What Happened To Sense?
by Lary R. Hale
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were wicked. At least the majority of them were, because it was mainly them that were responsible for the Romans putting Jesus to death. But I’m going to have to give them credit for at least one thing that they proved wiser in than most of the religiously disbelieving crowd that’s around today. It doesn’t change the fact that they were wicked, just that they had something in the sense arena that the religiously foolish people of today lack. They knew that when sound wisdom had been expounded to them that debunked their deceitful tactics and doctrines, it was time to shut their mouths. Here is a good example of what I’m talking about: “And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed” (Lk. 13:10-17). When it says they were ashamed, it means that they let it go because they knew Jesus was right. Of course they came back later and dealt treacherously again, but at least they had the sense to shut their mouth when they were proven wrong by the right spirit and the right knowledge. People today are not able to do that, including a whole lot of folks who probably aren’t as particularly wicked as the Pharisees [or are they?]. People today just don’t seem to be able to use good sense coupled with honesty. The Pharisees, like I said, were certainly wicked; but at least they were honest enough with themselves to shut up when their efforts had been bested by the very best of sense. Here is another good example of what I’m talking about: “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him… So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her… And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst” (Jn. 8:3-5,7,9). Folks today may not go as far as to throw the first stone, but they sure would stand there and continue to present an obviously defeated argument, just for the sake of not admitting to being wrong.
Friend, I”ve seen what I’m talking about up close and personal more times than I care to remember. I’ve seen people in that situation literally change the very way that the Bible actually reads, just to get out of shutting their mouth and admitting to themselves that they’re wrong. I’ve seen people say that they are being persecuted simply because good spiritual sense that is contrary to their thinking has been expounded to them with godly sincerity and love, and backed up with consistent evidence of the scriptures. I’ve seen people just coyly say things like, “Well, it’s just a revelation,” when they have no response to right answers of truth and soberness. ANY true revelation is going to be backed up by a multitude of scriptures, not by excuses for not being able to explain them. I’ve given people hours in my presence to find in their Bible a simple fact that they were trying to get me to believe in order to prove their doctrine; and when they came up empty, they still would not acknowledge that they were in error. It brings to mind a very telling verse from the book of Ecclesiastes: “Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool” (Eccl. 10:3). The problem is pride. Everyone today has trained themselves to think that knowing things is what it’s all about, and therefore nobody can afford to be wrong about anything. And never mind the lengths that people will go to in order to not appear to be wrong about anything. And so the saying is fulfilled that says, “Knowledge puffeth up, but [love] edifieth” (I Cor. 8:1). I will tell you a very simplistic rule to follow if you want to ALWAYS be right about what you have to say: Just don’t speak of things that you do NOT have absolute knowledge of. Then the scriptures begin to make a whole lot of sense that say things like this: “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Eccl. 5:2). And this: “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards” (Prov. 29:11). This is a very good one also: “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit” (Prov. 17:27). Someone who is seeking only to edify those around them with love, is going to guage, feel, and wait on the right moment to say the right thing, that may help someone else to increase in love and faith. It’s just that simple. This is what the apostle Paul was speaking of in the following verse: “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Col. 4:6). Someone with true godly wisdom has absolutely no motivation whatsoever to show anyone that they have knowledge. That motivation is not wisdom, but rather it is pride, and it is UNEDIFYING to all who are around it. Furthermore, someone with real wisdom will not only be willing to admit if they are wrong, but they will actually enjoy doing so. James spoke of this wisdom like this: “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife [wanting to be the right one] in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (Jas. 3:13-18). As for everyone who finds it more bitter than death to admit to being wrong, they should earnestly heed the following proverb: “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding” (Prov. 17:28). I believe that about says it. Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 18, 2013
Let’s Escape Hell
by Lary R. Hale
