For many years, the newsletters for Open Air Outreach were only published through email. Those newsletters were not posted online. We are now in the process of archiving these old newsletters online so that they are available to the body of Christ at large to read and be encouraged and edified by them.
The contents from this post was an email newsletter sent out on 3/21/2005
This newsletter has no copy-right.
Feel free to share it by forwarding it on or by printing it off.
1) Freedom from Sin
2) Dead unto Sin
3) Naming the Name of Christ
1) Fort Worth Witnessing is in this “Praize Report”
2) 2 days and 1 night in Smith County Jail available on the site
The topic of Christian freedom is one which every Christian must know about. I fear that Christian freedom has been twisted today to become the exact opposite of what it was meant to be. Christian freedom is not freedom to sin, but it is freedom from sin. We need a fresh revelation of the grace of God. The grace of God does not enable us to sin. Rather the grace of God empowers us to live free from sin. Our mentalities must change. It is not that we have to be holy, but that through Jesus Christ we get to be holy. Heb 12:14 – “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord”. It’s a sad truth that the world is lost, but even sadder is that many of those who sit in Church are lost. Many preachers don’t preach holiness as they should. This generation is being cheated. We need to wake up. Those who sit in our church buildings may be going to hell and our preachers are driving the bus there! This is why I have written these articles on holiness. Please share them with whoever you feel the Lord may lead you.
Freedom from Sin
By Jesse Morrell
Romans 6:22 “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”
Deep in the corridors of death row sat a guilty prisoner awaiting execution. On one fateful day the jailer walked into the prisoner’s cell causing the prisoner to fear tremendously that this would be the day of his death. After months and years of waiting on death row, he knew this day would inevitably come. Just as the prisoner was dropping his head in shame and despair, the jailer said the words which echoed through his mind, “I am setting you free. Another man has turned himself in and requested that you be released immediately.” After fully expecting to die, the prisoner had a look of astonishment on his face. The jailer assured him by telling him that all his criminal records would be erased. He went on to say that he will not be put to death and that he can freely walk out of his cell today. It would be an understatement to say the prisoner was overjoyed. Overwhelmed with gratitude, the prisoner thanked the jailer and walked out of the cell that had him bound for countless years.
Is this not a picture of the wonderful freedom men receive by grace through faith in the blood of Jesus? Jesus Christ has turned himself in so that we can walk freely out of the cell that has had us bound. Not only are we free from the guilt and consequences of our crimes against God, but we are free from the chains of bondage that held us captive. Teaching and preaching that a man can be saved from the guilt and consequences of his sins, but yet not be saved from his sins themselves would like the jailer telling the prisoner “you are free, your record is erased, you will not be put to death, but you must remain bound in this cell for the rest of your days.” That would be no freedom at all! If we are to be slaves of God and slaves of righteousness, we must be free from death, hell, and also sin itself.
God calls the Christian to run the race, but the race does not take place on a treadmill. There is no such thing as treadmill Christianity. To say that a man who desires to be holy will never be able to reach it in this life opposes the very teachings of Jesus who said “blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matt 5:6). God never intended for the Christian to be as a mouse in a cage running anxiously and endlessly on a running wheel yet never getting anywhere. God has always intended to set men free, and “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36).
Am I proposing here that a man can be holy while remaining here on earth and that a man can obey all the commandments of the Lord? Absolutely I am because this is what reason, logic, and the scriptures force me to believe and accept and I wouldn’t want it any other way. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). And also “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16). If you are lead by God will He not lead you into all righteousness? Is it impossible to obey the One who said “follow me”? (Luke 18:22). Was it unreasonable when Christ said “I have given you an example that you should do as I have done”? (John 13:15).
God has not charted a course which is impossible to sail. Nothing shall be impossible for God. So long as God is the Captain and Commander of the ship He can and will sail it wherever He so pleases. Certainly mutiny against the Captain and Commander is possible on our part, but loyalty is also a possibility.
