Should Christians Use Force to Defend Themselves?

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

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©2016 Stan Hallett

This topic has come up in my household of late, probably mostly due to what’s going on in the world with ISIS and the terrorists attacks here in the USA.

My wife thinks that she would be more comfortable if one or more of our deacons carried a gun.  Last night my youngest adult daughter asked me what I would do if I were attacked, or her or her mother were attacked.  Would I use force to protect them?

I began by sharing with them that at now, age 64, I have never had to use physical force, or a weapon to protect myself, or a single family member. I believe that if we are truly His, and that we truly walk with Him, that He keeps us in the palm of His hand and under His protection.  If one day it happens, that it is His will for me to die for the faith as so many others have before me, so be it.

Jesus said if a man shall strike you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matthew 5:39).

He said to love your enemies (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, Luke 6:35).

Jesus said fear not them that which kill the body, but fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell  (Matthew 10:28).

Is God not our Shield, our Fortress, and our High Tower?  Did He not say avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written; “Vengeance is mine: I will repay” (Romans 12:19)?

So my daughter asked me that is she were being attacked in my presence, would I take action to protect her.  Well yes, I would.  But that is where the grace of God comes in.  You see, all the time that I have been walking with the Lord, it has never happened.  Because He is my protector.  He has put a hedge about me and mine, and my faith is in Him.

I personally do not believe that God would allow my family to be attacked in such a manner, at least not while I live. Did not the Lord say that he would not allow us to be tempted beyond that which we could bear?

However I can foresee one day that it may be possible that I would be attacked or even killed for my faith.  If the Lord allows that to happen, I am okay with it.

Were not every single one of the Apostles murdered for their faith except one? John was the only one that lived to an old age. All the rest were either stoned, beheaded, speared, or crucified to death.

So no, I do not believe that we need to be running out to purchase a handgun and stand guard at he door. I have a much greater defense.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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The Church is a Building

Monday, December 28th, 2015

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©2015 Stan Hallett

A habit I’ve worked at trying to break as well as help others with is calling the building that we meet in, the Church.  We who are saved, who have obeyed the Gospel, and continue to walk with Him are the Church.  The building that we meet in or assemble in on Sunday morning is just a building.

However the Church is a like a building and is a building of sorts. Jesus said: “I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

Everyone that is in the Church has a part and a function. Despite the doctrine of Catholics and most Protestant denominations, there is no laity/clergy division in the Church, or in God’s Word.  All of the Church is in the ministry.

In Acts 8:4 we read that those that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.  The whole Church, or those that some would call just the laity, went everywhere preaching the word without the Apostles.  We know this because back in Acts 8:1 we read that the Church was scattered, except the apostles. We are all in the ministry!

As part of the building that God is building we all have a function and an active part.  God never intended His Church to be a bunch of spectators that just show up on Sunday morning to hear some professional Christian that we refer to as pastor, preach a message.

We that are part of the Church need to be knit into the body. We need to find a place of service, “as lively stones, are built up into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).

Think of the each of us as components of a physical building just like lumber, roofing, sheetrock, carpet, windows, paint, etc.  Lets suppose we have all of those things that make up the building delivered to the site where we want the building. If we did not assemble them and construct them into a complete structure, we would have stacks of lumber and sheetrock, rolls of carpet, boxes of roofing, boxes of nails and screws, cans of paint, and all the rest just piled up in a field.

The carpet would get wet and moldy and begin to deteriorate.  The sheetrock would get wet and turn to mush.  The nails and screws would rust. Probably many of the building supplies would be stolen and carted off.

However, with the building fully constructed, with everything in it’s place, the carpet and walls would be protected from the elements.  It would be very difficult for a thief to steal the materials because the doors and windows would be firmly affixed and locked.  If a thief did break in, it would be very difficult to steal anything that was firmly fitted, nailed, screwed, or glued on place. The completed building would be able to serve its intended purpose in giving shelter and comfort to those that entered in.

Some Christians are like those materials just stacked up in the field. They never get knit in and actually commit to service. They get weathered and are often gone all too soon. Perhaps the thief is able to steal them away because they are offended, or just lured away.  They never found a place of service in the building, never became part of it. Perhaps they just visited once in a while, never fully committing.

The thing that binds us, that screws, nails, or glues, or that firmly attaches us to the Church, and the Church to us, is love.

We are no longer under the law.  We are not even under the ten commandments. Those of us that have obeyed the Gospel are under a new covenant that really only contains three laws.

1.) Jesus said “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30).

2.) Jesus said: “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Matthew 12:31).

