(Page One)
Some Selected Articles From the Pentecostal Evangel Magazine

shared with you by
Kraig J. Rice
Bread On The Waters (BOW)
www.breadonthewaters.com

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

PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST By NORMAND J. THOMPSON
IMPRINTING INFERIORITY By ELSIE BOLTON EZZO
I NEED MY CHURCH FAMILY By ANONYMOUS (SINGLE LADIES)
SOUR GRAPES By RICHARD G. CHAMPION
HOW TO BE A PARTNER WITH GOD by By R.D.E. SMITH
THE EARLY DAYS RECALLED
HOW MUCH DO WE LOVE? By JOE D. WILMOTH
WHOSE APPROVAL REALLY COUNTS? By RICHARD D. DOBBINS
SOAP OR SLIME? By LARRY HATFIELD
QUENCHING THE DIVORCE EPIDEMIC By J.P. McCAMEY
ARE YOU LISTENING? By JAMES K. BRIDGES
FRESH LESSONS FROM A TODDLER By BILL CARMICHAEL
RECYCLED "EVANGELS" By NORWIN HUTCHCROFT
RUTH THE GLEANER By VIRGINIA L. SCHNEIDER
FOUR CHURCH MEMBERS By DAN BETZER
THE STORY OF THE BEGGAR By SCOTT HAGAN

PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST
By NORMAND J. THOMPSON

"ONE OF THE MOST THRILLING messages of encouragement to the born-again, Spirit-filled person is found in
Jude 20: "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost."

How often distraught men and women seek the pastor's help with such crucial personal problems as: "I know God can heal me, but...." "My son is out in sin, and I've prayed and prayed, but...." "Oh, how can I get more faith?"

Jude challenges our faltering faith with a remarkable remedy. Simply and boldly he states that our grain-of-mustard-seed faith will be adequate to the mountain-moving job if we pray in the Holy Ghost.

R.A. Torrey believed that praying in the Holy Ghost means to pray as the Comforter, the One who "leads us into all truth," inspires us and guides us to pray. As we pray, the Spirit reveals to us God's desire, so that we can be sure we are asking according to His will and that our petition will be granted. Torrey said, "The Holy Spirit makes God's presence real to us. He gives us that intense earnestness in prayer that prevails with God."

Equally challenging as Jude's is the arresting statement of Paul to the Corinthian church: "I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also." This plainly indicates two ways of praying.

Praying to God in tongues is a miraculous, supernatural means of communication, a gracious gift bestowed by heaven on the believer. Often the one praying in tongues does not know what he's praying about; neither do others.

Smith Wigglesworth wrote, "You have the same power to pray with your understanding (in your own language) under the unction of the Spirit as you have to pray in tongues." Even before we receive the gift of tongues, the Holy Spirit is present to help us pray. But after we receive the gift of tongues, our prayer life is even more fruitful.

Jude's testimony is corroborated by Paul's declaration "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself"
(1 Corinthians 14:4). To edify means "to build up," just as edifice, from the same Latin root, denotes a building. How wonderful that God, in His love and wisdom, has provided the Spirit-filled believer with this method of approaching His throne to augment his faith and to build himself up spiritually!

Years ago I visited Charlie Young, a member of my men's Bible class, who was very ill. Painful boils in his ears had rendered him quite deaf. Because of this, conversation was almost impossible, even though I shouted at him. At last I suggested prayer, and we knelt together.

I rose from my knees frustrated and grieved because he still could not hear. As I prepared to leave, the Holy Spirit led me to lay my hands on his head. I did so, and words poured from my lips in a language I had never learned. I could feel something like electricity in my hands that made them tingle. Tears were streaming down Charlie's face.

"Lift your hands and praise the Lord," I instructed him. "You re healed!"

Charlie did so, and heaven came down to bless our souls. We laughed, wept, and embraced each other. Outside, I turned back to ask, "You can hear now, can't you, Charlie?"

He wiped tears of joy from his eyes. All he could say was, "Glory-glory-glory!" But he could hear.

In Romans Paul tells us that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Not only does the Spirit reveal Calvary's love, but He gives us a Christ-like compassion for sinners, backsliders, the sick and afflicted, the poor and needy.

To pray "in the Spirit" the believer must keep filled with the Spirit. This will keep a song of praise in his heart and thankfulness upon his lips
(Ephesians 5:19-20). A Spirit-filled man is a prayerful man, and his prayers, activated by the Holy Ghost, are golden keys to unlock heaven's treasure house.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." This promised power was poured out at Pentecost, and the amazing history of the Early Church was written by the Holy Ghost.
In Acts 6:5 we find a layman, Stephen, "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." Three verses later he is described as "full of faith and power."

Some months after my experience with Charlie Young, I became a pastor. A peculiar condition developed in my prayer life that kept me awake nights. Day after day as I prayed in the Holy Ghost, I was startled to hear the Spirit speak one word of English- Lena. It was the name of an unsaved young lady who had helped my wife several years before. She now lived in another town, and we had not seen her for years.

One Saturday I said to my wife, "Let's go see Lena. I feel that she is in trouble."

"What makes you think so?" she asked.

I explained my experience in prayer. Since my wife was very busy, she suggested that I take the evangelist who was with us in meetings. When we arrived at the town 40 miles away, neither Lena nor her sister Vivian was home. Their mother was surprised and a little frightened when I explained the reason for my visit. She confessed that she couldn't "do anything with the girls."

Two weeks from that day I preached Vivian's funeral! She was killed in a car crash at an intersection within sight of the lighted cross on our church.

Lena was deeply moved. She began to attend our Sunday services, driving the 40 miles to church each week. A few months later she gave her heart to God. Finally she became our Sunday school superintendent, a very faithful and efficient officer.

If we are to enjoy the benefits and blessings of power with God, we must be fully surrendered to Him. We must shut out all worldliness and be shut in with God. We must be led by the Spirit in our prayer life. We must not neglect the Word of God, which is Spirit and life.

"Praying in the Holy Ghost" is not restricted to the pastor or evangelist, but is the privilege of every Spirit-filled believer. Since the gift of tongues plays an important part, every layman should by all means press in to receive this gift from God.

In his well-known book Ever-increasing Faith, Wigglesworth illuminates this matter of the gift of tongues. He says, "After receiving the baptism in the Holy Ghost, I didn't speak in tongues again for nine months. This troubled me because I was laying hands on people to receive the Holy Ghost, and they were speaking in tongues; but I did not have the joy of speaking myself. God withheld this gift from me to show me that the speaking in tongues when I received the baptism was distinct from the gift of tongues which He gave me nine months later. He knew I would meet many who would claim that the baptism of the Holy Ghost can be received without speaking in tongues, and others would say the gift of tongues is received at the Baptism."

He went on to say, "It is not a luxury to be filled with the Spirit— but it is a must, a divine command...."

What a wonderful church we would have if all the members, filled with the Spirit, practiced praying in the Holy Ghost! We would witness a glorious revival of first-century Christianity! Then the prayer of faith
(James 5:15), signs following the believer
(Mark 16:17-18), and faith, power, wonders, and miracles
(Acts 6:8) would make the mighty impact on this evil and apostate age that God intends His church to make."

This article quoted from the
THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, JANUARY 23, 1972, pages 13-14

"Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers,
pray for power equal to your tasks."
-Phillips Brooks

Imprinting Inferiority
By ELSIE BOLTON EZZO

"What effect does name-calling have on a child? What does it do to his sense of worth and self-confidence?

A mother in a church nursery screamed at little Johnny when he spilled his juice on the floor: "You stupid, careless dummy!" Then she yanked him out of the chair and spanked him soundly.

The child burst into tears and ran to the corner sobbing.

Are you guilty of calling your children derogatory names such as "lazy, good-for-nothing brat?" Do you say, "Shut up"; "You'll never amount to anything in this world"; or, "You haven't got a brain in your head?"

A boy in a first grade class called a girl a bad name. When corrected by the teacher, he seemed puzzled and said, "But my mother says it all the time!"

Unthinking parents can easily imprint a sense of inferiority upon the personality of a child with this kind of language. If the derogatory language continues through childhood and into the teen years, the child may conclude he has little intrinsic value and will suffer the effects of a poor self-image. This can seriously affect his personality growth, mental development, and spiritual relationship with God.

My husband and I tried to build a feeling of worth in our three sons. We took time to watch their Little League games, supervise their homework, and take them camping.

When one of them was struggling in school, I told him, "I know you can do the work. You need to apply yourself to the job and stop your day dreaming." Although it took many years, the message finally got through. Since then he has earned a master's degree in physics and has become a physicist in a reputable company.

