair and old bones, I should Have asked him.

I realize as a man with grey hair and old bones that, in is wisdom at that time he probably would have still not purchased it for me. However that’s not the point. The point is that I didn’t ask.

In a spiritual light aren’t we the same way? We know very little about what God truly desires for us to know, the mysteries, the hidden treasures in scripture simply because we don’t ask, we don’t seek. Sometimes he might day no at times and we might receive that knowledge when we truly need it. Does that mean we quit because the answer is no at that time? In ( Daniel 12 ) Daniel ask God to reveal something to him and God refused. He answered him, shut up the book. We know see that answer, the answer to Daniel’s prayer in the Revelation. If we truly desire to grow spiritually we must ask.

The Bible teaches us that concept. One that I know of in ( Hebrews 12:9 )Furthermore 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?

Also, ( Matthew 7:11 ) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven good things to them that ask him?

Again, we as Church members relate this to our fleshly needs when that’s not what God is trying to tell us. It’s not that God’s desire is for you to be poor but the rather that ye be rich in spiritual knowledge. His desire is that you go to work to enrich the flesh being wise with your earnings and to go to work in the study of his word to enrich your relationship with him.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I realize that most people are like me. We see people that are lazy and say; hey man, get a job. Well, I look at you spiritually, the same way, hey man, pick you Bible up.

I have listened to my pastors over the years, even the one I have now and thought; I believe he’s wrong about that. I have also listened to them and thought; why don’t he go ahead and say this. But he didn’t. God, through his spirit, the spirit that lives within you can teach you to even take a man that is wrong on some points and grow by his mistakes.

My  desire is to be honest with about how I feel, to help, to instruct in righteousness. I believe that a Sunday School quarterly is a child’s play toy. At some point we need to grow up and use real tools to do real jobs.

You, my friend can do as you please, I will never have to stand before God for any of your short comings, only mine. However, I am concerned about you, I care about how you stand before him. Jesus himself said he wanted to gather Israel under him as a mother hen gathered he chicks under hers, but they would not. The Apostle Paul said he was willing to suffer, all that was necessary until Christ be formed in you. Israel was not willing to gather under the wings of Christ, we know that. The real question is, are you willing to allow Christ to be formed in you?

Simeon, in the book of Luke was a man that had studied the Old Testament> he had figured out, according to the time table, ( hidden. A mystery ) laid out by God in scripture that reveals when Christ should be born. God, through his spirit had promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Christ child. Once Simeon had seen that Child he told the God of Heaven that he was ready to depart. ( Luke 2:25-30 )

WE as born again believers can do the very same thing. We just have to die to self and allow the Spirit to teach and guide us.

AS we look in Genesis, there is no way that even I in my flesh can see all that is here. As we move through may you can see little handfuls and teach me as well.

We pick up again after the birth of Isaac. We have seen how Sarah, being a type of the Church cast out the fleshly child and held on to the one after the promise.She cast out the flesh. That is spiritual growth in a Church when we become spiritual. We become willing to yield to God’s spirit and not listen to our flesh nor to yield to it.

God is one. There is no middle ground. We, just like this picture create middle ground and try our best to stand there but, God is not now, nor has he ever been pleased with it. If we simply look at Abraham and Sarah his wife. We can see the same picture that we see in Adam and Eve. Even in a Church setting. God’s desire is to speak to the head, no outside influence, and have his will carried out. Adam failed. Abraham failed, and so do we see it in our Churches. The members of the body of Christ almost demands that they have a voice.However, God wants, through his spirit to speak to the head and have his wife yield to all he says. He doesn’t want his wife misleading the head nor the head foolishly yielding to the bride or wife.

Can you see the problems that the world has now? Can you see how the mistakes in judgement brought about because the head, being Adam and Abraham caused simply by yielding to outside influence? Is it not the same in our Churches? We can see the Serpent speaking to Eve, we don’t see him speaking to Sarah, does that mean he’s not there? In the same way, we don’t see him in our Churches. Does that mean he’s not there?

A pastor is an ( under Shepard ), we could change that to ( understudy ). An under study is a person that is able to stand in for a main actor in the Actor’s absents. Therefore. The only person that can walk in a Church and tell the pastor that He’ll take it from here is Jesus Christ himself. If a pastor takes cues from anyone else his making the same mistake as Abraham.

A man by his very mature has a straight line vision. When men focus on a job the things around him is not important, he’s just doing his job. A wife or woman has more of a peripheral vision. She sees things going on around her far better than men do. Therefore, a spiritual wife can see trouble coming and warn her husband but see must make herself stay focused. She must never us her ability to deceive.

Can you see that same picture in as spiritual Church? The spiritual pastor, one that is truly seeking only the voice of God is focused simply on God’s word and his voice. He only has two eyes. The Church, the wife, if she is spiritual has many eyes and can see all that is happening around her, good and bad. If that Church is truly seeking to advance the voice of God she will only seek to give the pastor good instruction, never say or do anything that will bring or allow outside influence to come in.

I realize this might be taking this to the extreme, but could we also add that when Sarah came to Abraham, in a spiritual sense and talked to him about not being able to bare children, would that be a physical problem rather than a spiritual one? I truly believe we could say that looking at this from a spiritual mindset. For instance, what if she would have come to him and said: Honey, you and I are getting old. I know and trust our God and truly believe he will deliver on his promise. However I’m getting awfully weak in my flesh, will you pray with me? I need some reassurance that will sustain me.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I can see this. Far too often the pastors of our Churches are overwhelmed with the physical aspects of the Church and not the spiritual. If, nothing else this is a distraction on his ability to hear what he truly needs to hear, and that of the Holy Spirit of God.

As a man with grey hair and old bones that loves to talk to my Lord through and by the Holy Spirit, I can see this. I’ve often,while working a physical job have had people to ask me, if they could ask me a question. My mind would automatically go to the spirit within me and think, I hope it’s a spiritual question. Most of the time it wasn’t. But the fact still remains when the Church seeks spiritual answers form its pastor it’s like a whet rock sharpening his skills as a pastor. The physicalaspect of our lives can’t do that, they only dull the spiritual senses.

Can I throw something in here? It won’t cost you anymore, same price. We see in (Acts 6 ) where, shall we say the Church members were murmuring and complaining. What were they complaining about? They we not getting their fair share so to speak. In today’slanguage and coming from a man with grey hair and old bone, the Apostles actually told them; go find someone else to look after that junk, we don’t have time, it’s taking away from our Biblical studies. We desire to feed you spiritual food, feed your souls.So, that pleased the crowd and they found seven men. These men, I suppose took care of this problem. Can you imagine someone coming to one of the Apostles after this and complaining about a physical problem? This is probably what one of them would have said; what are you telling me this junk for, go talk to one of the men you picked and see if he can help.I don’t have time for it. Why in the world would a Church go to the trouble to pick such men if they didn’t do anything. WE see in the picture in Acts that they did pick seven men. I wonder how many of them were truly, full of the Holy Ghost, and wisdom, and of honest report? WE know two were, Phillip and Stephen. They both died at an early age, the rest probably pastored Churches like Galatia and Corinth.

 We now move up to the offering of Isaac as a sacrifice. There is a lot to see spiritually as relates to the Church before we get to this point. You can study and see what you can find in ( Genesis 21 ) I guess I’m picking my favorites.

In (  Genesis 22 ) we see where God tempted Abraham. God called his name just as a father might call the name of a child. Abraham heard God’s call. If we stop here; and ask, can you hear God’s voice, that clear? Are you willing to say, just like Abraham, here am I? You study and read all the things that happened in ( Genesis 21 ) and see what brought Abraham to this place. We know that earlier Abraham yielded to the voice of his wife. A man with grey hair and old bonesknows and understands, that was not the first time he listened to her nor will it be the last. We even know that Abraham gave his wife some bad advice at times. All this is simply being weak through the flesh and neither he or any of us are perfect.

We also don’t see here where Abraham ever told his wife about what God was asking him to do with their son.

However. This time Abraham heard God speak. Look what God said unto him. ( Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest. ) It’s a lot to be said here, I try and say it all. That is, all I can see. Maybe you can add to it.

One of the first things I see here is God speaks to Abraham, Sarah is nowhere to be found. Do you suppose that Abraham is growing spiritually? Has he learned to listen to his wife when she is wise but to make sure that It’s God the father he’s obeying? Before we go any farther let’s make a point. If we read about what is about to happen, God has instructed Abram to take his only son and offer his as a sacrifice. We’ll look at this first. Abraham knows, by faith that if he kills Isaac that God will have to raise him from the dead because of the promise that God has already made to him. God also point out without a doubtthat Abraham only has one son. We don’t realize it very often but all we do in our flesh means nothing to God the Father. It was the same with Abraham. All the buildings we build and love, all the things we possess it nothing, even we, will lose them at some point. We have already seen and made a point that God looks after our flesh, but our healthy bodies are supposed to glorify his name. It’s the spirit within he desires to feed.

Do you suppose that Abraham shared with Sarah what God was asking him to do? As  a husband or a pastor, what would you do? Let’s say, for the sake of argument that Abraham did share this with his wife. It would have been the right thing to do, don’t you agree. As a man with grey hair and old bones, I can only imagine what it would be like if I told my wife I was going to kill one of our Children, I can hear the come back from that statement now. What? Manare you crazy, I’ll kill you before I let you do any of the such. What would your wife say?

That is looking at it from a strictly physical stand point. So let’s say, like Abraham Sarah has grown spiritually by the physical mistakes she has made as well. Therefore she realizes she can trust her husband’s judgement as he seeks to obey God, she gives him her full support in the matter. Whether we are speaking from a husband and wife stand point or a pastor and a Church stand point, this is what God is looking for. His desire is for the head to yield to his voice and, as that head speaks and reveals God’s will the weaker vessel follows that head as he follows Christ.

We see in ( Genesis 22 ) basically speaking, a man and His son. The wife is not seen. Only the necessary components to bring about God’s will. Now, as I say that, since Sarah is being seen now as spiritual, where is she? She’s at home praying for God’s will to be carried out. Behind the scenes of every spiritual husband and every spirit filled pastor there’s a wife and Church that’s actually praying and asking God to give him the strength to carry out the very will of God.

Therefore although she’s not there. She’s doing her job.When a pastor is standing behind the pulpit his wife is not standing there however, if she is doing her job, he knows she praying, and he has her full support as he faces the difficult responsibility of saying and doing all God, through his spirit asks him to do. A man with a wife that truly stands behind him and willing to hear the spirit of God can be backed against the walls of hell, he will still not back down.He will even offer their child for sacrifice, by faith, trusting God.

The main two components that it takes to bring about God’s will is two things. It takes a body yielded to the Spirit of God and a body willing to be sacrificed. We see them both in Abraham and his spirit son, Isaac. Do you remember the verse in ( Acts 8:32 )? He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; like a lamb before the sheerer, so opened not his mouth:Isaac was this person, a type of Christ. Isaac didn’t understand but completely trusted his father.

I’m still studying and looking. So therefore the next thing I say I might need your help with. I pondered the two young men. We now the mountain he showed him was actually Mount Calvary. This whole picture is all about the perfect sacrifice. It’s pictures like this that point to Christ all through scripture. I love looking for those nuggets and sharing them.

Why the two young men? When Abraham departed from them he said this; I and the lad with go yonder and worship and come again to you. He implies that they both were coming back. That’s faith.

What if, the two young men represent the future nation of Israel and the future Church, both of which were not known at that point. I don’t know, just something to ponder.

( I believe ) the two young men do represent some people or something in Scripture. Things of this mature are things that stay on my mind while I study over years. As I study one day I will see something, and the Spirit of God will nudge me and make me go back to these two young men and tie it all together. It might be in a message I hear or somewhere in scripture that I remember or read. And also, it might not matter but I truly enjoy searching for those hidden treasures and mysteries.

Isaac is a type of Christ here. Look in ( Genesis 22:7 ) Abraham takes the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it upon Isaac his son. Can you see Christ carrying the wooden Cross there?

One of the next things I like to point out here is the way Abraham the father answers his son Isaac when he notices that they have everything but the animal for the sacrifice.( Genesis 22:8 ) It’s actually two things here. When Isaac spoke his father, look at how Abraham replied,( here am I, my son ). When God’s children are yielded completely to him the line of communication between each of us and God the father are the same way. There’s total and clear understanding here. We’ll get back to this but let’s look at Abraham’s response to Isaac’s question. He replied; ( God will provide himself a lambfor a burnt-offering.) Abraham is already understanding that, one day God himself will become the sacrifice. He sees that by faith. WE see here two people, Abraham the father and Isaac the son, both are totally yielded to the spirit of God.

In ( verse 9 9 ) here we see that Abraham actually came to the exact spot that God directed him to. That’s where he built the alter. Can you see how sensitive the man is to the voice of God? When I read this I wonder, what if this was the exact place that Christ was crucified? I know, there are people that know far more than I do about places and things, but I’m not concerned about those people or things. I just love my conversations with the spirit of God. As a matter of fact, if the spirit of God told me that was the exact spot, I’d stand on that fact just because he said it.

Abraham went as far as building the alter, lay his only son on it and lifted the knife to slay him. But God stayed his hand. Now, listen to this; that means God’s voice, God spoke to him and stopped him. In Verse (11) God said; Abraham, Abraham and Abraham heard his voice. Did you notice how Abraham was just as receptive to the voice of God as Abraham was receptive to the voice of Isaac? Isaac listened to Abraham, Abraham listened to God.

This picture again was a mere type. We see the real thing on the Cross of Calvary. Can I make a very profound point here? Abraham was very sensitive to the word or voice of God. If he had not been he would have killed Isaac his only son, where would Israel be if that had been the case? In this picture we see two people very obedient. Those two people are Abraham and Sarah, they both learned from their lack of obedience and lack of faith. Now simply by being obedient and beingsensitive to God’s voice. Israel is born, a great nation.

What if? I say this to make a point. Religious people are not sensitive to the voice of God. They are never concerned about what God thinks. What if, on the day of the crucifixion the religious people would have been sensitive to the voice of God. Didn’t Pilate give them a choice? Do you think they heard the voice of God? A couple of things come to mind here. Do you remember the verse that we wrote earlier? ( If they had known they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of Glory? Religion is of the world, they simply cannot hear the voice of God. Jesus cried from the cross, My God, My God, why hast though forsaken me? If Abraham would have slain Isaac, Isaac could have cried the same thing couldn’t he?

What did Isaac do to deserve what is about to happen to him? Can you see my point? God spoke to a spiritual man and the spiritual man listened and stayed his hand. On the day or about the time of the crucifixion those people, being religious could not hear the call to stay their hand.Just by way of making another point. Have you ever, been under or a terrible circumstance and with tears, a very heavy burden, cried, MY GOD, WHY? Have you ever been at this point?

 In almost, I hesitate to say all. because I don’t know for sure but, in most cases, if we look deep enough, God could have been screaming to the top of his voice, trying to stay a hand, but no one would listen.

 I have, and if I had the time I’d share a few of them with you. Technically, can’t we call this a very short prayer? We’ve always assumed that Jesus was crying out to God his Father and asking he, being God, why he had forsaken him. When, in reality, Jesus could have been speaking to the very people that heard him say those words. Those were the people that had forsaken him, not God the father.

We now know that their inability to hear became our salvation and another part of God’s family was born.

Just how deep can we go here? As a man with grey hair and old bones it sends cold chills up my spine to think about the people that I have let down because of my unwillingness to die to self and be sensitive to God’s voice. People that are in hell, screaming, Why? Why? And I could have done more if I were more willing to suffer, spend time on my knees seeking to hear God’s voice, but I didn’t.

I also here, remember the verse in ( Revelation 3:20 ) Jesus said, I stand at the door and knock. He’s speaking to the Church, knocking on a Church door. Can we not hear, are we not listening, even looking for him anymore?

You see, the only place that Isaac died was in the mind of God. He seen Abraham’s willingness to kill his only son and, in his mind it was a completed act. He also seen the willingness of Jesus Christ to die for us, and in the mind of God, he did not die, did he? We clearly see that.

The Bible says that Abraham lifted up his eyes: ( verse 13 ) He seen a ram caught in a thicket. There was the sacrifice.What can we see within and about that Lamb that speaks to us about Jesus Christ?

God sees our religion, our willingness to listen to everyone but him. We can choose to deny that, but it doesn’t change the facts, not in God’s mind. Today we live in fear. We are afraid of offending people, we live in fear of not being excepted by our piers, losing the support of man, being wrong when we teach or preach, being rejected, making our wives or husbands upset. We desire for our children to, what we say, join Church so bad that we’ll do anything but listen to God to get them there. All that paints areal pretty picture, but it never changes reality. Do you think as a man with grey hair and old bones, I haven’t been there?My children were baptized, joined Church, said they were saved. I truly appreciate that, and my desire is that it’s true, a fact. However, me being satisfied and feeling good does not mean that God had anything to do with it does it?

In reality, we are similar to Abraham. We earnestly say we desire the same picture that we see in Abraham, but we are not willing to pay the same price. Abraham didn’t kill his son did he? Just a picture.

Don’t we in a spiritual sense have to be willing to pay the same price as Christ paid? Die to self? It’s just in a spiritual sense?

Let’s move on. It’s a lot to see but I’ll leave that up to you if you are interested. But we see that Abraham came down off the mountain. Spiritually speaking, when Abraham was going up the mountain it was a type of Old Testament saints looking forward to the cross of Calvary, when he was coming down it’s a type of us, looking back to the cross of Calvary.

He came down, got his two young men and they went to Beer- Sheba. This means ( the well of an oath ). God promised him some things didn’t he? When he got to this place, what did he find? He found that the wife of his brother had born children. You and I can discern that these children are not the descendants of Isaac are they? They are people of a whole other family; can we say; the Church. We must realize that every person that will ever be saved has to come by and through the blood of Christ. This is something the religious world cannot see as far as those that build religions apart from Jesus Christ in any respect. Remember God’s promise to Sarah’s handmaid? He said, her son would be a  great nation. He sent her to Beer-Sheba. Where is Abraham now? Is he not in the same place? He has grandchildren. Every one of these people, then and now, we are, part of these children in one form or another. Anyone that is not a descendant of Isaac can become a member of the body of Christ, they each must come through his blood. Even the descendants of Isaac can be born again. The whole point is that the Church is the great nation God promised the Sarah’s handmaid. All these nations that think they are great, denying Jesus Christ, they are not. Even if we walk with a false Christ, one we create ourselves we are nothing, even they, that put on a show but are truly denying Christ are in the same demonic mindset. Think about it, you either gather with him or you are scattered abroad. That means you are not born again, it doesn’t matter how much you hate the mindset of some religions you are actually no different.

Do you realize that there is only one hell? The members of the most Christ hating, Israel despising, even those that hate born again believer are going to that hell. If you are someone that is simply playing Church, walked down an aisle, joined Church, got baptized but actually you have never been born again, where do you think you will spend eternity? You will be with them in the very same hell.

