In our last program, we were infected by the enthusiasm of an ex-Muslim Brother who found God in His unchanging Word, the Bible. In answering his questions we learned that Christian women have uncut hair, as a covering and sign, that they're under the authority of God and man. We learned that a woman is forbidden to preach or teach, but is to learn in silence in the church.
I thought we'd continue to celebrate our new Brother's enthusiasm, to know, and to obey God through faith, or a clear understanding of the revealed Word, with the theme: `obedience is better than sacrifice'.
Ephesians 2 calls the unconverted - children of disobedience. As Eve was disobedient, these also add to and take from God's Word. The children of obedience and disobedience have nothing in common. They both claim to be Christians. But how can the Bride of Christ associate in a denomination? One's disobedient to the Word, and the other's obedient.
One's of the day and Light. The other's of the night and darkness - nightclubs, dances, discoes, yet belongs to church. It's okay with their god. They have no condemnation. Nothing bothers them.
"Why it doesn't condemn me to cut my hair," a woman said. "Doesn't hurt my conscience." She's got no more conscience, than a snake's got hips. That's right! She doesn't know what conscience is. It's been seared so much, till she doesn't even know what it is.
How can one be the Word and the other one perverted word? How can a prostitute and a clean woman walk together in agreement? They can't do it. They have no fellowship at all. Come out from among them. It's of the Devil; it's the mark of the beast, heading right into it now - all denominations, I don't care whose it is. God's not taking a denomination, He's taking a people for His Name.
Denominations won't receive these Truths. It'll take an individual person that can see God, and look at His Word, and believe It, and belong to no organization, but live for God. Not some organization of intellectual wisdom, some bishop's taught. Amen!
Pharaoh said, "Me! Obey him? Pharaoh, obey that old crank: Moses?"
Moses said, "Turn me down, and you'll destroy the nation!" And it did. God appeared as a Pillar of Fire. Sent Moses down to Egypt. And by mighty signs and wonders, He brought them out.
While walking in the line of duty to the Promised Land, the enemy backed Israel into a corner, and the Red Sea cut them off from the line of duty and their march. God looked down from heavens through the Pillar of Fire. And the sea got scared! It rolled back its waves, and made way for his children, walking in obedience.
In the wilderness, with no bread, or anything to eat, yet walking in the line of obedience, God rained bread, down out of the sky.
When God expects you to do a special thing, He demands a complete separation from any doubt. You've got to come to full obedience to obey what He says. God demands it. You can't do it any other way. He set an example. Christ. His example is a total separation from all of your family, all of your friends, your workmates, from all ambitions, from your church - from every thing and every body. To walk a life separated to His Word.
When his obituary was written, the Bible said, "Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong, giving praise to God." Did you ever consider why?
Abraham was absolutely positive. The only thing he had to do, was to separate himself from his people. And God never did bless him - until he did. He took his father, Terah; and Terah died. He took LOT. Only after he separated from Lot, did God say, "Now, wherever you walk, and as far as you can see, I give you that Land."
Obedience! God's promises are conditional to obedience.
Abraham took his son on three-days journey, probably ninety miles from civilization, up on top of a mountain the Lord had shown him. Upon this mountain, Abraham was to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, as God offered His Son on Mount Calvary as a sacrifice in our stead. Isaac carried up the wood, which was a type of Christ carrying His Own Cross. When he'd fulfilled everything that God told him to do, and was ready to cut his son's throat. Just as he drew the knife from its sheath, and raised his hand to obey God to the full, God said, "Stay your hand Abraham!" And there was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns, on top of that mountain.
How come that ram was on top of the mountain, where there's no water? Where lions, wolves, hyenas, jackals, and ferocious beasts hunt? When Abraham collected the stones to build the altar, why didn't he see the ram?
The Bible said, Abraham knew, God couldn't make a promise, unless He kept it. For God had promised to make of Abraham a great nation through Isaac. And He was able to raise Isaac up from the dead, if need be, to fulfill His promise. So Abraham received Isaac as one from the dead. Because of obedience. A perfect type of Christ, Who was also obedient unto death. What a promise!
Obedience is what God wants. "Obedience is better than sacrifice." To obey the Lord, is better than any sacrifice we could do.
What did God say in His Word? "I'll raise it up again at the last days." Amen! "I'll raise it up." He promised it. After the body has perished, even after the dust has returned to gases! Though it be but a spoonful of ashes, He said, "I'll raise it up again at the last day." That dirt will have to obey His command, because He created it. If the wind and waves obey Him, so does the dirt obey Him. Amen!
