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Are You Okay?

January 21, 2001

(For printable version click here.)

Hallelujah.  Praise the Lord.  Good to see your faces this morning.  We do have a full house, don’t we?  Amen.  Praise the Lord.  I trust that you all had a good night’s rest, I hope; your night was not as short as mine.  However, the Lord’s mercy is new every morning.  Amen.  We all want to receive that portion of grace.  I make it a daily thing, I guess you could use the word ritual, to ask God to give me the ability to receive the grace that He has apportioned for me for every day.  I start my morning with the acceptance of, the recognition of the fact that that grace is available to me, hallelujah.  That leaves me without excuse for the rest of the day.  So that means if I transgress, that nobody really has to talk to me about it, I just need to repent, if I am moving contrary to the fact of grace that has been apportioned unto me.

This morning there was a word that the Lord spoke to me.  Sometimes I don’t quite know where God is going.  I wish sometimes that it would be a little more scholarly, you know, in the aspect that you put down all your thoughts on paper, and you get them all lined out and then you can go down the list, because if you ever get lost or you lose something, you can always look down at your paper.  But that does not seem to be the way that God works with me.  I’ve tried that by the way.  I’ve tried that, and I’ve either lost the paper, or I’ve ended up throwing the paper away, because God seems to always want me to go in some predetermined direction.  One time I got very irritated at God.  Now I am confessing my weakness.  Did you ever get irritated at God?  Well, I got very irritated.  I had been teaching and preaching about being prepared and all of that, you know.  So you get into situations where you are not quite prepared and the word that you preach comes back to, not haunt you, but to spank you!  It doesn’t haunt me, brother, it just spanks me.  So, I determined that I was going to repent, and I was going to do better.  So I was going to get in the Word.  I must have spent a couple days looking into a particular thing that the Lord had spoken to me, and I had gotten in the scriptures and I was really hot.  I mean I was going into different books, the concordance, the dictionaries and God was taking me back and forth through the Bible.  I had about a note pad full of scriptures.  What I really think it was is that God was having mercy on everybody.  I got in to the meeting and was going to open up with that word, and lo and behold God changed it.  I started out with the first scripture, and He stopped me and He spoke another scripture to me, and the word changed and I had to go that way!  So I don’t do that anymore.  It’s not that I don’t study or get into the Word.  But I don’t write it down and prepare myself as it were, for a particular word, because I believe the Holy Spirit knows what the need is in the Body.  Every need is particular to the group or the fellowship or the individual who God brings us in contact with.

There was a word that God spoke to me down in Florida, and that word was dropped in my heart as I sat down in the meeting.  I did not have any intention of getting up and speaking in that particular meeting, I never like to be the first one.  Sometimes I like to be the last one.  You know, we always like to have the last word.  But I don’t like to be the first one.  But God had other intentions that day.  I believe the word came because of an awareness and a concern, and a distress that I have been in with regard to the Body of Christ.  I shared some of that last night, maybe I’ll just kind of recap a little bit, or kind of go back over some of the thoughts that I was looking at last night.  I was talking to you about foundations.  I will encourage you to get the tape and to listen to the tape.  I always get the tape because I want to hear what I said.  I mean, if I am going to be accountable for something, I want to know what it is.  Sometimes somebody will come up to me and say something about something I said, and I say, “I said that?” Lo and behold, I went back to the tape and there it was, I did say that!  But sometimes they say something I said and I didn’t say it!  I went back to find out whether I said it, and it wasn’t there!  So they just heard something else in the midst of what was being said.  But there is a concern, there is an awareness that I have with regard to the Body of Christ both corporately and individually.  I was sharing with you last night some of the aspects of a foundation and the necessity of having a good foundation.  The foundation is always designed and built in accordance with the building that is going to be placed upon it.  If you are going to have a one story building, you can’t put a two story building on a one story foundation.  If you’re going to have a three story building you can’t put a three story building on a one story or a two story foundation.  You have to make preparation and provision for whatever the total height and width of the building that you are building in the beginning.  Hallelujah.  Now I have been involved in a lot of remodeling in my construction work, and people think that you can just come in and do certain things, you understand.  It is always harder to take a one story house and make it a two story house.  You have to go in and do something else with the foundation.  That means that you have to go all the way back down to the very ground, where they started in the beginning, and begin to change some of the aspects of that structure in order for it to be able and capable of carrying the second story.  You know, when I came out of the Baptist church there was a great deal of renovation that God needed to do with regard to my understanding and my position of belief as far as God is concerned.  There was a requirement that God was going to require, or the building that God wanted to build, would not, could not stand on the foundation that had been given to me in that environment.  Once saved, always saved.  Well, I found out that was a lie out of the pit of hell.  The Bible says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, hallelujah.  (Philippians 2:12)  Even if you’ve never been in a Catholic church, we’ve all been Catholicized.  Because there is a perception in our minds that once we get our foot in the door, by the blood of Jesus Christ, everything is going to be all right.  Well, the only way that it is going to be all right is if you are as the thief on the cross.  The last thing you do before you die is ask God to forgive you.  Other than that, it says that you and I have been given an opportunity, a time, by which we might work out our salvation.  Now, there are different requirements for different buildings, do you understand what I’m saying?  I want you to understand that there is a word that you are listening to, that you have been listening to, there is something in the spirit that is being spoken to you that has a different requirement than the thing that has been spoken in other dispensations and other churches.  Hello?  If you were living in the dispensation of being saved, being saved would be all that you would have to know.  If you were living in the dispensation of being saved, and being baptized, or immersed into water, you know, it’s funny isn’t it, how the church always persecutes the church!  It was funny how the Catholics, they persecuted the Lutherans; the Lutherans persecuted the Anabaptists; the Anabaptists persecuted the Spirit‑filled believers.  One church always persecuted the other church, hallelujah.  It wasn’t so much that which was outside that was the majority of the problem, it was that which was on the inside.  There is something I want to tell you, that time and the forces that are in the world will always bring to your awareness the fact that there is something wrong in the foundation of a building.  Have you ever walked into a building, an older building, and the doors are out of plumb and they won’t shut right?  Sometimes they are out at the bottom, or out at the top, it doesn’t make any difference.  Sometimes you see walls and they have big cracks running up the wall, and it’s not that the plaster is old.  Do you know that, if the foundation is firm, if the foundation is right, there will be no cracks?  But if something is happening down in the bottom, there is what we call stress cracks.  We call them stress cracks, and I suppose that one of the things that I have been distressed about, is that I have been seeing and I have been witnessing stress cracks in the midst of the Body of Christ.  Hallelujah!  Things that should not be a problem are beginning to show up as problems!  Why?  Because there is something basically wrong in the foundation for the type of building that is being built.

