Five-Fold Today - The Sheaf of the First Fruits - And the Spirit says, "COME" - On Loving God and Loving His Body - Charismatic Attacks - Recovering a Robbed Future - Evil Company Corrupts Good Morals - Just a Huckster

March 28 200l

The Sheaf of the First Fruits

by Rick Joyner

As we have studied in Exodus 12, the Passover Lamb was to be taken into the house five days before it was to be sacrificed. During that time the people were to examine it for any flaws because the Passover of the Lord had to be a lamb without blemish. As we are told in Matthew 11:13, "the Law prophesied until John." This was a prophecy of how Christ, "our Passover" was to enter Jerusalem five days before He was to be crucified.

As Jesus was entering Jerusalem the Jews all over the city were taking the Passover lambs into their houses in preparation for the feast. During the five days when all of the people were examining their Passover lambs, the priests, Pharisees, and Sadducees examined Jesus continually seeking to find any flaw in Him, and they could not. The Jewish day begins with evening, and Jesus was crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover. At the very time when Jesus was dying on the cross, the Jews all over the city were putting the knives to their Passover lambs.

In Leviticus 23, we have another ritual that was to be performed after the Sabbath of the Passover (all such days in which there was to be no laborious work were also called Sabbaths). This was called "the waving of the sheaf of the first fruits." This ritual required that the priest go out and gather a sheaf of the first fruits, which was at that time of the year just beginning to sprout. He then brought it in before the Lord and waved it. After the Passover on which the Lord was crucified, at the very time when the priest was waving this sheaf of the first fruits, Jesus was coming forth from the grave, the first fruits of the resurrection. This sheaf of the first fruits was the promise of a great harvest to come.

Only a few people in Israel understood the significance of what was happening in their midst on that fateful Passover. Even the Lord's disciples did not seem to fully comprehend it. However, as we look back at how perfectly on time the Lord fulfills His Word, we can have confidence in the unfathomable promises that He has given to us. The Lord is always faithful, and He is always on time.

That the Lord would send His own Son to die for our sins is a marvel that all of creation will certainly be in awe of for eternity. A wonder of wonders is that He would also give us the promise of eternal life, that just as He raised His own Son, He will raise us from the dead that we may ever live before Him. This is the hope that empowers us to live beyond the cares of this present world, and live for the gospel of the age to come. As we read in Hebrews 12:1-2:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Just as it was the hope of the resurrection and the glory that He was to receive that enabled Jesus to endure the cross, it is the truth of the resurrection that empowers all of the sacrifices that we too may be called to make for the sake of this gospel. It was the knowledge of the resurrection that has sustained and empowered the martyrs of every age, and it is as we behold the glory that is set before us that we are able to take up our crosses and "die daily."

The ultimate fear by which the enemy has mankind in bondage is the fear of death. It is the truth of the resurrection that breaks this ultimate bondage, and truly sets us free from the powers of this present evil age to live by the power of the age to come. As we are set free in this way, we no longer live for the things that are temporary, but for the eternal. In this way we die to this world, and if we are dead to the world, there is nothing that this world can do to us. That is the greatest freedom that we can ever know on this earth, and it is the freedom that the enemy fears more than any other. Those who are already dead have nothing to fear, and will therefore be fearless in standing for the truth of the gospel. Their very fearlessness is an irresistible witness of the resurrection.

We are called to live a life that is free from fear-we are called to live by faith. The linchpin of faith is our faith in the resurrection. The cross displayed for all time the great love that God has for us. The resurrection magnifies it. If God loves us this much, whom should we fear?

Next week we will continue examining the resurrection, this great foundation of our faith, that we might live in the victory that was gained for us, having been liberated from every fear.


And the Spirit says, "COME"

Teresa M. Daly-Crews

Father is calling unto each of us, desiring an intimate walk in the garden of His love. He desires our surrender to the perfect will of the Spirit so we may become holy and blameless covered by the Blood of the Lamb. He has opened up the river of life for us to bathe in the pure essence of His Love. Recreating us to worship Him in purity, prepared in holiness and clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Jesus stands at the door holding the keys of forgiveness, desiring to free each of us from the hidden sin in our hearts. With these keys as we forgive those who trespass against us, we are forgiven from all things that are holding us back from entering into a full and complete relationship with our Father. As we step boldly to the throne of grace we are given a robe of righteousness to wrap around ourselves, making us transparent and pure before our mighty Creator.

