Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. â€” Jude 3
Doctrine: The Framework of Our Faith
Darrel D. Lee Superintendent General
My initial contact with Tim DeBusk (see his sermon Hang On to Hope on page 11) occurred when I attended the Dallas, Oregon, Apostolic Faith Church as a twenty-one-year-old new convert. Tim was four years younger than me, and was soon off to Alaska to work in a wilderness logging camp where he attempted to escape his Christian upbringing and the prayers of his parents. Over the next many months, I would hear Tim’s mother or father request prayer for their wayward son nearly every time we gathered in the prayer room before church services. “Pray for Tim in Alaska,” became an often-repeated plea. In addition, whenever I stopped by the church during the lunch hour, I had to step over a pair of work boots that I soon learned belonged to Pete DeBusk, Tim’s father. During his lunch hour, Brother Pete would come from the local sawmill to the church to pray for his son, taking care to leave his work boots at the door so as to avoid soiling the church carpets. Down in a far corner of the basement, in his stocking feet, he could be heard praying for God to reach his son hundreds of miles away. While there was no indication to his parents that Tim was affected by those prayers, it became clear to him that he was under Holy Ghost conviction, which is exactly what his parents had been praying and hoping for. I can still remember the Sunday night when God answered the prayers of his parents more completely. Tim was home from Alaska for a short break. After initially declining his parents’ invitation to come to church, he changed his mind and came. During the altar call at the close of the sermon, he decided to come forward to pray. He says now that he didn’t come to God because he felt God could fix the mess he had made of his life—he came because nothing else he had tried brought the satisfaction he was craving. As Tim knelt in prayer that night, I knelt across from him, but he didn’t need my prayers, nor could he hear them. He was already weeping aloud and earnestly praying for God to forgive him and give him a new start in life! That night God answered his prayers and those of his parents in a moment of time, rolling the burden of sin away. Tim’s sermon and his personal testimony give us all hope that God has heard our unanswered prayers and is working in ways we cannot see. As you read his sermon and the remainder of this magazine, may your own hope and confidence in God be strengthened.
“Pray for Tim in Alaska”
Table of Contents
Doctrine: The Framework of Our Faith..........3 A Tenderness for the Truth..........................6 Hang On to Hope!.................................... 11 A Hungry Heart Satisfied........................... 16 Personally Created.................................... 19
Day to Day............. 9 Evidence............... 14 Today’s Youth....... 17 Highlighting our Heritage................ 21
Higher Way (ISSN #1084-9807) is published quarterly by the Apostolic Faith Church, 6615 SE 52nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97206, U.S.A. and is mailed out subscription free. Periodicals postage is paid at Portland, Oregon. Postmaster: Please send address changes to Higher Way, Apostolic Faith Church, 6615 SE 52nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97206, U.S.A. January—March 2011 2
Doctrine: The Framework of Our Faith Paul’s instructions to Timothy provide the basis for a healthy spiritual life.
© cozyta | istockphoto.com
From a sermon by Darrel Lee
n 2 Timothy 4:1-2, we find the last recorded words of Paul the Apostle to the young man, Timothy, to whom he had given oversight of a certain part of the work of the Early Church. We read, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” In both of his epistles to this young minister, Paul put great emphasis on sound doctrine. Often when we hear the word doctrine, we think of salvation, sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, divine healing, marriage for life—these topics and others that we have emphasized in our publications since 1906. Doctrine encompasses those teachings, but it includes much more. The word doctrine literally means “teachings.” Paul warned Timothy that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:3). The original Greek word translated sound means “to be well (in body); to have sound health.” So sound doctrine is healthy teaching—teaching that is good for the health of the soul. In our society, much emphasis is placed on having good health in our physical bodies. However, we would like to see more emphasis on having good health in the soul! The body wears out eventually, but the soul endures forever, so we want healthy, sound teachings that benefit the soul. Sound doctrine is like the framework of a building. We do not see the doctrine itself, anymore than we see the framing of a structure. However, we see evidence of it. As the spiritual framework of our existence, it is what holds our spiritual lives together. It is what keeps us steady when the winds of life blow against us. Weak doctrine will produce spiritual weaklings. Those with an unclear or unscriptural doctrine are left wavering, not knowing what they stand for. In contrast, healthy doctrine—doctrine based on the Word of God— produces spiritual conquerors. If we embrace God’s Word and apply it to our lives, we have a sturdy framework sustaining us. Higher Way
Sound teachings stand the test of time. We observe those a devil’s Hell. Others follow teachings of holiness that will who have been in the Gospel and have benefited by sound take them to Heaven if they remain faithful. But according teachings over decades. They stuck with it, while others fal- to Paul’s words, in the latter times the doctrines of devils tered along the way. They have faced some trials and storms will permeate the world. We live in those times! So we must in life, but in those times, sound, healthy teachings helped purpose to follow the doctrines of God’s Word, and not be them stay secure on their spiritual foundations. We want led away by seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils. something that will stand the test of time! We are not interThose who depart from the teachings of God’s Word are ested in the new and innovative in terms of Biblical teach- swerving away from the truth to “vain jangling” (1 Timothy ings; we want what has been proven to work. 1:6). We know that if we swerve quickly when driving a car, Timothy had a faithful mother and grandmother, and we endanger ourselves and others who share the road with Paul the Apostle was his mentor us. However, to swerve from the and father in the faith. However, truth is even more dangerous. We spiritual stamina takes more than must guard against anything that Eventually godly faithful family members and a would cause us to do so. good mentor. Eventually godly parPaul issued a similar warning in parents, grandparents, ents, grandparents, and mentors 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will will pass off the scene. We must come when they will not endure and mentors will pass have something permanent to base doctrine; but after their own off the scene. We must sound our faith upon, and that is sound lusts shall they heap to themselves doctrine. teachers, having itching ears; and have something At times we hear it said that we they shall turn away their ears from permanent to base our should not preach doctrine because the truth, and shall be turned unto doctrine divides. In one sense, fables.” Paul was looking ahead faith upon. that is true, because not everyto the latter days, which is now. It one embraces the sound teachis clear that sound doctrine is not ings of Jesus Christ. That was the adhered to in our day. case in Paul and Timothy’s time. We read of Phygellus and Thirty years ago, during a Bible teaching service at our Hermogenes who had turned away from Paul, of Demas Portland camp meeting, Reverend Loyce Carver shared a who loved the world, and Alexander the coppersmith who memory from his second camp meeting, in 1939. During apparently went about trying to undermine Paul. It is evi- his time on the campground, one of the brothers took him dent that not everyone embraced the doctrine Paul taught, on a walk heading west on Duke Street down a gravel road and everyone who embraced it did not stick with it. and showed him the remnants of an old campground. Years But while doctrine does divide in one sense, it also uni- before, a camp meeting had been set up there, apparently fies. The Bible tells of Onesiphorus and his household, in direct defiance to the camp meeting being held by Sister Aquila and Pricilla, Pudens, Linus, Claudia and many Crawford on our campground, which is still being used others who embraced the doctrine and benefitted by it. today. Their purpose was to reject the teachings she stood Doctrine unifies because those who adhere to that doctrine for, and promote some other doctrine. It has been more have a common denominator. than seventy years since Brother Carver took that walk. The In 1 Timothy 4, Paul advised Timothy, “If thou put the remnants of that campground no longer exist. However, brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a the sound doctrine that Sister Crawford proclaimed has good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of stood the test of time. faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained” We thank God for these precepts of sound doctrine that (1 Timothy 4:6). In verse 16 he cautioned, “Take heed unto Paul laid out in his writing to Timothy. Let us look at some thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in of the topics that the younger man was to “command and doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear teach” (1 Timothy 4:11). We read in verse 13 of that chapthee.” Based on these words, it is easy to see why ministers ter, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, . . .” God’s Word should preach about doctrine. We want to be the best min- is the mind of God. If we want to know what God thinks, isters we can be, and we want those who hear us to be saved! we must devour the Word of God! We will capture the spirit In that same epistle, Paul commented that he had left of what God thinks. In fact, the Word of God is the Sword Timothy in Ephesus, and reminded him why: “. . . that thou of the Spirit. It pierces, it penetrates, and it removes what mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine” ought to be removed from our lives. It heals what needs to (1 Timothy 1:3). The fourth chapter begins with the warn- be healed. So we want to read God’s Word and “give attening that “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, dance” to what God has to say. giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” The Paul made no attempt to conceal his doctrine. He devil has doctrines, too. Everyone follows doctrines—the expected God’s people to be saved. Early in the first epissaved and the unsaved, the churched and the unchurched, tle he thanked God that he was saved—one who had been those who have great spiritual light and those who do not. chief among sinners, a blasphemer, a persecutor, injurious. Some follow licentious teachings that will doom them to He did not paint a pleasant picture of how he had lived 4
