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Focusing on God

April 2, 2006
Mahomet, Illinois

(For printable version click here.)

Prophetic word:

…that thou would lift up thine eyes.  Yea, look up, I say unto thee, that thou might know, that thou might see the objective, that thou might see the place whereto I have called thee.  But I say unto thee, it is given into thy hand.  It is by thy strength of perseverance and determination.  It is not determined, I say, by the whims of circumstance or the situations or the personalities of people, but it is dependent upon thee, saith the Lord.  For I have given thee the power to rise.  I have given thee the ability to walk, saith the Lord.  Yea, have I not given unto thee My Blood?  And have I not even translated thee out of the realm of hell, and have I not placed thy feet upon solid ground?  And have I not put within thee the strength and the vitality?  But I say unto thee, thou must use it for the sake of My kingdom.  Thou must use it, saith the Lord, that thou might possess even thine own soul.  It is up to thee, saith the Lord.  I have given unto thee that which thou needest.  I have given unto thee understanding.  Yea, I have taken off the veil from thine eyes, yea, and I have unstopped thine ears, saith the Lord.  Have I not brought unto thee the spirit of hearing?  Have I not given unto thee the spirit of sight?  Have I not given unto thee the ability to see?  For surely, saith the Lord, it is within thy grasp, it is within thy hand.  It is not up to Me, saith the Lord.  For I given unto thee and I have made the place before thee straight and I have made it long, saith the Lord, that thou might walk in the strength and in the vitality that I have deposited within thee.  I would say unto thee that thou must rise up, thou must persevere and thou must press in.  Thou must press through, saith the Lord.  For surely it is unto thee that I have given the strength and the ability to do that which must be done in this hour, saith the Lord.

Prayer:

Father, we want to make that commitment, we want to be in that place, we need that strength, we need the vitality that is in Thee, we also need the desire.  There are so many things that are vying for our attention in this time of fullness.  Everything is coming to its place of fullness.  Father, we pray that we might have that position of sight that we are focused and locked upon You.  We desire to hear Your word this morning.  We desire the bread of life.  Father, I pray for the strength and the vitality, I repent, my God, of the position of flesh and carnality, and the place where my flesh oftentimes rises up to overwhelm my sense of the reality of the things of God.  I pray for the ears, my God, of the people here, that You might give unto us that spirit of hearing and understanding.  Father, I am very much conscious that it is not the words that are spoken, but it’s the Spirit of God that moves in the midst of the congregation that speaks to every heart, whether old or young, whether hard or soft, whether rebellious or submissive.  My God, we pray that that spirit of hearing and understanding will be here in our midst this morning.  We are asking You, Father, to break unto us living bread, in Jesus’ name.  Praise the Lord.

Message:

I want to go into the Word.  I don’t come to church because it is traditional or because it is the thing to do, but I come to church because I want to hear God.  I want to hear God differently than how I hear Him in my everyday set of circumstances.  I want to hear Him the way He speaks in the corporate set of circumstances.  I find that when I come to church, I have a strength to hear that I sometimes do not have in my personal set of circumstances.  Have any of you found that to be true?  Praise the Lord.  I am glad I’m not the only one that has that experience.  So, I pray this morning that God will give us that spirit of revelation, not particularly in bringing you a revelatory word, but that the Spirit of revelation will work in your set of circumstances to bring forth to you the reality of what it is God has for you.  How many of you believe that God has something for you?  Not only today, but tomorrow and the next day?  Or is it that you are just looking for that place of Heaven and trying to make it through to the last time, till the last ounce or the last bit of strength or vitality that you might have is gone?  Praise the Lord. 

What is your focus?  What is your vision?  What is your hope?  What is the understanding that you have with regard to the fact that God saved you?  There are many ministries that we have in the church, but those ministries have one purpose and one purpose alone.  You don’t save a man just to get him into Heaven, did you know that?  There is a purpose for which God wants a man saved, a woman saved, a child saved.  There’s a purpose, there’s a reason for it.  There is a responsibility that God puts on the church and it is that we have the ability to understand the purpose of God (Proverbs 4:7).  Because you see, there are many out there in the world, wandering around in sin, who have a calling, that have an election upon them from God.  Many times we take it as something other than the divine hand of God as these individuals come in contact with us.  Hallelujah.  Sometimes we do not recognize the calling and the election that is upon THEM.  Many times we are not cognizant as to the potential that they have in God.  A lot of times we do not recognize the calling because they are not saved.  A lot of times their demeanor is rough, they do the wrong things, say the wrong things, use the wrong type of language, associate with the wrong people, so therefore we are not spiritually aware of the reason for which they have been brought into contact with us.  Hallelujah.  Now, maybe you are not as guilty of it as I am, regarding this position of responsibility that has been given to me because of my Christian position, but nevertheless, there is an accountability that has to be reckoned with.  Hallelujah. 

There is a ministry that we have, not to build church, not just to win souls for Heaven – although that is an admirable and an honorable position to have, and those that do it have the reward in God – but the fact is that God is running a God-oriented business.  God has a job to do and an objective to obtain.  You know, there are many instances in the scripture where Paul relates to his profession of faith as a “vocation.”  There are many places where it speaks about the vocation, not only with regard to Paul, but also with regard to you and me.  Paul said in Ephesians 4, I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called…  The place of servitude that Paul was illustrating in that respect was the position of being a prisoner.  He says, I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord… “I, Paul, a prisoner of the Lord.”  If you think about those words, what rights does a prisoner have?  Most of us don’t know the reality of that.  Some of us do, but not all of us.  What rights does a prisoner have?  He is told when to rise, when to sleep, when to eat, when to play, what to eat, what not to eat, what he can do, what he can’t do, when he can do it and when he can’t do it.  Everything about his life is orchestrated by an authority and a power outside of his ability to control.  Hallelujah.  Of course now, you cannot necessarily look at the system that we have today and say that it is an example of this, but in the day of Paul there was something much more real, much more stark, much more brutal about what it meant to be a prisoner.  Hallelujah. 

