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.
28 March, 1999
Praise the Lord!!!...... Glory Hallelujah!!!...... Thank You Jesus!!!
Iíve just been axed, terminated, let go, and dismissed. Call it whatever you like but the bottom line is that I no longer (as of Thursday) have a job with Toro! So why am I so all fired happy?
Well Iím so glad you asked. Because what better time than now to raise the question of who in the world ever said that the life of a Christian was boring? I mean get real! To follow in the footsteps of Jesus is nothing short of one of those hair raising goose bump manifested roller coaster rides of life. In fact if the excitement in my Christian walk gets any more intense I think Iíll just have to sit down and write a book. So just what do you figure was so awesomely exciting about getting fired?
Well that sounds like a logical enough question... so let me give you the logical enough answer. But, before I give you my answer, let me first throw out a question. Do you remember somewhere back a few weeks ago when we were on the topic of Amway, and studying Godís chosen Scripture of Luke chapter 12 (see Sermonet Is Rich DeVos' Capitalism Compassionate?)? Well just in case youíve got a short term memory like me, what we read back then went like this: "In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he (Jesus) began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."
And even though this Scripture was used in the discussion on Amway (which by the way, we might get back to one of these days), it is without a doubt one of Jesusí very own powerful tools for training up His disciples. And of course if you claim to be a Christian then youíve got to be a disciple of Christ (follower). And if you are a follower of Christ (disciple) then you must follow along with what Teacher Jesus has instructed. And in this instruction of Luke chapter 12 we find all the basic essentials needed to understand what a disciple of Christ is expected to do while on the job (working for Jesus; following Christ).
Because believe you me, I for one can personally testify to the fact that if you practice what this Scripture teaches, your life will be overwhelmingly exciting. And once again, if we put what we have just read (the words of Jesus) into plain and simple terms, we come up with the following words: And Jesus said, there are undoubtedly a whole bunch of folks out there who claim to be clean hearted Christians when in reality they are rotten to the core. And itís this same rot thatís infesting them that theyíre likewise spreading around to a whole lot of other folks. So what Jesus wants us to do is to tell everybody we know to be on the lookout for these rot infested slimy slithering sidewinders (snakes). This is our job as a child of God (disciple; follower of Christ) and He expects us to do it... and He expects us to do it even if they threaten us with our lives. Because as a child of God our lives belong to Father God, and if we fear Satanís death threats more than we trust in God the Father, then we really arenít trusting in God.
But that was only the beginning of Jesusí instructions on "how to become a disciple of Christ." Because Jesus went on to say, "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say."
So you see the last part of Jesusí teachings that we have just covered was entirely based on dealing with a very common phenomenon (occurrence) called "fear". And the very good reason why Jesus spent so much time on "fear" was because of the fact that Satan loves to use it. You see Satan, in his dealing with the child of God, not only dishes out very large doses of this stuff ("fear") but he also dishes it out very frequently.
And seeing how this is all tied back to my most recent hair raising goose bump manifested roller coaster ride at Toro, please allow me to take just a few more lines to try and explain myself. Because what Iím about to explain is just how Jesusí teaching in Luke chapter 12 helped me to do what He had called me to do (see Sermonet Snakes In The Corporate Woodpile!). You see my use-to-be boss at Toro (Ricardo Tejada) is a man who makes out like he is a Christian... while holding on to his very own self proclaimed title of being one of the worldís worst (best) sinners. So thatís what he is (a snake) and God the Father wanted me to be the one to "shout it from the housetops"... but thatís right about the time that this thing called "fear" came along.
Because reading once again what God the Father wanted me to tell the world concerning my boss (Ricardo Tejeda): "I say how many are out there... who are so vainly puffed up by their carnal minds that... they strut about as kings.... and they are full of destruction and death... I say they seek that they may be exalted and seen of men for they are vainly puffed up by their carnal minds... For I say that they have exalted themselves... and they have put themselves in the position where men would recognize them and bow unto their authority and bow unto their power. And I say because they are so vainly puffed up I say in the end they shall be destitute and they shall be howling in despair... I say unto thee that they shall be judged for the deeds of wickedness that they have done... I say in the end they shall have a disastrous fall and when they fall to the bottom, they shall have nothing to pick them up for I say there shall be no life there, but only death. And... the arms of death shall embrace them and swallow them up and I say they will be taken up into everlasting chains for I say unto thee that they allowed the deceit of their carnal minds to lead them astray and to lead others astray likewise... Do not bow unto the same, I say do not hearken unto the same but I say hearken unto me, the Living God... I say thank me that I am the I AM... and when you will obey me with dedication, I say unto thee that I the Living God will give thee the mind of my Spirit. And I say unto thee that in the mind of my Spirit, there is life, I say there is wisdom, I say there is knowledge. I say there is instruction."