I’m afraid that a lot of folks are just bound and determined to find ways to be overly righteous. The way I have in mind today is regarding the reality of escaping the damnation of hell. Yeah, I know I’ve already turned a lot of people off just by mentioning those words. It’s like people think your either wicked or a lunatic if you even mention hell, which brings me to the point. There is a huge Christian tradition that supposedly exalts the idea of loving God, while excluding the idea of fearing him. This is what I’m talking about that people like to say: “I don’t want to serve God for the sake of not going to hell; I just want to serve him because I love him.” Ohhhh, that DOES sound mighty sweet, now doesn’t it? Don’t misunderstand me in this; I most assuredly believe in serving God because I love him, even with all my heart, soul, mind and strength (Lk. 10:27). In fact I have found God to be SO gracious and good over the past thirty two years plus, that I can’t imagine NOT being in a pure love relationship with him. But let’s get serious and real here; not going to hell is a VERY good reason to want to repent and walk the straight and narrow path by and in the power of God’s holy Spirit OF love and truth (Mat. 7:14; Rom. 8:14; I Jn. 5:2,3; Jn. 16:13). My word not good enough on that? Unless the scriptures back it up, you bet it’s not. So let’s see what the scriptures say: “Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Lk. 3:7). So we see that John the Baptist thought it was a really good idea to escape hell, and he reckoned obedience to God with that idea. What about Jesus, what did he think about it?: “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him” (Lk. 12:5). Yep, it’s for sure that Jesus agreed with John, and he confirmed that belief in other places as well (Mat. 18:8; Mk. 9:43; Mat. 23:33). Not to mention that the apostles who wrote the new testament scriptures, along with Jesus and John the Baptist, all warned of eternal damnation and a fiery torment for those who take sin to the grave with them. The reason that so many “Christians” are NOT in agreement with Jesus and the apostles on this issue is that they simply do not fear God, which the WHOLE Bible says we should; and as Jesus said in the above quoted scripture. And friend, if you don’t fear God, then don’t kid yourself about loving God; because those two divine elements are absolutely inseparable. The scripture says, “Perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (I Jn. 4:18). But make no mistake, the fear that perfect love casts out is NOT the fear of God, but rather the fear of anything OTHER than God. David knew that God’s fear is the ONLY fear for the heart to retain, and he also knew that God is worthy to be feared with ALL the heart: “Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: UNITE my heart to FEAR thy name” (Psm. 86:11). So let’s not make ourselves look foolish by insinuating that we don’t need to fear God, and that not going to hell is not a major reason for turning our lives over to God, and keeping them that way. Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 16, 2013
Keep It Honest
by Lary R. Hale
“And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee” (I Sam. 13:7-14). “Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass… And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt… But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly… And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed… And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel? … Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal… And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou” (From I Sam. 15).
So King Saul lost the kingdom, his life, and maybe his soul as well, for disobeying the commandment of the Lord to him on several occasions (I Chron. 10:13,14). And those commandments just happened to be delivered to him by a man, that being a man of God named Samuel. The fact that Saul failed Samuel’s instructions from the Lord was one thing, but the biggest factor in that equation was something even more serious. If you read the passages carefully, you should have noted that on both occasions listed where Saul failed to keep Samuel’s instructions, he MADE EXCUSES when Samuel reproved his failure. He simply did not come clean with honesty and humility, and that was most assuredly a BIG mistake! In contrast, when David was king, and he took Bathsheba in adultery, and then tried to fix things by having her valiant warrior husband Uriah killed; he also was rebuked for his sin by a prophet. And when that harsh rebuke was delivered to David, he had only one thing to say: “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die” (I Sam. 12:13). David was worth of death three times over, for adultery, for murder, and for judging the rich man in Nathan’s story, which happened to be David, worthy to die (I Sam. 12:1-7). Nonetheless he was spared, though he was promised a punishing harvest for the things that he had done (I Sam. 12:10-14). If David had made excuses upon being reproved by the prophet, things would have gone much differently for him, and that not for the better. We see something in the book of Deuteronomy that gives us a bit of insight into this matter of not submitting honestly and humbly to the judgment and reproof of a messenger of the Lord: “And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the Lord shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee: According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously” (Deut. 17:9-13). The point is that God still has priests, Levites, judges, and prophets today; though in reality they are very few and very far between. Nonetheless if such an one reproves a child of God with instruction, counsel, or reproof that is from heaven; dire consequences can be expected for resisting such a messenger. Jesus said that anyone refusing that kind of correction is to be dealt with “as a heathen man and a publican” (Mat. 18:15-18). The apostle Paul turned disobedient saints over to the devil on certain occasions for unrepentant ways (I Cor. 5:4,5; I Tim. 1:19,20). He also uttered a curse on others who had strayed from the truth and were also bent on turning other saints aside as well (I Cor. 16:22; Gal. 5:12). The moral of the story is that excuses for transgression are NEVER accepted, not by God, nor by his true messengers. One can only expect some kind of woe for such behavior, so be wise and always come clean with honesty, humility, and godly fear; for that truly is the only safe way to deal with God, or with anyone he truly sends to you (Prov. 18:12; Prov. 28:13; Prov. 29:23). Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 11, 2013
Who Is Your Friend?