There is a position, there is a plan that God has in His mind with you, do you hear me?  There was a plan, there was a position that God had in His mind for Martin Luther.  Do you hear me?  His plan, His purpose for Martin Luther was that Martin Luther would take the truth of the salvation of God and reveal it to the church.  I don’t know that it is quite fair to give Martin Luther all the credit.  But we do give Martin Luther the major credit, but there were some other major men who were investigating and looking into this thing that was called the Catholic Church.  There was some dissatisfaction with regard to the ritualisms that were going on in the midst of the Catholic church, before Martin Luther.  What Martin Luther did was take it all up and put it all together, and came to a revelation that “the just shall live by faith.”  He was an accumulation and a manifestation of many men’s efforts that you and I have no knowledge of with regard to that revelation.  He gets all the credit.  Well, that’s all well and good, God knows.  Praise God.  Hallelujah.  Let him have the credit.  I don’t care.  The fact was, there was something that was required of him, and if you don’t think that he did not have to have some determination, and some relationship and revelation of God so that his foundation would not crack, you’re mistaken.  You can read what they did, and how they persecuted him, and how they pursued after him to bring him into a place where he would recant and apologize, as it were, to that fellow over there in Rome.  But he would not do that.  Why?  Why would he not do that?  Because his foundation was sure.  He had a revelation and an understanding of the magnitude of God, as far as the just living by faith.  That with the acceptance through faith there is a propitiation for our sin.  That brings a man into a new and right standing with God.  Loose!  Would to God that we had some of that determination!  Would to God that we had some of that resolve!  Would to God that we had some of that revelation, hallelujah!  That our foundation was such that we could stand before men, and beasts in the form of men, and proclaim that the blood of Jesus Christ can change you!  Would to God that we had some of that tenacity and courage to open our mouths in the midst of all hell and damnation that is coming in and flooding in upon us, and proclaim that aspect of the revelation of a risen Lord.  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  If they could have just made a serum of Martin Luther’s revelation, of Calvin’s revelation, of John Wesley’s revelation, of Charles Wesley’s revelation, mix it all together, and all those other saints that came out of the outpouring of 1901, and those saints that came out of the Welsh revival, and those saints that came out of the revival of ‘48 when the Spirit of God came in a divine manner, if we could just take it all up, all that tenacity and ability to persevere and put it as it were into a pill and take it, my God, we would be FREE!  But we’re not free.  And there is no pill.  There’s no quick fix, there’s no cure, there’s no miracle drug, as far as Christianity is concerned.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just go down and get vaccinated against sin?  You know, they’ve made it so easy.  Now you don’t even have to suffer the needle.  They just pop the pill into your mouth, put the liquid under your tongue, whatever it is they do, put the patch on your arm and you don’t even have to suffer anymore to be inoculated!  I remember as a little child I was scared to death of that needle!  They would have to drag me in there.  My mother would literally drag me in there!  I’m bucking, and I’m pushing and I’m yelling, “I don’t want to go in there!”  “I don’t want the shot!”  You know what, when they saw me coming they called five nurses.  Five nurses.  You’ve had a few like that?  Five of them!  One on each leg, one on each arm, and the other one working the needle.  I would scream and fight and do all manner of things, and then when they finally do it, and I’m still screaming, they would say, “You’re done, dummy!”  Hallelujah.  They’ve made it so easy.  It seems to have been worked into our understanding with regard to God.  We don’t want to be inoculated against sin!  We don’t want to have to suffer because of sin, we don’t want to have to suffer in any manner!  “He paid it all for me, oh hallelujah!  He did the suffering, He did the dying, He did the bleeding.  There’s nothing that I have to do except appropriate what He’s done for me!  Hallelujah!”  Oh yeah.  Isn’t that a wonderful gospel?  Anybody who is not crazy would want that type of a Gospel.  Anybody who does not have a screw loose somewhere, some spiritual screw, or nut, would want that type of gospel, and we have made our gospel in that manner, in that fashion, in that way.  “Let them that have gone before us suffer!  They paid the price, we’re through that dispensation!  I’m into the dispensation of grace!”  Oh yes, yes, yes, yes.

Brethren, we have no idea what it means to suffer, you and I, as American citizens in the twenty‑first century.  We have no idea.  Now, some of our parents had a little touch, had a little glimpse, a little drop, but many of them that came through that era of trouble, those that had that determination, they also have been getting caught up in prosperity and to some extent the experience of it is being wiped away.  What hasn’t been wiped away has been dying off.  We’re coming into a generation of people who have no concept, no idea of what it means to suffer.  No one in the mainstream of our American Society knows what it means to go without food.  Now, I’m talking about the church, by and large.  I’m not saying we don’t have poverty, we don’t have hunger, we don’t have all of the things that are going on in the slum areas, in the deprived areas, or the low depressed areas, I’m not saying any of that.  I’m saying, as a majority, as the majority, many of us don’t know what it is to go without food.  They make it very easy for you.  Every ten miles, every five miles, you’ve got a Kwik Stop.  Doesn’t make any difference, when hunger strikes you can always pull off, and they’re making it quick.  You just drive through, all of the service stations now, are getting the Burger Kings, the Taco Bells, the Papa John’s, all of the greasy spoons are going in to these places where you have to fill up for gas.  One stop does it all!  Oh yeah.  You get your lunch, your gas, and your relief all in one shot, fast, easy, on the road again!  Don’t want to interrupt your schedule, don’t want to slow you down, don’t want to bug you, don’t want to get you, you know, does anybody here get upset if their schedule or their routine gets interrupted?  Have you all come to a position or place of perfection and getting over that?  You’ve got it all laid out and things are going well, and all of sudden something jabs in there like a monkey wrench that gets thrown into the works, and all of a sudden you start getting a little irritated.  Something else happens and you get a little more irritated.  Something else happens, you get a little more irritated, until you’re right on the edge of transgression, and BANG!  Oh my, why?  Because we have a certain mentality, we have a certain way of thinking, we have a certain desire to move in a certain environment in a certain way, and we don’t want it disturbed!!  Some of us get up in the morning, and know whatever it is, all day long that we’re going to do up until the time we go to bed.  Some of us.  Now, I’m not quite like that.  I like to think of myself as fairly organized, fairly routine.  I like to know, you know, just different things.  Being a Christian has been very tough on me personally, individually, you know what I mean?  God wants me to do everything opposite of what I have grown up to expect and desire, and want to do.  Of course, maybe you don’t have that situation, I don’t know.

I know the way that God has talked to me, and I also know that humanity is something that is being manifested a great deal in the midst of the church in this hour, in this time, because of a lack of understanding with regard to that position, and that place.  I don’t know why we put so much importance on our own little environment when it’s so small and so short.  It seems to be always, no matter who it is, where it is, always paramount in their relationship with God, and always running, as it were, interference for the divine manifestation of the will of God, in your and my life.  Oh yes, and I really believe that it goes all the way back to the beginning.  There are some things that happened in the very beginning with humanity that are pertinent to all of humanity, hello?  It’s called the pride of life, it’s called the lust of the flesh, it’s called the lust of the eye.  (I John 2:16)  If you will examine the account in Genesis when Satan said, “Ye shall be as gods.  The Lord knows that when you partake of the fruit, your eyes shall be open and you will be able to do what?  Discern good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4‑5)  Do you know that was not the manner, that was not the way, that was not the fashion that God wanted to bring about the revelation of His desire for man.  Do you know that?  Do you have any concept or awareness of what God desired?  For He tells us in Isaiah, when He talks about Jesus, He said, “Butter and honey did He eat, that He might know to do good, to be good, and to move in good.” (Isaiah 7:15)  The moving in good did what?  Rejected the evil.  It wasn’t so much the aspect of His evilness, or knowing the evilness that was in the world.  You know, it is cognizant, it is pertinent to what is in the scripture.  Hello?  It’s pertinent, this is one of those terms, you know, it’s pertinent to what’s in the scripture.  When Jesus began to talk about Him being the Light, hello?  He said, let me read it to you, John the third chapter.  I kind of have this tendency to jump back and forth, and I’m depending upon you paying attention.  I’m depending on you to be listening to the Holy Ghost.  The Bible says that you and I need to be careful how we hear.  (Luke 8:18)  Hallelujah!