3.) The before Jesus ascended into heaven He said: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34,35).

Everything is contained in these three commandments. It is the foundation of the Church. The Church is built up, grows, and becomes strong, when love is the mortar, and the adhesive that binds us together as one ministering body.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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A Covenant Relationship

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

covenant

© 2015 Stan Hallett

I wanted to write this in an attempt to give some Christians a better understanding of our covenant relationship with the Lord. It is my hope and desire that this will help to fend off some false teaching and poor understanding of our relationship with God.

From the beginning God has had covenant relationship with man.  These are covenants that man has continuously broken, not God.

A covenant must have a benefit, typically a token or sign of the covenant, and a penalty for breaking the covenant. For example the marriage between and man and a woman is the perfect example of a covenant relationship.  The benefits are love, intimacy, offspring, etc.. The token or sign of the covent would be the vows, and also the wedding ring. The penalty for breaking the convent would be divorce. The covenant of marriage and the relationship between a man and his bride are given to us as an example and a type of our covenant relationship with the Lord.

The first covenant with God was in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve broke that covenant and God made a new covenant with Adam and Eve and their offspring. We no longer have any part of that covenant in the garden, nor is it available, it is past. This has been true of every covenant.

The second covenant (Adam’s offspring), the third covenant (Noah), the fourth covenant (Abraham), etc. The fifth covenant was entered into via Moses and the law.  But man could not keep the law either. Now we no longer have any part of the covenant of the law, nor is it available. It also is past and a dead covenant.

So God entered into yet another (6th) covenant with man. He has paid for our sins once and for all, and has redeemed us to Himself. To enter into this covenant we need obey the Gospel. Then the promise of this covenant is that He fills us with His Spirit, and dwells within us. If we remain in this covenant relationship with God, He promises that we will rise up to meet Him and then be with Him for eternity. We are no longer under the covenant of law or any part of it, just as we are no longer in any other covenant. We are dead to sin and the law (Romans 7:6).

It is wonderful to have the written law and the old testament to read of the history, and the types and shadows, as well as the wisdom, and the poetry, but we are not under the covenant of the law. So for those that take select portions that they like and often misunderstand the intent . . . quit it!

If we make a person conform to our ideals, rules, standards, or convictions by legalism or cajoling, but it is not within their heart to do the thing, have we accomplished anything?

What this tends to do is to create three groups of people:

1.) Run off those that will not conform to your standards , laws, or rules, that may have otherwise been saved.

2.) Create a group that put on a “Church face” when they are at Church, and live like to world when they are not.

3.) Create a minority that will conform because they love the Lord and have accepted, at least for a season that this is what they should do.  Even some in this latter group eventually learn that it was legalism, and a yolk of bondage that was forced on them.

1st Covenant – Adam & Eve, Garden of Eden
2nd Covenant – Adam’s Offspring
3rd Covenant – Noah, The Ark, The Flood & A New Beginning
4th Covenant – Abraham’s Promise
5th Covenant – Moses & The Law
6th Covenant – Jesus, The  New Testament & Covenant
7th Covenant – The Millennial Reign

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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The Pastor’s Got Warts!

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

perfect pastor

©2015 Stan Hallett

Before I begin I must insert a disclaimer. I use some terms in this article that may have broader definition in the minds of those within the realm of what is called “Orthodox Christianity”.  When I use the term “Christian” I am not referring to the broad definition that is generally accepted. The term Christian generally means followers of Christ.  A better definition would be that a Christian is one that 1.) Has a correct understanding of who Jesus was and is. 2.) Is obedient to the His Word. 3.) Has obeyed the Gospel, and 4.) Continues in the faith.

Many that proclaim to be Christians do not know who Jesus was and is, are not obedient to the Word of God, and have not obeyed the Gospel.  In fact many, if not most that claim to be Christians do not know what the Gospel is, nor have they obeyed it.

People have interesting concepts of what they feel the Church is, and how they relate to their local assembly. I suppose a lot of it has to do with our culture.

In the beginning there was only one assembly in a population area that was reachable by walking to on the meeting day.  Christians generally became knit into their local assembly.  They couldn’t go Church shopping and bouncing around like so many Christians do today.

It is important that you become knit into the Church, your local assembly of One God Christians who believe, preach and teach the same doctrine that the Apostles taught in the book of Acts.

As time goes by and you begin to get knit into your local assembly you will begin to find that people are not perfect, even true Christians.  We all have flesh, all have ups an downs, good days and bad. This is where your walk with the Lord may be tested.