Wake up! He's with us now! Everything obeys Him.
God seems strange to us, because His ways are past finding out. He wants obedience. He doesn't want theologians to `work Him out'.
The Bible teaches us that the days of old were for our example. We can see what God did to Israel when they obeyed the Word, and what He did to them when they disobeyed the Word, and learn what we must do. So we pray that God'll speak to us, that we may know, how to conduct ourselves, and apply what we've learned this morning, to the day that we're living in.
We look to Israel as an example of what God was, and He always has to remain the same. That's how we can know His ways. And there's only one thing God ever did honor. That's the way He provided for His people. When they got out of that way, He was dishonored, and God made them suffer for getting away from what He'd told them to do. No matter what it was.
He even gave them a Law: "Touch not, taste not, handle not" - not because of the evil of doing it, but the evil of disobedience to His command (Levitucus 11; Colossians 2:21). There can't be a law without a punishment for disobedience to that law. For without punishing the disobedient, the law would be unjust to those who are obedient.
"Where are you going?"
"That's none of your business!" Just keep on going.
"What do you want me to do, Lord?"
"That's nothing to you. Follow thou Me. Just keep walking."
"Where will I stop?"
"What's that to you? Just keep walking."
So here I go, in the Name of Jesus Christ. And God bless you all.
Here's an opportunity for us to learn some facts found in every encyclopaedia. My young exMoslem friend asked me:-
Scripture doesn't plainly state the date of our Lord's birth, but he was born in about 4 BC, under the sign of the ram. He was the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. And the NATURAL types the SPIRITUAL: lambs are born in SPRING time, about April.
Luke 2:8 tells us that the shepherds in Judea were `abiding in the FIELD, keeping watch over their flock by night'. Were Jesus born in December, the Bethlehem HILLS would be covered with SNOW. From October until March, shepherds are NOT in the fields at night. And the sheep are in the VALLEYS or in enclosures.
Nine months pregnant, Mary did not travel some 150 miles by unmade road in winter. Roman governments were not so inept as to require their subjects to travel by foot through winter SNOWS, to the husband's home town, to register for a taxation census.
Luke designates Jesus' baptism as the beginning of His ministry, and by stating Jesus' approximate age, brings it into connection with the date of His birth. Were Jesus born on December 25th, and baptized thirty years later at the SAME season, He would have been baptized in mid-WINTER. The NATURAL church would have us believe that John was standing in the icy waters of Jordan, with crowds on the banks eagerly awaiting immersion beneath the FREEZING waters.
IF Rome is the Babylon of Revelation, and the Madonna enshrined in her sanctuaries the very Queen of heaven, for the worshiping of whom, the fierce anger of God was provoked against the Jews in the days of Jeremiah, it's essential that we confirm this fact beyond all possibility of doubt.
A comparison of their different festivals goes far to prove the identity of the Roman and Babylonian systems. The festivals of Rome are innumerable; five of the most important: Christmas-day, Lady-day, Easter, the nativity of St. John, and the Feast of the Assumption can each be proved to be Babylonian. As to Christmas. Christ could not have been born on the 25th of December.
The word "Christmas" is a combination of TWO words: CHRIST and MASS. A mass, is a Roman Rite that originated long ago in ancient Babylon. Today, a Mass represents the so-called "CONTINUATION of the SACRIFICE of Christ." It's a ritual re-enactment of the death of Christ.
Christ-mass, is the mass celebrated by Roman Catholics, supposedly in honour of Christ's birth. As late as the fifth century, Origen (hom. viii on Leviticus), repudiated the idea of keeping the birthday of Christ `as if He were a king Pharaoh' (or SUN-god).
Its incredible, that within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of until the third century. Not until the fourth century was far advanced, did it gain much observance. Numerous dates have been proposed for the birth of Christ, from October to May.
Long before the Christian era, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, on 25th December, in honour of the birth of the SUN-god. As a political step to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the ranks of nominal Christians, the same festival was adopted by the false church, in the Name of the Son OF God. This tendency to compromise with Paganism was very early developed; and we find Tertullian, in AD 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the nominal church in this respect, contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the pagans to their own superstition. "By us," says he, "who are strangers to Sabbaths and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, feasts of January, Brumalia, and Matronalia, are now frequented; gifts are carried to and fro, new year's day presents are made with din, and sports, and banquets are celebrated with uproar; oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians."