Sarah died. Abraham sought a place to bury her.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I wonder about things of this nature. Why would God in all his wisdom, make a point to tell us all about this process? There’s a question to be asked here. The people that died before the flood, did they have an eternity, or did they just die? That’s just a question. Also, if people believed before the flood, where did they go when they died? We see here, after the flood that Abram is preparing a place to bury his wife. Abraham and Sarah are the grand parents of the whole nation of Israel and, he is also the grandfather of the children of another great nation. He here, is purchasing a place to bury the grandmother of Israel. He is determined to pay the price for it. Why? Wonder why he didn’t just let the man that owned it give it to him?

There are religions that encourage their members not to study scripture. They want their people to simply listen to the leaders, whatso ever they might call that leader. I wonder sometimes if we, as member of our local Churches are not blindly doing the same thing? Questions of this sort and, the believers desire to understand them enhance our faith. It also gives us assurance of our salvation, simply by studying.I say this out of concern, in most of our Churched today we are not encouraged to bring our Bibles to Church. We never hear our pastors say anything about following along with them in scripture and, in most Churches they use pre- prepared teaching material.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, I take my own personal stands on these types of things. The spiritual stands that I take are not forced on anyone. However, when I speak to people I do stand on my principles and what I believe. Not one person has to agree with my personal stands.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, I can’t remember whether I’ve already said the statement I’m about to make or not. I know I’ve made it, but I write so much and say so much I forget what I say where. If I’ve said it already in this article, it’s worth saying again.

I’ve always wondered why the pastor of any Church won’t take a stand on what version of scripture is choses to preach out of. If a pastor likes the Living Bible for instance, why not encourage his people to bring that Bible with them to Church? If the various members of that Church want to study another version at home, fine but at least when they gather together they are reading the same words.

( I believe ), that means, you don’t have to agree with me. The inability or lack of standing on certain aspects of Biblical standards is weakening the cause of Christ, in our Churches and, therefore his voice is not heard through our voices outside the Church.

Do you remember when this man with grey hair and old bones made the statementabout showing respect for the elders, listening to older people while we stand in front of them but forgetting what they say once they are gone? Well, to this man with grey hair and old bones, this is the same way. WE say we stand on certain principles while we are around certain people, like in a Church setting but never mention it outside the Church.

It’ referred to as ( push back ) we’ll say. Our Churches are not pushing back against the world. We like to talk about it inside the Church house, we talk about how the world is but never talk about it outside that building.

There’s no such thing as a free thing. If we think, in our minds it’s free then we are being deceived. Even salvation, Christ had to pay a price for it. Now the act that brings about salvation is free to us, as the recipients but, is it not true that some earthly body had to pay a price to bring that free gift to you? How did you find out about salvation? Didn’t you have to find out from another person? After Christ was Crucified and arose, the Apostle Paul had to pay a price to share salvation and so on it goes.

Also, do you think that anything beyond your salvation is free? Are you telling me that once you make a profession of faith in Christ, you have nothing to do? Is that what you think? Even your physical birth was free to you, however someone had to pay a price to get you into this world, your mother did, Ask her. She is a type of the Church. Our Churches are they willing to pay that kind of price?Your mother and father had to pay a price to bring you to maturity and that my friend, wasn’t free. Our pastors, teachers and,  and in general, Church leaders have to be willing to pay that same kind of price in a spiritual sense, to bring new believers to spiritual maturity.

This Actually has nothing to do with Sarah’s place of burial, but we can see the same picture here. When a man offers you something for nothing, you be careful. Within that offering it might be a hidden cost on down the road. ( I believe ) we see this in our Churches to day. We’re not taught to look beyond our day of salvation,or beyond our day of death, that is, physical death.How do we pay the price for both from our day of salvation?

In our Churches we don’t close the door enough, we leave it cracked. It’s easy for our flesh to rule our thinking when Satan has too much access to our thought process.( I believe ) that even born again believer have to be taught from spiritual birth how to see the spiritual aspects of God’s word, to slam that door. Simply understanding the concept of salvation is not able to do that. We must have our spiritual eyes opened in order to grow spiritually.

Now back to the purchase of the place of burial. Since Adam fell in the garden of Eden, who is the prince of the world? Is it not Satan? Do you think he, being Abraham or we can trust him?

In the picture we see here of Abraham being determined to give this man money. In other words, it’s a clear deed,no strings attached. Far too often we leave doors that we should tightly close with a little crack in them and the enemy slips in through the crack. I believe we could say that’s what happened with the offering of Sarah’s handmaid to Abraham that he might have a son by her. I also believe that, both Abraham and Sarah learned from this, spiritually speaking. The problem is you can’t go back and undo the mistakes that have already been made, just learn from them and move on. Here, Abraham is dealing with the children of that physical relationship, { the flesh )  Neither he or any of us can trust it. He is slamming the door shut on the deal.

 I’m going to give you a couple of things to think about. neither of which might be all together correct but something to ponder and build on. I will say however that this, like other things we might look into are those hidden things and mysteries that I love. I can imagine one day in eternity God the father grading my test paper and showing me where I was right and wrong.If you disagree with the things I see in this passage, then you pray, seek you own answer and teach it. One day God will grade you test as well.

That relates to the man travelling to a far country that called his servants and left them talents. We see later, when he returned what happened. ( Matthew 25 ) Being born again is a hidden thing within itself. That is, unless it is revealed through our flesh. Each of us have physical talents that can be tied to our spiritual birth if we are willing to put ourselves in service for our Lord. When we leave that door cracked, giving Satan a way into our mindsets we allow him to deceive us into thinking things that are not spiritual , we lean on our flesh and not God’s spirit. We see the ability not the allow that to happen when, Jesus contended with Satan: ( Matthew 4:1-10 )This is the first thought. Jesus Christ is a type of each of us within himself. He is, God in flesh. Since we are born again we have that same spirit living within us. Jesus takes scripture here each time Satan tempts him with something and, with that scripture, slams the door shut to the temptation.

Abraham, being a spiritual man, here is standing in, typically speaking, the world. That is what we, as believers do every day of our spiritual lives. He could not trust the flesh, his or anyone else’s. We cannot make deals with the devil. When it comes to the spiritual aspect of your life, get a clear deed and then use that deed for the glory of God. Abraham and Sarah tried to make a deal with the devil, they learned, get a clear deed.

I hear people that say they are born again, often say, they hope they go to heaven when they die. Their deed is not clear to them. Doubt is a crack that Satan slips in way too often.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, I wrote all I just said in a few different settings. I hope you can get the point I’m trying to make. It’s basically saying that we need a distinct border line or understanding between our flesh and our spirit. This is what Abraham is willing to do at any cost as he deals with this aspect of his family. We need to separate ourselves from our weak flesh as much as possible.

The next thing I see here has to do with a difference I see between the Old and New Testament saints.As a man with grey hair and old bones I realize that not many people think about this. However, as I study, and have been over the years of my born again experience, I run across scripture that causes me to question things of this nature. I just wonder why most people don’t?If all we needed to know about in the  Bible is the Ten Commandments and that Jesus Died and rose again, why didn’t we just have the gospel of Luke and the Ten Commandments in a book and call it the Bible? Why in the world did he put 66 books in the book we call the Bible? ( I believe ) that fact that we are willingly ignorant of all God has for us in scripture will one day be to our hurt. It’s one thing if you can’t learn as a born again believer and quite another just to be ignorant by choice.

There are people that are ( Jesus only ) believers and also, some other people that won’t read the Old Testament. I, like the Apostle Paul am not their judge, God can take care of that in his time. However, many people might decide, as long as they get to heaven , that’s all I’m looking for. I, as a man with grey hair and old bones say to that, one day, we’ll see.

What is ( easy believism )? Is it not believing at all?It’s easy to tote a Bible and say you’re saved. It’s easy to sit in a Church, enjoy the singing, listen to the preacher and allow everything about you to remain the same. So, you heard a preacher one day in a message say something about Jesus Christ and your need for him, at that you joined Church, that’s easy. It’s easy to say you are a Christian, the whole world is saying that today. It’s even easy to say that I’m wrong about what I’m saying about Abraham, Sarah and Isaac. I know that and understand that.

There’s never anything easy about truly exalting Jesus Christ with your deeds. It’s hard to seek the hidden things in scripture and to understand the mysteries. As a man with grey hair and old bones, ( I believe ) those things, when taught and seen is a treasure that the people of this world cannot come close to understanding. Joy unspeakable and full of glory. All these things help those that are born again, know him and the power of his resurrection.

Abraham purchased a field. That field and the land he purchased had a cave within its boundaries. We now know that Abraham is the grandfather of both spiritual aspects of this world. The nation of Israel and, basically speaking, the Church.

A little earlier I mentioned where the people before the flood went when they died. When we consider this, just think of all the people that are born at this time after the flood. Noah had three sons. We’re only following the time line of one of them. Abraham is a descendant of Shem. Although we can see the genealogies of the other two sons of Noah that’s as far as we can see. We can see one thing about them, they tried to build a tower to heaven. God stopped it by confounding the languages.

 That’s one reason I make the point that we are seeing a picture of the Church in the physical son of Abraham, being Ismael. All these other people, nations, languages, the world is full of them. The fact is, as we narrow it down, even in our own being, God is only concerned about the spiritual aspect of our lives. He shows no concern for our flesh. Our flesh or, the flesh of nations will not please God. Therefore we will have to or at least assume that both the Church and the nation of Israel both came from the seed of Abraham. In his seed all these other people can be blessed. If you look at our world today, what are the two most despised entities? Would you agree that it is the Church and Israel?

You, as an individual, a nation or a sect might not like or believe this but if you are ever going to please God or see him as he is, you must come through one of these two, and there are only two entities. Now, even Israel is expected to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Although they will inherit the earth one day, right now and over the last two thousand years or so every person must be born again. Actually, it has always been, basically speaking; the condition of the heart, not the relationship with a family.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I realize that, as a people we are not much different than the people that lived just before the flood of Noah. The Bible teaches us that without a doubt; as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the son of man cometh.

One other point I see a need to point out is this. In the New Testament Jesus said not to go to but the lost sheep of Israel. ( Matthew 15:24 ) The Samaritans we not seen as worthy of their time, outcast. Is that not a picture of Ismael and his mother?

Do you remember the story or parable in the book of Luke about the good Samaritan? It’s found in ( Luke 10 ). If you read that you will see that it talks about a man that has been beaten and left in a ditch. A priest, a Levite and a Samaritan all come by. Do you think that this story is told just to show you that you were supposed to help the needy? Give him what he needs and care for them? The truth is that it is a spiritual lesson.Can you see there that we, today are more like the priest and Levite than we are the Samaritan? Now, that’s because this is actually spiritual and not Physical. We see the physical aspect of it and might be able to fulfill that aspect however, on the spiritual side there are people that have spiritual needs and we will not fulfill them, we walk by on the other side of the road. We are like the priest, we look religious but offer no help for the soul. Like the Levite, we think by law I don’t have to do anything. Do you doubt what I am saying here? Well, tell me, or think within your own self, when is the last time you actually share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a person you think is lost? We are willing to help with the physical needs but never even consider healing to soul by sharing the gospel.

We sit in our perspective Churches, pay our tithes, we look the part, we think all this makes God happy.

As a man with grey hair and old bones, I see these hidden things and mysteries. God didn’t have to make a way for Ismael, nor did he have to stop Abraham from slaying Isaac, but he did. He could have just let each of us get exactly what we deserve, hell, but he went all the way to Calvary to pay for our sins. We see these things in the Old Testament.Through the loins of Isaac, God brought forth a man, his name is Jesus. He is the savior of all those that will come to him, of the family of Ismael and beyond, if they will only believe. There’s a statement made in the New Testament: ( salvation is of the Jews )( John 4:22 ) Ye worship ye know not what: to whom is he speaking there? We know what we worship: Again, to whom is he speaking about? For salvation is of the Jews. All salvation comes only through and by the nation of Israel.

Within this field that Abraham purchase we also notice two things;( the field ) and ( the cave ). He buried Sarah in the cave, which was  in the field in which he purchased.

I’m going to end this segment right here. I do, however want to leave this with you. Even being born again, knowing Christ, how close you to hell right now?

I’ll be back to this, By God’s grace, I promise.


CONSIDERING NOAH’S ARK ( GENESIS 6 ) AND BEFORE

As we get into these Biblical truths I’d like to first have you see something that we put very little thought into that we actually see in the New Testament. I’ll use this verse of scripture to make my spiritual point.

( Mark 4:39 )

AND HE AROSE, AND REBUKED THE WIND, AND SAID UNTO THE SEA, PEACE, BE STILL. AND THE WIND CEASED, AND THERE WAS A GREAT CALM.

As we look at this verse of scripture we see a ship on the see, the disciples were with Christ on that ship. The ship was in turmoil because of the unsettled sea. While Jesus was asleep and at perfect peace, his diciples were afraid and feared for their life. In the New Testament the sea is often used as a picture of the world and, it shows just how unettled the world is. If you go down to the ocean or, sea you will notice that the waters are never settled, they are always troubled. That is exactly the way we see this world spiritually and often even physically. The reason for that is that the very person that can bring peace to this world is for the most part rejected by this world.

I love speaking or touching thr hearts of individuals, just like you. No matter where you are in this world, just look around for youself at the vastness of people that you see. Personally, I love the game of football. I often watch both college and professional just for the sport of it. As I watch, I see the stadiums packed with people; which is just a small part of all the people even in that city or state. I notice that. although that staium is fillied with people only twenty two people are actually playing football. Every other person is basically just a spectator; doing no more that watching as the game moves foward.

As we consider the ship, Jesus and his disciples were on; it can be seen as ( the Church ) in a very troubled world. My desire is to get more people i ( in the game ) of heving children born ( born again ) as members of the true Church and leaving the cares and troubles of this world.

There is a massive amout of people in this world, all confused, troubled and wondering basically without the peace that can be gain by simply knowing Jesus Christ as their personal ( individual ) savoir. With that being stated, let’s now look back at Noah’s day and make some points that many might miss.

So, let’s start this with the children born to Adam and Eve. You can go and read in ( Genesis ) , the first few chapters to see what I’m saying. The first child that was born to this couple was a child named ( Cain ). The second born was ( Abel ). Cain, being the first born killed ( Abel ) the second born.

Now, we’ll stop here a minute and make another point. Both, Adam and Eve had sinned in the garden. If you remember, God had told them that it they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ( they would surely die ). The moment they ate of that fruit ( spiritually they died ). We’re actually the very same way. As we grow from birth, we also gain knowledge. At some point we gain the knowledge of right and wrong and, we often choose wrong. However, the point is that once we reach that point, we then must make a choice; just as they did.

As you read, you will see that God came down and killed an animal to make a covering for Adam and Eve. They excepted that covering as a covering for their sin but, they could no longer stay in that perfect garden. Now, they had to leave and work by the sweat of their brow. They were now ( sin Cursed ).

This is when Eve began to have children. Her first ( Cain ) her second ( Abel ). As these boys grew, they made a choice. God was pleased with Abel but not Cain. The fact the ( the first born ) killed the ( second born ) is a picture of our lives and, our flesh overtaken ( God’s will ) in our lives to live for him. In the case of what we see with Adam and Eve, the picture is that now Adam and Eve are left with only a son that is seeking to please himself. He has no desire to walk with God.

Now, let’s read another verse of scripture.

( Genesis 4:25 )

AND ADAM KNEW HIS WIFE AGAIN; AND SHE BARE A SON, AND CALLED HIS NAME SETH: FOR GOD, SHE SAID, HATH APPOINTED ME ANOTHER SEED INSTEAD OF ABEL, WHOM CAIN SLEW.

Here, we see the heart of Eve! Before we move foward from this verse of scripture; we need to consider something. If you will notice, Eve made this statement and not Adam. In every marriage, the man, the husband has his responsibilities. Because of his responsibilities he is not always around but the mother, the wife is there to instruct the children. She is there daily because that is her ,shall we say, ( sole ) ( soul ) responsibility. In the concept of God’s word, the man is the bread winner of the home. He has his part in child birth but, he works in the field, he goes out sometimes maybe for days. In this concept he shares with his wife, his desires and she carries them out within the home.

We see that picture in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ had a responsiblity in every person’s salvation. He performed his duties very well, perfectly! However, where is he now? Hasn’t he ( gone to prepare a place for us )? At this time, isn’t the responsibility to teach, to raise the ( children born ) within the Church left to his wife ( the Church )? So, we see that Eve was very concerned about the spiritual aspect of her children and, the things that were being told them concerning to knowledge of sin, good and evil needed a voice, a voice like the voice of Abel that Cain had killed. She seen that voice in ( Seth ).

As soon as we leave the verse we qouted: ( Genesis 4:25 ), look at the very next verse:

( Genesis 4:26 )

AND TO SETH, TO HIM ALSO THERE WAS BORN A SON, AND HE CALLED HIS NAME ENOS: THEN BEGAN MEN TO CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD.

We often look at the fact that we only see ( sons ) mentioned in the life of Adam and Eve and, we also seem to only see a short period of time such as; ten or fifteen years but; look at these verses:

( Genesis 5:4-5 )

AND THE DAYS OF ADAM AFTER HE HE HAS BEGOTTEN SETH WERE EIGHT HUNDRED YEARS: AND HE BEGAT SONS AND DAUGHTERS. ( 5 ) AND ALL THE DAYS OF THAT ADAM LIVED WERE NINE HUNDRED AND THIRTY YEARS: AND HE DIED.

Do you see there that Adam was ( one hundred and thirty years old when Seth was born. How many sons and daughters were born to him in that ( one hundred and thirty years )? When we consider what is being said in: ( Genesis 4:26 ) ( then began men to call upon the name of the Lord ), can’t it be assumed that nothing spiritual was being taught or sought from the descentants of Adam and Eve or any of their other Children? We also know and, can follow the spiritual trail of people from the man called ( Enos ) the first born of ( Seth ).

In comparison; looking at the phrase ( then began men to call upon the name of the Lord ), we, as people today actually don’t call on the name of the Lord until we have the ( new birth ), until we are ( born again ). You see, although Cain had heard about the grace departed from God to both Adam and Eve, he didn’t encourage any of that teaching. If I use myself as an axample, I, as a child was taught the scriptures as in my mom took me to Church. However, nothing in my life reflected Jesus Christ until I was born again in 1975.

It appears; when we see the birth of ( Seth ) that Eve was asking God for a child that would teach his Children to value of a walk with God and, refraining from sin. If you will notice in ( Genesis 4 ) we see the descendants of Cain. All through that list of names we see people that done things that were part of this world. However, it is nothing mentioned about even speaking tha Lord’s name. As we get into ( Genesis 5 ), we see the descendants of ( Seth ). We see where each of these men had sons and daughters but, their journey through time brings us to a man called ( Noah ). In ( Genesis 6:8 ) it says this:

BUT NOAH FOUND GRACE IN THE EYES OF THE LORD.

If we go back a little and look in ( Genesis 5 ) we see something that ( I believe ) is worth mentioning.

( Genesis 5:24 )

AND ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD: AND HE WAS NOT; FOR GOD TOOK HIM.

I’d like to build something here on this verse. As I’ve stated, we’re looking at the ( God line ) as we move through time. These people are all descendants of ( Seth ) As we consider this, I realize that as these people walked and became witnesses of ( the grace of God ) it’s very possible that some of the descendants of Cain also became believers. According to scripture we know that they mingled together, they were all family. Look at this verse:

( Genesis 6:1-2 )

AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN MEN BEGAN TO MULTIPLY ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, AND DAUGHTERS WE BORN UNTO THEM, ( 2 ) THAT THE SONS OF GOD SAW THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN THAT THEY WERE FAIR; AND THEY TOOK THEM WIVES OF ALL WHICH THEY CHOSE.

