FALLING AWAY FIRST ( 2 THESSALONIANS 2:3 )

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 7:13-14

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

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

John 3:16

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 5:13-14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Galatian 5:9

A LITTLE LEAVEN LEAVENETH THE WHOLE LUMP.

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

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

Acts 5:1-2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 16:13

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

With that in mind, look at:

Ephesians 4:4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 John 5:13

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

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

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

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

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

2 Corinthians 6:17-18

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

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

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

Revelation 4:1

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Peter 1:9-10

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

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

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

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

STRONG DELUSIONS (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

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

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

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

Matthew 7:13-14

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

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

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

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

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

Now, look at these verses:

Romans 10:13-16

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

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

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

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

Acts 9:13-16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philemon 1:6

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

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

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

Revelation 13:15-16

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revelation 20:4

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

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

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

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

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

2 Peter 3:9

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 25:41

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

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

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

ARE ALL HUMANS (HUMAN)

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

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

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

2 Peter 3:15-16

AND ACCOUNT THAT THE LONGSURRERING OF OUR LORD IS SALVATION; EVEN AS OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL ALSO ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN UNTO HIM HATH WRITTEN UNTO YOU; (16) AS ALSO IN ALL HIS EPISTLES SPEAKING IN THEM OF THESE THINGS; WHICH ARE SOME THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, WHICH THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST, AS THEY DO ALSO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.

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

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

Genesis 6:3-7

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

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

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

Genesis 2:7

AND THE LORD GOD FORMED MAN OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND, AND BREATHED INTO HIS NOSTRILS THE BREATH OF LIFE; AND MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genesis 9:2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genesis 9:24-27

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

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

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

John 16:13

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Peter 3:9

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

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

Roman 1:28

AND EVEN AS THEY DID NOT LIKE TO RETAIN GOD IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, TO DO THOSE THING WHICH ARE NOT CONVENIENT;

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

Verse 25

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

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

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

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

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

2 Peter 2:12-16

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

Jude 1:10

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

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

1 Timothy 4:1-2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

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

Let’s start this study with this verse:

Romans 6:23

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

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

Genesis 2:17

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

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

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

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

Genesis 3:7

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

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

Genesis 3:10-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genesis 3:21

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

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

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

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

Hebrews 9:22

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

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

Genesis 22:8

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

Can I show you one other verse?

Revelation 13:8

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

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

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

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

Romans 3:25-26

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

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

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

Galatians 2:20

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

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

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

Luke 15:19

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

Luke 15:21-22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke 15:29

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 9:13

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

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

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

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

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

Hebrews 13:5

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

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

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

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

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

2 Peter 1:10

WHEREFORE, THE RATHER, BRETHREN, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FALL; (11) FOR SO AN ENTRANCE SHALL BE MINISTERED UNTO YOU ABUNDANTLY INTO THE EVERLASTING KINGDOM OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.

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

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

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

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

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

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

(THE TESTIMONY OF MARSHALL CLAYTON)

I’d like to begin this with some scripture said about himself.

Romans 7:18-25

FOR I KNOW THAT IN ME (THAT IS IN MY FLESH,) DWELLETH NO GOOD THING: FOR TO WILL IS PRESENT WTH ME; BUT HOW TO PERFORM THAT WHICH IS GOOD I FIND NOT. (19) FOR THE GOOD THAT I WOULD I DO NOT: BUT THE EVIL WHICH I WOULD NOT: THAT I DO. (20) NOW IF I DO THAT I WOULD NOT, IT IS NO MORE I DO IT BUT SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME. (21) I FIND THEN A LAW, THAT, WHEN I WOULD DO GOOD, EVIL IS PRESENT WITH ME. (22) FOR I DELIGHT IN THE LAW OF GOD AFTER THE INWARD MAN: (23) BUT I SEE ANOTHER LAW IN MY MEMBERS, WARRING AGAINST THE LAW OF MY MIND, AND BRINGING ME INTO CAPTIVITY TO THE LAW OF SIN WHICH IS IN MY MEMBERS. (24) O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM! WHO SHALL DELIVER ME FROM THE BODY OF THIS DEATH? (25) I THANK GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. SO THEN WITH THE MIND I MYSELF SERVE THE LAW OF GOD: BUT WITH THE FLESH THE LAW OF SIN.

As I deliver my testimony, I’d like for each of you to know that all I am is a sinner saved by the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I, like the Apostle Paul still struggle with my flesh and I realize I will until my journey through this life is complete.

I often tell people that my greatest burden in my born-again experience is for those that are members of Churches, say they believe in Jeus Christ, been baptized and joined a local Church but have never experienced the new birth it takes, be born into the family of God. More than likely for a good portion of my spiritual life this has been something that was present with me but, because of the weakness of my flesh, I didn’t understand all that Our Lord was instructing me to do. With that being said, my testimony might reveal to you why I can clearly see what happens to many people that are deceived about their own personal salvation.

In my life I have basically always been in Church. As a boy my mom seen to it that my sisters and I went to Church each Sunday, taught us how to dress and basically started the foundation of salvation in our lives. I remember when I turned sixteen, on a Sunday morning my mom came to my bedroom door to tell me to get up to go to Church. She said this: today will be the last time I ever call you up to go to Church, you’re sixteen. From now on you’re on your own. You can decide for yourself what you want as far as Church is concerned.

Guess what? I quit going! From that morning up until I was around twenty-three years old, I only went to Church for maybe Easter, mother and Father’s Day. Just being respectful. I often tell young people that you can make mistakes between the age of fifteen and twenty-five that you won’t live long enough to get over. What we fail to understand is this. Jesus Christ has already forgiven each of us for our sin. That’s a simple statement and very true. However, if you choose to live in sin, you will suffer the consequences of the sin you live in.

When I make that statement, understand this. Every person that ever died or will die and spend an eternity in hell, their sin, every one of them was covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Thet just simply didn’t except the sacrifice he offered.

When I was eighteen, I made a girl pregnant. While the young woman and I never married, I made up my mind that I’d support the baby as long as I was supposed to. However, the baby died at birth. Well, do you think that ended it as my life moved forward? Far from it my friend. As you see, I’m even writing about it now. Can you see how that one thing changed that young woman’s life and mine for as long as we live?

You also must realize that that was just one thing in my sinful life! However, that was a very big thing. You have to understand, my mom and all three of my sisters were people that sought to walk with Jesus Christ. I felt like I had let ever person that was important in my life down. Now remember, I’m not going to Church anywhere.

My sister actually got married to a young man that went to an Independent Baptist Church. Before she was married, she would often come home and tell us that we didn’t know what we were missing in our Church experience. She and the young man got married in that Church that he was a member of. I had already told the young woman that was pregnant I would take her to their wedding. So, we went and that was the last time I had anything to do with her. To be honest, I can’t remember whether even she knew she was pregnant at that time, really doesn’t matter.

My oldest sister got married on (October 5, 1969). In March the next year they had a revival at that Church. I was dating someone else at that time. Being very grieved about how I had let my family down, she and I went to revival one night. You must understand that as a sinful young man I was seeking a way to make myself look better in the eyes of my family as well as other people. That night when the alter call was given, I went down to the alter.

As I knelt at the altar, the man that was preaching revival came and knelt beside me. He asked me if I had been saved, I replied (no). He then asked if I would like to be, I replies (yes). He then took his Bible and took me down what I now know as (the roman’s road). That simply showing a person how to be saved using the Book of Romans in the Bible. I answered all the questions just as he desired for me to. He then helped me pray the (sinner’s prayer). When we stood up, he announced to the Church that I had just been saved!

Just as soon as I could, I ran out of That Church. I went by the pew where my girlfriend was sitting, got her hand, as I went out, I shook a few people’s hands but, I was really ready to get out of that place.

From that night on, not one thing changed in my life. I still cursed, I still done things with my girlfriend I shouldn’t have done. I had a problem stealing, not big things but just little things I wanted, However, that’s still stealing! The only thing that changed in my life was this. If you or any person ever asked me if I had been saved, I’d reply (yes). Why, just because I had been down to an altar, made a profession of faith and said the sinner’s prayer. From that night until sometime in 1973 I never went back to any Church.

I was married in 1970, August. In July 1973 my wife and I had a little baby girl. We had just moved into a new house we had built on June 1 that year. Sometimes In August I remember going up the steps to our house thinking this. I need to at least give my daughter the same opportunity I had as a boy, I need to take her to Church. My wife and I stared going back to the same Methodist Church that my mom had always taken us to. Two of my sisters and my mom still were members of that Church. At that time another one of my sisters had married and her husband taught Sunday School in that Church, we were in his class.

We went to that Church until 1975. There was an independent Baptist Church that had started in the little town we lived in. My sister and her husband had begun to visit that Church on Sunday nights. They would often tell us to visit with them. For a while I refused stating I was fine where I was. However, as time moved forward, we started to visit with them;

The very first night I visited, when we walked in the entrance of that Church, I knew something is different here. Our second daughter was born in January 1975. She was just ten months old. As we sit down on the second or third pew from the front, she was squirming around in my lap. I’ll be honest, what I was feeling and her squirming, I was ready to leave. A woman (Mrs. Wagner) came over, just took her out of my lap and said, I’ll take her to the nursery so you can enjoy the service.

