People of The Living God
I Corinthians 13
According to Robin Sax, author of Predators & Child Molesters (Prometheus) and a former prosecutor of child sex abuse crimes in Los Angeles County, CA, one of five girls and one of six boys will be molested before turning 18; each year there are 400,000 new victims of sex abuse; in the US there are more than 550,000 registered sex offenders and more than 100,000 who refuse to register.
In her work It Happens Every Day (Prometheus), Mrs. Sax points out the correlation between pornography and sex crimes: “(T)here is nearly a one–to–one correlation between possessing child pornography and contact sex crimes against children. In fact, government studies show each child pornography possessor has 14 to 31 molestation victims on average before being caught.” She also points out that the United States is the number one producer and consumer of child pornography in the world.
FBI experts like Roger Young, John Douglas, Robert Ressler and William Kelly insist the widespread availability and popularity of pornography is a major factor in the nationwide epidemic of sex crimes like rape and child sex abuse; they maintain that pornography whets the appetites of sex criminals and encourages them to view and treat women and children as sexual toys to use and abuse and discard after use.
Harry Clor, professor of political philosophy at Kenyon College and author of a book on obscenity and public morality published by the University of Notre Dame Press, says, “Productions deserving to be called pornographic are characterized by graphic and detailed portrayals of sex acts without love or affection and with the result that the erotic life is reduced to its grosser physical or animal elements...Human beings, women especially, are vividly portrayed as objects to be used.”
The eminent scholar/educator/writer Irving Kristol echoes Professor Clor’s noble sentiments in his contribution to The Essential Neo–Conservative Reader (Addison–Wesley); he says “pornography differs from erotic art in that the whole purpose is to treat human beings obscenely, to deprive human beings of their specifically human dimension.” He adds: “When sex is a public spectacle, a human relationship has been debased into a mere animal connection.”
Veteran law enforcement people readily agree with the above observations. For example, Tom Bohling, former head of the Chicago Police Department’s Vice Squad, observes: “If someone is looking at fishing magazines all the time, it’s safe to assume that sooner or later he’s going to go fishing; if someone is looking at child pornography all the time, it’s safe to assume that he’ll eventually act out the fantasies generated from viewing child pornography.” Reuben Greenberg, police chief in Charleston, SC, adds: “Pornography can contribute to some crimes, as was indicated by Ted Bundy before he was executed.”
Certainly if what we read, hear, and see affects our thinking, and thinking influences behavior, then pornography indeed can and does have a damaging impact on thinking and conduct.
“The source of the problem is lack of respect – for oneself, for others and for the sacred right to life.” – Pearl Evans, Eudora, Ark.
A professor/author in Atlanta, GA, Mark Ellingsen tells us in his book Blessed are the Cynical (Brazos/Baker) that “some attention to the abortion controversy and the role of the morning–after pill in enhancing the sexual revolution is in order. Certainly sex outside marriage became easier after these resources became legal and deemed legitimate birth control techniques.” Legalized abortion, he suggests, also has buttressed the sexual revolution by allowing couples to engage in free sex without worrying about the consequences such as an unwanted pregnancy; abortion, in effect, has become another form of birth control.
In this regard, a report in the April 8, 2010 Wanderer, St. Paul, MN, pointed out that “A large majority of French women say there are too many abortions in their country, and that abortions ‘leaves psychological traces that are difficult for women to experience’… (Commissioned by the French Right to Life Alliance, the study) found that 83 percent of women believe that abortion does lasting psychological damage, and 61 percent believe that there are too many abortions in France.” The majority of French women surveyed also favor adoption rather than abortion; the study found that increasing numbers of French women think premature sex, pornography and lack of parental guidance have contributed to an increase in abortions among French youth.
In a letter appearing in a recent issue of America, a pro–life scholar said that when pro–abortionists say they are fighting for women’s rights, those opposed to abortion must insist that we are pro children’s rights; in discussing abortion and infanticide, we must make it clear we are promoting and defending the rights and concerns of an innocent human being, a child, a baby, within his/her mother’s womb.
The late and courageous pro–life leader, Dr. Mildred Jefferson, put it this way: “I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned have the right to live.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, since the U.S. Supreme Court’s January 1973 decisions that legalized baby–killing, more than 52 million babies have been butchered and scalded to death in their mothers’ wombs; 13.8 million have been black babies.
