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WE ARE STILL ON THE GRACE MESSAGE, AND USING THE SCRIPTURES THAT SPEAK OF GROWING IN GRACE.
I have meant to get into Romans for weeks now. It seems I keep being drawn to something else, but it is still the same subject, except I have added a couple words to it. Today, as we are looking to the Lord for His love and grace, and for the kindness He shows us, let us be mindful, that the Bible says grow in grace. How do you do that? I thought grace was just grace. But Peter said to grow in grace, and he added something to that, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So if you do not grow, then you are stagnant. If you are stagnant, then you would surely die. In thinking of this, there are scriptures that come to me that added to this that I want to use today. I just wanted to add these three words to it, grow in grace. If we do that, we are going to be a much different people as time passes. That is my aim and purpose in this late hour of time, to see growth. You can only grow as you grow in knowledge and understanding. Sometimes people will ask questions. That really speaks of their growth in the Lord. For instance, someone wants to know something about what they should do about certain situations. You do not have to go into a lot of details to tell them. I am not a person of a lot of details. I remember my dad, he was not a person of details. He would tell you to do something, then you would do it. He did not explain it, he did not count to ten to get us started. He only went to about the third grade in school, he did not know fractions, but one thing was sure, if he said, I have told you once, that meant one time; and it meant we had better do what he said. He did not allow us to frame the situation in another way, could it be this way, could it be that way? The scriptures are not written like that, could it be, it either is or to make things simple, it ain’t. There is no in between. Jesus said let your yea’s be yea, and you nay’s be nay. But Paul said in Jesus Christ it is Yea and Amen. So he made it pretty plain, and he made it pretty plain in his preaching, that he meant what he said. If you ask me something one time, then the answer is probably going to be the same the next time, because a revelation is a revelation: you do not change it. It is not a maybe, it is not a hope so, or a could be, or maybe this way, or maybe that way. As Paul said, it is Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. There is no in-between’s in Him. Of the things that I have preached, the only things that some people wanted to question me about it, was to get me to change my mind. If I had changed my mind, or if Bro. Bud had changed his mind to please them, Faith Assembly would just be like some of these other off springs that you were never really going to be given a direct answer to questions, but you were going to be given a maybe. I could say something here, God did not call everybody to lead the Church. He called a ministry to do that, not somebody appointed by another man. As we look at the scripture, you do not see things like that. I know that I will have some disagreement on that, but a man is not called to preach by another preacher. Either you are called of God or you are not called at all. I am not trying to use these words loosely, but we have a lot of self appointed people today. I know years ago there were at least a couple men that left here, I remember one that had Bro. Jackson, Bro. Bud and me upstairs with some others. He complained because nobody had recognized him as a preacher. Nobody knew it, because that was the first time I had ever heard about it, the first time Bro. Jackson ever heard about it. But then there were complaints because he was not recognized as a preacher. I don’t want to get into all that this morning because I have other things to say. This is not just a vocation to have something to do. There are times it is a great blessing, it always is, let me put it that way, but then there are other times you have to bow your head. I guess this was the first time anything like that ever happened to me, a couple weeks ago I was sitting there at home, and it was not really words that came out of my mouth, but there were expressions coming out of my mouth that I did not know was going to be coming out. The Bible says there will be groanings that you will utter without really knowing why. Those are the things that you have experienced, things that just go beyond human expression. God can use those times to teach you something, to tell you something. I love Him for it. When I get to the place that I cannot tell God that I love Him, then I am in the wrong place. When I tell Him I love Him, I mean it, and say thank you, Lord, that you are so gracious to me. I see the situations in the Middle East. I see the situations in America that I have no control over. But I see something coming in the Middle East throughout the weeks, I see something coming that I know is scriptural. I remember when Netanyahu got to be prime minister, there was a man that had a lot of following in the Lucid party. His name was Moshe Fagin. I had not heard much about him since Netanyahu became prime minister, but he was supposed to be in the Knesset in the Lucid party. Netanyahu moved him from number twenty down to thirty six, so he would have no part, because Netanyahu was afraid of him, because he does not want to give any land away. There was about a nine minute program of him talking, and right now there is no way that Netanyahu can do anything about it, because he has too much of a following. When a man gets afraid of people that are threatening his leadership, that is a scary situation because God is wanting to do something that man does not see. Are you speaking of yourself? Absolutely not. I was not appointed pastor here at Faith Assembly to sit around in fear that I was going to lose my job, because Bro. Bud knows any time that anything happens, that he can have it. I back him a hundred percent, but I do not say that because of you people who find fault. I am just saying that because if God has appointed us to something, then we should not fear, because the Church is going to move. It is going to move in this hour we are living in, and I see the movement. There has been an encouraging ministry here. Sometimes it cuts, and sometimes it cuts me, but that does not matter. I see growth because of it. Therefore no one ever has to guess where we stand. Some may think, maybe they will compromise? No, not in any way, because, when God opens up something, that is where it stands. I now want to go to 2nd Peter. Never do I want to use arrogance and say I know everything and you know nothing. Many times I am surprised how God speaks to us, because I know it is not in my ability to know the things that God has given me. That is why I sometimes speak here at Faith Assembly in fear, sometimes in trembling, because God is doing something. He is doing something in Faith Assembly, as well as He is around this world, where people are hearing what God is revealing. I know that because of the report that comes in to us. For every negative report, there are at lease five good ones. So if you were a baseball player and you have five hits to every one strike out, you would be batting eight hundred and nobody has ever batted that. I certainly do praise the Lord this morning, I thank Him for His wonderful grace, mercy and the truth that He reveals of His Word. As we start reading here, he has spoken of the coming of the Lord and everything, and in the 14th verse of the 3rd chapter he says, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” There are so many things in America today, that are being done by the government, if I did not have hope in God, it would be frightful. You just hear it every week, nothing approved by congress or senate, everything is just being run over people by a president and his czars. I heard this morning, about our telephone bill, why it is so high, because we are paying for cell phones and all these other things, they say are for the poor that cannot afford them otherwise. But look what they are doing: one person is getting several cell phones and then selling them. I am talking about the minutes that are on them, they sell the minutes for profit. This has never been approved by senate or congress, it is just something that has been done. Now they are going to take that very same thing and it is over a billion dollars a year, they are going to take that and increase it until you will be buying computers also. How many ways do they have of taking taxes from you. It is that way with so many things being forced upon us by a run away government that has no concern for the people. They are trying to make it to where if you work, you have less privilege than the ones that do not work. We are not being led, we are being ruled, and in many things without even the knowledge of it. Your gas bills that you pay, there is money being taken from it for other people, without your knowledge. That is taxes. Whatever they want to call it, it is taxes, and they are using that to wipe out peoples wealth that have made it, and many of them honestly. This not only happens under this president, but you go on back to George H. Bush, George W. Bush’s dad, he