Every time I give my testimony, I always give her credit for being a part of my salvation. I say that on that Sunday night I probably actually heard the salvation message for the first time in my life. That doesn’t mean it hadn’t been preached in my presence, I just didn’t listen. In October 1975 I was just short of being twenty-five years old. While I didn’t go to the alter that night, we continued to visit on Sunday nights. Then, we enjoyed it so much we decided to go on a Sunday morning sometimes in November.

On that Sunday morning, I often tell people that I was so bad about cursing I probably cursed someone out on my way to Church that morning. However, that Sunday morning as I listen to the message, God’s Spirit spoke to my heart. When alter call was given, I went down to the alter. Not one person came around me, no pastor, no deacon, not one Church person met me at that alter. However, I want you to know that Jesus Christ met me there on that Sunday morning! When I left that alter, my life was changed forever!

I often tell people this. I went to Church that Sunday morning cursing but at that alter, God cleaned my vocabulary up! I tell them now if I even start to think, not say just think curse words I realize I need to be drawn back into a closer walk with Jesus Christ! That Sunday morning, I was born-again! I want you to consider this. There was a factory just across the street from our Church. I’m an electrician by trade and we were working in that factory. There, in that factory not many weeks after I was born-again, we were working. I have never seen a (self-tapping screw) at that time. Now they are a very common thing but, not then. Another contractor that we were working with had a whole box of them. I wanted some. When no one was around, I reached down to get me a handful of them. As I reached down, God’s Spirit said (NO) they’re not yours! At that point, I stopped! I never forgot that moment! I did ask the other contractor if I could use some and he said to help myself. What a blessing! Before that we would always have to drill a hole and use a stove bolt but now, we can use self-tapping screws!

The rest of my life is history! Over the years I have always used a (King James Bible). I don’t study anything else. I often hear people say that they can’t understand the (King James Bible), I wonder, do they understand the one they read? You see, it takes God’s Spirit to reveal God’s word. When I was lost, I couldn’t understand it because I didn’t have that, Spirit.

My burden! Just how many people is it that’s living just like I lived from (March 1970 until November 1975) confessing to be saved but have never experienced the new birth by being born again? That is what drives me to my knees and causes me to be as much of a witness as I possibly can in every way!

I’d like for you to recognize something with me. From (March 1970 until November 1975) if you Rember if someone asked me if I were saved, I always reply (yes). However, if they took it a step farther and asked (Do you know you are going to heaven when you die)? My answer would always be (I hope so).

I’d like to try and explain one difference I see in me since I am born-again. When my dad was a boy, he was raised in a Primitive Baptist Church. They say you have no choice, if God wants you to go to heaven, he takes you. If you are predestined to go to hell, then you will go. In the Methodist Church I went to they believe you can fall from grace because of sin. Once you say you’re saved if you sin afterwards, you have to be saved again. The Baptist Church I went to preached (eternal security).

Now, I’m not saying I understand all about the Primitive Baptist’s belief or the Methodist. I still have a lot to learn about all scripture teaches. However, when I was born-again, I remember thing, just who is this man? What makes him right? Why can’t we say the Methodist or Primitive Baptist are correct and he is wrong?

To those question, I made up my mind. It’s not up to any man to teach me. If the answer to my questions can be answered it will be because of scripture. I began to pray, Lord, teach me! I don’t want to be Baptist, Methodist, Primitive Baptist or any other man’s belief or opinion. My desire is for you Lord to teach me!

I’ve now been studying for forty-two years. I’m still seeking for a few or, many answers but I refuse to simply take any man’s word for what turns out to be (my eternal destiny). I don’t believe you should either!

I’ve learned over the years to listen to people. Take what I can use for God’s glory and leave the rest alone! As you read my testimony, look at your spiritual walk. Where do you stand? (I know) I’m going to be with my Lord when I die. I don’t say that because someone else told me that but rather because I studied, listen to the Holy Spirit and learned at his feet! You can do the very same thing!

I’ll close with this. I was once asked by a man if I knew I was going to heaven when I died? I replied, yes, I do! There was another young man standing close by listening to us. This is what he said: (No hell you don’t, nobody knows where they are going when they die). I looked at him and asked, sir can I asked you a question? He said, yes. I asked, just how much time have you spent studying your Bible? He said, I probably haven’t read two verses my whole life. To that I replied, I’ve spent now a major part of my life seeking answers from that book and you think you can honestly say that? He never said another word, just walked off!

All I might know in my heart. While I might be able to enlighten you in your Seach for truth it still has to be what you know that helps you as you seek for answers about eternal security. It’s there! Please, don’t just let someone else tell you how to think. Find a know so answer and let them do whatsoever they please! There’s only one Holy Spirit, one truth. God’s Spirit will always reveal truth, nothing short of the truth. Let him be your teacher in all things spiritual and learn just how much you can trust him. It’s your eternal future we are talking about!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

(A CHURCH) DOES IT (DRAW IN) OR (SEND OUT)?

As I sit here and seek guidance from God’s Holy Spirit about how to begin this, my mind wanders to missionaries being (sent out) from any given Church. Speaking of missionaries, I know my calling is to the lost members of Churches, Church members that have said they believe in Jesus Christ, been baptized and even joined their local Church but, they have never been born again. They know nothing about the new birth in Christ Jesus.

With that being said, I remember a missionary coming to a Church I was a member of once and telling us he felt led to go to the Philippines to do mission work. As a young believer, I wonder, how does he know that? How does he know that God is calling him to that area of the world?

What missionaries in most denominations have to do is to come out to local Churches in their denominations and do what they call (deputation work). It’s the art of getting local Churches to support you on the mission you say you fell led to go on. After some time, one day I and my pastor were together on visitation. I asked him about how I felt concerning understanding the leadership of God’s Spirit. I used that missionary as an example. My pastor told me that the missionaries’ wife was from the Philippines. I said, Oh! Now I understand!

Now, I ask you, did God’s Spirit lead the man? I can’t say, I’m not his judge. However, I can say that God has impressed upon my heart to reach out to the people that are lost within the average local Church. It has nothing to do with any denomination, any desire for the support of any group of people and I’m not seeking to approval of any particular local Church. As a matter of fact, not many pastors will allow me to even confront their congregation about (making their calling and election sure)!

(2 Peter 1:10)

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

Our Churches today are calling as many people as possible in but sending very few out! I believe that one of the first things we must understand is: (What is the Church)!

Jesus Christ said this:

Matthew 16:18

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

Now, let’s look at these verses as it concerns the Apostle Paul:

Acts 21:11-13

AND WHEN HE WAS COME UNTO US, HE TOOK PAUL’S GIRDLE, AND BOUND HIS OWN HANDS AND FEET, AND SAID, THUS SAITH THE HOLY GHOST, SO SHALL THE JEWS AT JERUSALEM BIND THE MAN THAT OWNETH THIS GIRDLE AND SHALL DELIVER HIM INTO THE HAND OF THE GENTILES. (12) AND WHEN WE HEARD THESE THINGS, BOTH WE, AND THEY OF THAT PLACE, BESOUGHT HIM NOT TO GO UP TO JERUSALEM. (13) THEN PAUL ANSWERED, WHAT MEAN YE TO WEEP AND TO BREAK MINE HEART? FOR I AM READY NOT TO BE BOUND ONLY, BUT TO ALSO DIE AT JERUSALEM FOR THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.

I’d like to take the time here to teach another lesson. We see in (verse 10) that a prophet named Agabus shared this with Paul and the people in that place. What I believe about what is happening here is this. Up until the birth of the Church God spoke to his people by prophets, During the life of Jesus Christ, we see in the gospels that God spoke to us by his Son.

Hebrews 1:1-2

GOD, WHO AT SUNDRY TIMES AND IN DIVERS MANNERS SPAKE IN TIME PAST UNTO THE FATHER BY THE PROPHETS, (2) HATH IN THESE LAST DAYS SPOKEN UNTO US BY HIS SON, WHOM HE HATH APPOINTED HEIR OF ALL THINGS, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS;

I show that verse to back up the statement about God speaking by his Son. However, since the birth of the Church, now God’s Spirit is within every born-again believer. Personally, I don’t believe that the prophet Agabus understood that as he was speaking about, and to Paul. Possibly, many of the people in that place didn’t completely understand it as well.

Today, as a member of the body of Christ (the Church) each of us have God’s Spirit within us. God has the ability to lead all of us to do different things even if the Church we attend totally disagrees with what we say we feel led to do. We can even debate this. Was The Apostle Paul right in his decision or wrong? My answer to that would be, as far as the Apostle Paul’s relationship with Jesus Christ is concerned, what difference does it make what any man might think?

I’d like to share this story about a friend of mine many years ago. This young man actually married one of my former pastor’s daughters. We were members of the same Church. As time moved forward, his father-in-law, my pastor resigned the Church. My friend and his wife left the Church, but I stayed.