E. M. Bounds stirs us to pursue personal holiness in this quote: “Nothing short of absolute obedience will satisfy God. The keeping of all His commandments is the demonstration of obedience that God requires. But can we keep all of God’s commandments? Can a man receive moral ability that helps him to obey every one of them? Certainly he can. By the same token, man can, through prayer, obtain ability to do this very thing…Does God give commandments that men cannot obey? Is he so arbitrary, so severe, so unloving, that He issues commandments that cannot be obeyed? The answer is that, in all of Scripture, not a single instance is recorded of God having commanded any man to do a thing that was beyond his power. Is God so unjust and so inconsiderate to require a man something that he is unable to do? Certainly not! To infer is to slander the character of God.”
I fear that the issue is not that man can not obey God, but that many men will not obey God. Many do not walk in holiness because they have yet to forsake their sins and walk in complete repentance. But true repentance is always complete. If a man is driving down a two way road and fails to pay attention and therefore ends up on the wrong side of the road he is in great danger. He is in even greater danger when he notices a massive Mac truck heading straight for him. Panic grips his heart and sweat pours from his brow. What must he do? The answer is simple enough. He must suddenly, not slowly, get back on the right side of the road. If he leaves even a little bit of his vehicle on the wrong side of the road that would be enough to get him killed. Likewise, when you’re on the road of life and you end up on the wrong side of the road called sin, you are in grave danger because the Mac truck of death and hell is heading straight for you. What ought you to do? As quickly as you can you must get completely on the right side of the road. If you leave even the least bit of your life on the wrong side of the road is that not enough to get you killed?
And so it is that Christ has set us free, so we must walk free. The pardon has been issued, the records have been erased, and the cell gate has been opened wide. Now it is up to us to walk out of the chains of bondage into the marvelous freedom that is found in Jesus Christ.
Quote: The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds page 155-156.
Dead unto Sin
By Jesse Morrell
Ro 6:11 – “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
All are living to die, many are dying to live, but few are dead while they live. To get to the mountain of life you must pass through the valley of death. The key which unlocks the door to freedom from sin is the key of death. Death that is, to ones will, to ones flesh, and to ones ways. Do any of you want to live? Then you must die. To live and reign with Christ you must first be crucified with Christ. 2Ti 2:11 – “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.” You can not live in the fullness of Christ if you are not dead to yourself. Both the penalty of sin and the prescription to sin is death. If you do not die to sin now that you are in time, you will die because of sin later when you are in eternity.
There are those who justify their own sins by saying “A man can not truly live free from sin. That’s impossible. We’re only human.” This is not so sinner. Just because you have not lived free from sin does not mean that others can not live free from sin. I would dare you Sir to get specific about these unstoppable sins. Which sin is impossible for you to live without? Would it be lying or stealing? Would it be adultery or murder? Would it be blasphemy or jealousy? Or is it all of these sins which you are chained to? Is the lock of sin truly without a key? The commandments of the Lord are not burdensome.
The scriptures force me to say that it is not that you cannot live without sin but rather that you simply will not live without sin. You will never live without sin as long as you will to sin.
If you could not even help but to sin, how could God hold you accountable for that which you were forced to do to begin with? Is a bank teller arrested if he was forced by a robber with a gun to hand over the money? Would it be justice to throw that man in jail? Neither would it be justice to cast mans soul in hell if he ultimately was forced to sin by his own flesh, the world, or the devil.
However there is hope in my bible for me and there is hope in the bible for any man. Lies will bark and scream at you “cursed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they cannot ever be filled.” But the truth speaks life and says “blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” There is nothing but bondage in other religions, but in Christ there is liberty. This Christian liberty is not what some try to twist it and make it out to be. This Christian liberty is freedom from sin, not freedom to sin. Those who love God and hate sin wouldn’t want it the other way around.
