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  July, 2002 Wingspread
TO LIVE AGAIN
     
      By Billie Marie Zal
     
      I wish I could somehow touch the heart of each of you, and show you the wonders of God’s Glory.
     
      I have always thought that anything I do springs from the deep wells of joy in “being complete in Christ” and when there is no response, then I go to my Father in Heaven and ask Him if there is something within my life which hinders His grace from reaching those of you who know me and are seeking Christ’s salvation. I can’t help you if I practice deliberate sin.
     
      I have been in this world for a very long time and I can look back and see how Satan has effectively “blinded the minds of the people” and given them a delusion.
     
      This delusion goes something like this: “You must learn to love and accept yourself, and set a goal for your success. Maintain that goal and work toward it, and when you achieve it then you will be popular, loved by others, and never abandoned or rejected.”
     
      When I go through the TV channels I am amazed (although I shouldn’t be) at the advertisements and programs which all lead to self worship. We can make our own gods, and we do. But they can never give us the promise of living again, once we die.
     
      We have ads about “staying young,” how to keep your body beautiful, your hair glorious, your “abs” firm, and everything else that the human mind can conjure up, in order to manipulate the minds of the viewers.
     
      The main spirit which TV moguls use is the emotion of FEAR. When I was growing up, it didn’t occur to anyone to think about the things which we obviously think about today. Fear makes us run to the store to buy up vitamins, lotions, herbs, and almost anything which has the advertising promise of “long, healthy life” stamped upon it.
     
      People talk about themselves unashamedly---women weep because they are fat; men are ashamed of balding and consider “hair implants,” Parents are urged to start teaching their babies from their first year on earth to “learn.” We hear about fungus on the toe nails, too much hair on the arms and legs, a woman’s “PMS,” bad breath, itchy scalps, crooked teeth----what on earth does it matter? Sooner or later, we die.
     
      Once long, long ago I was stricken with a skin disease similar to Job’s story in the book of the Old Testament which explains his illness. I had asked God to make me holy when I heard the Scripture verse in my mind, “Without holiness no man shall see God.” I just immediately dropped to my knees and prayed, “Father, I don’t know how to be holy. Please make me holy.”
     
      The skin rash broke out the next morning, and continued for nine long months without let up. I am amazed even now at the great grace of God that kept me from becoming bitter and angry. I will always believe that the very moment I said, “Please make me holy,” God granted me that grace and anointed me for the months ahead. There is no other explanation as to why I never felt that God had forsaken me, or was “punishing me.” He was simply answering my prayer for holiness.
     
      The trouble with the idea of “holiness” is that most people associate it with solemn music, or shouting or speaking in tongues, or attending services, or even going “into the ministry.” We never “go into the ministry,” God’s Spirit places us within the ministry and we have nothing to do with it. He gives us an anointing which ensures us that we possess the “manna,” which was the heavenly food that Israel ate each day of their forty year pilgrimage through the wilderness.
     We are also anointed with a ministry issuing from life out of death.
     
      If you know anything about the Ark of the Covenant, you will remember that there were two things within the Ark and they were: a pot of manna, (Exodus 16:34) and Aaron’s rod that budded (Numbers 17:4, 10). In case you don’t know who Aaron is, he was the brother of Moses, anointed to be Moses’ spokesman for the great journey out of Egypt into the promised land.
     
      Most of you probably have never really realized how important the manna and the rod are, to the believer of today. True, God established His worship on earth and a glorious Temple was built for His people ,but when Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, came to earth and the people of God rejected Him, we no longer have the Law (the ten commandments and all the other laws concerning God’s rules for His people), but Jesus Christ Himself becomes our food and our ministry of life out of death.
     
      I have never heard a sermon preached on this reality and that is a shame. People don’t want to hear about dying. Again, the TV is filled with ads about living without pain, without disease, without turning old. But we do get old and we do not live here forever. That fact is justified every day, when people all over the world are laid to rest in their graves.
     
      Therefore, we need to hear about dying. And that is a hard message. Most pastors themselves don’t know much about dying to the things which the “SELF” within us craves. So----we hear pretty sermons about getting things from God, getting healing miracle, getting “the wealth of the wicked” (I’ve said it before, I don’t want the wealth of the wicked), and “having a good time.” The world has literally grown crazy about sports, “shows, “ entertainment, becoming a “star,” and all of the things which gratify self and do nothing for our spiritual enlightenment.
     