Paul spoke similar words of rebuke to the Galatians and Colossians almost two hundred years beforehand. Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostacy went on, until the church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under pagan superstition.
That `Christmas' was originally a PAGAN festival, is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, "about the time of the winter solstice." The very name by which Christmas is popularly known, "YULE" is the Chaldee name for an "INFANT" or "LITTLE CHILD." The 25th December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, "YULE-day," or the "CHILD'S day," and the night that preceded it, "MOTHER-night," long before they came in contact with Christianity.
It was no mere astronomic festival, that the pagans celebrated at the winter solstice. That festival at Rome was called the feast of SATURN, and the mode in which it was celebrated there, showed whence it had been derived. The feast, as regulated by Caligula, lasted five days; latitude was given to drunkenness and revelry, slaves had a temporary emancipation, and exercised all manner of freedoms with their masters. Precisely the way the drunken festival of Bacchus was celebrated in Babylon.
The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in Pagan Rome and Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the PALM-tree; in Rome it was the FIR; the PALM denoting the PAGAN Messiah, as Baal-TAMAR, the FIR referring to him as Baal-BERITH.
The mother of Adonis, the Sun-god and great MEDIATORIAL divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in THAT state to have brought forth her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognized as the "BRANCH." And This entirely accounts for the putting of the Yule Log into the fire on Christmas-eve, and the appearance of the Christmas-tree the next morning.
As Zero-Ashta, "The seed of the woman," which name also signified Ignigena, or "born of the fire," he has to enter the fire on "Mother-night," that he may be born the next day out of it, as the "Branch of God," or the Tree that brings all divine gifts to men.
Constantine, the consummate politician, in order to please everyone simply changed the sun-god's birthday to the Son OF God's Birthday.
The Church is not four walls, It's the living Body-Word of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are the Church, and a walking advertisement of the Christ you proclaim. What people think of you, is what they think of the Church. The Church is you.
Some have the idea that the pastor is the church. It is true, that the pastor often speaks for the church, declares what it stands for, and invites people to its assembly. But only Christ can bring them into fellowship - God alone gives the increase, or new birth. The pastor's duties entail knowing the business of his flock, and speaking on their behalf. He represents the LOCAL Body, he's your servant, but he's certainly not your substitute.
Like his flock, He lives a separated life. His responsibility is to sit under the anointing that he may find the mind of God, and feed His people Spiritual Food in due season. The Pastor and the other offices of the ministry, apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers, are called to keep the saints Spiritually clean, and bring them to Spiritual maturity, by the washing of water by the word, or faith. And faith is simply Spiritual REVELATION: a clear understanding of the revealed Word.
The pastor should not be flat-out visiting the sick, organizing welfare, or property maintenance. His deacons and trustees can make arrangements for most of these necessary, but worldly things. His job is to preach the PRESENT Truth, and baptize in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The true Church IS God's saints. Those whose lives are manifesting this PRESENT Truth. Written epistles of the Promises God made for THIS day. The Word preached is reflected in the lives of God's saints. Paul called the saints of Corinth, `letters', written not with ink, but by faith from within His own heart, because their lives were acting-out His understanding which was now living in them.
The true Church is measured by its leaders who are ordained by God to feed His Sheep. The Christian should have a revelation from God that a certain man is his pastor, expect God to speak through that man, and obey what he says, having proved It by the written Word. Its easy to make speeches and claims, but claims must be validated by the product. You are your church's product, and the validation of the claims of your pastor's preaching. You're either the Bride of Christ by the Word for this day, or you're the false church by the Word for a day gone by. The job of God's true ministers in this day is to preach His Bride into the rapture. We're living in the day Christ promised to take His Children Home.
If you're born-again, you are the church. And you have a Message. Not just Spiritual renewal, or new-birth, but a Message that will put God's elect in the rapture. Nobody has it but the Christian. It's that part of the Bible called the PRESENT Truth. The promises of God for THIS day. NOT the promises for Paul's day, Luther's day or any other day, but for THIS specific time.
The five-fold ministry was never for sinners, but to the living Church. To bring to maturity those who are ALREADY saints. Fishing for souls is the obligation of every Christian. We're to live our testimony. Our lives preach louder than we can speak. They preach more sermons, teach more people, and save more lives than all the words spoken inside four walls of a church building. And His Sheep receive His Word. radio029.html
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