before his Damascus Road experience. Paul had thought God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Every he was righteous, but he was not saved. He was a religious decision will be motivated by a desire to please God, even sinner. if in our humanity we end up making a poor one. This is In our day as well, one can be religious without being not excusing moral misconduct; that is altogether different. saved. We need to be saved! That is good, sound teaching. Moral failure springs from carnality, not from humanity. That is the foundation upon which the framework of our Paul told Timothy to teach that, telling him, “If you want spiritual walk will be erected. We must be saved and know to be a good minister, Timothy, teach these things. Teach it! God will give every sinner an experience of regeneration sound doctrine.” when that sinner comes the way Paul came—confessing, Timothy was also to teach his people to pray, and those repenting, asking forgiveness. Sin becomes so distasteful prayers were to include more than asking for needs. He that we turn our backs on it and said that “supplications, prayers, choose never to return. We must intercessions, and giving of invite the Lord in, and when we thanks” were to be made for all do so honestly, we have the assurmen (1Timothy 2:1). A few verses One can be religious ance that He will hear our prayer later, he instructed, “I will therefore and transform us from a sinner to a that men pray every where, liftwithout being saved. saint in a moment of time. ing up holy hands, without wrath We need to be I know that is a fact, because and doubting” (1 Timothy 2:8). God changed me in a moment of Men were to pray everywhere, as saved! That is good, time, just like He changed Paul and opposed to infrequently or not at many others. We have testimonies. all. Prayer is a vital Bible doctrine, sound teaching. We hearken back to that moment and Paul wanted to be sure Timowhen we made a conscious decithy stressed its importance. sion to change masters and were Paul let it be known that he saved, because we have never been expected the men to be the spirithe same from that time forward. It tual leaders of the church. We thank was a miracle! We cannot be talked out of it because we God for the ladies who participate in helping the church were there when it happened. It is healthy teaching—sound run effectively, as they did in Paul’s day. However, the doctrine—to let people know they can have an assurance of burden of that responsibility is designed to fall upon the salvation. It is sound doctrine to explain that Jesus left His men. In the third chapter, Paul explained what is demanded throne in glory and gave Himself a ransom for us all, and of men who are spiritual leaders. He taught that they were that He can and will remake us from the inside out. to be husbands of one wife, vigilant, sober, to have good Paul expected those under Timothy’s teaching to know behavior, to be given to hospitality, and apt to teach. That’s about holiness, or sanctification. In our organization, we good teaching—sound doctrine. inherited the teachings of holiness people whose writThe apostle had expectations of women in the church ings speak of a definite work of grace subsequent to being as well. The attire, appearance, and deportment of Chrisjustified by faith. They taught that sanctification is an tian women was to be characterized by modesty. That is a instantaneous experience that lasts a lifetime. This doctrine Biblical teaching throughout the Old and New Testaments. was not invented by the Apostolic Faith organization. It was Their adorning should not be characterized by gold, pearls, revived by Wesleyan teachings, but it is a Bible doctrine. It and elaborate styles designed to capture the kind of attenwas taught by Paul the Apostle. tion that a godly woman would not want to capture. SociThe alternative to being sanctified is to suppress that ety is focused on externals, but God wants us to focus on Adamic or sin nature with which all of us were born. People the inward. Extravagance on the outside may cover some do that every day. Unsaved people try to be the best that things, but it will not make up for a lack of spirituality. The they can be, and that is admirable. This world would be in principle of modesty is another teaching that has stood the worse shape than it is if that suppression did not take place! test of time for centuries among holiness people. However, there is a better way; we can be sanctified. The Our mandate from God, like Paul’s mandate to Timothy, Bible teaches that after being saved, an individual can go is to take the same doctrine that was delivered to us and back to the Lord, consecrating his life and asking God to pass it on intact to the next generation. Two or three generadicate that sin nature so he need not suppress it. Then erations from now, if Jesus tarries, we want those who sit we can live the kind of life God intended us to live. in one of these Gospel meetings to hear what was preached Yes, we remain subject to human personality flaws and here for years before we came along. That was the charge errors of judgment, and may at times make imperfect deci- that Paul gave to Timothy—to teach and preach sound sions that result from our humanity. We must not think doctrine—and that is our charge today. we are going to be perfect after we are sanctified in the way that God is perfect. We will still be human, but we will be Darrel Lee is Superintendent General of the Apostolic holy humans—holy in the sense that every thought and Faith organization, and pastor of the headquarters church in desire will be governed by the fact that we love the Lord our Portland, Oregon. Higher Way
enderness for the Truth The Sunday school literature she had received as a child made an impact this young woman never got away from.
By Stephanie Reid
hen I was growing up in a small town in Texas, God helped me have a tender heart and a thirst for the truth. Then, in His mercy, He went to great lengths to save me when I was at a crossroads in my life. My mother’s family came into contact with the Apostolic Faith Church in the 1940s. My grandparents were living in Iowa and were given one of the church’s publications. The truth that they read in those pages caused them to move to Medford, Oregon, to be with people who believed the full Gospel. During my school years,
someone in our family sent us literature from the church. Periodically, we received a big manila envelope filled with Primary Pals Sunday school curriculum. My little sister and I would sit down and read the leaflets that same day. We didn’t understand everything, but we enjoyed the stories and activities. Although I didn’t realize it, God was planting tenderness for the truth deep down in my heart. Our parents were good and loving. They made it possible for me to attend Sunday school whenever I wanted, and I went to several churches. However, the different teachings confused
When I went to bed that night, there was no fear; I knew that if Jesus came back, I would make Heaven. me. My mother made sure that I knew Jesus was God’s Son and that He died on the Cross and rose again so that I could go to Heaven. She taught me that God didn’t like sin and Jesus would return for those who loved Him. Although I believed everything that she told me, I did not know that God could give a person a life free from sin. So gradually I became very afraid of God and worried that I would make Him angry. I tried to be a good girl but could never quite do it. While just a child in grade school, I began lying. At first it was “little white lies” to stay out of trouble, but eventually the habit grew into telling falsehoods that were so big that the truth would have been more believable. When I was a junior in high school, God set in motion a plan to bring me to where the tenderness for the truth that He had planted in my heart through those Primary Pals publications would draw me toward Him. Midway through that year, the price of oil dropped dramatically, and the oil industry which had been booming in Texas was hit hard. This affected the whole economy, including my dad’s drywall and painting business. It became obvious that we were not going to be able to stay in Texas, so my parents moved our family to Hemet, California, where we had relatives. There I got involved with a church near our house and really tried to live right. People thought that I was a Christian, and I thought so too. Each morning I would tell God, “Today I will be good. I will not lie, antagonize my siblings, cuss, or argue with my parents.” And every day I would fail miserably. At night I was afraid that Jesus would come back and I would be left, so I prayed and begged God to forgive me for the sins of the day. One night, I was so afraid, confused, and discouraged that I knelt by my bed and just cried. My mother heard me and asked what
was wrong. I said, “This can’t be all there is to life—struggling to do good and messing up all the time. There has to be something better.” I knew that I needed something to give me peace and fill the huge void that was in my heart. The summer I graduated from high school, my uncle who lived in Medford, Oregon, offered to pay for me to come to visit and attend the annual camp meeting at the Apostolic Faith Church in Portland for a few days. When I walked onto the church grounds, there was a feeling of peace that I had never experienced before. The people there did not know me, but they showed love, and the real spirit of God’s love was strong. After a short visit at camp meeting, my family took me back to Medford to spend time with my aunt and grandmother. I was under intense conviction. The Spirit of God would gently whisper to my soul that I needed to be saved, but I pushed that away and tried to persuade myself that I was already saved. The day before I was scheduled to go home to California, the Medford pastor preached on the coming of the Lord. After the service, I went to pray and began to cry. Several godly women came and prayed with me. I don’t know exactly what I said, but I let God know that I was sorry and asked Him to please help me. When we stopped praying, I felt so much better. In the car, my uncle asked if I had gotten saved. Because of my former spiritual confusion I told him that I had rededicated my life. He said, “Stephe, you cannot have sin in your life and be saved.” I knew that I had struggled with sin every single day, so I turned to my uncle and said, “Then yes, I did get saved.” Immediately, my heart leaped within me and I felt the burden of sin that had been on my life broken. I felt completely free, and peace flooded my soul.