Now, remember, I started off this little session this morning with the thought of what’s in Jeremiah 7 and the word that God brought to me about our foundation.  Let me read something for you.  We think that we have to know the mechanics of everything.  We think that we still have to know what is good and what is evil.  Let me tell you something.  If you know what is good, you will automatically recognize and discern evil.  Evil will move against you because of your goodness, do you hear me?  It’s not a matter of you saying, “Well, I’m good and you’re bad.”  That has nothing to do with it.  Nothing to do with it at all.  John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;  Now, lest you get thrown by some of these words, let me just give you a little thought.  To be condemned means to judge, with the aspect of passing a sentence.  There are two words in the Bible that are used in the New Testament that mean judge.  One is krino, and the other one is diakrino (Strong’s 2919 and 1251 respectively) Now, I don’t know how you spell it so don’t ask me.  Krino is something that you and I are commanded to do.  We are to krino.  It means that there is a judgment that you and I are supposed to judge based upon our position of relationship with the Father.  It is not I, us, that judges but the Father that is in us, hello?  Isn’t that what Jesus said?  I mean, is my Bible the only one that says that?  Does your Bible say that?  Hallelujah!  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; (or to judge the world) but that the world through him might be saved.  Hello?  That the world through him might be saved.  (John 3:17)  Now, you could say the same thing with regard to you and I, with regard to the ministry, because the Bible tells us in one of the Epistles that was written by Paul, that this ministry of reconciliation had been given, or apportioned unto us.  In that, Christ was in God, God was in Christ, reconciling the world to God, hello?  (2 Corinthians 5:18‑19)  So you can say, in like manner, on a lesser level, that God is in the church for the express purpose of reconciling the world.  Now, listen, lest you think that I am defacing or bringing God down, I am not doing that, He is the head.  But as the head He has to have a body, and the act that was portrayed on a spiritual level has to be enacted on a natural level.  Hallelujah.  Then it is with us, as the church, God is in us, reconciling the world, the heathen, the sinner, to God.  Hallelujah!  So that He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already.  (John 3:18)  Hello?  It means that there is judgment (diakrino: judgment with a sentence), or the condemnation that has been established.  It’s already there, it’s already in place, it’s already working.  Oh my.  I don’t know, are you following what I’m saying this morning?  Are you there?  Hallelujah.  You’re going to have to listen close, you’re going to have to pay attention to what I’m saying for you to understand, to allow God to talk to you this morning.  He said, He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  Hallelujah.  There is something here that you need to understand.  It’s not just in believing who Christ is, or who God is, or who Jesus Christ in God is, hello?  Hallelujah.  But it’s also believing and being aware of the working, the out‑working of that type of a relationship in you as a believer as a part of the church.  Are you following what I’m saying?  You have to be involved in believing in the process of reconciliation, not only in your individual, personal relationship with God, but there also needs to be that out‑working of that relationship in you to the rest of the world.  Did you follow that?  That brings us into a little place of trepidation.  That brings us into a little, well, maybe I should just speak for myself.  That brings me and my actions, my involvements, the things that I am doing, and not only the things that you see, but the things that I’m thinking!  Recently we have put a book in the bulletin, we’re running Quill to Parchment and we have come across this book by Merlin Carothers.  He was a man that was coming into his ministry during the time when I was coming into the things of the Lord, in the 50s and 60s, the 60s and 70s.  Hallelujah.  I’m not quite that old, it was the 60s and 70s.  He had several books and I know he was making the circuits of the Full Gospel Businessmen.  I  came out of that circle and came into this other circle of involvement, and relationship with God and understanding, and pursuing a revelation that was going beyond the place that he was ministering, and he just kind of dropped out of sight as far as my awareness was concerned.  But suddenly somebody came up with a book, and passed it on to me and I began to read it.  The book is called “What’s On Your Mind?”  I thought it was very good.  I decided that we would put it into the bulletin, not because of who he is and what he was and what he’s doing, or how he’s saying what he’s saying or because he has the Merlin Carothers ministry, that has nothing to do with it!  But there is something that he is writing about in the book that is very pertinent to what is happening and pertinent to the Body of Christ in this hour!  We think because we are curtailing certain activities in a fleshly way, in a fleshly manner, in the presence of other people, that we are okay!  But God is saying, “YOU’RE NOT OKAY!” We need to go out of here this morning thinking we’re not okay!  Not that it’s irreversible, or that there is condemnation, or that there is some kind of a load upon us that we go out of here with our mouth drawn down, our eyes drooping, our hands feeble, knees knocking, but we need to come to some awareness that we need to begin to do better!  Do you know that God would never bring us a word that something is wrong without administering to us some avenue by which we can appropriate that which is right?  We preach, we talk, we prophecy, we have dreams and visions, and we do all manner of things, we come to meetings, sometimes.  Do you know there is a little scripture that bothers me in the end time, with the end time church in this hour?  It says that in the end time, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.  (Hebrews 10:25)  Now, that would be all well and good.  “Well, God meant that in general, that we need to come together, and we need to have that time of fellowship.” But He adds another clause to that scripture.  For a particular time, for a particular dispensation, and a particular people.  He says, “Especially when, or especially so,” when what?  C’mon help me.  “When you see these types of things, these signs that are indicative of the end time of the conflagration of the nations coming together and the coming forth of the birthing of the anti‑Christ, hallelujah!  He says especially when you see these things coming to pass!”  Boy, we can find all manner of excuses not to come to church.  You know something, I have never quite understood why we as Christians have taken so long to figure out what the devil’s doing.  You get mad at someone, and the first thing that you do is, stop going to church.  That’s crazy!  That is crazy!  That is crazy, crazy, crazy!  That is really crazy!  CRAZY!  I’m talking crazy!  It’s crazy!  It’s like you cutting your wrist, you got a thing stuck in your arm, and you got blood running into this arm, and you cut your wrist in order to stop the blood that’s flowing into it!  It’s crazy!  It’s crazy!  You can put all the blood that you want to into your veins, but if it’s open and flowing out, it’s going to do you relatively no good.  I got news for you, I believe the out-go will be more than the in-put!  All that you put in will be of no benefit, you will still wind up dead!  It’s the same with us in our spirituality, hello?  My, it’s the same with us in our spirituality.  There is something of the spirit of death that is working in us.  I don’t know, well, I do know.  But I just don’t want to make you mad at me.  We all come from the same root, do you know that?  I’m out of Adam, do you hear me?  You know, I don’t know why it is that we think that we’re so good, but it seems like we are good.  Our tribe is very different and very special from anybody else’s tribe.  Oh yes.  “I know a family, the boys fight.  They are just like cats and dogs, mom and dad, well, that’s why the boys fight!  Mom and dad, and the children, cut, cut, bang, bang, eat, eat, devour each other, bite, bite all these little satirical jokes they’re making, oh ha, ha, ha!”  You know, and somebody else makes a little joke about somebody else’s character, ha, ha, ha.  Everybody is laughing, and they’re cutting and slashing, and mutilating and bringing people down, and they are just at each other constantly!  I have to pray up, I have to get in my closet and pray if I’m going to be in their presence because I feel something rising up and I want to join in with them.  I want to get involved in all these little cute sayings and all.  “Wasn’t that clever!”  “Oh, he got the last word in!  Scratch one up for him!”  Let somebody come from the outside.  Let another devil come from the outside, and all those devils get together and they gang up on that devil.  Oh yes.  Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!  Why is that?  Because we have a reality of this level, we have a reality of this association, we have a reality of this connection, we have something that is paramount in our minds as to this position of affection.  I got news for you.  Spirituality, and the realm of the spirit, has no natural affection.  Men and women who begin to submit themselves to a spiritual overshadowing and a spiritual predominance of some unclean spirit, begin to take on their nature.  That’s why men can defile their own children.  That’s why women can destroy their own babies.  That’s why brothers and sisters can sell each other out, do you hear me?  It’s not because there are no family ties.  It’s because the nature that is within them is that of a devil, it’s that of a diabolical mentality that has no concept or perception of what it means to love someone else!  But somehow we think that we have, in some manner, in some way, escaped the curse.  We are little honeys, as far as God is concerned, and our humanity needs to be petted, and it needs to be pampered, and it needs to be put in a place that isn’t too uncomfortable.  We want to maintain a certain amount of harmony.  I want to tell you something, all that stuff may be well and good as far as psychology is concerned.  By psychology, I mean the reason of this world, which means the reason that comes forth out of the mind of Satan.  Hello?  We are all psychologists, we all have degrees in psychology, and sociology.  Oh yes, we do.  What we need is degrees in “God‑ology!”  Oh yes!  We need degrees in “spiritual‑ology!”  All of the things that pertain to the kingdom of God, those are things that we should be versed in.  Those are the things that we should be obtaining and retaining.  Those are the things that should be overshadowing us.  The word in Jeremiah 7 was not just for a people that gathered themselves down in the southern tip of the United States, it was for the Body of Christ!  God says, “I am not pleased with what you are doing!”  You have a desire to be in a certain place, you have a desire to obtain a certain reward, and the things that you are doing are not conducive to obtaining that mark, and God is saying, “We need to change our way of doing business!!”  If you’re not involved in work to the glory of God, you need to do something about what you’re doing!  Probably the first thing you need to do is repent.  I’m not telling you to quit your job.  Don’t go out of here saying, “Brother Burt says, I have to quit my job.” Be an overcomer in the midst of your job.  If your job was a mistake, repent!  Then begin to cry out for God’s mercy to deliver you out of that place!  Don’t go around manufacturing circumstances so that they kick you out!  I’m telling you something, that if you rise up in the Spirit and begin to move under the power and the unction of the Holy Ghost, and you’re not supposed to be there, they will vomit you out!  They will vomit you out!  I was so blessed by Brother Martin, you know, he was just a little, skinny fellow.  You know, a skinny young man, when we first went to the Czech Republic.  I can see him in my mind, I can tell you what color of clothes he was wearing.  Talk about a shocker.  He was in Bible school, but he had a revelation.  He had something of an unveiling, he had something of a truth that God was speaking to him.  Then we come along, and we began to verify everything for him.  We began to confirm the words of God that God had spoken to him in private.  And he began to go into his environment, and he came to us and he said, “Well, I thought that God had sent me there.” And I said, “Brother, stay there then and preach the Word!  Be not silent.  Begin to expound upon those things of the kingdom.  I tell you what, when your work is finished, God will move you on.”  Oh yeah!  They moved him on, they promoted him through the door.  Hallelujah.

