J. David Buttram's Writings
(Shared with permission by Gospel Tract Society)

Kraig J. Rice
www.7-star-admiral.com

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A Tribute To David Buttram

The late David Buttram was a literature evangelist. He was Assemblies of God in his faith and teaching. He was one of the best bible teachers and theologians that I have read. Most of his teaching was with his own ministry at Gospel Tract Society (GTS). It is my great delight and with utmost respect that I present some of his teachings and writings obtained mostly from his gospel tracts, poems, and his articles in the GTS newsletters. I have placed appropriate titles to his "from my heart" and "David Buttram answers your questions" articles. Here then are some of his writings.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these internal links will move you down this page)

  • Let's Remember Joseph, Mary's Husband
  • Christians Should Be Doers of God's Word
  • Fear Of Man by David Buttram
  • The Lord's Supper by David Buttram
  • Don't Allow Sin to Flourish by David Buttram
  • What About the Tribe of Dan? by David Buttram
  • God's Guidance by David Buttram
  • A Letter To Ruth from Jesus
  • Ananias and Sapphira by David Buttram
  • Our God Is Sufficient by David Buttram
  • Walk In Him by David Buttram
  • Jesus Never Fails by Lester L. Buttram
  • Good and Evil Angels by David Buttram
  • Run the Race of Faith by David Buttram
  • Daniel's Name by David Buttram
  • Temptation by David Buttram
  • The Victory Cycle by David Buttram
  • Oil or Water by David Buttram
  • Claiming God's Promises
  • How To Be Saved
  • A Sweet Fragrance
  • Definition of Worship
  • You Can Have Power With God
  •  


    Let's Remember Joseph, Mary's Husband
    by David Buttram

    "In the telling of the Christmas story, there is one person about whom little is said. In Christmas pageants around the world this figure usually has a position in the background and even the Bible tells us little of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus.

    Jewish weddings in those days involved three steps:
    1. The engagement
    2. The betrothal
    3. The wedding (consummation)
    The first came as the engagement, which was usually arranged by the parents, often when the children were quite young. Later, at a determined time, the couple either agreed or disagreed with their parents' choice. If they loved each other and agreed with the engagement, the betrothal took place and was as binding as the actual marriage itself and required a legal divorce to break.

    The betrothal lasted for one year after which the couple would wed and consummate their union.

    During her betrothal period, Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit, placing Joseph in a trying situation. On one hand, Joseph was torn by the seeming reality that his intended wife had committed fornication while betrothed to him. For that sin the Jewish law required that the guilty party be stoned to death. On the other hand, he was so deeply in love with Mary that he did not want to see her hurt or disgraced. The only likely remedy was to quietly and secretly divorce her.

    Faced with the terrible reality that his intended wife-to-be was pregnant, and still in love with her, Joseph got alone and "thought on these things"
    (Matthew 1:20). Once alone before God, no doubt Joseph prayed and sought the face of God.

    It is when a believer gets alone and shares his innermost feelings and thoughts with God that He hears and answers. Joseph's need for guidance and assurance was wonderfully met by God in a dream. An angel appeared in Joseph's dream to comfort his heart and assure him that the Baby in Mary's womb was begotten of the Holy Spirit.

    The angel addressed Joseph as "son of David," and as a faithful Jew, he knew the Messiah would come from that line. The angel gave him further information about the soon-coming baby: "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins"
    (Matthew 1:20-21).

    Joseph's response was immediate - for upon awakening he took Mary as his wife and provided shelter and safety for her and baby Jesus. This humble man who sought and obeyed God was the human tool used to shape and mold the life of young Jesus.

    How would you or I have responded to Mary's pregnancy? Would our selfish pride have robbed us of God's special gift? What would our reaction have been to an angel in a dream? Could God have used us or would He have had to look elsewhere for a willing vessel?

    During the next few days as we watch the Christmas scene unfold in a play or pageant, let's take a long look at Joseph and learn from his example of faith and obedience."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, December 2001, page 3

    "I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God:
    First, it is impossible
    Then it is difficult
    Then it is done"
    -Hudson Taylor (founder of China Inland Mission)

    Christians Should Be Doers of God's Word
    by David Buttram

    "It has been said that there are two kinds of people: Those who do and those who will let them. We smile at that little description of people, but there is a lot of truth to it. There are those people (and I thank God for for them) in the Kingdom of God who diligently work, and there are those who stand by and watch.

    Paul encouraged the Philippians to do. After admonishing them to meditate on those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and are of good report (all that is in harmony with the best public good), he tells them to practice and enjoy these four things:
    1) Things learned (training from Christian parents);
    2) Things received (Christian blessings);
    3) Things heard (Christian doctrine); and
    4) Things seen (Divine miracles).

    After hearing, seeing, and receiving from God, they are then to act (do). The doing should follow the meditation, but far too many Christians don't get beyond the meditating stage. After all, Christianity is not a stagnant, stale religion. Neither is it a cold and formal set of rituals. Christianity- true Christianity- is a lively, active, moving force for good. It is doing something positive for the Lord. It ministers to the lost and to those in need.

    Those believers who have learned, received, heard, seen, and then do are clearly of God and show forth His power, love, and grace."
    Quoted from The Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, November 2000, page 3.

    Courage is fear that has said its prayers

    Fear of Man
    by David Buttram

    "For 2000 years the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ have transformed lives of men and women. One of the first men to be changed was a man named Joseph from the little town of Arimathaea, just a few miles northwest of Jerusalem.

    Although little is known about Joseph, he is mentioned in each of the four gospels. He was a wealthy man and member of the Sanhedrin, a ruling group of seventy-one judges presided over by the high priest. He was a good and righteous man who was looking forward to the kingdom of God
    (Luke 23:50).

    Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, although he kept his allegiance a secret for fear of the Jews
    (John 29:38). Fear is a terrible emotion that can prevent someone from totally serving God and receiving all the blessings that await a faithful servant. Joseph's loyalty to Jesus is first seen when he absents himself from the Sanhedrin's meeting at which they found Jesus guilty of blasphemy and worthy of death
    (Mark 14:64).

    After Jesus died on the Cross, Joseph of Arimathaea overcame his fear and went "boldly" to Pilate and begged for the body. Then in a display of love and devotion, he carefully removed the Lord from the Cross. With the help of another secret follower, Nicodemus, they moved the body to a freshly hewn sepulcher as foretold by Isaiah
    (Isaiah 53:9).

    What could have changed the hearts and minds of two Jewish leaders to motivate them to act beyond their fears? John knew what had transformed these leaders who had much to lose in prestige and standing in the temple. John wrote: "And after THIS, Joseph of Arimathaea...besought Pilate"
    (John 19:38-39 Emphasis added). The "this" John referred to is all the scenes of the crucifixion that Joseph witnessed.

    Thomas Kelly expressed one way the Cross of Jesus affects people:

    "The Cross! It takes our guilt away;
    It holds the fainting spirit up;
    It cheers with hope the gloomy day,
    And sweetens every bitter cup."
    The next verse may have been written for such as Joseph of Arimathaea, or Nicodemus, or even you or me:
    "It makes the coward spirit brave,
    And nerves the feeble arm for fight;
    It takes the terror from the grave,
    And gilds the bed of death with light."
    Fear of man can paralyze a believer. Each of us fears rejection and ridicule, but like Joseph and Nicodemus, we need a fresh glimpse of the Cross. We need to be renewed and revived in our spirit. By faith we are then empowered and emboldened to move forward as witnesses for Jesus Christ."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, April/May 2003, page 3

    Fault grows thick
    Where love grows thin

    The Lord's Supper
    by David Buttram

    "Question from a reader:
    In the December 2002 Harvester in your Questions and Answers column you say that bread and wine represent the broken body and shed Blood of Jesus. You are wrong in saying that. The Bible says in
    1 Corinthians 11:24-25, "This is my body." It's sad that you don't quote what the Bible says.

    Answer from David Buttram:
    Your question is not clear, but to the best of my ability, I base my replies on the Word of God and include those references throughout my writings. It is not my desire to force my opinions on any one, but rather, point them to the Bible and allow them to make their own decision.

    Perhaps you believe that the bread and wine are not emblems, but actually become the Flesh and Blood of Jesus, as some teach. In 1215 the Roman Catholic church adopted the theory called transubstantiation which is the belief that the bread and wine, the elements of communion, actually become the Body and Blood of Jesus when they are consecrated by a priest. There are several reasons why Protestants reject this dogma, the chief one being that it is unscriptural.

    The Catholic doctrine is based largely on the super-literal interpretation of the word "is" as recorded in
    Matthew 26:26,28 and 1 Corinthians 11:24-25. It should be apparent from Matthew's account that Jesus was speaking figuratively of His body and Blood since He was still several hours away from His trial and crucifixion.

