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C. R. Oliver



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ANNOUNCEMENT - CALGARY MEETING!

We are continuing the planning of a Zadok meeting in Calgary, Canada.

Our target date currently will be in late May, 2018.

Hopefully, this will match your ability to attend. Blessings!

If you might consider being in attendance, we would love to hear from you by email or phone.

     Phone: (936) 230-3543
     Email: zadokbookstore@zadokpublications.com





ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

October 1, 2017

Exact Ezekiel
Chapters 23-24


Introduction:

     This chapter brings the hearer a step down from the previous appraisal of Israel's character, as seen by the Living Lord. Israel's self-appraisal would never have included seeing themselves and their religious piety in terms of being Idolatrous, let alone Adulterous. Now the Lord calls them Prostitutes!

God's contempt for their wholesale mindset is clearly seen in this new indictment. To be an adulterer is one thing, but to be called idolatrous prostitutes is another. Prostitution is based on an illicit transaction and is about selling oneself for gain, fame or money. (Men and women are known to prostitute themselves for favor or fame or monetary gain. Politicians and Churchmen do the same, for the same reasons. Whatever their reasoning, the result is identical-a liaison at the lowest level.)

More and more, the Gomer syndrome of Hosea manifested itself in the affairs of God's Chosen people. Covenant with God slowly meant nothing to them; His love was spurned for a sordid, temporary fix. Once one identifies with the role of a prostitute, no action is deemed as inappropriate behavior. All parties associated with the prostitute's transaction are tainted by such activity and God was not willing to be a part of it.

His solution is spelled out in this twenty-third chapter. It opens by answering the unspoken question revolving around His accusation. In essence it says, you ask Me, "When did we prostitute ourselves?" In the 23rd Chapter, He tells them where and when!

Chapter 23:

Ezekiel 23:1-4:
This message came to me from the LORD: 2 "Son of man, once there were two sisters who were daughters of the same mother. 3 They became prostitutes in Egypt. Even as young girls, they allowed themselves to be fondled and caressed. 4 The older girl was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. I married them, and they bore Me sons and daughters. I am speaking of Samaria and Jerusalem, for Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem.
NLT

In these opening lines, the persons of interest are identified. They are Samaria and Jerusalem (the ten tribes of the North [now captured and carried off to Assyria and later dispersed to every nation]) and Judah/Benjamin (the southern tribes). They have the same mother: Sarah (and they have the Isaac and Jacob lineage).

Israel's time in Egypt was a time when they became acculturated into society. They witnessed enticements that competed with their God. They learned to allow themselves to be spiritually abused under the guise of receiving favors from their enslavers. Those who came to Egypt in their innocence learned how to manipulate their seduction for advantage. (O' Church, could this not be said of you?)

God, like Hosea, married them anyway, as they matured. But, what they had learned in Egypt did not leave them, even though God's love surrounded them. The Joseph years of prosperity saw many children born to this union. Israel entered Egypt as a few, but departed Egypt as a multitude. However, it soon became evident that Moses led a people who could witness deliverance of gargantuan scale and turn to say, "Why did you have us leave a pleasant land to die in the desert?"

Ode to Samaria: Oholah

Ezekiel 23:5-10:
"Then Oholah lusted after other lovers instead of Me, and she gave her love to the Assyrians, her neighbors. 6 They were all attractive young men, captains and commanders dressed in handsome blue, dashing about on their horses. 7 And so she prostituted herself with the most desirable men of Assyria, worshiping their idols and defiling herself. 8 For when she left Egypt, she did not leave her spirit of prostitution behind. She was still as lewd as in her youth, when the Egyptians satisfied their lusts with her and robbed her of her virginity. 9 And so I handed her over to her Assyrian lovers, whom she desired so much. 10 They stripped her and killed her and took away her children as their slaves. Her name was known to every woman in the land as a sinner who had received what she deserved.
NLT

Oholah made treaties with Assyria which led to her enslavement. Their flashy army offered protection and security. The ten Northern Tribes were betrayed and carried away to captivity in a foreign land, which eventually disintegrated, and they were scattered over the Caucasus and spread to every nation, carrying their youthful lessons with them. The other two tribes cared less, they said, "she got what she deserved." Prostitutes (Judah) grow callused.

(Church, have you been seduced, captured and enslaved while the world claps in approval? Liaisons are like that.)

