JESUS CHRIST AND A KING NAMED HEROD

There’s a verse of scripture that came to mind when I first began to consider writing this.

( Mark 8:36 )

For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

If you remember it was Herod that orderd all the children killed under the age of two. ( Matthew 2:16 ). He also had John the Baptist killed by beheading him. ( Matthew 14:6-12 ).

I point these things out to paint a much bigger picture. Think about this! Do you think the Herod or any man has the ability to take life? He, ( even as a king ) was greatly deceived! Where do you think all those children and, John the Baptist are today?

He, like any other person can only do what God allows him to do. That includes you and I. I want to show you something about Herod and Jesus Christ. First, of all; do you think any man can take the life of Jesus Christ? Herod thought he could. Look at this:

( Luke 13:31-32 )

The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. ( 32 ) And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day shall I be perfected.

Why would you think that ( the Pharisees ) would desire to warn Jesus Christ about the possiblity of Herod killing him? Actually, they didn’t care if he killed him, their desire was to frighten him into leaving or, simply to stop all he was saying.

This is a spiritual point that many can’t see but, how do you threaten a man that is already dead, with death? I see this as something that we can tie to ( Mark 8:36 ). Many people that call themselves ( Christians ) cling to the life they have here; that, to the point that they will not witness to others. But, what shall it profit? If we are still alive concerning the things of this world, we are not dead in Christ! We are afraid to stand up for Christ because we are afraid of what we will lose here!

Do you realize here, that Jesus Christ called this man ( a fox )? As far as I know, Herod is the only man that Jesus every referred to as an animal. that is, as an individual. He did call a group of people ( vipers ). He said: ( O generation of vipers ) ( Matthew 3:7 ) among other places.

Jesus Christ let these Pharisees and, Herod know in no uncertian terms; you cannot touch me until ( I say ) you can.

Herod, as a king placed himself in a position that no person should ever desire to be! We take the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ and, God the Father very lightly. I want you to know something, without Jesus Christ and, his willingness to die on his cross ( you ) can, at this moment in time call ( hell ) your home. Right this minute, if you can feel the convicting power of the Holy Ghost of God on your heart then, you, my friend are a very blessed person!

That very point means that God the Father is still speaking to you, what a blessing! What happens when the day comes, while you are still living in this world and, you cannot feel that conviction on your heart? That means friend, that you are ( hell bound ) because God is not speaking to you anymore!

Look at this: ( Luke 23:8-9 )

And when Herod saw Jesus he was exceedingly glad: for he was desirious to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. ( 9 ) Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.

Can you imagine that? What happens to a man when God will not speak to him anymore? Guess what? ( YOU HAVE YOUR REWARD )! I’m not a betting man but, I’ll bet you that if you could talk to Herod today, he would tell you that if he could go back to the day that Herodias told him she want the head of John the Baptist on a platter, this is what he would say: I’d been better of the kill her and to began my journrey that day with Jesus Christ.

Now, Herod has been in hell for two thousand years or there about and, that completely without hope of ever seeing any change. Many people make fun of people that attempt to cause the Holy Spirit to speak to their hearts, they belittle the very thought of salvation or seeking to walk with Jesus Christ. Be careful, that Spirit you feel moving in your heart, you had better thank God he still speaks to you!

One more verse and I’ll close:

( 2 Corinthians 6:2 )

( For he saith, I have heard thee in a time eccepted, and in the day of salvation have I soccoured thee: behold, now is the eccepted time; behold; noe is the day of salvation. )

Many people assume that they can come to Christ whenever they choose to. However, it takes to convicting power of God on your heart to cause you to even desire salvation. If he is dealing with your heart, don’t put salvation off! He doesn’t promise you that you will ever feel that again! Now! Right now !

Salvation can be yours!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( APRIL 25,2021 )

HEBREWS 5:12-14

FOR WHEN FOR THE TIME YE OUGHT TO BE TEACHERS, YE HAVE NEED THAT ONE TEACH YOU AGAIN WHICH BE THE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE ORACLES OF GOD; AND ARE BECOME SUCH AS HAVE NEED OF MILK AND NOT OF STRONG MEAT. ( 13 ) FOR EVERY ONE THAT USETH MILK IS UNSKILLFIL IN THE WORD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: FOR HE IS A BABE. ( 14 ) BUT STRONG MEAT BELONGETH TO THEM THAT ARE OF FULL AGE, EVEN THOSE WHO BY REASON OF USE HAVE THEIR SENSES EXCERCISED TO DISCERN BOTH GOOD AND EVIL.

There’s a saying we often hear in our country today, that is ( the United States of America ). That sayig is this: ( the dumbing down of America ). Without many people realizing it; I believe that concept began in ( Our Churches )! I also believe it took years to accomplish that in both, our Churches and our Country.

My desire this morning was to teach starting in ( Hebrews 6:1 ) but, as I sought the face of God and, reread the lesson from last week with the last few verses in ( Hebrews 5 ); God’s Spirit changed my mind. By way of kicking this off, I’d like to ask a question. How many people understand the concept of being ( born again )? That; verses the concept of ( saying you believe in Christ ) ( being baptized ) and ( joining Church )? ( I believe ) within that question and, our ability to answer that question completely relates to what is being said in these verses and, what the Apostle is teaching in ( Hebrews 6 ).

Often, we misinterpret words such as teacher in scripture. Do you think that God calls you a teacher just because a Church allows you to stand and teach? I say not! Do you realize that the Apostle Paul said that he was taught ( at the feet of Gamaliel )? He was taught ( according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers ). He was also ( zealous toward God ). We see that in ( Acts 22:3 ).

Also, consider this, he was the last Apostle chosen, he said of himself ( I am the least of all Apostles ). Now, think about this as you consider these verses, there were men that actually walked with Jesus Christ, we can even take that all the way back to before Jesus Christ was born! The nation Of Israel were people ( chosen by God ) himself that he might raise them up to become a powerful voice in this world yet, the Apostle Paul, the very last one is now seeking to teach them. What do we see wrong in this picture? To add to this, he was rejected by them and, he turned to the Gentiles.

I dare say, just as humble as I know how and, with a great burden on my heart for members of our Churches and, the fact that very few know the concept of being ( born again )! There are people sitting in most Churches that ( should be teachers ) some ( even teaching ) ( even pastoring ) that are in need of being taught. The true problem is ( they reject ) those that can actually teach them!

Most pastors feed their congregations with a ( weekly dose of milk ) and the Church is ( unskillful in the word of righteousness ) ( FOR HE IS A BABE )! ( ( Verse 13 ) So, let’s take this to another level! Why was it that ( Gamaliel ) didn’t help ( Saul ) that became ( Paul ) in all that he taught him? The reason, Gamaliel didn’t understand the concept of being born again and, it was not important to him.

Most of our pastors go to school, universities, colleges and, are taught by ( a type of Gamaliel ). I wonder! Do they ever question their students about whether they are born again or not? Can those teachers explain being ( born again )? It’s almost like it becomes all about money. If I, ( even I ) decide to go to school, pay my money to be taught, what else would be required that I might attend? THe Apostle Paul is preachiung to the choir! All the teachers from the bottom to the top, although they might be teaching, have a need to be taught.

There is no teacher that can expound the word of God other than the Holy Spirit of God! However, that very concept is very seldom ever mentioned in our Churches. We hear quotes from professors, great theologians and are spell bound by the great things they teach and say. We love our pastors but very seldom question anything he teaches!

The very teaching of ( the concept of being born again ) can be considered as strong meat in scripture! Most people in our Churches will never even attempt to teach ( Hebrews 6 ), not in any form. Why would that be? Because within the concept of what he’s saying from ( verse 1 through 6 ) shows the very necessity of change once we are truly born again! ( WE CANNOT REMAIN THE SAME )! We can actually see in the verses there where if you still remain the same as you have always been the ( the act of being born again ) has never happened to you.

It’s much easier to simply leave these verses alone, have people believe that it’s speaking of lost people, not them, than to make people realize that ( spiritual growth ) is an essential part of being born again.

In essence, what was the children of Israel interested in? They were interested in someone caring for their every physical need, even if it meant to be in salvery. If you remember, God fed them with manna however, as soon as he stopped they told Moses that they were better off in Egypt. They were completely unwilling to pay any price to move foward from where they were.

Let’s be honest folks, most people are slaves to their Church! If that Church ceases to give them what they like, they’ll look far another. Another way to say it is this; it doesn’t matter what God they serve as long as they are satisfied. The average pastor knows this; therefore he feeds them what they desire to be fed, just like Israel!

I want to ask you a question. I do this just to make you stop and think! Just how close can any person get to hell without actually going? If you tell me you are born again, now, you also tell me where you are spiritually? That is axactly what is being said here!

What does it mean to be born again? What happens to any person that actually goes through that transforming act of being born again? Being born again means that you have seen yourself as a sinner and, that ( just like you are ) you cannot be pleasing to God the Father. You realize that, unless you find away to be transformed from the sinner you are thern, ( HELL WILL BE YOUR HOME ). You become willing to be transformed because ( YOU HATE ) who you are and, ( willingly ) ask ( GOD’S SPIRIT ) to move into your heart to begin to direct your path to ( SPIRITUAL MATURITY ).