And this is the condemnation that is in the world, (John 3:19) This is the condemnation, this is the judgment, it is already here, it’s already been passed, it’s already been determined.  Why?  Can any of you tell me when it was passed?  It says, before the world was, the lamb was slain.  (Revelation 13:8) Why was it slain?  It was a prophetic word/act by which you and I could escape the already present judgment.  The judgment was already in and upon you and I as human beings.  It says, this is the condemnation, this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  Now I wish that this was a message that I could preach out there.  Hello?  I wish that this was a message that I could preach out there, but in every move of God there has always been something wrong with the order of God, in the administration of the kingdom of God.  God has always come to that order first.  Judgment begins at the house of God.  (1 Peter 4:17)  Oh yes.  He has always come to that order first.  You know, we like to think, we like to think, we like to think, that when we read of the account in Ezekiel, where He says, “Son of man, come and dig down underneath the wall.”  And He says, “I want to show you the abominations.”  (Ezekiel 8:8)  The wall was the wall of the tabernacle.  It was the place where only the priests were able to come in.  Now lest you want to think about apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers, I suggest that you turn over into Peter where he talks about how we are all kings and priests.  (1 Peter 2:9, a royal priesthood, and in Revelation 1:6, And hath made us kings and priests unto God)  God is not just singling out, God is not just segregating and God is not just bringing the light to bare, as it were, upon the five-fold ministry.  “Oh, we’ve got a five-fold ministry that is in trouble!  We need to pray for these brothers.  They are in transgression.  They’re sinning!”  I’m not saying that at all.  What I am saying is that we’re all kings and priests.  We are a royal priesthood, we are a chosen generation.  Peculiar, separated, consecrated.  That is how we should be, but we’re not.  We have divided interests.  We have divided interests.  We’re divided here, we’re divided in our families, we’re divided in our work, we’re divided in our community, we’re divided in our politics, we’re divided in so many different areas, we’re divided in sports!  Somebody told me it was a good thing I wasn’t coming next Sunday.  I said, “Why is that?” He said, “Superbowl Sunday.” I said, “They still have that thing?” I forget that I am still in the world but not a part of the world.  One day, I’m going to say, “Well, what’s that?” Then I know that God has really done something.  But that wouldn’t really be too much of a deliverance for me personally, being as I never had a lot of interest in that field, any interest in that arena, hallelujah!  I have enough to deal with, with regard to my own shortcomings in my own flesh!  Thank God I don’t have that to deal with stupid men, chasing some piece of skin all over the place.  Beating each other up just to get hold of it.  Stupid.  Bouncing the ball.  Money, billions, what did they just sign somebody up for?  One hundred forty‑three million?  Or fourteen million?  It’s stupid!  Stupid!  Stupid!  Stupid!  It’s stupid!  Stupid!  It has no eternal value.  It has no value as far as your Christianity is concerned, it will do nothing for you in a heavenly sense.  All it does is bring you back to the time of the Greeks.  Oh yes.  Then they didn’t play for money, they played for life.  Oh yes.  Hallelujah.  They didn’t play to the commercial interests of the promoters.  They played it as unto gods and for the favor of the gods to be upon them in their playing.  Everybody had their own god.  Hallelujah.  What do you think something that was birthed and born in an environment of idolatry and worship of hell has to do within the Christian home?  Mercy!  Hallelujah!  It has no business in our homes!!  You know, I’m a party pooper.  I’m a party pooper, and a sports pooper.  You say it’s because I don’t have any interest in it.  Brethren, that has nothing to do with it.  Has nothing to do with time, money, energy, and attention, and diverting us and our focus, our attention.  Do you know that I watched a basketball game one time and I never thought about God once?  I never thought about God once.  And it came to me, well, really what happened is God spoke to me.  I walked out of the door and He said, “Where have you been?” “I was…………”  I’m glad God deals with me so directly.  I like that!  You know, I like a man coming up to me, if he’s not getting in my face, you understand, “You know, I just don’t like you.” I like that a whole lot better than somebody saying, “I really like you.” (growling under their breath) I can handle that.  I can handle that, I know how to pray.  You know, if it offends me, it’s my problem.  Not your problem!  My problem!  I gotta go to God, “You hear what he said!” “Hear him?  Lightning!  Bears!  (whistle)  C’mon Bears!  Devour!  Eat, eat, eat!”  (Speaking of Elisha in 2 Kings 2)  God says, “So what?  So what?  So what?”  You know, it’s nothing compared to what they did to Him.  Nothing, nothing, nothing.  Can you imagine stretching forth your hand to a man, and restoring his hand, restoring his leg, restoring his eye, restoring the voice, restoring his ears, only to look out in the crowd and have his fist raised and saying, “Crucify him!” My!  I know, except for the love of God, except for the intervening and the moving power of God in my life and bringing me to a position or a place of conformity with Him, I would be in that position!  Why?  Because of my humanity, because of where I have come from, because of the thing that happened way back there in the beginning.  Now, we’ve come into the Word of God, we’ve come into the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we’ve come into the revelation of Sonship, we’ve come into the bride revelation, we’ve come into the revelation of the sons of God and the two witness company, and all of the time our foundation is not prepared to handle the onslaught or the pressure that comes from being in that place.  It’s beginning to crack!  It’s beginning to show signs of stress.  It says, this is the condemnation that is come into the world.  Light has come into the world, light has come, light has come, light has come, light has come!  (John 3:19)  We are a most blessed people above any people on the entire face of the planet, and that means those that have gone before us because Hebrews tells me, that those that were before me, had a dispensation of grace that caused them to reject the form of deliverance in the hope of a better resurrection, hallelujah.  Do you hear what I’m saying?  Do you hear this morning, what the Spirit of God is saying?  (Hebrews 11)  We need to get down, we need to rend our hearts and not our garments, we need to move, and we need to move in the sackcloth of the spirit, and we need to begin to confront the spirits of familiarity, and the things that pertain to our families, and the relationships that we have in our home.  (Joel 2:13)  We need to repent, we need to repent!  We need to repent of anger, and position of self preservation, and the moving and the manipulation of the Word of God.  We’ve used the Word of God against each other!  We need to repent!  WE NEED TO REPENT!  We need to repent!  And I said WE, we, we, we!  Oh yes, my, you know, this word comes and begins to move in such a manner and in such a fashion and we just go, “Oh, he needs that, or, oh, she needs that, they need that.” Has nothing to do with he, she, they, it.  It has to do with ME, ME, ME, ME.  Me, me, I am as the house of God!  (1 Corinthians 6:19)  Hello?  Hello?  Hello?  What did you think, that when God would come, would He find faith?  (Luke 18:8)  Oh, that we could be tools in the Master’s hand, to be taken off of the shelf and used, and when used, put back on the shelf.  And be content in the aspect of our being used.  Whether anybody has an idea or a recognition of what you or I are participating in, it makes no difference, it makes no difference, my goodness, my goodness.  Sometimes we form relationships on the basis of our miseries!  On the basis of our injustices that are done to us, we find a camaraderie with those that have been in some manner, some way, in like manner, affronted or offended as we, and we make some sort of affiliation with them in our misery.  Then you join another one.  It says a three fold cord is not quickly broken.  (Ecclesiastes 4:12)  The devil will always bring somebody to you who has the same problem with the same individuals or set of circumstances that you have, so that you can begin to talk about it.  I know of a man who is very politically oriented.  When he talks about it, he gets all up in a lather about certain things that are going on.  He would have made a great statesman, he would have made a great senator but God rescued him, God saved him, God kept him from moving in that direction.  Maybe made a great lawyer, I don’t know, he has an ability, he has the charisma, he has the understanding of the English language, and he has a perception of those kinds of issues, and he can articulate them very well, do you hear me?  But it has the ability, it has the tendency to move in the midst of his environment, overshadowing his mind and causing him to move contrary to grace.  Lest you think that he’s the only one that does that, there is something that Paul says about not frustrating the grace of God that has been apportioned unto him.  (Galatians 2:21)  We are, on a daily basis, working to frustrate that portion of grace that is given to us.  My God, we have come through such an era, we have come through such a time.  We as Americans have known what it means to be prosperous and there has been a spirit of prosperity, whether you like it or not, that has been ingrained and woven in the midst of your fabric that is called Adam.  It has certain perceptions, it has certain wants, it makes certain demands, under certain rules that you live by as far as that flesh is concerned.

