Saturday, December 31, 2011

Your Way vs. God’s Way

People want to do things their own way and then blame God for the awful failures and sufferings.

They willingly rebel against God and do not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and then when they are punished for their ungodly decisions, they hate God and speak evil against Him.

People ignore the laws of God concerning marriage and the family. They marry or live together for selfish and lustful reasons. They violate the laws of God which should govern the unity and order of the family and home. They bring children into their selfish relationships which are often filled with violence, hatred, bitterness and selfishness. By their own choices, they build immoral and dysfunctional homes and then blame God for the suffering which these innocent children must endure.

We live in a world where people create their own destruction and then blame someone other than themselves. People ruin their health with their addictive habits and then blame others for their problems. People sow the seeds of evil and then refuse the responsibility for the harvest they are reaping.

Proverbs 1:22-33
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Is this not a clear warning? Your Creator and the Creator of all things, has warned you of the consequences of disobedience. Can you not look around at the conditions in this world and in individual lives and see the proof and evidence of what will happen when you do it your way instead of God’s way?

Proverbs 20:24
Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

Without God’s help, you can not and do not understand what you are doing.
You think you know, when you do not know. You believe in yourself, instead of believing in God.

Titus 1:13-16
13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

The word “reprobate” means rejected as worthless.
People reject and consider it worthless to obey the commandments of God. Jesus warned us that if we deny Him and His commandments then He will deny us before God on the great Judgment Day. Salvation is more about what you choose to do than what you choose to say.

You can not escape the consequences of rejecting God’s way and choosing your own way.

From the pulpit to the pew; from the White House to the school house; people are rejecting God and His commandments. Leaders and lawyers, laborers and lords are choosing their own way and rejecting God’s way. What are you doing with Jesus and His gospel?

Isaiah 56:10-12
10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
12 Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

Who is your watchmen that you have set upon the wall to warn you of the coming enemy?
Who is your shepherd that you have chosen to follow where he leads you?
Do you have the Holy Spirit to help you recognize whether or not a man is following Jesus? If you are going to follow someone, should you not pray and ask God for a witness that the Lord is leading the person you are following?

Matthew 15:12-14
12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Not all leaders are blind, but many are blind. The blind leaders say they see. They say they know the way of the Lord. They will not confess that they are making decisions on their own without God’s help.

So how can you know, except you also study and communicate with God so that you can also know the way of truth and holiness. You can be taught of the Holy Spirit what is right and just. God will tell you what is wrong and what is right. But you must earnestly seek for this knowledge and wisdom.

Ezekiel 22:30-31
30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God.

God is seeking for the honest and humble souls which will obey Him unto salvation.
He will not use a self-willed person who chooses to follow his own way instead of God’s way.

Ezekiel 36:17-19
17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
18 Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it:
19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.

God will not force you to go His way. He has allowed you the liberty to choose the way you will take.

However, if you choose to go your way, you will be rewarded and judged according to your own doings.

Ezekiel 18:24-29
24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

God’s way is just and equal. Man’s way is not always just and equal.
Only when men choose to make God’s way their way will their way be just and equal.

John 13:21-30
21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Judas has chosen to do things different than the way Jesus was leading.

I have an opinion that: Judas did not approve of the direction which Jesus was leading. It seemed to Judas that Jesus was just going to submit to His death and let the opportunity fail to establish His Kingdom. Judas was anticipating becoming Treasurer of this new world power and kingdom. He decided to take matters into his own hand and force Jesus to take a stand.

How many times have you decided to do things your own way, instead of the way that the Word and the Spirit were telling you to do it?

Galatians 6:7-8
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

You can have things your way for a while. The time will come when God's way and God's judgment will prevail over your way. Choose God's way today. It is the best way.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE

Share what you have!
You can not share what you do not have.
You can not give to someone something you do not possess.

If you would share truth with someone you must first have truth.
If you would share the gospel of Jesus Christ with someone, you must first possess the grace of salvation which is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you would inspire some person’s faith, you must first be full of faith.

To teach someone what it means to be saved, you must be able to be an example of a saved person. You must live in such a manner as to allow others to see the grace of salvation working in your life.

2 Timothy 2:1-7
2 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Are you strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus?
Can people see the strength and power of God working in your life helping you to live holy?
Do people see you as a kind and tender servant, loving and serving others like Jesus did?

2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Do you have many witnesses who can verify that you have the grace of God in you? What do people say about you?
If every one lived like they have heard and seen you live, would we be surrounded with people of great faith?

3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

We need to ask ourselves these questions. How do I measure up to the word of God? Am I entangled with the world? Am I so busy with the affairs of this world that I don’t have the right amount of time with God? Am I serving myself or God?

5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Regardless of how sincere and diligent you may work at pleasing God; if you are not doing things lawfully, according to the commandments of God, then you will not be crowned with eternal life. You may master preaching, singing and witnessing to others, but if you are not doing the perfect will of God with the help of the Holy Spirit, then you will not master holiness. Holiness can only be mastered by the help of the Holy Ghost.

6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

The husbandman must have the certified and true seed of truth before he can plant it and produce the fruit of Holy Spirit.
You can not produce something without the necessary wherewithal required to produce it. You are not a creator of holiness. Holiness does not come from your efforts. You must first receive it from God before you can prove it to others.

7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Do you understand my speech? If you do not understand, I pray that the Holy Spirit will come to you and witness to you what I am talking about.