That afternoon my uncle explained sanctification to me. He said that experience would take the root of sin out of my heart and emphasized that it was important to receive it before I went home the next day. As I prayed after the evening service, God began calling for consecrations. His Spirit asked if I would dress more modestly, and I said, “Yes.” He asked if I was willing to give up my career and schooling plans, and I prayed, “Yes, Lord!” Then He impressed upon my heart that He wanted me to stay where I could be around the Gospel. I said I would stay in Medford if that was what He wanted. Immediately, something changed in my heart; new strength and purpose were there. God had answered my prayer for sanctification. I knew that He would keep me, and that I would not struggle with sin. When I went to bed that night, there was no fear; I knew that if Jesus came back, I would make Heaven. That complete peace helped me sleep well for the first time in a long while. At breakfast the next day, my uncle handed me some money. He said that God had laid it on his heart to pay for a new, modest wardrobe, and he offered to let me stay with their family as long as necessary. I was amazed! God was honoring my commitment and providing for my needs. In the next few weeks, reading the Bible, attending church, and talking with other Christians helped me learn about God’s promises and that He had a plan for my life. God showed me that I needed the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but I was somewhat afraid because of what I had seen in other churches. By studying God’s Word, I realized that God wants His Spirit to completely dwell inside His people, and an overwhelming desire for this experience grew within my soul. I began praying earnestly and God richly blessed me each time. The Higher Way
Holy Spirit would begin springing up in my soul and be ready to overflow, but uneasiness would cause me to pull back. Finally, God helped me see that He was trying to answer my prayer but that I was not accepting it. Earnestly I prayed, “Lord, if You will send it again, I will not pull back. I will accept it!” God was faithful. He poured out His Spirit and it overflowed; I spoke in a language that I did not understand. From that point on, God gave me many amazing life lessons. Every day seemed to hold some new truth or promise. He built my faith through every answer to prayer and new experience. He led regarding employment, where to live, friendships, and He let me know that He cared about every little matter in my life. For example, for a time I was living in Medford and working in Grants Pass. Once I did not have enough money for gas to commute to my job. We had some pop cans that I could recycle for cash, so I took them to the grocery store. Before getting out of the car, something told me to put my left hand on the floorboard behind my seat. I did, and found a dollar bill! Back then, that dollar plus the recycle money was plenty to buy enough gas to last through to my next payday. After being saved for several years, I met a young man from our church in Roseburg. As we became acquainted, we were attracted to each other, but both of us sincerely wanted God’s perfect will for our lives. As Scott continued to win my heart, I wanted to make sure that God’s will was in every part of our relationship. One Sunday night, both of us prayed for a long time following a service. Afterward we discovered that both of us had been praying about our relationship and God had given us both an assurance that it was His will for us. In September of 1992 while I was living in Grants Pass, my employer sent me to a conference in Eastern Oregon. There I talked with a lady from Roseburg who worked at an organization similar to the one where I was employed. I told her that I might be moving to the Roseburg area soon and wondered who I would talk to 8
about employment with her organization. She gave me the name of one of her superiors, and that was the end of the conversation. In October, Scott asked me to marry him. Although I had forgotten about this lady, unexpectedly she called me in November. She had become the office manager
That morning the terrorist attacks had destroyed the Twin Towers and damaged the Pentagon. Alone in my hospital room, I thought about the events of the day and became fearful. and they had an opening for a receptionist. She wondered if I would be interested in applying. It was amazing how God just kept paving the path for me to walk down. There was no confusion or doubt, only assurance and confirmation. In January, two months before our wedding date, I moved to Roseburg and had employment. After Scott and I had been married for a while, we wanted to have a family. This began a four-and-a-half year journey of waiting and trusting God to do what He saw was best. His master plan and way of making all things work to His glory is so amazing. Sometimes the thought would enter my mind, Why are those who don’t want children having them, while those like me who do want them can’t have them? Then God would remind me in prayer that His ways are perfect, even if I don’t understand them. He always gave me peace regarding the matter. The desire for children never waned; instead it grew. In time, God set His special plan in motion, and our daughter was born.
Two years later, on 9/11/01, we were blessed with a son. That morning the terrorist attacks had destroyed the Twin Towers and damaged the Pentagon. Alone in my hospital room, I thought about the events of the day and became fearful. I prayed, “Lord, what an awful and scary world to bring a baby into!” As I continued to pray, a wonderful peace came over me. The Lord spoke to my heart, “I will be there for the people in New York, and I will use this to bring people to Me.” My heart was overwhelmed with gratitude for His meeting me there and giving me that beautiful message. What a wonderful God we serve! Beginning in 2000, my husband had several difficult job situations and employment changes, and our financial circumstance became quite dismal. One summer morning I was feeling sad and said, “Lord, we don’t even have the money for a bar of soap.” That afternoon in the mail there was a coupon from the Dove Corporation for a free bar of soap. I stood by the mailbox with my mouth hanging open in astonishment. God cared about my wish for a bar of soap! Another time when things were tight, a friend asked if I wanted meat from her freezer and another offered canned food that she had stored up. God showed us that He was mindful and concerned about every detail of our lives. Time would fail me to tell of all that God has done for me—healings, peace during difficulties, needs filled at the right time. He walks with me every day and faithfully meets me when I call on Him. The magnificent landmarks He has placed in my life help me have confidence that He will see us through until He returns for His children. Looking back over my Christian walk, I see God’s goodness, faithfulness, and over twenty years of reaping His wonderful benefits. Stephanie Reid is a member of the Apostolic Faith Church in Roseburg, Oregon.
DAY TO DAY
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efore my I read the Apostle husband John’s words conand I were cerning the first married, we lived coming of Christ. many miles apart In the first chapter for awhile, so we of his Gospel he had to communiwrote, “The word cate in writing. We was made flesh wrote many, many and dwelt among letters. We have us.” As I meditated often said that we on these words, I learned more about began to realize each other because how I could know of the distance more of God and between us. This how I could be distance required closer to Him. us to communicate We Christians our feelings and have love letters thoughts on paper, written to us from where we were able our greatest Love. to read and reread We have the words them, without disof God himself, tractions. Based on communicated to his letters, I could us over the centutell that serving the ries. These words Lord was a priority tell us many things in his life. I could about the characsee that he was ter and heart of God. New Testacommitted to the As we study the Scriptures and meditate ment authors also Gospel as he shared on their meaning and application to our recorded the words his activities and of Jesus Christ, thoughts with me. lives, we come to know God better. revealing to us the His encouraging heart and character words to me during By Sylvia Staller of Him who was, our separation as the Apostle John showed me that he was a person who lifted up others. His sense of humor indicated, “the word made flesh” (John 1:14). As we study the Scriptures, and meditate on their meanwas especially endearing to me, as was the kind way he expressed himself in every situation. By the time we moved ing and application to our lives, we come to know Him better. We find many lessons, truths, and promises in closer together, we knew each other’s hearts very well. Has your heart ever cried out the prayer, “Lord, I want to each of the books of the Bible, as well as teachings which know more of You! I want to be closer to You!”? Recently, show us the mind and character of God. Here are a few
D rawing Near to the Heart of God
examples of the characteristics we can clearly see through God’s written Word to us.
