Dan Hilton - Who Started This Church? - Burlington, Washington - 1984

We are often asked who started this church?  Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." Jesus gave us God's eternal plan of salvation in its fullness. He is both the author and finisher. Jesus being the finisher there is no more room for anyone else to add anything.


Then, we are sometimes asked, "Why don't you speak of older ministers of the faith of Jesus in past generations?" God's answer to this question is found in II Corinthians 4:5, "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord and ourselves your servants for Jesus sake." So, it is not the will of God for us to be preaching about ministers of past generations. We preach Christ.


Also we are sometimes asked about the period between the first and second coming of Christ but especially the period of time between the first century and the present twentieth century. We have no written records on earth of God's work in the world during this period. God's records are written in heaven. Malachi 3:16; Luke 10:20; Revelation 20:12, any who would suggest that a written genealogy record is necessary between the first and twentieth century would fall into the category of I Timothy 1:3-4, "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine. Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith, so do."


We shall consider three illustrations. First, Genesis 1:12, wheat Seed - Wheat has always been wheat.  If you were a wheat farmer, and I was a wheat seed merchant, and you came to me to obtain a truckload of wheat seed, it would not be necessary for me to put into your hand a historical brochure with a written record of when and where that wheat has been grown in past years in several states, and countries of Europe and the Near East and back to the garden of Eden for that wheat seed to grow wheat. Every wheat seed is a living historical brochure of wheat clear back to Genesis 1:12. And so the spiritual lesson is:  Jesus said in Luke 8:11, "The seed is the word of God."  The word of God has always been the same seed. Whether anyone believes and receives the seed of the word of God makes no difference in this respect for God's truth. God's truth is God's truth if nobody believes and receives it or a few do, or many do. As with wheat seed, there could have been times in the centuries of time that there may have been no wheat seed planted but it was still wheat seed. And if farmers took wheat out of the granary and planted it again there would be wheat growing and harvested again in the world. So, it may have been there were times in centuries past there was no one in the earth believing and receiving the seed of the word of God for a time and then God was able to raise up true ministers like Jesus established to sow the seed of the word of God then there would be the godly harvest in the world again. It is just that simple and certain.


Second, a pattern. You make a suit of clothes by the pattern and follow the pattern closely then the suit will be like the pattern. If you make ten suits or a hundred suits or a thousand suits and follow the pattern closely, then they will all be like the pattern and like each other. And so it is in the spiritual. Jesus is our pattern. Romans 8:29, "Be conformed to the image of Jesus." The word "image" here comes from a word that defines "pattern." So anyone in any century, going back to Jesus, the pattern, is following the pattern closely, and will have the ministry and salvation and church like Jesus. However if anyone was to make a suit of clothes by the pattern and then put the pattern away in the drawer and then use suit number one as some of the pattern for suit number two and then suit number two as some of the pattern for suit number three and then suit number three as some of the pattern for suit number four and continue to use this method in making nineteen suits of clothes, the last one would not even resemble the pattern or the first suit of clothes that had been made by the first pattern. And there is the answer for all the confusion in the world today that is so different than Jesus, the original pattern, and the first century ministry and the church that was made by the first pattern. If nineteen suits of clothes were made by this last method how could suit number twenty be made like suit number one? Answer:  Set all the other suits aside and go back and get the original pattern out of the drawer and then make suit number twenty by the first pattern and then suit number twenty will be like the first pattern and the first suit made by the first pattern. This is true also spiritually. In this twentieth century we go back to Jesus, the first pattern, and His ministry and faith and spirit and love and teaching and example and everything and then we will have all there is in Jesus and Him who is the first pattern and also we will have in the ministry and church, everything is the same as the first century church that was made by Jesus the first pattern. I hope that there were people who did this in the centuries between the first century and the twentieth century but we have no records and we do not know. God alone knows whether they did or did and it does not make a bit of difference to our salvation. The pattern in Jesus was always there waiting for the sincere and honest to go back to.


