Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year Coming

Today, I sit alone in my home, enjoying the quiet solitude which is so conducive to meditating on the value and importance of things in life and eternity.  My family has gone hither and yon to visit friends and relatives.  I sit at my window and drink in the heavenly, placid vista of the Great Smoky Mountains and the panoramic expanse of the foothills of the beautiful Tennessee Valley.  The Crew’s Dairy Farm fields are dark green with winter wheat.  The silo with its shining silver dome stands above the red barns.  The French Broad River is flowing bank to bank after recent heavy rains.  Dense winter clouds warn us that cold temperatures are near at hand. 

I thank the Lord that I am comfortable and abundantly blessed with warm shelter, clothing, food and salvation.  It is not so with so many of our neighbors.  The homeless and the refugees of war-torn countries continue to suffer from the ravages of sinful and wicked men.   

A sweet hour of prayer brings to the soul peace, perspective and promise.  We have the promise of God’s grace which has been purchased for us by the loving sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We have the promise of divine blessings which have been, are and will be sufficient for every trial and test we may face. 

Current events and issues press upon the mind with a profoundly personal reality.  And yet we know that what is now has been previously and will be again.  The citizens of one nation have enslaved and abused the citizens of another nation from antiquity and will continue till the end of time.  Black lives matter no more than brown lives matter and no more than white lives matter.  My ancestors, like your ancestors, have been abused by tyrants and heretics.  No one owes me anything; and, I owe no man anything but love.  Only the Great Judgment Day will bring all this to a close and every man will receive his reward according to the attitudes of his heart and the deeds done in his life.

Can we learn from the past and apply those lessons to the present and the future?  If we are complacent and continue to do what we have always done; we will continue to have what we have always had, or less.  It is my heart’s desire to make 2016 a better year than 2015.  I am not satisfied to be content with the status quo of past years.  I want more of the grace and wisdom of God in my life.  I want to be a better servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I want my Lord to be pleased with me.  

With the coming of a New Year, I share these seven admonitions with you as a challenge to grow in grace, wisdom, faith and power with God.

1.  Consider the consequences of your past and future choices.
2.  Investigate the opportunities of your dreams.
3.  Apply the wisdom of your experiences to exceed your past performance.
4.  Prove your worthiness by promoting another’s accomplishments.
5.  Show respect and kindness to the stranger; he may open the door to your success.
6.  Teach others and share the knowledge which other people have given to you.

7.  Forget not the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega; because, if you don’t start with Him, you cannot end with Him.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

WAIT ON GOD

“The sin of Israel in the days of Samuel with regard to the kingdom consisted in not waiting for God’s time, in which He might think fit to give them a king.  It consisted in antedating that season by a rude seizure and impatient grasp of human anticipation, and in asking for a king in order that they might be like other nations, and that their king might lead them forth to battle, and deliver them from their enemies – as if it was not a special privilege to be unlike other nations, in being directly under God’s rule; and as if God had not always delivered them from their enemies, whenever they were obedient to Him. 

But God often accommodates and adjusts His doings to men’s devices in order that they may see by experience how evil a thing it is to follow their own inclinations, instead of conforming to His will, and tarrying His leisure.  So it was with Israel.  God gave them a king in compliance with their wish, a king endowed with many gifts and graces, and adapted, by his physical strength and prowess, to their carnal reliance on material force and support. 

The fair beginnings of Saul, his modesty, prudence, clemency, and success; his subsequent degeneracy when he was elated by victory, and puffed up by his royal dignity; his vain glory, self-confidence, and disobedience to God, speaking to him first by Samuel, and next in a direct command from Himself; his hypocrisy and formalism; his rejection and desertion by God; his visitation from an Evil Spirit; his envy, hatred, and malignant persecution of David, his deliverer and benefactor, and even of his own son; his desolation, distress, distraction, despondency, and despair; his resort to the witch of Endor for counsel from Samuel when dead, whom he has disobeyed when living; his shameful defeat by the Philistines, and his wretched death on Mount Gilboa by his own hand; and the succession of David in his room – all these events are full of deep moral interest and fraught with warning, admonition, and instruction, both in faith and practice. 

Sooner or later, they who push before God, forcing their will into action apart from Divine direction, must come under most grievous and bitter penalties.  The only proper attitude for men, or nations, to take is, waiting on God, and waiting for Him.”  (Selected from “Biblical Things Not Generally Known – 1892).

