Sunday, January 8
The morning service started with the children wanting to sing some songs for us. They all got up on the platform and sang a number of their favorite songs, “This Little Light of Mine,” “Roll The Gospel Chariot,” “I Have the Joy.” One of their songs called “This is the Day,” is sung in four languages. English, Spanish, German and Tagalog. We have been encouraging our children to learn many languages early so they can communicate the Gospel message to others. The last song they sang was “Great is the Lord” as they were walking down to their seats.
One of the sisters began to testify that she was going to travel on. Not just when the times are good, but through thick and thin, whatever comes. She encouraged us to get hold of a real experience with God and get on board!
In our song service, we enjoyed the reality of life as a vapor in “Saints Reward,” I Feel Like Traveling On” and “Años Mi Alma En Vanidad Vivo”. We often sing in Spanish when we have those in the audience that are primarily Spanish-speaking.
A young preacher excitedly took the pulpit for prayer requests. He said he had gotten so much out of the meeting so far. He was glad to know that the devil cannot make him go back to what he was before and neither can he keep him from becoming what God wants him to become. Restoration is come!
In our services, we’re not entertainment based. We believe that worship is supposed to be a participation between us and God. We don’t just watch a religious performance on stage. We enter into worship with all our hearts, it is not a formality with us. Church services are supposed to be a time where we learn what the Bible says about what we need to do to get to heaven, a time to be strengthened in our souls and to worship the Lord together.
The special singers sang “O Yes, I’ll Live in Glory” “I’m Living This Life Just To Live Again” and “To God Be The Glory.” Many were on their feet lifting up holy hands in praise to God during these songs.
Br. Steve’s message tonight was on Willful Ignorance. The point he was making was that there is a difference between being truly ignorant of something and being willfully ignorant. Refusing to know when you have the opportunity to know. We will still be held accountable for knowledge that we could have received. Most people will just lie and say that they didn’t know what was required of them, but in reality, they knew and just wouldn’t be honest.
In his opening remarks, he stated that willful ignorance does not include things like ordinary forgetfulness, attention deficits or simple ignorance. For example, some people do not know that it’s sinful to smoke cigarettes. God judges people by their thoughts and intentions.
He turned to Ephesians 4:17 pointing out that Ephesus was the hub of the worship of the goddess Diana. In that city alone, there were multitudes saved from that heathen worship system. The Gentiles there had been walking (their daily behavior) in the vanity of their mind. Vanity meaning transient, not something that remains, not solid.
In their minds, they refused to let God stir them. The scripture describes it as being ”past feeling”, you’ve given yourself over to it. You don’t just fall into this condition. People tend to turn a deaf ear because they don’t agree with what they hear or see in the Gospel. Don’t refuse to allow it to work in you. When we hear something, we should turn it over in our minds and work with it. Otherwise, we hold the truth in unrighteousness. We refuse to live what the Bible says to live.
The preacher went on to talk about haters of God. California is a very liberal state, atheists thrive here. But most of them really aren’t atheists, they really do believe in God, but they hate the thought of God. They don’t want any restrictions on their lifestyle. If they really didn’t believe in God, they wouldn’t bother trying to persuade others that there is no God. We, as a body, don’t believe in Santa Claus. We don’t have conventions, meetings or literature trying to prove there is no Santa Claus. He doesn’t exist and we just don’t bother!
There was so much said in these meetings that are difficult to include in one report. Consider getting the message and listening to the entirety of the services.
Don’t be willfully ignorant!
This evening’s service is the last service in this week of meetings. The Word of God has been preached under the anointing of the Holy Ghost and has given each one of us many things to improve upon and add to our spiritual experience. This is what real preaching does, it challenges you. It shows you where you are now, and where you can be. If preached correctly, it doesn’t always make you feel good about yourself, until you put it into practice.
As the song service began, a young mother with three small children got up to testify. We had just sung “I’ve Left All the World to Follow Jesus.” She excitedly told us that this was her experience! She had left all the world to follow Jesus. Before she was saved, she was doing things that she knew were wrong, but she wanted to have her own way. One day she heard the Gospel and her eyes were opened. She had been hurt by a life of committing sin, but now, God has forgiven her sins and saved her soul. She is satisfied and thankful.
