BUT WHOM SAY YE THAT I AM?

This is a question that Jesus Christ asked his disciples once as they sit and he had just told them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Saducees. The disciples took the word ( leaven ) and assumed he was talking about something as simple as the bread they might eat because they had not eaten yet. You can read this account in ( Matthew 16 ).

I’d like to take this same account and build something that burns in my my heart and draws me to my knees. In doing this; let’s go all the way back to the tower of Babel. In a spiritual sense; it’s important that we understand something. The tower of Babel was an event that took place after the flood of Noah. We know that the Ark had only eight people on it. These eight people ( by faith ) entered that Ark and were saved from the destruction that was to come.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that all three sons of Noah were sold out to the will of God and, they taught their children these precepts as they began to replenish this earth with people. With that being said, we also know that out of the lineage of Shem came Abraham which was the father of the nation of Israel.

The tower of Babel was seeking to be built by the descendants of Ham. Nimrod was the son of Cush, he was to build the tower. You can study this out in ( Genesis 10-11 ).

My point in seeking to teach this is a spiritual one. Of the three sons of Noah, each having the very same opportunity upon this earth to seek and do God’s will; just how devoted were they to the will of God? What did they teach their children? Just how sincere were they about truly seeking God’s will for their lives and, the lives of their children?

We can even say that, although each of Noah’s sons were sinners and, even if they truly sought to teach their children in the ways of God, the possibility of the mindsets of people change as one generation gives way to another.

All through scripture we see this same picture as life unfolds. In the context of the verses we are looking at in ( Matthew 16 ); consider something. As Jesus sit and talked to his disciples, we see two other sets of people memtioned: ( Pharisees and Saducees ). Where do we see those people as it relates to any aspect of spiritual living before the birth of Jesus Christ? What do either of these two sects have to do with anything?

In ( Matthew 16 ) Jesus asked his disciples: who do men say that I am? His disciples began to tell him who men said he was. John the Baptist, Elias, Jeremias or one of the other prophets. In all of this and, we will look deeper into it, what is it that truly matters? The only thing; as far as one individual is concerned, that truly matters is ( what is your individual relationship with Jesus Christ?

Back in the generation of Noah, what do we see? We see men named Nimrod seeking to build ( a way ) to get to heaven apart from the truth of God the Father. Later on in the very Nation that God called out for his own, don’t we see the very same thing with the Pharisees and Sadducees? Aren’t they seeking to build a way to God rather than simply seeking truth. As a matter of fact, they denied Jesus Christ!

Even if we go back to the time before the flood, look at what we see:

( Genesis 6:5 )

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

Looking back one more step and, seeking to make the point that I’m trying to make; didn’t even Cain offer a sacrifice? The Bible says in:

( Genesis 4:3 )

AND IN THE PROCESS OF TIME IT CAME TO PASS, THAT CAIN BROUGHT OF THE FRUIT OF THE GROUND AN OFFERING UNTO THE LORD.

Couldn’t we say that ( as time processed ) that in the days just before the flood that men had also devised their own way of being religious? These people looked at Noah and his family as a deranged family; seeking rather to stick with their own man made way of worship. So, can we ask the question maybe from an aspect of Noah speaking? Who did men say that Noah was? ( Who do you say Noah was )? I say that Noah was a man that taught the very same type of grace that was seen in the blood sacrifice God offered for the sins of Adam and Eve!

That is the grace that Adam taught his children and they taught their children. However, as the years passed; many, basically all devised their own way of seeking to please God just as Cain did. As we look at the people all the way from Adam to Noah, even from Noah to Abraham and, from Abraham to Moses; it’s always the same. Every person that believed by faith, seen by faith the blood sacrifice that God himself did in the Garden of Eden. That truth was relayed by every generation.

Long before ( the law ) ever came into being. the questions were being asked, ( who do men say that I am ) ? And, ( who do you say that I am )? The gospel ( the good news ) that God offered his grace through shed blood was the messeage that was preached. That, not in a building by a particular man or person but, rather by those few people that actually believed that single thing by faith. Can you see how it was the responsibility of the head of each family to share that truth with his family? Can you see how it was still up to every individual to see that truth and build their lives around that truth?

The Bible actually make it this simple:

( John 1:17 )

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

Since ( I believe ) that ( God was in Christ ) wasn’t it the same Christ that killed the animals, shed blood to make coats for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? ( Genesis 3:21 ) Wasn’t that the same Christ that met Abram in the body of Melchisedek? ( Genesis 14:17-24 ) If you remember; when Moses turned to see the burning bush and, God spoke to him. what did God say?

( Exodus 3:14 )

AND GOD SAID TO MOSES, I AM THAT I AM: AND HE SAID, THUS SHALT THOU SAY UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, I AM HATH SENT ME UNTO YOU.

Didn’t Jesus Christ use the same term here in this verse? Who do men say that ( I AM )? We often, even in our Churches seek to seperate Jesus Christ from God the Father indirectly. As a matter of fact; any time we seek to tie ( the law ) to salvation we seperate the two. It’s not that the law is not important because it’s very important. It shows us the we are sinners and, that we need Jesus Christ as our redeemer.

When the Apostle Peter answered Jesus and said this ( THOU ART THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD )! He was acknowledging that Jesus was the same person that killed the animals in the Garden of Eden. He was the same person that met Abram in the body of Melchisedek. He was the same person that spoke to Moses at the burning bush.

As a matter of fact, he is the same person that spoke to Noah,; telling him to prepare an Ark, When all was finished with the Ark, he was the person that closed the door to the Ark. He was the person that spoke to Noah and gave instruction when the Ark had settled back to earth.

( Genesis 9:1-17 )

Instead of writing this whole segment; I’ll offer this one verse and, we’ll go back to a verse in ( Genesis 8 ).

( Verse 6 )

WHOSO SHEDDETH MAN’S BLOOD, BY MAN SHALL HIS BLOOD BE SHED: FOR IN THE IMAGE OF GOD MADE HE MAN.

Now, let’s look back at:

( Genesis 8:20-21 )

AND NOAH BUILDED AN ALTER UNTO THE LORD; AND TOOK OF EVERY CLEAN BEAST, AND EVERY CLEAN FOWL, AND OFFERED BURNT OFFERINGS ON THE ALTER. ( 21 ) AND THE LORD SMELLED A SWEET SAVOUR; AND THE LORD SAID IN HIS HEART, I WILL NOT AGAIN CURSE THE GROUND ANY MORE FOR MAN’S SAKE; FOR THE IMAGINATION OF MAN’S HEART IS EVIL FROM HIS YOUTH; NEITHER WILL I AGAIN SMITE ANY MORE EVERY THING LIVING AS I HAVE DONE.

There’s a lot to be seen here! However, I’d like to make one point and we’ll move on.

( Genesis 7:2 )

OF EVERY CLEAN BEAST THAU SHALT TAKE TO THEE BY SEVENS, THE MALE AND HIS FEMALE: AND OF BEASTS THAT ARE NOT CLEAN BY TWO, THE MALE AND HIS FEMALE.

We see that God had already, himself prepared for the ( burnt offering ) that Noah was to make. Noah, being a man of faith, built an alter to God, not because God commanded him to but, rather because it was his choice to do so. We see that ( the Lord smelled a sweet savour ) and ( said in his heart ). The actions of Noah moved God! I often make the point that God saved a part of everything living on the Ark. That included sin. We see that as we continue to read. Therefore, I wasn’t the absence of sin that was pleasing to God but, a willingness to acknowledge him by faith.