Third, in the Old Testament, there were two ministries. First there was the Levite and the priesthood of Aaron ministry, and secondly there was the prophet ministry. (Jeremiah and Ezekiel were both priests and prophets.) There was an unbroken chain of ministry from Aaron to Christ, but there were missing links in the prophet ministry during this same period of time from Moses and Aaron to Christ. Transferring that as an object lesson over to the period of time between Christ and now, there was an unbroken continuance of the priesthood ministry of Christ in heaven from the first century to the twentieth century. Hebrews 7:25, "He ever liveth to make intercession to God."  However we have no written record on earth concerning the New Testament ministry that was established by Christ during the period between the first century and the twentieth century. Whether there were or may not have been broken periods, and if so, when, God knows and that is sufficient. Matthew 16:16-18, if people receive true revelation from the Father, that is the rock foundation of salvation of Christ, and not having any need of an apostolic succession of recorded history. Anyway, that is sufficient. The main thing that we wish to give fresh consideration to this morning is to better learn how to pray as Jesus prayed and as He taught us to pray. Hebrews 10:19, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus." It is the blood of Jesus that makes it possible to offer true prayers to our Father.


All forms of life have some kind of substance with it. For example, human life has the substance of flesh and blood and bone with it. Animal life has the substance of flesh and bone and blood. The tree of life has the substance of wood and bark and the cambium layer. Plant life has the substance of fibre and fluid, and divine life has the substance of the spirit of a loving child, the spirit of a loving citizen, the Holy Spirit of a loving servant, the Holy Spirit of the bread or the bread of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit of loving forgiveness, and the Holy Spirit of a loving soldier.


Luke 11:1-13 has some of the most important verses in the Bible. Verse 1, "... He was praying..." How? The answer is found in Hebrews 5:7-8. Verse 13, "... how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him." All Jesus taught in verses 2-13 is about how to pray for the Holy Spirit. This is the Morning Prayer in Verse 3, "Give us day by day." (Matthew 6:11, "Give us this day.") If we learn to pray as Jesus taught in the morning, we will have much to give thanks to our Father for in the evening. 


Verse 2, "Our Father which art in heaven." This will keep us close to heaven as each morning our hearts touch the heart of our loving heavenly Father. Coming to the place of prayer is the attitude of a loving child to a loving Father. Parable:  In the city Medellín, Columbia, South America, the authorities say there are about 100,000 orphans roaming the streets with no one to love or feed or clothe or care for them. If they get any food it is by begging. Most have no clothing. A few fortunate ones have rags. I want to say to you children that you have so much to be thankful for. You have parents who love you and provide love and shelter and food and clothing and everything. I know a family who had three of their own children and in due time they adopted five of these orphans from Medellín, Columbia, South America. The children just loved to touch the parents. The mother told me that the children would follow their father when he was home and were constantly touching him. It was a deep joy to have the security and comfort of a loving Father to touch. We have a loving Father in heaven to whom we can come in prayer and have the deep joy of the security and comfort of touching His heart in the Holy Spirit - coming each morning in the attitude of a loving child, praying for more of the Holy Spirit of a loving child becomes a virtuous circle. The more joy we have the more we will want to do this. Also there is the bonus of a positive-negative reward. We are delivered from the vicious circle of pride and independence.


"Our Father" is harmony. All in God's kingdom around the world praying "Our Father" in the Holy Spirit is producing harmony with our Father and with one another. Then the Father's name is hallowed. Parable:  In Washington D.C., there is one master tuning fork that is hermetically sealed so it is not affected by moisture or temperature. This is in the U. S. Bureau of Weights and Measures. There are seven regional tuning forks in the U. S. all tuned by the master tuning fork. This master tuning fork is also used to tune all other tuning forks around the world. You could take your piano to New Zealand to the home of any of the friends and play a duet and it would be in harmony. It is good we can all have our heart strings re-tuned each morning with "Our Father" and thus be in tune with each other.