The only way to get to a place of being free from that influence is to nail it on the cross.  Oh my!  A friend of mine said one time, “You know, grace is free, but everything else you pay for.”  Grace is free, but everything else you pay for.  We don’t really have the strength to pay it, but He does.  He’s made the way, He’s made the provision.  Hallelujah.  You know, it’s funny, but I used to think the anointing was right up in the first five rows.  I would always come early so I could get one of those seats.  I wanted to be close to the man that was under the anointing!  Oh yes!  You wouldn’t catch me back there, you’d catch me up here somewhere.  I wanted the out‑flowing, whether it was rebuke, admonition, exhortation, I wanted to have the feeling of the flow of God as it washed over my soul.  I think we should build a church that has all front seats!  Brethren, the humanity, when Adam fell and the condition of Adam’s soul in the position, in the overshadowing, he just didn’t give up his position, he didn’t just slip and fall, there was something that happened in the midst of that fall that brought Satan into a position of overshadowing, and his overshadowing has been going on for 6000 years!  It’s going on, and it’s going on, and it went on and on and on and on and on and on until it came down to Noah.  It says that there were only 8 people left that had the ability to discern God.  God had to intervene, he had to move in a miraculous manner, oh praise God.  One of the 8, I’m telling you something, there is a Noah company of people that God is trying to get ready.  There’s a Noah company of people that God is preparing and bringing a word to them.  I don’t care how big they were.  I don’t know, it was work!  There were only 8 of them to do it!  It was work!  Every day they had to be out there working and doing what they were doing because of what the Word of God said.  Now, what they were told to do is sometimes more definite, more defined than what we are told to do, given our environments that we are in, but there is something that we can do in those environments that is building for us that position, that place of safety.  It’s not submitting to the spirit of wickedness, or the spirit of lawlessness that is brooding and hovering over humanity in this hour.  Hallelujah.  You know, I have seen this scripture work, do you know that?  I’ve seen it work.  I’ve seen it work.  I’ve been in churches where the anointing and the presence of God was moving in such a manner and fashion, and the word was coming in such a pin pricking, pointing, pricking way.  (Get that one down!) Moving in such a way that people couldn’t stand it!  They would get up, and boom, boom, boom.  But by the time that was finished, those that were there in the room were the ones that wanted God.  Hallelujah.  It wasn’t that they remained in that position of sitting, they were down on their faces before God, crying out for the mercy of God, and asking God to redeem them out of the pit of hell.  To remove from them the stigma of their humanity.  Stigma.  Stigma.  I don’t want to be human, do you hear me?  I am as human as anybody, but I don’t want to be human!  Perfection has nothing to do with being perfect and not making a mistake.  Perfection has everything to do with wanting, and moving in a direction to obtain that protection.  Noah was not without sin, Abraham, was not without sin.  All that was before the blood, all that was before the grace, except for the fact that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the earth.  (Revelation 13:8)  I think that we are told of their sin, and their digression from righteousness so that we might understand that it’s not in the aspect of them being perfect and without mistake but it’s in their desire and their tenacity for favor with God.  Do you know that Noah rose up and he rebuked his own son, and he put a curse upon him?  How many of you would do that to your children?  But he was moving under the unction and the anointing of the Holy Ghost.  Jacob was another man that did not pull his punches in giving the blessings to his children.  I don’t believe that the man did not love his children.  There is something that comes in that position of relationship that you have when you bring forth children into the world, there is something automatically, that God has instilled in us, that there is a reaching out and a bonding to.  Yet it did not stop him from stating and designating the truth by which he was hearing with the spiritual ear.  Not only did he bring blessing but he brought rebuke.  He brought a curse with regard to the different personalities and natures, and I want to tell you something.  Every one of those blessings pertains to some aspect of human character.  It pertains to the aspect of the nature that is under the guise of what we call human.  It sounds a little bit better, doesn’t it?  If we call ourselves humans and don’t call ourselves devils.  Revelation came to me one time when I heard a mother say, “You little devil.” The person I was with said, “Did you hear that?”  I said, “Yeah, I heard it.”  He said, “Aren’t you shocked?”  I said, “No.  She’s dealing with Adam.”  Now she didn’t mean it necessarily in that tone, in that way, in that manner, but I was aware of the spiritual reality of the nature that was manifesting in that child.  It wasn’t human!  Don’t tell me anger is human!  Don’t tell me anger and lust and frustration, and futility, and depression is human!  It’s diabolic.  It comes out of the pit of hell!  That is why when you come against a spirit of anger, you come against a spirit of depression, you come against a spirit of lust, you can rebuke it, it can leave!  We need to wake up!  We need to wake up!  Wake up, Church!  Wake up!  Wake up, hear the bell, hear the alarm going off!  Wake up church!  Hallelujah!

He says, For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, (John 3:20)  Don’t mix words.  I really like the way the Bible says things.  Paul is probably my most favorite writer in the way that he writes and the words that he uses.  You have to go back, you know, it’s taught me to go to a dictionary.  The dictionary is one of my best tools.  I don’t necessarily need a Concordance, I don’t need the Greek and the Latin, not that it wouldn’t benefit me or help me.  I came to an understanding if I had a little more knowledge of the Jewish traditions and the things that were enacted and why they were enacted, I would have a better understanding maybe of the scriptures.  But I want to tell you something, I don’t necessarily need that understanding.  To understand the reality of the thing that is being spoken with regard to this thing, he says, everyone that doeth evil, oh yes, we probably “Clintonize” it.  Oh yeah!  We’ve come into different definitions of words now, oh yes, and it shows the mentality of people and the way they think and the words they use and the things that they’re saying in the midst of what they’re saying.  Well, what is sin?  It’s like the man that came to Jesus and said, “Who is my neighbor?”  Jesus was very deliberate, He was very exact, there was no mincing around.  He said all of these things happened, now who was it that was neighborly in all of the things that happened?  They said, “Well, the Samaritan.”  Can you imagine, for the man to confess, and come to that conclusion, as a Jew in the place that he was in, what he was saying?  C’mon!  It was a condemnation against him and his position of religious rightness!  It says, he that doeth evil, evil is evil.  There are no different shades of evil.  No white lie, no black lie.  All lies!  No little bit good, little bit bad.  You put a bad thing in something good, and the good thing becomes bad.  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Now I’m talking about an intimate, close relationship or fellowship.  If you’re not influencing your environment, something’s wrong.  If you’re not affecting the environment in which you are in, something’s wrong!  Something’s wrong with your foundation, something’s wrong with your Christianity, you should be overshadowing, as it were.  You are of an overshadowing spirit, not what you’re involved in overshadowing you and bringing you into condemnation!  He says, this is the condemnation, that men love darkness rather than light.  (John 3:19)  We could say, men, women, boys, girls, babies, aren’t they cute, funny, little bunnies!  I like what Sister Mavis said down in Florida when she was talking about those little cutie bunnies.  They’re so cute, so loveable, so sweet, but they’re unredeemed.  Unredeemed, they’re steeped in the tribalisms.  C’mon, we want to sophisticate it, and put a name on it.  Asbill, that doesn’t sound quite so bad does it?  Tribes are something that are designated to heathens, designated to other lands, designated to places of darkness.  But I want to tell you something.  Bible calls us tribes.  Calls us tribes.  We are tribes and we have tribalisms that are ever much paramount, ever much important, and ever much overshadowing the nature, or the depository of God that is in our soul.  No wonder Paul was talking about the war that was going on in the midst of his being.  Having the desire to do right, but not finding the strength to do thereof, and the thing that he would not do, that he does, and the thing that he wanted to do, he couldn’t do.  (Romans 7:15)  Why?  Because of two nations that were within his womb.  Hallelujah!  It says that the scriptures are written as an allegory of the thing that was coming to pass on a spiritual level on the inside of you and I as a believer.  We need to rise up and shake the dust of our humanity off us.  We need to rise up and shake the dust of our familiarity off of us, and it’s going to cost you something as far as your natural relationships and your natural affection is concerned.  For when God begins to sever it you are in the best position, the best place that you ever were with God to begin to intercede for them because you are no longer motivated by sentimentality.  You know something, as far as I am concerned, sentimentality is out of the pit.  I can’t think of one thing that has ever been done in the name of sentimentality that is eternal.  Now, that isn’t saying anything about compassion.  Compassion and being sentimental are two different things.  Sentimental is a soulish response to a certain situation, and a certain arena of environment that you are in.  It’s usually registered with regard to your position, your perspective.  Do you know I could show you a little baby, all dirty, and grimy, and the bones sticking through.  The face and the ribs showing.  The depravity in which they are living, the filth that is around about them.  What do you do?  This feeling of sorrow, emotional, many of you begin to cry.  