It’s not that God doesn’t desire us to live a life pleasing to him but, that we recognize our sinful conditions and, walk with him by faith. As we move foward from here we see the progressive sinfulness of man right in the family of Noah. The willingness to walk with God by faith is an individual choice. This choice is one that very few people ever come to realize.

In every family, before and after the flood we see the very same thing. Most of the people chose to follow the lust of the flesh, living to please their ownselves rather than seeking to walk with God the Father.

The Bible proves out that Jesus Christ, all the way back to Adam and Eve has always been in the mind and heart of God the Father. Look at this verse:

( Revelation 13:8 )

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

In the mind and heart of God there has always been a place called Calvary that he, in the body of Jesus Christ would offer himself as the eternal sacrifice for the sins of this world. The blood he shed would cover the sins of all men all the way back to the sin of Adam and Eve. And, also to the very last man or woman that will ever be born.

What we often fail to realize is that the only difference is that the people in the Old Testamant looked foward to the Cross and the people in the New Testament look back to that same Cross, The Cross where Jesus Christ, God in a bady of flesh became the sin sacrifice for this world. Actually, we can see this in scripture. For instance: when the Old Testament saints died,; where did they go?

As we study through ( Hebrews ) we’ll get to this. However, the Bible says in:

( Hebrews 9:8 )

THE HOLY GHOST THIS SIGNIFYING, THAT THE WAY INTO THE HOLIEST OF ALL WAS NOT MADE MANIFEST, WHILE AS THE FIRST TABERNACLE WAS YET STANDING:

We’ll get to that later but, we see in this verse that what they were doing was not perfect but, jusy a picture of what was to come. So, what happened the very second that Jesus Christ gave up the ghost on his Cross?

( Matthew 27:51 )

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

Now, let’s take this another step:

( Ephesians 4:8-10 )

WHEREFORE HE SAITH, WHEN HE ASCENDED UP ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE AND GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN. ( 9 ) ( NOW THAT HE ASCENDED, WHAT IS IT BUT THAT HE ALSO DESCENDED FIRST INTO THE LOWER PARTS OF THE EARTH? ( 10 ) HE THAT DESCENDED IS THE SAME ALSO THAT ASCENDED UP FAR ABOVE ALL HEAVENS, THAT HE MIGHT FILL ALL THINGS. )

Again, there’s a lot to teach here however, God the Father has been building his kingdom for the body of Jesus Christ from the beginning of thr world. ( The problem ) only a few people see that by faith. As you go back through the OldTestament, we see many people but, few that actually walk with God by faith.

Now, God the Father didn’t have to allow these people to be seen did he? He did that for the benefit of those that were in doubt! Also, to inspire those that believed. I’m simply making the point that those Old Testament saints we not able to go in the presence of God the Father until the perfect sacrifice was made and that, in the body of Jesus Christ. Those Oldtestament saints were waiting for that time.

To bring the title back into focus: ( WHO DO MEN SAY THAT I, THE SON OF MAN AM? ) AND, ( ( WHO DO YOU SAY, I THE SON OF MAN AM? ) Just as those Old Testament saints were waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ, so are we today! We have Churches that are filled with people but, how many truly know him for who he Is?

So, what has happened over the years? It’s exactly like it was before the flood and, between that Ark returning to earth after the flood , even after the law. Men wandered away from the true and living God, they devised a way that they could worship. They made ( the creature more important than the creator ) ( Romans 1:25 ).

Its been this way from the beginning and, nothing has changed. We like to say we go to Church to worship but, who are we worshipping? When Adam and Eve sinned and God shed blood for their covering, those two people truly knew what had been done for them. They knew the sacrifice, the grace of God. Eve longed for a son that would continue to teach that same power!

Although we go through a motion, even naming the name of Jesus Christ; most people, members of Churches have little to no true passion for the ( grace of God ). That fact shows through the lives they live every day. Most Church members are tightly woven into the fabric of the things of this world.

Remember the tower of Babel? Nimrod, seeking to build a way to heaven? Now, we can say that those people had a mindset for God; why? Because they were seeking heaven! However, do you think they were sharing what had transpired in the Garden of Eden between God the Father, Adam and Eve? No, it had nothing to do with grace!

Now, let’s put this in an average Church setting. What is the Church building? Consider the members. Do they invite you to come to their Church, to join their Church or, do they sit down with you and, share Jesus Christ and his saving grace?

Adam and Eve were facing death; what does that mean? They had broken God’s law and were facing an eternity in hell which is ( death defined ). When is the last time a Church member came to your house or, met you on the street, maybe in a cafe, looked in your eyes and said this; friend, just like you are ( hell will be your home ) you are a hell deserving sinner! You must be born again! When is the last time you heard your pastor even say this?

We build up our Churches, the places we love; we even do it in the name of Jesus Christ but, we deny the power thereof! Have you ever considered why? The reason is that most members are just like the people building the ( Tower of Babel ). They know something needs to be done but, refuse to change anything about themselves to bring those changes to pass.

In reality, it goes back to the simple statement Jesus Christ asked his disciples. ( who do men say that I am )? ( Who do you say that I am )? When we get away from the roles we play in Church, forget what our Church might ask us to do and; look at ourselves, answering that question with our own hearts; who is Jesus Christ to you? Forgetting the message you pastor preaches, the fact you were baptized, the fact you joined Church, does Jesus Christ truly live within your heart?

These questions are paramount to your own personal salvation and, your relationship, not with a Church but, with Jesus Christ himself! From the time of Adam and Eve to the first destruction of this earth; only eight people ( believed ). From the giving of the law to Moses to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Pharisees and Saducees ( built ) different religions in the name of God the Father.

On the day of Pentecost; 120 believers were filled with the spirit and that number grew; fighting the religions of that time tooth and nail. Now, some two thousand years later, how many people are truly born again, washed in the blood of jesus Christ?

Can you see the same picture happening time and time again? Are you caught up in that evil deceit? Who do you say ( the Son of Man ) is? Are you truly born again or are you just a member of a local Church?

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( AUGUST 29,2021 )

( HEBREWS 7:22-28 )

BY SO MUCH WAS JESUS MADE A SURETY OF A BETTER TESTAMENT, ( 23 ) AND THEY TRULY WERE MANY PRIESTS, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT SUFFERED TO CONTINUE BY REASON OF DEATH. ( 24 ) BUT THIS MAN, BECAUSE HE CONTINUETH EVER, HATH AN UNCHANGEABLE PRIESTHOOD. ( 25 ) WHEREFORE HE IS ABLE ALSO TO SAVE THEM TO THE UTTERMOST THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM, SEEING HE EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM. ( 26 ) FOR SUCH AN HIGH PRIEST BECAME US, WHO IS HOLY, HARMLESS, UNDEFILED, SEPERATE FROM SINNERS, AND MADE HIGHER THAN THE HEAVENS; ( 27 ) WHO NEEDETH NOT DAILY, AS THOSE HIGH PRIEST, TO OFFER UP SACRIFICE, FIRST FOR HIS OWN SINS, AND THEN FOR THE PEOPLE’S: FOR THIS HE DID ONCE, WHEN HE OFFERED UP HIMSELF. ( 28 ) FOR THE LAW MAKETH MEN HIGH PRIESTS WHICH HAVE INFIRMITY; BUT THE WORD OF THE OATH, WHICH WAS SINCE THE LAW, MAKETH THE SON, WHO IS CONSECRATED FOREVERMORE.

As we get into these verses to which a book could be written if we chose to cover all that is said here, I also realize that there are those that will disagree with what I might teach however, I will say this: just because you might disagree with me; doesn’t make what I teach wrong. I contend that it takes God’s Spirit to open blinded eyes and never simply the teaching of men.