I remember one time when we were in Nigeria, we were in this nice, great big hotel.  As you went down to the end of the hall and looked out the window, we looked over into a prison and into this prisoners’ compound.  It was not a nice place.  It had one long building and it was just a shack.  When I asked, “Well, what are some of the mechanics of it?” I was told by some of the brethren there that most of the time, it is the responsibility of the relatives to bring food for the people that are in prison.  I said, “Well, what if they don’t bring food?”  He said, “Well, they don’t eat.”  Hallelujah. 

We do not understand the concepts or the protocol of this vocation that Paul is speaking about.  We think that being a Christian gives us some option of doing what we want to do, when we want to do it, how we want to do it, and to be what we want to be, when we want to be it, and how we want to be it.  That is what we think.  That’s what we think, because the society in which we live is doing it and we feel that we have been given certain inalienable rights.  You can believe me when I say that it is not that I have not enjoyed those inalienable rights, but there is a necessity for me to give them up if I want to achieve God’s objective.  It’s not a matter of just being saved.  I don’t know how many times I have said it and I don’t know how many more times I will say it: it is not a matter of just getting into Heaven. 

God has an expectation.  Do you know that God has an expectation of this child?  Do you know that?  That there is a potential in God that these children have that is outside of the human element?  Do you know that?  Do you know that for this child back here, there is an expectation and a potential that God has with regard to the coming forth and the bringing forth of life?  God does not look at the physical, God does not look at the mental, God does not birth individuals into the world and bring them into a Christian environment for the sake of them living out their lives by what their flesh dictates, and by what the realm of their circumstances demand!  God brings them forth for a purpose!  His purpose and His purpose alone.  Hallelujah. 

But we lose our focus.  We lose our focus, and “humanity” becomes an excuse.  “Humanity” begins to work a spirit of compromise.  There are certain things we want.  There are certain rights and personal preferences that we think are ours.  We are not talking about a gospel of Christianity, of getting saved, going to church, and at the end of the day walking into the realm of glory called Beulah Land.  We’re talking about a concept that is quite foreign to our humanity.  It is adverse and diametrically in opposition to your humanity, to my humanity.  Everything about me is contrary to the will of God!  I was born in sin, do you hear me?  I was born in sin, and there is sin in my being, sin in my roots!  There has been delegated to me a responsibility because of the Word I have heard and the Blood that has been given to me to get that sin out!  I’m bought with a price!  I do not have the right to insist on a personal position of preference!  I do not have the right to expect to be accepted on a natural plane and a natural level.  I DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to demand that someone love me, because I am totally, absolutely unlovable.  Totally, do you hear me?  I was born in iniquity and shapen and conceived by sin, and it is only by the grace and the Blood of Jesus Christ that God, for His purpose, chose to save me.  Some people get saved and live for sixty years as “good Christians.”  Praise God for “good Christians,” I’m not against it.  But at the end of the day, if they have not done what has been given into their hands to do by reason of the strength and the power of the Word of God that has been given to them, they have not achieved the goal that God had set for them.  It was by the Word of God that this natural realm out here that we live in, this realm, was shaped and formed and brought into being.  “God said.”  When God said, God brought forth and there was an evidence of it in this natural realm.  Let me ask you a question.  Did an eternal God with an eternal purpose create a temporal set of circumstances for temporary time, or did he have an eternal purpose to conclude?  You and I have been birthed in our new birth, not by the will of man, not by the will of flesh, but by the will of God.  God said, “Let there be light!”  God spoke into the darkness of my hell.  God spoke in the darkness of my sin.  He began to bring forth the revelation that I had an ability to sever the root of my humanity!  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  My God. 

Matthew chapter 6.  God is addressing the religious spirit by which the church, almost unanimously, serves God.  Hallelujah.  Matthew 6:16, Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  My goodness.  You know what their reward is?  The admiration of men.  “Oh yes, there goes a good Christian.  There goes a man or a woman of God, hallelujah.”  “How do you know that?”  “Well, he goes to church, he pays his tithe, he is in attendance almost every time there is a meeting, he is there when the doors open, sometimes he’s sweeping the floor, sometimes he’s cleaning the windows, sometimes he’s preaching, sometimes he’s taking the offering.”  Hallelujah.  But if you’re doing it for something other than what God has given you to do in order to bring forth what He wants to see manifested, it is of no value.  It is of NO VALUE.  Now, how can I illustrate that? 

Let us say, perchance, that you are hired to carry this weight.  We’ve got a five hundred pound weight here and we have to move it from point A to point B.  Now, there’s one set of people that come along and they manage, by grunt and by sweat, to move it to point B, and that is where they were supposed to move it.  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the rest that has been prepared for you.”  Another group of people come along, and their job is to move it from point B to point C.  By grunt and by sweat and by blood, they labor and push and sacrifice, and with all of their tenacity they wear themselves out pushing it, and they barely get it over the line.  What do you think the result is?  They got hired to do that.  Now, you know I’m talking to you about a parable in the Bible, don’t you?  Then there is another group of people who were hired to get it from point C to point D and they are pushing and they are panting and they get about half way, but they don’t make it because they get diverted or distracted.  Do you think that the Master is pleased?  Do you think they have accomplished what He desired for them to accomplish?  If you had a man, Brother Femi, and you gave him a job to do, and you expected it to be done, and you went off and left him doing the job, and you had a set time that you were coming back and you knew that it had to be done at that time, what would you do if the job was not done?  Would there be a consequence?  Absolutely.  There is a consequence.  Why do we think that if it is so in the natural, it will not also be so in the spiritual?

Well, I think we have some illustration in the Word concerning that expectation.  What about in Noah’s day?  Do you think that God had an expectation from Adam to Noah?  Do you think there was an expectation that God had?  What do you think that expectation was?  Do you think it was that He was pleased at the end of the day as Noah’s dispensation was drawing to a close? 

Come on, brethren.  I am not talking about not making it into Heaven, I am talking about a consequence that comes to you and me on the basis of something that has been given to us to do, and it is not done.  Do you think there was a consequence?  God said, “It grieves Me that I created man” (Genesis 6:6).  It said that God repented.  Is my Bible is the only one that says that?  Maybe I’m misquoting it.  Am I misquoting it?  God repented that He made man.  Genesis 6:6, And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  Do you know everything is coming to a fullness?  Do you believe in fullness?  Do you believe that we are living in fullness?  Do you believe that there is a fullness of flesh that comes up before God?  Do you believe that the thing that God smells that He calls “flesh” is something that pleases Him, that He is happy about, when He has given you and me the power to do something about the set of circumstances we find ourselves in?  Believe you me, brethren, I am preaching to myself as much as I am preaching to you.  Maybe I am just preaching to myself. 