John M. Drescher, in his "Checklist for Fathers," wrote: "If I were starting my family again...I would express words of appreciation and praise more often. Many children seldom hear words of commendation and encouragement when they do a job well or exhibit good behaviour...Probably no other thing encourages a child to love life, to seek accomplishment and to gain confidence more than proper, sincere praise- not flattery, but honest compliments when he does well..."

Drescher continued: "In listening I would pay more careful attention to my child's questions. It is estimated that the average child asks 500,000 questions by the age of 15. What a privilege for every parent— unlimited opportunities to share something about the meaning of life and about your own dependence upon God!"

In building their children's character and sense of worth, parents need to draw heavily on the Word of God.

After wrestling with God to give her a child, Hannah was given the promise of a son. When he was born, she called him Samuel, which means "asked of God." As a godly Jewish mother, Hannah taught him the Word of God. This, along with God's call, prepared Samuel for a life dedicated to God's work. All through his life Samuel was reminded of his name; that he was God's property; and that he was answerable to God for his life and conduct.

Haveman, Wolfe, and Finnie wrote in The Vulnerable: "Children's wellbeing has important life-cycle consequences. The productivity and attainments of adults rest on their well-being as children and on the investments their parents and society generally have made in them during their formative years"

Just as we put money in the bank for emergency and project uses, so we need to invest wisely in our children. Build up their worth and train them in the principles of God's Word. The dividends will pay off with children in whom you will delight, and a generation that will reap the blessings of God."

Elsie Bolton Ezzo was an Assemblies of God minister. She and her husband Domenick pastored First Assembly of God in Utica, New York.

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, OCTOBER 28, 1990, Number 3990, pages 10-11.

Life has many choices-
Eternity has two:
What's yours?

I need my church family
By Anonymous

"A divorcce pleads
I am the divorced woman in your church. I cannot speak for the others who are divorced as to when or why it happened. I was given no choice because of my circumstances, and I accepted Jesus alter I was divorced.

My sins have been forgiven, just like yours. But some of you don't seem to want to forgive me. God's Word tells me I am a new creation
(2 Corinthians 5:17) and God is no respecter of persons
(Romans 2:11). God does not condemn me
(Romans 8:1). Sometimes it seems the world offers more acceptance and forgiveness than the church does.

Maybe it's because you don't understand me and my circumstances. Or maybe it's because you didn't respond to me when I came looking for friends and fellowship. I didn't let that stop me, however, and I kept coming back to church.

Think of the divorced women in your congregation. Then let me ask you these questions: Am I faithful in my attendance? Are my children with me? Do they sit with me during service? Are my children well-behaved? Am I friendly and willing to do what I can to help others and our church?

Now consider the married couples with children. Can you get the same answers to the same questions about them?

I know we all have hectic lives. Like many married women, I work outside the home. When I get home from work at night, like others, I'm tired. But once I'm home, I must face another day's household chores plus the kids— alone. That means singlehandedly seeing to ball practice, music lessons, school activities, and church outings. Plus we try to find time to pray and share what is going on in our lives. All this in the midst of laundry, housework, and keeping the car and house in good repair. It's discouraging.

Then there is the matter of finances. I have been told I need to save money. How? Most of us work for small wages. Many times we do without child support, or we receive very little. In some instances we also have to pay child care. Is it any wonder I can't afford a lot of new clothes or attend many of the women's functions, because of time and money restrictions?

Please remeber that some of us have been alone a long time- years- with the children. It takes hard work and courage to raise kids alone.

Don't assume I'm OK. No one is always OK. I need friends, too. Sure, you greet me in church; then you tend to go off to your group of friends. You are always together. Then I see you embrace new families- married families- that come into our church.

I do find I spend time with other divorced women in the church who have experienced the same things I have. But if you would just take the hand I have extended to you, I think you would be pleasantly surprised to find I am friendly, bright, and eager to be a friend. I need my church family.

I am so happy to be forgiven. My life was really gone when Jesus came in and set me free. I come to church to fellowship and praise, worship, and learn about our Lord as we are told to do
(Hebrews 10:25). And He gave me a love for others I didn't know was possible.

Please look past my circumstances and see me. I want to get to know you better and share your life too. I'm trying to reach out to you. Will you give me a chance to be a friend?

Don't forget the widows and other singles too."

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, OCTOBER 28, 1990, Number 3990, page 11.

God wants a whole heart
But
Will accept a broken one

Sour Grapes
by RICHARD G. CHAMPION

A Father's Example:
"An interesting proverb is recorded in the Old Testament: "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge"
(Ezekiel 18:2; see also Jeremiah 31:29). Its one of those proverbs you can almost feel. Anyone who has ever eaten anything sour has a good idea of what it does to your mouth.

But why would a father's eating sour grapes set his children's teeth on edge? Father's Day is a good time to remind us fathers that what we say and do has a definite— and usually lasting— impact on our offspring.

When Abijam became king of Judah, Scripture says "he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him"
(1 Kings 15:3). His father was King Rehoboam whose stubbornness resulted in the kingdom being divided. "The sins. . . which he had done before him" may primarily relate to chronological time. But Abijam grew up in Rehoboam's house. And "before" could certainly mean "in the presence of." He saw his father's sins and by that was influenced to do evil.

It doesn't have to be that way. Dad, you come home tired after a hard day's work. You may not feel like playing or even being pleasant. But your children haven't seen you all day. They eagerly await your return. They need your companionship and affection. They must see you as more than someone who disciplines them. You need to play with them, to plan activities for the family, to give them of yourself. Don't wait until they are older, Dad; too much time has already been wasted.

They need to hear you also as their teacher. It isn't enough to be an example— although example is extremely important. You need to remember
Joshua 4:21,22: "When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come...then you shall let your children know..." Don't depend on Mother to answer all their questions. Of course, the father has a spiritual obligation as head of the house. Some refer to the father as the priest in his house. I know what they mean, but the term bothers me. Priesthood suggests limited access. Only the priests could offer sacrifices; the people had to come through the priests. One of the doctrines of the New Testament is the priesthood of all believers. Everyone who trusts in Christ has direct access to Him through grace and faith. If we use the term "priesthood" in referring to the duties of the father, are we inadvertently teaching our children they have to go through someone else to get to God?

In both instances in the Old Testament where the proverb about sour grapes was mentioned. God said it would no longer be true. While children are affected by what their parents do, they will not be responsible for parents' sins: "Every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge"
(Jeremiah 31:30).

Remember, Dad, your children's earliest ideas of what the Heavenly Father is like will largely be determined by what they see in you."

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, JUNE 16, 1991, Number 4023, page 3

God has not called you to
SIT
but to
SERVE

How to be a Partner With God
by By R.D.E. SMITH

"Would you like to get an idea from God that will launch you into a place where you can make money and use that money for the Kingdom? If so, consider the following:

First, you must be willing to face the dangers of being rich. Does that surprise you? First,
Timothy 6:8,9 reads, "And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content- But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many and hurtful lusts, which drown men." Paul couldn't have chosen a better term than "drown" to describe what happens to the man caught up in the snare of materialism.

"For the love of money is the root of all evil," Paul continued. Those who err from the faith in their pursuit of wealth eventually find themselves "pierced . . . through with many sorrows"
(verse 10). "But thou, 0 man of God, flee these things," he added
(verse 11).

You have a choice. You can live quietly and humbly and let God keep you comfortable; but if you search for money for money's sake, there's the warning for you.

While I was pastoring First Assembly of God in Binghamton, New York, our church was privileged to assist in launching two colleges overseas— one in Kenya and and other in Portugal. We didn't pay the entire cost, but we supplied a generous amount. The same was true with the publishing house in Nigeria. We made that need our year's project and raised enough to make it possible.

Then came the civil war in Nigeria. It seemed for a time that we would survive that crisis, but we didn't. One day the telephone rang. Andrew Hargrave, the missionary in charge, was on the line. He said, "Brother Smith, I have bad news. The civil war has swept into Lagos where our publishing house is, and everything has been burned."

At least a million dollars had been put into that work. I asked myself. How am I going to tell our people that they have sacrificed so much of their very living to no purpose? That it is wiped out in one act of military vandalism?

That night was to be our monthly board meeting. Every member of that board had been both financially and emotionally involved. Two of them had gone overboard in their generosity. There sat 12 men waiting for me to speak.

"Brethren, I have bad news for you," I began. "All the money we have poured into that publishing house in Nigeria has gone up in flames because of civil war. It's all gone."

What are they going to say? I wondered.

Then one of those two men, with a wry smile on his face, looked me in the eye and said, "Well, I guess that's our burnt sacrifice."

What a statement. I didn't take it lightly. For implicit in it was a philosophy of money that guides and helps a person do something significant for God. There's no love of money in that. If it's burned, it's a burnt sacrifice. It was given to God; it wasn't given to the church. It wasn't given to the Nigerian field. It wasn't given to me. It was given to God, and what happened to it was God's business. What's important to remember is that our survival is God's business. He'll take care of us.