To put it as simple as I know how; as time moved foward the desires of the flesh began to overwhelm the very men that were suppose to be teaching the ( grace of God ). In other words, instead of the spirit of God in man winning over the people of this world, the people of this world were winning over the people of God.

I mentioned ( Enoch ) and the fact he walked with God and, he was not because God took him. Now, let’s look at the man that is mentioned being born to ( Enoch ). His name is ( Methuselah ). This man live longer than any other man. If you will look in ( verse 27 ) it says this:

AND ALL THE DAYS OF METHUSELAH WERE NINE HUNDRED SIXTY AND NINE YEARS: AND HE DIED.

I’d like to point something out here. Let’s run the numbers! In ( Verse 26 ) AND METHUSELAH LIVED AFTER HE BEGAT LAMECH SEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTY AND TWO YEARS. Now, look in verse ( verse 31 ) AND ALL THE DAYS OF LAMECH WERE SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY AND SEVEN YEARS. ( 777 )!

Therefore, Methuselah lived five years after his son died. I’d like to make this point here. I like Biblical numerics. In scripture the number ( 7 ) is the number of perfection, spiritual completion. The number ( 5 ) is Grace. We see those two facts represented in these to men ( father and son ). Now, let’s build a spiritual picture here. We see that ( Lemech ) ( was not ) because ( God took Him )! As I seek to build this I pray you can see ( Jesus Christ ) in the picture.

God the Father came to this world in the fleshly body of his son, Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life, was crucified, dead and buried. On the third day he arose from the dead. Jesus Christ made this statement:

( John 10:17-18 )

THEREFORE DOTH MY FATHER LOVE ME, BECAUSE I LAY DOWN MY LIFE , THAT I MIGHT TAKE IT UP AGAIN. ( 18 )NO MAN TAKETH IT FROM ME, BUT I LAY IT DOWN MYSELF. I HAVE POWER TO LAY IT DOWN, AND I HAVE POWER TO TAKE IT AGAIN. THIS COMMANDMENT HAVE I RECEIVED OFMY FATHER.

Let’s see one more verse:

( Acts 1:9 )

AND WHEN HE HAD SPOKEN THESE THINGS, WHILE THEY BEHELD, HE WAS TAKEN UP; AND A CLOUD RECEIVED HIM OUT OF THEIR SIGHT.

I see see this same picture in the scripture concerning ( Lemech ). Also, the fact that ( Methuselah ) lived longer than any man and, longer than his son makes him a type of the ( Holt Spirit ) that Jesus Christ sent on the ( Day of Pentecost ). We can say this: when ( Methuselah ) died, the flood of Noah happened. I like to refer to ( Jesus Christ ) as the ( Ark of Salvation ). When the Church is raptured out of this world, the Holy Spirit will go with it! That happens just before the ( Tribulation ) upon this earth!

From the birth of ( Seth ) to the ( Flood of Noah ) I’ll say was somewhere around two thousand years. As those years past the Spirit of God was less and less appealing to mankind. Man became more and more interested in the things of this world and, much less interested in the things of God. That is what God’s word says! Look at these verses:

( Genesis 6:5-6 )

AND GOD SAW THAT THE WICKNESS OF MAN WAS GREAT IN THE EARTH, AND THAT EVERY IMAGINATION OF THE THOUGHTS OF HIS HEART WAS EVIL CONTINUALLY. ( 6 ) AND IT REPENTED THE LORD THAT HE HAD MADE MAN ON THE EARTH, AND IT GRIEVED HIM IN HIS HEART. ( 7 ) AND THE LORD SAID, I WILL DESTROY MAN WHOM I HAVE CREATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH; BOTH MAN, AND BEAST, AND THE CREEPING THING, AND THE FOWLS OF THE AIR; FOR IT REPENTETH ME THAT I HAVE MADE THEM.

Now, look at the very next verse:

( Genesis 6:6 )

BUT NOAH FOUND GRACE IN THE EYES OF THE LORD.

We can say a lot about how God instructed Noah in ( Genesis 6 ). However, the point is that even as Noan built the Ark over the next one hundred and twenty years; no one, not one other person joined him other than the members of his family. I’d like for you to consider this. For all those years, not one child was born to either of Noah’s sons and their wives. What spiritual point can me made about that very point?

Let’s see if I can make the spiritual point I’d like to make here. So of this is mere speculation but, I’m looking at it from the things I see today. Personally, ( I believe ) that In the beginning ( seth ) and his descendants truly carried the same grace to the people that Adam and Eve shared with him as a child. If you remember ( Cain ) was a vagabond, he was cast out therefore, the majority of the people as the world grew was always around ( the mindset ) of Seth. However, as time moved forward even those people began to allow other mindsets to creep in and, control their lives. Remember the phrase ( sons of God and, the daughters of men )?

So, what happens to the children of many spiritual people? Let’s consider something else here. Where all three of Noah’s sons spiritual or, where they simply following their father? Again, ( I believe ) that there were possibly many other ( religious mindsets ) in the days of Noah and, many people looked at Noah and his family as ( spiritual quacks ). The ( grace ) that Seth preached in the beginning had been so changed that the people, if they believed at all were confident in what they believed. Look at this verse:

( Matthew 24:38-39 )

FOR AS IN THE DAYS THAT WERE BEFORE THE FLOOD THEY WERE EATING AND DRINKING, MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE, UNTIL THE DAY THAT NOE ENTERED THE ARK, ( 39 ) AND KNEW NOT UNTIL THE FLOOD CAME, AND TOOK THEM ALL AWAY; SO SHALL ALSO THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.

Deception my friends is a terrible thing! Do you realize that the same ( Serpent ) that deceived Eve was still walking the earth in these days and, is still here now? I spoke of even Noah’s sons that entered the Ark. I’d like to make a point about even them.

A true belief, a real exceptance of God’s Grace is a very transforming event in any person’s life. Let’s look at a Church today that actually stands and preaches God’s infallible word with power and conviction. Let’s also say a man and his wife truly are born again and become members of this Church. They have children and the couple raise their children in this Church. Their children, in time join this Church and, are even baptized but they never truly have the heart felt conviction of their sin, never truly understand the ( grace of God ). Although they are members of a very powerful, spiritual filled Church, don’t they still, as individuals have to die and stand before God?

Don’t we see the same thing with Noah’s sons? When the Ark settles back to earth, you notice the sons of Noah! If you will notice in ( Genesis 11 ) we begin to follow the descendants of Shem. We see in ( Genesis 12 ) one of those descendants is ( Abram ).If you will notice, the sons of Noah, right after the flood begin to do just as they chose to do. I’m not even saying Noah was perfect, he wasn’t but, he believed and followed the Grace of God. In essence, we see the very same picture with the sons of Noah as we did with the sons of Adam.

I simply point all this out to show you that in every case, as we move foward in time; the spirit of God becomes less and less important to the average man. I showed you a while back about Lamech, Methuselah and Noah, how I see them relating to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Church.

Jesus Christ had his responsibility as far as the birth and building of the Church. He carried out his responsibility to perfection. He also made a promise. Let’s read it in:

( John 14:15-21 )

IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. ( 16 ) AND I WILL PRAY THE FATHER, AND HE SHALL GIVE YOU ANOTHER COMFORTER, THAT HE MAY ABIDE WITH YOU FOR EVER; ( 17 ) EVEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH; WHOM THE WORLD CANNOT RECEIVE, BECAUSE IT SEETH HIM HIM NOT, NEITHER KNOWETH HIM: BUT YE KNOW HIM; FOR HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU. ( 18 ) I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS: I WILL COME TO YOU. ( 19 ) YET A LITTLE WHILE, AND THE WORLD SEETH ME NO MORE; BUT YE SEE ME: BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. ( 20 ) AT THAT DAY YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU. ( 21 ) HE THAT HATH MY COMMANDMENTS, AND KEEPETH THEM, HE IT IS THAT LOVETH ME: AND HE THAT LOVETH ME SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER, AND I WILL LOVE HIM, AND WILL MAGIFEST MYSELF TO HIM.

As we look at these verses I want you to see something else. Let’s look in:

( John 21:4 )

BUT WHEN THE MORNING WAS NOW COME, JESUS STOOD ON THE SHORE, BUT THE DISCIPLES KNEW NOT THAT IT WAS JESUS.

As you read this verse of scripture and, you can read and study more if you please; I want you to know that this same Jesus had just a short time before stood and talked to his disciples. If you remember Thomas didn’t believe but, at this time he said ( my Lord and my God )!. Now, to their credit; they are without the spirit of God at that time and, very weak in the flesh. But, my point is that any person has to have a desire to know and see Christ. That is even if you are born again.

When the Holy Spirit, the conforter that Jesus Christ had promised fell in ( Acts 2 ) those people were very eager to see and know Jesus Christ, they looked for him in everything, they listen to hear what was being said. They yearned for his return and, looked for him daily.

I’m writing a study through the ( Book of Acts ). In the last part, the last lesson I wrote; I made the point that we must be sensitive to the Spirit of God as he speaks. It’s very easy for man to build and create doctrines that are void of God’s Spirit. We see that, if we look in the very early chapters of Acts. Even in those days Satan was hard at work seeking to deceive the people.

The creation of the Church was a new beginning. Just like the life of ( Seth ) and, the days right after the flood. As you consider or, even if you could have been living in the days of the early Church, to whom would you have followed? As each day passed do you think you could single out the voice of the Spirit of God and, at the proper time, be a follower of the very person you were instructed to by God’s Spirit? That is a completely different study. However, my point is that now, some two thousand years later, are we not faced with the very same challenges that they faced then?

Look at all the denominations we have! All the religions that speak of Jesus Christ! Even all the different versions of what men call ( the Bible ). Aren’t we faced with the very same senerio that the people that didn’t board the Ark did in that day? ( What is truth )? Can we say for a fact today that ( the truth ) was that if you didn’t get on board the Ark, you would perish? Is that not recognized truth?

( I believe ) we have a problem! So, let’s consider! Jesus Christ is the ( ARK OF SALVATION ), period! Look at this:

( John 14:5-7 )

THOMAS SAITH UNTO HIM, LORD, WE KNOW NOT WHITHER THOU GOEST; AND HOW CAN WE KNOW THE WAY? ( 6 ) JESUS SAITH UNTO HIM. I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER , BUT BY ME. ( 7 ) IF YE HAD KNOWN ME, YE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN MY FATHER ALSO: AND FROM HENCEFORTH YE KNOW HIM, AND HAVE SEEN HIM.

I’ll begin this by saying, I say firmly on those verses, I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way that any person will ever see the Father. ( There is no other name, given under heaven whereby you must be saved.

( Acts 4:12 )

NEITHER IS THERE SALVATION IN ANY OTHER: FOR THERE IS NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN GIVEN AMONG MEN, WHEREBY WE MUST BE SAVED.

I’d say that almost any Church you walk in, any denomination and, you can ask any person in any of those places if they believe this and, they will say ( YES ). So, where is the problem? If all those people believe this, does that make them saved? In these last days, this is where ( I believe ) that Satn has driven his wedge of deception or, woven his web of deciet!

While this is a true satatement and, a statement that has to be understood, what else has to happen? Is there anything else? When does ( believing ) actually become ( believing )? I heard a story once about a hiker that had fallen off of a very steep ledge. When he fell, he caught hold of a little tree that had grown off the side of the ledge, he was holding on for dear life. If it broke or, he let go, it was certain death! He had no one to help him so, he begin to pray. All of a sudden Jesus appeared just standing in mid air. When the hiker saw him, he begged him for his help, please Jesus , help me. Jesus Said, do you really believe I can save you? he hiker cried, yes Lord! Jesus said, turn loose the little tree! However, the hiker just kept clinging to the little tree and pleading for Jesus to save him, not being obedient to our Lord.

( I believe ) the true concept of ( being born again ) is not being taught and most Church people have no idea of that very concept! If you will notice the last few words in ( Acts 4:12 ) what does it say? ( WHEREBT YE MUST BE SAVED )!

Look at one more verse:

( John 3:7 )

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

In Christ; everything that is needed for your salvation is right there in his name! He is ( God in Flesh )! He became our sacrifice. There is none other but him! Jesus Christ is the very door of the ( Ark of Salvation )! In him do we have safety from the very wrath of God the Father! So, what does it take to be born again?

What did it take to be born the first time? Over the years this subject has been one that I’ve sought to explain, to give people a perspective about what salvation is. In reality,; when you were born the first time, a union was made between two individuals, male and female. When that union was made, a completely seperate individual was formed. While that individual showed characteristics of both; the male and female she or he was formed from, it was still a completely different being.

When you were born the first time, both the male and the female knew of the possibility of new life being form from their union. All these points are still very relative to the born again experience. I believe we could argue it even takes three to bring about the born again experience. Why would I say that? I realize the actually the only two that is truly needed is you, as an individual and the Holy Spirit of God. However, I’d like to show you a few verses. First:

( Acts 8:31 )

AND HE SAID, HOW CAN I, EXCEPT SOME MAN SHOULD GUIDE ME? AND HE DESIRED PHILIP THAT HE WOULD COME UP AND SIT WITH HIM.

We can say a lot about this scripture! First of all, at that time it was no New Testament. This Ethiopian man was sitting in his chariot reading ( Esaias ) the prophet. He realized that he, on his own could not understand what he was reading He looked at Philip and said basically; ( how can I understand it unless some man teach me ).

Now,, let’s look in :

( Romans 10:13-15 )

FOE WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED. ( 14 ) HOW THEN SHALL THEY CALL ON HIM IN WHOM THEY HAVE NOT BELIEVED? AND HOW SHALL THEY BELIEVE IN HIM OF WHOM THEY HAVE NOT HEARD? AND HOW SHALL THEY HEAR WITHOUT A PREACHER? ( 15 ) AND HOW SHALL THEY PREACH, EXCEPT THEY BE SENT? AS IT IS WRITTEN, HOW BEAUTHIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THEM THAT PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, AND BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!

As we consider the first verse, we see that the ( Spirit ) led Philip to join the chariot.

( Acts 8:29 )

THEN THE SPIRIT SAID UNTO PHILIP, GO NEAR, AND JOIN THYSELF TO THIS CHARIOT.

As it relates to the ( born again experience ) it takes a person willing to hear, to receive! As we consider ( a preacher ); consider this. That person, such as Philip actually has not one thing to do with the salvation of a soul. The ( preacher ) is a man that is ( sold out ) to the very cause of Christ, nothing else. In other words, the things he says has nothing to do with his opinion, the Church he is affiliated with, his preferense of scripture, the desires of any other people. His complete will is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Therefore, we can forget about the ( third person ) can’t we? It is completely a union made between the Spirit of God and (you ) as an individual.

Now, just how far can we take this teaching of the born again experience? What if we forget about you to begin with? Why do I say that? Because as a sinner you’re dead, you are walking around ( dead ). You just simply can’t see it! You don’t even have the ability to help yourself, even if you desire to. Let me say something here that ( I believe ). It’s a terrible thing to be deceived by a husband, a wife, a friend, a Church member, a pastor and so on. But, the worst thing that can ever happen is for you to deceive your own self. For you to reach the place in your life that you cannot hear truth; no matter where it comes from is a terrible place to be!

So, we must start with finding out the responsibility of the ( Holy Spirit of God ). What is his part in your salvation, your ( born again ) experience? Let’s look at:

( John 16:7-14 )

NEVERTHELESS I TELL YOU THE TRUTH; IT IS EXPEDIENT FOR YOU THAT I GO AWAY: FOR IF I GO NOT AWAY, THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU, BUT IF I DEPART, I WILL SEND HIM UNTO YOU. ( 8 ) AND WHEN HE IS COME, HE WILL REPROVE THE WORLD OF SIN, AND OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND OF JUDGMENT: ( 9 ) OF SIN, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE NOT ON ME; ( 10 ) OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, BECAUSE I GO UNTO MY FATHER, AND YE SEE ME NO MORE; ( 11 ) OF JUDGMENT, BECAUSE THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD IS JUDGED. ( 12 ) I HAVE MANY THINGS TO SAY UNTO YOU, BUT YE CANNOT BEAR THEM NOW. ( 13 ) HOWBEIT WHEN HE, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, IS COME, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: FOR HE SHALL NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF; BUT WHAT SOEVER HE SHALL; THAT SHALL HE SPEAK: AND HE WILL SHEW YOU THINGS TO COME. ( 14 ) HE SHALL GLORIFY ME: FOR HE SHALL RECEIVE OF MINE, AND SHALL SHEW IT UNTO YOU.

This is what Jesus Christ said about the ( comforter ) ( the Spirit ) he would send when he left. I want you to notice the words ( UNTO YOU ). That comforter, that Spirit lives within the heart of the believer, those that are born again. Although he lives within the heart of every believer, God calls some special people to do the work here on this earth. While all born again believers can be a witness of the transformation in their lives and, should be, just as we seen in ( Romans 10 ) God uses people for specific duties. Look at this this:

( Ephesians 4:11-13 )

AND HE GAVE SOME, APOSTLES; AND SOME, PROPHETS; AND SOME, EVANGELISTS; AND SOME, PASTORS AND TEACHERS; ( 12 ) FOR THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS, FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY, FOR THE EDIFYING OF THE BODY OF CHRIST: ( 13 ) TILL WE ALL COME IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, AND OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST.

As you consider the list of the different types of people that God calls for the work of the ministry, consider the tremendous responsibility that goes with each of those things. The whole article is seeking to compare the days to which we live to the days just before the rains came after Noah had finished the Ark. As I look at this list; this verse of scripture comes to mind.

( Acts 9:15 )

BUT THE LORD SAID UNTO HIM, GO THY WAY: FOR HE IS A CHOSEN VESSEL UNTO ME, TO BEAR MY NAME BEFORE THE GENTILES, AND KINGS, AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL ( 16 ) FOR I WILL SHEW HIM HOW GREAT THINGS HE MUST SUFFER FOR MY NAME’S SAKE.

The Apostle Paul was a ( chosen vessel ). Now, I want you to notice something about men that consider themselves to be ( called ) into the gospel ministry today.

( 1 Timothy 3:1 )

THIS IS A TRUE SAYING, IF ANY MAN DESIRE THE OFFICE OF A BISHOP, HE DESIRETH A GOOD WORK.

Did you notice the word ( desire ) there? As I consider this; I often wonder why, the reason many people today get into the ministry. We see that, according to what God himself revealed to Ananias about the man that soon became ( the Apostle Paul ) that it can involve great suffering. If any man says he desires the office of a bishop, meaning to do a work for our Lord, just consider the tremendous responsibilty he has just taken on!