Such a great salvation is set before us and true freedom is available from the ways of this world to those who choose to surrender in obedience before our King. Deep is calling unto deep to enter into the fullness of His love, receiving comfort from our Lord so we may be able to share such comfort with others. Father is calling unto His children to enter into His presence so they may be prepared for the union with His Son. He whispers during the still of the night and beckons us to turn away from the chaos of our lives. It is time for complete and total surrender to His will and ways for our lives.We must stop running from the destiny that has been set by the mighty hand of God and turn from the wickedness of our fleshly ways. Peace and love awaits all those who have been set apart from the perfect will of our Lord, the Spirit says, "Come". It matters not how far you have strayed, Father awaits with open arms to comfort those who will surrender fully to His love and direction. He desires to be one with us, bonded with an intimacy that has not yet been seen.

Our Father desires a deep and intimate relationship with each of us but many believers have found themselves lacking the foundation necessary to build a solid relationship. The simplicity of Christ has been lost and perverted in the lives of many believers. Their lives have been consumed with the busyness of everyday activities and the time that belongs to the Lord has been stolen. We must stop and begin to look at the priorities in our lives. Have we allowed ministry, family, work or other things to steal the first fruits of our lives that belong to the Lord? Have we allowed ourselves to fall into the trap of works and lost the intimacy with our Savior? There is not one person that has ever lived who perfected their walk. Pride would have us to reject the thought that we are imperfect but the reality is that we all have issues that we must deal with. We all on a daily basis face situations that will either bring us closer to the Lord or cause further separation. Father is speaking unto us in this hour to stop and examine ourselves. If we will allow the Spirit of Truth to have open access to our heart He will draw us into the secret place for introspection of our spiritual condition. He will give abundant wisdom to those who desire to move into the next realm of relationship with Him. This introspection is not to focus upon "self" as the world would teach but instead will be guided by the Holy Spirit to cleanse our hearts. As we seek the face of our Lord, His light will shine into the depths of our heart and highlight those areas that displease Him. All we need do is to worship Him in the beauty of His holiness and admit our faults. Heed the call of the Spirit and come into the secret chambers of our loving Father. Allow Him to make the necessary adjustments to perfect your walk. It is time to step over into the purity that comes from being in right standing with our Lord. Fall in love with your first love again and allow yourself to be a vessel fit for the Masters hand!

In HIS Service,

Teresa M. Daly-Crews

On Loving God and Loving His Body -- and the 'right order' of it all....

Linda Evans

I have in me a picture, a revelation ....
I see each of us (meaning potentially all Christians), pressing in, each one totally alone, yet each one running the race - the race where there is only one winner -- yet we are forgetting what is behind us and keeping our gaze straightforward and focussed on the Prize: Jesus Christ.

In this 'strait' - hard-pressed - narrow way, few be that find it -- but those who do, come through the 'birthcanal' and burst forth into 'that' for which we were created: Union with God. In my understanding of this union, we are made-one with Him, in His Heart.

We came through the testings, the trials, the purgings, the humblings -- never quitting, always keeping on, Eternity in our hearts hearing the Deep's Call unto our deep. Holding back nothing, counting the cost, each step of the way, and declaring by our faith:
"YES we will keep going on. No matter the pain, no matter what is required" -- one who has set their face like flint, will go onto that Voice which has called him.

(I just thought of a salmon on the migration back to it's birthing grounds... the suffering that fish endures!! the beatings on the rocks, the struggle against the current, the leaps up and over waterfalls.. -- all the power of earth against him, and yet, there is that Call in his heart!! He MUST return.. or die trying. He must return to that place - to spread forth his seed, to bring forth new life from his dying body.. for this he was created, and it HAS to be from that same place where another had given him life.) This is the Christian whose heart has been captured by Love.

Nothing will keep Him from returning to that HEART from which his was created.. his birthing ground too... and he will return -- or die trying. Nothing can stop this returning heart... and from this place, perhaps too, the many seeds (apostolic ministry) is birthed..

These were unwilling that anything would keep them from the prize... and so they kept enduring -- kept overcoming, until the race was completed, and they found themselves where they had begun: In Love, In Christ, In God....

But here in my heart, the picture changes... For from this place -from the Heart of God - we 'discover' another one is there... another 'stone' has returned and in that place, these two become as one in Christ. Over and over this joining occurs... stone by stone, the union of the Body is discovered.. in Love, in Christ, in God.