Not that crying is wrong, there is a weeping in the natural, and there is a weeping in the spirit.  It says that God looked over Jerusalem and He groaned and He wept.  (Luke 13:34‑35)  But His weeping was not on the basis of their poverty, not of their physical being of malnutrition, it wasn’t on the basis of they’re not having enough clothes or homes in which to live in.  The command to you and I was to go out and not bring with us a change of raiment.  Boy I haven’t got there yet, as you can well attest when you see me travel.  But the fact of the matter is, sentiment has nothing to do with the kingdom of God.  Sentiment will always get you in trouble.  Sentiment will always bring you into a place of bondage.  God is working, working, working, working, working, working, trying to bring us out of and deliver us of our emotional sentimentality.  It is so difficult to do when it comes to your own children.  I’m not talking as one who is just putting his armor on.  I have four children, and I have had to watch God come in and begin to cut from me my sentimental ties.  I have had family that I have had to deal with that God has separated me from, do you hear me?  He separated me.  Took me out.  What do you think, when God said to Abraham?  Now, I’m not telling you that you can’t love your children.  I’m not telling you that you can’t love your mother or your father.  I’m not saying that.  But don’t love them with phileo love.  Love them with agape love.  Let agape love come in.  When your agape love begins to function you will find yourself responding even as Jesus responded in the midst.  It is so good.  He does not leave us without testimony.  They came, they said, “Your mother and your brethren are at the door,” and He turned around and said, “These are my mothers, these are my brethren.  These are my sisters.”  (Luke 8:19‑21)  We might think that that’s disrespectful.  It’s not that God ignored them. We are not told that He got up and went out, we’re not told that, why?  Because what He told us was enough.  There was a point that He was making with regard to the statement that was spoken, do you hear me?  He wanted to impress upon us that there is a business of God, and as we are taking care of the business of God, God will take care of our business.  We are not to judge with what we see with our eye, we are not to judge with what we hear with our ear.  But we’re to judge what we hear in the Lord, and we judge what we see in God.  It says, the Bible is very clear, very explicit, hope thou in God!  (Psalm 42:5 & 11)  Not to hope in the redemption of your son or your daughter.  Don’t hope in the redemption of them being saved!  Don’t hope in the redemption of them being delivered out of their difficulty.  But hope thou in God!  God!  Get a hold of God!  Allow God to begin to move in your fabric of your character.  Let God’s knife come in and begin to sever you from the emotional bondages and the mind of man.  Let Him begin to cut and excise and rip as it were, to transplant out of you, your mind, and have Him give you the mind of God.  I guarantee you that when you have that position, moving in that frame, and moving with that unction, God will begin to do something about those other situations because you will be able to pray by the Spirit and not by your emotions!  We have been an emotional response people.  Somebody smites us, somebody hits us, we get emotional about it, we rise up in an emotional endeavor, and we move in an emotional manner, and it does nothing but establish the stronghold of hell that is in our hearts and in our homes.  There is a cost.  There is a cost in all of this.  God says that you must love light.  You have to have a desire for truth.  Isn’t there a psalm that speaks about truth in the inward parts?  (Psalm 51:6)  It’s not enough just to want truth, it’s not enough to just desire truth, you’ve got to do truth.  You’ve got to be truth.  You have to allow the truth that you have to move in a manner and a fashion to overshadow you and to cause you to move and dictate to you the things that you do and the things that you don’t do.  We are so, what is it, reflex, automatic response system?  You tap the knee, the leg kicks, you tap the elbow, the arm jerks.  You tap this nerve, you know, one time I had an accident, and I lost the use of my right leg.  Boy that was prophetic.  I lost the use of my right foot really.  I had what they call a drop foot.  You got a nerve that starts up in your back somewhere, and probably in your brain somewhere, I don’t know.  Comes all the way down to your leg.  Now isn’t that something, why didn’t God just make a centralized system down there in your ankle or something.  I guess it would be less protected or something, I don’t know.  But anyway, I had damage.  I had severed the perineal nerve of my leg and it would not, I did not have the ability to pick up my right foot.  Hallelujah.  Praise the Lord.  I forgot the thought.  I lost it, hallelujah.  But he that doeth, oh yes, I was talking about doing, thank you Jesus.  I was talking about doing.  You have to be doers of the Word.  You have to be people that manifest truth and righteousness.  It’s not enough just to want righteousness, it’s not enough to be righteous.  We have what we call reflex actions.  That’s what I was talking about.  You could pinch, poke, push, do whatever you could, and that foot wouldn’t respond because the nerve was severed.  It was just hanging down there dead.  At that time, they did something that was quite radical and unheard of because there was one little piece, one little fragment that was left.  What they did was they brought my leg all the way back up here to my thigh, they went in and they sewed that nerve together, and they left me in a cast for about six months.  I was hobbling around.  I was young, I was sometimes stupid, hallelujah, but nevertheless, God brought back a healing to me.  Hallelujah.  He brought a healing to me in that position of affliction.  I believe that God is able to bring healing to us in the area of our inability to move under the unction and the anointing of God, with regard to our personal lives, our personal habits.  I’m not talking about that which you do in the church necessarily.  I’m talking about those things that you do at home with the children, with the wife.  The attitudes, the manner, and the demeaner of personalities and the way that you affect one another.  I’m telling you, you’ll get it right in your home, you’ll get it right in your job, and you’ll get it right in the church!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  You ladies need to be very careful, I’m telling you.  I don’t know.  If you’ve got a bone to pick, you just go to God.  Don’t come to me to pick your bone about what I’m saying.  God said that the woman was the weaker vessel.  I am very much aware of a spirit, a spirit that is moving upon the women, and I tell you something, way back there in the eighties, in the early seventies, there was a man called John Jackson.  I don’t know if anybody ever heard of him.  He was down in Texas, I believe.  He was a visionary.  That means that God was moving on him in visions.  The things that he was getting they were interpreting this way, and interpreting that way, and the Full Gospel Businessmen gobbled him up and began to send him all over the United States and maybe all over the world, I don’t know.  But one of the things that he saw, and one of the things that I have seen is happening.  He saw this pied piper and he was playing, he was tooting a horn and all of these women were being mesmerized by the tone, and by the quality of the sound and the song that was being sung.  They were being mesmerized.  They all were moving as though they were zombies and they were falling into line.  They were just walking behind each other and they were coming to where this pool was in the ground, or in the dirt, and it was full of this gunk and this mire, ugly, smelly, dirty stuff!  You know, no woman in her right mind would want that as perfume.  You ladies like to smell nice, you like to look nice.  No woman in her right mind, no woman in her right senses would want to go down.  It was smelly, ugly, ugly, ugly, dirty!  They would not on a normal basis even think of coming close to the thing.  They would be repelled by it’s stench, and yet they were mesmerized by the tune that was being blown, and they were walking up and they were diving into the pool.  They were coming up, as it were, on the other side, and they were covered from head to toe with this solution of muck and dirt and filth.  As it dried, it was solidifying and they were becoming as statues.  You know, you’re going to have to work out, ladies, your own salvation.  With regard to your positions, and relationships in the homes, you’re going to have to work it out.  You know, I guess it’s because women are somewhat more emotional than men.  It always seems to be equated down to, “If you love me, you will do this.  If you love me, you will do that.  If you love me, so and so would be this way.  So and so would be that way.” That has nothing to do with love, do you understand me?  Love is something that you cannot correlate to something that is natural and solid like that chair.  There’s a magnitude and an arena of love that is moving, and it’s true on both parts.  I’m not saying that this is necessarily just a problem of the women, but predominantly there is a spirit, and women are beginning to look like men.  Oh, yes.  Yes, yes, yes.  Men are beginning to look like women.  They’re styling their hair.  Men’s hair is getting nice little curls, and nice little waves, and all of these little things that are going on, perms and whatnot.  Earrings in the ears.  First it was the left ear, then it’s the right ear, then it’s the nose, then it’s the tongue, and then it’s the lip, and then it’s the eyebrows!  Where in the world in God’s name is it ever going to stop?!  When are we going to come to spiritual consciousness?  It’s not that we look on them and think that we are better than them, if you are in that position, but there should be something that is birthed within our soul!  I have a problem with some aspects of eldership and the understanding that men have with regard to that position.  Well, I just dealt with you women, now I’m going to deal with the men.  Being an elder is not sitting in a chair telling somebody what to do.  Being an elder is not making a decision how you spend your money, what time the meetings are going to be, or the mechanics that go with the operation and the administration of the church.  That has a part, that has a place, there is a position in that.  But I want to tell you something, being an elder is like the foretaste of what it means to be a shepherd.  