Earl & Diane Rodd
April 18, 1987 93 Great Ryrie St.
Heathmont, Victoria 3135
Phone (03) 879-4082
First of all, we apologize for sending the newsletter on used
paper. We were unable to get good paper in time so faced
a choice of using this paper or waiting several days to send the
letter and decided it was more important to send the letter on
Hometraining? Who me? I can't do that. I wouldn't know where to
start! Before that negative, defeatist attitude spoils God's
plan, meditate on some New Testament examples from the Bible who
overcame their feelings of inadequacy because they understood the
grace of our Lord and the power of His Holy Spirit.
When the angel came to Mary with his pronouncement of God's plan
"How can this be, since
I am a virgin?" (Luke 1 :34). The angel's answer to Mary's
impossible situation and to ours lies in the power and anointing
of the Holy Spirit. Luke 1 :35 says, "And the angel answered and
said to her, `The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of
the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy
offspring shall be called the Son of God.'"
Even though there is only one Jesus, the Son of God, we know that
God's ultimate purpose in history is to have many sons. Hebrews
2 :10 says, "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things,
and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory,
to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings."
Romans 8 :14 says, "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God,
these are sons of God." Our thinking about ourselves and our
children must change. We all have the potential to be sons of God
because of the obedience of the SON OF GOD.
Our offspring are holy just as Mary's son is holy. I Corinthians
7 :14 says, "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his
wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing
husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are
holy." If this statement is true about families where only one
partner is a believer, it also has to be true where both parents
are believers and obeying the voice of God.
It is our faith in the Word of God (Jesus) that makes us holy, set
apart to do the will of God on this earth in our generation and to
be trained by His Holy Spirit even as Jesus was when He walked on
the earth. I John 2 :5,6 says, "but whoever keeps His word, in him
the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we
the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to
walk in the same manner as He walked."
We must allow our thinking to align with the word of God. Our
adequacy is not in ourselves. We know that our carnal, fleshly
nature is not adequate. That is why God declared death on the
cross to our sinful nature. However, II Corinthians 3 :5,6 says,
"Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as
coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made
us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but
of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."
So our adequacy to hometrain our children in the wisdom of God and
according to His ways is in our reliance upon the Holy Spirit.
That understanding places us in the same position as Mary. No
other human being had been asked of God to do what she was going
to do. Her parents couldn't help her. They may have prayed for
the Messiah to come, but they never imagined God would use their
family in such a monumental task. There was no university degree,
no courses to take, no manual to read; there was no earthly person
who could help Mary obey the will of God in her life. There were
no home support groups in "How to Train the Messiah". Mary didn't
need earthly wisdom for this task, she needed wisdom from above
and that is exactly what she received. She was given a
revelation, an assignmment, an opportunity to obey her Father's
will and in her own nature she was woefully inadequate. She
wasn't even born again because her son had not yet been conceived,
or trained in obedience and righteousness; He had not yet
ministered in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, suffered
rejection, experienced the crucifixion, or risen triumphant over
death, sin and Satan. What did Mary have that enabled her to obey
the Lord's will in her life?
:30 tells us she had favor with God.
The word favor comes
from the Greek word charis which is most often
translated grace . We, who believe in the Lord Jesus
Christ and accept His sacrifice on the cross on our behalf, are
now placed in the exact place where Mary once stood. John 1 :16,17
says, "For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon
grace. For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth were
realized through Jesus Christ." It was the grace of God that
enabled Mary to yield to the will of God for her life. It is the
same for us today. Jesus told us, "I am the vine, you are the
branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit;
for apart from Me you can do nothing." Mary accepted the grace of
our God even though up to this point she may have only known the
law of Moses. She was about to move on in the purposes of God,
grace was sufficient. Paul gives us these words from the Lord,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in
weakness" (II Corinthians 12 :9).
It is only right that hometraining exposes our weaknesses, our
feelings of inadequacy, our fear of the unknown. It is right
because God wants to reveal Himself to us as He did to Mary and to
Paul. He wants us to know that only grace can produce in our
lives those qualities that will last into eternity.
Mary accepted the grace of God in her life. We too must embrace
the grace of God to obey His will in our lives. This is a main
prerequisite for hometraining. There are no shortcuts, no easy
ways around this process. We must ask the Lord to give us a
revelation of the grace He has given to us in Christ that we might
obey His will and direction with the confidence, boldness and
assurance that we see in Mary and Paul.