He said, Matthew 6:16, Moreover when ye fast…  What good is religion if it does not accomplish what it is that God wants done?  What is the good of me being Christian if all that I am is a goody-two-shoes?  “I can’t do this because I am a Christian; I can’t do that because I am a Christian.”  What about the entity of life that promotes the “I can’t”?  What about the thing that causes it?  Where is my comprehension, where is my understanding?  It is not about “I can’t do it because I’m Christian,” but more about the nature that is within that can not tolerate sin, a nature that is in opposition to the nature of sin that is within me.  “I have all of these things that are of the sin nature in me that are working in compatibility with all of these things out in the world, so I can’t do what God expects me to do in the production of the nature of God that is within.”  Or it is that I won’t do it because I want to do something else!  What about the Blood?  What about the other-ness of Christ that is in me?  The other-ness of Christ, as T. Austin Sparks calls it.  I suggest that some of you get some of the articles.  They are little short things, little bitty things.  You can read them maybe in two hours, or an hour and a half, but they’re full of the plan, the intent, the purpose for which God created me.  Hallelujah! 

You know, there have been men and women and children, do you know?  Children!  I was reading the story about Brother Wurmbrand when they took him and put him in prison, and his wife was left out there all by herself.  We have heard a lot about Brother Richard, but what about Sister Sabina?  What about her?  Do you know that they cut off all of her subsistence; she could not work, and she had a baby to raise?  Come on.  All this was done to them just on the basis of them having a revelation of salvation and righteousness!  He didn’t have the revelation of fullness.  He didn’t have the revelation of sonship.  He just had a revelation that God was righteous, and you needed to be righteous because God was righteous.  That was all he had.  He refused – refused, REFUSED – to recant or to back away from it.  They locked him up, put him away…  Well, everybody knows about his story.  What about Sister Sabina?  Do you know they were suffering and didn’t have enough to eat?  Sometimes they were boiling potatoes for days and drinking the juice in order just to keep alive!  Do you know what happened then?  They took Mama and put her in jail.  Do you think they took the child and put him in a home?  They forgot he even existed!  He was a non-entity.  He was nine years old.  Not very old.  And yet, you know, out of that crucible of fire came Godly men and women who had an understanding of the revelation of righteousness! 

I read the testimony of the son one time as he testified to the power of God, how God moved in his set of circumstances, and how, because his father believed God, he had the responsibility to believe God!  Femi prayed for those that don’t have a roof.  He prayed for those that don’t have food.  As bad as this is, if they desire God, there is something that is working in their circumstance to bring forth something that is much better than what you and I have when we have a roof, food and all of the things that bring us comfort!  Maybe if we had a little less of them, Brother George, things might be a little different, things might be a little more serious. 

Do you know why God doesn’t prosper us, doesn’t just pour out money on us and give us every opportunity?  Because it would destroy us!  We need some more George Mueller’s.  Get in your closet.  No bread to feed the children.  They weren’t his children either.  Not his children!  They were just some of these little urchins he picked up off the street and brought into his house.  My goodness.  Some of them probably stank.  Do you think some of them were disobedient?  Do you think some of them were cantankerous and destructive?  Hey, do you think they all used the right language?  Can you imagine a little gutter snipe, raised in the gutter of London?  You go over there now and the kids that are raised in the gutter, they look like gutter people!  All the things they do, the body piercing, the hair and all of those things.  My God!  You know, I don’t think it would have stopped him.  Can you imagine bringing one of those things into your home?  You would lock your refrigerator.  You would make sure all of your valuables, if you had any, were locked up safe.  He didn’t have any!  He traded them all in for bread!  He probably didn’t even have beds for them to sleep on.  We don’t know, but there were people that were dedicated, consecrated, to fulfill the obligation of Christ that was upon them. 

Listen to me.  It is not the doing!  There is something of a purpose, a reason, a goal that God is working for.  Do you know that that man, Wurmbrand, was an inspiration to me in my life?  He bled for me, do you understand?  He went hungry for me, do you understand?  He went without clothes.  His wife suffered!  You ladies like security.  You like the comforts.  You like that sense of well-being that comes from knowing that your kids have food on the table.  They call it the “nesting instinct.”  What if you had to make your nest in a cave?  No furniture.  No refrigerator.  No microwave.  No instant food.  No McDonald’s.  No nothing.  Just the cave!  Would you still be comfortable?  Would you still be happy?  Would you still be satisfied?  My goodness, some of us are not even satisfied with what we’ve got.  It has to be bigger, better, softer, and more luxurious, or at least bringing some sense of satisfaction to the individual involved!  Come on, brethren! 

What would a church be that was sold out for the purpose of demonstrating and bringing forth the reality of God Himself?  What would that kind of church be?  Listen to me.  It is not the doing of it.  Jesus said you could feed the poor, you could put clothes on their back, you could give your soul to be burned, hallelujah, you could accomplish mighty things in God and still miss the mark.  Isn’t that what you were preaching yesterday?  First Corinthians 13?  Love.  Love of what?  Love to be good?  Love to be looked at?  Love to be exonerated?  Love to make it into Heaven?  Love of the adoration of the Father?  YES.  All the others are superfluous and out of sync with what it is that God desires!  The first and great commandment is to love who?  God.  How are you to love Him?  With all of your might and all of your strength, with all of your soul (Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27).  That disqualifies about 99.99% of us.

This child (Isaac Trotter) has the potentiality of becoming a son.  I remember the word that was spoken over you, young man, before you were even born!  Do you know that you were brought forth by the Word of the Lord?  Yes, you were.  Do you think that God has an expectation for him?  If he was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, do you think there is an expectation that God has for him?  Sorry for making you an example, but I don’t know what else to do.  There’s an expectation.  There’s a responsibility that she, the mother, has.  There’s a responsibility that you and you have (the grandparents).  There’s a responsibility that I have, to do everything I possibly can do to facilitate the will of God – why?  Because I was a witness.  I was a witness to the power of God that was moving in that circumstance, and do you know what?  The verification, the validation of the Word was that he came forth! 