You realize that Jesus Christ loved you so much that he suffered for you as an unworthy sinner! From the moment you are born again, every aspect of you being begins to change! The very things you use to love are now being changed, you begin to walk in a different light, you are not the same! If your salvation is locked in your desire to attend Church, be baptized, be seen as a ( CHURCH MEMBER ) then I would advise you to ( MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE )!

This was exactly what was wrong in the Nation of Israel! ( the assumed ) since they were ( Of Israel ) God would protect them. We ( often assume ) just because we are Church members ( God will protect us )! we often think we can still be ( as we are )!

( I believe ) simply by study that there is a long ways from the bottom of hell to standing right in the presence of Jesus Christ. That distance includes to ( top and bottom ) of Hell and ( the top and bottom ) of the kingdom we will live in, being born into his family.

I often hear people say. Well, I’m saved, that’s all I’m looking for! I’m not sure that’s all God wants you to be! And, that mindset will cost you in the end! The Apostle Paul seen this same mindset in the Nation Of Israel. He was seeking to help them see that, to God the Father ( spiritual maturity ) was a necessity; and that,of every believer!

I really don’t want to get into ( Hebrews 6 ) but, I feel impressed to point this out. In ( verse 1 ) he make this statement ( NOT LAYING AGAIN THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS ). Maybe you know someone that tells you they are saved but, they continually come to you, having to say ( I’m sorry ) for doing the same thing to you or, someone time and time again. They can’t realize that ( you do forgive them ) but, you’re not the one with the problem, they are!

Can you see a picture of Israel, year after year, doing exactly the same things and, each year bringing a sacrifice to God for that same thing; over and over?

Look at this verse: ( 2 Corinthians 7:10 )

For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. ( look at the next verse ) : ( 11 ) For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, ( WHAT CAREFULNESS IT WROUGHT IN YOU, YEA, WHAT CLEARING OF YOURSELVES, YEA, WHAT INDIGNATION, YEA, WHAT FEAR, YEA, WHAT VERHEMENT DESIRE, YEA, WHAT ZEAL. YEA, WHAT REVENGE! IN ALL THINGS YE HAVE APPROVED YOURSELVES TO BE CLEAR IN THIS MATTER.

WOW! Can you see that dramatic change? This brings into focus what the Apostle Paul is trying to get across. You see, saying ( I sorrow ) is not repenting. That, either with a Nation or, an individual. However, we can see ourselves as ( Godly sorrowful ), that very thing will bring about change in our lives! Within that, we can also see the ( BORN AGAIN EXPERIENCE ) You won’t be perfect however, ( you will be indignate, fearful, with verhement desire,, zeal, revenge,

What’s he saying? ( I believe ) that God’s Spirit is so real in each ( born again believer ) that when we begin to think ( worldly things ) allow ( jealousy, hate and so on ) to be felt in our hearts then, right then ( the spirit we now follow ) will begin to churn in our hearts making us ( indignate, fearful, with verhement desire, zeal, bound and determine not to go back to being what we were, but to be just as close to a picture of Christ as possible! That’s ( godly sorrow ) What a Change!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( APRIL18,2021 )

( HEBREWS 5:6 )

AS HE SAITH IN ANOTHER PLACE, THOU ART A PRIEST FOR EVER AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC, ( 7 ) WHO IN THE DAYS OF HIS FLESH, WHEN HE HAD OFFERED UP PRAYER AND SUPPLICATIONS WITH STRONG CRYING AND TEARS UNTO HIM THAT WAS ABLE TO SAVE HIM FROM DEATH, AND WAS HEARD IN THAT HE FEARED; ( 8 ) THOUGH HE WERE A SON, YET LEARNED HE OBEDIENCE BY THE THINGS WHICH HE SUFFERED; ( 9 ) AND BEING MADE PERFECT, HE BECAME THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM; ( 10 ) CALLED OF GOD AN HIGH PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC.

If you study out Melchisdec, you will see that he was a type of Christ. You can find his name in ( Genesis 14::18 ). We can’t find where is was ever born nor did he die. There’s no record of it. He was the King of Salem which means ( peace ).

I’ll write those verses, make that statement and, now we’ll look at this, also the rest of this chapter. I’ve stated before; ( I believe ) the Apostle Paul wrote ( Hebrews ). He was speaking to his own people. He sought to get them to understand that following any man is not wise; that is, any man in the flesh. The reason for that is that, they all die, that because of their own sin.

Jesus Christ also died because of sin ( ours ), not his own. That’s why God the Father raised him from the dead and, why we are freely justified because of his resurrection. Melchisedec was a type, just like we see often in the Old Testament.

Now, notice something. The Apostle Paul, being a Jew; new this fact. Why? Because he had studied it out, just like any other Jew could have done. You might say; that’s a debatable fact. I’ll agree however, we can see that no matter how he gained that knowledge, he is now sharing it with his brothers in the flesh. My point is that God, through different ways had been trying to reveal this knowledge to them for years. The Apostle Paul just happens to be the last way that it will be revealed. He’s is the ( open door ) to ( the Church ) for all men.

Now, look at:

( verse 11 )

OF WHOM WE HAVE MANY THINGS TO SAY, AND HARD TO BE UTTERED, SEEING YE ARE DULL OF HEARING.

It’s so much that can be taught here! For instance; we know that the word of God teaches that God purposely ( dulled the hearing ) of Israel as a nation. That because of their unbelief; as a Nation. We speak of ( Melchisedec ) as being a type. Well, look at this verse:

( 2 Corinthians 3:13-15 )

And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the of that which was abolished: ( 14 ) But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testamant; which veil was done away in Christ. ( 15 ) But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their hearts.

We often simply read by verses such as we see here and in the book of Hebrews, not ever understanding what is being taught. I’d like to take the time here to show all that is being taught. So, let’s look in:

( Exodus 34:30-33 )

And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the shin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come high to him. ( 31 ) And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. ( 32 ) And afterwards all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinia. ( 33 ) And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. ( 34 ) But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. ( 35 ) And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

As I seek to tie these things together, in all cases we see typlical things. Now, let’s begin with the letters that the Apostle Paul wrote to different Churches. We call them epistles. When he wrote those letter, he was speaking to ( the Church ) in those cities or, areas. Here, in Hebrews; he’s speaking to the people, members of ( the Church ) that are Hebrews. Those that are born again in the Nation of Israel. He’s not speaking to them as a nation but, as individual people. As you consider this, we must understand that he was concerned for the souls of all men. In other words, he was hoping that all Israel would have their eyes opened and see Christ as their Savior. That’s is the spiritual mindset of any Church, it’s members and, it’s pastor; wouldn’t you agree?

While we see that the Apostle Paul is he ( Apostle to the Gentiles ) in ( Ephesians 3 ); can you see that ( the Hebrew people ) are just as likely to be born again as the people are anywhere else? They can become members of the body of Christ ( the Church ), as can people in any nation under heaven. ( The Veil ) we are speaking of was on ( Israel ) as a Nation, not as individuals. The ( dull of Hearing ) was upon ( the Nation ) not simple individuals.

As born again believers in the Nation of Israel; the Apostle Paul knows well that ( they ) as a people had always followed ( a man ). They looked at the high priest as their leader so to speak and, they also considered the ( tabernacle ) as a place of worhip. In:

( John 4:23-24 ) Jesus tells the ( woman of Samaria this )

( 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. ( 24 ) God id Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.

If you go to any letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to any Church; you can see his mindset as far as what might be a hinderance to their worship in that particular area. In Corinth, they were ( carnal minded ). In Galatia they ( mixed law and grace ). The Romans ( struggled with grace ). The Hebrew believers ( struggled with how to simply allow God to speak to them ) apart from any man directing them.

That quest, the quest to learn to hear God speak by his spirit within us can still be seen as a real problem today. For example; what is a denomination? What difference can it make? I, Marshall Clayton was born again in an Independant Baptist Church. While I consider that to be a very great blessing, does that mean they have all the answers? If I base my salvation on simply what they teach then, I’m a fool! While God uses Churches and men, just like me to speak to people; he also desires for those same people to learn to allow him, by his Spirit to teach them and lead them.

I contend that we are more like the Hebrew children than we like to admit! We fall in love with our Churches, pastors, Sunday School teachers and yes, even our denominations. There’s an older song that says this: ( I’LL GO TO MY GRAVE, LOVING YOU ). A lot of Christians say that about their Church, pastor ana denomination. Not me, my friend! I love Jesus and, the study of his word! I’ll go to my grave, loving, listening to him!

THe Apostle Paul is seeking to get the ( Hebrew Childern ) to understand that Jesus is now your High Priest. That, after the order of Melchisedec. What he’s saying is that every high priest that lived, died. They had a beginning and an end. However, Jesus Christ, the Hight Priest that we follow today had no beginning and no end. That, Just like Melchisedec.

If you wish, you can say that ( Abram ) worshipped Jesus Christ 2000 years before he was born. That’s what is actually being taught. Abram understood the concept of God speaking and, he, being willing to obey that voice. If I lock myself into ( a man ) ( a denomination ) even ( a teacher ) then the knowledge that is found there is as high as I can go.