Just by way of a personal thought about myself, I noticed this about myself when I pastored a Church. Just like any other Church, each service would begin with singing, praying, offering and anouncements and so on. When I would take the pulpit, I’d read my scripture, then I would pray. Almost everytime right after that prayer, I noticed it would be ( a pause ) between the last word of that prayer and the word ( Amen ). By the way, someone else pointed that fact out to me one day. As I thought about it, I realized that at that moment, it had to cease to be me and I must allow my God to be the one speaking now! There is no exceptions! Either a man that says he is called by God is giong to allow God to speak through him to the best of his ability or, he is a fraud, a false teacher!

( I believe ) we have reached the time in, what we call ( the Church age ) that we’ve made the preaching of God’s word ( a science ) rather than actually allowing God to speak through the men behind the pulpit. Men now go to school to learn the ( how to’s ) of being a pastor or to preach. How to dress, how to speak. the right terms and words to use. Also, what to say and, what not to say.

I wonder if the same things were happening just before the flood? Was there a science that had been developed? Did the true ( truth ) as spoken by Noah become a laughing point in most circles, just as what is actually needed to be ( born again ) today has become? Today, if a man actually looks out at his concregation and calls them ( hell deserving sinners ) tells them that ( without the shed blood of Jesus Christ ) they have no hope, in most cases he is asked to leave!.

I need to get back to the thought about truly being born again! What happens is that when a man that is truly called by God, allowing God’s Spirit, the Spirit that lives within him to ( speak ) He is injecting the ( truth ) as reveal by the Holy Spirit of God straight into the heart of a ( hell deserving sinner ). To make a point; in the average Church service today; a person can go, hear the message the pastor preaches, get up, go home and watch television as if they haven’t even been to Church.I want you to know that when a sinner, being any person, even if they are born again hears the word of God preached with the power of the Holy Spirit present, that spirit shines light on the sin we are guilty of and, we cannot shake it! When we leave Church, that Holy Ghost conviction leaves within our hearts.

It takes scripture to prove points! Look at this:

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 THEMSELVES THE SON OF GOD AFRESH, AND PUT HIM TO AN OPEN SHAME.

Here in these verses he makes my point. There is nothing on the face of this earth that is more powerful than the Holy Spirit! When a sinner walks into a Church, that Church being ( filled with the Holy Spirit ), sees the power of God, sits in that service, hears God’s word preached with the power of the Holy Ghost, feels the convicting power of that spirit upon his or her heart then, that sinner cannot deny that it happened. He might deny it before men but, when he stands before God, God knows the truth!.

I want you to understand; I didn’t live in the days just before the flood therefore all I might say about is only supplication, I can’t prove a word of it. However, at that time; Satan was alive and well just as he is today! ( I believe ) that men had devised their own methods of reaching that place we might call security in God. That was so strong that it made Noah and his family a laughing stock to this world. To make my point, if you will read just a little while after the Ark had settled back to dry ground; there’s a man named Nimrod that has already began to seek to build a tower to heaven, by passing the way God desired for it to happen.

A continual evilness is within the heart of man! Today, just as in those days, the truth is evil spoken of. Jesus Christ is either not even recognized or, his is so diluted that the true power of the Holy Ghost and his saving grace is not even felt. If any person tries to stand and proclaim truth, he is as quick as possible, shut up and sit down.

The true Church is now the Ark of our salvation. Jesus Christ! His perfect life, his shed blood, his crucifixion and resurrection is the only door into that Ark. The world has its Church, it’s called the synagogue of Satan! He doesn’t mind that the name of Christ is used, that God is spoken of or, any part of scripture is used. That is, as long as the power of the Holy Ghost os not present. To be born again, that Spirit must be injected into the heart of a sinner to bring about new life. To be born again that Spirit has to show you that ( just as you are ) you are ( dead ) in your trespasses and sins. It must reveal to you that your very existance means nothing to God the Father without the presence of the Holy Spirit that he is now offering to you. At that point you become willing to die to yourself and, allow him to begin to rule yo your walk, your desires, completely transforming your mindset and the direstion of which you walk.

In the days of Noah, just how many people actually seen the Ark with their own eyes? At that time, how many people were pointed toward that Ark, instructing them that they must board that Ark? Fast foward todsay! How many people are actually being told the truth? How many people are being told that they are actually hell deserving sinners, completely without hope in this present world and, that without being washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, there home will be in ( Hell ) for eternity? How many people are being deceived by believing that just because the say they know Jesus Christ, they’ve been baotized and joined a local Church then everything is going to be alright, no need to look toward the Ark of Christ? How many?

The phrase ( AND THEY KWEW NOT UNTIL THE FLOOD CAME ). THe Bible says that after Noah and his family entered that Ark that the door of that Ark was left open for seven days. At that point ( God shut the door ). Consider this! The Bible says that after the rapture of the Church; there will be a ( seven year ) tribulation period. During that time, if a person has never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, then he can still be saved but, that person will seal his faith with his own blood! That’s a lesson for another day!

Have you been truly born again, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ? Are you in the Ark of Jesus Christ, the Church! Make your calling and election sure!

( 2 Peter 1:10 )

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

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

Grey hair and old bones

I have reached this point in my life.At least one blessing in that is that I can say, I made it. I’ve lived to be an older man. The Bible speaks of people like me and also speaks of elders, and those that are to be respected. I realize that respect has to be earned. I also know that all men or women with Grey hair and old bones are no full of wisdom. That is “ Godly wisdom”. There are people that might have wisdom of things about this world but not the kind of wisdom that God bestows upon a man. Of course the Bible doesn’t discern between that does it? It only tells us not to rebuke him and to treat him like a father.

What does it mean to show respect or to be honored?(1 Timothy 5:1) Rebuke not and elder but entreat him as a father.

So, does that mean to listen to them out of respect, allow them to say and expound all their wisdom, assuming they have any, be glad when they shut up and continue to do as you always do? Is that showing wisdom on your part?

Is it possible that we are actually doing God the Father the same way? Let him speak, say what he desires to say, when he leaves we’ll do like we always have. He’s  just old and grey headed, so let’s respect him and then we can move in.

That is somewhat today’s version of respect.  I have a feeling that’s not what God was thinking of when he placed this verse in scripture. An elder, I believe as mentioned in this verse is a spiritual man. A man that has Godly wisdom and deserves to be heard.  If you stand and listen to a man  of this character but pay little attention to what he says, is that not rebuking him? Is he being treated like a father in that regard?

Disobedient children act this way. They do or act one way in front of their father but show no respect to his guidance when he is absent.Let’s say your father, in his wisdom tells you not to smoke or use tobacco products. Therefore you refrain from using them in front of him but use them behind his back, is this showing respect?

In a Godly mindset, wisdom comes with grey hair that is there because of old age.

“If” a man is full of Godly wisdom and“if” his children are obedient to His will then his mistakes in his youth can be corrected in his children.

While God’s grace and mercy covers all the shortcomings and failures of a man it doesn’t take away the consequences of his actions. If he instructs his children from the things he has learned and, his children are mindful of his words, they won’t make the same mistakes.

If, either the father doesn’t instruct in wisdom or the child don’t listen or take heed then they will travel the same path as the father, maybe even worse.

There is something that can be even worse than this.

What if,the father is deceived, thinks he is pleasing to God the Father but in reality he’s not?

What if, he teaches his children the same mindset that he has, and they are deceived as well?

The Apostle Paul said this in ( Acts 22:3 } FOR I AM VERILY A MAN WHICH AM A JEW, BORN IN TARSUS, A CITY IN CILCIA, YET BROUGHT UP IN THIS CITY AT THE FEET OF GAMALIEL, AND TAUGHT ACCORDING TO THR PERFECT MANNER OF THE LAW OF THE FATHERS, AND WAS ZEALOUS TOWARD GOD, AS YE ALL ARE THIS DAY.

Can we see in that verse that, this man realized one day that what he had been taught, what he considered wisdom and sound knowledge was wrong and needed to be changed? It’s not that what he had been taught was wrong all together is it? It was Spirit in which it was being taught. Some of what he was being taught was scriptureand we know that. One of the problems that existed in that day was what was being added to the scripture.

Remember John the Baptist? He was just a little older than Jesus Christ and actually died before Christ did. He was a man, although, probably never had old bones or grey hair but could be considered a wise man. Do you believe that Jesus Christ and the fact that He was crucified could then and can now today be preached from The Old Testament? As an old man with grey hair and old bones, I do. Wonder why the men that taught the Apostle Paul, being considered wise, didn’t teach that?

 I also wonder how much education Ananias had? The man that The Apostle Paul met in Damascus after he had met Jesus on the road there? Read about it in ( Acts 9 ). It really doesn’t matter does it? The man is not important is he? The important part is that this man was willing to expound to the new believer exactly what God told him to say, even in the face of fear.

Now, consider this. Both men, Gamaliel and Ananias were men that, in theory spoke and taught scripture, or expounded scripture. What’s the difference in the two men? I bet they both had grey hair and old bones.

The only difference,  one of these men listened to the Spirit of God, even in the face of fear, and spoke what God told him to say, to the person God asked him to speak it to. The other, simply taught scripture, just that simple.

The Apostle Paul learned to do the very same thing, to speak what the Spirit spoke to him, not just what scripture said.

How about the Apostle Peter, the Bible even says that they perceived him to be ignorant and unlearned, ( Acts 4:13 )? He probably wasn’t old enough to have old bones and grey hair however, he did have wisdom enough to listen to the Spirit of God and share what God laid on his heart.

In the Old Testament and, according to the men that taught Saul before he became the Apostle Paul keeping the law was an important thing. As an old man with grey hair and old bones, I think it might have been more important to them than it was to God the father. We see in scripture ( Galatians 3:24 ) that the las was a school master that we might be justified by faith. The law simply was there to show us we were sinners. The Apostle Paul made the statement that those men expected people under them to keep laws that they themselves could not keep. God’s purpose was to show us our need for him. The preaching of the Apostle Paul was never to keep anyone from sin. His message was designed to show the whole gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our salvation is in Him and not our ability to keep from sin. His responsibility was to preach what God laid on his heart. It’s the responsibility of the spirit of God to point out sin in my life and help me overcome that sin. If any person does not have enough of the spirit of God in them to change the way they live, to guide their footsteps, to cause them to speak in his name, then it wouldn’t be wise to walk into death with what you have.

I wonder? If I, or any person were  able to keep the letter of the law of the New Testament? would that be pleasing to God the father? Even if I were able to keep New Testament law would it not still be important to except Jesus as my personal savior? This question  is coming from a man with grey hair and old bones. One that realizes he hasn’t accomplished that and can’t. Do you think you can?  If you remember, God the father only gave one commandment to Adam, he failed at only one. Jesus Christ only gave me one, love thy neighbor as thyself, I can’t even keep that. I still need his mercy and grace to cover me even under New Testament law.

I wonder? How much of what we see in our Churches today is more about  man’s law and not scriptural, just as it was in the days that the Apostle Paul, and the kind of things he was saved from? For instance, I see people go down to the alter and say they just got saved. They are now ready to join Church. They also say they are willing to be baptized. If they refused to be baptized, could they still join Church? I don’t actually know the answer to that question. But, my ignorance of that is not the point. If a person as actually born again and refuses to be baptized for any reason and, we will not allow them to join Church, is that not adding works to grace? I realize that being baptized is an act of obedience, and that before God, however can you show me in scripture where I have to be baptized to be a member of a Church? Is it not also true  that if the spirit of God lays something on any man’s heart and he refuses to speak what God told him to say; is that not disobedience as well? The only difference is; one you can see, the other you can’t. Disobedience is disobedience, would you agree?

Grey hair and old bones have a way of teaching people, all people that are willing to listen to the spirit of God. Actually, you don’t have to be old, just willing to listen and be obedient.I do believe however that wise young people will listen to the wisdom of spiritually wise older people.

If you, as an individual will stop for a second and ponder, what is it that is truly guiding you through this life?That’s not something that you might be able to conclude in just as second, I realize that but, that true love that comes from any source will never force you to do anything? You tell me one thing that Jesus Christ ever forced you to do? Jesus Christ never even forced you to get saved.Now, the law will. The law is very demanding.However it is not as demanding as the spirit of God is it? Any man can make himself look good according to the law, but that will never be pleasing to the spirit of God.The demands of the spirit of God will cause a man to go back for a beating that almost killed him the first time, it will have you say things that most people will not like, in Stephen’s case it caused him to be beat to death.

If we read the last few verses of Hebrews eleven it even says that the world was not worthy of them. As I look at myself as a man with grey hair and old bones, I’m not worthy to be listed among the people that truly listened to the spirit of God. The people that  yielded their whole fleshly beings to do his will and speak what he told them to say.

Although the spirit is demanding, he never forces a person to be obedient, that’s a choice each person has to make. Once any man makes this choice, the rewards are not of this world. The prestige, the popularity, all the wealth of this world ends at the grave, you have your reward.

I, as a man with grey hair and old bones looked straight in the eyes of a well-known pastor in the county in which I live and said: I would not want to stand before God in your shoes! I could tell, by the look on his face that, the reality of that statement shook the very foundation he stood on. The very same statement can be made to me, only I can change how I will stand in the presence of the one that died for me.Jesus said ( come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take  my yoke upon you and, learn of me;for I am meek and lowlyin heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.) Do you realize that in this same chapter, ( Matthew 11 ) John the Baptist is in prison? He has sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he is truly the one or should he seek another? Was the yoke of John the Baptist easy? Was his burden light?  Would you agree with this man with grey hair and old bones, it’s all in perspective?

As a man with grey hair and old bones I was born again in 1975. At that time I started travailing in birth, the birth pains have continued until this day. The salvation that came to me in 1975 is or was  ( past tense ) salvation. What I face today is ( present tense) salvation. One day my salvation will be complete, that will be (future tense) salvation. When physical birth happens and a woman travails in birth when does the pain stop? It stops at complete birth, and then joy comes. If we allow the spirit of God to use usthen we will be like John the Baptist until we  finish our own personal course. The Apostle Paul actually said: I’ve fought a good fight, I’ve kept the faith, I’ve finished my course. I’m now ready to be offered.

Are we men that are ready to be offered, ready to stand before God? Are we willing to face the same spiritual pain as the men did for our spiritual maturity and the spiritual birth of people that are lost in sin? Even for those that are born-again, don’t they need people like us to truly speak the word and will of God that they might grow to spiritual maturity? Are we in the same class spiritual class as these men? And, if we have to answer ‘no’ then why aren’t we? Don’t we serve the same God? When birth is complete, the yoke will be easy, the burden will be light. That is if and only if we fight the same spiritual battles that these men did. Jesus Christ himself said of John the Baptist, among those that are born of woman there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. We can study this if you like but the point is. What will Jesus Christ say about you and me when we have finished our course?

More often than we are willing to admit, it’s not the Spirit of God that is leading us at all. We like to say it is or, most of us just won’t even talk very openly about where we are spiritually. Now let me ask you a question; if it’s not God the spirit leading you, then who is?

Our relationship with the spirit of God is very personal. And, as we allow him, by his spirit to speak through it’s still a very personal thing to the person or people we are speaking to. When God speaks through our flesh it become a one on one conversation with the person that is hearing it, a personal conversation between the Holy Spirit of God and the person that is hearing it even thou it’s coming out of your mouth.  That’s even true in the average Church setting. Would you agree with me that since the Church is the body of Christ, wouldn’t the pastor have to be the mouth piece? If that mouth piece will not or does not allow Christ to speak by his mouth then where does that body hear what God has to say? It must be personal. If you, as God’s man or any person is simply sitting and having a spiritual conversation with God the father through and by the Spirit that abides in you, is it not a personal thing that no one else hears? Then in a Church setting, is it not the same way? When we, as men of God allow God to speak through us to the Spirit that lives or desires to live in the hearts of each person in any Church , then it becomes exactly like you sitting and allowing God to have a personal relationship with you in which, no one hears but you.God the Spirit is speaking to each individual, dealing with each individual heart as he sees fit on a very personal basis.

The ability, within a man to deny himself and completely allow God to speak through him is one of the greatest accomplishments that will ever happen to any individual.

We can even say that about prayer. If a pastor of a Church asks any man to pray, in service, for any reason, aren’t you allowing him to allow the Spirit of God to speak through him? If not, what are you actually looking for?Think about it, anytime we allow our flesh to speak, God is not glorified is he? If I stand to sing to make myself look good, what has God to do with that? Whether we preach, pray, teach or sing we should seek to be the best we can be for the glory of God, however, if our best is not good in the eyes of man then so be it as long as God is doing the speaking through our flesh.

If I, as a man with grey hair and old bones  say to you “ I love you” but never question you about your salvation or where you are spiritually, how much do I really love you? If I know that you have been down to an altar,  made a profession of faith, been baptized and joined Church but, I never question you beyond that or cause you to look beyond that point by challenging what you do or say, then how much do I love you?

As an old man with grey hair and old bones I think about this in my own past. The Bible says

“ For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world”.(1 John 2:16)If you know this verse, can you tell me what the next verse says? Basically speaking it says that the world passes away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. Just how much have I done, even in a spiritual sense because of the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes or the pride of life?

I only reason I bring this up is actually not to change anything in my past but rather to make you look at where you are in your walk with and by the spirit of God. Youth is a very special thing, even being middle aged can be considered youth at my age.

The problem is that human nature, the flesh will not allow us to see, very often, who we really are. We live our lives, day by day and in a spiritual sense, never change a thing. Our flesh, in most cases won’t even allow us to think about it.What keeps you where you are? Is it the Spirit of God? These are the kind of things I consider about my life that has now reached the pride of life.

In 1975, I was born again. Now my desire is for you to think about this. The Church I got saved in was, at that time a very spiritual Church. The pastor challenged me through and by his preaching to know, not just hope I was saved but to learn through scripture of the security in the salvation of God through his spirit.To  study,the bible, that book was to become my lifeboat. My very being was to be transformed by the spirit of God through the study of that book.To become all I could be in Christ. From  the place he stood in his pulpit he made me realize that I was nothing in my flesh, I needed to die to myself, I was rotten to the core, Christ had to become alive in me. Hepreached with the power of God. He did these things out of love for the very people that God had placed in his care. Even in this kind of setting, with this kind of spiritual power and influence I still yielded to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

The Apostle Paul himself said that it was easy to do the things he knew he was not supposed to and, not to do the things he was supposed to do. When we look at ourselves, are we willing to see ourselves as God sees us? Are we willing to change? To follow the spirit we say we have within us?

Very often, we, even as believers have a very hard time allowing ourselves to actually act out the things we say with our mouth.

We might say that we realize that we are sinners and undeserving of the mercy of God, but we act as self-righteous, better than you, you need to be like me people.

If we are not careful, the very personwe hold up to high esteem and think are very spiritual are not spiritual at all. Have you ever wondered to whom a person, that we might think is spiritual, is accountable to? What do you really know about him?

Just because a man is a college professor does not mean he is full of wisdom. A man can be a farmer, basically with no education at all and  be wise, very wise in the eyes of God. But, no one hears anything he says.

We must as believers be able to discern Godly wisdom as his children. If not we are on a hopeless trail of deceit, dragging our children with us.

Do you realize that it is not now, nor has it ever been a time when we were told to follow a man, no matter who that man might be? The Apostle Paul even said to follow him as he follows Christ.

This is a dilemma. In some cases; how would you know the difference? If I, or  any other person including the Apostle Paul admits that the things he should do, he doesn’t, and the things that he  shouldn’t do he does then how do you know the difference?

