FMH Childrenís Club International
P.O. Box 640109
El Paso, TX 79904
The following letter-form was brought about as a means of teaching my children the Word of God through the mail. And of course, quite naturally so, thatís the reason I begin these letters with "Dear Children" and end them with "Love Dad". So for the rest of you who participate in these weekly messages, please keep their original intended purpose in mind.
22 February, 1998
Well today Iím doing something that I donít like to do but Iím doing it because I feel God has told me to do it. You see I spend all week reading Scripture in preparation for the writing of this letter, but it was only last night, and then again this morning, that He told me to save it for next week. OK, but if thatís what You want Lord then what am I suppose to write about now?
Oh? You want me to write about that?... Now donít take me wrong by thinking that Iím saying Godís voice is reverberating on my eardrums, because thatís not the way it happens. He talks to me but His voice comes from inside of me; I hear Him from the inside. And if you really think about it thatís the way itís gonna be because the Holy Spirit (Comforter) lives inside of those who allow Him to.
Now the message that weíll start working on this week will extend out over several weeks. And as for the man who I will be using as an example in this weekís message, I sincerely ask that you all pray for him. It is my intention to expose Satan and his ways, and it just so happens that the people he uses have to get included in the story. And since this is what God wants Iíll do it with as much kindness and love as I know how.
It was a few months ago that I told you about a man who God told me to talk to. He is my next door neighbor, and I had seen him several times out in his yard when one day God told me get to know him. And seeing how Iím not one to just walk up and strike up a conversation I hesitated... and I procrastinated... and I stalled... and I delayed. I didnít want to do what God had told me to do and I didnít, but He didnít give up. And because He didnít give up telling me to do what I already knew He wanted me to do I figured out pretty quickly that He meant business.
So I gave in and thatís when I found out that my neighbor was a Christian too. In fact what I found out was that he felt it was his calling to help the poor and needy with food, clothing, and the Good News of Jesus Christ. So what developed from my obeying God was a relationship of two people who loved to talk about Jesus. And that was when we started our mini prayer meeting every night, just the three of us; him, me, and the Lord. And it was only natural that one of the main things we prayed about was for God to help us get what we needed to do what He had called us to do. And of course what we had been called to do was his "Food For the Hungry" and our "FMH Childrenís Club International".
That was how it all started and our relationship only grew from there. In fact it was just before Christmas that we both drove out to Del City and looked around at the area that I have always felt would be an excellent place for the Childrenís Club Ranch. We talked about the future and how he could live out on the ranch and help out with the enormous job of keeping it all going. Things were looking great, and I felt very good about this friendship that God had put into place, until the day that God showed me something that made me feel just a little bit different.
You see this brother (my neighbor) has health problems; lots of them. But I knew, as all Christians should, that there is no illness or disease too great for the Lord to take care of; so thatís why I continued to pray for him nightly. But it was one night after we had our nightly prayer meeting, and I was praying for him to be healed, that God told me He couldnít. And not only did He tell me He couldnít but He also told me why. God couldnít do what He is very capable of doing because this Christian had "unconfessed sin in his life". And it wasnít long after that fateful night that I told him (my neighbor) what God had told me concerning his illness. And his reaction was, quite frankly, that he flat out didnít believe what I had to say (he said it was the devil talking).
Now even though this man (my neighbor) had "accepted" Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and he prayed every night with me to Him, and he appeared to be living for the Lord, God continued to let me know that He still couldnít heal him because of his unconfessed sins. And it was only a matter of time before God allowed me to "see" exactly what this sin was. Because it wasnít long after this incident that this brother came to me all excited about how God had told him to enter the Clearing House Sweepstakes.
You see this year was no different from previous years in that he received his official Clearing House entry form in the mail. And of course it was this envelope full of paper that had the potential of winning him millions of dollars. But as he was preparing to throw it away (just like he always did) God spoke to him and told him to send it in... now!!! And not only did He tell him once but He told him several times to do it and do it without delay. So quite naturally this brother thought that God was about to answer our prayers concerning the help we needed to build our Childrenís Club ranch and Food For The Hungry program.
And when he first told me the news about the money he said, "When God gives me this money I only want a little of it to build a small house for my wife but the rest Iím going to use for the Lord to build the Childrenís Club Ranch." That was what I heard on day number one of this great adventure. But as time went on, and the time of the drawing drew ever so near, I noticed a serious change in his story. It was now the intent of my neighbor (brother in Christ) to not only use the money to buy his wife a fairly nice size house but also buy one for his poor son. And since the house that he was looking at buying was in El Paso, the drive to the ranch would be too much for him and I would just have to find someone else to live way out in the middle of nowhere.