I often have said that it is impossible to offend a person that is full of the Holy Ghost, and I can prove it. If you have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, then think back to the day that you were were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues.  Were you upset with anyone?  Did you hate anyone?  No way!  You loved everybody!  You were full of the Holy Ghost!

I have observed with many assemblies that the pastor often treats his home as a sanctuary, a place where he can relax and not be concerned about every word he says, and every thing that he does. He has learned from experience that one wrong statement or act can offend people and cause them to leave and go somewhere else. This is wrong.

Yes, those in leadership positions need to be examples to the flock. However, we need to also understand that these men are also human, are imperfect, can make mistakes, and do and/or say the wrong things on a occasion.  We as saints need to forgive others as we desire to be forgiven.

No pastor, missionary, evangelist, deacon, elder, or saint of God is perfect and always does and says the right thing 100% of the time.  Any pastor will tell you that there have been times when they spoke when they which they could have pulled those words back into their mouth.  Are any of us any different?

I do my best to always give grace and not be offended.  That does not mean that I do not recognize an offense. Here is an opportunity for you to rather than be offended and take negative action, but rather to go to that Sister of Brother and take positive action. Does not Jesus say; “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother” (Matthew 18:15)?

As you become knit into a body you should be growing spiritually.  As you draw closer to people, including those in leadership, and if you are walking closely with the Lord, you will find more and more opportunities to minister to all saints, including those that minister.

Stop bouncing around assembly to assembly, and stop Church shopping!  If the basic and fundamental doctrine is right, then get knit it and serve right where you are at!  The more issues and the more problems there are, the more opportunity to serve. Isn’t that what you asked the Lord for?  A place where you can be used?

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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We’re Purple Pants People!

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

©2015 Stan Hallett

Jesus said “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”. We are no longer under the covenant of the law, no more than we are under the covenant Adam had in the Garden, or the covenant that Adam’s offspring had, or the covenant that Noah’s offspring had, or even the covenant that Abraham and his offspring had (there were six covenants in all).

Those of us that have obeyed the gospel (Acts 2:38, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), have repented, have been baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of sins, and have been filled the the Holy Ghost, are in the New Covenant.

Many of us that are led by the Spirit of God may be led in one direction or another in many areas. It may be in our speech and how we communicate with others. It may be in the ways that we conduct ourselves and our actions. It may be the in the way that we dress, or in other ways. It is birthed in us by being sensitive to the Spirit of God.

As we walk with the Lord He will bring about changes in us as we become more like Him. As parents we should also teach our children how to conduct themselves. Likewise it is also good that we are an example to others. However that is where it should stop.

To impose our convictions on others as some sort of rule, requirement, or law, is to place a yoke of bondage on them. The truth be told if they do not do a thing that we believe is right, and we cause them to do it by constraint or cajoling, have we fixed anything?

If for example someone that begins attending services smokes, or dresses somewhat immodestly, and we impose our rules upon them, have we brought them into a closer relationship with God? No we have not. The problem is not the smoking or the immodest dress, the problem is the heart.

If they have yet to repent, be baptized in Jesus’ Name, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, will any rules that we impose help them? No, in fact often times the rules and legalism only serve to drive many away from the Church, and from God.

If for example the Holy Spirit led you to wear purple pants, it would naturally follow that all that were led of the Spirit would wear purple pants. But if a newcomer came for a few services wearing blue jeans, should you take him aside at some point and explain that we’re purple pants people?

It sounds humorous I know, but some of us do just that! If the person’s heart was in the right place they may conform to your rule, but have you brought them into a closer walk with God? They may be wearing the right color pants but they’re still going to hell if they do not obey the gospel and walk with the Lord.

We have a lot of people that come to church services that have the right look, use the right lingo, and act the right way, but if it’s just an act to be accepted by a legalistic Church what will become of them? We have too many that go along to get along, but in reality their homes and their lives are not right.

God said that man looks at the outward appearance but God sees the heart. We better start seeing people as God sees them if we are going to win souls. Are we soul winners or fashion police?

I’m not talking about losing our personal standards. I’m talking about saving souls. Our assemblies should be Spiritual hospitals for the Spiritually sick that need to be healed. I have no problem seeing people attending our services with green hair, tattoos, and pierced eyebrows. Once they are converted they probably won’t stay that way!

Far too many of our assemblies look like a club for members only. All the women have extremely long hair, all wearing dresses and skirts, and no make-up. This stands out like a neon sign to many visitors (especially women) to the point that they feel out of place and uncomfortable. It says that; “we are not going to accept you until you conform and look like us”.  That is a heavy yoke for many, and it serves to push people away.