There is a philosophy of money overlooked by many today, even within the church. It is this: A scriptural philosophy of money is applicable to any place, any society, or any culture. It will work in Africa, Ethiopia, Argentina, and Brazil; and it will work in poverty or in a revolution. Any scriptural philosophy of money is universal and will fit any situation.

Philippians 4:11,12 expresses an important aspect of this philosophy. There Paul wrote, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound." The operative word here is how. Paul said, "I know how to act when I'm poor, and I know how to act when I'm rich. I know how to be abased; I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." Whether he was rich or poor, it made no difference to Paul. It was all in God's plan. His survival was God's work, not his own.

Another question we need to ask in relation to our philosophy about wealth and being a partner with God is, "Am I a producer or a consumer?" That's the crux of the whole matter.

This question must be addressed in light of
Mark 4:24, a passage that could be titled "The Law of Remuneration." It reads, "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you."

I have in my files testimonials from some amazing men. One is a member of the Assemblies of God church in Richmond Hill, Long Island. Several years ago he heard me speak about getting an idea from God. So he prayed, "God, give me an idea." (This was before the energy crunch that hit our country.) The response to his prayer was, "Why don't you make wood-burning stoves?" And that's exactly what he did. He was the first on Long Island to start making the stoves, and he has built a tremendous business from that idea.

Another man in New England also received an idea and invented a drill attachment that strips paint. He eventually sold the patent to Sears Roebuck where you can still buy the device. "All I needed from God was an idea," he stated.

Another principle is this: In whatever business you are engaged, plan to pay two tithes. Those who desire to be a business partner with God enter a formal agreement with God. They recognize that a corporation in the eyes of the law is a person. So they pay tithes on their individual income as well as on their business income. Before they get their salary or disburse funds in any other way, the business pays a tithe.

I know people who have become business partners with God in this way and have prospered. God has honored their commitment to tithe on the business income.

There is a caution, however. Your business must be administered for God, not for yourself. For His gain, not for your own.

It is important also that your actions be based on faith and not presumption. Presumption says that if I give to God, He will automatically pour out His blessings. Faith, on the other hand, says I will give to God because His Word commands it, and God will take care of my needs in His own way. Faith does not presume or stipulate anything.

Faith operates on a strain, but never puts us under a strain. When a violinist tunes his E string, he tightens it until it sounds exactly as it should. He puts the string on a strain but not under a strain. It will not break when tuned to the required pitch.

Being a partner with God and doing what is required to serve Him will put us on a strain but never under a strain. We will not be broken or crushed by our obedient service to Him.

Stewardship can be summed up in this proposition: Stewardship is what happens to mine because of what happens to me. Faith is trusting God with what happens to my money, to my circumstances, to my program, to my business, because of what has happened to me. And whatever happens, I don't need to be desperate or presumptuous, but simply rest in the fact that opportunities come to faith.

All we need to dp is pray that God will illumine our minds and give us His ideas. When those ideas come and resources increase, we can then devote them to meeting needs as God directs.

Become a partner with God and see what He can do."

R.D.E. Smith served as an executive presbyter of the Assemblies of God (1976-1987). He lived in Vestal, New York.

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, JUNE 16, 1991, Number 4023, pages 8,9, and 23.

Life is Messy-
It doesn't come in
Neat little packages

THE EARLY DAYS RECALLED

"We cannot go back to 1909, nor can all the methods used in those days be followed successfully in 1979. But a beautiful simplicity characterized the Pentecostal movement in those early days, and it is refreshing to read some of the historical accounts.

The accompanying article consists of extracts from 1909 issues of The Upper Room, a paper edited by Elmer Fisher and George Studd, pastors of the Upper Room Mission in Los Angeles, California.

Early in 1909 the Pentecostal revival came to Secunderabad, India. The Holy Spirit came suddenly upon the Christians as they were gathered in a prayer meeting. Conviction gripped their hearts, and their prayer of contrition was like the roar of a cataract. A report of the event said:

"The heathen outside came running from every direction, looking in at every window and watching the novel proceedings. As the Christians, breaking through to God and coming out under the fiery baptism, lifted their rapt and ecstatic faces, the heathen went home to their villages, reporting with awe, "The Christians have seen their God."

One of the first things noted in the lives of those who had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit was that their countenance shone. There was a radiance which gave evidence that "they had been with Jesus"
(Acts 4:13).

Concerning the reality of Christ, the wife of Pastor Polman of Amsterdam, Holland, testified after having received the baptism in the Holy Spirit: "It is a wonderful experience, and I never can understand what people fear about it. Jesus is a reality! Oh! I don't want to know anything more than that Jesus is living in me. I praise Him for that, that He is living— the Father and the Son have made their abode in my heart; and when I think of that, I am all spirit, soul, and body bowed down in reverence before Him."

A missionary who for many years, before the outpouring of the Latter Rain, had been blessedly used of God on foreign fields, wrote to The Upper Room: "In seeking the Baptism I lost sight of tongues and got my eyes fixed on Jesus; then He gave me a vision. I saw myself an empty shell, and I saw Jesus come down from the cross, so, so plain! He came down and entered my body, pushing His head up into my head, His hands into my hands, His feet into my feet, taking full possession of me." No wonder that she exclaimed in an ecstasy of praise, "Oh! let us adore Jesus!"

One person exclaimed as he was being filled with the Spirit: "Oh! this love. Oh, such love! Oh, my heart bursts with love, love, love! Oh, this joy! Such joy. This poor tongue can never find any words to tell of this love, this joy!"

Love was a marked characteristic of those who were filled with the Holy Spirit. There was love for God and for Christ, His Son; love for the saints of the worldwide communion; and love for sinners for whom Christ died.

Pastor Emil Humburg of Germany wrote: "The Lord is so wonderful in His church, in which He is revealing the fruit of the Spirit. Besides giving to us the oil of joy, He has poured out upon us richly the oil of love, so much so that all love each other truly and know themselves to be united together in Jesus."

Love for the Word of God accompanied love for God himself. "The Pentecostal people," wrote the editor of The Upper Room, "love the Word of God, and all of it. They are not afraid of the supernatural in it, for they have an Almighty God, and they have supernatural experiences themselves. Hallelujah!"

A little sermon on praise from the pages of The Upper Room not only shows the spirit of that day, but serves well as an exhortation for us today:

"Yes, praise is comely; and joyfulness in the service of the Lord is safe; indeed, it is the only safe way."

"See what a solemn warning the Lord gave to Israel of old when He said: "Because thou servest not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things; therefore thou shalt serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger and in thirst, and in nakedness and in want."

"Think of it; if you don't serve the Lord with joy and gladness, then you will soon be forced to serve your enemies in hunger, thirst, and general want. How important a grace then is joy! It is a fruit of the Spirit; and the kingdom of God is....."righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

Great was the variety of opinions concerning the work which the Lord was doing, and diversified were the teachings of those among whom the work was done. Yet in spite of differences of opinion, there was tolerance and unity of spirit. The magazine quoted freely from people of different faiths. One thing bound them together: they strove to honor the Holy Spirit.

A remarkable paragraph illustrates this work of the Spirit: "A monk from South Wales (Father Ignatius' brethren) was present. In personal conversation he said five of them in that convent in South Wales were seeking Pentecost. God is certainly caring very little, it seems, whether one has this or that garb on, or belongs to this or that group of Christians. Love is melting us together. Praise God!"

But tolerance and fellowship with others did not make these Spirit-filled believers tolerant toward anything that smacked of sin. Sin was hated and was to be renounced before ever the baptism in the Spirit could be sought. All the revivals began with confession of sin.

Brother Junk reported from Tsao-Hsien, Shantung Province, North China: "We have just gone through 12 days' meeting, night and day, as it is Chinese New Year. The people came by the hundreds, and we pressed the battle while we had the chance. Hallelujah! On the third day the power of God fell and swept from 200 to 300 to the floor; and oh, such a praying and crying for mercy, and such confessing of sin!"

In the revival at the Methodist Mission in Chile there was a wholesale turning from sin. They reported:

"In February after a month of daily prayer by just five of us, the Lord began to work in the hearts of the people. There came first, of course, a spirit of prayer, then great conviction of sin which bore great fruit in confession, reconciliation, restitution. This continued for some months."

"We ourselves also received great blessing, but no Baptism. At the end of June, the Lord began manifesting His power, and soon a number were baptized with the accompanying sign."

"Repentance, confession, and restitution," were the first things listed in the statement of what the Upper Room Mission taught. This seems to have been universal.

