The Great Controversy, Part 1

INTRODUCTION


I AM GOING TO APPROACH THIS SUBJECT FROM A STANDPOINT I HAVE NEVER APPROACHED IT BEFORE. THE TITLE OF MY THOUGHT IS, THE GREAT CONTROVERSY. I HAVE CHOSEN THIS TITLE, BECAUSE I FEEL THAT WE SHOULD DEVOTE THE ENTIRE MESSAGE TO DEALING WITH THIS GREAT CONTROVERSY OVER WHETHER GOD IS ONE SPIRIT, TWO PERSONS, THREE PERSONS, OR A HALF DOZEN; AND WHETHER GOD IS A HE, OR A SHE. FORTY YEARS AGO, IF SOMEONE HAD DEMANDED THAT GOD BE REFERRED TO AS A SHE, I AM AFRAID SUCH A PERSON WOULD HAVE BEEN IN BIG TROUBLE WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE; BUT TODAY, IT SEEMS TO MAKE LITTLE DIFFERENCE TO THE WORLD POPULATION IN GENERAL, HOW GOD IS REFERRED TO, EVEN IF THEY BELIEVE THE CREATION STORY OF THE BIBLE. THEREFORE I WILL USE MANY SCRIPTURES IN THIS MESSAGE; ENDEAVORING TO FURNISH A SCRIPTURAL ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS, FOR THOSE WHO REALLY DO CARE WHETHER THEY HAVE A PROPER CONCEPT OF THE GREAT GOD OF ALL CREATION. I HAVE TWO TRACKS HERE; SHOWING THE WAY TRINITARIANS EXPLAIN THE TRINITY THEY BELIEVE TO BE A BIBLE FACT. THE FIRST TRACK DEALS WITH HOW THEY SAY THE TRINITY IS REFERRED TO, IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. NATURALLY THIS MAN WHO WROTE THEM IS A DOCTOR OF DIVINITY; AND I BELIEVE HE IS A METHODIST. HE IS TRYING TO PROVE BY THE STUDY OF GREEK, THAT THERE ARE THREE PERSONS DECLARED IN THE BIBLE, TO BE IN THE GODHEAD. WE WILL JUST USE THE BIBLE THAT MOST PEOPLE MUST DEPEND UPON; AND SHOW BY IT THAT GOD IS ONE SPIRIT, AND NOT A PERSON, OR PERSONS. WE WILL ALSO SHOW HOW RIDICULOUS IT IS, FOR ANYONE TO REFER TO THIS GREAT CREATOR AS A SHE; JUST TO SATISFY SOME FEMINIST GROUP SOMEWHERE, WHEN THERE IS NO SCRIPTURAL FOUNDATION FOR IT.


WHAT THE CREATOR IS


I am going to read half of this little tract I am holding; and show you how Trinitarians take the meaning of a word. In other words, they are assuming that a word, because it is spoken in the plural sense, God is speaking of a plurality of persons, rather than other things I will relate to you in my message. This man, is referring here, to a passage of scriptures in the Old Testament, (Isa. 48:16) “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there [am] I: and now the Lord God, and His Spirit, hath sent me.” Even in that verse, this man claims there is a plurality of persons inferred. Here, is what he says. “When we break down this verse, we find that three persons are being spoken of. The Lord God, one, His Spirit, two, and sent me (me is referring to Christ) is the third mention in that passage of scripture. Notice the very important words of that passage from the beginning. This declares eternity. Now let us go to the New Testament and see if it declares that three person are the one God. (Brothers and sisters, let me say this, The Catholic Church, and most all of Protestantism, as it exists in the world today, believe this teaching. They can say, “Yes, God is one being in the Spirit; but that one being, eternal, is manifested in three distinct persons.” Saints, I am an uneducated man, by the standards of our society; but regardless of the amount of education you may have, you still must have the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, in you, to even understand what His word is all about. These men merely try to interpret a passage of scripture by their intellect; never realizing that God, many times, in the phraseology by which He causes a man to write, conceals certain necessary things that fill in the revelation of it. Let me finish reading here; to get the rest of what he says.) Now let us go to the New Testament and see if it declares that three persons are the one God. This is known, (Notice, here, he has some kind of theological law called hermetics, that he uses.) By the principles utilized for discovering the meaning of a text. It says that we interpret the Old Testament, since the New Testament is the fulfillment. John 10:30, two are declared one, “I am [my] Father are one.” (When we read John 10:30, we know what Jesus is actually saying; but notice, as we read his tract.) John 8:18, two witnesses, “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.” John 17:11, where Jesus spake, I am the Father are one. (And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we {are}.) In 2nd Peter 1:17, the Father is declared God. John 20:28, Jesus is declared God. Acts 5:3-4, the Holy Spirit is declared God. Hebrews 1:8-9, the Father calls the Son, God. Colossians 1:17, Jesus created everything. Revelation 1:11, Jesus is Alpha and Omega. Just from these few verses, we see that three are called God, and that Jesus is not a creation, but the Creator. When God speaks of Himself as I, me, myself, He is speaking of His being; (in other words, the Great Eternal Spirit). But that Spirit then is manifested in three distinct persons. The plural passages testify to the threefold existence within the one being.” The author’s name is on the tract; but there is no need for me to call his name; since I only used it as a beginning point for this message. Therefore I will go to 1st Timothy 3:16, where we will begin examining the scriptures in the light they were written in. We are going into this in an altogether different way than the usual approach. I have a reason for going into this subject in this manner though; so just bear with me. I am confident, as we see the Gentile world today, in the present religious state it is in, that there will never be another generation to believe this truth, after this element of people is gone. When we see atheism, evolution, and all these anti-God theories, that are so dominating in our society today, and the upcoming element of the educated structure of the world, there is no way Christianity could survive the onslaught of attacks it will receive in the colleges, and universities of the future. I am not talking about colleges and universities, to run them down, in the basic principals they are in existence for. I have said this, If you are going to fly and airplane, then please, Go further than the 8th grade in school. If you are going into the study of how to combine certain chemicals that can be toxic and explosive, you better have more than a 6th or 7th grade education. I certainly would not want to go to a doctor, that had not received an education beyond what I have. However when it comes to a personal relationship with the eternal God, your education will not merit you one thing with Him. The Bible was not written from such sources. The Bible was written as holy men of old were moved by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God. This lets me know, It is not illiterate people that God uses; but the simple people, who in a mental state, are very alert and sensitive to the fact that there is a God that exists, and that controls all things. People that know He wants to guide and direct our lives. That is the kind of mind God seeks to use. This way, you can never harness God; and put Him in an institution where you can use a monetary gimmick to approach Him. Over half of the New Testament, was written by the Holy Ghost through only one man, the apostle Paul. The Holy Ghost was the author; and Paul was the scribe; or the earthly instrument that told the scribe what to write. He addressed himself as the apostle to the Gentiles. Not necessarily because he was the first to preach to Gentiles; for we know Peter preached to those of the house of Cornelius; but because he was anointed of the Holy Ghost for that special ministry among the Gentiles. We are using 1st Timothy 3:16, for our text scripture; but I will read verse 15, also, to get the setting right. This 16th verse, is a verse trinity minded people do not like to deal with; and some Oneness people go too far with; but a very enlightening one, if looked at properly. Let us read. (15) “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (16) And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believe on in the world, received up into glory.” This is a scripture human minds can run wild with, if they try to use only this one scripture to build their revelation of the Godhead. God did not mean for His children to take one verse of scripture; and treat all the rest as if they were not even written. In 2nd Timothy 3:16-17, this same apostle wrote these words, “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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”  Keep in mind, The man that wrote these words was not a Gentile; he was a Jew. Also, he was an educated man, and he did speak the Greek language; but a hungry soul does not have to understand Greek, in order to be fed by the Holy Ghost. Revelation does not depend as much upon a certain translation of the Bible, as it does upon the continuity of thought; as it is related to all the other references of the same subject in the Bible. Another thing you might take note of, is that none of the original Greek Epistles written by the apostles, is even in existence today. Translators are only using text from copies of the early, supposed to be early, manuscripts. We do know this, When we study the Bible, for a true revelation and understanding of God in His oneness, we are on the other side of Satan’s original all out attack against this revelation; that started even in the closing years of the first Church Age. Coming into the second age, his attack on this revelation was designed to wipe true Christianity from the face of the earth. He could not do that; of course, but he did succeed in getting the Church terribly off course. Satan could never be accused of being a dummy. He knew what he needed to do, before he could ever be successful in changing the doctrinal structure of the scriptures; and what it added up to, was to get the overall body of what was called Christians, to the point where they did not know for sure who God is, what He consists of, and how He is related to man, and man to Him. That is why he introduced the trinity concept of God. When you have people believing that the ONE GOD who created all things is manifested in three distinct persons, they do not know which one to pray to; nor how to read the scriptures, to find out which one does what. That of course, brought human reasoning into the picture; and before too long, carnal mankind had the sovereign God pulled down to their own mental level. That is why the Church went through one thousand years of almost total darkness; before the Reformation started. They had lost their way; and did not know how to look to the true guide, to help them find it again.


WHAT THE CHURCH REALLY SHOULD BE


When we look at 1st Timothy 3:15, where the apostle Paul said, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth,” it tells us something about Christianity in that first age. In that first 100 years, the Church was looked upon, and known to be, the very embodiment of the eternal God. In other words, God, being a sovereign Spirit, was dwelling in His children, just like He dwells in His only begotten Son Jesus. He was just no manifesting the fullness of His attributes through every one of them; like He did through the Son He fully incarnated. He was in them; but not by the same measure. Nevertheless they all had that sufficient measure of His Spirit, to give them the understanding of His will and purpose for mankind on earth; and the understanding of how they as individuals, were to commune with Him on a personal basis, instead of through an earthly mediator; like it had been in times past, under the Law. In other words, Satan’s true aim was to put the Church under bondage; and set up a mediator that could drain their pocketbooks of the substance God had blessed them with, in the pretext of being their only contact with their Creator; and little by little, they fell for his scheme; as the old guards of the true faith passed on to their reward. Some may ask, Why was the Church referred to as the pillar and ground of the truth? The word pillar, points to something that holds something else up. It is a support. The Church was perceived as being the literal support, and the guardian of God’s truth. Naturally the word ground, speaks of something that is a foundation for the pillar to stand upon. In other words, That apostolic Church had a revelation of God’s word, that truly is the foundation upon which all truth rests; and we are being restored to the same revelation of the word of God they had. Therefore as the apostle Paul said, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, , received up into glory.” The word controversy, speaks of conflict, disagreement, argument, and debate; and when it comes to the question of whether God is ONE SPIRIT, or THREE PERSONS, there is just no place for CONTROVERSY. His oneness is a scriptural fact. Only an anti-Christ spirit, would say that God is three persons. I sometimes feel that these great scholars who claim to know so much, have never even read John 4:24; which says, “God {is} a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship {Him} in spirit and in truth.” That is the very words of Jesus; whom they say is the second person of this holy trinity they think they see in the Bible; so how can they read a verse like that, and still say God the Father is a person? It certainly is true, that God was manifest in flesh; but He has never dwelt in any flesh, except that of His only begotten Son Jesus. He has appeared in theophany form; (which is a visible manifestation of deity) in certain instances recorded in the Old Testament; but He has never been known to any Jew, as Jehovah dwelling in a physical body of flesh; nor did any of them ever believe Him to be a person. Keep in mind, the apostle Paul was a Jew; therefore he understood what he was saying. However, knowing that these Gentiles he was preaching to, had been converted from paganism, and knowing that pagans worship many gods, he had even more reason to be dogmatic about this godhead revelation, that there be no controversy about it in the ranks of that body of believers. When he said, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness,” it was the same as saying, There is no question about it; when it comes to the mention of God in His oneness, it will always be a great mystery to some; but I want you to get it straight. Then he said, “God was manifest in the flesh, (The flesh of His only begotten Son) justified (or authenticated) in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, (Paul certainly did his share of that) believed on in the world, (Not by the world, but by those whom He had foreknown in the world) received up into glory.” I do not hassle with people who say Jesus is God; but I always wonder if they really know, in what way He is God. Certainly there was nothing about His flesh, that we should think of as deity. Furthermore until the time when He came to John the Baptist, to be baptized, and the Spirit descended from heaven and incarnated Him, it could not even be said that He was God; for God was not in Him before then. He was a sinless human; but He was not to be looked upon as deity before that. When you go back into the ancient histories that really describe the religious nature of societies and nations of people, they had a god for everything; especially the Greeks. Therefore think of people who were being converted, and brought out of paganism, believing there is a god for health, a god for fertility, a god for this, and a god for that. Paul knew, that sooner or later, since their minds had been affected by gods in the plurality, as pagans, if there is always a controversy arising, concerning the godhead, at every mention of God in His oneness, it would greatly hinder the growth of those new Christians; so he no doubt deemed it very important, that an effort be made to settle any dispute, and to preserve the true revelation; and he instructed Timothy likewise. Yes, without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. The word mystery, describes, or speaks of something that, even though you may see it, it is still hard to explain. There are many things in the Bible; that, even though you have the revelation of them yourself, they are still hard to explain; so others can see what you see. Their very mention, will bring a cloud of mystery over the face of those hearing your words. Paul does not go into great detail explaining the godhead; in this verse, like he does in other places. Nevertheless when it comes to the godhead, there is always a mystery, and controversy. Naturally the man who wrote these various epistle is dead; and we can never ask him anything about what he taught; but if we believe his testimony, that he was the apostle to the Gentiles, a light to them, we also have confidence, that what he taught was the truth in every instance. He took this wonderful gospel message to those pagans; and presented it to them in such a way that they were able to catch the same revelation of the word of God, that those first Jewish converts had. He presented the message of grace in such simple form, showing that even Gentiles could be reconciled to God, (The Creator) through Jesus Christ, the very Son of God who gave His life as a sacrifice to God, to pay the sin debt for every individual soul that would ever believe on Him; throughout the entire grace age.


THE SON OF GOD THE IMMORTAL ONE


In order for us to take a wise, spiritual look at how the apostle Paul explained this mystery of God in His oneness, and of His plan and purpose in relationship to lost mankind, we need to look at some other scriptures. Let us go also, to chapter 6, of 1st Timothy, verses 15 and 16. Here, is what we have to look at. If I was a Greek scholar, and I was trying to interpret the Bible by the mere meaning of Greek words, there is doubt I would take the same approach taken by the man whose tract we read a portion of, at the start of this message. However that is only an intellectual interpretation of something that requires a Holy Ghost revelation; if we are to walk with God in truth. People seem to get the idea, that I am against education; and educated people; but that is not true at all. I am only against the idea these divinity scholars have; that only the educated people of the world, are able to interpret the Bible. If they are talking about a word translation from Greek and Hebrew to something else, I will agree with them; but when it comes to having a spiritual revelation of what those translated scriptures mean, they come up short; unless they are willing to humble themselves, and receive truth from whatever source God sees fit to use. Worldly wisdom, and worldly riches, are two things God has little use for; unless He gets complete control of those who possess them, first. He will use your wisdom; and He will use your money; but He does not want either one instead of you; nor will He allow you any special consideration because you possess them. Let us look at a few scriptures dealing with riches and wisdom; and see what the bible says about them. Jesus had a lot to say about those who are rich with the things of this world. Notice, (Matthew 19:23) “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:24) “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Luke 1:53) “He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.” Notice this one. (Luke 6:24) “But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation.” Why would Jesus say such a thing? Because He knew how those that are rich, are able to use their money to get recognition, wherever they go. No one has ever said that a rich man could not be saved. At least, I have not; but too many times, they get the idea that joining a church and paying tithes will get them into the kingdom of god; and that is pure deception. Everything that has an eternal value is free. All God wants, si you. He owns everything else already. Now let us take a look at what the Bible says about man’s wisdom; and see if God absolutely has to have it, in order to make His plan of redemption work. In 1st Cor. 1:17, we read these words, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” (1st Cor. 1:19-21) “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where {is} the scribe? Where {is} the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (2nd Cor. 2:1-2, 4) “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And my speech and my preaching {was} not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” I do not feel that I am overstepping my purpose in the plan of God; when I say, The New Testament was not written by intellectual capabilities. It was written, as the Holy Spirit inspired the writers to relate things in their own human terminology. The apostle Paul who wrote what we used for our text scripture, also wrote, in chapter 6, of 1st Timothy, verses 15-16, concerning Jesus the Christ, the very ONE the gospel is all about; so let us read those verses at this time; and see what place this man Jesus held, in the mind and spirit of this apostle. “Which in His times He shall shew, {who is} the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (The word Potentate, speaks of a celebrity, an important civil or social figure; royalty, a king, or such like; and we all, surely know that the King of kings and Lord of lords is Jesus the Christ; but verse 16, pinpoints that for sure) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom {be} honor and power everlasting. Amen.” He has immortality; because He was raised from the dead by the power and Spirit of God Himself who is the Creator. The fact that He is dwelling in the light, speaks of the fact that He has been taken up; and seated on the right hand of the Father; the source of all light. Listen, saints, We need to make up our mind’s about this godhead question. Either we determine once and for all, that the Father is not a person, never was a person, and never will be a person, or we will just drift along; playing church, and never really be able to give a Bible answer to people who may look to us for the truth. I have no reason to believe there is anyone of this congregation still not sure about the oneness of God; but can you give a satisfactory answer to others, when you are questioned about what you believe? You may not refer to the Father as the first person of the trinity, like the Trinitarians do; but can you give an acceptable answer, when questioned about the Godhead? The Father, is that eternal Spirit that created this old world, as well as everything else. He, and He alone, is the omnipotent One, the omniscient One, the omnipresent One. He shares those characteristics with no one; nor with any thing. He fills the universe. Therefore He does not dwell in a form. That is why He should never be referred to as a person. A person could not possess those attributes. The very fact that He is our Creator, makes Him Father; because from Him, we have our existence; but that does not make him a person. He is also the Father of the entire animal creation too, you know. From Him, all living things have their existence; so that, without anything else, makes Him Father. Brothers and sisters, the reason I am taking this route, is so that, when we do come across phrases in the Bible, that are plural, you should already be conscious of the fact, that Jesus never referred to a plurality of persons. He definitely gives you a plurality of thought; because you see two objects of thought; but you do not have to make a person out of both of them. You just have to know what the Father is, in relationship to this plan of redemption; then you can clearly see the person through which the Father worked; and is still working, to bring this great master plan to a climax. He is gathering His creation back to Himself; back to the place Adam fell from because of his transgression. The Son, is the flesh man the invisible Father revealed himself to His creation through. When we can catch that kind of thought, we can better understand what Paul meant when he said, “Who only hath immortality.” That is referring to Jesus, dwelling in the light; because He is dwelling in the eternal Spirit. God has taken Him up, and seated Him on the right hand of authority. The Father is not a person; but He (the Father) does give Himself a position by which Jesus is recognized as being in His presence. The light, definitely speaks of how the Father manifests Himself to, and through this Son of His; in order to fulfill the beautiful picture you and I see in Revelation: chapters 4 and 5. Keep in mind, John only saw one throne set in heaven. One throne, in which Jesus the immortal Christ was positioned. Therefore, that is why this passage of scripture says, “Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see.” Why? Because that Spirit is invisible. No other man can approach unto this light; nor can any other man see with his natural eyes, this light. “Whom no man hath seen,” is past tense, “nor can see,” is present tense. Why? Because He is an invisible, eternal being. Yet this very verse of scripture points you precisely to Revelation; chapters 4 and 5. John only saw one throne. The throne he saw, was a position the Father had relegated to His Son; whereby He would take Him up; and seat Him in that position; and then He (the Father) would manifest and project authority and power to, and through Him; that He (the Son) might fulfill His high priestly work, (which is still going on) from that very position. Therefore Jesus can be recognized as our High Priest, who Paul describes in Hebrews as the One that hath gone beyond the veil; and entered into the very Holy of Holies, on our behalf. In other words, He has gone right into the very presence of God Himself. Therefore, for 2000 years, He has been making intercession for you and me; to the great eternal Spirit.