      I happened to tune in last night on one of those “specials” where a rock star is giving a concert on TV. This young lady did not just sing. She went through every possible maneuver to seduce her audience and it was sick, sick, sick. I actually saw women with their little daughters screaming and reaching out to her as she swivelled her hips and gyrated to excite the guys. I turned the channel and wondered what has happened to our society? Why has immorality become “just a thing to ignore”?
     
      There is an answer and the answer is found in , II Thessalonians, chapters one and two. Here, Paul the Apostle speaks to the Church in these last days, telling us that before the “man of sin” can reveal Himself to the world, there must be “the falling away first” and then Anti-Christ will no longer be restrained and he will deceive people with “all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish and who are under a “strong delusion” because “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”
     
      I recently read a study on the “rapture” of the Church that could happen in our day. Someone said this word (Ratpure) is not mentioned in the Bible, but something else is---and the translation of the word, “the falling away first,” actually means “the departure.”
     
      Now then, we have to ask ourselves, who is going to depart? Who else could it mean, but the Church which IS the Body of Christ here on earth? If we are living at the time of the “departure,” we will definitely depart.
     
      Why would anyone NOT want to “depart this world” in such a glorious manner unless that individual does not really believe the very Word of God, spoken by the Apostle Paul? I suspect it is because we cannot understand spiritual things with our finite minds. We are so ignorant of God’s holiness and therefore we do not choose to be cleansed and made holy by the death of the self within us, so that the heavenly life of Christ can pour out of us.
     
      We all long to live again. But IF we have become a child of God through the precious blood of Jesus Christ poured out as our sacrifice for sin, then we know that we already have eternal life because God says so in His Word and God cannot lie.
     
      I’ve heard people say, “If only I had lived on earth and actually walked with Jesus and seen Him, and touched Him, then I could believe.”
     
      My reply is, “It wouldn’t make any difference;. actually, we have a better chance to know Him personally than did His disciples in His earthly life down here.” Human nature is such that if we did not get a healing, or miraculous food we would still have had that huge empty place within our hearts. Human nature is always lonely. God’s divine nature within us imparts that steady, undergirding peace that nothing can disturb. You know He is here. And you can bear anything, knowing that one day you will be with Him. He promised.
     
      My special purpose in this story is to lay out the Truth before you, and let you decide whether or not you will believe it, and receive eternal life. Or reject it, and live eternally, but not in God’s presence. Hell is real and I’ve never wished anyone to go there Hell is “forever,” too..
     
      I also want you to know that the life which springs forth within us, as we die to each earthly desire and temptation, is so beautiful that nothing can disturb it. We wake up each morning, and we face everything that you face: we don’t feel good, we have bills to pay, we have work to do which requires long hours of labor, and we don’t really have “anything to look forward to.” But really, we do have much to look forward to, and we choose to believe God’s Word or to wallow in self pity and complain about how bad life is.
     
      In the worst of times, my choice by the grace of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit, has been to rejoice in knowing that I am in God’s will. He laid out a path for me, and I walk it with great anticipation, knowing that at the end of this walk there will be an eternity with my God. I’ve had a few glimpses of that eternity in my lifetime since I was born again. And during those few specials seconds, I experienced a peace that passed understanding and a joy that could never be defeated by the trials which God permits us here on earth.
     
      I’ve gone through some tremendous upheavals in my walk with God. I’ve been abandoned, rejected, despised (by those whom I loved), ridiculed, physically attacked, and I had a chronic illness for eighteen years or more in which I suffered horrible pain throughout my body. Should I have rebelled? No. I recognized that out of this rod of correction, the very life of Christ was pouring forth out of me because He indwells that which is not of the world. And I wanted His indwelling more than I wanted my own comfort, or friends, or anything which God’s holiness could not touch.
     