The testimony of a man saved in the Upper Room tells how he made many wrongs right at his conversion, and then as he began to tarry for the baptism in the Spirit, God brought to his memory still another matter to be made right. When on a drunken spree he had taken $100 from the pocket of a companion while he was drunk and asleep.

This convert asked the church to pray that God would help him find the man he had wronged. After a time he felt impressed that the man was in Perris, California. Upon making inquiries, he found he was working on a farm some miles out.

He hired a buggy, drove out, and found the man in the field. There he confessed his sin and told how he had been saved by the blood of Jesus. He then wrote a check and settled it all.

An account from China says: "We do praise God that He is working in spite of all the enemy can do. A Chinese brother, a teacher in one of the government colleges, went to his home 500 miles away to make restitution! And just after coming back he got a mighty Baptism."

Much was made of the manifestation of the Spirit, nor was there any apology for what the Spirit did. There were constant references to the operation of the Spirit upon the body of the believer. It was taught that one's entire being must be yielded to the Lord for Him to do with it as He pleased.

One writer commented: "The manifestations in the present great outpouring of the Holy Ghost have been and still are something wonderful. All the manifestations witnessed in the great revivals of the last 200 years seem to have reappeared and others that have not been seen before since the days of the apostles. God has visited His people, and mighty signs and wonders are following."

Yet with the teaching that the Spirit should operate upon the entire being, there was definite instruction concerning a crucified life.

Alexander Boddy, of Sunderland, England, taught: "As we appropriate His death as our death and yield up even our spirit to God, so shall we be sharers of His resurrection and be controlled and permeated by God the Holy Spirit. We have not recognized that all our being must be "under the blood" or yielded to death; and that is why, when the Holy Spirit has taken possession of us, the human or natural has given way to excessive manifestations and thereby stumbled many, and, what is of more importance, hindered the deeper work of God in the whole being. So the Holy Spirit is transforming us by getting our minds turned from ourselves to Jesus."

Divine healing was closely associated with the operation of the Holy Spirit upon the body. And there were reports of notable miracles.

Prayer was conversation with the Father through the Spirit, and it was made without ceasing. Typical is one illustration:

"A few weeks ago we had a truly wonderful deliverance from insanity in the case of a bright young woman of a nice Christian family. It was not accomplished by a single prayer, but it took a regular campaign of united prayer, night and day for nearly 5 days. Relays of workers were kept at the home to watch and pray continuously, for it was a desperate fight with the powers of darkness. But oh, how precious has been the deliverance and the testimony of the sister in our meetings."

It was expected that God would supply what money was needed for the support of His work. The first mention of money in The Upper Room was this report:

"On Sunday, May 9 (1909), at the close of the morning service in the Upper Room Mission, some of the letters from South Africa were read to the assembly. Brother Fisher then reminded us that, though we never take collections in the Upper Room, any who wanted to send an offering to help push the needs of the Pentecostal missionaries there could hand such offerings to our secretary for foreign missions. God laid the burden of it on His children, and within a week more than $500 was brought in."

There were problems with the work; the leaders recognized there was much for them yet to learn; but they endeavored to let the Spirit guide in the mighty work which was being done.

Brother Fisher said:
"If you honor the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ will always be exalted. We must honor Him in our individual lives. Many of the fleshly efforts that come forth through man would be avoided if we would tarry for the Holy Spirit."

"One place that we should honor the Holy Spirit especially is in directing the meetings. Many leaders are afraid to commit a meeting to the Holy Spirit and trust Him fully. They think that to commit a meeting in that way to the Spirit would induce a state of anarchy and would permit crooked spirits to have the right of way."

"But not so; in the Upper Roqm Mission we have found that God the Holy Spirit is able to control and protect His own work. It has been beautiful to see Him bring to light hidden things that they might be rebuked, often overthrowing the work of the enemy when it would have been impossible for human wisdom to prevail."

"The duty of the leader of the meeting is to see that the channel is kept open for Jesus Christ to be exalted and the Holy Spirit to be honored. Things will come up that are hard to handle; crooked spirits will try to get in with their manifestations, even after you have committed a meeting to God. But trust Him; keep in prayer; and you will see the word of wisdom go forth, a rebuke, or exhortation, that will close the door on the enemy and show the victory won."

"God can use any member of the Body, and often He gives the more abundant honor of the weaker members."

The matter is summarized in a statement by Brother Studd:

"No one who comes much in contact with Pentecostal people and the Pentecostal movement can fail to recognize the following among other characteristic points about them:

1. They always exalt Jesus Christ and honor His precious blood.

2. They honor the Holy Spirit; they give Him room to work and expect His operations.

3. They are earnestly looking for the coming of the Lord. It is almost a watchword in their lives and in their services, "Jesus is coming so soon."

4. They are certainly a missionary people. They have a burning desire to spread the gospel far and near; and to this end they pray, and give, and go as only Pentecostal people can.

5. They really do trust God for money, seldom taking collections and never begging.

6. The spirit of praise, of worship, and of prayer that is manifested in their private lives and in their meetings is phenomenal, to say the least.

7. Their joy and liberty in the Spirit are very marked. To those who are not too loaded down with prejudice, this is a very attractive and convincing feature of the Pentecostal experience. Who does not want to be happy and free in God?"

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, MARCH 18, 1979, pages 6-8

A smile
Adds to
Your face value

HOW MUCH DO WE LOVE?
By JOE D. WILMOTH

"John 3:16 undoubtedly is the most quoted verse in the Bible, and rightly so. How better can the message of Scripture be summarized than in these words: "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."

This brief verse touches upon volumes, including the nature of God, His provision for man's salvation, the identity of Jesus, the response necessary for us to obtain salvation, and the consequence of our refusal to accept God's provision.

But the strongest message in this verse is that God expressed His love for us in a way that cost Him dearly: "God so loved . . . that he gave."

God's love is not mere sentimentality or theory or just words. It is proven and practical. No wonder
John 3:16 is so highly cherished.

By divine "coincidence," the same verse of the same chapter of the same writer's first epistle closely parallels this message: "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us"
(1 John 3:16).

Again we see a clear picture of God's love in action. But this verse goes a step further. As it continues it tells us what our response to God's love should be: "And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

We cannot be content merely to appreciate or accept God's love toward us. As His children, the begotten of His love, we must show the same character as our Father— love in action. God has given His best for us, and He demands that we give our best to our brothers and sisters in need.

The next verse is even more specific: "But whoso hath this world's goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"
(1 John 3:17).

The love we show must be of the same quality as God's love. It cannot be only theoretical or sentimental. It must be concrete and practical. Our love finds expression in meeting the physical needs of others in the household of faith.

Bible-believing Christians often have been criticized for placing more emphasis on spiritual needs than on physical needs. Fundamentalists, critics say, have a "pie-in-the-sky" religion.

The scriptural priority is consistently on the spiritual needs of man. But if our spiritual relationship with God is right we will respond to people in need, particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ.

There is no getting around it: if we accept God's love, we must show His love. How can we say we love God if we do not have genuine action-producing compassion for His children in their times of need?

Avenues for showing God's love are all around us. Yet sometimes it is difficult to determine the effective and efficient means of demonstrating God's love to people in need. The Assemblies of God Benevolences Department is a channel that has been established to show compassion to aged ministers, homeless and neglected children, and churches struck by natural disasters.

Aged Ministers Assistance (AMA) is the ministry to retired Assemblies of God ministers or their widows who are in financial need. These pioneers of the gospel have shown God's love to others throughout their lives. Now all they have left are memories and financial problems. Through AMA, we can express our love by helping to meet their need.
http://ag.org/ama

Hillcrest Children's Home in Hot Springs, Arkansas, is one of the Benevolences child care ministries to homeless and neglected children. Hillcrest is home to almost 90 children who, for one reason or another, cannot be placed in foster homes. Group care is never ideal, but every effort is made by the dedicated staff at Hillcrest to provide a Christian homelike atmosphere in which each child's physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. Here God's love is also expressed!

Highlands Child Placement Service is another Benevolences child care ministry. At Highlands, homeless infants and children who are able to be adopted are placed in good Christian homes. Also unmarried mothers, through Highlands Unmarried Mothers Program, receive Christian counseling as well as love and physical care. The ministry of Highlands provides us with a unique way of showing the love of God.
http://agfamilyservices.org

The Disaster Relief Fund is yet another avenue for showing God's love. Assemblies of God churches which are damaged or destroyed by natural disasters receive help from this fund. Without this help, many would not be able to continue their work of spreading the gospel.
http://ag.org/disaster

God loved us so much that He gave us His only Son. How much do we love?"

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, JANUARY 11, 1981, pages 19-20
JOE D. WILMOTH was Director of Publications, First Assembly of God, New Orleans, Louisiana at that time.