One of the young preachers from Germany rose to his feet. He wanted to leave his testimony with us. He said he had found something that gave him purpose in life. Something that he could give his life’s blood for. He wanted to live all his days in service to God and His church.
After prayer requests were taken, we knelt down on our knees for prayer. There were a couple of saints that prayed and others voiced many amens, and other agreements in prayer. We get down on our knees typically for prayer because it’s a good position of worship and humility before God.
The special singers sang “To Me It’s So Wonderful,” and “Mercy Came Running”. Most of the congregation stood up shouting or lifting up holy hands to the different verses that they identified with.
Br. Steve took the pulpit and told us that the title of his message was Our Report. His text was taken from Isaiah 53:1. In that passage, the question is asked “Who hath believed our report?” This was a prophecy of Christ. If you really believe something, it will move you to act on that belief. For example, if you had reason to believe that your house was on fire, you would not sit calmly reading your book. You would run out immediately. Why? Your belief produced something. It produced action!
Verse 5 tells us that Christ was “wounded for our transgressions” and that “by his stripes we are healed.” Christ came to put an end to sin. Sin is likened to a disease. Being healed in your soul by salvation is the most important thing in life. Christ is the healer for all mankind. But people do not believe, therefore, they are not healed.
Most want to be healed, but they look for their healing in drugs, church groups, another relationship, new cars and so on. Earthly things. There is no healing until we meet The Healer! Nothing else works! The disease of sin is strong. Modern Churchianity says you have to commit sin everyday, the catholics say you have to confess your deeds to the priest, but you are never offered freedom, deliverance or healing from the problem. What they are, in effect, telling you is, that you must be diseased for the rest of your life. But Christ came to save people from their sin!
From Zechariah 13:1 he made the point that this Fountain is opened in our day for sin and uncleanness. In Isaiah 61:1 the life of sin is compared to ashes, A sinful life is a life of gloom, doom, sorrow and heartache. Jesus came to release you from the prison house of sin. You can trade your ashes for beauty, just like the scriptures teach.
This healing is also a resurrection. In John 5:25 the preacher told us that this is not talking about someone who is physically dead. This is someone who is spiritually dead. Being a sinner makes you dead in trespasses and sins. When you are saved, you pass from death unto life in Jesus Christ! You are resurrected!
This is our report! Jesus came to save you from committing sin! Believe our report and live!
We thank the Lord for sending Br. Steve to open the scriptures to us through the preaching of the Word. We highly suggest that you get copies of these messages and search the scriptures for yourselves. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and request your copies by the title of the message.
God bless you richly!
Saturday, January 7
Today we will be having two services, one in the morning and one in the evening.
The song service began with songs of fighting and winning in battle. We sang “On the Winning Side,” “Forward, Forward Is the Battle Cry” and “Once Again We Come.” The Lord led our special singing along the same line. The song leader began singing from his seat before he stood. The singers and the congregation sang with him as the singers were walking up to the platform. We all had a wonderful time singing “I Am on the Battlefield for My Lord” as many rose to their feet and some walked the aisle in praise to God. A favorite part in the song for many is the phrase “and I promised Him that I would serve Him till I die, I am on the battlefield for my Lord.” Our songs are our testimony to one another of what’s in our heart!
Br. Steve took the pulpit and gave the title of his message Speaking One to Another. His burden was that if we speak correctly to ourselves, we will be able to speak correctly to each other, thereby building relationships based properly on the Word of God.
He explained that we all communicate in some way with each other and can become familiar, but remain unfamiliar with one another at the same time. We don’t want to leave it that way. We are around certain people frequently, we know them. We can have a tendency to say, Oh that’s just so and so, that’s just how they are.
The foundation of our communication is based on our speaking to ourselves first and foremost. What does that mean? The preacher cited Proverbs 18:21 and Psalms 23. David talked to himself positively. He said “The Lord is MY shepherd, I shall not want.” We all talk to ourselves, but are we negative or positive? Some are so negative about themselves, they make the devil’s job easy. The devil is always whispering in the ear that you’re not good enough, you can’t do this, you’re going to fail.