THE FATHER SOVEREIGN SPIRIT


We must still take a closer look at the scriptures; in order to be specific in casting down every thought about a first person of the godhead. I realize of course, that telling a Trinitarian there is only ONE PERSON in the godhead; is just like telling a lot of these idolaters who worship Bro. Branham, that he was just a sinner saved by the grace and mercy of God; like all the rest of us are. The same spirit that told the Trinitarians God is manifested in three persons, told this other group, that Bro. Branham was God manifested in flesh. What makes one group better or worse than the other, when they are all out of the scriptures, believing what they believe? I cannot in any way, see how anyone could be so blind that they would go around the world, telling people that GOD SENT A PROPHET TO THIS AGE; then turn right around and tell them to use the Spoken Word Books, above the Bible: when Bro. Branham preached every one of his messages right out of the Bible. They have to be spiritually blind themselves; yet they are so proud that God sent them a prophet messenger, to get them out of denominations. They are in the same prison house; and too blind to see it. Nevertheless this great eternal Spirit the Trinitarians call, the first person of the holy trinity: has perfected a way of escape; for every soul that is willing to follow His road map; but that map can be read only by the One the Trinitarians call, the third person of the holy trinity; the Holy Spirit that indwells every true child of God. The very Spirit Jesus said would lead believers into all truth, is doing that very thing for the little bride Church of the living God; so it is obvious that those who still walk in spiritual ignorance, after having an opportunity to walk in the light of truth, do not have that Spirit indwelling them. By divine revelation, we know that the first person of the Trinitarian’s trinity, and the third person are both the same sovereign Spirit. It is just two different office works by the same Spirit. He was FATHER in creation; and in His SON in redemption; and He is Called, THE HOLY SPIRIT in regeneration. Any way you look at it, you still see only ONE GOD, Spirit, manifested in three offices, not three persons. He knows all things, because He is not limited to time. He always was, and always will be. He had no beginning; and He will have no ending. It is hard for a scientific mind to accept such a concept of God; but Saints: before there ever was a speck of anything else: this great Spirit filled the space where He would eventually place that which He would create. That is why Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Do not ask me to explain how that sovereign Spirit came to be what He is; since He had no beginning Himself, you cannot go back beyond Him. In other words, If we are going to believe in God at all: the only thing that makes any sense at all, is to believe in Him according to what the Bible tells us about Him. For lack of better words to declare his revelation of this sovereign CREATOR, the apostle John spoke of Him on this wise, (John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That will take you right back to Genesis 1:1. In Genesis 1:2 we find the beginning of Moses’ record of this sovereign Spirit beginning to bring the earth out of its state of voidness; and this is commonly thought of, as the creation of this earth; but we need to realize: that the earth was without form, and void, and engrossed in total darkness; as a result of God’s judgment upon a prehistoric creation of His; which all took place between verses 1 & 2 of Genesis, chapter 1. I will not go into the necessary details of establishing this scripturally, at this time, since we already have other articles in print, dealing with that subject; which can be obtained just by asking for them. What we want to concentrate on now, is our announced subject; the great controversy over whether God is manifested in three persons, or not. I maintain that there is only ONE PERSON in the Godhead; and that the one person, was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, who as a man had a beginning. The only thing about Him that did not have a beginning; was that sovereign Spirit that descended from heaven, and incarnated Him, after John the Baptist had baptized Him.


THE GOD – NO MAN HAS SEEN


Where is this God, no man has ever seen? We will go on a little further in the Gospel of John; to get the answer to that question. Our setting here, is the apostle John, who became a disciple of Jesus; after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, in the Jordan River. The apostle John picks up the writing; and describes this man Jesus; who He was, and what He was. Then he began to relate the words of John the Baptist, where he referred to this certain man he baptized. The apostle John wrote it like this, (John 1:15) “John (The Baptist) bare witness of Him, (meaning Jesus the Christ) and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, (meaning when the scribes and Pharisees sent certain men down to ask him who He was) He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.” Not only do we need to catch what John declared about this man Jesus; we need to find out what he meant by what he said. After we read a few more verses here, we will go to another setting for that. Verse 16, is how John goes ahead speaking of Him. “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (Because through Jesus, another dispensation, and another covenant was set in motion; and John the apostle is relating what John the Baptist said about this man called Jesus the Christ, whom he baptized. This next verse, is the final analysis; but when we look at Jesus, we need to let our gaze, or our understanding be centered on God the Father that indwells Him.) No man hath seen God (The Father) at any time; the only begotten Son (Jesus) which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” That is a language phrase, meaning, That Jesus was the very heart throb, or the very yearning of the Father. First of all, the word bosom, is a pictorial language. We know the word bosom, is speaking of the breast of a person; usually a woman. Nevertheless we do know this, God the Father, being not a person, was not existing in any form, therefore we can understand, that the word bosom, is in reference to His heart’s yearning; or craving. Jesus, who was begotten of Him, was the very innermost longing and yearning of the Father; for the day to come, when He (The Father) would bring forth into this world that Son; who would carry His image and likeness; and would not surrender anything up to the devil. That Son walked so obedient, and so subject to the Father’s will, John could talk like that about Him. That He was the begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, and it is He, (Jesus) that hath declared the Father, that no man hath seen. The word declared, means Jesus hath revealed the Father. Jesus hath made the Father known. Well what about all these people who claim to have seen God? If John was right, he said, No man hath seen God at any time. He is referring to the existence of that eternal Spirit; which cannot be seen with the natural eye. We can only see Him with a spiritual eye; through that which Jesus revealed about Him. He is invisible; because He does not dwell in a form. He does not need a chair to sit in; because He never gets tired. He is that Spirit that has propagated all things into existence. Now to get the rest of the picture, where John the Baptist gave testimony to those sent by the scribes and Pharisees, inquiring about his reason for baptizing, just read verses 19, thru 34, of this same chapter. When we go to other passages of scriptures written by the apostle Paul, we can better understand what the words by, or through, or in, is really speaking of. However at this point of our subject, let us go back to the Old Testament. The Trinitarians always like to use the verse of scripture in Genesis chapter 1, verse 26. They declare, that the Greek words us, and our, where God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,” proves that Jesus was there with the Father; helping Him in the creation. They say those, are plural words that definitely describe the existence of God in His triune being; or makeup. Yes, they have to say that He is one eternal Spirit, but yet that one eternal Spirit has chosen to be manifested in three distinct persons. As I said earlier in the message, I am not an educated man; but I can go back to the Old Testament, to the law God gave the children of Israel, as they were on their journey coming out of Egyptian bondage, where He gave them the design of how to build the tabernacle, and how the priests and people were to approach Him (God) in their earthly, spiritual relationship and fellowship with Him, and how He would come down and dwell in that tabernacle; and I have never found one verse of scripture in any of that, which I could even think, was pointing to a trinity. If you will study the law and the structure of the tabernacle very carefully, you will see nothing that describes, or in any way portrays a trinity. That is why the Jews will always believe in the existence of that one eternal God. They may have misgivings as to what their Messiah will be; but the main thing is, Those early Jewish Christians that had followed this man called Jesus, after they received the Holy Spirit, they knew how to relate to all of what they had previously looked forward to. They had no problem explaining the godhead; when it was necessary to do so. The key to that though, is having that indwelling Spirit within you; the Holy Ghost, which Jesus promised would lead you into all truth. (John 16:13) “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, {that} shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.” You may get tired hearing me say it; but there are a lot of people in this world; trying to interpret scripture, without having the interpreter in them. Let me read you a few verses from the 14th chapter of John, starting in verse 12. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater {works} than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (This is Jesus speaking; so notice what follows. Verse 13) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do {it}. (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, (in Jesus) and shall be in you.” Now I want to read you one more verse; to go with this; (John 14:26) “But the Comforter, {which is} the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” In case anyone did not know before, this is what Jesus told His disciples the Holy Ghost would do; once He is inside of believers; so tell me this, If these Trinitarians have this indwelling presence, why is He not teaching them all things, and guiding them into all truth? You know the answer; as well as I do. They have been psychologically converted to some manmade religion; but they have never been born again by the Spirit of God; which is not the third person of this one eternal being; He is the selfsame Spirit that the one eternal being always was. It is just a title that He gives Himself, as He relates Himself to mankind in redemption and regeneration. In other words, when you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, you do not receive the Spirit of the third person. You receive the Spirit of the first being, the Father Himself. That is why Jesus, though He spoke of Him as a Comforter, also spoke of Him as the Spirit of Truth; because that is exactly what He is. He spoke of Him as the Holy Ghost; but He also spoke of Him as the Father. This is what gets Greek language speakers all worked up into a lather. Well when you read Genesis 1:27, it should explain verse 26; without all of this controversy over whether Jesus worked with the Creator, in creation, or not. It says, “So God created man in HIS {own} image, (Not in their image) in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” I hope you can clearly see, that God created man in His (singular) own image. That one verse clearly shows that God is singular and masculine. He is not three persons; nor could He be a she; the Bible is too clear on that, for anyone to fight against it. Therefore in Genesis 1, verse 26, where all the controversy exists over the word us, it was simply a matter of the Creator speaking to His angelic helpers. Naturally I am aware, that Hebrew and Greek scholars from the trinity ranks, would challenge me on that; but that doesn’t worry me; for until they get to personally know this God they talk about, there is no way they could see the true picture concerning the godhead. God has always related Himself to mankind through the ministry of angels. Certainly the Jews knew how angels were used in the plan of God. Take for instance, the type in the Old Testament, in the tabernacle, which was just at ent in the beginning; how this box which contained the ark of the covenant, which was also referred to as the mercy seat, was placed in the Holy of Holies, with two cherubim of beaten gold guarding that Shekinah glory (Which was the presence of God, dwelling among His people. It was just a type; but it clearly shows the presence of angels, in this great plan of God for the ages. If God were a trinity, He should have been set forth as three persons in all of the types of the Old Testament; and I have never found one. Why was there no images of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, put there in that tabernacle? What actually dwelt there, was a whirling light. That box was not a place for god, as a man in a form, to come down and sit inside of. What was in the box? The law of commandments, written on stone. The box was made of wood; overlaid with gold. The box in itself portrayed a twofold type. The box of wood, spoke of the flesh of the Son of God; and the gold that was laid over the wood spoke of the deity of God invested in the flesh of Jesus the Christ, the very Son of God, who is the ark of the New Covenant. Jesus then, is not anointed of the third person of the Godhead. He is the one and only manifested person of the Godhead. Therefore, if two cherubim, which were winged creatures of gold, were positioned there, one at each end of the Ark of the Covenant, what did it represent? They were the guards. They were, the protectors of the enthronement and presence of God, set forth in that type. This lets me know why, all through time, God the eternal Being, before the New Testament dispensation started, always contacted His writing prophets in that dispensation of time, through the medium of angelic beings. Those angels would speak in the authority of the first person; as though it were God Himself; singular, speaking right to them; therefore you can find no evidence whatsoever, that there was a second or third person in the picture. It takes the devil, that perverter of God’s word, to get three persons out of some scripture in the Bible; regardless of whether the reference comes from the Old Testament, or the New Testament. Surely any revelated child of God, can reconcile any plural terminology, to the office works of the ONE true God, which is Spirit; and never has been anything else.


WHY GOD SAID – MAKE NO GRAVEN IMAGES


God called Abraham, the man who was going to beget a race of people, through whom He would entrust the revelation of His oneness; to get out of his country, and away from his kindred; and promised to make a great nation of his seed. While other races of people were going into oblivion, as far as any reality about God was concerned, and worshiping a plurality of deities, God called this man, to go out from his familiar surroundings; into a strange land that he had to wait for God to show him. (Gen. 12:1) “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: (3) and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Abraham obeyed god; and from his loins came the Jewish race of people, that have carried the revelation of God’s oneness right on through time; until God beget His own Son, to take that revelation and convey it to faithful men that could be sent forth to preach it to the world. Gentiles were never in the picture, as far as worshiping God according to the ways set forth in the law given to Moses; but through His begotten Son, God opened up the way to fulfill His promise to Abraham; which was, “And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” That is why we can say we are children of Abraham. We are his faith seed. Therefore we need to remember, Abraham never did believe the God he trusted, was anything more than a sovereign Spirit. When God appeared to him in a theophany form, you will find no place in the Bible, where Abraham ever went looking for that visible form afterwards. His communion was with the invisible God that had called him to go into that promised land; which he afterward inherited. God never meant for anyone to think of HIM as anything other than SPIRIT. That is why, when He gave the children of Israel a law to govern them, the first two commandments of that law was, (Exodus 20:3-4) “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness {of any thing} that {is} in heaven above, or that {is} in the earth beneath, or that {is} in the water under the earth.” First of all, HE is the only God anyone is to worship; and secondly, since He is SPIRIT, there is nothing in this world that could picture what HE IS. Therefore HE said, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, (No statue, no picture, nor anything else) or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” There is just no way to picture god; and even if there was, He still would not want us to have the picture; for people are too subject to look to such an image, as though it holds some kind of virtue. Any way you look at it, what Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, at the well, pertains to every creature that could ever desire to worship God. (John 4:24) He said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” If you try to worship God in any way except this, you become an idolater. It is just as simple as that. God called Abraham; and ordained that from his loins, would come forth a race of people, in which this revelation of His oneness would be kept alive. When He gave them that law, when He gave them that type portrayed in the tabernacle, and His Shekinah glory, which was a manifestation of light, there was no other light in that place. There were no windows in that Holy of Holies. It was a dark place, just imagine a box, made of wood, overlaid with gold on the outside, but inside the box were two tables of stone; on which God, by His divine power, (it is referred to as the finger of God) wrote and engraved those ten commandments, and Moses brought them off the mountain; and presented them to the children of Israel. God told him how to build the tabernacle. Every detail of it was erected according to God’s specific instructions; and I assure you, there was no trinity type in it. That box prefigured Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, who would be the ark of the new covenant; both man and god in one human vessel, manifested to take away the sins of the world. Everything in that Tabernacle typed something in the plan of God; pertaining to what He would do for mankind under the New Covenant; but as for the children of Israel, to whom the Old Covenant was given, they were not to make anything with any shape; with any likeness or form to it, to use in worshiping Him; because God being a Spirit, He would have no part in anything like that. He is an eternal, invisible Spirit, which cannot be harnessed down; like man in his carnal mind, want to harness Him. Therefore we will either worship Him according to His instruction; or He will not accept our efforts in any way. That is exactly what He said to Cain, (Gen. 4:7) “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” That is where the world is today. Most of those who do acknowledge that there is a God, like Cain did, expect Him to be overjoyed, just to accept their fruit and vegetable baskets; but His word is saying the same thing to them; that He said to Cain. In other words, (Just to use my own words) If you cannot find it in your heart to approach me according to the provision, just forget it. Go your own way; and we will settle this thing at the last judgment. If your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, that means you are a child of God; and you should not rebel against His word; but if you are not of that number, here is what Revelation 20:15 says, concerning you, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” That is where it all ends. On the other hand, for the true child of God, there is no end. Hallelujah! God contacted Abraham once; through an instrument called Melchizedek; (Gen. 14:18-20). Then God spoke to Abraham at a later time, (Which we have already mentioned) when He appeared to him right before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. One of the three angels, spake with Abraham in the terminology of the Creator Himself; but you must remember, This was not a permanent form God dwelled in; it was a theophany form; which Abraham never saw again. Melchizedek, which Paul writes of in the New Testament, did not even exist as an actual person. He was a projection of God Himself; given to Abraham in a certain geographic location; and this was God’s way of prefiguring to Abraham, it is here, at this place, I will visit your generations to come. Also, just as Melchizedek gave Abraham bread and wine there that day, almost two thousand years later, Jesus who was the one Melchizedek prefigured, when He sat at the Passover supper, just a few hours before He gave Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of lost mankind, (Which was the Passover Lamb, to the children of Israel.) Took of the elements of the Passover supper, and repeated to His disciples, what Melchizedek had done with Abraham. He took of the bread, blessed it, brake it, and gave it to His disciples saying, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then He took of the cup and spoke of it as the blood of the new covenant. Therefore all of this adds up to the fact, that Jesus who was born of virgin birth 2000 years ago, was definitely the fulfillment of every type portrayed in the Old Testament. He was the beginning of the fulfillment and the revelation of what those types pointed to. Abraham never did see a third person. Actually, he did not see anything other than those theophanies; which were only types of that which was to come. The ONE GOD that has never been a person, manifests Himself in THREE OFFICES; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but the Son is the only p-e-r-s-o-n. I believe that should be plain enough; for people who desire to know the truth.


APOSTOLIC TERMINOLOGY


Let us go back to the book of Ephesians; for a look at terminology that causes natural minds to imagine they see more than one person in the Godhead. This letter to the Ephesians, is a very important letter, to the New Testament Church. Ephesus was an Asiatic city, and a metropolitan area, 2000 years ago; that existed in the country we call Turkey, today. It was in this city, Ephesus, that the apostle Paul, (According to the 19th and 20th chapters of Acts) stayed for the period of three years, preaching the revelation of Jesus Christ to Gentiles; which before, had been pagans. In that course of time, it is related in those chapters of Acts; that all Asia heard the gospel. All those other cities, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, lying somewhere in the surrounding area of Ephesus, had Churches established in them; by the people from those places, that had heard Paul preach the gospel at Ephesus. There, is where they were converted. There, is where they got the spirit, and the revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul was in prison, in Rome, in the later years of his life and ministry; and it was from that prison cell, he wrote this Epistle to the Ephesians. It was a letter of commendation, exhorting and uplifting those saints, in 64 A.D.; because it was this assembly, which set the example of Christianity in that first age of Christendom. Notice how Paul approached this subject. In fact, his introduction is a beautiful picture. You will see no trinity in it. Yet some would argue that they do. We will read the first three verses; of chapter 1. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ.” We are looking at two objects of thought. We are not looking at two persons. We are looking at God. Because it is God, the Eternal Spirit, that Paul addresses first. Everything was as it was; by the will of God. It was that Eternal Spirit which is God Himself, that had dealt with this man called Paul; whose real name was Saul; before it was changed to Paul. Now your question might be, Why would he say, in Christ Jesus? It is because Jesus the Christ, meaning Jesus the anointed one, is the one through whom the Father works; to bring us to this great salvation. Christ, is not the last name of Jesus. Being the Christ, means HE was the anointed One. What was He anointed of? Did the third person anoint Him? If you believe that, you are going to have some pieces left over; when you put your picture together. You believe the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost were equal in authority; so how could any one of three equals, have the authority to anoint another one of the same three? We are definitely looking at two object of thought; but not two persons. If we can see the Father as the eternal Spirit: who does not dwell in a form, we can read this the way Paul understood it. Jesus had the fullness of the attributes of the Father in Him; but he did not have all of God in Him; for that sovereign Spirit is omnipresent. That simply means, that He is everywhere. What image could you make, that could picture an omnipresent Spirit? That is why the children of Israel were not to make any graven image. Anything man might do, to try to picture God, would detract from what He truly is; and He would not allow that to be done. Yet, in the Old Testament, chose certain ways to manifest Himself; to get the attention He wanted. He never repeated those manifestations because He did not chose to be permanently identified with any of those theophany forms. What He longed for, was to live in the person of His begotten Son. That is what everything else pointed to. That is why John said, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.”  Getting back to Ephesians though, Paul says, “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” We can, and we should carry two objects of thought. We can distinguish what the Father is; because He is the one doing the saving; but how is He doing it? He is doing it through the person of His Son. Why? Because the person of His Son is made up of three basic elements. First He is spirit life; that came from the Father. Then there is flesh, and then there is blood. That blood is what the spirit life is related to; that keeps the flesh active and alive. Notice again, “Blessed be the God and Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Without that anointing presence, we are just sitting inside a building talking about something; but when He said heavenly places, He could have said in spiritual positions. You are still here on this earth; but somehow or other, because God has redeemed you through the offering of the blood of His only begotten Son, we are redeemed back to Him through His Son. Therefore as Jesus is the heir of all the Father’s potentials, related to God’s redemption purpose for mankind, we then become joint heirs with Christ Jesus, of everything God has given to Him. The first thing we receive is eternal life. Therefore He has blessed us, He has positioned us, and we are sitting in heavenly places in Christ. (4) “According as He (the Father) hath chosen us in Him (Jesus) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” God the Father, hath chosen us in Jesus; before the foundation of the world, (In His sovereign mind) that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. What a letter to be written to an ancient Church. You know, I have my doubts, that every one of those people had a lot of education, over 1900 years ago. Yet when Paul wrote this epistle in the Greek language, to that Asiatic body of disciples, they knew exactly what he was talking about. That is the beauty of it. It does not take an education; to know God in truth. Well, verse 5, lets us know what God’s plan was. “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” We hear denominational people today, say, Wait a minute now, that doctrine of predestination is out of the pit. I just have to say, It comes right out of the same Bible they use; they just choose to read right over it. When they say, We do not believe that; they are actually saying, We do not believe all of the Bible. The reason they look at it that way, is because they think that cancels out the scripture that says, (Rev. 22:17) “And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Predestination does not affect one word of that. It is just simply a matter of God knowing before He ever created anything, what every creature would do; and His total plan included provision for every bit of it. Furthermore I believe if they would read the verse more carefully, it would not say what they think it says. The invitation is there; just like it was to Cain; but there are two keys to consider: a-t-h-I-r-s-t, and w-h-o-s-o-e-v-e-r w-I-l-l. Only those who are athirst, will accept the invitation to come to Him in the only way it is possible for a lost soul to come to Him. That way for Gentiles, is Acts 2:38; and that is the only way. God did not design an alternate way; for those who are too proud to accept His provided way. Yes, the invitation is still open; but God knew who would humble themselves to accept the invitation; therefore it can be said, They are predestinated. All of those names were written in the book of life; before the foundation of the world; and I assure you, there are no new names being written therein. I hear people say, But the Bible says God is not willing that any should perish; but that all should be saved. Saints: Is that really what it says? I wish some of these people who are always misquoting scripture; would at least quote it correctly; even if they never know what it means. Peter is the one that used the terminology they are thinking of; but let us notice the exact wording of it. (2nd Pet. 3:9) “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” What promise is He referring to? Well, you can go to the verse every denominational person likes to quote; and read it, but like every other promise and provision God has ever made, there are conditions preceding the receiving of it. It is John 3:16; so let us read it. “For God so loved the world, that HE gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him (Not just about Him, but in Him, that is the key) should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is those that believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior; according to the scriptural provision, that God will never let perish. I believe that with all my heart. That IS eternal security; that a lot of those same people rebel against also; but that in no way cancels out the reality of some other verses I can think of. Like for instance, 2nd Thessalonians 2:9-12, where the apostle Paul was dealing with the mystery of iniquity, the spirit of antichrist, and said, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Does that sound like God is not willing for any to perish; or will you agree, that He knew also, which ones would reject His provision and perish, and that it is only those who will accept His provision, that He will not let perish? Let us take a look at 2nd Peter 2:12; if you need a little more evidence. You can read the whole chapter later; if you care to; but this one verse is sufficient for now. “But these, as natural brute beasts, (He is talking about ungodly men.) Made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil fo the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” Tell me now, that God is not willing that any should perish; but that all should come to repentance. The most you can say about it, in the light of the scriptures, si that God did not purposely design some people to burn in hell; and others to be saved. No. He created man in HIS own image; which means He created a spirit man; that had intellect, and the ability to choose whether he would obey the instructions given him by his Creator, or the voice of his wife; that had been deceived by a satanic scheme. We all know what his choice was; but some will say, If God knew this ahead of time, why did He allow it to happen? Because He did not want a bunch of robots to order around throughout eternity; when He could have a family of sons and daughters, that had been given the opportunity to reject Him; and they, by their own choice, loved Him; and chose to follow His word, instead of the word of His enemy, Satan. There has always been this great controversy over certain things in the word of God; any time religious people (not necessarily Christians) get together; but none of it will ever change God one bit. As long as Jesus is still on the mercy seat, that universal invitation, Whosoever will, let him come, will still be there; but God will not be surprised at the end; to see who accepted it, and who rejected it. You just have to accept the fact, that He designed a plan, whereby He would be worshiped by a family of sons and daughters that love Him by their own free choice; and desire to please Him in all their ways. None of them will perish. Hallelujah! We are living in an hour, when our society seems determined to give the perverts and criminals all the rights they demand; and treat the law abiding citizens like the criminals should be treated; but that is now wonder; for according to the words of Jesus, we are living close to the end. The signs are all around us. Satan’s vessels are trying their best, to totally destroy the family structure; which has been the only stabilizing source left in the human race; for quite some time now. The Bible said it would be that way though; so that in itself, shows that god knows ahead of time, what is going to happen. Well if He foreknew all of that, He also foreknew who would accept Christ; and who would reject Him. Therefore the terminology, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children,” brings a word to the forefront; that pertains to how an orphan child is taken into a family, and given full rights as an heir of the family’s earthly accumulation. When we look at it in our sinful makeup, that is exactly what we are. We are born into the world in sin. Our nature is to be contrary to God; and live just the opposite of His ways. That is why it is written; “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” (Rom. 3:10-11) People may have religious ideas; but they do not seek after God in the right way. Luke 17:26-29, says this, “And as it was in the days of Noe, (Noah) so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (27) They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (28) Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; (29) But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone fro heaven, and destroyed them all.” You might say, What is wrong with that? The fact that they left God out of the picture, and went after the lust of their flesh, is what was wrong with it; just like it is today. That is why we can say, The cup of abomination is just about full; and the judgment of God is sure. The same word of god that brought us to salvation, is what judges those that reject its invitation. That is the reason we are instructed not to judge anyone; it is God’s word that judges them. Naturally that is referring to their eternal destiny; and not their fleshly deeds. It is our responsibility; to judge by the fruit a person bears, whether we should fellowship that person, or refuse to have fellowship with them. We are admonished; to abstain from every appearance of evil; so we have to judge that; in order to keep our own fellowship with our heavenly Father as it pleases Him.