Do I think that women should wear skirts or dresses?  Yes, if they are modest, and not too short or too tight, but not for the reason you may think. I believe that dresses properly fitting are more modest than slacks. Slacks, or pants typically fit more closely to the women’s shape therefor are less modest in most cases.

The scripture that many use to justify outlawing pants-like clothing for women (Deuteronomy 22:5) is NOT applicable to this.  First, it was under the law.  If we are going to be under the law then we need to be under the whole law and not just the parts that some like.  We are under grace!

Secondly, Deuteronomy 22:5 has to do with a women dressing up to appear as a man or a man dressing up to appear as a woman. It does not have to do with the cut of the cloth that covers us.  If that was the case then all were in sin when the scripture was written, because all wore very similar clothing and no one wore pants.  The only difference was that a woman’s was slightly longer, and therefore more modest, may have been more colorful, more ornamented or been of a finer material. No one wore pants, purple or otherwise.

What I have seen in many assemblies is that the pastor will set so called “holiness standards” for his assembly, and preach it from the pulpit.  This is a yoke of bondage that does much more harm than good. Over time the ones that conform will remain, and the others will leave.

What happens is you have an assembly where everyone looks the same making newcomers uncomfortable because they don’t fit in. Many will see it as weird (because it is) and leave. Because this is taught as a requirement many in that assembly will look down on anyone that does not look like them, and judge them as unsaved, or rebellious.

I have seen assemblies that are close in proximity who preach the same gospel message, yet the one with these “holiness standards” will not accept the other as brethren because of these standards that they adhere to as requirements, and the other assembly gives liberty and does not.

The word will be spread: “You know, the pastor’s wife over at that assembly cuts her hair” or, “I’ve seen some of their women wear pants”, “They don’t have any holiness standards over there”.

This teaching comes from ignorance of what God’s Word really teaches concerning these matters.  I touch on some of them on this site, like Hair for example.

These so-called “holiness standards” cause great harm. Should we be covered and modest in our dress? Yes, of course we should. But we need to give grace, love people right where they are at.  We should set an example, but that is where it should stop.

Jesus said; “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”. He said that we “must be born of the water and of the Spirit to see the kingdom of God”. He did not say that all that do not conform to a pastors dress code will be lost.

Can you imagine being lost over the cut of the cloth of your clothing or the length of your hair? Perhaps you just got saved, and Jesus came but you were lost because you did not realize that you should not be wearing that pearl necklace or that lipstick you put on that morning!

The Church should be a hospital for the spiritually sick and wounded! I have often said that I don’t mind seeing people with things like pierced eyebrows and green hair in service. It means that perhaps God’s drawing them.  It means they are hearing the Word of God!  If they obey the gospel and begin to walk with the Lord, their appearance will change as their heart is changed.  It does not work the other way around.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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What of the Future?

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

old_tv

©2015 Stan Hallett

Ever used one of these? It’s what I watched TV on just fifty years ago! That may sound like a long time ago to some of you, but when you are 60+ you will realize that it is not. It was just a little while ago.

Just fifty years before that was when electricity was just starting to be added in homes. Most people still rode horses and used horse drawn wagons and buggies to get about.

Daniel 12:4 says that in the last days knowledge shall be increased. Man has been here approximately 6,000 years, but we’ve only had cars and electricity for a little over 100 years. Before that most of us carried water from wells, streams, or ponds in buckets. Most of us used outhouses or chamber pots, we heated our homes with wood or coal, and we lighted our homes with candles or oil lamps.

Children’s toys were minimal. Girls might have a doll, and perhaps a ball and jacks, or a jump rope. A boy may have a ball, or a toy gun carved out of wood. Most children had chores, and many of them. Most people lived in the country and raised most of their own food. There were eggs to collect from the chickens, and cows to be milked at the crack of dawn.

Girls were often helping mom in the kitchen as everything needed to be done by hand. There were no electric stoves, no microwaves, no coffee makers. The biscuits or the bread for the toast were made by hand and baked in the wood stove’s oven. The bacon came from the pig that dad slaughtered last Saturday. The milk and eggs were just collected that morning at 4 a.m. It was 6 o’clock now as we all sat down to breakfast. There was not a lot of time to waste, we needed to get out the door by 6:45 if we were going to be able to make the three mile walk to school and be on time.

Mom made a lot of our clothes, and a real treat when was when grandma knitted us a sweater or mittens. Mom washed our clothes in a wash tub by using a scrub board. They were then rinsed in a tub of clean water and the wrung out in a wringer that was turned by hand. Then they were all hung out on the clothesline outside to dry. Once they were dry it was ironing time. An iron (made out of real iron) was used that was kept hot by keeping it on the wood cooking stove in the kitchen.