    To better understand the fuller meaning of communion, we look to Jewish history. For thousands of years Jewish culture has been immersed in types, shadows, and other kinds of symbols to reveal God's plan for redemption, then and in the future. The Jewish people celebrate several feasts and festivals during the year. The oldest and most important one is Passover, sometimes called the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was instituted by Moses almost 4,000 years ago as directed by God to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from the slavery and tyranny of the Egyptians
    (Exodus 12:42-43 and Exodus 13:9). Once a year they were to be reminded of the beginning of the Mosaic or Old Covenant.

    The dinner in Jerusalem that Christians commonly call the Last Supper was actually a Seder as Jesus and His disciples were observant Jews
    (Matthew 26:17,19). During the dinner, in simple, elegant, and profound words, Jesus changed the course of history by introducing a new covenant- a new and better way for God to deal with man and his sin. Taking the matzah, He blessed it and broke it.
    "Take, eat: this is my body."

    Next He took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to His disciples: "Drink ye all of it."

    In conclusion He explains His reason: "This is my blood of the new testament (covenant) which is shed for many for the remission of sin"
    (Matthew 26:27-28).

    In a seder the ceremonial wine is usually served in a large vessel and a portion, called "a cup," is served at different phases in the dinner. The first cup is called the cup of sanctification; the second, the cup of judgment; the third, the cup of redemption; and the fourth cup is the cup of the kingdom. It was the third cup- the cup of redemption that Jesus took, gave thanks for, and shared with His followers. Jesus then promised to drink the fourth and final cup when He returns and sets up His promised kingdom
    (Matthew 26:29).

    The shedding of blood was a biblical prerequisite for sealing a covenant, and Jesus symbolically did so with the fruit of the vine, and a few hours later He bled literally from His crucifixion on Calvary.

    It is apparent to the majority of Christendom that the Bible teaches that the bread and fruit of the vine are emblems of the Lord's broken body and shed Blood, indicating a new and better covenant with God, and we partake of them in remembrance of Him"
    (Luke 22:19).

    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, April/May 2003, page 14

    Live like hell
    and
    You will get there someday

    Don't Allow Sin to Flourish
    by David Buttram

    "A few nights ago Beth and I stopped at a convenience store to pick up a couple of soft drinks. After going back to the cooler and getting what I wanted, I found my place in line with other customers. Just in front of me was a young lady. I wasn't looking at her specifically, however, I did notice what appeared to be a dark scarf loosely wrapped around her neck.

    After a few moments, from the corner of my eye, I saw the "scarf" move. It immediately caught my attention and I suddenly realized that what I had thought was a scarf was in fact a huge snake. Instinctively I moved backward as quickly as I could, bumping into the man behind me. "Excuse me, Sir," I said. "There's a big snake around that woman's neck." Immediately the man and others moved away from the young woman.

    There are many spiritual lessons to learn from that brief encounter. First is that sin never enters a heart fully grown. In the beginning, sins are harmless little temptations that people yield to. Gradually, they grow in frequency and intensity. "Just one drink." "Just one cigarette, just an innocent flirtation, and just one hit on illicit drugs." After just one, the next one comes easier. Soon, what began as "just one" has grown into a binding habit. Each sin has its power of addiction and each has its price to pay.

    What came first as a harmless attraction grows until it eventually takes control. The young lady probably had owned the snake for a long time and felt very familiar with it. Her familarity with it brought trust and confidence, but the size of that snake was enough to convince me that it could do anything it wanted to do. I do not believe one person could have controlled it.

    I must admit that the colorful markings of the serpent were pretty, even as sin is attractive in its own way. Casinos are beautifully decorated and illuminated. Dance halls and other places where sin abounds are attractive to the eye. Never do they show the condition of those who have totally surrendered their lives to sin. When riverboat gambling came to Missouri, every time there was a big winner, his or her picture would be in the local newspaper. "Why," someone asked, "don't you publish the names of those people who lose money?" Show a mother trying to raise two or three children when the husband gambles away his salary and savings. Our great land may have gone too far in allowing sin to flourish in various forms. It is our responsibility as Christians to stand against sin, to pray for the sinner, and to inform as many people as we can of a Savior who loves them."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, July 2003, page 3.

    How will you spend eternity
    Smoking or Non-smoking?

    What About the Tribe of Dan?
    by David Buttram

    "Question: I have noticed that in the Book of Revelation, the tribe of Dan is not mentioned in the 144,000. Please explain this to me.

    Answer: This is one of those perennial questions that pops up from time to time that has no definitive answer. You are referring to Revelation Chapter 7 in which two groups of people are "sealed" or protected from the wrath of God poured out during the Great Tribulation. This portion of scripture is called a "parenthetical passage," and is a break in the sequence of future events, by which God intersperses an explanation or revelation about other concurrent events.

    Near the middle of the seven-year-long Tribulation, God will seal 144,000 Jews from the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel. The second group will be those believers who have trusted Christ as Savior following the Rapture of the Church. Each person in these two groups will receive a mark (seal) on the forehead identifying them as God's people
    (Revelation 7:3).

    The Old Testament lists the names and order of the tribes of Israel in at least twenty various ways and varying numbers from ten to thirteen.
    Revelation 7:5-8 lists twelve tribes of the Children of Israel, leaving out Dan and Ephraim, and replacing them with Levi and Joseph. Several theories have been advanced to explain these changes. One common reason given is that
    Deuteronomy 29:18-21 directly instructs those worshiping idols to be cut off from the other tribes.

    Dan was described by his father, Jacob, as "...a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward"
    (Genesis 49: 17). Dan's tribe became the first to set up false gods to worship, causing a split in the nation of Israel and later, its dispersal.

    After the division of Israel, Jeroboam set up the Northern Kingdom of Israel with two golden calves to be worshiped. One of the golden idols was placed in Bethel and the other in the territory of Dan
    (1 Kings 12:25-30).

    Originally there were twelve tribes, but Joseph's portion was doubled by each of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, while Levi was scattered among the tribes and not usually counted.

    In the Revelation account of the sealing of the Jews, Joseph and his son, Manasseh, are named, as is Levi. Like Dan, Ephraim was associated with idolatry
    (Hosea 4:17).

    Another possible reason for the omission of Dan may be the belief held by pre-Christian Jews and the early Church that the Antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan.

    Most Jews today do not know from which tribe they are descended. Only an all-knowing God can make that determination with wisdom and mercy. Likewise, when questions arise about our beliefs that are not answered specifically in the Bible, we have to rely on God to carry out His design and purpose."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, February 2002, page 14.

    "There is much in our obeying as our Lord did- straightway. Then the Lord gives His servants grace to follow out their convictions as soon as they feel them, then they act courageously." -Charles H. Spurgeon

    God's Guidance
    by David Buttram

    "Question: As a Christian I want to do what is right. I pray that God will lead me in making right choices. I am afraid that the devil will place wrong thoughts in my mind to mislead me.

    Answer: When we give our heart to the Lord and become a Christian, we begin a life-long journey to Heaven. Like early day settlers who moved from the East to the West, so do we pass through a land that is unfriendly even hostile. We are attacked by enemies who would hurt or destroy us. We encounter natural obstacles and barriers. We are possibly our own worst enemy by harboring feelings of being alone- a feeling of being vulnerable, and a sense of defeat.

    It was never God's intention to just save us from our sins and turn us loose to fend for ourselves. That would be unfair, even cruel. What God has done is to provide us with the means to safely make the journey and arrive victoriously at Heaven's gates.

    The foundation of knowing God's will is His Word, the Bible. The Bible is our . It is a spiritual manual to instruct and direct us. From it we learn how to conduct ourselves toward Him, the world, the church, and even ourselves.

    The Bible was given by the inspiration of God for our doctrine, reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
    (2 Timothy 3:16). Throughout history, men and women have looked to God's Word for direction. King David, Paul, and the other early saints of God depended on what little of the Bible they had at the time.

    Many issues in our lives can be resolved by looking within the Bible, which has been preserved and protected by God for a holy purpose: "...to be a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path"
    (Psalm 119:105). When Jesus left earth, He promised a special gift to aid and guide Christians. He said, "And I will pray the father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever"
    (John 14:16). Don't dismiss the importance of this verse and be robbed of a spiritual blessing. Here, Jesus is promising to pray to the Father to send another comforter. The word "paraclete" that is translated to "comforter" is a Greek word meaning "one who walks along side of." That means one who constantly accompanies us. In good times and bad, He is there. In seasons of tests and trials, He is present. For how long will the Comforter be "along side" of us? Jesus said, "For ever."

    Sadly, there are those who teach that God does not speak to believers today. That all ended when the Bible was completed, they believe, but Jesus said, "For ever." I have been told, "Brother Buttram, we live in a different dispensation now." Again, Jesus said, "For ever."

