Publication:Pastoral Letter, November 2020
Dear Friend in Christ:
We can know God through Jesus Christ, but the mystery of God and godliness remains. The new
birth is wonderful, but it is only the beginning of our journey to know God. The Gospel of John,
chapters 14-16 are among the final words that Jesus spoke to His disciples. Even after more than three
years of their journey with Jesus, He told them, “I have more to tell you but you cannot bear
it now.” In spite of the closeness they had with Jesus, there would be more journeys ahead; more
maturing and preparation would be necessary for them to know more of this unimaginable mystery.
Colossians 1:13 tells us that we have transferred out of the dominion of darkness into the Kingdom
of Jesus Christ. We have been taken from the visible realm (which is more easily perceived) into
the spiritual reign and mysteries of Christ. What does this mean? While on earth, Jesus taught in
parables—natural stories about spiritual truth.
Matthew 13:34 tells us that Jesus only spoke to the culture in parables. Verse 35 tells us that it was
a fulfillment of Psalm 78:2, which says, “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things
kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Parables are “physical curtains” behind which
are the mysteries of God.
Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the glory of kings, to search
out a matter.” If we are going to reign with Christ, we must search “beyond the veil.” We must look
beyond the obvious and the visible, to see the spiritual and eternal. What is seen is fading, transient,
and passing away, but the spiritual is eternal.
Who gets to enter beyond the obvious and see the real? In Luke 10:21 Jesus said, “I thank you,
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent
and revealed them to babes.” Psalm 34:2 puts it this way: “The humble shall hear and be glad.”
To His disciples He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven”
(Matthew 13:11 ESV).
So, the mysteries of the Kingdom are revealed to those who follow Christ in humility and hunger to
learn from Him that the visible is, in fact, governed by the unseen.
Some heard the parables as “just stories” and went on their way. Others were hungry to know more
and followed. Jesus said, “Seek and you will find.” His full meaning is, “Keep on seeking and you
will keep on finding.” In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” Given the
mystery of the Kingdom, this is the eternal priority and adventure.
Seeking reveals our spiritual hunger, our humility, and our need. Each of these traits qualify us to
discover more of our Lord. The loss of them disqualify us, or sidetrack us, from the search. When we
cease to search, we become vulnerable to our appetites; the visible realm that the enemy of our souls
uses to dominate us.
When people are given a “free ride” with no labor and no searching, they do not mature or become
good stewards of what they are given. You give do not automobiles to young children, nor do you
“spoon feed” healthy adults. “Those that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled”
(Matthew 5:6). God is the wise Father and He has chosen to conceal matters and reveal them to
those who want them enough to search them out. Perhaps our challenges will reveal to us our need,
hunger, and desire to know Jesus and His Kingdom in ways that couldn’t happen apart from these
challenges; that will be a journey!
The disciples got off the religious “merry-go-round” and began a transforming journey with Jesus;
settlers became pilgrims. They began an adventure of knowing Jesus into the unknown: the mysteries
of the kingdom of God. They made a lot of mistakes, but one they did not make was that they did not
stop following; they continued the journey.
In 1964, I became very spiritually hungry. My close friend, also a Pastor, had been hungry, too,
and he was pastor of a large church. His hunger led him to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and he
had spoken in tongues—for which he had been fired. Now he was leading a small prayer group in
Pensacola, Florida. My hunger caused me to make a journey to Pensacola and visit that prayer group.
Upon my second visit, I was baptized in the wonderful Holy Spirit!
Without knowing what was happening to me, the prayer group began singing that old hymn, “Higher
Ground.” “I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day, still praying
as I onward bound, my prayer, my aim is higher ground. Lord, lift me up and let me stand by
faith on Heavens tableland. A higher plane than I have found, Lord plant my feet on higher
ground” (Jason Oatman, 1898). I love the second verse too, “My heart has no desire to stay where
doubts arise and fears dismay. Though some may dwell where those abound, my prayer, my
aim is higher ground.”
I had sung that hymn many times in church (page 269 in the old Broadman Hymnal). But for the first
time, I was singing it standing upon “Higher Ground.” It was a journey that took me there, and the
journey continues 56 years later! (Pure grace, exciting and rewarding!)
The Apostle Paul said “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call …” (Philippians
3:14). Paul was called higher, much higher. He was not self-satisfied, but hungered and thirsted
after Christ’s Kingdom and righteousness which went far beyond mere religious rules and traditions.
