Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

August 2011 • Volume IX Number 12

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Thoughts for Consideration

Greetings again my Brethren.In the Book of Hebrews we can read about the wondrous Gospel message (in only a few verses) and it being communicated by man through speaking.  Of all the modes of communication to man God uses speech most effectively to share His thoughts and heart. There is something special, powerful, even life changing about words spoken not only by God, but by us.  In Proverbs we learn, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”(Proverbs 18:21) Oh the words (I spoke to my wife, kids, family members, and friends) I would like to recall, but once they hit the air they are gone and the damage done can take years to recover from.  Let us take heed to James encouragement, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”  (James 1:19-20)  I know my speech is something I need to work on with God.

In the Bible there are two main ways God communicated with man through speech. The first way (and before the precious Holy Spirit came) was through the prophets,  “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”  (Hebrews 1:1-3) and after the Holy Spirit came through His Spirit. “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.” (Acts 8:29) I will be honest, I struggle believing some of these prophets you hear about and watch on TV.  Now I am not saying there are not Believers who God uses prophetically, but I am saying if God sent His precious Holy Spirit to dwell within us and to lead and guide us to all truths and to convict us of our sins (John 16:7-15) and so much more why today would God want to use an Old Testament way (Prophets) of communicating with man?  In the Old Testament being a prophet was not the best job to have. The prophets would just open their mouth and God would speak through them so there was no special relationship with God needed.  As a clay vessel they were the oracles for God and so if they were wrong they were stoned, but not so today.  They were selected not based on their ability and looks, but on their character a far cry from how we select people today to speak for God. They did have power and authority maybe that is why today people like to ring their lives with the Prophet title. I will keep this question before the LORD and in time He will answer.

No matter the time known to man God has always had a great desire to communicate to man through His word have they be written (The Scriptures) or spoken (the Holy Spirit speaking to our heart).  We see this pattern in the life of Jesus in John Chapter one. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Not only did God speak audible to us through His precious Son Jesus, but God’s “Word” became living flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory.  There is a progression here with God’s desire to communicate with man. First we had the Prophets, then Jesus (the Word) became flesh and spoke to the disciples and only the people in range of hearing Him, but when the Holy Spirit came God’s word was heard in every believer’s heart and all throughout the world.  I really like John 1:14, because tucked in the heart of John’s words is a thought expressing John’s reactions to Jesus becoming flesh by way of a parenthetical (thought within a thought) thought “and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.  When God speaks to us, and when we hear His words for those who have ears to hear we will be able to behold His glory.

Next month we will begin to study a very important spiritual characteristic of God (and can be confusing at times) is His emotional nature.


A Question of Integrity

God’s Type of DisciplinIn the next few weeks I will have to make some tough decisions that will speak to how much integrity I have allowed God to work into my life.  Like all tough decisions, God is looking at how and why we make them and not so much to what we decide. God is always looking at our desires, motives, and heart attitude that influence our decisions.  Brethren let us “take heed” to how and why we decide to do things. I was reminded by a pastor of the imperfect verb tense of the words “take heed” which means they repeat themselves again and again. In Mark, as the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat, Jesus told the disciples, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. (Mark 8:15)  With each stroke of the oars Jesus would say, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod” stroke, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod” stoke, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” Brethren let us “take heed” to do things with honesty, righteousness, and integrity.  One morning before our walk I got a call from Agnes (a wonderful and very special Ghanaian lady living in France) who was one of many great success stories from our church in Germany. During our phone conversation she mentioned she called a mutual Christian friend who promised he would return her call, but never did. I think some Christians think it is okay to say things like; I will come over or I will call you (but never do) and think God does not mind, well I am not so sure about that.  Jesus told the multitude that followed Him, “Hear, and understand: 11Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” (Matthew 15:10-11)  Jesus was telling the people it is our own words that come out from our mouth that defiles us.  It is our own words that we speak from a heart not dealt with by God that defiles our lives, not food or drink. Then Jesus called his disciples and said unto them, “Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying 13But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”  (Matthew 12-14)  When we quickly speak words that have not yet passed through the pressure oven of God they often are words of flattery and compromise for self-gain ambition, not words of integrity, honor, and righteousness.  When we speak such words we are spiritually blind to the truth of our selves, to the word of God, and we stumble and fall out of the way into the ditch.  Now God is there for us to recover, but it is our choice not God’s.  God wants us to, but whether we do or not is up to us.  Will we be people of integrity, honor, and righteousness or will we be people that speak words of flattery and compromise for self-gain and ambition?  We (and God) know deep within our hearts which person we really are, funny how we try so hard to deceive people.

