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Snake Hunters
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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.

 

7 March, 1999

 

Dear Children,

 

Boy oh boy oh boy, what a week this has been!!! And wouldnít you like to know why? Well remember the sermonet two weeks ago (Holy Ghost And Fire!) when I said that "God had chosen me to be a snake handler... and Heís even giving me a pretty intensive course on just how to do it... And even though I am progressing at a pretty steady rate, there are times, might I add, when this job seems to get just a tad bit overwhelming."

 

Well that my friends was one more gross understatement! Because after having gone through what I have just gone through this past week, I can say without a doubt that there are times when this job of snake handling actually becomes very much so extremely stressfully overwhelming!!! And thatís only putting it mildly!

 

Because going back to the letter that I wrote to my friend at Toro (Mr. Ken Melrose/CEO) concerning my boss at Toro (Ricardo Tejada): "The big snake is having a bunch of little snakes... and heís having them pretty fast... and theyíre coming after me. But praise the Lord!" That was what I said, and then it was his very kind and considerate reply that gave me the reassurance I needed to keep right on handling them snakes: "Bruce... all the big snakes and all the little snakes in the world couldnít defeat you and the Lord."

 

So those were the words of encouragement from my friend at Toro (Mr. Ken Melrose/CEO)... and they were very nice words of encouragement... but after having been in the snake pit for five whole days they had sort of like lost their encouraging strength. You see the snakes seemed to be getting bigger and bigger day by day. And thatís the way it was until sometime Friday night, after having gone through this past weekís worth of unimaginable snakehandling stress, that My Friend in Heaven (The One and only True Friend for all eternity: the Spirit of Jesus; the Holy Spirit) gave me a few of His very own wordís of encouragement. And the way that He gave them to me was by bringing to mind the story of Moses. So as I turned in my Holy Bible to the spot where I knew this story to be, I found the most remarkable thing awaiting me. Because what I found was that I had already marked Exodus chapter 3 verses 5 and 7 with a highlighter, and noted in the side margin "God spoke to Hadassah 11/29/98".

 

Now for those of you who might not be too familiar with my family, Hadassah is my youngest daughter who has accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, and called of God to minister with her own life. So God the Father gave her this Scripture back in November... and I made note of it then... but I donít even have the slightest clue as to the significance of it now. But anyway, what I do know is how this Scripture applies to my life, at this very moment, right when I need it the most.

 

Because picking up the story as found in Exodus chapters 3 and 4, "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law... and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God... And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush... and the bush was not consumed. And...God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground... And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know thy sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey... Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt."

 

All right, so that was the beginning of the message that the Lord had given to me. And just so that you will understand how very well this story fits my present day situation with the snakes at Toro, let me go on to say that this Scripture we have just finished reading is "in a nutshell" what we the workers of Toro El Paso have been going through for quite some time now. You see the children of Israel had somehow become the slaves of the Egyptians (which is another very long story of itís own), and the one big Egyptian snake who was causing them all of their problems was this fellow called Pharaoh. So Pharaoh was a snake... and Moses had just been called of God to handle it (the snake)... and the following is what Moses had to say to God the Father concerning his newly acquired position as snake handler: "And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?"

 

And of course after having read what we have just read my only comments were a hearty "Amen to that brother!" Because you see for those of us who trust in God the Father, we know without a doubt that God the Father is the God of the Universe. We know that He is God Almighty and He can handle it all. That is the part that most of us can agree on. But, itís the part about "me" that kinda like throws us into a tailspin. Because itís right about the time that God the Father speaks to His child, and ask him (or her) to take on the job of handling one great big old ugly mean and nasty poisonous snake (Pharaoh), that the child of God kinda like utters "who, me Lord?"

 

So thatís what Moses did, and the following is exactly what God the Father replied: "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you... And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. 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."