I have a responsibility.  I have a progeny in the natural.  I have a responsibility to do everything I possibly can do.  Do you know my inheritance does not go to my children?  Sorry.  You wouldn’t get anything anyway.  There just isn’t anything to get.  But I have a responsibility for this child right here, do you understand that?  I have a responsibility for that child right there.  I have a responsibility for that child, too.  And you have a responsibility.  Do you remember the Word of the Lord that came over you, dear?  You remember it?  You were concerned that the prophet was going to come up on the short end of the stick and be stuck with a word that went unfulfilled (Becky Adedoyin).  But that child was birthed by the Word of God, not by the will of man, not by the will of the flesh, but by the will of God.  Hallelujah!  It makes no difference what my eyes see; there’s a purpose, there’s a plan, there’s a reason that God brought forth that child, and it’s eternal, do you understand?  There’s going to be a manifestation, there’s going to be a revelation of the ability of Christ to come forth in the midst of that life.  That child is going to be a TESTIMONY and an ensign before humanity of the power of God to move to the uttermost (Remi Adedoyin)!  We think it has to be very complicated, very intellectual, very mental, but it says, “A child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).  I think that if he can maintain his childlikeness, then he is to be an example for us.  I am not just puffing you up.  I’m talking about trouble!  Hallelujah! 

You know, God is talking in Matthew 6 about the plans, the purposes of God.  The disciples came to Jesus and said, “Teach us how to pray.”  He said, “The first thing you do is say,  ‘Our Father.’”  Do you know [speaking to a person in the congregation] He has completely severed your position of reliance on everything that you know in the natural realm?  He has brought you face to face with a contention that you never thought possible, contention that was going to be wrestling with you to bring you down into a place of degradation and death.  But the minute you began to say, “Abba Father,” your whole life changed.  Changed.  You always said to me, “There’s no going home.”  You can’t go back.  It is not something somebody said to me, it’s in the Word, you know.  There was a time that God winked at my foolishness, but He says a man that putteth his hands to the plow and looks back, that man is not worthy of the Kingdom (Luke 9:62).  Come on, how do you translate, “not worthy”?  Brother Jim Peckmann, “not worthy” means you are not acceptable, doesn’t it?  Maybe it’s different in your Bible.  We just kind of jump over that verse and go on to the next one.  We want the glory, we want the praise, we want the euphoria, we want Beulah Land, we want all the things that Heaven implies, safety and all the things of comfort and euphoria and just saying, “Hallelujah, praise the Lord.”  Hallelujah.  Our Father. 

The Bible says that you and I are to do what, regarding the Father?  To love Him.  Love Him sometimes?  Part time?  All the time.  All the time?  Are you sure it’s all the time, and not just sometimes?  No, you probably got that wrong, you had better check it out again.  It says, not only all the time.  You talk about a demanding situation.  If I put that demand upon my wife, she’d probably say I was being overbearing and belligerent.  “You’ve got to love me any time, all the time, any way that you can love me!”  You know, it is not a personal preference to just love her when she’s good, when what she does pleases me.  The purpose, the position is to love, love, love, love, love, love, love!  When you come to the end of your rope and you can’t love any more, you go to God to get what you don’t have.  “Oh yes, I’m going to love, but I expect something in return.”  Of course, you are not like that.  You go and you fix this nice dinner, and you set the table and put on mood music and turn down the lights, and hubby comes in and sits down and says, “Isn’t it awfully dark in here?”  Is that pretty close to home?  You go out shopping, you want to buy something special, so you look and look and look and look.  You’re working at it, working at it, working at it.  Working, working, working, working, working at it and you finally find that special something, and you wrap it up really pretty and you wait for the right time, just the right moment, hallelujah, and it is right there!  And you present it, and as they unwrap it, there is a flaw in it and instead of saying, “Oh, this is so lovely, so pretty, so beautiful, how gracious you are, how wonderful…” it’s, “What’s this little chip in here?”  Or worse yet, “Oh.  Yeah.  Thanks.”  Amen.  Why do we have that?  “You promised to love me.  You promised to cherish me.  You promised to walk by my side and you are not doing it.”  What happens?  We are disappointed.  We are frustrated.  Of course, you’re not.  We find ourselves down in a hole.  What has happened?  We were not focused on the thing that we needed to be focused on.  We are not being that for which we were created, to love God with our whole heart and soul, that we might love one another!

Listen to me, brethren.  Let me share with you this illustration that is going through my mind as to why we should love the Lord with such fervor.  Praise the Lord.  Have you even seen those concave mirrors that they put up on the streets?  You know what the purpose of those concave mirrors is?  Well, of course you don’t have them here.  They have a lot of them in Europe and I’ve seen them here and about.  But you will come up to an intersection and you can’t see, so they put a concave mirror up there, and you can see approaching cars coming from the direction that would otherwise be blind to you.  The purpose of the mirror is that it is designed to allow you to focus on a point that you can not see.  Hello?  It is designed to get you safely from where you are to where you need to be.  So it is in the setting of your natural environment as it applies to your spiritual objective.  So here you are, your objective is A, but it is in the mind of God alone that this is where He wants you to be, and you have to go in what seems like an opposite direction in order to get to A.  Hello?  Are you following what I am saying?  This is what I am seeing in the Spirit.  We cannot necessarily see this objective.  But the objective is in God’s mind, and there is some thought that comes from God as to the possibility that we have of becoming a son.  But we cannot understand how it is that we are going to get from A to B.  So God creates a set of circumstances.  The problem that we have is that we don’t like the circumstances.