God desires a relationship with us We can begin reading in Genesis and see the character of God in His creation of man. Being omnipotent, God could have created individuals who would serve Him automatically. Instead, He gave us a free will, because He wanted a real relationship with us. He visited Adam in the cool of the day, He walked with Enoch, and Abraham was counted as His friend. From the very beginning we can observe how He has desired a relationship with mankind.
God is responsive In Exodus we read of the mighty miracles of God as He moved on behalf of His people. We see God’s responsiveness to the Children of Israel who cried out to Him in bondage. We observe how He chose, protected, trained, and empowered a meek man—Moses—to lead His people out of slavery. Then in a miraculous way He guided His people through the wilderness. In the other books of Moses, we see God unfolding His plan for His people, as He provided food, protection, and deliverance.
that we are studying.
In the Poetic Books (the Book of Job through the Songs of Solomon), by reading the comparisons and imagery used by God’s people, we can see the beauty and awesomeness of God. The Psalms contain many wonderful songs of His faithfulness, mercy, and judgment.
God is merciful and compassionate In the Books of the Prophets (the Book of Isaiah through the end of the Old Testament), we see the tender heart of God as He reaches out in compassion to His people. This reveals to us His marvelous capacity to forgive and restore those who will repent and turn to Him, and also the sad outcome if people continue in their paths of idolatry. We also see God’s amazing devotion to His people.
God loves us sacrificially The New Testament gives us an even clearer picture of the heart of God as we are introduced to Jesus, His incarnate Son and “the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). The Gospels give us many examples of God’s compassion for us, as revealed through His Son. Jesus healed all those who came to Him. He began teaching the people at a very young age, and as He ministered to those Higher Way
God is alive and active in us
As we take time to study and meditate on God’s Word, we are filling our hearts and minds with the supernatural power of the Word. With Jesus, the Word, alive and active in us, we will have power that we have never had before. Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh Understanding the I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for character of God me.” With the power of Christ in our more fully helps hearts we can resist temptations that have defeated us in the past. We can us to accept the be kind and thoughtful in situations where we may have previously been instruction God is impatient and thoughtless. We can giving us as we align more fully trust in God’s Word and promises. We can love others our lives to the Word His with a love only God can give.
God is worthy of praise
around Him, He taught them about His Father, using parables they could easily understand. Ultimately, Jesus showed us God’s great love for us when He sacrificed Himself on Calvary. What a God we serve—He loves us so much that He died for us!
Understanding the character of God more fully helps us to accept the instruction God is giving us as we align our lives to the Word that we are studying. When we know of His compassion, His mercy, and His love, we will better grasp that He is working out His will in us. We are clearly told by the teachings in the New Testament that if we are to love God, we must love our brother. Jesus taught that we are to be merciful to those who have wronged us, forgiving them without holding grudges. We are to lay down our “right to be right” and forgive those who have been unkind to us, who have spoken out against us, or who have in some other way offended us. These teachings give us a glimpse into how God, our Mentor and Teacher, has forgiven us and extends mercy toward us. As we study this treasure, we will undoubtedly get to know more of God. We will be drawn closer to Him. As we read and reread God’s “love letter” to us, our hearts will be united with His heart. The studying of the Scriptures is not just for preachers, pastors, evangelists, and missionaries. It is for everyone who wants to draw closer to God and to know Him better. Sylvia Staller is a member of the Apostolic Faith Church in Tehachapi, California, where her husband is the pastor.
ang H On to ope! H From a sermon by Tim DeBusk
T © Darrel Tank | GoodSalt.com
Abraham is an example of one who maintained his faith and hope in God’s promise, in spite of seemingly impossible circumstances.
he Gospel of Jesus Christ offers hope! When Christ is the center of our lives, we have a way of living that is very upbeat. As I study different individuals in Scripture, I find myself wanting to be like those heroes of the faith who seemed to negotiate through difficult circumstances in grand style. That was not only true of characters in Biblical history; we have seen people of God in our lifetime who have done the same. They were and are people of faith! In the third and fourth chapters of the Book of Romans, Paul the Apostle explained God’s method of justifying sinners, and then went on to speak of the benefits that derive from justification. We read, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:1-5). Notice the emphasis Paul placed on the word hope in these verses. Hope is an important part of Higher Way
our daily lives here on earth. Think about the people you know whose demeanor is upbeat and hopeful. You enjoy being around them! Quite the opposite is true of someone who lacks hope. It seems as if people with that frame of mind focus on the empty half of the glass; they always take the negative view of things. Most of us find ourselves steering away from those with that mindset. Hope is good for us, and it is something we all need. Likely you have faced times in life when you found yourself striving to be more hopeful—perhaps trying to put the most positive spin possible on a bad circumstance, or looking for the best outcome in a situation. That is not to say we should be misguided. We do not look at a circumstance and call it something it is not. Rather, we want to look reality in the face and still keep an optimistic perspective. Faith has a way of allowing the people of God to look at a hard circumstance and still anticipate a positive result. The longer we live and the closer we get to the coming of the Lord, the more we want to have the hope of the Gospel burning brightly in our souls. A hopeful spirit is not something we learn in a class on how to be a good business person, or a concept promoted by a motivational speaker. True 12
hope is based upon a relationship with Jesus Christ, and it is an essential part of a healthy spiritual life. We find many examples in Scripture of people who maintained their faith and hope in spite of seemingly impossible circumstances. In the Book of Genesis, for instance, we read about the man Abraham. It was said of him that “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). It also says that he “against hope believed in hope” (Romans 4:18). The circumstances that Abraham faced left him with no hope in the natural, but he had a hope in God that surmounted obstacles. Perhaps most of us have faced hard circumstances that left us wondering, How am I going to get through this? Those hard times are a part of life. At that point it is imperative for us to realize that the very essence of hope—the basis and foundation of our hope— comes from God. He is the One who gives hope. The hope that He gives is not a transitory feeling that is here one moment and gone the next. This hope is substantial; it is lasting; it is real. Abraham had been called of God, and responding to the call of God must come first in our lives too. If we are to obtain the hope that comes from God, we must have a connection with Him. Salvation—the experience of being justified with God—is a marvelous event, a life-transforming experience that lays the groundwork for real hope. We cannot build up that experience too much. One thing is sure: if you are not saved, you need to
get saved today. The Lord has an open door for you to walk through, and when you do, your life will be transformed. If you are saved, seek God to be sanctified. Consecrate your life and set it apart for God. Do that! God is not far from us; He is close by, and He is waiting to answer your prayer. If you have been made holy through the experience of sanctification, seek for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, God’s promised power. When you respond to God’s call and establish that connection with Him, you will find a real basis for hope in your heart. God called Abraham to leave his country, his home, and his family, and Abraham obeyed. He went out, though the Bible says plainly that he did not know where he was going. Sometimes it is good for us not to know what is ahead. We are built to walk by faith, to believe in God and trust Him for today without worrying about tomorrow. Abraham was a man who had seen the wonderful grace of God. He had experienced His love, and he knew that God cared about him and was concerned about the details of his life. Abraham and his wife, Sarah, wanted a son, and God had promised that a son would be born to them. However, the years came and went until Abraham was one hundred years old. All physical hope was gone, but Abraham still hung on to his faith and hope in God in spite of the circumstances he faced. Life is a rough road at times. Sometimes we acquire bumps and bruises as we encounter the disappointments of life. But if we keep our hands in the hand of God, He will take us through with victory! It is when we get discouraged and lose hope that the bumps in the road disorient us and cause us to swerve or even be derailed. Throughout those years of waiting, Abraham was careful to maintain his
Faith has a way of allowing the people of God to look at a hard circumstance and still anticipate a positive result.