    The steps of a good man (living in His will) are "ordered by the Lord"
    (Psalm 37:23). "Ordered" simply means prepared or established. We are then assured that each step a Christian takes has been prepared and established by the Lord.

    If we ask God for wisdom in making a decision or working out a problem, we should be prepared to raise our spiritual antennae to receive the answer.

    The answer may come as God speaks by changing circumstances. He may speak to you through Bible study or through an anointed sermon. He may speak to you by means of that still, small voice deep within your being.

    When you pray for God's will or purpose, be reminded that God wants you to succeed and prosper. He wants you in the center of His perfect will, and just as an earthly father would give only his best to meet his child's request, so our heavenly Father gives us the very best.

    As for mistaking the devil's voice for God's voice, Christians must learn to recognize the difference. His sheep (you and I) know our Master's voice. In addition, we also must depend on the Comforter who is always with us to discern or distinguish whose voice we hear."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, July 2003, page 14.

    "I have compassion on the multitude"
    -Jesus Christ

    A Letter To Ruth
    from Jesus

    "Ruth went to her mailbox to find she had only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it- there was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:

    Dear Ruth:

    I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit. Love always, Jesus.

    Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer."

    With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen pantry. "Oh my, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner!" She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least."

    She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.

    A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with a grand total or twelve cents to last her until Monday.

    Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

    "Hey lady, can you help us, lady?"

    Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans she hadn't even noticed the two figures huddled in the alleyway- a man and a woman dressed in little more than rags.

    "Look lady, I ain't got a job, and my wife and I been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's gettin' cold and we're gettin' kind of hungry and, well, if you could help us, we'd really appreciate it."

    Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad, and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.

    "Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important Guest for dinner tonight, and I was planning on serving that to Him."

    "Yeah, well, okay lady I understand. Thanks anyway."

    The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.

    As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

    "Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my Guest."

    She handed the man her grocery bag. "Thank you, lady. Thank you very much!"

    "Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. "You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street, without her coat and with nothing to serve her Guest.

    Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried, too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him.

    She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

    Dear Ruth: It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

    Love always,
    Jesus

    The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed."

    "And the King (Jesus) will tell them, "I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"
    (Matthew 25:40).

    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, July 2003, page 15.

    We are not judged by
    what we want to do and can't
    but by
    what we ought to do and don't

    Ananias and Sapphira
    by David Buttram

    "Question: I have trouble understanding why God acted so harshly to Ananias and Sapphira when they held back a little money. Many people today do much worse and God allows them to live.

    Answer: I believe it is human nature to ask, "Why" when God acts in a way we don't understand. It is spiritually healthy to inquire of God as long as our motive is pure and our hearts are open to the truth. When questioning God, we turn to His Word for an answeró a biblical reason for what He does.

    The account of Ananias and Sapphira is recorded by Luke in
    Acts 5:1-11 and tells of them selling a parcel of land and withholding some of the money from the early church. Peter questioned Ananias based on discernment given by the Holy Spirit and asked him why had "Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost and to keep back part of the price of the land."

    Up to this time this couple had been professing members of the early church in Jerusalem. Perhaps they had even been in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost when the church was empowered and anointed with the Holy Spirit. For some reason such as greed, selfishness, lust for things of the flesh, or pride, Ananias and Sapphira made a conscious determination to lie to the Holy Spirit and not give willingly what they promised.

    Actually their sin was two-fold for they not only lied to the Holy Spirit, they kept back that which had been promised to God. Man can rob God by withholding their tithes and offerings and receive a curse from God for doing so
    (Malachi 3:8-9).

    Withholding from God indicates a partial commitment to God, and shows a desire to hang onto part of this world. Those earthly elements seem so low and worthless compared to the blessings God has in store for those who whole-heartedly serve Him

    Withholding from God is deception. Ananias laid his gift at the feet of the apostles indicating that he made a show of his gift. He wanted recognition for his gift. He wanted to be part of the "in crowd," but in reality he was a liar and hypocrite. Hypocrisy and pretence are mockery against God and His Word. Jesus condemned the Pharisees and scribes when they made a display of giving to the poor, but honored the widow who gave openly and honestly from her heart
    (Mark 12:43-44) They were living a lie by their actions as opposed to the truth in the widow's actions.

    Withholding from God is to allow one to be influenced by the devil rather than the Holy Spirit. The devil tempts believers to do that which is contrary to what is right. The actions of the Holy Spirit will stir love and compassion. He prompts Christians to give so the material needs of others can be met.

    Withholding from God hurts the building of His kingdom that depends on the faithful giving of Christians. Local churches and ministries seeking to reach people with the gospel and minister to their physical needs rely on Christians who give of their finances.

    One final point. God looks on the heart of a man or woman and sees their intent. One may deceive others by actions and words, but God is not deceived and He will dispense justice as He sees fit. This portion of Scripture should serve as a warning that we must be honest and open with God lest we be judged."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, June 2003, page 14

    When God ordains
    He sustains

    Our God Is Sufficient
    by David Buttram

    "Question: It has been said that if one person prays over a prayer request there will be 1000 angels dispensed to their aid. When two persons pray it becomes 10,000. Is there any place in the Scriptures to back this up?

    Answer: No, there isn't any Scripture to back up such a statement. Like many other misquotes and misunderstandings about the Word of God, this belief may have some basis in fact, but we should guard against such partial truths.

    In the garden before His trial and crucifixion, Jesus told impetuous Peter to put away his sword as soldiers seized Him. He then said, "Thinkest thou that I cannot pray now to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?"
    (Matthew 26:53). This statement shows us that it was God's will that His Son would die for our sins and that Jesus was willing to die for us. Otherwise, He could have called for angels to save His life.

    A Roman legion was 6,000 men. Twelve legions equal 72,000 men, or angels in this verse. If each of the eleven remaining disciples could summon a legion of angels, that would mean 66,000 plus 72,000 or more angels to wage a holy war. We remember that in
    Isaiah 37:36, one angel slew 185,000 Assyrians in one night, so a holy army of 138,000 angels could have easily defeated the entire Roman army.

    The Bible teaches that angels are spirit-beings who are gifted with many supernatural powers. Although they may take on the temporary appearance of a body, they are not bound by the same limitations that we are. They travel faster than light. They have great strength. We are told that they are created beings to serve and minister to God so they must have mighty attributes.

    I am reminded of a story I heard as a young man. A man bought a new Rolls Royce. As he read the Owner's Manual for the luxury car, he learned about the capacity of the gas tank. He learned about the maintenance and care of the car. However, one factor was missing from the manual- the horsepower rating of the powerful engine. Wanting to learn more about his car, the man wrote to the Rolls Royce company in England and asked, "How much horsepower does my car have?" Soon he received a reply from the factory with a one-word answer: "Sufficient."

    That company was telling the customer that no matter the driving conditions, no matter the weather or road, no matter the load, their expensive car could handle it, so don't be concerned.

    Child of God, in much the same way we know our God is a powerful God whose power, might, and ability are sufficient. When He dispatches angels in our behalf, it will be a sufficient number. Whether He sends one, a legion, or twelve legions, they will be sufficient to protect, guide, and otherwise meet our pressing need."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, March 2003, page 14.

    Looking at the way some people live
    They ought to obtain
    Eternal fire insurance soon

    Walk In Him
    by David Buttram

    "Back in 1964 I went to basic training in the U.S. Air Force. As a fresh recruit I had a lot to learn about the military, and one of my first lessons was learning to march. Walking is natural for a healthy person, but marching is more difficult because you and fifty other men must march as one. You begin together when commanded and your steps must be uniform in distance and frequency.

    We learned how to take quick half step, almost like a skip, to catch up if we slipped out of step. Soon our entire flight of fifty men was marching as one- a unified effort of many moving as one.

    Paul uses the word "walk" to distinguish one of the traits of a mature Christian in
    Colossians 2:1-7. In verse 6, he writes,
    "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him (Emphasis added)". "Walk" in this context refers to the entire activity of an individual. Our relationship should not be a half-hearted, halftime, part-time avocation, but rather everything- that which we think, say, and do should be in union with Jesus.

    Listed in this portion of scripture are three things a Christian is to do. First, he is to be rooted and built up in Christ. Christians are to be like a huge shade tree that sends its roots deep down into the soil as an anchor to withstand storms, and to also obtain moisture and nutrients to grow and be strengthened.

    Second, Christians are to walk established in the faith as he or she has received it from God. That faith comes from God's Holy Word. Much error is circulating today because people are following teachers and preachers who have received "revelations" about various doctrines, and to no one's surprise, these false teachings do not have any foundation in the Bible and must be recognized for what they are. Strong teaching in the church is vitally needed to build up and maintain a high level of faith and truth in God's saints.