was the one that started this one world government idea. Of course you have churches today, with prophecy preachers that are saying that this is the mark of the beast, because they do not know the mark of the beast comes through the Catholic church. The scripture is unseen now because it was not supposed to be seen by everybody. The scripture was not supposed to be understood by the natural minded man of the world, because Jesus took His disciples off away from the crowd and told them, I speak to these people in parables that seeing they may not see, that hearing they may not understand. You say, well that is not fair. Take that up with the Lord, because He is the One that said, that is the way it is. That goes along with the message which we believe, that there are things about it that others do not believe, simply because it is not given unto them to understand. The Bible says there are few that will be saved. Bro. Jackson said it will not be in the thousands here in America, it will be in the hundreds. Therefore brothers and sisters, you have not been ruled over, you have not been made to stay here, but I thank God for every one of you that have stayed, because I know you have been willing listeners. The Bible says he that hath an ear to hear, let him hear. It does not say, he that has ears: we all have ears, but there are some that have ears that cannot hear good because of a deficiency, yet they still understand the Word, because it is given unto them to hear and understand. So we just have to say, it reaches down further than just our natural ears. Some of you think it is a privilege to be here, it is a privilege for me too, to be able to be with a group of people that understand and believe the revealed Word of God. I am talking about from little children on up in age. As I go through to shake hands with people, little children that are playing will stop playing just to shake hands. Do not think I don’t recognize that and appreciate it. I do. They love us because we have loved them and made it plain enough that they can understand part of it. I am going to go ahead and read here, I want to read that 14th verse again. “Wherefore, beloved, (See how he talks? He is not talking to the world at large. Peter has finally understood that this message goes farther than just to the Jewish people. This was a hard thing for him to understand because of this thing of Judaism that had been ground into him so hard that it took him years to get it out of his mind, that it was just as Paul had said, the Jews’ religion. Paul was able to take the message to the Gentiles because he said God had broken down the middle wall of partition. A partition is something you put up that you may not be able to see into the other side. But God remodeled, He took that partition out. Why did He do that? So that we may be able to see what God has spoken to the Jews through the Law, and so that Paul could see what God had done in the Law to bring it unto Grace for the Gentiles also. Grace is God’s unmerited favor to man.) seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent (Listen to him talk, be diligent. This is a man that is speaking from his heart, he is not speaking from a man made knowledge carried over from some other generation: he is speaking from his heart, that what God has done for him.) that ye may be found of Him in peace, (Be found of Him, not of Peter, but of Him, God.) without spot.” I did not know you could live like that? Well, the Methodists tell you that, the Baptists will tell you that, but when you remove the spots and blemishes, a lot of which is just religious ideas that we have carried along through the years, that we have to get rid of. When church order come in at the Tabernacle, Bro. Jackson did not go along with it in Faith Assembly. But the ones that were in this thing, did not carry it out as it should have been, they made a law of it. You abide by this, which put a strict order on people, when the Bible is something that is freedom. You cannot speak in tongues, you cannot testify, you cannot clap your hands. I remember all those things. This was not what Bro. Branham meant for it to be like. I was there when he was there and it was not carried out like that. He would tell people to shake hands. They would shake hands. He would tell the people to hold hands with their neighbor when they prayed. But when he was not there, that was not carried out. It was just the old strict dogmatic thing that never added anything to anybody but to a bunch of deacons. I am not talking about Faith Assembly deacons, we have wonderful brothers as deacons. We have wonderful brothers that are in other positions, trustees. But those men ruled at the Tabernacle, they would listen to a tape, then they would play a tape of Bro. Branham’s and they would go to Jerry’s restaurant while the tape was being played. They knew how long it was and then they would come back just before it was over, so they could see that people marched out in file. If you wanted to shake hands with anybody, you had to get on the sidewalk first, don’t do it in here because you are supposed to be still and know that He is God. I wonder how many little children cried and how many laughed and played when the Jews were in the wilderness. That was an awesome presence of God, it even filled the mountain there, it said if any body or any animal even touched it, their lives would be taken from them. But there were little children down there that were playing in the presence of that mountain. I did not know I was going to say these things today. But what happened? The leadership there erred, got afraid, told everybody to bring their jewelry, bring their gold. When Moses came back, they had a golden calf that had been molded out of their gold and they were all worshiping it. Aaron made the excuse to Moses, I just threw it in the fire and that is what came out. No it did not. He formed that thing. Our inadequacies, many times will cause us to realize we are inadequate to do what maybe God has told us to do, or we feel that we should do in the presence of God, and then we make excuses. I don’t want to do that. Bro. Bud does not want to do that. Never do I want to make an excuse for what God is doing. This is off my subject I know, all of this is off my subject, but I am talking from my heart. I am mostly talking of leadership. God is going to have His people in a right attitude and at the right place. All this thing of traveling around in all these different services and all these things that used to be going on is just about over. God has narrowed it down until there is not all these places that you can go to. Really there are very few. One or two in the country, even as big as the United States is, there are not many places where true saints can be fed. There are people that are living in areas, where at one time it was a thriving community for people to go and worship, now there are brothers and sisters that cannot even go there anymore. They sit and watch these services on the internet and they are happy because they feel that they are being fed, and when I say that, I am not just saying that you feel fed, you are, or you are not. This may be a crude illustration, but Faith Assembly is a feeding station, or it is not. The reason I say it like that, is because we either come here to eat with the eagles, or we just come here. “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; (Our longsuffering. Jesus Christ was crucified once, He still has the scars, but He will never be crucified again, except by people with the wrong attitude, like it says in Hebrews. I remember Bro. Branham preaching the message back in the 1960’s where he said, I indict this generation for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I was there when he preached it. That does not make me better than you, because there are a lot of people that were there, but very few that walked on in a true revelation.) even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given until him hath written unto you.” Here we are in 66 A.D. Things have changed, things have changed with Peter. Peter has grown in the grace that he talks about, to the point that now he is seeing things as he should. That is the reason why he can say grow in grace, because it is a process, and not something you can do suddenly. I know that there are preachers that are still preaching or people that are still preaching, let me put it that way, that are saying that if you are saved today then you will be in the rapture. That is not scriptural. Where is the growth? Growth brings forth fruit. In a few weeks an apple tree or a peach tree will bloom. But because it blooms does not mean that you have an apple crop. I have been around where apples were growing. I know that when there are freezes that come, you can look at that bloom when it blooms and when a freeze comes, if it is down to 26 degrees and stays there for a few days, you have lost your apples. One night will not affect it very much if the temperature goes back up. But in June, you are going to lose a lot of those apples on that tree. But there are blooms that will stay there because they were predestinated to go into your mouth. I am glad for that, because we are coming not just to June or July in our spiritual walk, we are coming to the fall season.