If any person will allow themselves to learn to hear God’s Spirit then, the teaching is unlimited. What is the gift of preaching? That gift is the ability to take a few words from scripture and, allow God’s Spirit to speak through and reveal many other things.

( In my opinion ) many pastors are average teachers but, they can’t preach! In that case, he simply becomes one of his congregation, no different. It takes great courage to step out and allow God’s Spirit to use you as his voice!

In closing, I’ll say this. The children of Israel saw the lightnings and thunderings, dark smoke and feared. They told Moses to go up and allow God to speak to him and, whatever he said, they would listen. Well, I desire to be like Moses! I want to walk right up into that dark smoke, right into the thunder and lightning, I want to hear all God’s got to say.

There once was a powerful evangelist in our area, I won’t call his name but, my daughter and I went to a Church he was preaching at once to sing. At that time, my daughter was about eighteen. This evangelist came out of the pulpit, stood on one end of the communion table and said this: Jesus Christ, as our High Priest, shed his blood and died on his Cross. When He died, he took his own blood, brought it to this end of the alter of sacrifice and said; I offer this blood for the sins of the people of the world and, sit that blood down on that alter. Then, he walk right to the other end of that communion table and said, ( I ECCEPT IT )! He offered that blood as the Son and eccepted it as the Father!

During that preaching exchange, I seen my daughter laughing and crying all at the same time! Friends, can you see that picture! Teaching never does that! It only come from the power of the Holy Spirit when a man is willing to allow himself to allow God to reveal himself through his body of flesh!

Far too oftn we lock ourselves into the things of this world and, at the very same time, by that very act, we lock God’s ability to speak to us ( outside ) The Apostle Paul was trying to gat the Hebrew Children to understand that very concept!

What are you locked into? As for me; my desire is to be locked into ( God’s Holy Spirit )!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

THE AUTHOR ( I AM )

Have you ever considered the innocence of death? Or, the struggle to die? I believe that both of of these terms are related to very person I am and, it encircles my whole mindset as an author, if you consider me to be one.

What can be said about the ( innocence of death )? When I consider that term; my mind goes back to my childhood and, attending the funerals of two of my sisters. They died about two years apart and both were about eight weeks old. When the second one died, I was about seven years old and, of course I had a little more knowledge of what had happened than I did the first one.

Can you see just how innocent their death was or, is? They had absolutely nothing to do with all that occurred! Over the years of my life, I’ve been to their grave side at least two times for this single purpose. Lord, why did they die and, why am I still hear? As I say that, it’s one thing that is completely clear to me. Each night that I lay my head on my pillow, even as I go through each day of my life, I am completely at the mercy of our Lord as far as death is concerned. The fact that I have lived for now seventy years is nothing in the sight of God. When I close my eyes in sleep, I have absolutely nothing to do with whether I wake up the next morning. For all general purposes, if I live through the day, I have nothing to do with that fact. That why I consider ( the innocence of death ).

With that being said, what can I do? As I read through the word of God, seeing each person that penned down the books we have the priviledge to read, did they consider themselves to be authors? Did they go to school and learn proper way to write each sentence and, make perfect paragraphs with every comma, question mark and period in just the right place? How many years were they educated?

The only person that I can say was educated in scripture would be the Apostle Paul. He, being educated said this about that fact. I consider it as dung.

( Philippians 3:7-8 )

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. ( 8 ) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I might win Christ, ( 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:

I’m sure that there were other people that were educated such as doctor Luke and so on but, the one thing that stands out in my heart is the fact that none of us in a general sense has any control about the length of our lives. That fact was just as true from the very beginning as it is now. That’s why I look at it as the ( innocence of death ). Each person that ever done anything for our Lord made a choice to do so, understanding that their whole being was in the hands of a righteous God.

I’d like for each of us to consider something. It’s a ( what if ). We go about as beings seeking to build great things or, become great people in every field possible. Look across this landscape and see what man has done. Even now, at this moment in time, we are considering putting a man on Mars. We set out to cure every sickness, every dicease and to prolong our version of life as long as possible. We have universities, colleges, schools that can train us to do anything we desire to be.

What if; all of a sudden we as people decided to simply stop, drop to our knees and seek God’s guidance in all things pertaining to our lives? What if we, prayed and simply told the Lord this. I realize I have to work to live, you told me that. However, Lord, my life, my direction is yours. What I do for a living is not important. What I accomplish in this life means nothing but, My desire is to you and you alone!

Whatever happens around me, means nothing. I want my total focus to be on your will for me. My desire is for you to teach me, train me in all things spiritual. Is it possible that God would take care of everything we face and struggle to do in our lives?

What if, we all said; Lord if I’m blind, make me content, if I have cancer, let the rest of my life be to your glory! If I live one day or a hundred years, help it be all for you! What if?

Seemingly, we do all we can, even as born again believers to make this world our home, to have things, even the length of our lives like we would have it be. Did we, somewhere along the line lose the concept of dying to ourselves and being all we could be for Christ? Do we dread dying in any form? Have we become so adapted to a home that is not ours that we seek to build good things here for a long time?

( I AM ) The author of my own life! That is, in the sense of my willingness to die to my own will and, allow him to speak through me. If we are not careful; we allow this world to be the author of every aspect of our lives and, even the very way we will stand before God one day.

Death is completely innocent, just like a child! It can’t force itself upon you nor can it dictate what you do in your everyday life. With that being said, it is coming at some point and basically, every person that will read this knows it well.

If I am an author, It involves my complete desire to die to myself and, become all he desires for me to be. ( my struggle to die )! Since God the Father allows me to have life then, that in itself becomes a struggle to ( forget who I am ) and become all he desires for me to be.

Often, the average person is struggling so hard to live, possess, earn, stay well and satify self that we forget the real reason we are here anyway. Our very existance is to bring glory to the God that created us. Every person is an author. We are writing an epistle of our own self each day God allows us to live in this world. As we read scripture, we have a chance to read some of those epistles of the very people that brought the word of God to our generation. We also can see the epistles that are being written right before our very eyes and they can also see the things that we write each day.

No matter how little time we live or, how much time we have; we each are authors and, within our own lives there is a story being told. What is your story about? How, and when will it end?

The Lord just laid upon my heart a story I need to share. There’s a little country store about two miles from my house. I’ve traded there for most of my life. Many years ago I went to that store. A man and his wife were sitting at the gas pumps and, the man had gone in to pay for his gas. His wife was a very troubled person. When she seen me, this is what she said: ( Uncle Roane ) she said, I know I need to get right with God. My middle name is Roane and, actually, I’m not here unncle but, she always called me that. I replied to her: ( well, there’s nothing more I need to say is it )? You already know!

Over the years, I’ve seen this woman go down to the alter multiple times, in different Churches. The last time that I know of was about five years ago. However, there is not one thing in her life that has ever changed. With that being said; she is writing the epistle of her life everyday God let’s her live. This woman had one other sister and, two brothers. She is the only one left.

I simply tell that story to say that ( the innocence of death ) is slowly snicking up on her. The fact the she has sought to cling to who she is rather than to struggle in her life to be what God would have her to be will be shared from the housetops one day!

The innocence of death is snicking up on each of us. I have chosen to struggle within myself to die each day for his glory. As you look at yourself, what are you struggling with? How does your life, the life God gave you measure up to all he desires for you to be?

What will your epistle say?

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( APRIL 11,2021 ) HEBREWS 5: 1- 5

( 1 ) For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: ( 2 ) Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. ( 3 ) And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. ( 4 ) And no man tahketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. ( 5 ) So also Christ glorified not himself to be made and high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my son, today have I begotten thee.

If you will notice in ( Hebrews ) the term ( let us ) is used often. We also see the word ( better used often ). The writer of this book is seeking to show the people he is writing to that the old methods of the way they had been doing things we passed and, now we have a ( better way ) as individual people to communicate to our God. Last week , we considered the last verse in ( chapter 4 ) ( Let us ) come boldly to the throne of grace.

The Hebrew children has always been instructed to follow a man; a high priest. And, also to go to a building. We can carry that all the way back to Moses. However, we see in the book of ( Deuteronomy chapter 34 ) that Moses died. We also see in that chapter ( verse 6 ) And he ( being God ) buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.

As I seek to allow God’s Spirit to use me as a vessel to share this; I can see the importance of what we are seeing here about Moses as it relates to what we are studying in Hebrews. Therefore, let’s consider some things about this. Moses was the man that God chose to deliver the law to for Israel. However, he was not, in the end the man that seen to it that it was carried out. Aaron, his brother was the first Hight Priest.

If you will study, you will notice that Moses did not get to lead Israel into the promise land because of an act he committed. ( Numbers 20:8-12 ) You can read that and study it out. However, we see that because of that act he didn’t lead Israel into the promise land.

We also see where he was buried. It was not a glorious place among men. THe land of Moab was simply a place just like all the rest of this world. I heard once that it could be defined as ( God’s washpot ). Also, not one person other than God the Father knows where he is buried.