In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul wrote “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!” He was talking positively to himself. He said that so you could also say the same thing to yourself.
David couldn’t wear Saul’s armor, but he did have courage to kill the lion and the bear. He knew he could kill the giant Goliath. He had been talking to himself correctly. He could have gone back to Saul with the giant’s head in his hands and said, “I told you I could do it.” The preaching messages are meant for you to use to speak to yourself. Have inward honesty.
The preacher turned to Malachi 3:16 where the scripture says that God heard his saints speaking to one another about Him and wrote it down in a book of remembrance. What is God speaking to you about? Share that with others! Share it in a meaningful way that will stir others toward God. Don’t just tell people your problems, impart the Word of God to them.
In Luke 24:15, the disciples were on the road to Emmaus. They said “Did not our hearts burn within us as he opened the scriptures to us?” When your hearts burn together, your hearts are knit together in a closer relationship. Another scripture says to exhort one another daily.
After the service today, an older woman about 60 years old caught hold of the pastor and a couple of the sisters saying she wanted to get saved. She had been among the saints about 20 years ago but had backslidden and gone away from God. She said she had tried nominal Christianity, earth religions (Wicca) and paganism, but realized that her only hope was here in the church of God. We sang “There’s a New Name Written Down in Glory” greeting her and welcoming her back to the fold.
We thank God for what he’s done in this meeting thus far. We still have three services remaining and believe the best is yet to come!
This evening’s service was excellent and hard to describe! You can get a copy of the CD by emailing email@example.com.
We began singing encouraging songs like “This Is Why I Love My Saviour,” “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” “What I’ve Found in Jesus,” and “Jesus Lives in Me.” Wonderful, uplifting messages set to music!
One of the young, teenaged sisters got up to take prayer requests. She encouraged us saying that we as the saints of God are filled with grace and glory. We’re called to a life of virtue in a dark world. You don’t find many 16-year-olds in the world talking about having virtue these days, but it’s the norm here.
The special singers sang “Jesus Made a Way for Me,” and “Jesus Be a Fence All around Me.” Most were on their feet shouting and rejoicing during the song service and the special songs. It’s our unity that allows us to be knit together in worshipping God. While others settle for union, we enjoy true eye-to-eye unity among the brethren.
The message this evening was indeed an excellent message! Everyone should have a copy and listen to what the preacher said! It was very timely.
His title was Hope Against Hope. The entire world is scrambling for hope. He started out in Romans 4:16. His text was taken in verse 18. Abraham believed God and had hope in the promise of God, though from a human perspective, there was no hope and no way the promise of a son would be given to a couple who were both about 100 years old.
He described a painting that sums up the hopeless condition of the world in which we live. It shows a young woman sitting on a globe. It’s not a picture of the world that you are used to seeing from a space photo. The globe is dusty, reddish and blurry. It’s depressing. It’s as if the young woman has risen up out of this mess and sits as a representation of all of the sorrow and wickedness taking place in the world. She’s clothed in rags, frayed and threadbare. She has a harp with broken strings in her hand. One string was loosely connected. She had no shoes, her feet were disfigured with holes in them. Her head had a bandage around it with blood seeping through. She was attempting to play the last string of the harp. The title of the painting was Hope. We live in a world like that. It’s getting worse. It’s in desperate condition.
There’s a point in humanity when hope stops. Our human endurance ends at some point. Our current education system promotes the thought that you can be whatever you want to be, but that’s not true.
If you can imagine a world where dogs meow like cats, sparrows roar, field mice eat snakes and it rains from the ground up. A place where everything is mixed up. This is the world we live in. There is a fear of terrorism and ISIS activities. On the other hand, some are saying we should embrace everything and everyone no matter what religion they follow.
There is a universal groan in mankind, a greater realization now growing that there is no human remedy, no government or human messiah to rescue us. In the nominal churches, they rob people of truth by telling them what they cannot do (living free from sin, having a victorious life, etc.) and what God can’t do for you.
In a sense, we should rejoice in how bad the world is getting, because then and only then, can we shine as lights in the darkness, and God can show Himself strong.