IN THE FALL SEASON
We are in the fall season of our walk with God, just like in the fall of the year when you pick those apples. Well as Peter said about Paul…“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (Unlearned and unstable, there are a lot of children that have graduated from school, but they never learned anything. The truth of the gospel message is not for those that drop out. God has no drop outs. We are either in or we are out. Unlearned…) and unstable.” I remember all those preachers that used to get their pictures made on the platform here. I would put myself in the back row, because I felt myself insignificant. I don’t say that to be humble, I thought every preacher that came in here and were privileged to preach back then, had more than I had. But the scripture says that some of them were unlearned and unstable and they wrest (mis-apply) the revelation. The Bible expressed there in the Old Testament about someone that is unstable, as water. “Unlearned and unstable wrest, (Wrest, that means they divide or pull apart. People are listening to unstable people that are wresting the scriptures, tearing them apart. I was thinking this week, I don’t mean to keep mentioning this, but it just comes handy, I was a pretty good person until it come down to the third day teaching, and those that understand it, it is the easiest thing that they have come across to understand, but others are blinded. If I was like these preachers on television, I would tell everybody to clap or to say Amen. You say Amen if you feel to, but I do not call for it.) As they do also the other scriptures, (Wrest them, tear them apart. The funny thing was when that message was printed, then people had dreams and visions and everything else about seeing my picture on that Contender. I was not caring about seeing my picture on that Contender, I just wanted people to identify that I was the one that preached it, and not put somebody else’s picture there. I will identify with what I preach.) unto their own destruction.” That is not pretty. I am not out to destroy anybody. That was not my aim or purpose in the things that I have preached that have been torn apart, that was not my aim. I did not even know I would have opposition. I just thought, I see this, this is going to make somebody happy. It did. But it made others go to the parking lot and get loud to where young people could hear them criticizing me, or they would go among unbelievers and get loud so they could hear. I would rather crawl under a rug than I would just to be heard by a bunch of unbelieving people. Well I am talking about growth. I am talking about what this is going to do to us before this thing is over. We are going to be a grown up people. We are not going to be ashamed of our growth. “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, (You are beloved, you know these things before.) beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” I don’t want that, I don’t want that for you. Let us now go to this slide, what does that building have to do with it? We will see, because this verse fits that. “But grow in grace, (That means getting to look more like Him (Jesus). Paul said I in Christ’s stead. Jesus is not coming back to preach the gospel, neither is Bro. Branham. Shame on you who are saying that he will Preach that other part. He will not come back until the rapture. And he is not coming back to preach. Anybody that would make a statement otherwise, should sit down, you don’t belong in a pulpit. That gets pretty close. Bro. Branham will not come back to fulfill that other part because there is not going to be arms and legs and all added on to people before the rapture. I got that message when it was preached back in 1963, just a poor old ignorant country boy. When he preached those seals he said, this is the third pull, but everybody else was looking for a great healing ministry that Bro. Branham was going behind a curtain, and everybody that went in there, they were going to walk out with new arms and legs and new teeth. I could do with some new teeth, and new hair, I could do with some of that. But that will take place later.) and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” In the knowledge, the understanding. What about it? Brothers and sisters, this sounds good to me. In the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in the knowledge of what He really expects out of us. It is kind of like when Bro. Bud and I had to stand against that preacher seven years ago, that wrote his book that Bro. Jackson would be here until the rapture and he would not remove those statements. There was a man out here that opposed him for saying such a thing as he did and he cursed him, that little preacher cursed him, saying, you will grow no taller. I curse you in the name of Jesus Christ, you will not grow any taller. He was already fifty something, and never did grow any taller. What a fool. You say, Bro. Allen you should not call your brother that. I did not call a brother that. Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” Now I will go to 1st Corinthians the 3rd chapter, starting in the 9th verse. Who are we laborers together with? “For we are labourers together with God: (If you are a laborer, you are not just a worker. If you are a labourer, you are not just nine to five. I don’t care to tell you, that He is on my mind all the time, whatever I am doing. This is not ours, but God was good enough to send His Son into this world to give His life that we may be able to labor together with Him.) ye are God’s husbandry.” You are God’s building. Now let me get to this, In 1967 we were on strike at Ford Motor Company for sixty seven days. I went to work, where a man had worked, I think it was seven weeks of that time, working on apartment buildings. The foundation had already been put there and we were to add to that foundation, the rest of the building. The walls were all prefab, everything was already there, they called it pumpkin board, it was the outside insulation, that is what it was, to that building. They already had the insulation in them, they already had the wires in them. They were shipped to us, ready for us to put them together. Every part of that building, every room, was marked where we should put each wall. I was not responsible, I was just responsible for helping them put it together. We put one wall up and nobody noticed it until we had got beyond it and the window was six inches off from being in the center of the room. A few days after that we found out that we had put the wrong part in that place, but we left it there. That window was always six inches off from being in the center of the room. Somebody just had to come in and go from socket to socket to put the wires together. We kept building this, on and on we went building, which was a big apartment building down in Jeffersonville. Then we got to the roof and started cutting plywood and all. The man that was over it had to go get plywood for the top part because there was a little strip where there was not enough for. But since it was already pre-made, those strips were in there and we just did not know it. If it had been done right, we would never have had to cut a piece of plywood. It worked out OK, but it was already there. Brothers and sisters, it is already pre-planned, like our calling of God. They took care of dimensions that we had for this building, and they pre-fabbed it somewhere in a factory, and if it had been done right, it would have worked. So we had to make it work. We talk about predestination. Our lives have been predestinated, but the thing about predestination is that this thing that we are doing, there is a plan that was already made for the Church of the living God, that she could get it right. When I began to think on that, and I just thought of this Friday night, I had something else in mind, when I began to think of that, then it did not take long to put a picture together. If we listen, if we do what the Word says, we are going to fit into a plan that was made from eternity. There is no use of having to cut and go buy new lumber if you look at the material that has been given to us, which is the Word of God. Not that our lives were pre-planned, it was that everything that God has going into the Church of the living God, is already pre-planned, and if we can find the presence of God in our lives and we can find the right thing out of His Word, this is going to work. I love His Word, because it works us toward perfection. I love His plan because He made it to where we can fit into it, because He said for us to grow in grace. On over into Ephesians, it is fitly framed. I believe Paul was living in this hour, his spirit was, the spirit that God put into his being, was showing us the route that we must take in order to find grace to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am happy this morning. I am happy for what He gives us, for what He shows us, which is truth. The only thing I can do is get out of the way and say God help me. I cannot think up God’s Word, it has to be a revelation to me. If it is ever going to be a blessing to you, it has got to be a revelation to me. I have more to this, but I will save it until tonight. God bless all of you that have been listening to this.