Ode to Judah: Oholibah

Ezekiel 23:11-13:
11 "Yet even though Oholibah saw what had happened to Oholah, her sister, she followed right in her footsteps. And she was even more depraved, abandoning herself to her lust and prostitution. 12 She fawned over her Assyrian neighbors, those handsome young men on fine horses, those captains and commanders in handsome uniforms - all of them desirable. 13 I saw the way she was going, defiling herself just like her older sister.
NLT

Jerusalem made treaties with Babylon, Assyria and Egypt, at different times, to ensure protection. They emptied their coffers and gave away the treasures of Solomon's Temple. (Earlier in Ezekiel, discussion was made about these alliances.) These liaisons yielded nothing as all the governments failed to honor their word. Hence, they were weakened to the point they were enslaved in Babylon.

The following passage tells about this betrayal. Oholibah's escape from reality gave her a false picture of her lover's abilities. She foolishly embraced a false construct, based on a fantasized picture projected on the wall of her devotions.

Ezekiel 23:14-17:
14 "Then she carried her prostitution even further. She fell in love with pictures that were painted on a wall - pictures of Babylonian military officers, outfitted in striking red uniforms. 15 Handsome belts encircled their waists, and flowing turbans crowned their heads. They were dressed like chariot officers from the land of Babylonia. 16 When she saw these paintings, she longed to give herself to them, so she sent messengers to Babylonia to invite them to come to her. 17 So they came and committed adultery with her, defiling her in the bed of love. But later, she became disgusted with them and broke off their relationship."
NLT

The brochures oversold the product. Illusions are like that! Remember, this prophecy is aimed at the "church crowd" gathered in Ezekiel's home to hear from God. Is it easy to be duped? The "golden calf" was still in their hearts, even though it had been centuries since the Exodus.

Notice how Oholibah was disgusted with her lying liaisons, just as God was disgusted with Oholibah. With Egypt on her mind, she was blind to the facts of her condition.

(O' Church can this be said of you?)

Ezekiel 23:18-21:
18 "So I became disgusted with Oholibah, just as I was with her sister, because she flaunted herself before them and gave herself to satisfy their lusts. 19 But that didn't bother her. She turned to even greater prostitution, remembering her youth when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 She lusted after lovers whose attentions were gross and bestial. 21 And so, Oholibah, you celebrated your former days as a young girl in Egypt, when you first allowed yourself to be fondled and caressed." NLT

Virgin innocence is not recoverable.

Ezekiel 23:22-27:
22 "Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will send your lovers against you - those very nations from which you turned away in disgust. 23 For the Babylonians will come with all the Chaldeans from Pekod and Shoa and Koa. And all the Assyrians will come with them - handsome young captains, commanders, chariot officers, and other high-ranking officers, riding their horses. 24 They will all come against you from the north with chariots, wagons, and a great army fully prepared for attack. They will take up positions on every side, surrounding you with men armed for battle. And I will hand you over to them so they can do with you as they please. 25 I will turn My jealous anger against you, and they will deal furiously with you. They will cut off your nose and ears, and any survivors will then be slaughtered by the sword. Your children will be taken away as captives, and everything that is left will be burned. 26 They will strip you of your beautiful clothes and jewels. 27 In this way, I will put a stop to the lewdness and prostitution you brought from Egypt. You will never again cast longing eyes on those things or fondly remember your time in Egypt.
NLT

(The reference to noses and ears being cut off speaks to the luxury places where the well attired female had nose ornaments and earrings. Those items have made a comeback.)

A beachhead was established in this passage, however, that would turn the significance of the battle around. The leaders and elders needed to know God was the author of their captivity-not the ambitions of the Babylonians and Assyrians. They needed to know why they were enslaved in Babylon: it was to cleanse them.

What they had in Egypt would no longer be on their mind. (O' Church, there is a soon coming cleansing in order for a chaste bride to emerge. The Son will not marry a prostitute.)

Ezekiel 23:28-35:
28 "For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will surely hand you over to your enemies, to those you loathe. 29 They will deal with you in hatred and rob you of all you own, leaving you naked and bare. The shame of your prostitution will be exposed to all the world. 30 You brought all this on yourself by prostituting yourself to other nations, defiling yourself with all their idols. 31 Because you have followed in your sister's footsteps, I will punish you with the same terrors that destroyed her.