The best sermon
Is a good example

Whose approval really counts?
By Richard D. Dobbins

"When confronted by our peers, we become aware of two deep universal needs: to be liked and not to be disliked. Often, these needs determine whether we conform to the pressure or contend for divine approval.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus faced this test and passed it. He could have become intoxicated with the adulation of the crowd. He embodied their hopes and dreams of a political messiah. The Pharisees and Sadducees, who refused to believe Jesus was the Son of God, feared Jesus would succumb to the praise of the crowd, allow himself to be hailed as the Messiah and there would be no more need for them. The Romans feared Jesus would lead a political insurrection. So their mutual fears made them unlikely collaborators in plotting the death of Jesus.

But Jesus was not seeking the approval of the crowd; He was seeking the approval of His Heavenly Father.

A few days later, Peter fell into the trap that often motivates us to deny God's best and highest for our lives. He wanted to be liked by the crowd outside of Pilate's judgment hall. Or, at best, he feared the consequences of being disliked by them. So, he denied he was a follower of Jesus. Later, when the trial was over, Peter wept bitterly as he saw the countenance of his Lord.

Jesus knew how quickly the praise of the crowd would evaporate when confronted with the religious and political pressures of the moment. So, He refused to be moved by them. He knew whose approval really counts.

Remember how good it feels when you resist the pressure of your peers and identify yourself as a Christian. Walking away from those moments you can celebrate the joy of Christian authenticity and escape the shame and embarrassment of a cowardly faith."

This article quoted from the
Pentecostal Evangel, October 15, 2000, page 26
Richard D. Dobbins, Ph.D., and Jerry Quails were cohosts of the Assemblies of God radio program "From This Day Forward." Dobbins, a psychologist, was also founder of "EMERGE Ministries," a counseling center in Akron, Ohio.

God answers "Knee Mail"

Soap or slime?
By Larry Hatfield

"A preacher and an agnostic were discussing religion. The agnostic asked, "Why are there so many messed up lives if God is such a powerful God? It looks like He would do something about the chaos in the world if He really could."

At that moment a small boy walked by, caked with mud. A recent rain had left puddles everywhere, and it appeared the boy had managed to walk through every one of them. The preacher asked the cynic: "Why do you suppose that little boy is so filthy, since there is so much soap and water available?"

All the soap and water in the world won't clean one square inch of filth if it isn't applied. Likewise, the moral sludge on the human race is not there because of a shortage of a cleansing agent. The little boy liked mud puddles. Our problem is our affinity for sin.

History's pages are soiled with man's love for mud. When God said, "Don't go near the water," we couldn't resist the urge to splash. The propensity for sin is something we're born with. The desire for the down and dirty churns in our guts. God's words, "Thou shalt not," inflame passion for the forbidden. The disallowed piques our taste for the taboo. When God says, "No," we ask, "Why?"

Thus begins the process of ignoring soap and embracing slime. "Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed"
(James 1:14, NIV).

Soap or slime? It's a choice no one can make for you ... not even God."

This article quoted from the
Pentecostal Evangel, October 15, 2000, page 26
Larry Hatfield was pastor at Chickasha, Oklahoma at that time.

"Love the Lord with all your
Heart, mind, and soul"
-Jesus Christ

Quenching The Divorce Epidemic
By J.P. McCamey

"A couple left a cafe. When they were 10 miles away, the wife said, "Oh, turn back. I left my glasses at the cafe."

All the way back, the husband complained that they were losing time. When they reached the cafe, he said, "While you're in there, you might as well get my hat."

The growing divorce epidemic could be turned around if each person would speak sweet words.

Isador Strauss, 67, founder of Macy's, and his wife, Ida, 63, were about to leave the sinking Titanic. Isador stepped back, as other men did. His wife then left the lifeboat to stay on ship with her husband. Survivors said they last saw the couple embracing as the ship sank. The epitaph on their memorial marker in the Bronx says, "Many waters cannot quench love."

Such love will help quench the growing divorce epidemic, for "gentle words cause life and health; griping brings discouragement"
(Proverbs 15:4, Living Bible).

This article quoted from the
Pentecostal Evangel, October 15, 2000, page 26
J.P. McCamey, Bloomington, Indiana

Make a habit of getting even with people
Not those you think wronged you
But those you know who helped you

Are You Listening?
By James K. Bridges

"Jesus said to the church at Laodicea: "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me"
(Revelation 3:20, NKJV). We learn three things about God from this statement.

God is a speaking God.
God is not a golden idol sitting silently, refusing to communicate with bowing worshipers. He speaks to His people.
Hebrews 1:1,2 teaches that God has spoken in time past in various ways and at various times through the prophets, but has in these last days spoken to us by, in and through His Son.

We learn that God has chosen instruments through which He speaks. He has used apostles and prophets: "For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit"
(2 Peter 1:21). God has preserved their teachings, "that [we] may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior"
(2 Peter 3:2).

God speaks through His Word. Jesus said, "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life"
(John 6:63). Scripture is "given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness"
(2 Timothy 3:16). Esteem the Scriptures; through them God speaks.

God uses pastors, evangelists and teachers to be His spokespersons, We must listen carefully to godly parents and to friends who have our eternal interests at heart.

God speaks through the Holy Spirit who is superintending the Church's mission to evangelize the nations. The Spirit speaks to the lost, convincing them of sin, righteousness and judgment to come. He speaks to believers, guiding them into the truth. He does not speak of himself; He speaks of the things of Christ which He shares with the Church
(John chapter 16).

God is a seeking God.
Jesus said, "I... knock." Jesus also said, "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost"
(Luke 19:10).

God seeks men. No other religion has such a revelation. Man does not seek God; God takes the initiative and seeks man. In the Garden of Eden God was seeking Adam: "Where are you?"
(Genesis 3:9).

When Paul said, "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself"
(2 Corinthians 5:19), he referred to the greatest search of all time. God sent His Son not to condemn the world but "that the world through him might be saved"
(John 3:17). He knocks on human hearts because He knows that without Him we are lost.

God is a saving God.
To the one who hears and opens the door, Jesus promises to dine with him. This speaks of the fellowship which the Creator desires to have with the creature and the saving relationship which makes him a member of the family of God.

What a glorious future awaits those who open their heart's door and allow the only begotten Son of God to come in and dine. In light of this, I ask:
1. Are you listening?
2. To whom and to what are you listening?
3. To whom and to what are you responding?

The story of Samson would have been totally different had he listened and responded to the voices of his parents, the elders of Israel and the Spirit of God. Instead, he listened to his physical appetites and to heathens. Stripped of his strength and robbed of his eyesight, he was imprisoned and forced to listen to the grinding of the millstone he turned as he did the work of an animal. What a lesson for us.

Let us not listen to the world, the flesh or the devil. Let's listen to Jesus. He is speaking words of hope, not despair; life, not death; truth, not error; peace, not war; and joy, not sadness. Listen and respond. It will make all the difference in this world and in the world to come."

This article quoted from the PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, NOVEMBER 19, 2000, page 30
James K. Bridges was general treasurer of the Assemblies of God at that time.

Hope springs eternal
When
Jesus is our hope

Fresh Lessons From A Toddler
By Bill Carmichael

"Mark chapter 10 tells of some moms who were bringing their children to Jesus so He could bless them. The disciples, thinking that Jesus' agenda was much more important than messing with kids, shooed them away.

When Jesus saw what was happening, He rebuked His disciples: "I tell you as seriously as I know how that anyone who refuses to come to God as a little child will never be allowed into his Kingdom"
(Mark 10:15, Living Bible).

What did Jesus mean when He told His followers to "come to God as a little child"? Watch little children to catch a glimpse of Jesus' meaning.

I get so much delight from my grandkids, Will and Kendsy. Will is 3 and is loaded with questions and comments about the world around him. He loves to have stories read to him that open up dozens more questions. "Why" has become his most common word.

Kendsy, 9 months, smiles and points to everything. She is now recognizing faces. When she sees a face she recognizes (like mine!), she breaks into the most wonderful grin I've ever seen. It melts a grandpa's heart. Just being with them is wonderful. What I notice is something I was often too busy to notice when I was raising my own kids.

As I write this column, Kendsy and Will are visiting our house. Here are some lessons from them:

First, total dependence. Will and Kendsy are utterly and completely dependent on others to exist. They cannot meet their own needs or wants; and, if they were to be left completely alone for very long, they would surely die. But they aren't anxious or worried. They assume, unconsciously, that the fierce love of their parents and grandparents would never allow this to happen.

Jesus tells His followers that, if we human fathers know how to give good and necessary things to our children, how much more will our Heavenly Father give good and necessary things to His children. But do we really have that kind of utter dependence on Him?

Second, fresh sense of wonder. God's wonderful creation— bugs, birds, pinecones— fascinate them in ways I had forgotten.

