News Articles:

Rev. Paul Pruitt’s Article
“I am the Resurrection and the Life”

A Woman’s Perspective
Mrs. Donna McCall
Are you missing your moment?

Paul’s Pen
Rev. Paul Ritchie
Six Elementary Principles of Christ cont’d…

Counseling Corner
Rev. Don Loss
The Undefiled

Testimonies:

TESTIMONY of a BETHEL GRADUATE


Other News:

Women’s Campus Update
Huge Women’s Campus Announcement!!
Bethel Lawn Care

“I am
the Resurrection
and
the Life”
John 11:25a

The Christian walk is the greatest relationship there is; but don’t think that everything is going to be easy. Families that have seen their sons and daughters become entangled in the web of addiction have learned that it is not easy. Sometimes it has even been life ending. But I want to remind you of the hope that we have in the most tragic and devastating times of our lives, Jesus is still Lord and He is the “I AM”! Many of us know of this “I Am” statement of Jesus; “I am the Resurrection and the Life”. Let me also remind you of what was going on. When the Lord ministered in the area of Jerusalem, He often visited the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, their brother. These three had developed a close relationship with Jesus.

Although they were very close to the Lord, their lives were not free of problems. You remember what happened, Lazarus had died while Jesus was away. Death of a family member and Jesus’ friend. And what can get confusing is Jesus had already received the news Lazarus was sick unto death and Jesus stayed where He was for two more days. When He gets to their home, Lazarus has already been dead for four days. While the situation was very desperate for Mary, Martha, and particularly Lazarus, Jesus had purposely waited to return. After it seemed all hope was lost, Jesus started toward Bethany to deal with their situation. Sometimes in our lives when it seems we have passed a point of no return. We assume and sometimes accept that our situation will never improve, and may even think that the Lord has chosen to do nothing for us, for our son or for our daughter who we want to be free. Can I remind you that is never the case? Jesus is never late, even if the extreme has happened.

As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him. Mary sat still in the house. Jewish custom tells us that is what would happen. When someone passed, the family would sit and others would sit with them to comfort and mourn. Martha was hurting and grieving the loss of her brother and she went to Jesus, but what seems unusual is that Mary did not accompany her. Mary is the one who was always found at the feet of Jesus. However, in this moment of intense grief and pain, Mary chose to stay at the house instead of going to meet Jesus. This teaches us something – even the strongest believers struggle at times when faced with a devastating situation. This does not mean that Mary had abandoned her faith in the Lord, but it does appear that she had given in to defeat. Her world was shattered and she was having difficulty coping with reality. We all face times when our faith is tested and we are tempted to give in to defeat.

When we feel the hurt of loss or defeat, we still need to remind ourselves of the Truth of the Word of God so we don’t get frustrated at God, or allow our disappointment to question every motive of our loving Lord. She wondered why the Lord had delayed and not come as she requested. It is easy to allow the why’s to come in when He doesn’t seem to respond in the time or manner we desired.

Martha, even though sad, still had faith that Lazarus would rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Martha was grieving and struggling with her faith but she remained confident in the Lord. She believed Jesus had power to secure whatever He desired. She was also confident of the truth of the resurrection; she knew death was not final. In the midst of her sorrow, she remained confident in the Lord.

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: Death had come to their home, but Jesus revealed abounding hope.  In Jewish belief was the idea that the spirit of a person hovered around for 3 days and the spirit may re-enter, but on the 4th day the spirit would go to Sheol. So death seemed final and brought great despair. But Martha stood in the presence of One who had the power to provide resurrection life. Death was strong, but even it was unable to overcome the power of Christ. She had focused on an event that would happen in the end times, but Jesus revealed that He was the resurrection. She didn’t have to wait until then. She needed to focus on the Lord, not anticipate a future event.

We sometimes see the same way. We are confident of the resurrection in the future, and fail to recognize that our Lord IS the Resurrection and Life. We don’t have to wait for something to transpire in the end; we can enjoy and rest in His grace and provision today!

If you don’t know the Resurrection, He is Christ the Lord! You can put your faith in Him in every trial in life and know his Presence is real and His truth is solid as the Rock He is! When we put our faith in Him we will come out of the grave into LIFE!

The Bible is filled with promises from the Lord. We can rest assured in each of them. The Lord overcame every enemy we will face, and because of His glorious resurrection, we enjoy victory in this life and the life to come!

May you have a Wonderful Resurrection Day!

Pastor Paul & Stacy Pruitt
Executive Director

Woman’s Perspective

Are you missing your moment?

