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  You Had Better Be Sure
By Billie Marie Zal
     From the April, 2001 Wingspread
     
     I’ve been around a long time, and I have yet to hear even ONE minister or Christian worker speak on the sixth chapter of Hebrews, verses 4-8. Just to make sure that all of you hear this Word from God, I am sending out this message because we are very, very close to the end of this age and I want all of you to have the chance to understand the danger of taking your salvation lightly.
     
     “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the age to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6: 4-6)
     
     This is the plain truth and the reason no one preaches on it is because it puts the fear of God into a person’s heart, and the minister stands the chance of losing “his” congregation.
     
     People don’t want to hear the truth. They did not want to hear it when Jesus came, in the flesh, and they didn’t want to hear it when His prophets, disciples, and apostles spoke it, and they don’t want to hear it today.
     
     Unfortunately, a minister depends upon his congregation for his livelihood rather than upon God Almighty, his Father. This leads to fear, and fear leads to compromise and today we have a dead church. We have million dollar buildings with golf courses, swimming pools, bowling alleys, and piped in music, with velvet lined seats. But we don’t have a church.
     
     For the Church is the Body of Christ right here on earth, and He does not inhabit the building if the pure Word of His Father is ignored and overlooked. He has “left the Sanctuary.” And because satan has blinded the eyes of the people (who wanted to compromise the Word of God themselves) there are going to be a lot of surprised individuals standing around when the rapture of the Church occurs, wondering what happened.
     
     For too long those who supposedly “head up” organized religion have turned their backs on the holiness of God. I am sick unto death of hearing messages about our being “the King’s
     
     kids” and so we have the RIGHT to become millionaires, to keep our money safely invested in stocks, and to enjoy the “good life.”
     
     You would think, from all the religious activity that is going on around us, that God is standing around, wringing His hands, and longing for everyone to “get right.” The truth is, that God, before the worlds were framed, had an elect group of individuals already saved. With God there is no time, only eternity, and the doctrine of election is clearly spoken of in His Word (although I seldom ever hear this doctrine mentioned, either).
     
     If God had not already elected certain individuals to be saved, how come the Bible says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him, in love having PREDESTINED us unto the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, through which He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-6)
     
     I checked out the footnote on “adoption” in my Scofield Bible, and this is what adoption means: “Adoption is not so much a word of relationship as of position. In regeneration (being born again) a Christian receives the nature of a child of God; in adoption he receives the position of a son of God. Every Christian obtains the place of a child and the RIGHT to be called a son the moment he believes.” (Galatians 3:25-26; 1 John 3:1,2)
     
     This is plain English and not hard to understand. There is another very important Word about election and we find it in Romans 8:29: “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, then He also glorified.”
     
     With these verses it is clear beyond a doubt that God “foreknows” and God chooses or elects us to be saved. Then He leaves the children in the care of those who have been anointed by Himself to teach them the Truth. And that is the problem today.
     
     False teachers have come in, just like the Word tells us they would, making converts out of those who want to hear “good things,” and explain away suffering. I have actually heard ministers say on TV that God NEVER takes a child’s life - it is the devil. This is a lie, and comes from the mouth of God’s eternal enemy, satan.
     
     God takes children because they belong to Him in the first place. A man and a woman do not create a child. God gives life and when a child dies my immediate reaction is sorrow for the parents’ loss, but JOY in the knowledge that this little one is now “evermore with the Lord.” God gives, and God takes away. He is God.
     
     False teachers also tell believers (or professing Christians, whether they are saved or not, I don’t know, it’s God’s business) that God doesn’t want anyone to be sick. On what basis do they say this? I don’t know. The Bible I have tells me to “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3) and it was written by the Apostle Paul to his son in the Lord, Timothy, shortly before Paul was beheaded in Nero’s prison.
     
     The Bible is filled with stories of how we are permitted to “suffer for Jesus’ sake” and what an honor it is, if we do it by the will of God. Why should this life down here be filled with “filthy lucre,” and all the “good things” which pastors preach on, when those who are called heroes of the faith have suffered horrors beyond our imagination?
     
     In spite of religious teachers attempting to present Almighty God as a “good ole Boy” who winks at sin and “understands our weaknesses” God is still God. God permitted His only begotten Son to take upon Himself our weaknesses and when we are born again and claim our relationship as His child, we don’t have the right to be morally weak and say “we couldn’t help it.”
     
