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.
11 April, 1999
So did you miss me last week? Well in the sermonet for the 28th of March I had every good intention of letting you know that I wouldnít be sending out a letter on the 4th of April... and seeing how I got so caught up in the writing of that one little message, I kinda like forgot to add in the note about my scheduled absence. But anyway, what did happen was that I left out of El Paso on the 30th of March and headed on down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for one more fired-up Campmeeting at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.
Now the beautiful thing about this Campmeeting was that most of the messages given during the five day praise and worship service to the Lord were all tied back to the sermonet series on the story of Elijah. And even though the story of Elijah was never once mentioned during Campmeeting (I donít believe it was anyway), the subject matter of "walking in the Spirit" was. Because time and time again the message of The Good Fight of Faith (the Spirit of God verses the flesh of man) kept popping up in the sermons.
In fact you might even go so far as to say that this story about my Jimmy Swaggartís Easter Campmeeting trip (the war between the Spirit and the flesh) started several weeks before I actually got into my pick-um-up truck for that very loooooong drive to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Because it was sometime around the end of February or the first of March that the Lord told me (through His Spirit) to drive down to Campmeeting and pick-up Brother Alan (in Houston, Texas) on my way. And youíll just have to believe me when I say that this was right about the time when one more battle broke out between what the Spirit of God wanted me to do and what my flesh wanted me to do.
Because you see I didnít even have the slightest desire to plant myself into my little Toyota truck for that loooooong drive to Baton Rouge. I mean after all, why should I have to subject my poor old body to the physical pain and suffering of driving that ever so loooooong drive when I could fly? I wanted to fly!... But the Lord wanted me to drive. And the reason why He wanted me to drive was so that I could pick up Brother Alan on the way down. And the reason why He wanted me to do it that way was because it was part of His plan, His Perfect Plan, and therefore it was to my best interest as a child of God to do just that. So after a lengthily struggle with the flesh, thatís exactly what I did!
And now that you understand what the battle was all about, who do you figure this fellow Brother Alan is? Well heís not my flesh and blood brother, but he is my Spirit brother. You see itís only because of the fact that weíre both members of the Body of Christ (born-again baptized-in-the-Holy-Spirit believers-in-Christ) that weíre related through our elder Brother Jesus Christ, which just so happens to make Brother Alan my brother in the Lord. Understand?
And even though I didnít fully understand it all in the beginning (when the Spirit asked me to make the drive through Houston and pick up Brother Alan), the Lord finally showed me during the Campmeeting week that Brother Alan had been chosen by God to serve as a very important part of the FMH Childrenís Club International... and thatís not even all that He showed me. Because throughout the entire Campmeeting week the Lord continued to show me (through His Spirit) a whole lot more of those very special people connected with the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries who He wants to be a part of the FMH Childrenís Club outreach ministries. And if thatís not enough to overwhelm you, the Spirit of God even went so far as to tell me to stay away from one or two folks who my flesh thought would be perfect candidates for the job. Ainít God great?
And that was only a very small sample of the mighty move of God (through His Holy Spirit) that occurred at the Jimmy Swaggart Easter Campmeeting. In fact Brother Alan, whoís been bound to a wheelchair for some thirteen years now, received a word from God concerning his healing; he will walk again! And then to top it all off, it was on Sunday night that our youngest two, Arthur and Hadassah, received a refilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
Glory be to Jesus! What a week it was! And then it was time to come back to El Paso... to a real life situation of unemployment... and to a real life opportunity for the Devil... and you had better believe that he took full advantage of it. Because you see even though my unemployment was due to my commitment to Christ... I was still very much so unemployed. And even though the Spirit of God continued to tell me that everything was going to be all right (and might I add that He still continues to do so to this very day), my flesh tried ever so convincingly to tell me that everything was utterly and completely hopeless.
So upon my return Satan immediately started messing with me through my flesh... and likewise I retaliated by getting into the Spirit through prayer. The battle was on... and it didnít let up... even as I attempted to catch up on my weekís worth of e-mails and phone messages. In fact to tell you the truth, even though most of the messages were a very positive and upbeat show of support from my friends, Satan somehow managed to point out at least one reason for despair in all of them. But having thought about what I have just said, should I really have expected anything less from the master of discouragement (Satan)? I mean after all, thatís his full time job!
You see whether any of us want to believe it or not, this is the way that God has designed it! We have all been drafted into the battle of the flesh and the Spirit... and we all have to choose between whatís right and whatís wrong (the Spirit or the flesh). In fact getting back to the basics, Adam and Eve had to fight the same battle. And looking back at their past, as found in the book of Genesis, I think that we can safely say that this fine couple not only lost the battle but they lost the war. And of course the reason that they lost was because of the fact that they continued to listen to their flesh instead of the Spirit of God.