Take a look into the life of Rahab. Joshua chapter 2 explains to us she was a prostitute. Now let’s face it. Who would ever think men on a mission from God would go to the house of a prostitute? But it happened. She was about to have that moment in time she was born for.

Esther, the orphan, left without a father or mother. Her moment came when her uncle sent her to the palace to dress up for the king. The Bible never says she wanted to go. Maybe she felt more like an object than a person when she went before the king. We have to wonder if she wished many times her mother was here for her to talk to about the situation. Here she is in a strange place doing strange things to please someone she does not even know.

Both these women had a purpose. Their past did not hinder their purpose. God has shown down through history that the past is not a determination of the future. The person who has taken the wrong path and the person who had no choice were both beneficial to God’s plan. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Ephesians 2:1-10; “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

God redeems us and calls us to fulfill a purpose. The enemy tries to stop us or even kill us before we reach that moment we are here for. He wants to mess things up so we will believe God can never use us. The devil is a liar. Never buy what he says. When that moment comes and you know it, let down the red rope like Rahab did. Walk in before the king like Esther did. Great things happen when you are obedient in the moment God planned.

Where Mercy Flows,

Donna McCall,
Director of Women’s Campus

Pictured above is Esther’s Empowerment and pictured below is the inside of Rahab’s Redemption –
two of the cabins at the new Women’s Campus
which will be opening very soon!

Be looking for your invitation to
our Open House!

 



Paul's Pen

Six Elementary Principles of Christ
(last in the series) cont’d…

Eternal judgment falls into two categories: First, the judgment of the unsaved – Rev. 20:15, “The Great White Throne Judgment,” Then Death and Hades and anyone not found written in the Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire. The unsaved will be cast into the lake of fire where the worm never dies and the flame is never quenched. The worms being the thoughts and regrets of life and the rejecting of the Lord Jesus Christ and the blood that He shed on their behalf. Trampling under-foot the blood of Christ to live a self-centered life, fulfilling the lust of the flesh, and rejecting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Their thoughts will never leave them because their soul remains with their spirit when it leaves the body at death. The burden of the guilt, shame and regret eating on them like worms killing a mighty tree; where the fire is never quenched and does not consume so they are on fire continually for all eternity. There are those who think that hell will be a big party but that is as far from the truth as you can get as hell is being cast into the “lake of fire”!

Second, the judgment of the saved, “The Judgment Seat of Christ” also referred to as the bema. Romans 14:8; “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But, why do you judge your brother? Or, why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then, each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-11;” Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.”

In the New Testament we see two sides to God the Father. One as a judge and administrator, the one who keeps order, justice and holiness. Second as Abba Father who would like to give his children the desires of their hearts, who loves his children with endearing, loving, caring, comforting and protection. Now this creates a conflict of interest therefore God has commissioned his son Jesus Christ to be the judge. This exposes the two sides of Jesus Christ. One side is fully man but at the same time is fully God. This also puts Him in a position of conflict that as a man he understands the temptations and trials that man goes through in this fallen state on this earth. As fully God he understands the necessity of righteousness which is, ”as it ought to be.” You might say a man, Jesus, filled with God who understands heaven and earth, but this also creates a conflict of interest as he went to the cross out of love and obedience for his father and for his love and concern for man. Therefore He turned judgment over to the Word which is sharper than a two-edged sword which divides the soul and spirit which pierces the very marrow of the bone where the life blood is made. The Word of God cannot be changed so it is impartial. However, that being true, we’ve all sinned and come short of the glory of God and would all end up in the lake of fire for eternal judgment. Now God being holy, righteous, and just cannot go back on his word. Therefore, Jesus Christ the Son of God, but also as the son of man, will go to the cross to bear the sins and shame and guilt of all mankind. Jesus being the Lamb of God who was slain before the foundation of the earth, also as the second Adam without sin. In that it was a man who created the problem it would take a man to fix the problem called sin and rebellion. Hebrews 9 tells us there is no remission of sin except by the shedding of blood. Now we’ve all come short of the mark which is sin, and we have all gone our own way which is rebellion. Now the wages of sin is death and there must be the shedding of blood. Therefore, the sacrifice of a sinless Lamb of God was necessary to meet God’s holiness and justice on our behalf. In Isaiah 53:11 we see that God having seen the travail Lord Jesus took upon himself – the guilt, shame, and rejection of all mankind and it tells us that God was satisfied with that sacrifice. Jesus in a divine exchange took upon himself our sin and all that goes with it. He gave us his righteousness, wow! Verse 11 is a definition of propitiation – a satisfactory sacrifice. Now keep in mind the word of God has become our judge. The word of God is not partial, just fact. The requirement for the bema judgment is that we’ve taken the finished work of the cross, the blood shed for ourselves and put our faith completely in the work of God’s love to solve the problem of love versus sin.