    Last, the believer is to walk with an overflowing thanksgiving. Jesus has done so much for you and me that praise and thanksgiving should never cease flowing from our hearts. Thanksgiving is not solely a holiday in November during which many eat too much and watch too much football, then pause to pray a little prayer of thanks. No, thanksgiving should flow from the depths of our being in an unbroken, unceasing stream.

    I close with this verse from Hebrews 13:15: "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name."

    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, November 2002, page 3

    Lost your way?
    Jesus says: Follow Me
    I am the Way

    Jesus Never Fails
    by Lester L. Buttram

    This is a wonderful example of a Christian family written by the late Lester L. Buttram

    "Dear Christian Friends,

    The month of July has always been special to the Buttram family. Perhaps for more reasons than one or two in the past, but even more this year. So many events can be remembered, but this year added thanks and praises are due God for allowing me to "celebrate" a few things that make July 1984 of special significance.

    Not that I want to be FIRST, but July will be special because that will mark the day I reach 80 years of age. I remember so well during the weeks and months while I lay in the hospital, it seemed impossible that I would reach the "ripe old age" of eighty years. Several times my son David would say to me, "Dad, at one time several years ago, it seemed you would not live the "three score and ten", but God has been so good to you. I remember you telling us how you were born in a little two-room log cabin, and how the old doctor drove his horse and buggy seven miles from Conway, Missouri to deliver a premature little three and half pound baby, so frail he would not be expected to live a year."

    Then after "surviving", a few years later, I was taken down with pneumonia, and the Spanish Influenza that took the lives of thousands, but my dear mother and dad "prayed and believed" God for a miracle. In those years medical science, as we know it today, had not discovered the "cures" that could have saved the lives of thousands. The beautiful thing is that God said, "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up." That was proven in my life because God heard and answered.

    One of the great lessons I have learned through these years, and especially through the almost fatal massive heart attack, has been that we serve a God that changeth not. It is a glorious thought knowing that JESUS NEVER FAILS.

    In addition to my eightieth birthday on July 21st, my wife and I will rejoice on July 7th for 44 years of marriage. I have often said, and it bears repeating, that we have had one of the happiest marriages a man and woman ever knew. I am just "old-fashioned" enough to still believe that real, true marriages are "made in Heaven." From the natural viewpoint, we had nothing in common. I was raised a "city boy", while my wife always lived on the farm. She has told me that about the only time she wore a dress, and a plain, home-made one at that, was when she went to the little country church near Halltown, Missouri. She, with her sisters and brothers, worked in the field as they picked up rocks, and helped their dad get ready to plant the next crop.

    After we were married, often she would show me her hands so rough and scarred, but she never complained, for she had been taught by her dad to be thankful for all things. Her dad had been brought from Germany as a very young boy and then "left" one day beside a road, and was finally picked up by a nearby farmer who raised the little boy as his very own.

    It is a long, and yet beautiful story of the caring love of the farm family who loved the boy as their own. I sometimes think that love shows forth in my wife's love for others. Many times I have marveled at the endurance she has manifested in raising our own four sons, and then later taking in three little orphan sisters at ages 6, 8, and 10. Later we took in another little girl for two years. In addition we have opened our home and cared for a number of elderly people who had no one to love or care for them. During these years I had to take on outside jobs, and at night would print and prepare Gospel tracts for mailing. But as hard as it was, we would not trade those years of work and sacrifice, for as we worked together as one, we learned the joys of loving and caring that could only be learned by experiencing.

    We were not only to love and care for the three girls, but we kept them in school, and then on to college. Two of the girls have not kept in touch with us since they were married, but Becki, the middle one, is very close to us and loves us dearly. She is a nursing supervisor in a large hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her husband, and son are such a blessing to us. Although the other two girls are away in another state we love them and pray for them and their families every day.

    On July 4th we celebrate events around the Buttram house. First the Birthday of our great country, and the second is the birthday of our son, Paul.

    God has allowed me to see several countries of the world. I have visited the islands of the Caribbean, and many countries of the Mid-East. But where ever I have been, I have always been anxious to get back "home" to this wonderful country of America.

    We as Christians need to be in prayer for our Land as we face another Presidential election. Join me in praying for a restoration to the ideals and principles of our forefathers.

    These past few months, especially the three months I lay almost helpless in the hospital, one great burden I carried was for the mission work in Haiti. The doctor tells me I can never return to the mission field again. Partly because of the humid climate and the many diseases, also the rapid change in altitude when ascending and descending in the airplane, could affect my already damaged heart. As much as I long to return to the Haitians that I dearly love, I will abide by my doctor's orders.

    We must continue to keep the forty-seven churches open as well, and the eleven Ebenezer Christian Schools where more than 2,500 little boys and girls are taught, fed and clothed without pay. Most importantly, they are taught of God and His great love.

    Our Bethel Bible School in Haiti is being greatly used of God in supplying young men to go out into the mountains, and take the Gospel to the very poor, but dear people.

    Let me ask of you as my friend, to stand with us in prayer and with your love gifts. We do have so many needs at this time, and our work must go on. We thank God for each one of you who has carried this burden along with us for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.

    MY FOUR SONS-
    I would appreciate your prayers for our sons who are carrying on in the Gospel Tract Society, Inc., and the missionary work in Haiti. They are doing a beautiful job, but we all know that prayer is the power behind all men and women who are giving their lives to the Lord's work. I praise God that He gave me sons who are so very dedicated and want to serve God in this ministry. Your letters, prayers and financial support have been a real blessing and encouragement to them as they faithfully carry on. I believe God will speak and touch hearts to give and pray. He has never failed and He won't now!

    My four sons are:
    J. David Buttram, L. Paul Buttram, Thomas L. Buttram, Phillip L. Buttram

    God bless each of you. Your letters, cards, prayers and support have meant more to us than words can express. We thank God for you. I hope to hear from you soon for our working days for the Lord are numbered, because I believe He is coming soon and I want to hear Him say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant..."

    Yours and His for OTHERS,
    Lester L. Buttram"

    Lester L. Buttram was the President and Founder of the Gospel Tract Society when this newsletter was written.
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, July 1984, pages 1-2.

    "For He will command His angels concerning you
    To guard you in all your ways"
    Psalm 91:11 (NLT)

    Good and Evil Angels
    by David Buttram

    Question:
    In 1 Kings 22:19-24, is "lying spirit" an evil spirit? And if so, can evil spirits enter the throne room of God? For that matter, can cherubim and seraphim and archangels have the same access as Satan, as the accuser of the brethren, and Christians do prayerfully through Christ?

    Answer:
    The Scriptures you referred to give us a glimpse into the spirit world and how it relates to human activities. Behind all human acts are spirit beings that seek to influence human behavior to further the cause of either God or Satan. God uses angels to influence men and women to do that which is good and right. Demons strive to influence (tempt) mankind to do bad and evil things to advance the kingdom of darkness.

    The decision of which one to follow is each individual's responsibility. We have been created with a free will- the power to choose which spirit to heed. The Word of God instructs believers how to reject temptation and to follow righteousness. Never, never is the power of the devil strong enough to force us to yield to sinful actions. Television's Flip Wilson's comic character, Geraldine, used to excuse her indiscretions by proclaiming, "The devil made me do it!" No, the devil didn't. No spirit can make a person do anything. Our actions are always deliberate, voluntary, and volitional.

    The evil spirit quoted in the above verse (verse 22) said, "I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of his prophets." This had to be a demonic spirit speaking for it would have been impossible for an angel of God to do anything wrong. Notice that the evil spirit volunteered to do evil even as it freely chose to follow Lucifer and was cast from the presence of God.

    Angels do have access to God, but in a different sense than Christians for they are created differently and for special purposes. Angels were created on a higher level than man was. As spiritual beings their roles are to serve as servants, messengers, and agents of the Most High God. Angels are classified according to their rank and activity with Michael as the highest, or archangel
    (Jude verse 9; Revelation 12:7).

    Cherubim seem to be a high rank of angels and are associated with God's retributive and redemptive purposes
    (Genesis 3:24 and Exodus 25:22). Little is said of the seraphim ("burning ones"), but they are thought to be the highest rank of angels and are characterized by their burning love for God.

    Angels differ from man in that they are spirit beings and man is a triune being with body, spirit, and soul. Man's fall in the Garden of Eden incurred the judgement of God. Only He could provide a means to restore man to a loving, intimate relationship with Him. The Old Testament sacrifices and the ultimate sacrifice of His own Son would provide a means of salvation, (justification, regeneration, and sanctification). Jesus' ascension provides us with a personal Advocate who gives us continual access to the Father.

