What’s in the Wagon?
By T. W. Barnes
“And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived” (Genesis 45:27).
When I was a small boy I would sit on the front porch and watch wagons go by. In those days, there was not a car in my town. But there were log wagons, two-horse wagons, and one-horse wagons. Wagons were our transportation, our vehicles for hauling goods and people. Some wagons passing our house were loaded, some were empty. The empty wagon always made the most noise, and they still do. Empty wagons give us the most trouble. Some wagons were loaded with cotton going to the gin. Some of them with corn going to the grist mill. Some of them with cattle.
I was always interested when our wagon came home from the town. I would get into the wagon before the groceries were unloaded and look for a little bag-a sack of candy. I was far more interested in what was in the wagon than the wagon itself.
Today I am far more interested in what the United Pentecostal Church believes, the Articles of Faith, and our experience with God, than I am in the wagon, the vehicle, the organizational structure. Do not misunderstand me. We need the wagon, the organization. And we must
work on the wagon to maintain it. I used to water the wheels of our wagon to keep the rims from coming off. I used to grease the wagon so that it would not squeak. On Sunday mornings, we would get it ready to go to church. The wagon was important, but the family that rode in the wagon was far more important than the wagon itself.
What we carry today in this wagon, the United Pentecostal Church International, is the most wonderful power that can be found on planet earth. What is in this UPCI wagon is God’s dream from the foundation of the world. He wanted a church, and He built a church. And the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church today or tomorrow.
The devil would like to destroy the church. He is badly in need of a victory because he never had one. I wonder if he is not getting worried about what his angels that followed him think now. He got kicked out of heaven, and down here he has tried everything. He fought against Job, but he failed there. He used evil men and ungodly political systems, but he has not been able to get his own bunch together. He found out that free moral agents are rough fellows to deal with, even sinners. He cannot get them together, and he is in desperate need of a victory somewhere to prove something to himself.
The Jesus Name people can stop the kingdom of Satan. Others can do a lot of things. They can heal the sick and cast out a few devils. But when it comes to facing Lucifer and his kingdom, there is a biblical truth that we know and understand, that will hinder his terrible, dark kingdom in its effort to take over the world. The truth is found in Romans 1:20: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.” We do not look at this verse as merely a statement of doctrine, for the eternal power and the Godhead are linked together. When you put these two together and believe, there is power in this divine revelation that will shake the world and
the kingdom of hell.
In James 2:19 the Bible tells us something interesting about Satan: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” The devil knows the truth of one God because when he opened his eyes at creation he saw one God. Why is this revelation of one God so powerful? Because it is eternal truth. We preach a lot of truths that came into being at the foundation of the world. But the truth of one God never had a beginning. It will never have an ending. There is one God, who was, is, and is to come. He is eternal, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
We have the eternal truth of one God in this wagon, and we have got to go with it. The world needs to hear about the one God message. They must hear about it. God raised us up for that purpose, and we are to carry this truth to the ends of the world.
The devil came to Jesus when He was hungry, weak, and tired. The devil is a rascal. He will jump on you when you are down, but Jesus went to the wilderness to fast and pray. I want you to notice that Satan tried Jesus three times, and on the last go-around Jesus brought up the Godhead. Jesus said, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4: 1 0). That is when the devil left. I really love the message of salvation in Acts 2:38. God opened the door to this verse in Acts 2:36, when Peter stepped up with the keys and preached that Jesus was made both Lord and Christ. To open the door of salvation at the first outpouring of the Spirit, God used a one-God, Jesus Name preacher. Nobody in the world can scripturally deny that.
In these last days, God is using one God, Jesus Name people to open thedoors of the latter rain. Revivals in Ethiopia, The Philippines, India, Central and South America, North America, and other nations tell me that it is time for us to wake up. If God will pour out the Holy Ghost on forty or fifty thousand people in Ethiopia in a few days of service, then He will do the same anywhere else in the world.
We have the message that will bring revival. God promised that He would pour out the former and the latter rain in the last days. We are living in the last days. We need to move where we can look for big things and pray for big things to happen in God’s kingdom. The day of small things is passed, and it is time for the United Pentecostal Church to move into the arena of big revivals. Our weapon is the truth of the mighty God in Jesus Christ. We can shout it to Satan: “There is one God, and His name is Jesus!”
I learned a long time ago that the only gift I have and know I have is the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Not long ago some people brought a witch to my office. They said, “We tell you one thing, she hates preachers.” When she sat down I told her, “I don’t intend to pray for you.” She just looked at me. I continued, “That is, unless you make the decision that you want Jesus Christ in your life. I will not pray until you make that surrender.” While she was still sitting there, and before I even prayed for her, she said, “They’re gone now.” They left when they saw a one-God, Jesus Name
preacher standing in the room. She did not need anything else but to decide to live for Jesus. She did not need my hands to be laid on her. Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). We need to use the power of the Holy Ghost once in a while.
