Ryan and I, soon to re-unite with Jake in Missouri, plan to travel to Meyersdale, Pennsylvania for Kingdom Fellowship Weekend. This gathering is from August 13th-15th. It will be wonderful to see Jake, and after KFW we intend to be together for the next month and a half. Lord willing, Jake will be returning to Arlington with us. Truly, grace has been the beginning, middle, and end of tremendous edification in Arlington, Texas. We are attempting to bear the burden of these cities, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and see the Church of God stand up in Jesus!
In Arlington we pray Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the Lord has been merciful to grant us many tears. Doors are opening for preaching and we eagerly await the fall semester to begin for college campus preaching. As the pace of the run picks up, O how we need grace to stand! Grace to stand against false doctrine, deeds, churches, and creeds. Grace to fight, wrestle, run, and exercise ourselves in godliness. Grace to do all that the Lord wills- glorify Him in our bodies with every word, thought and deed full-stop, even to the end! Though the pace picks up, and the battle increases, yet the runner must prepare his mind for the difficulty of the race.
In Our Generation Who Will Stand?
Brethren, these last days are trying times. And even as Peter warned the early Christians so must we be warned, that “the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”(1 Peter 1:7).The last days began nearly two thousand years ago, and friends, iniquity is still abounding. Today’s terror is “the judgment seat of Christ,” and the question is: who shall be able to stand (2 Corinthians 5:10)? Paul spoke of the Lamb of God’s judgment to be terrifying, and he warned that “we must all appear” before it to give an account. It was said by the Lamb of God in commandment, “take heed to yourselves” concerning the terror of the day when the “Kingdom of God is nigh at hand” (Luke 21:34, 31). Jesus said that that day will come as “a snare,” for, “as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:35). Thus the command of salvation is “watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36). Therefore brethren, let us stand, lest that day come upon us as a “thief in the night” (1Th.5:2)! “And the Kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand” (Revelation 6:15-17)?
We are commanded of the way to stand, and that is to stand in His grace! The true grace of God empowers us to STAND! “This is the true grace of God wherein ye stand” (1 Peter 5:12). But, if you do not stand you will perish, “for now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 3:8). This stand is a standing in His strength, against the powers of this world. Indeed, we are commanded how we might be “able to stand” today, and they that stand in Him today will be hid in Him from wrath on the “Great day of His wrath”. Therefore brethren, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore…” (Ephesians 6:11-14).
O, but what generation is this, where so few even stand? Surely the godly exclaim even as King Josiah, “great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book” (2 Chronicles 34:21). Josiah lived in a generation that preceded the wrath and judgment of God. As he was, so are we, therefore we must stand even as he did. We must escape wrath as Josiah did, and it was said of him, “because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before Me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before Me, I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD…..thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same…” (2 Chronicles 34:27-28).
We Must Find Grace
King Josiah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. But will we find grace? Brethren, you must be so sensitive to what is written, that you humble yourself like Josiah did when he saw the fierce judgments of the LORD in His Word. Josiah was in a generation when the book of God was found. When the word of God was read to Josiah he wept until God granted him grace, and when grace came he “then stood in his place.” “And the King stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep His commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book” (2 Chronicles 34:31). God has made a covenant available to us, a covenant of grace, but we must perform the words!
“The book” is the common ground of the saints, not only one must stand, be we all must stand! Moreover, it was written of Josiah that “he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers” (2 Chronicles 34:32). “Stand to it,” it said, and that is a stand against the vileness of disobedience rampant in our country. It is a war against abominations wherever they are found: personally, corporately, city-side and worldwide! “And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers” (2 Chronicles 34:33).
I profess, on behalf of the Church of Arlington, this is our desire, and this our plea: “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.” Moved with fear we do stand. O what boldness the righteous must have, they are so few but cannot be hidden! It is written, “the righteous are bold as a lion,” and, “a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid,”(Proverbs 28:1, Matthew 5:14). If God is with you, indeed you are “strong, and of a good courage” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Great strength, yes, but in strength is great persecution appointed. We must not be forgetful of this, “that no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto” (1 Thessalonians 3:3).
Grace Is An Offense To The Carnal
It is an offense to be spiritually strong! My lamentation is that so many are deceived! O that men would understand that it is humble to receive the Ark of God’s strength, rule, dominion, and victory. It is God’s will that we rejoice in the confident glory of His grace. Carnality, like Michal, would rather the Ark not come. Such carnal thinking supposes it is humility to reject the Ark, but rather we should receive it. O let us receive the Ark! Reproach is inevitable. Let us praise though we be vile. Let the carnal look on like Michal, but we must press on… “And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart” (2 Samuel 6:16).