    Angels have access to God as His servants, messengers, and agents. You and I have access as His children through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Satan and his demons have only limited access to the throne of God as defeated foes and inferior beings, and for a limited time, also, for soon, I believe very soon, a violent expulsion will take place.
    Revelation 12:7-11 tells how Satan and his demons will be thrown out of Heaven.
    Verse 9 says "cast," which in the original is "hurled." After a time of freedom on earth, he and his minions will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity."

    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, November 2002, page 14

    "The greatness of God rouses fear within us, but His goodness encourages us not to be afraid of Him. To fear and not be afraid- that is the paradox of faith"
    - A.W. Tozer

    Run the Race of Faith
    by David Buttram

    "You and I are in a race. Each of us as a Christian is in a race to complete this life successfully and enter into the next life as overcomers. In Hebrews chapter 12, which one commentator called the most stirring passage in Scripture, we learn how to run the most important race of our life.

    Looking at Hebrews 12:1 we read of the inspiration of the Christian's race: a great cloud of witnesses. Just who or what is this "great cloud of witnesses" and how do they affect us? The context of this verse indicates that the great saints of the Old Testament listed in the previous chapter are the "great cloud." Hebrew chapter 11 has been called "Heaven's Heroes of Faith or Faith's Hall of Fame" and includes stalwarts such as Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and others.

    The witnesses listed in chapter 11 are involved in our individual lives in two ways. First, they have already run the race and completed the course. Each was a winner by overcoming obstacles and serve as great examples. Each hero of faith was totally human like us, but served a purpose in God's plan because of their obedience, discipline, dedication, and faith.

    They also participate in our life by being witnesses. The writer of Hebrews is very clear that the departed saints are actually witnessing our race- they see our weaknesses and failures, but they also see our strengths and victories. From the use of the word "cloud," we get the image of being surrounded and enveloped by the saints in the sense that a great throng of people in a stadium or coliseum surrounds the players on a field. Think about that- they are mute witnesses to what you say and do.

    These great warriors of the faith should encourage us by their past accomplishments and motivate and cause us to not waver or compromise our faith. Because of their success, we should strive for overcoming faith.

    I believe that among the witnessing saints mentioned are those saints of God who have died and are now in His presence. We know that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord"
    (2 Corinthians 5:8), so it is logical to infer that all departed believers make up that "great cloud."

    My father and mother loved this ministry with their entire being. Beginning in 1926 with an investment of $7.10, my dad carried the burden of printing the gospel and sending it around the world until his death in 1990. From the time Mother married Dad in 1940, she also prayed, fasted, worked, and sacrificed to keep God's Word going forth. I believe both of them are on the front row of that great celestial grandstand watching the ministry continue.

    As important as the witnesses are to motivating us, we know it is to Jesus that we look. I believe it is important to study the lives and emulate the lives of godly people, but it is to Jesus that we look for our supreme example. The means of spiritual success is found in
    Hebrews 12:2 which reads,
    "looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." Then we read in
    1 Peter 2:21 that,
    "...Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."

    We follow Jesus by reading about Him. We learn from His life how we are to run our race and to live victoriously. Prayer is a powerful companion to studying the Word, but we must remember to listen when we pray.

    I determined to run this race called the Christian life over fifty years ago. The course has not always been easy, but I have been aware of a cloud of witnesses and my leader and guide, Jesus. If you are not running this Christian race with me and millions of others, I urge you to set your eyes on Jesus and follow His path. The rewards are wonderful and the blessings are worth it."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, August 2002, page 3

    Daniel wasn't thrown into a lion's den
    but
    into a den of lions

    Daniel's Name
    by David Buttram

    "Question:
    Can you tell me the Hebrew names of the three Hebrew boys in Daniel and what their names mean? Also, do you know when the book of Daniel was written?

    Answer:
    The Book of Daniel is one of the most important prophetic books in the Bible, for it establishes a foundation for other prophetic books, especially Revelation. In fact, it is virtually impossible to fully grasp the truths of Revelation without understanding Daniel. Daniel is quoted more frequently in Revelation than any other book.

    Daniel was among the Jewish captives taken from their home in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC. He lived for seventy years in captivity under Nebuchadnezzar, Darius the Mede, and Cyrus the Persian. We know that Daniel was from nobility of a Judean family and was in his late teens when transported to Babylon with other Jews, including the three young men in question.

    The four young men, like most devout Jews, were named in Hebrew to reflect their love and dedication to God, but the Babylonians renamed them to honor their pagan gods. The captors placed great pressure on the youths to make them act and think like Babylonians.

    Daniel means "God is judge" and he was renamed Belteshazzar, meaning "Prince of Bel" (the chief of Babylonian gods). The first of the Hebrew young men was Hananiah, which means "Jah is Gracious" (Jah is an abbreviated form of Jehovah), and was renamed Shadrach, meaning "Command of Aku" (the moon god). The second young man was Mishael, meaning in Hebrew "who is what God is." His captive name became Meshach, which means "who is as Aku."

    "When Jehovah helps" is the meaning of Azariah, the third youth who took the name Abednego. That name means "servant of Nego" (the god of science and literature).

    It is impossible to tell exactly when Daniel wrote the book bearing his name. However, it is generally agreed to be between 606 BC and 536 BC and we know it was written in Babylon and Shushan.

    Concerning Joppa by David Buttram:

    "Is Joppa a Hebrew name and what does it mean?

    Joppa is an ancient seaport on the Mediterranean coast about forty miles northwest of Jerusalem. Originally in the land of Dan, it has been variously known over the years as Japha, Jafa, and now Tel Aviv. In its original form, Joppa meant "beauty" or "comeliness" and is first mentioned in the Bible as the port through which timber from Lebanon passed on the way to build the Temple in Jerusalem
    (2 Chronicles 2:16). Joppa was the port from which Jonah caught a ship seeking to outrun the presence of God
    (Jonah 1:3) and was the home of Tabitha (Dorcas) of
    Acts 9:36 whom God raised from the dead."

    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, August 2002, page 14

    Life is God's gift to us
    What we do with it for Him
    Is our gift to God

    Temptation
    by David Buttram

    "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world"
    (John 16:33).

    "Since the dawning of history, men and women have been locked in a battle of right and wrong. The first to sin were Adam and Eve, who, by disobeying God, began a pattern that continues to the present day.

    The first step in the pattern of temptation is to see. Lucifer saw God's glory and the honor given to Him by the angels. Eve saw the forbidden fruit. David saw Bathsheba as she bathed on a nearby roof top, and even Jesus' temptation by Satan was to see the kingdoms of the world.

    The next step is to want, or desire, what has been seen. After seeing the glory of God, Lucifer wanted to be God. In the same vein, Eve wanted the forbidden fruit, David desired Bathsheba, and Satan's temptation to Jesus was a desire to eat.

    The final step in temptation is to take or attempt to take, as Lucifer did when he tried to take God's place in the heavenlies. Eve took the fruit, and David took Bathsheba unto himself. Jesus was tempted by the devil to take His life by hurling Himself from the pinnacle of the Temple. It is important to know that after Jesus resisted, the devil fled and angels came and ministered to Him
    (Matthew 4:11).

    In 1 John 2:16, John summarized the temptation pattern this way: For all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes (seeing), the lust of the flesh (desiring), and the pride of life (taking), is not of the Father, but is of the world.

    Allowing ourselves to follow this age-old pattern of temptation allows sin into our lives and will rob us of a close relationship with our Father, and we will cease to do His will.

    The human body is one of the most amazing creations of God's great universe. Deeply buried within our being are appetites, desires, and drives that help ensure our survival, as an individual person and as a race. These are the normal, healthy, powerful, and God-given means of sustaining life. However, because of their strength they must be continually controlled, disciplined, and kept in balance, lest they bring harm to the individual, society, and the Kingdom of God.

    God's Word gives us guidelines on controlling natural appetites. Paul lists seventeen works of the flesh in
    Galatians 5:19-21, which include adultery, fornication, uncleanness (refers to all forms of sexual perversion), lasciviousness (that which tends to produce lewdness), idolatry (anything on which affections are passionately set), witchcraft (dealing with evil spirits in many forms), hatred, variance (divisions, discord, quarreling), emulations (envies, jealousies), wrath (fierceness, turbulent passions), strife (contentiousness), sedition (stirring up strife), heresies, envying, murder, drunkenness and revelings (boisterous feasting and carousing). To this list, we can add gluttony, greed, self-indulgence, and excessive cravings.

    Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, used two strong words to teach us how to deal with the fleshly appetites we have.

    In writing to the Romans, Paul instructed them to "mortify" the deeds of the body lest they die
    (Romans 8:13). Then, the Colossians were told to mortify their members (referring to the members of the body as the seat of the desires and passions)
    (Colossians 3:5).