People did not have treadmills in those days, or rode bikes or jogged just for exercise, nor did they belong to a gym. We did not have all of these machines that did everything for us. When they took the labor out of everything with all the labor saving devices, they also took the exercise that kept us slim and strong with it. Now we sit at a desk or on a sofa a stare at a screen. We sit in a car that takes us to where we are going, and ride elevators or escalators if there would be too many stairs.

I find it ironic that we now spend the money we earn being immobile for memberships and machines to keep us slim. It used to be that earning money or simply providing for our needs kept us slim and fit.

Knowing all this as well as God’s Word, anyone would have to conclude that surely we are in the last days. Unfortunately while knowledge has greatly increased, wisdom has not.

2 Timothy 3:1-7
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

How much further will we “progress”? I can see a cashless society coming very
soon. This has me very concerning regarding the time in which we find ourselves. Anti-Christian rhetoric is everywhere.

I am reminded of 1 John 2:15 which says; “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

We need to be careful for the days are short. We need to keep ourselves from being caught up in what the world would use to distract us from what is important, and from our task at hand in serving the Church of the living God.

Solomon had great God-given wisdom, yet in the end he was caught up in what the world and flesh had to offer. Let us provoke one another to good works, redeeming the time which is short and the days which are few.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Is Smoking A Sin?

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Is Smoking A Sin?

©2015 Stan Hallett

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 (NKJV) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable morbidity (disease and illness) and premature mortality (death) worldwide. Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 443,000 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of “secondhand” exposure to tobacco’s carcinogens. Smoking cost the United States over $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker.

Health Hazards of Smoking

  • Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent of COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) deaths.
  • About 8.6 million people in the U.S. have at least one serious illness caused by smoking. That means that for every person who dies of a smoking-related disease, there are 20 more people who suffer from at least one serious illness associated with smoking.
  • Among current smokers, chronic lung disease accounts for 73 percent of smoking-related conditions. Even among smokers who have quit chronic lung disease accounts for 50 percent of smoking-related conditions.
  • The list of diseases caused by smoking includes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema), coronary heart disease, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myeloid leukemia, cataract, pneumonia, periodontitis, and bladder, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, oral, throat, cervical, kidney, stomach, and pancreatic cancers. Smoking is also a major factor in a variety of other conditions and disorders, including slowed healing of wounds, infertility, and peptic ulcer disease.
  • Smokers die significantly earlier than nonsmokers: 13.2 years for men and 14.5 years for women.

Let me ask you; is murder sin?  Is killing yourself murder, or the taking of a life that is not your own for it was bought with a price?

If you smoke and are trying to hide it, you may be fooled into thinking that you have succeeded in that endeavor because people are trying to be kind.  The truth is that the foul stench of cigarette smoke lingers not only on your clothes and body, but on your breath long after you have extinguished that last cigarette.

We have many that come into our Church building that smoke.  Most are newcomers, but some are long time so-called “Christians”.  I know who every one of them are without a word being said by anyone. If I don’t smell it on their clothes, then as soon as they are close and breath or speak in my direction, the foul odor comes up and out from their lungs.

I remember one such man that no longer attends our assembly. I knew that he smoked because I smelled it every time that he greeted me on the Sunday mornings that he would attend. One day when I went to a local grocery store, I saw him standing outside the door smoking a cigarette.  He did not notice me until I was about twenty feet away from him. He said; “You caught me smoking” and he was embarrassed. Of course the truth is that I already knew that he smoked.  But what I found amazing was that he (and most that have hidden sin in their lives) was more concerned about what I thought than what God thought.

It is a bad testimony for anyone professing to be a Christian, to be held captive by this foul vice that is slowly taking your health and your life. Everything that is not of God is of Satan, so who do you think God wants you to smoke?  Who is it who’s goal is to destroy the body and the soul?

I could go down a very long list of reasons why you should quit, like being a poor steward of your finances.  What are they at now, $7.00 a pack? Not to mention what it is doing to the health of those around you. But just the fact that it is not Godly should be enough for anyone that calls themselves a Christian to quit.

If you are a smoker you need to just stop.  Quit making the excuses because of your weakness in overcoming your addiction.  Repent, give it to God and just stop it!

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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The Drunkard & The Glutton

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Obese PreacherShould a pastor set an example for his congregation?

Shouldn’t all of us as Christians and ministers set an example to the world and glorify God with our body that was bought with a price?

Did you know that the Bible associates a glutton with being a drunkard?

