FMH Childrenís Club International
P.O. Box 640109
El Paso, TX 79904
The following letter-form was brought about as a means of teaching my children the Word of God through the mail. And of course, quite naturally so, thatís the reason I begin these letters with "Dear Children" and end them with "Love Dad". So for the rest of you who participate in these weekly messages, please keep their original intended purpose in mind.
2 January, 2000
Boy, how time flies! Would you believe itís been five (5) whole months since one of these sermonets was written? And seeing how Iím still gainfully unemployed, just what do you think Iíve been doing with all my unlimited free time? Well after receiving Godís promise of the sweet little widow woman taking care of all our needs (Arthurís sermonet No Job, No Money, But God Will Provide), I figured it was going to be easy sailing for some time to come. But... what I figured was going to happen and what actually happened were two entirely different things. You see even though the widow woman did step in and take care of our needs, the rest of the story was anything but one of those fantasy pleasure cruises.
So what do you figure went wrong? I mean after being let go (terminated) from The Toro Company for doing what the Lord told me to do, youíd figure something like a pleasure cruise would be a well deserved treat. And even though a little stress free living would have been nice, especially after all the pain and humiliation of getting laid off, Father God seemed to have a little something else in mind... which didnít even include rest and relaxation. In fact the new project that so rapidly consumed my unemployed life was nothing less than a long awaited answer to my pray... but what an answer it turned out to be!
Because for many years now Iíve been praying that God the Father would bring back one very important member of our family. You see Old Splitfoot had led her astray with some very enticing but yet convincing lies. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried to show her the truth, she was never able to see through Satanís very dark smoke screen. And to be perfectly honest with you, this problem had gone on for such a long time that I was about to give up all hope of ever seeing her back to normal again. I mean her condition seemed to be so helplessly hopeless that only a painful mind jarring experience would ever be able to snap her out of it. In fact by the time I lost my job at Toro, my prayer for her had gotten down to the very basics of "whatever it takes Lord, just save her!"
So thatís what I prayed... and it wasnít too long thereafter that the Lord asked me if I really meant what I said. Was I willing to go along with this "whatever it takes" in order to turn her life around? Well even though the Lord didnít tell me exactly how He was going to handle the problem, I already had it figured out that this whole mind jarring experience would be all of her and none of me. So being completely innocent of all the details up ahead, and without even the slightest bit of hesitation, I made the very solid commitment to Father God to do "whatever it took" to save her life. And from that point on the story kinda like took off where the sermonet entitled Fool Crazy For Jesus ended.
You see it was back in April of 1997 that the Lord had me write about the fact that becoming a dedicated child of God was going to likewise mean becoming a "crazy fool" to the world. And even though I understood what the name was all about (fool crazy), there was really no way I could feel the pain and suffering that would resultantly go along with it... that is until it actually happened. And now that Iíve sorta like been there and done that (a small sampling of it anyway), Iíd like to try and help you understand what itís all about.
Now keep it in mind that even though Father God didnít give me the details of His "rescue plan" ahead of time (and Iím kinda glad He didnít), I boldly proclaimed that Iíd do whatever it took to save the life of our very important family member! Thatís what I said, and this is as good a place as any to give Arthur (my son) and Hadassah (my daughter) a great big thank you for giving me the spiritual support I needed to see His plan through. Because believe you me, just saying that youíre going to do something is a whole lot easier than doing it. And there were at least three times during this mission for God that I actually gave up the faith, was ready to throw in the towel, only to be reminded by Arthur and Hadassah that I was out of Godís will by doing so.
So how could I have been so weak? Well you see Iíve learned a whole lot about the good fight of faith over the past few months, and this entire learning process can best be summed up in two critical Scriptures: "And immediately the Spirit driveth him (Jesus) into the wilderness..."(Mark 1:12) and "But, and if ye suffer for righteousnessí sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled..."(I Peter 3:14) So how do you figure those two Scriptures fit into my story about becoming "fool crazy for Jesus" and doing "whatever it took" to rescue a lost soul from the clutches of Satan?