Why so many abortions? One explanation is we are living in an increasingly materialistic society which subordinates moral choices to economic choices. Since it is cheaper to procure abortion than to rear a child, many would rather kill their innocent unborn babies than accept any economic burdens. Liberty University educator Michael Babcock, in his book Unchristian America (Tyndale), puts it this way: “If one has adopted a materialistic world view, then (abortion and) infanticide, suicide and euthanasia make perfectly good sense under the right circumstances. But they make no sense at all to one whose world begins and ends with the sovereignty of God. If we believe that God is all knowing and all powerful, but also good, then what sanction can there be for a practice that rejects each of these divine attributes?”
It is almost unbelievable that March 2011 has already sprung upon us. Time waits for no man, and as usual, we are pushing hard to have this paper ready for our printer. It seems that the months are getting shorter than they have ever been before, but we are putting forth every effort to meet the deadline. We are thankful that spring is getting ready to burst upon us. It has been a long fall and winter so far, and we’ll be glad to see spring come.
More snow has been predicted for this week, and we don’t particularly like it, but we take the weather as it comes, and we know there are many other places that are far worse off than we are. We are grateful for the little bit of sunshine we had this morning. Now, it’s raining, and the weatherman says it is going to turn into snow before the day is over. So, we anticipate the clouds to change to white specks of snow shortly.
Our Federal government is in a terrible fix politically, socially, financially, and monetarily! They are trying to bypass the huge debt that was negotiated by the Democrats when they had a plurality of members, but as yet they have not been able to come to any agreement as to how they can “forget” the enormous trillion dollars indebtedness to themselves in trying to guarantee a universal safe period for all Americans. It would have been far better if they had left the medical business alone until they had enough people to argue it down. As it is, we are saddled with a debt which can never be paid for years! And the instigators of this totally blind situation cannot find a valid substitute for the mammoth financial puzzle which they have passed with a plurality of votes.
We are aware of the fact that we are now financially bankrupt. Our paper money is becoming more and more worthless as time goes by. It is no secret that new money is being produced so as to cover the actual money scarcity. And no one knows for sure where or when the overall emergency will end.
And it is amazing to see the prices for most items going up, up, up toward the sky. Gasoline is almost $3.25 per gallon, rent, electricity, water, gas, telephone are all more expensive. It makes one wonder how long the prices will be held so high! Even Wal–Mart, whose record has been hard to beat, still has the lowest prices because nearly everything comes from China! (Sam Walton always bought American.)
It is quite difficult to shop for real bargains today. With prices so far out of reach for the average person, it is astonishing to go to Wal–Mart to look for genuine bargains when what you get there is second or third class specialty. It is true that what you buy there is much less a bargain than what you get from a true, rational, U.S.A. manufactured item!
In Chattanooga, TN, a new billion dollar auto dealership has arrived and will start building autos in the near future. For $20,000.00 or more you can buy a brand new Passot car which will give you good mileage, a beautiful interior and a gorgeous exterior, and you can be the owner of a made–in–Tennessee “Volks Wagen” automobile. The sales people have put some samples of their new car on display, and it seems destined to be a definite, positive portrayal of a genuine new auto for the people. We are skeptical about its success, but time will tell. The Volks–Wagen name should help sell the new car, but they are employing over 2,000 people in their new plant and expect to do a great sales effort throughout the land.
We can only guess at the reaction of the new car. The company has hired a great many smaller vehicle workers and hopes that a large percentage of vehicle workers will be won over to their side. Will it be a success in the market place? They have a beautiful plant build up from scratch, and have spent a lot of money on it. With the economy in its present condition, it is doubtful about the outcome of this latest edition of new cars!
As you already well know, we have a dairy where we milk a number of cows. The dairy supports our school and makes it possible for us to accept children without their paying any tuition for their education. In 2009, we were receiving $22.00 for every 100 pounds of milk. Without any foreknowledge of the situation, they lowered the national payout to $10.00 per 100 pounds of milk, and stated that it was because they could not sell any milk to European markets anymore. So, they demanded that we either sell out or try to make it at $10.00 per 100 pounds!