If a man cannot control his appetite for food, what else can he not control his appetite for, that may be hidden?

In other words, if a man cannot bring this part of his flesh under submission, what other areas of the flesh might he not be able to bring into submission?

Don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself. . .

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 (NKJV)

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Deuteronomy 21:20 (NKJV)

20 And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’

Proverbs 23:20-21 (NKJV)

20 Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; 21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

Proverbs 23:21 (NKJV)

21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

Titus 1:7,8 (NKJV) says that an elder or bishop must be temperate in all things.  That includes the consumption of food. Temperate means to show moderation or self-restraint.

Enough said.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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You Gottawanna!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

©2015 Stan Hallett

Gottawanna is the secret to all accomplishment, whether it is about quitting some addiction, doing a job, building a business, or having a close walk with God.  If you don’t want to and are only doing it because someone chided you into it, or you are just doing it because you know that it is the right thing to do, chances are that you are going to fail.

Think about it. . . we are walking in the very same flesh that Jesus walked in.  If you are full of Holy Ghost then you have the very same Spirit of God inside of you that Jesus had. Jesus said; “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.” – John 14:12

So what’s the problem?  Why are we not more like Him?  Why are the vast majority of saints that are baptized in His Name and filled with His Spirit wallowing in the filth of this earth and are spiritually weak?

Gottawanna!  How badly do you want it?  Do we pray daily?  Do we keep our lamps full?  Are we truly walking in the Spirit? Or do we spend our days caught up with the issues of life? Are we listening to the wrong things? Involved in the wrong things, or with the wrong people? Hanging out with the world? Or just watching the television?

Are we easily defeated by obstacles such as fears and trials?  There is an old saying; “If the mountain was smooth, you couldn’t climb it”.  Think about it!  I’m not talking about some little hill.  I’m talking about what the Apostle Paul referred to as a race.  Think of it as a mountain that few men can climb like K2, where 1 in 4 people that have even attempted it have died trying.

The mountain that I am talking about few men are equipped for climbing.  You need rope, climbing boots, a helmet, crampons, carabiners, a harness, etc.. When you receive the Holy Ghost, God equips you for the climb.

As you begin to climb there will be obstacles. There will be rocks and crevices, shrubs and trees, perhaps hindering weather like rain, snow, or sleet during the climb. There will be some slippery places seemingly impossible to climb, but you ARE equipped.

Every trial on the climb can be overcome if you have the desire and faith to overcome it. The Apostle Paul said; “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Philippians 4:13. Obstacles once overcome only serve to strengthen us, allowing us help someone else facing the same obstacle climbing up from behind us.

We CAN be like Him!  Do you have the gottawanna?  Do you have it bad enough to pursue Him? Remember He climbed the mountain first! Are you willing to follow Him?  Climbing is the only way you are going to get there.  It’s by leaving the things of this world behind and climb.

James the Apostle said; “know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?”.  Actually He used stronger language than that.  He said; “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4

If you have not obeyed the Gospel and have repented of your sins, been baptized in the name of Jesus, and have not been filled with His Spirit, then you need to do this to be equipped for the climb (See Acts 2:38, John 3:5).

However, if you have been baptized in His name and have been filled with His Spirit, then you ARE well equipped for the climb.  So what are you waiting for?  What obstacle has stopped you?  What IN THE WORLD is holding you back?

Take on the whole armor of God and let’s climb.  But you Gottawanna more than anything!

“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 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 prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” – Ephesians 6:13-18.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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YOU Were Kidnapped at Birth

Friday, January 17th, 2014

©2013 Stan Hallett

key-in-jail-door(It’s your choice to be captive or free.  The only bonds that hold you are in your heart and mind.)

We Were Created by God in His Image

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  (Genesis 2:7)

Kidnapped Children

I got this message right after the three kidnapped girls (Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight) were rescued back in the Spring of 2013.  They were held hostage and abused for 9-11 years. Then I recalled a similar story regarding Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was rescued back in April 2011. Jaycee was held hostage and abused for 18 years. Psychologists say that the women have many long years of intensive therapy and rehabilitation ahead of them, to begin to undo the damage left by the captivity and horrific abuse that they suffered.

Update: There is a more recent but similar story of Kamiyah Mobley who was kidnapped from the hospital at birth by Gloria Williams. She changed the baby’s name to Alexis Kelli Manigo who did not find out that she was kidnapped until she was sixteen years old.  She was finally reunited with her real parents at age eighteen.  Gloria Williams was arrested and the case is pending as of this post update (01/18/17).

