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.
2 May, 1999
So how did you like that little message from last week? Well just in case youíve forgotten what we were talking about, the topic of discussion was actually nothing more than my confessing what the Spirit of God had told me to confess (donít look for a job, just trust in Me and wait). And already having realized just how hard it was going to be for some of you to believe what I said about "thus saith the Lord", it was by the end of the week (as people were receiving their letters) that I could actually feel the opposition to what I had written... and I ainít lying. You see thatís the reason why I wasnít in too much of a hurry to follow through on Father Godís orders. I knew without a doubt that when I fessed-up to the fact that "Iím without a job and Iím not looking for a job because God the Father told me not to" that most people wouldnít even be able to accept what-I-said-that-He-said as the truth. And furthermore I figured theyíd probably go so far as to say that Iím crazy, idiotic, absurd, and downright foolish!!!
And thatís only putting it mildly. But... I ainít a gonna let that stop me now. Because you see even though this process of learning to trust in the Lord (following Christ; Christian) is one awfully tough experience (it just ainít all that easy), it is an absolutely necessary part of the process. And of course the reason why it ainít so very easy is because of our very strong attachment to "the flesh"... which quite naturally only wants to do what it wants to do... which brings us back to the point of this message in the first place: The Good Fight Of Faith (The Spirit Of God Verses The Flesh Of Man) part IV.
In fact as I was preparing for this weekís sermonet my mind focused in on The Great and Mighty God of the Universe. I mean all of the sudden the fact of just how impossible it is for me to "know" Him through my fleshly capabilities kinda like hit me. And to be quite honest with you, my personal knowledge of Him (in the flesh) can best be described as a grain of sand floating around in the universe. So please try and understand that these weekly letters are nothing more than my earnest attempts to show you how an ever present knowledge of The God of all gods can only come through His Holy Spirit.
But going back to the part about me being foolish, that brings to mind a very familiar Scripture as found in I Corinthians 1:21-29, "For... in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."
So you see this process of "just saying yes to the Spirit and no to the flesh" is going to be considered "foolish" by most. And itís those same folks who consider this process as "foolish" that God the Father likewise considers "fleshly"... and the last part of the above Scripture makes it pretty clear what He thinks about "fleshly" folks: "...no flesh should glory in his presence." And just in case you didnít understand what that meant, please allow me to explain it: All those who obey the flesh instead of the Spirit are seen as "unbelievers" in the eyes of God. And reading once again from that last great book in the Holy Bible we find, "But the fearful, and unbelieving... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8)
All right! So now that weíve made it through the preliminaries, why donít I just go ahead and tell you about a few more of the great things that the Holy Spirit has done for me. In fact going back in time, it was two weeks ago that the Lord told me to attend church. He told me that He wanted me to go to church, and the church that He wanted me to go to was right across the street from my apartment. Now being perfectly honest with you, I didnít even know what type of church it was. But it really didnít matter anyway... because thatís what He wanted... and thatís what I did... and the results of that two weeks ago Sunday-go-to-meeting was nothing short of grand and glorious. You see what happened to me in that Assembly of God Church was that I got blessed!!!
I got blessed because God the Father directed me to a group of Spirit filled people (Christians) who gave God all the glory with their worship and praise. The singing was great, the preaching was great, and the Spirit of God showed His approval by blessing those in attendance... and one of them just so happened to be me. It was beautiful! And then to top it all off, the pastor of the church (Pastor Hector) put his name on the mailing list by volunteering to read the sermonets.
So thatís what happened to me two weeks ago Sunday. And it was only Friday of this week, as I asked the Lord what He would have me to do this Sunday, that He very quickly gave me His reply to once again attend church. But this time the church that He wanted me to attend was not "a hop, skip, and a jump" across the street, but instead a church in Dell City, Texas... which just so happens to be about a hundred miles away.
Now Iím sure youíll all agree that a 200 mile trip is what you might consider a pretty good Sunday drive. In fact on an average it takes approximately 4 hours to get to Dell City and back. And seeing how Sunday is normally the day that I set aside to put together these little messages, my question to God the Father was "why Dell City?" So after having put that question in the form of a prayer, the instantaneous reply that I received from Him was Psalm 42. And seeing how Iím not too awful familiar with the book of Psalms, I didnít have the slightest clue as to what He meant until I read it and studied it for myself.
But before we get into the meaning of it, letís read it for ourselves: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of Joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (Psalm 42)
Now according to the instructions given to me by God the Father, I was to find the reason for His wanting me to drive all the way out to Dell City in this Scripture. So what I discovered after having dug for quite some time was that David, being the writer of this Psalm, wrote it during a period when he was fighting some of his very own tough battles between "the flesh and the Spirit". And seeing how thatís the situation that I seem to be in right now, this Scripture is what you might want to call just in time. Because you see in this story David tells of his gut wrenching experience of being torn between "the problems of the flesh" and "the promises of the Spirit". In fact if you read very closely youíll be able to see that one minute Davidís remembering the divine presence of the Spirit of God in his life while the very next heís feeling the overwhelming problems (desires) of his flesh. And seeing how Davidís problem didnít go away any too soon, the problems and the promises kept right on flipping back and forth. In fact it was during one of those moments of "the promises" that David remembered the moving of the Spirit of God in church ("...for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of Joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.")