I feel strong in my spirit as led by God, to speak a strong word about church organization and leadership. Now please know when Karen and I write a strong word we are NOT writing about a certain person, church, or denomination, but if the shoe fits for the love of God please change it. If you get angry we are sorry, this is not our intent. And if you get offended for the love of God please learn the lesson God desires for us to learn and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here again receiving depends not on God, but on our heart condition, “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” (Titus 1:15)  If someone has ought in their heart for us, they will find fault. In my almost 48 years of being a Believer and serving the Lord at many levels of ministry to include serving as a Pastor I have seen many types of church organizations. Now I will be honest, when I think of the word “church” I think of Godly relationships between people and not an organization or denomination of many churches. My friend we are the church and the Kingdom of God is within us.  In Matthew Jesus said, “That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Jesus was not talking about building on Peter, but on the revelation (Matthew 16:15) Peter received “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And guess what Jesus is still in the process (if we allow Him) of building us into His image. This concept of what we know today as religious organizations and denominations has fractured “my church” so bad and I am sure when the leaders stand before Almighty God they will have much to explain. It is no wonder people do not want to come and hear the Gospel message, the denominations and religious organizations have so twisted the word of God for personal gain and are so divisive even dividing families and countries. Maybe in the past they were needed to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth, but today due to technology (something we must be very careful with) churches can reach out and touch other churches on the other side of the world to establish relationships, God’s idea of “true” ministry. All Godly ministry comes out of Godly relationships. The model in the Bible (our book of example and guidance) is one church blessing another church. They are like most things of God that have out lived their usefulness; the longer they stay around the more problems they cause.  Sadly, I have seen this from an international and national perspective, If you want to see what I am talking about just get out your yellow pages (if you still have a phone book) and look up the word churches.  All of them cannot be right can they?  Jesus said, “my church” not my churches. It is His church not ours, but we run them like they are ours. The bad that comes with them far outweighs the little good they do.

Working down the chain-of-command I would like to address church leadership styles found in non and denominational churches. It is important to remember some non-denominational churches, due to the number of churches in a certain group, are as much a denomination as the major accepted denominations. Basically there are two main types of church leadership control styles; pastor authority (the pastor has complete control in all issues and decisions) and/or board authority (the board:  deacons and/or elders who are over the pastor in most if not all issues and decisions).  When I pastored Christliche Gemeinde Stuttgart it was a pastor authority. We were a Spirit-filled, non-denominational, very international church. Now that does not mean I did not have people over me. When I wrote up our constitution and by-laws I wrote in three names whom I would submit to for correction and whom I could count on for guidance and direction. It was standing public knowledge if anyone had problems with me or our church I would pay for them to call any or all three men who personally knew me and had preached many times at our church in Stuttgart.  There is a saying and I have seen play out time and time again in churches; power is corrupting and absolute power is absolutely corrupting. I have seen churches change their constitution and by-laws giving the pastor absolute power only to fulfill a secret agenda of the pastor and church leadership that they do not share with their congregation. I have learned from past experience when things keep changing at an increasing pace and the people do not know why, stand-by things are in motion and they may not because God ordained.  I believe the pastor authority is what God is looking for, after all the pastor spiritually is on the hook for everything that happens (what we call good and bad) before God and will have to give account, but the effectiveness of this style is based on the heart condition of the pastor. Now if you disagree please feel free to contact me I am learning too. If the pastor is a spiritual man, humble, and contrite then there is no need for a group of men (not ladies, please read the Bible 1 Timothy 3:8-13 for qualifications of deacons) to sit in judgment over the Pastor. Many pastors say we need deacons or elders so we will use ladies, well my friend this is a big mistake. Over our many years we have helped start from scratch five churches, one from our home. I have seen this issue time and time again play out, it is better to do without then go against God’s word. I too have seen Boards of unspiritual men tell the pastor what to do, what to preach and worse what not to preach, and rule the church with a rod of iron. Some Denominations often add a few more requirements to     1Timothy 3:8-13, which can really get them in trouble with God.  For example:  I have been told one of the duties of a deacon is to protect the pastor, church, and denomination. Where is this found in the Bible?  Sadly this does not appear. The deacon’s duties are to be executed in righteousness, honesty, honor, and full of integrity before God and to the congregation they serve. When I was in the Navy I had 1000s of people who worked for me at times, but one group of people I detested were the yes men. When I needed sound advice to help make a decision the last thing I needed was to hear from a man with no character or integrity, a man who drifts and goes both ways depending on what he is going to win or lose, a double minded man.  James tells us this type of man is unstable in ALL his ways, “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:7-8) Often the big losers in power and authority struggles are the people that sit on the pews and with a good heart serve God and their leaders. The cost to others by following unspiritual and ungodly leadership cannot be measured. Only God knows the toll for in secret followers take their tears and loss to God not wanting to make waves or ruffle feathers. But for the truth to be known, uncaring and unspiritual leadership could care less; their goal is in sight so they press on crushing and draining the people of their money, hope, and spirit. As more people come together the more care and feeding is required.  We see this in the Book of Acts, but please remember the smaller the administration the more effective it is and the more people that come the more the leadership MUST be spiritual and selfless.