I point these things out because Moses was just a sinner like every other man born of this world. As a matter of fact; every spiritual leader and high priest that’s ever been; died. No exceptions.

If I were to make a thought concerning ( my opinion ) it would be this. From the time that God gave the law and, created the High Priest, it was always about people listening to and, obeying the things that God said and, never about any man. However, Israel could never quite understand that concept. They desired for a man to tell them what to do, how to think and, also be accountable to God for their actions.

In ( Hebrews 4:16 ) we see that he says ( Let us ) ( come boldly ) to the throne of grace. We, as individuals don’t need a man to teach us, lead us now. We ourselves can go directly to God’s throne to find every answer we need.

True men of God. pastors and preachers to; understand this fact. They also push ( individual responsibility ) greatly. If you will notice in ( verse 2 ) of ( Hebrews 4 ) he says this. Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and them that are out of the way. Why? for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

He realizes he is no different than the very people that he is trying to help. ( I believe ) that God was making a point to the nation of Israel with Moses. If you remember, it was the unbelief of Israel that caused Moses to smite the rock twice rather than to simply speak to it. Another way of saying the same thing is this; If Israel would have been listening to God, seeking to hear him rather than listening, depending on Moses, that act would not have happened.

In a very powerful way, we are people with the same mindset of Israel far too often. We fall in love with pastors, men, teachers and so on. We are passionate about our buildings far beyond our desire to follow the voice of God.

Do you realize that it shouds take no more than you; hearing and obeying the voice of God to cause you to leave your Church. I personally believe that I, as a man have the responsibility to pastor my wife and family, first and formost. ( I am the pastor of the Church in my house )! God designed local Churches as a means of fellowship and, to shed the gospel in communities. He desires for us to come together in unity, in his name.

The next Sunday that you go to Church, as you sit there; you look at your pastor. Guess what? He, or she is nothing more than a hell deserving sinner that is going to die because of the sin in their life just like you are! The Church building you’re sitting in will be torn down one day, no matter how much you love it. It might out last you but, it to will be destroyed.

In the book of Hebrews, the Apostle Paul is making this point! He is seeking to cause the Hebrew children to realize that God’s desire is to deal with each of them as individuals if, they will boldly come to his throne.

In reality, my wife, my children should be able to come to me to get any spiritual answer they need to become spiritually mature. Mature enough to begin to go boldly to God’s throne for themselves! The problem is that we depend on our pastor or teachers and, we never get to that spiritual level in most cases. Even if we can depend on them, at some point we must reach spiritual maturity, if we ever desire to be pleasing to God the Father.

I often seek to make this point. If you are a member of a spiritually motivating Church. Let’s just look at one young man. First of all, this young man gets born again. Soon after that, the pastor calls on him to pray, he becomes a witness in his community, an usher in his Church, a teacher of Sunday school,then he might one day become a deacon and, even, in time the head deacon. When all this is accomplished, what’s next?

If could also be that a young man never does any of those things but, he, in time matures to a spiritual level, what’s next? God never builds a Church for you to stay in all your life or, even your children. We must learn to mature spiritually and become all God desires for us to be. We can only do that when we learn to ( come boldly to God’s throne of grace ) as individuals.

John F. Kennedy made this statement: ( ask not what your country can do for you but, what can you do for your country ).

Far too often we look at the Church the very same way. We seek to get something from Church when we should be seeking to add something to it. After all, the Church is not a buliding, it’s a growing organism. When we learn that we are to die to ourselves, offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, learn that the best thing we can give the Church is the salvation of other people then, the whole concept of ( Church members ) and ( buildings ) will be far less important to us. The whole concept of following men, the high priest came to an end. Now, we see Jesus and, we as born again believers have the very spirit of God within us.

Again, look at the people in your Church, one day every person there will be gone. However, the true High Priest that we’ll look at next week will never die! He is the one we need to follow above all!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE ( UNITED STATES OF AMERICA )? WHERE DID SHE GO?

I’d like to begin this with a true story that happened to me once, just to help you understand that what I’m writing has very little to do with statistics and , as always more about a spiritual mindset and, simply provoking thought.

I once had a little television program on our local cable channel. The program was called ( THE BIBLE SAYS ). When I agreed to do the program I stated my whole reason for doing it was to cause people to look at themselves in a spiritual light, to provoke thought.

One night as I was instructed to begin, I was live, I never said good evening or any else I didn’t say anything as far as greeting the people. The first words out of my mouth was this: ( I believe that 85% of all Christians are going to hell and, 65% of all preachers )! After that I began to explain why I made that statement. At that time any person that chose to could call in and talk to me live. A lady called and ask me where I got my facts from?

I answered her like this: Ma’am I don’t have any facts however, I got your attention didn’t I? At that point she hung up on me!

Often, we become so complacent and content with our surroundings that we forget to set and keep the standard that actually created the situation that brought about the circumstances that placed us where we are. I believe that it’s very possible that is exactly what placed the United States of America in the very position we are in today!

When a I was a young boy, we got our eggs from chickens each morning, we got our milk from a cow, most of our breakfast meets came from a hog we had raise from a little pig. Most of the vegatables we ate the whole year, we picked and my mom and sisters put them up for our winter meals. And, on Sundays, we went to Church.

That trip to Church on Sundays, in most cases was not optional! It was just like the work you were required to do each day, it was not optional. And, the food we ate, was not optional! If mom placed it in front of you, you did’t complain! You learned very quickly, in most cases, the hard way that complaining was not optional either.

My dad was the head of my family and, my mom seen to it that the things he requested was carried out, also not optional. Just by way of making a continual point, if we had friends over to our house to have a meal, the children ate last, also not optional!

My mom was, at that time a ( stay at home mom ). You might say; what she didn’t have a job? Let me take you through one of her days. We’ll just us a ( worse case senerio ). We lived on a little farn in northern North Carolina. We raised tobacco, that was our livlihood. In the summer time often we would get up around 3:30 or 4:00 am and, we would move out a barn of tobacco before we would have breakefast. Mom was the first one up. At this time was she not only preparing breakfast for her family, she was also starting the preparation for lunch in which she had to do for every person that would be working for us that day. I would take around and hour to move the tobacco out to the packhouse then we would eat breakfast.

I was the only boy with three sisters. Now you have to understand. I said the worse case senerio. That means that when those girls were needed outside the house early in the morning, mom had to wash up the breakfast dishes while she continued her preparing of lunch. Once she was at a spot she could leave the house she had to milk two cows before she came to the tobacco barn. When she arrived at the barn, she worked with us until about 11;30 or 11:45 am when she left the barn to set the table, preparing to feed every person.

When the meal was over while dad might lay around and take a break for a few minutes, the children might be playing, what was mom doing? She was cleaning up after the meal. Washing dishes, About the time she finished, dad was ready to go back to the barn. She would work with us until we were completely finished each day. At that time, two cows had to be milked again and, the milk had to be care for. She made our butter, also buttermilk. I simply make that point to show that it was more to milking cows than just that act. Supper had to be prepared! Once we ate, the cleanup had to take place once again.

Within that; the house was clean, beds made up, all our clothes washed and ironed and kept in repair. In the summer time she pick strawberries, blackberries, cherries, we often helped but, she made the jams, preserves we called it. The garden had to be picked and frozen or canned, adding to her daily chores. By the way, on Sundays, cows still had to be milked and, meals still had to be prepared.

So far, do you think my mom had a job? Basically, all this with very little pay! To be completely honest with you, today my sistes and I are reaping the benefits of the hard work my mom and dad did in their lives. My mom had equal rights, even while seeking to be obedient to her husband, she worked possibly harder that he did. Now, I never heard my mom complain, my dad might have but I didn’t! My mom never smoked a cigarette, I never heard her curse. When my mom and dad spoke, her children listened! While we were disciplined when we were were wrong, it was far more to it that just the do’s and don’t’s of our lives, We had love and respect for one another and authority. That respect for authority and love for one another began at home. I can see how that all these things that I went through in my young childhood brought about and built character in my life that is still there today.

I’d also like to point out that while we had a community mindset, respecting all of our nieghbours, we were also very much set up as an individual family. We didn’t seek to tell our nieghbours how to live and they didn’t tell us, we worked together as neighbours, as a county, as a state and as a nation. If we needed help, our neighbours came to help, if they needed help we went to them as well. Even if we disagreed with some things they were doing in their lives or, they disagreed with us, we all still worked together.

I can’t say that every family accross the nation had to be exactly the same as ours but, I will say that; as a rule it was very common in those days.

I’ll say something here that many people have forgotten and, many now have never even considered it. I’ll begin it with a verse of scripture:

( Matthew 5:13 )

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

This is the way I’ll try and explain my thoughts. If you take a single grain of salt and drop it on a piece of meat, that salt will desolve and flavor a bigger portion of that meat than just the size that the grain of salt is. The people that came to this country, one of the reasons they came was because they sought ( religious freedom ) among other things. So, let’s just place those people on the the Mayflower to begin with. More than likely every person that was on that ship was not a born again beliver in Jesus Christ. Those that were, more than like had several different views on how to worship and serve him.

