What is written about the messages posted here is only some of the highlights remembered from hearing them. It can never convey what was experienced under the sound of the gospel being preached in power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit. Even an electronic recording of it could not do that! Our effort is not to provide such an experience. It is only to give you a glimpse of what we believe as a people. drawn together on common ground to worship God and enjoy the fellowship of others seeking the same thing. We try to give you points we remember and the scriptures on which they are based.
Friday May 31
Services begin at 10:30 followed by lunch and an afternoon service.
Supper at 6:00 followed by services.
Saturday June 1
Services begin at 10:30 followed by lunch and afternoon services.
Supper at 6:00 followed by evening service.
Sunday June 2
Services begin at 10:30 followed by lunch, then Communion.
The Annual Meeting for Mizpah Primitive Baptist Church began Friday morning at 10:30. We were blessed with a beautiful day and a good congregation. The morning message was given by Elder Walter Todd. He began by stating that God created the heaven and the earth and everything between. Before that was done, God chose a people in His Son. “Having predestinated us” Paul was writing to “the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus,” in which he included himself, and extends to each generation after that.
Two things have a great impact on their lives that they cannot see, the wind and the spirit. The wind is equally effective for all people, but the Spirit of God has a unique effect in the lives of the People of God. They have appetites for nourishment that cannot be satisfied with what satisfies their body. They have yearnings for companionship with people like themselves, people who know their ultimate and true home is in heaven and not on the earth. God blesses His People through The Holy Spirit by satisfying their hunger and quenching their thirst. The saying, “birds of a feather flock together” simply means, those having the same characteristics and needs are attracted to the same places.
For God’s chosen people Ephesus was such a place, as was the other six cities where the seven churches of Asia were found. It is still the same over all the earth. It is easy for anyone to see what causes communities to be established leading to the development of cities and even empires. It is all based on the needs of people, economically and socially. The gathering of people for the purpose of worshipping God and fellowship is not so easily understood, especially by someone having no spiritual understanding or needs. It is something only God can provide, and the experiences happening at that place remain in the memories of those people, drawing them back at the appointed time. All people, including those that God chose in His Son, are on the earth temporarily, or a short time. They die and their body returns to the earth. Their spirit, however, goes back to God Who gave it.
When everything is accomplished for all those God chose in Christ, the end will come. All things pertaining to them. In heaven and in earth, will be gathered together in Christ, to be in Heaven where they will experience eternal glory. The heavenly places are not heaven itself. It is a s spiritual experience, shared by those gathered together there. For a little while they feel closer to heaven, and once again assured of the outcome, “being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will”. God predestinated people; however, God works all things for them that pertain to life and godliness. The People of God began in the mind and purpose of God before the earth was created and formed and will conclude with them back with Him in glory where there is no end. The earth, however, began where there was a 1st day and it will end with the last day, at which point it will have fulfilled it purpose.(Ephesians 1:3-11; Genesis 1:1-5; John 6:39; 17:2; 2 Peter 1:3; I Corinthians 15:24-26)
The Annual Meeting continued Friday evening. After a delicious fish supper, the evening message was delivered by Elder Jim Sanlin – He stated that we hear many sounds, some bring us joy and some cause fear. Waking up at home to the sounds of your family brings one joy. Driving down the highway and hearing a siren coming up behind you will cause fear. Those are sounds that affect us naturally. People blessed to hear with spiritual ears hear sounds that exceed in joy above anything heard by their natural ears. They hear the Spirit speak to their hearts, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”. That is a joyful sound. to which we can boldly reply, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me”.
I was conceived in sin, and when I was born, I was as one cast out into an open field, my only lifeline being linked to my nativity, lying polluted in my own blood. Now I can hear My Lord say, “when I passed by thee, and saw thee … I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live … thy time was the time of love”. That is a joyous sound. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit sayeth to the Churches. There we hear the gospel, and that is a joyful sound. When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. We love God because He first loved us, and because He loved us, He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. No man is justified before God by the works of the law, but they are saved by grace, being the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus. These are all joyous things to hear and there is much more from the same source. (Psalm 89:15; Habakkuk 13:5-6; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 10:28; John 3:16; Ezekiel 16:1-16; Romans 5:6; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 John 4:19)
Prosperity's Annual Meeting will be held in June. Saturday June 8
Service 10:30 followed by lunch then Communion.
