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.
21 March, 1999
Well weíre back... and even after last weekís message from the Word of God to my boss (Ricardo Tejada)! Because you see that little innocent message that the Lord gave to me to give to you made just a few people upset. But now that itís all over with, Iíll be the first to admit that there were times when I actually had some of that so called "fear in my heart." In fact it was only Monday morning that the FMH Childrenís Club Ministry Letter became officially banned at Toro El Paso. And of course the very logical reasoning behind Human Resourceís decision for this drastic action was because of The Toro Company Personnel Policy #D-6 (Distribution And Non-Gift Solicitations) which reads: "In order to ensure efficient operation of our business and to prevent annoyance to employees, solicitation of or by employees of the Company is prohibited during their working time. Distribution of literature or other material by employees in working areas at any time, or in non-working areas in such a manner as to cause litter or disruption in the plant or office, is prohibited".
And do you really think that The Toro Company Personnel Policy #D-6 applies to the FMH Childrenís Club Ministry Letter? Well of course it does! You see to all the snakes at Toro El Paso, the Word of God thatís presented in the FMH Childrenís Club Ministry Letter is both a disruption and an annoyance to them... because they are the snakes... and the Word of God is the two-edged sword thatís coming up against them. So what we did through last weekís message kinda like had a two fold results: it not only gave hope to those at Toro El Paso who donít want to become snakes, but it also exposed just a few more of the existing snakes!!!
So as of this week our mailing list has grown in size... because of the folks at work... who use to get their sermonets delivered by hand... but will now get them delivered through the mail. And furthermore, regardless of the snakesí efforts to stop the Truth (as presented through the gospel of Jesus Christ) we will continue to preach it to all those who are willing to listen. I mean after all, whatís a few more stamps?
OK, so because of my very traumatic (fearful) experience of this past week I will be able to present to you the message for this week. In fact it makes perfectly good sense for me to even go so far as to say that what we will cover this week is very personal... because Iíve kinda like been there and done that. But, before we get bogged down in the lesson for today, let me first flip back to the story of Nebuchadnezzar from last week.
You see even though the Lord told me to give my boss (Ricardo Tejada) the same message that He had given to Nebuchadnezzar ("...to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field"), and even though most would definitely not consider this message as good news to those receiving it (Nebuchadnezzar and my boss (Ricardo Tejeda)), I think that pretty soon you will be able to see that there is an upside to the ending of this story. Because as we continue on with the reading in Daniel 4:33-37, we find: "The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eaglesí feathers, and his nails like birdsí claws."
So what do you figure all this means? Well to put it into plain and simple terms, Old Neb kinda sorta like flipped out. He lost it! But... after several years of thinking that he was a cow, Nebuchadnezzar had one of them life changing experiences. Because he then went on to say, "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned to me; for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."
Ainít it great what God Almighty can do with a person who we might consider "too far gone to be helped?" I mean take for example Nebuchadnezzar. Here was a man who was so badly hung up on himself that he couldnít even consider the thought of giving God the time of day. And likewise, thatís exactly the way that he stayed until he spent a few years living like an animal. Because you see it was only after a few years of living in the pasture that Old Nebuchadnezzar kinda like woke up to the fact that he needed the God of the Universe as his personal Savior.
And after having said what I needed to say about Nebuchadnezzar, itís now time to get back to the subject of my very traumatic week at work. And the best way I know how to relate back to you what I personally experienced is by returning to the story of Moses: "And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand..."
Now the question that Iíve got for you is what do you suppose Moses would have done if the snake that he latched hold to would have stayed a snake? Just what if God the Father would have allowed the rod that became the mean old nasty snake to remain as the mean old nasty snake? Just what if? Well if God would have allowed it, I believe that it wouldnít have been too very awful long before Moses would have gotten just a little bit nervous. And furthermore, I believe that the longer that snake would have stayed a snake the more uncomfortable Moses would have gotten. I mean just think of all the horrible things your mind can dream up while holding on to the tail of a very poisonous snake?
Well after having put that one thought in your mind, letís proceed on into the Scripture as found in I Kings 16:29-33: "And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him."
So what we have here is a fellow named Ahab... who was sorta like Nebuchadnezzar... and my boss... but even worse... and he became the king of Godís chosen people. And seeing how Ahab must have thought that his evil wicked ways werenít already bad enough, he went right on along and added insult to injury by marrying some fluzie named Jezebel. Because this was right about the time when the term "wicked evil" became mild in comparison to what Jezebel actually was. And of course it was because of Godís love for His chosen people that He likewise hated what this husband and wife tag team were trying to do to them.
But... have no fear because thereís a hero a coming in the very next chapter. So picking up the story in chapter 17: "And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there."
Now if youíll take careful note of Elijahís statement "...there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word" youíll see that what he said was what he wanted to say. And of course Elijah said what he said because of the fact that he was sick and tired of seeing Godís chosen people being led away from God by this married couple from Hell (Ahab and Jezebel). And seeing how Elijah had already said what he said, God was gracious enough to hide him away until what he had said (no wet stuff for three whole years) was over and done with. "So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee."
So this "curse" of Elijahís turned out to be what you might want to call one of them very long hot summers... and it still wasnít over yet... but Elijah did as God had instructed for him to do: "So he arose and went to Zarephath... And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab.... and Ahab went to meet Elijah. And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy fatherís house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebelís table."
Now itís important to notice that once again Elijah added just a little bit to what God had commanded him to do. Because you see God originally told him "Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth" and Elijah added "...and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebelís table." And even though Elijahís request was a pretty tall order, for some mysterious reason Ahab bent over backwards to please him: "So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baalís prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken."