THE FATHER’S WILL


Taking into account the fact of God’s foreknowledge, He knows who His lost, potential children are; therefore it is He that seeks us; we do not seek after Him. That is why Paul wrote, “There is none that seeketh after God.” We came into our relationship with God, by the new birth; as is taught throughout the New Testament; but in this scripture we were looking at, in Ephesians, Paul is looking at it from the standpoint of our position in God’s family of redeemed children. It is not just because we get tired of sin; and decide to live for God; that we become joint heirs with Jesus Christ. It is because God’s foreknowledge let Him see us accepting His provision; therefore before the foundation of the world, God predestinated us to be adopted into full sonship by, Or through Jesus Christ; according to the good pleasure of His (The Father’s) will. Therefore when we really accept Him, it is through Jesus, the one who furnished the elements by how our redemption would be brought about. Then God adopts us into His family; by, or through Jesus Christ. That brings us back to the two objects of thought; that we mentioned earlier. We see the Father; and we see the Son; both mentioned in these scriptures; as though there could be more than one person in the Godhead; but I assure you, it is not so. It is easy to get hung up on words; when you do not have a revelation. The trinity, because they say the Son previously existed with the Father, before all time, and because of a place where it says, by His word He created the worlds and such like, they say Jesus created all things. Well if Jesus created all things, then Jesus created you and me; so then, what does the Father have to do with all of this? Is He just some person sitting back, dictating the terms and such like? No. That is not the way it is. It is God; (The sovereign Spirit) that loved us; and foreknew us; and He is the one doing the choosing; or it could not be written; that it is according to H-I-S will, H-I-S good pleasure, which H-E hath purposed in H-I-M-S-E-L-F. Where did I get such a verse, you may ask? That is what Ephesians 1:9, says. Let us read verses 9-11; so you can see the rest of this singular terminology. No. It was not a mistake. I know that; because I know Jesus the Son, had a beginning. HE could not have possibly had any part in creation; nor any of the choosing that took place before the foundation of the earth; except in the mind of the Creator Himself; that designed the whole plan, to be culminated through Him (The Son). Notice “Having made known unto us the mystery of HIS will, according to HIS good pleasure which HE hath purposed in HIMSELF: (10) that in the dispensation of the fullness of times HE might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: (11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of HIM who worketh all things after the counsel of HIS own will.” You may read a verse or two; that the way it is translated, sounds like Jesus did the creating; but when you examine the whole picture, you realize that would pervert the whole picture; from Genesis 1; through Revelation 22. Either there is ONE sovereign CREATOR, or we must disregard an awful lot of the Bible. That would not matter to a lot of people in the world today; for they have no respect for the word of God anyway; but it would sure bother me; because this same apostle also wrote 2nd Timothy 3:16-17, “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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” When you start throwing out scripture, where do you draw the line? I will throw out none of it myself. I believe it {is} all profitable; just like Paul said. Therefore when God did the choosing and creating, Jesus the Son of God had not yet come into existence; to even be thought of as an eternal being, in that respect. “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL.” Now brothers and sisters, there is no way that verse could be read like that; if there were three persons sitting up there, all equal in authority. It would have to be, according to the counsel of THEIR will. May I say this, The plan of salvation was not designed by the person of the Son of God. It was designed, fully planned, in the eons of ages back, in the sovereign mind of that One eternal being who always was; and always will be; who has no beginning, or ending of days. Who never was born, and will never die. Who never gets sick, never has a fever; never goes to a doctor; or any of that. He is unrelated to all those things. When He brought forth His only begotten, whose life was from HIM, naturally that made Him Father of Him whom He begat; therefore that Son was perfect also; just like His Father. He was sinless; but He was not God. Then later, when the Son was about thirty years of age, by His own sovereign will, He (The Father) put Himself in that perfect son; and the two spirits, (not persons) became ONE SPIRIT. That is how the Son could demonstrate, reveal, or display the Father. It was the Son, those people saw with their naked eye; but it was the Father inside the Son, that actually performed all the miracles; just like Jesus the Son was always saying. Let us go to chapter 3, now, for we need to get a couple of verses there; that seem to say something contradictory to our revelation. Verses 8-10, are the verses I want us to look at. (Eph. 3:8) “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; (9) And to make all {men} see what {is} the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” The apostle Paul starts off in the 8th verse, talking about unmerited favor; because of the understanding God had given him; and the fact that He had been called to preach the gospel to Gentiles; but when the Trinitarian translators translated the 9th verse, they added a little something that was not in the Aramaic version of the same verse. I am referring to the last part of the verse; that says, “Hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” That whole thing is built around the revelation and mystery; or the understanding of This mystery concerning how one God was revealed to lost mankind, through His only begotten Son; and certainly was never to be translated in a way that would make the Son, the Creator. In the Aramaic version, the verse ends with “God who created all things.” Let us read it from the Aramaic version, because the Aramaic version is the text that all the eastern Churches used; and that is where the first Churches were. Ephesians 3:9, in the Aramaic, says this, “And that I might enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery, which for ages had been hidden from the world by God, who created all things.”  The verse ends right there; and that certainly makes sense; where the other words do not. When you know beyond any shadow of doubt, that Jesus the Son of God had no part in creation, you hate to find wording like that, in the Bible; for you know it will always cause controversy between one God believers and trinity believers. Still yet, we do realize that God allowed this sort of thing; to confound the wise and prudent men of the world; who interpret the Bible without a revelation. Let me say also, that we have no intention of trying to convince them; that certain words have been inserted into the body of scriptures by Trinitarian translators; that were not actually in original texts; we are only interested in helping believers get over these rough places; where they are always being hassled. These eastern manuscripts, which were the Aramaic, were kept from the western world until recent years. That lets me know, the eastern Church knew how to perceive that epistle of Paul; because I have read this same verse, from this same epistle; and we can see what translators have done to it. That is where we are at today, saints. You cannot change these doctors of divinity; that is the way they are going to be; but the reason I am saying these things to you, is because, as we get closer and closer to the coming of Jesus, and as the pressure of this religious world gets more dominant, the day will come, when you will be looked upon as a cult; because of what you believe. Just remember though, True Christianity, two thousand years ago, was looked upon as a cult also. True Christianity never has been looked upon by the world, as God’s embodiment of truth. The world is not going to receive it.

AN UNCHANGEABLE REVELATION


We are going into Colossians; for a closer look at the apostle Paul’s terminology; for it is scriptures like this, that cause Trinitarians to feel like they have ground to stand on. However before we do go into Colossians, I want to make a statement concerning a letter I received from a brother. He was telling me of a book that was given to him recently. The man who wrote this book claims to have been a follower of Bro. Branham’s ministry. For how long, I do not know. Whoever the man is, he has now turned completely against him; and in this book, he has spoken against Bro. Branham; and against his teachings; and he has even gone back to preaching a trinity. There were other things related in the letter; that were in this booklet, but I just wanted to mention this one thing; because it goes along with what I want to bring out; as we look at these scriptures. I just thought to myself; Yes, there are a lot of people out here in religion; who claim to be so smart, such intelligent creatures. Yet they are usually the one’s who attack the truth of God’s word. Supposedly, their intelligence outweighs what God has revealed by His Spirit; to those who hunger for truth. Listen to me saints; We are getting close to the end; and we know what the antichrist spirit is going to cause various one’s to do as time runs out; so when the time comes, that we are demanded to line up with organized religion, or take a stand for what we believe, you can be sure of this one thing; you will be challenged for not believing in a trinity. That is why I say, If you are just sitting here, not really concerned about what is being taught, the time will come, when you will not be able to give a scriptural answer for what you believe; and you will have no one to turn to. It will not help, just to say, Bro. So and So said this and that. God will not necessarily vindicate anyone’s word except His own. The world in general, believes in a trinity; therefore you had better have a scriptural answer as to why you do not; lest you be forced to fall in line with them; in that hour. Having said that, I want us to go into the book of Colossians; where we can look at this thing concerning terminology related to the Godhead, from a little different standpoint. The epistle to the Colossians was written by the apostle Paul; the same man that wrote Ephesians. I am going to read first, out of the Scofield Bible; which is the King James version. Then I want to read a verse out of the Aramaic translation; called the Peshitta, which means, from ancient eastern manuscripts. Most of these translators of our day, are using Greek translations that did not even exist in the days when the apostles wrote their epistles in Greek. Therefore the Greek translations from the second or third century, can very well be translations written by men who joined the ranks of those that were opposing the one God revelation; because this was the revelation Satan attacked first; before he ever touched anything else in the gospel. That is why we read in the Epistles of John; where John taught in 90 A.D., saying, (2nd John 1:9) “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” The deity of Jesus Christ had no doubt been brought into question; for in 1st John 2:22 & 23, we find John saying this, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is the antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” There had to be some reason for him to be writing like that. The Church we read of in the book of Acts, did not need to be admonished like that; in the early years of its existence. It just goes to show how quickly Satan will move in; if Christians let their guard down.


PAUL, WRITING TO COLOSSIANS


There are several verses I must read; to get to the important verses, and show you the clear thought Paul is expressing. Let us read first, from Colossians 1:1-3. There are a couple of verses we will read from Colossians 2; but we are going to take this Colossians 1; to start with. (1) “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus {our} brother, (2) To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace {be} unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” Paul is greeting these saints at Colosse; and to me this proves, that when Paul said, “Peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” he was expressing two objects of thought; not two persons. When we know Paul’s understanding of the Godhead, we know he never referred to the Father as a person; like the Trinitarians do in their analysis of this one God they say, is manifested in three persons. It is one thing to say two objects of thought; but it is altogether something else; when you say two persons; because two objects of thought, is actually differentiating between what is the Father, and what is the Son; when you know the truth. The Son of God is the Lord Jesus Christ; and He is the means by how the Father has saved us; but that, by no stretch of the imagination, makes the Father a person. He is still the same Spirit He has always been. Just as the Father has pregenerated this planet, and brought about multitudes of people today, by that first Adam, so has He, by the second Adam (Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son) redeemed many sons and daughters back to Himself; out of the fall. If people have the right picture in their mind to start with, what Paul said in verse 3, does not even sound like more than one person. “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Just read the same verse, leaving out the word and; and then see if you do not have it as it should be. Brothers and Sisters, you need to realize, that this apostle of the true faith, Paul, cannot say one thing to one assembly of saints; and then describe God to another assembly, in a way that is completely contrary That is not the way a true God ordained, man presents the word of God. If you will diligently study all of the epistles Paul wrote, you will surely find that his revelation was consistent. He never preached to please people. He said so himself; in Galatians 1:10. “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” You can be sure of one thing, When God got through with him, there on the road to Damascus, he was a true servant of Christ for the rest of his life. When you stop to consider what Paul wrote to that Galatian Assembly, concerning their deviating from the gospel he had preached to them, you can know for sure, that his teaching was consistent. Listen to this. (Galatians 1:6-9) “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any {man} preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Does that sound like you would ever find that apostle deviating in any way, from what he preached from the very beginning of his ministry? The reason he preached it right the first time, was because he took his scrolls; and went out into the Arabian desert, and stayed three years, while the Spirit revealed the whole plan of redemption to him. On down, in verses 11 & 12, he told how he received what he preached. Let us read it. “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught {it}, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” You can read the rest of that chapter, and see what he said about going to Arabia for three years. I personally, will have no part in this thing where a man gets saved today; and next week he is already preaching. You can imagine how many times a man like that would have to change what he preaches; if he keeps walking with God, and allows the Holy Ghost to teach him. Paul was so confident that what he had taught those saints did not need to be changed in any way; he dared anyone to do so. Let us go back to Colossians; and read some more there, to continue our thought. (Col. 1:4) “Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, (5) for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; (6) Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.” Paul is saying a lot of things in these verses that deal with our subject; which we titled, The Great Controversy. That great controversy is still in the world today; just like it has been, ever since the spirit of antichrist got in; in the closing years of that first age of Christendom. The devil does not like truth. He never has; and he never will like it. (7) “As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; (8) Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. (9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, (I want you to pay close attention to this verse. If he was telling those children of God these things back then, they are just as important for you and me today; for we are the people seeking to come back to the same understanding they had.) And to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” We are going to find out in a little bit, just what His will is; and what it is related to. (10) “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work. (This is dealing with Christian character and conduct.) And increasing in the knowledge of God. (This of that; in the knowledge of God.) We have a church world today; made up of millions of people; and most of them have a concept theoretically, of what the Bible says; but it is not according to the knowledge of God, in truth. It is a hand-me-down tradition they believe; and they do not want that mental tradition disturbed.) (11) Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness; (12) Giving thanks unto the Father, (This is a verse I am going to read from the Aramaic translation; after we finish reading it in the King James; and show you a much clearer picture of what it is actually saying.) Which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” I will just read this same verse; verse 12, in the Peshitta, the Aramaic translation; so you can notice the difference. “So you may joyfully give thanks to God the Father, who hath enlightened us and made us worthy partakers of the inheritance of the saints.” Is that not a more understandable translation of Paul’s thought? In other words, I am sure that when the translators, in the 16th century, translated this, their wording was better for the English speaking people, at that time, to understand; than it is for us today. We just simply do not use that terminology; in our modern day language structure. When you go 400 years, in any given language, there are certain structures in it; the way you phrase certain things, you do not even use any more. I am going to read the King James again; so you can pay closer attention to the wording; and see for yourself, that it does not give you the clear thought you get form the other. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” The word meet, used here, is not even used in the average English language. At least, not in what we call, the English language. That is why when we go to the Peshitta, it gives you a more clear definition of what is meant. Verse 13, gives a breakdown of god’s plan for you and me. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” This verse puts emphasis upon God; the One who has done the work. He is the WHO; that has delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear son. The same sovereign God that created things, is doing the translating. It is God; (that sovereign Spirit) who was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world. No. This was not the Son’s plan. The plan was designed; when the Son of God was no more than just a thought in HIS (the Father’s) mind. Looking at the Trinitarian’s view, they say that Jesus being the eternal Son, He was always with the Father; and that HE (the Son) was the one that created all things. If the Son was the one that created all things, then how did the Father get to be the Father? He is the Father of what? One thing I notice in the little tract I read from earlier, concerning the Godhead he said, But in all of this there is a great mystery. Yes, they leave it that way, that it is a mystery you cannot touch; because it is a mystery never intended to be understood. Yet when the apostle Paul wrote here, as we are going to see in a few minutes, his admonition to the believer is, That we might understand this great mystery of God, the Father, and Jesus the Christ. Here in verse 13 though, let us be sure we understand that it is God the great eternal Spirit; that has translated us into the kingdom of HIS dear son; after having delivered us from the powers of darkness. Being delivered from the powers of darkness, is not just a matter of being set free from the bondage of a sinful life; it also includes being delivered from the powers of spiritual darkness; that kept us so blind we could not see truth. When your mind is all locked up with religious tradition, you are under the spell of the powers of darkness; and you cannot see truth through all of that tradition. That is where Satan wants to keep every one of us. If he cannot keep you in the beer tavern, then he would like to get you into a religious mess of some brand name; where he can still confuse your mind; and made you believe that anything, and everything goes; just as long as you love Jesus. Well it does not go; in God’s plan. Jesus said, (John 14:15) “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” and His commandments are a far cry from what denominational religion is keeping today. This modern, religious world has fallen right into the devil’s plan; instead of following the truth their forefathers had burning in their hearts, when they protested that old dogma of the Catholic Church. The new age where everything goes, everything is lovey-dovey, anything is right, nothing is wrong, has produced a generation of uncontrollable maniacs with sharp shooting rifles, wanting to shoot everything, and everyone that gets in their way. If they cannot have a good time at someone else’s expense, they are ready to eliminate whatever is preventing it. Why? Because in a liberal society, anything goes. Pat the devil on his back. HE is a good fellow. In the end, we are all going to be saved. That is the theory of this modern world we live in. Nothing is wrong, everything is good. The minute you try to deal with something that is truth, that has some principles behind it, naturally they are going to look at you as some kind of cult. They do not want you to be so opposite of darkness; that your difference exposes their evil ways; and shows them up as servants of evil practices. I read an article today; that let me know, there are certain liberal politicians in this country today; that are actually saying that Christian people are the worst evil we now have to contend with. Think it over. No it is not the back slidden church goers that cause them trouble. It is the man and woman that is yearning and seeking in their heart’s to find what truth is; and where it is. The one’s that know, truth is the thing that will lead them home. Therefore God has delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us; picked us up, and put us in another realm; which Paul refers to as the kingdom of HIS dear Son. (14) “In whom, (in whom, is referring to Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, (because it was the Son of God whose blood was shed) even the forgiveness of sins. (15) Who si the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature.” There is not much difference in the Aramaic translation of that particular verse; but we are going to get to a couple of verses in a minute, that really do stand out in the Aramaic version, so beautifully. This is why I feel like we can really catch the thought the apostle Paul was dealing with 1900 years ago, when he wrote the epistle in the original language structure of the Greeks, which he himself spoke, and which the Colossians also spoke; if we will just take time to make the comparison. He had to write it in a language structure they understood; or they would not have understood the exact meaning of what it was so important for them to understand. “He is the image of the invisible God, and the first born of every creature.” That is the way the 15th verse is worded; so the difference is really just in the first word; WHO, in the King James, and HE, in the Aramaic; which are readily understood, as pointing to Jesus in either version.