GROW IN GRACE
When I left off this morning, I was in 1st Corinthians, 3rd chapter. Every once in awhile circumstances come your way and let you know that somebody is watching you, and somebody knows you that you don’t know. They may look familiar to you, but it is at that time that you are glad you present yourself in a way that people can recognize you for what you are and who you are. I went to a carry out restaurant to get something to eat. I came in behind some people. These young girls, probably fifteen to eighteen years old, there were three or four of them in front of me. They were dressed neat, long dresses and long hair. Then there were some that came in behind me. I figured they were all together. There was a man and his wife, probably in their upper 30’s. I figured these daughters were theirs, with some friends. Some young men came in, they were dressed very neatly. I had already taken my tie off, because I don’t wear my tie all Sunday afternoon. These people were really dressed nice. I was between some of them there. This one man started a conversation with me. He asked, don’t I know you? He mentioned one church, and I said no. Well, I know you from somewhere, where do you go to church. I just said Bro. Jackson’s, because I was not going to make a great deal out of it. He then asked, what is your name? I said, James Allen. He said, then you are the pastor there, aren’t you? I said yes. I was not going to give him any information unless he pumped it out of me. I said, well I was just admiring these young ladies, how they are dressed. That was about all the conversation. I went to pay for my order, but he handed his credit card up to the cashier and said, I am going to pay for this. I said, no, you don’t need to do that. He said, I want to take care of it. I said no, thanks, I went ahead and paid. I felt that was thoughtful of the man, but with all those young people, he needed it more than I did. He has to clothe them and feed them and everything. But we are seen and known. I never did ask him his name or where he went to church. But he wanted to know my name and where I went to church, because he recognized me. I don’t like to be identified by the clothes that I wear, but I am glad that I can be identified by something other than just my clothes. What I was trying to present here this morning, it is a great joy to be a child of God. There is no use of ever having to apologize for it. If I had been acting like a fool, or been looking around to see who I could see, or paying attention to somebody in a way I should not, then they would have recognized that too. But to be recognized as a child of God is the greatest recognition there is. I am going to say this, it used to be, and it still is, you turn on the television and you see News men sitting there at the desk. They are dressed in suit coats and with ties on, then you look at the women, they are half dressed. Many times I just turn my head, because I don’t even hardly recognize them as part of the human race. But these News people who are over them, expect that out of them. Do you know what that is drawing? There was a Methodist preacher many years ago that said, when you go down the street to some of the stores and see all the clothing, the bathing suites and things like that, when you see that in the window, that is advertising. Then you see men or women, either one, some of these men ought to be ashamed of themselves, with tattoo’s and no more than a handkerchief to cover them. You are a vulgar mess. And women, not enough clothes on to even cover themselves. Do you know what they are doing? Advertising. Christian women should never advertise. Christian men should look like Christians. I am not talking about wearing ties. I remember the last Methodist conference I went to. Methodist preachers were asked if they smoked, and if they did, they just went on through the line without saying anything, they didn’t say anything to them because by that time, many of them, half of them, smoked. I was sitting in the car with my older brother and with one that had preached when I fell under conviction when I was eleven or twelve years old, and another preacher that I was with, which was younger. This older preacher that had held the meeting I mentioned to you, we looked across the parking lot and he said something about an official in the Methodist Church. Here he walked across the parking lot and he had shorts on. He walked across the parking lot with a pipe in his mouth. That older preacher looked and said, what a shame, a shame that the Methodist Church is getting like this. Later when we were alone the other one said, there is no wonder that preacher has not moved up to the top in the Methodist Church, preaching that way, preaching against sin, you did not move up, you just stayed where you were, they kept you there because they did not want that anymore. That was in 1962. But sin is sin tonight, and sin will never enter into the portals of glory because the Bible says so in the 4th chapter of Ephesians, maybe it is the 5th chapter, we are washed by the water of the Word. Bro. Jackson preached a message on that, being washed by the water of the Word, he talked about getting into the tub. As I think about those things in this hour, I would rather be safe than sorry. There is going to be a lot of sorry people when that time comes. There is going to be a lot of sorry preachers because the Bible says they will come to me in that day and say, did not we cast out devils in thy name? Do you know who that speaks to? Pentecost. The denominational world does not preach that stuff. They don’t even know about casting out devils. But He will say to them, depart from me: I never knew you. If you turn on the television you see these big gatherings, so big it looks like a ball stadium. They have big name preachers that would not give you an answer for anything. Now they have Chrislim, (spelling?) Christian-Muslims. There is no such thing, there never will be. These words by these preachers, I could name some of them, some of them would surprise you, that don’t even know the difference in Christianity and Muslimism, that have taken out the cross that they did have in their churches, they have taken them down so they would not offend anybody. If the cross offends you, why don’t you just become a Muslim, that is what you are. Jesus said it is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you, not what you eat, but it is what comes out of your mouth. What comes from your mouth is what is spoken from your heart. I am going to read from the Word now, in 1st Corinthians 3. The president has a man named Leon Panetta, he made a statement that he believed that Israel would attack Iran in April, May, or June. Why are people so foolish? To me, that is just an advertisement to the Muslim people, hurry up, hurry up and get your bomb before Israel knocks it out. That even embarrassed some of the Democratic party, I did not know some of the politicians could be embarrassed, or that somebody would be that foolish. Verse 9, “For we are labourers together with God.” Bro. David mentioned to me this morning, he had heard that China had an apartment building, built and completed, because they had built the different parts of it in different places and then brought it together. Thirty six stories in nine days. It certainly will not take long to build that temple, because it will not take long to put up those walls with people of that nature. That is the reason why it took me a few minutes to understand why Bro. Jackson mentioned what he did, but I thought, that is where it is. I did not wonder about it for days, but I thought about it a few minutes and there it was, where strangers shall build up thy walls. He said that would be some of these, like from India or China. Then I thought, well it could not be America because we are not strangers to Israel. But it will be somebody that had been in a false religion and he said that they will come to their parents and say, we are going to Israel and help them, because the god we have has failed us, we are going because the God of Israel is real. They will change and become a part of that building program. It tells you in other places that there will be strangers in Israel that will be glad to plow their ground and take care of their crops. Don’t ever think that Israel is a little nation sitting there without anything to do. I was looking on the internet Friday and I saw the beautiful tomatoes that are being grown in Israel. Do you know where they are being shipped to now, twenty tons of them to Saudi Arabia. Europe has already got into the business of getting it from Israel. These were beautiful ripe tomatoes, they were not green, but beautiful red tomatoes. I thought, if I ever get the chance to go over there, I want some of their fruit, and some of their vegetables. You are not allowed to bring them back here, but they are in the stores under another name, even as I am speaking, because they don’t want to identify with Israel, but they will buy their produce and fruit. There is not another nation under heaven that is growing vegetables and other things without bugs, and without blight. That blight is bad stuff, it can take your whole crop. Some of you here who raise a garden, know what I am talking about. It is God’s hand on a land that He has ordained to be prosperous, that is going to have the last voice upon this earth before the change comes. I know they are going to have to go through some things, but that land of Israel will be standing when the rest of it is falling apart. Jerusalem is going to be Jerusalem from now on, it has always been Jerusalem and it always will be. The only other city that remains by its original name is Rome, and that was for a reason. “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” Fitly framed, God’s building. God is in a building program tonight. He is building temples, but the temples are the lives of the people that are going to fit in His great plan. I speak to you from my heart tonight because I don’t know any other way to do it. It says here, “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, (Wait a minute Paul, you are bragging. No, he knew where he stood. You did not knock Paul off the track. There was nobody that ever approached him with anything that he did not have the right answer for, because he had gone beyond the Jews’ religion. That is what he said in the book of Galatians.) I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. (But then there is a warning that comes.) But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” He will not take second best. He will not take second place, because He is the cornerstone. Everything that is built must come back to Him. It is a circle. