NOTHING TODAY MATTERS MORE THAN CHRISTIANS IN EVERY RESPECT SHOWING A PROPER AND SINCERE ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD THROUGH HIS WORD. PROPER EXAMPLESHIP CAN NOT BE PRODUCED UNTIL CORRECT ATTITUDES ARE DISPLAYED. BRIDES ALWAYS DRESS SHORTLY BEFORE THE WEDDING IN THEIR BRIDAL ATTIRE THEREFORE TIME HAS ARRIVED FOR THE BRIDE OF CHRIST TO NOW PULL AWAY FROM ALL THE INSINCERITY OF SO-CALLED CHRISTIANS TOWARD THE WORD AND BE CLOTHED IN HER BRIDAL ATTIRE (THE REVELATION OF CHRIST) IN ALL HUMILITY AND SINCERITY OF ATTITUDE TO PRODUCE PROPER EXAMPLESHIP OF CHRIST SHORTLY BEFORE THE WEDDING.
EXAMPLESHIP PRODUCES DISCIPLESHIP
Today we are studying a subject which I feel in the past has been taken far too lightly–EXAMPLESHIP. Just what kind of people are we supposed to be who profess the name of Christ? Believe it or not, we are to endeavor to be an example of HIM who is no longer in His own corporal body therefore He will only be seen through the sincere exampleship of those who live Jesus Christ.
We realize throughout the scriptures certain rules are recorded whereby Christ is to be exemplified and failure to observe these rules will not only bring a serious reproach upon ourselves but upon Him, the WORD, as well. It is true if we will abide by that Word we will live that exampleship – because that exampleship will be HIM and while that revealed WORD, which according to James serves as a mirror, is in the glory world shining upon the written word through divine revelation by the HOLY GHOST, not only do we see ourself in that mirror but at the same time this mirror will reflect HIM. Actually we see two images, and the object of looking into the mirror is to bring the two images into such a compatible agreement that our life will be so hid in Him eventually we shall see only one image—HIS.
The purpose of looking into the mirror is not getting HIM to agree with us, OH, NO! It is bringing us into agreement with HIM. It is like two individuals standing before a mirror, one is going to be the OBJECT OF ATTENTION while the second is to copy after the first. For this exampleship it takes the WORD OF GOD to be the mirror in order for us to really see ourself. Remember, none of us ever saw Christ in the flesh (I Cor. 5:16) had we, we would have seen a person who lived and walked upon the earth in such a conduct of physical exampleship and attitude toward the Spirit that one day the Father openly testified how pleased He was to dwell in Him and once we show that same Christlike sincere attitude and exampleship the Father will be pleased He dwells in us. Since we were never privileged to witness that exampleship in the flesh we are able to see Him in His Word.
WHY A MINISTRY WAS SOUGHT
In II Timothy 2 -We hear Paul the apostle exorting Timothy concerning this marvelous exampleship—”Thou therefore my son be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (See, all grace is in Him not in us)”And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses (notice, Timothy is to) commit the same unto faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” A LIVING MINISTRY. Timothy, tell this ministry first, the things that Christ has taught, secondly, of that exampleship portrayed and made known. Teach this, Timothy, to other men who must take the same position in exampleship that they be able to teach others also. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Be willing to endure spiritual affliction and buffetings—something that will be heaped upon anyone who endeavors to walk and abide by the true WORD of God. Furthermore, endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, no man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that is, never become so entangled with our worldly obligations they swamp us where we are never able to rise above them to the extent we cannot walk before HIM and live a victorious life. Jesus Christ (the Man) did not come into this world to do a half-way job. He did his job fully, representing a right attitude and purpose toward the Eternal Father Spirit. Since His grace is all sufficient, if we could only accept it allowing Him to place us in that channel of His grace wherein we could walk in HIS will becoming pleasing unto HIM who hath chosen us to be soldiers and furthermore, if a man strive for masteries—meaning if a man is in a competitive race such as athletes striving for trophies–is he not crowned except he strive lawfully?
RULES DETERMINES TROPHY
In other words a trophy is only given when you abide by the regulations of the game. Here the game is not yours however it is your part to run the race. The race is His who awards the trophies therefore there is no hope of winning and being crowned or receiving that trophy award unless we run this race strictly according to the rules of the race laid down in His book, IS THERE? if somewhere we foul up we shall come up short of the very trophy for which we are striving to receive. Remember this is one race where we are not competing against each other but AGAINST SATAN. Satan is doing his utmost to trio us. block us by throwing all kinds of obstacles in our path where we cannot reach the goal yet if we will face these obstacle and run the race with patience (Heb. 12:1) abiding by the rules set down within the Word, enduring the journey set before us, there is a trophy or award in the end waiting for us (II Timothy 4:8) II Timothy 2:6, ” The husbandman(farmer) is an man that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”, meaning if I were a farmer selling a crop legally and lawfully, but would refuse to eat my own product I would have no business selling it to someone else to eat. Witnessing all of these things placed here in the WORD of God beloved, it begins to present us with a foundation to let us know there is no advantage in getting into this race of christian faith if we hold on to our own attitudes and ideas! They were originated by us and cannot be attached to the WORD OF GOD, yet we are still in a race, endeavoring and hoping that somehow in the end we will receive a reward (crown) even if we do not abide by this race lawfully. However, the WORD paints another picture–with such an indifferent attitude toward His Word we will certainly come up short of that trophy which we are trying to convince ourselves will be ours at the end of the race.
TUNING THE HEARTSTRINGS BY THE WORD
We have all reached a most delicate place in our Christian race and we may have the opinion that what this christian race now needs is more love. Don’t worry about the love of God–once we get in tune with His Word I assure you the love of God will be right there. The love of God is the harmony of heartstrings by which we all are to be in tune. Since the Word never gets out of tune it is safe to tune our heartstrings by.
The major problem today facing so many is they all have their own various interpretations and ideas of what the Word is. We sound like band instruments all out of tune. Alone, any instrument would no doubt make beautiful music yet you can’t tune it up to itself for the band. As long as you play it alone it is in tune, however once you get more than one instrument going in the band or symphony, these instruments must all be in tune one with the other otherwise you present an obnoxious sound.
Once we realize this the next question is, which one will we tune the others by? Each musician might say, I’m not getting in tune with you, your guitar is a cheap one or perhaps it might have a warped neck— Why, it couldn’t stay in tune no time—another might have a twisted bridge yet somewhere within that band is an instrument that will always be recognized as the one less likely to get out of tune so that is the one you better tune all the other instruments by. In our case, at church it is our organ. Right there is an example. True, since being man made it could get out of tune however it is less likely to. Our piano is tuned once a year. That organ is electronic, having no strings to set but in time an electronic tube or transistor could burn out throwing it out of tune but considering all circumstances it . is the less likely to get out of tune so we tune all instruments with the organ.
WORD ALWAYS IN TUNE
Since this revelated WORD always remains in tune we must all tune ourselves, our lives with it if we ever expect to be in God’s great symphony! Someone is always subject to say I don’t see (understand) it that way! Brother, you have hid behind that excuse a long time but you aren’t going to get by with it any longer because there is going to be some people who are going to get in tune with this Word the right way. God was gracious enough to send at the end time a prophet who was responsible for some few getting back to the revelation of what our apostolic forefathers taught in the scriptures. Now, when you sound your G string it is going to be known you are out of tune especially by the true BRIDE of CHRIST–your revelation, your idea, your attitude is not in tune with this WORD. You will know it and so will everyone else. In order that all may tune his heartstring by the Word itself we are going to begin this examination from the very height of EXAMPLESHIP to the lowest.
THREE CATEGORIES OF EXAMPLESHIP
There are three categories of EXAMPLESHIP found within the entire body of Christ (or the Word of God) that we must examine. In this message that exampleship is broken down and we are going to begin with the AMBASSADORSHIP of the Ministry down to the EXAMPLESHIP of the congregation those who are most affected by that EXAMPLESHIP and attitude toward the kingdom shown by the AMBASSADORSHIP of the ministry. However, it takes all three to make up the body of Christ who is to literally live Christ, the Word, yet All three certainly cannot represent Christ in the AMBASSADORSHIP.
AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST 2 Cor. 5:20
In 2 Cor. 5:20 Paul says-we are ambassadors for Christ. According to Paul’s teaching– who is “we”? (those ambassadors). Yes, who are those ambassadors who according to the scripture is to reconcile people to God or be God’s special representatives representing a heavenly kingdom to a sinful mankind? Is each member of the body of Christ an ambassador according to Paul’s teaching? This may come as a shock to some of you but everyone in the body of Christ is not an ambassador! True, each member of the body of Christ are witnesses to the saving grace and goodness of God within their own lives, however, scripturally only certain ones within the body of Christ are classified as ambassadors. WHO ARE THEY AND WHAT ARE THEIR POSITIONS?
These ambassadors represent Christ to this world (in Christ’s stead). They represent a perfect heavenly kingdom to a fallen mankind. To these according to verse 18 have been entrusted the ministry of reconciliation and verse 19 they have the Word of Reconciliation. From verse 20 we learn these are ambassadors for Christ. As Paul says to the church, “as though God did beseech you by us, we (the ministry) pray you in Christ’s stead (in Christ’s place on earth) be ye reconciled to God.”
EARTHLY AMBASSADORS ILLUSTRATES HEAVENLY AMBASSADORS
Each person in America could be a tourist in another country, they could testify how marvelous it is to live in this country; they could invite others to come and visit; they could even leave a good impression or bad impression of America upon people with whom they came in contact with in a foreign country but how many .of us realize that tourist traveling in another country is not the designated ambassador to represent this country, it’s government and people! NO SIR! You could never pass yourself off as an ambassador from this country to represent our government unto their government.
There is a chosen, qualified person who carries those credentials and authority to represent our government in the presidents stead. That individual has the full support and authority of the United States government standing behind his every decision as he represents this country. Although you may be a tourist in a certain country, that government will not call you in and do governmental business through you simply because you are an American, ARE THEY? No, there are proper channels and proper procedures that these governments follow in dealing with another government and that is not through some tourist traveling through their country but through an ambassador of that country.