And that was when I finally saw the light. You see God used this little exercise to show me and my brother that his "unconfessed sin" was the love of money. And likewise thatís when I told him what I felt the Lord wanted me to tell him. I told him that he wasnít going to get the money because this had been a test and he didnít do too well on it; in fact he failed! But he didnít believe me and likewise he kept on praying nightly that God would pull his winning number, and he continued to do this until about two weeks after the time of the drawing. It then became very clear that he hadnít won the cash. And what followed was a division in our fellowship and the resultant ending of our prayer meetings.
What a sad story. You see itís all because of unconfessed sin that Iím back to praying alone, and this brother in Christ continues to deny the truth. And for those of you who might not understand what the words "unconfessed sin" mean, please allow me the honor to explain. You see when anyone finally accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior they do so by faith. They must believe that it is only through Jesus Christís death on the cross (through the shedding of His sinless perfect blood) that all of their sins have been forgiven. But in order to turn away from these sins (not to do them any more) the person who has accepted Jesus must admit that they are sins, and realize that the only way not to do them again is through the help and grace of God. Because if the sin is committed after it has already been forgiven the first time, the process of asking God the Father for forgiveness for the sin has to be repeated all over again. And to sin again without asking forgiveness means that an "unconfessed sin" has been committed. And sometimes itís because of these unconfined sins that God canít work the miracles in our lives that He wants to. And likewise itís because of these unconfessed sins that a lot of us "Christians" donít get healed and sometimes donít even get into Heaven.
So you see God has a plan, and regardless of what any of us might believe in (no matter how bad we might want it to be what we want it to be) it is never going to change. And it is this same plan (Godís plan) that says all of our sins must be confessed and "put under the blood of Jesus". You see it was John the baptizer who made the statement about Jesus as he saw Him coming down the road (reading from John 1:29), "...Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Thatís what Jesus came and died for but He canít take away the sins unless we confess them and turn away from them. We have got to hate sin in order for Jesus to heal us completely.
But let me give you an example of what Iím talking about. Reading from John 5:1-14, "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years."
Now letís make sure you understand the story. What we have here is a man whoís been awful sick for an awful long time (38 years) and he wants to get healed. In fact he wants to get healed so bad that he virtually (practically) lives by this miracle pool waiting for his miracle healing to take place. What a way to spend your life. But then thatís when the Walking Miracle comes on the scene. And continuing on with the reading, "When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked... Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."
Now wasnít that easy? You see Jesus is The Walking Talking Miracle and thereís nothing that He wants more than for each and every one of us to be totally healed of all the dirty rotten sins of our lives. But, first of all we must trust in Him for our healing and secondly we must not go back to sinning the sin that made us so sick in the first place. And thatís why Jesus told the man "Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." In other words Jesus said donít keep on sinning or you will see what the word sick really means.
And thatís what the Scripture is all about in II Peter 2:20-22: "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
Can you imagine eating your own vomit? Gross!!! But thatís exactly what we do when we continue to sin after we have asked Jesus to forgive us. When we repeat the sin that we have just been forgiven for (healed) we are in effect eating the soured and stinking food that has just come flying uncontrollably up from our stomachs and out of our mouths.
Not too smart huh? Well Jesus doesnít think so either and thatís why in Matthew 12:43-45 He gives us just a tiny peep (look) into the spirit world. Reading, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."
And thatís why Jesus says "sin no more"! You see this house with legs that we live in is a gonna have some sort of spirit living inside it. Because, as Iím sure you will all remember, God created us body, soul, and spirit. And since this body is a house for a spirit then you had better believe that either Satanís little demonic spirits or the Holy Spirit is going to take up residency. But if we clean our house of the demonic spirits, by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and then go on to commit one of those unconfessed sins afterwards, then the Holy Spirit will move out; and guess who moves in? But when this happens, the problem that moves back in (demonic spirit) is not just one but a whole group of them (7 times the original problem). And if you think that one demonic spirit could seriously trash up your body (house) how about seven of them?
And probably the worst case of unconfessed sin ever recorded in the Word of God (Holy Bible) goes back to the beginning of Jesusí ministry. Reading from Matthew 9:32-38 and 10:1-33, "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."
You see in the beginning of Jesusí ministry He had a pretty big following. And it was these folks who believed in Him, trusted in Him, and followed Him, who He called His disciples. Now there were a bunch of them but God the Father wanted Jesus to choose only twelve of them who were to be very special followers. But before He made His choice, He did as He always did when it came to making decisions; He prayed. And as we read in Luke 6:12-13, "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles..."