Another prerequisite for hometraining is a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ. Mary was the first person to experience Christ
dwelling within her. She had his physical body growing within
her, but she also knew Jesus as the savior of her spirit. She
says, "My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God
my Savior" (Luke 1 :46,47). How could all this happen before Jesus
died on the cross? This is the result of the main ministry of the
Holy Spirit; His job is to reveal Jesus Christ as Lord and
Savior. When the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and Jesus was
conceived, she was heir to all that Jesus would do in His earthly
and heavenly ministry. Thus Mary was the first person to
experience not only Christ within, but to also experience Jesus as
the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. We know that is so because the
minute Elizabeth heard the voice of Mary, John (who was inside
Elizabeth) jumped in his mother's womb, and Elizabeth was filled
with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1 :41). All were in the presence of
Jesus who is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.
Why did these two women have to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Why didn't they have to wait until the Day of Pentecost like the
rest of the disciples? The answer first lies in the sovereignty
of God. He choose them for a task that no one else could do, and
He knew it would be impossible apart from the Holy Spirit.
However, it also shows us God's faithfulness to His Word. When
Eve disobeyed the voice of God, she was deceived into agreeing
with Satan's diabolical plan for earth. However, God gave her a
promise. Genesis 3 :15 says, "And I will put enmity between you
and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise
you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel."
Mary and Elizabeth are part of the fulfillment of that promise.
The seed of Mary (Jesus) and the seed of Elizabeth (John) engaged
in continual warfare against the serpent while they walked on
earth. John exposed the lies and deceit of the enemy wherever he
saw them, and thus he fulfilled his ministry to "prepare the way
of the Lord" (Luke 1 :76). When Jesus made his appearance, He
dealt with the enemy once and forever. Sin, sickness and death
all bowed the knee to the Lord of Lords.
Now what does all this have to do with us and hometraining? We
must see that God's plan for women has never changed. When God
wanted to birth a man that could change a nation (John brought
repentance to Israel) and a Messiah that would change the destiny
of all humanity (Jesus purchased salvation for all men), He did so
through a woman, a mother. Men have to be born into this world
through the processes that occured after the fall of man. (There
were no children before the fall of humanity.) In I Corinthians
11 :11-12 we read, "However, in the Lord, neither is woman
independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the
woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth
through the woman; and all things orginiate from God." God chose
women to bring other human beings into this earth, but that isn't
the ultimate fulfillment of our destiny.
We must see that all women are to train their children to be at
odds with the enemy. We have been given the responsibility, the
authority, and the power and grace that is necessary to train
children in the ways of God that will always make tham an enemy of
the serpent. We must see that our task in our generation is just
as unique as that of Elizabeth and Mary. We must realize that no
one else can train our children for the Kingdom of God. Our task
is special and unique because God makes each individual unique and
special. It is our task to yield to His plan, receive His wisdom
and impart that wisdom His way to each child.
However, we must remember that women do not do this alone. We
must see that families are the basic unit of the Body of Christ
where unity, submission and love are able to be demonstrated to
Families are very unique in obeying the call of God upon their
lives, and we must give each family the freedom that call must
have to bear good fruit.
Joseph was guided by angels to flee from Israel to protect Jesus
from Herod's sword. Joseph escaped the snare of civil government
that would have meant death to God's purposes for his family
(Matthew 2 :12-18). He obeyed God not man.
Jesus' early years of life were spent being trained in the ways of
God by His parents away from man's religious traditions. He
journeyed once a year to Jerusalem for the Passover (Luke
2 :39-41). Jesus was not born into the priestly tribe of Levi. He
was of the tribe of Judah. Thus he would not have to be trained
in the Levitical priesthood. However, Jesus is our High Priest
according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 4 :6). Where did
Jesus receive his training in the character of God, the will of
God, the ways of God? Luke makes it very plain.
When Jesus was twelve, He astounded the chief religious men of his
day. He had not been trained by them, subjected to their
interpretations of scripture or indoctrinated in their traditions.
Jesus had been trained in the home of Joseph and Mary, his
parents. And even when He was proven to be a child prodigy at the
age of twelve, He did not launch out into a public ministry, but
he stayed with his family unti the age of 30 (Luke 2 :51,52).