It is true, and it contributes to the overall problem of our growth and development in God.  But it is not only that.  What we are looking at is not what we should be looking at.   We do not understand the rudimentary principle of focus.  We are focused all right, but what we are seeing is not what God intended for us to be looking at.  We find ourselves looking at ourselves and not at God and that reflection does not reflect the desire that God has for you and I!  Because of that, we do not see how tribulation, trouble, pain and personalities will achieve the objective because we have lost sight of the objective that is God and have replaced it with self-worth!  All it does is reflect something back unto ourselves.  What is your objective?  What is your intent?  What is your desire?  The fact is that this set of circumstances is to bring a deliverance by which we shed our humanity.  If we have our focus centered on God, there is an avenue by which God might be able to minister to us.  We have that power!  But the avenue, the focus, has to be absolute!  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah. 

Matthew 6:17, But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.  There are two rewards that you and I have; there are two positions, two things that we can get out of every set of circumstances.  One is that our position of weakness (flesh) is manifested, and the other is that our position of strength (spirit) can be manifested.  There are scriptures for both of those.  It says, Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops (Luke 12:3).  There are two positions, two manifestations.  This situation is designed to bring forth two manifestations, each particular to its own destiny and you have the power to determine which is going to be your destiny. 

Now, there is a lie that has been perpetrated, and I’ve been seeing it while I watch the Hovind videos, and it just comes to my mind this morning.  It says, “Where is the proof of His coming?”  Yes.  II Peter 3:4.  You know, I have a decision to make.  I am in a very difficult position, personally, and without going into all the details, I am being confronted with my humanity.  The situation is designed to touch every one of my vulnerabilities.  It is designed to touch every aspect of my fleshly, carnal position of inheritance and touching it, it is.  I have a decision to make.  Am I going to accept “Grandfather”?   Am I going to accept “Grandpa” as being the objective and the destiny that I am going to fulfill, or am I going to reject “Grandpa” and accept the destiny that God has for me in the fact that He wants me to be a son?  Now, that doesn’t mean that I rise up, necessarily, and say, “Oh, dirty devil, poof!  Get out of here!  I’m a man of FAITH; I’m going to excel; I’m going flex my might.  See these muscles?”  No, no.  It is stumble and fall, get up, brush myself off, repent of my transgression, go on and say, “You are not going to overcome me, ‘Granddad.’  I am not going to accept the position of inheritance!”  And I begin to push my way out of the hole, out of the grave.  The Bible says that up from the grave He arose (I Corinthians 15:4).  I begin to push myself up out of the hole, out of the hell, out of the pit of despair that I have been in all of my life!  I HAVE BEEN delivered, I AM BEING delivered, and I desire and I proclaim that I SHALL BE delivered! 

But you know something?  My set of circumstances isn’t any different than yours.  You have your own pressures, you have your own trials, all of you have difficult personalities that you have to deal with, and I am not just talking about your own.  Do you know that some people live together as husbands and wives and never, ever, ever achieve the purpose for which God brought them together?  They can have children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great-grandchildren, but unless they have moved their portion of the weight in giving to their children and giving to each other that which God has created them for, then they go unfulfilled and the objective for which they were chosen is lost.  We talk about holy matrimony.  We don’t really have the slightest idea what we are talking about.  We really don’t!  If we did, we would not have such difficulties in personality conflict.  Do you know that people can be married for fifty years and still have personality conflicts?  Well, it is not the slow learners that are the problem, it’s the no-learners. You were married under the auspices of the Word of God.  Do you think that Word was just to bring you together so that you might produce children?  Well, to one extent, yes, but those children are supposed to be as arrows in a quiver.  Do you know that an arrow has a purpose?  Do you know that an arrow in David’s day had a purpose, and the purpose usually was that of war?  That means that I am to instruct my grandchildren to be weapons of war, so that I am able to put them into the bow of God, aim them at a target, and let them fly!  You want a competitive sport?  “Take that one in the eye, devil!”  Oh, yes.  Take this child right here, hone her up.  What do you call that little feather on the end of the arrow?  A fletching.  Fletch her up.  Put those fletchings on her.  You know, they have to be balanced, right?  Yes!  Balanced!  Do you hear me?  Balanced!  I’ve got to work at it. 

I watched my son fletching arrows.  He was sanding those arrows down and doing these different things in the process of making the arrow shootable.  They have this tool and they put the arrow in it, because, you know, they do not balance it by eye.  The tool is designed to let you put the feather just in the right place in line with the other feathers.

I am not a “by gosh and by golly” builder, do you know that?  What I mean when I say by gosh and by golly is that if you wanted a straight line, you could just line up some people in a row and eye-ball them.  “Well, okay, you stand down there and you stand down there and we will line you up.”  What are you lining them up with?  Do you know that when they want a building precise, they get a surveyor out, and what does he do?  He gets his instruments.  What is he measuring?  Longitudes and latitudes, and where the two points meet is absolute, isn’t it?  That is your point of reference and it is from that point that you build your building.  Peter says that Jesus was the chief corner stone.  I saw a man build a house and he was ten feet too close to the property line.  “Oh, that’s okay, buddy, we’ll give you a variance, oh yeah, that’s all right.”  Well it doesn’t always work that way.  You can say, “Please, please, please!  And try to explain that you have all this money tied up in it.”  “Sorry.  You have three options.  Either cut it in half and redesign the house, or, second, move the whole thing.  Third option: tear it down.”  That would be a builder’s worst nightmare.  That is the way we are sometimes with God.  “By gosh and by golly, that looks about right.  I think I’m okay.”  What are you judging by?  Where’s your mark, where’s your point, where’s your reference?  Where’s your latitude and longitude, where’s your stake in the ground?  If I’m going to build on a piece of property, I say, “Come out and find the boundaries for me.”  I don’t want to put my work, my labor, on somebody else’s property!  They would say, “Oh, thank you so much, buddy, I wanted a new house.”

We kind of think that God is going to look the other direction, and for some things God does look the other direction and some things God doesn’t look to any direction at all!  He just looks at you.  One time I got involved in a situation that was of my own making because I did not listen to God, and I turned to God and I said, “God!”  I had had a vision, and because I had a vision I thought that God would overlook certain discrepancies.  But guess what?  He did not respond like I thought He would and I knew that I just had to walk through it.  “Thank you, Jesus, I repent.”  Every step: “Oh, God, I repent.  Be Thou merciful to me, a sinner.  Extend the mercy of God to me.  Oh God, I cry out for mercy!”  It did not mean I didn’t have to walk through it day after day, month after month.  Year after year, walking through it, until one day I got on the other side and I said, “Oh, thank God, I will never do that again!”  It was beneficial, but boy, was it hard. 