Spiritual courage is an offense to the lost and to the carnal Christian. I speak of those who are called “babes in Christ,” who are unarguably in Christ and yet are called carnal (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). There are many biblical examples of carnal thinking. Such men respond to spiritual valiance and grace in a consistent pattern. Remember that carnality is being carried away in sin. Men, carried away in sin, will rebel against the work and word of God that is done through other men. That the saying of Jesus may be true, “if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20). The Israelites said to Moses, “who made thee a prince and a judge over us” (Exodus 2:14)? Yet, it was said of the work of God to the Israelites, in reference also of this Moses, “Thy way is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, and Thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Psalm 77:19-20). It was “by the hand of Moses and Aaron” the Lord did lead forth a mighty victory. So if they rejected Moses they rejected God.
After their redemption from Egypt, even after all this, the Israelites were deluded by the deceit of sin. In their carnality they made an accusation against Moses and Aaron, saying, “ye take too much upon you” (Numbers 16:3). They knew that the LORD was among them, but they discerned not the humility of subjection: “and they gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD” (Numbers 16:3)? The Lord lifted up Moses and Aaron yet the carnal accused them of self-exaltation. It was the opposite, for the Lord does lift up the humble. As it is written, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6). By elder, that is, the elder in the faith. For even Timothy was an elder, even ordaining other elders, though in the flesh he was still a youth (1 Timothy 4:12).
Moses was the most humble man on the earth of that time (Numbers 12:3). Such a meek man was used in a manner of great responsibility and oversight. The question that remains for all who are exalted is, did they choose themselves or was it the Lord? Even seasoned spiritual people can be carried away in carnality and rebellion. So it was, when Aaron and Miriam rebelled against Moses, and Miriam was struck with leprosy because of it. “And they said, hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it” (Numbers 12:2). They were in trouble “and the anger of the LORD was kindled against them” (Numbers 12:9). They should have been “afraid to speak against” Moses, for the Lord says he was “faithful in all Mine house,” even though he had an Ethiopian woman for a wife (Numbers 12:1, 7-9).
Men are inclined not to listen to men. It is hardness of heart when men resist other men that are standing on behalf of God. Likewise, this can be traced throughout scripture. The Israelites would not listen to the Lord through Samuel until he did a miracle by “sending thunder and rain” at Samuel’s call. They were fearless in sin against Samuel, they could not see their sin. Samuel said, “now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes. Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great” (1 Samuel 12:16-17). The Israelites would not listen to Elijah until fire came from heaven to consume the sacrifice in their sight. Yet, even after all of Jesus’s miracles they still rejected Him.
God sought to save Israel by bringing a youth to the battlefield, David by name. His carnal brother Eliab was very angry! “And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, why camest thou down hither? And with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle” (1 Samuel 17:28). These were the words of the eldest son of Jesse against the youngest son of Jesse, and still today, it is so easy for men to judge after appearance! What about you? Do you trust in your physical age or do you look for spiritual age? Men do judge after the flesh, but God sets men apart by the Holy Ghost! There is no other resume but the appointment of God the Spirit. Likeas the case of Jesus: “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”(1Tim.3:16)
Today, it is seemingly pride to stand in the confidence of Christ crucified just as it was then. So many men are fleeing from the giants, that if one charges the line, those in retreat cry madness and pride. Have they no understanding that the LORD’s command is to be strong in His strength? That is an uncompromising, glorious, unceasingly-victorious strength! The arrows of doubt and timidity are quenched by the shield of faith in the Almighty! It is carnality to doubtfully hope for victory, but faith speaketh on another wise: faith is confident victory. Is it not the spiritual weapons of righteousness that we fight with? And are not such weapons effective? Would you judge them ineffective? It is them we are commanded to yield and they are a mighty victory in every battle field! “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). This is our war, and these our weapons, be careful not to judge a man prideful because you don’t sense meek impressions.
Are not the hidden things of the heart for God to judge? “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God” (1 Corinthians 4:5). The way of Christ is offensive, and Jesus said, “blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (Luke 7:23).
