(FOT-Day 2)

James Farnsworth—October 1, 2023

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As you look around this room this morning, we as God's people can most of the time see something that you don't normally see out in this world today. We will find out what that is.

Revelation 2:1: To the angel of the Ephesian Church, write…[v 2]: 'I know your works, and your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot bear those who are evil; and that you did test those who proclaim themselves to be apostles, but are not, and did find them liars; and that you have borne much and have endured, and for My name's sake have labored and have not grown weary'" (vs 1-2). They seem to be on the right path here!

Verse 4: "Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

Brethren, I have seen this happen many times. When people lose their first love for God's Truth, they also lose their love for one another! We see that today.

Hebrews 13:1: "Let brotherly love be present among you continually."

We see it. It's not a part-time love that we have, because we're told it should be amongst us, be with us continually for the brethren. We see that at this Feast. We want to help one another!  When we see someone and need some help, we're always willing to help; it may be:

  • helping someone bring in something from their vehicle
  • helping with setup and taking down
  • helping with the foods

We're concerned about God's people, and that's what these days of this Feast picture. We will be helping people get their lives back together during the Millennium, and this Feast is a foretaste of that time. So we are willing to help. God requires us to help those in the future, so why would we not do that now, helping the brethren?

What do we see as we look around this world today?

Matthew 24:12: "And because lawlessness shall be multiplied… [certainly you can look around and see that today; there's no law] …the love of many shall grow cold."

We can look at the society today and see how lawlessness has multiplied, and it has grown cold. Look at the headlines today. You see mothers drown their own children. You see children murder their own parents because they would not give old money. And I've noticed recently there is a lot of murder/suicides, mothers and fathers shooting their children and then killing themselves

My son and I came out of a store one day and people had a shopping cart full, and they came out the entrance we were going in, and they were stealing, but nothing's done about it. That's why we see that today. Why do we still have it? Because Satan is the 'god of this world,' and he can take love out of our lives! Those go together:

  • you have love and you have God
  • you have God and you have love

1-John 4:8: "The one who does not love does not know God because God is love."

God requires us to teach our children. Parents are not teaching their children God's Laws today, and God's way of life. Most of the time in today's society, with both parents working, the kids are usually at home by themselves. There's no guidance. There's no family meals together. The structure of the family, how God intended, is not there anymore; it's broken down.

A study once disclosed that:

  • if both mom and dad attended church regularly 72% of children remained faithful
  • if only the dad, 55% remained faithful
  • if only mom, 15% remained faithful
  • if neither attended, only 6% remained faithful

So the statistics here speak for themselves!

The example of parents and adults is very important in our children's lives. Here's what will be taught in God's Kingdom. Most of what we are today, ourselves, is because of our parents and how they taught us by their example. Likewise, if parents are loving, then their children most likely will be loving as well. Showing our children how to love God as to be done by example. When it comes to loving God, if we're not loving others, then we're not experiencing the true life that God wants us to have and that He offers us.

True love for God will result in a selfless sacrifice to serve others because that's what we want to do. That's what God's people do. We don't just say we love. Love is an action. We haven't put forth the effort to be able to do these things.

From: https://bible.org/illustration/benjamin-franklin

When Benjamin Franklin wished to interest the people of Philadelphia in street lighting, he didn't try to persuade them by just talking about it. He hung a beautiful lantern on a long bracket in front of his home. He kept the glass highly polished. Every evening at the approach of dusk, he carefully lit the wick. People saw the light from a distance…

People wondering about it on the dark street, they saw Franklin's light. They saw it a long way off, so they came under the influence of its friendly glow. To each one, it seemed to say:

Every evening at the approach of dusk, he carefully lit the wick. People saw the light from a distance and when they walked in its light, found that it helped them to avoid sharp stones on the pavement.

 'Come along, my friend. Here is the safe place that you can walk. You won't fall. There will be no cobblestones sticking out. I shall be there to help you tomorrow if you wish to come by.' Done by example!

John 13:34: "A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you, that is how you are to love one another. By this shall everyone know that you are My disciples—if you love one another." (vs 34-35).