We see that in ( verse 22 ) it says that ( Jesus made a surety of a better testament ). Although we know from study that Jeus Christ in his body of flesh was a sinless being and, that by design, he ussered in a ( better way ). Better than what? As far as the Hebrew children were cancerned, ( better than attampting to keep the law ).

( 2 Corinthians 5:21 )

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

Although we see that and, know it as a fact; the flesh of Jesus Christ was not the first flesh that God used to create ( a new way ) was it? There was however one basic difference in Jesus Christ and all the rest. In that; ( he knew no sin )! Do you realize that from the very beginning of creation, God has done that? When Adam fell in the Garden of Eden; God covered his flesh with the skins of a slain animal. ( Sacrifice )! That was the grace of God to fallen man. Now, by study we know that both Adam and Eve took that very Grace of God with them when they departed the Garden of Eden.

Adam and Eve shared that Grace with their children. We know that one received that grace and the other didn’t. Cain rejected it but Abel received it. We can study this in ( Genesis 4 ). We see there that ( Cain slew Abel ). You can count on it; the flesh will always seek to destroy anything that is of God or, seeks to show forth his grace by faith. However, this is the verses that I desire for you to see.

( Genesis 4:25-26 )

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

The point that I’m seeking to make here is that ( Eve ) was seeking to have a son that would carry on the faith that was lost in the death of Abel. She had that burden! As we move to ( Genesis 5 ) and we note that ( by God’s grace ); there has always been ( a seed ) that carried his grace foward. Eve, being a type of the Church, we should see that same passion in ever local Church. If you will notice in :

( Verse 4 )

AND THE DAYS OF ADAM AFTER HE HAD BEGOTTEN SETH WERE EIGHT HUNDRED YEARS: AND HE BEGAT SONS AND DAUGHTERS.

I also think it might be important to point out what it says in:

( verse 3 )

AND ADAM LIVED AN HUNDRED AND THIRTY YEARS, AND BEGAT A SON IN HIS OWN LIKENESS, AFTER HIS IMAGE; AND CALLED HIS NAME SETH:

As we look at this we see that Adam had many children however, we follow only one of his seeds. That seed is Seth. We see that in ( verse 3 ) it says the Adam begat a son ( in his own likeness ) ( after his image ). Can’t we say that every child that Adam had was ( after his image )? But, that doesn’t mean they were like him does it?

Adam And Eve, especially Eve desired for the world to know that God offered grace to the sinner. As I say that; Eve being the ( wife ) is the one that shows that passion. What can we see spiritually there? In this picture, Eve is a type of the Church. At this point, Adam has already done his part. Adam was not deceived when he bit the fruit, Eve was. Adam willingly bit that fruit because he loved his wife.

That is a picture of Jesus Christ and the price he paid to be with his bride. Eve was carrying out the will of her husband. That’s exactly the responsibility of the Church. Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. It’s the Churches responsibility to carry out his will on this earth today.

As we move foward here, we also see that Seth had many children. We also see that we only follow the life and descendants of one of his sons. We can see that all the way to Noah. Although each of these men had many children, as time moved foward the desire to seek the grace of God grew less and less with each generation until Noah. In his life we see that; as he built the Ark, it was only he, his wife, their sons and their wives.

In all of this, even those that did follow the grace of God; we see at least one thing in common. They still all died. As we see this, it was all before a priest of any kind was mentioned. So, let’s see what we can find here. Do you realize that the next time we see any sacrifice offered in scripture; after God shed blood to cover Adam and Eve was when Noah’s Ark came back down to the earth?

That signifies that Noah still seen the need of sacrifice for sin. Within that concept we know that the passion of Adam and Eve was still alive and well! The revelation of the grace of God by faith had come through all that had happened in this world. All this just by simple faith in what God had done and, it had been ( shed abraod ) through these generations.

We can conclude this; that God’s spirit was alive in the heart’s of men! Although that faith was shared with ever child that was born to every person, it was not acknowledged by every person and, it became less and less as the generations went by.

Another point to be made is that even with the one seed that we see of every man, even the children of that seed didn’t receive the grace of God by faith in what was being taught. I’ve said this before. I believe that Melchisedec was ( God in Flesh ) revealing himself to Abram.

Would you mind if I share something here that I wonder about? In:

)

( Genesis 3:8 )

We read this:

AND THEY HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD GOD WALKING IN THE GARDEN IN THE COOL OF THE DAY: AND ADAM AND HIS WIFE HID THEMSELVES FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD GOD AMONGST THE TREES OF THE GARDEN.

Can you see in this verse that normally God would come down and fellowship with Adam and Eve? God the father completely revealed himself to ( two perfect humans ) in the very beginning. The fact that he changed that was because of sin in man. We see that he ( shed blood ) killing animals to make a covering for both, Adam and Eve. Just as God came down in the cool of the day to fellowship with Adam and Eve, his desire is still to have fellowship with man.

The point is that its always been ( God’s grace ) given by the shedding of blood. I tried to get you to see that Eve craved a child that would continue to share this truth. I’d also like to make this point. Of all the people that ( believed by faith ) in the shedding of blood to make a covering for those that believe; not one of those people can be considered ( Israelites ) can they? All these were saved before that nation; to whom God gave the law, came into being.

Many people get obcessed with ( keeping the law ) and look at it as a necessity when that is not why any part of ( the law ) was designed, These thing are the point that the Apostle Paul was seeking to show the Hebrew believers.

Look at this verse and let’s see if we can tie Melchisedec and Jesus Christ together as in ( after the order of Mechisedec ).

( 2 Corinthians 5:19 )

TO WIT, THAT GOD WAS IN CHRIST, RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM; AND HATH COMMITTED UNTO US THE WORD OF RECONCILIATION.

Where we might be able to argue about whether God was in the body of Melchisedec or not, we can’t argue this verse if we are to believe God’s word. The Bible also says this:

( Hebrews 9:22 )

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

All this; and every person and every priest ( died ), no exceptions! However, we don’t see where Mechisedec died do we? He had no beginning nor end.

The faith comes in if we can see Jesus Christ in this same way. When we look at the fleshly body of Jesus Christ, we know he was born and, he died on the Cross. However, by faith I see him just as I see ( God the Father ) in the body of Melchisedec.

God placed himself in the fleshly body of Mary, he had no beginning and death could not touch him. He proved that by raising the fleshly body of Jesus Christ from the grave. Man did not place God in the womb of Mary and, man cannot kill him.

Under the law, blood sacifices were made. That went on for many years, every year. The Apostle Paul says that ( the Son ) is forevermore! In the case of Melchisedec, God the Father made a man to visit and bless Abram. With Jesus Christ ( God the Father ) was born of woman live a life just like any other person yet, without sin. In this he was able to become the ( captian of our salvation ).

( Hebrews 2:10 )

FOR IT BECAME HIM, FOR WHOM ARE ALL THINGS, AND BY WHOM ARE ALL THINGS IN BRINGING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, TO MAKE THE CAPTIAN OF THEIR SALVATION PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERINGS.

As we look at at least three different aspects of God’s hand. ( 1 ) We see Adam and Eve gaining the knowledge of their sinful weakness, ( 2 ) We see God shedding the blood of an animal for a sacrifice for sin. ( 3 ) We see God in a fleshly body becoming that same blood sacrifice.

When we consider Jesus Christ; we can see his suffering as man. No animal could do that. That’s why he is the captian of our salvation. He faced every possible situation that any man would ever have to suffer. The animals that God the Father killed for Adam and Eve could never suffice; neither could those that were sacrificed under the law.