It was said of Christ, “behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence” (Romans 9:33, Isaiah 8:14). We must become “lively stones” and come to Jesus. This coming is an action the world will reject you for. They must become offended at you (1 Peter 2:4-8). Yea, the chief end of our victory will be the life of Christ as it was written in history. Conformity to His image will be “as it is written, for Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (Romans 8:29, 36). Has the way of Christ changed at all today? If you think so, you are thinking foolishly and carnally. Jesus and His ways are the same yesterday, today, and forever! If the world rejected Christ shall it not then reject the body of Christ today? If Christ was hated because the world was evil and He was holy, how much more should we be rejected seeing the world is only growing more evil? The holiest men of the world will be the “offscouring of all things unto this day” (1 Corinthians 4:13). It is these men who bear the suffering of Christ today that we ought to learn from and follow. Paul exhorted in the same chapter, “be ye followers of me” for his ways were “in Christ” (1 Corinthians 4:16-17). The danger of becoming carnal is that you will reject Christ as the Jews rejected Christ and the Corinthians rejected Paul. Will you stumble at the lively stones in your day? Carnality can quickly deceive you to where you do reject “your Paul,” though you be “in Christ.” Is it not telling enough that Paul ended the letter in 2 Corinthians 13:7, ” now I pray that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.” Who are the reprobates today that are Christ’s messengers? Only those who have eyes to see will find them…they are “unknown, yet well known” (2 Corinthians 6:9).
O the truth is sure! It is written and settled! God has commanded A Way, and it is narrow. He has defined the judgments against transgressors of this Way, and it is terrible. He calls them blamable, unworthy, reprove-able, rebuke-able, and at fault. It is the classic “Strange Woman” snare to have these characteristics as your pinnacle end of religious power- and true religion is not in word but in power (1 cor. 4:20)! At the pinnacle height of your doctrinal truth, you cast yourself plummeting to the ground trusting this is permitted in grace, and trusting that Heaven’s angels will save you from the dashing stones of Hell. The damnable forgetfulness of such a man, may well trust the angel’s salvation is nigh at hand. He will find no salvation from the Saviour, having given himself to a Doctrinal Faith and Damnable Behavior.
The Love of God is A Pearl of Doctrinal Beauty. Let all men beware not to handle this pearl of Love unworthily. Whatever your faith in the Doctrinal Pearl (what you do with it) will be the end of your story. God accepts no Intellectual Faith that hears and never fears. A house of faith in doctrine built upon the sand of The Mind, does not save! True saving reception is a reception of the heart. True faith in doctrine and wisdom is a house built upon the rock of the heart, wherein the life of such faith hears His sayings and does them. The Mind may make great juggling exploits of demonstrative assenting Faith in Christ’s Salvation, but, if there is no Life of the Faith expressed through Works of Faith there is no Life of the Body or Justification. If your faith is a circus of poetic assent in the mind, praise on the lips, and hymnal smiles a-shine, yet you have not holiness by deed, you are lost. Such deeds are not meritory but necessary seeing they are unavoidable fruits of saving faith, and the evident life of faith. O how we need a good Prophet like John the Baptist to come blistering through our Pharisaical Christianity. He would call people to an unavoidable resolve to have worthy repentance evidenced by fruitful deeds at the warning and threatening of an AXE and Wrathful HELL FIRE.
Scriptures To Consult:
– John the Baptist preaching: Luke Chapter 3.
– House upon the rock and sand: Matthew Chapter 7.
– True Doctrine is a reception of the Heart made manifest through deeds and holiness: Romans 6:17 & 6:15-23, Hebrews 12:14, 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1, 2 Peter 3:10-13.
– Faith, deeds, Justification, and the life of the faith: James Chapters 1-2.
– Wisdom that shows itself in conversation, lifestyle, and deed: Entire book of James, and especially James 3:13-18.
– Worship by mouth and not heart, lips and not life: Matt 15:7-8, Isaiah 29:13, Mark 7:6, Luke 22:48.
– Vain religion: 2 Timothy 3:5, James 1:27.
– The eternal fate of fruitlessness or bad fruit warned: Gal. 5:19-23, John 15:6, Titus 3:4, 2 Peter 1:8&10, Mark 4:19, and I could go on…..
– Righteousness that is by deed is a necessity, but is only a natural product of meritory imputed righteousness: 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Eph. 5:5-9, Revelation 21:8, Galatians 5:19-24, and I could go on…..
– Satan’s crafty snare through twisting scripture can be seen in the temptation of Jesus: Matthew 4 (This is “the pinnacle of the temple” illustration. Satan quotes from Psalm 91 to try to get Jesus to cast himself off of the temple thinking it is the righteous will of God.)