Within each country who are on friendly relations with another there is an ambassadors headquarters–some designated place known where important business and decisions are transacted. An ambassador sent from America to another country, first of all, could not be just anyone who is an American citizen. Neither is God going to make everyone from within his kingdom who are pilgrims and strangers in a foreign country to be his ambassadors or representatives of his kingdom. Paul said we (speaking of that ministry who had the backing and authority from the glory world) as the ambassadors of Christ. We beseech you to be reconciled to God (be brought back into right relation with God). Furthermore, he said, in Christ’s stead (in Christ’s absence). This is what an ambassador does. Here is the ministry and duty of that ministry of reconciliation. An ambassador of our country must understand the Constitution of the United States and how it relates to other countries, especially to the country he is serving in. How could all Americans be ambassadors when most of us have no knowledge of governmental relationship between countries nor do we know and understand the Constitution of the U.S. and its relationship to others, yet we could be a tourist to that country without the knowledge, BUT CERTAINLY NOT AN AMBASSADOR. Most of us would not know which way to turn nor what to do therefore it is very doubtful that our government would ever call upon one of us to represent them in a governmental capacity, for that ambassador is one who is handpicked by the President of the United States to represent himself and his government to a foreign power. God also in like manner picks his own representatives who shall serve and represent him as ambassadors—they too must meet certain qualifications!
WHO IS THIS MINISTRY OF MEN?
According to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, God’s ministry is five-fold. To some he gave apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 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. (Eph.4:11-16)
First the ministers, GOD’S AMBASSADORS, must get in tune or in line with this WORD. That is why God set them within the body as examples to represent His kingdom. Christ is no longer here in the flesh to do the twisting of the keys upon our hearts however for this purpose Fie sent His SPIRIT and as we accept HIS SPIRIT and allow HIS SPIRIT right away it will reveal to us the right way to tune our heart strings in order that our understanding of His truth may neither be barren nor unfruitful (I Pet. 1:8)
BRIDE RETURNS TO TRUTH
While in Babylon we tuned to any old song and shouted to any old beat even though we were unable to say Amen, Hallelujah, Glory to God because we knew that it was the unadulterated WORD OF GOD WHICH WAS ABLE TO SAVE OUR SOULS. However since leaving Babylon we must now reexamine more closely this EXAMPLESHIP in a new light and meaning which is none other than the revelation of the Word! The true apostles doctrine, the teachings of those fathers of which it was spoken in B part of Mal. 4:5-6–That God would send the Spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of the children back to the fathers. THIS HE HAS DONE! (Read THE CONTENDER, Vol. 2, No. 3 for that story–THE MYSTERY OF ELIJAH IN TWO PARTS)
EXAMPLESHIP OF PAUL I COR. 4:16, 11:1
– – Turning now unto one of those fathers writings which the office of Mal. 4:5-6 fulfilled—We are ready to hear from a man who certainly had his heart in tune—the apostle Paul. May I say, if you refuse to hear what he had to say concerning this exampleship especially of AMBASSADORS of Christ and so forth you might just as well return to Babylon where anything will be accepted! If we accept apostolic truth of the Word then tune our heartstrings to our own thinking and understanding, then fuss and stew over things we are much like that one instrument in a seven piece band which refuses to get in tune with the other instruments–you discard the instrument, not allowing its sound to bring a reproach upon the others. Left there it would only tend to tear down the harmony, the beauty of the sound of the music. Throw it out and get another instrument. Let’s see if we truly believe the WORD OF GOD; see if we are willing to submit solely to its authority. In Babylon anything was tolerated–we played politics, mostly feeling and personality prompted our vote on God called offices within the church– NOT THE WORD OF GOD. Whatever pleased our flesh, if it placed my dad, brother-in-law, or my sister in office. We did it according to the unanimous vote, not the qualifications of the word of God. Absolutely we are guilty of playing politics. Whether God was pleased or not mattered little. Let me say we are no longer in Babylon, now we are striving for the true Bride of Christ. When she leaves here we want to be in that number. Your dad and mother may not be in it; however if you intend to be, you better line up with the WORD OF GOD, not what mother, father, brother, sister, other relatives, or anyone else says, it is an individual affair!
Jesus Christ set that example before us and once I say this, automatically people will say, he doesn’t love his loved ones! OH, but I do! The only thing is my father nor my mother could not save me. They brought me into this world and cared for me but it took that divine grace of God to save me. By no means are children born righteous, all must be born again into the kingdom of God. Remember if you ever get there you will get there because you obeyed the WORD OF GOD. God forbid that parents would rely on the fact my child was raised up in church all their life. Yes, and there is going to be many who miss it too, yet there will be some who roam the streets but at the last moment will come in and fall at the cross crying out for forgiveness and brother they will go in waving the flags of victory. YES, SALVATION IS AN INDIVIDUAL AFFAIR!
I Tim. 3:1-7
This is a true saying stated by Paul, “If a man desire the office of a bishop he desires a good work. Allow me to paraphrase it in this manner. This word bishop sounds as if it might refer to some great. high-ranking office with much authority attached to it. It only refers to a spiritual overseer of the flock. In Titus 1:5-7 you can take that word Bishop right into the word elder and it has identically the same meaning because both names are attached to the spiritual overseers who watch over something, seeing that it is guarded and protected, that it may benefit from his office. Paul says he desires a good work. Peter not only was an Apostle, but also an Elder. (1 Pet. 5:1) Paul, in instructing both Timothy and Titus on the selection of a bishop or elder presented the following list of qualifications. With this list Timothy and Titus both knew the kind of men to ordain as Shepherd’s over God’s Flock. (See also 1 Pet. 5:1-6)
BISHOP (ELDER) MUST BE BLAMELESS
1. A bishop then must be blameless. (1 Tim. 3:2-Titus 1:7) What is being blameless? What does it mean today in our category of thinking? This man must be blameless from the standpoint of the gospel. Why would a church want a leader to represent Christ if people had no confidence in him? His first qualification must be that neither the man of the world nor the church people can point a finger at him accusingly. In this sense he must be blameless. However, let me further state in holding a position of being blameless, it is quite another thing to have individuals accuse you of things which you are not guilty of. Let us be spiritual minded enough to get these two things in the right perspective. Many people believe things whether they are true or not. However, there is a correct way of doing a thing yet not everyone knows how to go about it. Playing politics is not the answer! Brother, there is one thing God hates–a political maneuvering of the carnal-minded people in trying to get something accomplished. True, God may show anyone of a wrong inside His church but the final analysis is this—has He shown you how to get the job done? Surprisingly enough, He may have only allowed it to test you and see if you are willing to do it His way or your own way! Chances are you will wind up the guilty one if you go about it in your own carnal way when He gave you the chance to see the right way to get it accomplished. There is even a proper way to leave a burning building without causing a stampede and getting someone killed. There is always a proper way to accomplish something for God, but we are always chewing the bit and pawing the dirt waiting to run, when we probably would only run a short distance before we began puffing and sweating.
2. MARRIED ONLY ONCE
Notice the second important thing- he must be the husband of one wife. MOFFITT (married only once) This deals strictly with an office, not a christian experience! It is the office of EXAMPLESHIP. This ambassador is to be married only once because he represents Christ who will marry only one church.
3.Temperate–He must absolutely have a degree of self-control. He is not given to excess in anything. Moderate in all things; although that doesn’t apply to his spiritual growth.
4.Sober-minded–To be serious minded enough that we are not always given over to a pack of foolishness or nonsense.
5. Good behaviour.
6. Given to hospitality–Hospitable to people, making them feel at or ease or blessed in our presence. Proverbs 18:24 says, “He that would have friends must first prove or show himself to be friendly.” Beloved let us not make this carnally. Many individuals have far more carnal minded friends than spiritual minded ones. Friendship must be based strictly on a spiritual relationship, therefore a true friendship is based upon the WORD OF GOD. Oftentimes Christian people will become close friends with carnal minded people and testify regardless what they do “I’m going to stand by them.” Be careful you don’t go down the same drain they do. We’re friends in Jesus Christ; Christ is a friend to all who abide in his WORD. He stated “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.” True friendship first begins with our relationship toward HIM. Doing what he commands us to do proves our friendship to him, and automatically causes all true christians to be friends. If there is something between us, it’s simply because somewhere one of us isn’t abiding by something he said to do. However if I abide by everything he said do and you abide by the same we are automatically guaranteed friendship. All based on the results of obedience toward HIM. If one of us gets out of line of that commandment and that application then there’s every possibility that somewhere something can slip in because one of us has slipped from the gospel or the basis where this friendship really lay.
7.Not given to wine. Notice the minister who walks in this true revelation cannot be one given to wine.
8. Not violent. Understand this, violence is a serious matter. Many people don’t think God takes a second look at a hothead, but brother, he does! An uncontrolled mind is much like a cancer within a person’s body. A mind that cannot be disciplined and submitted to the will of God; a mind that ever so often just has to explode and let off steam—According to Prov. 25:28 such a person is like a city with no wall for protection. Little does that soul realize how they are seriously injuring their own spirit, placing them in a state of bewilderment where they are unable to think properly, therefore unable to behave properly. Nine chances out of ten once such a person reaches that stage of thinking something happens. That spirit of violence begins rubbing off on others around causing them also to become grouchy and grumpy, causing them to be disturbed in their inner being. God made man with a certain temperament that is true but that temperament must be ruled and guarded. There are times when God can use that for his purpose. Such was the example of Stephen before the Pharisees when he remarked “You uncircumcised In your hearts, you hypocrites.” Had he been addressing hoodlums on the street corner and made such remarks, no doubt he probably would have been doing all this in himself. Far too often people are willing to give vent for their own justification because that pressure which they can’t control got out of hand. However God couldn’t agree with this theory when he says a man who can’t control his own spirit is like a city without a wall-it has no defense. That person becomes an open candidate for covetousness, etc. When things get out of hand and violence takes over they want to blame others. however they bring it on themselves.