As a man with grey hair and old bones I realize that living in open sin is always easy to spot. However, I don’t believe that living in open sin was what the Apostle was speaking of. He was speaking of things of things that people never see. The things we do in secret.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I also realize that it’s very easy skirt what the Holy Spirit is asking us to do as well. That is also something that men cannot see in you. Let’ look at a few examples: You can fell led by the spirit to witness to a person at a given time and, all you do is simply invite them to Church or not say anything at all about JesusChrist and the fact that he is needed in their live because they are sinners. A pastor can completely turn God’s Spirit off and only speak selective messages or throw only softballs at his congregation. Any person can look the part, appear to be very Christlike but simply not allow God to truly speak through his or her lips.We, every one of us can carry a Bible but never even allow the Spirit of God to teach us one thing in it, the very book we carry and say we live by. We can learn scripture by heart, memorize many verses but completely shut out the very spirit that inspires that very book, the word of God.

We can join every Church in this country, allow our mouth to say things that sound spiritual and even Christ like, be baptized until the tadpoles know our social security number but still not know Jesus and His saving grace.

These are the things, that I as a man with grey hair and old bonesknow.Things that I see in people not as old as I am and also,as old as I am. If we think God, through his spirit is pleased with us, I as a man with grey hair and old bones are telling you, he is not pleased with you, me or any person that will not say or do his will. You can do better, you can listen to him through your veil of flesh, you can yield to him more often and speak his truth more clearly, just as he says it to you.Do you realize that the average person today doesn’t even take a Bibles with him to Church? We are not even encouraged to do so. The Bible, the book that reveals to us, life itself and we act as if we don’t need it.

Satan has a way of closing our eyes to truth, not allowing us to see wisdom. He wraps himself in the beauty of higher education and worthless pieces of paper given by men. He closes our ears to the still small voice that is possibly right there within our own hearts.

Look at me, are my children actually a reflection of what I really am? Are they exactly what they see in me?

When I speak. Is it God speaking or me?  Jesus said; if you have seen me, you have seen the father.

Is that true in me? When you see or hear me, do you see the father?

Now that my hair is grey, my bones old, what are my qualifications? Should my children or anyone pay attention to anything I say?Is what I say setting them up for a spiritual walk with Christ, listening to the Spirit or simply looking the part?What has been formed in me? Look at all the possibilities that can be formed in me rather than Christ. Have I allowed a religion, a denomination or my, self-will to be formed rather than Jesus Christ?Is Christ truly alive in me and, when I speak is it he or I? Since he, is alive in me, can I or will I allow him to speak?

He is, in me. He walks we me and talks with me, he tells me I am his own. Do you feel that same presence of Christ? The Bible says, even Christ himself said: hide not your light under a bushel, let your light so shine before men that they might see your good works and glorify God which is in heaven.

How do you think God defines good works? What is your light? Is it not Christ in you? When Christ made the statement that he must be about the father’s business or he must do the works of the father that sent him was he simply speaking of being a good person or was it more to it than that? Would you agree with me that Jesus Christ living a perfect life was only part of what was important? Won’t you agree that, when he spoke, it was God that was doing the speaking? Are we not supposed to allow God to speak the same way, using our lips of clay? If all we do is look good, what good are we to him?

 A baby can’t speak, all he or she can do is make noise. Is that where we are? I Corinthians 13 is a very powerful chapter. It starts with saying or describing what we are without love. “ A SOUNDING BRASS AND A TINKLING SYMBOL.” We mentioned love a while back. Do you love as men love or is it truly loving like Christ loved?

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I acted as a child, I done very childish things. Did I ever become a man and put away child- like things? The Apostle Paul said he did but, did I?  He also made the statement: My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you. ( Galatians 4:19 )

Am I willing to suffer, like a woman bringing a Child into this world, ( until Christ is formed in a new believer?) A woman’s pain while bringing a child into this worldis severe and last for as long as it takes to bring about birth. Do I slap the very hand that is trying to form the life of Christ in me? Or how far do I fall short of suffering to see that come to pass in me or in anyone else?

WHEN IS SALVATION REAL?

As An old man with grey hair and old bones, this question concerns me. It ties to this same verse. ( Until Christ be formed in you ). As we look at and read this verse, is it not saying that, while the basic journey is never complete that the formation of Christ is a constant concern of the Apostle or any person that cares about the spiritual well-being of another? When I see people that say they are saved but never show forth the fruit of the formation of Christ in their lives, that concerns me. Let’s say your wife came to you and told you she was with child. You know that the possibility of that statement is real, it’s very possible she is, however, looking at her, you see no signs that the statement is true. Will you agree with me that, if that statement is true, in just a short while you will be able to say for sure? One of the first signs or facts she might tell you, you might say, well, I don’t know, I still question it. But, as time moves on, one day, without a doubt, you’ll know. What your wife told you will be very obvious.

Should salvation be obvious as well? If Christ is in you and you say you are born again, I might doubt the reality of that statement in the beginning but, as time moves on my doubts in what you say should subside.

As a father that can’t even see the child he has fathered, are you going to beat your wife or do things to hurt her and the child she says she has? Not likely, unless you actually don’t care about her or the child. Would you agree that the father, in love will do all he can to see to and nurture his wife and child since love is present?

The mother will do the same. She will demand that her husband, the one that supplies the money for the groceries, in some cases goes and gets them, she desires for him to bring home only the things that will help develop her child into a healthy being, nothing short of perfection.

If a Church will except less from their pastor what are they saying about real salvation? If a pastor delivers less that what the spirit of God asks for, what is he saying? Is not this the same picture?

A new born babe in Christ is just like a wife that is with child, he or she is basically sitting in Church but, in a spiritual sense, they are not seen. Is it not the God given responsibility of that pastor and that Church to see to it that the babe in Christ get exactly what that babe needs from the spirit of God, nothing short of perfection?

If, the nourishment that need babe needs is not coming from these two entities, the Church and the pastor, tell me, where is it going to come from? The responsibility of a pastor, a deacon, any man that takes on a leadership responsibility in a Church a continuation of the very burden that the Apostle Paul carried in him until the day he died. The responsibility of every Church and ever member of that Church is so overwhelming that it brings tears to my eyes and draws me to my knees.

Real and true salvation is a responsibility that runs from conception until death. If we neglect so great salvation, what does that say about us.

Let’s look at a verse of scripture that we pay little attention to:

 (Acts 9:15-16)

{Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name sake.}

Jesus Christ, lived a perfect life, for you, he went to the cross of Calvary, for you, he suffered the Bible says more that any man, he died for you, he rose from the dead after three days for you, he did this to see to it that what he had purchased with his own blood was secure, He promised us that he was going away but, he would send the comforter, and he did. Jesus cried from the cross: IT IS FINISHED! All that Jesus Christ we supposed to do for you and me was complete, his suffering is done, he’s going to be with the father.

In Acts chapter two the Church is born. These people have no idea, what is a Church? somebody has to take on the responsibility of the very formation of such an established new thing, who would that be?

WE find out in Acts 9.

If you doubt this you can read about it in ( Ephesians 3 ) God laid the whole responsibility of forming the doctrines that govern the Church on the shoulders of a born again sinner named Saul who changed by the new birth of Jesus Christ and became the Apostle Paul.

What if he failed? What if he refused to hear God, the Spirit that spoke to him and walked off in a spiritual sense and quit? Where would we be today?

In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul gave his all to establish a Church on sound doctrine. The doctrine given him by the very Spirit of God. Some foolish, worthless shell of a man came in behind him and was attempting to change the truth into a lie.

In the Apostle Paul’s mind, although he was a sinner, he carried the same responsibility that Jesus Christ carried,  could not fail. If he did, where would the Church be?

We today take these things lightly. However, ever since the Apostle Paul died, someone has always carried the gospel of Jesus Christ forward. The true Church is still alive until this day. The reason for that is some man or men have been willing to pay whatso ever price necessary to bring the truth forward.

I don’t know much about the Catholic Church. I believe that they believe the Pope is a continuation of the Apostle Peter.

Well, guess what! You and I  are a continuation of the Apostle Paul. If we fail to carry the true gospel of Jesus Christ and how it relates to the true Church forward, who will carry it? Every generation of men that are called of God has that same responsibility.

AS a man, the God man Christ Jesus, not other man could have done what he did. However. Any born again believer can carry on the responsibility of the true Church of Christ. At the same time, any person can weaken its power. Any pastor can do less than what the Spirit tells him to do and any Church can sell out to something short of where God truly desires for them to stand.

When Jesus spoke in the Revelation and made the statement: I stand at the door and knock, if any man open unto me, I will come in and sup with him and he with me. At that time Jesus was already sitting at the right hand of the father, seeing the Church he had given his life for. He was knocking as the door of the Church, desiring to come in. He actually was not speaking to and individual but the Church. Would you agree with this man with grey hair and old bones?

In order for salvation to be real, Jesus Christ must be present. Any Church that will not let him in is deceiving the people that are coming within. How does he come in? Is it not by the very same Spirit that the Apostle Paul had in him when he was preaching with power and starting Churches for the glory of God?

When is salvation real? Salvation is real anywhere the Kingdom of God is present.If the Spirit of God is alive and well in any Church then salvation is there for the taking. If that same Spirit takes abode up in an individual heart then salvation is there. If that same salvation is in the heart of any person and that person will not allow it to come out then it cannot be seen by any other person.I’ve always wondered how that could be? How can something as big as God live within a person and yet, not be seen?

 That is exactly the same with any Church. If there are born again believers in a Church but those believers refuse to allow God to use them, then salvation is hiding. What good is your flesh if it actually has salvation inside it but cannot be seen?There’s a price to be paid to deliver the Spirit of God. That Spirit is offensive to those that have no desire for it, or to except it’s  transforming power. It’s easy to (believe in) Jesus Christ. It’s much harder to (believe on) him. Real salvation is within the understanding of those two terms.

A man with grey hair and old bones, one that actually has the spirit of God living within him, knows the difference. The reason for that is because he has already lived within both terms. As you look at your own definition of salvation, can you say that? There are people that have (real salvation) and cannot. They never knew anything about Jesus Christ until they heard the gospel and were born again, born of his Spirit.

 I knew about him, had even made a profession of faith, in other words ( believed in) him, just like Satan does. He’s not saved is he? I knew how to play the game, just like Satan does, I knew when to curse and when not to, just like Satan does. I knew who to impress and when it wasn’t important, just like Satan does. Shall I go on or is that enough? One of the easiest things in the world to do is to fake salvation. Anything fake might look very life-like but it can’t truly do the job of the real thing can it? Satan knows whether you are saved or not, so does God the father.

In a lot of cases, so does Spirit-filled people. They might not ever say it because of the wisdom they have from God, but they are impressed by his Spirit and can tell. It’s  not their place to judge, but you’d be wise to allow them to speak with the power they have and be obedient to the same Spirit that lives within them.

I personally, was sprinkled in a Methodist Church as a teenager, didn’t change a thing about me. I went down to the alter in a batiste Church, the pastor came to me, he asked me if I were saved, I replied (no). He took his Bible and took me down the Roman’s road, he asked me if I wanted to be saved and, to that I replied (yes). He helped me pray the sinner’s prayer. I got up, shook a few hands and went home just exactly like it went to Church that night.

The whole time, before I was sprinkled in the Methodist Church, before I made a profession of faith and even after that night, I ( believed in) Jesus Christ. I knew and believed that he, live a perfect life, no sin in him, he suffered and died for my sin. He was crucified, died and was buried, I even believed that he arose from the dead. I was one thing missing in this man through it all, salvation. From the time I was sprinkled I was even a member of a Church.

After all this, concerning the Church and Jesus Christ, on a given Sunday morning in 1975, I was born again. I went down to an altar, all alone in a Church with a lot of people in it. I got on my knees, not one person came to my side. The only person that morning that came to my side was Jesus Christ himself. He and I reasoned together, and he took away my sin, he also took abode up in my heart. From that moment old things passed away, behold, all things became new. All of a sudden, I didn’t curse. Before that I didn’t curse in front of certain people, like my mom for instance, now I didn’t curse anywhere.

So, what’s the difference in (believing in) and Believing on)? As a man with grey hair and old bones, I might be able to explain it now. Look at this verse:

 (John 3:16)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Notice what he says here, it says, whosoever ( believeth in) him. (should not) perish. Any person, such as I that possesses all the knowledge that it takes to obtain salvation should not be lost, would you agree?

Jesus said to Judas, (betrayest thou me with a kiss)? (Luke 22:48) This man walked with Jesu Christ, ate with him, took the Lord’s supper with him and died and went to a devil’s hell. He (believed in) Jesus, even kissed him on the cheek. He should not have perished, would you agree?

Even with having all the knowledge, understanding all the concepts of Christ, something else must take place, and, if not, hell will be your home.

Do you realize that Jesus himself was speaking in John 3:16? God, speaking through the body of flesh that he lived in, speaking of himself made the point that, as you see me in this body of flesh, not should not perish if you believe in me.

Now, look at this verse: (John 1:12) In this verse, Jesus is not the one speaking, but rather John the beloved. But guess what, it’s the same spirit, in other words, God, through his spirit that is alive in another man, speaks. Look at what he says;

BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVE HIM. TO THEM GAVE HE THE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, EVEN TO THEM THAT (BELIEVE ON) HIS NAME: WHICH WAS BORN, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD.

This man with grey hair and old bones understands that my mom’s desire was for me to be saved, not only that but there were other people that also desired for me to change, that was the desire of their flesh. In my own flesh, I desired to look good, that’s why I didn’t curse in front of certain people. I tell you,they were very happy when I went down to be baptized, it made them feel really good when I joined Church. They believed, in the fact that I was saved. I had done all that they required and as far as they could see, it was real, I made sure of that. The only real problem was, God didn’t know anything about it. The Spirit of God that abode in Jesus and, in John the beloved still did not abide in me. I (believed in) and those people around me that I desired to impress, also (believed in) but that did not change the fact that God did not know me.

In November 1975, on a Sunday morning, forgetting all about what mama thought or any of the other people thought. Forgetting about being baptized or Church membership,  I had a conversation with the very same spirit that lived in Jesus Christ and John the beloved. For the first time in my life I realized who and what I truly was. I realized that I could not help myself and even at my best, I was hopelessly lost in sin. I, as a sinner, laid my all on him and his finished work, I stopped (believing in) him and began to (Believe on)  and I became a son of God. That transformation came about because I(believed on) his name. I’m still a sinner, I try not to practice what I know I am but seek to do his will. I promise you that throughout eternity, even on my death bed I’ll be completely sitting (on) his finished work.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I have a burden for those people that cannot see, nor do they understand the difference in the two terms.

I know that the point I’m about to make, I can’t prove. The point here is to make you think. First of all, do you realize that if you would have had the privilege of actually walking with Jesus Christ from the time he began his ministry until he was crucified, you would still have to believe all he said about himself by faith. If you remember. After Jesus was crucified, the Apostle Peter was going to fish again. Even before Jesus was born there were people that believe, even died believing by faith that he was to come. The person I want you to think about is Thomas. He walked with Jesus. Even talked with him, broke bread with him, He made the statement that unless he could touch the wounds he would not believe.(John 20:25). All of a sudden Jesus appeared and said; Peace be with you. Reach forth thine finger, and so on. At that Thomas replied: my Lord and my God. My question I to you, was that the moment that Thomas stopped (believing in) and started (believing on)? Jesus said on that day to Thomas; you believe because you see. Blessed are they that believe and have seen not.

This man with grey hair and old bones is very confident in all that I believe. When this world is on fire, I’ll be standing on the word of God, knowing that my faith in Jesus Christ is solid and worth all we, as believers have to face.

An evangelist friend of mine that use to come to my home Church to hold revivals had a saying that I adopted for my own. { I’m so confident in my salvation that I’ll swing out over hell on a rotten grape vine and spit in the devil’s eye} He cannot touch me, not as far as my salvation is concerned. He can tempt me, even win in some of the battles I face but he cannot touch my salvation.

Salvation has got to be real, only an individual can decide whether theirs is real. Consider this, from this man with grey hair and old bones. When I first heard that saying from that evangelist, do you think I had that confidence in what I said I believed? No I didn’t. The fact that this man pushed my faith to that point cause me, by the spirit that lived within me to study and find those answers. That kind of preaching stirs the man that lives within,it causes the flesh to desire to know, to learn, to become that person that will stand and make that kind of statements for the glory of God.The average Church member might just say, he’s lying,he can’t be that secure, in what he can’t see. With this kind of mindset, it’s easier to make a statement like that, just assume that person is just like you and stay just as you are.

I’m just like the Apostle Paul. He said he was persuaded that Christ was able to keep him against that day. I am as well. Let me ask you something; if every person in any given Church only has a {hope so } salvation, Is the Holy Spirit in that building? Did the Apostle Paul deliver a {hope so} salvation or a {know so}salvation?

Another question that could be asked; if there are people within a Church that are truly born again, filled with the spirit of God but they never get to speak, are they beneficial to the Church? In a Church setting such as the Church of Galatia that situation was very possible. The pastor of the Church was preaching something false, but we already know that there were believers within that Church. If the Apostle Paul had been free to be at that Church, wonder what we would have done?

For a man with grey hair and old bones, these things I ponder. In any given situation, what should I do? Is God pleased with what I do? Am I willing to suffer for the cause of Christ? Am I too comfortable just as I am, therefore, I don’t rock the boat?

Let me tell you a story. I was working at a Church on day, actually finishing up a job. My helper and I needed some light bulbs, so I sent him to the shop to get some. I was standing by a glass door watching an old man walk up the sidewalk to the entrance. When he walked in, he shook my hand and asked me if I went to Church anywhere? I replied; yes, I go to Faith Baptist Church. We were standing in a Methodist Church. He replied to my answer; Oh! You’re a Baptist, it’s not any difference in us. I said to him, I disagree, I believe it is. He said, what’s the difference? Well. I know I’m going to heaven when I die, Do you? His answer was {no} and you don’t either. I said, Sir, now you can’t tell me what I know. Just because you don’t know doesn’t mean nobody does, or you can’t know. The Bible says you can know. He argued, no it doesn’t. I said well, let’s find a Bible and see. I led him to a Sunday School room in search of a Bible. Once we found one I turned to (1 John 5:13) and read; { these things have I written unto you that (believe on) the name of the son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may ( believe on) the name of the son of God}.

He stood there for a moment, staring at the scripture and then looked at me and said; I don’t care I still don’t believe it.

He was a man with grey hair and old bones. He had spent his life supporting a denomination, a building, but doing nothing as far as his spiritual education was concerned. I only point out the two denominations because of the story line. The fact we went to different denominations is not the issue. There are people that set in Churches with very powerful spirit filled men of God and spiritually starve to death, even die with little knowledge of scripture.

As a man with grey hair and old bones I know that people say, more often than not, what they are taught to say. For instance, in some denominations everybody says the hope they go to heaven when they die, therefore, as people join that Church, they as simply say what they hear. There are denominations that teach that you know you are going to heaven when you die, therefore, they all say that. In either case the actual people that are speaking with their mouth really don’t know one way or the other. All they know is what they have been taught to say.