There is no 'human' hand who touches this little stone, for it is created from the Mountain Himself. Nothing of man's efforts can go into the creation of this Body, for it is the Body of Christ Himself. The Corporate Body will not be created by any of man's created energies, but shall 'arise', the Mystery of Christ -- revealed in the time foreordained of God for the manifestation of His Kingdom-Love.

So.. in my heart, I see once again, that God will have a supernatural work openly manifested in due time. Man is busy building kingdoms -- calling men to come and submit to them -- to come together and build a "great city" just as it was in the earlier times... and The Voice of God, that paradoxical Voice that we are learning to "leave room for" (as Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for NOT doing) says... I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.... and the gates of hell will not prevail against 'her'. :) The paradoxical Voice says, you come to Me and I will do the rest. What is impossible with man, is POSSIBLE with God! You follow Me and I will Build.

It is not to say that the time we spend doing things in our own strength are not productive and necessary times either -- they must be fully accomplished too, for we MUST come to the end of ourselves before we can become so single-focused -- becoming as the spawning salmon -- with only one thought: HOME.

When we have fully worn ourselves out on 'doing church' -- then we are ready to go to the next part of the journey home. This portion appears to be a very lonely path -- and yet it is on this part of the journey where the unity in the Body is truly discovered! There are no limitations of walls - barriers -- nothing can separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus.. and this part of the lonely path is in Love.

We have but one thought: LOVE GOD -- and as we press on in Love/Adoration/Devotion to God, we find we LOVE all those we discover have made the same commitment, the ones we find we are already joined to in His Heart.... we 'discover' that the LOVE who has permeated our beings, has permeated theirs and there is no difference between us: God who is LOVE has made us One in Him.

The LOVE we feel for HIM IS the very same Love that we Love them with..and the same Love they Love us with; Love is the union; We LOVE HIM in them, and them in HIM, and there is no longer any boundaries between us. We rejoice as they rejoice; we cry as they cry; not to say our personalities are lost, but they are quickened to new life and that life is a life of union with God and with each other. This is a spiritual reality that I speak of.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God ... and ALL these things shall be added unto you. :)

Let's keep struggling against the current and go HOME. That is where our heart will take us.. and where we are being called to return... to our birthing place in His Heart... back to Eden, the Heart of God.

I Love the Body, just as I Love Christ, for they are the same thing really... in the Body is the fullness of God! In Ephesians 1:23, the church is declared to be, "...His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all."

This mystery, His Body, the Holy Mystic Church -- the ecclesia, the Called Out ones -- the people who belong to the Lord will be fully revealed when the foreordained time has arrived.. and Jesus shall be glorified in His holy ones -- and they in Him. Then we shall see what until then we had only believed for.

In LOVE with you/Him!
your sister, Linda

Charismatic Attacks

by Pam Clark

There are many of us who came into more fullness in the Spirit and faith of God through the charismatic movement. It was ~truly~ an incredible move, for in this outpoured wave (and there are many waves of varying sizes), it was not just a healing move, although there were many healings. It was not just an outpouring of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and there was much of that. It was not just a new doctrinal position, for many were brought forth, but it was ALL THAT among MANY MANY people of varying races and denominations. It was as if God said, "Anybody hungry?" and thousands poured out for His inpouring.

There was a season of holiness and awesomeness - the gifts of the Spirit rose up in the crested wave and we RAN to keep up with what was going on. Prophetic ministry was strong (for that season of understanding it) as well as a global awareness of what God was doing, as well as other gift ministries which included deliverance and healing and end time ministry focus. The tangible Presence of God was felt (where I was) without "strange" manifestions, except for speaking in tongues and upraised hands to the Lord. Even a little dancing broke out, "as David danced." Miracles were not uncommon. Angels were seen, as well as visions of Jesus that didn't seem to lead people too "way out" there. Now this does not seem so uncommon from a few short years prior!

Yes, out of the zeal, there were excesses as there are in any movement. But what was gained was a foretaste for many different people groups and denominations. Many many ministries were birthed through this time of holy encounter and even when it seemed to fade or die out or even appear broken with ministry scandals and failure, the work still went on, as in the book of Acts when the people who had gathered for the initial outpouring were scattered back into their homelands with this "new message" of God's love and acceptance and visitation. And the good news is that the visitations have not ceased. They are just not so centralized as they once were before.

Many attempts with some successes have been made for that centralization but fleshly attempts could never accomplish what God did sovereignly through that "charismatic" move. In those services, one could ask, "How many Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Jewish, and Baptist people are here?" and healthy numbers would raise their hands in one meeting (after another).

