Ephesians: Introduction to Ephesians


Good evening everyone. It’s time to begin service. It’s good to have you here with us. It’s been a few weeks since I have put a message online. We have been out visiting some different churches, and I am thankful for the opportunity we have had to do that. God has been good to us, and it has been my intention to get back to sharing some message online again.

And before we begin, let me ask you all to pray for Israel and the saints there. We see how a conflict has broken out there in the past two days that is very serious. I exchanged messages with our friends in Israel yesterday, and they are all safe, and the saints there with them. But it is a very dangerous situation at the border. So just keep them all in your prayers, that peace will soon be restored. I know Bro. Solomon and all the saints there will appreciate your prayers.

I want to also send my greetings to our many friends around the world, especially our friends in the churches we have fellowshipped with for so many years. I know things are getting especially bad in some of the churches. I know that more and more people are making their escape, as the abuse in some of those groups is really becoming very severe.

I want you all to know we are continuing to pray for you, especially for the ones who are trapped. I want you to know that God is still with you; it’s not the mountain you worship on that saves you. You may be surrounded by crazed cult members, but you serve Jesus. You put him first. You put your full faith and trust in what he did for you on the cross. And when the day is over, you are going to find yourself in the arms of a loving God.

And I have spent some time praying and thinking about what would be the next thing to examine. Lord willing, for the next while, we will be broadcasting a service on Sunday evenings. It’s been on my heart to look at the book of Ephesians. So today, we are going to begin a series working our way through the book of Ephesians. It’s a book that is six chapters long. It’s not a very long read; if you sit down, you can read the whole book of Ephesians in fifteen minutes or so. And if you are going to be following along with us in this series, I would really encourage you to take some time and read the whole book and acquaint yourself with the book.

We will be working through the book piece by piece, but it’s important to always have the whole context, to consider the whole book end to end as you examine each aspect.

And as we begin, I invite you to turn with me to the book Ephesians. It is between Galatians and Philippians, and it is one of the nine books of the Bible written by the apostle Paul to address a particular church. As we begin today, we are going to just read the first two verses. I will be using the English Standard Version in this series. So Ephesians chapter 1, verses 1 and 2.

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:1-2

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for another opportunity to open the scripture and read and learn. As we begin our study of the book of Ephesians today, I pray that you grant us understanding. Help us to see clearly. In Jesus’ name, we ask it. Amen.


Well today, we are going to be taking just a simple introduction to the book of Ephesians. I want to start by spending a little time talking about things we know about the church at Ephesus and what it was like there when Paul wrote this letter.

The church at Ephesus had been started by the Apostle Paul himself. About the year 52 AD, Paul stopped in Ephesus during one of his journeys to spread the gospel, and he found a very receptive audience there in Ephesus to preach to. You can read about that in the book of Acts, how Paul arrived there, and how the church was started.

Ephesus was a major city, one of the largest in the Roman Empire, only surpassed by Rome itself. It had large, high-rise residential buildings, sprawling markets, and was several miles across. Most of the Christians in the early church lived in such large cities, making them a primary focus for spreading the gospel.

When Paul first came to Ephesus, it was a city totally given over to idolatry, worshipping Roman and Greek gods, with Diana as their special goddess. Paul’s successful preaching led to a backlash from idol worshippers, and eventually, he had to leave Ephesus. However, the church he left behind continued to thrive and became a vital hub for the early Christian community in that region.

The letter to the Ephesians was written by Paul around ten years after he left Ephesus, during a time when he was likely imprisoned, either in Jerusalem or Rome. Paul had a deep relationship with the Ephesian church, having spent years there, appointing elders and teaching extensively.

As Paul writes this letter, he assumes that the Ephesians already have a strong understanding of the basics of Christianity, which influences the way he writes. The book of Ephesians is structured with the first three chapters focusing on doctrine and the latter three chapters addressing the practical application of faith.

Paul’s approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of both the principles and their practical application in the Christian life. It’s essential to keep in mind that Paul expects his readers, the Ephesians, to have prior knowledge of the foundational teachings he had imparted to them.

In summary, the book of Ephesians is a unique and important part of the Bible, closely connected to the church in Ephesus. Paul’s deep relationship with the Ephesian church and their prior knowledge of his teachings shape the content of this letter, which balances doctrine and practical application. As we delve into this book, it’s crucial to consider the broader context and the foundation upon which Paul is building his teachings.