9. Not greedy—greedy, always wanting something, never satisfied, never reaching contentment and the Bible plainly warns us against these things. Be content says the scriptures though may I say this contentment is not just getting into a dormant way of thinking where we’re never allowed to express our thoughts, or feelings. Well, if it’s ever God’s will I’d like to have something or other or such and such; it’s not wrong for one to desire better things of life. The wrong comes when our spirits are in such demands of wants that it becomes a run-away spirit. We just go blind-folded down through life’s path following every kind of a mudhole. A worldly man doesn’t know any better, he can get by with this attitude much easier than a christian. God permits him but a christian–NO! The WORD OF GOD shows a remedy for everything if we can but find it and see where it fits. Christ would not have come into this world to give us life then run off doing a half-way job, would he? No sir, somewhere in that WORD is the answer, is the means whereby we can absolutely find that blessed joy and peace. However if a person has a greedy lustful spirit, having eyes much larger than their stomach as I have often heard my Dad say, that person will absolutely destroy their own spiritual wealth in God. If God wants you to have something he is obligated by HIS OWN WORD to see that you get it. I realize Satan has dealt some of you a terrible blow in many ways. I’m not referring to that! My thought lies strictly in this pattern and exampleship of ambassadors where Paul writes a man who is a greedy, lustful, covetous, who can’t realize the value of a dollar hasn’t any business trying to lead people in the christian faith. Certainly that doesn’t mean that man couldn’t be a christian. It simply means while he’s trying to get his own problems worked out he should find himself a good seat where he can become a good listener and pray a wise prayer—God help me to attain the victory. Take for instance a 21 year old boy who runs to every night club, plays roulette wheels, and is known by all to have played with every card-shark in town, suddenly you see him on the police force. See what I’m talking about? How do you know that once he gets out of uniform he won’t be back doing that again? It’s the exampleship! But that can be a spirit. However if the young man were to become a christian it’s very evident he had a different story. That’s why once the qualifications for an officer of the law was very strict. That’s why God places certain restrictions within HIS WORD in order to keep it in a proper alignment. I hope it’s understood, I’m not saying a man can not be a christian unless he lives and abides by these certain regulations and restrictions which God placed here to show forth and exemplify HIMSELF. The plain fact is God simply doesn’t want just anyone out here representing HIM through HIS WORD. With these qualifications in hand Paul is showing Timothy who not to ordain to this ministry of ambassadorship. Those men who absolutely refuse to live any higher than the man of the world cannot qualify for this office.
Sober minded and of good behavior etc. not greedy of filthy lucre but patient, not a brawler, not all the time looking for trouble. Brawler here means not given over to a racket-type of spirit, in other words just the moment a riot starts some individuals can’t wait to get into the thick of it. In the world they were that way and so are they in the christian faith. (Paul says Timothy we don’t want that kind). Usually a person like that who is not awfully careful will become just as much an instigator of trouble in the christian faith and certainly that would fall far short of exemplifying that true way of life.
RULING WELL HIS HOUSEHOLD-
One who will rule well his own house having his children in subjection in all sincerity; honest and upright for (I Tim. 3:4-5) if a man knoweth not how to rule his own house how shall he take care of the house of God says Paul. Recall, this is speaking strictly concerning the ministry office. Today we are aware time for the gentile is running out. The spirit of God is not holding back or restraining the temperment of young people today, yet because he is not as he once did by no means are we saying that the Spirit of God cannot still have his right of way in their hearts if parents will still respect and honor God’s WORD and abide by the things which God has said in HIS WORD. Beloved, I want you to know that as far back as 4000 years ago God commended Abraham-he stood at the head of his house commanding his house after his way of life. You are all familiar with the promised son called Isaac—how that son later was offered as a sacrifice! It was there he heard God’s voice who had just spared the lad’s life, commending Abraham saying, now Abraham will command his house after me. Notice Abraham didn’t have to ask Sarah or the children to do the job for him. Being parents obligates you by the word of the Lord to raise your own children in the way they should go. However too many have been raised by the babysitter and grandma’s or whoever was handy, then we want to lay the blame of the misconduct of the youth upon other people such as the church or the pastor. The good pastor nor the true church doesn’t have to accept the blame. The WORD states how it should be done. Yes, I realize things have changed, yet still if we will use wisdom and as parents live as examples in the light of GOD’S WORD – God, I am sure somewhere will honor our sincerity. However, if we refuse the light of God’s WORD, and compromise, God is under no obligation to keep our children in line. In fact because of the closeness of the hour they need to run you out of the house, they need to turn your bed upside-down, if you have no more conviction for God’s WORD and respect for it to walk with HIM in the light of his word—they need to kick you out of the house! Why would God overstep his WORD to do something for his WORD to do something for you when you in turn wouldn’t honor him? Brother this is a two-way street working both ways. The trouble too often was from the time little Junior was born he was such a sweet lovely little fellow that we left him alone to look after himself until he is 13, 14, or 15 years old. We say he is just a child—I realize he is just a child, therefore you had better start molding him right then for once he reaches 14 or 15 years of age it will take the grace of God to handle him because chances are he’s not too large and unruly for you to handle now. One thing is certain: the spirit that you are in while raising that child will determine much how God honors you when you pray. If that child grew up in a home where dad and mother continually fussed and never seemed to be satisfied, don’t think that child doesn’t sense that. While you’re fussing trying to instruct them how they should live in their hearts they’re saying, dad and mom your nothing but big hypocrites! Are you aware of what will soon happen? Soon they’ll begin playing the two ends against the middle, just to play their little game they’re human beings too. The best thing you can ever do, dad and mother, is get in full agreement what and how you’re going to live for God.
DON’T SHORTCHANGE GOD
Remember if you short-change God he’s going to short-change you! We’re at the end of the road-gentiles! This thing isn’t continuing on another 100 or 1000 years. You’re at the end of the road and when this thing does cut off your only hope will be in the WORD OF GOD, if you have short-changed him see if God doesn’t short-change you. Just as we honor God in our life that’s what God is going to honor in our home. Absolutely, I know it’s evil out there, yet I find no place in this word that says we’re to change. I want you to know in that early church the youth of that day faced many trials—don’t you ever think that there wasn’t as great a trial of temptation that faced that people, but brother that early church left a testimony behind, their answer to the problem was to remain strictly in line with the WORD. Yet, too often we bring our little ones into the world then throw them to Grandma or some babysitter to raise unaware of our own God-given responsibility of disciplining the child. (Prov. 22:6) Then sometimes when we do our spanking and correcting it is carried out in a fit of rage. Beloved God never required anyone to spank a child in a rage! Absolutely not! Lay your hand firmly on that shoulder and let that child see firmness about your eyes that you don’t intend to back up. That’s all God requires. Beloved God doesn’t correct us in a fit of rage, no he is not bellowing and screaming at us when he chastises us. I don’t want to serve a God who’s all the time fussing at me do you? But I’ll tell you one thing he can certainly pick you up and give you a spanking can’t he? He does it because he loves us, and then he says go on your way and be a good little boy. Too often we’ve adopted this modern psychological junk—Well he just doesn’t know any better — David, our son, didn’t know any better when he was 6 months old and he thought he was going to sleep in our bed but he hasn’t slept in it since unless we’re willing for him to. We say son, it’s time to go to bed, and it’s been that way ever since. The thing of it is they’ve got to know that voice means what it says. Again, it’s not something that is given to anger or a fit of rage. One who rules well his own household. I’m fully aware because of disunity in the house Satan has in many cases dealt a hard blow against many people, but I also know the person that will still walk with God that there is a reward for them. I’m speaking about the home in an overall picture. God wants that exampleship, for if our homes won’t be any better than what’s going on out there in the world, it could never qualify for the office of Ambassadorship. It matters not what I teach from the pulpit of this WORD TRUTH, it is the life that is lived—in that life we are trying to tell you how to live. If my exampleship is not backed up, God will not honor me a bit more than what I live. I may want to be honored because it’s me, but if my life cannot live anymore than what it is and I cannot live and abide and live up to this WORD in the tradition that God says God will never honor me anymore than just that much, that’s as far as it will go. I may conceal many things, I may slip around, I may keep much from people, but remember God will only honor me for just what I am, not what I try to appear to be! God will never change nor once overstep the bounds of HIS word. He’ll honor HIS WORD far above that of any person.
NOT A NOVICE-Verse 6
Not a novice this word means not a recent convert to the faith or some unlearned person least being lifted up with pride he falls into the condemnation of the devil, moreover he must have a good report from those which are outside. The man of the world would be able to see, and he spoke with an honest heart he would have to say, well I’ll tell you they have a queer belief (faith) but there is one thing certain you can’t touch their life. That’s what God wants! Lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil for if the man of the world ever sees you make a wrong step beloved it is he who is going to blow it up sky-high, and once he does every christian will know it. That is the meaning of having a good report on the outside. In most cases he is the first man who is going to see you do wrong, and if he does I guarantee you he’ll let the rest know about it. Therefore we’ve fallen into the snare of the devil.
APT TO TEACH
Last but far from least the bishop, elder, minister or whatever ambassadorship office held must be qualified to teach the truth of the Word of God.
DEACONSHIP—SECOND CATEGORY OF EXAMPLESHIP
In like manner do we now turn to the ministry of the deaconship and notice the Eternal God sets no difference in their exampleship from that of the ministry. It’s the same! Although the authority is different, that exampleship remains the same. Notice, in like manner must the deacons be grave, not double tongued (saying one thing then doing another) not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre, the same motive and attitude! Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience and let these also first be proved, then let them use the office of the deacon being found blameless, not of bad report. Notice the deacons household must be the same as that of the ministers (ambassadors), so must their wives be grave, not slander, sober-minded, faithful in all things. Again notice—the deacons (same as the minister) must be the husband of one wife (married only once) ruling well their children and their own houses.) For they who used the office of the deacon well should purchase to themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. These things write I unto thee hoping to come unto thee shortly. Notice verse 15, but if I prolong 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. The church, the chosen place of worship where the church itself assembles is actually the foundation, it is the pillar of truth lived and exemplified.
BLAMELESS—THE FIRST OBLIGATION OF EITHER MINISTRY
Returning briefly to that word BLAMELESS and bringing it into the relation of not being greedy of filthy lucre, having a good report etc. regardless whether a man is going to serve in the office of deacon or in the five fold ministry body his first obligation is to be an example to others who make up the body of Christ.
WHY THIS EXAMPLESHIP IS IMPORTANT
In order to be that example, that life must absolutely be in comparable and obedience to the WORD OF GOD. These men must have a clean honest life—above reproach, especially before those who attend the church of worship where these offices have been in-stalled. People go there to learn how their life can be more conformed to the WORD OF COD. However, if there isn’t that true living honest exampleship presented before them they no doubt will feel no obligation to climb any higher than their leadership (ministry and deaconship), what the believers witness the pastor and deacons doing will soon be what they are doing. Often a work reaches the place where people see things going on that shouldn’t be and they attempt to correct the matter by pulling strings and playing politics. Know this one thing, God will only honor that work of those people who live and abide by this WORD, as long as you play politics-he’ll never honor it.