Brethren let us not serve God and His children with a selfish, self-centered heart condition. If we do we are not serving God with honesty, righteousness, and integrity, and why not? Because sadly we have put our trust in man and not in God.  In Proverbs we read  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”  (Proverbs 23:7)  In God we do not make spiritual decisions with our mind we use our heart.  In the Greek for this verse “For as he thinketh in his heart” is translated, as a gate swings open wide. All throughout the Bible the heart is the place of decision making and whatever we allow behind our gate (our heart) we will be that.  We must allow behind our gate things that will enable us to be full of honesty, righteousness and yes integrity and then do those things that God is counting for us to do. We must allow God to deal and judge in our lives so that we will be able to be filled with His honesty, righteousness, yes always His integrity, filled with His Spirit and life. For this to happen we must walk before men as transparent as a pool of water reflecting what it sees.  We also see this truth in Proverbs, “As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.” (Proverbs 27:19)  We must learn to walk with such integrity, righteousness, and honesty that our heart reflects “man to man” as a pool of water reflecting what we allow behind our gate.

Written by David Stahl


The Inner Workings of the Holy Spirit

The Bible also speaks of a special residence for each member of the Trinity. God the Father is spoken of as in heaven. The Lord Jesus is told to be seated at the right hand of the Father. The Holy Spirit is on earth indwelling each Believer.  The Holy Spirit commands and directs. “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.” (Acts 16:6-7) Paul wanted to go into the province of Asia to preach, but he and Timothy were forbidden by the Holy Spirit. When they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit did not allow them to do so. The Holy Spirit directs and commands His servants in their ministry of the Gospel. Only through the work of His divine leadership is fellowship carried out correctly.  We also learn in the Book of Acts that it is the Holy Spirit who calls and appoints individuals to enter into the gospel ministry, and into the specific phases of the ministry that He designates. Found in Acts at the Church at Antioch, as God’s servants ministered to the Lord and fasted the Holy Ghost said, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2) The evidence is quite certain that every Believer has the command from God to play a part in the work of the ministry, but it is the Spirit who personally appoints individuals for each specific phase of service. The Holy Spirit instructs in gifts for service. “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)  Additional mentions of gifts for Believers can be found in Romans “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:3-8)  And in Ephesians, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” (Ephesians 4:7-11)  From this collection of passages we can safely conclude that no believer is without some gift from the Spirit of service that is revealed by the Spirit. Thus are given at the will and discretion of the Holy Spirit who “divides to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:11) Believers are unable to decide these gifts for themselves. The Spirit of God makes these decisions because He is a person and, therefore can plan and think and organize. Just as the Holy Spirit was first revealed as stirring in the prelude of creation, the Holy Spirit is also quite present as He stirs to make a new creation in us; through sanctification. In its simplest meaning the verb “to sanctify” means “to separate”.  As this is developed in the scriptures, we learn that it is used to mean setting apart for God.  In being set apart for God the believer is also separated from sinful things. He is separated from the evil ways and thought patterns and behaviors of the world. Sanctification is the relationship with God into which men enter by faith in Christ. This divine act is not done with human abilities. Sanctification is one of the great operations of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of Believers. Without this work on our behalf there would be no manifestation of holy living in our personal conduct. Sanctification, then, is a major aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit on behalf of the Christian. Where the word “saint” is used in the New Testament, it describes believers. It does not speak of something to which they have attained, but a state into which God and his grace has called them.
Since sanctification is at the core of salvation, it’s vital to grasp the understanding of how the sanctification process occurs. Of course like many aspects of God there is a certain mystery to sanctification. Glimpses have been revealed in His word through revelation as well as deeper meanings though personal revelation. Sanctification is the process of God’s grace by which the believer is separated from sin and becomes dedicated to God’s righteousness, as directly defined in the Bible Dictionary. Sanctification is accomplished by the word of God, “Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.” (John 17:7)  Complete by the Holy Spirit, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4) Sanctification results in holiness or purification from the guilt and power of sin.  Sanctification as separation from the world and setting apart to be used for God’s service begins and ends within the confines of our heats condition. This is where the heart begins its formation as tough in the Sermon on the Mount. “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know the.” (Mathew 7:16-20) To give an idea how long the depth of this mystery has been sought out we read that Martin Luther was debating whether fallen man is utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit for regeneration. He cited this passage and added: “The flesh profits nothing. And that ‘nothing’ is not a little something.