So as you should be able to see from what "thus saith the Lord" about my use-to-be boss (Ricardo Tejeda), it didnít take too much effort on Satanís part to convince me of the fact that this mission from God was a very dangerous mission indeed. In fact as far as most logical thinking people were concerned, the chances of me maintaining my livelihood at Toro after this project was complete was without a doubt considered to be a "mission impossible." But regardless of what others said, I knew what God the Father had told me to do... so I did it.
And it was somewhere around 11:00 Thursday morning (the 25th of March) that I heard my name being paged by the manager of the Human Resources Department. And even though I fully realized the potential explosion that could result from my most recent letter about my now use-to-be boss, my composure (both inside and outside) remained as cool as a cucumber. In fact to be honest with you, I didnít even get excited when I walked into the HR managerís office and found the HR managerís boss too. I mean what had I done to deserve so much attention? Well anyway, to top it all off, after they finally closed the door and informed me that I was being terminated because of the message in the Childrenís Club letter that I had written about my boss (Ricardo Tejada), amazingly enough there still remained a cool, calm, and collected composure inside of me.
So how did I do it? Well by reading from I Peter chapter 4, and starting with verse 1, I think weíll find the answer: "Forasmuch then as Christ hath 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.... Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christís sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God restest upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."
Now Iíll be the first to tell you that there just ainít nothing like it. You see in the natural world, after having been told that my livelihood had just come to a very abrupt ending, I should have been one very much so out of control blubbering idiot. In fact to put it in plain and simple terms, I should have been an excellent candidate for the Happy Jack Funny Farm... but I wasnít. And the reason that I wasnít was because the Holy Spirit was all over me, protecting me from Satanís most often used tactic of "fear"... which of course follows directly from the Scripture that we have just read: "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God restest upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."
So due to my reaction to the situation (no loss of control), my executioners (the snakes?), who just so happened to be executing me for proclaiming what "thus saith the Lord", did not get the victory they had intended. And that my friends is the reason why I have been able to continually shout the victory of Praise the Lord!!!...Glory Hallelujah!!!... and Thank You Jesus!!! ever since. And besides all that... my Father God has told me that this thing about my job with Toro ainít over till itís over... and He says it ainít over yet. So Glory be to God!!!
And seeing how weíve got a pretty good running start at it already, why donít we just go ahead and continue on with the subject of "suffering for the cause of Christ"? Because picking it back up with verses 6-11 of I eter chapter 4 we find, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
Now the devil we have just read about is none other than The Devil himself (Satan). And believe it or not but this Scripture from I Peter chapter 4 is going to take us right back to I Kings chapter 19. And believe it or not (one more time) but the Lord specifically planned it this way so that we could finish up our unfinished business of last week with Elijah the prophet. Because you see even though God the Father tried His best to give me the message for last week, Satan fought it tooth and nail all the way. And even though I know itís going to be hard for most of you to understand, the following is probably the best way to describe what I went through last week trying to prepare the message. You see as I sat here trying to understand and write the message from the Scripture that I knew the Lord had given me, it felt as though I had a hundred pound sack of hog feed sitting slap dab on top of my head.
And whatís so funny about that? Well I realize that most of you out there are probably nothing but a bunch of city slickers anyway, but... if youíve ever toted a few hundred pound sacks of hog food in your lifetime youíd understand exactly what Iím trying to tell you when I tell you that thatís what it felt like when I tried to concentrate on what "thus saith the Lord". Understand?
Well anyway, going back to I Kings and picking up the story in the last verse of chapter 19: "And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time."
So to refresh your memory on the story, letís kinda like recap whatís taken place up until this point in time. As we started off our reading last week, the prophet Elijah had just appeared on the scene shortly after the very lovely couple Ahab and Jezebel had gotten hitched. You see this married couple was on a roll, Hell bent on destroying anything and everything that had previously belonged to God, and that was as good a reason as any why Elijah showed his face. Because you might say that Elijah, being the dedicated prophet of God that he was, kinda like blew his cool. And what he did when he blew his cool was none other than put a halt on (through the power of God) any and all moisture that might fall on the land of Israel for three whole years.
And because of this curse that Elijah spoke into existence, God the Father took him on out to where nobody else could find him. But, when the three years were over and done with, God the Father told Elijah to tell Ahab that the water was about to get turned back on again. And once again, just as before, the mere sight of seeing this wicked evil fellow called Ahab made Elijah start throwing around the power of God again. Because what happened next was that Elijah put on a show for all those who still hadnít been convinced by the three years of drought that God Almighty was The God of all gods. And seeing how the show was such an overwhelming success, Elijah was actually able to convince the people of Israel to get rid of Jezebelís prophets of Baal (Satan). So even though Elijah had done what he did because it made him feel good (in the flesh), the very next verse goes on to say that "And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah".