 

Now how many of you folks out there like playing around with snakes?... you know, not the two legged kind, but the kind that slithers around on their belly? Well, I dare say that just maybe there is a minuscule few of you who would venture to pick up one of those frightening creatures if it just so happened to be squirming around right there in front of you. There just ainít too awful many who would, but yet this is exactly what God the Father told Moses to do. In fact He not only told him to do it, but He told him to do it in a very specific way: "And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail."

 

And this was the part of the Scripture that I believe God the Father wanted me to understand. You see even though it was God the Father Who had turned Mosesí rod into that very deadly snake, the facts still remained that his rod had become a very deadly snake which could cause him (Moses) some pretty serious difficulties (death even). But even though all of these "what ifs" did exist, God the Father told Moses to pick up the snake and pick it up by the tail. And thatís right about the time when I asked my Heavenly Father "why the tail?"

 

Well what I believe he showed me is what Iím about to try and explain to you. Because you see for anyone whoís any too familiar with poisonous snakes, the one thing that you can count on is that they know just how bad their poison really is. I mean I can just see it in my minds eye right now: a big headed rattle snake, all coiled up, looking straight at me, and just waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Thatís the way they do it. So why in the world would Father God want Moses to reach right on past that big old headed snake, with his fangs fully loaded for the kill, just so that he could get to his tail?

 

Well I believe the reason God told Moses the go for the tail was because of the fact that the tail of that big old headed snake was the easiest part for Moses to get a hold to. You see I believe it was from the very first moment that Moses took his very first step towards that big old headed snake "in faith", that the snake got the fear of God in him, and likewise very quickly turned tail and ran. And of course after that big headed old snake turned tail and ran, the last part that remained for Moses to grab a hold to was the tail. So what do you say to that? Doesnít it make sense?

 

Well I hope it does because thatís the way I believe it happened. So the key to being a successful snake handler is to first of all hear it from God that He wants you to handle the snake in the first place, and then follow it on up by just doing it. You see the way to do it is to approach that snake in faith knowing full well that the power of God will put the fear of God in him... and thatís about the time Mr. Snake will turn tail and run! Because the Scripture goes on to say, "And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand. That they might believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee."

 

Glory!!! Hallelujah!!! Thank you Jesus!!! Ainít it great the way God works? Well what I have just described to you was what God the Father gave to me after my very stress filled work week was about to end. But putting it in reverse and going back four days before that, let me tell you what He gave to me at the beginning of this very stress filled work week. Because you see it was late Monday afternoon, after having gone through one very long day of snake handling on the job, that I was finally able to drag myself on into the house just in time for the Monday-night-four-way-phone-conference-prayer-meeting.

 

But seeing how I was feeling sorry for myself for having to endure all the mental stress that goes along with the snake handling position, I sorta like asked God the Father to give me a few words of encouragement before I got on the phone with the rest of the prayer team. And it was in the blink of an eye that He told me to read Psalm 51... and thatís what I did... and this is what it said: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thine sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest."

 

Now let me be the first one to tell you that this Scripture was not the type of uplifting Scripture that I had planned for God the Father to give me. Because you see in this Scripture we find the words of King David as he cries out to God the Father for forgiveness of his sins. And the sins that he was asking forgiveness for were some pretty bad ones at that. You see he not only committed the sin of adultery with Bathsheba but he also committed the sin of having her husband murdered. And this was what God the Father wanted me to dwell on after a hard day of snake handling?

 

Well continuing on we find David saying, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."

 

You see the key to what the Lord was trying to show me was that we are all sinners. In the beginning we were all born into a sinful dirty flesh that could only be made acceptable in the eyes of God (spotlessly clean) through the precious blood of Jesus. And only after that cleaning process has taken place (accepting Jesusí death as payment for our sins) can the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) become a real life part of us. And after His Spirit becomes a part of us we can then continue on through life without sinning (itís only possible through the Spirit of God within us). But even if we do sin like King David, after having been saved from all previous sins, God will once again forgive us of our sins if we are truly sorry and willing to sin no more.