The question is asked, why is everything getting so bad in the world? Why doesn’t God step in and stop it all? God is allowing all this so that humanity’s ability can run its course. It’s really a setup by God. Mankind has not been desperate enough to turn from their wicked ways to seek God. They are still looking for a human to rescue them, to solve the problems. Once they exhaust their means, they will turn to God.
The preacher turned to Matthew 4:16 and explained that the people were sitting in darkness represents a yielding to the darkness. In the world we live in today, men think they’re women, and it’s not shocking anymore! You don’t have to go to another country to see war, we have war on our common streets. The great light that the scriptures speak of was Christ in the morning time and us in the evening time. The preacher turned to Revelation 12, Hebrew 11.39–40 and 1 Peter 1.12. The morning time saints didn’t fully experience what we are experiencing, both the good things and the evil things in the world.
We are walking in the realities that the scripture speaks of. We really haven’t seen anything yet. God is moving in the world to make mankind groan as a collective body. They will come to the place where they realize they need something beyond the human to help them, and finally, they will come to the realization that they can only get help from God alone.
Let us pray for God to have his way and save this lost world!
Friday, January 6
There was a special sense of sobriety in our service this evening, although there was plenty of rejoicing in the Lord particularly during the song service. We sang “Jesus Lover of My Soul,” “He Hideth My Soul,” and “Nearer the Lord”; hymns that have stood the test of time. We don’t use any of the contemporary praise choruses that chant or repeat phrases over and over. Such songs are superficial and lack real soul satisfying substance. When we left modern “churchianity”, we left all its trappings as well. Our one desire is to enter into real worship that is attended by, blessed and owned of God Himself.
One of the singers, a young man in his early twenties testified that when he was formerly a part of the Bible Missionary Group, he repeatedly backslid. There was no teaching about how to deal with accusations and temptations, so he ended up doing what most of his peers did, he committed sin. He said that since he’s taken his stand with the saints, he has kept the victory now for several years and intends to stay saved till his last breath.
Another young man, a teenager, testified that he wanted to take revenge on the enemy, as the previous night’s message had instructed us to do.
And yet another stood to his feet and testified about what a happy life there is in Christ. He said he enjoyed serving the Lord, it wasn’t a boring life, it was wonderful. Our eternal life and rejoicing starts now when we’re saved and will continue in heaven. He wanted the Holy Ghost to have free course in him.
As was mentioned in our first report on this meeting, we are mostly made up of young people under 45 years old from all walks of life. People want something that gives their life real meaning and purpose. This world, its fads and fashions are not satisfying to the soul, but real salvation IS!
The message tonight was entitled The Voice from Hades. Bro. Steve preached from Luke 16:19–31 about the rich man and Lazarus. This is not a parable, but an actual look into what happens when a person dies. There are basic understandings and teachings lost from nominal Christianity, the preacher dealt with one of these little-taught truths in this message. This is the true teaching about where you go in eternity. Most people will not go to heaven! Only Christians do.
Something happens to you at death. The rich man was a sinner. We know that because he ended up in the place of torment. There are still only two places to go after death. Lazarus was a saved man. We know that because of where he ended up, in the place of comfort or as the scriptures call it in this passage, Abraham’s bosom.
In hell, the rich man lifted up his eyes. This word in the Greek is Hades. Death is not the end of your existence; who you really are, your soul, is eternal. You will live forever in one of these two places, heaven or hell.
Hades (the place of departed souls) consists of two places, the place of torment and the place of comfort. As this Biblical account explains to us, there is a “great gulf fixed” between the two places. A chasm so wide that nothing can bridge it or permit a way across it.
The preacher testified that he used to listen to hip hop music before he was saved. One of the artists used to sing about how he wanted to go to hell. The artist said he wanted to do things that God would not permit in heaven, so therefore, he wanted to go into hell to continue enjoying the pleasures to which he was accustomed. But little did he know that hell will be so unimaginably tormenting, no one in their right mind would want to go there. Hell is not being portrayed clearly today in modern churchianity for what it really is. No one can endure the torments there; no matter how “hard” he is or seems to be.