It makes sense to us to continue to do business with the Cooperative (D.F.A.) and sell the milk to them, even though it was less than it cost us to house the cows. Now they are still trying to encourage us to sell out to them, and they are doing their best to find something wrong with our method of milking so as to cancel us out of the whole. A few times they have raised the base pay to thirteen or fifteen dollars per hundred pounds, but they have done away with a high percentage of milk suppliers all across the line. The retail price remains about the same, which means that someone is getting rich from the sale of milk while the farmer gets less than the cost of his feed bill!
We don’t know how much longer we can keep going this way, but we are determined to stay with it as long as we possibly can, because we are able to minister to the needs and wants of the people who want a decent education without all the extra baggage that is found in the public schools. We have 72 students, and we had to turn away several because of a lack of teachers! Please pray with us that God will intercede for the sake of the poor and indigent young people of this area. Thank you very much.
On November 3, 2010, a general election was held in which the Republicans gained a few men and women, and enough Representatives were elected to give the House of Representatives a new outlook on life as it appears in the House. Whether we agree or disagree with their final analysis is not important. But we will see, in a few short years, the difference in the role which is carried by the ruling factor(s) which will be declared when the new members of the House show them to the U.S. of America.
According to the good Book of the Lord, the time will come when the saints of the Most High will rule over the affairs of mankind, and will give the orders of when and where their authority exists (Rev. 2:26–28; Rev. 3:20; Rev. 12:10,11; Eph. 5:25–27; Eph. 6:10–17; Rom. 8:18–23). The time between now and the time the saints possess the kingdom (Dan. 7:22,27), is a time of preparation for the saints to get ready for the glory of God to be restored to the body of Jesus Christ. It should be no secret to anyone that the condition of the “church” is not what it should be.
By comparing the church of the first century after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, it is easy to see the difference between that glorious body of believers where the power and glory of the living God was so prominent in the believers’ meetings and gatherings. Untold numbers of people were healed completely of their diseases, vast multitudes of believers were added Daily to their midst, and in the fourth chapter of Acts, there were over 8,000 new converts to the faith! When the people prayed, it seemed as if heaven itself had come down among them and blessed the people. There was great victory over all the power of the enemy, and God spoke and moved in a mighty way to spread the good news of the gospel of the kingdom.
For a short period of time there was extraordinary power in the midst of the people. As demons were cast out of people and victory was rampant in their midst, the glory of God was very present to aid and comfort the people of God. The Holy Ghost was evident in their daily ministrations as they sought to please the living God in all they did. We cannot answer all the questions of why did they cool down once they were delivered from the authority of satan and had their past lives forgiven by the Spirit of God. It seems very strange that people who are so wondrously blessed by the living God would turn and return to their former ways of living. But that seems to have been the way of carnal people.
God has a program for His people in these last days. Do not be so taken up with the mundane, earthly, physical aspects of religion that you miss the precious and glorious facts of realities which are a part of walking with God! God is looking for a people whose greatest ambition and goal is to fully surrender to Jesus Christ and His words and become ambassadors for Jesus Christ and the kingdom of the living God.
The cost is total, complete, absolute surrender and commitment to Jesus Christ and His perfect word – nothing else matters in the world than this. Jesus taught this very thing over and over. He pointed to the cross – our CROSS – and He emphasized that it was absolutely necessary that every believer submit himself and herself to the cross wherein he shall find rest and replenishment in Jesus who said, “Come unto me and find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28).
This is the greatest test of all time: the complete and absolute surrender to Jesus and His words. It is so simple, yet is difficult to understand. When Jesus went to the garden and poured out His soul unto the Father, He had no doubt about the future. He prayed and said, “If possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.”
He knew the agony of the morrow; He fully understood that He was to be beaten, spit upon, ridiculed, mocked, mistreated, falsely accused, and lied about. But He stood fast; He never wavered in His devotion to the Father’s will. Through it all He stood faithful to the Father’s will. He was willing to undergo the terrible, personal cost, to give His life as a ransom for all of humanity. Thank God that He did. It was through His death and resurrection that He became Our Life, and He paid the ultimate cost to Himself through His enigmatic death on that terrible, cruel, unearthly death.