In our search for more— even more of God— we must never forget the wonder of salvation, the essential message of the Cross and the fundamental truth of God's love.

Third, contentment. Capitalism demands consumption. Our children learn very young to desire more. Kendsy is still at the stage where a fresh diaper and a warm bottle make her utterly content. Her needs are met. Already Will, showered by stuff from Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, aunts and uncles, experiences boredom if nothing new is coming his way.

Paul reminded Timothy, "We did not bring anything with us when we came into this world, and we can't carry away a single penny when we die. So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing." He adds, "People who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded"
(1 Timothy 6:7-9). Our society that demands we buy more and more should cause all of us to ponder what contentment means.

Finally, innocence. Will and Kendsy have no hidden agendas and no ulterior motives. They have not yet learned to play head games, to harbor secret sins, to keep score on themselves or others, or to practice subtle deceit.

Truth and integrity are really childlike attributes. The innocence of little children is one of the powerful forces that draws us to them with the desire to protect them. I suspect God feels the same way when we come to Him as little children.

Dependence, wonder, contentment and innocence ... could this be what Jesus meant when He admonished His followers to become as little children?

I have to go now. Will wants to go look for birds and bugs and pinecones. I can hardly wait to see what both of us will learn today."

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, NOVEMBER 19, 2000, page 29
Bill and Nancie Carmichael were founding publishers of Christian Parenting Today magazine.

We set the sail
God makes the wind

Recycled "Evangels"
By Norwin Hutchcroft

"One of the things I find most difficult to do is toss a Pentecostal Evangel away. Yes, my wife at times throws up her hands and shakes her head. Still it was she who suggested building shelves from floor to ceiling in an alcove in the basement of our new home. This I've done, stacking the Evangels by years, 1974 and up.

What is the reason for this collection? They're certainly not stacked just to collect dust. I have a definite use in mind. But first each must go through a preparation process involving marking out the date on the cover and being stamped with three stamps. One says, "Disregard the date," etc. Another invites people to call for help or counseling, and gives our address. A third lists our church services.

The older Evangels are given out in the rest homes I visit (about 130 Evangels a week). Some are used by members of the church who canvass their neighborhoods.

Newer Evangels, no more than a year old, are used on what I call my Evangel route. On this route I service Evangel boxes in 18 laundromats, four barber shops, one grocery store, and one shoe repair store. Each time I service this route I use around 500 Evangels, plus a few Sunday school papers, copies of God's Word for Today, and tracts.

Reports come to us at various times revealing the blessings and uses of this magazine. We are told of one lady, a Christian believer, who was not allowed by her husband to attend church. So each week when she went to the laundromat to do her laundry, she searched through all the Evangels in the box to see which ones she had not read. (I try to keep a complete year of Evangels in each box.)

To this lady, the Evangel articles were her spiritual food and Bible lessons. She must have been well fed and well taught, for after the death of her husband she began preaching and teaching in various churches.

I have also learned of ministers who search through the Evangels in the laundromats for sermon material.

This literature doesn't always stay in Seattle. We've had reports of Evangels being sent to other states and countries.

Besides giving out the older Evangels, our home missions church buys 20 new Evangels each week which I leave at other places, including the nursing stations of a number of rest homes.

It was at a private shut-in home where God did a special work through the Evangels left there from Sunday to Sunday. Sister Boone enjoyed the articles each week and often sent the copies to her son in California. Later, however, he admitted that he paid little attention to them.

Then one day Joseph paid his mother a visit. During some idle time, his mother placed an Evangel in his hands and said, "Read it." He did— and enjoyed it.

When it was time for him to fly back home, his mother sent a number of Evangels with him. In all the rush, however, he left them in his sister's car. When she noticed them, she grabbed the bundle and dashed back into the airport, only to discover he had already boarded the plane. Still determined, she received permission to go on board and delivered the literature into his hands.

When up in the air and with nothing else to do, Joseph pulled one of the Evangels out and began reading. It was then that God began dealing with his heart. He kept on reading, and God kept speaking, until by the time he landed a definite work of God had begun in his life.

Now Joseph wanted everyone else to read the Evangels too, so he began taking them to his auto body shop and handing them out.

The incident ended with a long distance call to his sister, who had the privilege of leading him in a prayer for his salvation over the telephone. Actually, of course, it wasn't really an ending, but only a wonderful beginning which started through leaving an Evangel in a home every Sunday.

How many other beginnings have had their start with the hundreds of Evangels I have given out every month, only God knows. We hear only a few.

But when I walk into a laundromat to replenish one of the boxes with recycled Evangels, and a lady walks up to me and says, "Oh, good! I've been wondering when you'd be around with a new supply," I say, Praise the Lord! For before me I see another hungry soul who will be strengthened and helped through a piece of recycled literature God has enabled me to place in her hands."

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, July 18, 1982, page 12
Norwin Hutchcroft was pastor of East Side Assembly of God in Seattle, Washington, at that time.

Faithfulness with a small thing
Is a BIG thing

RUTH THE GLEANER
By VIRGINIA L. SCHNEIDER

"The little Book of Ruth, beautiful in content and style, is considered a literary classic. But it is more than that. Besides recording the ancestry of the Lord Jesus Christ through Ruth the Moabitess, the book abounds in spiritual truths.

Ruth the gleaner so beautifully pictures the soul winner whose ministry is not spectacular yet is essential to the kingdom of God. In God's harvest field
(Matthew 9:36-38) there is a job for everyone. Some He calls as reapers— those entrusted with a great number of souls— such as pastors, missionaries, and evangelists. Others He appoints as gleaners— the personal workers and various helpers whose ministry may be to the ones or twos or sixes or twelves.

Concerning this latter class— the gleaners— notice some vivid truths revealed in chapter 2 of the Book of Ruth.

The gleaner utilizes opportunities others pass by.

In Old Testament times the gleaner retraced the path of the reapers to pick up leftover grain. The Mosaic law specified that the reapers should purposely leave some gleanings for the poor and strangers.
(See Leviticus 19:10.)

Ruth, being a stranger in Israel, was entitled to glean. "And she went . . . and gleaned in the field after the reapers"
(verse 3). Her keen eye sought not to overlook even one precious stalk of grain.

God counts every soul precious in His sight. He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance"
(2 Peter 3:9).

Though Jesus ministered to the masses, He did not neglect the individual. He "must needs go through Samaria"
(John 4:4) to witness to one lone woman at the well. He stopped the thronging crowd at Jericho to heed the cries of one blind man
(Mark 10:46-52). To one inquiring young man He explained clearly the way to eternal life
(Matthew 19:16-22).

If Jesus esteemed one soul of great value, shouldn't we also? All about us are the sick, shut-ins, discouraged, sorrowing, lonely, perplexed, and unsaved who plead for someone to care. Let's not pass them by!

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

Canon Farrar has written,
"I am one only, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
What I can do I ought to do;
And what I ought to do
By the grace of God I will do!"

The gleaner is willing to serve where needed.

Ruth was willing to glean wherever she could find a place. She said, "Let me now go to the field, and glean . . . after him in whose sight I shall find grace"
(verse 2).

After she expressed her willingness to serve anywhere, she "happened" to enter into part of the field belonging to Boaz
(see verse 3). This was another of those providential circumstances arranged by the guiding hand of God. For Boaz, taking note of the diligent worker, said to her, "Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens"
(verse 8).

Ruth had found her place of service in accordance with the will of the Lord of the harvest. Likewise when we unreservedly seek to do the Lord's bidding, He will lead us into His perfect plan and assign us our place in the harvest. Paul was shown his God-appointed ministry after he wholly surrendered himself to God.
(See Acts 9:6,16.)

Christ as our Lord and Master has the prerogative to do what He wills with His own.
(See Matthew 20:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20.) As C. Austin Miles has written,
"It is not mine to question the judgments of my Lord,
It is but mine to follow the leadings of His Word;
But if to go or stay, or whether here or there,
I'll be, with my Saviour, content anywhere!"

(This poem from "If Jesus Goes With Me," © 1908 by Hall-Mack Co. Renewed 1936, The Rodeheaver Co. Used by permission.)

The gleaner labors diligently and faithfully.

It was observed of Ruth, "She came, and hath continued even from the morning until now"
(verse 7).

She was a diligent worker who did not waste time. Harvest was passing, and she must make the most of the precious hours.

Jeremy Taylor once advised, "Make use of time, if thou valuest eternity! Yesterday cannot be recalled. Tomorrow cannot be assured. Today only is thine, which, if thou procrastinatest, thou losest, which loss is lost forever."

Ruth also was faithful. "So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest"
(verse 23). The test of any endeavor is endurance. After the romance of a new task wears off, it takes grit and fortitude to finish.