The rich man, though departed from this life and being tormented, still remembered what had happened during his lifetime. He remembered that he had five brethren still alive, he remembered what he had done that had landed him in torment and he knew that he didn’t want his brethren to come to the horrible place he was in. He was still conscious! Though his body was dead, his soul was still alive! Death is simply the separation of the body and soul. Nothing magical happens in death that makes you a different person than you were when you took your last breath. The rich man asked that Abraham send Lazarus back from the dead to warn his brethren to change their ways and not come to that place!
Abraham said something that seemed to be cruel. He said no. He told the rich man that his brethren had Moses and the Prophets, the scriptures. If they wouldn’t listen to them, even if someone rose from the dead, they wouldn’t be convinced. Abraham was saying that the spirit that moved on men to produce the scriptures was dwelling in the Christians that were on the earth at that time, that current generation. They were preaching and teaching the Gospel to the people. When the rich man rejected Lazarus, he rejected Moses and the Prophets and ultimately the Lord Jesus.
The voice from Hades is speaking. You are Lazarus to someone today, in this current generation. You are to testify of the truth of the Gospel to the lost and dying around you.
Thursday, January 5
This evening’s service began with a young preacher of around 25 years of age, testifying about the blessing he received from last night’s meeting. He got was excited, and he walked in the aisle while he testified that Jesus came to bring fire! He exhorted us to allow God to do all that He wants to do in us.
The congregation sang together about being “Satisfied in Jesus” and that truly “Salvation is the Sweetest Thing” that mortal has ever found. One of the singers was so blessed he began to leap. Most of the congregation were on their feet glorifying God.
It is worth mentioning that language interpretation is provided during all of our services. We have saints and visitors who are primarily Spanish-speaking, so we provide interpretation. We want everyone to understand and receive a blessing!
An older sister got up and testified that in the world, there is a return policy for goods that you buy that don’t suit you. She said that she used to live out old worldly songs like “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and she pointed out that without God, there is no real, true and lasting satisfaction in life. It’s always the carrot dangling in front of you leading you into a continuously more degenerate life. Jesus doesn’t leave you like people do. He abides!
There were several spontaneous testimonies this evening. One young sister about 19 years old quoted a verse from the song “Blessed Assurance” and said that those words are her testimony. She encouraged the young people not to take for granted what they have here in the church of God.
One of the young men, about 20 years old, got behind the pulpit to take prayer requests. He read the scripture in Acts 3 telling about Peter and John at the gate Beautiful. The lame man lying there by the gate had been lame from his mother’s womb, he had been in that condition all of his life, yet received healing when he came in contact with the apostles of Christ.
The special singers sang three songs this evening. “I Go to the Rock,” “Can’t Nobody Help” and “Jesus Can Fix the Problem.” There was much rejoicing. Some of the saints were walking in the aisle shouting, most were on their feet and others lifting up holy hands. Why this display of joy? Because we identify with the songs and we’re bearing witness to what’s true and at work in our hearts and in our salvation experience. No one wonders why someone shouts at a sporting event, it should not be considered a strange thing to shout about something as wonderful as salvation from sin and deliverance from hell!
The Evangelist preached tonight on “Revenge,” His text was in 2 Corinthians 7:11. Sometimes the understanding of what is included in salvation can be lost or covered up without revisiting the subject from time to time. He gave us definitions of the words carefulness, clearing, indignation and revenge.
Revenge is not often recognized as a Christian attribute, but revenge will be in the heart of a true saint of God. This revenge is not directed toward people, but toward the enemy of souls, for what he has done in destroying the lives of men and women in general and more particularly, those close to us whom we love.
Revenge is a penalty inflicted for an offense. A real Christian has a desire to inflict an assault against the devil and his kingdom. Hell is real! It is the aim of Satan to deceive and destroy everyone who he possibly can, thus filling the chasms of hell with souls.
Samson got revenge on his enemies. They used Delilah to take advantage of him. They laughed and made sport of him. In Judges 16:28, Samson prayed and asked the Lord to remember him and strengthen him one more time. In verse 30, he took hold of the two middle pillars of the building in which he was standing, and he bowed himself with all his might and he caused the building to fall inflicting great loss upon his enemy. Something inside of him got angry and wanted to punish the enemy. Every Christian has within himself a desire to repay the enemy for deceiving him and for all that he was motivated to do while out in sin.