In John chapter 3, Nicodemus a ruler of the Jews came to Jesus confessing that He, Jesus, had to have come from God as no man could do the things that Jesus was doing except God be with him. Jesus replied except you are born again you will never see the Kingdom of God. First, one must be born in the flesh like every other human being. Second, you must experience the second birth just like the first except a spiritual birth. The second birth comes about the same way that the first one does. As a mother opens herself up to the father and he plants a seed, which brings life to the egg, called procreation. In the second birth, one must open themselves up to God the Father and he will deposit the spirit of Christ within you, which is a seed from God, the Spirit of Christ that brings about a new creation. When the baby comes to full term, the water breaks and that person enters the birth canal and comes forth out of the dark confining womb of the mother into a broad new environment called earth, wow! The second birth is like the first birth. When Christ first enters your life you are referred to in Hebrews as a babe and then in John 1 as a child and later as a young person leaving childhood to become an adult growing in maturity with the Lord; becoming more like him. Eventually we enter the birth canal of the second birth called death, it too is a traumatic experience. Then we break forth Heaven. The first birth was big but the second one is much bigger. So hide the Word in your heart and study it to become a doer of the word not just a hearer. Ps. 103:2; “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits.”

If I don’t see you down here I will be looking for you in Heaven. Do not miss heaven!

The Lord bless you and keep you.

Pastor Paul Ritchie

Senior Pastor

 

Counseling  Corner

Reverend Don Loss

The Undefiled

One of the most delightful things to lay eyes on is a person who walks with God. This person has the Spirit of the living God that reflects the attributes of virtue, righteousness, wholesomeness, and God’s workmanship. He has guarded himself from defilement. The basis for this temperament is a deep-seated loyalty to and delight in the Word of God. The Word of God is identified by C. A. Davis in the great work The Treasury of David by Charles Spurgeon. He notes The Ten Titles of The Word of God and their particular nuances of meaning and “the light they cast on the divine law and the duty of the believer.” The nuances are The Way, Testimonies, Precepts, Statutes, Commandments, Judgments, Word, Truth, and Righteousness and are used throughout Psalm 119. The view of many commentators is that Psalm 119 is written by David.

The one who takes heed to and lives according to the Word of God is called blessed. God is the One calling us blessed. His blessing is the result of minding Him and His Word. He is our joy, our love and our life. One’s heart will be saddened and filled with grief if he defiles himself. And he will forfeit his blessing. The scripture in Psalm 119:1 says, “Blessed are the undefiled.” The defilement comes from the soiling, corruption, and pollution of the soul with unbridled sin. It is abandonment from God in unbelief, rebellion, self- righteousness, pride, self- indulgence, and indifference to the way of righteousness. “Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.” Psalm 119:155.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” – Proverbs 14:12. They wander in the world looking to-and-fro for something that might satisfy their longing but to no avail. Even when they obtain their longing it ends up empty. This emptiness leaves one vulnerable to the uncertainties of life. The first pressure, disappointment, rejection, or trial will result in mental turmoil. The pain will lead them toward a way of escape looking for something to alleviate their sorrows. This is not the way of the blessed.

“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the way of the Lord!” Psalm 119:1 The exclamation mark in the text is emphatic. It is a strong emphasis on walking in the way of the Lord! For this and this alone is the way of blessing. This walk flows out of one who has a heart in love with the way. “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart!” Psalm 119:2. Notice the exclamation that occurs again after whole heart. The Psalmist’s heart is in love with the Lord exclusively. He is his first love.

The Psalmist identifies the relationship between the Word and the whole heart with a rhetorical question. “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh let me not wander from your commandments!” Psalm 119:9-10. Note the exclamation mark. You can almost discern his passion for God to keep him in the way through helping him to keep his commandments. He knows that this is the place he will enjoy God’s blessing. It will secure him from wandering into sin by keeping God’s Word in his heart. “Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11. The keeping of God’s Word is his passion. David writes, “I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love.” St. Augustine writes brilliantly, “A passion for God is the greatest antidote to sin.”

Having seen the way of blessing, have you wandered from God’s blessing by soiling your soul with defilement of some sort? Have you grieved the Lord by your complacency with sin? Is your life tormented with mental and behavioral disorders? Do you have a broken spirit? Acknowledge your sin to God. Pray and repent of your sin as David did concerning his sin with Bathsheba. “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight.” Take your sin to the cross. Confess it to Jesus. He will forgive you and cleanse you of your defilement. I John 1:9; “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Then follow Jesus and you will experience His blessing!