32 "Yes, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: You will drink from the same cup of terror as your sister - a cup that is large and deep. And all the world will mock and scorn you in your desolation. 33 You will reel like a drunkard beneath the awful blows of sorrow and distress, just as your sister Samaria did. 34 In deep anguish you will drain that cup of terror to the very bottom. Then you will smash it to pieces and beat your breast in anguish. For I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken! 35 And because you have forgotten Me and turned your back on Me, says the Sovereign LORD, you must bear the consequences of all your lewdness and prostitution."
NLT

Judah smirked when Samaria was taken captive years before; now she will be dispersed throughout the nations just like the ten Northern Tribes. Who was to blame? They were! How far reaching is this punishment to be? It would be beyond their imagination!

However, their assumed denial of conditions was to be shattered by the Prophet's "in their face" accusations. Ezekiel was to confront the elders with God's list of grievances against them. He was to spare no one. Simply put, while standing in front of those from Samaria, who might have lived in Jerusalem and escaped the Diaspora caused by Assyria, they would not escape God's scathing indictment this time.

Ezekiel 23:36-39:
36 The LORD said to me, "Son of man, you must accuse Oholah and Oholibah of all their awful deeds. 37 They have committed both adultery and murder - adultery by worshiping idols and murder by burning their children as sacrifices on their altars. 38 Then after doing these terrible things, they defiled My Temple and violated My Sabbath day! 39 On the very day that they murdered their children in front of their idols, they boldly came into My Temple to worship! They came in and defiled My house!
NLT

Perhaps the word "accuse" carries more than a pointed finger of rebuke. According to the Hebrew words associated with it, it involved casting aside protocol or rank and clearly stating God's view of their religious community and those individuals responsible. Ezekiel was to leave nothing out, but make sure every aspect is openly exposed.

OT: 5046 Accuse

nagad (naw-gad'); a primitive root; properly, to front, i.e. stand boldly out opposite; by implication (causatively), to manifest; figuratively, to announce (always by word of mouth to one present); specifically, to expose, predict, explain, praise (or not praise):

KJV - betray, certainly, certify, declare (-ing), denounce, expound fully, messenger, plainly, profess, rehearse, report, shew (forth), speak, surely, tell, utter.  (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek- Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

The true man of God has a duty not to gloss over the deeds of sin-conviction comes when he is faithful to God's text. Which of the first list (vs.36-39) would not be a description of current society?

Adultery with what is often determined to be "just part of the culture" becomes acceptable behavior, even if it violates the word of God. A murderous abortion, in the millions, finds no appeasement from the Most High. This trilogy of darkness also includes disregard for the sacred things of God: defiling the Temple and breaking the Sabbath.

The worst case scenario is found in verse 39, which uncovers the raw hypocrisy of the religious community. Acting as if God doesn't care, they entered the sanctuary of Praise just after worshipping idols and burning their children.

Their nonchalance expressed a total disregard for the holiness of His Presence. (O' Church, is this not repeated weekly, almost daily, in the realms of ecclesia? What would God list today? Would His list include "coming before Him laden with sin and never occasioning repentance?")

Samaria and Judah must now drink the wine of judgment. Review the following verses.

Ezekiel 23:40-45:
40 "You sisters sent messengers to distant lands to get men. Then when they arrived, you bathed yourselves, painted your eyelids, and put on your finest jewels for them. 41 You sat with them on a beautifully embroidered couch and put my incense and my oil on a table that was spread before you. 42 From your room came the sound of many men carousing. They were lustful men and drunkards from the wilderness, who put bracelets on your wrists and beautiful crowns on your heads. 43 Then I said, 'If they really want to sleep with worn-out, old prostitutes like these, let them!' 44 And that is what they did. They slept with Oholah and Oholibah, these shameless prostitutes, with all the zest of lustful young men. 45 But righteous people will judge these sister cities for what they really are - adulteresses and murderers. They will sentence them to all the punishment they deserve.
NLT

Verses 40-44 describe a whole nation who made treaties and gave their treasures to the likes of Assyria, Egypt and Babylon. Even the Lord seemed "put off" with those nations who favored Israel. Those are the three nations who slept with the prostitutes. God called Israel "old prostitutes," who were "worn-out." One of the reasons those nations fell in history was their being "one in the flesh" with Israel's prostitution.

Verse 45 is a powerful incentive to live a righteous life in these end-time days. Clearly, the righteous have untainted vision and judge in holiness; they are tasked to judge these adulteress and murderers. This is a clear picture of the righteous being outside the religious spectrum. The righteous are separate from the norm of piety sprinkled with compromise. They SENTENCE Samaria and Judah to ALL the punishment they deserve.