– The strange woman: Proverbs 2
– Evidence that I love you: Galatians 4:16
– My request is for you to examine yourself: 2 Corinthians 13:5
– Even if I look like a reprobate: 2 Corinthians 13:7
I love you.
1Co 15:29-31, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” Are your hymns mere soliloquy because you avoided True Death, the Image of conformity? God bless you all, yea even to mourning, that I may see you all in Heaven’s adorning.
Please don’t accuse me of being an ascetic, read the Scriptures and remember them, you will understand my rhetoric.
Please don’t accuse me of pride, remember David’s brother, this Blasphemous Gospel Goliath is Mine!
To God be the glory, may Him from our earthen vessels shine!
Don’t let your perception of Easy Yoke Christianity negate or nullify your conformity to His Image, and that image is the baptism of death. The Pharisaical way in the name of salvific grace stumbles at the cross. May grace empower you to a cheerful loss of all things, a selling of all, and a forsaking of all, for the joy thereof of the goodly pearl, fellowship with and being found in Him. Then you have comprehended true grace from the heart. True grace soars in the night sky of this world like a burning shooting star a-shine, and in His glory, only to be burnt out by literal physical death. Onward Christian Soldiers! March unto your death.
Note: By death, I mean and I speak not according to the flesh, but according to His Word, in all places that “literal physical death” is not stated.
Hold off on your praise, now is a time for inward investigation. You may be in danger.
Loss of all things, conformable to His death: Philippians 1, 3, Galatians 2:20, Romans 8, and everywhere!!
Goodly Pearl, selling all: Matthew 13:44-46, Mark 10:17-31.
Be careful dear one, be careful. Don’t use David’s sin as blasphemy by justifying plowing your way too broad, lest you be found not marching with the Narrow Righteous Academy.
What keeps me up pacing in the night,
My face to the ground, my skin wrinkled white?
What makes my heart burdened and pressed in this plight?
O Generation of Vipers! You think you flee from God’s Wrath?
In what way do you think He is coming to you, to what can I liken your aftermath?
Where is your assurance from, your leaning staff, what fruit dost thou hath?
Be sure it is according to His Word or your eternal blood may be His garments bath.
Do you believe He is crucified for you, the evidence is your crucifixion.
Do you believe He is resurrected for you, the evidence is your newness of life in the power of His resurrection.
Do you believe His Kingdom is for you, then you must suffer at the hands of this world’s king and bear His reproach in utter rejection.
Is this not a worthy concern of great obsession?
Woe to the false prophets who make the gospel a concession!
Make up your mind preacher or you will suffer greater condemnation.
Is your preaching a theater, a pay check, a profession?
Repent in dust and ashes or you are in for a lesson!
Do not begin to say within yourselves, ‘We have Jesus as our Savior.’ If you’re not crucified, buried, and resurrected then you’re not a sheep in His stable. God must smite the rock of your heart that Living Water cometh forth. A fruitful life is the evidence of your feet walking the blood bought path! All is a gift, yea, all is a gift! Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance; otherwise, do not begin to say within yourselves, ‘We have Jesus as our Savior!’
(This is a contemporary equivalent of John the Baptist’s Sermon directed to Pharisaical doctrine and deed. Stay the multitudes for Baptism and articulate true repentance preachers, then, and only then, admit them for baptism. Otherwise I perceive you are blind to the deception of your time and risk the characteristics of a planting the Lord never planted, all such shall be uprooted.)
My javelin is Thy Truth, my hand is cleaving tight.
I cannot thrust it enough, at every enemy in sight.
The crept in Goats have abounded, and I am utterly surrounded.
It seems all are unawares, many wrapped up in worldly cares.
O Lord let me not whimper, in shameful defeat.
No matter how out-numbered and lonely, may I not retreat!
Let Thy grace make a river, empty Thy arrow filled quiver,
Let my heart resound though I am encamped by thousands round and around.
Though the religious enmity influx iniquity, disciples of Judas like a Sea in quantity,
What wilt Thou O God do in this hour?
Let Thy arrows of Truth come like a rain shower.
Kill every Old Man, Adam, and Cain, break down every strong Satanic Tower.
Rejoice O Heaven’s, Victory is Won, make my arm like Samson’s and let thousands be against one.
Below is a video with Chris Faulkner and Kevin Fessler, and both have been converted for less than a year. O, that we would judge the grace of God, not comparing ourselves by ourselves, but by the bold spirituality in the testimony of scripture. This testimony would call these men, normal Christians; though they are novices……all glory to God in the Highest!
Sincerely, in grace by the Blood,