After a few months my friend visited me at my house just to talk and share his feelings. He told me that he believed God was calling him to preach. He knew that I had surrendered to preach and just desired to seek some answers or to see what I thought about it. He also said that he had shared his feelings with his pastor. He said that his pastor had told him he needed to go to school if God was calling him to preach.

When he told me that, I replied, is God calling you to preach or your pastor? I told him that God wasn’t calling him to go to school but to preach his word. He told me he couldn’t afford to go to school with two children and a wife to support.

This story happened about thirty-five years ago. this young man never surrendered to preach. Now, I ask you, who did he listen to God the Father or his pastor (that of a local Church)? To whom did he listen?

Our Churches today are far more concerned about (drawing people in) to the local Church and having control of what they as individuals do than they are allowing God’s Spirit to (send people out) to do his will. For the most part people are more inclined to listen to Church leadership than to be obedient to the call of God. As a matter of fact, we now have a mindset that the local Church is the very voice of God when it’s often far from it!

So, let’s consider some things. When Jesus Christ said: (upon this rock will I build my Church and, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it). What was he saying? Who is the Church? The Church are those that believe that (THOU ART THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD)! It has very little to do with local Church membership, being baptized or, for the most past the fact you say you believe in Jesus Christ!

I want us to look at a word we see in:

Revelation 2:6

BUT THIS THOU HAST, THAT THOU HATEST THR DEEDS OF THE NICOLAITANES, WHICH I ALSO HATE.

If you will notice here, he says (deeds of the Nicolaitanes). Now, look in verse:

Revelation 2:15

SO THAT THOU ALSO THEM THAT HOLD THE DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES, WHICH THING I HATE.

Here we see it changes to (THE DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES). So, in the Church of Ephesus what was simply deeds, now, in the Church of Pergamos it has become a doctrine. Do you realize that this word cannot be found nowhere else in scripture? However, (NIKSO)means (to conquer). (LAOS) means (the people). These two words are (root words) of the word Nicolaitanes. So, what is being taught here?

Look at these two verses:

First: 1 Timothy 2:3-4

FOR THIS IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE IN THE SIGHT OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR; (4) WHO WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, AND TO COME UNTO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.

Second: 2 Timothy 3:7

EVER LEARNING, AND NEVER ABLE TO COME TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.

Now, let’s look at those verses in the light of the Apostle Peter that said this: (thou art the Christ, the son of the living God). When we watch Peter’s life we see where he made many mistakes as he walked with Jesus Christ. However, he, at the same time was gaining a spiritual education that was given him by, at that time Jesus Christ and later on, the very Spirit of God that came upon him on the (Day of Pentecost). God didn’t expect Peter to be perfect, ever. However, he was expecting him to (come to the knowledge of the truth). Although it might have taken years for the Apostle Peter to come to an understanding of (the Church) that Jesus Christ spoke of and, (the Church) that the Apostle Paul was given the mystery concerning: (Ephesians 3). he did, in the end recognize exactly what he was teaching! Look at these verses:

2 Peter 3:14-16

WHEREFORE, BELOVED, SEEING THAT YE LOOK FOR SUCH THINGS, BE DILIGENT THAT YE MAY BE FOUND OF HIM IN PEACE, WITHOUT SPOT, AND BLAMELESS. (15) AND ACCOUNT THAT THE LONGSUFFERING OF OUR LORD IS SALVATION: EVEN AS OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL ALSO ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN UNTO HIM HATH WRITTEN UNTO YOU; (16) AS IN ALL HIS EPISTLES, SPEAKING IN THEM OF THESE THINGS; IN WHICH ARE SOME THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, WHICH THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST, AS THEY DO ALSO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, UNTO THEIR OWN DISTRUCTION.

So, who brought the Apostle Peter to this truth? Was it a council of men? the rest of the Apostles? No, it was the Spirit of God within him that revealed that truth to him! I showed you to word (Nicolaitans) to make the point that men have a desire to control how you think, what you know and to govern you. Almost every Church you might attend today has a group of men that govern how that Church is run outside of that group of Church members. In other words, that Church is not led by God’s Spirit but rather what man says is God’s will for you to know, what to teach, how to spend the money within that Church, how you decide your missionaries, pastors and so on.

This is what Jesus Christ is saying in (Revelation 2) that he hates! The Church today desires to control who comes in and who goes out and where! I was born again in an Independent Baptist Church. Exactly what does that mean? By definition it appears that that Church is completely self-governed apart from any other Church or group of people. Now, that, in some cases might be true but, I learned very quickly that in most cases if you don’t agree with some other pastors of other Churches, you’ll be cut off from any fellowship with them and any other people they might have influence over.

Can you see how that if that happens then you’re not independent at all? You are bowing to the will of men. Let’s consider something else here. When the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to any Church, do you see where there is a denomination, he sends it to? Of course not! He’s sending that letter to born-again believers within that area, not to a pastor.

Let be honest! Most Church denominations today are seeking to draw as many people into those denominations as possible. As far as any of those people going out to do anything beyond what that denomination desires for them to do is not even considered. We now boast about how many members we have. We never say one word about how many men are called to preach from our Church, how many missionaries we send out from our Church. How many new Churches we have helped establish, even supplying the pastor we helped to start.

I believe in the local New Testament Church! I also believe that within that assembly there are multiple opinions, mostly wrong, sometimes even the man that is called pastor has a wrong opinion. I believe that within that assembly ever person has a God given right to voice out loud what they believe. At the same time, I say that I also believe that each born-again believer has a hunger to learn truth and is willing to listen to every other person as they share. How each local New Testament Church handles the way that is carried out must be (descent and in order).

The Bible says that (God is not the author of confusion):

1 Corinthians 14:33

FOR GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, BUT OF PEACE, AS IN ALL CHURCHES OF THE SAINTS.

What? Does that verse mean that you are not confused? No, it doesn’t! Most people in the average Church today are confused about something in scripture, they just don’t ever say anything about it. We are so afraid of being wrong that we just except wrong and never say a thing about it. Our pastor can say something we disagree with, and we will never even question what he said, not out loud anyway.

(I believe) that when people are born again then God’s Spirit will show them truth, no matter who it comes from. Let’s say there is someone in an assembly that questions eternal security. In open assembly that person stands and tells the congregation how he feels. The pastor, after the question is asked reveals that he doesn’t know if he can answer that question rightfully. Therefore, a member of the congregation stands and says, I can! Therefore, the pastor allows him to speak. He takes God’s word and, look at this verse:

Titus 1:9

HOLDING FAST THE FAITHFUL WORD AS HE HATH BEEN TAUGHT, THAT HE MAY BE ABLE BY SOUND DOCTRINE BOTH EXHORT AND TO CONVINCE THE GAINSAYERS.

This man that is speaking is allowing God’s Spirit to speak through him. When this happens, he both exhorts and convinces the people that question (truth). This is not because he is anything special but rather because he is speaking truth and God’s Spirit is doing the teaching!

We have built what we consider to be Churches! However, our Churches often are far too big, with too many people to be able to properly allow God’s Spirit to work within them. Often the people are confused and unlearned spiritually but they never move forward from the place they are spiritually.

I’ve shared this true story before, but I believe this is a good place to share it again. My wife and I visited a mega Church one Sunday. After the singing was finished and the pastor took the pulpit, he made this statement. He said that he knew that many of the people had a desire to speak in tongues. If you feel you have something, you need to share see one of our deacons, share it with him, if he deems what you have to say worthy to be heard then we will allow you to speak.

I thought to myself, what is this? So, a man gets to decide whether another believer has a right to speak? Of course, not one person said a word, including me! It was just excepted as being spiritual insight. Look at these verses:

1 Corinthians 14: 27-31

IF ANY MAN SPEAK IN AN UNKNOWN TONGUE, LET IT BE BY TWO, OR AT THE MOST THREE, AND THAT BY COURSE; AND LET ONE INTERPRET. (28) BUT IF THERE BE NO INTERPRETER, LET HIM KEEP IN SILIENCE IN THE CHURCH; AND LET HIM SPEAK TO HIMSELF, AND TO GOD. (29) LET THE PROPHETS SPEAK TWO OR THREE, AND LET THE OTHER JUDGE. (30) IF ANY THING BE REVEALED TO ANOTHER THAT SITTETH BY, LET THE FIRST HOLD HIS PEACE. (31) FOR YE MAY ALL PROPHESY ONE BY ONE, THAT ALL MAY LEARN, AND ALL MAY BE COMFORTED.

Can you see hear where on a normal Church service the man that calls himself the pastor may never get to speak? In the story I said that person, if it was a man had every right to be recognized and allowed to speak. If he spoke in an unknown tongue and there was no one to interpret what he said, then what he said was all a moot point. He can just sit down. Now, personally I don’t believe the Spirit of God would be in that! It would be useless for God’s Spirit to allow any man to stand and speak when no one there could understand what he was saying. However, if any person desired to stand in any Church and speak on any given meeting then that person should have that right even if the pastor didn’t speak that morning.