Galatians 5:22-26
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Can you give someone love if you have not first received the love of God in your heart?
Can you bring joy to others, if you do not have joy in your own heart from being with Jesus?
Can you give peace, if you do not have peace in your soul, by the full assurance of your salvation?
Can you be longsuffering with others, if the grace of God has not been shed abroad in your soul?
Can you be gentle, if you have not met the gentle Shepherd?
Where is your goodness without God?
Where is your faith, if you have not the gift of faith from God?
Do you think you can have meekness and pride at the same time?
Do you have temperance, if you can not control your conduct or appetite in some area?

Ephesians 5:8-10
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

When you walk in the light of truth, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, you will produce the fruit of the Spirit in all goodness and righteousness and truth.

Matthew 10:7-8
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Jesus sent His twelve disciples first to the House of Israel and then to all the world, both Jews and Gentiles. These men had been freely given great power and authority to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils and many other mighty works. They were commanded to freely give the blessing of God’s power to those who were in need of God’s intervention.

But you can not give something you do not have.

Many people in our day claim to be justified, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost and yet they have little to give to others except a message they have memorized from others. The letter of the message is true, but it is missing the witness of the Spirit and the anointing of the Spirit of God. The expereince is lacking the glory and power which only the Holy Spirit can produce.

They have a knowledge but not the wisdom of the Holy Ghost. They have knowledge but no power to heal the sick, the leper, raise the dead or cast out devils.
They have knowledge but manifest little of the fruit of the Spirit.
Wisdom is the right use of knowledge and it only comes from the having a personal experience of being filled with the Holy Ghost.

Do you have something to give to people?
Do you have something more than a empty, powerless testimony that you know Jesus Christ and you don’t commit sin.
When in reality, perhaps you do not know Jesus Christ.
Perhaps you are still producing the fruit of a carnal man.
Are you in denial of your true spiritual condition?
In reality, perhaps you have rebelled against the Holy Ghost’s call to make yourself a sacrifice and humble yourself to do His will and not seek your own pleasures, interests and desires.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked. You can not do the works of God without perfect obedience to the will and commandments of God.

Remember the words of the apostle Paul when he said: “if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.”

God’s way will always produce what God says. Man’s way will not produce what man says. May the light of divine truth illuminate your mind to know the true condition of your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

The words of Jesus are forever true:
Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

BUY THE TRUTH AND SHARE IT WITH OTHERS.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Satan Is A Liar

Question: IF YOU COULD, WOULD YOU WANT TO?
Response: Would I want to what?
Question: If you could, would you want to have the power to stop sinning? If you are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, God made a way for you to be filled with righteousness. If you are tired of your sins, please read on; God loves you and has wonderful news for YOU.

THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD VS SATAN’S LIES:

Satan’s Lie: Everyone sins.

God’s Truth: NO! everyone does not sin. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” I John 3:9
“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” I John 5:18

Satan’s Lie: A Christian can sin and still be a child of God.

God’s Truth: “He that committeth sin is of the devil.” I John 3:8 “ Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” St. John 8:34 and 44 “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:16-18

Satan’s Lie: I am in the flesh, therefore I must sin because the flesh is weak.

God’s Truth: “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24 “How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For sin shall not have dominion over you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:1,6-7,11-23

Satan’s Lie: We continue to sin even after we are saved.

God’s Truth: “He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” I Peter 4:1-2 “Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” St. John 5:14 “Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.” St John 8:11

Satan’s Lie: I was once saved, so I have eternal security and am still saved even though I sometimes sin.

God’s Truth: “And being made perfect, he (Jesus) became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Hebrews 5:9 “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” St. John 15:14 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” St. John 15:10 “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit (of righteousness) he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”St John 15:2 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Mathehew 7:21

Satan’s Lie: Jesus came to save us from hell, not from sin.

God’s Truth: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” St John 1:29

Satan’s Lie: Satan is more powerful than I am; that’s why I have to sin.

God’s Truth: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.“ I John 3:8 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.“ I John 4:4 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” Jude 24

Satan’s Lie: My pastor says that he sins more or less every day and so does every one else.

God’s Truth: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil.” I John 3:7-8
“Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” I Corinthians 15:34
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” I John 4:1
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” II Corinthians 11:14
“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” II Peter 2:14-19

Satan’s Lie: Jesus Christ is the only perfect one who ever lived in this life.

God’s Truth: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Mathew 5:48
“The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” Luke 6:40
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” II Timothy 3:16-17

Satan’s Lie: We can’t be holy like Jesus.

God’s Truth: “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” I Peter 1:16
“That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.” Luke 1:74-75
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Titus 2:11-12

Satan’s Lie: I know and love God, but just can’t seem to obey Him.

God’s Truth: “He that saith I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” I John 2:4 “If ye love me, keep my commandments. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings.” John 14:15, 21, 23-24
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22

Galatians 6:7-8, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

John 8:44-45, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Satan is a liar. Don't believe him or any of his servants who tell you that God's grace can not deliver you from all your sins. If you will search the scriptures with a sincere desire to please God, the Holy Spirit will show you the truth. I pray for you, that you will find the truth which makes you free from sin.

CONSIDER THIS CONUNDRUM: Once you are a child of God you will always be a child of God; that is to say, once you are saved, you can not ever be lost. However, these false teachers also say that: Satan was once a son of God in heaven and he got kicked out and doomed to an eternal hell because of his rebellion.