How did Joseph and Mary accomplish such a task? They trusted in
the grace of God and relied on the direction and guidance of the
Holy Spirit. They understood God's plan for the family.
We see the same pattern in the training of John the Baptist. Even
though Zecharias and Elizabeth were of the priestly tribe of the
Levites (Luke 1 :5), they forsook their lineage, their culture,
their livelihood and reputation to raise John in the desert (Luke
1 :80). We know John was hidden somewhere away from society
because he too escaped Herod's sword. Zecharias escaped the snare
of religion that would have meant death to God's purposes for his
Jesus and John were most unique in their generation because they
were alive. All other Jewish boys their age were probably killed
by Herod's purge (Satan's enmity). They were a continual, living
testimony to the importance of parental obedience to the will and
purposes of God.
Even though John was a Levite, he was never part of the religious
system of his day. John had no ritual, no sacrifice, no building,
no program; he was not hindered by such things because he had been
trained by parents who received the grace of God and the power of
the Holy Spirit. John became a man of God who was able to
he prepared his
generation for the first coming of the Messiah.
Hometraining is not a "trendy" idea. It is God's purpose for
families that has been revealed in the Word of God for all to see.
We must be willing to train our children like John the Baptist so
they will be used of the Lord to prepare their generation for the
second coming of the Messiah.
Our eyes have been blinded by the tradition of men which makes the
word of God irrelevant. Jesus said, "You nicely set aside the
commandment of God in order to keep your tradition" (Mark 7 :9).
How do we today strip ourselves of the religious and cultural
tradition of men? Again we have Mary as an example.
The most important prerequisite for hometraining is found in Luke
1 :38. Mary's response to God's plan and purpose for her life
shows her absolute trust and faith in the God of her fathers, and
submission to His will. It is not that her parents were sinless
or that she was sinless. We see in Mary the example of the true
faith being successfully handed down from one generation to the
next. Her response shows that she herself knows the truth and
reality of God. She says, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be
it done to me according to your word."
Mary understood grace and the submission that God's grace evokes
in the human heart. This must be our response too. We cannot be
discouraged or disheartened if we weren't hometrained correctly by
our parents. We must know for a certainty that we are where we
are today by God's grace. Ephesians 2 :8-10 says, "For by grace
have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is
the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should
boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for
good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in
Each family must experience the revelation and vision that God has
for families. We must see that His children are to be trained
according to His plan and purpose and not according to our own
cultural or religious tradition. We may be rejected, persecuted,
ridiculed and feel very lonely at times, but all this is necessary
training to be true sons of God. In Matthew 5 :10-16 Jesus
Blessed are those
who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you,
and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely,
on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven
is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before
you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become
tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for
nothing any more, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot
by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill
cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the
peckmeasure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who
are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father
who is in heaven.
In John 15
:20 Jesus says, "Remember the word that I said to you,
`A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me,
they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep
No one wants to be persecuted, but we must realize that Joseph
and Mary must have endured much persecution to train Jesus
according to the ways of God and not in accordance with the
religious system of their day. Zecharias and Elizabeth must have
been exposed to much criticism and ridicule for denying John his
priestly heritage and to embrace instead the Lord's training for
John. Even the choice of John's name caused dissension between
Elizabeth and the men who were performing John's circumcision
(Luke 1 :59-65).
Parents who chose hometraining must accept this path. Paul said,
"All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
(II Timothy 3 :12). However, we must never forget our response is
to "Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not (Romans
12 :14). Jesus says, "Love your enemies, and pray for those who
persecute you (Matthew 5 :44).
The decision to hometrain is not one to be made lightly. Jesus
For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower,
does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has
enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation,
and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule
him, saying, `This man began to build and was not able to
finish' (Luke 14 :28-30).
The two Biblical families that we have just studied finished their
course. They embraced the will of God, received His grace and
ability to obey that will and changed the destiny of history. May
the Lord grant us that same privilege. May we count the cost,
trust Him totally and hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful
slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in
charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master" (Matthew
The next FHC meeting will be on
Sunday May 3rd at 2PM
at the Rodd's home.
The following items will be on this month's agenda, plus anything
you want to add.
In love & faith in Jesus,
All Scripture is from the New
American Standard Bible, (C) Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968,
1971, 1972 by the Lockman Foundation.