The president of a large manufacturing company had worked his way from an office boy to chief. He was asked the secret of his success. "By keeping everlastingly at it, come what may!" he answered.

The gleaner is strengthened for his task at his Master's table.

Boaz invited Ruth, "At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. . . . And she did eat, and was sufficed, and left"
(verse 14).

Free access to food and fellowship at the master's table was Ruth's privilege. And it is also the privilege of every laborer in God's harvest field. Jesus invites His own, "At mealtime come . . . and eat." Regular hours of Bible reading and prayer for soul nourishment are just as necessary as three meals a day for physical sustenance.

"Dip thy morsel in the vinegar." Allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate some precious truth from His Word to you personally! Don't depend solely on the pastor's weekly sermon for soul nourishment— feed on the Word yourself!

Ruth left Boaz's table sufficed— satisfied, filled, and strengthened to resume her labors. Renewed spiritual strength is ours as we feast at our Lord's table— strength to keep toiling on "in the power of his might."
(See Ephesians 3:16; Isaiah 40:31.)

Ruth's thirst was also quenched. "When thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink"

(verse 9). How refreshing indeed was a cool drink of water to a tired, thirsty toiler!

Our heavenly Boaz provides those times of spiritual refreshing when we too may "go unto the vessels and drink" of the water of life freely! He invites us, "Drink to your heart's content! Drink until your thirst is quenched! The supply is unlimited. The water is satisfying!"
(See John 4:14; 7:37-39.)

The gleaner is richly rewarded.

Ruth was rewarded for her faithful labors. "She . . . beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley"

(verse 17), about three pecks for that first day's gleanings.

More followed as she continued her labors. "The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel," Boaz had said to her when she began her gleaning
(verse 12). God did bless her work abundantly.

There are rewards for every faithful gleaner in God's harvest fields— rewards here and hereafter.

(See John 4:36.)

One of the rewards here on earth is the joy of serving others. It has been said, "Brightening up the life of someone else will put a fresh shine on your own."

"The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself"
(Proverbs 11:25).

There is also the joy of knowing one has snatched a precious soul from eternal damnation. James wrote, "Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins"
(James 5:20).

The ultimate reward will be in the world to come when we shall hear Christ say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord"
(Matthew 25:21).

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, NOVEMBER 25, 1979, pages 12 & 13
VIRGINIA L. SCHNEIDER was Copastor at Mount Lebanon Assembly, Jackson, Kentucky at that time.

Do not give up!
Even Moses was once
A basket case

The Aged Apostle remembers— Four Church Members
By DAN BETZER

"Demas hath forsaken me. . . . Take Mark and bring him with thee. . . .Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil. . . . Only Luke is with me"
(2 Timothy 4:10,11,14).

Belonging to the local church will not save you; only the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, can do that.

But church membership, faithful attendance, and support of the church will clearly label you as one who can be counted on; you're on the team; you're going to play your part!

Only immature Christians are church-hoppers. Believers who understand dedication and old-fashioned stick-to-itiveness get involved in their church, back their pastor through thick and thin, and work and pray to the best of their capacity to see that church grow.

What a difference church members can make! What kind of member are you?

In his last will and testament, the apostle Paul gave us an insight into four extremely interesting ones: Demas, Mark, Alexander, and Luke.

You will find their 20th-century counterparts in virtually every congregation in the world. In fact, you may find you fit into one of these molds.

DEMAS was the first one Paul remembered. "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world"
(2 Timothy 4:10).

Paul wrote this from his death cell beneath Nero's palace. In a few hours he would be led out, and his head would be severed from his body. That didn't matter much to Paul. "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," he witnessed.
(See 2 Corinthians 5:8.)

But Demas could not take the rigors of discipleship. We don't know a great deal about this man. But just as a student of comparative anatomy can take a few known bones and build a complete unknown structure, so we can mentally construct Demas.

I can see him when he first met Paul. He was taken by the character of the man of God; he was excited about the work of Christ. Paul had a forceful personality, a strong character. He was a visionary. He knew where he was going and what he would do when he got there, and Demas was taken with him and his work. He wanted to be a part of it.

Demas was excited about becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, by the enthusiasm of sacrifice for the gospel. He wanted to walk in the footsteps of the great Paul, yes, even if it meant going to a dungeon and even to death.

I have met people just like Demas, both when I pastored churches and since in the field of evangelism. They are often the first ones to come to you after a service. They bubble over with exuberance. And that's great! We need enthusiasm in the Lord's work. But it takes more than a good start in a race— a good finish is mandatory too.

When Paul's entourage got to Rome, Demas' resolve to be effective for Christ weakened. He didn't like the idea of sacrifice anymore— not in Rome with all the laughter and high living. Why be a prisoner when you can be a playboy? The magnificent halls of Caesar, the fantastic homes of the wealthy Romans, the glitter of the world— ah, that's what caught Demas' eye. He put the prison where Paul was out of his mind— and out of his heart.

So Paul wrote some of the saddest words he ever penned: "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world"
(2 Timothy 4:10).

I have seen it happen over and over again. A man starts out for God. He is blessed financially. He prospers a little. He begins to justify his lack of attention to God by saying he needs to be on the job more often now.

Sometimes it starts with the Wednesday night prayer meeting. His attendance there starts to lag. Then it's Sunday night. Then it becomes, "Pastor, you will have to excuse me from teaching my class. You see, the press of duties prohibits my involvement there now."

Soon he disappears from church almost entirely. Oh yes, he is there for the festive occasions— for Easter and Christmas and the special concerts. But you won't see him there for the missionary service or the prayer meetings. He has forsaken the church, having loved this present world.

It's a dangerous thing to be like Demas, sir. May the Holy Spirit bring you to your senses and get your priorities where they need to be!

IN HIS LETTER to Timothy, Paul appealed to him to bring Mark to Rome. "He is profitable to me for the ministry"
(2 Timothy 4:11).

It hadn't always been that way. In his early Christian life Mark was a vacillating disciple. He ran hot and cold. You couldn't count on him.

Jesus once said that no man, having put his hand to the plow and then looking back, was fit to be in the service of the Lord. Mark looked back. When the going got tough, he quit. He was double-minded in his spiritual ways.

But somewhere along the way Mark must have been hit by a revival meeting. The fire began burning in his soul again. He recaptured the vision of a lost world and the power of God to meet the needs of fallen men. He came back. He picked up the harness once more. He filled his rightful place in the Kingdom.

Listen! It's no sin to be discouraged. Discouragement probably has hit every saint who has ever lived. You may have stumbled, letting the whole church down— more important, letting God down. And Satan has preyed upon your mind with that thing constantly. For years he has hassled you, telling you that you were a quitter, that you are no good to God's work.

Be like Mark! Come back! This very day get with your pastor and talk the matter over. Pray with him. Let the anointing of God rest upon your soul again. Yes sir! It can happen! There can be restoration! Look at Mark. He had been a quitter. But he picked himself up again. And Paul himself wrote: "Mark is profitable to me for the ministry."

You are profitable too, my friend. Don't let Satan cheat you from the rewards of working for Jesus.

THE THIRD one Paul mentioned must have been a devil. "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil"
(2 Timothy 4:14).

Pastor, don't be upset when you find Alexanders. They are just about everywhere. Wherever the work of God is progressing, Satan will lift his ugly head to slow the work down. He uses the Alexanders. Don't take the attack personally. It isn't you the Alexanders are fighting— it's God.

It is thought this Alexander is the same man Paul mentioned earlier
(1 Timothy 1:20) whom the apostle said he had "delivered unto Satan" that he might "learn not to blaspheme."

Paul testified that Alexander did him much evil. The man did it on purpose, with malice in his heart. Apparently Alexander followed Paul around, poisoning the minds of people against the apostle of God. One writer indicated he even journeyed to Rome and spoke to Nero against Paul.

It is a deadly game to stand against God's anointed, sir. It is foolhardy to pit yourself against God-ordained authority. The Lord himself ordained that there be pastors, evangelists, teachers, deacons, and other church workers.

Remember that the Church is the bride of Christ. To set yourself against Christ's chosen bride is the most foolish thing you can ever do. It will be better for the thieves and extortioners on the day of judgment than for the Alexanders of the world.

BUT FINALLY Paul spoke of his beloved Luke, the physician and saint. "Luke is with me," he wrote.

Luke was a man of distinction, of wealth, of education. He was a literary master. He was blessed with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He could have been successful at anything he tried to do, but he put God's work at the top of the list of his priorities. He passionately wanted to be used for eternal good.

Thank God for the Lukes of the church. Heaven's citizens will rise up to call them blessed. They were the faithful ones, the loyal ones, the church members you could always count upon.