"Thy kingdom come" - the exact meaning in the other writing of the New Testament was written, "Let thy kingdom continue coming," denoting the continuance of an action that was already in progress. Coming to the place of prayer each morning with the attitude of a loving citizen praying for more of the Holy Spirit of a loving citizen. It is the joy of Jesus, by faith, sitting on the throne of our hearts to govern 365 days a year. It is a privilege to have Jesus the King of Kings sitting on the throne of our hearts. The word "kingdom" means "king rule." Dom means "rule." Dom is where our word "domain" comes from, which means complete and absolute ownership. As a natural king would value a warm soft throne on which to sit and govern, so Jesus our King loves a heart throne that is soft and warm in its attitude toward Him. Parable:  One could picture themselves sitting in a chair under the end of a slowly moving endless belt, with valuables deposited in ones lap one, after the other.  As we come to the place of prayer each morning, in the attitude of a loving citizen praying for more of the Holy Spirit of a loving citizen, the kingdom's treasures keep coming and coming and coming. This brings a joy that becomes a virtuous circle. It also has a bonus that is a positive-negative bonus of deliverance from the vicious circle of self-rule. When Christ sits on the hearts' throne of His blood purchased people (I Corinthians 6:20), He gives to them a spiritual eyesight to see things as He sees them. Parable:  In San Fernando, California several years ago a mother and her daughter were standing on a street corner waiting to cross the busy street. Hearing a tapping sound she turned to see a handsome young man stepping confidently and briskly, carrying a white cane and wearing a service discharge emblem on his lapel. Knowing how sensitive some people are to their handicap she said, "Traffic is very heavy today, son. May we walk across with you?" "Sure," he replied, "You see I have lived in this neighborhood all my life except when I was in the service. That is when I lost my sight." Traffic slackened and they walked across and on down the sidewalk together. He said, "Next week, I am going to visit a friend of mine in another state who is going to be executed." Trying not to sound too shocked she said, "A friend of yours?" "Yes," he said, "You see, though we have never met yet he is going to give me his eyes." When Christ was executed, He left us His spiritual eyes to see things as He sees them in all the will of God.


"Thy will be done in earth as in Heaven" - Coming each morning with an attitude of a loving servant praying for more of the Holy Spirit of a loving servant. "Thy will" suggests a question:  Where do we find the will of our Father?  John 6:38, "I came down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me." God has left a detour open where we can go around all this jungle of confusion in the world today and, at the feet of the original true Christ, learn of the will of the Father. Christ is God's heaven-sent answering service on earth to give us all the answers concerning the Father's will for us. There is a place for everyone in God's family to serve. "Thy will be done as in heaven as in earth." This suggests we can have a heaven on earth every day of the week as Jesus did. Loving to serve brings more joy that causes us to want to serve more, bringing more joy, and it becomes a virtuous circle. There is also a positive-negative blessing of being delivered from the vicious circle of selfishness. No matter what the size or amount of the serving, it is pleasing and acceptable to God. When Dellas Linaman was home for his last visit, he told an excellent illustration. He was at a home of some of the friends in the church in Oregon and he was going elsewhere to visit. There were a few cars in the yard and he asked for the use of one of the common cars. The folks of the home insisted that Dellas use it. But he declined and they continued to insist, he take their Mercedes Benz, so he did. When he arrived at the next home the folks of the home saw the Mercedes Benz and they said, "Well!!!"  Dellas said, "Yes, nothing but the best." Dellas continued to tell of an experience in the home of one the saints in the mountains in Taiwan. There had been a drought that year and the sweet potatoes were small and the man of the home was picking through the sweet potatoes in the pot to find a few of them that were a little bigger to give Dallas and his companion. Dellas said, "They were both giving of their best in the spirit of loving to serve, and so their service of sacrifice was equal."


Verse 11:3, "Give us day by day our daily bread." We must come to the place of prayer with the attitude of a loving beggar, pleading for the bread of the Holy Spirit. Verses 5-10 are about the bread of the Holy Spirit. Verse 5-8 is the parable of the embarrassment of unprepared hospitality. Verse 8. There are two "because" - the first pointing out that we don't get the bread of the Holy Spirit just on the basis of friendship only. It shows we may be a 100% friends with God, with Christ, with the servants of God and with the people of God which is all very good; however the second "because" was about "importunity" which means urgent pleading. Urgently pleading for the bread of the Holy Spirit. In context verse nine means he (or she) that begs for the bread of the Holy Spirit will receive the bread of the Holy Spirit. He that seeketh for the bread of the Holy Spirit with urgency shall receive the bread of the Holy Spirit. He that knocketh with urgency to get into the spiritual bakery where the bread of the Holy Spirit is baked will be given the bread of the Holy Spirit. Our words and deeds can be like the bread plate on which to serve the bread of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 23:26, the plate washed clean on the inside and outside both, will make a clean plate on which to serve the bread of the Holy Spirit. Coming to the place of prayer with the attitude of a beggar who loves the bread of the Holy Spirit, urgently pleading for the bread of the Holy Spirit. This becomes a virtuous circle because it brings more joy that causes us to want to pray more and more urgently for the bread of the Holy Spirit. Also, there is a positive-negative bonus blessing of deliverance from the vicious circle of bread-less words. Blessed are the breadwinners for they are very valuable. "Give us this day our daily bread" - Business and professional people usually dismiss their customer or client with, "Have a good day." If we learn to pray for the bread of the Holy Spirit as Jesus taught, we would always have a good day in every experience.