There’s no end to what we can teach concerning these things. However, I close with this. Abram, the man that met Melchisedec and offered tithes to him when we was blessed of him came to the knowledge as he matured spiritually that the sacrifice that he was trusting in would not suffice. God would have to do something else at some point. As I say he spiritually matured, God ask him to offer his son as a sarifice. I want you to notice what Abraham said to Isaac; his son when he went to offer him to God.

( Genesis 22:8 )

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

Did you see how that was worded? ( God will provide himself a lamb ). I often say this: when Abraham was going up the mountian to offer Isaac, it’s a type of the Old Testament believers looking foward ( by faith ) to the crucifixcion of Jesus Christ. When he and Isaac were coming back down the mountian; it’s a type of we today, looking back to the Cross by faith.

There are those that get caught up in the necessity of keeping the law. The truth is that God doesn’t even consider that as a part of any salvation, he never has. God proved the weakness of our flesh in Adam and Eve. He proved to the Nation of Israel their weakness or inability to keep his law and, we as members of the Church also come to that knowledge when we ask Christ to be our sacrifice.

As Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, they taught ( the blood sacrifice ) God’s grace toward them. The Nation of Israel taught, by their actions ( the blood sacrifice ). We, as members of the Church today teach the necessity of ( the blood sacrifice ).

As we look at Melchisedec and Abram and the eternal grace of God offered in the blood of Jesus Christ, it has always been forevermore! Again, Abraham and every believer in the OLd Testament looked back to the blood sacrifice that God offered for Adam and Eve by faith and they looked foward to the day that God would offer himself as that same sacrifice.

We that believe today trust, by faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, We totally trust his righteousness and realize that even at our best we are just sinners. We have no righteouness at all!

One moe thing: when every believer from Adam and Eve foward considered themselves; they didn’t even consider or look at Adam and Eve keeping the law but, rather the mercy God showed them by his grace. The message of Adam and Eve could have something like this: We both are complete failures, we deserve whatever punishment God could place upon us but, God in his mercy ( shed blood ) and covered us with his righteousness. Their message was never about them but it was all about God and his mercy!

That’s my message as well!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( AUGUST 22. 2021 )

( HEBREWS 7:11-15 )

IF THEREFORE PERFECTION WERE BY THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD, ( FOR UNDER IT THE PEOPLE RECEIVED THE LAW, ) WHAT FURTHER NEED WAS THERE THAT ANOTHER PRIEST SHOULD RISE AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC, AND NOT BE CALLED AFTER THE ORDER OF AARON? ( 12 ) FOR THE PRIESTHOOD BEING CHANGED, THERE IS MADE OF NECESSITY A CHANGE ALSO OF THE LAW. ( 13 ) FOR HE OF WHOM THESE THINGS ARE SPOKEN PERTAINETH TO ANOTHER TRIBE, OF WHICH NO MAN GAVE ATTENDANCE AT THE ALTER. ( 14 ) FOR IT IS EVIDENT THAT OUR LORD SPRANG OUT OF JUDA; OF WHICH TRIBE MOSES SPAKE NOTHING CONCERNING PRIESTHOOD ( 15 ) AND IT IS YET FAR MORE EVIDENT: FOR THAT AFTER THE SIMILITUDE OF MELCHISEDEC THERE ARISETH ANOTHER PRIEST, WHO IS MADE, NOT AFTER THE LAW OF A CARNAL COMMANDMENT, BUT AFTER THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE.

There’s a verse of scripture I’d like to point out here:

( 1 Corinthians 2:7 )

But we speak the wisdom of of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.

As we read these verses in ( Hebrews 7 ); God the Father didn’t make things simple for the world to see. Even when ( we as born again believers ) seek to know truth, we must be willing to find that ( hidden wisdom ) ( those mysteries ). The phrase, ( before the world unto his glory ) means, it’s right in front of the world, they simply can’t see it. The simplicity of the Gospel of Christ is all around but, who can see it? It first must be a willingness to know! A desire to hear from God the Father! A heart to receive him and, to know truth. We’ve looked at the point that ( perfection ) cannot come through the Levitical law. Man cannot perfectly keep that law. Actually, the whole reason that God gave the law was to prove that point to man. ( Galatians 3:24-25 )

WHEREFORE THE LAW WAS OUR SCHOOLMASTER TO BRING US UNTO CHRIST, THAT WE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH. ( 25 ) BUT AFTER THAT FAITH IS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A SCHOOLMASTER.

We see in ( verse 25 ) that after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. We also see in the verses we read in ( Hebrews ) that ( our Lord ) sprang out of Juda, which had nothing to do with the priesthood. Jesus Christ, our High Priest came after the ( similitude of Melchisedec ) not after anything pertaining to the priesthood of Aaron. Not after a carnal commandment but, ( THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE )!

So, where does this place us or, leave us? Can I draw a spiritual picture, with words to make the point that he is making? Let’s first go back to Abram or Abraham which is the same person just at different times in his life. I mention Abram because when he met Melchisedec, he was still called Abram. We can see here, even at this time that Abram had faith, he trusted God and, sought to be pleasing to him.

The Bible says concerning Abraham this:

( Romans 4:3 )

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. ( 4 ) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. ( 5 ) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Looking at the whole life of this man ( Abram or Abraham ) he never had any law. He did however, have faith in the God that created all things. Because of that faith, God gave him righteousness. We can say that ( his faith ) came after to order of Melchisedec. ( Personally )I believe that ( Melchisedec ) was God in a body of flesh. You don’t have to believe that but, I do! We do know this:

( John 1:!4 )

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

That, as far as we that are born again, believe by faith just as Abraham believed by faith and, it was counted unto him for righteousness, just as it is us! Now, I want you to see something that we hear very little about. As we read here in ( Hebrews ) we clearly can see this. There is a distinct difference in ( the priest ) made after the similitude of Melchisedec and ( the priest ) made after the similitude of Aaron. We see there are priest made after the carnal law and, a priest made after ( the power of and endless life ).

Jesus Christ is that Priest! Therefore, why would we even seek to keep a law that was never designed for us? I showed you a verse in ( Galatians ) that shows the reason for that law. It was actually given to the Hebrew children, not to Gentiles.

( Roman 3: 2 )

Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

That is the only advantage they have, if you can call that an advantage. However, that very same law also shows each of us that we are sinners and in need of a Savior. That is an advantage for every man. The ability to see what and who we are. Let’s consider something here. Let’s say that every person that the Apostle Paul is speaking to in Hebrews, be jews actually seen and met Jesus Christ in the flesh. Can you see that; that fact does not mean that even one of them are born again? Can you see that; it they, from that point sought to ( keep the law ) seeking to be pleasing to God by doing so, that all they were doing was vain?

In that sense, they are no different than we are when we seek to keep the law to be pleasing to God. The Apostle Paul is trying to get them to see this point. We need to see the very same thing. As I make this next statement, consider what I’m saying. Very often in our Churches we seek to teach people ( how to ) live a good ( Christian life ). We teach them the ( do nots ) in Christian living but, we hear very little about the ( to do’s ). Another way to say it is like this. We’re taught about ( the sins of commission ) but, not much about the ( sin of ommission ). Often our Churches get caught in the legal aspect of ( the law ) and can’t see or, are not thaught the truth about actually knowing Jesus Christ as their savior.

When we come to the realization that we cannot keep the law that make us sinners and, we can except Christ by faith. We are doing exactly the same thing that Abraham did, even before the law. Now, look at these verses:.