Where are the righteous today? Where are their righteous judgments? The revival bandied about in these days must start with the inkhorn in the Temple marking the righteous and showing the need for repentance to the rest.

Ezekiel 23:46-49:
46 "Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Bring an army against them and hand them over to be terrorized and plundered. 47 For their enemies will stone them and kill them with swords. They will butcher their sons and daughters and burn their homes. 48 In this way, I will put an end to lewdness and idolatry in the land, and My judgment will be a warning to others not to follow their wicked example. 49 You will be fully repaid for all your prostitution - your worship of idols. Yes, you will suffer the full penalty! Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD."
NLT

Full punishment did fall on Israel.

Several months before Jerusalem was burned and the Temple destroyed, Ezekiel was again answering the question, "How in the world did we wind up here?"

God carried out the sentence of the righteous, by fully destroying the nation.

Why is it important to study the prophets? How is the Old Testament important to those of modern times? The answer is given in verse 48 as a "warning to others not to follow their wicked example!"

(O' Church are we not perilously close to emulating them? This warning is like that of Sodom; it is a universal road block with a written notice: "Don't travel this road for it leads to destruction.")

Chapter 24:

Ezekiel 24:1:
On January 15, during the ninth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity, this message came to me from the LORD:
NLT

(Since this was dated as the 9th year of Jehoiachin's captivity and Zedekiah reigned 11 years after his overturn, this meant the year was 588BC (there are yet two years until the burning of Jerusalem). Jan. 15th witnessed a cold winter day in Jerusalem, as the chilling message was given to the elders.

Sometimes, exact dates are historically important. We mark them when wars start and aggressive behavior begins or ends among nations. We celebrate victories by calendaring holidays commemorating various historic events. So, God instructed Ezekiel to mark down this date as a most important date. Mind the matter, for Ezekiel was hundreds of miles from Jerusalem in a day when mass communication was not invented. He was told this day is important because Babylon began their final assault against Jerusalem on this day, which was an assault that would last two years and bring mass destruction to the population. Babylon was angered at Jerusalem's resistance and eventually they attacked Egypt and took authority over it because of their collusion with Judah.

Jeremiah had something to say about this ordeal of death. Hear him in this passage:

Jeremiah 52:4-9:
4 So in the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. They camped outside the city and built siege works all around it. 5 The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

6 By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat. 7 Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled. They left the city at night through the gate between the two walls near the king's garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah, 8 but the Babylonian army pursued King Zedekiah and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, 9 and he was captured.

He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath.
NIV

The day on which Nebuchadnezzar blockaded the city of Jerusalem, by throwing up a rampart, is still kept as a fast-day in consequence (Zech 8:19)

(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Every citizen of the city would be in jeopardy of sword, famine and fire. Two years of supplies being interrupted caused their citizens to starve. The razing of the city was heartbreaking to those who cherished her heritage.

Unfortunately, God was saying through His servant, "there is nothing to be done now." This judgment is sure and prayer would not avail.

Boiling pot of corruption:

Remember, there were no news agencies to report on the conditions that occurred in Jerusalem and no interpretation of "on the ground activities" during the siege. (Except Jeremiah, who was many miles away in The City.) The "all knowing God" proffered an illustration that would be imprinted on the audience at hand and would act as an unforgettable commentary on the events of punishment. It was a boiling pot of corruption.

The scene had several ingredients, but the overall take was simple. This was an illustration which involved everyone from the elite upper classes (choice lambs) to the lowest inhabitant. The mention of various parts of the choice meats indicate "a cream of the crop" stew being boiled by the fires of war. Bones and flesh were separated in the corrupt pot (dividing the soul and the spirit).

Religious hierarchy, along with the elders of the people, formed the horrid mix.

Ezekiel 24:2-8:
3 Then show these rebels an illustration; give them a message from the Sovereign LORD. Put a pot of water on the fire to boil. 4 Fill it with choice meat - the rump and the shoulder and all the most tender cuts. 5 Use only the best sheep from the flock and heap fuel on the fire beneath the pot. Bring the pot to a boil, and cook the bones along with the meat.