When Was Ephesians Written?

So that maybe gives us a little idea of what the setting was like in Ephesus.

Now, after Paul left Ephesus, quite a few years passed. It would be somewhere around ten years later, ten years after he had left Ephesus. That is when Paul writes this letter to the Ephesians.

And, if we read through the entire book of Ephesians, we will find some references, especially at the start of chapter 3, that help us to know the time frame when Paul wrote the letter. It was at a time when Paul was a prisoner when he wrote this letter. And it may have been during the time he was imprisoned in Jerusalem, or more likely, it was afterwards when he was imprisoned in Rome. And we know that after Paul was arrested, and he spent a number of years where he could not travel and teach in person, that is when Paul wrote most of his letters which we have preserved here in the bible.

Paul’s Relationship with the Ephesians

And as Paul writes this letter to Ephesus, we realize he is writing to a church that he knew very well. Paul had spent years of time with the Ephesians. He had appointed their elders himself. He had become well acquainted with many of the people there. It was a church he had personally helped set up. And just like Paul knew them well, they also knew him well. This letter to Ephesus was like getting a letter from an old friend. Paul had already established a repertoire with the Ephesians. He had preached to them hundreds of sermons in person. The way you write to people you have known a long time is different than the way you would write to someone who is a new acquaintance to you. That is something you pick up in this letter. And that helps us understand why Paul wrote about things in this letter in a more abbreviated way. Paul does not go into an exhaustive explanation on every point.

You could compare that maybe to the book of Romans. Paul had never been to Rome, Paul knew only a few other people there. In the book of Romans, Paul took more time to give a step-by-step explanation of everything.

Whereas to the Ephesians, this is more of a refresher on things he already would have told them in person.

When you think of that, and you maybe compare Ephesians to Romans, Romans is a deep dive, while Ephesians is a higher level view.

You will find Paul speaks generally on the same topics in both Romans and Ephesians. But Paul comes at it at a higher level in Ephesians.

Summary of the Layout of the Book of Ephesians

If you were to break down the book of Ephesians, you will find in the first three chapters, Paul is dealing with doctrine. He is primarily concerned with how we think about things, how we analyze things, and what is the right way to look at things. Straight from the opening, Paul goes into a long statement that touches all the key doctrines of the Christian faith.

And then the second half of the book, starting in chapter 3, Paul transitions, and he begins to talk about the practice of our faith. The last three chapters are concerned with our behavior and how we conduct ourselves as Christians. And that is the normal flow of most of Paul’s epistles. First, he gives us the doctrines; he helps us know how to think, and then he tells us how to apply the doctrines, what those doctrines will look like when they are put into practice.

And when we are done, Paul has painted a picture of both how to think and how to act, and he follows that pattern over and over in his letters.

In doing it that way, Paul helps put guardrails up around his statements. You can’t go wild and take his doctrine and come up with your own implementation. If you want to know the actual implementation of his doctrine, you just read the latter part of his epistle.

The same goes for the latter part. You can’t take his explanations of how to act and behave and conduct ourselves and just expand it any way you like. You go back to the first part, where he explains the doctrines, and you understand the reasoning and the rationale behind that conduct.

So you end up understanding both the principle of the matter and the proper way to apply the principle in our daily life.

I think that is one very important thing to recognize with the epistles of Paul. Paul really is not someone who leaves a lot of hanging loose ends in his letters. Paul, while he may summarize some things, he never leaves the door open to just run wild with what he says. He always gives you both the doctrine, the way to think, and follows it up with the practical applicable. So we both know the way to think and the actual manner of person we should be as a result.

Truthfully, it always takes both of these things together. It takes both an understanding of the right way to look at things and the right way to think about things, and then knowledge of how to put those things into action.

If you only take one side of it, you end up in trouble. We have known lots of people who do that. They take one part and they go wild with wild ideas because they never took the time to study the whole.

If we truly have the Holy Spirit guiding us, we are going to take the full counsel of the Scriptures, not just bits here and pieces there and put them together in any old way.

If you just take the doctrine aspect without considering what it looks like when you put it into action, then who knows what you will get. People can come up with all kinds of bizarre ideas, burdensome rules, and strange practices, and we have sure seen a lot of that.