Let us all with bold vehemence, reward the enemy as he has dealt with us, double unto him double according to his works!
Lord bless you.
Wednesday, January 4
This evening’s service was focused on our experience with God, both in the song service and the preached Word. It’s amazing how the Holy Ghost knows just how to move and arrange in every heart that’s yielded to Him.
We don’t have a service planned by a committee or an individual. Long ago, we stopped using bulletins that showed the “order of service” detailing who was going to sing which song, who was going to preach and what topic they would preach on. We rely on the Holy Ghost to order our services, to help us to know what songs to call, when to speak and what to preach.
With the emphasis on our personal salvation experience, the Spirit began to move on us to sing songs like, “I Know My Name Is There,” “His Yoke Is Easy” and “Let Me See Jesus Only.” As we sang, “I’ve tried the road of sin and found its prospects all deceive”, many stood to their feet lifting up holy hands and shouting the high praises of God.
One young man stood and testified that though there were storms all around him, Jesus was in control and he was not alone.
One of the brethren got up to take prayer requests and exhorted us about how wonderful it is to be able to pray. He took time to read a passage of scripture where the Apostle Paul said that he longed to impart something to the people. This impartation was accomplished through his preaching. We were exhorted that the preached Word of God is the focal-point of our services. We need preaching! There is Bible understanding that we cannot get on our own, we must sit under Holy Ghost-filled preaching.
The singers got up and sang “Master the Tempest Is Raging,” The saints rejoiced with liberty as they sang the words “No water can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and sky.”
Br. Stephen Hargrave gave the title of the message as All Hands, No Wings. He started in Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” People don’t reach their potential because they’re looking at someone else’s hand and what it’s doing. We’re responsible to God to do the work that has been given us to do. How we do our work was the burden of the message.
Our job is to live and express ourselves in such a way that it lights a fire in others to be saved and live for God. Give it all you have, don’t be halfhearted in your service to God. This verse is talking about doing all you can with ‘thy might.’ This is more than a human effort. Sinners can do a good job at something. Our goal is not to simply raise moral children, nor do we want to be just moral people ourselves. We want our children and ourselves to be on fire for God!
Sinners are possessed and radical in their service for the devil. You must have something more compelling than they have to win them for God.
From Ezekiel 1:5–8, verse 8 was his text. “And they had the hands of a man under their wings …” We were exhorted to use our wings, not just our hands in our service to God. In other words, be spiritual! Live in the Holy Ghost in all that you do! There is a danger of being “churchy” or getting used to doing things in a certain form. The older saints were reminded that they are not irrelevant, we need to see their wings too and the younger were encouraged not to wait until they are older to use their wings. Praise the Lord while you do the dishes, or while you’re on the job.
Live holy and “deliver your soul” for the good of souls and the glory of God!
The saints had much liberty in worship throughout the service. Some remained standing during the preaching in support of the message and its truths. Surely heaven itself is a noisy place with saints and angels constantly praising and blessing God!
We thank God for another wonderful time in the Lord! While others waste their time shouting at the basketball, baseball, and football games, we would rather spend ourselves in the service of Almighty God! Bless the Lord, O my Soul!
Lord bless you.
Tuesday, January 3
As we began the song service this evening, the burden of the Holy Ghost was directed toward praising God. Many in the congregation were on their feet shouting as we sang “He Keeps Me Singing.” Soon, testimony broke out with a sister proclaiming that Calvary’s love had won her heart. She told about the great love of God in forgiving her sins and saving her soul. When the Holy Ghost is moving particularly and the saints are responding with shouts and amens to a verse of song, we often repeat the verse and enjoy it another time. This is what happened as we sang the verse in “My Savior’s Love” that says “He took my sins and my sorrows and made them His very own.” Many were on their feet shouting and lifting up holy hands.
We believe song services are supposed to be a demonstration of the verse in Colossians 3:16 “… teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
After we sang “I Will Praise Him,” one young brother, about 16 years old, testified about how all his life had been wrecked by sin and strife and said boldly that he had no regrets about his salvation.