Four people— Demas, who cast away his responsibilities and sold his soul for the favors of the world; Mark, who fell down on the job but got back on track again; Alexander, who let malice and evil fill his heart and hurt the church; and Luke, that great man of God, who stood with Paul in the most trying hour of his life.

You may well fit into one of those four molds. In the eyes of Almighty God, which type of church member would you be today?"

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, August 31, 1980, pages 20-22
This article has been excerpted from a Revivaltime radio sermon by Evangelist Dan Betzer. DAN BETZER was a Radio Evangelist at that time.

God needs a person like you who will:
Remember the forgotten
Love the unloved
Touch the untouchable
Heal the abused
Lift the dejected
Give hope to the despairing

A Forward to this article by Kraig J. Rice:
Loving the lost is the key to evangelism. God wants each of His children to obey His Great Commission- to share His gospel with others. God's heart is in the saving of the lost of this world. That's why He died on that old rugged cross. If you want to get closer to God then start doing what He wants you to do. This is a fact that we should never forget. If one is walking in obedience to Christ then having a love for the lost should be our priority number one. God the Holy Spirit tells you when to witness and when to be still! He guides you as to where and when you should prayerfully distribute salvation tracts. Apathy prevents us from being effective in fulfilling this divine calling on our lives.

I think this true Biblical story illustrates this point. Peter and John had the power of the Holy Spirit burning inside of them. Their first love was hot. Their priorities were right- they were loving and looking to save the lost- they were prayerfully waiting to see who God was going to lead them to (as they traveled along on foot). The divine recognition of this right person also came with the look that morning. Here is the story explained by Scott Hagan:

The Story of the Beggar
By Scott Hagan

"A man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple"
(Acts 3:2, NASB).

"By all accounts, this was turning out to be an ugly scene at a beautiful gate.

Peter and John woke up that day and went looking for two things— God's presence and human pain. And not necessarily in that order. They were prayerful and ready for both. Ready to grip the next heart in need of repentance. Ready to grip the next hand in need of healing. The proof was in their eyes.

Like most beggars, this guy was stationary. He was very lame and very loud. Each morning he was set up for business like a hot dog street vendor. The hustlers who laid him outside the temple made sure they got their cut at the end of the day. Kind of a transportation tax. A finder's fee for scouting out the best spot on the street.

This particular day held nothing significant. The holidays of Passover and Pentecost had come and gone. The religious tourist season was over. Crowds in the Holy City were returning to normal. The apostles were trying to do the same. This meant prayer at the temple.

The lame man outside the temple had been a fixture for years, a familiar piece of social wreckage. But along come two men who were more need-centered than temple-centered. Two men who were living with the wide-angle lens of compassion instead of the usual tele-photo heart of selfishness. Two men who were full of everything Jesus wanted for His disciples: Power. Love. Authority. Courage. Faith.

But the most unexpected Jesus-like quality was their eyes. They looked at life through the lens of the Spirit— which gave them perfect vision for seeing. In other words, they were looking for eye contact. At 3 o'clock their moment came.

"Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, "Look at us!" And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene— walk"
(Acts 3:4-6).

Powerfully courageous words. Jesus smiled and blessed their faith with profound power. But Peter and John got more than the miracle they bargained for. Instead of just a healing, they got a shadow with jumping ability. "With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God"
(Acts 3:8,9).

No crutches. No rehabilitation. No limp in his limbs. Just a 360-degree slam dunk on his first jump! He was ready to lead the new aerobics ministry. The crisis was over for this 40-year-old. It was time for a midlife beginning.

The author of confusion (Satan) suddenly had no more chapters to write. He had just been outbid by the Author of faith (Jesus) for the copyrights to the beggar's story. The story line had been unpleasant, but the final chapter now belonged to Jesus.

The Bible says, "With a leap he stood upright." The fact he could stand tells us that God had restored his physical capacity. But the fact he leaped tells us even more. God had restored his emotional capacity. Jesus had given the man his joy back, not just his legs.

Leaping seems to be one of the great byproducts of Jesus' touch. As a matter of fact, few seem to remember that a "leap" was the first physical response recorded in the Bible caused directly by Jesus. Really? Consider this.

John the Baptist was the unborn second cousin of Jesus. John would become the forerunner for Jesus. Six months before the immaculate conception of Christ, the Lord provided Mary's cousin Elizabeth with one of His favorite gifts. He made a way for a barren woman to enjoy her first Mother's Day.

Far along in years, Elizabeth experienced a "Sarah miracle." Scripture says in
Luke 1:39 that Mary "went in a hurry to the hill country" to visit Elizabeth, fresh with the knowledge of her own pregnancy and brimming with sheer joy for the news of her cousin's miracle pregnancy six months earlier.

Elizabeth had no idea why Mary was bursting through her door. But before Mary could utter a word, a jolt struck Elizabeth's midsection. It electrified baby John still in the womb. Jesus had made His first house call.

No bigger than a cell cluster, the fullness of God's presence was now impacting earth at ground level. Elizabeth declared Christ's lordship: "Blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?"
(Luke 1:42-43).

As for her unborn child, John, well, he exercised a foot-stomping, deep-knee-bending, hit-your-head-on-the-ceiling kind of leap. The joy John felt while still locked inside the womb was real. His kind of joy could not be verbalized; it had to be displayed.

So without much room, maximizing every inch, he jumped! "For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy"
(Luke 1:44).

Maybe right now you feel like your world is closing in on you. You feel squeezed, unable to move forward in life. You might even identify with John— your world has little room, and you're left with little choice to do anything about it. But John's reaction to the presence of Jesus proves there is always room to worship. There is always space for joy.

Peter and John also discovered that when you give someone Jesus, you are giving them yourself. "While he was clinging to Peter and John ..."
(Acts 3:11).
But the story could have been different.

Is financial poverty a prerequisite for effective ministry? What if Peter and John had left the house that morning with a pocket full of money? Would the story have ended with a handout instead of a healing? A paltry tip flipped the beggar's way to soothe a guilty conscience?

I don't think so. Here's why. "Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him"
(Acts 1:4).
This was the key that unlocked the miracle. Silver and salvation stood toe to toe. Who would flinch? The busted apostle or the bruised beggar?

The fixed gaze of Peter and John proved which beggar was most desperate. How many times have you and I turned our faces away from the eyes of a homeless man near the stoplight, whispering words of self-righteousness as we hide our eyes behind the dark glasses of realization?

Later on the apostle Paul said it so clearly: "Therefore ... we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God"
(2 Corinthians 5:20, emphasis added).

The ugly scene at the Beautiful Gate was a confrontation between pocket change and eternal change. The next time you spot a beggar or a beggar spots you, ask yourself, "Who's more hungry?" The beggar who needs pocket change or the beggar offering eternal change?

Peter and John had been touched ...
• By a Love humble enough to begin with diapers instead of a throne.
• By a Love willing enough to wait nine months before making its appearance.
• By a Love diligent enough to spend 33 years building a perfect bridge.
• By a Love complete enough to cut the ribbon with a resurrection.

"[He] emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men ... in appearance as a man"
(Philippians 2:7-8).

The incarnation of Jesus was like cramming the entire solar system into a peanut shell. Anything more, and the human race would not have recognized Him. But Peter and John were changed by those contents. If God could somehow be fingerprinted, their faces would have appeared through the ink. They were God's imprint. His image. Unique as a snowflake ... loved as sons.

This was their niche that afternoon on the way to prayer. The message of unconditional love filled their hearts. But it also burned in their eyes. Which, by the way, was the first place in 40 years the beggar saw something better than gold. He found the kind of grace that makes you giddy.

Because real living is not about legs...it's about the leap. As a matter of fact, God has been jumping up and down over us for eternity. Angels, too. And He says there's still lots of room at the party."

Today's Pentecostal Evangel Magazine, AUGUST 8, 2004, pages 18-21
From "They Felt the Spirit's Touch", Lake Mary, Florida: Charisma House, 2003). Used with permission.
Scott Hagan was pastor of Grand Rapids First Assembly of God in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at that time.

If you have not already invited Jesus Christ to come to live inside of your heart then click on the above banner if you want to learn how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and receive spiritual encouragement in your heart and soul.

In some small way I hope that God has been able to encourage you through these articles.
shared with you by Kraig Josiah Rice
www.breadonthewaters.com

  • Encouragement when you are hurting

  • The 7 I Wills that God has promised you

  • How to overcome discouragement

  • Keep looking to God for deliverance

  • A Bible Study About Miracles
    Do you need a miracle to happen in your life? God still works miracles. Maybe He has one for you...

  • Testimonies
    Here are various testimonies that will help you with your faith.

  • You are the apple of God's eye

  • A couple of articles on early Pentecost
    Note: be sure to bookmark or add this page to your favorites before clicking on this link:-)


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