Note from Les
As usual, I have to let you all know how much we appreciate all that you do to promote this ministry and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which was a secret until revealed to Paul, Romans 16:25. So, thanks for your liberality, your notes of love and affection, and last, but not least, your prayers. We would not attempt any travel were it not for the prayers of the saints.
On the last day of our trip home from Minnesota, Iris complained of severe abdominal pain. We immediately got an appointment with our doctor and she ended up in the hospital. After five days of tests, she had major surgery on Labor Day for a bowel obstruction with a couple inches of intestine removed. The blockage was caused by scar tissue from a previous surgery. As of now she is doing fine but the surgeon would not okay travel in October.
We get so many inquiries about where to give and how much. We always go back to a retired missionary to the British Cameroon in Africa. He had just been knighted by the Queen of England for his work. He told us to never give a dime to dig water wells in Africa. Don’t give a dime to build hospitals in Africa. Don’t give a dime to build schools in Africa. Why? Because all you get is healthy, educated, well-watered heathens! The item of first importance is to promote the gospel – I Corinthians 15:1-4. Then—help the believers by giving what God lays on your heart. II Corinthians 9:7.
What in the World?
The following is a letter I wrote to a local pastor in response to his article in our local paper's ''religious'' section. Like most in Christiandom, he had everything ''blenderized'' to the point of total confusion.
I hope and pray that you will give the following your consideration.
ll Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
What is ''rightly dividing''? Let me use a simple but appropriate illustration.
Picture a large, beautiful pumpkin pie. Would any hostess dream of serving that pie with a spoon? Of course not. Pumpkin pie is sliced and each slice stands by itself. Now let's apply.
Scripturally, about two thirds would belong to Israel and the Jews and one third to the Gentiles. A slice from Israel's part we will find in
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
From the Gentile part of the pie, we will find the slice with Acts 20: 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Matthew 10:5 & 6 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.
Acts 9: 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.
Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, in as much as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. Isaiah 9:6 & 7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 11: 11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Ephesians 1: 22 & 23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. l Cor. 12: 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink.
Titus 2:11 - 13 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; and
Galatians 5:17 - 24 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
l Corinthians 15:51 - 53 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. l Thessalonians 4:13-17 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. ll Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Zachariah 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Rev 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself and he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God and the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
After you learn how to rightly divide,
Galatians 2:7 rings clear as a bell -- But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
The opposite of rightly dividing is blenderizing, which is what most of Christiandom is practicing. And getting back to my illustration, the pie is being served with a spoon.
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Aren't the seasons amazing? To think that God has everything totally orchestrated and held in his hand is beyond our comprehension and yet the seasons are one of the ways that the creator God has let us know that He is in control. I think that God can use the seasons and nature to tell us a story, if we will listen. In the spring time, it is obvious that new life all around reminds us of our saviors’ resurrection. But what about fall? All of a sudden the hummingbirds are gone, most flowers have long lost their blossoms, and the leaves begin to fall from the trees. The night temperatures start getting cooler, the sun goes down so much earlier, the animals began to grow their winter coats and the frogs of springtime are silent. So what is the story of fall? If you know me at all, you know what I'm going to answer – to me, it reminds me of in Matthew chapter 16, where God is upbraiding the religious leaders because they knew the signs of the weather, but not the signs of the times. Just as there are clues to the coming weather, there are clues to the approaching winter, and there are clues laid out in Scripture very clearly with regards to the rapture, the tribulation and the second coming. So is it wrong for us to say "it has to be getting close."? I don't think so. God expects us to look for the clues in His word. To say that the rapture could possibly be this year or next year or within the next five years is not date setting, it is making an educated guess. We just have to remember that it is a guess and that no one knows for sure. Like Les always says – "we need to live every day like he is coming today and yet live every day like he's not coming in our lifetime."
Iris's Tea Party
I had a little tea party, one afternoon at three; twas Very small, three guests in all, just I, myself and me. Myself ate up the sandwiches, while I drink the tea; was also I who ate the pie and passed the cake to me.
The older folks might smile to see this little diddy again. Les and I smile when we think of tea and our folks (deceased now). When Les took me up to Iowa, his mother asked me how to make iced tea because they, like most Iowans at that time, always had hot tea. So I was privileged to teach my northern Mother-in-law that all she had to do is add ice and water and Bingo! They loved it! Now, I have found that many folks down here in Oklahoma have never tried hot tea so I am privileged to teach them how to have a cup of hot tea before adding the ice and, bingo! – They love it!
We greatly regret to say that the teaching trip for October has been canceled. Iris had to have emergency surgery on Labor Day for abdominal adhesion removal/ resection and would in no way be ready to travel yet. We covet your prayers for a full recovery.
Rapture Thoughts by Laura
There seems to be a sharp increase in the number of people calling lately with regards to when the rapture is. Evidently there are a couple of television preachers that are adamant in their teaching that the rapture is at the end of the Tribulation – simultaneous with the second coming.
According to those calling in, one preacher in particular uses Revelation chapter 21 and the reference to the first resurrection as his basis for preaching a post tribulation rapture. The first resurrection of Revelation 21 is referencing all those who have been saved throughout the ages of humanity. The second resurrection, also referenced in that same chapter, is referring to all those raised up from the dead who were not saved. All those raised in the first resurrection are raised to life while those raised in the second resurrection are raised to death.(Judgment followed by eternal separation from God). It has nothing to do with the rapture of the church (the Body of Christ )whatsoever. I always tell people to use a little bit of common sense. Did Noah about drown before God reach down and plucked him up out of the waters just in time?? No, Noah was safe in the Ark before judgment hit. What about Lot? Was he burned by so much as an ember?? No, he was escorted out of the city by angels and then judgment came. Another clue is Paul calling the rapture the blessed hope. My question would be-"how is having your head cutoff (or whatever way believers are going to be martyred) a blessed hope?" And then the obvious argument is that God's word teaches us that the rapture is when we as believers meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the air whereas the second coming is the Lord Jesus Christ setting his feet down on the Mount of Olives and appearing bodily on this earth once again.
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