by Lary R. Hale
“Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4). “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Cor. 6:14-18). “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God” (I Cor. 13:33,34). “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them… And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:5-7,11). That should suffice to show that God does not want his people to voluntarily keep company with those who are not following after his Spirit of holiness and truth unless they are wanting to find out how to do so. To entertain those who are not of God is to allow the demon spirits to which people are in servitude, to invade your space that God has given you as “the earnest of your inheritance,” which space is your own spirit joined to his Spirit (Eph. 1:14; I Cor. 6:17). The old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together” could not be more simplistically true. Everyone naturally draws to people who are of the same kind of spirit that they themselves are of, and the same is certainly true for God’s people who follow after his Spirit. When a child of God is regularly entertaining those who are NOT following God’s Spirit, or showing any sign that they would like to do so, it is a bad sign of where that child of God is headed. The apostle Paul told it like it is: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be NOT conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:1,2).
You simply cannot spend time regularly on a voluntary basis with people who are not following the Spirit of God, without being conformed to their spirits. This rule is not excepted for the case of family either. Listen to what JESUS had to say about it: “There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother” (Mk. 3:31-35). He had some other like things to say about this topic also: “And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple(Lk. 14:25,26). And, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mat. 10:34-37). The truth of the matter is my friend, if you really want to go the distance with Jesus, and always follow where he leads, understand that it will cost you much in this life. There is a very good reason that the scripture says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 21:4). The reason many merge from true steadfastness in Christ into a form, is simply because they fear persecution and prefer the honor and acceptance of men more than “the honor that comes from God only” (Jn. 5:44). The problem is just being carnally minded, and being mixed up about who is truly a friend, and who is truly family. Nonetheless the truth of the matter remains the same whether we understand and abide in it, or not: “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier… If we suffer [with him], we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us… Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Tim. 2:4,12; II Tim. 3:12). Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 9, 2013
The Hope of Glory
by Lary R. Hale
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord” (Isa. 65:17-25). And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:14-17). “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:3-8).
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever… Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without [outside the city] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:1-5,14,15). These are some great and mighty promises my friend, for all who like the above passage states, “do his commandments.” There are also some fearful warnings here, which in fact is all that is left for all who do NOT “do his commandments” while in this life (Ecc. 8:12,13; II Cor. 5:10,11). I would now like to finish with a few admonitions and instructions from the scriptures, that show us a few things about what it will take for us to obtain these promises, and escape the warnings. “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (II Pet. 3:13,14). “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Lk. 6:22,23). Who was it that separated the prophets from their company, reproached them, and cast out their name as evil? It was God’s own people of course, because that is who the prophets were among, and that is who they were sent to speak to in the name of the Lord. And in conclusion we can see that reality graphically confirmed BY one of the great prophets of old: “Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your BRETHREN that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed” (Isa. 66:5). I don’t know about you friend, but as far as I’m concerned the reward is going to be worth far more than what it takes to attain unto it, and it is certain that it will take much. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). God bless.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 8, 2013
The Holy Apostle
by Lary R. Hale
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid… I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:17,20). “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are DEAD to sin, live any longer therein? … Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should NOT serve sin… What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid… Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? … Being then MADE FREE from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness… For when ye WERE the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death” (From Rom. 6). “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it NOT be ONCE named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph. 3:3). These are just a few notes from the apostle Paul, whom so many in Christianity say had an ongoing struggle with sinning. That mindset comes from a gross misunderstanding of a passage in Romans 7, where Paul was actually speaking of his condition BEFORE he was in Christ. No my friend, the man who wrote the above passages of scriptures was no hypocrite, which is what he would have been if he himself was a sinner.
It it is certain that Jesus was in agreement with these things as well: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free INDEED” (Jn. 8:31-36). Now let’s hang on those last two words [free indeed] for just a moment, and we’ll see the truth of this whole sin thing. The word “indeed” comes from the Greek word “ontos,” and is defined as follows: “truly, in reality, in point of fact, as opposed to what is pretended, fictitious, false, or conjectural.” If you can see it, this shows us the real difference between the Christian gospel which allows for sin, and the real gospel of Christ that imparts and requires true holiness for salvation. Christianity offers the pretentious, fictitious forgiveness and freedom from sins, as mentioned above as being the OPPOSITE of “free indeed.” My friend, if you can’t see that, then you just plain don’t want to see, period. Let’s be real with ourselves and with God, and be busy “purifying [ourselves], even as he is pure.” According to the beloved apostle, that is the only real way to look for the coming of the Lord, and to be a part of the first resurrection AT his coming (I Jn. 3:2,3; Rev. 20:6). And to this agreed the apostle Paul, whom so many have labeled a sinner: “Follow peace with all men, AND HOLINESS, without which NO MAN shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). Need I say more? Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 6, 2013
No Fear of God?