     We CAN help it. We can do what God says is possible, to triumph over the flesh by the working of the Holy Spirit within us. We CAN take poverty and humiliation and sickness and sorrow as part of our heritage because we are human beings, living in a polluted world brought about by human greed. The earth is dying, everyone knows this. And it is dying because of the lust of humans for power and money and position in a world that hates God, and has hated Him from the beginning when Adam and Eve turned their backs on God’s will and became spiritually dead.
     
     If this were not true then why does God’s Word say, “There is none righteous, no, not one?” We are a race that is lost, given over to the lusts of the flesh, and headed for hell.
     
     But we don’t have to go to hell. And people gamble on the grace of God and that is why we don’t hear the message I quoted concerning the possibility of “losing it all” and there is no more grace for repentance.
     
     As individuals all of us have a “code.” Usually it is bad - “pay back time,” etc. And if
     human beings have a code, do you not know that God has an eternal code and He will never have His Son’s Name made light of? From the moment you claim Him as Savior you had better get into the Bible and find out for yourself what God expects of you. And you don’t need man to teach you. With God’s Spirit you can learn on your own (1 John 2:27).
     
     I look around me and the only thing that makes sense is the beauty of God’s creation, and the big time oil industry, along with all the other industries are fast ruining that. I planted a bulb last Autumn - a dead looking, ugly thing. But now, outside my porch, blooms a bright red tulip with colors inside the cup which no man can duplicate. My trees, which were so stark and lifeless, now have green leaves bursting forth out of their long, cold captivity. And my mountain is aglow with life, directly from the Father of Life, my Father in Heaven.
     
     Use your mind, then, and THINK about this miracle. If God took the trouble to cause that dead, ugly bulb to bring forth a flower so magnificent it could come directly from Heaven, how much more did He expect your dead, ugly life - hidden and burdened with sin of every kind - to burst forth at your repentance and confession of Christ as Savior with every beautiful fruit of the Holy Spirit which are listed in God’s Word. Look at them, and consider your own life, whether you have this fruit. “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. . .” (Galatians 5:22).
     
     Our salvation is free, but it costs us everything to be sanctified, and finally conformed into the image of our dear Lord. I have, throughout the years since I was born again, lost my home three times - abandoned by evil workers who determined I would not survive if I “kept the faith” and did not compromise God’s Word. This hurt me deeply. I lost my furniture, my car, my income, and my relationships. But I can say without any doubt at all, the losses were nothing compared with the great grace and the great Love which God the Father has poured out upon me because of my obedience to His Word and my love for His precious Son.
     
     It hurts to live the Christian life, if we are faithful to God. It hurts because people who live in sin (after saying they are Christians) don’t like to see the reality of God’s Love working in a human heart. It hurts when friends forsake us, when parents hate us, when we are made the laughing stock of the world by our pilgrim walk.
     
     But how much more I know God intimately than I would have, had I never suffered loss. He is real to me, a Father who comes when HE knows it is necessary to keep me from faltering. And to have a Father like this in a world like ours is the miracle that He promised when He let His Son pour forth His blood, thus satisfying the demands of satan and we KNOW that we no longer belong to the devil, but to God.



From Margaret:

Some of you have said that you missed my news notes last month, so I will try to give you a little update on things as they are around here.
     
     Autumn is here and it’s a lovely time of the year. I always did like the cooler days and crisp evenings. The deer visit about every day, and we have raccoons on our porch at night. They come and finish off Harry’s cat food, and he hates them of course, and I can’t blame him. They are so rude, but so cute. We still have 13 stray dogs that we care for, and we never lack for something to do, with the cats, dogs and critters that come our way. I think they are a blessing because they sure keep us active and that’s good.
     
     It is now a certainty, Ed is retiring on November 1st. He has signed some papers and shouldn’t be able to back out this time.
     
     I have never said much about Jay. He doesn’t talk about his past, but as the years go by I find out a little more about him. His life has been hard.
     
     Rodney and I took him out to eat with us one evening and he told us how he had been homeless for 4 or 5 years. He said he had a job at a ranch in California cleaning up after the horses, etc., and in the evening he would walk to a shelter where he could eat and sleep. And he did this over and over again each day. He had been divorced and was all alone. He had no family in that area and I’m sure life was lonely.
     