      It takes a lifetime to be perfect in the faith, of course. Even the Apostle Paul tells us that he had not yet attained that perfection (our mortal bodies hinder such a perfection), but he did press forward that he might achieve that high calling in Christ Jesus. He spoke these words before his execution, and I know that because of His faithfulness to God’s calling and anointing upon his life, I, too, can press forward as he did. Every victory in my life is one more answer to that prayer of mine as I knelt and said, “Father, I don’t know how to be holy. Please make me holy.”
     
      So, do you really want to live again? Which means, in effect, to live throughout eternity with the company of all of those believers whom God took HOME to be with Him, forever.
     
      Once in awhile I get a glimpse of that Glory, that high calling of Christ Jesus. I see some person whose life has been ruined by a life of desperate sinning. I see that one suddenly recognize the reality of the Life of Christ as becoming possible in his own life. And to me, that is Glory. We do not personally “win people to Christ.” Jesus Christ, our Head, in heaven sits at the right hand of the Father, “ever living to make intercession for us,” And His Holy Spirit here on earth makes Himself known to us and offers us the chance to “live forever.” This is Glory.
     
      Once, many, many years ago those of us here had been living in Illinois, and we all moved as a group to southern California. We had been devastated by the falling away of the man who had led us to know Jesus Christ, and we felt that God wanted us out there, to sort out the things which had happened and to begin again.
     
      On our first stop on Route 66, we checked in at a motel at Springfield, Illinois, I think it was. We went to get a bite to eat at the motel cafe, and I was deeply grieved in my heart. My son Richard had not even come to tell me goodbye and when I tried to call him before leaving he had left for south Arkansas. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again---or those others who had been part of us and were no longer with us, by their own choice. Shirley and Eddie were there, across the table from me and as I sat there, I said within my heart (not audible), “Lord, nobody loves me.” Then---in the deep part of my Being, I heard a voice like none other voice in the world say, “I love you.” It was the Christ, and my sorrow left me and I knew that God had me in the hollow of His hand and that was really all that mattered.
     
      This was Glory.
     
      With the telling of these stories, it is my prayer that you will be inspired to “look into the things of God,” and start your pilgrimage to find Him.
     
      And you will find Him, most certainly, if you seek Him with all of your heart. And you will be given at that moment the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
     
      **********************************
     
     PRAYER REQUESTS;
     
     For: Our brother, Earl Frederick, whose execution date is set for July 30th. Earl is rejoicing, in knowing that very soon he will be in the presence of those who left for “Home” before him. He has no fear. He has eternal life and the execution will only free him from the bonds that his earthly life have held him fast. He has promised me to ask God for all of his brothers to be saved, and for us, here. His prayers will not be hindered by any mortal flesh. I am so very thankful that Earl found this glorious gift of eternal life and he enters into eternity with great joy and great peace.
     
     For: Ken Hogan, our brother awaiting court in December. Ken is at Ok. Co. Jail in OKC. Ok. He asks that perhaps he will be offered a plea bargain. He wants only God’s will.
     
     For: James Walker’s healing. James is at OSP, McAlester, and needs heart surgery. He asks our prayers as he awaits the operation, and that God will keep him strong enough for surgery.
     
     For: Randal Smith, OSP, who had surgery and requires more, that his healing may be complete.
     
     For: Stephano Jackson’s mother’s healing of her grief over the death of her Mother, that God will give her His comfort. Stephano is at OSP.
     
     For: Marcos Zavala’s Mother’s leg to be healed. Pray that God will heal her of diabetes. Marcos is at Tennessee Colony, Texas, and a dear brother in Christ.
     
     For: John Ryan, McAlester, as he mourns the loss of his baby boy not quite one year old. We ask for God’s loving comfort for John, and the reality that he will see his baby again in Heaven.
     
     For: Louie Thomas, Diamond Back, Watonga, Ok. He asks prayer for his sisters Debbie and Becky in their walk with God. Also Maggie’s salvation. And for his Mom. He also asks prayer for the healing of his step dad’s feet.
     
     For: Robin Harris and the prayer group of him and Cody, Will, Turtle, and Don as they fellowship together daily and see miracles occur. They are at Diamondback, Watonga, Ok.
     
     For: The seven of us here, as our work load increases. God says, “One shall chase thousands, so our strength in Him will overcome.
     
     For: My son, Richard, to receive God’s perfect will for his life, and obey it.
     
      **************
     
     
     





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