Well before this sermonet is over I sincerely hope youíll have the answer to that question. But to start things off, did you like pick up on a few of those very encouraging key words in the Scripture (wilderness, suffer, afraid, terror, and troubled)? Well they definitely are not the type of words most people are any too crazy about dealing with, but then again thereís no denying that theyíre a very real part of a true Christianís life. And even though most of the church world of today likes to think that Jesus has already done all the suffering for us, theyíve been grossly misled (duped by the Devil) to say the least. You see whether people really want to believe it or not, once you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (not only Savior but also Lord), your life no longer belongs to you but to Him. And thatís why we find Jesus saying in John 12:24-26, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour."
Now if you really want to know where Jesus expects us to follow Him to, the answer can be found in Mark 8:34-38: "And when he (Jesus) had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospelís, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
So do you kinda like get the picture? Well let me be the first to tell you that sometimes these "words of Jesus" are mighty tempting to ignore. I mean weíre talking about a cross... you know one of them things that you die on. But even though most of the time this death weíre asked to die will not be one in which we are physically nailed to a cross, it will however be a very uncomfortable process to say the least. And seeing how weíre on the subject of comfort levels, this is right about the time and place where Iím going to tie in the part about becoming "fool crazy" for Jesus.
You see this process of becoming a fool for Jesus just ainít something thatís going to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Itís intended purpose is to save lost and dying souls from the fires of Hell, and the way Father God goes about getting it done is not the way most of us would choose to do it. In fact to start things off, why donít we take a look at two mighty fine examples of men who did "whatever it took" for God. Their names were Isaiah and Hosea, and they were both Old Testament prophets called of God to rescue a whole bunch of lost and dying folks from the clutches of Satan.
Now for those of you who might not know it, Isaiah was one more awesome prophet of God. In fact he was so dedicated to serving his Lord (fool crazy for Christ) that Satan had to think up a very special death just to try and get even. You see as a going away present for Isaiah, Satan had a few of his hired hands stuff him in a hollow log and saw it (and him) in-two. But before Satan was able to put an end to Isaiah, he did many great and mighty things for the Lord, and one of them just so happens to be found in Isaiah 20:1-4: "In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it; At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt."
Unbelievable! Can you even imagine that? Isaiah the prophet, in obedience to God the Father, walked around naked and barefoot for three whole years. And even though his nakedness was not complete nakedness, it was naked enough to earn him the title of one more "fool crazy" prophet. He was a spiritual man gone mad! How utterly ridiculous to even think that the God of Heaven would instigate such foolishness! But was it really foolishness that the Loving God of the Universe would want to show his people (in a very obvious way) what was about to happen to them before it was too late? Not hardly, because you see thatís "whatever it took" to get the point across.
And now for prophet #2, we have Hosea and his story: "...And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD."(Hosea 2:2) Now would you think this to be the type of woman a man of God should be choosing for his lifelong partner? Someone who would help him through the trials and tribulations of his ministry? No way Hosea! I mean this woman was undeniably dedicated to serving her own selfish whorish desires. She definitely was not going to have any time left over for her God-fearing husband! Poor old Hosea. What a time he must have had.
And if all that wasnít bad enough, just to add insult to injury, the entire ugly episode of Hoseaís life was made public for the whole nation to see! It was kinda like one of those great big old well lit billboards (in dayglow colors)... Hoseaís Marriage Made In Hell! You couldnít have missed it if you tried. And boy did the people ever talk! But... as bad as it must have been, this was exactly what God the Father had intended. Because you see all the suffering that Hosea did was so that Godís chosen people would hopefully wake up to the facts. He did "whatever it took" to show them how utterly whorish theyíd been in their dedication to serving God the Father.
So you see both of these prophets were called to do some very uncomfortable "fool crazy" things during their lifetimes... but they did it all for a very special reason... because God the Father told them to do it. And of course the reason why was so that a whole bunch of folks (the nation of Israel) might wake up to the facts before it was too late... and save themselves the unimaginable pain of everlasting torment in the burning fires of Hell!.
