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.
25 October, 1998
Now before we get into the meat of the message Iíd like to first send out a very simple request. Our mailing list is increasing day by day... and thatís good... but the funds needed to send out the letters is not. However, there is one really neat way for us to reduce the cost of this letter... and thatís to send it out by e-mail. So if any of you are on the Internet, and have the capability of opening up Microsoft Works documents, and donít mind getting the sermonet by e-mail, then please let us know.
OK, so how did you like last weekís message? Well we still ainít through yet... in fact we are just getting started. And just in case your mind has slipped a little since reading that last sermonet, let me kinda like bring you on back up to speed. You see in the first sermonet of this series I asked the Lord Should President Clinton Remain in Office? And after getting my answer, I followed up (quite naturally) in the second sermonet with the question of Why Does God Want President Clinton To Remain In Office? And of course seeing how the truth is often more than we can bear, that brought us right on into last weekís sermonet with the mind boggling question of Why In The World Did We Get In This Mess In The First Place?
Now just in case you havenít figured it out yet, when and if at all possible, I like to keep these messages as simple as possible. You see I feel there is absolutely no real good reason to make these sermonets any more complicated than they have to be... and of course the very good reason for this is because there is a very simple minded person trying to put them all together (me). But... after having read back over what we covered last week, I have come up with the conclusion that trying to answer the question Why In The World Did We Get In This Mess In The First Place?, and do it through the Word of God (Godís very own choice of Scriptures), has meant taking on a few more very complex and complicated sermonets.
You see from the subject of President Clinton and his mess we have proceeded right on into the United States of America and itís mess... and not even stopping there, we have continued right on into the "Christian" religion (the church) and itís mess. Because seeing how the United States of America is made up of people... and many of these people claim to be "born again" children of God (thatís what the nation was founded on anyway; "one nation under God")... then itís only natural to assume that these "born again" Christians are likewise shaped and conditioned in their beliefs in God by what their religious leaders teach them. And to take that just one step further, itís these same religious leaders who are so very often most heavily influenced by what their most holy religious denominations teach them.
So where in the world, might you ask, does all that take us? Well it takes us right back to the message of last week... the church! Because if we give President Clinton "the benefit of the doubt" (where did we ever get that expression anyway?), and assume that he is truly believing what he has always been taught in his Baptist upbringing, then itís only logical to believe that his actions are based on his understanding of the Word of God. And if this assumption is true, then itís his understanding of the Word of God (as taught by his Baptist denomination) that completely puts the thought of "everlasting Hell fires" right on out of his "Christian" mind.
Because if he actually believes that he is a child of God, but yet he trust in the teachings of "once saved always saved" doctrine, then Revelation 21:8 canít even possibly apply to him ("But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."). And if this particular Scripture doesnít hold true to him as a "born again" Christian, then what real good motivation does he have in not only confessing all of his sins but likewise making the change in his life that will alter the course of our nation?
So do you kinda understand what Iím getting at? I mean what a mess!.. and what a great big rotting stinking heap of mess it is! (Remember the buzzards in the mustard tree branches?) Well this is what I believe the Lord is trying to get us to understand in these sermonets on President Clinton. Because you see anytime the True Word of God gets watered down (even if itís just a little itty bitty tiny bit), the results will be nothing less than earthshakingly disastrous. And what makes matters even worse is that this great big rotting stinking heap of mess doesnít pile up overnight; itís a very slow deceptive process thatís so very hard for most to see. In fact it grows so slowly, day by day and year after year, that before you know it thereís a bunch of people sinning (a whole nation of em) who donít even believe that what they are doing is a sin. So do you think that just maybe thatís how we got the president that we got... whoís doing what heís doing?
Yup! In fact thatís exactly why we have even added a few more pieces of the puzzle (people) into this discussion of President Clinton. You see as of last week we have also included The Pope (The Catholic Church), Pat Robertson (The 700 Club), and Dick DeVos (The Amway Corporation) into our ever expanding little chit chat on Why In The World Did We Get In This Mess In The First Place? And thatís as good a reason as any to ask just one more question of "where will it all end?"
Well it just so happens that thatís where weíre headed to (the end), but thereís also quite a bit of distance between here and there. Because for this weekís message we are going to get into Ezekiel chapter 13, and weíre going to do it just as God the Father has instructed me to. But before continuing on into the text, I must first make a full confession about a terrible sin that I have committed. And before I say what I must say, I humbly ask that you try and be understanding... like put yourself in my shoes. You see the sin that I have committed is that most hideous sin of "milk and cookies".
OK, so what are you laughing about? This is not a laughing matter! Now I know that what Iím about to tell you is going to be very hard for some of you to understand... but listen closely anyway. You see the truth of the matter is that I love to partake of (indulge in) milk and cookies right before going to bed. Itís kind of like one of my nightly rituals; I take a shower, say my prayers, enjoy a glass of milk with a cookie, and study the Holy Bible. But it was somewhere in the time frame of the last two weeks, as I was really getting into this series on President Clinton, that I heard a voice telling me to "fast" my nightly milk and cookies. In fact I would not only hear it in the shower, I would hear it during my prayers, and I would even hear it right on up until the time that I would commit this sin of milk and cookies.