Satan is doomed because of his rebellion; but, that will not happen to you. You can rebel and still be safe. You can serve your own selfish desires instead of the will of God and still be saved. REALLY??? My friend, don't believe Satan's lies.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

E. FAITH STEWART’S ILLNESS AND HEALING

Today, a brother shared a tract with me which was written many years ago. It is one of the many testimonies given about a great woman who lived a life of faith in God. I have re-typed her testimony and shared it with you in hopes that it will inspire your faith to trust God and believe His promises. JDS.

REMARKABLE STORY OF E. FAITH STEWART’S ILLNESS AND HEALING

RECORDED BY W.E. BARNES

The Prayer of Faith Shall Save the Sick

Dear Christian Friends:

I feel constrained to write what may be termed “Testimony” or “Facts” regarding Sister Stewart’s marvelous healing. To fully understand what took place is seemingly impossible. One would have had to be on the spot to wholly understand it.

May the Holy Spirit – for the inspiration of those who read this Testimony – truly enable me to help them visualize these FACTS – that it may be the means of deepening the realization of the fact by faith in God His promises will ever prove TRUE to His trusting children.

On December 29, 1944 Sister Stewart in closing a three-days-minister-and-worker’s meeting, preached one of the strongest sermons on divine healing that in fourteen years I ever heard her preach. In her message she urged the brethren to forcefully UPHOLD and MAINTAIN, at any cost, the doctrines of the living church of God – stressing mainly Divine Healing. “The standard of the church of God,” she said, “has been lowered in too many places; we must see to it that by the grace of God that shall not be our course in Cuba. We as the people of God must uphold the Christian Standard in spite of suffering. God can work in all suffering through His people BUT He must have instruments with which to work; and if I am to be used as such an instrument – then Amen, so let it be! And I urge upon you brethren, if ever I get sick and one dose of medicine, however small, be the means of my getting well, let God have His way…my choice is death. Such is my consecration.”

On the evening of December the 30th 1944, Sister Steward left for Ponta San Juan – some 400 miles from the city of Havana – to hold a two-day meeting with five congregations of the church of God. She returned at midnight, January 3rd 1945. On Friday the 5th, she complained of not feeling well and took to her bed that same evening. Saturday morning the 6th, I received a telephone message at the Radio Station telling of Sister Stewart’s illness. Bro. Campos and I had prayer and immediately I left for Los Pinos – “The Home of the Poor children,” where I found Sister Stewart lying in bed a very sick woman. The workers who kept vigil at night told me it had been a night of intense suffering and pain. We had prayer – and believed God gave a touch. I hastened back to Almendares and immediately got in touch with the ministers and workers throughout the island and also with some in the North. Saturday night was not too easy and all through Sunday and Sunday night the pains increased.

We decided that she should be taken to Buena Vista where she could have better care and be near the brethren. A doctor friend visited her and after an examination declared the trouble was “gall stones” and if she was to be helped his recommendation was an operation – and yet, because of her condition, was afraid. He advised that her removal to Buena Vista be delayed a few days. But during this waiting Sister Stewart continued to grow worse. The church in Cuba was praying – brethren in the North were kept informed by cable of her growing grave condition.

On Sunday the 14th, Sister Stewart was taken to Buena Vista to the home of an aged sister – Mama Gonzales, as per her request. Mother Gonzalez is a precious saint now in her 83rd year. Sister Stewart had to be taken to the car like a baby – practically helpless, so much so that the chauffeur – a Spaniard – almost declined to take her as he thought she might die on the way.

Mothers and children at the Home wept and you can better imagine the scene than I can describe it. God undertook and we arrived at Mama Gonzalez in good order. She was laid in bed and we immediately had prayer. In the meantime a plan was worked out as to how she should be cared for. This meant a day and night watch. The church at Almedares was opened for prayer day and night, and we urged fasting which was accordingly done for several days by different groups of the brethren.

Monday night it seemed to some that all hope was lost. She hourly grew worse and about midday Tuesday she began to lose consciousness – was practically helpless in bed. She could not turn in bed without help. The ministers from nearby districts were summoned to Buena Vista and telegrams were sent to the interior urging the brethren to get hold of God in a definite way. Here and there were groups wrestling with God, and it would appear that the more we prayed the worse was the case. But, of course we know that was Satan’s device. It was not Sister Stewart as we knew her then – it was death itself lying in bed. Dr. Joseph Watts, a dentist and medical student of two years, said frankly, he knew our stand on Divine Healing and he appreciated it but from his observation as a medical student the case was a lost one. (Dr. Watts is a grandson of Mama Gonzalez,)

Thursday night [January 18th – the fourteenth day of her sickness] Sister Stewart’s condition became so grave and alarming that we were compelled to call in a doctor to comply with the law of Government. The doctor came at 11:35 and said after his examination that he failed to understand how she could be alive under existing conditions. Later he told me it was a matter of hours, humanly speaking. (This doctor is also a minister of the Gospel.) Needless to say what a gloom this brought to the scores of people who were looking on; the gloom over the house; some weeping, some sad, some so distressed; some praying and othes apparently dumb. Some would ask, “Bro. Barnes, what do you think?” My only response which I held to all through her illness was: “Sister Stewart is in God’s hands and He will take care of her.” Praise God, He did that very thing! That very night I cabled – by night letter to several of God’s dear children in North America urging prayer. All this time Sister Stewart was practically unconscious…she knew no one and could not utter one word.