There has to be a concern that you have because of wickedness and the position, not because they are doing something that is contrary to what you believe.  C’mon, give me a break.  We get angry.  We get angry.  Somebody doesn’t believe like we do, somebody rises up and contests what we speak, or what we say, or our revelation, we get angry.  Brother Bob, I’ve seen them get angry, angry, angry, angry.  And get in a huff, and their feathers go up.  You ever watch chickens?  Chicken moves in on some other rooster’s portion that he figures is his designated place, he gets all puffed up and he begins to strut his stuff and he begins to get his comb all up there, and he flicks his old head around like this.  And he goes, “BAWK!  BAWK!”  You know, that’s what I hear sometimes in the Body of Christ with some of these men.  They get up and they go, “BAWK!  BAWK!”  Strut their stuff!!  Has nothing to do with eldership!  Pastoral.  Pastoral.  Pastoral.  Pastoral, Papa.  Pope‑ish!  Roman‑ish!  Devilish!  Has nothing to do with righteousness.  What has to do with righteousness is a man, or a woman that is his wife, and they come together, and they begin to converse over the sin and the degradation in the body, and there’s something in their soul that reaches out for the sheep that are being lost, or being drug, as it was from their position of inheritance, that devil is robbing them, they get down on their face, they get down on their knees, and they begin to intercede with God.  Intercede.  Intercede.  Intercede.  Intercede!  Intercede!  I don’t mean just saying a two bit prayer.  You know what two bits are?  A quarter.  I don’t mean some fifteen minute, ten minute prayer.  I mean that, your bowels, you know, when a woman begins to travail in birth, it’s not up to her.  She can’t say, “Well, I’ve had enough of it today.  Don’t want no more today.  Tomorrow!  Excuse me, doctor.  I’m going home, I’ve had enough travail today!”  “Okay, there’s the door.”  She won’t get very far.  Find herself again in that contraction, find herself again in that place of labor and pain, as the birthing of the child is wanting to come forth out of that realm, or that place of that environment into a new realm.  God brings upon men and women, I’m talking about those that are husband and wife that are involved in the aspects, IT’S NOT JUST MAN!  It’s husband and wife coming together in the Lord.  Hallelujah!  Interceding for the sake of the Body.  Not for the sake that they might be proven right!  Paul said, I would to God, that I myself could be accursed for my brethren’s sake.  (Romans 9:3)  I think he meant every word he said!  How many times have we got down on our face before God and said, “God, let it be me.  Let it be me and not them.  Let it be me, God.  Bring your wrath upon me!”  That’s what Moses did.  Why do you think we’re told that Moses fell down?  The Bible says, “I’ll tell you what I’m going to do Moses.  I’m going to wipe them out!  I’m going to destroy them!  I’m going to bring them down to naught.  I’ll raise seed up from you.”  It says that in the Bible, it is recorded, it is written, it is has been preserved for six thousand years, it has been preserved and brought down and recorded so that you and I might know that Moses fell on his face in the door of the tabernacle!  He began to intercede for the people of God.  “Not so, God.  Not so, lest the heathen say that you are not a God of Gods.  Lest the heathen say that you are not able to do what you have said that you are going to do.  Lest you become a by‑word in the mouths of the heathen.  Not so, God!  Redeem them!”  I want to tell you something.  If you think you’re an elder, you’re talking about eldership, you’re moving in eldership, if you got that position, you got that slot, you got that designation, you got that place, and you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing.  There’s something going to be accounted unto you for not doing it!  Oh, yes!  Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!  One talent!  One talent!  One talent only!  And he said, “I hid it in the ground because I was afraid, you are an austere and ……..I was going to say a mean spirited man…..that’s what austere means, you know, it has that connotation, and I hid it in the ground so that I might give unto you that which was given unto me, and here’s your own.  There is no loss.” And He says, “You fool.  Knowing that I was a hard, and austere man, why did you not lend it out to the usury?  Those that pay interest, and get for me at least the gain of interest on my money.”  That isn’t much, but it would have been enough, do you understand what I’m saying?  It wasn’t much, but it would have been enough, and he would not have been condemned, he would not have been taken away, it says, “Take away from him that has one, and give it to him that has many.” (Matthew 25: 24‑28)  Is there any fairness in that?  I ask, is there fairness?  We wouldn’t think it was fair.  To give what I got to somebody else who has more than anybody else.  Oh yes.  But let somebody who has more get more, and find out what our attitude is with regard to, “Why are you blessing them and not blessing me?”  Oh yes.  We may not say it.  We may not say, “C’mon, brethren, I have been witness to the fact of the blessing of God moving in other people’s lives, and as that blessing moves there is something of a prosperity that begins to manifest with regard to their personal possessions.”  Hello?  They get new cars, new houses, new clothes.  They go to places that they didn’t go to before.  Hallelujah!  “God, you’re blessing them!”  It’s not my business unless God speaks to me that they are misusing or mishandling that blessing of God, and then it’s my responsibility to pray and intercede, not to get offended because, “Oh, my goodness.  Look what they’re doing with the money of God.  They’re spending it here.  They’re spending it there.  I should be in charge of all that money!”  That’s what we’re saying.  That’s what we’re doing.  We’re saying that we are better than God!  My Bible tells me that God allows the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.  (Matthew 5:45) Hallelujah!  It doesn’t say that I have a prerogative for being happy for the just and being unhappy for the unjust.  It’s not that I do not have a responsibility, it does not mean that I don’t have a position of discernment, it does not mean that I do not have a position of assessing and judging with regard to the circumstances, but it gives me no right, no place, no way to be and move in a manner of offense with regard to what they’re doing with God’s money!  I can feel sorry for them.  I can feel pity for them.  I can have compassion for them, because I know the thing that they are getting is the only blessing that they are going to get and when it’s spent, it’s gone.  God isn’t going to give them any more, and there’s going to be something of an accreditation and accommodation of God when it comes down to the final act, and they stand before God and if I know that, my responsibility is to get on my face before God and say, “God, You need to move in righteousness with regard to them!  Deliver their soul, deliver them from the propensity of fulfilling the lust of their eye, the lust of their flesh.  Forgive them God, of the ability to move in the pride, and the sanctimonious manner of religiosity with regard to their own being.  Deliver them.  Deliver them!  Deliver them!!  Deliver them.  Deliver them, for their sake and for Your sake.”  You know, you don’t have to pray for their sake, but you can always pray for God’s sake.  You may not have the capacity or the ability or the understanding to pray for their sake, but you can have the capacity and the understanding and the ability to say, “For God’s sake, deliver them!  For Your sake.  For Your name’s sake.  Let not Your name be blasphemed among the heathen.  Let not Your name be brought down as in the mouths of scoffers.  Deliver them, God, that they might be a testimony.  Use them, as it were, as a mighty instrument in the building of the kingdom of God.”  You know, Reese Howells had an associate with which he was having difficulty in his relationship, his attitude with that man was in violation with the standard of righteousness that he knew was in God.  He came before God, and God began to deal with him about it.  I don’t remember the exact content of the story.  He was building a mission or something, which Reese Howells was over.  He was in charge of it.  He came to the awareness that he would have to repent.  He thought that repenting before God was enough.  You know what God made him do?  Made him go and make this man, in his stead, the chief over the work that he had built.  That takes a strong foundation.  That takes integrity.  Maybe that’s too hard a word.  Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light.  (John 3:20)  You know, whether he comes or whether he goes, it doesn’t make any difference.  The fact is, the light has come.  You might turn over back into the first chapter of that same book and you read when it talks about the light separating the light from the darkness, and it says that the light shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not or it could not apprehend it.  It could not grasp hold of it.  But it says, In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; (John 1: 4,5)  Doesn’t make any difference where, what, how, who, when.  If it’s darkness, there is some measure of light that is being radiated and coming to illuminate the fact that there is darkness.  You don’t have to just come in here and sit down and hear some word about light.  Hallelujah.  It says that the Godhead was made known by the things that God created, in Romans 1.  It talks about the eternal aspects working of the trinity.  God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are made manifest and known by the things which He created.  Revelation tells us that in everything, everything that was created, was created for what purpose?  For Him!  He was in everything that was created.  Without Him was nothing, nothing, NOTHING, nothing.  Nothing was created!  God is so faithful with us, as human beings, under the influence of Satan.  He doesn’t leave us despicably despised, in a place of death and desolation.  You know the scripture in Jeremiah where it talks about him finding us in our own blood?  We were wallowing in our own blood and it was He that found us!  (Ezekiel 16:6)  It wasn’t us that went looking for Him.  That means that there was a provision that was made for me in that position of death.  Hallelujah.  It says, everyone that doeth evil, I’m telling you, there is no degree of evil.  There’s no degree of darkness other than gross darkness.  