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work (mine and all that is the ministry) shall be made manifest: (It is going to be made open, to manifest something, which is to open it, let the critics see it. There will still be critics, but it will be there for them to analyze. That is what I want. I want the things that I preach to be analyzed by the Word of God. If you cannot find it there, it is not there. But look at it through a revelation, do not look at it through a head knowledge. Because he tells you on down here what that is all about.) for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” Every message that I have preached will be tried by fire, not when that day comes, but as it is being made manifest. It is in the Bible, judge what I say. “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon (He is talking about the foundation.) he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” By judgment. Then again he goes on to say, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” The Spirit of God is not out here running loose some place. The Spirit of God is following His Church because He is inside it. Just say, if this was built in parts and brought in, there had to be an intelligence that put the blueprint together to show every man what he was to do, to get this to the place where it is. Nine days, they were putting up and finishing a thirty six story apartment building. Those little hands were working. No, they cannot do that here. They have to shut down a bridge six months because there is a crack in it. If you would have left that up to China, they would already have built a new bridge. I am not bragging about China tonight: I despise what they have done to our country, because the leadership in it is giving all the jobs away to China. Do not be mad at me, because I am not picking on anything, but eight hundred thousand General Motors jobs have gone to China. I do not know how many Ford jobs, they just mentioned General Motors. It is the same with G.E. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, he is saying. When I walk around, I am a part of that temple, I am a part of you, and I do not want to shame you. I don’t want to disgrace you because I will not compromise the things God reveals to me. I did not just sit around and think up these things. I was not thinking of them. The Spirit of God dwells in you, in us. There is a word that people use a lot now, do you get my drift. I look at it, what am I making this temple that I am a part of, what am I making it look like, whether it be the roof, or whether it be the scaffold. There are a lot of people that lose their lives because the scaffold has not been put together right. Bro. Svein in Norway almost lost his back in the 1990’s. They thought he was dead because the scaffold fell with him. That was somebody’s responsibility and somebody just failed to do their job. Don’t ever think that you will ever work with Bro. Bud and he would put you on a faulty scaffold, or if you are on a roof and he has a rope around you, it is hard to get to the edge. He is holding that rope mighty tight, it makes you feel safe. It makes you feel good when you have somebody holding the rope for you. It puts a secure feeling in you, not a false security. “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; (What he is talking about, when you defile the temple of God, you are hurting your neighbor, and I am hurting my neighbor.) for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” Whenever Paul talks about this in the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians, he is talking about all of us being baptized of one Spirit. So that makes us equal. It is not big I and little you. I respect the pulpit and I respect the calling, but when I step out of this pulpit and step out into this world, I am one of you. I respect the calling of God because that is putting a person in a place of not only authority, but of responsibility. The man that puts up the scaffold has a responsibility. God is not on the verge of making short corners or shoddy work. Bro. Dennis in Las Vegas showed me some of the buildings when I went out there, he showed me some of the buildings they were working on and they had workers there that whenever they went to the job, whatever was laying in front of them, they put it up, if two by fours were not straight, they put them up. He had to come in behind them and straighten those things, and they had to shave them off and put slabs on the other side of them because they were not all straight. You cannot get a straight wall out of crooked lumber. We are talking about building tonight. I am not saying this to be mean or to try to rule, we have been accused of ruling over people. If preaching the gospel is ruling over people, then so be it. I would rather have somebody tell me the truth and me have to put my feet under my chair, than I would for them to white wash something. If any man defile the temple of God, I don’t want to be guilty of that. I don’t want to be guilty of short changing you of what belongs to you. I am not just doing this to get the guilt off my hands, but I am saying these things so that we may all grow together. “Let no man deceive himself. (Is that possible? It is, because we can get so far away from God thinking we are serving God, that we become a cancer to the body of Christ.) If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, (This statement has been made, this person is so wise, how can they be wrong.) let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” In other words, he is talking about worldly wisdom. Jesus talked about the Pharisees and Sadducees, saying, you sit in Moses’ seat, but you will not lift one little finger to do anything about somebody else’s problem that you have placed there. That is putting it my way. I want to go to Ephesians. He has been talking to the Jews. In the 2nd chapter, starting in the 19th verse, he has been talking to the Jews and the Gentiles there, how God has taken out the middle wall of partition to make them one. Let me read that 18th verse, “For through Him we both have access (If I give you access to this building, then I have given you a key and a code of how to get in here without the police coming. That is what he is talking about, access.) by one Spirit unto the Father.” I don’t want to brag about this, but we have been given access unto the Father, through the Spirit. If you ever try to call anybody that you are dealing with and you don’t get anybody, or if you do, you may get some foreigner someplace that you cannot understand. But when we get access to the Father, we don’t have a go between. You know how to get somebody that is real? I go through a little bit of what they are saying, then I just hold the line, finally you will get somebody to talk to you. A computer can never give me the answer I always want. If somebody answers that phone, then that costs them money. But if they can put it on the computer, then that is less expense to them. There is a song, It’s Me Again Lord, I have a prayer that needs an answer. There is no go between. Oh, He will not hear me. Just keep talking, He does hear. He hears when you may think He is not listening, He really is. Access to the Father through the Spirit. Access by one Spirit, not two. A lot of people don’t get an answer, because they do not know what Spirit they are dealing with. But there is only one Spirit. If you are in a wreck you do not have time to cross yourself out, the only thing you do is say Jesus help me, and there He is, right on the scene. Even if you don’t have time for that, God still knows where you are, because you are His child. You have access through that Spirit that God has given you. The same Spirit that you have and that I have, is the same Spirit that we all have, because we are brothers and sisters by that one Spirit. I am not ashamed of you if I meet you on the street. I am not ashamed to say hello brother or hello sister. Somebody might say, is that your kin folks? Yes. Because we have all been born into one family by one Spirit. Paul said, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, (I am still preaching on grace.) and of the household of God.” Does that not go back and talk to you about this? We have another picture here, this is an assembly line. I worked from one end of an assembly line to the other, then on into the stock room, where all