So one of Godís reasons for my driving to Dell City was so that the Spirit of God could bless me in yet another Assembly of God church service. But the question still remained as to why drive so far for a blessing when I could receive one right across the street from my apartment? Well the answer to that one goes a whole lot deeper than Iíve even got time to explain. But giving it to you in a nutshell: seeing how the FMH Childrenís Club Ranch is going to be located right next to Dell City anyway, what better time than now to get to know a few of those Dell City Holy Ghost filled folks. Because you see one of the things that Father God has instructed me to do during this time away from my work is to not only start working on the building designs for the ranch, but also figure out exactly where everything will be constructed. And seeing how these buildings will have to take care of approximately 100 kids, it shouldnít be too hard to figure out that this is a pretty good size project.
And having said all of that, we can get back to the present day problem of not even having the slightest idea of where weíll come up with the money to complete this enormous project... which just so happens to be in additional to the problem of not having a job. But donít be too concerned about that. Because you see not only have I been given both the promise of the ranch and my job but Iíve also been given my orders as to what I should do next. And even though the Spirit of God has given me all "these promises", you had better believe that my flesh has also been giving me a lot of "the problems". So thatís just one more reason why this Scripture from the Lord has been such a blessing to me. Because you see even though David flip-flopped between the promises of the Spirit and the problems of the flesh (good days and bad days) he was able to hold-on-to the promises of God through his very strong belief in God Almighty. And by reading his closing statement in Psalm 42 just one more time, I think youíll be able to see what I mean: "hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
And of course this is exactly what it takes to win these battles between the Spirit of God and the flesh of man. But seeing how David furnished us with a mighty fine example of how to win, why donít we take a look at how to loose. Because reading from Isaiah 28:1-22, we can find just one more "lesson from the past" on the importance of both hearing from and obeying the Spirit of God: "Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Behold, the LORD hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people. And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate."
Now just in case you arenít too hip on all this ancient history, let me try and catch you up on where weíre at. You see the Word of God can actually be given in three different ways. First of all it can be communicated directly to the person who receives it from the Holy Spirit. Secondly it can be communicated from a person who received it from the Holy Spirit (such as a prophet) to another person. And thirdly it can be communicated through the written Word of God. So in the Scripture that we have just read, prophet Isaiah has just started giving all the gory details of what God the Father thinks about His chosen people... and it wasnít even very nice.
So the first group of Godís chosen people to get the bad news from Isaiah is the tribe of Ephraim. And the reason that God the Father gave for their upcoming slaughter was found in the very first words that came out of Isaiahís mouth: "Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower..." You see in the beginning these people were full of life because of their relationship to God the Father (glorious beauty) . But as time passed by their love of self (crown of pride) turned them away from worshipping the God of the Universe. They gave up on God and turned to worshipping self (the flesh). And the one main ceremony that they performed in their worship service to the flesh was to get it all drunk up on the booze (drunkards of Ephraim). And of course the drunker they got the further away from God they got (fading flower)... until the day that Isaiah let them know what "thus saith the Lord".
Because in plain and simple terms, the Lordís message to them was either shape-up or ship-out. And it was the ship-out part that didnít even include a round trip ticket on some exotic pleasure boat cruise. So for all those drunkards of Ephraim who had turned away from God the Father by continuing to worship their flesh, they were just about ready to become history. Their lives would very shortly come to an end, while those remaining faithful few worshipers of the One True God (the residue of his people) would live on to receive His great and wonderful promised blessings.
Now as we continue on with this story please keep it in mind that the message given to the children of Israel came from the Spirit of God through Isaiah. You see God was doing the talking but He was doing the talking through another person (prophet Isaiah). So now letís read what God had to say to the tribe of Judah, "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, lone upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."
So have you ever tried to teach a drunk person anything? Well take it from me, donít even waste your time trying. You see alcohol is one of Satanís very own powerful tools of destruction. Because in plain and simple terms, what it does is turn off the brains ability to receive information from the Spirit of God. It tunes in Satan (the flesh) and tunes out God (the Holy Spirit). And that my friends was exactly the condition of Judahís spiritual leaders ("the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink").
And thatís why Isaiahís next question from the Lord was "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?" You see the ones who were in charge of communicating Godís Word (the priest and the prophet) couldnít even hear Godís Spirit because of their intoxicated condition (they were always drunk). And thatís right about the time that the Lord gives a full blown description of the way the Holy Spirit works in those peopleís lives who will allow Him to: "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear."