Saul started right and ended wrong.  Saul gave place to the influence of his carnal nature to follow the counsel of his own heart instead of maintaining a diligent quest to know the divine will of God.  The sin of Israel became Saul’s sin in that he trusted in the arm of flesh instead of waiting and trusting in the benevolence of God. 

Is it not the same temptation we face in our own life?  Are we not often tempted to make decisions without Holy Ghost leadership and counsel.  When the Apostle Paul, by divine inspiration, gave us a list of spiritual gifts, the first two mentioned were “administration” and “operation.”  Without the wisdom, discernment and aid of the Holy Spirit, men will not be able to properly carry out the administration and operation of the holy and spiritual affairs of the church of God. 

1 Corinthians 12:4-6
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

Every pastor is wholly incapable of performing the great multitude of responsibilities and decisions; unless, he is endued with divine discernment and filled with the Spirit of Promise, the Holy Ghost, the sole giver of grace for the administration and operation of the church.   The carnal pastor will begin to exalt himself above his fellows and seek dominion over other ministers.  He will dominate the faith of the flock and lead them away from that personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Comforter. 

Whether it is due to pride or ignorance, i.e. a lack of proper instruction, when a leader fails to administer the will of God in the operations of the church, there is a need of repentance and reconciliation.  A lack of humility has prevented many ministers from humbling themselves for fear of the opinion of the people. 

It is needful that we learn to patiently wait on God for His leadership to show us the right way forward.  However, when we have received instructions and commandments which clearly provide the knowledge we need, we must obey.  Do not hide and cover your mistakes when God has required you to make amends. 

Matthew 5:23-26
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.


There will be no opportunity for restitution in eternity.  Go quickly and pay thy debt while there is time.  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A HOLY DAY

What is a holy day?  What makes a day holy?  What makes something holy or un-holy?  In all matters of judgment, there must be the establishment of “the motive.”  Please take time to consider the many facets of this important question. 

Romans 14:4-6
4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

The Apostle Paul clearly instructs us to beware of judging the servants of God.  God’s children are His children.  They are not your children.  God is able to hold them up and enable them to stand.  People value different days with different values.  Make sure you value your days according to the light of Truth which God has revealed to you. 

Matthew 15:16-20
16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

A certain action becomes evil when the purpose, attitude and intent behind the action is evil.  If there is no evil in the purpose, attitude and intent of the heart, then there can be no evil in the action.  Where there is no knowledge of the law of righteousness relative to the occasion or action, there is no sin. 

Colossians 2:16-17
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Holiness and our relationship to God is not about any particular day or occasion.  It is all about the attitude and intent of the heart. 

John 7:21-24
21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.
22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.
23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

We are repeatedly cautioned to not judge according to the outward appearance.  To judge righteous judgment, we must know the condition of the heart.  For out of the heart always proceeds all the issues of life. 

2 Corinthians 5:12
For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

There have been and will always be those unwise people who glory in their attention to every detail and yet do not discern the heart of him whom they judge. 

2 Corinthians 10:5-7
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.

1 Thessalonians 5:18-22
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

It is always good advice to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”  We must ask the question: “What is it that appears to be evil?”  Does it appear evil to me?  Does it appear evil to others?  Does it appear evil to the person(s) who are involved and participating in the activity?  Do we judge another person based on our knowledge level or on their knowledge level?  When is something evil?  What makes it evil? 

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Oh, that our thoughts and words were as quick and powerful and sharp as any two-edged sword.  But, they are not.  We do not always know the thoughts and intents of the heart of him whom we judge.  Therefore, we should refrain from judgment until all things have been proven.  He that is hasty in judgment is likely to be found often in error. 

John 2:1-10
1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines the word “wine” as it is used throughout this passage as effervescent, fermented and intoxicating.

NT:3631 GREEK oinos (oy'-nos); a primary word (or perhaps of Hebrew origin [OT:3196]); "wine" (literally or figuratively):
OT:3196 yayin (yah'-yin); from an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication, intoxication:
KJV - banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

Most devout Christians would not attend a wedding feast where the people were drinking wine and becoming “well drunk.”   They certainly would not have provided more wine and better wine for the party.  Was Jesus participating in an event and an activity which was sinful.  We know that He was not!  Are we more holy in our standard than what was practiced in their day?  No, God’s righteous principles never change.  It is always a matter of the motive and attitude of the heart.  Customs may change, come and go; but, the righteous laws of God are without any variation.  It is because God’s laws are spiritual and eternal.  They are higher than men’s traditions, customs and fashions and men’s opinions. 

Can a custom which contains an evil element be changed so that the evil is removed and the revised custom be retained? 