They are one and the same thing, they just have different dimensions, different forms, and they apply to different areas of our environment.  It talks about darkness being upon the earth, but it talks about gross darkness being upon our earth.  It’s into this condition, into this place that God said, “Let there be light.” Turn with me over into 2 Corinthians 4.  It says, Therefore seeing we have this ministry, what ministry?  We have received mercy, we faint not; Oh my, we faint not.  We are, we’re faint, we’re like the children of Israel who are wandering around without water, and we’re mumbling and grumbling, “Have you brought us out into this dry, barren, forsaken land just to kill us?  Would to God we would have stayed back in Egypt!”  (Exodus 17:3)  Boy!  You know, I got all these little markers in my Bible that I put in there this morning and I haven’t got to one of them yet.  Hallelujah.  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, you and I, he’s talking about you and I receiving mercy, mercy, in the realm of a ministry.  We faint not, we have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, we could stop right there and I could preach a whole other message on dishonesty.  Because dishonesty is not necessarily you telling a lie to somebody else, it’s you telling a lie to yourself!  Saying you’re all right, when you’re not all right!  Saying everything’s hunky‑dorry.  Let me tell you something, it’s not enough just to recognize that you’re in trouble.  Oh yeah.  I could go around, “I am in big trouble.  Oh, woe is me.  I’m done.  Oh my goodness.  I got all this sin.  I got all this flesh.  Oh woe is me!  I am in trouble.  Oh my goodness.  I’m under condemnation.  I’m under judgment!”  It’s not enough!  You have to rise up in the spirit!  You have to come to Jesus Christ.  To stay in sin is to say that Jesus never died!  To stay there is to say that Jesus never gave His Holy Ghost.  To stay there is to say that Jesus never had a plan from the beginning, from the foundation of the earth.  To stay in that condition, is to not recognize the God, and the ability of the Godhead to fill the entire earth.  To stay there is to say, “I am not a Son of God.”  We can wallow around, do a really good job, just like the pig.  Think about it.  You know, the pig had the split hoof, but he didn’t chew the cud.  He wallowed in his mire, and he wallowed in his muck, and he made his habitat, the filth, the thing which came forth out of him.  It wasn’t enough that it came forth out of him, he had to go and wallow in it some more.  You know, a pig will eat anything, garbage, trash, sewer trash, anything, it will eat anything.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  When it talks about in Isaiah, about the tables being full of vomit.  (Isaiah 28:8)  Are you familiar with that?  I was talking to somebody about this scripture and they told me that it has a connotation of eating swine flesh.  Now what does it mean?  It means that there is a nature that we are partaking of that is unclean.  There is a nature that we are in fellowship with, there is a nature that is an abomination before God, in the sight of God, with regard to His presence, His purposes, His direction!  It says because of what humanity is doing, in the place that humanity is moving, and the thing that humanity is feeding upon, they are vomiting up all of the filth and the garbage that was within them and putting it as it were upon their plates.  In another scripture, God talks about the dog turning again to his own vomit.  (Proverbs 26:11 and 2 Peter 2:22)  Hallelujah!  Don’t you understand what the Bible is saying?  Don’t you understand what Jesus Christ is saying to the church in this hour?  If you don’t begin to do something about it, you will find yourself right back in the same place that you began from, but yet you will be in a worse state.  Hello?  I’m talking about what it says in the New Testament with regard to a devil that is cast out of you and it wanders to and fro and from the earth, we want to singularize that as, that’s like, we got delivered from a spirit of nicotine.  And that’s all well and good, but that’s only one level, one dimension of it.  There was a casting out of a devil from in you when the blood of Jesus Christ came into your life, do you hear me?  (Matthew 12:43‑45)  If you begin not to recognize the Word of God and come to a place to begin to ask God to forgive you and to bring a cleansing to your being and ask God to begin to deliver you in the way that you do business, hallelujah, you will find yourself right back in the same state that you began, only it will be worse.  Do you know, one of the indictments against the church in the book of Revelation, when the church is called Babylon, is the word “become.”  It means that there was a time that it was not, there was a time that it was clean, it means there was a time that there was no habitation of every foul thing, hello?  But it has become!  We are in danger of becoming!  Oh my!  What are we going to say, what are we going to do?  If we stand before God, and there is a testimony against us with regard to the grace that has been apportioned unto us.  I think we might be somewhat like the man that was found in the midst of the wedding feast with no garment.  Do you know, he didn’t sneak in there?  You know, I’m not familiar with Jewish tradition, but I’m willing to say that what I believe is that when you come into the feast, you don’t come in necessarily with your wedding garment, it is something that they might give you.  It’s something of cloth or a toga that they might give you that you were to put on.  Because how would one know what is a wedding garment or not?  I don’t know.  But the fact of the matter was, he was in a place that was lawful for him to be, but he was not clothed in the way that was expected and he was cast out!  It says that he was speechless.  (Matthew 22:11‑12)  The only time that you and I can be speechless is when we are caught red‑handed with our hand in the cookie jar.  Oh yeah.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  Yeah, yeah.  You know, I got little grand kids, and you got cookies on the table, or cookies on the counter, or cookies in the cupboard, and they know where they’re at, and you come downstairs and one of them is eating one, and you say, “Where did you get that?” “Oh well, she had one, and she gave it to me and she did this, she did that.” It’s a whole different matter, you come down there and you find these little hands stuck over the edge, I say, “What are you doing here?” “Uh, uh, uh, uh…….” “You’re being disobedient huh?” “Uh, uh, uh….” We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, he’s talking to Christians, not talking to worldly people.  He’s not talking to people outside there, we have handled the Word of God deceitfully!  Nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; Oh yes.  We can all spiritually adjust, and spiritually excuse our misconduct except, everywhere except before God.  But by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience, now that would be all well and good if we could just leave it there, because you would never know whether or not I was really being sincere in what I was doing, but it doesn’t leave it there, it says in the sight of God.  But if our gospel be hid, what hid?  Light.  It is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the what?  The light, the gospel, the relationship of righteousness, hallelujah, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  Hallelujah.  (2 Corinthians 4:2,3)  Hallelujah.  Well, I think that we are all being confronted from the oldest of us, to the youngest of us that have an awareness of godliness.  I think that we are being confronted by God.  It says, that judgment begins first at the house of God, which house we are.  (1 Peter 4:17)  We were liking to think that it’s all out there.  When it was all said and done, finished, that we had our foot in the door, and we were on our way, I don’t believe that.  I believe that some of us will make it, I do.  It will be those that desire God with all of their heart.  Desire righteousness above self will, holiness above self satisfaction.  Interest in, the things that pertain to the garden of God, the kingdom of God, above complacency and indifference, or apathy.  It’s going to take tenacity and determination and a willingness to sacrifice and to be spent.  You know, you and I are supposed to be expendable commodities.  We don’t have the right, or the ability to designate what of us will be spent.  “Well, I’m willing to give time, I’m willing to give money, I’m willing to do this, I’m willing to do that.”  You have no right to dictate to God what you will and what you won’t do.  You and I are expendable monies.  Has your money ever risen up in the bank and said, “No you can’t use me!”  When you write a check for something, does your check say to you, “Don’t do this.  I’m not going to allow you to spend me in this manner in this way.”  No.  It just lays in the bank and does whatever it’s supposed to do when it’s there and it has no cognizance or consciousness, except that it is waiting for you to draw it out.  It can only be effective and bring you a blessing if you utilize it in the fashion and the form for which it was created.  You know, it is so sad.  Some of these people they hoard money, you read these stories, they bury it in the mattress, they put it under the bed, they stick it in the ground, they stuff it in the walls, and they die penniless, as paupers and the money had no effect, it did nothing for them!  And so it is with our Christianity if we do not wait expectantly!  Eagerly, desiringly, waiting for God to withdraw us and use us at any time, any way, in any fashion, and praise God that He used us, and when He puts us back into the bank in order for us to regain our strength and our composure and to recover from the use in which He has used us, so that we might be ready to be used again!  We want to be the banker, to dictate the terms.  It’s not so in the economy of God.  I don’t know if it’s scripture, but I’ve heard it enough, it says, we are bought with a price.  A friend of mine, a very good friend of mine, Cody Boman, I don’t know if any of you knew Cody Boman, he was always singing that song, “He paid a debt, he did not owe.  I owed a debt I could not pay.  I needed someone to wash my sins away.  Now I sing a brand new song.”  Well, praise God, Cody is singing a brand new song.  Very good friend, always singing that song.  Hallelujah.  I think that should be somewhere in our repertoire of theme songs as a constant reminder to us of our position and our responsibility and the place that God expects us to be.  Hallelujah.  Bow your heads, please.

 

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