Does God want us to be parrots or spirit filled people with our own knowledge of scripture. To this man with grey hair and old bones it’s ignorance. If a man walked up to you and told you he had cancer, are you going around and telling everyone you have cancer? Well, tell the difference. If that man has knowledge he has cancer, does that mean you have the same knowledge? In some cases, you can’t even tell he has it. If you are thinking, I wouldn’t make a statement like that. Then why do you say the same thing spiritually that someone else says without have knowledge of the truth?

The man with grey hair and old bones has some news to share with you. No Church, no pastor, no denomination will take you to heaven. Believe it or not, you’ll stand before you judge, Jesus Christ on your own merit, with no one else to blame but yourself for yourignorance or lack of knowledge.

Salvation has to be real, it’s not a fakable entity, at least not before God. You might get by with a lot of things at your local Church but if it’s not real, it will surly cost in the end.

[ TIME IS A PROPHET THAT HAS NEVER TOLD A LIE ].

LOOK AT YOU!

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

As an old man with grey hair, I ponder this statement as well. Lord, can I put into words what your desire is for me to say here? I ask for your wisdom.

If we allow ourselves to go back to the very beginning of this age. We call it the grace age. It began on the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts and continues until this day. We now know that the Apostle Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles and he went about starting New Testament Churches. As far as I know, no other Apostle started even one. That might be in my ignorance but basically each of the Churches we see recorded in Scripture was started by him. As we read each of the epistles, they are letters that the Apostle wrote to Churches he had formed. I realize that he didn’t write all of the epistles but the ones he did write were to either exhort a Church that was doing well, or he was writing totry to correct something that was being taught, being done  in error.Even the Churches that were doing well and were not in error he still pushed them to a higher spiritual level, he was never satisfied with their spiritual level.

I’d like for you to take the time to read this a whole chapter that is found in:

(1 Corinthians chapter two)

As people that are members of any given Church today, do we just assume that we are where God, through and by his spirit, is satisfied with us? I would argue that the people at this Church felt the same way. In their carnal minds they were satisfied. They could not see any spiritual need that they had. These people were wrapped tightly in their own flesh and were only feeding on the milk of God’s word with no desire to go any deeper.What would going deeper mean? Were they at all willing to pay that price? The Bible says in (1 Timothy 6:6) Godliness with contentment is great gain.

Any person or Church can be content and not be Godly at all or, they can be Godly and not be content, however if you ever can reach the place in your spiritual walk that you have obtained both, then that my friend is great gain.I personally do not believe a Church can ever reach that point, that’s why we need pastors and teacher to continually press that issue.

Far too often we get content just as we are. That’s exactly where the Church of Corinth was in their spiritual journey. At one point in this letter the Apostle Paul actually told them to pray for the destruction of the flesh of an individual that the soul might be saved. If you’ll notice the Apostle didn’t judge him as lost for his actions but was not willing to tolerate that kind of sin in the body of a believer. (1 Corinthians 5:5).

In the book of Galatians we see where they were being taught that they had to, not only except Christ but to also keep the law. In Corinthians it’s somewhat just the opposite, they we living just as they pleasedin the flesh and still claimed Christ as their savior. In neither case is God pleased. The reason for that is that neither is being led by the Spirit of God.

As a man with grey hair and old bones my question would be:  Is any person trying to or seeking to please God the father through his spirit? I’m an electrician by trade. Over the years how good of a job have I done in teaching others the art of the trade? The Apostle Paul, how good was he at teaching or instructing other believers to listen to, hear and obey the spirit of God? He was a tent maker by trade. I suppose that he and I might have done a fair job of teaching our trade but, how easy is it to teach another person the hear the spirit? Above all the noise of the world, all the chaos we see and hear and see, can it be done? Can you, as an individual that says you are born into God’s family hear his voice when he speaks to you, and can you obey that spirit?

As a man with o grey hair and old bones I believe it has to do with a person desiring to hear. A yearning for something more than just what one seesvisually with their  eyes or hears with their  ears. As a matter of fact the Apostle Paul is teaching that right here in this chapter.Look at verse (7) but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto his glory: Now that’s verse(7), we’ll get back to that in a moment. Let’s look at verse(8) first. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

This one line in verse (7) which God ordained before the world unto his glory. That verse is saying that all the world needed to see was right in front of them and they could not see it, and that was unto his glory.

The people in control of the leadership of this world could not see that crucifying Christ was to God’s glory. If they were wise enough to see that one fact, they would never have killed him.

Most people that knows anything about scripture knows the story of God leading his people, Israel out of bondage in Egypt. To him that was a simple thing. The real question is, how can he get Egypt out of Israel. Although they were not in bondage to a nation, they were still in bondage to themselves.

Sin is the same way with us. We can ask Christ into our hearts, but how do we get free from the sin that embodies us?

That is hidden from this world. It’s a mystery that God desires to share with those that believe, that is, if we can get beyond being in bondage to sin.

The people of the Church of Galatia thought that as long as we look good to other people, we are spiritual. The people of Corinth thought they could be spiritual just as they were, neither were correct.

God’s desire is that we learn to see the things that the world cannot see or hear. We must remember that our flesh is of this world. Only the Spirit, His Spirit that lives within us is spiritual. That Spirit hungers for each of us to desire to seek for, find and understand  the hidden mysteries in scripture, not just the things of  the world.As long as we only seek the things of the flesh, we are exactly like the people of the  world, even if we are born again and are faithful  to our local Church. The world can see and understand Biblical stories and characters. God’s desire if for us to seek the things that only  spiritual people with spiritual eyes and ears can see and understand. The Bible, the word of the God of this universe, since we are born of his spirit, lives within each of us. Spiritually mature men and women of God are supposed to teach babes in Christ to see these things. You can count on this, if a lost person is sitting close to you and hears what you are saying they will think it’s foolish, that is until they, themselves are born by the Spirit of God.

As a man with grey hair and old bones let me share something that just makes me swell up inside. The things that I say are simply nuggets that I, because of the spirit that drives me,has sought out in scripture. That means the you,  as believers can learn far beyond me and  add to all that I might say.

It also means that I might not be correct in all that I say. My desire is for you to look at what I say and learn thereby, If I need to be corrected then you learn what is spiritually correct and go, teach others that they might see.

Genesis is rich in thing such as this. We see it time after time. Without me writing the scripture, I’ll just share these things with you and you can find it in Genesis. A man named Abraham was a man that God used to actually bring about the Nation of Israel. God promised  Abraham that he and his wife Sarah would have a son that would be the father of a great nation. The problem for Abraham and Sarah was they were both aging. Sarah was beyond the age that normal women thatwould be able to bare children, but still, no son. Therefore Sarah told Abraham to go into her handmaid that she might bare a son for him. Now, let’s stop here and look at this. Do you think that God placed that story in scripture simply to show people, like me that Abraham went into a handmaid and had a child by her? Or that Sarah allowed it? Maybe so a preacher could preach against adultery, and show how wrong it is or what sin brings about? Well, the people of the world. People of flesh would know that, don’t you think? Just on the fleshly side those things are easily seen, but that not what God desire you believers to see, remember( the hidden things, the mystery )?

Wonder why Sarah come up with that idea? Why not Abraham? Another question could be; why did Abraham do it?

This picture is a very spiritual picture that is hidden and a mystery to most people of this world. There is a spiritual lesson for both the Church and for each individual here in what God is revealing through scripture. It has to do with the weakness of our flesh and the damage that takes place because of the weakness. First of all, it was Sarah that had little faith in what God could do. She is a type of the local Church or we could say the Church in general. We already know that Abraham is a type of Christ in many ways, just as Adam was, and Eve was a type of the bride of Christ, just as Sarah was.Can you see the relevance between these two couples? When Eve was tempted by Satan to bite the fruit, she had no children. When Sarah made this request of Abraham, they had no Children.

In both instances the first son born to either man, being Adam or Abraham were, spiritually speaking, was,of the flesh. We now know that both men, being Cain, Adam’s first born and, Ismael, being Abraham’s first bornwere physically blessed in the sense that they both reproduced and had sons.

 With this in mind. Let’s look at something common to both of these women, wives and types of the body of Christ, the Church. Let’s start with Eve. In (Genesis 4:25) Look at what Eve said: { For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. )

Even in that picture: can you see a picture of Adam failing and Christ gaining back what Adam lost? { 1 Corinthians 15:46-47} Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. Abel is a spiritual type of Adam. Seth is a Spiritual type of Christ which continues.

Now, going back to with Eve making that statement, wasn’t she concerned about the spiritual aspect more than she was the physical? The first man was of the flesh, he slew the spirit man, Abel. Eve, being a type of the Church was concerned about the spiritual aspect continuing, not the physical aspect of man. Can we even say that, in the beginning it was the serpent that tempted the church, in the body of Eve? Today it is the flesh, the serpent within that tempts the Church, we just can’t see him with our eyes.

We now know that Sarah did, by the power of God, have a son. His name is Isaac. Now she has two sons under the same tent. That can’t be, in her mind. One of them has to go. Wasn’t both of them by her choice? The only difference is the second son, being the spirit man was not within her own power, was it? It was by the power of God. At any rate, she chose to make Ismael and his mother leave. Sarah, being a type of the Church expelled the physical aspect and kept the spiritual. Is that not the whole concept of the Church? The responsibility of the Church is to get rid of the physical and to feed the spiritual.

Now, when we speak of this, do you think that the flesh or the physical is just going to die? That my friend will never happen. However we do see something here. Didn’t Abraham supply food and water for their journey? Didn’t God sustain the flesh and even promise to keep them? Again God also told Abraham that in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Isn’t (that seed) Jesus Christ?

So much to see here. God told Abraham here to harken unto his wife Sarah. So we see that a man, a pastor has to be wise and know when the spirit of God is telling him to hear his wife or, the Church and when not to hear her. He also has to be willing to stand against the temptation to yield to what she desires for him to do and, by faith stay the course of the Holy Spirit with patience, waiting for God to deliver and not the flesh.

God, in his wisdom allows for your flesh to be cared for. That flesh is the vessel that he, by the power of the Holy Spirit uses to carry out his will. But, that is only if we allow our flesh to do so.

In the spiritual picture we see that God sustains the flesh, but his desire is for the spirit man to show forth through the flesh that he sustains.

Now, back to Sarah. Although she, being a type of the Church offered Abraham another avenue to have a son, wasn’t it still his choice to do so? We often get caught up in the fact that Abraham committed adultery and it was wrong to do so. If that was the case only God could have known it because Abraham live over 400 years before God gave Moses the law. The sin of Abraham was not sin as we look at it but, just like us, he did not stand on God’s word. He trusted more in the flesh and yielded to that flesh.  He could have simply told Sarah, God is faithful What he has promised He will deliver.

If a spiritual man is standing behind a pulpit and doing his best to show forth his faith in Christ, doing all he can to follow the will of God without any intention of settling for less,  then in every case it will be the Church that gets impatient. In their minds they  don’t think things are going well. The Church will approach the pastor with this problem and tell him that something needs to change. That’s the weakness of the body of Christ. Sarah is a type of that weakness. She is seeing a need for a child to be born. The Church thinks more people needs to be coming and we need to do something to make this happen. Just as it’s not Sarah’s place to set spiritual policy, it’s also never the Churches place to set Spiritual policy, it’s the pastors or the husbands.

A lot of pastors and men have  children after their wife’s handmaiden, spiritually speaking; the wife condones this, she even creates the situation, the pastor or husband just simply yields to the temptation to bring about that physical birth.

Well, we now know that Abraham did have a son by the handmaid. The problem is that it was not of God. That wasn’t the promise that he made to Abraham. Do you realize that God made this promise to Abraham and not to Sarah in the beginning? Wasn’t it then Abraham’s responsibility to teach Sarah faith in God? To spiritually be her solid rock. We also know that when Sarah did hear the angel of the Lord speaking to Abraham and told him that he and his wife would have a son,( see laughed within herself).Those angels there were messengers, sent from God, they knew what she was thinking. Do you think you can sit in your Church, be something less than God desires for you to be and God not know what truly on your heart or mind?

As a man with grey hair and old bones, over the years as a believer I’ve heard people make this remark: Well, you can’t help that man or woman, they’re too far gone. Isn’t that the same mindset as Sarah had? In this group of verses here we also see this phrase;  IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOER THE LORD? Now, at this time, when she made this statement Ismael had already been born.

Friends, please hear this; once, as a Church you began to settle for less that the Spirit of God to leadit or us as an individual,  Satan has taken over the mindset of the marriage. That marriage being, the relationship between Christ and his bride, the Church.

In the husbands we are seeing here, being Adam and Abraham, they are weak through the flesh. They are mere types of Christ and his finished work. Christ did not and will not fail. Since Christ did not and will not fail, where does that leave us as the Church? We, the Church are the only avenue Satan has to corrupt the cause of Christ. It begins with the doubt of the Church, her willingness to do something, anything to have what she desires. The Church, corrupting the pastor;  because of his willingness to  settle  for less than the true power of God. We, as men, pastors are just like Adam and Abraham, weak through the flesh. However, Christ will not fail, and the true Church will live on.

Can we see the Church in the children of Adam? We know that Abraham had only two sons. But Adam had many sons and daughters ( Genesis 5:4 ) However, the only one that counted or truly was pleasing to Eve, a type of the true Church was Seth, the spirit man, the second man. Can you see the picture? You can fill a Church completely up with people but the only ones that God sees is the ones that’s truly born into his family, ( born again ).

We are born of flesh, just like Adam and Eve’s first son and Abraham and Sarah’s first son. Both of their second sons were the spiritual sons. Our first birth is only important to God the father if we are born again and allow him to use that body of flesh for his glory.

We can fill a Church up with people like Cain or Ismael both of which kill the true spirit of God. It all looks good but where is God?

 ( Genesis 18:12-18 )  Well, why didn’t Abraham refuse to do what Sarah, his wife was asking him to do? That proves that Abraham’s faith was weak as well, or was it? Can you see how a man can know in his spirit that God is able, believe that by faith, but at the same time yield to the flesh.  He yielded to, shall we say, the Churches desire.

Far too often we get caught up in the physical, sinfulness of mankind. We know that Adultery is sin and not of God. That is true in either male or female. However that is not what God desires for us to see in the spiritual sense. His desire is for his children to have spiritually mature eyes. His desire is for his children to see the sin of the Church. The spiritual sin, what happens between the pastor, the head of the Church and, the spiritual leadership.That which God has  placed on this earth for the salvation of people.

To bring this segment of this to an end, I’ll say this. You can teach a man or woman not to commit adultery, but that doesn’t make them closer to God. You can teach a wife to be submissive to her own husband, but she is still no closer to God. You can teach your Children to obey you as their parents, but they are still no closer to God.

The Bible says in 1  Timothy that Adam was not deceived. This blesses my heart. After Eve had bitten the fruit, she offered it to her husband, Adam which is a type of Christ. I can see Adam standing there, in his mind he knew his love for his wife. He knew if he didn’t bite that same fruit he would be separated from the wife he loved forever. Therefore, he willingly bit the fruit. Christ willingly came to this world, lived in the same temptation we, as members of his bride have to live in and we, every one of us gave in to sinful temptation. Christ did it without yielding to that temptation.

Adam lost the garden of Eden and cast this world in to sin. The second Adam purchased that home back for Israel and also prepared a place for His bride, 1500 hundred miles of pure gold, our heavenly home.

( I Believe )

What that means is: you don’t have to believe it just because I do. I believe it takes the hidden things in scripture to bring about salvation. That might not necessarily mean that we have to understand that to be saved. The person sharing the gospel or the person receiving to gospel. It’s like child birth, a child doesn’t understand that. Sometimes the person having the child doesn’t understand it all, bit it happens just the same.

Jesus told Nicodemus: ( John 3:3 ) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. That my friend is a spiritual statement. If you look beyond that spiritual statement made by salvation himself you will see that Nicodemus did not understand that. Therefore Jesus had to try end explain it to him. Explaining the things we can plainly see will not save anyone. It takes the unseen hand and truth to birth a person into the family of God.

WE SHALL CONTINUE!

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE? ( JAMES 4:13-14 )

GO TO NOW, YE THAT SAY, TODAY OR TOMORROW WE WILL GO INTO SUCH A CITY, AND CONTINUE THERE A YEAR. AND BUY AND SELL, AND GET GAIN: ( 14 ) WHEREAS YE KNOW NOT WHAT SHALL BE ON THE MORROW. FOR WHAT IS YOUR LIFE? IT IS EVEN A VAPOUR, THAT APPEARETH FOR A LITTLE TIME, AND THEN VANISHETH AWAY.

As I ponder how to teach this thought and, often little things that might pop in my mind, sometimes it might be days before I can actually begin to allow God’s spirit to unfold the things that I truly desire to write. As I consider this, I begin with how the word ( life ) is defined, especially in this particular verse. In teaching I’ve often referenced the fact that when we are born we, on that day ( become a living soul ). The world desfines that day as having life. I actually don’t have a problem with that, realuzing that it has to be defied some way. In reality. ( Life begins with Jesus Christ ). Why? Because he is life! When we are born again is when we actually receive ( life ) and, that life is eternal. Here is one verse that teaches that:

( John 5:24 )

VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, HE THAT HEARETH MY WORD, AND BELIEVETH ON HIM THAT SENT ME, HATH EVERLASTING LIFE, AND SHALL NOT COME INTO CONDEMNATION; BUT IS PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE.

Jesus Christ also says this:

( John 11:25 )

JESUS SAID UNTO HER, I AM THE RESURRECTION, AND THE LIFE: HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE:

The verse we are looking into in ( James 4:14 ) says this: ( FOR WHAT IS YOUR LIFE )? If we desire to define what we have on this earth as ( life ); then James is explaining to each of us just what we actually have. One of the first things he mentions is that you can’t even say for sure you’ll be here tomorrow. Even with that uncertainty, many people cling to this life. They seek to gain more and more money or things.

As I sit here and seek to hear God’s spirit as I write, God just place a thought on my heart of a personal nature about me. I’d like to share it concerning what we might consider gain and loss in my personal walk with Christ,

Most people that we see are people that are ( of this world ). In their thought process they only see things from a physical standpoint as it might concern success or failure. Back when I was a boy, there was a man that many people actually made fun of. This man sought to preach the gospel and, he actually did for a while. However, he was a drunkard, hard drink finally got the best of him and he died because of his sinful weakness. But, what was his life? Can you see that through all his weakness he actually had a burning desire to serve Christ? It’s easy to belittle him, be critical of his failures but what have you done for Christ in your life? Have you even attempted to overcome you sinful self and attempt something for the glory of God?

I was born again in 1975. The Church I got saved in had a pastor that was sold out for Jesus Christ. He never just stood up and preached a message. His whole mindset was one of truly seeking God’s face on what to preach. As I got to know him, learn about him, I heard him say once that before he surrendered to preach he would walk the railroad tracks close to his house seeking an answer from God about what to do. Looking back now I can see why he was so hard pressed to know for sure what he was doing, and I haven’t even gotten to me yet!

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what your sinful weakness might be or, even if it’s not a weakness you have but, a weakness of someone else that destroys the true will of God for a life, isn’t it still destroyed as far as this world is concerned? What if a man has this kind of passion to walk in God’s will, to preach the gospel but, his very wife is not supportive of what and who he is? Isn’t the same destructive power still there? It doesn’t have to be his wife. It can be a simple group of people within a Church to are not willing to submit to God’s will but are far more willing to seek their own direction.