That's the example that He gave us. This simple command requires greater strength for us, because to be able to do that requires God's Spirit that's in us, living and moving us forward. We can always say it's easy to love our neighbor, but how easy is it to love your enemies? God tells us to love our enemies. 'I can't love my enemies. It's too hard.' But this can be done if we have God's Spirit living in us and growing in us, and especially if we follow Christ's example that He gives us.

1-John 3:18: "My little children, we should not love in word, nor with our tongues; rather, we should love in deed and in Truth.

So, we see here our example is important. Christ gave us the ultimate example. When God commands His own love to us, because when we were sinners, He gave His Son, what a wonderful example of love toward us!

Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23).

I want to look at these qualities that we as God's people need to have in our lives, as God is preparing us to be kings and priests as these days picture in the Millennium.

We can look at these qualities as leadership qualities that we can put in our lives. But I want to look at these qualities a little bit different today. I want to start looking at the fruit of the Spirit, and I want to start at the back, the last one, and I want to move forward, move back from there:


Proverbs 16:32: "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city.

1 Peter 4:7: Now the end of all things has drawn near. Therefore, be serious-minded and be watchful in prayers."

That means being looking out for the end of all things in such a manner as to lead us to embrace all opportunities for prayer.

If we look around this world today, we see it going down. We know it's going down. As God's people for us striving to follow God in all that we do. There will always be something to pray about, and it will get worse as time goes on.


Titus 3:2: "Not to speak evil of anyone, not to be contentious, but gentle, showing all meekness toward all men."

You can attack a person with words, but we are to be gentle, showing all meekness unto all men.

Proverbs 15:1: "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger."

Someone may say this, it gets over here, someone else says that, they're going at each other, and the words keep coming until the anger is stirred up. Nothing stirs up anger and so discord like grievous words.

Matthew 5:5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

  • Is this something that we are practicing now in our lives?
  • How hard is it to give a soft answer?

With God's spirit in us, it's easier and becomes easier than you think!

  • Are we taking a city by ruling our spirit?
  • Are we being slow to anger?

We need to be practicing that quality!


  • Do we want to please God? Yes, we do. We all want to please God in what He does for us!
  • Is it important to have faith in our lives?

Hebrews 11:6: "Now, without faith it is impossible to please God. For it is mandatory for the one who comes to God to believe that He exists… [Do we have the faith that He exists? Yes, we do!] …and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Matthew 21:22: "And everything that you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive."

As Fred says over and over, it has to be God's will. And if it's something we ask for and it's God's will, He will provide that for us!

Proverbs 28:20: "A faithful man shall overflow with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich shall not be unpunished."

  • Are all of our transactions as we go through life, just?
  • Are they true?
  • They need to be!


Psalm 23:6: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." The mercies of God are new every morning!

  • Have you ever thought of it in that way?
  • Do you ever get up in the morning and wonder what they will be for that day?

They come all day long, and this temporal goodness abides as long as our life exists. So as we have an opportunity, let's do what is good toward all men, especially those who are part of the household of God! That's what God expects of us.

Matthew 5:15: "Neither do they light a lamp… [just as Benjamin Franklin, he didn't hide it] …and put it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand; and it shines for all who are in the house. In the same way also, you are to let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works…" (vs 15-16)—our example!

While we're here in Branson, are we showing a good example! When we do:

"…and may glorify your Father Who is in heaven" (v 16).

That's what He wants to see. So everything we do in our lives should glorify God!


Ephesians 4:32: "And be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you."

God has shown Himself to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving to each one of us. So, it's with us that we need to do the same, that we in turn shall also be kind, forgiving to our fellow man who has done us wrong, but not in the degree that we have done wrong against God. So we should be able to forgive others. It cost God the death of His Son as man to forgive us, but it cost us nothing to forgive our fellow man. We can do that with God's help!

Matthew 6:14: "For, if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (vs 14-15).


Psalm 37:7: "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret yourself because of him who prospers in his way…"

I've often looked around at people in this world that have everything they need. Why did God not call them? It's not their time! They do prosper. But it may be:

"…because of him who carries out wicked schemes" (v 7)—that they have in their mind!