 

Because David goes on to say, "Then will I teach transgressors thy ways: and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O LORD, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."

 

You see becoming a child of God serves two very distinct purposes. First of all it guarantees that if the one who has given himself (or herself) to God Almighty will continue to be completely sold out to Him, they will likewise one day be in Heaven with Him for all eternity. And then the second most important part of becoming a child of God is that he or she will then go on to help other lost and dying souls become children of God through a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And itís this second purpose for becoming a child of God that makes Father God so very happy, because thatís when His family really starts to grow (the multiplication process).

 

And as I hope you can see by now, this message that He had for me was so very important because it pertained to the snakes. You see a snake is only a snake because of the influence that Satan has had in their life. I mean take for instance this mighty fine example of King David. He was a child of God until he became a child of Satan (snake). And the reason that he became a child of Satan was because he became possessed with the evil wicked spirit of lust. So if you take a lustful snake such as King David, and convince him to get back right with God, then the snake is no longer a snake (child of Satan) but a child of God instead. And of course seeing how this child of God become a child of Satan who was miraculously brought back to his position as a child of God, then you had better believe that heís (sheís) a gonna tell a whole bunch of people all about it.

 

So I hope you can see by now how this multiplication factor works for either side (good or evil). I mean it only makes sense that if a child of God can help produce more children of God then a child of Satan (snake) can also produce more children of Satan (more snakes). And thatís exactly why Iíve been called as a child of God to handle snakes... which takes us right back to the subject at hand of The Sin Of Amway part VII.

 

And where we left off last week was in I Timothy 6:1-12. So reading it once again, "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed... If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to goodness; He is proud... supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."

 

Now what we have just read is what Amway is all about ("But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.")... and they are very good at what they do. Because what the Word of God says is definitely not what Mr. Rich DeVos says in his book entitled Compassionate Capitalism. You see Mr. DeVos claims to be a child of God, but as one of Godís very own official snake handlers, Iím here to tell him that he is a snake. Because you see what he not only preaches in his book (Compassionate Capitalism), but what he also practices in his business (Amway) is clearly what the Scripture that we have just read is preaching against.

 

Now trying to untangle this very well laid spider web of Satan (as found in this business of Amway) is anything but easy, but weíll certainly give it everything weíve got. So to start it all off, why donít we just focus on the word of Rich DeVos according to the gospel of Rich DeVos. And seeing how compassionate capitalism is both the gospel and the words that he preaches what better time than now to just go ahead and define what those two little old words mean?

 

OK! Now the word capitalism can best be defined as the process of making capital. And of course capital in itís most simplistic form is nothing more or less than money. So capitalism is the never ending process of making more money from what money you have (profit)... and of course if you are good capitalist you will make lots and lots of it. And seeing how so many of the folks who might want to join up with Amway already know that "the love of money is the root of all evil", then it quite naturally behooves Mr. DeVos (in order to ease their God designed conscience) to condition them to believe otherwise. And thatís where the part of Mr. DeVosí gospel called compassion comes into play.

 

And taking it directly from his book, Mr. DeVos goes on to say, "When compassion inspires and informs free enterprise, profits follow, the quality of human life is advanced, and the earth is restored and renewed... Regrettably, there have always been (and will always be) greedy, ruthless, uncaring capitalists who think itís all right to make a profit even if that process leads to the suffering of people and the destruction of our planet. Compassionate capitalists still want to make a profit, but they are determined that real profits come when the good of people and the planet comes first... ĎProfití that demeans and dehumanizes our brothers and sisters or depletes and destroys the earth will lead eventually to the death of us all as surely as the wish of King Midas to turn everything he touched to gold led to the destruction of his dreams and to the death of those he loved most."