WHAT AN IMAGE IS


The word image, is what stirs up the controversy; when people read Col. 1:15, because they try to apply it to a fleshly image. When we think of image, we are always looking at it as describing the features of facial appearance and such like. However when we look at it in the scriptural, spiritual meaning, then we have to understand; that the physical body of Jesus, was not the image of the invisible God. How could human flesh be the image of something that is invisible? If God is invisible, and we know He is; then the flesh is not a reflection of that at all. The image of something, speaks of the likeness; and in this sense it has got to be a likeness spirit wise; and character wise. Just plain common sense ought to tell us that much. Therefore whatever God is defined as being, in His spiritual being, we all know what the word invisible means. Something that is invisible cannot be seen. Yet within Him, (This invisible Spirit) are qualities, attributes that are basic; and that is the image Paul was speaking of; and that is what we are being reconciled back to. It is those qualities and attributes of our heavenly Father, that we come up short on. We lost our access to them by being born the way we were, with a fallen nature that only redemption can change. We are all offspring of Adam who was created in the image of God; before he was ever given a body of flesh and bones. In the beginning, he was just as sinless and innocent as Jesus was; when He (Jesus) was begotten of the Father, and came into this world the son of a virgin girl. Nevertheless because of his disobedience to God, even though God was his Father, all of Adam’s children came into this world with a nature to sin; and did not reflect that divine nature. The reflection of lost, mortal man, is much like a higher grade animal life. Just look at the world today; alienated from God, and not even thinking about God tearing their little play house down. Anyhow, the word image, in this scripture, deals with the characteristics, that are portrayed; instead of fleshly features. If in side this body of flesh we are identified in life by, there is an invisible being, then we need to understand that there are qualities, attributes and characteristics that are vital to our eternal existence, if we are ever going to have an eternal existence. Those qualities were truly exemplified, or reflected through the man called Jesus. Therefore He was the means of God being able to reflect His likeness, His attributes and qualities to mortal mankind; so that when we see in His word, what He wants His children to reflect to the world, we have something to measure ourselves by. If we just measure ourselves by other people, we could possibly look very good; and still reflect very little of the image and nature of God. Paul spoke of people who do that, in 2nd Cor. 10:12, saying, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Why? You are using patterns that are still far beneath that One perfect pattern; God gave us to pattern our lives after. What is our goal? Paul expressed that in Ephesians 4:13, saying, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” There, is the sum of what our lives are to reflect. That is why we want to think of the deity of Christ. The deity of Christ pertains to those characteristics. While the humanity of Christ is dealing with all those human traits that are associated with a physical person that is born of woman. He can have a certain tone of voice; but that does not portray what God’s voice is like. I hope you can see what we are pointing you to. As we go into verse 16, here in Colossians 1, we find a verse that has caused much controversy among the ranks of church going people; when they only read it from the King James Bible. (Col. 1:16) “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether {they be} thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.”  The 15th verse just got through saying who the image is pointing to. It is pointing to Jesus. He is a reflection of an invisible something no human eye can see; yet He is the most real thing there is; for everything else came from Him. “For by Him were all things created.” That verse alone, causes the Trinitarians to say that Jesus, (Whom they take to be the word of God) was the very one that did the creating. Well let us take a look at the Peshitta. “And through Him were created all things.” The word through, describes how the mind of God designed this plan of salvation for you and me. That is why in Ephesians, chapter 1, where Paul said,  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” it sounds to them like Paul is speaking of more than one person; but I assure you, he was only acknowledging both the Father and the Son; knowing full well that only the Son is a person; and that the Father is that sovereign Spirit that begat Him. It was God (the Father) the Creator, that designed this plan of salvation; but in designing it, He designed it to be consummated through His Son. It was through the Son, that we were brought into this great plan the Creator designed before the foundation of the world; and the apostle Paul knowing that, he simply acknowledged it in his writings; and the translators being Trinitarians, translated it to their own understanding; and many times it sounds like the apostle Paul was confused. However having a revelation of the Godhead, we ought not be confused by the way certain verses are worded. We can clearly see; that we were chosen in Him (Jesus Christ) before the foundation of the world; just like Ephesians 1:4, says; but it was in the sovereign mind of the Creator, that the choosing took place. That became God’s fixed thought; and He has brought it all about, in the exact way and time He predetermined to do it; just like Paul described in Ephesians 1:11, where he spoke of the Creator like this, “according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of HIS own will.” In the mind of the Creator, He (Jesus) already existed; and also all that would ever be accomplished through Him; but the physical man called Jesus the Christ, had a beginning less than two thousand years ago. That is why Paul could write, in Acts 15:18, “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” He saw everything as a finished picture; even before He ever created anything; but He has worked it all according to the counsel of His own will; without having to get permission from anyone or any thing. Therefore all things were not created by the Son; like the Trinitarians say. Nothing, absolutely nothing was ever created by the Son of God. That may sound strange to some of you; but before you can even attempt to disagree with what I just said, remember what Jesus Himself said, in John 14:10, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.” Regardless of what you may read, just remember this, Without the Father in Him, the Son could not have worked one miracle of any kind; for all those wonderful works that were wrought through His ministry, were wrought by that sovereign Spirit that incarnated Him the day He was baptized by John the Baptist. Now that I have said all of this, in an effort to clarify it for you: let me read that 16th verse again, from the King James of the Bible; and you examine it for yourself, taking into the account the other scriptures we have brought to your attention. “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether {they be} thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” If the Son did all of that, what did the Father do; and how did HE come to be called Father? It is easy to see how Trinitarians can use this verse of scripture; to clobber a oneness person; if the oneness person does not have a good picture in his, or her mind, of what they are looking at. No. It was not the Son doing the creating; it was the One in the Son, that did the creating. The same One in the Son, that did the creating, is the same One; in the Son, doing the saving. That is why Paul could say, “There is one mediator between man and God.” That is the man, Christ Jesus. Therefore Paul knew exactly what he was saying; when he said, (1st Tim. 3:16) “And without controversy (There is just no question about it) great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested (or exhibited, or disclosed, or revealed) in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” That verse alone, does not give a clear picture of all that it encompasses; but when you take it with all of the many other scriptures that make up the total picture, it is clear as a bell; who Jesus is, what the Father is, what the Holy Ghost is, and what each office work has accomplished on behalf of lost mankind.


A LOOK AT HEADSHIP


I want to go ahead and read the next three verses now; and then we will look at another point. (Col. 1:17-19) “And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. (18) And He is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all {things} He might have the preeminence. (19) For it pleased {the Father} that in Him should all fulness dwell.” Now that we have the full thought before us, I want to add a little thought here; because that describes what God has delegated Jesus to receive. The same man who wrote this, wrote 1st Corinthians chapter 11; also. He also wrote 1st Corinthians chapter 15; and there are two statements of this apostle Paul there; that we cannot shove aside; as we read thoughts like this. If God created all things through Him, and all things were created for Him, and by Him all things are held together, both which are in heaven and which are in earth, angelic orders, lordships, dominions, principalities, powers, and so forth, here is what we have to understand as He says heavens. In the light of 1st Corinthians 11, where Paul is talking about headship, he clearly states that the head of Christ is God. Let us read verse 3. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman {is} the man; and the head of Christ {is} God.” Now I ask you, What kind of headship is Paul speaking of, there in Corinthians, if right here in Colossians, he is referring to Christ as being the head of all things? Brothers and sisters, here is what we have to look at; God Himself, the Creator, the Father, is the head of all that great expansive universe; scientists are always talking about. They look through their powerful binoculars into the endless sphere of space; and all that they are able to see out there, God is the head of it. I want you to know, there is not a thing on Mars that pertains to what God is doing here on earth. First of all, the heavens that is mentioned here, we have go to understand, that it pertains to that sphere of spirit world; where God’s Spirit and angelic beings dwell. There is not a thing on Mars; that God is interested in bringing salvation and redemption to. Neither is Christ the head of that. I hope all of you understand, Christ is the head of everything pertaining to the Church; but even then we have to realize; that the Church, in the end, is the family of God’s redeemed children; that have been redeemed from the clutches of Satan, by the shed blood of His only begotten Son; and one day, when redemption is completed, Jesus is going to deliver the whole redeemed kingdom back to the Father; back to the One who truly did create all things. Jesus is the first born among many brethren; being the first of God’s children to be raised from the dead. Therefore brothers and sisters, the headship of Christ has nothing at all to do with anything outside of the Church. Mars, Jupiter, the Milky Way, and all the galaxies beyond, are under the dominion of the One that created them; and I assure you, it was not Jesus that did the creating of all of that. Therefore saints, when it says heavens, do not put the word heavens; out somewhere in the endless span of space. The word heavens is a word that describes that realm of spiritual habitation where the Spirit of God and His angelic beings dwell. Naturally the reason I am saying all of this, is because verses 16 & 17, of Colossians 1, cause some people to give Jesus headship over a lot more than He could possibly hold headship over. I will read them again; to refresh your memory on the wording. (1st Col. 16 – 17) “For by Him (through Him, in other translations) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether {they be} thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist; (or harmonize).” As I said earlier, When you know by revelation, that Jesus did not create anything in all of this you just have to realize that when the Creator did create them; it was with the thought that His only begotten Son, in due time, would be given dominion over everything pertaining to this great redemption plan; and therefore would be subject to Him until the whole plan is completed. However if God the Father is the head of Christ, and we know He is; then He (the Father) is the head of all of that; ultimately. I will take you to 1st Cor. 15:27-28, so you may see how this same apostle concludes the whole thing concerning the authority Jesus has. (27) “For He (the Father) hath put all things under His(Jesus) feet. But when he saith, all things are put under {Him, it is} manifest that He is expected, which did put all things under Him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, (Jesus) then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”  Brothers and sisters, that few words in these two verses, lets me know that Paul was not confused about any of the things he wrote about. It is just what the translators have done with Paul’s way of wording some things, that causes some people to get confused; if they do not have the picture in focus before they come across these things. There are some places in the Bible that speak of the heavens; that really do pertain to the whole firmament; but not the ones we have been discussing. Isaiah 51:13, is one place I can think of; that the terminology, the heavens, pertains to the whole firmament. It says, “And forgetest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? And where {is} the fury of the oppressor?” God is the head of everything; except that which He has relegated to His only begotten Son; until He accomplishes all that He was sent forth to accomplish. Then, as Paul has already stated, The Son returns all headship to the Father; that the Father may be all in all; (throughout all eternity).


GETTING A TRUE PICTURE


In verse 17, where Paul said, “He is before all things, and by Him all things consist,” just remember this, Paul is telling the believer that it is by the authority of the redemptive work of God invested in Jesus, that all things are held together. Meaning of course, all things which are related to redemption. The Church then, is something that lives and thrives; and is held together by Christ Jesus; Him being the central figure, and being the head of it. When we get a true picture of this, it is going to help you and me realize for sure; This modern, so called Gentile church world, is not the body of Christ at all. It is a reflection of Satan; rather than Jesus Christ. This mysterious way he has cloaked himself, he has been able to deceive mankind. Let us look at Satan’s religions in the world. Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, and all the other religious groups and so-called churches that have no love for the revealed truth of God’s word. The Moonies belong in that group also; along with all the deep mediators, and God only knows how many others. It all boils down to this, All of it is the spirit of Satan; projected out to mortal creatures who somehow or other, have a belief inside; that somewhere in this universe there is a God; and it is left up to us to find Him by some means or other. Well I have news for you; God will come knocking on your door, before you ever go looking for Him. Actually the thing that makes people start searching for God, is the fact that The Spirit of God has already visited them; and placed conviction in them, that causes them to realize they need Him. Naturally what I am saying applies only to the true God; the great Creator we have been talking about; because within every mortal person is the desire to worship something; and this pagan world leans toward a plurality of Gods. The Hindus, picture one being as God, but with three heads. No wonder Catholicism can preach, We believe in one eternal God, but we believe He is manifested in three persons. That all goes back to Roman paganism. Naturally when we think of Buddhism, and Shintoism, we know these are Satanic; but the truth is the world is full of widely accepted supposed-to-be Christianity that is just as far from worshiping God in truth, as these are. They have just enough Bible in them, to deceive gullible souls that feel like they should worship God; but it keeps them away from the truth. Because of that, they never really worship the true God; for as we pointed out already, Jesus revealed something to the woman at the well; in Samaria, that lets us know, God does not accept just anything people try to offer to Him. Notice, (John 4:21) “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. (22) Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. (23) But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. (24) God {is} a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship {Him} in spirit and in truth. (25) The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias (The Messiah) cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. (26) Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He.”  Jesus told her, The hour now is when true worshipers shall (or must) worship the Father in spirit and in truth; and that has not changed one bit. It is still like that today. I do not know how many Hindus I saw in India; but every last one that I preached to in India, was suffering with remorse, lacking peace of mind. I will never forget the time they took us to this certain town, and up into a third story building, where a Hindu doctor introduced us to 300 Hindus; sitting there on the floor. When I was told, all of these are Hindus, I thought, For goodness sakes, what am I going to preach to these people? I had no previous knowledge that I was going to speak to Hindus; so I said, Lord, I need help! I preached to them, “Why I am a Christian.”  When I finished, that doctor said, I am sure some of you might want this man to pray for you. Every last one of them did; and I had to pray for the entire 300. Here is what just about every one of them requested. Pray that I will have peace of mind. Brothers and sisters, I am so glad Jesus said, Peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give unto you. In this world you will have tribulation. You will have trials and tests. A lot of people will never like you. They will think you are nuttier than a fruit cake; but in Him, you can have peace of mind; because truth stabilizes you; enabling you to have true fellowship with God. Let us look at the first two verses of chapter 2. To me, this is the focal point. Verse 1, sets the state for verse 2; which is what I want you to see. (Colossians 2:1-2) “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and {for} them at Laodicea, and {for} as many as have not see my face in the flesh; (Notice verse 2, now) That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and the Father, and of Christ.” In all that he had said to them, this was his desire above all else; That they might have full assurance and understanding, concerning the mystery of the Godhead. As we said before, The wording of the King James Version, makes it sound like more than one person; but remember, This was translated in the 16th century; by Trinitarians; so you must read it with the revelation you already have, of the Godhead; and realize the importance the apostle Paul placed upon Christians being settled in this revelation.

God Tries Us All

THIS HAS BEEN A WEEK THAT HAS BROUGHT SOME TELEPHONE CALLS TO ME, FROM PEOPLE IN DISTRESS. YOUNG PEOPLE, YOU YOUNG GIRLS AND YOUNG BOYS, I HOPE I CAN SAY A FEW THINGS THAT WILL REALLY GET YOU TO LOOK AT YOURSELVES, AND YOUR LIVES, AND BEGIN TO REALIZE THAT WE ARE LIVING IN AN HOUR OF TIME WHEN THE WORLD ABOUT US IS FALLING APART. THERE IS NOTHING REALLY CONSISTENT, YOU CAN PUT CONFIDENCE IN, WITH ANY ASSURANCE THAT ANYTHING IS GOING TO TURN OUT ALL RIGHT, OTHER THAN JESUS CHRIST. I RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL FROM A YOUNG MAN, THAT ANOTHER BROTHER HAD ALREADY CALLED AND RELATED A FEW THINGS TO ME ABOUT HIS SITUATION. A YOUNG GIRL HAD MET THIS YOUNG BOY, AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT KNEW THIS BOY, KNEW HE HAD SOME KIND OF PROBLEM. THEY ADVISED THE YOUNG GIRL NOT TO MARRY HIM, BUT NOTHING WOULD DO HER, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS CHRISTIAN PEOPLE THAT ADVISED HER NOT TO MARRY HIM, LEST SHE HAVE PROBLEMS; SHE WENT AHEAD AND MARRIED HIM ANYWAY. NOW SHE HAS HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. SOME OF IT IS DUE TO HER OWN HOME BACKGROUND, AS WELL AS THE CONDITION THAT HAD DEVELOPED IN BEING MARRIED TO THIS BOY. WHEN THIS NERVOUS BREAKDOWN HIT HER, HER MOTHER CAME AND GOT HER AND TOOK HER OFF INTO SOME OTHER PART OF THE CITY, AND PUT HER UNDER THE CARE OF A PSYCHIATRIST. THE BOY IS NOW BROKEN HEARTED, AND WORRIED HALF TO DEATH. HE SAYS HE LOVES HIS WIFE, BUT HE DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO GET IN CONTACT WITH HER. WHEN HE FOUND MY TELEPHONE NUMBER, HE CALLED ME. HE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT HE COULD DO. TELL ME SOMETHING I CAN DO TO GET MY WIFE BACK. LAST NIGHT HE HAD CALLED THREE TIMES TRYING TO GET HOLD OF ME. WHEN I FINALLY RETURNED THE CALL, I RELATED TO HIM SOME THINGS THAT HE COULD DO, AT LEAST TO SATISFY HIS MIND AS TO WHERE HIS WIFE IS. I TRIED TO KEEP IT AS SIMPLE AS I COULD, AND STILL THE YOUNG MAN ASKED, WHAT DO YOU MEAN? THAT LET ME KNOW, HE REALLY DID HAVE A PROBLEM. THERE IS NOT A CHILD HERE THAT I COULD NOT HAVE TOLD THE SAME THINGS, AND THEY WOULD HAVE KNOWN EXACTLY WHAT I MEANT. I FINALLY HAD TO BREAK IT DOWN, REPHRASE IT, AND RESTRUCTURE IT IN A WAY ANY ONE OF THESE CHILDREN COULD HAVE GRASPED. I DO NOT KNOW WHETHER THIS WAS A BOY BORN WITH SOME KIND OF MENTAL PROBLEM, OR WHETHER HE WAS LIKE THOUSANDS THAT HAVE BEEN HOOKED ON DOPE, AND HIS MIND WAS WARPED BECAUSE OF THAT, OR WHAT. NEVERTHELESS HE NEEDS A MIRACLE TO GET EVERYTHING STRAIGHTENED OUT; BUT THERE ARE SOME PREDICAMENTS YOU CAN GET INTO, AND NO ONE HAS A MIRACLE ANSWER. IT IS NOT EVEN WRITTEN THAT WAY IN THE BIBLE, BUT WE HAVE A PROMISE THAT HE (GOD) IS MERCIFUL AND JUST, AND WILLING TO FORGIVE US, SO JUST PRAY THAT HE MIGHT SEE FIT TO GET INTO THAT SITUATION. ANOTHER CALL CAME, AND IT IS JUST PATHETIC TO THINK HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE, CONSTANTLY FUSSING. IT IS JUST LIKE THEY LIVE WITH TNT IN THEIR HOMES, AND CANNOT CONTROL THAT HUMAN NATURE. I HAVE THOUGHT ALL WEEK, SOME PEOPLE BRING ABOUT THEIR DISASTERS, WHILE OTHERS, THINGS JUST HAPPEN, AND WE DO NOT REALLY SEE WHY. THERE ARE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT MAKE YOU THINK OF THE TRIAL JOB HAD, WHEN THE DEVIL RECEIVED PERMISSION FROM GOD, TO TEST HIM. JOB HAD A TESTIMONY THAT HE WAS A MAN THAT FEARED GOD AND HATED EVIL, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, THE DEVIL HAD IT IN FOR HIM, AND THERE WAS QUITE A CONTEST, AS THE DEVIL TRIED TO GET JOB TO LOSE FAITH IN GOD. DID GOD KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON? HE SURE DID. DOES HE KNOW WHAT THE DEVIL IS DOING TO US, HERE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY? HE SURE DOES; HE USES THE DEVIL TO TEST HIS CHILDREN. THE WORLD ABOUT YOU IS NOT GOING TO GET SWEETER; NOR MORE BEAUTIFUL. IT IS GOING TO GET WORSE AND WORSE, AS THE DEVIL STALKS THIS 20TH CENTURY SOCIETY. HE IS GOING TO GET MORE SUBTLE, AND HIS POWER IS GOING TO GET MORE PREVALENT IN OUR MODERN WORLD. HOW DO I KNOW THAT? BECAUSE MODERN MAN NO LONGER TRUSTS IN THE GUIDANCE OF GOD. SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO US IN LIFE, IF WE HAD JUST NOT DONE THAT, THEN THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED. OTHER THINGS WILL HAPPEN, AND NO WAY CAN YOU SEARCH THE SITUATION AND FIND WHAT REALLY CAUSED IT. IT IS THAT SOMEWHERE GOD PERMITTED YOU OR ME TO BE TESTED BY VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES.