Another young man, about 30 years old, exhorted us from the pulpit and thanked God for His goodness in taking us into the fold, the King’s house, and how salvation has brought us to the banqueting table in the presence of our enemies. Who would not want to be clean, pure and holy with the glory of God resting on them?
The Evangelist preached on the subject of Heathenistic Tendencies and was wonderfully anointed by the Holy Ghost. He began by commenting that not everyone really wants the Lord Jesus to return. Christ’s return would disrupt some people’s economy, their lifestyle. King Herod knew the prophecies. Christ was expected to be born around a certain time. They knew the prophecy of the 70 weeks of Daniel that gave that timeline to them. Herod and the Jewish rulers were disturbed because it would destroy their way of life, and take away their place and nation. John 11:47. They wanted the Messiah to fit into their plans and reign alongside them. In John 19:12 the Jews cried to Pilate that he would not be Caesar’s friend if he didn’t do something about Christ. They joined themselves in spirit with the pagan society around them and made themselves one with a false system when they refused Christ. In effect, they joined themselves to the worship of the goddess, Diana, which was so prevalent at that time in the society around them. John 19:15 is very revealing of the Jews who said they had no king but Caesar.
The Evangelist’s text was taken in 1 Samuel 8:4 where the Israelites asked Samuel for a king to rule over them like all the other nations around them. Up to that point, God himself was their king, but now, they didn’t want God, they wanted to be like everyone else around them, making themselves pagans and forsaking the worship of the One True God.
Are you really looking for the Lord Jesus to come? We must save ourselves from this untoward generation, its mindset, its love for money, its directions and goals. Our closing song asked the question, What will be your profit, to gain all this world, then lose your soul?
It was a wonderful service. We enjoyed the fellowship of the saints from various places, Germany, Mexico, Canada, and different states in the U.S. We love the diversity of having those of various ethnicities among us, Black saints, Filipino saints, White saints, Mexican saints, all worshipping in unity and harmony! The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come” and see!
Lord bless you.
Monday, January 2
There was a great deal of excitement as we anticipated our first meeting in the new meeting house building in Ontario, California! As the saints began to arrive, we greeted them all with a hearty “Praise the Lord!” and the holy kiss of fellowship.
Our song service began and the Holy Ghost led in the direction of devotion and worship with songs like “Waves of Devotion,” “I’ve Found It Lord in Thee,” and “New Heavens.” Many were on their feet praising the Lord or lifting up holy hands in response to the words of the song being true in their hearts.
Most of our congregation is younger people who have a sincere zeal for the Lord. One of the young brothers got up behind the pulpit and exhorted us about the sure foundation we have in Christ before taking prayer requests. The atmosphere was charged with agreement and many rejoiced in the Lord.
Br Stephen Hargrave preached a very timely message about the Cunningly Devised Fables in the religious and secular world today. His text was taken from 2 Peter 1:16 pointing out that the enemy of our souls has meticulously thought out his deceptions in order to manipulate the minds of mankind. This has been happening since the ancient times when Nimrod, in Genesis 10:8, made a concerted effort to fight against God by building the tower of Babel. He understood the carnality of man and began a skillful system to direct men’s minds away from God.
Nebuchadnezzar did the same thing when he created an image completely of gold, set it up, then with his rulers, commanded the people to worship that image. This would control the people’s minds and keep them in his corrupt system of religion. Daniel had previously given the king the interpretation of his dream and the prophecy concerning himself and his kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar’s response was to try to secure the kingdom and prevent the Rock (Christ) from destroying his legacy.
Many other examples were given including the soldiers that guarded the tomb of Christ to attempt to keep him from rising from the grave. They ended up taking the “large money” offered them to promote the fable that the disciples stole the Lord’s body from the grave. The fables offered today by modern religionists are designed to draw you away from purity and holiness. They include the false tongues movement, the sinning Christian, going to the church of your choice, etc.
We were exhorted that there is an intelligent system of deception working to captivate your mind and draw you away from God and His Word. Know what you’re fighting!
Lord bless you.