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.
3 May, 1998
Well just as I promised we will be finishing up this week on Why Should We Believe In Miracles. And for the most of you Iím sure the answer to that question would seem to be an obvious "so that you can get healed". But believe it or not, that really ainít the bottom line reason why. The answer to the question goes a whole lot deeper than that, and thatís just what Iím about to show you today.
And it was in last weekís message that we not only saw a few of the many many miracles done by the Great Healer (Jesus), but we also saw where He gave His disciples what they needed in order for them to do the same (heal people). And reading once again from Matthew chapter 10, just so I can jog your memory, "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease... These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give."
Now everything that we covered last week happened in the early part of Jesusí ministry, but this week we are going to speed right on through time and space until we get to the very end of it. And weíre not only going to jump a few years ahead in time but weíre also going do a little switching around while weíre at it. You see instead of reading primarily from Matthew (as we did before) we are going to flip over to the very next book in the New Testament called Mark.
So picking up the story in Mark 15:22 and reading, "And they bring him unto the place called Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him... 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 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."
So it was after only 33 very short years that Jesusí life came to an end... or did it? You see this place called "The Skull" was an undeniably terribly ugly place of torture and death. Thatís what Satan intended for Jesus and it appeared as though thatís what Satan got. But the one thing that Satan didnít count on was that the things Jesus said would come true did. And reading them for ourselves from Matthew 16:21, "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go into Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priest and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."
You see Satan is such a good liar that he actually believes his very own lies. And his one big lie of his that he believed was that he could not only destroy the entire world through sin but that he could take care of Jesus Christ too. And even though Jesus did die on the cross for the sin of the world (all the sins that have ever been committed or would ever be committed) He wasnít going to stay dead long. Because as we continue on with the reading of the Scripture we find that, "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you."
So as the story goes Jesus was crucified, He died, and was buried (Wednesday) only to be resurrected three days later (Saturday). And it was on Sunday morning as these three women came to finish up the embalming process of Jesusí now supposedly very dead body that they found nothing left to embalm. His body was no longer there but an angel sat in Itís place. And boy did that ever rattle their cage. It blew their mind! They werenít prepared for or even expecting to find what they found. Because as we read on we find, "And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not."
Now itís very important to understand in this message of the week that these very close followers of Jesus had been told over and over again that what was now happening would happen. But as you can see when the time finally came that what He said would happen did happen they didnít believe it! And it not only happened once but it happened several times, because, "After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them."
They just flat out didnít believe that Jesus Christ had actually come back to life... that is until that great day when: "Afterward he 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." Now this was the second time Jesus appeared to His disciples, but it was the first time they were all together. So Jesus finally paid all the disciples a visit, all at the same time, and He did it at chow time. And even though Jesusí appearing to them was a thing of great joy (fellowship and food) He did have some very unpleasant things to say.
You see Jesus had to (in so many words) chew them out. And the reason that He did the chewing (upbraiding) was because of their unbelief. And it was because of what He said that each and every one of us should also pay very close attention to it. Because normally it was Jesusí nature to be very patient and mild mannered, but in this particular situation it appears as though He let them have it with both barrels. So the question that we must all ask is "Why?"
And before we go any further in Mark 16, letís flip over to John 14 and read the words of Jesus to His disciples just shortly before His crucifixion. Picking it up with verse 12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."
Now before we go on into the next verse letís make as sure as sure can be that everyone understands what Jesus has just said. He told His disciples that "he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also". So the question is, "did He mean only the disciples or did He mean each and every individual on the earth from then on out?" Well I think it should be pretty clear that Jesus said "he that believeth" and not "you (disciples) that believeth". Jesus was referring to everybody! And what He said was that for all those who believe that Jesus was God in the flesh, and for everybody who believes on the miracles that Jesus did, then for those who believe they can do the same!
Understand? Well once you dig on down itís not that hard to comprehend; in fact once you get through the unbelief it gets down right plain and simple. Because Jesus goes on to say, "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."
You see this all goes back to what I keep preaching on about this "Once Saved Always Saved" mess. Salvation includes both the ifís and the andís. There ainít no doubt about it that we can all be saved by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and asking Him to forgive us of our sins. Thatís a correct statement because thatís all it takes to be saved. But in order to continue to be saved we must keep on keeping on until the day we die to satisfy the if in the above Scripture. "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever"... so that "...he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also".
If we truly love Jesus we will believe and do the things that He tells us to do through the Word of God (the Holy Bible). Because He goes on by saying, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. ...If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Fatherís which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
So you tell me why it was so hard for the disciples to understand, believe, and follow through with these things that Jesus had told them so shortly before His death. Well just in case you donít have an answer please let me give you a hint. Itís called The World!!!... and we all live in it... and it tries itís best to make us all act just like it: Unbelievers!!! So going back to the original Scripture, Mark 16, and reading the very next verse after Jesus upbraids the disciples for their not believing that He was resurrected and returned, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that 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. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."
Now you can play games with the Word of God if you want to but Iím going to believe exactly what He says. And He says that everyone who believes that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior will go on to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And as a proof that this has occurred, there will be some very distinctive things happening to that person who has believed in and received the Holy Spirit. You see these people will not only have the ability to cast out demons, but they will also be able to speak with other tongues, do away with demon spirits, not be affected if someone tries to poison them, and last but not least heal the sick. And it was only after Jesus gave His disciples this very important information that He went on up to Heaven and took His place at the right hand side of God the Father.