Have we built a conglomerate of Churches where no one ever learns anything? I can see how a pastor should be prepared to preach on any given service, but he should always allow any person that is at that service to speak, ask questions or give a testimony even if he never gets to speak. I can also see how he, being the leader of the service could feel compelled by God’s Spirit to speak at any given service as well, being led by God’s Spirit.

I believe we have built doctrines and Churches of men and God’s Spirit has very little to do with what is happening. Therefore, the people are starved for spiritual food! As many of you know my burden is for people, members of Churches that have never been born-again. I personally believe that this is where the problem lies. There are so few people that have God’s Spirit living within them that most are not concerned about (Knowing Him) or (understanding God’s Word). If we are to simply know the truth that is within the average Church member’s heart, I’d say it would be this. They go about their average work week doing the things that their local denomination asks them to do with the act of satisfying their Church members, looking good to them but, at the very same time most of them, a very high percentage are concerned about where they will spend eternity if they die. They have no assurance of the salvation the say they have! They never speak about it but down in their hearts, they wonder!

Most of the pastors are not (God Called). They are Church called, sent to a school to make sure they teach, say and act like that Church thinks is correct. They do what they do as a career, a job. They have a boss, maybe more than one. They know they have to make sure the Church members are happy with them and, they also listen to (The Presbytery). We see that word one time that I know in scripture.

1 Timothy 4:14

NEGLECT NOT THE GIFT THAT IS IN THEE, WHICH WAS GIVEN TO THEE BY PROPHECY, WITH THE LAYING ON OF THE HANDS OF THE PRESBYTERY.

We truly need to understand this. What is the gift that is in a man of God? And, once this group of men he is calling the presbytery (so to speak) anoints this man, what else do they have to do with him?

Now, let’s look at how this world defines this word:

Presbytery

THE PRESBYTERY IS THE NAME FOR AN AREA IN A CHURCH BUILDING WHICH IS RESERVED FOR THE CLERGY. IN THE OLDEST CHURCH IT IS SEPERATED BY SHORT WALLS, BY SMALL COLUMNS AND PILASTERS IN THE RENAISSANCE ONES; IT CAN ALSO BE RAISED, BEING REACHABLE BY A FEW STEPS, USUALLY WITH RAILINGS.

So, we see this word one time in scripture. In the scripture it’s saying this: (with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery). Did a building or an area in a Church lay hands on Timothy?

Now, let’s take it a step farther.

(Revelations 2:6 and 2:15). We have already looked at this but what happened is that men took an act of approving a man into the gospel ministry and created a way to control that man or men, even people totally apart for God’s Spirit. The Bible says that God hates the deed and doctrine of the Nicolaitans. However, the world loves it because of the control they have.

I’d like to make a point here. I, as an individual surrendered to preach in June 1984. Even before that day and still until this I have had (continuing education) daily. That education is always solely given to me by God’s Spirit that lives within me. Often his continual education comes through other people, they might even be lost. Sometimes it will be by other pastors, other brothers and sisters in Christ. Very often it will be through life experiences and little simple things I see as I live out my day. However, it always goes back to scripture and the study of God’s word done by me personally alone with the Holy Spirit.

Although I had a group of men lay hands on me, ordaining me into the gospel ministry, even giving me a license to preach, I haven’t seen but one of those men since that day. As far as I know, they are all dead now. In other word. I have never answered to those men. Do you realize that most pastors today have to have yearly continual education presented by the (Presbytery) they are licensed by? And, if they don’t conform to that bylaw of (continuing) their license, they can lose that license? That my friends is ( the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans)!

I’m very concerned about the size of our Churches today. The fact that people are drawn into a building but, many are never sent out? I often said this. There is completely no difference in God Spirit’s need for a body to work out of than it is for Satan to have a body. They both need someone to use to carry out their will! The problem comes in when people can’t tell what’s of God and what’s of Satan.

We are often deceived in our thinking that just because a man uses a Bible for his text and the name of Jesus Christ what he’s saying is truth. What I always try to emphasize is that you are and individual and you will stand before Jesus Christ as an individual. It doesn’t matter how many members are in your Church, how many great things might be said about you as a member of your Church, or all the great things are said about at your funeral. All that will matter is have you been born again and, what kind of walk did you have in your life for Jesus Christ.

What we often fail to understand and are very seldom taught is this: Salvation is in all three tenses. (PAST TENSE SALVATION) is the fact that you have been born again, God’s Spirit has moved into your heart. I often tell people that the day of their (past tense salvation) the only sin they actually repent of is (unbelief). Then we see (PRESENT TENSE SALVATION). Each day we live, God’s Spirit is showing us or, should be showing us sins, things that he desires that we turn away from (repent of). He teaches us daily to be transformed into what he desires for each of us to be. The we see (FUTURE TENSE SALVATION). One day our journey will be complete! We will stand before our Lord in our new home. If we have been faithful to him as he directed us, we will receive rewards given to us by him!

In closing, I can’t remember whether I have made this statement in this article or not but, it bears repeating. The Nation of Israel started out with just one man and his wife. That man and his wife grew to become a nation. That nation was to become the very voice of God in this sin cursed world. It was to represent the complete value system of all the God embodied. However, the more it grew the more like the world it became.

The Church was to be the replacement for the failed Nation of Israel. In the beginning of the Church, it was a very powerful voice for the Holy Spirit of God. However, as it grew the more like the world it became. The Bible says this:

1 Corinthians 10:7

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

Here, he’s making a spiritual comparison between what he sees within the Church and what happened to the nation of Israel. Be not deceived people! Know who you are, know where you as an individual stand with Jesus Christ. Often, we are far better off to take the road less travelled! It can be lonely but far more rewarding in the end.

Don’t allow any Church just to simply draw you in. Be an individual that (goes out) seeking to be used for the glory of God! That is, even if you have to go alone! I’ll also add this. Be sure that what you say you are led to do spiritually can be supported by God’s word. Like I’ve stated, there are many things we see in this word that is done in the name of Jesus Christ, often being supported by Churches that have little to do with the will of God!

I could name a few but, I’m going to name one such organization the bothers me simply by the name they use. (MY LIFE MATTERS). What are we teaching our young people there? Does your life matter? I have some very bad news for those that are taught that their lives matter, if your life hasn’t been transformed by the (BORN AGAIN EXPERIENCE) then it makes no difference what you might do in this world, your life doesn’t matter to Jesus Christ.

Are we teaching people that they can say they believe in Jesus Christ, basically stay as they are, pursue the dreams of this life and, at the same time be prepared to stand before Jesus Christ as our Judge? There is nowhere in scripture that teaches that! That organization teaches the same mindset that we see in most Churches today. It has a tendency to draw people in but, they never go out and do anything for Jesus Christ!

I might (stand-alone) there! But that’s the very opposite of all the God’s word teaches. I’ll stand before God as a concerned believer in what I’m seeing. Again, I often say: (God and one is a majority). It is now and always has been. If you say you disagree with me, fine. At least, as an individual look into yourself, see where you stand with Jesus Christ!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR ANY GIVEN SUNDAY

ARE WE FIGHTING THE WRONG BATTLES?

As a citizen of the United States of America I can clearly see the things that are transpiring in our nation. With that in mind, I’d like to begin this lesson by saying this. Often my wife and I will sit and talk about being lonely for things we use to see as common place in our lives. Most of those things have long since passed and will never come back in our lives. For instance, all of our parents have now passed away. Even though we now live in the house I grew up in it is impossible to bring back the things that I can only think about now.

My wife will often speak of childhood events and her family as well. Speaking of a loneliness that cannot be fulfilled in a time when often the places, the people have long since gone. WE have to learn to comfort each other, remembering that now we have the responsibility of creating the same types of memories that we once had in our lives.

In a spiritual sense, do we not often do the very same thing as we look at the very nation we live in? I long for a time once again when I at least think that I can trust and depend on my government. A time when the people in our nation looked at abortion as sin. We see living together, having children out of wedlock as ungodly. We could look at a man or woman and tell exactly, with clarity what they were. A time when our nation, being led by God’s Spirit called the act of sodomy sin and condemned the very of such things.

I long for a time when teachers, the kind of teachers that taught me in grade school set an example of morality and character and expected the children she or he taught to do the very same thing. A time when discipline was mainstream and often used to set an example that others might see the consequences of the lack of discipline in their lives.

I long for a time again when I can sit in any Church and see the preacher preach with a God given power, that with a passion for those people that are lost in a world of sin without a loving, forgiving Savoir. A time when Godly people will not except any less from the man that stands behind the pulpit in their home Church.

A time when the Church in our communities is a pillar of spirituality conviction, the members seek to be seen as different from the things of this world and even hate the sinful failures in their own lives. I long for a time when the truth is not evil spoken of, and that evil men and women cannot prevail within the cities they live in because the majority of the citizens are God fearing people and will not tolerate wickedness in any form. A time when our children are taught respect for the policemen and women, any people that stands for justice, not because of who they are but because to the righteousness and justice they hold sacred.