Friday the 19th, the church under the Superintendency of Sister Stewart, fasted and prayed throughout the day and night. Brethren from the North wired, stating their stand with us…Was Friday to be the fatal day? Crowds gathered in and the rumor went out that she was dead. Denominational ministers and friends sent in to say they, too, were praying for Sister Stewart. But more and more it looked to be a lost case. Was it possible that God would take Sister Stewart home in that state of unconsciousness and not leave a word of testimony behind? We were abiding in God’s will, and if death crept in we could only say Amen. But some of us HELD OUT THAT HER WORK IN CUBA WAS NOT ACCOMPLISHED AND WE BELIEVED GOD WOULD SPARE HER.

All day Saturday brought no change except for the worse. I saw men and women on their faces all through Saturday night, wrestling with God. At 5:15 Sunday morning, six of us were at her bedside. We sang one verse of her favorite hymn, “Who will suffer with the Savior?” And we talked with God. Finally I said, as her eyes flashed a light – “Sister Stewart, for several days you have not spoken – is it possible that you are taking your departure without a single word? We are desperately concerned because people in Cuba are watching and listening – What will I tell the brethren in the North who will naturally be expecting a testimony, if you die. – Tell us something: In Cuba especially people are going to judge the work by your testimony”…Her tongue moved and in low stuttering but understandable words, said, “God can heal me.” We just shouted and praised God – But something was ahead – What?

I left for my home at 6:30 Sunday morning. Like many others, I had not had an hour in bed since Tuesday night the 16th. I returned to Mama Gonzalez at 1:15 to remain until Sunday School hour. As I got off the bus I saw the street literally crowded with people and I wondered. As I entered I saw a distressed crowd inside – a pitiable sight, which depicted the concern for our beloved sister Stewart. Everyone was concerned; Is she dead; is she dead? Was all that one seemed to hear. People came as far as 40 miles to see her. These were not church members and I personally counted more than five hundred people who had come… and from what I could gather not more than 20 had any hope of seeing her alive again. Every room in the house, the entrance and every available space as well as the street on which the house is located was occupied by people…just waiting to hear the final word – DEAD! And this hour was the supreme test for a few.

At precisely 10:15 Sunday night the horn of an ambulance tooted as “a bolt from the blue”…In walked a doctor and a friend. Imagine the confusion, dear ones,…How often I have wished that I could forget this scene. The gentleman said to me, “Mr. Barnes, we have come to take Miss Stewart to a provate clinic where I have secured a bed for sixty dollars at my expense. Miss Stewart is dying and it is necessary that she be taken to this clinic where medical attention can be given.” I answered “No.” He contended long – said I was a fanatic – that he would consult the members – for I was only one – and that if Miss Stewart was not taken to the clinic or given medical attention and she should die, I would be arrested for murder. The Federation of Doctors would take the case up. I responded as follows:

“I am very much surprised at you… You, as a friend know of sister Stewart’s stand on Divine Healing, then why all this? I am sorry, but sister Stewart may be taken to a clinic ONLY OVER MY DEAD BODY LYING ON THE FLOOR.” I repeated what she stated in her message on December 29th; and moreover, I said, men and women were dying for the sake of principles which to me were not worth the price of hat-box! What does it matter to me if I am arrested for a cause I know to be right? Especially when like this it is founded on the Bible? Naturally, he got angry and went to the street. The doctor then asked my permission to examine Sister Stewart. It was granted. He found her case to be much complicated…would be necessary to have her at a clinic to give her a thorough examination – one thing was certain – her hours were numbered. Much more took place which I do not care to reveal. The friend mentioned is a distinguished gentleman – professor of languages in important Havana intellectual centers. Some time later he expressed regret for what took place and asked my forgiveness.

Thank God for the faithful servants that stood by that night when the supreme test came. The first doctor who saw her even went as far as to say that the case was one of SLOW MURDER and if she died he would see to it that no doctor who had seen her would give a death certificate. The Federation of Cuban Doctors were watching, but the Great Physician who needs not watching disappointed them.

Monday brought a little change for the better and Tuesday night, at 11:15 a group of twenty-three gathered in a room for a DEFINITE TALK WITH GOD. Before three had prayed we had definite evidence that God had spoken – and from that time dear Sister Stewart began to gain strength to such an extent that at our 12 Annual Convention she was able to preach three powerful sermons.

In my time of nearly fifteen years with Sister Stewart she has passed through very many serious sicknesses but noe quite so serious as this: Unconscious for several days – had to be fed liquid food by means of a dropper – two sisters would have to open her mouth and put aside the tongue, while, from either a sponge or dropper, another would feed her. She could not as much as raise a finger. Her tongue seemed to be tied and from her waist down to her feet her body was lifeless: Gall Stones; high blood pressure; hardening of the arteries; pneumonia and a paralytic stoke; her suffering was intense. And that we might better understand I believe that god literally brought her back from “the jaws of death.” This is about the simplest explanation that can be given.

We have thanked and praised God for the interest and cooperation of the brethren in the U.S.A. during this trial of faith. We are praising God for a TRIUMPHANT CHURCH and from the depth of our hearts that God will bless and inspire each one to a more profound confidence in HIM and in His promises that fail NOT – is our prayer for you.

Yours in Christian Love,
W.E. Barnes

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

The title of my message today is “The Acts of the Apostles.”
What thoughts does that title provoke in your mind?
Do you think of the New Testament book which has that title?

What is in that New Testament book we call our Bible?