6 "Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Destruction is certain for Jerusalem, the city of murderers! She is a pot filled with corruption. So take the meat out chunk by chunk in whatever order it comes, 7 for her wickedness is evident to all. She murders boldly, leaving blood on the rocks for all to see. She doesn't even try to cover it! 8 So I will splash her blood on a rock as an open expression of my anger and vengeance against her.
NLT

By randomly dipping into the pot in no apparent order, the stage was set for a lesson in the school of "hard knocks." (We might use a different phrase today; we might say, "any way you cut it, everyone is involved.")

Ezekiel 24:9-14:
9 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Destruction is certain for Jerusalem, the city of murderers! I Myself will pile up the fuel beneath her. 10 Yes, heap on the wood! Let the fire roar to make the pot boil. Cook the meat well with many spices. Then empty the pot and burn the bones. 11 Now set the empty pot on the coals to scorch away the filth and corruption. 12 But it's hopeless; the corruption remains. So throw it into the fire! 13 It is the filth and corruption of your lewdness and idolatry. And now, because I tried to cleanse you but you refused, you will remain filthy until My fury against you has been satisfied. 14 I, the LORD, have spoken! The time has come and I won't hold back; I will not change My mind. You will be judged on the basis of all your wicked actions, says the Sovereign LORD." NLT

Two very distinct aspects can be learned from the Scriptures above.

     1. God is the power behind this judgment. He wants it clearly understood this captivity and war is His doing. It is not the aggression of a Babylonian dictatorship seeking conquest over them. It is also not some grand conspiracy of the Assyrians, Edomites, Jebusites or Canaanites. None of Israel's enemies are responsible for their plight. He takes full responsibility for the boiling pot and no amount of cleansing makes a difference at this point in time. Jerusalem was corrupt going in, during and coming out. Even the pot (Jerusalem) would not be cleansed once they were judged. Lewdness and Idolatry proliferated every fiber and sinew of their being and no matter what order would be chosen, not one piece of the stew exuded anything but the stench of corruption.

     2. The Lord tried to cleanse them, but they refused. By sending Joel (835 BC), Amos (760 BC), Hosea (755 BC), Isaiah (740 BC), Micah (735 BC), Zephaniah (639BC), Jeremiah (627 BC), Habakkuk (607 BC), Daniel (605BC) and finally Ezekiel (592 BC), He sought them out. Two Hundred Forty-two years of prophetic pleading was sent to no avail.

(O' Church there is a lesson to be learned here, for when one remembers Whitfield, Edwards, Moody and Finney, the Lord again was sending His messengers. The trail of revivalists from Wesley to Billy Sunday and Billy Graham tell the tale of God's desire for a converted born again society. Alas, look at the scene under the church's present day watch; there is a constant conspiracy to undermine Christianity, whether through Progressive Liberalism or unmitigated immigration [bringing foreign gods by the thousands]. What would be God's judgment of us, given our Two Hundred year history?)

Exact Ezekiel's awesome task:

Ezekiel's "dearest Treasure" would be taken from him; it was a tremendous personal loss in the prophet's life. God instructed him about his reactions.

Ezekiel 24:15-17:
15 Then this message came to me from the LORD: 16 "Son of man, I am going to take away your dearest treasure. Suddenly she will die. Yet you must not show any sorrow. Do not weep; let there be no tears. 17 You may sigh but only quietly. Let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends." NLT

(In my advanced years, I have sought to console many acquaintances in ministry whose wife passed before they did. I am acquainted with their sorrow.) Ezekiel's dearest treasure stood beside him through thick and thin. Ezekiel's wife must have entertained and cooked for the many who visited their home. She comforted the prophet, consoled him and embraced his difficult tasks of ministry. He leaned on her strength and treasured her love. God knew how much she meant to him. (No book can prepare the wife of a minister. No advice can tell them the many times they must pray for his safety and courage.) A prophet's wife dries his tears of joy and sorrow, defends him in the market place, shields him from the wrathful inquirer, and lends her personal relationship to God as support, often while remaining in the background. (Such is my wife and I know her many roles and tasks.)

This awesome loss was the ultimate test of Ezekiel's faithfulness to the word of the Lord. It is after this event that Ezekiel was given the most profound prophecies of his entire ministry. He saw into the distant future and experienced the wonder of things yet to take place. He became a prophet, not to Israel alone, but to the world. God gave him chapters 37, 38, 39 as well as the great teaching on the Sons of Zadok in chapter 44. He viewed the Holy City of heaven and stood by the river of life and was baptized in it.