I pointed out that my wife and I often are lonely for something that we cannot go back to but, can we get back to this place as a nation? Yes! I believe we can. However, I also believe we are fighting the wrong battles as a nation or, the common citizens of this nation.

If you follow or study the things, I write you will notice that I make it a point to never call out Churches by name or even religious organization. I simply try to allow God’s Spirit us use what I might write to change individuals, if necessary, in their spiritual walk no matter what Church they might attend. However, here I’m going to call a religious organization by name. I remember back in the late 1950’s when John F. Kennedy was a candidate for President. One of his famous quotes was this: (Ask not what your country can do for you but, what can you do for your country). One of the things that the people didn’t like at that time about him was he was Catholic. It was often discussed by the news media, many wondered if he could be elected simply because of that one aspect of his life.

1960 has now been over sixty years ago! What has changed in our country? Anything? Most people know that John F. Kennedy did become President of our country. And, I might add that he, being Catholic has nothing to do with where we are as a nation. However, the spiritual mindset of our people has a great deal to do with where we are.

I only bring that up because I believe that our nation, during that time and even a few years before began a spiritual decline, bring us to the point we are today. In 1960 we, as a nation were just fifteen years beyond the conclusion of World War Two. Lat’s consider some things that were beginning to unfold. Many people at that time that were just beginning to start families had a desire, was determined to have their children live better lives than they had. Seemingly the focus was more on worldly goods and accomplishments that it was the spiritual aspects of life.

Many people became obsessed with bringing about the integration of our black and white schools and so on. It actually became a spiritual battle in our Churches. It doesn’t matter what side you might have fallen on, whether it was a black Church in favor or a white Church against it. The problem was that we left the very concept of preaching God’s word and turned to that issue.

Now, while we’re here let’s consider something. From the very beginning of our nation, if it was ever a place that integration should be a recognized normality, should it have been in every local Church? One of the cornerstones of the teaching in God’s word is the fact that we are all seen as equal. No Jew, no Greek, no Gentile. We are all one in the spiritual sense of Jesus Christ.

With that point being made, that wasn’t the case, was it? In our Churches, many pastors were segregationists as well as many people that were members of those same Churches. When these things became a debate in our country, the very institutions that should have been a power of spiritual teaching and a place of understanding became a place of great resistance, even to the very will of God.

I read a book once named (The story of John Jasper). You can still find it online. This book is about the life of a man that God called to preach. He was a black man. He preached fifty years, twenty-five as a slave and twenty-five as a free man. While in slavery a white man had to stand on the platform with him the whole time he preached. That was before the Civil War. What if God’s people at that time would have taken a stand for righteousness and declared that he was an equal to them no matter what color he was.

The point is that even born-again believes, the body of Christ on this earth far too often get caught up in the wrong battles because we are often afraid to be seen as different from the world. When, in fact we are different! Look at this verse:

John 12:32

AND I, IF I BE LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.

John 3:14

AND AS MOSES LIFTED UP THE SERPENT IN THE WILDERNESS, EVEN SO MUST TO SON OF MAN BE LIFTED UP:

I realize that both of these verses are speaking of the necessity of Jesus Christ being crucified on the Cross. However, it also has a spiritual application as well. God’s people are to (HOLD UP) the name of Jesus Christ. Not only his name but all that he represents. It’s actually relating to (Knowing Him) and the power of his resurrection. We are trying in our Churches to fight the worldly battles in our flesh without to authority granted us through the blood of Jesus Christ and his saving grace.

We, for instance try to get the world to look at abortion just as we, as believers do. It’s not up to us to change the habits of this world but rather the hearts of the people of this world. Often that, it at all will be one person at a time.

We can use another Old Testament picture of Moses to make my point.

Exodus 17:11-12

AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN MOSES HELD UP HIS HAND, THAT ISRAEL PREVAILED: AND WHEN HE LET DOWN HIS HAND, AMALEK PREVAILED. (12) BUT MOSES’ HANDS WERE HEAVY; AND THEY TOOK A STONE, AND PUT IT UNDER HIM, AND HE SAT THERE UPON; AND AARON AND HUR STAYED UP HIS HANDS, THE ONE ON THE ONE SIDE, AND THE OTHER ON THE OTHER SIDE; AND HIS HANDS WERE STEADY UNTIL THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN.

The Bible also tells us this:

2 Thessalonians 3:13-14

BUT YE, BRETHREN, BE NOT WEARY IN WELL DOING. (14) AND IF ANY MAN ABEY NOT OUR WORD BY THIS EPISTLE, NOTE THAT MAN, AND HAVE NO COMPANY WITH HIM, THAT THEY MAY BE ASHAMED.

It’s our responsibility hold up the oracles of the very word and will of God. To know what his will is and to stand and proclaim that will. It’s easy to get weary in well doing and to allow people that are not of us to crepe in to undermine the things that God desires for us to do. We often hear a term (the dumbing down of America). Well, we see that same thing in our Churches. It causes us to fight the wrong battles; that; completely apart from what we are called to do. It’s not that the causes might not be good things to fight but that it must our secondary calling, not our first.

The primary concern of any Church should always be the true act of the (born again) experience) and (the spiritual education) of that new babe in Christ.

I’d like for you to consider something here. Right now, in the United States of America we are facing the situation where schoolteachers are trying to teach our children about sexual orientation beginning at the age of five. Some years ago, we were told to or forced by law to send our children to a public school. Look what we have now!

Also, in our Churches we now have (Children’s Church). we send our young children to that Church rather than making them by our own discipline to sit in Church and hear God’s word. We also have (youth group) which, in many cases have their own pastor. Well, in a spiritual sense, whose responsibility is it to teach our children? Exactly what are they being taught in children’s Church and in our youth groups? (In my opinion) and you can agree or disagree. It all starts with the (lack of true spirituality) of the Senior pastor. He is teaching a false salvation in the very name of Jesus Christ, never mentioning (YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN) and that same false teaching is taking place in every pastor below him!

In most cases, the parents desire for their children to acknowledge Jesus Christ. From birth they, we they call dedicate their Children to the Lord in front of the Church, the pastor overseeing that formal dedication. As time moves forward, children’s Church, youth Group normally from a very young age. One day the child we say we love tells the pastor they desire to join Church just they have been taught. The say they believe in Jesus Christ; we watch them get baptized and join Church. However, there is never any mention of any Holy Ghost, sin cursed conviction and, not one of those children are ever challenged about their salvation again!

We spend millions of dollars paying pastors, buying religious literature, Sunday School quarterly’s and so on that is used to indoctrinate our children and ourselves to a gospel that is not of Jesus Christ! We fight the wrong battles often because we dodge our responsibilities and would rather pay someone else to do our jobs. How often have you either said or heard this: that’s the pastor’s responsibility? Let someone else do that. I’ll teach a Sunday School class, but you must give me a quarterly, I’ll teach what someone says, I can’t understand the Bible.

Have you noticed that now, anytime we have a funeral in our Churches? No one goes to hell. they all go to heaven! You might be sitting there thinking something completely different but, you’ll never say a word to anyone about it. Often in our Churches we fight against the very Holy Spirit, the only Spirit that can truly set us free. We don’t even realize we are fight the wrong battle.

In our Churches we have people that fight against abortion. It’s a very worthy cause but let’s look a little deeper. Let’s say there is a teen in your Church that is pregnant but not married. We know that sin happens, even to the very best of us. You are this teens youth pastor so; she confides in you. She says she is considering an abortion. The very first thing you should do is to question here salvation, not because she’s pregnant but because of the choice she is making. You should ask; haven’t you been born again? If she replies yes then next, what would God’s Spirit have you do. You can also tell her that God’s Spirit would never lead her to have an abortion unless it is a medical reason to do so. As a young man, I’ve been there! I had a very wise pastor listen to every word I said, never interrupted me one time the whole time I spoke. Once I finished this is the first thing he said: (two wrongs will never make one right)! When he made that statement, it’s like a light turned on in my being!

The problem is, no matter what choices we make, the very fact we sinned in the beginning will live with us our whole lives, no exceptions! As I look back at my life, do you realize I was baptized at the age of twelve and joined our Church? I question, was it just the lust of my flesh that brought about the sin in my life or, did it have just as much to do with the lack of real spiritual teaching and instruction from my parents and the Church I attended. Abortion is sin! So is fornication! Do we teach our children from an early age those things? Look at this verse of scripture:

Matthew 23:23-24

WOE UNTO YOU, SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! FOR YE PAY TITHE AND MINT AND ANISE AND CUMMIN, AND HAVE OMITTED THE WEIGHTER MATTERS OF THE LAW, JUDGMENT, MERCY, AND FAITH: THESE THINGS OUGHT YE TO HAVE DONE, AND NOT TO LEAVE THE OTHER UNDONE. (24) YE BLIND GUIDES, WHICH STRAIN AT A GNAT, AND SWALLOW A CAMEL.

We read that verse of scripture and assign it to those people of that day. However, doesn’t it fit us just as well if we neglect to give our children the spiritual education and knowledge they need? Often, we are trained very well to be Pharisees. We become hypocrites because with our mouth we say one and in our actions another.