It tells us of the activities, works and testimonies of the early church as they obeyed the commandments of their Lord, Jesus Christ. The entire New Testament tells us of the acts of the apostles and the works of Jesus Christ. These 27 books or epistles are only a few of the books which were written by the early church leaders. The records of history, the reports of historians, tell us that these men were avid readers and writers. They read the epistles from and to each other in their assemblies. They wrote letters and books on doctrine, warnings, encouragements and testimonies of the miraculous works which were done among them.

The New Testament and these early books of the church tell us of the victorious and holy lives of a people who were consecrated to give themselves sacrificially to the work of the Kingdom of God. They stood before the enemies of truth and became martyrs for this way we call Christianity. Many of these early “morning-time” Christian leaders left their jobs, their homes and their families to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world of unbelieving Jews and Gentiles.

During the FIRST SEAL period of time (33-270 A.D.) when the church was filled with the Holy Ghost and going forth under the Great Commission we read about men who were: Authors of many books; Prolific song writers; Fervent in their prayer life; Living a sacrificial life style; Going forth into foreign mission fields; testifying and doing the works of divine healing; Suffering great persecutions.

This testimony is recorded of these men in Acts 17:6-7, “…they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.”

Concerning the early church and their musical works, there is ample proof that they were prolific song writers:

Acts 16:25, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”

Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

Colossians 3:16, “…teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Revelation 15:2-3, “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”

The following statement was made by Claudius Philo as recorded by Eusebius: “He then goes on to write this about their composing new psalms: ‘Thus they not only practice contemplation but also compose songs and hymns to God in all kinds of metres and melodies, setting them, as might be expected, to solemn measures.’” (Eusebius pg.52 ca. 300 A.D.)

Concerning the early church activities in foreign missions we have many testimonies. Again I quote from Eusebius:
“Besides them many others were well known at the time, belonging to the first stage in the apostolic succession. These earnest disciples of great men built on the foundations of the churches everywhere laid by the apostles, spreading the message still further and sowing the saving seed of the Kingdom of Heaven far and wide through the entire world. Very many of the disciples of the time, their hearts smitten by the word of God with an ardent passion for true philosophy, first fulfilled the Saviour’s command by distributing their possessions among the needy; then, leaving their homes behind, they carried out the work of evangelists, ambitious to preach to those who had never yet heard the message of the faith and to give them the inspired gospels in writing. Staying only to lay the foundations of the faith in one foreign place or another, appoint others as pastors, and entrust to them the tending of those newly brought in, they set off again for other lands and peoples with the grace and cooperation of God, for even at that late date many miraculous powers of the divine Spirit worked through them, so that at the first hearing whole crowds in a body embraced with a whole-hearted eagerness the worship of the universal Creator.” (Eusebius, History of the Church, pg. 100)

I have been criticized, condemned and excommunicated from certain fellowship meetings because I have publicly stated that we are living in a day when the majority of the church is in a sleepy, lukewarm condition, as it is so described in the scriptures. In October 2006, I was set aside and no longer allowed to preach in congregations associated with the “Lakeland Fellowship” congregations of the church of God. I and certain other ministers were publicly called “young whippersnappers” because we did not accept the belief that these congregations (in the Lakeland Fellowship) were more glorious than at any other time in history. I was condemned because I did not accept the belief that the Third Earthquake, described in The Revelation, took place in the decade of the 1960.

This Third Earthquake is described in Revelation 11:19 and chapter 16 verses 17 and 18. Read what the Holy Scriptures say.

Revelation 16:17-18
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

This Third Earthquake is said to be the greatest earthquake, “such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty and earthquake, and so great.” It was greater than the first earthquake in the morning-time of the church. It was greater than the second earthquake in the Sixth Seal. I say, when has such a great spiritual earthquake been witnessed since the opening of the Seventh Seal in 1930. There is no evidence to support such a wonderful claim.

Since 1930, the church of God has been engulfed with silence on the message of a sanctified, sacrificial life.

Since 1930, our fellowships have been rife with divisions, contentions and unresolved controversies.

Paul’s exhortation to the Philippian church has fallen on deaf ears in our day. Ministers have divided and scattered God’s people into various sects because they will not “let brotherly love continue” as we have been commanded to do.

Philippians 2:1-8
1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

The morning-time church in the First Seal had these characteristics which we have already named: Authors of many books; Prolific song writers; Fervent in their prayer life; Living a sacrificial life style; Going forth into foreign mission fields; testifying and doing the works of divine healing; Suffering great persecutions.

The evening-time church in the Sixth Seal had these same characteristics: Authors of many books; Prolific song writers; Fervent in their prayer life; Living a sacrificial life style; Going forth into foreign mission fields; testifying and doing the works of divine healing; Suffering great persecutions.

We sing songs from the song books written by these men and women of the Sixth Seal, i.e. the Evening Light Hymnal. We have libraries full of their books which they have written on doctrine, divine healing, miracles, and the hardships they endured as they gave their lives for this great gospel. The Gospel Trumpet Publishing Company sent this beautiful gospel around the world with their printed word in the weekly paper called “The Gospel Trumpet.”

It is a sad report that we have of the church of God in America. It is very unfortunate that we have have conditions which strongly resemble that which Paul spoke of in:

1 Corinthians 3:1-11
3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

What are we doing today? Are we gathering or scattering? Who has a burden for the “ministry of reconciliation.” Every effort I have seen put forth in this day has been largely ignored by ministers who are not able to trust the Lord Jesus Christ to exercise His power and authority to be the Head of the Church. Instead, ministers have attempted to protect and purge the congregations of the church of God by judging one another and putting out those whom they deem to be unworthy of fellowship.