It’s also possible that you can just get a head full of knowledge and think about everything the right way. You can be obsessed with doctrine, such that it’s all just an intellectual exercise, but then never actually carry any of it into action, and we have known lots of those types too. But doing that just makes you a hypocrite. It would make you full of knowledge but in practical terms, you would be worthless. You could tell this doctrine and that doctrine backward and forwards, but you are useless when it actually comes to loving your neighbor and putting the gospel into action.

Some people get obsessed with the doctrinal side of things. Other people get obsessed with the practice or the active side of things. They totally lose sight of the doctrine that frames our lifestyle and get obsessed with rules and regulation and dos and don’ts. And if you are living a certain way and you don’t really understand why you live that way to begin with, that is actually a bit more dangerous.

Hypocrisy is bad enough, but a fanatic who doesn’t understand why they are fanatical is dangerous.

You can live a certain way, you can do things a certain way as an individual or a church or a community, and over time, totally lose sight of why you even live that way. We can see communities like that all over the place. They have adopted a particular mode of living, which is a perfectly acceptable mode of living, but gradually, the mode of living became the primary focus, and the understanding of what drives our lifestyle as Christians becomes lost.

And you end up Amish or Mennonite, and you are stuck in a particular mode, which, once upon a time was perfectly acceptable, but that community loses sight of why they ever lived that way to begin with, and then they are all just mindless fanatics, Pharisees. And the spirit of a Pharisee is the spirit of a murderer. Pharisees will kill people who do not mindlessly obey, and they are dangerous.

It’s possible to drift to an extreme on either side of that issue, an extreme where you are simply consumed by understanding doctrine and another extreme where you are consumed by the practical application. But God is concerned with the whole picture. God wants our body, mind, and soul. He wants our love from our emotions. He also wants our minds. He wants us to think about things from heaven’s point of view, and he wants us mind, body, and soul.

God wants all of the above.

So, I say that, just as I draw your attention to the fact that Paul writes his epistles in a way that he covers all the bases, in that way.

All of these things are important contexts to keep in mind as we go through this book.

I would encourage you, if you are going to study along with us through this series, to take some time and sit down and read the book of Ephesians. Acquaint yourself with the whole range of the book.

If you have spent a lot of time reading the Bible, and especially the letters of Paul, you will probably note that the book of Ephesians is a very special book, and I think it goes especially well with our last study of the book of Romans. Romans is the most clear, most comprehensive explanation of the gospel in the Bible. In Romans, Paul starts explaining the gospel from square one and he carefully builds each piece on top of the other.

Ephesians is not that. When you come to Ephesians, these are people Paul has spent a lot of time with already. This is a book Paul is expecting his readers to already have a firm understanding of the basics. They already have a lot of the blocks already put together. So there is a foundation that exists which Paul is building on with the Ephesians.

And that is important to remember as we go through the book of Ephesians. Paul is not going to explain every topic he mentions in detail in this book because he is building on a foundation he has already laid with the Ephesians in the past. We don’t have a copy of that. We don’t have a detailed explanation of everything Paul has already preached to the Ephesians. To some extent, we can piece it together by looking at Paul’s other letters like his book to the Romans. If you don’t have that firm understanding, like his Ephesian readers did, you can end up with some wrong ideas.

So, that, I believe, is another important thing to keep in mind as we examine this book of Ephesians.

Apostles of Christ Jesus

Now our lesson today is not going to be very long. As far as looking at the text of the epistle, I am really just going to look at these first two verses of the book today. Let’s read them and really consider the implications.

Verse 1 begins:

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. That is a very simple yet a very powerful opening statement, and you often find that Paul starts his epistles with a phrase just like that. He tells who he is, he tells who called him, and in doing that, he states the authority with which he speaks.

And so right from the start, we realize the authority and the gravity of the letter Paul is writing. Paul was an apostle. And, what is an apostle? I have heard a lot of ideas about that in my life.

And an apostle, in the most basic meaning of the word, it means someone who is sent. And if you are sent on a mission, then you are an apostle, in the basic meaning of the word.

If you have a job, and your employer sends you out on a mission, then you are, in the basic sense, an apostle of your employer, out to complete a mission.

And apostles belong to someone. An apostle belongs to the person who sent them.