Each of those believers were grains of salt so to speak. While they might have differed in ways; the concept of Jesus Christ was the center point of their lives. It was so powerful! Their walk, their talk, their praying reached out to every person, even unbelievers to the place that it effected the very way they lived and, presented themselves as well.

They were the very salt of the country they were attempting to set in order. Now, a question one might ask, were they perfect? The answer is absolutely not. However, that question and, the fact they they were not perfect was, not then nor is it now the problem. The problem came to them and even today when people of any nation began to settle for less than perfect. You see, being born again will never make anyone perfect. However, it will create a mindset towards seeking perfection and, becoming more like our savior; Jesus Christ. Pressing towards that mark is basically what ( the spiritual walk ) of any person or nation is all about or, should be.

I personally believe that a very spiritual mindset was present and, to some degree; ruled in this nation up until the 1960’s. There are those that might say that things began to change right after ( World War two ) however, since I was born in 1951; My concept of that spiritual change was not so noticed until a little later. Have no doubt, what we see in our nation is a ( spiritual meltdown ) and nothing else. Therefore, the only way to repair the problem is spiritually related.

Since these things are spiritually related then, we must be willing to first see those problems and, then be willing; if we are part of that problem, change who we are to fix those problems. Therein is where the problem lies! I have news for you my friends; it’s not the people in this country that don’t know Jesus Christ as their personal savior that actually created the downfall of this nation. Now, they, today might have their role to play in our demise but, that is not where the problem lies.

Here I am, A ( white ) ( Old ) ( Man ). Like it or not, we are seen as ( the problem ) in our country. Therefore, if I write in this article what it will actually take to fix this mess we are in. I very quickly will become the ( villian ), count on it! At the very same time I make that statement; it is a ( man problem ) and that of basically of every race in our country. So, to begin with, can the men of this nation become ( real men ) again? That starting with the very men in leadership roles in our Churches and, every part of government starting with local all the way to Federal?

Actually, It’s not ( White Old Men ) that is the problem is it? The lack of our ability to see truth and, conform to that truth is where the problem lies. I made the satatement that ( it is a man problem ). Why would I say that? In scripture we see that that book is speaking basically in the male gender. For instance: God the Father is seen as a man. He came to this earth in the body of ( His Son ) being indentified as ( a Male ). Do you realize that every apostles that Jesus Christ called was male? When we reach the thousand year riegn of Christ, men will be in charge, whether we like that or not. As a matter of fact, they will all be the same race and, they won’t be white!

We, as a nation set ourselves up for failure, not because of any race but, because we simply refuse to except truth from any person. We refuse to submit to any leadership. Now, let’s go back and look at something. Let’s assume, even recognize that ( Old White Men ) were wrong about some things when this country was founded. You, dependeing on your own personal mindset can pick what you believe they were wrong about. The fact that they were wrong about some things, things that you thought about, does that mean they were wrong about all things?

We, as a nation; because of our individual, single mindsets have become willing to ( throw the baby out with the bath water ) to see to it that we have our own personal way! We, show our own spiritual ignorance by the way we present ourselves; bring the destruction to the greatest nation on ther face of this earth.

I’ll show you when our demise first began. It began when the slogan ( In God We Trust ) became just a slogan instead of a reality. You can decide in your mind when that happen. You can also decide whether you are a part of the problem or, are you seeking to be a part of the solution.

Let’s look at the ( war on poverty ) that began in the 1960’s. I understand we have spent well over 15 trillion dollars in that war. How much of that money did you get? Do you realize that we are now in debt just a little over that amount yet, we still have poor people? Actually, if you are a person that actually got some of that money, maybe for years, guess what? In more cases than not, all you did was to make some ( Old White Men ) richer! Adding to that, causing a great nation to be indebted while they got the money!

What about ( equal rights )? You pick the catagory! Do you think you become equal with another group just because ( Old White Men ) or anyone else might pass a law that states the you are? If you wish, you pick the race or sexual orientation! Just because ( It is spoken ) does that make it is real? Women fought for the right to vote and, they won! Let’s say your voice becomes louder that the voice of men, does that make it right? Whatever happen to the submission that ( The God ) we say ( We Trust ) and what he has to say about it? I’ll admit; there are many men, husbands that are very weak as leaders. Actually, their whole mindset is very self willed and, self seeking. However, going about to fix that problem by creating another problem is very contrary to the ( God we say We Trust ). In other words, if the man that is suppose to lead you is not doing so then, that will never make you correct by going your own way or, seeking to take the leadership role in your family or, in any nation!

Who is the ( God ) we say ( we trust )? What does it mean in our nation when we say you have ( freedom of religion ) here? Although the phrase ( freedom of religion ) is a very true phrase, as a nation we were not founded on a ( generic God ). Yet, in the minds of people today; we do! This nation, as a whole was founded on the ( one and only true God ). We recognize him from the words we read from ( his word ). That word was made flesh and dwelt among us, his name is Jesus Christ. He is not generic, he is real! The very laws that this nation was establisheed on were centered around his word. Without a doubt, we, as a nation prayed and reveranced his name!

In the beginning, ( Jesus Christ ) was always the center of every law. They all pointed men back to that center, One of the first things many might point back to and say ( as a Nation ) we were wrong, could be slavery. O.K.! I’ll give you that. However, did we, as a nation not seek to fix that mistake? Now, let me ask you as an individual something! I suppose that ( you ) being who you are, are perfectly free from sin in every way, there is no need for you ever to change anything about you?

I’m not saying, nor did the leaders of that time say that we were perfect but, we sought always to point back to that center? Let me ask you another thing. When ( Old White Men ) passed a law that gave women the right to vote, were those ( Old White Men ) pointing back to that center? Now, since I asked that question, what you might desire to asked me is ( Do I have a problem with women voting )? FRIENDS, COUNTRYMEN, AMERICANS ! LEND ME YOUR EAR! It has nothing to do with what I might think or say. Our desire should always be about ( WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD TEACH )!

Elijah the prophet made this statement to the Nation of Israel.

( 1 Kings 18:21 )

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

At some point: the ( old white Men ) the leaders of this nation began to reference something other than God’s word in their law making decisions. The laws they made and, I might add, continue to make were not and, are not based on ( the word ) of ( the God ) that ( we as a nation ) say ( we trust in ). At some point, you pick the place, we, like the Nation of Israel began to follow other Gods.

It’s one thing for a God fearing, trusting nation to respect the right for any person to ( follow any god they choose ) but quite another to began making laws or allowing their mindsets to become part of the choices we make!

Consider! ( Old White Men ) are blamed a lot for the problems of our country in the beginning. Would you mind looking at our Senate, House of Representivies, even the White House and tell me what we have now? Look back over the last fifty years, see how diverse we have become. And, also, look at where we are now!

You might look at me and say: Well you’re just a ( Dirty Old White Man ). I won’t listen to you! I’ll answer that this way. I have no problem with any race or greed, nationality or sexual orentation. I’m not a bigot, nor am I racist. As far as I’m concerned, any person has a God given right to hold any office in this nation that the individual has a desire to hold.

However, I, as a ( Old White man ) do have a problem when you begin to recognize some other God as the God of this nation othe than Jesus Christ. I’ll also say this. If you call yourself a ( Christian ). By default, you are saying you have been born again, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ and, you acknowledge ( His Holy Word ) as the book that governs your life.

Therefore, if you are going to call the ( God ) of this ( Old White Man ) your God, not matter what color you are, what nation you came from, what sex you are, how old or young you are, what state you are from, what political party you are a part of, what Church you go to. Even if you are from another religion, that’s fine; but we must start to submit ourselves, govern ourselves, make laws based on the word of God this country was founded on, the word I call Jesus Christ.

In closing, I’ve made this statement time and time again. The biggest problems we have in our country is not the people that commit sinful acts, those people have always been a part of our ( God fearing nation ). The greatest problem in our country are the men standing behind the pulpits in our Churches in our country! They have yielded to the calls of the cares of this world, they have forgotten to concept of allowing God to speak through them, to set a Godly standard, the kind that Jesus Christ would set if he, himself stood behind their pulpit! It’s something I believe we misunderstand. We are of the opinion; from pastors to the pews that we ( can have things our way ). WE have a mindset that where we have unity; then God is there. Neither of those things are true. We must ( come out from among them and be seperate ).

Men of God became puppets instead of pastors, began to please their members instead of hearing from God. Look at this verse:

( 1 Peter 4:16-19 )

I’ll be making some comments as we go through these verese.

( 16 ) Yet if any man suffer as a christian, let him be not ashamed; but let him glorify God on his behalf.

One of the problems today is how we define the word ( Christian ). Look around you; about every person you see calls themselves ( Christian ) today. There is no stand for the word of God, it has become a word only, that without any true meaning!

( 17 ) For the time will come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Our Churches are filled with men, women and children that show absolutely no respect for God or his word! Our pastors simply go along with the flow knowing; that if they truly stand, persecution, true Christian persecution, from those that are within that body that are not born again ( will come ). However, notice ( if it first begin with us ) if we, those that are truly ( Christian ) ( born again ) begin to stand, demanding righteous, ( what will be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God )?