I don’t believe we have time for that.  God is looking for a company of people.  He is looking for a three hundred and whether or not you are in the three hundred is determined by what you do with what you’ve got.  You’ve got it all.  You have the Word, you have the Blood, you have the Holy Ghost, you have the will of God!  Not only do you have the Word in what it is that God desires, but there are many of you that God’s Word has been prophesied over you!  In just this congregation alone, this congregation, there are probably more marriages than I can count on one hand that were prophesied into being.  Just this one congregation – this congregation alone – and this is not the only congregation.  What was the expectation of God in the bringing forth of that union?  I think it is a sobering thought.  I think it is a sobering thought: what are you doing with what God has given you?  I think there is a need for us to repent – now, not just those marriages that were prophesied over, but let’s say the marriages where the commendation of God was given: “Thus saith the Lord, you are to move as one and to bring forth the reality of My kingdom!”  Hmm?  How long did you pray for a God-fearing, God-loving man?  How long?  What did you endure?  What kind of tribulation?  What kind of responsibility do I have with my wife in the example that I set and the position of responsibility that I have before God with her?  Does that mean that I have the right to abuse her in private because she was doing something that I don’t like or doesn’t match up with my expectations?  Do you think that that private abuse is something that is hidden?  Not from God.  I want to tell you something: if it is bad enough, God will expose it!  Why?  Not because He wants to embarrass us, not because He wants us to be suffering, but because He wants the very best and He wants the totality of what He created you to have coming forth in the relationship.  He made the relationship.  

You know, we were in a wedding yesterday, and I do not know that anybody really knows the circumstances of that situation.  I want to tell you, the fact that that woman  (Mederana Gomez) was standing here is a miracle of God.  There was a move in the spirit to kill her.  I am telling you, God delivered her out of the midst of it.  What do you think God’s expectation is?  Do you think that it is none of His business?  Do you think that it is none of my business?  Absolutely not.  There is a responsibility that I have, not just in the aspect of “thus saith the Lord” to you, but “thus saith the Lord” to me!  There is a place of working out our salvation that is mine.  You know, I am learning to confess my weakness to God and to my wife.  That puts her in a pretty dangerous position, because we are not all perfect.  Sometimes we utilize what is righteous for unrighteousness, and we use it to manipulate or to crow bar someone into doing something that we think should be done. 

What is the expectation of God?  I tell you, I cannot get away from it; I see it so vividly before me.  I can remember the word that came to you.  I remember the word that came to you two.  I remember the word that came to you.  How about you, sister?  Absolutely.  How about you, Brother Effiong?  Absolutely.  What about you two back there?  It goes on, goes on, goes on, and goes on.  One congregation of people!  Did you not dedicate your marriage to God when you got saved?  Did you not resolve in your heart to move in a manner and fashion that would please God?  That didn’t mean that you had to be pleased all the time.  That didn’t mean that you had to be comfortable all the time.  You know, some of us really do suffer.  I am not negating the suffering, but somebody has to suffer for something, and somebody has to suffer something for somebody else!  Brother duCille has a teaching called The Three Lambs that I hope to see coming out.  I have been encouraging the brother, “You need to print it, you need to publish it, you need to put it out, because we are in the dispensation of the manifestation and the offering up!  We need the understanding, we need the revelation, we need the objective, the goal set before us.  Publish it!”  Hallelujah. 

“Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed…”  Do you know how I hallow the name of God in the relationship with my wife?  By treating her as though she was a piece of God!  When I transgress against her… Oh my God, what a proud, arrogant fellow I can be.  Well, the hope she has is that I do hear God.  But you know, my pride and arrogance, my position of personal self-worth will eliminate me from being acceptable in the eyes of the beloved.  Did you know that?  The Bible says I am supposed to walk in fear and trembling, working out my salvation.  MY salvation!  That does not mean I have a responsibility to make sure of your salvation.  “Oh, you are not doing this right, you have to do this and this and this.  Oh no, no, you can’t go that way, you’ve got to go that way.  No, no.  Why are you doing that!?!”  My God.  You go to God.  You know what my hope is?  That my wife hears God.  She does.  Hallelujah. 

It was II Peter 3:4 I was going to.  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:  My goodness.  That’s a mouthful.  “The commandments of us apostles.”  Do you mean that they were to be in subjection to a Word that was spoken by a MAN?  Hello!  We think we have a prerogative to disregard the position of unction and anointing that comes through the voice of a man.  Hallelujah.  3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts…  I tell you what, Brother Hovind wears this verse out.  We could learn something from this man.  I think that this man is a little bit farther ahead in getting done what was given to him to get done than some of us are in doing what has been given to us to do.  I like it:  “What are you doing for the Lord?”  I like it.  I have been listening to his tapes, you know.  Thanks to Brother Charles over here, I have this new set of DVDs that I have been going through.  Listening.  What are you doing?  You know, in one of the tapes, toward the latter part, he gives his own personal testimony.  My goodness.  Well, he’d just won a soul, and it did something very supernatural for him.  He had just won a soul and it propelled him into the plan and purpose that God had for his life.  I heard him say something in his testimony that I had not heard him say before.  He says that he has been doing this for thirty-six years and it just gets better and greater.  The desire has grown until it has become the absoluteness of God’s will for his life, this thought of winning souls.  What are you possessed with?  Winning souls.  Yes, yes, yes, yes!  We should all be winning souls. 

What is the purpose of winning souls?  What are you going to do with the souls after you win them?  What are you going to do?  Put them in the Baptist Church?  Are you going to do that when you have something of a greater reality, a greater Word?  Do you think a man that is saved that does not have the Holy Ghost, has the power to absolutely, totally annihilate and overcome the sin that is within him?  Do you think that?  I was saved a long time before I got filled with the Holy Ghost.  Everything in my environment had power over me.  Cigarettes and alcohol and lusts of the flesh, and all of the things that were in the world.  Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, up and down, up and down, in church one day, in the bar the next!  In church one day, in the bar the next!  Light ‘em up, up, up, up, up!!  Until God gave me the Holy Ghost.  He gave me something more than just the Holy Ghost, because when He gave me the Holy Ghost, He gave me the desire to know Him, to love Him, to please Him!! 