( John 15:10-14 )

IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; EVEN AS I HAVE KEPT MY FATHER’S COMMANDS, 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.

In those verses; who did Jesus Christ say ( kept the Father’s commands )? How did Jesus Christ abide in the father’s love? He kept his commandments. How do we abide in the love of Christ? By abiding in his love. And, keeping his commandments. We didn’t keep the ( ten commandments ) Jesus Christ did! We can’t. There’s a lot of spiritual points to be made here. This is what I’d like to point out first.

( Romans 5:5 )

AND HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED; BECAUSE THE LOVE OF GOD IS SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS GIVEN UNTO US.

I try my best to help people see the vast difference in ( calling yourself a Christian ) and actually being ( born again ). When any person is born again, at that very moment, the very love of God is placed within their hearts. The very same love that Christ understood. Now, just because that love is within me, do I have to allow that love to be seen? Look at what he said. ( Greater love hath no man that he lay down his life for his friend ). That my friend is a choice. Jesus Christ made that choice! We are not speaking of dying on the cross of Calvary, we are speaking of the ability to yield yourself to the love that is now within you, even to death if necessary.

( In my personal opinion ) although the death on the cross was a very hard thing to face for Jesus Christ, it could be considered a ( piece of cake ) as far as he, being able his whole life to show forth the ( love of God ) in every circumstanse he faced while he lived among men.

Let’s take this one step farther. When we speak of the ( LOVE OF GOD ); HOW DOES THAT RELATE TO THE LAW? The Bible says that:

( 1 John 4:8 )

HE THAT LOVETH NOT KNOWETH NOT GOD; FOR GOD IS LOVE.

Can we also say that ( since ) ( God is love ) then ( love is righteous )? Therefore, if I love you with a Godly love,; how then can I steal from you? How can I lie to you? How can I commit adultery against you, taking your wife or husband? How can I kill you? One of the greatest battles we , as born again believers fight is allowing God’s love to be seen in all that we do.

Abraham believed God! Does that mean that Abraham was perfect in his flesh as it pertains to the law, as in the law given to Moses? No, it doesn’t! It has nothing to do with keeping the law but rather growing spiritually as our lives unfold. If you walk with Abraham through his life you will see this as it develops. We all are the same way. The day we are born again we simply begin our spiritual journey. As we grow in grace we slowly shed off our fleshly weaknesses and also allow God’s love to flow out of our very being.

For instance, God loves, even those that hate him and, he is very willing to give them salvation simply for the asking. That is something we, as believers have to grow to develop. When we are first saved, we don’t have that ability and, might always fight with that concept but, speaking as for myself, I have no hate now for people that strike out at me, I love them and still seek to share truth with them.

In all that I say, I’m simply pointing out the difference in the ( law of Christ ) and the ( law of Moses ). The law condemns but, Jesus gives life!

( John 1:17 )

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

Every since the events that took place in the Garden of Eden, mankind has deserved ( hell ). Everything that God has done has pointed and, proven that fact. At the very same time, the grace of God has always been available for man simply by ( believing ). I’d like to make one more point that I believe is important to understand and, I’ll use this verse to do so:

( 1 Corinthians 10:23 )

ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL FOR ME, BUT ALL THINGS ARE NOT EXPEDIENT: ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL FOR ME, BUT ALL THINGS EDIFY NOT.

In this verse the Apostle Paul is speaking to ( supposingly ) born again believers. If you will study this book, you will see they were living very carnal lives meaning they basically lived as people that were not saved. When we consider salvation and, the fact that it’s not based on keeping the law, the life they lived had nothing to do with their salvation did it? However, for what purpose were they living ( after they were saved )? Can you see how, if we live as we please, we are seen as no different than the people we say we desire to help? If I desire for my life to edify Jesus Christ then I must allow ( the love shed abroad in my heart ) to be seen through my flesh. If I desire to expedite his love to others then, although I might be able to do as I please and still be saved, I cannot live like my flesh might desire and be someone that points people to Christ.

If you hate me and, I hate you back, what’s the difference in us? If you curse me and, I curse you back, what the difference in us?

In closing, I’ll share this story about me. I was preaching a message once in a little country Church, seeking to make this very point. As I preached, I walked out into the congregation, down an isle, right in front of two ladies. I told them that befoere I was born again, I could curse with the best of men. I shared that every one of those words were still within me, I knew them all and, could still say them if I chose to! I asked, would you like to hear them? They nodded their heads ( no ). The Church got a kick out of that!

However, that is a fact! The point is that, me being a born again believer, it’s expedient that I keep myself as much ( like Christ ) as possible. Why? That I might be a vessel for his use and, not for this world!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( AUGUST 15,2021 )

( THE TITHE )

I’d like to take one verse here and show something that many never consider.

( Hebrews 7: 5 )

AND VERILY THEY THAT ARE OF THE SONS OF LEVI, WHO RECEIVE THE OFFICE OF THE PRIESTHOOD, HAVE A COMMANDMENT TO TAKE TITHES OF THE PEOPLE ACCORDING TO THE LAW, THAT IS, OF THEIR BRETHREN, THOUGH THEY COME OUT OF THE LOINS OF ABRAHAM.

We’re still looking into Melchisedec and, in this case how Abraham paid tithes unto him. So, what is the point that the Apostle Paul is making? If you will notice in this verse that he is pointing out that ( by law ) the sons of Levi were to take a tenth by commandment. That is what we can read in the Levitical law.

( Numbers 18:21-26 )

And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. ( 22 ) Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come high the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. ( 23 ) But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statue for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. ( 24 ) But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. ( 25 ) And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, ( 26 ) Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LOrd, even a tenth part of the tithe.

Now: ( Leviticus 27:32 )

And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord;

I show you this to make a point. This tithe was not given of the people, it was taken under law. One tenth of all that Israel had shall we say was to be give to the Levites for their services. At that, then one tenth was to be offered as an heave offering to the Lord. This was commanded. It was nothing freewill about it. So can we assume that the tribe of Levi was ten times richer than any other of the tribes of Israel? And, they were given that for their services for Israel unto the Lord.

Now, what if we compare that to what Abraham did to Melchisedec? Can you see that there was no law that forced Abraham to give Melchisedec anything? Abraham gave out of the willingness of his heart, seeing the blessings he received. Can you also see that what Abraham gave Melchisedec had nothing to do with the livlihood of Melchisedec? Melchisedec had no need of what Abraham offered. In that sense; it was more about ( a willing heart ) rather than ( a need ).

As we move foward to when Moses gave the law,it was all about need wasn’t it? The tribe of Levi had no inheritance. They depended on the rest of Israel for their wellbeing, their livlihood. With that being said, the question becomes whether the people of Israel could recognize the blessings they received from God or, whether they gave what they gave because they were commanded to.

Let’s see if we can build a spiritual picture here. Had Abraham ever met Melchisedec before this day? We see that this man had no ( beginning of day ) or ( end of life ). What if he was actually no man at all? Abraham, being a servant of God sought to destroy anything that was not of God. God blessed this mindset and, Abraham reverenced that blessing with his tithes, willingly knowing that he was not worthy of the victory or of the blessings. When we see that ( Abraham was returning from the slaughter of the kings ) what can we see? Can you see that Abraham was willing to sacrifice himself for something greater than he, himself, by faith in the God he believed in?