THE EXAMPLESHIP SHOULD LEAD THE WAY IN SUPPORT
15 YEARS AGO The Lord instructed me to begin our work. Faith Assembly is not founded on me but upon the WORD OF GOD. I only happened to be the individual the Lord instructed to begin the church. I do not say everybody is living according to the WORD OF GOD, but the work itself is founded upon the basis of the WORD OF GOD — this last day message that it might give a people an opportunity to benefit by it and to enjoy the fellowship that it can in return be expressed among a 3 people. Often when people begin thinking things aren’t going the way they feel, if they should adopt the feeling well, I don’t have to support that work, but when it gets to the place or the way that I think It should go then I will support it. Brother you’re heading down the wrong track! I heard Bro. Branham say, watch a congregation for most of the time you’ll see them have the same spirit the pastor has. 15 years I have honored our work of everything God ever placed in my hands. For every dollar the church gave me in the line of a salary that tithe went right back into our church, and if I have anything over and above that I want to give as an offering it comes out of my pocket. Our ministry and deaconship is expected to honor the work the same to set forth the perfect example for the believers.
TITHING BEFORE THE LAW
Jacob, Abraham’s own grandson followed in his footsteps—Later the Law came along making tithing mandatory to Israel, but when we come over to the Grace period we’re no longer under law yet beloved God never changed! Those were Jews who began that Grace period, you didn’t have to teach them tithing! There has never been a man that has honored God with his living substance, but what somewhere God will honor him. However you short-change God, he’ll short-change you; he’ll put holes in your pockets, allowing your pocket-book to run dry. You’ll find what you do make only goes down every drain because you won’t even have knowledge enough to know how to spend it, to make it do anything for God in yourself. I realize we live in a day of high taxes, but I hope you try to hit the middle of the road of what I’m trying to express. Some people say I just can’t afford to tithe, you can’t afford not to. I didn’t say you were going to be lost for not doing it, but I’ll say this, I never saw a brother or a sister who somewhere didn’t pay every penny of it. In some way or other they pay every bit of it. This is not said that you come and give it to me, no sir, but if God’s in the work, honor God in the work or honor God somewhere in a work.
MISUSE OF III JOHN V.2
Listen in the 3rd epistle of John and verse 2, John said, “Beloved I wish above all that you may prosper (that’s No. 1) (however that’s not the focal point) and be in health even as thy soul prospers,” are you aware that promise is not to the man of the world it is only to a dedicated christian! Oh yes, you can stand before a 1000 people who have pockets-full of money and because it does put the monetary thing first, but I’m convinced the reason John worded it in that manner was because he had already seen them abiding by the WORD. Recall he said, “It does me good to hear that my children walk in the truth,” and in these evangelistic campaigns people walk in every teaching, but the truth this verse is not for them!
Our attitude toward God and our devotedness toward God if it is not according to other parts of HIS WORD, in the end we’re only short-changing ourself. It will be us who end up short-changed, by God himself, that’s what it will amount to.
I’m not one of those persons that believe that in accepting Jesus Christ you will go down through life beat down, kicked around and that you have to just live from Pillar to post. No sir! I know to test us, but once through somewhere God will lift us up and we will go on (God’s promised). Now Psalm 84: 11 “the Lord is the Sun and he’s a shield and he will not withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly (that promise is to dedicated life).
I guarantee you a life that is sold out to God will purpose that I am going to live for God and be a living example of HIS saving grace and be a blessing to everyone I know; I’ll get into it with everything. For I know the Lord said, “Thou shalt serve the Lord with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind and with all thy strength”, that’s all of you! That’s a dedicated life, however until your will becomes surrendered in that manner somewhere you are going to become defeated, and when you begin to see defeat don’t blame anyone but yourself, you brought it on yourself.
DEDICATED LIFE OPENS BLESSING CHANNEL
A dedicated life will absolutely open up the channels and blessing of God. No, he isn’t going to place a million dollars in your bank account but he’ll put a contentment in your soul – you will be so happy, you will be so peaceful and most of the time it will eliminate a multitude of headaches. So many today are faced with physical frustrations which are nothing more than the manifestations of a drawn up, tense, discontented inner feeling. Somewhere they haven’t discovered that liberty for the soul to fully release itself into the hand of God, and discovering that real truth comes only once a life is fully dedicated. It only comes to homes where parents have come to a compatible agreement how things ought to be done. Once that happens the children sense their parents at peace one with the other and are able to sit down sensibly discussing things in a wise manner allowing God to sit at the head. When we can do things the way the WORD says beloved peace, happiness, and such contentment comes into us that will open up a channel for us to walk in.
You watch, it won’t be long until the dollar bill will stretch further than ever before because we will begin to leave that path of merely wasting money. Beloved there is a wasteful spirit on this gentile people of America today, throwing away, wasting, because the eye lusts for everything – pride and lust has contaminated this people! Take two families each making $100 a week one has their families nose to the grindstone stretching to make ends meet while the other family goes down life’s pathway contented, singing and shouting the victory all because they honor God with the substance and life, and their 90 percent will go further because God made them wiser in their spending. Somebody will say but that 90 percent is mine, I can do just as I please no preacher is going to tell me what I can do with mine. But remember once you end up sad and blue and heart-broken that’s yours too, you bought it! — There would be more happy and contented people today had they consulted an exampleship instead of allowing the devil to tell them how to spend it. What do you think God set pastors over the flock for anyway? Too many people have their own idea how they’ll believe this and they’ll live it anyway they choose and that could be just as far as any of us will ever get! That’s why I mentioned before the organ as the instrument used for the other instruments to be tuned by. It never gives off a half dozen separate sounds. Same is true with the WORD it neither gives off a half dozen different interpretations does it? If you don’t want your pastor’s exampleship don’t grumble and complain just go find you one and get with him, however once you do – get so close to his way and begin to allow something or other that he’s living to become a part of you because he wasn’t placed there just to be a mouthpiece but to be an example. People usually like to flock with the spirit they cater to- Remember birds of a feather flock together!
ELDERS AND BISHOPS-ONE AND THE SAME
We see the same qualification given to Titus as was given to Timothy. In the book of Titus 1:5 we read, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting and ordain elders in every city as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife (same qualifications only here they involve more detail) having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless–Paul in this verse shows bishop and elder are one and the same. Notice when you refer to an officer of the law or trooper or policemen, they all mean the same thing–he is a man representing the law of the land. The same here–the steward of God which means one set in charge to oversee–not self-willed, not soon angry; not given to wine (the qualifications have not changed, a spiritual leader cannot be a winebibber), no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision”. That was their hindrance in that day and we still haven’t lost them. Everything in any wise that would prove to be a hindrance to us as a body or group of people who intend to go on with God and progress in the Word must be eliminated. This elimination is not to eliminate you as an individual however if you as an individual will not bend to the WORD OF GOD, brother it will not be some pastor who will eliminate you, YOU ELIMINATE YOURSELF! When you rise up against that WORD by saying I just don’t see it that way, I just won’t believe it that way, YOU WILL ELIMINATE YOURSELF!
ATTITUDE OF OLD TESTAMENT MINISTRY AND WHAT IT PRODUCED
To some, what I will now say may sound very painful, however one thing is certain when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ we won’t be standing there with expanded chests as though it was our own goodness which got us there. We’ll stand there in fear and trembling realizing we’re there only by the saving grace of God for the scripture declares, “If scarcely the righteous are saved where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” No sir, not one of us will go a-hopping, skipping in as though we are awaiting the opening of some sports event, and yet I know in all we’ll be able to stand before HIM giving glory and honor, not, because of our merits, but because of the marvelous Grace of God. Thank you Lord for saving my wretched soul, shall he the cry of the redeemed.
MINISTRY DESPISING LORD’S NAME
From this scripture in Mal. 1 we shall learn something which affect-ed the attitudes of the Old Testament ministry and shall see how God felt concerning it. I realize Mal. 1 applies to an Old Testament condition, however if you can daily visualize how demanding of absolute purity of devotion and in giving of your utmost, was required we shall quickly discover how God feels about certain attitudes. When we realize the Old Testament was a foreshadow demanding the very best in attitudes toward him, certainly we couldn’t possibly think he would demand any less out of the New! For out of the New he requires the best and that best is you yourself. (Rom. 12:1-2) Your all! Mal. 1 is God’s Word not mine, and the Lord speaks to Malachi (meaning messenger) “A son honoureth his father, (earthly father) and a servant his master; if then I be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, where is my fear? Saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O, priests, that despise my name. And ye say, wherein have we despised thy name?” Those priests didn’t literally mill around in a huddle saying I despise the name of the Lord that name they were to constantly reverence and administer all ordinances. As they fulfilled their office work which had become so commonplace with them they had no doubt become so earthly minded in their ritualistic sacrificial service they simply couldn’t wait till they had finished the work of the Lord where they could be out indulging or participating in other things of a carnal nature. Their attitude toward God’s call no longer was sincere -therefore, God addresses them in this manner because if we name the name of the Lord and our attitudes toward God has become so commonplace. It is by our insincere attitude that we show we literally despise that precious Holy name perhaps sometimes we don’t particularly approve of God’s language, just remember he has no inbetween language. Either we reverently love him with pure devotional attitude or he looks upon our devotion as though it’s an abomination! That’s why he either requires our all or nothing.
POLLUTED BREAD ON ALTAR
He continues by saying “And ye say, (knowing the secrets of their hearts revealed how their attitudes bitterly despised him) “And ye say Wherein have we despised thy name?” Notice in the same sen-tence God answered by saying -“Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; what could anymore debase God’s name than for his priests to show this attitude? Certainly they were to burn that unleavened bread but it was to be offered unto the Lord daily as fresh baked bread. Not leftovers! (Taking the attitude just any old way will do). Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind (offering) for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; (see if he will accept it) your state governor says he receives 2 percent sales tax on each dollar’s worth of merchandise, try leaving the grocery store sometime with your merchandise before paying the governor’s sales tax. You know very well what would happen, they take you by the coat saying come back here you paid for the groceries, but you haven’t paid the sales tax! Alright, God is using the exact example for if man is to honor natural laws, temporal things, to such exactness – realizing the penalty for disobeying it, then how much more if we despise God in the same manner shall we be guilty! Yet how often we are guilty in our attitudes of treating God in such manner – For instance the state tax – you can’t get by very long without paying it. The state government certainly won’t allow it to accumulate upon you. They realize if it adds up too high -I probably you would never get it paid. Their requirement is you pay as you purchase the merchandise.