connection with God; everywhere he went he built an altar. What a lesson for us! Prayer is so valuable. It is the essence of spiritual life. I don’t think Abraham was any different than you or me. He simply made the choice to keep his faith and hope in God. Romans 4:19 says that “being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb.” He “considered not”! He did not look at the circumstances and let them overwhelm him. There are some things that we do not want to consider because they are counter-productive to our faith. Like Abraham, we need to make choices that support our confidence in God. We must weigh: Is this perspective going to help my faith and hope in God or hinder it? There are some things that are simply dead-end roads and we must choose to avoid them. The time for having children had disappeared for Abraham and Sarah as far as this natural life is concerned. But he did not consider those things; he clung to the promise that God would give them a son. When he was one hundred years old, a miracle took place and they had Isaac. Oh, what a joy that son must have been! However, that was not the last time Abraham had to hang on to hope and faith in spite of circumstances. Isaac grew, and then the Bible says God tested Abraham. He told Abraham, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:2). As we read that account, we sense something awesome about Abraham’s response. God commanded, and Abraham offered no argument, because he knew in his heart that God’s ways are perfect. Abraham
“staggered not at the promise of God” (Romans 4:20). He had a clear picture of how good God is, and that gave him a strong hold on hope. God is good! As this world becomes more and more troubled, we can find ourselves feeling less than hopeful if we dwell upon what we see around us. However, we can get on our knees and ask God to renew our hopefulness. He will do that! When we get up from prayer, though our circumstances are still the same, we have a stronger desire to keep on going. Our perspective is broadened, and we realize that God is still in control and His ways are perfect; He will work things out. Abraham proved that to be true. We read that he rose up early with Isaac and the servants, and they headed for that mountain. No doubt the devil was there to try to put all kinds of questions in Abraham’s mind. What about God’s promise? Are you really going to sacrifice your son? I believe that once more Abraham made the choice: I am not going to consider anything less than full obedience. I know God has given me His Word and I believe He will not disappoint me. This will not come to a bad end. In Hebrews 11:17-19 we read that Abraham’s confidence in God was so strong that he could believe God would raise his son from the dead; he completely trusted God to do all things well. In Romans 8:28, the Bible says God works all things together for good. What seems to be a negative situation that we may not understand at all will work out for good. If we stay committed to God and keep our hope anchored in Him, we will find that promise is true. As Abraham and Isaac made their journey toward Mount Moriah, Isaac noticed that they had the wood and the fire, but there was no sacrifice. He
asked his father about that, and Abraham gave a wonderful answer: “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8). We can echo the words of Abraham, “God will provide . . .” in so many circumstances. The devil will try to say, “What about this? What are you going to do now?” We can simply answer, “The Lord will provide. God will come through for me.” What a hope! What assurance! We hear testimonies of how God comes through day after day, month after month, year after year, for His people. Yes, we will have trials and tests—the Bible says that many are the afflictions of the righteous. I am so glad that verse does not stop there. It goes on to say that “the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). He delivers us out of them all. If we are serving the Lord today, we are in a good place to have hope. Many things in the world around us seem to be out of kilter, but this Gospel is working just as it has always worked. The promises of God are sure and steadfast. Like Abraham of old, we can have hope. We can read these inspiring words, and believe God even when the situation seems impossible. We can say to God, “You did it for Abraham, and You will do it for me. I know I can trust You.” God has many victories in store for those who keep their faith in Him. We must not let the discouragements of this life tear us down, but instead simply trust Him and refuse to consider things that would tear down our faith. God will bless us for it! He took Abraham and other worthies of old through times of trial, and He will take us through as well! Tim DeBusk is pastor of the Apostolic Faith Church in Tacoma, Washington. Higher Way
EVIDENCE The Lord has blessed me all through my life. I am thankful for the family I was raised in, and the heritage that I had. A few months ago, my husband’s mother passed away, so we have been going through things such as historical documents and old photographs. These are the things that people save in their families; they are part of their history. As we sorted, it made me stop and think about my Christian heritage. I am so thankful my parents raised me carefully in the Gospel. Not only that, they taught me that I needed to seek God for myself and know that I was right with Him. They helped me have a desire for the Lord, not because I had to or because I was scared, but because I wanted to serve Him. When I was a young child, I prayed and He saved me and sanctified me. Later, He gave me the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The blessings did not stop then. Down through my life, no matter what has happened, the Lord has been there. He blessed me with a wonderful husband and three children, and recently I became a grandma. I am so thankful for what the Lord has done in our lives.—Lori McKibben
There is a praise in my heart for everything the Lord has done for me. I am so thankful for the Christian home that I was raised in. I couldn’t have had a better life laid out before me. God has kept me from so many bad things in life, and really led me along the way. Unfortunately, I have been a slow learner sometimes. The Lord saved me at a youth camp nearly twenty years ago. Shortly after that, I felt that I had received my sanctification, but over time I struggled. I would hear testimonies of how for some people the experience came 14
in such a powerful way, and it really struck them. Then I would wrestle with whether or not I had been sanctified. Not long ago, my wife and I had the privilege to go to India to be at the dedication of our new church there. When it looked as if the trip was really going to happen, I started telling the Lord, “I don’t want to go and be a hindrance over there. I want to be able to contribute and help.” I prayed and read my Bible. Right before the trip, I said, “If I can somehow be a blessing to someone there, Lord, help me. But if there is anything left that You have for me, would You help me in this situation and show me in my heart where I am at?” The last Sunday we were in India, after the service I got down to pray, and the Lord started blessing me. I was happy and crying at the same time. When I got up from praying, I felt good! After we came home, I started thinking about what a blessed time that was. Then I prayed, “God, You sanctified a gentleman next to me.” And right there in my car as I was driving down the freeway, the Lord sanctified me. The glory of God came into that car and witnessed to me. It was an experience that no one could talk me out of, and the devil couldn’t make me wrestle with anymore. I am so thankful that God is faithful to me. I want to serve Him the rest of my life.—Rob Moen
God has been so good to me. I thank the Lord for how good this church has been to my family. Back in about 1921, my parents lived in Kansas in a sod house. Times were hard. They had three little girls, and my dad was gone sometimes for three or four days at a time, trying to find some kind of work.
My mother prayed. She knew very little about God, but the Lord saved her. Not long after that, my aunt received literature from this church and sent it to my mom. After she read it, my mom wanted to come out here to Portland. And even though my dad was not a Christian, he agreed and the family moved here. My dad had no work, and they were poor. Eventually, my dad heard there was a little work in Dallas, Oregon, where there was a branch church. They moved, and my dad got a job shaking hides in a hide factory. My mother sought God in the services and was sanctified and received her baptism. A little later, I was born into that family, and when I was eighteen years old, I prayed, and God saved me. It was March 21, 1948, and the young lady who would become my wife was saved the same day. How good this Gospel has been for my wife and me! We found the church a good place to raise our children. When we went through hard places, the people were there to help us. One time I broke my back, and we didn’t have two quarters to rub together. But the people of God came by; they brought us milk, they brought potatoes, they brought meat. We never missed a meal. Like Ruth in the Bible, I can say that these people are my people and their God is my God. I love the people of God! I love coming to church! Most everything wears out, but the desire to be in God’s house every time there is a meeting hasn’t worn out even a little. I thank the Lord for being so good to me!—Earl Phillips
Lately I have been thinking how grateful I am that I had the privilege to be born and raised in this Gospel. I do not want to turn away for anything!