Jesus only wanted what God the Father wanted and thatís why He made it through His walk on this earth (in Satanís territory) without one single sin against Him. But anyway He prayed all night just so He could find out which of His many many disciples God the Father wanted Him to choose for His twelve. And after He knew who God the Father wanted He then went on to make it official. Reading on into Matthew 10, "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him."
Now God donít allow no trash in His kingdom. And even though Iím sure you all know the rest of the story about Judas Iscariot, in the beginning, at the place in time of the story, he had everything he needed to stay on track as a disciple of Jesus. Judas believed and he was empowered with the miracle working power of Jesus. Because as we can see for ourselves, "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go... And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give..."
But Jesus didnít stop there because He went on to say in verse 24, However... "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord... Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."
This was what He told the twelve and He told it to all of them for a very good reason. You see they were all human and likewise they would all be constantly and continually hammered on and tempted by Satan and his crew. So Jesus was warning them all in advance that what they had volunteered to do was going to be one tough job. Because Jesus knew that it was Satanís desire, his never ending one and only objective in this life, to turn them all away from following their Savior and Divine Leader Jesus the Christ. And if any of them chose to allow Satan to stop them from doing their job for Jesus then He guaranteed that "him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." And just in case you havenít caught on to the meaning of this text, if Jesus doesnít say to God the Father that we are one of His followers, then there ainít a snowballís chance in Hell that we are going to make it into them pearly gates of Heaven!!! No way!!!
Now this entire incident concerning my next door neighbor and God has made me painfully aware just how easy a target we all are for Satan. You see this man (my neighbor) has accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior but he has a sin in his life that he either doesnít realize he has or he knows it but just wonít admit that he has it. And thatís why you had better believe that Iím now asking God on a regular basis to show me any and all seeds of Satan that are inside me just waiting to be watered (they will grow into a full grown tree if we let them). We have all been born into sin and likewise we all have the potential to sin inside of us. And depending on our genetics and our environment we all have different seeds of Satan inside of us that we need to deal with.
But the seed that was in Judas, the one that would eventually allow Satan to use him for his dirty work, can be seen pretty clearly as a full blown tree in John 12:1-8. And as we read this Scripture please keep it in mind that this event took place only six days before Judas would sell Jesusí life for cold hard cash. "Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simonís son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always."
You see it only took somewhere between two to three years for Judas to go full circle. In the year AD 31 he was chosen as one of the twelve disciples because he had made his commitment to follow Christ. But yet as we read the rest of the story in AD 33 we see his complete commitment to cash. And as the time of Jesusí appointed death grew nearer so did Satanís control over Judas. Because reading from Luke 22:1-6, "Now the feast of the unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude."
And now for the final sad ending to the story of how Judas chose to turn away from Jesus. Reading from John 13:1-30, Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simonís son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded..."
You see Judas Iscariot was not born with the purpose of being the traitor of Jesus. He was born just like the rest of the twelve (and all of us for that matter) with the ability to pick and choose our destiny. He had the choice to continue to follow Jesus or turn to Satan. But it was because of this seed of Satan in his heart (he loved to flash that cash) that he gave in and sold out. He traded the One True Love (Jesus) for Satanís substitution (cash). And thatís why Jesus went on to say, "So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them... I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me."
You see Jesus still loved all twelve of them, and, even though He knew Judasí heart was pretty well set on what he was going to do, He still gave him the chance to turn back. Jesus made it very clear to Judas that He knew what was coming down, and what better incentive could Judas have to stop his deceptive plan of certain death than to have Jesus tell him that He knew exactly what he was up to? Well thatís what Jesus did so why not read it for yourself. "When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus bosom one of his disciples... He then lying on Jesusí breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night."
Judas knew what Jesus knew but because of the money he forgot about his future life in eternity. Jesusí warning as found in Mark 14:18-21 was clear, "...Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me...The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born."
And as a final ending to this terribly tragic event letís read the rest of the story as told by Peter in Acts 1:15-20: "And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty, ) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take."
God has called each and every one of us for a very special job in this life. We have been called to do the job but if we refuse we will be replaced. And even though we might accept His assignment, by becoming one of His disciples, that most certainly donít mean we are home free. This life ainít over until itís over, and likewise until the time of our death Satan will continue to have the rights to try and turn us back around.
And with all of that having been said, please keep it in mind that Judas Iscariot was tricked, fooled, and deceived right on into the pit of Hell... because he was only human... but so are we. So donít be like Judas by letting Satan cheat you out of a mansion in Heaven. Be strong in the Lord... be tough in the Lord... and do it by keeping the faith!!!
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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