the parts are ordered, all that was used. Three hundred trucks, day and night shift. Bro. Wells helped unload them because he was a fork lift driver. If a delivery truck did not bring in everything, you had to plus it or minus it, however many objects it had, or that it did not have. One night, I had worked the day shift, but that night I had put plus on one item, when it should have been minus. I went in at three o’clock in the morning, the man on the night shift was still there. He said, well you almost shut the line down last night, I almost sent people home. You had better be careful, they may get on you. Well I did not have time to worry about that, I did not spend the rest of the night until morning, to come in to see if they were going to jump on me or not, I went ahead and did my job. They came within five minutes of shutting the place down. That was the only time I did that in the four years I was on that job. You really have to be alert on a job like that. They never did say anything to me about that, because they knew I had always been faithful in my work. It is important that we be faithful in all of our dealings. Brothers and sisters, when the end comes, I want Him to say, well done. The reason I have brought all this into this message, is to call attention to the fact that no matter where the various parts of those vehicles came from, they all had to fit together. That is the way it is with this body of Christ. We are all compacted together, to make one complete body. All those automobile parts had to be engineered someplace, and they had certain specifications, so that when you brought all of this together, it had to fit. Everything is made to work together. We have Christian brothers and sisters that are in various places around this world, and we have all been made to fit into one body. When this Church gets ready to leave this world, God is not going to have a problem getting us started, because those that are going are ready to go in. I don’t aim to give you a cheap product. It will be the best I know and the best I can do. Abraham was a man just like we are. He was not some super human being. Abraham made mistakes. God told him to go to the promised land, he was a long time about getting there, but when he got there, there was a famine there and he went on down to Egypt. If it had not been for God, he would have got in big trouble because God troubled Pharaoh’s house because of Sarah. Abraham was not completely truthful, but God, through grace, had called him and he made amends for Abraham, as he has for many of us. Holiness does not belong to us, holiness belongs to God and he works it through us to His satisfaction. He said, without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together (That is what I have been talking about, this morning as I mentioned the apartment building, there were some mistakes made, but working through the mistakes we put out a product that worked. God is looking for a final product, one that cannot be spoken against, one that is without reproach. In an evil and dying world, I don’t want to be evil and die with it.) groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” Groweth, that is where I got my subject from, “Grow In Grace.” When I mentioned awhile ago, that we were the temple of God, listen to what he says, it groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord, a holy temple. I see young people that are concerned. I see older people that are concerned. I see people that are living their life the best they know how. Bro. Bud, we are not pastoring a bunch of nit-wits that don’t know where they are going or where they have come from. God is looking for growth, and we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” So it is putting it together, just like this automobile line, when you get through with it, you do not see one vehicle without a hood. The motor that is in there, is not a thing of beauty, especially anymore. You can hardly work on them, you cannot even put plugs in them. I have a six cylinder car out there and I think I could put three plugs in it, I know I can never put the other three in, because I don’t even know where they are: they hid them from me. It used to be that you could open up the hood of a car and see everything that worked. I even overhauled one at one time. Did I do a great job? No, but I overhauled it and it ran. Sometimes we have to get into the nitty-gritty of a thing. The pleasure is not getting into the nitty-gritty of it, but the pleasure is to see the outcome of it, when it is finished. If you have a problem, which I am not advertising, you come to Bro. Bud and me, and we can see that there has been an end to it, that the problem has been resolved, then that makes you feel good, not for yourself, but for the person. I realize this, that we are the servants of God, we are not the bosses of God’s children. Jesus told the disciples that before He went to the garden, He sat down and washed the disciples feet, and they were dirty. It was not like our foot washing. They had walked nearly bare footed all their lives and they came in there with calloused feet. He did not say, Peter, you have callouses, you go the other way. I would have felt like Peter did. I really would have, I would have said to Him, don’t wash my feet. But He turned it around on Peter, if I don’t wash your feet, you have no part with me. No, Lord, don’t wash my feet only, but my hands and my head. Jesus turned it around and said, they that are washed need not to be washed with all, because He knew who was with Him and who was going to betray Him. I hope that everyone in here tonight is looking at the finished product, how that we may finish this race with patience and be in good standing with one another, especially in good standing with God. I will say this, I am not after yours, I am after you, that we may finish this thing together, and then one day we will rule and reign with Christ when this life is over.
GROW IN GRACE
We are still on the same subject today. What we are looking for in the Word of God is maturity. We will never have maturity without the grace of God. Before I go any further into my subject let me say, most everybody noticed I was not walking with a cane, my ankle is doing a lot better. I thank you for your prayers. Some of you said, I see you are without your cane, and I said yes, I swapped it for able, it was time to lay cane aside. To go back to what my subject is on, I must go back to 2nd Peter chapter 3, 14th verse, I started out last week on this. We have a great privilege today, because God has called us unto a calling which is for perfection. We are not looking for a half-way perfection, or a part perfection, we are looking for perfection as a whole. Today God’s peoples’ growth comes from the Word of God. It comes from believing the Word of God. You have a lot of preachers today that say they believe the Word, but in essence the proof is in the pudding. This is an old saying from years ago, the proof is in the pudding. But the thing about it is, you know the difference in pudding from some other ingredient. I feel that our time on earth is getting very short, but God’s Word is a very cheap product in the world today, especially among the preachers of the world. They don’t believe in revelation, they say they do, but they don’t because they don’t have any. You say, well you are judging. It is easy to judge when you hear them speak. I may be hated by some for what I say, but yesterday there was a funeral. I think it lasted four hours from what they said. I never did listen to Whitney Houston, that is not my type singing. She had a wonderful voice when you hear her sing, but the reason I say what I do, is preachers have made the gospel a very cheap product. I remember a preacher I used to listen to years ago on television by the name of Rex Humbard. When Elvis Presley died, he preached him right into heaven. There are preachers that are big in the television programs, but I don’t really watch certain subjects they like to work on, they may be good at it, I don’t know. But there is one by the name of T. D. Jakes, a bishop Jakes, that has sponsored a film of Whitney Houston. According to them she is in heaven now making God blush because she can sing so good, and He is wondering where she got that wonderful voice. I don’t know anything about the woman, I just know that she died with prescription drugs in her bathroom, and wine and stuff in her room when she died. It was the same with Elvis Presley when he died, so I am not picking on black or white today. But they have made Elvis Presley bigger than God because he is the king, according to them. But there was a little prophet, little in stature. He warned people, don’t name your children Elvis, because he said he grew up in a Pentecostal church and got his moves from the Pentecostal preachers, yet he died with drugs in his system. He led the world into a degraded state. Now Whitney Houston will become bigger than life, bigger than she has ever been. She grew up in church and started singing there, just like Elvis did. She started singing in church and it turned out to be something the world went after. All these preachers and fine speakers yesterday at the funeral, just as they did for Elvis, put her in heaven. If heaven is going to be filled with the world, I would just as soon stay here, it is not going to be any different. When I think about heaven, it is a holy place and it is up to us as children of God to do whatever we can in order to get there. The best we can be is not good enough, but Jesus Christ made the difference. Sure, they talk about Jesus Christ, but then they elevate their people to be bigger than He is. He becomes a small figure in the world’s eyes and the worldly people become the big figures. I don’t doubt that Elvis Presley had a voice to sing. He would go on his tours and would sing to the crowds and pull his scarf off and wipe sweat on it and give it to the girls and they passed out over it. Many of them passed out right in the audience. If I am going to pass out over something, I want it to be Jesus Christ. He would go on his tours and sing to the crowd, and then at night he would sing gospel sings, because the thing about it is that betrayal, there is a certain thing in betrayal, just like it was with Esau. Esau found no place of repentance, though he sought it bitterly with tears. Judas betrayed the Lord, he went out and repented himself, but Trinity Broadcast will tell you that he didn’t ask God for forgiveness, that is the reason he was not forgiven, they say. But Jesus said it would have been better if he had never been born. There are certain things in our life that we must shun. While I am on this thing about preachers and things, every fad that comes along, whether it be long hair, beard, or what, I hate it, what does it stand for? It is of demon possession. I don’t say that concerning people that may not understand yet. I am not cutting anybody out, but I am saying if there is something there that is acquainted with the world, get rid of it. Just as soon as the fad comes along the preachers grab it, they don’t even know how to dress anymore. If we are going to pattern ourselves after something, let us pattern ourselves after the Bible, not after every fad that comes along in this world. I am just alerting you of Satans’ evil devises: I am not trying to make you like me. I don’t want you to measure yourself by me, measure yourself by the Bible, because the Bible is the Word of God, which speaks of Jesus Christ. People say, well He had long hair. How do you know, you were not there? Paul speaks against long hair on a man. But on a woman, he said it is her covering. Even that is not an indication that you are a Christian. That is an indication that you are in subjection to something, to somebody, but the change is not the way we shape our hair or the way that we try to live. It is the way that we want to live. The want to, to pattern ourselves after the world is gone. Well my friends will laugh at me. They are not your friends, if they do that. You are my friends here today. I am glad. You may not be in agreement with everything I say, but I am not looking in your house and I am not looking in your heart. God is looking in your heart. What does He see there? What do I see when I look in the mirror each day? If I am looking for a change, I don’t see much from day to day, but if I look at ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago, then I see a great change. Like it or not, I am getting older. There is nothing I can do about it. There is only one alternative to getting older. Do you know what that is? Your toes are sticking up and you are under the dirt. I am going to go back and read this again from 2nd Peter. “Wherefore, beloved, (He is speaking to saints of God.) seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent (Have that enthusiasm, that diligence, if you are diligent toward your job, I worked at Ford Motor Co. I had some bad jobs. When I started work there, I did not have a relief man assigned to me. I was working ten hours a day. It was not like it is now, and you did not fuss about it. You kept your mouth shut and did your job. For six weeks I did not have anybody assigned to me. If I went to the rest room it was at lunch time, no other time. It would take me two hours in the morning to get my hands limbered up from being swollen the day before, but I did not complain, I was glad to have a job. Everybody is complaining today. There are some people that cannot stand a factory. Don’t work there then. I would rather be a cook in a restaurant than I would to do nothing. I was never too good to get a dirty job, because we are speaking about being diligent. Paul got his hands dirty. Bro. Jackson said that Paul, for the gospel’s sake, one time actually ate rats. Do you think that was pleasant for him? We know it was not, but it was survival. They have programs now on television where people are eating worms and bugs and things like that. I just turn those things off, I cannot stand to watch it. The world has gone crazy today. Be diligent…) that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” I have a slide on maturity that we will put up. This is showing a mature crop. The thing about it, it had to have rain. There were times when it had wind, no doubt storms of different types. In our lives there are storms. There are hardships. Preaching the gospel is a wonderful thing, but always being a pastor sometimes puts tears in your eyes, because you feel for people and you want to do the right thing about everything and you intend to, but it is sometimes hard. I hope none of you think I make the decisions that I make because I want to always, No I have to make decisions according to what is right, and according to the will of God. You want friends, you want a family that will understand what you are going through, but when it comes to decisions, you do not make family or friends have the priority, you let the Word of God have priority. I grew up as a boy, never wanting conflict. I would rather get out of the way of a fight than I would to join into it, because if somebody ever hit me, it hurt, and I did not want to hurt. I did not want to hurt mentally, and I did not want to hurt physically. However when you follow God, you put yourself into the conflict. I don’t stand here complaining today. I stand here as a witness of Jesus Christ, not a witness of James Allen. My decisions are not always James Allen’s idea, but my decision has to be based on the Word of God, above the word of James Allen. Peter said be diligent. Do you think Jesus got up every morning to go out and have conflict with the Pharisees and Sadducees? When He was there in the desert to be tried, before His ministry even got started, He was tempted of the devil forty days and forty nights. Then afterward, the devil came to Him and began to test Him on His deity, if you be the Son of God. Whoever told the devil He was? He was not out demonstrating with a sign on His back or with a television program, I am Dr. So and So. When He preached His first message back home, they said, how did He ever learn these things, not knowing letters. He did not go to their seminary. Some people make Jesus a very smart man, because of His schooling. It was not because of schooling that He went to, the only schooling was when He was with God, His Father. Some may say, why are you preaching like that this morning, are you mad? No, I am not mad, but I am wanting to be diligent toward this word, because God is looking for a mature crop. That crop is you, that seed that was sown in the 13th chapter of Matthew was people. But there was another seed, not original, it came up afterward. The devil is not original on anything, he just tries to pervert. I am not going after my feelings, what should I do according to James Allen, no, it is according to the Word of God. Sometimes it blows my mind. Be diligent that you may be found of Him in peace. We want to be found of Him in peace, not going to bed at night with a lot of worries on our mind, because we have not been diligent that day. I have to preach like this sometimes to let you know where I stand. My stand is not always my feelings, but my stand is for the benefit of the saints of God and for the Word of God, which goes beyond my feelings. I never did claim to be a very smart person. I am not standing here saying that I am today, but God has shown us a few things. There are a few things that He has shown us, that is hated by some. Everyone that started out has not stayed the course. Some have walked away. I did not tell them to go, but when you look at it and when people have expressed it to me, it has been some of the things that have turned out to be so simple, that caused the problem. Sometimes the revelation is not simple when you look at it, but when it becomes an understanding to you, it will make you happy. I want to be in peace with God, not in error with Him, but without spot and blameless. At the close of the day, I want to be blameless. I know some of you have gone through a lot of things that have been hard to bear. You have lost loved ones. Why? Not because you wanted to, not because you intended to, but because of the Word of God. Some of you have had rows of people that sat here, now today you sit there alone. You still sit here because the Word of God means more to you than anything else, and it should. I said that at the beginning and I did not know what it was going to lead to, concerning friendship or kinship. The east Chicago church was made up almost entirely of kin, now you can almost count them on one hand, but they had to make the decision when one man among them said, we won’t listen to Allen and Bud anymore. That was his last service, thank God. Do you think I wanted that to turn out that way? Do you think I desire to hear things like that? That was not it at all. I am not in the separating business, but it seems that when some go, some others come. The ones that come know what they are getting into, more or less anyway, they know what they are getting into and they are happy to be here. I am