Thank God He bore all our sins. Thank God that He took on Himself all our sins, sicknesses, sorrows, pain, and anguish. He bore it all on His own body on the tree. Now, He ever lives to bring us into the glorious freedom of Himself, and He will remain in His present state until that final day when He returns to gather His own people to Himself. What a wonderful day that will be.
The question that remains to us today is, are you willing to do His will? In the final end of all things, are you WILLING to do what He, through the ministry of the Heavenly Father, commanded us to do in regard to our daily lives? This is a question which you had better have the right answer for, for without DOING the will of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, you will never make it through to the very end. We admonish you by the counsel given to us by the living God, to consider seriously these precious words of our Master and King, and be willing to consecrate and commit everything into the hands of the almighty God, for only as you do this will you be ready to face the times which are just ahead for all of us. May God bless you mightily!
The Outlook for a lot of Americans is rather bleak. There is a great deal of movement going on in our Federal Government so that no one knows for sure what is taking place in the highest echelons of our Government circles. We are in the foggy midst of chaos and confusion, and no one knows for sure just exactly what is going on in relationship to some of the programs and programs of the elite. It is a really good thing that we don’t know all the particulars of the goings on of the Government, because we would be upset most of the time.
There are a lot of people who are on Social Security and receive help from the Federal Treasury. There is presently talk about lowering the cost of remittance or of doing away with Social Security payments completely. Some of us older folks remember when Social Security was totally voluntary. It became a required economic move in the early fifties when so many people began to receive payments once they had reached a certain age. It began voluntarily but became a universal necessity during the fifties.
The Social Security fund has been abused by many of the legislators who saw how the fund was building up into the millions of dollars. Why not use those funds, they reasoned, and let the funds go into building bridges, repairing roads, and building levees, etc. Consequently, the funds have been going down, down, down, and there isn’t too much left. There are still some people who make contributions to the funds, but it is getting pretty rough for building up a fund which is almost gone. We don’t know how soon the Social Security funds will be used up.
It is a fact that people live longer nowadays than they did 60 or 70 years ago. That means that what funds there are in the treasury does not go as far as it used to. It also means that new people are being added to the list of recipients who are eligible to receive a monthly check. And it also means that there should be some law that prevents the legislators from pulling the strings that controls the funds.
If that were the only area where malfeasance was shown, it wouldn’t be quite so bad, but there are so many different avenues and other unlikely ways of meeting issues that it is hard to know which area gets the most attention. One of the worst areas which gained a lot of expended notice was that of the “Obama Health Care” mess! It was expensive, unreasonable, dictatorship approved, unconscionable, and totally unequal. It was/is so bad that the legislators fought it with all their strength, but they weren’t quite strong enough to throw it out. There are parts of it that are so terrible that it takes a measure of devotion to the ridiculous to savor it. And it only takes ten years to have it all paid for!
The people are not ready for socialism. It strikes a bad deal for most of us, and we don’t sit back and let the government become socialistic without putting up a good argument against it. This country was founded upon the free choice of individual freedom, and it is still the freedom to be able to perform as well as an individual is able to do without having to report one’s activities to the government. We believe that government should be as small as possible with controls on legislative issues, as well as on day–by–day contentions. It is foolish to try to govern a nation of people whose only hope is to furnish more fuel to the fire!
While it is true that we have witnessed the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, it is also true that we have sacrificed thousands of precious souls whose only hardship was that placed upon them by suicidal measures. It is sad that our men who have done so much work trying to achieve victory in a foreign nation have returned to us without legs, or arms, or other tragedies of death and bondage. There should be a great uproar over the least of these who have returned with a loss of limb or other extremity. We look forward to the day when all the men and women have come home to face their enemies no longer.
May the good Lord bless and encourage them in their sad state of affairs. We pray for them and ask God to abide in their hearts and keep them safe in His everlasting arms.
At face value, joy seems to be a very simple word, basically to be happy. Upon scrutiny, however, it is a very powerful word, full of strength. As believers, we cannot afford to be without it.
Some of the facets of the word “Joy” in this study will be taken from direct definitions; others will be considered concepts of the word.
In Nehemiah 8:10, a wonderful scripture is “for the Joy of the Lord is your Strength!” It is imperative that we acquire this “fruit of the spirit” (Gal. 5:22).
Some of the definitions of joy are: strength, rejoice, gladness, mirth, glee, brighten up, cheer up, resilience, fortitude, cheerfulness, welcome, battle cry, blow an alarm, jubilee, liberty (free from bondage), loud noise, shouting, boasting to glory, exuberance, peace, high joyful sounding triumph, exultation, contentment, to spin round under strong emotion, vigor, and victory.
As you can see, this is a very complicated little word.
Some of the concepts are: Mental resilience and vigor – to renew our minds (Rom. 12:2). To be liberated (II Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:13). Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. The strength to cope with adversity and trials with cheerfulness and contentment (James 1:2; I Peter 1:6–7).
The joy of the Lord gives us peace, strength, praise and thanksgiving. It gives us a victorious, positive, believing attitude, instead of a passive, negative, defeated attitude. It is a blessing to worship with believers experiencing severe hardships and trials, yet rejoicing through it all with joy! What an awesome testimony! Praise God!
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus (our example) had so much joy He could face even the cross. Heb. 12:2: “Joy is strength!”
Jesus desires for all of us to have this joy. The following are scriptures to confirm this statement.
John 15:11: Jesus states that He wants us to let His joy remain in us, that our joy might be full.
John 16:20: “Our sorrow shall be turned into joy.”
John 16:22: “Your joy, no man taketh from you.”
John 16:24: “Ask, that your joy may be full.”
John 17:13: “That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”
Joy is a gift from God that is ours for the asking (Matt. 7:11; Luke 11:13). Our Father wants to give us good gifts. Joy is one of them. You must ask, believing. It is, ultimately, our choice.
In II Cor. 8:2, the churches in Macedonia were in a great trial of affliction, yet they had abundance of joy! What a gift! Hallelujah!
In I Thess. 1:6, “the believers were in much affliction, but they had joy in the Holy Ghost.” In I Peter 1:8, “ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory!” I Peter 4:13, “Rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings that when His glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” I John 1:4 “that your joy may be full.” II John 12: “that your joy may be full.”
It is an essential part of our walk to have this little word “joy” at the very core of our being.
Remember – bring to your remembrance; “The Joy of the Lord is your strength”!
If we count our abundance of blessings and think of the price Jesus paid for our salvation, “we should be full of joy unspeakable and full of glory”! Amen!
In Matthew 24:4,5,10,11 Jesus gave us some very sad warnings of deceptions unloosed in the last days of earth’s longevity. In answer to the disciples’ questions regarding the final end of all things, He said to them, “Take heed that no man deceive you, For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Notice the word here “many,” for this deception is so thorough, so meaningful, so aggressive, that it reaches into the hearts and souls of the ones we cherish the most!
Notice that Jesus uses the expression, “Take Heed.” What did He mean by this warning? Was there a sinister, apparent, natural deception involved in this deceptive practice, or was this a snare, a bait, a trap which was laid at the feet of the most vulnerable among us? This question strikes at the most among us who are not ready to be deceived, nor are they willing to be deceived. They stand ready to uphold the truth and to be among those whose character seems to reflect that of their master and lord!
“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (verses 10 & 11).
Please pay close attention to these very important messages from the lips of the greatest, most noble, very desirable personage in the whole world, the Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the Most High God! It was He, the Lord Himself, who declared that “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many”! Friends, this is being fulfilled already in huge congregations. People are now becoming entangled with doctrines which are unscriptural, and are being drawn aside with false hopes of being “raptured” out of here before persecution of the saints begins! This is vain deceit which is based upon false assumptions and cunning lies. The Bible nowhere guarantees a pre–persecution rapture, or catching away, by anyone at any time!
Literally thousands of people are accepting and believing in this totally unscriptural doctrine which has been heralded forth from pulpits all across the land from New York to Los Angeles, and from Florida to the Northwest! We have received accounts and pictures of huge crowds of people speaking in an “unknown tongue” and proclaiming that Jesus may come at any minute and snatch out those who believe in the “rapture” of the saints! This is a false hope, a hope built upon suggestion, expertise, and erroneous interpretations of a false tongue that engenders a false catching away of many of those of insecure faith.