ATTITUDES SHOWN AT HOME
However one thing is true concerning the Lord, in his mercy and long-suffering he would save and continually bless you until finally you allowed his blessing to become common-place. Feeling God is s such a good loving God we begin taking him for granted and slowly allow things to accumulate around our life, unaware God is still looking upon our attitudes of devotions. I want you to know, although man may never see our attitudes, God sees every portion of it, he sees every word and action of the heart’s devotion toward himself – he sees our grumbling and complaining. Recall he is the unseen guest who observes every conversation and our actions and conduct within our homes are always within his sight. No need for us to fight like cats and dogs at home, then come to the house of God pretend everything has been rosy. My remarks are directed mainly unto those of us who have confessed christian mates. It is here that we often stand so guilty, the blessed grace of God came unto us to remedy those things which made our life so miserable, yet nevertheless it’s a responsibility on the part of every individual.
Speaking in Mal. I God condemns this Jewish ministry because they offered unto him everything that was detestable in his eyes – things he had spoken against! Back under the law God required the best the farmer had one-tenth of his sheep herd was required, under law the farmer brought that herd of sheep into what was referred to as a cutting gate, as those sheep passed through he stood there counting out one-tenth of the flock which went under the rod, in the count the number one lamb always went to God while the next 9 went to the farmer. The scriptures say that next tenth one might possibly only register as a number two lamb nevertheless that’s the way the rod fell that one became part of the tenth of the flock. The whole purpose of it is God wants exactly the best we have to offer – recall, all that was a type beloved showing in this Grace Age, he’s not asking you to offer animal sacrifice, he is asking that you offer the very best that you are (Rom. 12:1) Positively he doesn’t want careless indifferent attitudes always grumbling and complaining, presented unto him as a sacrifice. God wants a spirit that is fervent, filled with joy and reaching for him. Continuing on he says if the governor won’t accept it (why him), will he be pleased with thee or accept thy person saith the Lord of hosts and now I pray you beseech God that he will be gracious unto us this hath been by your means, (in other words this is your doing) will he (however) regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts. Remember however we have lived, whatever our attitudes of service has been however we seek to serve our God is exactly the same kind of wage we’re going to receive in the end! Many people fail to realize God is that serious. Yet if we have ever experienced that saving Grace of God stepping out into this glorious fellowship of the gospel of Jesus Christ wherein he gives unto us his best (eternal life)—How much more in return does he expect and demand the best out of us? Only through our true loving devotional attitudes will he be glorified. Just remember if we’re asking for his best yet only intend to give the trifling, the weakness, complaining, and dilatory attitude of ourselves in return – remember God has made it very plain in word that is exactly the same wages he will pay us back! Paying us off according to our attitude toward him and what we served him! “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for naught, (speaking concerning those ministering in the temple) neither do you kindle fire on my altar, I’ll have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.” (whatever you do – “I will reject it!”) Why? It’s not their best.
Considering today our generation of people being born into their great scientific materialistic age of achievement, automatically one would think man could live far more victoriously, however it’s just the opposite, they’re living so spiritually low, lower than any previous age before us. Seemingly the materialistic angle of life has so swamped us and entangled us that we absolutely cannot rise above the pull of it. Like quicksand we continue to sink deeper into its mire, while our devotional attitudes slowly slip further and further away – yet within it all we have such little to offer God as is being our utmost and our all for him. Again to this age do we hear the Lord saying I can’t accept your offering (Rev. 3:15-16) “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; (Mal. 1:11) referring to the millennium when gentile nations will offer their praise etc. Recall today no sacrifice is on any altar throughout the gentile nations being offered up, “And in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, with the Lord of hosts.” The Lord looks for in the millennium “But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted;” why is it polluted?
CORRECT ATTITUDES REVEAL BRIDE
Polluted because of what’s offered upon it, that’s similar to people today. Notice because the church carries the unconcerned attitude it does, the Lord in looking upon his church – seeing and counting only that number which lives obedient to his word; if it’s only 5 he sees living obedient – that number is his true bride church! If that 5 walks uprightly and obeys his word -THAT IS HIS CHURCH! Those are HIS PEOPLE; those are the only ones he is going to honor -honoring them on the basis of how they honor HIM – through HIS WORD. Never forget – I could sweat and toil doing much that I felt was for the cause, but brother until my life becomes shaped, molded and disciplined to this WORD OF GOD where it becomes a life lived for Christ it absolutely would merit me nothing! In the end I would only be defeated, disillusioned and heart broken because I have thought I could get something for nothing.
We learn from Paul, “If a man strive for masteries or trophies, yet he is not crowned except he strive lawfully,” remember there’s rules to the game and God’s rules are in his WORD! In Mal. God said they’re fussing over the table of the Lord – how polluted it is, but it’s their fault! Furthermore, he said they would say “Behold, what a weariness is it! In other words I’m getting tired of going to church, do we not realize we make the church what it is by the very life we ourselves live? The true church is not a building of stone, and mortar. According to the scripture we are that church—con-sisting of nothing more than what we live as we permit the SPIRIT OF GOD to live and abide in us! According to the WORD OF GOD our grumbling attitudes are unjust-ified – if we absolutely cannot live above the conditions of today we’re in terrible shape.
CARELESS ATTITUDES AND WHAT HAPPENS
Continuing – “Yes, and ye brought that which was torn,” (God condemning them for every-thing they’ve brought) and the lame and the sick; thus ye brought an offering; should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. But , cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing;” what does it mean? (Now the iniquity no longer remains in the ministry, it is in the congregation. God’s thought goes back to his original plan. Originally they were to offer for sacrifice a male lamb without defects—no spots or blemishes—this was originally what God required for offerings however that wasn’t what he was getting! Visualize that deceiving no care attitude greedy hearted Jew saying that good lamb could bring so much money in the market, so instead of following the original plan of tithing the flock correctly he gives one which the dogs have chewed up, one sickly or had a broken leg, and the Lord says, “you bring a corrupt thing.” Don’t attempt to give God anything less than your best. Since he gave you nothing but his best he requires no less out of us all of this I am referring to in Mal. 1, is only to acquaint you in what a people and ministry did to get out of the will of God. Now we’re going to discuss some corrupt things which can get us in this bride age people of Laodicea out of the will of God—offering unto God a no care attitude, a slothful disposition — Hear me — God is not going to accept it any longer. Because of our disobedience God is going to kick the daylights out of a group of people stooped in their carnal ideas. Our ill-behaved dispositions must come under the discipline of God’s Word. God will absolutely frown upon it, and turn us over to some kind of a reprobate spirit where either we will backslide or be caught up in some kind of a disillusioned sectarian spirit which will send us off 7 ways for Sunday – all because somewhere we refused to settle ourselves down and line up with the WORD OF GOD. Certainly you don’t have to believe in me, but one thing is sure you’ll I have to believe in THAT WORD. Our attitude must be right toward that word or we shall be left behind! As for me, not only do I purpose in my heart I am going to keep my attitude in the correct line with this blessed word of life but by his grace I want to stand for this WORD! And my prayer is that your attitude be the same. God won’t be returning for a people who looks for sympathy, but for a people he can place HIS LOVE IN. Just remember the LOVE OF GOD and human sympathy is miles apart. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but there are some people who are sick today all because they want sympathy; sympathy will lead you away from God; sympathy is not an attribute of God. It is only a weakness of human nature. Some think God will stop the world just to give way to human sympathy, you are wrong! God shows pity never sympathy, it’s his compassion. God demands the best of us and we give him the best or he will accept nothing! (Finish reading Mal. 1:14)
CLINGING BABYLONIAN SPIRIT
No doubt each of us who left some rank of Babylonianism, have even testified how wonderful to be free of the Babylonian church doctrines and systems yet how many are aware there’s a Babylonian spirit still gnawing away at our flesh. Bear in mind our attitudes show whether we be accepted in his bride. That Babylonian spirit is nothing other than people desiring to do things for God through some carnal method hoping somewhere, somehow that it will be justifiable and acceptable in his sight, however once we discover it, it isn’t too often we become as Cain grumbling and complaining about it, ready to tear the world apart to gain someone’s attention while beloved all God ever requires of us is to be a people who can walk obediently in the spirit of the Lord. To us who have received of his spirit God has granted an opportunity of experiencing the very best of himself (his eternal life). Having his spirit we too often become guilty of merely taking God for granted, simply journeying along aimlessly seldom aware of battles that must be fought. Once we begin facing certain trials rather than to face them according to the rules of the book we begin giving way to certain carnal feelings and e preconceived ideas and endup defeated every time. Usually when this happens we always want to place the blame on someone other than ourselves and the devil. Allowing HIS OWN WORD to be defeated in the end by someone’s carnal approach to it, had we really done our part in the right way and somewhere not missed the will of God, this would not have happened.
CHILD TRAINING BEGINS WHEN?
Our children as they grow up become irritable and cross reaching the place they don’t care whether – they stay at home or not. If by chance that would be your case, did it ever occur to you that your children are a part of you? Many people feel once children reach a certain age, they tend to get on our nerves making us irritable so we rather they weren’t in our house. Beloved never once should that be the feeling of our hearts. Often dads are guilty of feeling because his child is a teenager they no longer need an arm placed around them in love causing that child to feel they’re loved even if they have reached 20, We should have begun training them when they reached 6 weeks old right? Do you know the age a trainer begins with a good race or saddle horse? They never wait until the horse has gone down through a third part of life before they begin training no – they begin when they are young. That is why the scripture says to bring a child up in the way it should go. You cannot force them to accept Christ yet as long as they remain under your roof God says you’re to be the master of the home bringing them up in the admonition of the Lord and it’s not done with a club or continually fussing and grumbling. True some things should be said, but said with an arm around their shoulders letting them know in firmness (not madness) this is the way it’s going to be, so let’s not have any fussing about it!