In 1980 this pastor resigned his Church. As far as I know he never pastored another one, never started another. However, ( WHAT WAS HIS LIFE )? Can you see that what was truly within this man he was never allowed to completely live out? In 1990 my family and I, also a few other families were actually voted out of this Church. I won’t go into why but, does it make us wrong because we were voted out?

The few families that were voted out were looking to me for direction. If I visited a Church, everyone of those families followed me to that Church. We visited a few but, I was truly struggling about what to do. God had called me to preach a few years before this and I was praying about starting a Church. That’s exactly what we did! Just like my former pastor I had a tremendous passion to allow God to speak through me and, not to simply allow myself to speak or say things from the pulpit.

I pastored that Church for ten years. Within those ten years we built a building and the Church grew. With all that being said, I made many mistakes. As a matter of fact; I walked somewhat the same path as my former pastor. Was it my weakness that caused me to resign? Actually, it doesn’t matter does it? However, I will say this, often a man’s life is not defined by his weakness but rather, his will. This is something we all can count on. If you are going to sell yourself out to do God’s will, to allow ( YOUR LIFE ) to be his and not your own; then Satan is going to attect you, no matter who you are! I will add that he knows your weakness, no matter what it might be.

You might ask., should men that have the ability to see their weakness even consider doing a work for Christ? To that question I would ask you ( WHAT IS YOUR LIFE )? The average person that will say they are born again are sitting on a Church pew on Sunday morning. They go to Sunday School, they tithe and they go home. It’s almost like a football game; the stands are full of people but there are only 22 people playing football.

Investing in the work of the Lord is never a failure. The world will look at what you’ve done and judge whether they think you were victorious or a failure. They’ll sit and talk about you behind your back, making judgmental statements. However, all the truly matters is how God the Father sees your life. Did you simply invest in you or, did you seek to place yourself in the battle for the Lord? I only point these things out because we often look at people, pastors, Sunday School teachers and we, judge them as being ( used of God ) when, in reality their whole lives has nothing to do with ( the will ) to please our Lord. This is the very point that Jesus Christ is making in this verse:

( Mark 7:6 )

HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM. WELL HATH ESAIAS PROPHESIED OF YOU HYPOCRITES, AS IT IS WRITTEN, THIS PEOPLE HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEARTS IS FAR FROM ME.

This is the whole concept that James is speaking of. Like I said; you can define ( life ) as what you have if you please however, what we have, what we call ( life ) is soon going to end. This is a tremendous burden on my heart when I see what is being taught in Church and by most pastors today. Our Churches appear to be filled with people that ( honor God ) with their lips but ( their hearts ) ( their lives ) the way they actually live is miles from where God would have them be. Now, you might call that being judgmental and, I suppose it could be after I have gone to the trouble to show how often we see people not for what they really are. However, It’s truly not meant to be judgmental but with great concern.

You see, there’s some other verses we must consider. Look at this one:

( 2 Corinthians 5:17 )

THEREFORE IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATURE: OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.

Look at this one:

( 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:

Let’s even consider this verse:

( Luke 18:21-22 )

AND HE SAID,ALL THESE HAVE I KEPT FROM MY YOUTH UP. ( 22 ) NOW WHEN JESUS HEARD THESE THINGS, HE SAID UNTO HIM, YET LACKEST THOU ONE THING: SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST, AND DISTRIBUTE UNTO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALL HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN, AND COME, FOLLOW ME.

Often when I read verses that are saying what these verses are saying, I consider myself, even other people that I know come into my mind. ( WHAT IS MY LIFE )? Just how willing am I to give up all I have, give to the poor and, completely follow Jesus Christ?

I’d like to share an event that happened between my wife and I a while back. My wife is from Ohio, I’m from North Carolina. We Live in North Carolina; in the very house, on the very farm I grew up on. My wife was interested in selling out and moving back to Ohio to be a help to her family that in some cases needed us to help. What we have in North Carolina is ours with no debt. Therefore, I was apposed to selling and possibly going into debt to move to somewhere else. I actually didn’t mind moving so much but it became tense between us. I couldn’t sleep that night because it was on my mind.

The next day, around lunch I went to her and said this: Honey, if you desire to sell out and move, I’m on your team! If we are needed in Ohio then I don’t want ( things ) at any place to stop me from walking where God desire for me to walk. There are people in Ohio that need to be witnessed to just like it is in North Carolina. Therefore, when you decide to go, I’m going with you.

That’s been about two years ago, we still live in North Carolina. God’s Spirit taught me something about me during that time. I’t’s easy to say you are where God desires for you to be but, can you prove that fact? Whether it be me or, the rich young ruler, it’s not so much selling all that you have but, your willingness to do so.

I heard a pastor tell a true story once about a man, a member of his Church that owned three cotton mills in different cities. The pastor shared that this man went to each of theses cotton mills every week to check on them. These cotton mills were his life. As this man aged; one day he started to feel bad and he went to his family doctor. After examining him, his doctor told him he had cancer. The best he could offer him was about six more months.

When the man left to doctor’s office, he went straight to his pastor. This is what he said. Pastor, I have cancer, the doctor tells me I have about six months to live. You know, all my life I’ve loved my cotton mills, went to each of them each week. However, now they mean absolutely nothing to me!

In essence, we often go to Church, give what we consider to be fair in our offering. We consider ourselves to be good Christians. However, do we ever truly die to ourselves? When we read these verses, being born again is all about a transition, a transformation. It’s the act of giving up our lives and, allowing God’s Spirit to take control of what we do and who we are.

Far too often we are taught, by our Church to allow ( that Church ) to become our life. Often we have multi-million dollar Church buildings but, the members are starving to death spiritually. We have given our lives to that building! To its leadership, its pastor, its priorties! While we speak of Jesus Christ in a generic sense, his will is far from our hearts, we don’t ask him what he thinks or hear him if he speaks!

( OUR LIVES ) even the things we tie ourselves to will soon end. Let’s give a spiritual metaphor for this thought. In:

( Luke 16:23 )

AND IN HELL HE LIFT UP HIS EYES, BEING IN TORMENTS, AND SEEING ABRAHAM AFAR OFF, AND LAZARUS IN HIS BOSOM.

I’ll just give this verse to make my point but, you can read the whole account. As you read this you will see that this man was well off, he had very little time for Lazarus but basically looked after himself ( HIS WHOLE LIFE ). He also had five brothers. We see that, when he died, he went to hell. Do you suppose he had a beautiful funeral, maybe the preacher talked about how good he was, seeking to comfort his family, his brothers? Actually, all that doesn’t matter now does it, he in hell for eternity!

Now, you consider the last funeral you went to. Can you tell me for sure where the person that died ended up? We often hear about how good he was, how faithful he was to Church, his family, how good of a friend he was. That was his or her ( physical life ) but, what about their ( spiritual lives )?

The Bible says this:

( Matthew 7:13-14 )

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

We read those verses but, almost every person that dies today, according to our pastors have found that strait gate! ( WHAT IS YOUR LIFE )? Have you found that strait gate? The gate that leads to life? I often say ( I’m not a judge ) but, ( that doesn’t mean I’m not concerned ) about what I see with my eyes. This is what I see. I see people falling in love with Church buildings, pastors, Sunday School teachers and, their quarterlys. I see people falling in love with different versions of God’s word but, the same people are never truly concerned about ( the truth ) in the Word Of God! I find that almost every member of our Churches today will tell you they have been saved. However, the vast majority of them only have a ( hope so ) slavation. Does that mean that they don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ , one that gives them the assurance of salvation?

I see, while many pastors might say they believe in eternal security. very few of them teach that very concept; leaving their people in ignorance of the truth. The very phrase ( WHAT IS YOUR LIFE ) cries out for an individual seeking of that truth, a personal walk with Jesus Christ.

( I BELIEVE ) and this is ( MY OPINION ). That means that you can leave what you think about what I’m about to say up to what God’s Spirit leads you to think about it. Most of our Churches today has made salvation a corperate entity meaning that salvation is more about the Church corperately and less about ( an individual walk ) with Christ. ( I believe ) we are living in the last days as it relates to scripture. Within that time frame, in scripture we see that we are headed for three main ( ones ). ( ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT ) ( ONE WORLD MONEY SYSTEM ) and ( ONE WORLD CHURCH ).

Each of those entities are being set up as we speak. My concern is ( the Church ). If you will just look back a few years there was a vast difference in our local denomination. It was very noticeable. Today, it’s not much. This was brought about because of the ( singleness ) of teaching. The average Church today requires that their pastor have at least an associate degree before they will be even considered as their pastor. I can go on about my opinion but, that’s not what I’m seeking to show you!

My desire is to get you to look at ( your life ) your ( walk with Christ ). There’s a saying that states this: ( THIS LIFE FOR YOU WILL SOON BE PASSED! ONLY WHAT YOU DO FOR CHRIST WILL LAST )! This is my whole point! When we come to the resolve that ( our lives ) that we live here is nothing and, we become willing to turn ( our lives ) over to the ( Holy Spirit of God ) and, begin to build our ( eternal lives ) is the focus of what I’m saying.

My pastor can stand, speaking at a funeral and say all kinds of good things about a person that has just passed away. All those words don’t mean a thing! He might truly make a family feel good about the love one they just lost. However, the true judgement comes only from God the Father or, I guess we should say, His Son Jesus Christ. Now is the time for you to look at ( your life ). Now’s the time for you to prepare ( your life ) to stand, not before a Church and your pastor but, before a Holy and Righteous God. I want you to look at ( your life ) and decide are you living that life for you, for your Church or pastor, for money, for fame or, for what? If you can’t say that you are living ( your life ) sold out to the best of your ability to Jesus Christ and his will then, please change your course!

I still contend that ( your life ) is never your own! The reason I say that is because it doesn’t matter what you might think, as you live ( your life ) you are either pleasing God,, by his Holy Spirit or, ( your life ) is pleasing to Satan! There is no middle ground for you to play in!

In closing; I’ll even say this. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with me or not. It all boils down to how Jesus Christ sees ( your life ) as it unfolds. Judgement is in his hands, not mine and, not your Churches or your pastors.

( WHAT IS YOUR LIFE )? Only you can decide the answer to that spiritual question!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( SUNDAY ) ( OCTOBER 17,2021 ) THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; THE PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES WE HAVE BECOME!

( MATTHEW 23:1-6 )

THEN SPAKE JESUS TO THE MULTITUDE, AND TO HIS DISCIPLES,( 2 ) SAYING, THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES SIT IN MOSES’ SEAT: ( 3 ) ALL THEREFORE WHATSOEVER THEY BID YOU OBSERVE, THAT OBSERVE AND DO; BUT DO NOT YE AFTER THEIR WORKS: FOR THEY SAY AND DO NOT. ( 4 ) FOR THEY BIND HEAVY BURDENS AND GRIEVIOUS TO BE BORNE, AND LAY THEM ON MEN’S SHOULDERS; BUT THEY THEMSELVES WILL NOT MOVE THEM WITH ONE OF THEIR FINGERS. ( 5 ) BUT ALL OF THEIR WORKS THEY DO FOR TO BE SEEN OF MEN: THEY MAKE BROAD THEIR PHYLACTERIES, AND ENLARGE THE BOARDERS OF THEIR GARMENTS, ( 6 ) AND LOVE THE UPPERMOST ROOMS AT FEASTS, AND THE CHIEF SEATS IN THE SYNAGOGUES,

( MATTHEW 23:23 )

WOE UNTO YOU, SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! FOR YE PAY TITHE OF MINT AND ANISE AND CUMMIN, AND HAVE OMITTED THE WEIGHTIER MATTERS OF THE LAW, JUDGMENT, MERCY, AND FAITH: THESE THINGS OUGHT YE HAVE DONE, AND NOT TO LEAVE THE OTHER UNDONE.

As I begin to write this lesson, I wonder; can we agree on the fact that, according to these verses that Jesus Christ was contrary to the Scribes and Pharisees? If we notice the very first part of the first verse, he says; ( whatsoever they bid, you observe ) why? Because they sit in Moses’ seat. However, ( don’t do after their works ). Why? Because they bind heavy burdens and greivious to be borne. They lay them on men’s shoulders but, they themselves will not move a finger to do what they demand of you.Also, everything they do, they do to be seen of men.

However, Jesus Christ was not contrary to the law and the reason for that law. The Bible says this:

( John 1:17 )

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

It’s very strange how the very same people that were so desirious to demand that people keep the law; despised the very man that was able to do just that. Isn’t it the very same way today? There are those that will call foul if you mention the name of Jesus Christ, yet they will be the very first one to point out the fact that you don’t keep their law. You see; Jesus Christ was perfectly able to keep the very law that God handed down to Moses but, the Pharisees were upset that he didn’t keep their law.The problem was; they didn’t keep it either, they just didn’t let the people know that fact.

I am an electrician by trade, retired now. In the last few years of my employment I worked in a factory where I had worked doing electrical work many times. The factory had devised what they called a ( zero tolerance policy ). They had set certain saftey guidelines that if any person broke one of those guidelines one time, they were fired and could never work there again. One day as I worked there, the man that was my contact at that factory explained that to me. As we talked, I told him that there was no such thing as a ( zero tolerance policy ). He argued that I was. I replied, no it’s not! You’re not telling me that you don’t have a friend that you have seen do something that you would absolutely dismiss me for but, you turned a blind eye to what they did. Every other person in this factory has that very same mindset. It’s just simple human nature! At that,, he simply looked at me and didn’t say a word. I replied, Yep! Just as I figured!

That concept has a Biblical verse:

( Romans 2:15-16 )

WHICH SHEW THE WORK OF THE LAW WRITTEN IN THEIR HEARTS, THEIR CONSCIENCE ALSO BEARING WITNESS, AND THEIR THOUGHTS THE MEAN WHILE ACCUSING OR ELSE EXCUSING ONE ANOTHER. ( 16 ) IN THE DAY WHEN GOD SHALL JUDGE THE SECRETS OF MEN BY JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL.

In essence, it doesn’t matter whether it’s God’s law or, just some laws made by man, we as people use that law and we either accuse people or excuse depending on how we like that person. However, make no mistake, God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ because he knows what the truth is. ( the law ) always condemns but, ( grace and truth ) came by Jesus Christ. The truth, we’re all guilty! When we begin to point fingers at someone else; we become Pharisees and Hypocrites!

When it comes to this country; ( the United States of Ameria ), the people that basically goveren us have denounced the ( grace and truth ) of Jesus Christ. That reach goes far beyond the Senate and congress, It reaches into every governing body of everything that has any authority over people with the power to decide the wellbeing of other people. It’s in the leaders of the news media, it’s in sports, it’s in the common work place, it’s in our judical system, it’s even in our Churches. We have done away with the very concept of ( Jesus Christ ) and ( grace and truth ).

At the very same time that ( the powers that be ) have turned their back on the God of this universe, the Father of Jesus Christ, the one that gave his life for our inability to keep his law, they have become ( a religion ) within their own ranks, setting their own laws that goveren those that might oppose them. They, like the Pharisees and Hypocrites mentioned in these verses cannot even live to the very laws they expect others to abide by.

Let’s make a distinction here. If you are as I am ( born again ) ( washed in the blood of Jesus Christ ) then we are governed by a totally different set of guidelines than those of either this country or, this world.Again, we still have to make another distinction; that between what we call ( the Church ) and those that are actually ( born again ). Why would that be? We see in scripture that even the high priest of those days we against Jesus Christ and, often sided with the ( powers to be ) Wonder why that would be? The greatest fear they all had was losing the powers or priviledges they possessed. And, that to a man called Jesus Christ. If they recognized him for what and who he said he was then all their power was gone.

In the United States of America, just as in any other country in the world; those in power don’t like to see themselves as being controlled by any religion., however they are all wrong, they just can’t see it for the blindness that has happened within their own ( sin cursed minds and hearts ). There’s a problem that even many believers can’t see. That problem is that their is only two that we can serve. I know, even the Bible speaks of ( gods ) however, any god that you might choose to serve other that ( God the Father ) and that through the blood of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ is all basically pleasing to the ( god of this world ).

Do you remember in ( Genesis 3:1 ) when the Serpent questioned Eve about eating of the ( thee of the knowledge of good and evil )? (YEA,HATH GOD SAID, YE SHALL NOT EAT OF EVERY TREE OF THE GARDEN? And also. in ( Genesis 3:4 ) when he made this statement: ( YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE )? How many voices were there to be heard at that time? Only two, the voice of God the Father and, the voice of the Serpent. Even in all we see and hear today, those are the only two voices to be heard. In Satan’s deceitful way he make it appear that he is more than one but, that’s not the case. Not today,; nor has it ever been.

I wonder; if we asked every Senator, and every house member what Church , denomination or religion they are a member of, how many different names would we get? Or. are they even members of such? It doesn’t matter. Even if they do not join themselves with any group, they are still led a a power beyond themselves, like it or not!

You might argue that the things I just said is simply ( my Opinion ). At that, you have a right to think that however, my desire is to allow God’s Spirit to speak, revealing ( truth ). We must be able to distinguish the voice of that spirit against every opinion and other voices we might hear. I cannot enable you to do that! However, I truly believe that God’s Spirit will always reveal that which is truth to any person that is willing to hear ( his truth ). I often say to people. it’s not about your ability to hear me or, about simply what I might write. It’s about your ability to hear him as he speaks truth to your heart and, your ability to yield to the truth you hear from him.

In the verses we began with we see where Jesus Christ called the, shall we say, lawmakers of that day, hypocrites. He said that they made laws that were imposible for the people to keep and, that even they didn’t keep the very laws they made. I say that in our nation we are looking at the same things today however, that’s actually not the point I’d like to make. My point in writing this is to shed light on the types of laws and the things we are asked to except as right in our land today.

Herein is the problem! I don’t believe that the vast majority of the people in the United States of America actually look at the things we are charged to except as being exceptable. The majority of the people would disagree with the laws that are made.So, how and why do they come about. I’ll use an example of what happens in a Church ofter to make my point. As a former pastor; we use to have deacon’s meetings and discuss different issues we might be faced with. We, as a group would come up with; what we considered as a solution to the circumatances. When we would then meet with the whole body of the Church, it would be a dicussion. However, as the pastor made the motion to bring to solution to pass, one deacon would make the motion, another deacon would second the motion basically forcing the member of the Church to bring it to a vote. Therefore, did we actually know how the whole Church felt concerning the matter or, were they simply intimidated into a ( yes ) vote?

Isn’t that exactly what happens in Washington? ( WE THE PEOPLE ) vote. We send our Senators and congress people to Washington. Once they get their they are then forced into a coalition of the same mindset of the specific party leaders and, the rest is history. The actual voice of the people is never heard.

Consider this also; is anything in Washington D.C. real? Or is it all bought and paid for by someone else? For instance, l live in a part of the country where the average income is between twenty five thousand and sixty thousand dollars a year. So, we have two totally different mindsets of politicians run for the same office. However, the establishment floods money into our area to help one party over the other to win. Therefore, whose voice is actually heard? Couldn’t we argue that the ideals are bought and paid for?

