IN MEMORY OF ARCHBISHOP BABB

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“I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Galatians 4: 19).
It is a blessed moment when we are born again and a new heart is created in us after the image of God. It is a more blessed moment when in this new heart Christ Himself is born and the Christmas time is reproduced in us as we, in some real sense, become incarnations of the living Christ. This is the deepest and holiest meaning of Christianity. It is expressed in Paul’s prayer for the Galatians. “My little children, for whom I travail in birth again till Christ be formed in you.”
There will yet be a more glorious era when we, like Him, shall be transformed and transfigured into His glory, and in the resurrection shall be, in spirit, soul, and body, even as He.
Let us live, under the power of the inspiring thought, incarnations of Christ; not living our life, but the Christ-life, and showing forth the excellencies, not of ourselves, but of Him who hath called us “out of darkness into His marvelous light”; so our life shall be to all the re-living in our position of the Christ life, as He would have lived it, had He been here.
 
To my brother Archbishop Babb who has been called from works unto reward, these words are written after your departure. However, at this solemn moment of grief and mourning, these words are for those who have known you or to those that have come into your presence after your you answered the call to be with Him whom you live for and served in the spirit of love, meekness and mercy and grace.
 
On behalf of my fellow ministers and members of The Mystical Order of Spiritual Baptist Inc and Starlight of Israel under the Leadership of Patriarch and Chief Apostle Sir Darrin Johnson (Cousin to the late Patriarch Dr. Granville Williams), extend our sympathy and condolences to your immediate family and the Spiritual members of Sons of God Apostolic Spiritual Baptist Faith. May Your Soul rest in the arms of the Lord.

Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div
The Mystical Order

DEAD SOULS

Awake, arise, come forth jumping and praising God. Hallelujah for this golden opportunity to be alive and have all senses intact. What a Mighty and Wonderful God we serve.

“Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness in destruction?”–Psalm 88:10, 11

This is not the language of a soul dead in trespasses and sins, but it is the breathing of a living soul struggling and grappling with death. What a difference there is, where there is life working in and under death, and where death reigns absolutely! between the quickened soul and that in which there is nothing but death, death without one spark of spiritual life, death without one ray of heavenly teaching. There is no groan, no sigh, no lamentation, no piteous inquiry, no pouring out of the heart before God, where the soul is utterly dead, any more than there are life and breath in a corpse in the tomb.

But wherever life is implanted in the soul from the Fountain of life, that life groans under death. It sighs from out of the grave; it gasps for breath, under the corpse which overlies it; and seeks to heave itself up from that dead weight, from that superincumbent mass of carnality which clasps it in its rigid and chilling embrace; it endeavours to uplift and extricate itself from that body of sin and death which spreads its cold and torpid mass all around it so that it is unable to rise. Do you know the workings of life in this way? the heavings, the gaspings, the uprisings of the life of God in your soul, pressed, overlain, overwhelmed, and all but suffocated by that carnal, dead, barren, earthly, devilish nature, which lies as a weight upon you? Depend upon it if you have never known what it is to gasp and pant and groan and sigh under the weight of a body of sin and death, you know nothing of the vital operations of the Holy Ghost in your conscience.

I pray that we will answer the call as sent out by the Holy Spirit to witness in us. May peace reigns in our hearts as we seek the further outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div

THE DIVINE SUMMONS

Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div

Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there. Genesis 35:1

God had set His hand to make Jacob a saint. He had given him a glimpse of His ideal at the Jabbok ford, but his nature was not then capable of taking in the Divine conception; and, as we have seen, both in his subterfuge to Esau and his settling outside Shechem, he had fallen back into the schemer and money-maker. In this chapter, God uses several methods of awakening and renewal.

  The Divine summons. – “Arise, go up to Bethel.” He had been in the lowlands too long: too long had he “lain among the pots.” The voice of God spoke words of resurrection life into his grave, as afterward into that of Lazarus.