Friends, we think we can play God, play Church! Guess what? God’s not playing as is evidence as we look across our nation. I’m a born again believer, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Let’s say that I’m sitting in my local Church. I’m seeing all the ungodly corruption that is there and on a very regular basis. Let’s say I stand up and begin calling it all out, which would be ( God honoring ). Can you see that it is nothing short of the Grace of God that would allow me to do that? That would be as far as I’m concerned or the pastor of any Church.

Look at the next verse:

( Verse 18 )

For if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?

Do you realize that the only thing standing between me or, any born again believer burning eternally in hell is the precious blood of Jesus Christ? Do you realize that it was ( His truth ) from ( his word ) that plunged me under his precious blood? We, as people, normal people that are born again often never stop and consider just how special that the man that was preaching, a man that was willing to suffer persecution if necessary, simply for the cause of my salvation. We never consider just how close we came to burning in a Devil’s hell for eternity!

( If we scarcely be saved )! How about all those people that are trusting ( a Pastor ) to, under great conviction and passion to share that same gospel with them? The Apostle Peter is saying there, ( where shall they appear )? God, the father of Jesus Christ; placed his hand upon me and called me to preach. When I consider that, me, being called by him and the possiblity of one soul leaving this world lost without him because I refused to share the truth with him burdens my soul!

( Verse 18 )

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful creator.

In the United States of America. If you happen to ride by any Church, no matter how big or small. If you happen to be lost and undone without Christ then, that building should be a place, of tremendous security for you. At any time, your choice, that you choose to stop and go into that building; you can! The man that pastors that place has a God given responsibility to preach to you ( truth ). If that doesn’t happen, no matter where you spend etenity, you can hold him accountable ( to God ) for his refusal to be persecuted for the truth!

What am I saying! If we are ever to see this country return to it’s ( Old Spiritual Landmarks ) then it must begin in the House Of God!

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( APRIL 4,2021 )

( HEBREWS 4:16 )

LET US THEREFORE COME BOLDLY UNTO THE THRONE OF GRACE, THAT WE MAY OBTAIN MERCY, AND FIND HELP IN TIME OF NEED.

Today is the day that we take time to remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior; Jesus Christ. I am very thankful continually for his saving grace and, the Holy Spirit he placed within me the day of my salvation. In reality, God, through and by his grace gave us a way to remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus ( according to his will ) and, that apart from how men choose to remember it. Man devised a way to remember it each year. God the Father said it do it ( as often ); that is, when ever you desire to. His way is ( the Lord’s supper ). Many Churches have, what we might call communion, each Sunday, some, every quarter and others, whenever the pastor feels led to do so. In other words, ( communion can be done ) as often as one desires to.

While I’m not anti- Easter in any means; I do believe it has become a ( religious ritual ) and, if it is the only time that a person ever considers the death, burial and resurrection of Chirst then that, in itself becomes a shame! As a matter of fact, if the very act of having communion can become the same way if we do not truly reverence and become closer to Christ because we commit that act.

On any given Sunday, just like this one; I truly seek God’s will for what I teach. In the last few Sundays it’s been in Hebrews. It just so happens that today we are looking at ( Hebrews 4:16 ) which is actually one of the most powerful attributes, other than our salvation we can contribute to Easter; which is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I want you to consider something here. Do you realize that God, by his Holy Spirit, under the writings of the Apostle Paul chose to describe the act of Communion in the book of Corinthians? The Church was the most carnal Church we see in all of the Apostles Paul’s writings. They, in fact were, by their actions, making a mockery of the whole concept of the Lord’s supper. You can read about it in ( 1 Corinthians 11 ).

So, let’s get to what I feel led to teach today. In this verse; look at what he says: ( Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace ). Do you realize that up until the death of Jesus Christ that no person other than the high priest could ever go behind the veil? However, the very moment that Jesus Christ ( gave up the ghost ) that veil was rent from ( top to bottom ). That ( top to bottom ) signifies ( God coming down to man!

( Matthew 27:51-53 )

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; ( 52 ) And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, ( 53 ) And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

In the Old Testament if any man went behind that veil, he would die instantly. As a matter of fact, even the High Priest had to make sure he followed ever ordinance given by God the Father precisely or, he would die as well.

We commerate Easter, not to remember his death necessarily but rather, the resurrection, althouth it all goes together. When Jesus Christ was raised from the dead it was proof that God the Father had excepted his sacrifice for the sins of this world. He, Jesus Christ became our high priest. While we see that in the previous verses here, we can also study it further in ( Hebrews 5 ) and possibly we will get to that.

What might be significant about that fact? In the Old Testament, God the Father looked at Israel, typlically theough a veil. He could see them but, they couldn’t see him. In the New Testament, the ( Blood of Christ ) became that veil. Now God the Father looks at us, sees us through the Blood of Christ once we are born again. His blood blocks out everything about us that is not Jesus Christ, therfore, God the Father see us as perfect through Christ. Our sins are filtered by his blood. His blood is that veil!

Therefore, we can boldly come before God the Father just like Jesus Christ. However, it is actually through him we can see God the Father.

Now, let’s look at something here and you see if you agree with me. The next part of ( Hebrews 4: 16 ) says this: ( that we may obtain mercy ). Once we are born again, I, for one will have to admit that I am not perfect! We go back to ( verse 12 ) we see that he, God the Father knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. There is nothing hid from him. Therefore, as a born again believer, when I know that I fall short, I can obtain mercy! In: ( 1 John 1:9 ) It says this: ( If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Can you see how God’s will is for each of us to be like Christ? Although we will never reach that perfection in this life; it’s still God’s will for us to be just that sensitive to the sin that easily besets us, having a desire, by the Holy Spirit to overcome every sinfil weakness we have. This has nothing to do with salvation but, our desire to walk circumspectly in Christ, to be obedient to his will. God’s mercy, through the Blood of Christ allows us not to be perfect but, his mercy will always be there, continually.

I love my wife! does that fact make me a perfect husband to her? Take my word for it, no it doesn’t but, although I cannot reach perfection as her husband, my desire is still to be pleasing to her. Therefore, I don’t live in a way that is displeasing to her and, if I do something that is upsetting to her, I confess; honey, I was wrong. If I fall short as her husband, are we not still just as married?

It’s the ame picture with each born again believer and God the Father. We are still just as much his child even when we are less than perfect but, if we truly desire to be pleasing to him, we will confess before him and continue to move foward toward being like Christ.

Now, look at the last part of this verse:

( Hebrews 4:16 )

and find ( grace to help ) in ( time of need ).

There is a very important question we must ask ourselves here. Just how willing are you to overcome the sinful weakness in your life? We often seek to tie our physical bodies to this verse of scripture. I suppose that there are times that God helps us in a physical sense however, God’s true desire is to have us walk with him in a very healthy spiritual life, and that; far beyond any problem we might face in our flesh.

Many people that say they are born again are very content living in the sin they live in. They are simply looking at Christ as a way to stay out of hell; never even considering changing anything about their lives. Most people that say they are born again are not even sensitive to the little things that might be displeasing to God the Father. They look at it as ( God saved me ) here I am. If that is your mindset, maybe you should actually consider whether you are truly born again or not.

I’m going to insert something here about a husband and his wife. In either case, whether you are ( a husband ) or ( a wife ) if you are not at least seeking to be pleasing, are you truly married? If marriage hasn’t taken place within the heart of a man and a woman then, the paper work that comes with marriage is worthless!

It’s actually the same way with being born again. If God; by his Holy Spirit hasn’t moved into your heart then, Church membership and baptism is completely worthless. It’s a terrible thing to die, to wait to late to find out you are actually not born again. The very same way with marriage; once the paper work is done, by law you are maried but, if it’s not in your heart, you can look for problems!

The spiritual needs we have are real! God didn’t say he would take anything away from you just by asking. He said you could ( obtain mercy ) and ( find help ) in time of need. God’s grace can help you overcome anything, however it must be your desire to overcome those things in your life. One of my favorite pharses in scripture is this: ( and Jesus said: and it came to pass ). No matter what you might be facing in your life, it will come to pass.

I’ll share this story in closing. I come home from work one afternoon; my wife was standing at the pation door and a young man was sitting on the patio. As I walked up, my wife told me that the young man wanted to talk to me. I sit down and, he begin to talk. He said: he didn’t have a job, he had one offered to him but he didn’t have gas money to go to it. He also said, he had a speading ticket that he had to pay. I could have been more but it’s been so long I’ve forgotten. What he wanted from me was to borrow some money, I didn’t know this young man, had never seen him before.

As I looked at him, I felt impressed by God’s Spirit to help him. This is what I said. Son, I’ll loan you the money you ask for. You know, I have never seen you before, I don’t know you. However, this is what I want you to know. Everything you just told me will shortly come to pass, you’ll get a job, you’ll pay the speeding ticket, life will move foward. At the same time, what you do from this day foward is completely up to you, even whether you repay this money or not. If you are not careful, you will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again but, that’s completely up to the choices you make from this day foward.

This young man did give me the money back in about a month, what else he did from that day foward, I don’t know, I have never seen him again.