So that takes us right back to the Wordís of the Spirit that the Lord gave me to give to my use-to-be boss: "I say how many are out there... who are so vainly puffed up by their carnal minds that... they strut about as kings.... and they are full of destruction and death... I say they seek that they may be exalted and seen of men for they are vainly puffed up by their carnal minds... For I say that they have exalted themselves... and they have put themselves in the position where men would recognize them and bow unto their authority and bow unto their power. And... the arms of death shall embrace them and swallow them up and I say they will be taken up into everlasting chains 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 do not hearken unto the same but I say hearken unto me, the Living God... I say thank me that I am the I AM... 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."
You see this "carnal mind" that Father God was talking about in the Words of the Spirit is none other than "the flesh". And of course if we set our hearts and minds to listening to and obeying the flesh then we will likewise be ignoring and disobeying the Spirit. So seeing how the Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God, then any and all disobedience to Him (the Spirit) is likewise disobedience to God the Father. And continued disobedience to God the Father can only result in the one who is doing the disobeying becoming permanently located in the everlasting burning fires of Hell. And that was exactly the message that God the Father had for my boss.
And thatís why itís so very important that we all pay particularly close attention to the ending of His message: "I say hearken unto me, the Living God... I say thank me that I am the I AM... 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."
So please get this one point... it is extremely important: In the mind of the Spirit there is life... and it is everlasting life!!! Because once again reading from Romans 8:1-14: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, 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. 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 there are a bunch of "Christian" folks out there who both attend church regularly and read our little sermonets. But then again, itís some of these same folks who read what "thus saith the Lord" in these weekly messages with both their mouths wide open and their eyes about to pop out of their heads. So why in the world would the Word of God get "Christians" so upset? Well the truth of the matter is that these "Christians" donít understand the Word of God because they donít have the Spirit of God instructing them. And the reason that they donít have the Spirit of God instructing them is because they are living their lives in the flesh.
And for those of you who might be wide mouthed and bug eyed about what Iíve just said, please consider what we have just read from the book of Romans: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God... So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God... Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his... 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...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."
Are you starting to get the message? Well just in case some of these words are foreign to you, the word "enmity" means "enemy". And for all those folks who continue to live in the flesh instead of the Spirit, regardless of the fact that they might call themselves "Christians", they fall right in line with the statement that God calls them His enemy. And because of that one fact Iím afraid that the opposite of that last statement could very well be true. Because if you are not filled with the Spirit of God, and if you are not obeying the Spirit of God, then you are not what God calls one of His children. And if you ainít a child of God then you must be a child of Satan.
So, Iím a gonna keep on preaching what Iím preaching because I know it to be the Truth! And furthermore, thereís a whole lot of you folks out there who need to seriously consider whatís just been said... because your everlasting life depends on it. But continuing on with our reading in I Corinthians 2:9-16, we find, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which manís wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
Now thatís what I call some pretty heavy Scripture! Itís called getting it on down to the bottom line on the issue of the Holy Spirit. You see I know how very hard itís gonna be for some of you folks to spiritually discern what Iím trying to tell you... because you arenít spiritually equipped to handle it. And because of that one itty bitty fact it should start the gears turning in some of your minds. Because the truth of the matter is that once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOR, and have receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, then you have exactly what you need to become an adopted child of God. And as a Spirit filled child of God it is your responsibility to both hear from God the Father and obey God the Father through the Spirit of God the Father (the Holy Spirit). And if youíre walking in the Spirit of God (both hearing and obeying the Spirit) then there is nothing that can stop you from becoming that certified bonafied forever adopted child of God that Heís called you out to be.
And that my friends is what each and everyone of you should plant in your hearts. But continuing on with the message... since we missed the Easter Story last week, and seeing how it fits so very nicely anyway, why donít we just finish off this little sermonet with the story of Jesusí resurrection. So turning to and reading from John 19:41-42 and 20:1-31, "Now in the place where he (Jesus) was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand. The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre... But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping... And when... she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing... Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."
What an everlasting time to rejoice! Jesus had only just a few days earlier completed His mission on earth by freely giving His life on the cross. That was step one in the process. And for step number two, Jesus traveled on down to the center of the earth and busted Hell wide open by taking control of the once out of control situation with Satan and his death grip on mankind. Satan had now been defeated and the only remaining unfinished part of Jesusí mission was to return to His heavenly home and apply His very own precious shed blood to the Mercy Seat of Heaven. And can you only imagine all the shouting that was going down in Heaven? What a sight and sound that had to be! Glory!!!
But getting back to the story on earth, "Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you... Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."