This is what the Apostle Paul was seeking to get the Hebrew believers to understand. The willingness to give has nothing to do with seeking to receive a blessing or, what the law might say. It has to do with a belief by faith in something far greater than any law or man! Look at the story in:

( Luke 21:1-4 )

And he looked up, and saw rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. ( 2 ) And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. ( 3 ) And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: ( 4 ) for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offers of God: but she of her penery hath cast in all the living that she had.

Do you see the pharse ( all the living that she had )? The poor widow was liken unto Abraham. It wasn’t the money that God was concerned about was it or, how much. It was ( all her living ) he was looking for. If you go to your lacal Church, the Church you are a member of and give your tithe; thinking that God is being blessed by what you give then you are greatly deceived. God doesn’t desire your money, he desires ( all your living ). This is what many cannot see by faith. Your obedience to the law is not what pleases God. It’s your willingness to die to yourself, to sacrifice yourself for the cause of Christ.

Even though the Hebrew believers were born again they had to learn that ( keeping the law ) ( being obedient to the law ) was not what God was looking for. God was looking for them to be willing to ( die to themselves ) like Abraham. Now, I want you to notice something. This whole time I’ve been calling Abram, Abraham. Are we speaking of the same person or, what would be the difference? Notice also that Abram had a son born unto he and Hagar; his wife’s handmaid. When this event took place ( Genesis 16:1-11 ) God had already promised Abram he would be the seed of a great nation. He was married to Sara, his wife. ( Genesis 12:1-5 ).

Abram was a man ( in his flesh ) that believed God. With that being said; just how much does he trust God? Abram was just like we are the first ( born again ). Although we have trusted God by faith, we still have a lot of spiritual maturing to to. In other words, when Abram began his journey in ( Genesis 12 ) it was a journry to spiritual maturity. Look at:

( Genesis 15:6 )

And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Abram, believed God. This was long before the law was given to Moses. Just like each of us, we grow spiritually all of our lives. Abram could not see all that God had in store for him howeveer, as he grew he would learn and mature. When we assume that ( just because we tithe or, have spiritual blessings we are ( mature in Christ ) we are deceived, greatly. We can see that as we watch abram’s life unfold.

Do you realize that ( Abram and Hagar ) had a son named ( Ishmael )? We see that both Abram and Sara ( doubted ) what God was able to do. That’s the only reason ( Ishmael ) was born. But, was that what God had promised Abram in ( Genesis 12 )? No, it wasn’t! Each of us, even after we are born again do many unwise and foolish things. We, as we spiritually mature in Christ slowly leave these foolish things behind, that is, if we spiritually mature. Abram did!

We see in scripture that Abram desired for Ishmael to be that ( promised )child.In:

( Genesis 17:1-4 )

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. ( 2 ) And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. ( 3 ) And Abram fell to his face: and God talked to him, saying, ( 4 ) As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. ( 5 ) Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

Now, let’s move down to:

( verses 15-16 )

And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. ( 16 ) ) And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her:

Again, look at this verse:

( verse 19 )

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Now, look at this verse

( 18 )

And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

Abramham cou;ld not believe Sarah could have a child in her old age, therefore he want God to let ( the son of his flesh ) be blessed.

However, it’s never our flesh and the things of our flesh that pleases God. What God promises, he will deliver. We might think we can ( Obey the law, tithe and so on ) to pleas God but it’s the spiritual aspects of our lives that we must understand that God has promised to bless, never our flesh! We might be able to build great things in our flesh but,it’s only what we can spiritually accomplish that will matter to God in the end.

Without realizing it, Ishmael would become a nation, we call them Gentiles today. They are blessed because of Jesus Christ, the seed of Isaac and salvation so full and free!

As we mature in Christ we become people that God can depend on far beyond tithing. We see that in Abram. We also become ( someone else ) other than who we are in our flesh. When we think that tithing is the maturity level God is pleased with than we never get to where God is looking for us to reach in our spiritual walk.

That also goes with seeking to keep the law. When we assume we can tithe and seek to keep the law and, that makes us ( pleasing to God ) we are far from what God expects. This is what the Apostle Paul was trying to get the Hebrew believers to understand.

When we meet the Holy Spirit as in ( a salvation experience ); that’s like Abram meeting Melchisedec and offering tithes to him. As we walk through our spiritual lives, we grow and we slowly become another person, not that we physically die but we spiritually allow ourselves to be changed into all that God expects us to be. We sacrifice ourselves, all for his glory!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON (AUGUST 8,2021 )

( HEBREWS 7:1 )

FOR THIS MELCHISEDEC, KING OF SALEM, PRIEST OF THE MOST HIGH GOD, WHO MET ABRAHAM RETURNING FROM THE SLAUGHTER OF THE KINGS, AND BLESSED HIM;

Last week we looked at Melchisedec and how he relates to Jesus Christ. We even talked about something we see here in ( chapter 7 ) where Melchisedec was without father or mother, he was without descent, he was kin to no one. He had no beginning and no end, we never see where he died.

We see here where he met Abram ( returning form the slaughter of the kings ) and ( blessed him ). I’d like to build a Sunday School lesson on the fact that Melchisedec blessed Abram after this slaughter.

I can see how we first must look at Lot, the nephew of Abram. First of all, according to what God had commanded Abram; Lot shouldn’t have been with him at all. In ( Genesis 12: 1 ) God had told Abram to get out of his country and from his kindred. Abram made the choice to take Lot, even against the command of God. When saying this; I can see how Abram must have felt. Lot was the son of Haran, Abram’s brother. Haran had died and Lot was his only son. Abram had no children therefore, it appears that Abram felt somewhat obligated to help lot.

However, that’s not what God commanded is it? I’d like for you to notice something here. Abram is in the bloodline of Shem, Noah’s oldest son. We follow that bloodline all the way to Jesus Christ. I only mention that that we might see the picture God is painting for us to see. It is now and, always has been that God honors the part of us that walks with him and never our flesh. As we look at all we see concerning Abram and Lot; it’s the spiritual aspect that God desires for us to see and it never has anything to do with flesh.

As you read through ( Genesis 12 ) you will see that Abram, in his fleah made many mistakes in judgement. He brought Lot with him when he should have left him with his kindred, that was his first mistake. So, let’s look at the spiritual aspect of what he is saying here.

When God spoke to Abram and told him to leave his kindred; it’s a type of salvation. The spiritually powerful point here is that Abram listened to God. Can you see somewhat of the same picture here that we seen with Noah? These men were willing to hear what God instructed them to do. In both instances we also see where the families of these men also were obedient. In Naoh’s case; his wife and children and Abram, his wife.

In effect, these people were allowing their flesh to yield to the will of God, everyone of them. We can asked the question; were any of them perfect? The answer is no, they weren’t. However, God seeks those that are willing to yield their flesh to his will. The only part of any man or person that is worthwhile to God the Father is that part of our flesh that we are willing to allow God to use in his service.

As we look at this we see that God used Noah and his family to bring about even Abram. We see that within the loins of Abram God brought about a whole nation that it was his will to yield themselves to his voice. We also see where they all died! They all were cursed by sin after the similitude of Adam. The point being that ( even in sin- cursed bodies of flesh, God’s will was done and, his will moved foward because of the willingness of men to hear his voice.

Basically, all we see is based on that concept. I’d like to say something here to give you something to think about. Why did it take ( 120 years ) for Noah to build the Ark? What if; let’s say ( 2000 ) other people would have joined in to help him build it? Can you see how, with that amount of people working. seeking to do God’s will that it could have been finished quicker?