We challenge anyone, anywhere, to show us in the Holy Bible where and when the ‘rapture” is to begin! It certainly is not in the Bible that we have and that we believe in. It is not found anywhere in the good Book we call the Bible. It just isn’t there! The scriptures are completely quiet about anything related to a ‘rapture.” In fact, the word rapture is not found anywhere within the pages of the good Holy Bible!
Besides the unscriptural note of the rapture is the ongoing doctrine of a future millennium, a term which is totally unscriptural and is nurtured from the Old Testament as well as a few verses from the New. The basic idea for a future millennium is from the 20th Chapter of Revelation which is built upon a literal interpretation of the first 6 verses of Revelation 20. The very idea of a millennium does away with all the glorious visions and revelations found in the New Testament.
Jesus never once talked about a future time of His reigning on this earth. Every thought of His mind was the sanctification and honor of the kingdom of God in this life for the saints of the living God. He spoke over and over, again and again, about the glorious aspect of the kingdom on a NOW BASIS. All through His ministry He upheld the glory and the blessed fullness of the kingdom of God, and He purposely encouraged His disciples to believe the word and excel in righteousness and holiness.
Paul also, as well as Peter, James and John, upheld the mighty authority of the kingdom, and stated firmly that the kingdom was not a matter of timeless insecurity, but was a product given by the Father to ensure their salvation and great delivery from the power of the devil (Heb. 2:14,15).
Jesus said in Luke 12:31,32 that it was the Father’s good will to give the kingdom to the Lord’s followers! How much more do we need than that? In addition, He emphasized that the kingdom was available then (although the disciples did not believe it, but it was absolutely true!). All one needs to do to prove to himself that the kingdom is present and is for us today, is to read all the accounts of both the Old and the New Testaments that are so plain that you cannot miss the message that the kingdom of the living God is NOW. The victory is ours (I Cor. 15:57)! There is no power that exceeds nor even comes close to that power of the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 28:18 He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Can any other power than the kingdom power be given to the saints of God? Jesus sits at the right hand of the heavenly Father, reigning and ruling His subjects that are submitted unto Him. He has all power, all ability to do whatever He pleases, and He is carrying forth His divine will among the saints of the Most High God
Consider the following verses in the light of the Word of the living God: “And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:18,19).
“But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Luke 11:20–23).
“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Luke 16:16).
“And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Luke 20:42,43).
“And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15,16).
“And I appoint unto you a kingdom, and my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29,30).
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17).
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).
“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” (Matt. 7:21).
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matt. 10:1).
“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:7,8).
“But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house” (Matt. 12:28,29).
“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that sowed them is the devil” (Matt. 13:38,39a).
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Matt. 16:19).
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).
This should be enough to prove to you that the kingdom of God is an eternal, everlasting kingdom. As Paul said, “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17).
Paul also declared that “the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (I Cor. 4:20). He demonstrated this truth again and again in his journeys to the pagans. He upheld the truth of the kingdom and was still holding on to this wonderful, glorious truth to the very end of his life. The last we hear of him is found in Acts 28:30,31, where it is written: “And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”
It is too bad that men don’t have the same integrity which Bro. Paul had, to declare the great and glorious kingdom of the living God that it is permanent, everlasting, and eternal, and it is still the same as it has always been – “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16).
It is not the object of this article to prove that there is a spirit baptism: for the sake of brevity we assume that the reader accepts the scriptural evidence regarding the E X P E R I E N C E. The information set forth here stresses the recognition of the fact that there are two distinct KINDS OF SPIRIT BAPTISM.
Spirits are not all GOOD; many of them are evil. The evil spirits are ruthless and cunningly harass their victims. They will plague and bedevil a soul until such a soul will despair of life. Evil spirits are more attracted to religion than to any of the other affairs of men. Some of the greatest celebrities of hell are evil–spirit–filled professors of religion. Such people are inspired; they can be fanatically zealous for their particular brand of pseudo religion. Just as it is possible for someone to be “full of the HOLY Ghost,” so also is it possible for a person to be full of the UN–HOLY GHOST.