In the English language, we generally only use the word apostle in a religious context. But, back in the days of the Bible, apostle was a more widely used word. There were many apostles of all different kinds of things. The ambassadors of the government were called apostles. The sailors serving in the navy were called apostles. Merchants who were sent out to conduct business on behalf of their enterprise were called apostles. There were apostles of all sorts back in those days.

And to be called an apostle, in the basic sense, just meant you were sent out by someone important, to conduct a mission for them.

That is why some translations of the Bible translate the word apostle as missionary because in the basic sense of the word, apostle and missionary mean the same thing. They are someone who has been sent out to fulfill a mission.

And Paul was an apostle. He was a man on a mission, and he had been sent out on that mission by Jesus Christ.

And that was the sort of apostle that Paul was. And just like in the days of Paul, there were apostles of all sorts. The same is true today; there are apostles of all sorts.

Apostles of the Latter Rain

There was a particular man. His name was George Hawtin; he has passed away now. He was a founding leader of what is known as the latter rain movement.

He claimed to be an apostle. And, in the sense of being an apostle of Jesus Christ, he was not. In that sense, he was a false apostle. But in the sense of the latter rain movement, he was a true apostle.

But he came up with a lot of ideas that became very popular in his movement. William Branham and many churches accepted George Hawtin’s ideas. And today, if you believe in the five-fold ministry, you are believing the explanation that was first taught by George Hawtin starting in the 1940s.

George Hawtin and his friends in the latter rain movement are the guys who really started to widely use the term five-fold ministry. Even that very term, five-fold ministry – was made popular by them. And George Hawtin had different sayings.

One of his sayings was that the five-fold ministry is like the five fingers on a hand, and the apostle is like a thumb, and the rest of the ministers are like fingers. And so, the apostle is a special, elite minister, that none of the rest can really function without. That illustration was invented by George Hawtin.

George Hawtin is also the man who first used the phrase that it was the job of an apostle to hold a plumbline on the word of truth. George Hawtin’s believed that the latter rain apostles had final authority on the interpretation of scripture. And that is where those ideas come from, George Hawtin and the early leaders of the latter rain movement.

The latter rain movement taught what they called the latter rain message. Over time, the group we come from, they shortened it to just The Message. And in the message, that is exactly what an apostle is. It is someone who holds the plumbline on their interpretation of scripture. And in practice, their apostles are the final authority to tell you what the Bible means, and their apostles hold total power over everyone and everything. And there is no higher authority, and generally, they just have one of them in their group, and he has power over everything. Their apostles are like the thumb on the hand; he is unique and elite, and the rest of the hand can’t work without him. And they ensure their groups are set up that way, so nothing can function without their apostle being in control of it.

That is what the apostles of The Message are like. But Paul, of course, he is not an apostle of the latter rain message. He is an apostle of Christ Jesus, which is something else altogether.

And we, of course, respect and honor every apostle, as it relates to their mission, and who sent them.

I remember the churches we grew up in, and where I was a minister at one time. We had a pastor who was an apostle, and he truly was an apostle of the message. He had a supernatural dream, which he told us about. And in that dream, he got an ordination certificate in his mailbox, and he had been ordained to be an apostle. His apostle’s certificate was signed by William Branham. That is who commissioned Raymond Jackson as an apostle – it was William Branham.

And that was Raymond Jackson’s own testimony. His personal testimony was that he was commissioned an apostle by William Branham. His entire calling, his entire apostles’ certificate, had been written in the handwriting of William Branham and signed by William Branham. And that really suits the apostleship that Raymond Jackson exercised. He is a man who, I don’t know that I heard him preach a gospel message my entire life. But he was most certainly an apostle of the message of William Branham.

But Paul here, we read, he is an apostle of Jesus Christ. And there is the difference.

Paul’s ordination certificate to be an apostle, if you know what I mean, it was not signed by William Branham; it was signed by Jesus Christ.

William Branham signed the apostle certificate of Raymond Jackson; Raymond Jackson was sent as an apostle by William Branham. That is who sent him, and sharing his message was the mission that Raymond Jackson was out to fulfill. And so, we honor him in that respect. We honor him as an apostle of the message of William Branham.

But Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ, and there is a difference there. And I am perfectly willing to respect Raymond Jackson as an apostle of the message of William Branham and as an authority in that area, we can be sure, he did have that authority. He was a close personal friend of William Branham. William Branham endorsed him publicly many times, and Raymond Jackson spent his entire life sharing the message of William Branham. And Raymond Jackson knew he had been ordained an apostle by William Branham; that is what he told all of us.

And just like Raymond Jackson knew he had been ordained an apostle by William Branham, Paul knew he had been ordained by Jesus Christ himself. And that is what Paul is telling the Ephesians here.

So, if you want to follow William Branham, then you should trust his apostles. If you believe there is salvation in the message of William Branham, then his apostles are the men you should follow.

But if you want to follow Jesus, then you should follow his apostles.

So let me read that again:

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

When it comes to the things of William Branham, I am very happy to trust Raymond Jackson. But, of course, I know William Branham was a deceiver, so that would make the apostles of William Branham apostles of deception. Maybe they didn’t even know they were apostles of deception, but at the end of the day, very sadly, that is what they were.

So to me, an apostle of the message of William Branham is someone who carries no weight when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I suspect that is why none of them ever preached the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In fact, it is why they make fun of the gospel. It’s why they spurn it and will even speak against it because they are not apostles of Jesus Christ; they are apostles of the message of William Branham.

But when it comes to the things of Jesus Christ, I trust Paul.

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

Now, you know this is generally the most Paul ever said about his calling. There is a passage in 2 Corinthians where people had called Paul’s credentials into question, and there he gives some more explanation in order to defend himself from the accusations.

But in his other writings, this is really all Paul says. He says he is an apostle, and Jesus called him. He is not bragging himself up; he is not lifting himself up highly. But he is clearly stating, at the start of his letter, that he has the authority, from Jesus Christ himself, to say the things he says. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.

And if you went to 1 Corinthians and read there, Paul actually says he was the last apostle. Paul was the last apostle to be called by Jesus Christ in that personal fashion, Paul being the last of them.

And as the apostles of Jesus Christ, as men personally met by Jesus and given a mission to fulfill as apostles, we can trust the things they write and say because they carry the weight and authority of Jesus Christ in a special way.

And it is because Paul can start his letters with a phrase saying, “Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ,” that is why the people who came after him to put his epistles into the New Testament Bible, you know, Paul is not the only Christian writer from the first century whose letters are still around. There are a number of other people who all knew Paul, even some who traveled with him, and their letters and their writings are all still around. But they are not in the Bible.

And why is that? It’s because Paul, like the rest of the apostles, was called by Jesus Christ, in a very personal and direct sense. He didn’t have a dream that he was called; he didn’t have someone prophesy over him and tell him he was called; he didn’t have a feeling he was called. No, Jesus Christ literally came to him, in person, and said, “You are called.”

And that is what happened with Paul, and Peter, and James, and John

And that is why their writings are in the Bible.

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints

So that is who is writing this epistle, and that is the authority that backs it up. We are going to talk more about apostles when we get to chapter 4, but for now, let’s read on.

Let’s read who this epistle is written to.

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Okay, so who is this letter to? It’s not written to you or me. It’s not addressed to us. It’s addressed to the saints who are in Ephesus. It’s addressed to people living 2000 years ago, and who are all in the grave today. That is another important thing to remember as we read this book. That context is important, especially as we consider why Paul said some of the things he said. Some of the things in this book are really only applicable to the church in Ephesus. They are things that can be of historical interest to us today. It can give us insight into how these people were 2000 years ago. But it’s not necessarily something that is directly applicable to ourselves.

We can derive principles from it, but what was written to people who lived 2000 years ago is not necessarily something that always fits with today.

For example, if we go into chapter 6, Paul talks about slavery. The Ephesians were a people who lived in a day and age where slavery was being practiced, and Paul speaks about that in chapter 6. Paul is not telling us that we should institute slavery and put people in slavery. That was guidance for a time, and a place, and a situation which really is not directly applicable to us in any direct way. And you need to always remember things like that, as you read the epistles. Not everything in these books is necessarily applicable to you and me. Paul’s statements about slavery are a really obvious example of that, and there is wisdom in us understanding that, because if you take these books of the Bible, and you treat it like every word is written to you in a personal sense, and then you take a very literal approach to everything that is said, it is going to have you going and doing things you have no business doing because it was never meant for you.