PREPARING FOR OUR RACE


We will go to the 12th chapter of Hebrews for a text, and the title of our message is, “GOD TRIES US ALL.” Not because He does not like us, but because He does. He does not try us because He does not know what we will do, nor what we are; for He does know. He tries us because He is teaching us certain things that are necessary, to portray the type of an image He is seeking to mold inside of us. He is not concerned about the freckles on your face, nor the color of your hair, or eyes, but He is definitely concerned about the image of that inner man dwelling inside of our flesh. This old body can die, and we have the promise He will raise it again in immortality. But there is something about this spirit man inside, He is deeply concerned about. This inner man is what He is working on. This inner man is what Jesus Christ died for. It is to be molded and fashioned into the image and likeness of that only begotten Son, Jesus, who was the Christ. In the first two verses of this 12th chapter, we find it pointing back to the 11th chapter, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.” What is a witness? If we were in a courtroom, we would look at a witness as someone who has had contact with something that they must relate the facts about what they saw or heard, pertaining to that event, or condition. But in this case, a witness is one that is actually a partaker of the very thing which really we are all in the process of seeking to be a partaker of. That is why Jesus said to His disciples just before He left, And you shall be witnesses unto me, (or for me, and of me,) both in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the world. Therefore, as we read of witnesses here, we are looking and reading about people who are partakers of something, and the something is the subject we are talking about, so the writer says, “Let us lay aside every weight.” Now we are not carrying suitcases, natural weights. But we have got to understand that the language here is symbolic, as Paul breaks this down into an illustrative picture, to communicate to the reader and hearer, the necessity of laying aside every weight, laying aside every unnecessary thing of life, that acts as a hindrance or a pull back, or an obstacle to the spiritual race this inner man is running. We know this, when the Kentucky Derby takes place, there are other men that have ridden these horses in the training process. They may not all be equal in weight, but once those horses are scheduled to enter, all those jockeys are weighed. The equipment is weighed. Every horse goes into the race with equal weight upon their back. Some have to add a little weight to make it all equal to the heaviest jockey that is riding. But we realize this, if this giving up of unnecessary things we hold to in life, has the same affect on our spiritual race, as a man running a hundred yard dash, you would not see such a man running a hundred yard dash with a pair of knee boots on. No. Why? Because he is depending upon the lightest type of equipment on his feet that is possible. Imagine a man in shorts, running a hundred yard dash, wearing a pair of knee boots. Would he not look funny? You know he would, and you also know what his chances of winning would be. Well what else are we to lay aside? “And the sin which doth so easily beset us,” (Holds us back, brings us to an exhausting, quick situation.) The sin is unbelief, many times fostered by being defeated, not gaining victory over certain obstacles, or situations in our life. Many times it causes a person to resort back, even doubting their own experience, their own capability to really run, to pursue, and keep on following and serving the Lord. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” This race is not that we are trying to set a record, a hundred yards in so many seconds. No, because the end of this race is not known by actual distance. This race is known by how we participate in the time allotted to us, to live in this present world. Whatever our days of life may be, it means we must run each day, not running against or competing with each other, trying to out do each other, but remembering that there is an enemy against this race, who will set up all kinds of obstacles, and bring about all kinds of situations to create a disappointment, many times to cause us to fall flat on our face, and create setbacks in our activity. So as we run this, we are coping with time, not distance. As we cope with time, then it says, we are to run this race with patience. Now, in distance, yes, many times you have to sacrifice certain things, if you are going to beat someone else to the goal, because you are competing against distance. If for some reason we do not develop a patient, spiritual quality, then the lack of patience on our part has the same affect to our spiritual being, as a athlete who is seeking to run a distance race, when he has failed to keep himself in shape. If his lungs, and his whole system are not in shape, that is why he has to train to get his lungs developed where they will absorb and take in a large capacity of air, feeding oxygen, which he definitely needs. Also the things that he eats makes a difference. But it is toning the muscle, so the muscle can stand the strain and stress, because he is expending energy, as he does so. Therefore, if we can convert all that to a spiritual image, the inner man is not exerting energy as far as muscle, or oxygen, from his lungs, but there is spiritual qualities and attributes he must develop, otherwise he will fall flat on his face and come up a loser. That is what the apostle Paul is laying down here. Let us run the race. Let us run against Satan, in this time we live here, with patience, the race that is set before us. The race is ours to run. The apostle Paul then resorts back to someone that we must look at, as a model, partaker, participator, who Himself came into this world and was made like us. He too had to compete against time, that He might become something for us. Therefore, the apostle Paul, in the second verse, is exhorting you and me to look unto Jesus. Notice here, he is not disassociating the second verse, from what he has just said in the first one. He has admonished us, run this race, lay aside every weight, and the sin of unbelief, which doth so easily get us, so many times, in a bad situation. With patience, let us keep pursuing in time, because we do not know when we will leave this world, or when Jesus will come for us. However in verse 2, we have someone to look at. If we have someone to look at, then we can draw from him certain thoughts that can be applied to that of our own person. It says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author, (the founder, the model) and finisher, of our faith, (or this race) who for the joy that was set before Him.” Those words there are reminding you and me that Jesus our Savior, when born into this world, was truly a human being, capable of being tempted and tested, in every area of human existence, as you and I are. Yet we realize the devil tempted Him, basically, in the areas where He would be more liable to falter. Because it is in those areas, if He does falter, He will not achieve in becoming the Savior and model for you and me. But the point is, As a human being in this world, through the flesh, Satan could throw everything at Him, but He had something to look toward, as He was tempted. “Who for the joy that was set before Him.” Where did He get that? You have got to realize, Jesus knew what the scriptures in the Old Testament pointed to. In the Psalms, in the writings of the prophets, there is all those prophecies, promises, pointing to the Christ to be, which had not yet been born, but all those promises portrayed what He, in time, would eventually be for you and me, and what we will one day be like, (like Him) when this is all finished. When He could see that, He could see the beauty, the glory of knowing one day what He would be in relationship to creation. Then He could look at Himself and look at those elements, those conditions thrown at Him, and could treat it with a determination not to let any of those things cause Him to waver or falter. As we finish reading this verse, notice, first He is the finisher of our faith, so He was looking at something that kept driving Him onward. And that was the joy that was set before Him. As He kept on going forward, it says, He endured the cross, (tolerated the very thing that brought such an agonizing and painful death to His body.) It is a known fact that to hang a man on a cross, in such a state and condition, to hang there for hours, doctors of the medical world have written articles and I have read them, this is one of the most cruel, painful types of death that a human can suffer. Yet it says right here, Because the joy that He could see before Him made the difference. Brothers and Sisters: I want you to know, (for you may think life is dealing you a hard blow) that this world is terrible, and there is nothing beautiful out there in it. People are all messed up, and it is getting worse all the time. Therefore, if you do not have good contact with Him who has already overcome the devil, you can be drawn into situations that will really get your lives messed up. That is why I keep saying, Young people, you have not left this world yet, so you still have a life to live; but do not get in a hurry to marry. You ask God to put something in the top of your head, and give you eyes to look things over, before you step across the threshold. For once you have stepped across it, you do not know that everything is going to go just right. You need God on your side.


WHAT TRUE FAITH WILL ENDURE


Jesus endured this terrible, painful death, despising the shame, and now He is seated at the right hand of the throne of God, because He did not give in to the devil when He was tempted. When you think of the many things that He had done to be a blessing to people, even in that multitude that stood there, and how many of those people had followed Him on different occasions, and heard what He had said, and saw what He did, and yet for some reason or other, they gave in to fear. People just do not want to be identified with something they are afraid will get them mixed up in a problem, or get them in trouble with general society. So they stand back and fold their arms, just as a mere onlooker, and the Bible says, They taunted Him, saying, You saved others, save yourself. Why don’t you come on down from the cross? You walked on water. You did this, you did that, why don’t you change this, if you are so and so, and what you say you are? How do you think He felt hanging there, with all the pain and suffering in His body, knowing He must die according to the will of the Father, that He might truly fulfill the scriptures? It had to be His blood that was shed for your and my atonement. It had to be His life forfeited, offered up freely, to be the ransom paid for you and me. Therefore, in all that humiliation and shame, and criticism that was thrown at Him, He fulfilled the Father’s will. He endured it all, knowing that it was necessary in order that lost humanity be redeemed from the bondage of sin and death. There was no joy in the suffering; the joy was in what He could see on out ahead. He despised the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God, and for over 1900 years, that has been the picture. That was the beginning of some of the joy that He could see before Him, but He must pass through death. He must pass through suffering. He must pass through this terrible hour of criticism, ridiculement, and being shamed publicly before His critics. No, it was not the drunks and prostitutes that despised Him, it was a bunch of religious church going Jews who thought they knew the prophets, who thought they knew the scrolls, but stood there crying, Away with such a devil! Away with such a hypocrite! Truth is not a beautiful picture in the eyes of the religious element of the world. They live by tradition, instead of truth. For our spiritual benefit though, let us take this, and apply it as we see it in the 11th chapter. It tells us there, going back to the Old Testament, of many that have lived by faith in times past, and have died in the faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off. We will pick up in verse 30 (Hebrews) . (30) “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. (31) By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. (32) And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets; (33) Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, (34) Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (35) Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: (36) And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: (37) They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (38) (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. (39) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” That faith has been planted inside of us human beings, because it becomes a revelation and an understanding of how to live and please God in the circumstances they are brought into. Because as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said, whether He will or whether He will not, we will not bow. That lets me know they had an inner understanding that it is better to serve God in the light of adversity, in the light of obstacles and circumstances, than to go by the way of the world and lose everything. What is this better thing, than what they had? Keep in mind, they were a people through which God set a type. They did not possess the Holy Ghost as an individual person. They had the Holy Spirit anointing them, or hovering over them, or directing them, or at times inspiring them, helping them, undertaking for them in their problems and circumstances, still they did not possess it inside. Because the old human nature that we are born with, was held in control by the faith they had in what the law said, Thou shalt not, and thou shalt not, Thou shalt not, and thou shall do this, and thou shall do this. That was their revelation, and if they in obedience could do that, they established and image of people who knew how to serve God under every day circumstances. But they, without us, could not finish the thing; God having provided a better way. We live in the dispensation that God has offered to humanity a better way to live for Him, a better way to serve Him, a better way to be confident that He is the true and living God that will keep His promises to them that will obey. Why is it better? Because He puts His Spirit inside of us. Once He put His Spirit inside us, He says, Lo, I am with you always. “ALWAYS.” Did you know, This is a day, and we are living in the hour, when every prophecy that must be fulfilled before Jesus comes, is fast being fulfilled, and religion in general is ignorant of what is taking place; for they have no true revelation to guide them? We are getting closer, as the outer world out there gets more carried away by their modern thinking. They say, You crazy people: you do some of the craziest things. You have some of the craziest beliefs. Do you mean to tell me that you believe God will do this, and God will do that? Yes, He will. I want you to know, Regardless of what they criticize you for out there, God does not have to do one thing to prove anything to them. If this brother that lost his finger in a grain auger was to meet certain types of people out there today, they might say, Well, if your God is so good, why did He let that happen? I have even heard people on TV say, If God is a God of love, why did He let this little baby die? Why did He let such a thing happen? Always blaming God for everything. When you look back in the Old Testament, and see what the people of God went through, and how devoted they became, that they would not deny their God, nor give up serving Him, no matter what happened to them, but purposed to serve Him against all odds, you have to realize that they had more than just a hope-so faith in His promises. It might have looked to the heathen, for a little period of time, when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow to that image, and the old king got so angry because of it, that he purposed to destroy them, because he was one of those kind, when I make a decree, I want you all to jump. When they said that day, that they would not bow, then he ordered that furnace heated seven times hotter than it had ever been. I wonder what they used that furnace for? To keep the countryside warm? No, it was to execute criminals. I do not believe that was the city incinerator. But it made him so angry, he ordered it heated seven times hotter. You know, some times God lets certain things happen, that we do not understand. But somewhere He is wanting to establish something in the face of some people who will witness the thing. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were asked the question, Now you have been testifying that your God can do this, and do that, and that He is worthy of this, and worthy of that, and that He is a God of love and power, and a God of mercy. Are you sure He is all of that? You know, There has to come a time in your life that what you have been testifying to is put to the test. It is one thing to quote what is written in the Bible, but when it comes the time that your very life depends upon the reality of it, what do you say then? If you have been testifying from a living faith, that believes God is all of that, and more too, you will say as those Hebrew boys said, Our God is able to deliver us, but whether He does, or does not, our testimony remains the same, for it is His purpose that we are dedicated to, for we are not our own; we are bought with a price. But the fact that the king got that angry, got that forceful, it brought about such a scene. I imagine there was a pretty good crowd there that day, that just wanted to watch this thing develop. And when they pushed those men in, the old king was high on a perch. He wanted to see them scorch. He wanted to see the fat melt out of them. He was so angry, he wanted to get rid of this bunch of good-for-nothing trash. I believe that we are living in a time when the world population in general, just about has the same attitude toward us. We do not want your religion, it is old fashioned. We believe in God, but we do not believe a person has to be so fanatical about what they believe. If your God is a God of love, like you say He is, He would not send you to hell for taking a little drink with us. They will always try to get you to compromise. Well, when they cast those boys into that furnace, that old king was sitting up there on his perch, and all of a sudden he cried out, How many did you put in there? Three, O King. Then he said, But I see a fourth man, one like the Son of God. There they were walking in the midst of the fire, in a furnace seven times hotter than it had ever been before, walking back and forth. Do you know what? All it had done was singe the cords loose. It loosed their hands. Now imagine a man with a big coat, I do not know what kind of clothes they had on. But it said they had all their clothes on. The king wanted them all on, the more fuel, the better. But all it did was burn the cords that bound their hands and legs, and that enabled these three fellows to walk about in the midst of the fire, with the angel of the Lord. Those three men had done nothing to deserve that, but if all those things could go on then, I am confident today, as we get closer to the coming of Christ, and as the world out there gets more hostile, with educated people against this way, we are going to see some of this same kind of manifestation. For they do not want Christian influence in our modern society. When they took Christ out of the school, prayer out of the school, and began this rigid enforcement of separation of church and state, it was nothing less than an attack of the devil. I remember when I went to the Henryville School, there were Catholic children, Protestant children, and children that did not go to church at all. If the school teacher said, Let us stand this morning and pledge allegiance, we all stood and pledged allegiance. When she said, Now let us repeat the Lord’s prayer, nobody screamed, I am going home and tell Mom. I am going home and tell Dad, and he will come here and skin your head. The devil has stirred up all this nonsense you hear of today. The sad part is, they want the government to spend untold millions of dollars to try to rehabilitate, or re-educate a society that has gone berserk, because they do not want Christ. This nation was founded under God, that all men are created equal. Unbelievers, as instruments in the hands of the devil, have made this nation what it is today, a God hating nation. Therefore, as time draws closer to the coming of the Lord, we just as well as Christians, make up our mind and believe that every event that has ever transpired, that has brought a change in time, in relationship to what God is doing, it has always brought God’s people of that hour through a dark period of some kind of trial and test, because it was God’s way of showing the world about them, His sovereignty and guidance. When you look back at the story of how God brought Israel out of Egypt, when did He bring her out? When everything was going good? No, He brought Israel out of Egypt when Israel was living in her darkest hour of bondage, and I am persuaded that the darkest hour of this world is just ahead. It will not last a hundred years, nor will it last 50 years, but the darkest hour of this world is fast approaching. You can see by the way conditions are moving, how Satan is stalking mankind, and taking over. People are crying because of these adverse conditions. Society is going berserk, and Christians are becoming worried as they look at all of it. I get letters from different Christian organizations, wanting me to contribute money to help fight certain cases in court, where certain heathen, atheists are bringing court suits against nominal Christians in certain areas. I just got to thinking, You may spend a billion dollars trying to fight that kind of thing, but it is not going to change the nation one bit. Why? Because it never puts this kind of adverse characters behind bars where they belong, so they just keep doing this. It only causes innocent people to spend their life savings, trying to change conditions that has come upon them, because they failed to stand up for their God-given rights when they could have done something about it. If this anti-God gang has tried this kind of thing 60 years ago, someone would have gotten his head skinned. It is a sad picture that we see in the world today. Evil is well thought of, harbored and protected; but God knows where to draw the line. When Israel was brought out of Egypt, they were brought out in the darkest hour of Egypt’s history, because God had brought it about; and it was the darkest hour of Israel’s period and time of slavery. Therefore, as we live in this day of modern times, and you can see that the world about you does not want a thing to do with your lifestyle, with your belief, nor with your conviction and stand for the truth of God’s word: just be assured that God is allowing it to get like this because the end is near. Sure they will speak evil of you; they think you actually are an obstacle in the way of modern progress in the world today. Sooner or later, they will wish we were all dead. All of that makes me realize, it is not going to get easier to live in this modern world; unless you want to compromise and slide along with them, in order to escape the hardships. If you do that, I promise you, There is no reward waiting for you over on the other side; only a sad disappointment. I am confident of this one thing, If there are dark days ahead, (and I am not trying to be a doomsday prophet. That is not the picture.) You know what history and the Bible declare, somewhere out of that darkness, God will lift up something. Because when Satan comes in like a flood, God will lift up a standard for his people.


OUR TRUE EXAMPLE


Let us notice how Paul continues on, in the following verses. Why would his thought go in the direction he takes, starting in verse 3? He has just talked about the people who live by faith, and what some of them got. He has just told us how we are compassed about with that kind of a multitude of witnesses. We have all those Old Testament saints as a multitude of witnesses, in defense of the faith that you and I have. There they are in heaven today. Then he comes to Christ and shows us what He endured, that He may become something for you and me, that would set the better way in motion. That is why we are not advised to look at the old testament saints for a model, but only to look at them for encouragement. They endured all those trials without the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost. Therefore, we should have the hope and confidence that we can endure, because we have the better thing, the very Spirit of God dwelling inside of us. The apostle Paul says to you and me,(Hebrews 12:3) (3) “For consider Him, (take a good look at Jesus) that endured such (opposition, or) contradiction of sinners against himself, (Pay attention to Him, observe Him, that endured, put up with such a contradictory way of accusation of sinners against Himself.) Lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” You know, all through the ages, to every human generation, in every church that has ever been spiritual for God, no matter what decade it lived, if you will just observe and watch certain people, that have been so dealt with by God, sometimes they have had to come through hardships, knocks and bangs, and the world looks upon them and says, Indeed I would not live for their God if He allows that kind of thing to happen to His children. But at the same time, other people who observe that person, Somehow or other they see a testimony of faith cultivated, and an image of a person’s life becoming an example. That is what causes some people to say, It is worth it. I want to serve God the same way. No, you do not follow the flesh, but there is a spiritual conduct and an image of the person, you can look to for encouragement, when the going gets rough. This has happened on the field of battle, many times. Back some time ago, probably more than a year ago, when they were showing some of the things on television that took place in the Normandy invasion, they were interviewing some of those soldiers who had gone back over there, more or less, as a memorial to the Normandy invasion. One of those soldiers that had been a tank man, said when their tank went ashore, he was so scared, they carried a forty five revolver as a weapon, so if their tank was knocked out and they were forced to get out of the thing, but he was so scared that he was tempted to throw his revolver away, for fear that he would get so afraid he might kill himself. But then he made mention of another soldier, and it was just watching that other soldier that gave him confidence that everything would come out all right. You know, how true that is many times. Your Christian life can bring you through some very dark dismal ordeals. It brings you to a place, you almost wish it was all over. But somewhere you are made to look at something, and that something is to spark an encouragement in you, that will not let you give up. Don’t throw your faith away. Don’t throw in the towel. That is why it says here, Lest ye be wearied, become afraid, lose courage, lose hope, it isn’t worth it. Oh sometimes people look at the world, so and so out there, maybe their neighbor that never has to go through half what they do. Yes, but did you ever stop to think where they are going? Let’s look at that. Where are they going? Do they have the hope of eternal life? You know they do not. This world is the only world they will ever live in. This world is the only place they will ever have anything to be happy about. Like I have heard it said, If your God is a healer, why do you take an aspirin? If your God is this, why do you do that? Up here at Borden, when I was a kid, they had an old depot attendant, Joe Davis was his name. He lived to be 86 years old. Do you know what he bragged? I have never been sick a day in my life. He smoked a big old cigar from morning until night. You could smell Joe Davis coming, and you could smell him going. But he said this, he slept with his window open and ate an orange every day. Even so, there is no salvation in that. I just wonder where he is at today. If you try to compare this Christian faith to certain things out there in the world, you are comparing it to the wrong thing. You have got to compare it to the image and picture you see in the Bible. Yes, consider Him, take a look at Jesus, watch Him, observe Him. He is our model. He looked straight into the face of His enemies, His accusers, and the point is, He suffered physically, an ordeal in death to give you and I something that is going to be real for eternity. Now if He could do that, to become something, and there was joy in it, then I am thankful to say today, There is a joy in serving God. I do not care what comes or goes, what is up or down, there is a joy in knowing you are serving a God that will one day take you to glory to live in immortality. Then life’s battles will all be over. Saints, I want to be in the ranks that can stand in that glorious group, knowing that by faith we stood the test, won the battle, and finished the course, scripturally. Not because we were worthy, but because His grace was sufficient to give you and I the courage and strength to endure it. I could not care less what the world thinks about this Christian life. They think we are all crazy, but if it wasn’t for us holding this society together, God would have blown it all to pieces long ago. What does He care about their flesh? Let us look at this next verse, and hear Paul say, (4) “Ye have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin. (5) And Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children.” Notice as we read this, I want you to catch the reason why Paul would put this in here, where he has been writing about all those who lived by faith, using Jesus as our example, because of what He went through. Now the point is, Jesus went through all that He did, that He might be an example for all of us to follow after. In other words, He is the perfect model of what God wants all of His redeemed family to be like. He did not have to be chastened, nor corrected. But even though He did not have to be chastened or corrected, did that keep Him from sufferings, shame, humiliation, harassment, and afflictions? No, it was heaped upon Him. Why? So it could be proven that He is a human being. Even though the eternal God dwelt in Him, He was still just as much a human, as any one of us; only He was without inherited sin. Look what they called Him at times. Now we know He has got a devil. If someone was to say, Why, they have a devil; You would cry a barrel of tears. You would almost have a nervous breakdown. Did He act like that? No, it was His lot to take it. He accepted that kind of criticism, and He did not try to get even with anyone. Why? Because He wanted to become something that could help you and me. Therefore, if He could do that, then God is seeking to make you and me like that also. Let us finish verse 5 now. You will find a reference like this in Proverbs. “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him.” There are times when adversity can get us to feeling mighty low, but if we are truly children of God, we can never give up and quit the race, nor will we go around looking for the easy way out. Whether we are being chastened, tested, or just plain abused by the devil, we still have an example to look to, for we could never be treated worse than He was. Therefore, God will not beg you to shape up and do right. Instead, He might say, You do that, and I’ll kick you in the seat of the pants. That is what He ought to do; when He has done so much for us. Why? Because we are not to live by feelings. If we are a child of His, He does not want us to play around like that, allowing our fleshly feelings to rule us, and cause us to make excuses, as though we are going to get God to come down and act like that. No, God knows what He is doing. He tries us all, and He knows exactly what to do, and what to use to try you and me. Is He mad at us? No. Is He trying to tear us up? No. He just wants to get our attention, so that we will pay more attention to Him; and be a little more receptive and more alert to what He is really doing. If Jesus was willing to suffer for me, then somewhere there must be in me a willingness to take a little bit of the same in return. Because Jesus says in another place, If they called the master of the house, Beelzebub, how much more will they call the servants of the house the same thing. A servant is not above his lord, that he should escape or be treated any better than what his own master is.