happy also, for you to be here. I would rather have five people in agreement with God’s Word than to have a hundred that cannot agree, or even a thousand. God can take five people and make thousands run. I would rather have somebody that can take my hand, that believes the Word of God, than somebody that takes your hand, then has a knife in your back. That was what was going on before all this ever happened in September, 2008. I was told, I heard it, there was somebody that was going to rip me from here to here. The thing about it is, they could not rip the Word of God that easy. A choice is not hard if you make the right choice. It will sometimes hurt the flesh, but the spirit is refreshed. Like I said when I started out this morning, God did not bring a bunch of people together for them to look like the world. We live in an area where we have four seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall. But we cannot predict the weather, because it can change real quick. There is a people that are not going to change with the weather. If you are here today and have not yet made up your mind, I ask you, When are you going to? If you cannot figure out what is right or what is wrong, then there is something missing in your experience with God. “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you; As also in all his epistles, (all of them) speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest.” To wrest, is to twist it. I know it has been said, we don’t want to speak about the dress code. I don’t either, but I know a Christian is going to dress the way that God wants them to. You are going to look in the mirror and see how God would have you to look. Get a decent haircut. We have a good barber here, he cuts my hair. If you would have looked at me twenty years ago, you would have seen that my hair looked then, just like it does now, except I had more of it. I cannot help that. Others cannot help it either. There are a lot of things advertised, but they just don’t work. They advertise a lot, just like religion is advertised, but religion don’t work according to God’s plan either. When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, He was getting to the nitty-gritty, it has to be changed, this old heart has to be changed. We do things quite foolish when we start out, because we are children, we are babies. How many children are born today, that do not even have a father to raise them. It has not been that long, a few years ago, that you could not have voted on same-sex marriage, you would have been run out of town. Now it is popping up like popcorn. These televison anchors, and I did not say every one of them, I am talking about all these that are popping up now, that are so glad to let everybody know they are for it, and the congressmen and senators, how do you expect a nation to survive when you have all this evil popping up everywhere. I said it is evil, because the Bible says it is. The devil has been let loose in America. I can remember the time when a policeman walked down the street, he was either feared or respected. Now the law is disregarded. You have these evil people, evil young men, coming up and killing their girl friends, or their spouses. They have a long trial for them. Why do they not just get rid of them? You might think I am preaching hate. I am preaching the Bible. Some may say, Jesus said you must love everybody. Why did He say to Judas, it would have been better if you had never been born? He is saying that to some people today. These young women who have children, then they have a boyfriend that comes into their house and beats that little child half to death, it winds up in the hospital for somebody to pay the bill, and that somebody is those who are paying taxes. I said, somebody who is paying taxes. “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” There are two laws in the Bible, life and death. The Bible says, choose life. Let me say, God said it. The alternative to that is death and eternal separation from God. You say, well I did not know there was eternal hell, I am not talking about that, eternal separation means that one day you will no longer exist. The spirit life is from God and He will take that life back, but you will never be recognized anymore as a person or as a spirit. “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, (This is not anything new, you knew these things before. Right? We know what is right, and what is wrong. Why does the preacher have to keep telling people what is right and what is wrong.) beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” Sometimes when I am looking at Balaam, I think what a shame, a prophet that God had called, that He had spoken to, turned out like that. He could have been on Trinity Broadcast or another channel, he could have been on any of those channels, because he was a man that looked for money. Balaam got his reward. Jesus speaks of the Pharisees and Sadducees which stand in the corner and pray their big prayers. They say everything they can against some poor person that is praying to God in the right way, I thank you Lord that I am not like one of these. If they are hearing me today, they will say, thank God I am not like Faith Assembly. Have it your way. Bro. Jackson used to say, stick around, we will see who is right. I did not have any of this in mind when I started this morning, but just think, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. A tare has always been a tare, but one time he knew more than what he does now. But between a tare and the wheat there has to come a time of separation. Somebody will say, now he is pointing at us. I am not pointing at any certain one, but you each one can fit yourself into whatever mold you want to. Some may say, preaching like this, you may lose some of your congregation. It is not my congregation. You are either a congregation of God, or you are not, and I am the same way. I have not put myself above any of you. If Bro. Bud was preaching this, I could sit there in front of him and agree. I am not preaching this for men of this world. I have not said anything out of anger today, even though it may seem like it. I am not walking up to anyone, if I knew they were a tare, which only God knows for sure, and pat them on the back and say, it is going to turn out alright brother. I am a liar if I do that. It is not going to turn out right. It is not going to turn out good. If you bring them in by wagon loads, the Bible says they are going to be burned. We need to grow in grace, we are looking for maturity. I have not said the things I have, trying to offend anyone. I am talking about the saints of God. I am not saying these things to offend you. When the Bible speaks of grace, that is God’s unmerited favor toward man, and it is not my choice to make. I never chose these words of Peter, but they were given to him by inspiration. If you speak evil of what I am saying about this, you are speaking evil of Peter. There is a lot that goes into diligence. I could point out somebody and speak to them and say things that I have said today like some preachers have done. There have been preachers, and I can tell you where, that have spoke with a grudge in their heart because it seemed like they were against the way their family was living, when they were not living right. There are people here today that can relate to that. I have spoken names today, but not in a derogatory way. There have been preachers here in years gone by, that thought somebody had something against their children and one of them preached so hard one day that Bro. Jackson took him up in the office and spoke to him and said, you sound like you would like to use an axe against the people. He said, I would like to take an axe and split somebody’s head. He is a pastor down south today. Somebody had a dream that I was lifting up the Contender and all, that I was preaching from the Contender, and he agreed with it because he said you were preaching from a Contender, which I would never go along with. It sure has made a liar out of that dream. You had church after church that couldn’t agree with each other, but when I preached the third day every one of them fell in line against it. They finally found something to agree on. Let us grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How are you going to grow in knowledge of Him without His Word? I will probably feel bad a little later because I have preached so hard this morning, but if God inspires me, I will go right back to it again. This word comes by inspiration, not by a head knowledge, or not by what I think. I know I spoke earlier this morning about somebody that I don’t know, Whitney Houston. At one time she was in church. It is a funny thing that all these country music singers got their start in church and look where they are today. You have to turn your head, you can’t look at them, they are not fit to look at. If they are going to have country music singers, where is the old Kitty Wells. I remember back in the 1950’s. Where is the Hank Williams, if they are going to have them, I did not say that I agreed with them. No, they have these men on television now that sing country music, they cannot even open their mouth without something ornery coming out of it. I just heard of this, I have never heard the song, but I heard there is a song called “hell on wheels.” They have sold out to the devil. I don’t see how the women walk, it sure would hurt my toes. We live in a day that the devil is glorified, but I am talking about growth and maturity in the family of God. Continued next issue.