I am still riding this UPCI wagon because the Articles of Faith are in our Manual. I have been riding this UPCI wagon for fifty years. Resolutions are good, and indicate that we are working on the wagon. That is all right, but you had better not change these Articles of Faith if you want this preacher to stay around. Do not add to them, and do not take from them. I am in this UPCI wagon because of what is in it. You can paint it a different color and use a different axle grease. I do not care what paint is on the wagon or what program we use. You can pass your resolutions and take them out the next year. I do not care, for that is merely working on the wagon. I am not staying
because of resolutions about organizational programs. I am staying because of what is in the wagon, our doctrinal beliefs.
If our nation knew a certain country was going to invade us, do you know what we would do? We would invade first. Satan is always invading. He has little demons running around everywhere. They are not strong, and people who have even a little truth can run them off.
How do you stop a demon invasion? Prayer. You could stop an invasion coming to your church, to your family, to your own personal life. If you pray, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.
The devil is always walking around seeking to destroy. He is a miserable personage, and God keeps him miserable. I do not let him talk to me, but I sometimes talk to him. I say, “Devil, sit down. I want to tell you where you’re going. Have you heard of fire and brimstone?” The reason people sometimes get into trouble is that they let the devil talk to them. But we need to shout the message that makes the devil tremble: “There is one God, and His name is Jesus!”
One of the things that aggravates the devil more than anything else is what Jesus said about the church: “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Do you know of whom Jesus is building His church? To the very people whom Satan caused to fall into sin, the Lord offers forgiveness and reconciliation-an opportunity to leave Satan’s influence and join the kingdom of God. And sinners are walking out of Satan’s kingdom by the millions. They are walking through the door of faith, repentance, water baptism, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. And the devil cannot stop any of them. People are free moral agents, and the devil cannot stop sinners from experiencing salvation in Jesus Christ. If we want to walk with Jesus, we can.
Why were the Bible preachers so successful? Mark 16:20 tells us of their success: “And they went forth, and preached every where.” Now anybody can preach. Politicians can preach their programs pretty well. But in order to have the Lord working with you, you must preach truth and you must have the Spirit’s anointing. The verse continues: “The Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” I have heard preachers preach such good sermons that they did not even wait for God to confirm what they preached. They simply closed feeling, “I did a great job!” Preachers should wait a while for the Lord to confirm what they preached. They need to say, “Lord I have preached your Word from my heart, and now I ask You to do something to confirm truth.”
Do you know what is in the UPCI wagon? If you do not have a copy of the Articles of Faith you need to get one and read it. It is Apostolic through and through, and that is why I have stayed with this wagon. As far as I know no one has tried to add to or take from the Apostolic truths. We must follow God’s Word, not some religiously popular idea or practice.
We are the “mules” to the UPCI wagon, and I wonder if you are pulling. A wagon needs pulling. And that means everyone of us is to pull. It does not bother me to hear our officials raising money for all the different divisions. That just helps us to pull the wagon. You have to keep the wagon going. The wagon may need to be painted every once in a while. It may need a new spoke or axle. There is nothing wrong with repairing the wagon. Just do not bother what is in the wagon.
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (11 Corinthians 4:18). The great, wonderful truths that this organization is carrying are unseen, but they are alive. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Use the Word of God and you will see the glory of God come down. Heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s Word will never pass away.
We look not at things seen. We look into the spirit world. “Open his eyes,” Elisha prayed to God about his helper, “that he might see.” And when his eyes were opened, he saw that the mountains were full of angels in chariots of fire.
We look beyond our surroundings, our circumstances, and look upon the One who has always been God. Before the first star ever twinkled, He was the one true God. Before the first little atom ever floated out into empty space, there He was, God.
When Lucifer opened his eyes, he saw God. This one God spoke all into existence. And He has a plan. If you in faith repent and are baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ, He will forgive and remit your sins and fill you with the Holy Ghost. If you will ever get this biblical revelation, and get it right, you will know the one God. Then you need to live and walk in this truth of one God.
Are you looking at Him now? If so, you are looking at the healer, you are looking at the Savior, you are looking at the deliverer, you are looking at the One who can keep Satan out of your life.
When Jesus descended into hell, He got the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1: 18, Ephesians 4:8-11). Jesus went into the lower parts of the earth alone and nobody lifted a finger to Him. He conquered all principalities and powers, making “a show of them openly, triumphing over them” (Colossians 2:15).
If you are going through a storm, remember that storms do not last always. We need to learn how to rest in the storm. There are natural storms, church storms, family storms, economic storms, personal storms-storms everywhere. We just have to learn to be like Jesus, who lay down and slept during the storm. We must look beyond the storm, the natural things, the circumstances in life, and see the invisible reality of God and His plan. By faith we look at the invisible, and not what can be seen by our natural sight. We do not look at this old world with its hustle and bustle, tears and troubles, sin and sickness, pain and death. We look away to the healer, the Prince of Peace, the Savior, and the giver of eternal life.
We were raised up from the foundation of the world to declare the truth of one God. We do not need to turn our eyes upon any other view of God. We have a rich treasure in the UPCI wagon.
I hope you feel better about pulling this wagon, putting money, time, and effort to move it. If we do not pull, if we do not give, if we do not have revival, the wagon will be in trouble and God’s purpose for us will be threatened. Let us move this wagon for the kingdom of God.
This article is from: Pentecostal Herald, January, 1995.
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