I was saved when I was eight years old.  Eight years old!  I was born again in a Southern Baptist R.A. camp, “Royal Ambassadors.”  Praise God for the God-fearing men and women that were there teaching hell’s fire and brimstone.  I think it was more the special effects of the environment at that time than anything else.  Here we were in this little brush arbor, we had a big roaring fire and a hell’s fire preacher.  He was standing in front of the fire, and of course, you were just looking at him in the fire.  He was preaching sin, and he was preaching death, and he was preaching burning.  I want to tell you, as an eight-year-old, I didn’t want any of it!  I could not get out of my chair, off that bench, fast enough to get down to the front and repent, “I don’t want to be in there!”

But even though I was saved, it was up and down, up and down.  In the world, in the church.  He said, “Do you know there is a Holy Ghost?”  I said, “What’s Holy Ghost?  Is it a ghost with holes in it?  What is Holy Ghost?”  He said, “It’s power.”  “Oh, it’s power?”  Power, power.  It’s not just power, it is a reality that comes with the magnitude of a knowledge that is outside of us, and outside of the realm of our being.  You mean, it is really possible to not sin?  They didn’t tell me that in the Baptist church.  They told me “once saved, always saved.”  That means I could go out and do whatever and live like the devil if I wanted to, and I would still go to Heaven!  Well, praise God, if you can maintain your sanctification, I guess that’s all you need to get into Heaven.  I don’t want to just “get into Heaven.”  I will tell you something that happened.  When I got the Holy Ghost, I did not get delivered.  Did you know that?  When I got the Holy Ghost, I wanted to be delivered.  I was smoking.  Puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, puff.  Smoking, smoking, smoking.  I had ashtrays everywhere, because then, if I ran out of cigarettes, I would always have some kind of butt to light up to smoke, so I didn’t ever empty them.  Cigarettes everywhere!  But when I got the Holy Ghost, I got something more than deliverance, do you hear me?  I got the totality of the living God down here inside of me somewhere!  And He was not happy with the way things were going.  If He wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy.  When I got Him, I got something viable and real.  I said to Him one day, “God, if You can’t deliver me of this propensity of humanity, all this flesh, all this lusting, all this drinking, all these cigarettes…  They told me when I got the Holy Ghost that all my troubles would be over!  I am still in trouble.  I don’t want to live like this any more!”  That did not come from me.  That came from God inside of me, saying, “I don’t want you to live in this condition anymore.  I don’t want you to be living in this garbage can.  I don’t want to live down here in this gutter with you.  I am designed for something higher, something better, and I want that something better, something greater that I am designed for, to be yours!”  Out of that place, out of that position, a cry came out of the depths of my being.  “If You can’t deliver me, kill me, because I don’t want to live like this!  I do not want to live like this!”  He delivered me.  He delivered me.  Totally, absolutely, positively delivered me.  Delivered me of the habit, delivered me of the desire, delivered me of the possession, delivered me of the thought, and began the process of delivering me from the character of hell that was ruling and reigning in me.  All I had to do was come to the point that I was willing!  How willing are you to do with what you have?  You think that just preaching out some good method is sufficient?  It is needed, it is absolutely necessary, but it has to have a reason to be preached! 

Another scripture is coming to me.  Isaiah 61.  Jesus quoted it when He stood up in the synagogue.  Do you know God was prophesying?  Oh, my goodness.  God was prophesying.  How many of you had a prophetic word prophesied over you?  What did that word say?  Did it say something of God’s desire, His expectation, the potentiality, the magnanimity of whatever circumstance that God was going to bring you into, and that there was going to be something very glorious and very victorious and absolutely beautiful that was going to come out of it? 

Jesus Christ stood up in a synagogue and He began to proclaim the words of God that were announced by His prophet, Isaiah.  Isaiah 61:1, The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me…  What was the word of prophecy this morning?  Was it not that we needed to rise up?  That the Spirit of God was upon us and in this place, and were we not supposed to rise up?  The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings…  What good tidings are we preaching?  You know, I am really not against the different segments of Christianity.  I am not against them, do you hear me?  One man might be anointed to bring the word of salvation, but it is not God’s desire that that man wallows in that place of being saved for the entirety of his experience!  There is he that cometh also that would water, so that the seed of salvation might begin to break loose and that the roots begin to go down (I Corinthians 3).  Hallelujah.  Then there is another that comes along and begins to nurture the plant to bring it to a place of growth and development, because there is something that God wants, there is something that God desires.  What God desires is the fruit, the manifestation of the intent that God had for saving that man in the beginning.  We think saving him is enough. 

You have a responsibility.  This one has a responsibility.  You, little Rachael.  You have a responsibility.  You do.  Blood was shed that you might know the reality of the living God.  You have a responsibility.  Blood has been spilled, men have bled, men have died that you might have the privilege of being saved, so that you might testify to the world out there that is going to hell of the ability of God to save you to the uttermost.  You are a demonstration.  Hallelujah.  I want to tell you something, little girl.  You know the Word that was brought to Peter out there on the beach?  He said the devil desired to sift him like wheat.  God said a very important thing.  He said, “I’ve prayed for you.”  He said, “When thou art converted…” (Luke 22:32).  There have been prayers going up over this one, you hear me?  Prayers have been going up over this one, prayers going up over that one, prayers going over this one, prayers going up over those who are back there.  You know, God brought it all into being. 

You (Melissa Trotter) are not without your own testimony, my dear, of the power of God to save to the uttermost.  You are not without the testimony.  What are you doing with the reality of what God gave you?  What is it that you are doing with it?  Are you manifesting the ability and the position of Christ?  You have a responsibility.  It does not make any difference what your set of circumstances are, because those circumstances are designed to produce Christ.  But you need to keep your focus, you keep your focus, and in the keeping of your focus, God will sanctify your children.  Come on.  The devil has no right, do you hear me, girl?  The devil has no right to impose upon them an inheritance in the natural that is ungodly.  You have the power, you have the power, you have the POWER to stand in the gap – do you hear me? – and command the blessing of God!  You have the power over the spirits that have plagued you, that have vexed you, that have brought you down to a low place; you have the power to overcome them and to cast them down that your children might not be plagued.