Part 1 of 2

Written by Sarah Stahl


Due to the length of “Article Review” and Sarah’s article we will not have much for “Dear Friends” this month.  But, keep plodding on in the Lord, this is the best we can do and all really God expects.


1.    In Silistra, Bulgaria Pastor(s) Niki Marsov and Emil Nedelchev.  Times are troubled in Bulgaria and need much prayer.
2.     Constanta, Romania Pastor George Ritisan at Lighthouse Church, and   Ciprian Bozdod at the Mission Bible School.   They too are expanding making more room for God and ministry to Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Asia.
3.    In Suceava, Romania Pastors Nicu and Pastor Marcel at St. Andrews Church.
4.    Pastor Joseph Mutua in Nairobi, Kenya needs your prayer and financial support.
5.    Pastor Mike Olufemi in Aveile,  Nigeria. He needs our prayers and support to be a light in great darkness.
6.    Pastor S. J. Peter, Founder of DAWN Ministries in Hyderabad and Pastor Wilson and his son Pastor Julian in Sankaraguptham, India.
7.     Pastor Metin Mintaz and the members of Uskudar Son Buyruk Kilisesi in Istanbul, Turkey.
8.      Pastor Elieti Msangi in Dar Es Salaam and Pastors Isreal Mutaitina and John Balone in Bukoba, Tanzania.
9.    Monthly financial support Vivian’s Maternity and Child Care Clinic project in Aviele, Nigeria.
10.      Pastor Tek Dahl at Gethsemane, Church (his church) and their radio station “Good News 105.1 FM” in Kathmandu, Nepal.
11.    Bishop John, Samuel Kamanzi (from the Congo), and, Emmanuel Ndolimana in Ruhengeli, Rwanda.


I am still available to share what God has given me at churches and/or home groups. If God moves on your heart to support BHG or other ministries we personally know we would be honored to serve as a go between. Remember, if we want a blessing from God the spiritual principle is we must bless others. Remember, God is to you what you are to God.


David and Karen Stahl
232 Everett Drive
Sneads Ferry, NC 28460

Home: (910) 741-0489
Mobile: (910) 382-9287
FAX: (910) 741-0489

Ministry E-mail:
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Beholding His Glory Website

Beholding His Glory Blog

Our latest book, “Thoughts for Consideration” has been published by AuthorHouse, where you can also purchase it online. You can also purchase two of our other books “Adventures with God” and “God Still Performs Miracles: A Book of Personal Encouragement.”

Please take a minute and take a look, they all make for a great encouraging gift, giving hope and sharing God’s love through a deeper teaching that someone can enjoy again and again. All of our books can be purchased at all book stores like Barnes and Nobles, Borders, Book-A-Million, and etc., any Christian Book Store that orders, and all book ordering on-line companies like Or if you are like me from the old school just contact us, we will let you know the price, and then we will mail it out to your home address. Postage and handling is on a case by case basis.

We are projecting to use the royalties for: our maternity clinic in Aveile, Nigeria, radio station in Katmandu, Nepal, TB clinics in Ethiopia, and Lord willing the Bible Schools in Kenya, Rwanda, and the Congo, and to help publish more books. We have five more books at different stages of production. If you know someone you think would enjoy receiving this newsletter or if you receive this newsletter and do not wish to please let me know. Contributions to this ministry is always appreciated and needed the more time continues. Please feel free to contact us with the above information. The cost is great, but the cost for not supporting to others is even greater. And remember, all donations are tax deductible.