We have pregnancy centers fighting against abortions. we have grief ministries fighting against grief seeking to comfort those that are grieving but, in all of these things we forget even to pray to share Jesus Christ and his saving grace. Even if we do, we forget to change babe into spiritual giants by instructing them in scripture, allowing the Holy Spirit to do the things we are seeking to change.

Do you realize that the world has its own definition of love? The way the world defines love has crept into the average Church. And the way God shows his love has greatly diminished to the point that often salvation never happens. We are seeking to fight spiritual battles with the weapons of this world! I often say that our greatest enemy is standing behind the pulpit in our Churches.

Our Churches are seeking to change the habits of this world without changing the very heart of the people we are talking about. Let’s say we actually get laws passed in our land totally against abortion. Now it’s completely illegal. Has that changed the heart of even one person? If every baby is now born, a perfect birth; what happens to that child if they grow up never knowing the truth about their never dying souls because the Church never tells them truth?

What happens is that we have fought a very good battle but lost the war! What happens if we help people through a very hard time in their lives but forget to share Jesus Christ helping them to see the true spiritual need in their lives? Again, we have won the battle but lost the war!

In closing, I’d like to make a couple of points to make the point of the whole matter using this verse:

Matthew 6:31

THEREFORE TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE EAT? OR, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? OR, WHEREWITHAL SHALL WE BE CLOTHED?

You can go to that chapter and read the whole account that he’s speaking of there. I would like to show you one other verse right below this one.

Matthew 6:33

BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE OTHER THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.

Our lives, our Churches have become saturated with the things of this world! Have we become so vain within ourselves that we never even consider the righteousness of God? If we are going to begin to seek out a new Church to attend; what would be the reason or, what would be some attributes of any Church that might draw us to that new Church to become a member?

Let’s look at this from a strictly spiritual perspective. The very first thing I’d say would be to leave your children completely out of your decision or choice, no matter what they might say. With that point being made, if you visit a Church that focuses on the youth or children’s Church; that within itself might tell you something about that Church. The fac that you didn’t allow your children to have a voice, you already know that the children in that Church speak very loudly.

As (the husband) prayer while seeking spiritual direction for his family, it takes spiritual wisdom to make wise spiritual decisions! It’s so much to say here! However, let’s start here in:

1 Timothy 3:1-5

THIS IS A TRUE SAYING, IF A MAN DESIRE THE OFFICE OF A BISHOP, HE DESIRETH A GOOD WORK. (2) A BISHOP THEN MUST BE BLAMELES, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, VIGILANT, SOBOR, OF GOOD BEHAVIOUR, GIVEN TO HOSPITALITY, APT TO TEACH; (3) NOT GIVEN TO WINE, NO STRIKER, NOT GREEDY OF FILTHY LOCRE; BUT PATIENT, NOT A BRAWLER, NOT COVETOUS; (4) ONE THAT (RULETH WELL HIS OWN HOUSE, HAVING HIS CHILDREN IN SUBJECTION WITH ALL GRAVITY; (5) FOR IF A MAN KNOW NOT HOW TO RULE HIS OWN HOUSE, HOW SHALL HE TAKE CARE OF THE CHURCH OF GOD?) (6) NOT A NOVICE, LEST BEING LIFTED UP WITH PRIDE HE FALL INTO THE CONDEMNATION OF THE DEVIL. (7) MOREOVER HE MUST HAVE A GOOD REPORT OF THEM WHICH ARE WITHOUT; LEST HE FALL INTO REPROACH AND THE SNARE OF THE DEVIL;

As we read these verses can’t we say that this is the way a Godly home should be even if the man does not desire the office of a bishop? If the question I presented is not true, does that mean that since I don’t desire the office of a bishop my wife doesn’t have to submit to me, and my children don’t have to be subject unto me, and don’t have to have a good report of those outside the Church? And we can add all the rest that is said here also.

Now, how about the wife? What is her responsibility in the decision making? How should she fit in? I honestly believe that in the average (Christian) household we are force today to fight the wrong battles as men and (supposedly) spiritual leaders. A wife should never be forced to submit unto her husband. She is commanded by God to do so but, it a choice she must make, a desire she must have.

The problem is that according to the world we live in that never needs to happen, as a wife see should be free to do as she pleases even when she is married, the husband has nothing to do with her choices, if he tries to, he is the one out of line. In most cases we have put the cart, even ponies in front of the cart!

The children like what they see in a Church, mom’s desire is for the children to be happy, and the dad says OK; knowing that he is going to lose the battle! There is no spiritual, Holy Spirit leadership whatsoever!

I’m going to say something here that, to me makes perfect sense. You can see if you agree with me. The wife, being a woman has, or if she is spiritual has far greater peripheral vision that a man, her husband will ever have. (I even believe) that a man’s wife can be considered much wiser in her ability to make decisions than the man. If not, why would it be considered a curse to have to submit to the man? (Don’t forget) we are seeking to learn to fight the right spiritual battles. Any woman can be lazy and simply want the husband to do all the work, just look after her. But that’s not what we are talking about.

A wise spiritual wife understands her position in her marriage, knows full well what the Holy Spirit expects from her. Often, by the world’s standards a (stay at home mom) is seen as someone that doesn’t have to work. However, she has a much tougher job if she does what she is supposed to do than any man ever will. As a matter of fact, her shift is never over even as she sleeps.

There is nothing more powerful that a man that understands his spiritual position in his family and a wife that submits to him and helps him make wise spiritual decisions while being completely submissive to his leadership. A wise man that has a wife he can trust will always listen to her advice as he seeks to see the whole spiritual picture through her peripheral vision. What she does is to bring the whole picture into his tunnel vision sight that can better help him make wise spiritual decisions, she is being willing to follow him even if she doesn’t like the choice he made, bringing her children with her as they follow him.

Because of the lack of spiritual teaching in our Churches and in our homes, we often don’t even understand the battles we have to fight. Let’s look at these verses:

James 4:1-6

FROM WHENCE COME WARS AND FIGHTINGS AMONG YOU? COME THEY NOT HENCE, EVEN OF YOUR LUSTS THAT WAR IN YOUR MEMBERS? (2) YE LUST, AND HAVE NOT: YE KILL, AND DESIRE TO HAVE, AND CANNOT OBTAIN: YE FIGHT AND WAR, YET YE HAVE NOT, BECAUSE YE ASK NOT. (3) YE ASK, AND RECEIVE NOT, BECAUSE YE ASK AMISS, THAT YE MAY CONSUME IT UPON YOUR OWN LUST. (4) YE ADULTERERS AND ADULTERESSES, KNOW YE NOT THAT THE FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENEMITY WITH GOD? WHOSEVER THEREFORE WILL BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD. (5) DO YE THINK THAT THE SCRIPTURE SAITH IN VAIN, THE SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN US LUSTETH TO ENVY? (6) BUT GOD GIVETH MORE GRACE, WHEREFORE HE SAITH, GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, BUT GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE HUMBLE. (7) SUBMIT YOURSELVES THEREFORE TO GOD, RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU.

As we speak of (fighting the wrong battles; I believe it’s something we need to consider here. The Apostle James is an Apostle to the Jews. Actually, he is one of eleven that were strictly for the Jewish people. The Apostle Paul was the only Apostle to the Gentiles. As I make that statement, this is something we must see. Once the Church came into being, at that very moment there was neither Jew nor Gentile. That actually changed at the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. We can even say that through it all it has always been only two types of people that God recognized: those that believed and those that believed not. That picture became crystal clear at the birth of the Church.

I say all that to say this. When we speak of fighting, it doesn’t matter if it’s between a husband and wife, a Church and a pastor, two countries, two cities or two people it’s all of this world if no one has the Spirit of God. That is the point that the Apostle James is making to the Jewish people and, even us if we are not saved.

Let’s take a perfect spiritual marriage situation. Here’s a husband that loves his wife as Christ loved the Church, he seeks to be always obedient to the Spirit of God as that Spirit directs him. His wife is completely submission to him in every way possible. This couple sits down to talk, they pray, she gives her spiritual input, and he listens. Within that, when he makes a decision, she follows her husband.

Well, as they move forward, they begin to have children. Can you see the importance of instilling these same spiritual values within their children as they begin to grow? Each of these children will be born in sinful flesh. They will have a mind of their own, not their mothers or fathers. At the very est these two parents can do they will have to contend with a very corrupt world as they daily seek to instill spiritual values in their children and by grace see them born-again by God grace.

If we, as born-again believers fight any other battle other than that very concept then we fight the wrong battle! Most of us have to fight daily battles. We fight a battle for money to pay bills, to keep a house over our head, food on our table, pay insurance, for a automobile to drive, the list goes on and on!

However, those things are because we live in a sin cursed world. We cannot allow those things to become our main focus. If we do, then it’s very possible we will lose our children and the aspect of a spiritual community and family will be weakened.

I’d like to point out a scripture that I think we often don’t get and possibly never taught in our Churches.