Even different cultures and races were finding unity together despite the hindrances of language and culture styles. There was a supernatural blending as never before, with missions emphasis and representation that rocked the world and the church world of that time.

It was an incredible move where God broke down the walls that not only separated but also that opened doors to new and blended revelation. Was that controversial? You betcha! But the walls came tumblinhg down and the revelation poured in and with fear and trembling the Church grew significantly NOT just in numbers but in understandings.

When the de-centralization took place because the leaders could not handle it, people separated and there was grief and mourning but that led to more individualized personal growth and by return, the pollenation of many other established mainline type ministries with the gifts of the Spirit. The battles were hard, but the battles were also won. While we came to understand persecution from the brethren, the joy of newfound fellowship in the gifts also exploded among like kind in fresh zeal for evangelism and even later in prayer. Much bridge building was worked at and accomplished.

The results of this "charismatic" move (charisma means gifts or gifted) did bring about much controversy and some excesses, but even more, it brought about unity. So honestly, when people attack charismatics as "flakey, dingy, flippant, crazy, nuts" or paint them with many other derogative terms, I get offended.

You can't hurt me personally with those terms, and perhaps I have qualified a time or two for my exhuberance or a misunderstanding in my personal struggle, but when people label negatively this group move, I cringe because I think they don't know what they do.

This move was not a misfit move of God. It was indeed a most sovereign move that changed Christianity as we know it today to be a strong force in overcoming world evils. It will continue to grow, building on the future and former moves of God, for indeed it is Him Who by His Spirit is building His Church.

Competitive attempts at organization will never succeed to daunt God ordained Spirit led moves of God. The Body of Christ needs to continue to grow in its understandings of the blended moves of God. People may do it different but Spiritual fruit will reveal Spiritual purpose. Instead of looking for what's wrong and labeling those who are different than we are, can we see the Big Picture of a Big God who loves His Creation?

When we seek God for His moves, can we be content at what He gives us? God wants power moves more than we do. But He will only be recognized for Who He really is rather than what we bill Him to be on our advertizing flyers and billboards that seem like it is all "here or there."

Is there anything wrong with promoting Him? Absolutely not. But let's not let declaring our opinions that "this is it" take the place of allowing God to reveal Who He really is through man He created in His Image, male and female.

We don't have to hype and promote and cloak in mystery or fear what God is really doing or is all about. He is Who He is and we fail Him by not obeying Him personally and individually. Too often in the name of a group mentality, we compromise what is really Truth. We ourselves lose out when that happens.

God will bless what He can bless and it is His desire to bless, reveal and demonstrate, but if our integrity is lacking, His Hands are tied.

God bless you.

Recovering a Robbed Future

by Jim Hodges

In Jeremiah 29, the prophet is releasing a word from the Lord to the exiles who had been taken captive into Babylon during the siege of Jerusalem. He declared in verse eleven: "For I know the plans that I have for you , declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope". When it did not look like there was a future for God's people, the Lord God through His prophet proclaimed that there would be a good and hopeful future!

In fact, Jeremiah's word gave the exiles both a short-term and long-term perspective about their future. In the short term, they were to live, marry, have children, build houses, and plant gardens. (Compare the Cultural Mandate in Genesis 1:28). Furthermore, they are challenged to influentially occupy Babylon and this would release a blessing both for Babylon and them! (Jeremiah 29:7)

In the long term, the prophet declared that the exiles, primarily through their children, would be restored back into their land.

I believe the Lord is once again releasing both short-term and long-term hope to His church through His prophets!

The Terminal Generation

Back in the 70's, some Bible teachers designated my generation as terminal. I assume that you, like me, are not encouraged to be called "terminal". (There is a taxi company in Dallas, Texas, named "Terminal Cab" – I never ride in one of them!) Because we were labeled terminal, Jean and I did not have more children and we did not save much money. In other words, we were robbed. A part of our future was stolen! Had I known back then that I would still be on the earth in 2001, I would have done many things differently!

The Church: Stewards of the Future

Church, we have been given a covenantal promise of a future from the Lord God! Why do we keep trying to give it away or keep hoping to escape it? The Hebrew word for future can also be translated; (1) end; (2) last; (3) destiny; and (4) posterity. We are to be stewards of "The End" or "The Last". Eschatological stewardship is not in the hands of the devil and his colleagues, but it is in the hands of a victorious and hopeful church! We, as the Body of Christ need to be setting the agenda for the future not looking to escape it.

