Apr – May – Jun 2020
Iris does such a good job at writing this note that I wanted her to do it again for this newsletter, but she used the excuse that our readers need proof that I’m still okay and capable. And I am. I’m still eating my three good meals a day, reading my daily paper and letters, and getting my share of naps!
It’s been a good winter in Oklahoma. We haven’t had any snow or ice to speak of in our part of the state and no really cold weather. It’s March 1st as I write this, so the calves are coming at about seven to ten a day! It’s a busy time on the ranch, especially for Greg.
For the third year in a row, neither Iris nor I have had anything requiring a doctor visit… not even a sniffle. I consider that a blessing for an 88 and 92-year-old!
We continue to praise the Lord each day and remember you all in prayer. Surely, He is coming soon! – Les
An Easter memory from Iris
I remember when Les and I moved from my home state of Oklahoma to Buffalo Center, Iowa and I was first introduced to his family. It was a different state with different customs for this life-long Okie. On a packed-out Easter Sunday I attended the church in which Les grew up for the first time. As a newly married wife, I had very few nice clothes to say the least, but I did have a cute white angora tam. For the young folks who have no idea what a tam is, it’s a hat that sits on the side of your head at a cocky angle. I wore my hat to church that morning, and when we arrived the ushers took us down the center of the church and seated us at the very front. Of all things, what subject do you think the pastor hit on that morning? Hats and head coverings! He said if you wear a hat that doesn’t cover your hair, it is just for attention and wrong. I could just feel the stanch German community staring holes through my hat for the rest of the sermon. Afterword, when Les and I got to know the pastor (despite first impressions) we became great friends and he was a wonderful spiritual leader for our family in the years to come.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
We still receive questions about the “pretty red-head”, Sharon Martin. Many of you already know that Sharon was promoted to her eternal life last fall. It was truly a home going as she had many health struggles over the years. Near the end of April, we will air the program that was shot from the ranch and tells the story of Les & Iris and how the ministry began. Sharon was interviewed in that program, and her sweet spirit is evident. She and Andy have been great friends to the ministry, and we ask that you continue to lift her family up in prayer.
What in the World – Resurrection & Easter
Somewhere along the line the church accepted the teaching of a Friday Crucifixion. However, if we abide with scripture, Jesus had to be crucified on Wednesday and arose sometime in the Saturday evening hours before the end of the Sabbath. When the women met Christ early Sunday morning on the way to the tomb, the grave had been empty for an unknown amount of time. We recognize Easter Sunday based on finding an empty tomb, not the actual Resurrection. We maintain that the Resurrection is of equal importance as the Crucifixion, because without it, Christ’s death accomplished nothing. Scripture always trumps tradition. Keep this in mind as you hear preaching and teaching on Ash Wednesday and Lent, which are not mentioned in our Bible, and Easter which is mentioned only once.
First, it’s important to recognize that the Jewish day begins and ends at 6 P.M. (sunset) with the daytime hours beginning at “First hour” from Dawn until 8 A.M and lasting through the “Twelfth hour” of 6 P.M. to sunset, and that Nisan is the months of March – April. Also, the six days of Passover were being observed, culminating with the yearly High Sabbath (Leviticus 23) a three-day feast beginning on Wednesday sunset. Below is a timeline of the events leading up to and including the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will use the account from Matthew for the purpose of space, but you can read more detail from the other Gospels as well.
14th Day of Nisan (our Tuesday sunset to Wednesday sunset) ~ Christ betrayed (Matthew 26:14-25); Last supper (Matthew 26:26-29); Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:30-46); Christ on trial (Matthew 26:57-68, 27:1-31); Our Lord and Savior crucified (Matthew 27:32-50); Body of Christ quickly placed in the tomb on Wednesday just before sunset (Matthew 27:57-66)
15th Day of Nisan (our Wednesday sunset to Thursday sunset) ~ The first day of the feast and the first night and first day in the tomb.
16th Day of Nisan (our Thursday sunset to Friday sunset) ~ The second day of the feast and the second night and second day in the tomb.
17th Day of Nisan (our Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) ~ The third day of the feast, the weekly sabbath, and the third night and third day in the tomb, with the Resurrection taking place on the Sabbath, around sunset on Saturday.
18th Day of Nisan (our Sunday morning after Sabbath) ~ The tomb found empty (Matthew 28:1-8).
By this timeline, Christ spends three days and nights (nights and days) in the tomb (Matthew 12:40), arose on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:4) and the tomb found empty on Sunday morning.
Bullinger, E. W. “Appendix 156” Six Days Before the Passover, 1990, pg 181-182, The Companion Bible, King James Version, Kregle, Inc.
Should Salvation be emotional?
While some certainly may have that kind of experience when they accept the Gospel of Grace, those who do not are no less saved. Below is an excerpt from Book 23 – 1 – 1, Pages 9 & 10.
“Someone once asked ‘Les, I’ve never had that great experience that some talk about. I’ve never seen a great white light and I haven’t had that tremendous emotional upheaval. Does that mean I’ve never been saved?’ Well, of course not! The Scripture doesn’t say that you have to experience some emotional high. The Scripture doesn’t say you have to go through a prescribed set of rules. But one thing I do want to make clear is that, when God finished the transaction of our Salvation, then, yes, we are secure. We have been crucified with Christ and you can’t take yourself off that Cross. You can’t put yourself on that Cross. The Crucifixion was the kind of death that no one could do by themselves. It took the work of someone else to nail Christ to that Cross. And the same way when we come into this Salvation experience, it’s an act of God that places us in the Person of Christ; it’s an act of God that resurrects us from darkness into life and so, consequently, God Himself is the One who says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to (whom) them which are (where) in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” What does it mean to be “in Christ?” That’s an easy prepositional phrase to just roll off our lips, but what does it really mean to be in Christ? Come back to the Book of Ephesians Chapter 5 for a moment and let’s look at a little bit of explanation. Ephesians 5:30 “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” In other words, in the realm of the spiritual what have we become? We’ve become totally integrated with Christ Himself, we’re in Him. The Scriptures also teach not only are we in Christ, but He is in us! See, it’s a two-way street. The moment we’re saved, yes, we’re placed in Christ, but He also comes and dwells within us. ”
Every Believer’s salvation experience will be different. There is certainly no shame in being emotional when contemplating the tremendous suffering Jesus Christ endured for all sinners, because he loved us. However, salvation is not based on our experience, but the understanding and believing, through faith, what He experienced on the cross, placing us in the Body of Christ.
Exciting news from the office! Les is now on Sirius XM Satellite Radio on Family Talk Channel 131 at 10 PM Mon – Fri Eastern time. Take us with you on your next road trip!
We are also now airing both nationally and internationally on The Word Network, which airs on several airlines, on many apps and has a global reach of over 3 billion households. In the US you can find “Through the Bible” on The Word Network, on Direct TV and many cable networks at 6AM, Monday through Friday. Please join us in praying that the programs reach many Souls open to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. And as always, thank you for making it possible to reach so many listeners, through your generous donations.