There will not be a Third Earthquake until Jesus Christ puts His approval upon a people and a man who “should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;” (1 Thessalonians 4:4)

Men and women, ministers and teachers, must remove themselves from the Judgment Seat upon which Christ alone sits; and humble themselves to serve one another. There will be no great spiritual earthquake until this happens.

2 Timothy 2:15-21
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

We have our instructions. We have a written copy of the will of God.
Who will humble himself to be entirely consecrated to the perfect will of God?
Who will fast and pray until the Lord sends the power down from heaven?
Who will rise above the clamor and be an example of the believer?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

THE WILL OF GOD

It is imperative that I know the will of God for my life.
Likewise, it is imperative that you know the will of God for your life.
Knowing the will of God must be a priority concern in my daily prayers.
God does not hide His will for us, but reveals it to those who earnestly seek His will.

Jesus said that your relationship with Him depends upon you doing the will of God.

Mark 3:32-35
32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

If you do not do the will of God, then you can not be part of the family of God. We must obey our Father. We must respect God as the authority in our life. We do not have the liberty to choose to do our own way and say “NO” to God’s way. When we know the will of God, we must do it or else we are judged as a rebellious person. To rebel against the will of God is sin and sin separates a person from God.

Our Heavenly Father has sent His Son and the Holy Spirit to teach us all things so that we can know the will of God. God’s will for us is the best way to live in this world.

John 12:44-50
44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

How do we know what the will of God is for our own self?
It is told to us in the Word of God. Jesus Christ came to give us the Word of God. He is the incarnate Word of God. The will of God is found in His Word. To know the will of God, you must read and study the Word of God.

The Word of God contains the Laws of God which pertain unto life and salvation. The Word of God teaches us the will of God concerning our conduct and attitudes. The life of Jesus Christ is set before us in the Word as an example of how we should live in this world.

John 10:9-10
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

If we follow the example set by Jesus Christ, then we will find the abundant life which is filled with the provisions of God’s grace and blessings. There is no other religion acceptable to God than that which Jesus Christ has brought into this world. As the apostle Paul stated in his letter to the church of God at Ephesus, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all…”

2 Peter 1:1-11
1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath 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:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This is the will of God. This is the Word of God which teaches us the way of salvation.

These are the works which God has commanded us to do and it is His will that we do them.

If you love God, if you love the Lord Jesus Christ, you will search for His will and do it.

There are external works which we must do if we are to do the will of God. There is also an internal character which we must have to do the will of God. Outward works are an absolute requirement which can not be dismissed or neglected. But without the inward work, the outward works alone are unacceptable.

Romans 12:1-3
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

The perfect will of God must start in the heart.
We must do the works of repentance.
We must humble ourselves before Jesus Christ and seek His forgiveness for all our sins that are past. All of our disobedient works must be in the past. We can not continue to live in disobedience and have the approval of God. If we willfully disobey God, then He is not our Father.

Romans 6:16-23
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Don’t you know that your father is the one you obey? If you obey Satan, by yielding to his temptations, then he is your father. But, if you obey the commandments of God, then He is your Father.

Hebrews 10:35-37
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

After you have done the will of God, you must not doubt your reward or His faithfulness to fulfill all of His promises. God will take care of you if you do His will. Be patient and wait on God to show Himself strong in your behalf.

1 Thessalonians 4:2-4
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

We have a very clear statement by the apostle Paul where he teaches us that it is the will of God that we be sanctified. Sanctification is the will of God for you and for me. We must be sanctified or else we will yield to the temptations of the flesh such as fornication and the lust of the flesh.

The Word of God teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the sanctifier. He is the one who purges and makes us strong in grace to do the will of God. Without the Holy Spirit’s presence in your heart, you will not be safe from fornication. You will not have grace to consistently resist the lust of the flesh.

Don’t be distracted by “how” you are sanctified; or, “when” you are sanctified. What you need to know is: “Are you sanctified?” Do you have the grace of God through the Holy Spirit to have victory over all of the works of the flesh?

There are people who claim to be saved and sanctified who do not fulfill the law of love. They can not humbly honor and respect others with that brotherly love which exhibits mercy and justice. I have seen people who believe in two distinct works of grace in justification and sanctification and they can not restrain themselves from judging, condemning, biting and devouring one another. I have also seen people who believe in one work of grace, i.e. where the child of God is purged of his sins and filled with the Holy Spirit at the same instant of time; and, they also can not humbly honor and respect others with that brotherly love which exhibits mercy and justice.

The critical question is: Are you sanctified?
Don’t just tell me you are sanctified. Show me that you are sanctified by your obedience to the perfect will of God. The sanctified person will have the power and glory of God upon their life. They will not be proud. They will not be easily provoked to cause strife and division. They will not desire the comforts of this world over their commitment to make themselves a sacrifice unto the Lord. They will be full of faith and the Holy Ghost. They will be an example of a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. Their works will prove their sanctification.

The following words and their definitions express the experience and the doctrine of sanctification.

NT:37 GREEK hagiazo (hag-ee-ad'-zo); from NT:40; to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate: KJV - hallow, be holy, sanctify.

NT:38 GREEK hagiasmos (hag-ee-as-mos'); from NT:37; properly, purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concretely (by Hebraism) a purifier: KJV - holiness, sanctification.