Since the church has not stepped forward to steward the future, the vacuum is being filled by those who do not have a Biblical world view. For example, Zia Sardar is a leading futurist today and he is Moslem. Listen to the words of another leading non-Christian futurist: "one of the social institutions throughout the world which I think is a dead-lead weight on society and human development, which is negative, retrogressive, and oppressive of women and sinks its head in the ground when it comes to future opportunities is organized religion." This quote should do more than offend us, it should convict us! After all, there was a time when true Christianity was the soul and springboard of western civilization. But a funny thing happened on the way to the future. Christianity began to be seen as civilization's sinkhole. In other words, the church began to be seen as a keeper of the past rather than a creator of the future! Something is wrong when unbelievers are planning for the future, and the church is not. The Bible teaches that covenant breakers are cut off from the future and covenant keepers inherit the future. (See Psalm 37).

Eschatological Revision

It is time we took another look at the future and what the Bible has to say concerning it. The popular American religious culture usually refers to the future primarily in terms of "going to heaven". Heaven is seen as the ultimate vacation for the believer. The Bible declares that God is a Worker and that we His church are His co-workers. This will be so forever as we steward a renewed heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1). Even in our resurrected state after Christ's return, we are going to be workers not vacationers!

Meanwhile, there is a pre-resurrection future for the church! During this historical process, the Lord Jesus is in the process of subduing His enemies (Psalm 2 and Psalm 110:1-2). Listen to the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15:23-26: "But each is his own order: Christ the firstfruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming [Greek: parousia], then comes the end [Greek:telos], when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and authority and power. For He MUST REIGN until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last [Greek: eschatos] enemy that will be abolished is death."

Notice for a moment the word, TELOS (end). It is used in the Great Commission: "I will be with you until the end [telos] of the age". In Hebrews 9:26 the word, consummation, is from a form of telos, i.e., suntelia. The word carries with it more than the idea of a punctiliar moment when all things end or terminate. Telos is the root for the philosophical term, teleology. Teleology means a purposeful movement toward an expected and ordained goal. In other words, telos is not just a historical wrap-up; it the purposeful and providential movement toward the wrap-up. Jesus said it this way: "Occupy [Greek: do business] until I come". Jesus calls the church to a progressive and purposeful stewardship of both the short-term and long-term future!

Guidelines for Finding a Biblical View of the Future

Confused by different views of the end? I can find verses that seem to support every view whether it is pre, mid, or post! Frankly, my eschatology is still being defined and shaped. Oh, I used to have it all figured out, but my view got dismantled in front of God, my wife, and everyone! I know more what I am not than what I am!

Nevertheless, I want to share some guidelines which may help you find a more Biblical view of the future.

Look for the view that leads you out of despair and fear and toward faith and hope. (Jer. 29:11). Hope empowers us to make better decisions today about the prospects we face tomorrow and to invest wisely in our family, vocation, and community. The future is not fatalistic; it is covenantal. If we obey Him, we are blessed no matter what! He said He would be with us until the end (telos)!

Look for the view that declares divine restoration. Read Acts 3:21 which declares the restoration of all things the prophets spoke. This includes the restoration of ethnic Jews who as natural branches will be grafted back into the covenantal olive tree and all Israel will be saved! This includes a glorious church consisting of Jews and Gentiles which will be an adorned, gifted, anointed, and beautiful bride for The Lamb!

Look for the view that is victorious in every area of life and culture: not one that focuses on entropy, evil, and horror. To be sure the sons of the devil, the tares, mature in history, but the wheat, the sons of the Kingdom, mature more and God removes that tares in His days of visitation in history as well as at the Second Coming. God keeps the wheat, the barn, the farm, and the land! The tares, like chaff, are burned away. "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered!"

Look for the view that facilitates world evangelization. Look for the view that assists the church in proclaiming the Gospel of The Kingdom (Matt. 24:14) with increased clarity, conviction and power. Every generation of believers is under the mandate of the Great Commission to disciple nations according to the commandments of King Jesus! Colossians 1:6 and 1: 23 inform us that the first-century church essentially fulfilled the Great Commission by reaching the known world of their day, i.e, the Roman Empire-Mediterranean world. History awaits another generation of believers to arise and fulfill the Great Commission!