So we depend on God to give us what we need. it's often an additional uneasiness to see people of God under reflection, especially when you look around and see all these other people that has everything.

That's okay, because we didn't contrive and devise wickedness to be able to get what we have. Ours comes from God!

Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."

We need to do what it says here. We need to be patient. We can't grow weary as time goes on because we don't know how much time is left.


Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything; but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God in everything."

With thanksgiving, thanksgiving connected with prayer, we can always find something to be thankful for, no matter what may be in our heart. God will provide!

Verse 7: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."

Isaiah 26:3: "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You."

We have to have that trust in our Father in heaven. We'll have the peace that he wants us to have.


Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!"

Genuine happiness is spiritual, as it can only come from God. I've seen stories of people that have won the lottery and millions in the lottery, and many have said that their lives were turned upside down. Many of them wished that they had not won those millions of dollars, because money didn't buy them happiness in just a few months or years they're homeless.

God even tells us to rejoice at this Feast; 1-Thessalonians 5:16 "Rejoice always!"

We rejoice for Him. We're standing. He's opened our mind to that. So we all have, and it'll bring true joy to us.

Verse 17: "Pray unceasingly."

We're praying to God about everything in our life!

Verse 18: "Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."


  • What is love?
  • Will it be in God's Kingdom? Yes, it will!

1-Corinthians 13:4 "Love is patient and is kind; love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth" (vs 4-6).

Will love be in God's Kingdom? Yes it will!

Verse 7: "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

1-Peter 4:8: But above all, have fervent love among yourselves because love will cover a multitude of sins."

Eph. 4:2-4 says Always be humble and gentle.

Ephesians 4:2: "With all humility and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as you were also called in one hope of your calling" (vs 2-4).

We're not perfect yet because of our love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united. Does God want us to be united here with His Feast? Yes, He does! With His Spirit in us, we can be, because we have to be united in the Spirit. That's what binds us together, and that's what gives us peace.

So I wanted to start with the last one and move on to the first. If you look, as you begin reading in Gal 5: 22, it says 'the fruit of the Spirit.' I had someone tell me that it's not the fruits of the Spirit.

So, you have to have all of them together, you can't be missing one of them.

  • IF we have self-control
  • IF we have gentleness or meekness, faith, goodness
  • IF we have peace, patience, or long-suffering
  • IF we have peace and joy in our life
  • IF we have all of these without missing one,
  • THEN we will have love in our life!

You have to have all of them!

You can't pick the ones that are easy to do. They all have to be together, because it is the fruit of God's Spirit. We're building these qualities so that we may learn how to love in God's Kingdom and to be able to help others.

As we look around at this Feast, we know we're building on these characteristics. We're growing in them to make them better because we're not perfect yet. We see God's love for each one of us here at this Feast. Do we have that same love for one another?

John 13:34: "A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you, that is how you are to love one another."

Will love be in God's Kingdom? Yes! For sure it will be!

2-Corinthians 13:11: "In conclusion, brethren, rejoice!…"—rejoice at this Feast!

"…Be perfected…"—we're learning God's Truth in a deeper way than ever before!

"…be encouraged; be of the same mind…"—because we need to have that same Spirit!

"…be at peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."

Scriptural References:

  • Revelation 2:1-4
  • Hebrews 13:1
  • Matthew 24:12
  • 1 John 4:8
  • John 13:34-35
  • 1 John 3:18
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • Proverbs 16:22
  • 1 Peter 4:7
  • Titus 3:2
  • Proverbs 15:1
  • Matthew 5:5
  • Hebrews 11:6
  • Matthew 21:22
  • Proverbs 28:20
  • Psalm 23:6
  • Matthew 5:15-16
  • Ephesians 4:32
  • Matthew 6:14-15
  • Psalm 37:7
  • Revelation 14:12
  • Philippians 4:6-7
  • Isaiah 26:3
  • Philippians 4:4
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
  • 1 Peter 4:8
  • Ephesians 4:2-4
  • John 13:34
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11

Transcribed: 10/18/23

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