PERSONAL TESTIMONIES OF THE POWER OF GOD
The Lord saw fit to call me at a young age and I’m glad I answered the call. Having Jesus by my side has taken me through a lot of things. I am grateful that my mother made the choice to raise her kids in this Gospel. A few months ago, she was really sick—while working in the church office she had a seizure. It was very scary. I remember coming out of a meeting at work to listen to a couple of messages on my cell phone. I was told my mother had been taken to emergency at the hospital, and they did not know what was wrong. I remember calling on the Lord as I drove in my car to the emergency room. Many others were praying too, and the Lord answered our prayer. It was kind of touch and go for a while but the Lord healed her and I am so thankful for that. It is wonderful to have a God to call on when things are rough, and I thank the Lord for all He has done for me. I want to serve Him the rest of my life.—Jennifer Buss
I am so glad that God’s love ever reached out to me. When I was in my late teens, I was saved, but I turned away from that great love. I walked away from God’s blessing and the privilege to have that relationship with Him. For over ten years I went my own way. During that time, God was faithful to remind me of His love and what it was like to have His blessing. He would send people my way—a little old lady in a park gave me a small Bible, and somebody I worked for gave me his testimony. The farther I went, the more impossible it seemed for me to be able to come back to God, even though I really did want to. Yet in His mercy, God helped me to start coming to church. For about six months, I came
and would listen to the messages. At times, I so much wanted to go down and pray. I wanted to ask the Lord to forgive me for my sins and give my heart and life to Him, but the devil had me bound. I just did not think I could do it. One day God helped me make that step. It was a miracle! At the close of a meeting, I cried out to God and told Him I was sorry for ever turning away and for the things that I had done. In a moment of time, the Lord put peace in my heart. He rolled that burden of sin off me and instantly delivered me from drugs and alcohol and the life that came with that. Everything changed that day. Now I know that the Lord is right with me. It is a great privilege to be able to kneel and pray, and in a few moments go into the presence of the Almighty God. I love Him with all of my heart.—Jeff Yellott
Thank God that I am saved! Sometimes we wonder what we would do in a crisis situation, and a while ago I had
the opportunity to find out. One night when I was on my way home from church, I prayed a prayer of desperation. There were headlights coming toward me that should not have been there, and all of a sudden, I knew I was going to be hit. At that point, I had a prayer: I said, “Jesus!” I wanted Him to help me, and He did. I hoped that He would help me get out of the way of the car that was coming toward me, but He allowed the impact. Yet as time went by, I realized that God had helped in different ways. He had helped in the fact that my family was not in the car with me. That was a huge blessing, and I am so thankful God arranged everything that way. Also, the other driver hit me head-on in the front, and all the impact went straight forward where the seat belt was. If she had hit me in the door, I might have been more seriously injured or killed. I did get hurt, but was able to walk away from the car. I was glad I was able to go home from the hospital that night and am thankful my family was able to care for me during the recovery time. I still have a prayer, and it is, “Thank You, Jesus!”—Barry Morgan
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? Acknowledge “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Confess “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). Repent “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19).
Forsake “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him . . . for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). Believe “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 you are a new Christian, write us and request the tract entitled, “Starting Out.”
A Hungry Heart Satisfied
special meeting was planned in hen I was young, Pusan. I really wanted to attend, I attended Sunday and God blessed that desire. school, and was When I prayed with a heart full hungry for a real Christian life. of thanksgiving to God at that I felt in my heart that a true service, consecrating everything, Christian did not commit sin God baptized me with the Holy and I wanted to live righteously Ghost and fire. I glorified God, in the sight of God. speaking in another language One day I received a copy that I had never learned. of The Light of Hope from the Later, I moved to Seoul, where Apostolic Faith Church in Pusan, I got a good job and married a South Korea. As I read it, I knew young man in the church. Even it was the truth. I contacted the though we were not rich, our church, and corresponded with married life was happy. God prothe workers there for a few years. vided for all our needs, and gave In 1975, I moved to Seoul. us two sons. When our second Shortly after that, I learned from son was born, he had physical one of the Pusan church memproblems. It seemed impossible bers that the missionaries Harold and Sally Barrett were holding This woman finally found a for him to live and grow, but we trusted God, and He undertook church services in their apartway to live righteously in for our baby. ment in Seoul. I began to attend, In 1985, my husband became and there I heard the truth: that the sight of God. the pastor of the Apostolic Faith a child of God does not commit Church in Taegu. I was glad to sin. However, I was a hypocrite By Sung Ja Kim move back there, because my and filled with pride, so it was family lived in the area. My mother had been a deacon not easy to repent and admit my need of God. The holy lives of the missionaries and the saints con- in a church when I was young, but later had turned to victed me. My heart was troubled and for a month I could Buddhism. I prayed for her earnestly. One year after we hardly eat or sleep. One Sunday morning, as I listened moved to Taegu, my mother became very sick. We went to to the sermon, I felt such conviction that I really wanted the country and brought her to our church. We prayed for to repent. After the service, all the saints prayed with me her, and she also prayed earnestly. On Easter Sunday mornand God washed my sins away by the Blood of Jesus. I was ing she walked to the worship room with the help of our born again! My life changed completely. Before, I had loved saints. She looked terrible, but that day she wept in repenworldly things, but after I was saved, I was not interested tance. God saved her soul and healed her body, and she is in them at all. In my heart I had peace and overflowing joy. still alive today at the age of ninety-seven. After she was saved, my mother longed very much for my The missionaries told me that after being saved, temptations would come. What they said was true. I started a job father to be saved also. He had developed a big lump near in Taegu where I received a good wage and had the respect his cheekbone. The doctor said it was cancer and they could of the factory workers. I tried to have a victorious life in do nothing for him. That seemed like a death sentence. One Jesus, but my love for Him was growing cold, little by little. day as my mother was praying for my father’s healing, God baptized her with the Holy Ghost and fire. My father began My heart became troubled again. One day I remembered the words from the Bible, to pray, and right there in their home, God saved him. God “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not also healed my father of the cancer on his face. Today, I praise God with all my pass away” (Mark 13:31). I realized that if I did not obey His Word, I would die spiritually. I decided to start travel- heart for what He has done for me ing to Seoul, to attend the meetings. One Sunday morning and my family. when I came into the worship room and saw the saints, I Sung Ja Kim and her husband, felt so burdened. At prayer time I wept many tears, and God was so good to me and forgave me. With all my heart, I Young Geun Park, who is District Superintendent of the South Korea wanted to serve God wholeheartedly from then on. On the way home to Taegu, I was praying earnestly and Apostolic Faith work, currently live thinking about the tract, “Sanctification.” There on the in Seoul. He pastors the Korea headexpressway bus, God sanctified me! A short time later, a quarters church there. 16
Today’s Youth © Scott Maxwell | Fotolia.com
Getting On Track
By Ryan Trotter
He tried having one foot in the Gospel and one foot in the world—but he found out that does not work!
erving God takes focus and determination—I learned that by experience. My godly heritage goes back a long way. In the lives of both sets of grandparents and my parents, I have witnessed that the Gospel works. However, observing and living the Gospel are two different matters, and I found that out. As I was growing up, our family read the Bible every day, and we were taught to reverence and seek the Lord, and I am thankful for that. By the time I went to college, I wanted to follow my Christian heritage and do what was right. However, I had one foot in the Gospel and one foot out. I did not want to leave what I knew was
real, but I also wanted to have a little piece of the world. It doesn’t work. The bottom line was that I was miserable! Thankfully, God convicted me. I asked for forgiveness, and He gave me the strength to step out of the sin that I was in. The summer of 2001 was a time of revival among the young people. On the Saturday night before camp meeting started, someone came to me and said, “Do you want to come over to the Youth Chapel? We are having a prayer service there.” I thought: Why would I want to go pray on a Saturday night? The Lord really convicted me of my attitude, and showed me that I needed to get serious about Him. During the following days, while focusing in on God, He did some amazing things in
my life. A hunger grew in my heart, and when I looked into the Bible, it seemed the Scriptures jumped out at me. God sanctified me and took out the nature of sin. Then He filled me with His Holy Spirit. He showed me His reality through the evidence of speaking in another language, but also by His closeness. God grounded me in the Gospel. It was a momentous time in my spiritual walk. A couple years later, I wanted to get married and have a family, but I sincerely desired to have the Lord’s will in the matter. He showed me the verse in Psalm 37 that says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” That Psalm also says, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” I had an assurance that if I would be patient, the Lord would have the right person for me. I noticed a certain girl but did Higher Way
not say anything to anyone about it. After a few months, through a series of circumstances that were from the Lord, we were able to get to know each other. The conviction grew in my heart that we were right for one another. We were married in 2003 and now have three beautiful children. It’s amazing how God blesses and helps when you put your life in His hands. God has been good to teach my wife and me lessons along the way. A couple of years into our marriage, He showed us that we were not handling our finances as He would have us do. Then He helped us make decisions that got us back on track until it was all straightened out. Our desire is to be good stewards of what God has allowed us to have. God let me know that in order to be what I should be for Him, I must have a vibrant relationship with Him. That understanding has come over time, in different ways. For example, when I was fifteen years old, I had lost weight and was extremely thirsty all of the time. Then I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Talk about a lifestyle change! At first I thought that my life was over—no more participating in basketball or any sports. However, my diabetes is controllable, and I learned that by taking the proper precautions, I could be involved in those activities. It was a lesson that relates to my
spiritual walk. With diabetes, if I don’t take care of myself—check my blood sugar and take insulin—eventually I will die. This health maintenance is something that I have to do
God let me know that in order to be what I should be for Him, I must have a vibrant relationship with Him. That understanding has come over time, in different ways.