Matthew 4:19

AND HE SAITH UNTO THEM, FOLLOW ME, AND I WILL MAKE YOU FISHERS OF MEN.

In this verse, Jesus was speaking to Peter and Andrew his brother. These two men would later become two of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, however there is no way they could have known that when Jesus said to them (I will make you fishers of men). The point is that when we say we are going to follow Jesus then everything else such as fishing becomes less important in our lives. It’s not that we don’t still do things, but we now have a totally different priority.

I realize that there is no such thing as a husband or wife, even being born-again being perfect. We all know that! The secret is to get our priorities in order. Let’s be honest, most husbands spend a lot of time doing the things they like to do, that apart from the family. Things like fishing, golfing, racing, sports, we can go on and on. Although they say they believe in Christ, nothing, not onr thing changes in their lives.

In most cases today, we don’t understand marriage, a marriage relationship, salvation or the relationship with Christ. Therefore, we spend our lives fighting to wrong battles!

A MESSAGE TO MY SOCIAL TRUTH FOLLOWERS

I thought today that I would take the time to share this message with those on truth social that follow me. If you wish you can retruth the message to other people. This verse of scripture often comes to mind when I begin to mention these things.

Matthew 12: 32

AND WHOSOEVER SPEAKETH A WORD AGAINST THE SON OF MAN, IT SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM: BUT WHOSOEVER SPEAKETH AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST, IT SHALL NOT BE FORGIVEN HIM, NEITHER IN THIS WORLD, NEITHER THE WORLD TO COME.

If you follow this through the gospels, you will see that the Pharisees had just called Jesus Christ a blasphemer. Think about that! Here’s a common man, looking into the eyes of the very Son of God, God in flesh and calling him a blasphemer.

I’d like to give you my take as a pastor on this partial of scripture. If we go back to the Old Testament, we see that God the Father spoke directly to men. We could name some of those men such as Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah. It was then those men’s responsibility to tell God’s people what God had given them to say.

Once we leave the Old Testament, we get to the gospels. Here, Jesus Christ is born, and we actually hear from the very Son of God, Jesus Christ. Although we see the gospels in the New Testament; Jesus Christ lived in the very end of the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, the Old Testament came to an end the very moment Jesus Christ died on the Cross of Calvary. As far as I can see, God the Father only spoke twice in the gospels. You can check me out. One time he said this: (THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED). The other time he said this: (THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, HEAR YE HIM). Therefore, in the Old Testament, God the Father spoke, in the gospel, God the Son spoke.

This Pharisee called Jesus Christ a blasphemer. In the verse that we read Jesus told him this. You can reject me if you like. However, if you reject the Holy Ghost there will be no forgiveness for you in this world or, the world to come. As we watch the Bible unfold, we see that Jesus Christ was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day he arose from the dead. As we get into (Acts) we see where the Holy Ghost fell on 120 believers and the Church, the body of Christ was born. Within the concept of the Church, we now hear God the Spirit speak. Although God still uses men to speak, it’s not that man we need to hear, it’s God’s Spirit that now speaks to our hearts.

In the Trinity there are three very distinct parts of the Godhead. God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. God the Father sent his son to this world to die for the sins of men. (God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself). Jesus Christ was God! God, himself became our sacrifice for sin. He offered himself for every man, woman, boy and girl.

I seek to share truth! There are very few people that like truth anymore, they actually run from the very concept of truth. When Jesus Christ was speaking to the Pharisee, looking into his eyes, the Pharisee had no idea what all he was saying! One reason he didn’t know was because he was all wrapped up in religion and not even considering the truth. There were those in that day that were looking for the events that were unfolding because they had studied the Old Testament and knew what was about to happen. However, religion will never tell you the whole truth. If it would then, it would cease to be religion and become truth.

Although many people were looking for that truth as it unfolded, most or, all of them was exactly like you and I. Once the Holy Ghost had fallen on them, they became babes in Christ and, at that point began to grow in the knowledge and truth of Jesus Christ.

We now live in a time when the Holy Spirit is upon this earth. Within the picture of the Godhead, he is it! another way of saying it is to say that God the Father will not send anyone or anything else that we, the people of this world might turn from our wicked ways to him. The Holy Spirit is it! When Jesus Christ told the Pharisee that he’d be wise not to reject the Holy Spirit, that’s exactly what he was saying. God the Father tied, God the Son tried and now God the Spirit is seeking to draw all men to God the father.

Within the concept of the course of this world since the Holy Ghost fell in (Acts 2) men have seen a lot of changes in the way we live. We can see that picture of the Church as it unfolds in (Revelation 3). In the last part of that chapter, we see that basically the Church has locked the very Spirit of God outside and will not let the very Spirit that offers salvation even in the building! You can read the whole chapter but, look especially at this verse:

Revelation 3:20

BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR, AND KNOCK: IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE, AND OPEN THE DOOR I WILL COME IN TO HIM, AND WILL SUP WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME.

Jesus’ call is to individuals (any person) that will hear him, the Church in a lot of cases has locked him out! Many people have locked him out of their hearts! They simply reject truth!

Many people that follow me know very well my position on the King James Bible. It’s the only one I study. I don’t push that Bible on anyone else but all that I might teach comes from that book.

I only point that out because I’d like to show you this verse:

John 3:16

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM, SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.

If you will notice in that verse, the word (LOVED) is used. That word is past tense! With that being said, what else did God do once he had offered his only begotten son? Within the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ also game the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ promised us in scripture that if he went away he would send a comforter and, he did!

Since God loved us so much he gave us the Holy Spirit to draw conviction on our sinful hearts that we might be saved by grace.

(IN MY OPINION) it’s getting harder and harder to find a Church, a person or anything now we’re you can feel the conviction that’s required for salvation, the transforming power of God through his word.

Blaspheme is the rejection of God’s Spirit. Often, that Spirit will speak to a heart multiple times in the course of a life trying to draw a single person away from sin into the very grace of God through the blood of Jesus Christ. I, for one know that for a fact, he did me! It took me a while to see myself as a sinner in need of salvation.

It’s a very terrible thing to fall into the hands of an angry God! God’s done all he’s going to do! This world, even many Churches is rejecting God’s Spirit. The world has chosen its own way of religion and that apart from Jesus Christ. However, God’s Spirit is still speaking to people if we will listen!

FOR GOD SO LOVED! Right now, God’s on his throne, his son, Jesus Christ on his right side. The Holy Spirit is within we that are born again and it’s our responsibility to share the gospel story to this world!

I often try to get people to see God’s point of view by putting it this way. Some two thousand years ago God sent his son as a sacrifice for the sins of this world. The blood his Son shed on the cross covered the sin of every person that ever lived on the face of this earth.

No matter what your sin is, it’s been paid for by that blood. All any person has to do to receive the gift of salvation is believe! Ask Jesus Christ to move into your heart!

Consider, the sin of every person in hell today was paid for by the blood of Christ, they simply didn’t except that free gift!

That Spirit I speak of will soon leave this world! We call that (The Rapture). God, in his love for mankind gave all he had to give! (HE LOVED) us that much! What he’s saying, that’s it! You can now except my son, or you can go to hell!

Now, I realize that sounds cut and dry! But, is it? Just like in my case, how many times has God spoken to you but you didn’t listen?

There’s no greater joy than knowing Jesus Christ as savior! If you don’t know him, ask him into your heart today!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

WHAT IS TRUTH? ABOUT, PEDOPHILES, TRANSEXUALS AND HOMOSEXUALS

Have you ever considered the fact that God has a word? We call it the Bible. He tells us that he comes (in the volume of the book it is written of me).

Hebrews 10:7

THEN SAID I, LO, I COME (IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME,) TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.

Not only did he come in the volume of a book, but he also came in flesh.

John 1:14

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

That very word became flesh and walked among men. Now, we can deny that act as if it really doesn’t matter. We can even burn every Bible in existence but will never change the fact that God does have a word. He reveals to those that will seek to know him everything about him and all that he fells with passion, desiring that we might know and, love him as he is.

I once had a man ask me if I knew I was going to heaven when I died? I replied, yes, I do! There happened to be a much younger man standing there when I gave my answer that we weren’t even talking to but, when I gave my answer; this is what he said, and I quote: no, hell you do not know, no man knows where he’s going when he dies.

I then looked him and said, sir, do you mind if I ask you a question? He answered, no, go ahead. I asked him to tell how much of God’s word he had read or studied? He answered, you know, I probably haven’t read more than two or three verses in my whole life. The I replied, but you have the knowledge to me, a man that been studying for about twenty years what I know or don’t know? To that, he didn’t say another word. However, I did a little witnessing to him!

I only share that story to make the point that each person has a God given right to their own personal freewill. There are people that call themselves by a word that this world had come up with to define what can be said with a person’s mouth, using his God given tongue and the ability afforded him by a loving God. The word is Atheist! The people that call themselves by that name ssy that there is no God. The Bible has another name for a person that makes that claim, (A FOOL)!