There is both righteousness imparted and righteousness imputed. The blood of Jesus Christ not only covers all our sins, but “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7). There is no covering of sins without the cleansing of sins. Leonard Ravenhill said “there are only two types of men in the world: those who are dead in sin and those who are dead to sin.” It is this cleansing which separates the sons of God from the sons of the devil. “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God”. And also “He who sins is of the devil”. (1Jo 3:8)
And so it is that entire sanctification is reachable and also required. Did Christ say “go and sin less”? Or did he say “go and sin no more.” (Joh 5:14, Joh 8:11) Does the scripture say “let him who stole steal less”? Or does it say “let him who stole steal no longer”? (Eph 4:28) Christ, the Christians Master, said “be perfect just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Mt 5:48)
Naming the Name of Christ
By Jesse Morrell
“Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19
The theology and terminology of many preachers today is quite repulsive to the heart that hunger and thirsts after righteous. Famous, influential, and respected preachers and authors publicly talk about being, as they call, “sinning Saints”. Scornfully they mock at the mere thought of living a life that is completely repented from sins. “Moral perfection is impossible” they believe as if a man can not truly live a life of holiness as Jesus did. “Follow me” Christ says, while these men say “you can’t”. While the New Testament church preached moral perfection, modern Churches have replaced it with moral imperfection. While the New Testament church preached entire sanctification, it has been replaced by the modern Church with part sanctification.
Preachers who preach the “sinning Saint” doctrine are in actuality strengthening the grip sinners have on their sins. If a preacher does not live holy, what are the other people left to do? The more acceptable and common an act is, the more likely it is to be done. What the masses do, the individual will do. Men are more likely to do what everyone is doing and are less likely to do what nobody is doing.
And so we have gotten to the point that it is commonly believed a man can be both a sinner and Saint rather then being one or the other. These ungodly men preach and teach such contradictions because their own lives contradict the Word of God. The bible has a different term other then “sinning Saint” and that term is hypocrite. Christ preached more extensively against religious hypocrisy and religious hypocrites then any other group of people. But rather then accusing the hypocrites in our preaching as Jesus did, our hypocritical preachers are justifying themselves, comforting their own hearts and the heart of sinners, yet subtly damning the souls of men. These preachers are broken bridges. They once may have bridged the gap between God and man, but now any that travel on them will die.
The way of the world and the way of heaven lead in different directions, but more then different directions, they lead in opposite directions. To walk with Christ you can not walk with the world. Half hearted commitment is no commitment at all. Leave all and follow Christ. Leave your pride, leave your lust, leave your dishonesty, leave your selfish ambitions, leave all and follow Christ. Compromised Christianity is not Christianity at all.
Let the “sinning Saint” carry on in his wickedness and he will in due time discover that he is among those whom Christ will say those dreadful words “depart from me you worker of iniquity”. No word will bring more terror and horror to the heart of man then hearing from the lips of his Creature “depart”. These words will echo in their heart for all eternity while they agonize in hell. Being so close and yet being so far! But the truth is that they didn’t truly want Christ in life and therefore they won’t have Him in death. They wanted heaven but not holiness. They wanted covering but not cleansing. They wanted right-standing but they didn’t want righteousness. They wanted to their sins to be forgiven but they didn’t want their sins to be forsaken.
More harm has been done to the holiness of the Church and the conversion of the world by religious hypocrites then by any other. How terrible it will be for the “sinning Saints” who gives Christ a bad name. By simply calling themselves Christians and yet not follow in Christ’s ways they make a mockery of Christ in front of the entire world. It is heinous blasphemy to be called by the name Christian and walk as worldly men do. You must walk as Christ walked. You must live as Christ lived. If you’re not willing to go all the way then please by all means go the other way. But for the name of Christ make up your mind.
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Do you want the Lamb of God to forgive you of your sins? Then you must allow him also to take away your sins. It was your sins that nailed Christ to the cross. He gave His life so that you could have life! Yet life with sin is not life at all. Sin is bondage and it desires to hold you captive until death will come to slay you. Yet Death was slain by Christ. Captivity was taken captive!
God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us if we sin but we must confess and repent. He does not want to merely cleanse you from some sin, but he wants to cleanse you from all sin. Is not all sin appalling to Him? Does not all sin infinitely offend Him? Does not all sin eternally separate men from Him? Therefore it is all sin that must be abandoned. When God casts sin into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, all those who are attached to sin will go with it. As a ball and chain it will drown you in the ocean of flames. Sin must be abandoned now because it can not be abandoned then.