When God first created man, He covered him with His Holy Spirit. Although man was a free moral agent, he had a heavenly bias which would have kept him out of trouble if he had remained obedient. At the time of the “fall” (the transgression of our first parents), God removed His Spirit, and man was spiritually dead. This is still the state of every man outside of Christ. When men are converted, or “born again,” they receive the Spirit of Christ which remains with them as long as they walk in obedience. In addition to the gift of the Spirit of Jesus Christ at the time of conversion, the Father has sent us the Holy Ghost to lead us into a deeper experience with Him. This gift is only for those who will seek Him with a deep heart’s desire.
John the Baptist said: “I indeed baptize you with water…but He that cometh after me…shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 3:11). A Spirit baptism is an experience of rapport and ecstasy; one is carried away in a rapture of the revelation of Jesus Christ. A truly baptized person KNOWS JESUS: “When the comforter is come…He shall testify of Me” (John 15:26); “When He, the Spirit of truth is come…He shall glorify Me” (John 16:13,14). No man really knows Christ except by the Holy Spirit: “No man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (I Cor. 12:3). With the Holy Spirit baptism the believer is “endued with power from on high” as a witness for the Lord. He has also experienced an intimate knowledge of his Lord that will comfort him in the times of trial. Such a person should have a deep and consecrated walk with God. However, the record of the epistles to the church at Corinth shows that the apostolic brethren were far from being perfect people. The Scriptural records prove that things of the spirit attract many unstable characters; the Scriptures also make plain the fact that God will meet an earnest and honest prayer no matter from whom it comes.
As a matter of fact, it is really easier for the unstable person to prostrate his spirit and surrender his faculties to the spirit than it is for those who are conservative of nature. The conservative souls are cautious and wary by nature: they will not plunge, nor do they yield to the powers of the unknown without great effort.
In order to be spirit baptized a person must surrender control of his own will, and for many folks, such a thing is very difficult. A really determined person can isolate himself, fast and pray for many days and, being determined to have the gift of God, will eventually be filled with His Spirit. But such people are few in number. Most folks find it very easy to “loosen up” in the atmosphere of a religious shindig (ENCHANTMENTS).
Conservative people at first find the bedlam–racket of many Pentecostal assemblies more than they can bear. Yet many of them, because they are so desirous of a deeper experience, will endure the temple–throbbing noise in order to try to search for God. If they survive in spite of the pandemonium, their reserve will eventually break down and, like prodigals, they will cast off all restraint, and defying convention, they will throw themselves into the thick of a wild jamboree. This results in an Experience – but an experience of what sort? What spirit was the baptizer, was it the Holy Spirit; or could it have been a “familiar” spirit?
Ah! But many will say, “We sought the Lord Jesus, and He has said that if a son asks for bread the Father will not give him a stone.” Can a son of God go to a spiritualist medium and hear from the Lord? King Saul sought the Lord’s prophet through a “witch” (spiritualist medium), and for this he lost his life. Could a son of God enter into a shindig with the Haitian fire walkers and get a blessing from the Lord? Could a son of God join in a snake handling service and be blessed of the Holy Spirit? Is there any scripture to show that the Lord will be with His sons in any kind of an enchantment assembly?
He who receives a spirit baptism in a “rock–‘n’–roll” atmosphere is not very likely to receive the spirit that comes like a dove. This accounts for the reason why some Pentecostal people have spells of madness: some have been known to bark like dogs, others to hiss like snakes; some have even gone stark mad, and never returned to sanity. Years ago this writer asked the pastor of one of the largest Pentecostal churches in Los Angeles why it was that a certain young man who had attended his altar service had gone mad. The family of this unfortunate young man had asked us to try to find him. After a week of searching from hospital to hospital and from police station to police station we had located him in the county insane ward: in one night he had become a madman. The minister of the above mentioned church gave this as an explanation: “Some people’s minds are just too weak to stand the power of the Holy Spirit”! What a discredit to God! As though the Spirit of the Lord would drive weak men insane! What a devilish charge to make against our heavenly Father!
In another Pentecostal assembly in Los Angeles the entire service was carried on to the accompaniment of a saxophone, a snare drum and a jazz–piano. They neither prayed nor preached, but they certainly did dance. Not a hymn book was in sight, and they kept up a frenzied jamboree that put everyone’s feet in motion.