Saying this I realize everybody can take that and go many ways, but I’ll have to say God has given me some children who have never sassed me, nor told me to go jump in a creek in all these years. Never once have they looked for an opportunity to miss church, yet often I confront people in this message as long as the children are small they’re there, but the minute they hit 20 or 21 they’re gone. I fear somewhere something has either been done wrong or something has gone wrong and in those hearts they know what it is the same as God knows. I have to say it in this manner pointing to the bishop’s office, the bishop or elder must be the head of his home (Also the Deacon) you will never make it read any other way. Those children must be under subjection yet not ruled with a club, no sir, but somewhere there must be a wise approach to this thing for God has not changed his conditions from the day of Pentecost till now. In Babylon we put up with everything, however we have returned to the original pattern! God will have a small group of ministers whose lives will be lived according to this WORD OF GOD and beloved they will be the husbands who shall have respect from the wives and children. These men will be respected as the head of that house. God will see to it that it be so, he would not say one thing in HIS WORD then deliberately do something else.
In Babylon God simply tolerated situations because we were not founded on the word anyway. Therefore since returning to the true foundation it is so hard to get people to realize the exactness of GOD’S WORD. We continue looking back as it was 40 years ago as to how it was done in Babylon. Recall those returning Jews from Babylon after 70 years could have said I saw such a thing done this way. Brother, when you get back to Jerusalem you no longer do it as they did in Babylon! That’s the way it is going to be but remember that doesn’t mean that some people are going to be disqualified from being christians, please understand what I’m saying, however somewhere in the front ranks of all his believers God demands an exampleship, and he’s going to have it too, so watch any man or woman who wants to argue with God, see what will happen to them.
GOD DEMANDS SINCERITY
I’m not teaching this to scare anyone only to let you know since returning to the true foundation you can no longer play with God. You will have to make your own decision with God because brother if I make it I’ll have to make it upon the life I choose to live. Often we suffer as christians because we wrongfully misused the opportunity of things God has given us. (I’m examining this from an overall picture). Often christians have brought upon themselves untold material hardships because somewhere they failed to allow God to rule their life in that material environment which he so gracefully blessed them. No sir, they just would not pray asking God if it’s his will for such and such, just take a notion to do something and plunge off into it. Never should you just step off into something blindly but first seek the face of God, is this your will and plan Lord? If it’s HIS WILL we’ll never go wrong but if it isn’t we can bring untold hardship upon ourselves. When this happens we start picking out someone we can lay the blame on, usually it’s the devil, naturally it’s the devil because often Satan sees our desire to walk with God and Satan gets us going 90 miles an hour when we don’t even realize it. People say that’s my business, granted—but also brother remember when you get caught in a barbed wire fence that’s still your business, isn’t it? Things have been placed in here because of God’s love, if we can live and abide by them we shall prosper.
SCRIPTURES PROVE GOD HONORS THOSE WHO KEEP ATTITUDES RIGHT
Beloved case after case in the Old and New Testament alike proves God expects obedience to HIS WORD. If only we can look at the WORD OF GOD and allow it to discipline our lives keeping our lives in accordance to THAT WORD I guarantee you there’s many things coming, but to that man and woman who will dedicate their life to God according to HIS WORD AND walk obediently by that which God has placed in HIS WORD he will take and lead us through but never forget if we absolutely try to shortchange God becoming careless and indifferent with him God will find us out because he already sees us. This message of truth that has already been delivered in these last days is not going to be your hiding place, if our life is not disciplined to the spiritual conditions wherein we will absolutely live Christ in this message, let’s not deceive ourselves we are not going. That is why we can get all our theology cleared up and lined up in our thinking, and that is important but brother it’s the life that counts!
True christian discipleship can be tested in many ways. Perhaps none would be better than John 13:35. Christ said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” showing there would be a visible atmosphere or sign accompanied with a condition which shows where true discipleship lay. From the scriptural sense disciple means follower of Jesus, however discipleship can be used even in the realm of politics, social science etc. Let a man arise with some outstanding theory—if men follow his theory they are called his disciples. Webster defines disciple as one who explicitly follows the teaching of another. So, being a disciple of Christ means to follow HIM. Christ is no longer present in flesh that we may follow- HIS IMAGE or profile, however as we discover what he is in HIS WORD, as children of God we are obligated, not through any militant power yet compelled and obligated because of that (his) life placed in us to cater after and do our utmost to follow that one who is the author of this particular way of life. Christianity is more than just a way of thinking, it is a way of life! Since it is a way of living it must also incorporate a way of thinking because if your mind in this life is not coordinated you will lean one way, yet live another. How long would that stand? Certainly not very long, yet in our day and hour many trends and conditions are creeping in attempting to destroy the true image and vision of what Christ is as a pattern of something to follow. These things creeping in enter people’s ways of thinking thus marring their way of living. Once you begin comparing all that by the WORD you begin to see where discipleship begins and where it ends.
Much of the time people seem to be disciples in word only which is unscriptural. The bible says we are to be a believer not only in word but in deed and truth (James 1:22)— in everything we live, everything we act we are to be that in every respect.
TWO KINDS OF LOVE
PHILEO (HUMAN LOVE)
AGAPAS (DIVINE LOVE)
ARE THEY THE SAME?
There is a love in this world, which is often confused with the love of God.. It is human love. Gangsters have been known to love one another so much that they would stand up and die for another in gun fights. Could you say that is the same kind of love of which Christ spoke? Certainly not! That is human love yet beloved, that kind of love has misled many people into thinking this is the love of God. Often Christians get closely attached to someone and you hear that person remark, “Brother, I am for you I don’t care what happens”—a testimony such as this shows deep loyalty but it also reveals poor judgment. What if that individual does something contrary to the WORD OF GOD?
HUMAN LOVE WILL COMPROMISE
Suppose your friend robbed a bank, does that mean you are still going to stand for him in what he does? Is he still going to remain your closest friend? If you are going to remain his friend either you must depart from what you believe as a follower of Christ in order to cater to your friends ways or somewhere there must be a break in friendship. When your love and devotion reaches the point that it is so loyal that it only attached to the human aspect of the thing, and there is not any loyalty to the WORD OF GOD then beloved, “God’s love is not in it! God’s love, the scripture says is pure; does not rejoice in iniquity, it is long-suffering, gentle and kind. God’s love is not a condoning thing. It is not an appeasing thing; it is not something that backs off and says, well, I hope so or I think so, NO SIR! God’s love is something that is firm yet gentle. There is a borderline from where and whence love can project to something. This we must discuss.
JOHN THE APOSTLE OF LOVE
John the apostle is the same writer who wrote St. John’s gospel and notice he is the only writer who recorded practically every statement that Jesus ever mentioned concerning love. There is something unique concerning each gospel writer, if you follow his account you will discover how he recorded remarks Jesus said. Truly, John is the great author of this thing called the love of God. John is the one who leaned on Jesus’ bosom. He is the one at whom the disciples became irritated when they saw him following Jesus so closely. Recall, Christ had finished asking Peter–Lovest thou me? He said, “yea Lord, thou knowest I love thee.” Jesus said, “..go feed my sheep.” Three times the Lord told Peter to feed HIS SHEEP showing his plans etc. Christ having finished, Peter glanced at John and asked, what is He going to do? In other words, why don’t you tell him to do something! Jesus answered, “What is that to you if he continues till I come?” And there went a saying out abroad that Jesus meant John wouldn’t die until the Lord would return again. No, that is not what He meant.
John is the author of the Love of God and constantly speaks of it. Notice in I John 4:4 his outlook on a christian life. “Ye are of God, little children and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Here John speaks mightly of the Spirit of Christ which has been placed within the true believer giving them power to live a godly life. This Spirit of Christ within us is greater than the spirit that is in the world. That Spirit of Christ is none other than the Spirit which is the life of the new birth and that same writer in I John 3:9 stated “whosoever is born of God t doth not commit sin; for His seed f remaineth in him he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” — meaning that the Spirit placed within the believer is that Spirit of the new birth which is none other than the Spirit of Christ. God’s Spirit is far greater than the spirit of the world which causes the man of the world to live as he does. It is reassuring to know we have something within us giving us power to overcome the world in all of its evil and lusts, however as we continue on in faith that something placed within us begins to tackle our own individual natures, in respect to our social life and our dealing one with another in the fellowship of the body of Christ. If it cannot exceed that fellowship which is in the world my question is, wherein do we even glorify Christ? WE DO NOT! We are only mere philosophers of Christ, not livers of the Christ who is the pattern and exampleship set before us therefore we are not images who are seeking to live in the same exampleship which Christ set before us because in the gospel of St. John Christ said they were to love one another even as he had loved them. John said they are of the world, therefore speak ye of the world and the world heareth them, runs after them, believes in everything they do and say, we are of God, He that knoweth God heareth us! Breaking this down we discover some important things. (1). He that knoweth God- (2). Heareth us. First we must be absolutely certain we have received something from God which is worthy to be heard, because if we only have our own peculiar idea and we are busy passing that to someone they may prove to be words which should not be heard. If God has a people that is to be benefited by HIS WORD and the true word is to be propagated through our voices (the ambassadors to Christ) we must possess the WORD OF GOD in its original truth before we can say we are of God, and he that knoweth God heareth us, he that is not of God heareth not us!
ATTACHED TO TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE
Two statements John attached to two types of people, (1). he that is of God heareth us (2). he that is not of God heareth not us. John’s following remark is, Do we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error? If you want to see the spirit of error watch people who come face to face with the truth in respect to the gospel. When they fight it, condemning it, it shows they are motivated by a spirit of error while others may have to stand observing it quite a while, examining it honest hearted, checking the teaching by the Word, waiting and watching somewhat as a small pup would with a stranger. Have you ever watched a pup with a stranger? First he will raise his ears and look trying to sense if the person is deceptive or gentle and kind. For a while it may stand there but if it senses you are gentle suddenly its tail will begin to wag and soon it will be licking you all over. However, if it senses something deceptive and dangerous about you and you begin to come near, it will tuck its tail and away it will go.