Our nation has by Congressional legislation designated certain days as holidays.  They were originally established for beneficial purposes to give families a rest from their labors and enjoy the fellowship of their families.  We have designated holidays such as: New Year’s, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  These holidays provide families the opportunity to gather together and connect with each other. 

Some of these holidays can be found in the practices of Pagan and Heathen cultures.  During the Dark Ages of our world history (270-1530), The Roman Catholic Church allowed converts to continue to use certain idolatrous images and symbols in their celebrations.  This religious contamination should not have been allowed as it permitted the people to continue to worship the creation and the creature more than the Creator.  Figurines, symbols and objects which had Pagan religious significance were specifically allowed to be carried over into the customs of people professing to be followers of Jesus Christ. 

Saturnalia, the festival of Saturn, which was celebrated in the month of December by the Romans, was a time of unrestrained merrymaking, revelry and orgies.  The Roman Catholic Church adopted this same month to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, although there was no proof or document of antiquity upon which this claim could be made.  It was not the month or the time of the month, or even the desire to celebrate the birth of Jesus, which corrupted this celebration.  The corruption was in the motive, attitude and conduct of those who participated in practicing Pagan and evil conduct.  “Unrestrained merrymaking, revelry and orgies” is not the conduct of God’s children.  Pride, covetousness, drunkenness and any form of idolatry is not to be once named among us who are called saints of God. 

Therefore, the Christmas Holiday has been rejected and condemned by many conscientious saints.  They wish to have no association with anything which resembles this Pagan holiday, Saturnalia.  However, down through the centuries of time, many people have not been taught the religious connection between Christmas and Saturnalia.  There are questions which need to be answered with scriptural and Holy Spirit authority. 

Can the Christmas holiday be so purged of its Pagan and evil influence and reputation as to be acceptable by the Christian family as an acceptable time of spiritual encouragement and family unity?

Can a Christian family get together any day in December, have a “Christmas” meal and share gifts of love for one another; and, not be guilty of participating in a Pagan custom?  

What makes a day holy or un-holy?  What makes an occasion holy or un-holy?  Is it not the same as in all other spiritual matters, dependent upon the motive, attitude and intent of the heart?  Can a day be evil because of its evil activities; and, cannot that same day be made holy by purging the evil activities? 

Have you included some motive, attitude or conduct in your holiday season which makes it evil?  What do you need to repent of and turn away from to make it holy? 

JUDGE NOT ACCORDING TO THE APPEARANCE,

BUT JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Birth of Jesus

There is a stark absence, in the four gospels which cover the three and one-half years of Jesus Christ’s ministry, of any mention of Jesus being born in Bethlehem.  The Jewish leaders obviously did not know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  The following story is how this amazing truth may have become known to the disciples of Christ. 

It may have happened this way: 

It seemed like an unusually windy day in Jerusalem on that sunny Sunday, when the disciples of Jesus met together for prayer and exhortations.  They all came together in the same large upper room where Jesus had instructed them to prepare for the Passover feast.  The good man who owned the building was a believer and had told the disciples that they could use the room as often as they needed.  All of the eleven faithful disciples were present.  Mary the mother of Jesus was also there with many others who believed in Jesus Christ as the only Begotten Son of God. 

It had already become their habit to meet together each Sunday in respect and honor of the great resurrection of their Lord and Savior.  Jesus had instructed them to tarry in Jerusalem until they would be empowered by the infilling of the Holy Spirit which would perfect in them the grace to stand against every foe as they preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God.  It had been 43 days since that wonderful resurrection day.  Only four more days until the feast of Pentecost. 

It was a day we shall never forget, when Mary the mother of Our Lord stood and desired to speak to the whole congregation.  There was a sense of urgency in her voice that brought everyone’s attention to her pleasant but strong voice.  Mary said that she needed to share part of her life testimony which they had never before heard.  Everyone wondered what she could possibly mean.  These were her words:

“Men and brethren, my dear companion sisters whom I love dearly for your support and consolation; I have something to share with you which you have never heard before.  It may be that the events which I am about to share with you will increase your faith and help you resist the gainsayers which will no doubt come against all of us.

I would like to tell you about the birth of my son, Jesus.  It is a remarkable story and I trust you will not doubt my words.  My son Jesus was not born in Nazareth of Galilee as most everyone believes.  Jesus asked us to not tell of His birth until after He was finished with His ministry.  So, today I am to tell you the truth about His birth.  I still laugh in my heart when I remember the day Nathaniel said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth.”  Little did he know at the time, that He was meeting the Son of God who was born in the little town of Bethlehem. 