TESTING IS SURE TO COME


We will read a few verses from the 1st chapter of James, that will fit right in with what we have been talking about; how God tries us all. If we notice in the religious world at large, today, you hear of very few testimonies that really show how these people are dealt with by God. Everything has become a cut and dried thing. They can tell you what all they are doing because they belong to such and such, but very few have a testimony of God’s divine guidance in their lives. You hear very few say, Well the Lord brought me through a severe test. I learned this. I learned that. I have heard these full gospel business men’s testimonies. I have heard of men raising so many potatoes and tell how many million dollars they earned in so many months. But I have never heard a one of them testify of the truth that God led them into. I am not interested in their potato patches. I do not care if they started out poor, and wound up rich. If there is not a testimony of truth that they have seen, I am not interested. All of that is just a trick to get you to leave truth and go the way of the devil. The devil can offer you the same thing. He can either make you a poor man right quick, or he can make you a rich man right quick. But Brothers and Sisters, it is not just to pump something into your head, it is that the truth you understand, eventually becomes applied to your inner person, and your inner person is molded and shaped and fashioned, more and more, to reflect the image and likeness of Jesus, as Paul wrote in one epistle, We are changed from glory to glory, which means we are changed from revelation to revelation. No, we do not get a revelation today, and throw it away for another one tomorrow. But it means, as God gives us a glimpse of truth, something that is to be applied to our spiritual understanding, as we walk in that and that becomes applicable to us, and we learn how it is to reflect in us, then again He will lead us to another truth. Therefore, we are growing in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, to be more in His likeness. Now in James, 1st chapter, just a few verses, and I want to say, I thank the Lord for His grace. Life can be filled with a lot of tests, just like this young man in the letter we heard read. I like the testimony of the young man, because I can see a young man, that even though he is going through a lot of trials, somewhere down the road of life God will make that man a shining light, and an instrument to help lift up others. If God has called you to be an instrument to help lift up others, you can rest assured, you are going to get the works thrown at you. This thing of going to a Bible School for a few months, or years, and getting a degree in theology, is not going to help you in this. The Bible was not written by men who learned what they wrote about in a Bible School. Those men had the works thrown at them. They had all kinds of trials and tests, everything the devil could throw at them. Why? That is the way God makes a man out of you. Therefore, as James writes this Epistle, what he is talking about is not foreign to his understanding. He is not talking about something that is only applicable to someone else. James is talking about something that is applicable to every Christian that dares to serve God, and walk with Him in truth. They are going to walk right down these verses. (1) “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” He is writing to Jewish Christians, his brethren that are in dispersion, in isolated places among the Gentiles. (2) “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers, (or different) temptations.” The word temptations actually means testings. Many times we do not understand what testings are, so think of this. An industry that is known for the manufacturing of certain types of products, if they come up with a new design, before that product is released to the public, it has got to be proved by many testings and trials, going under conditions similar to what it might be facing, once it is sold to the general public. Take for instance, a car. They come up with a design for the engine. A man can sit down with paper, and design an engine. Whether it is a three cylinder, six cylinder, or eight cylinder, he wants this engine to meet certain qualities of performance. He can figure all that in, but once that engine is molded, and assembled into a piece of mechanical equipment, what do they do? Do they just install it in a body of some kind and sell it to the public? No, they have all kinds of testing apparatus they hook it up to. They will rev it up, and put it under stress. They generate extreme heat pressure, and so forth. Why do they do that? To see what that engine can take. If it meets certain conditions, then and then alone can they put it in mass production, and make each part for each engine, off the same pattern. Every once in awhile though, they reach in and pull an engine off. They want to see, that through all this mass production, they are not slipping up on anything. They will put that engine under the same type of tests the actual pattern was subjected to in the beginning. Quality is proved in testings. Our Savior, that we read about in the four gospels, was tested and tried. We do not read much about Him until after He was baptized and anointed. But after that, not only was He led by the Spirit into the desert, where He gave Himself to fasting and prayer for 40 days, but then He was actually approached by the devil, and tempted, or tested in ways no other human being had ever been faced with. Think of it. God’s own son, anointed with the Holy Ghost, which was God Himself, coming into Him in the fulness of His power and Godhead qualities. Yet He led His own Son to be literally tested by Satanic powers. A lot of people will tell you, Oh, once you get the Holy Ghost, the way is easy then; you need that to overcome the devil. Well that is true. We are not going to overcome him unless we do have the Holy Ghost, but just because we have it, that is no sign we go to sleep, slumber, and snore. Sooner or later we are going to get the devil thrown at us. God can let him be thrown at us by any kind of situation that pleases Him. He is out to make something out of us, that will enable us to fulfill our part in His redemption plan. He makes something out of us that is workable, and useful. Furthermore, we are the only thing in this world, that can possibly reflect the very image of the one who was tempted and tested in every way that you and I are. He never once gave in to that Satanic influence. Therefore James says, (2) “Brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (3) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Now you do not go out looking for trouble. You just go about your usual duties and let trouble find you, as God sees fit to allow it. The Bible just instructs us to count it all joy when you fall into it, not that we should go looking for it. Because when God permits the devil to bring some kind of test about in your life, it is never because He is displeased, nor because He does not like you. It is because the time has come that He wants to mold something of Himself in you. For Him to mold something in you or me, of Himself, our flesh, the human makeup that we are, has to face certain Satanic oppositions to the flesh nature, bringing about an opportunity for God to apply the spiritual elements that are essential. That through that test, our life might come out reflecting more of what He wants us to look like. We fall into divers temptations, not jump into them. The devil will never show you where it will take place; therefore,you do not know when some kind of test may come. Does that mean we get up each day afraid to do anything, because somewhere in front of us, there is probably a hole we might fall into? No, God does not ask us to live day by day, afraid of what we may face. He wants us to get up, with an assurance that no matter what may befall us before the day is over, His grace is sufficient, and He knows all about it. We know that all things work together for good, to who? For everyone? No, not for everyone. All scripture is not applicable to the world. Scripture is applicable in most cases, only to the believer. All scripture was written for the child of God. For his admonition and his learning, and his instruction, his information, and for the up building of his spiritual character and image, as he walks with God. That is why the scripture, as the man of the world reads it, makes him mad, because he knows he could not live by it. The Spirit of God does something for you inside, you can not live it in yourself, but once you know He is in there, He is in there to help you live the way the Bible tells us to live. He does not have a test for you just as soon as you get saved. He will bring you through that, let you go a little season, feeling that nothing could go wrong, then He lets Satan attack you. But not before you have had time to grow a little in stature.


PERSONAL TESTIMONY


When we were still in the Methodist Church, I knew He had saved me, because He had taken that desire for smoking away from me, and gave me a desire to know what His word says. He put a hunger for His word in my heart that I had never had before. Yet in those days while we were still in the Methodist Church, I never felt tested, I never felt life was dealing me a hard blow. After I gave my heart to the Lord, it just seemed like in those first months, everything went perfectly. Everything was beautiful. I was so thankful that God had saved me. My, this is a wonderful Christian life. After we met Bro. Branham, and left the Methodist Church, I actually thought those people in Methodism would really turn loose on us with all kinds of artillery. But as I look back, they hardly recognized that we had left. Do you want to know when our troubles really started? After we received the Holy Ghost and started going to the Branham Tabernacle, and God took His servant off the scene, then all hell broke loose. As I look back now, many of those trials were tests to see how this truth would be embraced in my life. Brothers and Sisters, I am glad today, that we passed the test. We only stood the test by the grace of God. I know there are thousands of people the world over, that are thankful today, that someone stood the test, without being caught up in all that nonsense of deifying God’s prophet messenger. There are people out in the world today, that from the external viewpoint are living just as clean a life as I am. It is their mind that is all warped and twisted by every kind of picture some of these carnal revelations present, that do not even fit this book. Is that what Jesus Christ died to produce? You know it isn’t. Does testings in every area of the human society produce the same thing? No. Many times the same things that happened to me, happen to others, but they are never recognized out there, so that they can produce anything that God will accept. Therefore, all scripture is not for everyone. It is for the true born again children of God. If God allows you and me, as children of His, to face some kind of test in our Christian life, is it just because He wants to put us under pressure, and put our mind in a state of oppression, and discouragement? It may momentarily seem like that is what it is. If God sees in you or me, that there is the quality of a certain attribute, He wants to see enlarged in us, is it in our flesh? No, it is in our spiritual makeup. How we are to walk with God, in the realm of the Spirit He has put within us, and the testing that He allows us to go through, is for the perfecting of our inner self. James says this testing worketh patience. What is patience? It is the ability to look a situation right in the face for what it is, without allowing it to cast you down. You may not understand why the test lasts so long, and you may not always understand the outcome; but if you and I are children of God, once the thing is over, we can be assured that it has worked together with other things, for good on our part. A lot depends on how we react though, for if God is allowing this trial to teach us to have some patience, and we get so upset we react in just the opposite way, do you think God will just give up? NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! He will let the thing keep coming at you until you do respond the right way. Your load may seem heavy at times, and you may feel bad, because of the pressure; but deep within, you should be able to say, Lord I do not understand everything that is happening; it looks bad to my natural self, but something inside reminds me how you promised you would never leave or forsake me, and I know you will not let the devil throw anything at me, above or beyond what I am able to bear. Therefore, whatever it is that you are desiring to mold in me, you just have your way. Then, instead of cracking up, and saying, I am going to quit it, it just isn’t worth all of this, you are going to say, Not my will, but thine be done. That is exactly what Jesus said. In the natural self that He was as a man, He went to the garden, and there He prayed like a man, because as a man, He feared death. He said, Father if it be thy will, grant it to pass from me. That was His first prayer. It looked dark to Him. A test many times, looks dark to you and me. But once we are in a test, you will never run from it, because many times there are conditions brought about, you cannot run from, for you are locked up in it. When God is out to mold an attribute of patience in you, the sooner you recognize it, the better it will be for you; for what He wants to hear, is for you to say, Lord, just have your way. Brothers and Sisters, when God sees that Spirit attribute of His nature, become so blended with your spirit nature, that it begins to reflect that quality of Him, you can rest assured, He will cause that test to be lifted. It will fade into the background, because something has been stamped inside that will reflect what God is after, for as long as you live. As I have looked back at some of the ordeals that befell us after Bro. Branham’s death, I have said this, If I would have known, while we were still in Methodism, what would come about if we left that system, I would have wanted to stay right there. Why do I say that? Because no one looks forward to these testings. Dad always taught me, If you want to stay out of trouble, stay at home and mind your own business. Well you can run from trouble a lot of the time, but if you dare to walk with God, many times He will lead you right into a pack of it. You would not plan it, but God just lets the devil set the stage. Instead of it being out there through the world, it will many times be through religious circles. Let me go back a few years, and give reference to something I mentioned already. God has many ways to bring about testings in us, just like what I said about divine healing. When we first started going to the Tabernacle, and seeing Bro. Branham as he prayed for the sick, and things like that, I formed an opinion. I had not heard Bro. Branham mention one thing about it being wrong to go to a doctor or to take an aspirin. But because I saw him pray for sick people and God healed them, I just assumed it to be that way. Saints, do not build your convictions on just mere assumption; you need to know the facts first. I just assumed that if you are going to believe in divine healing, that surely means you cannot go to a doctor. You will never know how the devil whipped me and my wife over just that very thing. Just as sure as you begin to feel like you are grasping the belief, and assurance in divine healing, and that He is a God that knows all about your colds, headaches, and everything, you are going to be tested. It was in the month of March, and probably in the year of 1953, in a church over in Louisville, The Church of the Open Door, where a fellow by the name of Cauble pastored. Bro. Branham started a meeting on Wednesday night, that ran through the weekend. Knowing in advance that this meeting was going to be held, I had made all necessary preparations to go, because we had just started going to the Branham Tabernacle in the fall of 1952, so I was determined to go to those meetings, and get everything out of them, that I possibly could. However, the very day those meetings started, the devil hit me with a bad cold, and at that time, every time I took a bad cold, it always settled in my sinus cavities, and my head would just throb. Many times it was so bad I would go into the house and stick my forehead in a pan of hot water, trying to get relief from it. I thought when I awoke that morning, knowing that the meeting was to start that night: Oh Lord, I feel so bad, how am I going to be able to go to the meeting? We had made such plans. I could not do a thing all that day, but just lie around the house with the windows shades pulled down, and my had throbbing. However, along about 4:30 P.M. I could feel that just begin to lift off of me. I was able to get up and milk the cows, and get the livestock fed, and by the time for us to start getting dressed, my head no longer hurt. By the time we got to church, I felt as good as if I had never had the problem. I will never forget sitting there that night, and enjoying how the Holy Spirit used that man of God, and how I rejoiced over it all. I went home that night rejoicing over what I had heard and seen. The next morning, it was the same story. I awoke with my head just simply feeling like it could burst open any minute. Well to cut the story short, I went through the rest of the week, feeling like that every day, and then going to the meetings every night feeling fine. I said, Lord, I do not understand this at all, what is happening? When Monday morning came, my head felt fine, I had no headache; and again said, Lord, I do not understand. When I wanted to go to that meeting and feel good, and enjoy everything, every day has been a torment with this miserable headache, and now that the meeting is over, I do not hurt at all. Well as I look back now, it was all because there were certain things God wanted to put in my spirit mind. For it was through these experiences that I began to realize, God knows everything that is wrong with you, and He will take care of it in it’s appointed time. Just a few short weeks later, that thing hit me again, and I had the same misery as before. But then God healed me, and I have never been bothered with it again. I have sinus headaches, like a great number of other people in this part of the country, but they are not the same thing as what I have been describing to you. Those were brought about by actual cold infection, but when I had that dream that night, and saw the hand of God come, and perform that operation on my sinuses, I could say, Thank you Lord. You knew when to take care of the thing, because from a little boy up until then, I had been plagued with that. Even when I was in the army, and we were heading for the Philippines, that thing hit me, and I suffered terribly with it. They put me in the hospital, but all they had then was sulfa drugs and Vicks salve. However I have said all of that, to say this, God brings you through certain things to teach you and instill in you an understanding by experience, about these things, so that your life can relate according to what the picture says pertaining to them.


IN TRIALS – WE GAIN PATIENCE


James says in verse 3, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Oh yes, God is going to try every one of us. He has not promised that we will not be tried. In fact, He has promised that He will try us. That is why Romans 8:28-29, could be written like it was. Therefore, we know that all things work together for good to us, no matter what they are, nor how they come, nor what they look like. All things work together for good to those that love God, because those that love God, are those who were foreknown of Him, and called according to His purpose. In other words, God has designed the whole thing, that in the end, we will be molded into the very image of His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ. Therefore, the trying of our faith worketh patience. The trying of our faith, as it comes against certain trials and tests in our life, the end result is, patience. A divine attribute of God is instilled in you. Let me use an example. Some people are born in life with a very impatient personality. The least little thing can set them off, because of their lack of patience. If something does not work right the first time, they will go into a rage of profanity, and get themselves so worked up they become blinded to what they are supposed to be doing, and they look like they could explode just any time. Well does the new birth experience automatically give you patience? We all know it does not; but it does give us a desire to want to be different. Therefore, God just begins to allow situations to confront us, that will make way for this attribute to be instilled in us. When a test hits us, if we do not react properly as children of God, our heavenly Father places conviction upon us, and allows the test to hit us again; and He will keep it up until we do react the right way. Patience in us, will cause us to face every situation unshaken and undisturbed. Therefore, if we are coming up short in this area, just remember this, you are being watched, and those who are watching you, take great delight in seeing you fall short on a virtue they know the children of God are supposed to have. If you mash your finger, there is no fit you can throw, that will make it feel one bit better. But you can say, Lord I just ask you to take away the pain; and I assure you, that will do more good than throwing a fit. Brothers and Sisters: Children of God must continue to live in a world that is very hostile to attributes of God, so do not be surprised when they make fun of you because of the simple faith and confidence you have in your Creator. Remember, you cannot please God, and the people of the world, both at the same time; you have to make a choice constantly. Satan has turned the world upside down, so to speak, and left natural mankind without anything of stability to anchor their lives to. All concept of Godly principles has been pushed into the background, and every sort of demon spirit has been turned loose upon them, so it is only natural that they should be against the true children of God. But remember this, Jesus prayed for every one of us in His prayer recorded in the 17th chapter of John. He said, “Father: I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” Then as He continued praying he said, “Neither pray I for these alone, (those living then) but for all them also which shall believe on me through their word.” Marriages are breaking up, and orphanages are filled with children from these broken homes, and every way you turn, there is someone crying for help of some kind, simply because man has forsaken his Creator. He has become a victim, and fell heir to Satanic perversions, and manipulations, and all of that lead to a tragic end. Therefore, it is only by the grace of God that you and I get out of here with any of the qualities of our God in our life. What we have of the qualities of God, is not because of our own ability to possess them, God Himself has worked conditions to mold them in us, while the world has gone berserk, while the world is crying help. The world is crying, Rehabilitate. Christianity is not rehabilitation. It is regeneration. It is being made new again.