Now this is the part that quite a few of you will have a very hard time accepting... but what can I say? If you donít believe me just ask Him for yourself! Because you see understanding the ways of the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity in anyoneís successful Christian walk. And one of the most important characteristics of the Holy Spirit is that He doesnít give you everything all at once, He gives you just a little bit of information at a time and then you have to wait for the rest ("For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.").
So how many folks in this day and time do you figure are willing to tune in, listen to, and wait on the Spirit of the Lord? Well sad to say but not too many. You see most people have their very own tried and tested way of handling lifeís problems and itís called the flesh. And of course itís the flesh that depends on the things of Satan (drugs, alcohol, sex, violence) to resolve the problems that the flesh has created in the first place. And itís because of manís very own stubborn ways of the flesh that God the Father has put into place His very own ways of the Spirit that makes it so very hard for the flesh to be able to accept it! Understand?
Well let me try and help you understand... but please understand me when I said Iíll try. Because you see what Iím about to say concerning the wayís of Godís Spirit is about to irritate some of you allís flesh. And therefore what Iím going to say ainít going to be what your flesh wants to hear. But the truth of the matter is that this tongue talking is not only part of Godís Plan but itís also the part that the Lord was talking about when He said "that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."
So who do you figure is going to take those who are going to be taken? Well the enemy of course. You see this whole entire series of The Spirit of God Verses The Flesh Of Man is intended to focus on Godís Plan. God has a very well laid out plan for each and every one of our lives, but it just ainít a gonna happen unless we get His Plan step by step and day by day through His Holy Spirit ( "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little."). And part of this process of getting information from the Lord and then waiting on His next "handout" includes fighting off the flesh that continues to tell you not to wait any longer. And thatís where this part about tongue talking comes into play. Because as the Scripture says, "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing..."
You see itís during the flip-flops of the battles, in between the time that the Spirit of God gives us His "information handouts", that we have to trust in the Lord "in faith". And one very good example of that is me... and the job that I have but yet I donít have. I mean in between all the promises there are a whole lotta problems, but the Spirit of God is always there to comfort and reassure us that everything is going to be all right. But He will only do the comforting and reassuring for those who are willing to trust in His Spirit and not their flesh. Because for all those who choose the flesh over the Spirit the rest of that Scripture applies: "...yet they would not hear."
And of course that was the very same condition that the tribe of Judah was in. God was doing everything that He could possibly do to get them to understand, but their flesh was overriding the Spirit... and of course the results were "...yet they would not hear." Because as we continue on with the reading we find, "Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, we have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves; Therefore thus saith the LORD God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste... And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it."
Ainít it amazing how these ancient stories show the people of those times to be just as stubborn as the people of today? I mean God has a wonderful plan of salvation, but how many folks do you really figure are going to receive it? Not too many! And why do I say that? Well God has His Plan and He gives us His Plan through His written Holy Word and His Holy Spirit. Nothing has changed! But of course most folks (just like the priest and prophet of Judah) have their very own self conceived fleshly plan as to how theyíre going to escape the everlasting fires of Hell. Thatís what they think, but Godís comment to them (in so many words) was "not a snowballís chance in Hell" are you ever going to make it into Heaven. ("...your covenant with death shall be disannulled... then ye shall be trodden down by it.")
But that ainít even all that He said. Because as we continue with our reading weíll see God the Father, through His prophet Isaiah, give adequate warnings to His chosen people of their upcoming horrors from Hell: "From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report... For the LORD shall rise up... that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the LORD God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth."
So what do you think the Lord was talking about when He said "strange work"? Well seeing how these people were what the Lord considered "His chosen people", wouldnít it kinda like seem awful strange to you that He would both destroy these people on earth and in Hell for all eternity? Well thatís what He was about to do and thatís why He called it His strange work. Because you see thatís the way the Lord works.... and thatís exactly why He goes on to say in Isaiah 30:1-17, "Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth... to a people that shall not profit them. For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still."
So are you starting to see the importance of trusting in and depending on the Holy Spirit? I mean there is no way that I could be winning this battle of life without the Holy Spirit first telling me what to do next and then comforting me while I wait on His next move. You see this is what the battle between the Spirit of God and our flesh is all about. And if we donít fight it the way that God has intended for us to fight it weíre going to lose it big time... just like those rebellious children of Israel.
Which takes us right on into the closing verses for today: "Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Wherefore... For thus saith the Lord GOD. the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall you be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not."
So please listen to what the Word of God has to say. Life is not a joke... it is very serious business. And what we have been discussing for the last several weeks is an absolutely necessary part of each and every persons salvation plan. God loves us all, but our only chance of living in Heaven with Him for all eternity is through our obedience to His Plan!
Hell is not only real but itís fires will go on for ever and ever! Donít take a chance of getting overheated... Keep your cool by Keeping The Faith In Jesus!!!
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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