The weakness of all flesh and, the enability to yield to the will of God will always create problems. We see that same thing in Abram. First of all, he took Lot which became a hinderance to all God wanted to do, we can see that as we read. Secondly; Abram himsel showed how weak he was in the flesh. A famine came to the place God had sent him therefore, he went to Egypt. ( Genesis 12: 10 ) He made mistakes in Egypt but, he did return to ( the land of the alter ) where God had placed him. We also see that as Abram matured, he seperated himself from Lot ( Genesis 13:5 ).

As time moves foward Abram becomes Abraham. He and his wife, Sarah would be around ( 100 years old ) when the promised seed would be born. Again, can you see how; if Abram could have had the faith to stay where God desired for him to be , how that it’s possible that ( Isaac ) the promised seed could have been born earlier?

If we fast foward until today. We don’t consider this often but. Jesus Christ ; lived, died on his cross and rose again to purchase ( His Church ). Just exactly like the Ark, when any individual believes and excepts Christ for their savoir, they are placed spiritually inside that Church which is ( his body ). The Ark only had one door, Jesus Christ is the only way to get into his Church. We, as believers have now been working on that Church for some ( 2000 years ). Can you see how that if more people were willing to be witnesses, sell out, all for God’s glory, it’s possible that ( Church ) could be complete by now?

The problem; we don’t want to leave ( Lot ). When things get tough ( famine ) we have little faith and we go to where we can trust things in this world. Let’s look at Lot first. It’s often hard for we, as believers to seperate our love for our families and, even friends to do or, go where God would have us go, to simply follow his will. Let’s consider something about each of us. As a husband, if God spoke to your heart as the spiritual leader of your house, leading you to leave the house you live in, the community you live in, even the job you have; could you do it? Would your wife and children follow you as the spiritual leader?

If you look at Abram, we see his willingness to obey God. It made it easier that his wife was willing to go with him. However, it became hard when he had to leave lot. Later he found out that it was best to obey God the father. As long as we are in the flesh, we will never reach spiritual perfection. We can grow spiritually to do great things as we see in the life of Abram, that became abraham.

When we see Melchisedec bless Abram it’s a type of Abram being willing to destroy all flesh or, any part of this world that doesn’t bring glory to God the Father. We often get misguided when we see all the killing in the Old Testament but, it’a all simply a picture of how God desires for this world to be. God will never honor any person that seeks to do his own will. That is, ( walking after the flesh ). If we follow Abraham, notice what we see! When God told him to leave his country and kindred, he took Lot with him. However, as time moves foward, we see in ( Genesis 22 ) that God told Abraham to offer his only son ( Isaac ). Abraham didn’t even hesitat at that command! His faith had grown to understand he could trust God, no matter what he asked him to do.

When we consider the creation of this world by God the Father. His desire was to have a world to was submissive to his divine will. Even the creation of Israel; he desired a nation that would wholly submit to his will. As believers in Christ; his desire is for each individual to hear his vioce and die to their fleshly desires, yielding to his will.

As we look today at a man and his family. It’s not much different that any other situation that God has ever set up. To have a husband, wife and children all willing to submit to God’s will as in aloowing the Man or, head of the house lead them is a very tough call today. However, can you see how ( the will ) within a man is pleasing to God? That is, even in our own flesh. To have the will to die to our own will and to give ourselves completely to God the Father is what blesses the heart of God the Father. The Apostle Paul in the New Testament put it this way:

( Romans 7:18 )

For I know that in me ( that is, in my flesh, ) dwelleth no good thing: for the will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

When we consider the battle we have as individuals with our flesh. What about a family, a Church, a nation and a whole world? It all boils down to how we, as individuals seek to obey his will. I wrote a while back that God the Father has no use at all for a body of flesh that has no desire to follow him or please him. We have never been our own. To think that we have a will of our own is a deceprion of Satan himself. Every move you make is either pleasing to Satan or God the Father.

Jesus, speaking to the woman at the well said this:

( John 4:23 )

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

That’s what its always been! God never desired to have to make people love him, follow his will.When we ( come to ourselves ), realize we are worthless and, we are very deserving of hell if we live as pleasing our flesh. At the very same time, God the Father gave himself freely that we could obtain ( eternal life ) dying to our flesh by simply trusting the finished work of his son; Jesus Christ on his cross.

In essense, we are not trusting in our flesh to get to heaven, we are trusting in ( the flesh ) of Jesus Christ, his perfection to gain our salvation. When we forget our will, the will of our flesh is when God becomes pleased with us. When we seek to know him and his will is when we are pleased with us.

Melchisedec, the king of righteousness, the king of peace, blessed Abram because he sought to create a place ( sold out to God the Father ). About the best I can do is seek to ( sell out myself ) to God the Father. At the same time seeking to reach out to other people, teaching them God’s will for their fleshly lives.

We, as believers ar the salt of the earth:

( Matthew 5:13 )

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men.

As individual, just like Abram we realze that we can’t save one person. All we can do is become what God asked us to be; becoming the ( salt of this earth ). When we are ( the will of God ) shedding his will through our ungodly flesh then God can take what we do and draw other people to his perfect will. This world is full of people that seek to do as they please. Consider this: We referenced the verse in ( John 4 ). There, he was speaking to a woman that had been married five times and, the man she was living with at that time was not her husband.

God the father, in the fleshly body of Jesus Christ was sharing ( truth ) with this woman. Now, look in:

( John 4:29-30 )

Come, see a man, which told me all things that I ever did: is not this the Christ? ( 30 ) Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.

The women became the ( salt of the earth ) and, a whole city came to Christ! That is the will of God for each of us. He desires that we forget our flesh and seek his will in this world!

If you look at my life, you will see a sinful man, very undeserving of any part of God the Father. However, I choose to live my life seeking to do his will, forgetting my flesh, as in ( killing my flesh ) and seeking all he desires of me as a born again believer.

Have you been born agaim? Are you washed in his blood? That is God’s will for each person! That every person of flesh become all he desires of each of us to be!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( AUGUST 1,2021 )

( HEBREWS 6:20-HEBREWS 7:1 )

As a student of God’s word for now some 45 years; It’s my desire to teach these verses or, at least set a trend toward giving you a desire to understand what is being taught here. I often say that I’m simply a vessel, the Holy Spirit is the only true teacher. With that being stated; that means that the self-same spirit that inspires me to seek to teach these verses must also be the spirit that helps you to understand what is being said and, even gain a better understanding than I might be able to teach.

Just by way of beginning; every person that we can study out in scripture has a genealogy. We can see who their parents were and , in most cases; that all the way back to Adam and Eve. That even includes Jesus Christ. You will have to study this out but, actually we see in the book of ( luke 3:23 ) the genealogy of Mary, the mother of Jesus. As you read that, it appears that it’s talking about ( the genealogy ) of Joseph but, if you study you will notice that it can’t be, it has to be Mary. We see the genealogy of Joseph in ( Matthew 1 ) notice ( verse 16 ). We can see that both Joseph and Mary can be seen in the King line of Israel. Joseph was the son of Jacob and, the son in law of Heli. He was also a descendant of David.

When we see this, if the world desires to say that Joseph was the father of Jesus, Jesus Christ was still in the King line. I personally just believe by faith that Jesus Christ was virgin born, therefore God the Father was his father. However, in the sense of being ( after the order of Melchisedec ) he had no beginning or end. We can’t find where Melchisedec had a father or mother in scripture. We never see where he died either.

Melchisedec was not a priest appointed by any man. That’s what it means when it says that ( Christ was High Priest after the order of Melchisedec ) When we see the Aaron line of priest, all of those priests were appojnted by man. The Bible says in ( John 1:1 ) In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. In ( Romans 6:9 ) it says ( Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

The reason God sent his son into this world was to ( fulfil the law ). He did what no other person could possibly do and, he done it for mankind.