EVENTS THAT ARE FULFILLING GOD’S PURPOSE


Verse 4 says, “But let patience have her perfect work.” Look upon it as something that He wants to blend into our spirit make up, and the more of that divine attribute we allow Him to mold into us, the less Satan has any opportunity to really weaken us, in any other future trial. What is this then? “But let patience (Let that attribute) have her perfect work.” Or let it be applied for the intended purpose, for what He has put it there. “That ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.” No Christian is born again, and then left empty of divine attributes. That is why Jesus died upon the cross, to make it possible that even though we did not know how to live for God, nor how to reflect a God-like life, God might instill these qualities and attributes into us, that causes the world to look upon us as misfits. Saints: I am so glad that the Lord saved me when He did. I would see the world we live in now, as a horrible place to live if I did not have confidence in God to see me through to the end. As a child growing up, I saw how life was then, socially, and then see how it is today, and believe me, if we did not have the Bible to tell us it would be this way in the end time, it would be hard for the natural mind to understand how it could go from that, to this, in such a short time. Since the Bible says it is to be this way, we know there is not a thing in the world that we can do to change it, so let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect, (made complete, and in the end lacking or) wanting nothing. Saints, it is not you and I that make the choice, when, or how our test is to be applied. It is He that does it. Therefore, as He allows the test, then we have to accept it, even though we may say, God, I do not understand. It is going to be hard on my flesh, but by your grace, I know you will take me through it. I also know that once it is all over, I will understand, and look back, and say, Thank you Lord. God will never bring you through a test, without in the end, you having something that you will appreciate. As we get closer to the coming of the Lord, and as we face the end of time, looking at the nation of Israel, no doubt we are going to see things transpire there, that will fulfill the scriptures. It behooves you and I to realize that our God is very aware of where we are, what we are doing, and what He wants to do with us, to get us ready for the coming of the Bridegroom. Not only is God dealing with a Gentile bride church, to get her ready to meet the Bridegroom, He is also dealing with certain elements of the Jews there in Israel, to get them ready to receive the two prophets of Revelation 11:3, once time advances to that point. Let me just give you a little background of what I have in my mind that we can look at. We believe that we are living in the very end time, and know that there is only about 11 more years until this 20th century ends. 2000 A.D., will have arrived, this is of course, according to the Julian calendar we use. At any rate, man is nearing the end of 6000 years of recorded history. That is six Millenniums, six dispensational days of his struggle, his conflict, since the first man became tainted with sin. That goes back to the very beginning of his origin. We believe, according to Bible chronology, that approximately every 2000 years, some major change takes place. Not that we have that many to look back to, and I certainly would not want to be dogmatic about it, but all signs point to the possibility that this six thousand years of man’s time has brought him to the threshold of the Millennium that has been talked about for so long, the one thousand years that Christ will rule of earth, from the temple in Jerusalem. However, God Himself is the one that designed days, and such like, and He is the one who will bring it all to a close. But according to past records, we know that approximately every 2000 years, there is something that definitely takes place, and naturally the Gentile bride of Christ expects it to be so again. The Bible does specifically state that Jesus Christ will rule and reign for 1000 years, and that the righteous will be changed into immortality, and will be allowed to rule and reign with Him for the space of 1000 years. Therefore, if we truly are in the final years of this 20th century, this 2000 year, towards the end of Gentile time, and we are warned by the Bible, Watch ye therefore and pray, that day come not upon you unaware. Because as a snare shall it come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Certainly we realize that the world population is not looking for the end. They are really planning, by their own carnal ways of figuring things, a great utopia in the future. However to their disappointment, it is going to be just exactly the way the Bible said it would be. We see that confirmed in this election, where for the first time in Israel’s 40 year history, there is an element of the religious side which has always been in the minority, being recognized. They have been recognized in the Knesset, but always in the minority, never seeming to have a voice that could sway the political tendencies. A man by the name of Rabbi Kahaney was in the Knesset in their final elections, maybe four years back. He brought about a lot of political squabbles. For 40 years it has been mainly the secular, political minded Jew, that has been in the forefront. I suppose in the plan of God, He just used that element of Judaism, to be the fighting element, and to be the political element, which would be strong for the reconstruction and rebirth of the political nation. But if time was allowed to go on uninterrupted, the actual spiritual and religious picture that we read about in the Bible would never come about, because the secular Jew holds the political advantage. Within the element of the secular Jew, there is much squabbling, and the religious Jews who have gone back there, have played a part, but they have had a lesser voice. They never have been allowed to bring about conditions to really show the real spiritual purpose God has ordained that Israel be reborn and reinstated in the land for. But in this one election, they got enough seats, and the Lecud party under Shamir, seems to be in a position now. Shamir himself is religious, but he is not like the Orthodox. He has both his religious convictions, and his political feelings. So he blends a little religion with his political ideology, and this has brought on a lot of the see-saw, back and forth situation there. It has actually divided the Israeli society. In the book that Rabbi Kahaney wrote, which I read portions of, he informs in this book how that after Israel was recognized as a state, and was allowed that territorial recognition that was granted by the U.N. in 1948, the secular Jews maneuvered things. This secular element, the political element that was there in the land of Israel, who mainly formed the political side of what became their government, when other Jews made known their desire to immigrate back, would do their utmost to try to get the secular Jew, the professional Jew, the doctor, the lawyer, and the scientist; but really the deep Orthodox, Rabbinical, or Messianic believing element, were sometimes hard pressed to get the same recognition. There was one place in the book that talked about an element of youth, children that no longer had parents, because they had been destroyed in the great Holocaust. Before these children were allowed to come back into the land of Israel, in the places where they were being detained, they put them through courses, trying to take out of their mind that fervent, Messianic hope, and loyalty to the religious side, and began trying to put into them more of a secular, social, materialistic outlook, so that when they would come back, they would try to create a secular, materialistic state. This is why you could see, it has not been the Orthodox Jew that the United States government has pressured other nations to let go. When we hear about the Civil Rights pressure put on Russia, to let the Jews in Russia go home, it was not the Orthodox religious Jew, it was the scientist, the lawyer, the art man, the writer, the professor, the proclaimer of some kind of culture, they wanted. They were Jews as a race of people, but not necessarily Messianic or Orthodox. That has been the tendencies for 40 years, and it even tells in his book, of the conflict that many times the Orthodox Jews have had. Even how they have really been persecuted by their own fellow countrymen. Why am I saying all of this? It is to say this: That condition cannot go on forever. Somewhere up ahead God will tip the balance, and bring about conditions within that realm, that begins to change the picture, because God did not bring back the Jew into that land just to create another state that is scientifically modernized, materialistically minded, without the Messianic hope and promise that is laid out in the scriptures. Now, we can see how the secular side of Judaism has suffered from the element of the Arab in the land, who are just as secular minded, though Moslem in belief. They hide their religion in a political cloak, therefore, they are ready to declare a holy war at the drop of a hat. We begin to realize that there is pressure being put on, but out of the pressure, something will evolve, that is going to bring about a furtherance of God’s purpose. If so, what can we look for in the realm of our position? There is one thing sure, we cannot look at ourselves and expect that the Gentile religious element of society just continually goes from decade to decade with the same general philosophy and outlook as it has always had in the past, without somewhere that element of Gentile Christendom from whence God will make up a true Gentile bride, is going to be dealt with by the Spirit of God, to bring it to it’s scriptural position, thereby fulfilling every scripture related to what the church, the bride is to be in the end time.


GENTILES HAVE A PART TO PLAY


We live in a western society now, that has been politically affected, but keep in mind, almost 2000 years ago, when Christianity was born, from every area of the nations then known to mankind, Satan fought it. It was treated like some kind of harmful pollutant, that would corrupt society. In fact, it was the only thing that portrayed any righteousness or morality, or spirituality, in which God was invested. Yet it was ridiculed, and they even tried their best to destroy it. Christianity never has been accepted and rejoiced over, by the overall society. It was in the news last night, how there is a fast growing tendency for people to turn to cults. They referred back to the Jones ordeal in South America, where 913 people died. It spoke of this Indian man out there in the state of Oregon, of Moonie and all these other elements. It spoke of how occultism is on the rise, seeking membership, converts to it’s way of life. Brothers and Sisters, the United States is the only nation where occultism has a holiday. Some of these other nations simply will not allow any such. First off, there is not enough money there for such stuff to thrive on. It is hard enough for the real bride of Christ to exist under the economical conditions that exists in some areas of the world. I am saying all of that, to say this, if we are sitting here, claiming in our heart to be children of God, and expecting to be in the bride, then this book we have is going to be thrown at us, as God creates conditions to mold our spirit, and to make our flesh come in line with it. God has not spared the Jew their trials, the pressure internationally, and racially, to bring about His purpose, for He is never defeated. The element of secular Jews do not yet see God’s plan. They are taking advantage of all the political and materialistic advantages that are accessible to them, while they sit there secluded, feeling secure, with no intention of changing. In fact, Rabbi Kahaney brought out in his book, how the secular Jew is looking upon the Messianic hope Jews, as sort of being a scourge, or a plague. Things take strange turns, and this is why I have said many times, the civil rights movement that sprang up in this nation, in it’s original beginning, served a good purpose. But 20 some years later, the devil has taken it, and everything has been cloaked behind it. The devil has cloaked himself in civil rights, equal rights, and he is bound and determined that this modern world is going to become a world that all of this immorality, indecency, and all these other atheistic elements can coexist side by side in. Something starts out good, but in the end winds up bad. We do not live in a nation yet, like Christians did 1900 and some years ago. It was very easy for them to be hauled off in the night, and put in jail, for just being a Christian, because the general society despised it. Christians did not participate in the every day practice of drunkenness, the festivity, the immorality, the indecency that went on, and because they did not participate in that, society looked upon them as misfits. Well Christianity is to be a light to something. Not just co-exist with it. Our nation was founded under Christian leadership, and the Christian people for many decades have had a freedom, politically and religiously, to worship God according to the dictates of their hearts. So it has established a social and moral nation that has persecuted Christians from the political standpoint, as in ancient times. But the devil will use other things to harass you and me every chance he gets, believe me. When the apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Hebrews, remember, the word Hebrew, applied to Jews outside the homeland, because the word Hebrew means foreigner. Therefore, any Jew existing outside the homeland, the promised land of Israel, was looked upon by Gentiles, wherever he was, as a foreigner. That is where the word Hebrew, in the Jewish language, comes from. Joseph and his people in Egypt, were called by the Egyptians, Hebrews, or foreigners. The Jewish people carried off into Babylonian captivity, were looked upon by the ancient Babylonians as Hebrews, foreigners, because they were displaced outside their homeland. Now the Jew in his homeland, is not a foreigner. That is his heritage. Therefore, the book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians, who were foreigners, because they were living outside the homeland. Theologians have a controversy over who the author of the epistle to the Hebrews is. They said it has a “Paul” trait to it. But I say, when we look at the proximity of when it was written, just shortly before Paul was martyred, while he was a prisoner in Rome, all of the other apostles had already been martyred by that time, so when you read this book of Hebrews, this is why I have to say, it had to be written by the apostle Paul. He was in jail, yes, yet he approached the law and its relationship to the dispensation of grace, as being the types and shadows upon which the dispensation of grace was to be established. When we come to the 11th chapter, he gives a chronological picture of what faith is, and he starts with Abel. He comes right down the line, showing you how each one of these men, Abel, Enoch, Noah, coming right on down to Abraham and Sarah, and right on down the line to Jacob, Joseph, David and on and on. He closes out the chapter by saying how God delivered some from the fiery furnace, and from the edge of the sword. They were spared from being exterminated, because of the faith and confidence they had. They established a testimony, just as the three Hebrew children did when they escaped the fiery furnace after saying, God is able; but whether He does or does not, we will not bow to that image. They were thrown in there, and God spared them from the expected results, giving them that testimony. In Hebrews this same writer tells us of these great patriarchs of faith, then of others which were sawn asunder, martyred in cruel ways, and so forth. What is the difference? Is God a respecter of persons? Is this a testimony that some have faith to be spared supernaturally, while others are just too low in faith, so they have to perish? No. The point is this, there was a faith, a picture of something inside the bosom of every one, and there was none of them going to deny his God. But he would die for the confidence and faith he had in his Creator, his Lord and Master. When you reach the end of the 11th chapter, do you realize, Paul has covered every one from Abel, right down to the last patriarch of the Old Testament? All, who by Jewish history, could be looked upon and esteemed as a patriarch of the faith, and he did not have to name every one of them. He did that to establish a platform in a spiritual sense, showing that those people would not receive the promise without us, therefore the race was not over. The plan was not finished, for God had provided a better way. Not for those that have already gone on, but for those that are the oncoming ones, who too will run the race by faith. They will have to fight the same devil. They will have to overcome by the same determination that those Old Testament saints overcame by, yet through a better way. That could be none other than the fact that the new dispensation will have the Spirit of God inside of believers, not just over them, or invisible to them, as it was the children of Israel. When we can possess this better thing inside of us, does that make the devil any weaker? Not at all. It just means we should realize that we have something in us, that we should not have to rely upon the flesh side of things, as much as the children of Israel did.


THE JOY SET BEFORE JESUS


When Paul continued to write, in what we call the 12th chapter of Hebrews, he begins painting to you and I a beautiful picture of the man called Jesus, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame of it. His joy was because of what He Himself saw in the prophets and the Psalms, pertaining to His future relationship to the plan of God. We know this, In another writing in Hebrews, that final test of suffering and death Jesus faced, looking at that point of death, was just as real to Him as death would be to you and me. To Him, it was dying for a reason that He was really not responsible for. In reality He had no death reigning in His fleshly body. He had no sin, so He was guiltless. Death was not something to be used as a punishment to Him. We do know that He saw in the scriptures, that He had been put here to be tempted and tried in every way, through all the areas of fleshly humanity, that He might be able to show forth to us, within this better way, having a better picture and understanding of the plan of God, that He would not be spared in any area of His human makeup. Brothers and Sisters, When He came down to that final hour of His greatest test, Paul says He sought it with tears, that if possible, this cup of suffering would pass from Him. This lets us know that He was a man praying, which showed the real humanity side of Him. He really had physical human feelings just like we do. He had a mentality that was related to the total human being that He was. Sure he had the fullness of the Godhead qualities in Him, but we must realize, it was not that headship in Him, being tested. It was the human side of Him, the Son of God, being tested. He had to be tested; and in the testing a record was recorded as to how He went about it, for all who would be tested in like manner, to look back upon. That is why in one of the gospels we read, that in His garden experience, just before He was arrested, He withdraws a little distance, and is heard crying, If it be Thy will, grant this cup to pass from me. That is your and my reaction every time we find ourselves overtaken by some kind of condition that looks like our flesh may have to suffer a little. Lord, I can’t see my way through it. However in the mind of Jesus, He knew the Psalms, and the other prophets, how in those prophecies pertaining to Him, it was written, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and of how He is chastened and bruised for our iniquities and such like. Therefore, He saw Himself ordained to die. The second time He goes back, and as He falls to His knees, He is still emotionally affected. He is still a nervous piece of humanity, in a terrible state, psychologically, but then He said, Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done. What does this tell us? Mentally, He is beginning to realize that He has got to bring these thoughts under subjection to the will and mind of the Father. He knew that if He was to triumph and be the fulfillment of all those prophecies, so that He can be something for you and me, He must overcome this. He must accept it willingly. Because by accepting that test which will lead Him to death, physically, and much suffering. He knows that beyond that He will be raised from the dead, never to die any more, and never to go through that ordeal again. Therefore, He could look beyond suffering, shame, the ridiculing, that the multitudes threw at Him. Of course we did not live then; but I am confident that those who did live in that era of time, were humanly, much like the people of today. At least we know it was the same devil, causing them to react like they did. They saw their Messiah in literal fleshly form, but they could not see Him as being the fulfillment of the scriptures. He was a man they were ready to get rid of, by any means possible. Because to them, He was just a devil. However, this is why we see that Jesus, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, though despising the shame. He just refused to consider all the humiliation those sinners were throwing at Him. Imagine Him hanging there, suffering in agony, His body literally racked with the pain of torture that such an execution could bring upon Him, and down on the ground, looking up at Him, were all that bunch of religious Jews humiliating Him, taunting Him, and laughing. For three and one half years He had walked among them, preached to them, healed the sick and done many good things, and not one of those things caused that bunch to change their mind and attitude. That is why we can say, He endured the cross, despising the shame. In other words, considering all the criticism, it did not make Him faint and say, It is not worth it. Rather, He died willing; He accepted it. We know by His final prayer in the garden, that He realized this is the only way, this is the proper way, this was the right way for Him to become something for you and me. Then He could look at it with a different feeling inside. I accept. I accept gladly. You know, when you accept a test gladly, then really the pain of the test is never as severe as you thought it would be. It seems to be lighter. You are able to look beyond it, because you know that somewhere, whether it is tomorrow, or next week, all of it is going to pass. Because of that, He became the author, (the originator) and the perfecter of our faith. And that faith is something that you and I have, that through the leadership of the Holy Ghost, we are able to definitely overcome, following Him as our example. I noticed this, as Paul wrote Hebrews, and as the apostle James wrote the epistle of James, and Peter wrote his 1st epistle, in all three writings, each man touched upon this same subject. They each related it in a different language structure, but each one is pointing to the fact of how God deals with you and I by trying us, and testing us. For what reason? That He might perfect, and mold in you and me the image of a child of His, that He has changed from the old person we once were, to a new person in Christ, and it is through these trials and tests, He leads us from day to day, from year to year, and deals with us accordingly, into whatever He has called you and me to be, in the body of Christ. He definitely deals with us accordingly. Naturally we can expect that at times these tests will be severe, but they are never to destroy us. That is the way we need to look at the tests. No wonder James said, “Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations.” You are not walking down the road, purposely looking for it. No! You fall suddenly, and you are in it, and you wonder, Why did it happen. It is God who allows the devil to come along and throw something at us in an area of our life, to affect our communion, our attitude with Him, but through it all, it is to mold us and make us be a little more like the Savior, who died for us at Calvary. Now, if He spared not His own Son from being tempted and tried in the flesh, which is what Paul says in Hebrews, He spared not His own Son. Why then would we faint, when we find ourselves tested. We should not. Should we? Many people get the idea, Oh, God never chastens me. If you are a child of God, He does. If you are a child of God, He will definitely chasten you. There is not a child of God that does not go through some kind of correction or chastisement of the Lord. The sad part of it is, people many times are reluctant to admit it. Why is this chastening? You may ask. It is because of the natural flesh tendencies we are born with, and have within us, it is not our nature to serve God obediently. With Jesus, it was a different picture. He was not born with a sinful nature, to be reluctant, or to be stubborn, or rebellious. His motive was to live to please the Father. His obstacles were not to chasten Him. His flesh was pressured to show that He could take it and not falter, not give up, or faint. However, you and I, many times, if we find ourselves chastened or tested, we begin to resort to grumbling. We want to escape the whole thing and forget about it. Well, if we are living just before the end time, we can expect ourselves to face spiritual opposition from the devil, and through it, God is not going to destroy us; He is going to bring us closer to Himself, closer to Him in the Spirit. It is a matter of submitting ourselves to the will and mind of God, through the revelation of His word, so that the true life of Christ is really molded within us. Here in the 12th chapter of Hebrews, I want to read the 11th verse, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: (Oh yes, that is the person’s feeling.) Nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which we exercised thereby.” We are corrected, and schooled by that thing. (12) “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.” That is language that speaks of our fleshly reaction. Did you ever see a person that has come through a lot of ups and downs and everything, and you meet them, and when you talk with them, socially, they act exactly like this; their very appearance speaks of defeat: I just don’t know where I am going. Saints, I am trying to show something. What does that attitude tell you? Inside, is a spirit person that is looking at the obstacles of life, and they are looking at them in such a natural way, they can not see God in anything. Therefore, their speech is weak. As they get weaker, their hands just flop around like an old weight on a clock. The knees just give: I don’t care, I would just as soon die tonight. Have you not met people in life, that make you think of that very scripture? I have seen people just like that. They have no confidence in anything. They look at everything in the natural. Well Brothers and Sisters, with that kind of attitude, it is going to be hard for that type of person to please God. When I say that though, I am not saying that such a person is not a child of God. That person just has to wake up and realize that this is what Paul was referring to: Wherefore lift up the hands, straighten up the backbone, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths. Brothers and Sisters: a person with that kind of sloppy, no care kind of attitude, they never could walk a straight line if they needed to. They just wander, and weave all over the place. It says, make straight paths for your feet. It means you have to be alert, and look exactly at what you are doing, day by day; for if you go slumping through the woods like this, you are sure to snag your foot on something, and right on your face you will go. But if we can straighten up and look up, it means you are responsible for every snag you stump your toe on. Whenever we look where we are going and watch what we are stepping in, we are not as likely to fall flat on our face. Verse 13, “And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame, (floppy, or uncontrolled) be turned out of the way. But let it rather be healed. (14) Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (15) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Let us now go right back into James. James exhorts, “Brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” The translators use the word temptations, but really the word means divers testings. These are testings that God permitted the enemy to throw at you and me at various times in our Christian life, as we walk with Him, to cause us to become aware of a need. We need to learn to use the sword of the Spirit, to combat the enemy of our soul, just like Jesus, our example, did. But God wants our attitude and motive to be pure, so that we are not just constantly thinking about our own personal flesh, when we engage in this spiritual warfare. God always seeks to apply something inside of you and me, that is part of His characteristics, so the tests must come against our flesh person, which always before studied everything out in the natural, reasoning everything out to suit the natural self, not being able to look at the thing by faith, and spiritual understanding. Sure, it looks terrible, but I know that God is going to make a way through it all. Yes, in the midst of a trial, it seems very rough, very hard to cope with, but when it is all over and you look back, you can say to yourself, God is so good. I tell you, when you hear of people driving down a highway and see a car go out of control, coming right at them, and under normal circumstances it would hit them head on, there is not a thing in the world you can do to change that picture except, just cry out, God help me! Maybe there is someone killed, but for some reason or other, that child of God that was hit, just spun around, car totally wrecked, and yet walked away with hardly a scratch. You just have to say, God was on the scene. Satan may try to kill us many times in life, but he cannot do it until God’s purpose is fulfilled in us. He can afflict us, but he cannot go beyond what God will allow. In Psalms 34:19, David said, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” No that is not speaking of headaches and mashed fingers. The term afflictions, is applicable to persecutions, situations, circumstances of life that Satan causes to come upon us, but out of that God delivers us all. When the three Hebrew children were thrown in the fiery furnace, that was the furnace of affliction. When God delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, slavery, and servitude, where they whipped them, and abused them in every way they could think of, He delivered them from all their afflictions. Many times, these testings can become afflictions, thrown at you and me in many ways, but it is always to work God’s purpose in us. Therefore, if God does something to take something out of you and me, it is always an element of our fleshly nature, which is many times reluctant to do what God wants done, and in the right way. He allows it, so He can remove something of the flesh nature, and replace it with something of His divine nature. That is why it says, “But let patience have her perfect (or complete) work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” This is why many times, people become so impatient, when they find themselves in trying circumstances.