    Mortify literally means "to put to death," but in the Romans reference, it means, in a figurative sense, to subdue evil desire to become freed from its powers. In the Colossians reference, mortify means to deaden, or deprive of force and vigor. Paul uses the powerful word "crucify" to indicate the need of the believer to put to death (metaphorically) the affections and lusts through the faith and love of Christ crucified.

    The desires of the flesh are strong, and if left to our own devices we surely would fail to control them, but God gives us the means to resist temptation.

    Christians are directed to set their affections on things above, not on things on the earth
    (Colossians 3:2). If our affections are truly on the things of God, then the beggarly things of this world will hold no appeal. Later, in verses 10, 12, and 14, we are told to put on the new man, bowels of mercy (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing and forgiving one another, and above all, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness (unity).

    In addition to taking control of our flesh, God's people must study and use the Bible
    (Psalm 119:11). Then, we are to watch and pray
    (1 Corinthians 16:13; Colossians 4:2; 1 Peter 5:8). To watch is to be alert. To be effective, a watchman must be aware of what is happening around him and know what to do when a threat arises. In short, a watchman is prepared. When a real-life watchman perceives a threat, he has a club or gun, a flashlight, and usually a walkie-talkie to aid him. The watchful Christian has the power of prayers to summon spiritual assistance.

    We should also rely on the faithfulness of God to enable us to resist the devil's temptations. Let this reassuring word from Paul bless and encourage you: "But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it"
    (I Corinthians 10:13).

    So much could be said about controlling our flesh. Peter said that we are to abstain from (to hold ourselves from) fleshly lusts, which war against the soul that others may see our good works and glorify God
    (1 Peter 2: 11-12).

    The world is watching you and me. What we do speaks so much louder than what we say. Our words and actions may well be the means of someone coming to the Lord.

    Our society is filled with all kinds of temptations. Daily, your mind is bombarded with the devil's message of all forms of evil. We have the power, with God's help, to resist those temptations and live a life of victory and overcoming.

    The Lord has provided us with the means to understand the wiles and methods of the devil. He empowers us to withstand temptation, but in the end, it is our decision to either resist or yield to sin.

    John wrote that Jesus is our Advocate, and speaks on our behalf to the Father when we confess our sin
    (1 John 2: 1). Praise God that you and I have the promise of forgiveness and cleansing!"

    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, August 2002, page 12

    Committed Christians study and serve
    in the Power of the Holy Spirit
    (Romans 15:17-19)

    The Victory Cycle
    by David Buttram

    "I have had occasion recently to speak with a diverse group of people from across the country, all with a wide range of needs. As I counseled and prayed with the callers, I began to sense a common factor. This morning I want to share with you from God's Word so you can benefit from my experiences dealing with the needs of people.

    In many conversations, I sensed a need based on one or more of the following: fear, doubt, and defeat.

    Fear has gripped the hearts of so many Christians. By definition, fear is "an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger." To say it another way, "fear is anxious concern."

    Many times in the Old and New Testaments we read about fear. David testified how God delivered him from fear: "I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears"
    (Psalms 34:4). A man like David, fearful? Yes, but he dealt with his fears spiritually and God removed them.

    Jesus told us twice in the Book of Luke to not be afraid, "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows," and "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom"
    (Luke 12:7, 32). Fear is a hindrance to fellowship with God. It is a spiritual crippler that gives rise to doubt.

    During the earthly ministry of Jesus, He did many great and wonderful deeds. His ministry was filled with signs and wonders. He forgave sins, cleansed and healed lepers, and raised the dead. Only in Nazareth was Jesus unable to do "many mighty works." Why? Unbelief, faithlessness, and distrust. These three forms of doubt robbed those people of precious victories.

    With God's help, let us reverse the Defeat cycle and give our lives into the Victory Cycle- a cycle of God's best for us.

    The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy these powerful words: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and of a sound mind"
    (2 Timothy 1:7).

    Yes, there is the spirit of fear stalking our land. This is just one of the signs of the last days, "The courage of many people will falter because of the fearful fate they see coming upon the earth, because the stability of the very heavens will be broken up"
    (Luke 21:26). But it is not a God-given spirit. What God has given us is power, love, and a sound mind.

    Power: Several years ago I was in Kenya to preach and teach. On my last afternoon there, I went to the Nairobi National Park to see the wild game. As the bus traveled across the miles, we saw many kinds of wild animals. As we drew near, they would run away. Zebras, antelopes of various kinds, a baboon, a family of wart hogs, and even ostriches quickly fled.

    Our guide pointed out to us something that I thought was a rock. Nearing it, we could see it was a lion. Closer yet, and we saw a beautiful lioness with two small cubs. The bus stopped about twenty-five feet away. Remember that this was a wild lioness in a wildlife preserve. Her reaction was to nonchalantly glance at our bus twice, then yawn. Why her seeming lack of fear of us? Power: brute, raw, power. Power that said, by her actions, "I am in control here, and I am not afraid."

    Oh, I pray that more Christians would seize that inherent power God gives us to overcome the wiles of the enemy.

    Secondly, God has given us love. The root word, agape, from the Greek means "benevolent love as deemed needed by the one who loves." This is God-given love because He knows what we need.

    God's perfect (completed or finished) love casts out all fear. This is the Christian's right and privilege, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear..."
    (1 John 4:18). We read further that "...fear hath torment, He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

    Last, God gives His children the spirit of a sound mind. That is to say, God gives us wisdom and prudence. We should not be swayed by every wind of doctrine, nor should the many voices and sounds of the enemy rob us of victory.

    My prayer for you is that you loose the faith God has blessed you with and replace fear with faith. Where doubt has blocked God's movement in your life, allow His power to become active. Victory will result. I am not referring to some emotional, happy-go-lucky outlook that ignores the problem, but a complete, God-given VICTORY."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2003, page 7

    Man's way leads to a hopeless end
    God's way leads to an endless hope

    Oil or Water
    by David Buttram

    "As the United States moves closer to war with Iraq, many critics say the real reason is the greed for oil. When asked about the Iraqi situation, one outspoken opponent of President Bush said, "It's about oil. It's always about oil." But is it?

    It is true that modern industrialized nations run on oil. The wheels of commerce would grind to a halt without a steady flow of inexpensive oil. But oil is not the most important commodity in the Middle East. For thousands of years another resource more valuable than oil has been fought over because its absence means eventual death. That precious resource is wateró pure, non-salty, water. Water is so important to life that the Bible records man's quest for it throughout the ages, as well as foretells its significance during the Millenium.

    Historically, Israel has had many conflicts over water. As recently as October 2002, tensions between Israel and neighboring Lebanon escalated when the Lebanese installed a pumping station on the Wazzani River just about 1.5 kilometers from the Israeli border. The purpose is to provide fresh water for irrigation and drinking to 170,000 people living in forty villages. The Wazzani joins with the Hatzbani River that eventually flows into the Sea of Galilee, Israel's primary source of fresh water.

    Therein lies the problem, for the Sea of Galilee is already at record lows after a five-year drought. Just prior to the opening of the pumping station, Israel's Ariel Sharon said the water issue constituted a "casus belli," or grounds for war. The Washington Times reports that the United States fears a war over water could damage the Arab support it needs in the war against Saddam Hussein.

    When we think of Egypt we envision endless sand dunes whipped by dry, scorching winds. Deserts dotted with an occasional oasis offer limited relief to travelers. Recent discoveries paint a different picture, though. The newspaper Al Ahram has reported that geologists have discovered a hugh underground reservoir (aquifer) of water beneath the parched deserts of Egypt.

    The newly discovered subterranean water lies between 2,000 and 4,000 feet below the sandy and rocky surface of the earth. The reservoir reaches from the Libyan border eastward to a mountain range on the shores of the Red Sea, a distance of approximately 500 miles. The giant underground lake is fed by seepage from the Nile River and from other smaller rivers from as far away as central Africa.

    Researchers have estimated that the underground supply could produce 181.2 billion gallons of low salt content water a year. That is the approximate equivalent to 20% of the annual flow of the Nile River. This large amount of water could revolutionize the economic system of Egypt and the surrounding regions.

    The Bible tells of a day in the future when the waters of Egypt will be dried up. The prophet Isaiah foretold in detail of the desolation that will occur prior to the time of its conversion to Jesus: "And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up. And they shall turn to the rivers far away; and the brooks of defense shall be emptied and dried up; the reeds and flags shall wither. The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and everything sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more. The fishes shall also mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish"
    (Isaiah 19:5-8).

    The desolation of Egypt described by Isaiah will occur during the Tribulation period, and is just one of many terrible events that will happen there and throughout the world. But healing will come when Jesus begins His thousand-year reign. During the Millenium the Lord will begin to heal the land of Egypt
    (Isaiah 19:22). Egypt will turn its allegiance to Jesus and join with Assyria, and together they will embrace their former enemy, Israel
    (Isaiah 19:23-25).