Now I know itís sad to say but this whole thing went on for several days (hearing the voice but denying it was from God)... until the night that I finally decided to obey Him. And after having finally done what I was asked to do, it was only after one night of being obedient to God (fasting my milk and cookies) that my life returned to normal again. It was all so very short and simple... all He wanted from me was just one night of fasting... and to think that I fought it so very hard!
You see I believe that it was all because of the subject matter at hand that God the Father impressed on me this fact of how easy it is to ignore His voice and not do what He wants us (me) to do. And of course it was only because of my love for milk and cookies that I was able to override God the Fatherís desire for me to be obedient to Him. And even though my disobedience to God the Father didnít really hurt a whole bunch of people, what it did do was give Satan a great big foothold in my life. Because you see Satan, being the Slimy Slithering Serpent that he is, will do whatever he has to do in order to get us to follow him ever so slightly (disobey God)... even if it takes his stooping to the undeniably low grade sin of "milk and cookies".
So everything that I have said up to this point really takes us right back to the subject of seeds... which takes us right back to the lesson of last week. And likewise, rereading just a very short portion of the Scriptures from Matthew chapter 13 will give us what we need in order to kick off the message for this week: "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Now the "word" being spoken of in the above passage is the "three measures of meal" we read about in "the parable of the leaven" from last weekís sermonet. You see this "word" is the pure Word of God as God intended it to be. BUT, because of the bad seed in the church (tares/children of Satan) this once perfect meal (the Word of God) has been altered and changed by the addition of leaven (false doctrine) through the woman (religion). And seeing how this false doctrine (leaven) has likewise influenced The Church (mustard seed) in a very bad way, itís growth (the mustard seed influenced by the leaven) has resulted in a very big tree (the church) which is likewise very capable of making those who donít bow down to itís beliefs (false doctrines) very uncomfortable (" for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended"). In fact itís this same big mustard tree with the buzzards in itís branches (the church) that can actually persecute (punish and torment) those who donít agree with their beliefs.
So logically speaking, itís because of this persecution from the church that so many followers of Jesus have altered what they have "heard" from God in order to make everybody happy (the sin of milk and cookies). And because of this the mustard tree (the church) with all itís lying wonders (false teachings/leaven) just keeps right on getting bigger and bigger (a great big heap of stinking rotting mess).
In fact thereís another one of my favorite TV preachers whoís in the same condition as Brother Robertson... and his name is Benny Hinn. Now once again please keep it in mind that these men being included in our little discussion for today have been called by God and anointed of God for a very special purpose... but they are becoming very weak in getting out "The True Word of God"... and all because of the "milk and cookie" influence of religion. You see Pastor Benny Hinn has been given an extraordinary gift of healing... but he is not following up these demonstrations of "Jesus miracles" with a demonstration of "the Jesus message". And of course the Jesus message that he needs to be preaching is "come out from among your religions and be healed".
You see the facts are that as Pastor Benny Hinnís popularity continues to grow, it will become increasingly more difficult for him to tell these lovely people (Catholics, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostals, and etc.) the truth about their religious systems. Because if he tells them the truth about the "leaven in their religion" he is going to make most of them very unhappy. And if they arenít happy they wonít send money... and if they donít send money what do you think will happen to his rapidly expanding ministry?
So thatís exactly why God has brought in this "milk and cookie" thing into the message for today. Because you see it not only applies to my life and our ministry (The FMH Childrenís Club International), but also The 700 Club (Pat Robertson), This Is Your Day (Benny Hinn), and any other ministry that professes to preach the True Word of God. And having said all of that, we are now ready to go on into the Scripture of the week. So turning to and reading from Ezekiel 13:1-23, "And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!"
All right. Now in order for me to help you understand where God is leading us with this Scripture, please allow me to take up just a few lines to try and give you a better understanding of the word prophet. And starting it all off with Webster, he defines a prophet as "a person who speaks for God, or a god, or as though under divine guidance." And if you read this definition very carefully you should have seen that there are two kind of prophets. In other words there are the true prophets who hear their message from God and then faithfully pass the information on along to the people (regardless of the consequences of their message)... and then there are the false prophets as well. And it just so happens that itís these false prophets who we will be talking about in the message for today. Because you see even if a true prophet hears a message from God, but yet decides not to tell it like it is because of his or her own personal ambitions, then in reality they are not acting as a true prophet of God.... And This Is What God Hates!!!
Because you see the true prophet of God is an undeniably very important part of Godís plan. In fact if we were to look back and consider the impact of only a few of the well known great prophets from the past, our list might include not only Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Joshua, and Ezeliel, but also Jesus as well. And if we were to consider only the part that Jesus played as a prophet, what do you think would have been the results if He alone had decided to soft sell a more digestible Word from God in order to make His life a little easier? What do you think would have happened if He had decided, just for the sake of comfort, to leave out the part about the cross?