Ezekiel 24:18-19:
18 So I proclaimed this to the people the next morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did everything I had been told to do. 19 Then the people asked, "What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?"
NLT

How often do you tend to depersonalize the prophets? It is good to look into their lives and examine the cost of being a man of truth with uncompromising adherence to the word of God. The ministry must never be a profession; it must always be a calling.

Note: the underlined portion of the passage: "I did everything I had been told to do." Go ahead, put his shoes on your feet and imagine what coursed his soul where only a silent whimper was allowed. (Spiritual exactness was a prime factor in the early church. Acts 8 reveals how important it was to Philip and his reward for his faithfulness to it. It is a missing factor today, both in pulpit and pew.)

God used this event to drive home a greater truth than the Corrupt Cauldron.

Ezekiel 24:20-24:
20 So I said to them, "A message came to me from the LORD, 21 and I was told to give this message to the people of Israel. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will desecrate my Temple, the source of your security and pride. Your sons and daughters in Judea will be slaughtered by the sword. 22 Then you will do as Ezekiel has done. You will not mourn in public or console yourselves by eating the food brought to you by sympathetic friends. 23 Your heads must remain covered, and your sandals must not be taken off. You will not mourn or weep, but you will waste away because of your sins. You will mourn privately for all the evil you have done. 24 Ezekiel is an example for you to follow; you will do as he has done. And when that time comes, you will know that I am the LORD."
NLT

Exact Ezekiel's example was forever emblazed in their hearts and minds. This grand exclamation stood as a symbol to them and their future generations.

Ezekiel 24:25-27:
25 Then the LORD said to me, "Son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold - their joy and glory, their heart's desire, their dearest treasure - I will also take away their sons and daughters. 26 And on that day a refugee from Jerusalem will come to you in Babylon and tell you what has happened. 27 And when he arrives, your voice will suddenly return so you can talk to him, and you will be a symbol for these people. Then they will know that I am the LORD."
NLT

Ezekiel was told he will have an "En Punto" experience with a survivor of the fire. There was a stipulation; your voice will be taken away until he arrives. The sudden return of his voice would signal him that this is the man of occasion. (Does God still plan these kinds of meetings where strangers come into your life and you know it is from the Lord? Yes! Hear Him---more now than at any time in history. The Spirit will lead you away from harm and to provision.)


Until Next month,


Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.






From the Mailbag:


From Roni H., Minnesota:

I enjoyed this month's newsletter-it was so "right On," for today. It is an encouragement to hear and read the Life Giving Blood of the Lamb. I am praising the Lord that the flames will not touch us-praying for you and the storm will not come nigh you.

Answer: Our home and offices were spared the ravages of Hurricane Irma. Thanks for the prayers of all of our readers.


From Rita, F., Wyoming:

Really, really appreciated your teachings for August and September newsletters - so much meat in both.


From Victoria A., Texas City: (Victoria is a board member with OEA and is an ordained minister.)

God Bless you!

The Lord is moving by His Spirit.

I went to I-Hop where 3 waitresses and one waiter got saved. I gave away three Bibles. Then, I went to Walgreens and the cashier was saved. He had anxiety reading out loud, so, he chose to read the tract I gave him privately. The power of God came upon him! He was in his late teens or 20's.

I then went to a Chinese restaurant and the owner was saved. The Power of God came on her and she wept and was so touched. I gave her a new Bible I had purchased. Her mother was Christian, but not her.

Time is winding down and Jesus is soon to come!

(Response: What if every ordained minister made these type contacts? What about every born again believer? What if one's daily opportunities turned into chances to witness?' Here is a math teacher full time, but has enough time to distribute Bibles and witness! Bless you, Victoria.)




Prayer Focus:

From Brian Mason:

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."
Ephesians 3:20

All scriptures from the Authorised King James Version

What power you might ask? This is the power which that calling itself Christianity and Church today should have at its disposal but either denies or rejects or may have only in a small measure. This is because the stream of vital Christianity has run so low that it has in the main lost the power at the disposal of the Church to out-manoeuvre and baffle the very strategy of hell. The power at the disposal of the Church is that of the Holy Spirit. The early Church relied on unction from on High rather than entertainment from men. O God waken up the Church from slumber. It is as though at best what is known as Christianity and Church today is unwilling to move on from the nursery.

