Friday, September 29, 2006

SOME 30, SOME 60, SOME 100

SOME 30 SOME 60 SOME 100

Jesus told a parable one day about a sower that went forth to sow. There were different kinds of ground, denoting different heart conditions of the hearers of the good news. They all HEARD the word. Three RECEIVED the word, and were SAVED. Only ONE of the THREE bore fruit.

Not ALL of the folks with honest and good hearts bore the SAME AMOUNT of fruit. I used to wonder WHY this was so.

Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

In 1939, the year Pearl and I were married, I was assisting Pastor C. Haskell Yadon in Emmanuel Assembly, we had some interesting discussions at Wednesday Bible Study, and occasionally the subject of fruitfulness would come up. Also the subject of the possibility of degrees of salvation experienced by believers.

Those were the days when the Pentecostal Church Incorporated and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ were still separate-- one teaching the possibility of a "full salvation"-- the other teaching "Holy Ghost or Hell", as it was dubbed at the time by those opposed to it, and "The New Birth" by the proponents.

Invariably, the matter of "hundred, sixty, thirty" would be referred to as proof of one thing or the other.

I was 20 years old at the time, and not as thoroughly versed in scripture as some others, so I mainly listened to Harry Judd and Walter Durst and Pastor Yadon as they brought forth Truth as they perceived it. Ellis Scism was Pastor at a sister church 17 miles away, and that assembly was grappling with similar dilemmas.

Matthew 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made [them] other five talents.

I Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Some of the problem interpretations were simply too profound for me to solve at such an early age, so I (wisely) shoved them to the "back burner" until such a time as the Lord would choose to illuminate them to me.

I could see quite readily that the first apostles knew that the Lord had opened the door of repentance to the Gentiles when they "heard them speak with tongues" at the house of Cornelius. That truth was in the favor of the PA of JC brethren, I knew.

It was not until the year I was ordained (1943 in Bend, OR) that Bro. Howard Goss was able to shed light on the subject, as far as I was concerned. He mentioned to me that there was probably such a thing as a "full salvation", and that many people were selling themselves short of it by not having the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.

That explanation was sufficient for that stage of my development, but more, much more, was to follow in later years. I still get excited when I reminisce of how the Lord led me to a better, much better, understanding of how He feels about the situation.

It has taken me over fifty years to learn some of the lessons about the God we serve and love. The most difficult part about the learning process was neutralizing what I had been taught in earlier times, so there could be a fertile soil for the seed to grow in as the Lord shed light on my pathway.

As I accepted what was being shown to me, the pieces of the puzzle began coming into place, and Jesus and Calvary began to take on much larger proportions than I had dreamed they could.

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

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