NT:39 GREEK hagion (hag'-ee-on); neuter of NT:40; a sacred thing (i.e. spot): KJV - holiest (of all), holy place, sanctuary.

NT:40 GREEK hagios (hag'-ee-os); from hagos (an awful thing) [compare NT:53, NT:2282]; sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated): KJV - (most) holy (one, thing), saint.

The question you and I must ask ourselves is this: Am I holy? Do we do the will of God and keep ourselves from all unrighteousness?
If we are not holy all the time; then, we are not holy any of the time.
You can not be guilty of sin in your heart and be a holy temple of the Lord.
The Holy Spirit will not dwell in an unclean temple.
It is a disgrace and a reproach to the power and grace of God to believe that you can be holy part of the day and unholy part of the day. The grace of God that brings salvation to the soul is a powerful experience and it is not easily gained or easily lost. There is a great spiritual battle involved in the experience of sanctification.

1 Peter 4:17-19
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

They that have been made holy in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit will suffer persecution. They will battle the enemy of their soul in serious conflict of mind and circumstances. Their affection for the things of God will be sorely tested with the temptations of the world.

1 Peter 3:15-17
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

To do the will of God, you must crucify the flesh and be will to suffer with the Savior who suffered for you. He gave His life so that you could have eternal life. It is no small thing for you to give your life with thanksgiving for what Jesus has done for you.

1 John 2:16-17
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Are you doing the will of God?
The world must see a people who are doing the will of God.
Our holiness must be visible and have the evidence of righteous deeds.
Where ever the will of God is done; His glory and power will be there.
If the glory and power of God is not present to heal the soul and body, then the will of God is not being fulfilled.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Lost Child

Irenaeus (Second Century A.D.), in Book III of his “Against Heresies” recorded the following account of the Apostle John who wrote the Gospel according to John and the book of The Revelation. Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of John. Both Polycarp and John served as Bishop of the church of God at Ephesus. This account is extracted from Eusebius’ (260-339 A.D.) book “The History of the Church” in which he purposes to record and preserve the testimonies of the early church.

“Listen to a tale that is not just a tale but a true account of John the apostle, handed down and carefully remembered. When the tyrant [Domitian] was dead, and John had moved from the island of Patmos to Ephesus, he used to go when asked to the neighboring districts of the Gentile peoples, sometimes to appoint bishops, sometimes to organize whole churches, sometimes to ordain one person of those pointed out by the Spirit. So it happened that he arrived at a city not far off, named by some, and after settling the various problems of the brethren, he finally looked at the bishop already appointed, and indicating a youngster he had noticed, of excellent physique, attractive appearance, and ardent spirit, he said: ‘I leave this young man in your keeping, with all earnestness, in the presence of the Church and Christ as my witness.’ When the bishop accepted him and promised everything, John addressed the same appeal and adjuration to him a second time.

He then returned to Ephesus, and the cleric took home the youngster entrusted to his care, brought him up, kept him in his company, looked after him, and finally gave him the grace of baptism. After this he relaxed his constant care and watchfulness, having put upon him the seal of the Lord as the perfect protection. But the youngster snatched at liberty too soon, and was led sadly astray by others of his own age who were idle, dissolute, and evil-livers. First, they led him on by expensive entertainments; then they took him with them when they went out at night to commit robbery; then they urged him to take part in even greater crimes. Little by little he fell into their ways; and like a hard-mouthed powerful horse he dashed off the straight road, and taking the bit between his teeth rushed down the precipice the more violently because of his immense vitality. Completely renouncing God’s salvation, he was no longer content with petty offences, but, as his life was already in ruins, he decided to commit a major crime and suffer the same fate as the others. He took these same young renegades and formed them into a gang of bandits of which his was the master mind, surpassing them all in violence, cruelty, and bloodthirstiness.

Time went by, and some necessity having arisen, John was asked to pay another visit. When he had dealt with the business for which he had come, he said: ‘Come now, bishop, pay me back the deposit which Christ and I left in your keeping, in the presence of the Church over which you preside as my witness.’ At first the bishop was taken aback, thinking that he was being dunned for money he had never received. He could neither comply with a demand for what he did not possess, nor refuse to comply with John’s request. But when John said ‘It is the young man I am asking for, and the soul of our brother’, the old man sighed deeply and shed a tear.
‘He is dead.’
‘How did he die?’
‘He is dead to God; he turned out wicked and profligate, in short, a bandit; and now, instead of the Church, he has taken to the mountain with an armed gang of men like himself.’

The apostle rent his garment, groaned aloud, and beat his head. ‘A fine guardian,’ he cried, ‘I left of our brother’s soul! However, let me have a horse immediately, and someone to show me the way.’ He galloped off from the church, then and there, just as he was. When he arrived at the place, and was seized by the bandits’ sentry-group, he made no attempt to escape and asked no mercy, but shouted: ‘This is what I have come for: take me to your leader.’ For the time being the young man waited, armed as he was; but as John approached he recognized him, and filled with shame, turned to flee. But John ran after him as hard as he could, forgetting his years and calling out: ‘Why do you run away from me, child - from your own father, unarmed and very old? Be sorry for me, child, not afraid of me. You still have hopes of life. I will account to Christ for you. If need be, I will gladly suffer your death, as the Lord suffered death for us; to save you I will give my own life. Stop! Believe! Christ sent me.’