I’d, once again like to point out that all these things are just for our information, we except these fact by faith, in my case without question! No one has to prove to me that Jesus is my High Priest, that he was virgin born or, that he arose from the dead. I believe that and except that by faith.

I’d like to say this as concerning me. In 1975 when I got born again; I was under great conviction by God’s Spirit. He, himself drew me a to an alter. Since then I have learned to trust his leadership. As the Apostles Paul uses these verse to teach the Nation of Israel or ( the Hebrew believers ) what he is saying here, he is seeking for that same spirit to use scripture to help them understand the priesthood of Christ.

( Hebrews 6, Verse 5 )

Whither the forerunner is entered for us.

The Hebrew children understood this in the Old Testament. For instance, if the High Priest went behind the veil and came out, that meant that they had victory over their sin. The sacrifice had been eecepted by God the Father. The resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ meant the very same thing. For any man to die without their sin-debt being paid means eternal death.

That fact needs to be understood. What exactly is ( death ) ? Or, what eaxactly is life? I know how those terms are defined by man but how does God the father see them? Because of what is being taught here, I’d like to say some things here that might truly make you, as the reader stop and think. All I ask is that you allow God’s Spirit to speak as you read.

Let’s look at;

Genesis 2:7 )

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breathe of life; and man became a living soul.

Now, since man was a living soul, did that mean that he had life? What did Jesus say?

( John 11:25 )

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he be dead, yet shall he live: ( 26 ) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

You can read this whole account in ( Genesis 2-3 . After Eve had bitten the friut, she then offered it to Adam. When the Serpent was tempting Eve, do you think Adam was standing there? No, he wasn’t! Satan will never cause you to fall to sin when you are walking close to our Lord. It’s when we are led away of our own lust when we fall.

Jesus said: ( I am life ). Just as soon as God formed man, he ( God the Father ) gave that man a commandment to keep. When I say this, I always point out that ( the woman ) hadn’t been created yet. Therefore, to whom was given the responsibility to tell her truth? Adam had that responsibility. I personally believe that Adam’s failure was not eating to fruit that was offered him by Eve but rather, he failed in his responsibility of giving her spiritual instruction.

( James 1:14 )

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and indiced.

Can you see how that Eve could have been drawn , by temptation to that tree, just simply lusting to see what it taste like? Lo, and behold, who met her in her temptation? Also, can you see how she should have been standing ( methphorically ) working hand and hand with her husband? She could have been right beside Adam meaning that Satan couldn’t have tempted her but,she was drawn away by her lust to know.

When Adam appeared, where was the Serpent? He had done his evil deeds and left. Noe, this is what I want you to see. When she offered the fruit to Adam, He knew exactly what he was facing when he bit that fruit. He knew, if I don’t bite or, eat this fruit; I’ll be forever seperated from my wife. He willingly bit that fruit to stay with his wife!

( 1 Timothy 2:13-14 )

For Adam was first formed, then Eve. ( 14 ) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Now, look at this verse:

( Genesis 3: 12 )

And the man said, the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

We often like to look at that verse and say that Adam was blaming ( the woman ) for what he had done but, he’s not; he’s simply stating truth. Did you notice that she didn’t make him eat of that tree did she? I also want you to notice that they both ( hid from the from the Lord ). ( Genesis 3: 8-10 ).

What happened to Adam and Eve? Adam gave in to the temptation of his wife to be with her and they both died a physical death. With that being said, when Adan and Eve ate the fruit they didn’t die physically did they? So, how did they die? They died spiritually, they seperated themselves from God the Father. However, God’s grace was with them. God shed the blood of an animal and made them a covering for their bodies. There’s a lot to learn here but, I want you to see that Adam’s actions brought forth physical death to all men. God, in his mercy and grace gave Adam and Eve ( eternal life ). Although they each had to die physically, they lived eternally.

When Jesus Christ faced death, he never yielded to the sin of his bride. Therefore, when he walked behind that veil, he was able to face death, without dying; that is, in the spiritual sense. As far as Jesus Christ being raised in the physical sense from death was for the benefit of those of that day, even us that we might know for certain that he arose from the dead.

He was raised for our justification:

( Romans 4:25 )

Who was delivered for our offences, and raised for our justification.

So, what is death and what is life? The very second that we realize that we are sinners and, we know we need a savior, God sees us as dead from that moment on. We look at death often as when we take our last breath and life when we are conceived or, when we take our first breathe. God sees us as ( with life ) the very moment that we ask Christ into our hearts. He is life!

( Romans 5:8-20 )

But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ( 9 ) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. ( 10 ) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. ( 11 ) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. ( 12 ) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world; and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: ( 13 ) ( For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. ( 14 ) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses; even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adams’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. ( 15 ) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man. Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. ( 16 ) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the free gift: for the judgment was by one to comdemnation, but the free gift of many offences unto justification. ( 17 ) For by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. ) ( 18 ) Therefore as by the offence one judgment came upon all men to comdemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

To put this in perspective; when Adam sinned, physically he didn’t die right then, not in the flesh but, he did spiritually. When Jesus Christ died in the flesh, he didn’t die spiritually but only physically bringing about our ability through his blood and physical death to obtain the life eternal that he purchased for us by his actions.

Basically, if you are born once, you will die twice. Your first death will be spiritual and the second death will be eternal.

If you are born twice, you will only die once. That death will occur the moment you ask Jesus Christ to be your savior.

The second death still has nothing to do with the minute you breathe your last breathe. Look at this scripture:

( Revelation 20:10 )

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Jesus Christ died physically, look straight into the face of the law and it had no effect on him at all! The law had no power over him because of his perfection. Death could not hold him! By his resurrection he became the firstfruits of the resurrection for all that believe by faith. He, like Melchisedec had no beginning and will never have an end. In him all that trust him by faith will never face the second death. We, as believers have passed already from death unto life.

( 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.

( 1 John 3:14 )

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

Many people, including to Hebrew believers struggled with the concept of ( being dead while we are still alive and, having ( life eternal ) even before we actually face physical death. However, this is what Jesus Christ was able to purchase by his perfect life and, willingness to suffer on a cross for all that believe.

I often say this. Every sin of every person that is in hell right now and, every sin of every person that ever will go; their sin-debt was paid for on the Cross of Calvary. The problem, those people just never received the free gift that Christ offered to each and every person.

Look at yourself, you are a sinner just like every man or person that ever lived. Your sin-debt is paid for, no exceotions. Have you asked Christ to be your savoir? If not, you can today. He is very willing to be your savior if you are willing to drop your pride and ask him to!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS ( JULY 18-25,2021 )

( HEBREWS 6:19-20 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Matthew 27:51 )

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

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

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

( Matthew 5:17 )

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

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

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

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

( Philippians 3:9 )

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

( Romans 3:20-24 )

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

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

( Colossians 2:14 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( 1 John 1:9 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, look at this net verse:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( JULY 10, 2021 )

( GENESIS 11:4 )

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

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

THE CONCEPT OF MAN WITHOUT GOD

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

( Genesis 6:5 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( John 15: 6 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look at this verse:

( Romans 3:20 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Colossians 3:9-10 )

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

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

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

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

( 1 Timothy 5:5-6 )

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

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

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

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

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

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( JUNE 26, 2021 )

( HEBREWS 6: 7-9 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Matthew 12:24-33 )

( Verse 31 )

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

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

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

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

( Acts 21:11&13 )

And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, so shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

( verse 13 )

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

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

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

( Galatians 5:22-23 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll continue this next week!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7