At that, I’d like to begin with (TRUTH) according to God’s word. Truth whether any person chooses to except it or not. First of all, what is it that makes men, women, humans different than other animals? The actual only difference is people, ever person is born with a (God Consciousness), no exceptions! We see that in the creation of Adam.

Genesis 2:7

AND THE LORD GOD FORMED MAN OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND, AND BREATHED INTO HIS NOSTRILS THE BREATH OF LIFE; AND MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL.

now, look at these verses:

Genesis 1:24-25

AND GOD SAID, LET THE EARTH BRING FORTH THE LIVING CREATURE AFTER HIS KIND, CATTLE, AND CREEPING THING, AND BEAST OF THE EARTH AFTER HIS KIND: AND IT WAS SO. (25) AND GOD MADE THE BEAST OF THE EARTH AFTER HIS KIND, AND CATTLE AFTER THEIR KIND, AND EVERY THING THAT CREEPTH UPON THE EARTH AFTER HIS KIND: AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD.

We can clearly see here that God breathed into the nostrils of man, Because of the fact, the fact that God created man in his own image, every man has a soul, a consciousness of God the Father.

So, let’s start here with an Atheist. This person is not an animal. An animal can kill. An animal can commit what we would call adultery without any consequences. As a matter of fact, you can point a gun at an animal and will not even draw back from the fear of it. An Atheist, by law it he kills, he will be held accountable. It’s the same with committing adultery or any other sin, he’s accountable, and that person cannot deny that fact.

The Bible says this:

Psalms 53:1

THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE OS NO GOD. CORRUPT ARE THEY, AND HAVE DONE ABOMINABLE INIQUITY: THERE IS NONE THAT DOETH GOOD.

We see that twice in scripture. the other place is (Psalms 14:1). Why would God call a person that says there is no God a fool? Because when that person was a younger person (they knew truth)! The, at some point knew there was a right and wrong. They also know the difference in what sin is and, what sin is not. Their God consciousness revealed that truth to them whether they admit it or not. That’s why God calls them a fool, they know better. Not only that, but they also rejected the very knowledge that revealed himself to them. How stupid is that!

We’re actually not talking about Atheists, are we? I just thought I’d mention them because once a person becomes a reprobate, there’s no difference in them. So, as we get into Pedophiles, homosexuals and transgenders, let; s look at some scripture. Before we take a look at scripture remember, all these people were born of woman, they had a father and, they grew to adulthood. Within that time, no matter what they might say with their mouth, the God consciousness within them revealed truth to them. That is an undeniable fact, if not then they cannot be human. However, their ability to do human things even reveals truth!

If a child is born a girl, as time moves forward, one day she will become a woman. When that happens there are things within her body that are going to take place just because of that simple fact. We can say the very same thing about any man! Now, let’s look at these verses:

1 Corinthians 10:13-14

THERE IS NO TEMPTATION TAKEN YOU BUT SUCH IS COMMON TO MAN: BUT GHOD IS FAITHFUL, WHO WILL NOT SUFFER YOU TO BE TEMPTED ABOVE THAT YE ARE ABLE; BUT WILL WITH THAT TEMPTATION ALSO MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO BEAR IT. (14) THEREFORE, MY DEARLY BELOVED, FLEE ADOLATRY.

We’ll be looking at some more things here but, first I’d like to share another true story with you. I had a nephew that was a homosexual, (past tense), he gone now, he died from a gunshot wound. One of his aunts, his mom’s sister passed away. He and I both attended that funeral. The man that preached the funeral was my half-brother and his uncle. He preached one of the hardest messages I ever heard at a funeral. I shared with you that this homosexual was at that funeral. Just a year or so later, the homosexual was dead. The same preacher also preached his funeral. At the beginning of that message, he shared this story. He said that this young man approached him at this aunt’s funeral. He told him he preached a good message. He said, when I die, I want you to preach my funeral. He told him exactly what he was and told him he was not going to change! He would die just as he was!

Now, you tell me, if this young man died and went to hell, whose fault, was it? Didn’t God offer him a way of escape? This young man was raised in Church. He had heard these types of messages all his life! He made his choice!

The truth is that every person whether they are an Atheist, homosexual or transgender knows exactly what they are in the beginning of their lives. As each person grows and matures physically the very God of this universe gives them and, every person the knowledge of Good and evil. Each of us comes to a point that we know that we have a God consciousness. We all have the ability to deny that if we make that choice to.

Rich this minute I can write anything I like. Any person can say anything they like. The problem is we can’t change things to make them like we want them no matter how hard we try. That is and be pleasing to the God that created us. I’ve often said this, if we as a people made the decision today to completely except the mindset that there is no God, a person has the right to be any sex he chooses to live a homosexual lifestyle or to be a transgender and completely change who he or she is. We all still have to stand before Jesus Christ and give an account. All we might try to change doesn’t change one thing about what already knows and the fact that he, being our God consciousness tried to direct our footsteps.

What most people that choose a lifestyle apart from being what God would have them be is this. There is no such thing as a person that is not struggling with some type of sin. We all are sinners! I want to share one more scripture that I believe is very telling before I close this.

Hebrews 4:15

FOR WE HAVE NOT AN HIGH PRIEST WHICH CANNOT BE TOUCHED WITH THE FEELING OF OUR INFIRMITIES; BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN. (16) LET US THEREFORE COME BOLDLY UNTO THE THRONE OF GRACE, THAT WE MAY OBTAIN MERCY, AND FIND GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED.

Do you realize what this verse (verse 15) is saying? There is no sin that we can face in our flesh that Jesus Christ didn’t face himself. Now, I want you to consider something. As a man in my lifetime, I’ve been tempted to commit adultery often. However, I can’t say I’ve ever been tempted to be an homosexual. I

ve been tempted to steal, even done it a few times. I’ve been very tempted to kill but, only in my mind have a actually killed anyone! I could go on but you get my point. I know that each person that reads this can offer things they have both been tempted to do and, things they have done.

The point is that none of us can say we have been tempted (in all points) like Jesus Christ was! Do you remember Jesus Christ crying from the Cross (My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me!?

Matthew 27:46

AND ABOUT THE NINETH HOUR JESUS CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE, SAYING, ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI? THAT IS TO SAY, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKED ME?

I’d like for you to put some thought into this point. The very God of the universe lived within the fleshly body of Jesus Christ. According to the verse (verse 15) even Jesus Christ was tempted in his flesh to believe there was no God! That, while that God, God the Father lived within him! I’ve been born again, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ and, I confess, I’ve been tempted to believe there is no God as well!

Therefore, even an atheist cannot say that Jesus Christ was not tempted as he or she is. Can you imagine being tempted to commit every sin known to man yet never committing even one of them?

The next verse here (verse 16) is very often misunderstood and miss quoted. It’s a call for every person to come boldly to the throne of grace. That verse is not just for believers but for all people. In:

Isaiah 1:18

COME NOW, AND LET US REASON TOGETHER, SAITH THE LORD: THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW; THOUGH THEY BE RED LIKE CRIMSON, THEY SHALL BE AS WOOL.

If we will simply become willing to bow before God at His throne of mercy, we can obtain mercy. His desire is for us to come to him no matter what sins we are guilty of. He desires to show us mercy forgiving us of all sin. Now, this is where a lot of people misunderstand. He says we can (find grace to help) in our time of need. That doesn’t mean that we won’t still be tempted at times to commit sin, we will but, when we asked Jesus Christ to move into our hearts, filling our God consciousness with the power of the Holy Spirit we will have the strength mot to allow those sins to dictate our lives.

Often as born again believes we, even I tend to be too hard on people that we are not like. For instance, I stated that I’d been tempted to commit adultery. Well, not only have I been tempted to but, I have since I’ve been born again. I fallen short. That truly bothers me! However, that is not the lifestyle I live. I confessed at his throne of mercy, and found grace continue to move forward as a believer seeking to be just like Jesus Christ.

Often when we see someone such as a homosexual it’s hard to allow that person to be less than perfect in our minds. If he or she is truly born again that doesn’t mean that they are not still tempted to commit the sin of their weakness, just as we are. Let’ put it this way. If you, are I lay in our bed at night, all in our mind can’t we commit adultery in the darkness of the night being all alone? Can’t a homosexual do the very same thing?

Romans 7:24-25

O WRETHED MAN THAT I AM! WHO SHALL DELIVER ME FROM THE BODY OF DEATH? (25) I THANK GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. SO THEN WITH THE MIND I SERVE THE LAW OF GOD: BUT WITH THE FLESH THE LAW OF SIN.

We are all frail, sinful people in need of the blood of Jesus Christ. God help each of us to know that! What often happens to people that live in sin and refuse to (come to the throne of grace) (to obtain mercy to help), God turns them over to a reprobate mind. At that, they no longer hear God’s Spirit as he seeks to speak to him. What a terrible place to be!

Right this minute, if you are reading this and God’s Spirit is speaking to your heart, yield to that Spirit! He loves you and truly wants to reason with you! Help you in your time of need! It’s your choice now, it always has been!

Marshall Clayton

@ Timothy 1:7