When he heard this, the young man stopped and stood with his eyes on the ground; then he threw down his weapons; then he trembled and began to weep bitterly. When the old man came up he flung his arms round him, pleading for himself with groans as best he could, and baptized a second time with his tears, but keeping his right hand out of sight. But John solemnly pledged his word that he had found pardon for him from the Saviour: he prayed, knelt down, and kissed that very hand as being cleansed by his repentance. Then he brought him back to the church, interceded for him with many prayers, shared with him the ordeal of continuous fasting, brought his mind under control by all the enchanting power of words, and did not leave him, we are told, till he had restored him to the Church, giving a perfect example of true repentance and a perfect proof of regeneration, the trophy of a visible resurrection.”

The church of God in this Seventh Seal time, wherein we are smothered with a spiritual blanket of lukewarmness, must learn how to contend with Satan for the salvation of souls. If we would learn the key to greater success with bringing up our children in the fear of the Lord and into a loving relationship with the Savior of their young souls, we must overcome the great fault of giving liberty to our children before they are mature enough to fight their own battles and resist crafty temptations. Did you notice the expression of wisdom in this story? It is stated:

“After this he relaxed his constant care and watchfulness, having put upon him the seal of the Lord as the perfect protection. But the youngster snatched at liberty too soon, and was led sadly astray by others of his own age who were idle, dissolute, and evil-livers.”

Oh, so many children of the saints have been lost because they were given liberty too soon. When the vitality of the human nature is at its peak between the ages of 12 and 18, parents permit these youth liberty for which they have not the wisdom to manage. Parents are persuaded by many evil influences to relinquish their responsibility, to train up their child in the way he ought to go, before they have finished their duty.

Having failed your child by giving him liberty too soon, will you now fall on your face before your Lord and Savior and seek His forgiveness; asking for grace to give your life for the salvation of your child?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Patience - A Divine Grace

Are you a patient person, or do you just claim to be patient?
Does your conduct testify that you have that grace of God called “patience.”

PATIENCE – What does this word mean?
1 : bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
2 : manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
3 : not hasty or impetuous
4 : steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity

Galatians 5:13-26
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
Adultery, …………sexual relationship between a married person and another
fornication,………..any sexual relationship between any unmarried persons
uncleanness, ……..morally and physically impure, especially sexually
lasciviousness,…….lacking legal or moral restraint, especially sexually
Idolatry, ………….worship of a false god
witchcraft, ………..use of medication or drugs to work magic or deception
hatred,…………….hateful, actively hostile, a person’s enemy
variance,………….contentious, disagreeable
emulations, ………jealous with ill will
wrath, …………….passionate indignation,
strife, ……………..to provoke division by some secret scheme
seditions, …………to cause a division
heresies,…………..to create a choice between parties or sects
Envyings, ………...spiteful jealousy
murders, ………….added word, meant to identify the fruit of envyings
drunkenness, …….intoxicated
revellings,………..let loose to rioting
and such like: …..all those things which are part of the life of wickedness.

of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is
love,……………..affectionate concern for the good welfare of others
joy, ……………..cheerful, gladness
peace, …………...a quietness and restful place of unity
longsuffering, …..patience, forbearance
gentleness, ………morally useful and kind
goodness, ……….virtue, strong good character
faith,…………….persuaded in the truthfulness of Christ for salvation
Meekness, ………humility
temperance: …….self-control

against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

I want us to study the virtue of patience. It is a character trait which is missing in a large part of our society. Most people tend to judge themselves according to their own standard and definition of patience.

Hebrews 10:30-39
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Patient becomes critical when you are tempted to become discouraged after you have made a great sacrifice and then you suffer persecution or hurt.
After we have done the will of God, we must wait with patience. We may not know what all God is doing or when He will do a particular work. We must hold fast to faith and know with full assurance that God never forgets or neglects His people.

You have enemies, so did Jesus Christ.
You have people who scorn you, so did Jesus Christ.
You have family who do not believe you, so did Jesus Christ.
Cast not away your confidence, your reward will come. You have need of patience.

Ecclesiastes 7:7-14
7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.
8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.
12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.


You do not come to the end of God’s way and then find something better.
No, you come to the end of your way and then you find God
.

If you are not patient in your spirit then you are not patient.

Patience must begin on the inside because the source of true patience is the Holy Spirit.

Your self-control on the outside will reach a point of failure.

The prophet Isaiah spoke the truth when he said in Isaiah 49:23, “they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”

Patience is a necessary part of your victory in all your battles. Without patience you will fail in battle and be in danger of losing your soul.

Luke 21:10-19
10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

In this world we will have wars and great tribulation, but the word of God is sure.
All of His prophecies are true and sure. What God has planned will come to pass.
In patience you must hold fast to the confidence that God is still doing what He planned to do. You are in God’s plan. If you keep His commandments and choose to do that which is right and good, God will bless you and give you a good reward.

James 1:1-4
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Patience is such an important part of faith. If you have faith in God you will with patience wait upon Him to show you the way forward.

James 3:13-18
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

This is the way of the faithful man who has learned to wait upon the Lord in faith.
This is the way of the children of God who keep God’s commandments with hope.
These are peacemakers, patient people who love one another and serve one another.

1 Peter 2:20
For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

Take it patiently!
This is the good and right way.
This is the way to eternal glory.
Do you have your own limited self-control which you are calling patience?
Or, do you have the real treasure of God’s grace called, “longsuffering, patient and benevolent?”