by Lary R. Hale
“Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever” (Isa. 34:1-10). Everyone who defends and justifies sin, and who wrest the scriptures to fit their idea of sin being acceptable to God [because of what Jesus did, of course]; needs desperately to take a long, hard look at this passage of scripture, and understand that sin is the ONLY reason that this dreadful prophecy will come to pass. Now is the time to “Fear God, and KEEP his commandments: for this is the WHOLE DUTY of man” (Eccl. 12:13). Now is the time my friend, to “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psm. 2:11). Oh yeah, and now is also the time to “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philip. 2:12). And with good reason. Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 5, 2013
The Great Innoculation
by Lary R. Hale
There is an overwhelming spiritual epidemic among God’s people, and among people in general, and it is nothing new. It is the exact same thing that Jesus addressed when he was here, as did the prophet Isaiah in his day: “And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Mat. 13:14,15). And the same thing that conditioned the people then to be in such a state, is still the culprit today: “For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men… Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered” (Mk. 7:8,13). Whenever man adds his own traditions and doctrines into the faith of God, he takes away the truth of God at the same time. It is actually a substitution that gains something for man, and takes away glory and honor from God at the same time. When this is done on a massive scale, and it has been more than ever today, the result is an inoculation to God’s word in the hearts and minds of God’s people. Then when someone comes along speaking for God, such as Isaiah or Jesus for example, they are viewed as radical and alien to “the established truth:” “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children” (Psm. 69:8). Those are the words of Jesus in prophecy my friend, and what people don’t realize is that NOTHING ever changes, ever. It was that way long before Jesus came, and it is that way today, long after Jesus has been here. The man-made traditions of the modern Christian religion have inoculated God’s people to his truth to such an extent that even those who SEEM like they hear are not hearing. Just say the word ‘baptism’ and EVERYONE’S mind goes straight to water. Never mind that Jesus suffered, died, and rose again to fulfill water baptism with his own personal heavenly baptism (Mat. 3:15; Acts 1:4,5; Eph. 4:5). Mention the word ‘salvation’ and everyone’s mind goes straight to “getting saved” or “accepting the Lord.” Never mind that those myths are NOT in the Bible, and never mind that the scriptures are utterly consistent with the understanding that salvation is at the “END of [our] faith;” after we have been baptized with the Spirit into Christ and have “endured unto the end” in “righteousness and true holiness” (I Pet. 1:3-7; I Cor. 12:13; Mat. 24:13; Eph. 4:24; Heb. 12:14).
Mention anything about God, and about his Son Jesus, and about the holy Ghost; and everyone either goes straight to “the Trinity” or to “Jesus Only.” Never mind that there is absolutely NOTHING in the Bible that supports ‘one person’ or ‘three persons,’ and that the consistent scriptural evidence of the new testament clearly shows that there are TWO persons who have the same life substance, which is the Spirit (Eph. 4:5; II Jn. 1:3; Jn. 5:26; Rom. 8:2). And never mind that the ONLY way we can be “one, even as [Jesus and the Father] are one,” is if we also have the SAME Spirit of love, power, and truth dwelling in us that abides in them (Acts 1:8; Rom. 5:5; Jn. 14:17; Jn. 17:21,22; I Cor. 1:10). And oh boy, if you want to know what REALLY ruffles the feathers of God’s people, just labor in prayer every day and purify [yourself] even as he [Jesus] is pure,” and “walk in the Spirit and [don’t] fulfill the lusts of the flesh;” and merely let someone know that they must live apart from sin, and that you are doing just that (I Jn. 3:3; Gal. 5:16; Rom. 6:1,2,6). By that time you’re REALLY NUTS! Just forget that the new testament scriptures are totally replete with the commandment to be without sin (Mat. 5:48; Jn. 8:34-36; Rom. 8:13,14; I Cor. 5:8; Gal. 2:17; I Pet. 1:22; I Jn. 3:5-8; etc.). And throw out all the scriptures that show us that anyone who takes sin to the grave will NOT be saved (Mat. 5:8; Mk. 9:43-45; Lk. 13:5; Jn. 15:4-6; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 8:13; I Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-7; Heb. 3:6,14; I Jn. 3:8,10; etc.) The list just goes on friend, but I’m certain the point is graphically made. If you truly want to follow God’s Spirit of love and truth, you will have to be willing to hear his voice above the constant buzz of the religious rhetoric of Christianity; and you will have to be willing to follow that voice and be identified with Jesus and all who have identified with him and his Father through the ages (Jn. 10:4,5; Rom. 8:14; I Jn. 2:27; Rev. 2:7). God was not here on earth during the old testament, so the ridicule and wrath of those who opposed him fell out to the prophets, and to his Son when he came (Psm. 69:9). And Jesus has not been on earth for almost two thousand years, so the resistance and scoffing of those who oppose him falls on those who are truly taught and led by his Spirit that he sent back (Mat. 5:11,12). It’s just that way, and it always has been; but there is great reward for those who will hear his voice and follow. Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 4, 2013
Sow the Seed
by Lary R. Hale
“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Eccl. 11:1-6). To these simplistic words of wisdom Jesus added the following: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mat. 5:14-16).