Sunday June 9
Service 10:30 followed by lunch
Elder Jerry Lightsey – God hears His People when they cry out to Him in time of trouble. Solomon wrote in the Book of Proverbs, “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.” We can’t communicate with God as we do people we know like our family, friends, and others we relate to in our natural lives. We communicate with God by prayer and meditation. With God it is a spiritual relationship. Jesus told the disciples, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”. This statement turns on the word believing. Before we can believe in someone we can’t communicate with, there must be some change take place within us enabling us to speak to and hear Him. When Jesus was asked, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”, He answered, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
Look again at what Jesus said, “whatsoever”. He qualifies that, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” A common misunderstanding is to think anything you ask of God in the name of Jesus you should get it, no matter what! We have confidence in Our Lord, not in ourselves. We have confidence, “that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.” Knowing He hears us, “whatsoever we ask”, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. There two reasons for not receiving the help we need. One is that we just don’t ask, and another is that we ask amiss, that is for the wrong reasons. Sometimes we can’t seem to put our situation into words. We know that the need is there, but you just can’t seem to express it. God knows our heart, even our very thoughts. The Holy Spirit intercedes for the saints with groanings that cannot be uttered according to the will of God. (Psalm 40:1; 46:1; Matthew 21:22; John 6:29, 14:13-14; Proverbs 15:29; Ephesians 1:6; 1 John 5:13-15; James 1:5-6; 4:2-3; Romans 8:26-27)
Elder Paul Evans – Some criticize Primitive Baptists because they say, “we have hope”, and “they have knowledge”. It is not just hope, it is a “living hope” and a product of God’s abundant mercy having begotten us again. That is the new birth, or being born again. Nicodemus knew something about Jesus that prompted him to seek Him out, although by night, because he was a ruler of the Pharisees. He was not the only one among them that knew something about Jesus among the Pharisees because he said, “we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” Jesus responded with the same word Nikodemus used, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus told him, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Some think he was referring to water baptism, but the next verse shows He was speaking of natural life, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Then the next verse makes it even clearer, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” Babies are born when the mother’s water breaks, so being born of water is a metaphor for natural life.
The wind is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” You can’t see wind, and you cannot direct, or control it, any more than you can the Holy Spirit. You can see the effects of both. Being born again is according the election and foreknowledge of the Father, through sanctification of the Holy Spirit, unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. All this applies to all for whom Jesus died. It is a world of people; it is also a world without end. You can say, it is a world within a world. When Jesus said, “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” Notice, Jesus did not say, which thou hast given me out of the world. The world of God’s People was chosen in Him before creation. John 3:16 is not a command, or invitation, it is a statement of fact. Jacob was a figure, or type, of all God’s People which He designated to be called Israel. Jacob was God, choice, but when God found Jacob, he was in a desert land and a waste howling wilderness. God led him about, instructed him and kept him as the apple of his eye. We all were not looking for God when He found us! We don’t always act like God’s Children, and in those seasons, it is hard for us to see ourselves as His People, but the hope remains alive in us, because Jesus Christ is our Saviour and our hope. (1 Peter 1:1-3; John 3:1-16; 15:11-15; 17:1-3, 9; Ephesians 3:21; Isaiah 45:17; Deuteronomy 32:7-10; Hebrews 13:8; 1 Timothy 1:1)
Elder Jim Smith – It was the will of Christ our Redeemer that, “whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” This world has not known the Father or The Son, neither does it know those Jesus died for. Many people are very familiar with John 3:16, but not so much with 1 John 3:16. Being born again and having spiritual life we become strangers in the world of people we once felt comfortable with. We find a world of people we can now be comfortable with, having even more in common with them than those we once felt close to. Jesus left the glory He had with the Father and returned to it, having finished the work The Father gave Him to do. It is because of that work we are led by The Holy Spirit in seeing the Kingdom of God, and entering into it to experience the righteousness, peace and joy it affords.
Our life we live on earth is not long and will end in death for the body. In that we are no different from the beasts of the field. However, we have mind to remember our Creator, and when death comes for the body and it returns to the dust, then shall the spirit return unto God Who gave it. The Son of God was as one brought up with The Father and was daily His delight while the earth was created and formed to be inhabited. He rejoiced in it and delighted being with the sons of men. He was with them from Adam to Solomon when The Queen of Sheba came to see what was reported to her of Solomon’s wisdom, prosperity and fame, which she had not believed. After seeing it, she said, not only did she believe the report, but the half was not told her How God delighted in Solomon and blessed him.