Verse 4, "And forgive us our sins: for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us." Coming to the place of prayer in the attitude of a forgiven debtor, praying for more of the Holy Spirit of forgiveness. In the first special meeting/convention in the New Testament in Matthew 6:5-15, Christ picked out the one about forgiveness after He said, "Amen," and enlarged on it. Verses 14-15, "For if ye forgive men (or women) their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men (or women) their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Forgiveness is not where there is an absence of a trespass but where there is a trespass. On a rare occasion some have said, "Yes, I would be glad to forgive a certain person if they just had not said or done that one thing." In other words, if there was nothing to forgive them for, then I could forgive them. According to these words of Jesus, such a kind of unforgiving person is unsaved; they have cast aside their salvation. Parable:  An insurance policy has a premium that must be kept paid for the insurance policy to be valid and in force. The precious blood of Jesus is the insurance policy to cover all our repented sins that we have put a knife into and been definite and decisive, but the premium must be kept paid, continually by forgiving others. When young, I worked felling Redwood trees and sawing them into logs. One night, the mill burned down. The owner was short of money and it was just a few days before the insurance premium came due. He was waiting twoweeks till he received some money from lumber sales to pay the insurance premium on his sawmill, and it was during this time the mill burned down and he lost all his life's investment. Spiritually, the blood of Christ is an insurance policy to cover all our repented sins but I would not want to allow any un-forgiving spirit to enter in for a moment and unexpectedly drop dead with a heart attack or a stroke or an accident and be caught unawares without my premium of forgiveness paid up in full. After over a half century in the kingdom of Christ, the Lord would have to let me depart into the place where it is recorded five times in Jesus' teaching there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth" and two times, "wailing and gnashing of teeth." Come to the place of prayer with an attitude of a forgiven debtor praying for more of the Holy Spirit of forgiveness. Matthew 18:22, forgive is mentioned 490 times. Matthew 18:23-35 is the parable of cancelled forgiveness. "Ten thousand" talents = $12,000,000. "Hundred pence" = $l5 or $16. This parable causes any and all of us to search our hearts from the depths. Ephesians 4:32, "Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." A very meaningful teaching! It is vital to salvation to come to the place of prayer with the attitude of a forgiven debtor praying for more of the Holy Spirit of forgiveness.


Verse 4, last sentence, "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." First, the meaning is:  "When I am invited to sin, help me to refuse the invitation." Temptation is not sin. Temptation is an invitation to sin. If we were to say that temptation is sin, we would be saying that God's Son was the biggest sinner there ever was. Hebrews 4:15, "He was tempted in all points." Temptation is not sin. Temptation is an invitation to sin. "Lead us not" - in the particular type of writing God chose to write the New Testament in, there was a verb idiom. In the subjunctive mood, second person ending on a verb, it always meant ST0P the action of the verb before the action of the verb was started. This ending was on the end of the verb "lead" which always would mean "stop me from being led." "Rescue me from evil" meaning not after becoming involved in evil (that is another subject) but rather, "rescue me from becoming involved in evil." The word "deliver" here came from a word that meant to "deliver by drawing unto oneself."  So the real meaning here was, coming to the place of prayer with the attitude of a loving soldier who loves ones own salvation as a priceless treasure to be defended, and also loves God's kingdom as a most precious treasure to be defended. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," would mean, "When I am tempted to compromise, please help me to refuse the invitation." "Compromise" means a partial surrender of purposes and principals. Compromise is usually like stepping down the stairs one step at a time. If compromise does start in steps, and it is not corrected, compromise can become full surrender on the installment plan.


Jeremiah 1:18, God said, "I have made thee an iron pillar." Certainly we can also say that God made His dear Son "an iron pillar." "Iron pillars" do not bend under any pressure. A true soldier in the natural sense, who loves his country, will only allow the enemy to advance over his dead body. I hope we will learn to pray like Jesus prayed every morning.  God is very thankful for those who do not compromise. Christ is very thankful for those who do not compromise. We in the ministry are very thankful for those who do not compromise. It inspires us to labor, to find more like you. Those who sincerely exercise themselves in learning to pray, like Jesus taught to pray, will find rich treasures.