SEEING THE HAND OF GOD IN LIFE’S TRIALS


I am going to tell you a story of something that took place many years ago. It is a true story. My mother did not know I was going to tell this. If this would have happened years ago among Pentecostal people, they would probably have written a story about it. My father was injured as a young boy, by falling across a wagon bed. Then he had the flu during WWI, and the affects of it settled in his back. After he and my mother married, he started having problems with his back, down in his lower back. It gradually got worse, and sometime after I, and then my sister were born, in the process of time, he began to go to various doctors. Well, I grant you, they did not have all the technology they have today. Many times the things those doctors said, and conditions diagnosed, were just according to the general run of complaints and symptoms, and such like. To hurry the story along, by the time we come to the year of 1930, the depression had hit. There was no work. What little money he did have, he spent on 28 different doctors. As a little boy, I remember waking up at night and hearing Daddy walking the floor. I have heard him say mother, Will you get me a hot water bottle? Now it is hard many times, for a child to realize what is going on. But the depression had hit, and we had no social security, no welfare, or anything like that, back then. But I am sure glad, a dollar was a dollar. Things were not as inflated as they are now. My Dad had almost reached the place where he was crying, and praying to die, because his back hurt him so badly at night. I did not know these things as a child. Mother did not relate these things to my sister and me. She kept them all in her own heart. Finally she read the local paper, that was printed in Pekin, the old Pekin Banner. A young doctor by the name of Willy Green had just finished medical school, and came to Pekin. He set up practice with his father, who was also named Willy Green. When mother read that, she begged Dad to go down and see him. Dad said, They are all alike. I am not giving credit to a doctor, but the thing is, doctors back then, I believe, had a little more conscience and reliance upon the Creator, than this new breed of today, that want to put their trust and confidence in technology. He finally submitted to Mother’s plea and went down. As that young doctor examined him and asked him, What did the other doctors way? Sciatic rheumatism, lumbago, weak back, and on and on. He looked at him and said, Any man would have a weak back, when it is eaten up with tuberculosis. Dad said, Do you mean that is what my trouble is? He said, I’ll stake my life on it. He took him to Louisville, on the following Tuesday. He drove the car himself, and took Dad over there and x-rayed him. It showed exactly the 3rd and 4th vertebrae, up from the tail bone, it was just like two ice cream cones, tip against tip, ready to break through. He said, You could bend over to tie your shoe, and that could snap your spinal chord and you would be dead just that quick. I wouldn’t give you a nickel for your life. Now the analysis of it all is, There was no medicine then, no antibiotics to fight tuberculosis, as there is now. The doctor was left to design and use something, that I have to say, The Creator put in him. He had a blacksmith make a frame out of galvanized gas pipe, the size of a screen door, and laced that with canvas, and made two of them, and put a 9 inch curve in them. I had come home from school as a little boy in the 1st grade, when I saw the doctor and my mother out in the front yard with two sticks of wood, bending these pipes to put a 9 inch curve in them. I did not know what this was all about, but I did know as they brought them into the house, for they fixed some wooden blocks on the head part of the bed, and on the foot part of the bed, and put one of these frames on there. The doctor said to my Dad, Get on there. After he got on there, the doctor said, I am going to ask you if you can stay on there six months? Well in the end, he was on them, back and forth, first on his stomach, then on his back, for two whole years. The next six months, he was put on another bed with a wooden floor in it, with just two comforts as a pad. Now I will tell this, Some of you young women in here, let me ask this, If your husband was to get sick, and be in a bad shape for years, I wonder if you would stay with him? Would you stay with him and care for him through all his sickness? After all, you swore you could when you took the oath, For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in health and in sickness, until death do us part. My mother told me later, that the picture looked very dark. How would a young mother care for two small children just starting to school. What security would she have? She said she cried herself to sleep many nights. Then one night in a dream, she saw a terrible storm taking place, and as she saw herself on the outside looking at this storm rolling, the sky became black with clouds. She knew a terrible storm was getting ready to hit, so she began to say, What will we do? Then all of a sudden, she saw those clouds, just like there came a divide, and in the center of that, a big beautiful white cloud came rising up into the sky, and on top of that white cloud was a man like a prophet, and he looked at her and said, Don’t be afraid, everything will be all right. When she woke up out of that, she never cried any more. But at the end of the three years, my Dad had to learn to walk all over again. He walked a period of time on crutches. I will never forget, for I was a little older then. I had a little red wagon, and when he got up, the doctor had designed a brace for him to wear. His recovery was slow, but he learned to walk. He had not been anywhere for three years, and mother had not been anywhere either, during all that time, so we would put him in that little red wagon, and mother would pull, while my sister and I would push, and down the gravel road we would go, to visit our neighbors. Now if you would have seen us, it was quite a sight, but we were glad Dad was off of that frame, and that he was still alive. My Dad lived until 1966, and I saw him make cross ties and do a lot of hard manual labor before he died. I say all of that, to say this, My mother did not know then, what we know now. But God showed her in that dream that everything would be all right. Yes, the storm was bad, because it was in a depression, and the health of my father was coupled with that. That made it look very dark for a young woman with two small children. Nevertheless she went through it, and I have to say this, If you think you, or your neighbor, or your brother or sister, are facing hard trials, they are not to destroy you. If you are a child of God, somewhere in it all God is going to take care of you. If He has promised to meet our needs, then the thing we have to do is rely on Him to do that. I know this, If we will learn to rely upon Him to do that, He is going to put a people together here in the end time, that not only has been called out of denominationalism, but they are called together, to see a truth, believe that truth, and find their place in the body of Christ, doing their part to add other souls to that number. Sure there will be trials, tests, circumstances beyond their control to cope with, but God has a purpose in it all. He will bring you through every bit of it, and position you right where He want you. You do not do the choosing. You do not do the selecting. You do not set the terms. It is God who does it all, and we just fill our place. All God asks you and I to do is believe, and trust Him, and rely upon Him, and no matter how dark it gets, He will make a way. How do I know that? Because He has promised, Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the world. I will never forsake you. We can have that assurance. That is why the Old Testament saints could leave a testimony, so that we could look back and talk about the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, those that escaped the ends of the sword, women that received their dead back to life again, and women that were barren giving birth to children. All of these things were how God dealt in the Old Testament, and now we are living in a better dispensation. We have a better promise. We have a better picture. We have a better assurance, that since He is now in us, we do not have to step outside, to see if we can see a pillar of fire in the air. I do not have to go to the temple any more, to see if the Shekinah glory is still in the holy place. No sir! He is right inside of us, and we just need to learn how to respect Him in there. That is where He has got to be in this dispensation, in the tabernacle of our hearts and lives. If the revelation of His word is in there, then no wonder Paul could say, In the world you will have fears, persecutions, and such like, but inside there can be peace and joy, if you will just have confidence in the word of God, and believe that God will do exactly what He has said He will do, supply all of our needs. Therefore Saints: If you see your brother, or your sister going through some kind of trial, pray for them. Pray that God will have His perfect way. Through it all, God will establish some kind of testimony. He will establish a picture of His sovereign dealings, that will be a testimony of encouragement to others that are seeking to come and walk this way.


GOD’S WORD IS OUR COMFORT


Brothers and Sisters, as Israel has struggled, I believe with all my heart, her spiritual awakening will come about, finally, when God has dealt with an element of that society in such drastic measures, as to make them realize they need something more than the United States, to guarantee them their God given rights and privileges. When God delivered them out of Egypt, they did not have a nation to trust in, to deliver them. They trusted in Him, and that is exactly what each and everyone of us is going to have to learn to do, no matter what hits us. Furthermore, we should not sit around licking our wounds, and dwelling upon those things that have befallen us. The apostle Paul suffered much persecution, and endured many other physical hardships, but I like what he said in Philippians 3:13-14, and we should all follow his example; for he said this, (13) “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK FOR THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD, IN CHRIST JESUS. To be found in the perfect will of God, is more precious than silver and gold, and more to be desired, than deliverance from all of our problems in life.” I realize, when I think back over the last two and a half weeks, it makes you feel sometimes that you preach like this just to bring on troubles, and problems for people; but that is not the way it works. God knew there would be situations hit people, so He brings His word on, to be a comfort, a staying force to help people ride out the storm. When He permits tests to fall our way, He knows why they are permitted, when they will hit us, and He also knows through each test, what it is to accomplish. God never allows you and me to suffer something just because He enjoys it, but if we are children of His, we will learn something for our spiritual benefit through it all, just like our brother testified of tonight. We are living in the end time. We are getting drastically close to the end. I will soon be 65 years old, and do not know how much longer God will let me live. I am not even worried about it. But I know this, the closer we get to the end, the more spiritual God’s people will become. It will be necessary for them to become more spiritual. It is that spiritual walk with God and that contact each individual has with His Creator, that is going to show to the outside, that there is a people in the earth today, that are not just religious, but they are true children of God, and they know they are children of His. They are spiritual because they have no other desire than to be that. You do not have to make yourself spiritual any more than a rooster makes himself crow. Maybe some of you have watched young roosters, as they begin learning to crow. I have watched them, how for the first two or three times, they will get in some of the most unusual positions you ever have seen. He will throw his little head back and just try so hard, and you think he has got laryngitis or some kind of throat problem. But after a while he gets that old crow turned up and gets those vocal chords just right, and in just a few tries he has it just right, and from then on, crowing comes natural. He is glad he can crow. My point in saying all of that is, as you learn to walk with God in truth, you do not have to try to be spiritual. Being spiritual is an attribute of what God cultivates within us. All we have to have is the desire, the want to. If that is within us, then God will lead us on, that our lives will correspond exactly with what the word portrays. Therefore, in a test, whatever God brings you or me through, it is always that He is cultivating something. God is very concerned about cultivating something between you and me. Let us go back to James for a minute or two. The apostle James must have known what he was saying when he worded things the way he did in this letter. As he is writing to Christians scattered abroad, sooner or later someone will get hold of this letter, and read it. James must have been very concerned that out of reading it, they would benefit by it. Therefore he does not say, Count it very negative when you see problems come. No, No! He just reverses it. He said, Count it all joy. In other words, it is looking at the situation the right way. I know the way the world looks at things, there are people in the world that will say, there are so many in the world that are ordained to disaster, and there is not one thing you can do about it. Now that is a dismal way to look at things, is it not? Through the disaster you never figure that you are going to benefit anything out it. But whatever does befall us, we know that in the end, we may not in this life benefit to the fullest extent, but the point is, The life to come is where it is going to show. Nevertheless in this life, there are things we will benefit by. We may not be aware of the benefitting point, but the main thing is, that we count it all joy. Because through the trial or test, when it is all over, and we see the hand of God undertaking for our situation, then how grateful we are to know God was with us all the time. He did not let us sink. He did not let us be destroyed. Well, in the 4th verse we see James speaking of patience, “But let patience have her perfect work.” What is the end result? The end result is that we become more mature, complete, developed children of God. There is something elsewhere though. Verse 5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and up braideth not; and it shall be given him.” Now what kind of wisdom is James talking about? It sure isn’t the wisdom that we would learn by going to college. This is the tragedy that has befallen Christendom through the centuries of time. This is why we have seen untold numbers of people who think that is what wisdom is. I am not against an education, but the wisdom we have to look at here, is a wisdom to know how to look at the problems of life that you are confronted with, and with a wise way of looking at it, eventually you will have the understanding of what to do about it. In the eyes of the world, it will look like you are a fool. Do you know, the closer we get to the end, the more and more real genuine Holy Ghost filled Christians are going to look like a cactus in the middle of a desert. Did you know a cactus in the middle of the desert is the only thing that a jackrabbit can get water out of. It is the only thing that bears fruit in dry places. This world is becoming a desert of spirituality. But I am thankful that there is a people here, the world right now does not see. The world right now does not want them. But I believe with all my heart, that some of the world, not all of the world, but some of the world, before this thing is all wrapped up, and God has taken His Church home, are going to be made to realize that there are some people here that really do reflect Jesus. They are going to say, God is with those people. However, the only way those people can reflect Jesus, is for them to be a people molded and fashioned into vessels that are subject to the leading of the Holy Ghost at all times. This wisdom has nothing to do with pouring chemicals from one test tube to another. It is a wisdom related to spiritual things that affect your and my spiritual life, as to how we grow, and what we do as we seek to walk with God. This is an experience that I had many years ago. It was when we started the church down here on State Street. In those first two and half or three years, there were a lot of little problems. To me, they were mountains, because long before I ever started the little work down here, I thought being the pastor of a church was the last thing I ever wanted to be. In my heart I said, No, I want to be an evangelist. I just do not want to be a pastor. But as it wound up, the thing I did not want to be, is the thing I had to be. I realize now, there were things that I needed to learn. Things I needed to know about what people go through, what affects people, what affects a body of people when you are trying to lead a small element of people. There were little things that would just flitter around all the time, and I began to realize that I was just a child. I did not know how to cope with these things. I used to think every preacher that came down the road with a Bible, should be given the pulpit, because I myself felt so small. Well, as long as I had that kind of attitude, they just came by the dozens, and they would take advantage. One Thursday evening, when we came to the little building, there sat a black Cadillac. A man jumped out, came walking over to me, and introduced himself as an international evangelist of such and such an association. He had just come out of Alaska, had been up to Bro. Branham’s and inquired where he might have a meeting, and said Bro. Branham suggested he come to New Albany, that Bro. Junie might need an evangelist. I finally learned that many times these characters use someone’s name and words to further their own purpose. We let him have the pulpit that night, but I kept noticing how he would look up for an instant, then he would look down at the pages of his Bible. I learned that the sermon he preached was one of Oral Roberts’ sermons. I thought, Well that is Oral Roberts’ sermon, why is he preaching that? Then he said, this place is not large enough. I have got to get a larger building. Well, he went all over Louisville trying to find a larger building, and do you know what? The Lord would not let him have anything but a Senior Citizens building over on Dixie Highway. Then he did not have any song books, and some of the people went together and bought song books. Another sister went to an Assemblies of God Church over there, because she knew they had another bible stand down in the basement, and they loaned him that. He started the meeting, I believe it was on Sunday or Monday night, and there was only a handful of people there. He had come into the area with this big expectation, that he had to have a large auditorium, because there would be thousands of people come. Well I went on Tuesday night and thought to myself, God, if you are in this thing, let something be done. I did not go back, because the whole meeting came to a close that night, with a flop. I did not go back on Wednesday night. Then Thursday night, when I came to church, there he sat again. The whole thing had been a flop, and he knew he had been a great big windbag. Then I said to myself, Lord, I am going to try him tonight. I have got to prove to myself that this man is nothing. So I let him preach again. He would take his handkerchief and place it a certain way, and I wondered why he rolled it. He laid it up between his Bible and us. The front of the Bible stand was not like this one, it did not have the recessed part inside, it was just strictly open. He kept that handkerchief just like that, and kept glancing down and looking at it. I thought, I am going to see what he is reading out of. We had an old wood stove, that was our heat there in the old building. I was sitting behind him and as I did, I looked over his shoulder, and he had his whole sermon written out, and inserted in the pages of his Bible, so that when he turned a page, his sermon would be there. It was another one of Oral Roberts’ sermons. I stirred up the fire, put a stick of wood in the stove, and went back to sit down. I said to myself, Now I know he is just one of those characters out trying to make a name for himself. Here is what he did. He left the area not even returning the Bible stand. There was so much rent due on the building, he had to hock a jack out of his car to buy gas at a filling station on Dixie Highway, down from this Senior Citizens building. These are things I found out later. I said, Lord, I have learned a lesson. Not every preacher that comes down the road, is a man of God. I said Lord, I have got to know something. I really began to pray, and ask God, Give me wisdom. I have got to know how to look at these things. As I really began to pray and ask the Lord to help me, and to give me wisdom to know how to deal with these things, I saw myself in a dream with Bro. Branham. He had come down for some reason, to practice shooting a 22 rifle. I took a bale of hay and sat it up on the bank of the road, and we walked up the road, and watched that there was no cars coming, and we had a target on that bale of hay. First he would shoot, and we would walk down to see where he had shot, and then walk back up, and I would take my turn. We were both hitting in the same spot. As we walked back up this time from seeing where he had hit, I took the rifle, getting ready to aim, when all of a sudden I heard a noise to my left. Way out across the field in front, I saw a huge thing, like a monument, began to come up out of the earth, right at the far end of the field. That monument kept rising and rising and rising, until it looked like it almost touched the clouds. I became startled watching it, but immediately there was a huge clock that appeared in the summit of it. Then all of a sudden there was a huge nest, like a large eagle or something had built on top of that. Off in the distance, I saw a strange looking bird come and light in the nest as though it was going to lay it’s eggs and hatch them. As I looked at the monument, I looked at the clock and saw the minute hand was almost on twelve o’clock. I lifted the rifle to shoot this strange looking bird, but out of the corner of my eye, I looked at Bro. Branham’s face. He never said one word, but I read his facial expression. His expression was, Junie, if you knew what that bird was, you would not shoot it. I looked at him and said, What is that? He said, That is a foresight bird. Try to look it up in the dictionary. There is no such bird. But look up the word foresight. I woke up with foresight on my mind. I went to the dictionary and got my answer. From that moment on, I began to realize, there are some things in life you do not get hasty with. That is why I was not to be too hasty shooting at that bird just for the fun of it. Just let is set there. Well I can see now, that bird sat on top of that monument where it could see everything, and if you are a child of God walking in this world, it may look awfully dark at times, round about you. There may be conditions develop around you, many times it will look like things are all tangled up. But if you ever ask God to give you wisdom to know how to look at it, He will lift you up high enough, and you will see the surroundings of the problem. It is not a wisdom we possess every day, and use like a vending machine. But it is something God will activate, so we can see properly. When you learn chemistry, that is a wisdom and knowledge you can use any minute, 24 hours of the day. How many understand me? When you learn how to work on a transmission, that wisdom and knowledge is there all the time. But the wisdom that God has is not something you can put in your pocket and drag around, or carry it a suitcase. It is something you have to cherish and count as valuable. The reason I say that, is because when we go to the book of Proverbs, we read about that very thing. Naturally, we all reach places in life where we feel we have a need for wisdom, and God knows we are going to need it, walking in this perplexed, crazy world, so turn with me to Proverbs, for this is where we find out how we have to approach it. Proverbs, 2nd chapter, beginning with verse 1. (1) “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; (2) So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding, (because it has to work together,) (3) Yea if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; (4) If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures. (In other words, it is something that is valuable. It is something to be treasured.) (5) Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. (6) For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (7) He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. (That is one thing we have to learn. We have to learn to establish a picture in our mind, that there are certain things right, and we never detour from them. It is like a middle of the road, a mark, there is the middle line. Drifting too far to the right, or either way, many times finds us in the ditch.) (8) He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of His saints. (9) Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and preserveth the way of His saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity: yea, every good path. (10) When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; (11) Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.” Go over into the 3rd chapter, verse 5. (5) “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. (7) Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. (8) It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. (9) Honor the Lord with thy substance and with the firstfruits of all thine increase; (10) So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (11) My Son, (Listen to this, we find this in what Paul was referring to in Hebrews.) despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction; (12) For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (13) Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. (14) For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” Christianity, as a whole is void and destitute of those things. But I believe God has a people who is going to have it. You cannot walk into a bank and get it. Nor can you walk into a church building and get it. No. It does not work like that. It is something that God gives. God imparts it. But we have to choose certain ways in life, to allow God to prepare us. He will do those very things, because He desires to. God is always desiring to bless His children, but too much of the time, we are not in any shape for Him to bless us. He first has to chasten us. Nevertheless, we can always be assured, That all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. Hallelujah! I will close with that. May God bless you every one. Amen!