My point is that, you have the very same choices to make! We either make a choice to be pleasing to God or remain like we are. His desire is to help but, are you willing to allow that help to change your life?

Marshall Clayton

2 Timpthy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( MARCH 28, 2021 )

THE WORTHLESSNESS OF MY FLESH

last night as my wife and I sit and done our nightly Bible reading and prayers, we were reading in ( Deuteronomy 7 ). God had instructed them to kill all the people, every one. My wife expressed the fact she did not have an understanding about God having them kill all those people, men. women and children. Where did they go? Did they all go to hell? As we sit and talked about those things ; God’s spirit began to stir in my heart about a Sunday School lesson to I might be able to teach.

We often misunderstand the actions of God because we can’t see God’s purpose even in our own lives. What is God’s will for me as an individual? ( I believe ) that the nation of Israel is a perfect picture of every born again believer. In the Old Testament, God chose a people. His desire was for ( this nation ) to be a people that completely yielded to his every word. His desire was for ( that nation ) ( that mindset ) to completely take over the complete world as we know it.

In the Old Testament, it’s all about a picture and, what we can learn from that picture. If you read after me, you know that I taught ( Hebrews 4:12 ). This can be totally related to what is said in that verse. We know for a fact that all flesh is going back to the dust of the earth. With that being said, can you see that even the ( flesh of Israel ) was going to do the very same thing? God’s desire to destroy all flesh that didn’t obey his will was even true when it came to his own people. Every person in Israel had to die just as every other person did. If you will read his account all the way through the Old testamant, he instructed Israel to teach their children and grand children his statutes, his will. When we see ( the law ) God gave that law to Moses only. He presented that law, by Moses to Israel. He instructed them to learn it and obey it. Put another way, he is not going to change or give that law to a different person in every generation. It became the responsibility of Israel to keep it and to see to it that the next generation did the same.

The spiritual picture we see is one of seperation. God knew that if Israel didn’t destroy all that was not of him; then the strength of their enemy would slowly overtake them and they would be corrupted. The very first enemy that had to be defeated in Israel was the weakness of their very own flesh. As a nation, they never became able to do just that.

When we are born again, just like the picture of Israel; God seperates ( the soul ) part of us from the other two parts within each of us. That being our flesh and our spirit. Just as Israel was supposed to destroy every other group of people, every other city or mindset, it becomes our responsibility to allow the very power of God within us to overtake our spirit and flesh, destroying our own will as we walk in our flesh.

I’d like to share some verses of scripture with you.

( Matthew 25:24 )

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: ( 25 ) And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there is thou hast that is thine.

Now, look at this:

( Matthew 25:30 )

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: ther shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Personally, I believe these statements are related to nations, such as the ones that God wanted destroyed by Israel but, the spiritual point is still the same. Let’s say that you, as an individual are born again. That makes you a servant/ child of God. He has performed surgery on your heart and seperated himself within you. Now, it’s your responsibility to yield your members to his own will. We know this:

( Romans 8:8 )

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

That, we know; is an absolute fact! Now, look at the very next verse:

( Romans 8:9 )

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

He’s not talking about the fact we are still in our fleshly bodies but rather that he has placed his spirit within our flesh. He’s saying that if that spirit is not in you then, you are simply not saved. Now, I ask you, does God’s Spirit live within you? Only you can answer that question?

If you consider the servant that hid his talent ( in the earth ). That servant never took God’s talent within him did he? It was hid in the very place God’s desire is for each believer to turn their flesh away from. If you will notice; that servant says this ( there thou hast that is thine ). It never became the servants did it? He never received it?

I truly believe that there are many Church members that live ( in the flesh ) meaning that their desire is the please their flesh. The reason they don’t seek to please God is because ( his Spirit ) is not in them. God has never performed surgery on their hearts, there is nothing within them for the spirit to build on! He can’t work on you flesh until you allow him in!

That means that they will be thrown into outer darkness. Where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!

Do you see that the servant with the most talents and, was willing to use them all was the very best compensated? or, at least the very same as the other servant that was willing to use all? We see that all people might not have the same talents so to speak but, are you willing to use what you have for God’s glory? Are we willing to slowly allow that spirit to overtake our worldly desires of our flesh?

If your answerer to that question is no then, explain to me what good you are for God’s purpose? The whole picture of Israel and the other nations was to bring about God’s will in this world by his people yeilding to his will and guidelines. If Israel was not willing to allow that to happen then what good was Israel to God the Father?

All Israel will be save, that as a nation, They will inherit the earth however, they have faced and, will face the chastening hand of God because of their unbelief. There is no differece in a single born again believer! If you are born again and, yet you refuse to be obedient to God’s will for your life, you will suffer loss at the ( Judgement Seat of Christ ). Exactly what does that mean. A subject for another lesson:

Next week by God’s grace we will look at the last verse in ( Hebrews 4 ).

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

CONTINUING IN ( ACTS 6 ) CAN A BIRTHRIGHT BE STOLEN AGAIN?

As we consider all we see in ( Acts 6 ) I can see well the struggled to allow the very Spirit within us to be in control of our actions. The understanding of all these things is a part of every person’s spiritual education. That, not just at this time but as far back as when the Church was in its youth.

As we look at the apostles seeking to make decisions, the picture of a stolen birthright comes into play. We first see that picture revealed in ( Genesis 25:20 ) with the birth of twins to the wife of Isaac. I’ll be making some comments about this and, how it relates to the early Church. You can study behind me and even see far beyond what I might teach.

I’ll start this by looking at Rebekah, the wife of Isaac. We see that she was barren, Isaac prayed for her and she had twins. We see in ( Genesis 25:22 ) that the children struggled together within her. In ( Genesis 25:23 ) God told her she had two nations within her and that they would be seperated from her bowels, the elder would serve the younger.

If we go back in Genesis where Abraham sent his elder servant to get a bride for his son Isaac. ( Genesis 24 ). In the picture we see in that chapter; Abraham is ( God the Father ), The elder servant is ( the Holy Spirit ), Isaac his son is ( God the Son ) Jesus Christ. and, Rebekah is ( a type of the Church ). The Elder servant went and found a bride for Isaac. After some time he brought her to that son, Isaac. I just wanted to mention that because that journey, bringing that bride to the son is a picture of the Churches journey to the rapture.

In ( Genesis 25 ) we see where the two sons were born. Esau was born first. He is a type of ( flesh of man ) and Jacob was the second born. He is a type of ( God’s Spirit within each believer ). As you continue to read in ( Genesis 25 ) you will see that ( Rebekah ) helped ( Jacob ) steal the birthright from ( Esau ). Many people overlook this fact but, ( Rebekah ) being a type of the Church is totally responsible for the strength of the inner man. ( The Church ) seeks continually to steal the birthright from our flesh, to feed and make the inner man the strongest, to create a situation where ( the elder ) serves ( the younger ) in the sense that each of us are born in our flesh first and, we are born again second, being the younger.

As we continue to mover foward in ( Genesis ) we see that we follow the family of ( Jacob ) and not ( Esau ). The reason; because it’s the spirit that matters and not the flesh. In the next few chapters of ( Genesis ) we watch as the battle between these two sons unfold.We see both men began to build families. However, we still follow the family of Jacob in the end. As a matter of fact, the twelve tribes of Israel come from Jacob’s family.

Let’s not forget that the Lord told ( Rebekah ) the elder would serve to younger. As we continue to read we see that Jacob actually had twelve sons. In ( Genesis 37 ) we see once again that Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, being the youngest at that time tells his brothers about a dream he had. In that dream, they had to submit unto him. His brothers hated him because of that fact. However, that dream did come to pass.

As you study through ( Genesis ) you will see that ( Joseph ) is a type of Jesus Christ. He became the savior of Egypt and, in turn also the savior of Israel. If you will notice here, he was the savior of Egypt first, then Israel. When Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to get food, Joseph learn’s he has still a ( younger brother ). A brother that he actually knows nothing about.

Now, let’s consider something here. The Lord told ( Rebekah ) ( the elder would serve to younger ).

How does all this tie to ( Acts 6 )? Do you remember that, actually at that time it was only eleven apostles? Although ( Genesis ) is just a picture of the Church as it unfolds, we still see that same picture. In the minds of the brothers of Joseph, it was only eleven brothers; Joseph being dead. They were now servants to him but, they didn’t know it.They sill have a younger brother, Benjamin, which actually made ( twelve brothers ). They would spiritually be servants to him, they just couldn’t see it. As a matter of fact, Joseph instructed them to go and get that younger brother.

In the minds of the eleven apostles, they were servants of Jesus Christ and, that was exactly what they should have been. However, they could not see the next person that they would have to be subject to. As you study through ( Genesis ) you will see that the youngest son born to Jacob was a man named ( Benjamin ). He was born (came into being ) after Joseph’s brothers had sold him to Egypt. Can you see a picture of Israel crucifying Jesus there?

After Jesus Christ was crucified, what came next? The Church was born. Now, the next apostle that Jesus Christ will call, we will see in ( Acts 9 ). His name was ( Saul ) who later became the ( apostle Paul ). Guess what tribe of Israel that the Apostle Paul was from?