But, even though these two prophets were extremely important in Godís rescue plan for the nation of Israel, the next prophet weíre going to look at was The Prophet of all prophets who carried out Godís rescue plan for the entire world. Because you see when it comes down to doing "whatever it takes" to get the job done, Jesus (the Son of God) wrote the book on how to do it. And picking up the story of Jesusí life at the beginning of His ministry, we read: "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beast; and the angels ministered unto him."(Mark 1:1-13)
All right, so by carefully looking at what weíve just read weíll be able to pick up on what it took for Jesus to do "whatever it took" to get the job done. Because the first important detail of the story is that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in water. He was totally submerged under water to symbolically show His upcoming death, burial, and resurrection. That was Jesusí first baptism, but then came The Baptism of all baptism; His Baptism in the Holy Spirit. And believe you me, this had to be one more awesome experience to behold. Everyone watching had to be totally and completely dumbfounded! I mean just think about this supernatural Holy Spirit Dove, descending on Jesus from Heaven, and then just all of the sudden becoming a part of Him. And if that wasnít enough to shake em up, how about God the Fatherís booming voice coming down from Heaven saying "my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"? This was not what you would call one of them normal everyday type of experiences. In fact I believe the word "awesome" is a very mild way to describe it at best.
But then after such a powerful demonstration of God the Fatherís love for His Only Begotten Son, we see Jesus being "driven" by the Holy Spirit right on out into that very terrible and unsafe territory called "the wilderness". I mean this was not one of those "think about it before you do it" type of deals. The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) filled Jesus with the overwhelming urgency to "Go Now !!!" into the wilderness. There was absolutely no time for any sort of trip preparation (no food, no water, no extra clothes, no nothing), and thatís exactly the way God the Father wanted it to be. Because you see what Jesus had just received through the Gentle Dove of the Holy Spirit was everything that He needed for His trip. The Holy Spirit was what Jesus needed to do "whatever it took" to get the job done!
And likewise, because of what Jesus was about to do on this trip, I would dare say that most folks would have probably called Him very "foolish and crazy". I mean just stop and think about it! Jesus was heading out into a very secluded area, which was overrun by wild blood-thirsty animals, for a full forty days and nights, without any food and water, just so He could be mentally and physically tortured by the king of all Devils himself. And... the only reason for this very odd behavior was because a spirit (The Holy Spirit of God) drove Him to do it! It really didnít make a whole lotta sense, if you think about it in the natural.
But you see when it comes to the ways of God, it just flat out doesnít matter what we think. God is God, and His "whatever it takes" to get the job done is really all that should matter. And as wild and crazy as this little incident may have been, it was only the beginning of the fulfillment of prophecy given to Satan so many years before: "it (Jesus) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15)
Because not even considering all that Jesus did during the rest of His three year ministry (which even included the front page news story of the temple and the money changers), it was towards the end of His life that we read about just one more very unnatural act He performed for the Love of His Father: "And he (Jesus) came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stoneís cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:39-44)
Jesus was about to do something so unimaginably painful that just the act of His resisting the temptation not to do it caused Him to sweat great drops of blood. There is absolutely no way that we as humans could ever understand what He suffered.... and He did it all because God the Father asked Him to. In fact Isaiah 50:4-7 gives a very detailed account of the suffering our Lord endured just to save our souls: "The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed."
Unbelievable suffering! And then came that final moment when Jesus finished His "whatever it took" to save the world: "And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eloi., Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?... And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost." (Mark 15:33-37)
What an amazing God we serve! Hallelujah!!! He did it... "whatever it took" to rescue a lost and dying world from everlasting death and destruction. And itís only because of what He did that we too can have the Holy Ghost Power needed to do "whatever it takes" for us to get the job done. Because flipping over to Mark 16:14-18, and picking up the story of Jesus after His crucifixion, we find: "Afterward he (Jesus) appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
You see all these things that Jesus was talking about believers doing (casting out devils, speaking with new tongues, not being affected by Satanís curses, and healing the sick) were and still are absolutely necessary for the child of God to survive in this world... but they can only come about through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit! These are not what you should consider "optional equipment" for the Christian. This Power of the Holy Spirit is the only way any of us are going to be able to do "whatever it takes" for God.