Well the truth of the matter is that the true prophets of God were meant to work side by side with Godís very own "religious system" (the priest)... that is until the "religious system" became so contaminated with leaven (false doctrine) that it actually became necessary for them to go toe to toe (spiritual warfare) against the priest. In fact if you really get down to the nitty gritty of the past, it was Prophet Jesusí stand (toe to toe) against the priest and their false doctrines that got Him nailed to the cross in the first place!
And thatís the very same type of situation that Ezekiel was in when he got his message from God concerning the false prophets of his day and time. You see the religious system (priest and most holy ones) had gone completely bonkers. And what made matters even worse was that the prophets began to say whatever the priest wanted to hear (the milk and cookie syndrom)... regardless of whether it was from God or not! And thatís why God gave Ezeliel the very strong message of "Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!"
You see as far as God was concerned these false prophets were in a heap of trouble. In fact He goes on to give Ezekiel a very vivid description of their behavior: "O Israel, thy prophets are like foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?"
And seeing how we are on the subject, I donít know how many of you have ever had the opportunity to deal with foxes but let me give you a little first hand real life experience of my own. Foxes are nothing more than very sneaky, fast, and hungry little dogs who are out to get an easy free meal. And itís because of this very same fact that these sneaky little critters believe in stealing for a living instead of working for one. You see they love the easy pickings; they love to snatch the totally unsuspecting domesticated animals right out from under the farmerís nose. And believe you me theyíll stop at absolutely nothing to get their free meal! You see theyíll not only eat your chickens, geese, and ducks, but theyíll even go after your cats if they get hungry enough. So this is what God thinks of the false prophets?
And the point that God the Father was trying to get across in His message to Ezekiel was that the foxes (false prophets) were stealing the farmerís (God the Fatherís) chickens (Christians) and none of the true prophets were doing anything to stop them. But He doesnít just stop there. Nope! God the Father keeps right on digging the hole deeper as He gives Ezekiel a few more details about these foxes: "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD."
Now anyone reading through the book of Ezekiel will find one very specific phrase repeated over and over again throughout his book: "... and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD." And what do you think it all means? Well if you will only read on up a few lines above that one you will find "And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies..." And just in case you havenít figured it all out yet, this hand of God that was going to be placed upon the false prophets was not a gentle hand of love and care. On the contrary, this hand was of force and power destined to destroy all those who in anyway distorted or misused the Word of God. And as we will see a little bit later, it was most often only after the hand of God had come down on the false prophets that they finally realized just Who they were messing around with: "... and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD."
So that was what that they were going to get... and the reason they were going to get it was: "Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? Therefore thus said the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it."
Now for those of you who havenít had the opportunity to see real life rock walls, please allow me to give you my very own observations. You see out here in El Paso rock walls are everywhere: tall ones, short ones, wide ones, and skinny ones. They are of every size and shape but most of them serve the same useful purpose: they form a protection around your property. So thatís what they are suppose to do and thatís what they will do if theyíre put together the right way. Because you see itís the cement (morter) that holds these rocks together. And likewise itís the quality of this morter that determines whether the wall will last a lifetime or only blow over after the first good blast of Texas wind. So seeing how the wall is built for protection in the first place, just how good of a job do you think itís going to do if it crumbles to the ground?
And thatís exactly the point Father God was trying to make. You see this wall of protection is none other than the True Word of God. And even though all religious denominations do have their very own big rock walls, itís the morter used to build them that counts. Because the Lord goes on to say, "So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD."
Now as you will see next week, these warnings being handed out to the children of God were all for a very good reason. They were believing the lies of the prophets and Godís wrath was just about ready to come down on their heads. And the lies they were hearing came not only from the men prophets but the women prophets as well. Because as we read on we find, "Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them. And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?"
You see this all goes back to the sin of milk and cookies. How much are you willing to give up in order to obey God? How about food (bread)? How about a very prosperous ministry? Well the bottom line is that God is God and He ainít going to change for nobody. His Word is forever... and regardless of what these so called religions preach itís still going to remain the same. And thatís exactly why itís so important to get out the Truth! The world is being tricked into believing in a comfortable laid back religion... but itís a lie... and the problem is that prophets arenít calling it a lie... and God the Father is by no means pleased!
Because He goes on to say, "Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: Therefore ye shall see no vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD."
This has been a story about religion... and this is the story about prophets who know the truth but choose not to tell the truth... and the reason they do it is because of their very own sinful vanity. So be prepared for next week as we continue to dig a little deeper into the past by looking at just a few of the gory details which resulted from the prophets of God giving into the temptations of Satan (milk and cookies).
Itís not a pretty picture but neither is the upcoming future for most of the world. Donít get snookered into believing a lie; know the truth and Keep The Faith!!!
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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