It seems like yesterday, when I was soon to be married to a very kind man named Joseph.  He was such a tender man and he excelled in his trade of carpentry.  Really, he was the best carpenter to be found in that day.  But, before we were married, something frightening and wonderful happened to me. 

I was just finishing my daily chores and getting ready to close up the doors and windows of my home.  Before closing the windows, I bowed at the window and was earnestly in prayer, thanking God for my many blessings.  At that very moment an angel of the Lord appeared to me and told me things which indeed frightened me.  The tenderness and kindness of the angel comforted me, somewhat.  I was still amazed at his words. 

These were his words:
‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’

You cannot imagine, neither can I possible convey to you all the thoughts, fears and questions which ran through my mind.  What will Joseph think?  He will cast me out as a sinner and an unfaithful woman.  How will I ever explain this to him?  I did not sleep well that night.  I prayed and asked God to give me wisdom and the right words to explain to dear Joseph. 

The next day, before noon, I went to Joseph’s shop.  I had to have this burden lifted from my soul.  Joseph was so happy to see me.  When I told him I needed to tell him something, I could see his countenance shift from joy to concern.  He pulled up a chair for me and for himself and sat down beside me.  Slowly, I shared with him what the angel had said.  I think he doubted and wondered if I had experienced some dream and thought it to be real.  He told me to go home and give him time to think about what I had told to him.  We parted with a great cloud over our relationship.  It was several days before we met again.  He told me that he was still struggling with what to do with me.  He did not want to hurt me in the eyes of my people.  I prayed that God would please help him to understand the truth of my words. 

Our God is so faithful.  He did not fail to take care of me and my dear husband.  God sent the same angel to Joseph and convinced him that what I had told him was true and that he should not hesitate to take me to be his lawfully wedded wife.  Now, we were united by the same faith that we were part of the great plan of God to bring the Messiah of Israel into the world. 

There are times when we do not understand our situation or role in this life and we must patiently wait on God to work out His divine plan.  The truth that God reveals to one person, He will reveal to others.”

We who were in that upper room on that Sunday, were almost breathless as we listen in amazement at what Mary told us.  She must have spoken for more than an hour as she told us about the time of the birth and the events of the first 12 years of our Lord’s life.  We had never heard these things before. 

Mary told us of the wise men who came from the East, following the star which led them to the child Jesus.  She told us of the shepherds who came that night to worship the new born King of Israel.  Then there was their flight to Egypt to escape the wicked Herod who tried to find and kill her son Jesus.  She told us that when they returned from Egypt that the Spirit of the Lord led them to live in Nazareth of Galilee.  It was there that Joseph once again set up his carpentry shop.  It was there in Nazareth where Jesus was raised and became known as a man.

Mary said that as the other children were born into their family, she never told the other children about the birth of Jesus and their flight to Egypt.  She said that Jesus did not want her to tell anyone.  So it came to be that no person but Joseph, Jesus and Mary knew about the events of His birth.   Now, the time had come for all of the disciples of Jesus to know the truth: Jesus was born in Bethlehem as prophesied by the prophet Micah.  He is the Messiah, the King of the Jews, the Savior of the world, the Lord of the whole earth.  Every knee shall bow to Him, either during this time world or at the great judgment day.  He alone is Lord and Savior, there is no other.

Micah 5:2
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Matthew 2:1-6
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

John 7:40-43
40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

John 7:45-53
45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?
46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?
48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?
49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)
51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?
52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
53 And every man went unto his own house.

Acts 1:13-14
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

We are full of thanksgiving for the love of our Lord, willing to be born in the form of a man.  He was willing to be unknown as well as to be known.  He was willing to share and to suffer.  He was willing to live, die and live again so that we could have eternal life. 

The exact date of birth and date of death is not known.  Neither does it need to be known.  To please God, we must simply believe that Jesus is the Messiah and keep the commandments which He brought down to us from His Father. 
In a world full of iniquity and terror, you can know the Prince of Peace and find salvation for your soul.  If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, I encourage you to look on Him and Him only for the answers to all of your needs.  Repent of your sins.  Search the scriptures for they speak of Him. 


Saturday, December 5, 2015

WHAT IS TRUTH?

What do we need to know to be sure that we know the truth?
What are the essentials of salvation?
What is the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

I firmly believe that there are three essential parts to the plan of salvation as set forth in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 13:33
Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

How is the plan of salvation like leaven and three measures of meal?  If you put a measure of leaven in the dough of bread, it will change the whole loaf into leaven.  It will transfer and transform the whole loaf to have the same nature as the measure of leaven which is put into the loaf.  Leaven, like yeast, is a living and transforming agent.  If a loaf of bread is not baked, the whole loaf would become leaven. 