Itís truly amazing how much information is in the Scriptures of the Holy Bible. And of course the reason that itís called the Living Word is because the Holy Spirit will continually open up more and more of the Scripture each and every time the born-again Spirit-filled child-of-God reads it in the Spirit. And because of that one very important fact, there is so much I would like to tell you about what we have just read... but we are very quickly running out of paper. So what I want you to focus on are the words spoken by Jesus: "Peace be unto you... Peace be unto you..."
Now in order to get the full meaning of this message, you must keep in mind what the conditions were that surrounded the disciples: "the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews..." You see the most unholy Jewish leaders had just seen to it that Jesus the Christ was nailed to a cross. And of course since their hate was so great for Jesus, it likewise applied to all those who even believed that Jesus was who He said He was. So here we have a room full of Jesus believers who are literally scared out of their wits. In the flesh they were nothing but a bunch of whimpering scaredy cats. They had Great Fear... until their Lord and Savior instantly appeared on the scene. And then... thatís when it all happened. Because the words that He spoke ("Peace be unto you... Peace be unto you...") were more than just words... they were words both spoken and felt through His presence, the presence of the Holy Spirit that was in Him and on Him.
Boy is this ever a deep subject! But anyway, at this point in time the disciples did not have the option of the Holy Spirit. The Plan of God had not been totally finished, and therefore the peace that comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit could only come through the presence of Jesus the Christ. So it was the absence of Fear and the presence of Peace that the disciples felt when Jesus appeared in the room... and it was all due to the Spirit of God in Jesus. Because He then went on to say, "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost."
You see this Peace is what the whole world is searching for... but sad to say most are searching for it in the flesh and not in the Spirit. And just to drive home the point, letís read the words of Paul once again from Romans 8:6, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." The mind of the flesh will only bring death... and having said that letís continue with the story of the disciples: "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and will thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, MY LORD and My God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."
So how many of you folks reading this message donít believe in what the Lord has given us in this sermonet? How many of you just canít grab hold of this Truth about the Spirit of God and His everlasting Peace... and all because of your flesh? Well let me finish off this message in the book of Acts with a real life story about the disciples and their continuing efforts to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. And as you read this story keep it in mind that this story happened after the death of Jesus and after the disciples received the infilling of the Holy Spirit (with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave them utterance).
Because you see now that the Jewish nation (Godís chosen people) had rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, it was the responsibility of the disciples to take the gospel of Jesus to the rest of the world. And in Acts 10:34-48, we read: "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
What a powerful Spirit filled message that one was... and of course it was not only addressed to the Gentiles but also to the Jews as well. Because even though it was the Jewish people who nailed Jesus to the cross, it was still not too late for them to accept Him as their Lord and Savior (Jesusí blood was shed for all). But the end results of Peterís Spirit filled message was that quite a few Gentiles became Holy Ghost filled believers in Christ: "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days."
You see there were some of the Jewish people who finally realized their error... and became believers in Christ... but then again there were many many more who didnít. And of course for those many many more who didnít, it was only about 40 years later that Jesusí prophecies concerning the Jewish nation became true. Because reading from Luke 19:41-44, we find: "And when he (Jesus) was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children with thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."
You see the Jewish peopleís Real Peace was none other than the walking talking Spirit of God Whoís name was Jesus. But sad to say the peace that they chose was a false peace of their very own man made religion. They refused to accept Jesus as their Christ and the "rewards" of their decision was their upcoming destruction on earth and their everlasting destruction in the burning fires of Hell. Because in the year 70 A.D., Titus, the Roman General, surrounded Jerusalem by a line of fortifications that cut off the city from all supplies... and the rest of the story is some very gruesome history. Because it was not too very long thereafter that approximately 1,100,000 Jews gave their lives through either starvation, fighting, or the horrible death called crucifixion. You see because of their continued belief in a religion which promised them a false peace, tens of thousands of Jews gave their life in the same way as their Real True Peace (nailed to a cross).
Itís an awful thing to deny the only possible way of escaping Hellís everlasting fires of destruction... but thatís what so many of Godís very own chosen people (the Jews) did at the time of Christ. And might I add in closing that I too (having been brought up in a Methodist Church) can relate to the fact that belonging to a religion ainít a gonna save anyone. Salvation is much more than joining a denomination... in fact itís really just the opposite. Because when anyone becomes a True Christian they turn themselves over to God by allowing the Spirit of Jesus to have complete control in their lives.
So donít take any wooden nickels... and donít be fooled by any of Satanís lies about salvation through religion. Accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, receive His baptism in the Holy Spirit, and receive His Peace that passes all understanding for all eternity.
Keep On Keeping The Faith In Jesus!!!
Dad (Bruce Hallman
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