Jesus said she would rise up in judgment against this generation in condemnation, and behold, a greater than Solomon is here. All they had from Adam to John the Baptist was the promise of the coming of the redeemer, with the pinnacle of the brightness of its manifestation being in the days of Solomon. In the generation Jesus walked among, died and rose again, the promise fulfilled. The redeemer lives. That is far greater than what was before. What they had was glorious, and what we have is more glorious; yet, neither can be compared to the glory experience by those taken there in the resurrection. There, The Son of God lived among the people in types and figures. Today He lives among us through the Holy Spirit, and after the resurrection we will see Him as He is and will know ourselves as we are known. We will be with Him where He is forever n glory. (John 17:24-25; Ecclesiastes 3:19-22; 12:1, 7; Proverbs 8:22-31; John 3:16; 1 John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:12-13; 1 John 1:1-2; Revelation 1:5; Galatians 2:20; 1 Kings 10:7; Matthew 12:42; Romans 14:17)
Elder Walter Todd – Job was known among the people to be a perfect and upright, to fear God and always oppose evil. More importantly, God saw Job that way, as demonstrated when the Sons of God came to present themselves before The Lord. The Lord asked Satan had he considered, “my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” Job was prosperous, and wealthy by today’s standards. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters. God allowed Satan to take his children and his possessions, still Job maintain his integrity toward God. On the next occasion Satan said, “touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.” Satan is determined to turn cause the Sons of God against The Lord. All God’s Children are Sons of God, there being neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female. No person can comprehend that, except in a spiritual sense, which requires that one be spiritual, otherwise the book of Job would be of no benefit to women.
All God’s People suffer loss and infirmities of the flesh. They all face their adversary, Satan, as Jesus told Simon Peter, “behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat”. Got allowed Satan to put Job through the test, but did not allow him to take his life. Jesus told Peter, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” There was no doubt Peter’s faith would stand the test, and be converted. Jesus knows what we go through, being tempted. He was tempted in all the ways we are, yet without sin. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. After 40 days with nothing to eat, Satan tempted Him, “if thou be the Son of God” turn these stones into bread. Jesus responded, “It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” The Devil took Him to a high mountain to see all the kingdoms of the world, and told Him he could have all that power and glory, if he would worship the Devil. And, Jesus answered, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Satan then quoted scripture, “For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Jesus answered with scripture again, “It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Satan knew he was defeated and departed from Him for a season. Satan is persistent, as he was with Job.
What we learn from Job and Jesus, is that in the midst of temptation, there will be a way for us to endure. One of Job’s friends, which he called miserable comforters, told him that God will not cast away a perfect man. Paul disagreed with that, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” As to Job being perfect, he did not see that in himself. Others could see it and God declared it of him, but Job said, “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.” Job knew he was neither just nor perfect, yet he believed there was one who would pay the price for him to live beyond the grave, In the midst of Job’s suffering he longed for death, knowing there was something in store for him that was far better. He said, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” His redeemer, and our redeemer, did stand on the earth. We, like Job, in the midst of the pain and suffering encountered in life, we can remember our Redeemer yet lives. He sits on the right hand of the majesty on high making intercession for us. (Job 1:1-8, 2:3; 8:20; 9:20-21; 19:23-27; Galatians 3:28-4:7; 1 Corinthians 9:27; 1 John 1:1-2; Luke 4:1-13; 22:31-32; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3; 4:14-16; Philippians 1:23-24)
Providence Church holds their Annual Meeting in April
Saturday June 22
Service at 10:30 followed by lunch and Communion.
Supper at 6:00 followed by singing and preaching.
Sunday June 23
Service at 10:30 followed by lunch
Elder Jerry Lightsey referred to the scriptures listed below, preaching that the word of The Lord is settled for ever in heaven. It remains the same and never changes, because it comes from the unchangeable God. Through God we have natural life with its appetite for sustaining nourishment provided through natural earthly resources. Through God we have spiritual life in the rebirth with its appetite for sustaining nourishment provided through heavenly resources. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Our life on earth, as the People of God, is sustained through both appetites.