Let us start with a look at what is meant by Church. "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts 2:47. To be in the Church is first of all to be a saved person. Each saved person becomes a member of the body of Christ which is His Church. Only someone who has been saved through repentance of sin and the forgiveness of sins can be said to be saved. A new life is received, the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, well did he say, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. In these days of apostasy, dearth and spiritual apathy even the first step to Bishop J. C. Ryle's emphasis of this key verse regarding how to be saved is often rejected.

How is the power at the disposal of the Church and available to everyone who has been saved received? The power comes from the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead. Those who say at one extreme that the Holy Spirit is not for today are grieving the Holy Spirit. At the other extreme there are those who are seeking experiences for themselves. These think that they have the Holy Spirit, yet are deceived and have a false spirit from hell. Between these two extremes is that of apathy which is not interested in becoming a fire-brand on the one hand or sanctified on the other. None of these will receive the power necessary to out-manoeuvre and baffle the very strategy of hell. The devil will let them slumber on as they are no threat to his kingdom. Sadly this is most of what calls itself Christianity and Church today, especially in the western world.

There are two sides to the Holy Spirit which when brought together are the dynamic which will out-manoeuvre and baffle the very strategy of hell. These are the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire and another distinct experience of the receiving of the Person of the Holy Spirit. There are those who are saved and have received one of these and are unable to accept others who may place emphasis upon the other experience. I have in God's wonderful way received both the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Holy Spirit as two separate experiences, a few years apart from each other. Both of these together in the same person are the dynamic which causes the devil to shake in his shoes and out-manoeuvers the devil's strategy whether it be through Islam or secular humanism or indeed wherever the devil comes to interfere in human affairs. On the one hand the baptism "John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." St. Luke 3:16 And on the other hand for the Person of the Holy Spirit "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1 and "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Colossians 3:2-3.

This prayer request is for the coming together of the Bible teaching on both the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Holy Spirit in each person who not only believes in the Lord Jesus Christ but belongs to Him. Also for the removal of the hindrances caused by only accepting one of these positions. With the coming together of both the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Holy Spirit there shall be a dynamic which shall out-manoeuvre and baffle every strategy of hell which has come against the gospel reaching every creature and the second coming of the Messiah who is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Reverend Brian Mason
Bible College Wales
Rhos on Sea
Email: brianmason4219@gmail.com





Missions Report:

From Larry and Marla Johnston in Guatemala:





Contact Information:
          Web: http://www.flamesoffireministry.org/
          Email: flamesoffireguatemala@hotmail.com




The fields are ripe unto harvest!







Free Medical and Dental Care

This team was amazing, dental, medical and pharmacy all worked together to bring much needed help but also to show the love of God.

One of the things that we absolutely love about this team is that even the docs are so committed to the cause of the gospel, that yes they come and work long hot days treating hundreds of people but....they are never in too big of a hurry to stop and pray for the people!

The people were all prayed for and everyone heard the gospel. Many gave their hearts to Jesus. Some were so touched that they brought us whole stalks of bananas and home made cheese just to name a couple of our village blessings!





Construction Builds 4 Homes

In 4 days, there were 4 houses built. The men came together the young and the old, the non-experienced and the experienced to put up a house for families of the feeding centers. Each day they seem to find their groove and it became faster and easier. The people from the village gathered around watching in total amazement as the houses go up. The families who received the houses were so thankful and overwhelmed with joy. Often living in shanties of banana leaves or mud, they went from a Hut to a Home in just one day.

After we finished each house we gathered with the families and shared with them about the house and prayed with them.







Children's Ministry

The Children's Ministry team told stories, did puppet skits, sang songs, played games, colored and most of all loved the children right to the feet of Christ. It was definitely a labor of love for the team. They sometimes were in the sun all day! But the fruit of their labor was souls for the kingdom. The children heard about a God that loves them, a Savior that died for them, and how to know them personally.

So many children began a lifelong relationship with Jesus! Please pray for all of the people who were ministered to this week, that the meds work, that their mouths heal, and that they most of all never forget the One who loves them most!