And that was one of the last things that He said before He left this earth because it was definitely one of the most important. You see He knew how much trouble His disciples (followers) were going to have to go through in order to do what He commanded them to do: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Thatís what He commanded them to do (told them to do it in no uncertain terms), thatís what He has commanded us to do, and likewise thatís why itís so important that we follow each and every little detail that He gave them (He was giving it to us too). Itís absolutely necessary that we believe what He has told us through His Word, and then obey Him. And in order to follow up with His statement "he that believeth not shall be damned" letís turn to Revelation 21 and read, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
What we have just read details the vision seen by John the apostle concerning the upcoming future events in Heaven. And itís in this vision that we can see the details of things that will happen when Godís plan finally all comes together. You see in this vision Jesus shows us what Heaven is going to be like, but in the same breath He goes on to warn us about those who wonít have the opportunity to see it. Because as John goes on to write, "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athrist of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and socerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death"
Now notice how this Scripture follows right along with what Jesus told His disciples during His little scolding session in Mark 16. He upbraided them for not believing the people who had told them that He was still alive. Jesus gave them "down in the country" for their unbelief and then He told them, "He that is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe..." You see we can only believe what He wants us to believe through the power of the Holy Spirit. And itís only through the understanding of this word "baptized" that we will be able to see what He intended for us to see. Because itís not the act of being dunked under water (water baptism) that gives any of us the ability to do these great and mighty miracles of Jesus, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit instead. And if we donít believe that this is what we need to be able to do what God wants us to do then Iím afraid this verse in Revelation might just apply: "But the... unbelieving... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" So my question to you is "why even take a chance?"
And itís this last chapter in Mark (chapter 16) that takes us right on into the book of Acts chapter 1. Starting with verse 1 and reading, "The former treatsie have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."
And likewise, as we have just read, there was one more very important thing that Jesus commanded His disciples to do just before He went on up into Heaven: "... he... commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost". And as we will see in the upcoming verses, the reason why He said what He said should become very easy to understand.
Because the Scripture goes on to say, "Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath dayís journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room... These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren... And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
And of course what happened to all those who believed in what Jesus had told them to believe in was exactly what Jesus had said would happen: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall... they shall speak with new tongues..." Thatís what Jesus promised and likewise thatís what finally came to pass for all those waiting on and believing in this great event called the Day of Pentecost. Because the Scripture goes on to tell us: "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?... And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine."
Now of course not everyone in the crowd who saw this great and mighty miracle believed what they had just seen. And in order for those who didnít believe (unbelievers) to try and save face (explain what had just happened) they came up with what they thought was a very good explanation of the whole incident. They said that the entire group of tongue talking disciples of Jesus were all drunk on booze (Satanís spirits; not the Holy Spirit). But with his new found Holy Ghost boldness one of the disciples goes on to speak up:
"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Now there are just a few of our readers who are complaining that these sermonets are just a little too hard (brutal), but Iím here to tell you that for some of you it wonít be too long that you might wish that I would have been a whole lot harder. You see this Christianity thing ainít something to be fooled around with; you are either in it or youíre not. And according to what we have just read today there are many many religions and churches who think theyíve got what they really ainít got. And if you think youíve got something so important as salvation (the ticket necessary to escape the fires of Hell) but in reality you really donít, then itís going to be one unforgetable shock of your everlasting life when you find out the truth. Because the fact of the matter is that once you get in (Hell), there just ainít no way of getting out.
And what I have just said goes all the way back to several weeks ago when I so gloriously proclaimed that our son Arthur had been healed... and his healing wasnít because of any doctor... but his healing came about by the Spirit of the Lord. And it was because of the things that I said that it seems as though I earned myself a few more points to my already pretty high score of being totally off the deep end. But hopefully thatís only what a very few people think because itís my sincere desire that everyone sees the truth. And itís the truth as seen in these Scriptures covered during these last few weeks that the miracle working power of Jesus Christ (through His Holy Spirit; The Comforter) is still available to be used in each and every one of our lives. Thatís the good news, but if we donít believe in the power of God, and use it accordingly, then Iím afraid that we are not believing the commands of Jesus. And if we donít believe totally and completely in the Wordís of Jesus then Iím afraid that we will be classified as unbelievers.
And since the Scriptures have so much to say about this one word "unbelieving", I can honestly say without a doubt that it puts the fear of God in my heart. And even though I have been already conditioned not to believe some of the things talked about in the Holy Bible (I was brought up in a Methodist Church), I have very recently experienced what you might call "an awakening experience". You see Iíve seen the light, and I know that I know that on that Great Judgment Day in the very near future I donít even want to be classified as an unbeliever. And itís because of the fact that Jesus said in the book of Revelation "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and socerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death", that I have written this very strong sermonet of the week. Jesus doesnít lie and what He has said today through His Word should make us all take a very good look at what religious beliefs we are believing in.
So donít be fooled in believing the lies of Satan. Keep the faith in Jesus, believe in His miracle working powers, and BE SAVED!!!
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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