 The power of old association. – What memories clustered around that name and place of Bethel! It recalled his distress and fear; the angel-ladder, and the comforting assurance which had inspired him with new hope. Directly he heard it, he seemed to have felt the incongruity of the life that was being lived in his camp, and he said to his people, “Put away the strange gods… Arise, let us go up to Bethel, and I will make there an altar unto God.”

 A fresh revelation. – God appeared to him again. For long there had been no vision of God; but now that the idols were put away, his eyes were opened to see Him who had been beside him amid all his backslidings.

 Death. – Deborah, the beloved Rachel, the old father – one after another were taken from him; and there came the far-away look in his eyes which showed that he had imbibed the pilgrim-spirit and had become Israel the Prince. So God stripped him that he might be better able to run the race set before him.

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL

sir-dr-godfrey-gregg

        Certainly, it does not mean that we earn mercy because we extend mercy, for such an idea is foreign to the Word of God. By its very definition, mercy cannot be earned any more than grace can be earned. The Beatitude is saying: “When you experience mercy and share mercy, then your heart is in such a condition that you can receive more mercy to share with others. . . Jesus is not asking us to be merciful occasionally; He is asking us to be constant channels of mercy. “Give, and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38). By extending mercy, we open our hearts to receive mercy; and having received, we can share again and again. Hallelujah

      Brethren, the Christian is surrounded by mercy. When he looks back, he can say, “Surely goodness, and mercy have followed me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6). When he looks ahead, he remembers the words of Jude 21–“Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” As he begins each new day, he can say; “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Can we give the Lord a praise offering, for it is His mercies you are reading this message. Thank You, Lord.

      . . . God responds to us on the basis of the heart. “With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself mercifully; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; with the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward” (Psalm 18:25-26). . . . When once we begin to cultivate one of the spiritual graces, God always provides more. When we show mercy, He gives mercy; and thus, we have more mercy to show.

      When a Christian shows mercy, he experiences liberation. (Read that line again) He is set free from grudges that drain the strength and unsettle the mind. . . The most miserable prison in the world is the prison we make for ourselves when we refuse to show mercy. Our thoughts become shackled, our emotions are chained, the will is almost paralyzed. But when we show mercy, all of these bonds are broken, and we enter into a joyful liberty that frees us to share God’s love with others. This blessing of freedom is one way that we receive mercy as we show mercy. It is a blessed by-product of obeying God.

      . . . How thrilling to go through life sharing God’s mercy and not having to judge people to see if they are “worthy” of what we have to offer. We stop looking at the externals and begin to see people through the merciful eyes of Christ. Every Christian we meet is a person in whom Jesus lives; every lost soul we meet is a person for whom Jesus died. In both cases, we have candidates for God’s mercy. Amen

Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div

DISHONOUR

Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the Inhabitants of the Land. Genesis 34:30

The Bible does not hesitate to hold the mirror up to our fallen nature or show us what we are. Here is Israel, the prince with God, who had power with man, in a very sorry plight. His children had involved him in it; but first, he had involved them.

Dinah. – Little did she realize all the evil which that visit of hers would bring on her people and on those whose guest she was. What took her there? Had her upbringing been unnecessarily strict, and did she want a little more freedom? There is an inevitable rebound with young people to the other extreme if needless seventy has been brought to bear on them in their early days.

The probability, however, is that the laxity of her father’s home, and the effect of her mother’s gods, had made the line of separation a very faint one, and she felt no difficulty in overstepping it.

Simeon and Levi. – “Ye have made me to stink.” On his dying bed, Jacob remembered this treacherous cruelty and pronounced their scattering in Israel; though Levi undid the effect of that bitter curse by his obedience and devotion. In after days it was said, “My covenant was with him of life and peace,” and though scattered, he was as salt. In Simeon’s case, the curse was not cancelled by any subsequent manifestation of obedience and devotion and ran out its course.

There are encouragement and warning here.