After our life on earth is over, our need for earthly nourishment will end, but our spiritual life will continue and the words of God shall not pass away. They will endure forever. They that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. They will not be forsaken, nor be forced to beg for bread. Like birds in a nest, they are fed as they open their mouths upward. As they mature, they need food to grow stronger, enabling them to function in a realm they were meant for. With birds, it is to soar above the earth, and with God’s People, it is to enter the Kingdom of Heaven to enjoy the heavenly places, or spiritual blessings.
The gospel is food for the people having appetites for righteousness. The gospel is a spiritual message prepared for people that are equipped to consume it, digest it, and be strengthened by it. As our body is strengthened when fed the proper diet, improving the quality of natural life, so our spiritual life improves as well, when it is fed properly. Spiritual growth is in grace, and in knowledge of the truth. The more knowledgeable people are of Jesus Christ and His Righteousness, the easier it is to walk in a straight way, avoiding the enticements that would distract them, building up their lives on a solid foundation. Unlike our natural lives that weaken with age, no matter what we eat, spiritually we continue growing stronger as we get older, feasting on spiritual food. (Hosea 4:6; Matthew 4:4; 5:6; 24:34-35; John 1:1-4; 1 Samuel 3:19; 1 Peter 1:21-25; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 2:5; 4:18; Psalm 37:25; 105:30; 119: 36, 89-90, 105; Jeremiah 31:3; Proverbs 3:16-17; Ephesians 1:3-6)
Elder Jerry Lightsey was the first to preach this morning. He said God is faithful to us, even when we are not faithful to Him. We all were like being in a stream flowing down until God changed our direction. We felt a desire for something that could not be found where life was taking us. Before the we were ok with it. Now we are drawn to people we once felt uncomfortable around. We could see we had more in common with them than with than others. As we walked in the direction we were drawn, the lighter our burdens became and the greater our joy was in seeing what was ahead. Our lives became more productive in things that really matter. We wanted our livest to magnify what God had done rather than what we had done.
The more we learned about God, understanding He was the source of our life, we could see the changes taking place with us was cleaning up our lives. None of it could have been possible without the work accomplished within us. We wanted to hold on to the one that brought those changes about, to feel His presence consistently with us. We found it to be a relationship, friendship, kinship, companionship, and communion with God the Father, the Son, and all those so affected as we through the Holy Spirit, which is embodied in the Fellowship of Jesus Christ our Lord unto which we are called. Dwelling among a community of believers is the greatest joy we can experience whole we live on the earth. (Psalm 126:3-5; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; John 3:30; 15:1-11; 1 John 1:3)
Elder Tommie Stanaland followed brother Jerry in preaching. He used the account of the Valley of Dry Bones to show Ezekiel, the Prophet to Israel, God is able to raise the dead. They were at a low ebb, having been taken captive, and the Temple with Jerusalem was destroyed. They thought all for them was over, and their hope was lost. They needed reassuring. Before the prophet could give them the assurance they needed, he had to have assurance. God gave it to him in a vision. Through this experience he was able to tell the people hope was not lost. These bones represented the whole House of Israel, for whom God would restore to life, and open their graves.
All God’s People experience things that cause them to doubt, and they need reminding that God has all power, and nothing is impossible with Him. They lost what was established under Moses and the covenant based on the law and the blood of animals. They did not lose anything that covenant represented. They only lost the joy of it in their time. Jesus came establishing a new era based on better promises and a new covenant through His own blood where He reigns over His own House in The Heavenly Kingdom. The promises under the old covenant are fulfilled in Christ Jesus and we wait for His second coming when the last enemy, death, will be put under His feet and He will have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.
As with the prophets, like Ezekiel, God made known to the apostles what they needed to know to pass on to us for our comfort and growth in spiritual understanding. Jesus was transfigured with Moses and Elijah where James, John, and Peter were brought to witness it. From the Day of Pentecost onward peter preached the gospel. When the end of his way on earth the image of Jesus was still vivid in his mind. He was still stirring up the pure minds of the People of God in remembrance of these things that they might be established in the present truth. God is still calling and qualifying men to follow in the footsteps of left by the Jesus Apostles. (Ezekiel 37:1-14; Isaiah 61:1-4; Luke 4:17-19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2: 2 Peter 1:12-18)