 

You see itís to the best interest of Mr. DeVosí profit making business to convince the world that you can love money in such a way that it actually doesnít hurt anyone... including the one who is making it (capitalist). In fact Mr. DeVos wants so badly to convince the world that his gospel is The Gospel, that he has even founded a foundation to make it all happen. Because reading once again from his book Compassionate Capitalism, Mr. DeVos goes on to say, "With this book, its upcoming four-part video series, and its various userís guides and support materials, I am launching the Compassionate Capitalism Foundation. My wife, Helen, and I and a company of our friends who are underwriting this new foundation with us have these simple goals: we want to help renew your faith in free enterprise, to build your hope that it is possible to cope with the change and uncertainty we are facing, and to point to compassion as our guiding light for every step on the journey."

 

Wow! Can you even believe all that? The religion of Amway is the religion of Compassionate Capitalism. And for all of you who might not have caught on to it, the only way that any of us are going to make it through this lifetime without getting snookered by Satanís doctrines of error is through The Light that shinneth into darkness... and His name is not Compassionate Capitalism but Jesus Christ. Because as we have just read from the gospel of Jesus Christ as found in I Timothy 6:1-12, "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed... If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to goodness; He is proud... supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."

 

Deceiving deceptions of Satan that can only produce more little snakes for Satan... and thatís exactly what the religion of Amway does best. And as Iím about to show you through one of Mr. DeVosí wrongfully interpreted stories from the Word of God, he continually uses the quotations of Jesus to stress his gospel of Amway: "When vinters make new wine, they put it into barrels and allow it to ferment. In modern wineries the new barrels have large bottles for stoppers instead of corks. As it ages, new wine gives off carbon dioxide. If a barrel is tightly corked, it will explode. The bottles give the wine Ďroom to breath.í In biblical times, Jesus said it was the reason that new wine was never put into old wineskins. They were inflexible and would break. ĎNo,í said Jesus, Ďyou put new wine into fresh wineskins; then both will be preserved.í It seems to me that our task is to help people grow a new capitalism from an old vine stock--the best wines come from old roots--and put the new wine into Ďnew skins.í I think the new wineskin is compassion."

 

Now that was the gospel according to Mr. Rich DeVos... but letís read the truth from the gospel of Jesus Christ. So turning to and reading from Luke chapter 5, verses 33-39, "And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles, and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better."

 

Now this Scripture that Mr. DeVos has used so freely in his book, in no way has anything to do with his religion of Amway or Compassionate Capitalism. The message that Jesus was giving to the people through these parables was concerning Godís Old and New Covenants. The Old Covenant which was The Law (ordinances, rules, and regulations: salvation through the works of man) was being totally and completely replaced by the New Covenant of the Grace of God (the shed blood of Jesus Christ: salvation through Jesus Christ). And you see it was because of manís never ending desire to make God the way that he wants God to be, that the Old Covenant of the Law had turned into manís very own man made religion. It wasnít serving God, and God no longer had anything to do with it... but the people loved it. And it was because of this one fact that Jesus knew the change from the Old to the New was going to be pretty hard for man to make. And thatís why He was giving them all the visual aids possible to help them understand what He was trying to say.

 

Now Jesus wasnít one who considered fermented grape juice as a delicacy. Unlike Mr. DeVos, Jesus was using the comparison of the new wine in the old skins in the negative sense. You see it all goes back to the place where we started this little discussion on Amway: "Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." The leaven of the Pharisees is basically the same thing as the small amount of fermented grape juice remaining in the old wineskins (leaven). It all has the same results. The only difference being that the leaven (very small dead rotting words of man) added to the Words of God will produce a dead rotting religion, while old wine (very small amounts of rotting grapejuice) added to new wine (fresh grape juice) will produce a dead rotting intoxicating drink. Any way you look at it both conditions are bad in the eyes of God!

 

Now I hope youíve been able to pick up on the fact that the world is full of big snakes trying to produce a whole lot more of the little snakes. So please donít let them make a snake out of you. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, and then continue on to Keep the Faith!!!

 

Love,

 

Dad (Bruce Hallman)

 

Bar

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