He had been filled with the Holy Spirit, the Guide, and was following his Guide. He didn’t know the
plan, but he knew the Guide. He would know the Lord better as he followed on to know the Lord (see
Hosea 6:3). As he walked on, he would know what he needed to know and could steward well what he
received by Revelation. (He did steward well, because he hungered and also treasured the prize.)
So, we have not been given a plan, a formula, or program; we have been given a Guide who is also
the Revealer. The Holy Spirit is the revealer of truth and Kingdom mysteries as we hunger and walk
on with Him (see John 16:13). He helps us to see beyond the story into the truth behind the story. So
why does He reveal the truth to us? There are many reasons, but I will suggest some:
• Revelation is not just for education but for transformation (see 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; Romans
12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). The purpose of revelation and insight is to conform us to the image
of Christ, not just to make us smarter or able to quote more verses of the Bible. It is also to
prepare us for the journey yet ahead. Obedience is important to God and to us now, but will
help us to be ready for the unknown future. The journey continues.
• Hebrews 12:1-2 admonishes us to “run with endurance looking unto Jesus, the Author
and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross, despising
the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the Father.” We are further told to
consider Him. Revelation or insights are part of an ongoing journey into the high calling of
God for each of us. They change us, prepare us, and bring us through trials and tests.
It is amazing to review our lives and see how we were being transformed, prepared, and sustained
even beyond our awareness! I recently sat with a very mature servant of Christ who recalled his
wonderful transformation from being a drug dealer and in prison to becoming a very successful
overseer of many churches. It was and is a thrilling story. The obvious reason to me was that the Lord
had chosen to reveal Himself to this man—continually. He had been transformed, he obeyed, was
prepared, and sustained. That process is available to all of us who humble ourselves, hunger for God,
and are willing to make the journey. That is life worth living!
It is a great experience to look out over several generations who have had a transformation and began
the journey into the mystery of God’s government in their lives. The transformation has produced a
treasure hunt as they have searched out the purpose of God and His high calling. They have reached
out beyond borders and boundaries into nature and cultures. They have produced new generations
of ministry and service in the world. When my generation passes on, others will be sharing the same
Gospel of Jesus and being lights in the world.
OUR TIME IS NOW
This season need not be just a “bad time”—it is in fact, “our time.” Lights were made for the
darkness. Jesus was light in some of the worst times for His nation and the world. Then He said to
us, “You are the light of the world” (see Matthew 5:14-16). The darker the night, the brighter the
light! I would encourage us to read all of Matthew chapters 5-7.
Keep your eyes upon Jesus and not the raging storm around us; do not lose focus or be distracted.
The news will drain us, but the Holy Spirit will sustain us. “Wait upon the Lord and do not be
discouraged, and He will strengthen your heart” (Psalm 27:13-14). That is a precious promise!
As God reveals Himself and his mysteries, our energy will be renewed, our purpose will be clearer,
and we will be transformed more into His image.
You may have a friend who needs this message; if so share it with them. We will be glad to send
copies or mail our pastoral letter to them each month. You can also read these letters and other faithbuilding
resources on our website: www.csmpublishing.org or via e-mail. And I encourage you
to gather with close spiritual friends and seek the Lord together. Be creative and intentional in this
season to insure that neither you nor your loved ones are isolated or lonely. Reach out, pray for one
another, build up each other in faith. If you are unable at any point to physically gather, try phone
calls, letters, cards, emails, Zoom meetings, Face Time,and social media …we have so many wonderful
tools with which to encourage one another. Take advantage of these opportunities.
We’ve been learning more about some of these technologies and resources. We’ve had good
conversations with many of our CSM friends across the country. We have been creating new audio
and video resources and we are sharing them with you. Keep up with us on our website and e-mail, as
well as our official Charles Simpson Ministries Facebook Page or on Twitter @CSMinPublishing. We
also have our CSMPublishing YouTube Channel. We want to do all we can to stay in contact with you
and serve you.
If you have prayer requests, please use the card enclosed. We would be honored to stand
with you in prayer. You can also receive free audio Bible teaching downloads or purchase CDs.
And, would you prayerfully consider a special gift to support the work of CSM this month? We are
in critical time of the year for outreach and we deeply appreciate everyone who is standing with us.
Because of the support of friends like you, we’ve been able to continue in our mission and assist other
ministries in their work as well. Thanks for taking these moments to read this letter. We love you and
continue to pray for you.
Brother Charles Simpson