( Philippians 3:5 )

Circumcised the eighteth day, of the stock of Israel, ( of the tribe of Benjamin ), an hebrew of the Hebrews; touching the law, a pharisee; ( Also ) this is what the Apostle Paul Said about himself:

( 1 Corinthians 15:8-9 )

And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time, ( 9 ) For I am the least of the apostles, that I am not meet to be called an apostles, because I persecuted the Church of God.

Can you see the scripture here ( the first shall be last and, the last shall be first )?

You will never see where Israel or the sons of Jacob were subject to Benjamin in the Old Testament because the ( Church was hidden in the Old Testament to a great degree.With that being said, can you see how the very fact that had to go and get their younger brother points toward the Church and their relationship with it? We still see that Israel would not be blessed by Joseph unless the younger brother was in the picture, Also, notice that The brothers of Joseph do not recognize him in Egypt. It’s not until they bring their younger brother that he truly reveals himself to his own brethren. Can you see a picture of the ( rapture ) and tribulation in that picture, the way things will be in the end?

Now, I say all this, recognizing that ( Benjamin ) is actually the younger brother. It’s so much to teach here! First of all, if you will notice in all the apostle Paul’s writings, he continues to impress upon the readers that he is an apostle. You can read his desire to prove that point in almost the beginning of every letter he wrote. If you remember the phrase ( the elder shall serve the younger ) ( Romans 9:12 ) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

The is referring to ( Esau and Jacob ). However, that picture continues to be true all the way to the Church. The last apostle chosen is the apostle that Jesus Christ chose to give ( the mysteries ) concerning the Church.

( Ephesians 3:1-8 )

For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, ( 2 ) If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given me to you-ward: ( 3 ) How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; ( as I wrote afore in few words. ( 4 ) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ ) ( 5 ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophests by his Spirit; ( 6 ) That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: ( 7 ) Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. ( 8 ) Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

( The Church is the last )! Can you see how difficult it could be for ( the Jews ) ( the other eleven apostles ) to except this fact? Jesus Christ himself had told ( the twelve ) at that time this:

( Matthew 19:28 )

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

If we consider this whole picture, it appears to the ( eleven apostles ) they have lost their birthright; having to except the teachings of ( Paul ), which is ( the younger ). They, at that time were expecting Jesus Christ to return and set up his kingdom at any time. What the ( Apostle Paul ) was teaching concerning to concept of the Church had to be revealed unto each of them by God’s Spirit. We know according to ( Ephesians 3:5 ) that they will come to that knowledge and, be used by God’s Spirit. ( Which in other ages was not made known into the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

The Church is a vessel! We are placed in that vessel when we believe on Jesus Christ as our savior. The Church had its beginning on the day of Pentacost and, it will end at the rapture. Jesus Christ will keep his promise to his apostles at the end of this age. At the time we are studying in ( Acts 6 ) they were just having a hard time understanding it all. When Jesus taught them that ( the first shall be last and, the last shall be first, he meant it. ( Matthew 19:30 ) But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

If you will notice; this verse is just two verses beyond the promise to make them judges. Therefore, they actually didn’t lose their birthright in that sense, it just wasn’t time for it yet.

I’d like to make one more point here before we move on. In the Old Testament it was all about the Nation of Israel. God the Father spoke to them by his prophets. Basically, it was the same in the Gospels. However, now God the Father is speaking to the Nation of Israel by his Son, Jesus Christ. In both of these circumstanses, the Nation of Israel rejected what God had to say to them. They rejected the prophets and, now as a nation, they are rejecting the son. I know I’ve made this statement before however, it is a very important thing to remember.

( Matthew 12:31 )

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

Here, God the Son has just been accused of commiting blasphemy against God the Father. Jesus Christ, looking right into the eyes of the man, a pharisee of the Jews that accused him of blasphemy and, said this. Therefore, let’s consider what has happened. Blasphemy is total rejection. The nation of Israel totally rejected; God the Father, now, they are totally rejecting , God the Son. As we live now, God the Spirit speaks to us. At that time, that Spirit was just before being revealed even to the Nation of Israel.

In reality, there is nothing else left to give. What Jesus Christ is telling them; I’m sending God’s Spirit among you, God’s forgiveness goes beyond you rejecting Him and, the fact you reject me but, if you reject God’s Spirit, there is no where else for you to turm, that’s it! For the nation of Israel and, for every person on the face of this earth. ( the last ) ( the Church ) is where God’s power to saved is revealed. The nation of Israel, the apostles, the pharisees, every person must surrender it’s birthright to the last chosen apostle, the least of all apostles!

As we consider this: what do you consider your bitthright? If you’ll go back and study ( Esau and Jacob ) you will notice that actually Esau gave up his birthright but, Jacob still had to steal it. As member of the body of Christ, ( the Church ) we have the very same problem. When we surrender ourselves to Christ, at that point we walk inside the ( Church ) the vessel Jesus Christ died for. We are not our own, we’ve been bought with a price. That price is the blood of Christ! When we are born again, just like Esau, we see a spiritual need in our lives. Esau seen a physical need in his life, we see a spiritual. Just as Jacob had to steal the birthright from Esau, we have to take over our flesh by force, stealing our will and yielding it to the spiritual aspects of our lives.

If you will study through ( Genesis 27-33 ) looking especially at ( Genesis 32:22-32 ) you will see where Jacob would not let go of God’s spirit until he blessed him. This is a type of any person totally surrendering themselves to God’s will. Once this happens to Jacob; you will notice that he and Esau come together once again. The whole picture is one of our spiritual battles we have within our own flesh.

Once we are ( born again ) our birthright becomes our ability to be just like Jesus Christ. That right is born into us by God’s own Spirit. As we study through ( Acts 6 ) we see this very thing happening to the apostles. They, just like us struggle with the leadership of God’s Spirit and make good and bad decisions. I say all of this to simply show a Biblical picture of the struggle we all have. However, just like Jacob, we must submit ourselves to that Spirit to grow spiritually, if not, we will make unwise decisions all our lives.

Therefore, in reality when we are born again, we give up our physical birthright and surrender ourselves to another birthright. When we ask the question whether we can be stolen again; yes it can!. Here, we are not speaking of salvation but rather to whom we yield our members to. Once we are born again and begin our spiritual journey we begin to yield ourselves to God’s will. The question might be; are you doing that if you say you are born again? Are you even seeking to do so?

In the picture we are presenting; it’s a matter of spritual groweth. If we begin to grow spiritually, then begin to once again yield to the will of our flesh then we can say that our spiritual birthright is trying to be stolen. The goal of every person that confesses Jesus Christ as their savior should be to be more and more like him each day. I personally believe that, as we look at ( Acts 6 ) that was the desire of the apostles. There are many people that believe that you can fall from grace. That is, once you are born again, you can be lost again. However, the teaching has nothing to do with being lost again. It is all about how you stand before your judge, Jesus Christ one day. If your desire is to hear him say to you on the day ( well done my good and faithful servant ) then you must surrender yourself to his will.

As we seek to spiritually relate, Jacob and Esau, The leadership of the Nation of Israel and the apostles, that is in a physical and spiritual sense and, also our own physical and spiritual abilities as it relates to ( the world ) and ( our eternal lives ) what birthright would you rather build upon. Consider: no matter how much Jacob or Esau gained while living here, to whom does it belong now? If the apostles gained physical control of the Nation of Israel, to whom would have that power now? If I, in my flesh gained the whole world, once I’m dead, to whom would it belong to?

Can you see how that our ( spiritual birthright ) is a far more precious thing than anything we will ever gain here? That aspect of our spiritual walk is a complete different study but, one that each believer needs to understand. Far too often we treat our day of salvation as ( the total of all we are ) which is a complete false satatement. As a matter of fact; that is all we might be taught in the average local Church. Consider this statement: While we might be taught ( right living ) in our Churches, there is a great difference in ( Spiritual living ) and simply living good clean lives!

Seemingly, we seek to live lives that are pleasing to man but, we seem to neglect the nurturing power of God’s Holy Spirit. As we continue in the ( Book of Acts ) we will see the apostles as they grow spiritually. We will see major changes in what they teach and, how they grow spiritually. In the next few chapters we will see a great change in the leadership role. Many people never think about this fact but, the original eleven apostles basically stayed around Jerusalem and, in Israel. We well learn that ( the twelveth apostle ) was the one that carried the gospel to the Gentiles.

In closing; you were giving a birthright the day you were born into this world! You can gain many things and, possibly become very rich or very satisfied with you life just as it is. However, when we are born again, we give up that birthright and except a God given, God inspired birthright to become just like Jesus Christ. Look at these verses:

( Romans 8:28-29 )

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ( 29 ) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

I realize that it’s a lot said in those two verse, a study for another day! However, we see there that we are to be conformed to the very image of his son! That change begins on our day of salvation. As we grow more like him each day, we mature spiritually. When we stand before him, we will be like him!

When we, as born again believers revert back to seeking to please our flesh, it’s a picture of ( seeking to steal our heavenly birthright back from the one that died for us! We are seeking to be like ( Israel ) desiring to go back to Egypt. And that my friend is not a wise thing to do!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7