In fact if youíll notice, it was during this particular part of the story that Jesus gave His disciples one more good tongue lashing for not believing Heíd finally done what Heíd promised He was going to do. You see they were guilty of being suckered in by that ever so successful tool of Satan called "unbelief". And even though Jesus had told them time and time again that He was going to conquer everlasting death through His Blood, they sorta like refused to believe it when it finally happened. Everything was now ready for them to have a portion of what He had (the Holy Spirit), but they must first believe!
Now in order to try and fully understand what Mark 16 is all about, letís take a closer look at this thing called Salvation. You see there ainít no doubting the fact that what Jesus did on the cross is free for the asking, and itís the only way any of us are ever going to make it into Heaven. Jesus died so that we might be set free from sin and death (the everlasting fires of Hell). And even though we were all born into sin, doomed to just keep on sinning (thatís Satanís desire anyway), Jesus made it possible (through the shedding of His Perfect Sinless Blood on the cross) for us to stop sinning. Because once we accept His death in payment for our sins, we can be born-again through the Power of the Holy Spirit. We no longer have to keep on sinning ourselves right on into the flames of Hell. Through the Power of His Holy Spirit living inside of us, we can not only overcome the temptation to sin but also help others do the same. And thatís what casting out devils, speaking with new tongues, healing the sick, and not being affected by any of Satanís curses is all about. Itís all free for the asking, but youíve got to believe it and use it.
So once weíve gotten the "whatever it takes" to get the job done (the Holy Spirit), then weíve got to be willing to do whatever (become "fool crazy" for Jesus) He (the Holy Spirit) drives us (leads us) to do. And even though the Power of God is awesome beyond compare, most of the time Heís not going to work until we do. In fact during our little rescue mission for God, I started complaining when things really started getting tight. I just couldnít understand why God was allowing it all to happen. So I asked Him in prayer to show me why things were the way they were, and He responded by giving me the book of I Peter as a reading assignment. And much to my amazement, I not only found encouragement on the subject of why it was happening, but also on why it must happen.
But in order to show you what I mean, Iíve gone ahead and picked just a few my favorite verses from I Peter. Reading from chapter 3, verses12-16, we find, "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good. But and if ye suffer for righteousnessí sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."
Now I fully realize that for those of you who werenít with us on our "mission for God" this must all be very vague to say the least. But seeing how I canít give out all the nitty gritty details just yet (the book will be available in the very near future), youíll just have to believe me when I say that the words "afraid, terror, and trouble" were all a very real part of our mission. Satan came at us from every side, and you wouldnít even believe some of the people he used to do his dirty work. It was incredible, but it did happen. And it happened because I chose to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit by doing "whatever it took" to save our lost family member. So please believe me when I say, when youíre doing what God the Father has asked you to do, these Scriptures will apply.
And to sum it up real quick... the following is the reason why we should all be willing to be "fool crazy" for Jesus, through the leading and Power of the Holy Spirit, by doing "whatever it takes" to get the job done: "Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lust of men, but to the will of God."(I Peter 4:1-2)
I cannot stress the point strong enough... what most people call Christianity is not! God the Father demands our lives, and without the Power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us we wonít have what it takes to give it to Him. Itís not an easy thing to do! In fact it was towards the end of our mission that God used a dear sweet lady to communicate the following verses to me as encouragement in my suffering: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;... For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." (Hebrews 12:1-4)
It was all very very painful to say the least, but nothing in comparison to the everlasting pain and torment of Hell. Jesus paid The Price, but He also expects us to pay a price too. Are you willing to suffer for Him? Are you willing to become a Fool for Jesus? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to save the lost? The choice is yours, and your everlasting life could depend on it!
Donít be a looser in the fight against Satan. Believe in the Word of God, obey the Spirit of God, and Keep on keeping The Faith In Jesus!!!
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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