Alexis claims that she will always love the woman who was her “mom” for eighteen years.

 Two Fathers?

God is referred to many times in the Bible as our Father, and often by the Lord Himself as He walked among us in the flesh. There were some people that Jesus referred to as Satan being their father . . . 42* Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43* Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44* Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:42-44)

I believe that you and I are the sum total of everything that we have been taught and accepted. Everything that we have taken in through our natural senses. What we hear, what we read and receive, and what we see with our own eyes, along with the things that we can touch and feel. Combine that with your own perceptions and personality and you have the sum total of you.

Young children are very malleable in their young tender years.  That is why King Solomon said Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). This is when we as parents need to teach them, not in just word, but in deed. I think that they actually learn more by watching what the parent does than by what they say.

Often parents say one thing, but do another contrary to what they teach the child. I have seen this so often even in families that have regularly attended Church all through the child’s youth. Sometimes we see a child that was raised in that way be rebellious and have little respect for a parents or a particular parent.  Why? Because the parents preach one thing and do another. They didn’t live it.  They didn’t practice what they preached, and their life was a contradiction.

If a child is raised from birth by a stranger, the relationship grows to become what is familiar, and seems natural to them. It is all that they know. The way in which they have been brought up, and the things that they know and endure become “normal” for them. The things that they believe, even though they may be false, become truth to them. Should this same child after many years come into contact with their natural parent, the real parent will seem foreign, unnatural, and false to them.

On October 4, 1987 Carlina White  was snatched from the hospital at just 19 days old. She was back in the hospital due to an infection. She was 23 years old before she finally discovered the truth. What was interesting to me about this story is that she never knew her real parents, they were strangers to her.  At last report she is trying to get to know her real mother (Joy White) with great difficulties. She claims to be willing to forgive her kidnapper (Ann Pettway) who was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and plans on maintaining a relationship with her. That is an amazing phenomenon. She was brain washed from infancy. What she believed was a lie, but it became true for her. No bonds, or locked doors were necessary. The three other young ladies were kidnapped in their teens and early adulthood.  They had to be restrained to keep them from escaping because they knew the truth of their situation.

Most people that have ever lived on this earth were raised by those that only understand and believe man-made world views, and satan influenced philosophies. They follow the traditions of men (Mark 7:13) and the doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1). Make no mistake, Satan has kidnapped the heart and minds of this world, and the world at large has accepted it from birth, never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).

When we approach those that were kidnapped by Satan with the truth, it seems so foreign to many compared to how they were raised. In fact for most, unless they are at their lowest, most desperate place, they will not believe or receive it.

I was talking with someone the other day who was saying “Why can’t I be blessed?  Why can’t I have some things that I desire like a house, and be able to enjoy life and not be stressed over money?” My response to them was “You are blessed!” I said how many real monetarily wealthy people do you see in our assembly?  How many successful doctors, lawyers, well-to-do business men? How many millionaires? Most of those people have put their trust in their knowledge, or in their abilities and in their wealth. Didn’t Jesus say that “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24)?

Most do not come to God until they are at their lowest point, until God is all that they have left.  They are at their wits end financially, physically, emotionally, and God is the only direction left to turn.

Most kidnapped children are severely abused be their abductors. Similarly satan does not love us, he is a liar and a deceiver.  He hates us, and all of God’s creation, and desires to destroy us. If he can keep us in sin, in disbelief of God, in humanism, in witchcraft, in belief in evolution, in man-made philosophy, in hedonism, and focused on the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, then he has succeeded and has won.

He lies and deceives us with promises, and with the pleasures, and the entertainment of this world. His goal is to lure us further and further into sin (disobedience to God), and keep us captive.

Satan would never die for us, yet many die for satan everyday. There are no bars that keep us, no chains that bind us, no locked doors, no physical fetters of any kind.  We are only held captive by our own mind, and what it is that we believe to be true. Our true Father loved us so greatly that He paid the price for our disobedience with His own blood (Acts 20:28), to redeem us to Himself. All we have to do is to repent, turn from following the father of lies, and obey our true Father.  As the prodigal son did (Luke 15:20-24), we just need to go home.

It’s simply our choice. Satan is a great showman, enticing us with all pleasures that this world has to offer. He promises to fulfill our desires for happiness. But everything we enter into leaves us empty, unfulfilled, and searching for something else that will give us peace, and give us joy. If you’ve never heard this before it may sound foreign and strange to you, and there are so many things that you have yet to try.