Jacob. – The real mistake of it all was that Jacob bought that land, and settled too near the city (Genesis 33:18). As a pilgrim, he had no right to do this. If Christian parents will settle down in fellowship with the world, they have themselves to thank for all the misery which accrues to themselves and children, and the dishonour of God.

WHERE IS THE ARK OF THE COVENANT? 

Research writer Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div

Introduction
The Ark of the Covenant disappeared off of the pages of history by the time of the Babylonian Captivity. Nothing in the Bible is said about the Ark in the Old Testament after the return from Babylon, but the Apocrypha states that the Ark could not be found when the Jewish people rebuilt the Temple at the time of Ezra and Zechariah. The explanation in the Apocrypha was that Jeremiah hid the Ark in a cave in Mt. Nebo before the Babylonian invasion and that its location would not be revealed until God was ready for it to be found.

No Ark in the Second Temple
Thus, the Holy of Holies in the Second Temple was an empty chamber, without the Ark of the Covenant. When the Roman General Pompey conquered Jerusalem around 63 B.C., he demanded the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies. When he did, he came out saying that he could not understand what all the interest was about the sanctuary, when it was only an empty room. (He had no knowledge of the Ark)

The fact that the Ark of the Covenant was not used in the Second Temple has led to the speculation of where the Ark is, or if it still exists on the earth. The Ark was so important in Israel from the time of Moses through the Judges and the First Temple era, that it seems remarkable that nothing is said of it in the Bible after the Babylonian Captivity until the Letter to the Hebrews and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. In Hebrews it is described as it was in the original Tabernacle made by Moses; and in Revelation, the Ark is seen by John in heaven. In neither case is the Ark mentioned as something that remains on the earth now.

Is the Ark Needed for the Tribulation Temple?
One question that arises is, can the Temple be rebuilt if it does not contain the Ark? The Scriptures indicate that the Temple will be rebuilt and standing during the Tribulation period and that the Tribulation Temple will be desecrated by the Antichrist. How can the worship of God be resumed as it was in ancient times if there is no Ark in the Holy of Holies? We have already seen, though, that the absence of the Ark of the Covenant did not keep the Temple from being rebuilt at the conclusion of the Babylonian Captivity.

The Second Temple stood for over 500 years without containing an Ark, and it was fully recognized as a valid house of worship for the Lord. Christ Himself declared the Temple to be His Father’s House. So it would not be unthinkable to build the Tribulation Temple, even if the Ark is not discovered. If the Ark does still exist, however, and it was somehow discovered, it would certainly give rise to a strong movement in Israel and around the world to rebuild the Temple to house the Ark properly.

Is the Ark Hidden in the Temple Mount?
There persists a legend that the Ark does exist on earth, but is hidden. A recently published book by Randall Price, entitled In Search of Temple Treasures, presents the various views on what has happened to the Ark. Some of the traditions place the Ark outside of Israel, such as at Mt. Nebo, Egypt, and even far-off Ethiopia. But all of these traditions have problems and seem unlikely since there is a lack of any scriptural evidence for them.

A view that has predominated in rabbinic circles is that the Ark was hidden in a cave beneath the Temple Mount in the very heart of Israel. The theory goes that the priests hid the Ark beneath the Temple Mount, perhaps as early as during the time of King Josiah, since the coming prophesied invasion by the Babylonians was only a matter of time. By hiding the Ark and other Temple treasures, the priests felt that the priceless sacred articles could be protected from desecration by the pagan invaders. (In my opinion, Israel has to be protected to protect and preserve the treasures of the Temple until the time is right.)

Why Didn’t Israel Use the Ark in the Second Temple?
As it turned out, the Babylonians did invade Jerusalem. They destroyed the Temple and carried away many of the vessels and implements to their capital city a thousand miles away. No mention is made in the Scriptures of the Babylonians taking the Ark, the Menorah, or other key Temple items. If the Ark and the other implements were hidden under the Temple, why weren’t they recovered and used after the Captivity? It’s hard to imagine that the priests would have knowingly left the Ark out of the Holy of Holies if they could have utilized it during the 500 years of the Second Temple.