consistently every day. It is the same with my Christian walk. I need to make sure that I am reading the Bible and praying and seeking the Lord consistently. Doing so will result in a healthy Christian life. In the world today, there are many pressures to doubt God and His Word, but the Bible is confirmed to me. I can look back on the fact that the Lord saved me and changed my
heart, He sanctified me, and He filled me with His Holy Spirit. There are other landmarks that I can point to. God has made Himself real in my life. Sometimes I think of the story in the Bible of the blind man that Jesus healed. I don’t believe he ever had any doubt that he could see! He remembered that drastic change for the rest of his life, and He knew Jesus did it. Similarly, I know Jesus is real because of the evidence of what He has done in my life. My desire is to be faithful. God has helped me realize that doing what He wants me to do is not about me or my abilities or inabilities. It is about His strength; if I lean on Him, He will help me. I want to make sure that I am following God the way I should, that I am a good husband and love my wife as Christ loved the Church, that we bring up our children as God desires, and that we are good stewards of everything that He has given us. God has certainly been faithful to me, and I owe Him my faithfulness in return. Ryan Trotter is a youth minister in the Apostolic Faith Church in Chehalis, Washington.
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Personally Created U
sually something we create people, but the one that upset me ourselves has special worth the most was mine because it was to us. Last fall my family and my creation. That really hurt! A young boy’s I were shopping when school supGod created this world; He cresadness over his plies were being displayed in the ated everything. Genesis 1:1 says, stores. Looking at the crayons and “In the beginning God created the damaged picture watercolors brought back memories heaven and the earth.” The Apostle illustrates how God of when I was in elementary school. John expressed the same thought On art day, we would take out our in John 1:1-3, which says, “In the must have grieved supplies and start to draw or paint, beginning was the Word, and the making our own little creations. when His most special Word was with God, and the Word Anyone who knows me very well can was God. The same was in the creation was defaced guess that there would be a fish or a beginning with God. All things deer somewhere in my picture, and were made by him; and withby sin. maybe I would be trying to catch it. out him was not any thing made When you are the artist, the picthat was made.” Then, to bring From a sermon by ture you draw is the one that is most unmistakable clarity, he went on Wayne Butler important to you. Quite often the to declare that the Word was Jesus teacher put our drawings up on the Christ, and that Jesus “was made wall. And once in a while, they were even hung in the hall- flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). way where the whole school could see them. Out of those Don’t you imagine that the Creator had a special feeling twenty-five or so drawings, there was only one that would about His creation? When I think how special my simple catch my eye every time I walked by. To me it was the best little paintings were to me, I can only imagine how much picture of them all. Why? Because it was the one I had God looked at His creation and loved and felt good about painted. One time when our paintings were in the hallway, it. It was special to Him. In fact, under the divine inspirasomeone took a pencil and defaced them. It upset a lot of tion of the Holy Spirit, Moses wrote that every time God Higher Way
created something He said it was good. When He finished As Jesus walked on the earth, He was reaching out to creating everything, He said it was very good. God loved those who did not know Him. He was reaching out to His creation; it was special to Him because He made it. those who rejected Him. He wanted to restore the picture God’s favorite of all His creations is man. That is you that had been scarred, that sin had defaced. That is why He and me, and all the people on the face of this earth. When came to the people who knew Him not. He had compasGod made man, He breathed into him the breath of life sion on the blind man and touched him. He healed the and gave him a never-dying soul. You possess a soul that sick and raised the lame man. He began fixing what sin will live through all eternity. had corrupted. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us because Think of this: God loved His creation so much that the Bible says He came and dwelt among us. How marvelous He wanted to save us. Jesus came to restore what sin had destroyed. He came to fix the is that? God said He would send picture. He came that the world His Son and have the Word live might be saved through Him. on earth with us. We are created He did not come to condemn or in His image, and He came in that Jesus came to execute judgment—though one same image and dwelt among us. day He will. He came to seek and Verse eleven says, “He came unto restore what sin had save those who were lost, and He his own, and his own received him did it willingly for you. He came not.” Try to picture Jesus Christ, the destroyed. He came to make the change in your heart One who created everything, walkto fix the picture. that only He can make through ing down the streets of Jerusalem, His shed Blood. walking through the marketplace, I am so thankful that He came walking around those residential willingly for me. He personally areas where the people lived, going came and put Holy Ghost convicpast the synagogues, through the tion on my heart. He caused me to olive orchards, and mingling with crowds of people. Remember that this was God walking feel sorry for my sins and gave me a repentant heart. He on earth as a man among us. He made it all, yet we read was reaching for me; He sought me. He called after my that His own knew Him not. It is hard to imagine! They heart and asked to come in, and when I let Him, He made could not recognize the very One who held their lives in a radical change. He put His peace down inside. I knew about the Blood of Jesus, but on the day that He saved me, His hand. Can you imagine how that made Jesus feel? Something had changed since the Creation. God could Jesus Christ applied the Blood to my soul. What a differnot look and say it was good as He had back on Day Six. ence! He gave me that relationship in my heart that sin Sin had entered into this world and altered what God had had destroyed way back in the Garden of Eden. He made a made so good. Sin had defaced the picture. Before sin new picture of my life. If you are not saved, the Lord wants to change your entered, Adam walked and talked with God; it was like Heaven on earth. Adam and Eve were the only two people heart today. He came to take away the sins of the world. who walked on the face of the earth and knew what it was Has He taken away your sin? There is no other way to like to live in a sinless world. They knew what the perfect reach Heaven. Look to Jesus, the Creator who was made picture was. They knew what it was like to walk and talk to flesh and dwelt among us to take away sin. He died for you! He would love to once again breathe into you the their Creator face to face. Then sin entered, and the relationship between God breath of life—real, eternal life. He loves His creation; you and man was broken. Can you imagine how this grieved are special to Him. He is still reaching, still calling, and Jesus Christ as He walked on this earth? When He walked still trying to fix the picture of your life. He wants to make the streets of Jerusalem, He knew the problem of the man you ready for Heaven. If you don’t know Him, ask Him that just went by. He knew the thoughts of the woman into your heart. He will meet you and change your heart, who walked toward Him. When Jesus went by a lame making you ready to live with Him for eternity. man, He felt his pain. He knew every heartache, every sin, Wayne Butler is pastor of the Apostolic Faith Church in every care. He must have thought, This is not what I had Van Buren, Arkansas. planned back when I created man.
Heritage A Drunken Logger Finds a New Life
I Everything changed when he found a friend named Jesus.