Surely something will give you joy, peace and fulfillment. Perhaps promises of fame or stardom.  Perhaps positions of power or prestige, surely that will satisfy. Perhaps sex, or you could try some drug that would make you feel good, and make you forget about all of your problems. Perhaps the latest video game, or the latest sitcom will give you some laughs, some joy, some peace? Come on, there is so much to try!  Food, clothes, cars, relationships, careers, pornography, movies, booze, cigarettes, dope, sports, something is going to fulfill that need, right?

There have been hundreds of movie stars, rock stars, and celebrities that have committed suicide.  They are continually in the news. Obviously the success and fame did not do it for them.  38,329 people died of drug overdoses in 2010, and it’s climbing. Was this the peace or joy that the were looking for? About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year about 4.9 million people die from illnesses related to tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined. But they keep right on smoking. The Bible says that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Everything that you know, think, or believe is a culmination of everything that you have read, seen with your eyes, heard with your ears. You have taken that sum total and weighed them in your heart and your mind, and formed your own unique philosophy based on that information and thought.

What you believe in, as much as you believe a thing, becomes true for you. We’ve all had experiences where we have come across those that have some beliefs that we cannot imagine how they could possibly believe such a thing. In fact I think for most of us, it happens so often that logic would dictate that we ourselves probably have areas of belief that are probably in error. In other words we would have to admit that there are most likely things that we believe that are quite possibly, totally wrong.  That’s tough for some of us to admit.

Many of us that were not raised in the Church, and were not raised by Christian parents, were raised by world dominated views. It is the world system that is orchestrated by who the Apostle Paul referred to as the “God of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He has kidnapped and deceived most of mankind, and desires to abuse, violate, torture, and spiritually and emotionally maim each and every one of us.  It is His goal that we perish without God, and therefore suffer the same fate that he is doomed to. Even most of what the world considers to be “Christian” is not true Christianity at all. Most of man-made religion falls short of truth, short of the true Gospel message, and therefore short of salvation.

Even many that have found truth, and have once believed, only to have wandered off enticed by the world, and the lies they still cling to. They say things like; “God knows my weaknesses.” or “Nobody’s perfect.” They may say “God will forgive me for this one little thing”.  “They drank wine in the Bible, what’s wrong with getting a little high?”  “The Bible doesn’t say that smoking is a sin, does it?” “Hey, all the famous preachers get caught doing it.”

It is reported that there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations in the world today. It is no secret as to why. . . orchestrated confusion and diversion from truth.

If God did not draw us, did not lead us, and did not guide us, how could anyone have a chance to find truth? The world, including most that consider themselves to be Christians are still deceived by the greatest deceiver of them all. Oh yes!  The Bible says “13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  14* And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  15* Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

If  you have not repented, have not been baptized in the name of Jesus, and you have not been filled with the Holy Ghost, then may I inform you it is no coincidence that you are reading this now. That being the case, and after your true Father has paid the ransom for you, after He has brought you to this point to tell you the truth regarding the captivity that you have been in, and after knowing that regardless of the overwhelming deception in the world. . . You by His grace and mercy have found your way here. How could you come this close and not respond with brokenness and joy to have finally, after all these years of lies and captivity, now having come to the knowledge of your true Father, the only one that loves you with a love like none other.  The one that suffered to pay the price for you to be redeemed to Himself, and safely returned to Him.

What a joyful thing to be able to come home and cry “Father forgive me, for I have sinned against you!” and be forgiven and received. He desires to have a personal covenant relationship with you.  He said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). The Gospel is simple. . . Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38) 15:1* ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  2* By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  3* For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

He does not ask us to die on the cross as He did for us. But rather he requires us to die to ourselves through repentance, which means to turn from our ways and follow Him. He does not ask us to be buried in a tomb as He was, but in like figure we are buried with Him in the waters of baptism in His name. Then He promises us that the very same Spirit that raised Him up on the third day would also be given to us with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. …the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39) The choice is yours today.

The only bonds that hold you are in your own mind. Yes, that’s right! The greatest battle known to mankind, having the greatest consequence, is fought on a very small battlefield. ”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.“  (Luke 2:4,5). God formed us and breathed the breath of life into us.  He created us to have fellowship with him, to be His children. But God did not create us as robots or slaves.  He gave us free will, free choice. It’s your choice to be captive or free.  The bonds that hold you are only in your heart and mind.

We Are His Children

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God(Romans 8:14) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Philippians 2:15) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1) I beseech you, I beg you, If you are here, and you have not repented, or you have not been baptized in the name of Jesus, and you have not been filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38), then may I inform you it is no coincidence that you are here now, regardless of the circumstances that caused you to be here at this moment. If you need help in finding the right Church, then please contact me.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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