Where the grace blows,

Pastor Don Loss
Associate Director / Director of Counseling


*  If you would like to read previous Counseling Corners we are now archiving by topic/title for your future reference.Click on link: Counseling Corner Archives

TESTIMONY of a BETHEL GRADUATE

Early in April of 2014, I was about ready to walk into a job. While sitting in the parking lot full of fear and anxiety, knowing that my life was falling apart, (seemed like my whole life was always in some sort of chaos or despair.) I consumed drugs and alcohol to calm my fears and worries. I was always trying to fill that void that can never be filled except through the sacrifice on the cross, the shed blood of our Lord and Savior. Prior to the experience in the parking lot where God’s hand was at work in my life, (God is always in all our circumstances and in our lives working for good and His Glory – Rom. 8:28), I had met with a biblical counselor who suggested a place called Bethel Colony of Mercy. She told me the Lord is at work there and they minister to men like me. Our conversation stuck with me and at that point in that parking lot, the Holy Spirit moved me to seek out Bethel Colony for help. It was a long way from home, but I had the support of my church, my family, my wife and close friends. They all trusted in God that He would do a mighty work in my life. (and He did) My marriage was failing to say the least. We were not living together as she had asked me to leave and changed the locks. I was living at the church and a local mission. When I arrived at Bethel the first teaching I received was from Pastor Loss. He was teaching on Luke 8 where demons are cast out of a man. The story of Legion is repeated in Mark’s Gospel and Matthew as well. That Scripture is about a tortured man. It reminded me of me: a tortured man with a spiritual malady. The town’s people of Gadarenes tried to help him, but they could not. (man’s attempts all fail) Jesus ministered to Him and by His power, this man was made well. As verse 35 states the town’s people went out to see what happened. They found the man sitting at the feet of Jesus. Peace had come to him and “he was clothed and in his right mind” (restored and redeemed). The Word of God, the Power of Jesus’ words, His authority and His forgiveness wash us clean and restore us to right living (righteousness). Christ has accomplished this in my life as well.

My time was well spent at Bethel. I savored the Word of God. It comforted me and gave me peace. Jesus restored me little by little. My hope is in Him and Him alone. When I arrived back home in N.J. my wife, my family and my church saw a new creation in Christ as 2 Cor. 5:17 tells us; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.

By the grace of God my wife and I began to reconcile. Day by day our Lord poured His love and mercy into our lives. Our faith, hope, and our prayer life began to grow and bear fruit. I was welcomed back into our church body with such love and encouragement. Immediately the church staff trusted that God had done a miraculous work in me. God provided a way for me to begin an addiction recovery group within the church which is still alive and well. Every Tuesday evening I lead a group of men and woman who desire to repent and trust in our lord and Savior. I also have the privilege to counsel men within our church. I am in the process of becoming a certified Biblical counselor through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). When we pray and trust in God, He opens doors for us, so He may be glorified. I also am pursuing an associate degree in Addiction Studies at a local community col

lege. God is so good. One thing is for sure – God has redeemed me, set me free from the chains of addiction, and set my feet on solid ground. Thank God for the men and woman of Bethel Colony who pour their lives into the lives of others. They are sharing the hope and life-changing message of the Gospel. The staff, along with the men who are presently there now and the men who are on the wait

ing list, are continually in our prayers.

In Christ,
Bob Price

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.” Gal. 2:20

 

Bethel Colony has only incurred debt twice in its’ history. The first debt incurred was to purchase the property for the Men’s Campus 70 years ago. The second debt incurred was to purchase the property for the Women’s Campus.

To prevent any penalties, we are only allowed to make double payments each month for the first 3 years. That amount is $5334.24 / month. Thanks to some generous donors, we have been able to make those double payments for the past year already. We are trusting the Lord to be able to continue to make double payments or pay the debt off completely.
The current payoff is $276,933.39.

If you would like to help alleviate this debt, please mark your donation
Women’s Campus payment for land. 

 


Update on Bethel Women’s Ministry

It is with great joy and thanksgiving to the LORD
that we are now able to announce:

Bethel Colony Women’s Campus
GRAND OPENING
and
OPEN HOUSE

SATURDAY, MAY 11, 2019

More details to follow – keep checking your mailbox!

Praise the Lord with us and please keep praying!

If God is leading you to support Bethel’s Women’s Campus,
please make sure you mark your donation for the women’s ministry.


Bethel Lawn Care is back in business!!!

 

Call Jeff Hollar at Bethel

 

(828-750-2058
or
828-754-3781)

for prices and to schedule an appointment.