The most common concept of leaven is in the form of yeast.  Yeast is a fungi and without moisture/water it will remain dormant for a long period of time.  When fungi comes in contact with water it becomes active.  When fungi is active it will change the nature and character of whatever it touches. 

There are three specific measures of meal in the New Testament plan of salvation.  They are justification, sanctification and unity.  The Holy Spirit is the active, living element by which we are transformed.  In justification we are changed from being guilty to being blameless.  In sanctification we are changed from being carnal to being holy.  Thirdly, by the grace of God, with the Holy Spirit dwelling in our heart, we are changed from being an individual to being part of the unified body of Jesus Christ on this earth. 

 This parable then has certain symbolic language and a true meaning relative to the Kingdom of Heaven.  The leaven is the Holy Spirit and the three measure of meal are the three parts of the plan of salvation. 

Luke 11:5-8
5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

In this lesson, the friend needed three loaves.  Everyone in this world needs three loaves.  They are the same as the three measures of meal, i.e. justification, sanctification and unity.  To be the true body of Christ in this world, i.e. the church of God, we must have that measure of perfect unity which can only be the fruit of two works of grace, justification and sanctification.  

1 John 5:5-8
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

Our heavenly Father has sent His two witnesses, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit into this world to bring us to holiness and a divine oneness.   Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit working with a person’s repentance and consecration, brings the individual into that holy oneness and unity which is like the Holy Trinity.  We are members of the one body of Jesus Christ. 

We need the truth which brings us to perfection and unity in one body.
What is truth?
It is the message contained in the three loaves.  We need all three loaves.  You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free. 

The perfect will of God is for us to receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts so that He can transform our nature to be like His nature.  The Holy Spirit is the leaven which will permeate every area of your life.  He will make you holy as He is holy. 

John 14:15-17
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit.  Sinners cannot receive the Holy Spirit because their hearts are defiled by sin.  A sinner must first repent and be washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ before he is able to ask for and receive the indwelling Holy Spirit.  The justified person has the Holy Spirit with them but not in them.  It is the will of God that the justified person recognize their need of being purged of their carnal nature and with desire ask for the gift and baptism of the Holy Spirit so that their nature can be like God’s nature. 

2 Peter 1:1-4
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.

We can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and become “partakers of the divine nature.”  Notice the tense of the statement “having escaped the corruption that is in the world.”  Because we have been justified, washed clean from the defilement of sinful disobedience, we have become pure and holy.  We have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  We are now prepared to receive the Holy Spirit and have our carnal nature transformed by the leaven of the Holy Spirit.  Then we truly can become holy as He is holy. 

What is truth?
Truth is the preaching of the full gospel, the entire message of holiness, justification, sanctification and unity.  Any message which falls short of the full plan of salvation, which must include two works of grace and unity of fellowship, is not the whole truth. 

Satan does not want people to know the whole truth.
Satan does want the people of God to desire and pray for the unity of the faith and the unity of the Spirit.
Satan does not want the children of God to receive the indwelling Holy Spirit and be as Jesus was in this present world. 
Satan does not want people to repent of their sins with godly sorrow and gain the blessing of forgiveness and the grace of justification. 

Do you want the whole truth? 
Have you become satisfied with just having an incomplete part of the plan of salvation? 
Have you believed some preacher who has told you that you do not need to be cleansed of your carnal nature and receive the Holy Spirit after you have been justified? 
I counsel you to buy the whole truth of the full plan of salvation. 
Do not be content to go to the Great Judgment with less than what Jesus died for. 


For a scriptural example of the message of full salvation we turn to one of the many scriptures which teach this truth. 

Acts 8:5-22
5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
8 And there was great joy in that city.
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Phillip did not knowingly baptize sinners.  The Samaritans believed the message of repentance unto salvation.  They testified of their conversion by being water baptized.  Afterwards, they were instructed in the blessing of receiving the Holy Spirit and the ministers laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. 

Do not reject this clear example of the sequential operation of full salvation.

What is truth?
Truth is the whole message whereby a person can experience the entire operation of the plan of salvation: confess and forsake your sins, repent, be forgiven, justified, water baptized, receive the indwelling Holy Spirit, be sanctified, and embrace the whole body of Christ endeavoring in the unity of the faith and Spirit.   

Don’t settle for anything less than the whole truth.