God is hunting to kill you. But He does it in order to give you life. He wants to kill your corrupted nature and replace it with a nature like His. He wants to shatter your heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. He wants to kill you because without being put to death you can not be resurrected in new life with Him. Through Jesus Christ our Lord you can be delivered from your body of death. God is waiting for you, to take you in, feed you and cloth you. But you must go back home to him. Seek the Lord while He can be found.
Witnessing Testimony: Newbie’s in Fort Worth Witnessing
March 19th, 2005
Oh how wonderful it is to take Christians out witnessing who have never gone out before! Two solid Christian brothers contacted me asking when I was going out witnessing next because they wanted to go. We got together Saturday the 19th around 4pm for discussion and prayer and then hit the road for Sundance Square, Fort Worth, around 6:30pm. They were extremely pumped and excited.
We arrived in Forth Worth around 8:30pm to meet up with the other Seed Sowers. Arrive on the scene was awesome. We were walking down the road towards the comedy house where we preach outside of and saw one of the brothers walking by with his ladder on his way to preach. We stopped and talked for a second and then walked on. While waiting to cross the street we looked across the road and saw another brother already up on one of the flower pots preaching to a crowd of young guys. Then we looked at another corner to see another brother with an easel preaching to a crowd. Not to mention the others talking one-on-one and passing out tracts! It was very encouraging to arrive on the scene and see this taking place!
I went with a group and found a corner that had people hanging out on it and walking by. One man started by trying to give our money and draw a crowd, but no crowd really gathered. Then another guy stood up on the two step ladder and preached, sparking a little anger out of one heckler. Then I started preaching. We had been praying on the ride down and I was bursting at the seams. I couldn’t wait to preach. But the cops came by and asked that I not be so loud, someone called and complained. I toned it down and then they said “TONE IT DOWN!” I toned it down again and they said “TOWN IT DOWN OR WE WILL WRITE YOU UP.” So we decided to just go to a street corner that had no cops.
One another corner one brother preached while the rest of us formed a small crowd in front. Once we did that a crowd gathered. About seven people gathered to the left of him, and then about five or six gathered to the right. Then I tried to preach but wasn’t able to keep anyone’s attention for too long. I took out my pocket watch and showed it while preaching. I’d preach a bit and then say “tick, tick tock folks, time is ticking away.” And preach on eternity and the judgment seat. I kept repeating “tick, tick, tock periodically and hope that it stick and echo in peoples minds.
We moved around a bit trying to find the best corners. While walking by one bar, we noticed a large group gathered outside. We preached from a cross the street. One man, who I never heard preach before, have a trumpet voice! He is so meek and gentle when talking, but when preaching his is aflame! This man had a voice and a message. I thought of George Whitefield who had such a loud voice that he could preach up to crowds of estimated 80,000 people without any amplification in the open-air.
As the night went on, the crowds of people grew thin. Two other men and myself went and charted some uncharted territory. We found an “Irish Pub” and some other bar/club with a large group of people outside of it. We preached from across the street. We have a few hecklers. One man came up to me to tell me he was a Christian. I said “what are you doing out here?” He said “having a good time.” I asked “what do you call a good time? Drinking alcohol and sleeping around?” He said “I’m just _____ around.” I asked if he would be in church on Sunday and he said he may. “From what it looks like, you’re a blind fool, you hypocrite!” He then agreed with me and walked off. I had never called anyone a blind fool or a hypocrite like that in the open-air before. But I’ve been reading the sermons of Jesus Christ and it’s been rubbing off on me.
Eventually we called it a night. We left half at 12:30am or so. I often have trouble finding my way back home because the Texas highways change so often and you need to switch to so many highways. We didn’t get back home until around 3:00am. It was a great night. The new guys loved it and want to come out again. We passed out hundreds of tracts and preached the gospel open-air to many, many people.
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THE MORRELL FAMILY
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Jesse & Krista Morrell
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Lindale TX, 75771
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