Paul was, in some ways, dealing with the reality of the day and time he lived in, like his statements about slavery. And when we understand the doctrine that frames Paul’s statements, we can see how Paul was trying to make the best out of a bad situation for the people who were enslaved. And we are wise to recognize that may be the case with other things too, because it is possible that we may find ourselves in a society where the direct applications made by Paul are no longer applicable. But having an understanding of the underlying doctrines is still going to help us navigate the world we live in today.

And as we read the Scriptures, and we see things that were tailor-fitted to the audience of 2000 years ago, it may not have a one-to-one direct relation to our day, like in the case of slavery. Let me read who this letter is to again:

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Notice also that Paul addresses his letter specifically to the saints. And the word saint, that means someone who is sanctified. And he follows that up by saying, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus. Paul here is giving a couple of descriptors that let us understand the mark of a true Christian: Saints. True Christians are sanctified. They are made holy by Jesus Christ. And they are faithful to Christ. Faithful means you keep your promises, you keep your vows. We are faithful to keep the commandments of Jesus Christ, faithful to walk according to the law of love.

And I think those are two important descriptors, and we should take notice of them. Paul is writing to people who are both sanctified and who are faithful. We will learn more about that as we get into the second half of this epistle.

And in his introduction, Paul prays a blessing upon the Ephesians, and as we read down, we will find most of chapter one is written in the form of a prayer. And in verse two, Paul prays a blessing upon the Ephesians. He says:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Truthfully, the longer I live, the more I come to know and understand, I don’t think there is a greater blessing that could be bestowed on a person, except grace and peace. Truly, that is the greatest of blessings that can be prayed for.

Grace, that undeserved favor of God. You and I need it as much as the Ephesians did. It’s only by grace that we are going to make it. It’s only by grace we have made it this far. It’s because God is good. And he is good not because he has to and not because he owes us anything. But God is good because that is just who he is. Goodness is in the very fabric of his being. It is in the very fabric of his being to show grace and mercy. It is his very nature to forgive.

And when we, by grace, understand that about our Lord

Then we can, through faith, believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, unto the saving of our souls.

And that knowledge, when it is deep and baked into us by the Holy Spirit, it produces a peace within us which man cannot take away.

When we truly know and understand and believe that we are resting in Christ, we can have peace like a river in our souls. We can close our eyes at night and go to sleep and know that, whatever comes tomorrow or maybe tomorrow won’t come at all, but either way, it’s going to be okay because there is peace between us and God.


1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

These are the first two verses of this epistle, and this will bring our lesson to a close today.

And I will end by saying that if you today are looking for peace, I want to tell you how to find it. Maybe you are facing a time of confusion in your life. Maybe you are not sure which way to go or where to turn. Maybe the ground beneath you is shaking.

I want to remind you what Jesus told his disciples, right as their world was being turned upside down. He told them, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.” And he went on to tell them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except by me.”

If you are trying to figure out which way to go, let me encourage you – Jesus is the way. If you are trying to understand what truth you need to make it, let me encourage you – Jesus is the truth. And brothers and sisters, there is only one truth. There is not two. And if you are confused about what kind of life to live, let me point you to our Savior – he is the life. He is the example to look to. And when you see false apostles and false preachers living a life that is so contrary to the life Jesus lived, flee. Flee from them.

The gospel message is not complicated. The way is not complicated. The truth is not complicated. The life is not complicated. And Jesus said, “Whoever comes unto me, I shall in no wise cast out.”

I can’t stand here and, like Paul, tell you, “I am an apostle according to the will of God,” but I can tell you, I am a servant of Jesus Christ. And there is room for you here. I want you to know, there is a place here for you, by the side of Jesus.

Amen, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. If you have an ear to hear, hear ye him. He has a place for you.


Let me close in prayer.


Oh great and mighty God, the God of all wonder, the God who never failed, the one and only true God, we bow down before your majesty. We worship you from the depths of our being, with all the love our spirits can muster, with all the strength of our minds, in all truth, with all of our being, within and without. We worship you, eternal God. It is written that those to whom you give eternal life, they cannot be plucked from your hand.

Oh God, thank you for promises. Restore our strength, Oh God. Rekindle the fire in our bosoms. Let the word of truth be sharpened in our minds. And give us courage to fight a good fight. And let the love of God grow ever greater within us. This we ask, in Jesus’ name. Amen.