If God has wrought true deliverance in your life then walk in that deliverance and let someone know what it is. If you are real with God there is nothing more powerful than your own personal testimony of the real things that God has done for you: “And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Rev. 12:11). There simply is nothing that the devil can do about something that is true reality in God in the life of a believer. As our text passage says, you just never know what will become of the words of truth and reality that you hand out to those around you. One thing is certain; they will have no choice but to think about those words. Isaiah maybe said it best: “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:10,11). When you tell someone of miracle deliverance, healing, etc. that God has performed in your life, those words belong to God, and he will surely use them for his purposes. Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 2, 2013
God Is Somebody
by Lary R. Hale
I have just a couple of thoughts today about the widely embraced idea that God does not have a body of his own. Everyone agrees that Jesus has a body, and some uphold that Jesus is in fact THE bodily manifestation of God. I’ve run across plenty of folks, and I’m talking about God’s people, who are plainly opposed to the whole concept of Jesus being the Son of God; but rather that he alone IS God. Friends, if I need to reference scriptures here that show that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, then you need to find something else to do with your time other than playing like you’re a follower and believer of Jesus Christ. Of course he’s the Son of God, and that poses a really BIG problem to the mindset that God doesn’t have a body. Hebrews 1:3 plainly says that Jesus is “the express image of HIS person [i.e. God].” Now the Hebrew word “Charakter” is where the term “express image” comes from in this verse, and it can be defined as “a precise reproduction in every respect, i.e facsimile.” How can Jesus be “the express image” of God’s person, or a precise reproduction, if God doesn’t have a body? That would have to mean that Jesus doesn’t have a body either, because he has been “made” in the Father’s image (Heb. 1:4). And then we have another problem with the school of thought that God the Father doesn’t have his own body, but actually it’s the SAME problem. The apostle Paul gives us some simplistic teaching to consider about the order of things in God’s creation: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (I Cor. 11:3). First of all let’s just think about what is written in the quoted text here. A woman is a separate person from a man, and a man is a separate person from Christ; so by the same token Christ has to be a separate person from God the Father. That is what is there. And we know that women have bodies, and that men have bodies, and also that Jesus Christ has a body. In the same writing Paul clearly states that “he [man] is the image and glory of God” (I Cor. 11:7).
Of course we know for certain from the account of the creation in Genesis 1:26 that man has been created in the image of God, where God speaks to someone else who is also God, saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Seeing that the scriptures are consistent with the fact that God “created all things by Jesus Christ,” we know that it was the Son to whom he was speaking (Eph. 3:9; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2). It had to be the Son because there simply is no one else who is also God, as the scriptures and God himself has declared Jesus to be (Jn. 1:1; Heb. 1:8). Jesus is also God because he alone was directly begotten of the Father, and thereby consists of nothing but the Father’s substance wholly (Jn. 1:14; Jn. 3:16; I Jn. 4:9; etc.). That is why Jesus is also God and why God could say to him, “Let US make man in OUR image.” Okay, now what I want to point out here is the simplistic fact that man CANNOT be made in the image of God if God doesn’t have his own body. Period. So our being made in the image of God HAS TO include the fact that God has a body, even as Jesus being “the express image of his person” includes the undeniable truth that God has a body of his own. There simply is no way around it, other than total confusion that is. Friend, let’s not say that God is noBODY, or that he’s not anyBODY. Let’s acknowledge the plain truth that he really is someBODY! You see, even our language itself shows that somebody cannot be anybody unless they HAVE A BODY! The only person who doesn’t have a body is NOBODY! And who do you figure it is that wants us to inadvertently say that God is nobody? I’ll tell you who it is; it is someone who has been DISEMBODIED, and wants to turn everything around backwards as he always does. The devil has thousands of ways to get folks to see him as God, and to see God as him. The idea that God doesn’t have a body of his own is one of his biggies. Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 1, 2013