    Then Isaiah's later prophecy will surely come to pass, "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and excellency of our God"
    (Isaiah 35:12).

    Isaiah's prophecies will come to pass and perhaps the vast store of water beneath the sands of the desert will be utilized by God to bring life and blossom to the desert.

    The Old Testament gives accounts of God giving His people miraculous supplies.
    Read Exodus 17:6 and Numbers 21:16-18 for a few accounts. Water is essential for man's survival as it is for all life. To have spiritual (eternal) life we must partake of the spiritual water that is available to us. Jesus provides that "Living Water" for our spiritual life if we come to Him in prayer and ask Him to come into our life. Jesus said,
    "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give liim shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life"
    (John 4:13-14).

    The newspaper and news reports of Middle Eastern events are exciting, for we are seeing the prophecies written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit fulfilled before our eyes. The fulfillment of these ancient prophecies should cause us to look up and rejoice for our redemption draweth nigh
    (Luke 21:28)."

    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2003, page 8

    Little drops of water
    Little grains of sand
    Fills the mighty ocean
    And makes the pleasant land

    Claiming God's Promises
    by David Buttram

    "Question:
    I would like to know how I can claim God's promises (I saw them in your Harvester magazine). I also want to know how I can know God better and how to study the Bible.

    Answer:
    This is a question I love to answer, for many Christians live beneath their privileges as children of God. Whenever we use the word "claim" we do so in its common meaning and usage. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary says that "claim" means to ask for as a right, and to call for, or to take as the rightful owner. To claim the promises of God, then, is to take or appropriate to our needs that which has been provided for us by the Lord.

    When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are given access to blessings, benefits, and spiritual power. They are available for our use and application in our life as the needs warrant.

    The Bible is filled with promises waiting to be asked for or claimed. Unfortunately, too many Christians do not receive God's blessings, either out of stubbornness or ignorance. Triumphant believers are those who take or receive what has been appropriated for them. They claim what is rightfully theirs.

    As an example, whenever I write about divine healing, I usually receive a few letters from sincere, well-meaning Christians telling me that healing is not for us today. Often they quote a few verses (usually out of context), or refer to their church doctrine that was based on man's teaching. My reply is that in their case, healing is indeed not for them. Healing, like salvation and other divine blessings, is for those who read and accept the Word of God and then claim what Jesus provided for us. For me, I will live and base my beliefs on the Word of God and pray for the sick and see and hear the wonderful results of God's healing touch.

    Jesus plainly offered power to His followers. One such promise is sometimes referred to as the Christian's "power of attorney." 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. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it"
    (John 14:12-14).

    So much can be said and written about the potential in these verses, but notice carefully that what God does in response to our prayers is to glorify Himself. It is sad that many of the prayers we pray are for selfish reasons.

    Jesus promised Peter the keys to the kingdom of Heaven. Keys are symbols of authority which, when claimed, gave him power to bind things on earth, thus binding them in Heaven. Likewise, those things loosed or released in earth will be loosed in Heaven. This powerful promise was not to Peter only, but to all believers if they will accept what is promised
    (Matthew 18:18).

    There is so much to say on this subject, but so little space this month. Look up verses in a good reference Bible concerning promises for Christians and then claim and accept them by faith. Your life will be richer. Your influence will be greater in your world, and through it all, God will receive the glory.

    Knowing God better is like getting to know another person better- you spend time with Him in prayer and meditation. You read His letters to you (the Bible). To understand the Bible, go to a local Christian Bible and bookstore and look at several of the various study Bibles. Decide which one offers the most to you, then enter into consistent, systematic study of God's Word. Try to attend a Bible-preaching and teaching church that offers adult study classes. Maintain an open heart and mind to the truths the Holy Spirit will reveal to you as you seek Him."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2003, page 14

    Discipleship:
    1. Get them Saved
    2. Get them In
    3. Get them Going
    (Matthew 28:19-20)

    How To Be Saved
    by David Buttram

    "Question:
    I know many people who say they remember the time and place they became a Christian. I don't have such specific memories for I have always been a Christian. From the time I was a baby, my mother took our family to Sunday school and church every week. Do you think I am a Christian?

    Answer:
    That is a judgement that only God can make and I would never try to determine someone's relationship with the Lord. The Bible tells us that only God knows the heart of man
    (Romans 8:27). The Bible also provides us with information about ourselves and His plan of salvation that enables us to know whether we are truly children of God.

    Beginning in Genesis and throughout the Bible, we learn that man has a free will. That is to say that man is a free moral agent with the capacity for making decisions between right and wrong, and is responsible for those choices. Adam and Eve were given the choice of obeying or disobeying God's prohibition of eating of one tree in the Garden of Eden.

    God could have made man and angels to be robots- automatons that mechanically served Him. He could have programmed us like computers to do His bidding, but He wanted our love. True love and devotion to someone can only come by the free exercise of the will. Love cannot be forced or coerced. A command can never elicit adoration and affection, nor can true worship be demanded. Mankind and angels cannot be engineered to show affection and fondness.

    To become a Christian is to deliberately exercise our free will in obedience to the invitation Jesus gives us to "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"
    (Matthew 11:28).

    The steps to salvation are volitional, and by that I mean they are the results of positive, rational decisions. Read these verses carefully and notice the actions required. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..."
    (Acts 16:31). "...call upon the name of the Lord"
    (Psalm 116:17). "Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it"
    (Psalm 34:14).
    "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction..."
    (Matthew 7:13). "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
    (John 3:16).
    "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"
    (1 John 1:9). "...obey God rather than men"
    (Acts 5:29). "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..."
    (Acts 3:19). "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved"
    (Romans 10:13).

    Each of these verses contains action verbs that require a response, and each response results from a conscious decision to act. It is these conscious actions that lodge in our memory to be recalled at a later time. Then if you say that you do not remember seeking, entering, confessing, obeying, believing, calling, and repenting, then I urge you to seriously examine your relationship with God.

    These words of action are not mine or from a denomination, but are from God's Holy Word, the Bible, and are the guide by which we act to have our sins forgiven and enter the family of God, with all the rights and privileges He has provided.

    If you do not remember making a deliberate, purposeful move to obey the Lord, please do so today. Jesus wants you to invite Him into your heart and to forgive you of your sins, thereby giving you eternal life in Heaven."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, September 2002, page 14

    Love in the heart
    Makes sweet
    Music in the home

    A Sweet Fragrance
    by David Buttram

    Just before going to bed the other night, I opened a can of peaches for a late snack. The peaches were of odd shapes and sizes, but seemed especially sweet and juicy. As I ate and savored the flavor, I became curious as to the brand, for these peaches were far better than usual.

    I retrieved the can from the wastebasket and read "Irregular" on the label. These were peaches that for some reason had been damaged prior to canning. By cutting away a part damaged by insects or bruised by rough handling, some of the peach could be used.

    When my mother was alive, she loved to come to my home in the fall after a storm and pick up the fallen apples from my three trees. I asked her why she loved those broken and damaged apples when the trees were filled with pretty, healthy, whole fruit.

    "Son, those "windfalls" are always the sweetest." Then she would fill up a basket or sack to take home to make applesauce, stewed apples, and my favorite, apple pie.

    A dear friend of the ministry called recently and asked to speak to me. The elderly lady just wanted to tell me how much she enjoyed The Harvester and looked forward to it each month. Once it arrives, she reads it cover to cover before passing it on to a friend. The sample tracts we send her are a blessing and she told me how she has prayed for us for many years.

    As the lady spoke, I sensed the sweet, fresh joy of the Lord in her voice. Even her words reflected a life of total surrender to God. As we continued to share God's love with one another, various painful experiences came forth. Never did the lady complain, but told how she had cared for a handicapped child and crippled husband for many years. Plagued with her own health problems that had caused financial stress, still the dear saint of God was living a victorious life.

    After hanging up, my eyes filled with tears, for I had just been encouraged and enriched by an "irregular" - a "windfall" - who had been bruised and battered by life, but had allowed the sweetness of the Lord to shine forth. My mother had expressed a great spiritual truth when she said: "Those "windfalls" are always the sweetest."

    Life will throw various problems at us. Winds of trouble and adversity will try us - even to the breaking point. Physical afflictions will buffet us regardless of our spiritual condition. Our response will decide whether we let those hurts cause bitterness or allow God to cut away the hurt and damage so His love and sweetness can be shared. Our desire should be to be to God and man "a sweet savour (fragrance) of Christ"
    (2 Corinthians 2:15).

    Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, October 2002, page 3

    "In the conduct of our public worship where is the authority of Christ to be found? The truth is that today the Lord rarely controls a service, and the influence He exerts is very small. We sing of Him and preach about Him, but He must not interfere; we worship our way, and it must be right because we have always done it that way, as have the other churches in our group"
    - A.W. Tozer

    Definition of Worship
    by David Buttram

    "Worship may be thought of in two ways. The first is the manner of worship practiced by the Jews in their synagogues. To better understand this definition let's look at history. Although the origins of synagogues are lost in history most Bible scholars believe the Jews set up "meeting places" during their Babylonian exile where they could assemble for worship in a strange land. Once the Jews returned to Israel and built the temple in Jerusalem, the synagogue remained as an institution of their cultural and social life.

    Faithful Jews would go to the synagogue and worship God by the reading and exposition of the Scriptures, praying, and the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. This is worship in its most general sense and most Bible dictionaries define it this way. For Jesus to have worshipped in this manner certainly does not diminish His divinity. Rather, it shows His humanity and He sets an example for His disciples to follow.

    Jesus was both the son of man and the Son of God, that is to say that He was both man and God - a spiritual mystery of His incarnation that is most difficult for our finite minds to comprehend. Never is His humanity more clearly seen than when in the Garden of Gethsemane, He cries out to the Father, asking if His suffering was necessary and then while hanging on a cross between heaven and earth, He questions His being forsaken by the Father.

    A narrower definition of worship is that pure adoration of the uplifted spirit from a redeemed spirit in contemplation of God's holy perfection. This is the response that wells up from the inner most part of a child of God when the joy of salvation and divine peace reigns within.

    Yes, we definitely believe in a triune God Who is eternally existent in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the Son, worshipped in the synagogues and by doing so showed us the importance of prayer, Bible-study, anointed music, and Christian fellowship."
    Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, October 2002, page 14

    Don't look at the mountain
    instead
    look at the Mountain Mover

    You Can Have Power With God
    by David Buttram

    There is a serious problem in Christianity today. We are faced with crucial challenges that we, in our own strength and wisdom, are not able to meet, and if we do not meet these challenges, we will fail in the work God has given us to do. But God has given the answers that are placed within the pages of the Bible that will enable us to face obstacles victoriously and opportunities unlike any in history.

    Each week I talk with pastors, evangelists, church workers, and Christian lay people and I have learned that the greatest need today is that of spiritual power. By spiritual power I mean the dynamic force that was imparted to the disciples before Jesus ascended to the Father. I mean the power that turned the world upside down - the power to affect lives around us in a positive way.

    The kind of power I am speaking of was recorded of a rather ordinary man when the prophet Hosea wrote of Jacob. "... by his strength he (Jacob) had power with God"
    (Hosea 12:30). Moses wrote in Genesis 32:28 that Jacob had power with God and man.

    When I first read these verses several years ago I wondered why and how Jacob had been blessed that the Bible recorded for all history that he had power with God and man. I asked myself, what was there about this man that gave him the power to change history? What events and changes in Jacob's life had transformed him from being a schemer who lived by his wits, to a man so completely altered that even his name had to be changed to show the conversion?

    I am sure you remember the story of Jacob and his brother Esau. They were twin brothers born to Isaac and Rebekah, and their differences were obvious from the moment of their birth. Esau was a man of the outdoors and Jacob was a stay-at-home type. He was also what could be called a mama's boy, for he was very close to Rebekah and was often found lingering around the tents. Being the first born gave Esau the inheritance to his family's estate, but with his mother's help, Jacob tricked his father into blessing him instead. Thus Jacob lived by his wits instead of his brawn.

    Fearing revenge from Esau for stealing his birthright, Jacob was a man on the run until, one night alone, an angel of God confronted him. Some would argue that this was God in person and others would say that it was a pre-incarnation of Jesus (Christophany), but I believe it to be an angel appearing in a human body, as they often did throughout the Bible.

    The two figures wrestled in a struggle of the flesh; each using every once of energy they possessed. Seconds became minutes and minutes lingered into hours, and when daybreak finally approached, the angel asked for release. Jacob's reply gives us an insight into his character: "I will not let thee go except thou bless me"
    (Genesis 32:26).

    These few words were the honest and desperate plea of Jacob's heart. It is only when a person is in the situation of being face to face with God that all pretenses are stripped away, leaving only pure intentions.

    Jacob's striving with the angel was both spiritual and physical, but he eventually prevailed by his prayers and tears. For us to have power with God, we must totally commit to Him. Lip service, form, and ritual will not suffice. Nor will leaning on the arm of flesh alone bring results.

    It is interesting to note that at the time of Jacob's victory, his physical strength was crippled. Paul expressed a similar thought in
    2 Corinthians 12:10:
    "...for when I am weak, then am I strong." This may sound like a paradox, but it is in our weakness and dependency that God's strength becomes apparent.

    There are three types of prayers that enable us to prevail:
    The Prayer of Faith
    The Prayer of Importunity
    The Prayer of Intense Desire

    Jacob's prayer was a prayer of faith. Faith is holding on and not letting go in spite of circumstances or appearances, because you know the answer is coming. He would not release the angel because he knew the angel had the power and ability to bless him. His prayer was also one of importunity. Importunity simply means to continue or persist at an endeavor. Importunity is a rare commodity in this day of fast foods, instant this and that, and quick fixes. Our society has conditioned us to want something now - no delay, no waiting. Patience is a forgotten virtue.

    Yet, we see in God's Word the importance of importunate prayer - prayers that are continued without fainting. As the angel wrestled with Jacob, he feared the coming of day break. "...Let me go, for the day breaketh..."
    (Genesis 3:22-26). The angel knew that he was involved with a man who was not a quitter; Jacob might be a mama's boy but he was not one to give up on something he wanted and needed.

    Jacob's response to the angel excites me: "...I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." I will not release you until my prayers are answered is a sign of spiritual "backbone" and determination that is lacking in the lives of many believers today. Some will utter a brief little prayer and if the answer is not immediately forth coming they excuse it by saying, "I must not have God's will," or some other feeble and unscriptural alibi.

    Finally, Jacob's prayer was one of intense desire. We don't know exactly how long he contended with the angel. Perhaps it was several hours, but it was the intensity that mattered. Total, complete, concentration was an important key to Jacob prevailing.

    A few years ago, I prayed one of the most intense prayers of my life. One night in February, my dad had suffered a massive heart attack and he was in the Intensive Care Unit of a nearby hospital. Family members and friends had gathered in the waiting room to hear from the doctors.

    I excused myself from the group and went to the chapel to pray. There, I poured my heart out to God. My prayer was mixed with deep sobs, and I was determined to seek God until victory came to my soul. Victory did come, and I felt a sweet, calm sense of peace sweep over me.

    Returning to the waiting room, I glanced at the clock and discovered that I had been in prayer only seven or eight minutes. I was totally surprised for I felt I had been gone for at least an hour. The reason was that my total energies and concentration had been focused on God. I was completely oblivious to those distractions that hinder effective prayer.

    In the episode Jacob experienced, he emerged as a man of power. Power in this verse means "princely power," which expresses the thought of assuming the authority and sonship of the King. Jacob emerged from this rendezvous with the divine with a spiritual potency and kinship that would revolutionize his life.

    The transformation was so complete that God had to change Jacob's name. Often in the Bible, names are used to describe or designate characteristics. So Jacob, the Supplanter, after receiving his blessing from God, became Israel, the Prince of God, or "prevailed as a prince of God." This dramatic change occurred at Peniel, which means "face of God" for it was there that Jacob met God face to face.

    To be an effective and overcoming Christian, every believer must have a "Peniel experience" during which all of self is surrendered, and God is totally and unconditionally placed in control. After such an encounter and surrender we become powerful with God and man.

    The need for real overcoming spiritual power is the greatest need of the Church today. Our world is changing so quickly that it is imperative that each of us be endued with power. Satanic attacks on God's people have never been stronger. Tragically, men and women of God often seem powerless and afraid. They are like paper tigers - fierce in appearance, but having not substance.

    You have read and heard the same news accounts I have and I am amazed and sickened at much of what I hear. Drugs and crimes are commonplace. Senseless acts of violence and cruelty boggle the mind of a normal person. Virtually every family in this country has been touched in some way by the damaging effects of infidelity and divorce.

    Today, I am concerned about my Christian brothers and sisters, for all of us are faced with the powers of darkness, and we must have spiritual power. It is critical that we provide the light and salt needed in this sin-sick world. Without the power of God active in our lives the future is indeed very dim.

    My prayer is that you will seek power with God and man as Jacob did. As we contend for God's blessings, we will make a difference. Souls will be led to a saving knowledge of Christ and men and women will be ministered to. There are no limits to what God will do through us as we serve Him during the end-times.

    We face a formidable foe in the devil, but we have the princely power because we are the sons and daughters of the King."
    Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, October 2001, pages 12-13



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