Beware of places of “worship” where they scorn the use of hymn books. One of the most unmitigated effronteries to divine inspiration is a disdain for the use of song books in the services of worship. The book of Psalms is made up of 150 SONGS; the “Song of Solomon” is also a book of SONG; and there are many other portions of both the Old and the New Testaments which were SUNG by the people of God (See Ex. 15:1–21; Num. 21:17,18). The ancient people of God sang intelligently, and used Books of songs that were inspired by the Spirit of God. “I will sing with the understanding also” (I Cor. 14:15) is a New Testament practice. But many of the leaders of the enchanters tell their congregations that singing from books “cramps the spirit.” The people are told that in order to be free they should, in their singing, merely repeat over and over again a few short sentences. The meaning of these moronic utterances soon becomes completely meaningless through much VAIN REPETITION.
Instead of people being led to worship in an intelligent manner, they are urged to yield themselves over to an exciting rhythm. Stamping the feet, clapping the hands with vigor, swaying or dancing to wild rhythmic beat: intelligence is overwhelmed by the evil powers that are invited to such an inhuman demonstration of indecency and disorder. Little do people realize that these things actually border on WITCHCRAFT. When bedlam is at its peak, when the pulsing rhythm has reached its zenith, snakes could be handled without danger, and the “anointed” could even walk through the fire without being burned in almost any Pentecostal meeting in the country.
Now, you brethren, who, as I do, believe in the genuine baptism of the Holy Spirit should separate yourselves from those who practice enchantments. The name Pentecost has taken on a bad flavor. If you are a genuine child of God, and are known by the name of Pentecostal, we advise you change the designation.
There are many good people among the Pentecostal groups, but if they are to make the end of the way safely they must surely come out of Pentecostal Babylon. His sheep hear His voice, and the great Shepherd of souls will surely lead forth the honest in heart before He turns the whole mess over to the Devil.
Remember, the manifestation of tongues is only a very minor manifestation of the Spirit – Greater things are yet to come. As the Lord pours out the genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit, the enemy will also pour out his Counterfeits. This is the day when many will be deceived by great Manifestations of Spirit Powers.
Hasn’t the Devil always counterfeited everything that the Lord has ever given to man? The “tares” in the midst of the “wheat”–field look very much like the real thing. Has the enemy not made clever counterfeits of many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Listen to this: “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:22,23). These people to whom the Lord will make this terrible charge shall be some who have believed in and practiced with the powers of God. Such people are certainly not from the cold, dead formal denominations – these folks are some who have been very familiar with the things of the spirit.
Brother Jude spoke of such people as “Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots” (vs. 12). No other people have brought such a reproach upon the work of Christ as those who profess to have the most holy baptism. No other are more guilty before God than those who lay claim to this most high and sacred calling. It is true that there are a few here and a few there who have not defiled their garments, and who walk in obedience to Christ, but the vast majority of these people walk in their own ways and refuse to Obey The Commandments Of Our Lord.
It is sheer madness to live in the flesh and attempt to push one’s self into the spirit realm and use the things of the spirit for one’s own ends. Anyone who attempts such a thing will soon fall into the entwining meshes of delusion from which there is no hope of extrication.
Many Pentecostal people have ignorantly sought the Spirit of God in an improper manner, and the Lord has borne with them in their ignorance. But to exhibitionists who cavort about in a bizarre display of their convention–defying spirits, the wrath of God rests upon them: “The soul that doeth ought presumptuously…the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among the people” (Num. 15:30).
Cain made a sacrifice to the Lord presumptuously: “Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah” (Jude 11). Sad to say, this is a graphic picture of many so–called full gospel ministers!
Friends, it is time for every child of God to take inventory and set his house in order according to the pattern Jesus made plain upon “The Mount.”
Passover this year will be on Monday, April 18, 2011, at sundown. The 19th, Tuesday, will be the first day of the Passover. The last day will be on the 25th day of April. On both days we will not do any secular work, but will consider both days as Holy Days.
We will celebrate the Lord’s supper after sundown on the night of the 18th of April, Monday, and will keep Passover Monday night and all day on Tuesday. The night of Sunday, the 24th of April, after sundown, will be the night of the celebration of the last day. Let us be glad and rejoice in Him who is the Rock of our Salvation!