     When we met Jay he was still riding a bike back and forth to work. He had moved to Arkansas and was living with an alcoholic relative. He told Billie that he hated it and had to get out of there. Since we had an empty trailer it just seemed right that he moved here. And we all know that God brought him here. It just felt right that he was here.
     
     Jay’s life could be a lesson and an example of what can be done. Why did he not go to prison or jail? He had no home, transportation, or family support. I’ll tell you why - he always worked, never touched alcohol or drugs, and stayed away from even family members that used alcohol. That has to be the difference. Some of you who will be released one day, think about Jay. His life is a miracle in this troubled age, but if he did it, you can, too.
     
     There are a lot of bitter, unforgiving people in the world. They are not happy. We are to be as little children, Jesus said. Children forgive and forget. Why is it so hard to forgive? I think its because of pride, that ugly part of satan that made him rise up and say “I will be like God.” We all have that in our nature, whether we know it or not. It’s there and it rises up when we think we have been offended or treated unfairly.
     
     I have seen the beauty of real God given forgiveness in people. It is a grace and comes from God when we open our hearts to receive it.
     
     I have been reading yet another book by Elizabeth Elliot. She’s the lady who’s husband, Jim Elliot, was killed by the Auca Indians in South America back in the 1950’s. She took her little three year old girl and moved out into the jungle where her husband had been murdered. Somehow these people knew they had done wrong, and they built her a house - six poles and a roof. She hung a hammock between two poles and that was her house. She had no privacy and nowhere to keep her stuff.
     
     She was sitting in her hammock one day while the indian who had speared her husband to death sat on the floor and told her how he had done it, and why. The word had been out that the white men were cannibals, so the young men of the village knew they had to kill these white intruders. He described how they ran through the forest, up the hills, and across the river, finally reaching the place where the white men were. He spared her no details of the long struggle, the suffering, and the final victory when five white men lay dead.
     
     Elizabeth said that it seemed impossible that this cheerful, friendly man had killed her husband. He picked up a picture of her husband that she had sitting on a box, and said, “Look at him smiling at us. If we had known him as we know you, he’d be sitting here smiling at us today. A cannibal, we thought he was a cannibal.” These people had killed countless times to protect themselves.
     
     She thought of Jesus’ words when He was about to leave His disciples - “The time is coming when anyone who kills you will suppose he is performing a religious duty. They will do these things because they do not know either the Father or me. I have told you all this so that when the time comes for it to happen you may remember my warning. I have told you this to guard you against the breakdown of your faith.” What kind of faith and forgiveness did it take for this woman to take her little girl and move into the jungle with the murderers of the man she loved? Where is this faith today? In Luke 18:8 Jesus asks, “When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
     
     I have lived long enough to have seen a total deterioration of faith in the religious community. And what is faith? It is something that requires a going out to, laying hold of, and resting upon the object of our confidence. And the object of my confidence is God and only God.




Click picture to ZOOM
Little Precious has a house of her very own





Prayer Requests for October, 2007
For Tommy Hayes and everyone at the Stevenson Unit in Cuero, Texas.
For Anthony Grayson, Fallsburg, New York, who is preparing his case for the courts, that he will get a time reduction.
For Robert Heffernan at Brickeys, Arkansas, for clemency from the governor, and that he’ll be able to walk on his own soon.
For Johnnie Dunnum, Lexington, Oklahoma, who is having arm and shoulder pain.
For Ponnell Buchanan, Dixon, Illinois, for restoration of “good time.”
For Willie Scott, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who recently had prostate surgery and is now having radiation treatments.
For Bobby Linscombe & Cole who are at Iowa Park, Texas.
For Willie Clark at Abiline, Texas, that he will be transferred closer to Houston.
For Sandra Beckom, Prairie Grove, Arkansas, that God may touch her and make her well.
For John McCutcheon, Menard, Illinois, that he’ll get out of maximum security soon.
For Lonnie Burke at Pontiac, Illinois, who recently suffered a stroke.
For Richard Taylor, and his friend, Eddie, who has depression. They are both at Taft, Oklahoma.
For Pastor Scott & her ministry in Los Angeles, California.
For Sister Ann and the Carmelite Nuns in Little Rock.
For all of us at Wingspread





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