So what Elijah was putting into place was nothing more than one great big old fully orchestrated production number for God. You see He was going to allow God Almighty the opportunity to demonstrate His power for the nation of Israel to see... and without a doubt (so he thought) this would turn them back to God. So as the stage curtains open we see Elijahís drama unfold: "And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves... And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered... And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded."
So it looked as though Baal was not going to participate in this Broadway production number after all. And what better opportunity for Elijah, being the great producer that he was, to further captivate the audienceís interest: "And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.... And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water."
Wow, what an opportunity for God to impress His people! What a show this was going to be! So letís see if it lives up to Elijahís expectations: "And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said... Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there."
I must say, that one was quite impressive Elijah. It looks as though you might have convinced them all to turn away from the false gods of Ahab and Jezebel. And now that Elijahís part of the production is over, itís now Godís turn to do what He had planned to do all along: "And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink... And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel."
So now that Godís rain has finally come, letís see what Jezebel has to say about the rest of the story: "And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a dayís journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers."
Now I guess it would be safe to say that Elijahís production number didnít get the results that he was hoping for after all. You see even though the people of Israel had seen God put on an awesome demonstration of His power, and even though there were a lot of dead false prophets laying all around, the fact still remains that the two big snakes Ahab and Jezebel were very much so alive, well, and kicking... in fact they were kicking even harder than before. So what better time than now for Elijah to head on up to the hills in search of God: "And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat... And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?"
Now after Godís last question to Elijah ("What doest thou here, Elijah?") it should have been pretty obvious that something just wasnít quite right. But Elijah doesnít get the message any to quickly, "And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of host: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."
So what do you figure God Almighty was trying to tell Elijah? Well letís read it for ourselves and see: "And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?... And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him."
Al right, so letís see if we can sum up what we have just read in this story about Elijah and how it might apply to me. Because being completely honest with you, Iíve known it for almost a week that this was the story that the Lord wanted me to cover, but I havenít even come close to understand the message until just now. You see Elijah was a prophet of God, and he was called out to help the children of Israel come back to God... but the people werenít coming back to God fast enough. So Elijah put things into high gear, got ahead of God, and ended up taking a 500 mile round trip excursion on foot that didnít even need to be taken in the first place. Talk about tired feet!
And if you were to read on into II Kings you would see the results of Godís perfect plan after Elijah decided to listen. God did exactly what He had planned to do, and He did it with the help of Elijah, but He did it His very own way and in His very own timing. Because what finally came to be was that Jehu, who was an officer in Ahabís army, was anointed by Elisha (Elijahís replacement) to be king. And in his position as king, Jehu not only exterminated Ahabís family (he killed Jehoram the king of Israel, Ahabís son-in-law Ahaz, Ahabís seventy sons, Ahaziahís brothers, and all the supporters of Ahab) but he also completely destroyed all Baal worship (he killed all the priest and worshipers of Baal and then destroyed the temple of Baal). And while Jehu was busy with his bloody revolution within Israel, Hazael (the king of Syria) was busy taking care of his very own bloody battles with Israel just east of the Jordan.
So you see even though we might have hold of the snake, and even though we might be getting pretty nervous about what to do next, itís absolutely necessary that we just keep on holding on until we hear from God. Because Paulís writings as found in Romans 8:1-14 pretty well sum it all up: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."
You see in this story we have just read, the prophet Elijah let his flesh take control of the situation... instead of the Spirit of God. And thatís why itís so very important the we all (including me) wait ever so patiently to hear the gently voice of God the Father. Because as Paul goes on to say, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
Now I donít know about you but I definitely donít want to lose my chances of becoming an adopted child of God. And seeing how it ainít too very hard to do, we need all the instructions we can get on just how not to do it. And thatís exactly what Ephesians 6:10-18 is all about: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with the truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints..."
And believe it or not, but, after having said all of that, we need to read the Words of God from the Words Of The Spirit (as chosen by God the Father for my boss (Ricardo Tejada)) just one more time. Because in this spiritual battle that we must fight each and every day of our lives, Satan will uses all his spiritual resources necessary to try and get us to serve him with our flesh. And if you paid particularly close attention to everything that weíve covered for today, youíll be able to see how very dangerously close we all come to falling into the same trap: "...For I say many will scratch and claw their way unto the top unto the pinnacle that they may be seen of all men, that they may be worshipped and applauded... for I say unto thee that they allowed the deceit of their carnal minds to lead them astray and to lead others astray likewise. I say unto thee that the carnal mind is the enemy of my purpose. Do not bow unto the same, I say do not hearken unto the same but I say hearken unto me, the Living God. I say go the way that I instruct thee, rejoice in the power that I give thee. I say thank me that I am the I AM. Thank me that there is none other like me, for I say when you will serve me with all of your hearts, and when you will obey me with dedication, I say unto thee that I the Living God will give thee the mind of my Spirit. And I say unto thee that in the mind of my Spirit, there is life, I say there is wisdom, I say there is knowledge. I say there is instruction."
Wow, what a message!!! Now I can guarantee you that you ainít a gonna understand this one by just skimming through it ever so lightly. This one was a very tough one for me to grab a hold to, and I can only imagine that it will probably demand both prayer and Godís Spiritual guidance in order for you to understand it too. And in closing, because of this very special message from the Lord today, Iíd like to thank God the Father for all the patience Heís shown for me in my lifetime. Because there ainít no doubt in my mind that this one was meant for me. But, even though I might claim special rights on whatís been said, you can also benefit from it just the same.
So please donít miss out on this opportunity to understand what "thus saith the Lord." Get down into the Word of God, pray through and ask for Godís Spirit to guide you, and do it all so that you can Keep on keeping The Faith In Jesus!!!
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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