We had an amazing time in Kenya doing the Bush Bible School and a couple of church dedications for GGO, and our home church who builds in Kenya just like they do here for us in Guatemala. It was a treat to get to go out to a few villages, you know that's where our heart is--in the villages! I hope that you take the time to enjoy all of the stories and pics in this newsletter as much as we enjoy telling about it all. Thank you for helping us touch the world. With all that is going on, earthquakes, hurricanes and such the like, we want you to know that we are praying for you, for protection. The word says that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver him from them all. So, we pray, that as God delivered Daniel from the lions, he was still thrown in with them, and as God delivered Shadrach, Meshack and Abendego, they were in the firey furnace, but you see they weren't there alone! As the king looked in he said "didn't we throw 3 men in? I see 4 men walking around and the 4th is like the Son of God" We pray that the same power of God be with you through it all and bring you out just as He has done for so many who serve Him!

Kenya 2017



Bush Bible School
In Kwale, a small town on the south coast of Kenya, about a half hour from the Indian Ocean, three women and sixteen men started bible school classes. What an experience to see men and women hungry for the Word. To see them challenged in their faith, in their relationship with their Lord. Learning how to stand strong, to walk in their authority, being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. With our minister friends Portia Sharp and Mike McGuire, together we taught the students for a week of classes from 8am to 5pm. The students from different churches came together to learn and as they await the next classes in January. They will continue to come together and pray for each other and for the school.

Shambini for Jesus
Our first Sunday in Kenya we were in our dear friend's church pastored by his wife, Sammy and Margaret. What a wonderful time we had in the Lord. The church was full, the children, the youth and the women sang songs. A group of Masai women even came from over the border of Tanzania just to be with us. They made a special presentation singing songs of unity within the brethren! We worshiped the Lord, and then the preaching of the word brought forth a strong presence of the Holy Spirit to minister to the people. Many were healed and encouraged in their faith. One elderly man sick with cancer was healed of bladder cancer. He was in severe pain, with much blood in his urine. The next day he said that all was functioning like a young boy! Praise the Lord. God loves his people so much and longs to touch us and set us free, we just have to believe!


Osoit....Now is Another Village for Jesus! We had a great time dedicating the church in Osoit! It is in the middle of barren, parched land. No rain has fallen in so long. But the rains of the Spirit are falling in that place. They desperately need a water well. We spoke to them about believing God for the well. Their faith is high. We also talked to them about commanding the rains to come! They had tea waiting for us when we arrived! We took tea together and then preached the word. There were baby sheep, and roasted goat! But mostly there was a tremendous move of the Holy Spirit!


Church Dedication in Imbirikani
Like the other village, this one is also in the middle of nothing but dirt and rocks. They also need rain desperately. We also talked to them about authority in Jesus name to command the rains. We are so excited to say that the rains aren't due until later in October, but the day after we preached here commanding rains.....it has begun to rain! Praise God! We are so happy that GGO has a heart for the unreached villages around the world. Together we are impacting countries, nations, villages, and souls for Jesus Christ. The women in this village were so loving, we laughed together, praised together and even did a little masai dancing!

Running with the Giraffes
Ok this was over the top! We had an amazing time with the church and then as we drove a little from the church we saw lots of giraffes! We got out of the vehicle and went to them-in the wild!!! No fences just us and the giraffes! We got within about 50 feet of them, it was absolutely phenomenal!!!! They weren't afraid of us. They definitely had their comfort zone but it was such a treat to just walk among them! Ok, so we didn't run with the giraffes but we did walk with them! This was absolutely more than we could have imagined. There are so many little pleasures that God gives us along the way as we surrender our lives to His Service. It just makes you smile.


Ministering to the Military Police
At the invention of our friend Commander Nyawa Murinzi in the military police we went to their base camp in the area we were ministering. We entered into their small chapel about 12 to 15 feet in diameter. Made of sheet metal. It quickly warmed up as the sun began to shine on it. Then about 30 men and women soldiers enter after us, we never imagined that many people could fit in there. They came with struggles dealing with being lonely, so far from home, some newly married but separated from their wives. But God knew what they needed to hear and they left the meeting with smiling faces, laughing, encouraged in the word and their faith built up. The Lord is Good and His mercies endure for ever.


Pastor's Conference
Masai pastors conference was so very powerful! We interceded for Guatemala and United States, heard the word and rejoiced together! On our last day of ministry, there was such an awesome move of God at the conference. We started the morning with a small number of pastors. But as we worshiped our Lord entering into the presence of the Lord they began to fill the church. We ministered the Word to them, exhorting them in their faith, Our friend Portia Sharp ministered to them on the Holy Spirit. Several were filled with the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues. We prayed for them, God’s blessings over them, there were many healings that took place as the gifts of the Spirit moved. These men and women worshiped and entered into His presence.







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