Ainít God great? I mean even after Elijah let his flesh get a hold of him, and he did what he did to Jezebelís prophets without being told to by God, the Lord still continued to place His great and mighty hand of power and protection on him. But... it was immediately after this, after Jezebel made her venomous threats to have Elijahís head (in so many words anyway), that Elijah got spooked something terrible... and he headed on off on a 250 mile run for his life. Because reading it once again for ourselves, "Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah... And when he (Elijah) saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there."
So what do you figure spooked Elijah? Well the hand of God was on him, and there shouldnít have been a thing in the world for him to be concerned about. But, even though he was protected by God, he got scared... and it scared him so badly that he totally lost control of himself. So there was Elijah, one of the most noted prophets of all times, suddenly, at that very instant, becoming a quivering spineless scaredy cat.
And the reason that he did what he did can be found in the Scripture that weíve just read: "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour..."
Now this is the part of the message that the Lord was trying to give to me last week that I just couldnít grab a hold to... but He finally got the point across... and Iím just about ready to show you what He showed to me. Because revisiting the Scripture that we read in last weekís message as found in Romans 8:1-14: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."
You see in this story we have just read, the prophet Elijah let his flesh take control of the situation... and seeing how everyoneís flesh belongs to The Devil, thatís likewise the very good reason why the fear of Satan suddenly jumped all over him. So instead of being led by the Spirit of God, Elijah kinda like all of the sudden became led by the spirit of Satan.... and the spirit of Satan is no spirit that anyone in their right mind would want to be doing business with. So, thatís why itís so very important the we all (including me) wait ever so patiently to hear from the gently voice of God the Father before we do anything. Because once again, continuing on with what Paul has to say, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
Boy oh boy oh boy! There just ainít nothing like it when you finally understanding what "thus saith the Lord." Itís great!!! So now that all this makes just a little bit more sense, letís continue on in Romans chapter 8 by reading verse 35-39: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Now granted that this little trial of my faith (with my use-to-be boss at the Toro Company (Ricardo Tejada)) was nothing in comparison to the trials of the great apostle Paul (famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword). But, even though it was minuscule in comparison, what it did do was to teach me in a real way just a little bit about Godís Word when it says "Humble yourselves therefore... Casting all your care upon him... because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour..."
You see what Iíve learned is that Satan canít attack us as long as we are living our life (walking) in the Spirit of God... and the Lordís even proven it to me through this peace that Heís given me in these last few days. Itís great!!! But on the contrary, you had better believe that the minute either you or I or Elijah for that matter (heís still alive and kicking you know) allows the spirit of self (flesh) to take over the controls of our spirit soul and body, we likewise open up the door for Satan and all of his big bad ugly helpers (angels, principalities, and powers) to come in for the kill.
And thatís why Ephesians 6:10-18 goes on to say: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with the truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints..."
OK, so the "wiles of the devil" are nothing more that Satanís tricks... but of course Satanís tricks are not mere jokes but his very well thought out plans of how to succeed in making us die (separation from God the Father for ever and ever and ever). Thatís what Satan has planned for us, and the method he uses to accomplish his madness is through his principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. These are Satanís grunts so to speak... and they live in a spirit world that you canít see... but just give them the opportunity to invade the world of your spirit body and then youíll be able to actually feel their presence. Frightening ainít it?
And that my friend, is exactly why itís so very important to be completely protected by God Almighty. You see these demons and evil spirits are nothing to play around with, and the only way to keep them from latching hold of you is through this whole armour of God. And running down this list of Godís armour very quickly, we have:
#1) loins girt about with the truth (knowing the Word of God)
#2) breastplate of righteousness (receiving His Holy Spirit)
#3) feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (walking in His Holy Spirit)
#4) the shield of faith (believing in the total victory of Jesus Christ)
#5) the helmet of salvation (hoping for that final day of salvation)
#6) the sword of the Spirit (using the Word of God)
So this was what the Lord was trying to tell me all along. Because you see there were times throughout this very intense mission for God with my use-to-be boss (Ricardo Tejada), that I got what you might want to call just a little bit scared. But the truth of the matter is that it was those times when I was scared that I was not walking in the Spirit of God but in the spirit of my own flesh. And itís only because of the fact that Iíve actually gone through the process of being fired, without the feeling of fear, that Iím able to truly understand what this walking in the Spirit is all about. In fact you might even go so far as to say that Iíve sorta like been there and done that.
And for all of my friends who are still suffering under the guidance of my use-to-be boss (Ricardo Tejada), please allow me to give you just one more word of encouragement. My God is The Mighty God, and He has full control over the entire Universe. So no matter how ugly the physical circumstances may appear to be, donít ever give up on your trusting in God. Satan has not won this war, he has only won a very minor battle! And letting the truth of the matter be known, the only reason that God Almighty has even allowed Satan to win this battle in the first place is so that His final victory (winning the war) will be even sweeter.
It ainít over till itís over... and God sayís it ainít over. So put on the whole armour of God and
Keep on keeping The Faith In Jesus!!!
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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