LOVING ONE ANOTHER—A TRUE ATTRIBUTE OF DISCIPLESHIP
In verses 7 and 8 John further introduces us to what true discipleship consists. As he departs his line of thinking concerning people in error, those who simply put on a show, acting like they are believers, he now deals strictly with that which caters to true discipleship—LOVE. “Beloved let us love one another for love is of God.” This kind of love is not just being loyal one to another simply because you are fond of each other. It is good to have likings one for another provided that liking is coupled and harnessed up with the Word of God otherwise we get in trouble with God and often wreck things for others. Do not misunderstand me, it is good to have people in whom you can rely and confide, however we are discussing friendship which affects and denotes spiritual growth and fellowship with God. Our social fellowship one with another within the family of God cannot be connected with mere human ties only because that which is human ties often will lead people to bear false witness because at some time you could have made a promise to your fellow brother that you would stand by him no matter what happened but along life’s journey he got into trouble. Now you have vowed you would always be his friend. If there is a weakness in you to be so loyal in that respect, then it will force you to do wrong. This is contrary to the WORD OF GOD.
With that illustration let us leave that realm of unscriptural love and stay strictly within the WORD OF GOD in order to learn about true christian love and its boundaries. Remember, the true love of God does not rejoice in iniquity, in fact it despises evil and iniquity– it hates evil! (It is pure, it is righteous) Beloved let us love one another (in truth) for love is of God. What is true love? How does it differ from an undying devotion one for another? First, this love is the divine attribute of God himself, for God so loved us (filthy worthless creatures) so much that he gave his own beloved son that whosoever believeth in him shall have everlasting life. Our God didn’t love us merely on the basis of how far we had gone in sin or how short we had journeyed down the road of sin, NO, he loved us with an unlimited love— therefore this love is the very attribute of God Himself and if we are followers of Christ then he who is our perfect example loved every one of those disciples that He had chosen. An excellent example of this love is found where Peter had denied Christ those three times while he was on trial, yet Jesus did not forsake to keep the promise made to Peter recorded in Matt. 16—that he had given to Peter the keys of the kingdom. Peter still had that authority to fulfill and do what he did on the day of Pentecost. Had that been something which happened to us in our day, no doubt we would have excommunicated or ostracized Peter from the fellowship! Right there would have been his end yet remember the Lord knew the end before the beginning. Christ knew those marvelous qualities that lay within Peter’s life, furthermore he was aware after Pentecost Peter would never again deny HIM.
PERFECT LOVE ONE FOR ANOTHER
John continues by saying “And everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.” Recall, John is not referring to that kind of love that binds two parties together by human love but it should be–we will always be brothers in the Lord as long as you and I obey God’s word. When friendship can be stated or understood in that manner then and only then can we say we are always going to be brothers because beloved it is God who places us in arid he alone is able to take us out. In this light only can we have correct scriptural love one for another—- God and his word always remaining number one in our lives. With his word always as our guide line, that love will auto-matically be applicable to us for then will we have that same love one for another. That love is a sign that we have been born of God and knoweth God because it is impossible to be born of God and not know God and his truth– “He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.” Our world is filled with people who can hate although hate is not an attribute of God. The only time God ever hates anything is when that something is evil. In that respect are we also to hate.
Reading in I John 4:11 we find, “Beloved, if God so loved us we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.” Again we have the same theme, if we will truly love one another–inseparable to one another by the love of God– that love of God will only hold true or bind as long as the two parties are in complete agreement toward God’s Word! I do hope I am not misunderstood from that statement. Beloved this love of God referred to here is a very attribute of the life of the spirit of God himself placed within believers causing us to grow while our soul feasts upon the WORD OF GOD, from which word God speaks to our heart causing our lives to be disciplined, molded or conformed into the very image of Christ as we day by day walk more Christ-like. Now if it be that two or more individuals can purpose a friendship on this basis, first toward God then toward one another, that way the WORD will always be the theme and pre-eminent force in both lives. To them, that love of God will always be that inseparable spirit binding them closer together. Recall that is God’s promise to us in HIS WORD. Notice “No man hath seen God (the Father spirit) at any time.” However, Christ who walked on earth was none other than God manifested in the flesh. Christ came into the world, born of woman, grew from a child unto manhood walking as any other man would, yet the life in that flesh was the very life of God HIMSELF. Christ became a pattern and example to be set before believers. If we can see through the teaching of HIS WORD we will see that kind of life and exampleship of character portrayed.
From that very character God desires to mold that same kind of character the same kind of nature within us. Since we do not see God who is the Great Eternal Spirit and the only way that you will ever know how he intended for us to live was for that life to be exemplified in something whereby we could begin to draw from it a type of example or image thus beginning to apply it to ourself. If we love one another God dwelleth in us. Remember, this love spoken of here is not mere human love.
QUESTION–DOES GOD DWELL IN THEIR LIVES SIMPLY BECAUSE PEOPLE LOVE EACH OTHER?
I have known people who would not do anything mean, yet brother, let Saturday night come, the old coon-hounds are taken out. Sunday morning finds them sitting by the old campfire smoking their cigarettes, chewing their tobacco— what a fellowshipping–see they love each other! They have the same spirit, but according to I John 4:11, could we say these old coon-hunters had the love of God in their lives? Brother, that old coon being treed sounds good to them. Certainly it sounds good because they have the same spirit but notice they do not have the love of God! If they had the love of God-sure they might have gone coon hunting on Saturday night, but they would have returned home early enough to head for the HOUSE OF GOD where they could worship God and glorify HIM. Brother, that love of God placed down in the heart of a person born of God isn’t going to allow any coon-hound alive to prevent them from going to the house of the Lord. There is something inside the heart that is going to keep things in their proper place. As a boy growing up, I have seen them, those old coon-hunters, stick together. No Sir, you couldn’t separate them; you couldn’t stir them with a stick–, they loved one another, but God was not even in the picture. This love of God binds true believers together with just the same enthusiasm as those coon hunters so when they take out their pack of hounds and go into the woods, those believers who would be doing everything they know– in their heart is a joy to live and obey that WORD OF GOD. Be very careful when you speak of God dwelling in people simply because they love one another. This is not always true! Now we notice this—If we love one another God dwelleth in us and His love is perfected in us (in them), by this know that we dwell in him and he in us because he hath given us his spirit. right?
Beloved, we could not have this perfect love one for another were it not for the fact that God who is spirit dwells in us. If God was not dwelling in us by HIS SPIRIT there might be a fond attachment, there could even be a deep affection, but never could it be the love of God- it would be only human love. John refers not to this kind of love but to divine love in believers; that love of God that surpasses all human understanding; that love of God which covers a multitude of sin though it will never once agree or compromise with a multitude of sin, will it? People have taken the perfect love of God, trampled it under foot and tossed it out the door, living solely in the human realm. They profess the name of Christ; they have the good things of the Lord using them as a shield while on down life’s pathway they trod stomping and kicking, where too often once they come face to face with a trial or test— something to bring out the real true character and the real person which we actually are– here is where we show whether the love of God is ruling and reigning in our heart or whether we are guilty of lying and hiding behind a shield which we have placed on ourselves(a disguise). We are defeating ourself and others because we have not the real love of God in our soul!
ONLY GOD’S LOVE KEEPS US IN TUNE WITH HIM
The love of God beloved will always keep us in tune with HIS WORD. Are you aware that is the only thing that has ever been given (HIS LOVE) to keep us in tune with HIS WORD and with one another? Note why our love is made perfect. Our love is made perfect that we may have boldness in the day of judgment. How many believers are aware that one day we are going to stand at the judgment seat of Christ? No, we will not stand there to determine whether we have been saved or lost. We are definitely going to stand there to determine the degree of our reward. (1). in how we have judged ourselves (2). how we have lived, criticized, talked and (3). how we have portrayed ourself as believers OF HIS WORD. How we behave ourself down here is going to be the determining factor as to what kind of reward we are going to receive in the day when we stand at the judgment seat of Christ. If this judgment be according to THE WORD as it says here then we had better endeavor to live and abide by every principle of the teaching of God’s word, wherein our life is disciplined; our life is molded and shaped into an exampleship as Christ set before us where there will be no fear in God at the judgment.. In I John 4:17 we hear John saying, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as be is, so are we in this world.” Notice we’re supposed to be, aren’t we? If we will endeavor to live by that rule or that principle of christian life and that will be the motive of our heart, then it places a consolation within the soul of the person because there is no fear in love;
but there is one thing concerning this love of God as long as we keep our life in line or in tune with the love of God, there may be all kinds of storms gather about us on the outside yet on the inside there is a peace that surpasses all understanding. It can cause you to look heavenward and say Lord the way is clear. There is no fear in love. Perfect love means that in the love of God you have the right attitude as to how to look at things, how to cope with things without relying upon a human nature. Yes, perfect love casteth out fear, fear hath torments. These torments often overtake believers when they reach a place in christian growth where God has permitted them to face certain trials and tests. This is done that they will rely upon the true spirit of God to bring their life in subjection to the WORD OF GOD. Before when they had faced such a situation they relied upon human nature, here is where you often hear people say I just wasn’t made that way; I just can’t take it; I’m just not going to do it; I don’t see it that way. Don’t you realize such statements made out of continuity with THE WORD OF GOD can absolutely bring the very penalty which is written here? There’s no fear in perfect love! In the fact we thank God for saving our souls is fine, but that love also must lead us to grow up in him, so that this love can express itself more and more in us as we face each trial and test of life bringing ourselves under submission to the will of God – Only in that manner will the perfect love of God cast out every fear.
Realize the only thing that Satan can bring up against you is that which God has allowed, but through every situation each trial and test God will always make the way of escape. However beloved if it be something we ourselves have caused or brought upon ourself through our own selfish nature then we must realize every step taken in ourself only takes us further away from the divine will of God. That action leads us away from the true channel of God’s love, and certainly will bring fear, THEN AS fear comes in it’ll bring torment, plaguing your mind, your soul, it’ll plague your spiritual life; you will walk day after day wishing you hadn’t done it. But you’re too proud to admit it, there’re many christians in our day who don’t want to be disciplined, corrected, or rebuked.