Look for the view that empowers the church to shape society's future as God's prophets and stewards like Joseph, Daniel, and Esther in their time. All of these profoundly impacted civilization for the glory of God! Rather than cursing the darkness, the church of the 3rd millennium must turn on the light in ever sphere of life!

Look for the view that interprets the Bible by the Bible and not by the newspaper or some current prophecy books. For example, the locusts in the Book of Revelation are not references to Cobra helicopters! The darkening of the sun and the moon turning to blood and stars falling out of heaven are not primarily literal though it can happen if God so chooses—this is apocalyptic language describing traumatic governmental changes. For example, Isaiah 13 uses this language to refer to the fall of Babylon to the Medo-Persians, and in Matthew 24 Jesus uses the same language to refer to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. In our own lifetime we have seen the "sky fall" when the former USSR was dissolved and Marxism fell in eastern Europe! In Genesis 37:9 Joseph saw in his dream the sun, moon, and eleven stars bow down to him. As you know, he became the governor (next to Pharaoh) in Egypt and saved the world of this day from famine!

Look for a view that enhances the church's ministries of intercession and worship. In Jeremiah 29:12, 13 just after the Lord promises them a hopeful future, we read these words: "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart". In the book of Revelation (5:8) we read of "harps for praise and incense bowls for prayer". The Apocalypse is the church's prayer and worship manual. The book of Revelation is like the New Testament Psalms. As we move toward the final End, the telos, let our worship and intercession come to a new level of wholeheartedness and intensity!

Church, as we follow Biblical truths and draw on Holy Spirit anointing, we can take the future back! The future is His – and ours!

Note: some of the content of this article was taken from author Jay Gary of the Christian Futures Network.

Jim Hodges
Federation of Ministers and Churches, Inc.

Evil Company Corrupts Good Morals

Timothy Glendenning

Spiritual life is quenched in the atmosphere of carnal society, and a sort of intoxication quickly comes over him who frequents it. Let us therefore note that there is nothing more harmful than bad teaching and ungodly speculations, which make us deviate, even in the slightest degree, from an orthodox and pure faith.

Evil associations corrupt excellent morals. In moral battles numbers are an inferior consideration. One man in truth may conquer a nation in error.

There are those who are drawn together in fellowship simply on the ground of evil doctrines, dispositions, plans, purposes, pleasures, ect. There is an instinct in 'evil company' to corrupt. Evil is a self-propagating power. Those who have yielded to temptations become the tempters of others. There is an susceptability in most to be corrupted. So the exortation, 'Be not deceived'.

Many mix among the ungodly, confident in strength, and fall. Those who live in sin easily persuade themselves of the truth of anything which they would like to be true. Sin blinds the intellect as well as corrupts the heart.

Men say, God cannot do this thing ; but with him 'all things are possible.' True knowledge of God marvellously helps our faith. We doupt and question, not because we know so much, but because we know so little.

The sentiment of the passage is, that the intercourse of evil-minded men, or that the close friendship and conversation of those who hold erroneous opinions, or who are impure in their lives, tends to corrupt the morals, the heart, and the sentiments of others.

We have less horror at vice by becoming familiar with it ; we look with less alarm on error when we hear it often expressed ; we become less watchful and cautious when we are constantly with the gay, the worldly, the unprincipled, and the vicious. So Christ sought that there should be a pure society, and that his peope principally seek the friendship and conversation of each other, and withdraw from the world.

Paul says, that Christians who embrace false doctrines, that they lose their spirituality, love of prayer, fervour of piety, and devotion to God. It is in this way that the simple are beguiled, the young corrupted, and that vice, and crime,and infidelity spread over the world.

In Christ,

Just a Huckster

A. W. Tozer

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
--Philippians 3:13-14

Some young preacher will study until he has to get thick glasses to take care of his failing eyesight because he has an idea he wants to become a famous preacher. He wants to use Jesus Christ to make him a famous preacher. He's just a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. They will ordain him and he will be known as Reverend and if he writes a book, they will make him a doctor. And he will be known as Doctor; but he's still a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. And when the Lord comes back, He will drive him out of the temple along with the other cattle.

We can use the Lord for anything--or try to use Him. But what I'm preaching and what Paul taught and what was brought down through the years and what gave breath to the modern missionary movement that you and I know about and belong to was just the opposite: "O, God, we don't want anything You have, we want You." That's the cry of a soul on its way up. Success and the Christian, 29.

"Lord, give us that hunger to know You; deliver us from the pride that makes us want to use You. Let me pray today with John, 'He must increase, but I must decrease.' Amen."

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