The explanation offered is that they felt that as long as Jerusalem was subject to domination by the succeeding powers of Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome, the Ark and other treasures could be desecrated and captured by the Gentile armies. Thus, the sacred items would remain in seclusion until it was considered safe to bring them out to be placed in the Temple.

The Rabbinical Attempt to Find the Ark
At any rate, Rabbi Shlomo Goren and Rabbi Yehuda Getz, the rabbis in charge of the Western Wall area, are convinced that the Ark has been hidden in a cave in the Temple Mount directly under the site of the Holy of Holies, since the time of King Josiah. They probably represent the majority of Orthodox rabbis in their views. They have a concept of vertical air space, by which the space of the Holy of Holies sanctifies the ground directly below it. Thus, the ancient priests would have been careful to locate the cave repository for the Ark in the sanctified area below the Holy of Holies. The evidence for all of these suppositions about the location of the Ark, as Rabbi Getz concedes, comes more from the Talmud than the Scriptures. Nevertheless, there is a large and growing group of Orthodox Jewish adherents who believe that the Ark is in this cave below the Holy of Holies, and awaits the right time to be found.

Rabbi Getz believes that in 1982 he was very close, within 40 feet, to find the cave in which the Ark resides. He was conducting a search in an old tunnel that had been filled with the debris of centuries, which runs perpendicular to the Western Wall and under the Temple Mount. However, when the Moslems discovered that there were diggings being conducted under the Dome of the Rock, they threatened a general riot and the diggings were stopped. The rabbi explains that, for the sake of maintaining peace with their Moslem neighbors, the Israelis had to reseal the entrance to the tunnel, and it remains blocked up to this day.

Temple Interest an Indication of the Imminent Rapture
The Scriptures are not clear as to whether the Ark of the Covenant still exists on the earth, but they are clear that the Temple will be rebuilt and standing during the Tribulation. There is no question that if the Ark were found, it would give enormous impetus to the rebuilding of the Temple to house it. Bible-believing Christians should keep a sharp eye out for any developments surrounding the Temple Mount, realizing that it is a key element leading to the Tribulation era. The closer we get to the Tribulation, the closer we are to the imminent Rapture of the Church, which, we believe the Scriptures teach, will precede the Tribulation. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

THE EVIDENCE

Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div

“Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps; set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest.”–Jeremiah 31:21

To look at the past is often a blessed encouragement for the future. If we are travellers in the way Zionward, we shall have our various waymarks. A conspicuous call, or a signal deliverance, or a gracious manifestation of Christ; a promise applied here, or a marked answer to prayer there; a special blessing under the preached word; a soft and unexpected assurance of an interest in the blood of the Lamb; a breaking in of divine light when walking in great darkness; a sweet sip of consolation in a season of sorrow and trouble; a calming down of the winds and waves without and within by, “It is I, be not afraid”–such and similar waymarks it is most blessed to be able to set up as evidence that we are on the road. And if many who really fear God cannot set up these conspicuous waymarks, yet they are not without their testimonies equally sure, if not equally satisfying.

The fear of God in a tender conscience, the spirit of grace and of supplications in their breast, their cleaving to the people of God in warm affection, their love for the truth in its purity and power, their earnest desires, their budding hopes, their anxious fears, their honesty and simplicity making them jealous over themselves lest they be deceived or deluded, their separation from the world, their humility, meekness, quietness, and general consistency often putting to shame louder profession and higher pretensions–these and similar pieces of evidence mark many as children of God who cannot read their title clear to such a privilege and such a blessing. But whether the waymarks be high or low, shining in the sun or obscure in the dawn, the virgin of Israel is still bidden to “set them up,” and to “set also her heart toward the highway, even the way by which she came.”