( In my opinion ) when you consider it’s 435 members in the congress and 100 Senators; one of the toughtest things in this country should be to get any bill passed. Getting all those different mindsets on the same page should almost an impossibility. Let’s just say that 705% of the people in this country are very conservative and, 30% very liberal. However, the basic leadership is liberal and they pressure the new people in any way they can to join a coalition; forcing them to vote like they do. Can’t we argue that only the mindsets of one or two states are actually heard? If men and women don’t have the courage and constitution to stand on their principles and the principles of those they serve, what good is it to have any election?

As I say all these things; my intent is to make spiritual points about the country we now live in. So, let’s look at a few things to consider.

I understand that on all the points I make, you don’t have to agree with me. However, as I often say; it’s the Spirit of God that I seek to allow to be heard and not just the words I write or, things I say. Let’d just asked this question. When this nation was formed and, men laid their left hand on a Bible to swear and oathe, what was the Bible thary used and, was it any significants to that book?

The original 1611 King James Bible had a section in it that was called ( The books called Apocrypha ). So I’m going to assume that, that Bible was the English Bible used by the first Congress. We know now that ( that book ) at some point dropped that section of what we call the KIng James Bible. My question is; under whose authority was that done? Did the Holy Spirit lead the men that made that Choice? Not only that but now, in the day we live we have multiple choices we can choose from and still it is called God’s word. Now, I can’t speak as for other languages but, in the english language ( the Bible ) has been somewhat changed many times. The point, is that something that was lead by the Spirit of God?

If we as a nation doubt that it was not inspired by God then, why did we, as a nation except it? Even all the new Bibles we see today, did Gos inspire those thanslations or it that something that men, people just readily excepted in their lack of spiritual wisdom? ( I believe ) that from the very onset of this nation, a nation that had a mindset for God the Father, Satan has been busy seeking ways to destroy our relationship with Jesus Christ by weakening us in multiple ways. So, let’s not choose a particular version of scripture. Let’s allow you, to choose the version you use and say it is correct. Can you see how the very fact that any other version came into exsistance brought about confusion to some degree? It brought about division between them that trust in God’s word.

To me, that’s just one example of who we have become. What about the ( death penality ) and the way we handle all criminal behavior now? ( I believe ) it’s a true picture of the God we actually serve. We have become a ( nation that loves flesh ) and that far above ( the nation that loved the law of God the Father )! Our flesh has taken over our desire to be pleasing to God the Father. Let’s just consider back in the early days of our nation. If a man was found guilty of raping a woman, what would have happen to him? If a man stole a horse, what would have been done to him? If one man killed another for no just cause, what would have happened to him?

These things are clearly defined in scripture. We see in ( Joshua ) where God told Joshua to kill a man, his wife and all his children, and destroyed all that he had because he stole a garment and some silver. You can read that in ( Joshua 7 ). I’ll show you this one verse:

( Joushua 7:17 )

THEREFORE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL COULD NOT STAND BEFORE THEIR ENEMIES, BUT TURN THEIR BACKS BEFORE THEIR ENEMIES, BECAUSE THEY WERE ACCURSED: NEITHER WILL I BE WITH YOU ANY MORE, EXCEPT YE DESTROY THE ACCURSED FROM AMONG YOU.

What we fail to understand is that God’s grace that came by Jesus Christ didn’t do away with the law. The law of God is still very much in effect. Even I, as a born again believer, if I rape, steal, murder or commit any other unlawful deed, in my flesh, I’m still judged by God’s law. That doesn’t mean that I don’t know Jesus Christ as my savior and, that my salvation is still secure but rather I must pay for the sin or law that was broken, being judged by God’s law.

For example: Achan, his wife and his children ( becaused they believed God ) are in God’s presence now, but their sin had to be paid for. Have you ever heard the phrase ( May God have mercy on your soul )? A good judge understands that he cannot determine the destiny of any person’s soul but, that ( his Judgment ) must be carried out under the leadership of God’s Spirit.

Therefore, what has happened in our nation? The leaders of our nation has allows ( another god ) rather than the God we were founded under to begin to dictate how we establish our laws. As time has moved foward we see where the lawless slowly begin to take complete control of all things. The laws that are established are set up to protect those that are lawless and not to carry out God’s will in any way.

Let’s look at this. How about adultery and fornication? In our nation, does anyone even care about those two aspects of life anymore? How about divoce? Is there any thought about how God the Father feels about these three things concerning marriage in our country anymore? Do you think that the way we handle these things as individuals or, even on a national level has any resemblance to what God might think or the things he teaches?

I want to take the time here to stop and show you something that really brings all our national problems into spiritual focus. This concerning young women and what those young women will allow themseles to become today!

To start this; we need to focus on what ( a Church ) truly is, that is; as Jesus Christ sees it. The true Church is a group of people that have realized that fact that they live in a body of sinful flesh. They have gained that knowledge by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit of God. Those same people have denounced who they are in the flesh and, determined by the power of God to completely yield themselves to the will Of God. Another way of putting it is that they refuse, to the best of their ability to yield to the temptations of the flesh.

( The Church ) being people that are ( born again ); from that second birth have committed themselves to keep themselves pure until the day that they actually ( marry ) Jesus Christ.Look at this verse:

( 2 Corinthians 11:2 )

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

The Apostle Paul, being in the sense ( the elder ) was teaching younger members of the Church all that God the Father was expecting of them. The Church is supposed to be just that way; the older teaching to younger ( how to ) keep themselves.

Every young woman is a type of that very picture. She is supposed to be taught and, to understand the importance of her ( keeping herself for on man; that her father might present her a ( chasted virgin ) to the one man she will one day marry. Back in the early days of America, many young women would not even allow themselves to be kissed untill they were at least engaged to the man they would soon marry. These things were taught however, it was completely up to the young women to make the choice to keep themselves. Even the young men, being a type of Jesus Christ, truly sought to find a young woman that purposed in her heart to keep herself just for him.

When we compare the way we see the ( Church ) and the average ( young man and woman ) in our country today; what do we see? Do we see anything like that picture today? With that question being asked, what those the Spirit of God reveal to you? Since these things are the things that are expected from the God of the universe, the Father of Jesus Christ; the God the we say we serve then, tell me, exactly what god are we walking with? Exactly what are we teaching in our Churches?

The next thing I’d like to point out is abortion. I’d like to make an observation here. I realize that the act of abortion has been around for a long time. However, in our country it really came to the forefront on about 1973. Before then; if it was done, it was done in secret because it was seen as ( against the law ). Well, when did birth control actually come into being? I mean, the ability for a woman to take a pill to prevent her from becoming pregnant? ( The Pill) came into being in ( June 1960 ). That means in less than fifteen years; we now have abortion. I say those things are part of a trend in our country.

So, let’s stop here and see what God has to say about abortion. I will just use one verse and you can read more if you like.

( Eoodus 21:22 )

IF MEN STRIVE, AND HURT A WOMAN WITH CHILD, SO THAT HER FRUIT DEPART FROM HER, AND THAT NO MISCHIEF FOLLOW: HE SHALL SURELY BE PUNISHED, ACCORDING AS THE WOMAN’S HUSBAND WILL LAY UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PAY AS THE JUDGES DETERMINE.

I want you to notice something here. Look at the phrase ( THE WOMANN’S HUSBAND ). Is he not speaking to married people? I wonder; if we check over the years, just how many ( married women ) actually sought to get abortions? I don’t doubt it isn’t some but, the majority of abortions are done on women that are not married. In that case, where is the man? Can you see how that ( child birth ) was extremely importanT to both men and women at one tine? It was also seen as something that took place between a man and his wife.

Therefore, the act of bringing children into this world today has nothing to do with child birth does it? It has to do with our own personal pleasure and, our own personal will. First and foremost; when God wrote the law we read here it was the man that was upset about abortion; not just or, only the woman. The man decides what the punishment would be because he cared for the child that was to be born! In most cases today, we don’t even hear from the father of the child do we? The ( battle cry ) of most people that support abortion today is this: ( IT’S MY BODY )! With that being said; my question to you is. ( IS IT )? Is it still you body?

When we truly consider ( what god ) is leading us a a nation; this is a very powerful point and, I truly believe we can also tie our Churches into the down fall of a nation all concerning these things. The problem is, we’re so spiritually blind we can’t see it.

So, let’s unfold this in a spiritual sense. First of all, if you are a young unmarried woman, as far as this world is concerned; you are in control of your own body. And, as a nation, the United States of America, what we teach as that nation truly speaks volumes about what god we serve. When we condone sex before marriage and, abortion then the god we are serving is not the Father of our Lord And Savior, Jesus Christ. I often say this: a child is born a girl, she has nothing to do with that act. Then, one day she becomes a young woman, she has no control of that fact. However, whether she is a lady or not is completely up to her. It’s actually the same way with any boy.

Young men and women have complete control of their bodies. That is, unless you have been born again. Once you are born again, asking Jesus Christ to be your Savior, you’re no longer your own, you’ve been bought with a price.

( 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 )

WHAT? KNOW YE NOT THAT YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS IN YOU, WHICH YE HAVE OF GOD AND YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN? ( 20 ) FOR YE HAVE BEEN BOUGHT WITH A PRICE: THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY, AND IN YOUR SPIRIT, WHICH ARE GOD’S.

I point this out and continue to make the point, ( what god are we serving )? God, the Father of Jesus Christ, the family we are born into when we are born again makes it plain that if we are going to be pleasing to him; we must yield ourselves to the contol of his Holy Spirit. When young women speak and proclaim ( it’s my body ) to do with as I please. Aren’t they ( by definition ) denoumcing the ( born again experience )? When young men seek to satisify themselves, not considering the concept of marriage, aren’t they denounncing the ( born again experience ).

This; in itself is a weakness in our nation! When we as people have this kind of mindset then we seek to find leaders that will be a voice for our flesh and, not the God of the Universe. In most cases, the weakness we see in our young people; male and female is only a picture of the weakness of the parents that raised them and a great lack of spiritual education that should be the very foundation of every family and Church. There’s a verse of scripture that says this: ( THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK AND; ROSE UP TO PLAY ).

( 1 Corinthians 10:7 ) ( Exodus 32:6 )

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

As we consider this; I’d like to share another verse with you to continue the point.

( Matthew 5:13 )

YE ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH: BUT IF THE SALT HAVE LOST HIS SAVOUR, WHEREWITH SHALL IT BE SALTED? IT IS THENCEFORTH GOOD FOR NOTHING, BUT TO BE CAST OUT, AND TO BE TRODDEN UNDER FOOT OF MEN.

In the United States of America, our salt has lost its savour! That, all the way through, our families, our Churches, our schools and our government. What happens when you pour salt in an open wound? ( IT STINGS, IT BURNS, IT CLEANSES )! Do you realize that what we now call ( abuse ) use to be considered as ( authority ) and that; a husband over his wife, a mother over her children, a pastor over his Church, a government over its people?

We, as a people didn’t like the authority that God the Father, by his Holy Spirit granted to the heads of every institution. The word of God is a solid rock, The Holy Spirit is a guiding force. When we; as individuals, one at a time make a choice to ( have things our way ) we slowly weaken a nation. The very foundation that we use to base our strength on becomes null and void.

Now, let’s go back and look at a word in a scripture that we referenced. The word is ( PLAY ). It says ( the sat down to eat and drink and rose top play ). How would you say that God defines the word ( play )? God defines it just as we do. Playing is always doing what you choose to do. If,, when I was a boy, my dad told me to paint the barn on a certain day while he was away but, I choose rather to mow the grass; then in my dad’s mind ( I was playing ). It’s not that mowing grass can’t be considered work but, it’s not what I was told to do.

If men, husbands refuse to yield to God’s Spirit then, why should they expect their wives to yield to their leadership? If women, wives refuse to submit to their husbands then, why would they expect their children to submit to them? That same concept goes all the the way to the top of local, state and federal governments. The sting, the cleansing power of our words are completely diminished! Our salt has lost its savour! the very foundation we stand on is one of rebelion!

When we, as a people desire to have things ( our way ), don’t we, by default reject the idea of other people having their own way? Within this very concept, we see the dimise of the very concept of policing any community. Why is that statement true? Because we refuse to allow the policeperson to do what they desire to do, even if what they do is by law. Again, that concept goes all the way to the top. Let’s take it a step farther. Let’s say you believe that every person has a right to be or, to choose their own personal sexual orientation, male or female, you believe that any person sould be able to marry the person of their choice, male or female. However, I disagree with your way of thinking. Doesn’t that make me, in your mind, wrong by default? And, at the same time, can’t I call you wrong according to the concept that you set?

When we, as a nation destroy the building blocks, the very foundation we were founded on then, as a nation, there is no right and wrong unless it is; as defined by the individual. Why did Jesus Christ call the Pharisees hypocrites? Because they expected people to live up to a standard they set that, they themselves could not live up to. And, the pharisees set that standard. They set that standard knowing that they could not live up to it but, sought to hide their own short comings from everyone else.

So, what is the blessedness of the rightousness of Jesus Christ? As we consider him, we all know we are sinners and deserve any punishment God would give us. At the same time, we are not condenmed by him! Have you ever considered the difference in ( the law of Christ ) and ( the law of God )? Or, is there a difference? Yes it is and, the constitution of the United States was established on the ( law of Christ ).

So, let look at the difference: I like using these verses to make this point.

( John 15: 9-14 )

AS THE FATHER HATH LOVED ME, SO HAVE I LOVED YOU: CONTINUE YE IN MY LOVE. ( 10 ) IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTSS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; EVEN AS I HAVE KEPT MY FATHER’S COMMANDMENTS, AND ABIDE IN HIS LOVE. ( 11 ) THESE THINGS HAVE I SPOKEN UNTO YOU, THAT MY JOY MIGHT REMAIN IN YOU, AND THAT YOUR JOY MIGHT BE FULL. ( 12 ) THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT, THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. ( 13 ) GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS. ( 14 ) YE ARE MY FRIENDS, IF YE DO WHATSOEVER I COMMAND YOU.

He is telling us there that ( he ) kept the commandments of ( God the Father ). He says; just as he kept the commandments of the Father, he desires for us to keep ( his commandment ). His commandment is that ( ye love one another ) just as ( he loved us ). Are we able to love one another? No, we are not; not to perfection at any rate. However, if I love you; what commandment can I break and say that at the same time? Can I steal from you and, love you? Cand I lie to you and say I love you? Although we aren’t perfect, we can seek to live that way, loving one another in Christ.

Now, if I steal or lie. If I do break any of the commandments then I am still accountable for my actions, but not bebore God the Father. When we are ( in Christ ) God see us through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. However, as far as this world is concerned, we are still guilty.

I believe the Constitution of the United States is based on the same concept. It affords every person the same liberty to live with on another in love, treating each other with all due respect and, at the same time seeking all of our heart felt desires. As nation, we have never been perfect! However, as time moved foward we have sought to correct our wrongs and, move toward righteousness as a nation.

In the last fifty years haven’t we turned our backs on the simple concept? As I make that statement ( I believe ) it’s our leadership that has turned from that concept more so than the people of our nation. Have you ever heard the phrase ( a lying politician )? Well, how can a politician lie to you and say he loves you at the same time? Can you see how that they, like the Pharisees hold you to a completely different standard than the have to abide by? Our politicians live by the code ( you do as I say, not as I do ). That my friend is hypocritical!

Let’s say that your congress person is your next door neighbor. As neighbors, you both attend the same Church. He or she is a leader in the Church you both attend. On a regular basis he or she stands and both teaches and prays in open assembly. He or she regularly speaks in open assembly about Jesus Christ. However, once that same person gets to Washington, there is no prayers, no mention of Jesus Christ. Is that not hypocritical? Is he or she truly representing you? Are they even being real?

I feel compelled to mention one more aspect of our nation and, what I see today. In doing this I’d like to share something about myself by confessing. While I don’t consider myself to be a racist in any way, I’m a long way from being perfect. Over the years I’ve made racist statements and used slang words to discribe people of other nationalities or ethic backgrounds. In other words, I’m not perfect as concerning that aspect of my life just as I’m not perfect in any other part of my life.

As I honestly confess that, how could I honestly hold anyone else to a higher standard than I myself can live up to? Do you think it would be possible to find one citizen of our nation, one politician, one pastor, deacon, Sunday School teacher, any person that has never had a racist thought enter their mind, even come out of their mouth? Jesus Christ himself made this statement ( ye that are without sin, cas the first stone ). ( John 8:7 ). Yet; we seemingly have no problem casting stones never even considering our own sinful lives. That mindset is destroying the country that use to be guided by that very principle that Jesus Christ was speaking of.

As a former pastor of a Church, I once stood in my pulpit and made this statement; realizing that a young woman had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. I told the ladies of our Church this: ( some of you women look down your long pious noses at this young lady ), not realizing that the only difference in you and her is ( she got caught and you didn’t ).

From every person in our lives, starting with our President, our politicians, our pastors, our Sunday School teachers, governers all the way down to the very least of us we need to reset the very guidelines we live by. We should neve condone sin but, rather reach out the the sinner, realizing we all are under the same condemnation. It’s only by the grace of God that we are not all condemned.

My desire as a born again believer is to lift a standard of righteousness in Jesus Christ, to allow sinners to see Jesus Christ in me, confessing that I, myself am a sinner but, I have asked Jesus Christ to live within me and help me to live above my sinful self, through him. I except the fact that I am a sinner, no better than any other sinner in our nation. When we begin to see ourselves as eguals, each person with a detemination to help the other person to lift themselves up above the level they now live then, once again we will begin to live up to the Constitutional values of the United States of Americal. ( One Nation under God )!

When we, once again begin to stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and his righteousnes and not our own then, it will not be any mud to sling. Why? Because you can’t find any mud on a righteous foundation? Then and only then can we lift a standard of righteousness in Christ Jesus, expecting every person to live by his standard and not our own.

My prayer is that we will return to the place where God can bless ( The United States of America )!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

CAN A BIRTHRIGHT BE STOLEN AGAIN–ACTS 6

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

( Acts 2:42 )

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

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

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

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

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

( Matthew 19:30 )

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

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

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

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

( 1 Corinthians 6:4 )

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

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

( Philippians 2:8 )

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

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

( Genesis 37:5 )

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

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

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

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

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

We see in :

( Genesis 32:24-25 )

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

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

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

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

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

(Genesis 45:22 )

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

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

( Luke 10:17-20 )

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

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

( Romans 12:1-3 )

I BESEECH YOU THEREFORE, BRETHREN, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, THAT YE PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, WHICH IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE. ( 2 ) AND BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT, WILL OF GOD ( 3 ) FOR I SAY, TO EVERY MAN THAT IS AMONG YOU, NOT TO THINK OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK; BUT THINK SOBERLY, ACCORDING AS GOD HATH DELT TO EVERY MAN THE MEASURE OF FAITH.

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

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

( Ephesians 3:1-11 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Acts 6:8-9 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Relevation 3:14-20 )

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

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

( Acts 2:42 )

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

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

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

( John 18:27 )

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

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

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

Matthew 19:28 )

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

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

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

The Apostle Paul said this in:

( Hebrews 6:1-3 )

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

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

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

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

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

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7 )