By Burd Ostendorf
had gone into the nightclub thinking I would have a wonderful time. The beer and whisky glasses were piling up in front of me, and I held a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Though the place was full of smoke and noisy from the dancing and the loud clatter of glasses, in the midst of all that, I heard the still, small Voice of God. He spoke to me and dropped something into my heart that caused me to get to my feet. I shoved my chair back and staggered across the dance floor to the bartender, who was also my landlord. That night I told him, “You have seen me in this place for the last time.” And I left. For a good many years, I had lived in Los Angeles, California. Through the Depression years, when a dollar was hard to get, I drove a taxicab to make a living for my family. I would buy liquor for seventy-five cents a pint and carry it in my cab. Then, at night, I would hang around the best hotels and wait for someone to pass by who would pay me $5.00 for it— I did not care how I got money. I had lost all respect for those around me, including my wife and family. My little daughter used to run
to me and throw her arms around my neck and say, “Daddy, I love you!” Even that did not make me change my ways. It was not long before my wife said there were going to be some changes made around our home. Those changes came about when she took my daughter and left me. Divorce followed, and it seemed my life went from bad to worse after that. After I left Los Angeles, I rode the freight trains, slept in boxcars, and hung around the skid roads, all the while trying to hold my head up and call myself a man. Though I wanted to get away from it all, I found that Satan keeps his slaves on the run. Finally, the Lord led me into the logging woods of Oregon. I didn’t know one soul in Oregon, but God had a purpose. I made good money in the woods, but for about ten years, I spent it all in the nightclubs, theaters, and dance halls, trying to find peace and happiness. All the time I would wonder, Is this all there is to life? Isn’t there something better than this? Then came the night that I heard God’s Voice speak to me in that nightclub. I went home and lay on the bed, Higher Way
“If you are willing to turn your back on sin and give God a chance at your life, He will do something for you!”
trying to understand what was going on. I knew that something was happening to me, and I wanted to get away from that type of crowd. The next day was Sunday, but I started drinking once more, trying to somehow drown that feeling. I drank a quart of wine and then borrowed a car and drove eighteen miles to Grants Pass, Oregon. I did not know anything about the Apostolic Faith Church; I had never been to one of those meetings. But that night the car stopped under its own power right in front of that little church. I staggered in and went part way down the aisle. Then I stopped and just stood there. I stared at the quartet that was singing and listened to the words of their song, “Where He leads me, I will follow.” After a bit, the usher tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Don’t you want to sit down?” I said, “Leave me alone,” and continued to stand there. The words they were singing went deep into my heart. Finally I sat down. At the end of the service, the minister came off the platform and asked, “Do you want to come and pray?” I replied, “That is what I came for.” I did pray, though I did not get saved that night. But I continued to attend those meetings. I had been to other churches and prayed at their altars; I had “accepted the Lord Jesus,” because I wanted to know my sins were forgiven. I had shaken the preacher’s hand, signed my name to a church roll, been patted
on the back and told, “Brother, God bless you. You will make it.” But none of those things made a change in my life. I would walk away, strike a match on the side of the church building, and light a cigarette. This church was different. I did not know why, but the moment I walked into it, I knew it was different. Then one night, I heard, “Ye must be born again,” and, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” After that sermon, I stepped out into the aisle and, with a purpose in my heart, I went to the altar to pray. The minister looked this old drunken logger in the face and said, “If you are willing to turn your back on sin and give God a chance at your life, He will do something for you.” I wanted out of the life I had been living for so many years, so I said, “Lord, if You will give me what these people have been talking about, I will serve You for time and eternity.” I meant business! I had always thought that a man who cried was a sissy or a coward, but that night my tears dropped on the altar. I forgot about my old logger friends and everybody else, and I prayed earnestly. I did not know much about the Bible, but the Lord gave me a Scripture, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Then the most marvelous thing happened! I found the Friend who could give me the thing I spent years trying to find—oh, the joy and peace! When I finished praying, I looked up, and it seemed like Heaven was there. Those kneeling around me looked like angels. When I went home, I said to myself, “It is so wonderful now, but I wonder how long it will last.” Before I got
A Statement of Bible Doctrine saved, I used to go out and get “tanked up,” and I would feel “wonderful,” for a time, but the next morning I would always wake up with a terrible hangover. What a surprise God had in store for me! I slept a full night of rest and contentment; not once did I wake up and reach for a cigarette as I had done for so many years. I did not need the morphine or a drink from the bottle to lull my body back to sleep. God had really done something when I prayed at that altar. He gave me what I had asked for and a lot more than I ever thought was possible. The change in my heart was real. The thieving, lying, cursing, and swearing were gone. I have never wanted another drink of liquor or another cigarette. The chip on my shoulder fell off at the altar of prayer the night the Lord saved me. God kept me living a Christian life as I went back into the logging woods and worked with the same crew of men for the next five years. I lived a new life before them. Some would point a finger at me and call me “Preacher,” but they knew God had made a change in me. Two weeks after God saved me, He sanctified me, and later He baptized me with the Holy Ghost and fire. After that, someone told me, “You are just getting started in the way.” Oh, I am so glad I got started! For all these many years I have been trying to tell others of the wonders God has done in my life, but I really have not scratched the surface. Now, after years of victory, my desire is to stay in the race and finish the last mile of the way. Burd Ostendorf was born in Advance, Missouri, on January 17, 1902. He passed away on February 22, 1976.
We believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible, and endorse all the teachings contained in it. Following is a summary of our basic doctrines. The Divine Trinity consists of three Persons: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost, perfectly united as one. Matthew 3:16-17; 1 John 5:7. Repentance is a godly sorrow for and a renouncing of all sin. Isaiah 55:7; Matthew 4:17. Justification (salvation) is the act of God’s grace through which we receive forgiveness for sins and stand before God as though we had never sinned. Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17. Entire Sanctification, the act of God’s grace whereby we are made holy, is the second definite work and is subsequent to justification. John 17:15-21; Hebrews 13:12. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the enduement of power upon the sanctified life, and is evidenced by speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. John 14:16-17,26; Acts 1:5-8; 2:1-4. Divine Healing of sickness is provided through the atonement. James 5:14-16; 1 Peter 2:24. The Second Coming of Jesus will consist of two appearances. First, He will come to catch away His waiting Bride. Matthew 24:40-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. Second, He will come to execute judgment upon the ungodly. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Jude 14-15. The Tribulation will occur between Christ’s coming for His Bride and His return in judgment. Isaiah 26:20-21; Revelation 9 and 16.
Christ’s Millennial Reign will be the 1000 years of peaceful reign by Jesus on earth. Isaiah 11 and 35; Revelation 20:1-6. The Great White Throne Judgment will be the final judgment when all the wicked dead will stand before God. Revelation 20:11-15. The New Heaven and The New Earth will replace the present heaven and earth, which will be destroyed after the Great White Throne Judgment. 2 Peter 3:12-13; Revelation 21:1-3. Eternal Heaven and Eternal Hell are literal places of final and eternal destiny. Matthew 25:41-46; Luke 16:22-28. Marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman that is binding before God for life. Neither person has a right to marry again while the first companion lives. Mark 10:6-12; Romans 7:1-3. Restitution is necessary, where in wrongs against others are righted. Ezekiel 33:15; Matthew 5:23-24. Water Baptism is by one immersion “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 3:16; 28:19. The Lord’s Supper is an insti tution ordained by Jesus so that we might remember His death until He returns. Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Foot Washing is practiced according to the example and commandment Jesus gave. John 13:14-15.
You may obtain additional information about these doctrines, and learn about our publications in foreign languages by writing to the Apostolic Faith Church at 6615 SE 52nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97206, U.S.A. or visiting our website at www.apostolicfaith.org. Before these magazines are sent out, they are a lways prayed over for the healing of the sick and the salvation of souls.
ur website offers a wide variety of spiritually encouraging materials. You will be able to view back issues of Higher Way magazine, watch webcasts of live services from the headquarters church in Portland, learn the news from Apostolic Faith churches around the world, listen to inspiring Gospel music and sermons, download sermons and free curriculum materials, and much more. Click over to our website today and spend some time exploring what is available there!
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