Yes, fear hath torment, however when torment begins to come in, and when the penalty of God’s own WORD begins to be applied to our life, just remember we’ve brought it on ourself. The Bible says, he that feareth is not made perfect in love. Jesus our pattern and perfect example who was the very life and essence of God in fleshly form spoke only as HE knew to speak! The Bible says he was tempted and tested in every wise as you and he knew no sin. Never once did he break under the strain, not even when staring at death or watching HIS OWN BLOOD dripping from HIS side and hands. Why?- Because he could see beyond the cross and to that kingly crown which would be placed on HIS HOLY BROW! For the joy that was set before HIM the scripture says HE endured the cross, despising the shame and was willing to be submissive to death. Now beloved he hasn’t asked us to die on another cross but merely to be disciples of HIS, no, although HE did ask us to crucify self, did HE not? Die out to our own self-will—wherein people would make such statements as many do upon facing a trial—I just can’t take it, I wasn’t made that way, etc. Shows we have not completely died out to self! (1 Cor. 10:13) This our example never once said! God has molded each one of us though we possess different natures and makeups – some he made to be quick-spoken, some he made who hardly ever have anything to say. That is seen in the gospel writers John and Peter. John was a man who spoke little, while Peter was a man who always spoke—who seemingly couldn’t control himself. Naturally that was before Pentecost, but remember the Lord saw in Peter a quality HE could use. He knew that quality could be yielded to the SPIRIT OF GOD and then on the day of Pentecost that quality could be anointed and harnessed because the Lord knew on the day of Pentecost there was going to be a crowd of agnostic scoffers present who needed a quick-spoken Peter who could stand there and give them a quick rebuttal, however that didn’t mean the Lord wanted Peter to go on and on blowing his lid over every little occasion. You take a person who is always losing their temper, getting angry—the scripture in Proverbs says a man (or woman) who can’t control their own spirit is like a city without a wall, they have no defense! When the spirit of God enters our life it isn’t coming in to make cripples out of us, no sir, but to mold our life in order that we can follow Christ by teaching us through the revelation of the WORD to bring our human nature under discipline and submission to the spirit of Christ. Walking day by day with Christ crucifies self (cause one to die out to self) where we may live victorious in Christ, being molded, fashioned and shaped in HIS IMAGE. Having definitely the will of God only in our lives because we love HIM, causes the love of God (attribute of the spirit) to give witness to our spirit that we have sought and obeyed HIS WILL. John said, “He that feareth is not made perfect in love,” yet beloved if we love God according to those other verses previously quoted, if we love God in obedience to HIS WORD etc., that perfect love of God, that perfect attitude toward God and HIS WORD will cause us to face each trial and test of the day and through it God will make a way and that perfect love that we have for God and HIS WORD will never fear. No matter how dark a thing may look – you can stare it in the face confidently knowing the Lord will make a way.
REAL TEST OF GOD’S LOVE
Notice John’s comment now concerning people who pretend to love God, but not their brother – if a man says I love God and hateth his brother he is a liar. Do you believe THE WORD? He that says he loves God (brother we better love God if we want eternal life) our only hope is HIM! If we don’t love God we don’t have eternal life, we’re doomed! But to say we love God and we hate our brother according to God’s WORD we make ourselves a liar praying we never had the love of God; recall God just finished instructing us to love one another. There is no sharper statement in all the WORD than the following statement! He that loveth not his brother who he has seen; how can he love God whom he hath not seen? He that says he loves God and hates his brother, how can he hate his brother who he has seen and say he loves God whom he hasn’t seen? Notice I John 4:21, “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
For a few moments let’s take this love of our brother and break it down to see what the origin, or the application is. Recall all through Paul’s writing we see that love portrayed and exemplified. We see how love is to be cultivated, how it tolerates, you’ll see where love disciplines, and where love is applied. Flowever you’ll never see in any epistles of Paul where love condones, yet you can see from the epistles of Paul where God does to a certain extent tolerate a certain thing, but it has to be for a specific reason.
In I Cor. 5: Paul is writing to the Corinthians concerning something he had heard. “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.” Paul’s rebuke over this moral issue brings about a separation of fellowship. He continues by saying, “Ye are puffed up, or you’re all in confusion,” finishing I Cor. 5:4 he said, “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ”, to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Beloved regardless of what you call this–that’s discipline! Note Paul did not say to hate that individual, did he? And neither did he say they were to love what was going on, it was this moral situa-tion and condition which was producing every kind OF IDEA OVER IT. Paul has said, “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Take that over to II Corinthians were after quite a period of time lapses, he again admonished the Corinthians. It appears this person has fallen under deep conviction, and chastisement of the Lord so Paul says to receive such a one back into the fellowship.
Concerning the keeping clean of the fellowship Paul said in the 8th verse the fellowship was to be kept clean and he likened all these moral excuses unto leaven bread etc., how that they should get rid of the old leaven because the old leaven creates malice confusion, wickedness, etc., Paul says get rid of it! “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world,” (1 Cor. 5:8-10). Notice here he breaks fornicators down into two categories, “Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, OR WITH THE COVETOUS, OR EXTORTIONERS, OR WITH IDOLATERS: FOR THEN must ye needs go out of the world.” Now this means don’t you apply this strictly to everything out in the world because if you apply my statement strictly in the world then you can’t associate with anybody, because that is just about the state and condition of the world. So then Paul says must ye needs go out of the world, but now this is what he says.
GROUNDS FOR BREAKING FELLOWSHIP
“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother (a christian, a disciple or follower of Christ) be a fornicator, covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one not to eat. Don’t have anything to do with them? Why? Because that is the ground to break fellowship. Here were six things worthy of a broken fellowship. Fellowshipping with that type of life and character is confusing to Christianity– to say they are disciples of Christ and yet cater to that type of life! Then brother to fellowship and associate with that type of a life means we are catering or condoning that type of spirit! Christ does not want us to fellowship with anyone who is called a brother doing such things, therefore separate from such a spirit demands Paul. “For what have 1 to do to judge them also that are without? Might that ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. Break fellowship with them! Does this still hold true today? IT MOST CERTAINLY DOES! We are bringing it right back here to this gospel and close it.
THINGS LEADING UP TO GROUNDS FOR BREAKING FELLOWSHIP
In our day and time many believers become guilty over some little situation arising which does not even affect or have anything whatsoever to do with moral issues. It is only some little thing that affects or deals with that of a social realm of christians in fellowship. You just watch, often these little social things can create hurt feelings, and if christians are not very careful often within their heart they begin to harbor these hurt feelings, they begin to nurse and cultivate them until it isn’t long till some brother or sister has made something over nothing. Now they find hate growing and soon it reaches the place where people refuse to speak; they avoid one another which is contrary to God’s HOLY WORD. Let me say, you may not always agree with the person or perhaps with their particular motive or attitude, but brother, don’t let it reach the place that we become nasty, that there springs up in our heart a hatred or bitterness. Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 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.” What did it say? Lest any root of bitterness—and there by it many be defiled. Oftentimes people are guilty of allowing some little old nothing to become a root in their heart and that root begins growing, becomes more bitter and more bitter until finally instead of living a christian life they’re living a life just like that man of the world. True they may not be doing all the other things which the world is doing, but in their heart they harbor bitterness day in and day out, going to bed with bitterness in there, and they get up with bitter-ness in their heart. All day long they meditate, seemingly they can’t get certain things off their mind, a plain violation of Eph. 4:26. Usually when you see a person that way at sometime they were probably growing in the Lord in HIS grace, they had such a wonderful testimony of God’s goodness how the Lord had led and was talking to them, yet once they began to harbor that kind of a feeling down in their heart, it becomes bitterness and upon every occasion they’re talking about it, every occasion they’re mumbling about it and down goes their spirit. Why? All because that little root of bitterness continued to grow and grow, then once the minister begins to touch on it trying to correct them, usually by that time they have listened so long to a deceiving spirit which shows them how right they are to feel this way – that very few can even be helped! Often when you see people who have a root of bitterness in their heart it is usually because somewhere in life they said I just don’t see it that way, I just wasn’t made that way and I just can’t do it.
May I say in closing there’s three things that can get a person fouled up and off course over this thing of the love of God, (1). jealous, (2). selfish, or (3). pride. Jealousy doesn’t have to be that you’re jealous over your brothers in church, often it takes place in the home—companions become jealous of each other. Other times people are selfish, then either jealousy or selfishness brings and develops a condition that sometimes necessitates an answer to bring the exact answer it brings somebody face to face with the ultimatum of decision of choice to either stop doing it or to get worse in it. To do this many times it exposes the person that much more in what they’re doing. and then beloved pride keeps the per-son from humbling themself and stepping back across the line of self-will. Beloved when a christian reaches the place that self-will be-comes such a predominant factor that the LOVE OF GOD is no longer the theme and motive of life, then don’t care what our doctrine is, I don’t care how much we testify or how much we say we love God, if that bitterness, that hate reaches that root it will grow and fill the whole vacuum—it will root out everything else. Paul said in his letter to the Hebrews, “Many be defiled. Wake up! There’s not a person going to be in the bride of Christ who let’s that kind of an attitude control them. The only person that is going in the RAPTURE is that person whose life has been emptied out of self and Christ has been cultivated within. Jesus said teaching his disciples how to pray, “Forgive us of our trespasses even as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Now that means exactly what it says. Everytime I ask the Lord to forgive me my trespasses my forgiveness from him is on the basis of how I forgive those who trespass against me—brother how I have forgiven others will be the way the Lord is going to forgive me, that’s the way it is going to work.” Forgive us of our debtors or our trespasses even as we forgive those,” so however we forgive, that’s the way he’ll forgive.
LAODICEA WITNESSES AN EXAMPLESHIP
Truly the Bride of Christ who benefited from the visitation of God in restoring a people to the teachings of the apostiolic fathers— (B part Mal. 4:5-6) through one so humble, so Christ-like in exampleship and sincerity can never cease to praise God for one dedicated life such as William Marrion Branham who was simply too dedicated in his calling and to his God to follow the route taken by-fellow evangelists and ministers at the subsiding of the great healing wave (lasting from 1946-1956). Instead this great man continued to press deeper and deeper into his calling of preaching the revealed truth to the Bride while others sought deception and trickery to hold their vast crowds until finally they vanished from the field taking with them their vast wealth and becoming businessmen–owners of mortuaries, motels and real estate–while others retreated back into the denominations from which they had earlier departed declaring their errors while still others became nothing more than dope addicts and alcoholics, completely destroying what exampleship they had produced yet this one man pressed his way through much opposition and ridicule to fulfill God’s great calling in his life thus leaving behind an exampleship of Christ which shall long be remembered.