I do not know what we need.  More demonstration?  More word?  More prophecy?  What do we need?  Fire?  Maybe.  Tribulation?  Probably.  Because it says, tribulation worketh patience, patience worketh experience (Romans 5:3).  What do I have to do?  Wait till the Lord smites me in my body?  Smites me financially, smites me personally, family-wise, what do I have to wait for when I have the power right here in the grasp of my hand to do what needs to be done?  I have it.  I have it!  What am I doing with it?  How is it affecting my relationship with my wife?  Can she testify that there is less of me and more of Him?  What is my testimony in the community?  What is my testimony in amongst the sinners out there?  Do I have a testimony of any value and do I really want to know what it is?  Oh, my goodness. 

Isaiah.  Hallelujah.  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me;  Is it upon you?  …to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives…  How do I proclaim liberty to the captives if I am always pronouncing and magnifying my captivity?  Boy, I have been doing a lot of that lately.  God forgive me.  Nancy, please forgive me.  My God.  …proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD…  Is there any other year that is more acceptable than this year?  If for no other reason, it is because I am here in this year and there is a proclamation that is given to me!  You know, I can feel bad and still praise the Lord.  Usually, when I feel bad, I want everybody else to feel bad.  Of course, you are not like that.  I want everybody to know how bad I really feel so that they might have a little sympathy for me.  The acceptable year.  Hallelujah.  …the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of…   The day of vengeance?  …of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness…  Trees, plural.  Trees!  Plural!  Not tree-ee.  Trees.  When we sing that song, “…trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord…”  That what?  “That He might be glorified.”  Really?  My goodness.

What are you doing with the word of prophecy?  What are you doing with the word?  What are you doing with the reality that you have?  I was not ordained to manifest Asbill.  What are you doing?  Brother Hovind says everybody ought to be doing something, even setting a bad example of what not to do.  Well, I don’t say that!  You have it.  You and you have it.  You have it.  I don’t have to be bubbly and effervescent to be praising the Lord.  You know, it is harder to feel good when you have a headache.  It is hard, do you know that?  It’s hard.  I get some headaches that hurt.  They really hurt, and mine always start down in the center of my back and work up and end up right here in the top of my head.  And they hurt.  But I am ordained of God to rejoice in the midst of my tribulation!  That doesn’t mean I’ve got to be, “Oh, happy, happy, happy, happy.”  But I can be happy in God, do you hear me?  I can be satisfied that He is aware of my condition!  Hallelujah.  To whatever degree, whatever effort that is required, I can put forth that determination, that tenacity, to overcome!  What happens when I begin to put my pain on you?  Some people do not have the strength, maybe, to do other than that, and even in that, I have a responsibility. 

Do you ever wonder what He meant when it says that He took our infirmities upon Himself (Isaiah 53)?  I feel bad, and Brother Peter has battled with me in a close confinement.  We have three hundred miles to go, we are both in the car and my attitude is bad, because I feel bad.  Now, he has a choice.  He can resent me putting my infirmity upon him – because you know something?  The infirmities can manifest themselves in different ways.  Oh yes.  He can get irritated, he can get vexed, he can get vociferous about it.  He can tell me to straighten up and to begin to fly right.  Or, he can say, “Okay, God, let’s get down to brass tacks.  Deliver my brother of his position, his place of fallibility.  Deliver him of his infirmity.  Oh, God…”  The Bible says that He took upon himself our infirmities.  Now, if He did that, there are only two options: He can begin to manifest the symptoms of the infirmity, or He can begin to manifest the character of God that overcomes the infirmity.  Loose!  Do you think it meant metaphorically, symbolically?  Absolutely not.  I am not symbolically or metaphorically saved.  Do you understand?  It is real.  It is not something that is out there somewhere in the great blue yonder and the sweet by and by, it is something that I have a TANGIBLE awareness of that came and something happened and something changed.  So, I have a desire to be like Him.  Oh, You want to be like Him?  A man of sorrows?  A man of grief?  What were some of the other adjectives?  Smitten.  Oh, you want to be like Him.  You really want to be like Him.  Smitten.  Not by someoneevery man.  You want to be like Him?  Rejected.  How do we deal with rejection, dear?  Not very well, do we?  You know, we guys, we kind of toughen it up, “Who cares,” shut it off.  It is not that way for ladies.  No, no, no, they get very emotional, weepy, “Nobody loves me!”  We say we want to be like Him.  Well, it is not an impossibility, because He wants you to be like Him.   

He said that I am to proclaim.  …the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.  Hallelujah.  Let us go back over into the New Testament.  Where is it in the New Testament?  Luke 4:14, And Jesus returned in the power…  Now, this was after He was in the desert.  How many of you feel like you are in a desert?  Come on.  This is what is before you, this is your next step, this is what the expectation is all about.  “And He returned in the power of the Spirit.”   Why did He return?  Do you know why He returned in the power of the Spirit?  Because He had just stepped all over Satan’s face!  He just got through dealing with some of the inward positions of his human vulnerability!  Oh, my.  He returned in power!  Do you want to know the power that you have?  You have the Holy Ghost.

…and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 15And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.  You want to be like Jesus?  You have a big pair of shoes to fill.  You want to be like Jesus?  Oh yes, haven’t you said it?  “I just want to be like You.  Just want to be like You.”  How many of you ever said it?  Almost everybody here.  “I want to be like You.”  

16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up…  Oh.  He came to Nazareth.  He went home!   Isn’t it amazing?  I think He was making His way back to Nazareth, and there was a testifying and a testimony that He was building, and here he comes into Nazareth.  Do you think they broke out the trumpets and the drum roll?  Do you think the mayor was there with the key to the city?  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. 16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up!  You know, one of the Pharisees said, “Does any good thing ever come out of Nazareth?”  Has any good thing ever come out of Asbill?  Has any good thing ever come out of California?  Hallelujah.

16…and, as his custom was, he…  Oh.  He was traditional, wasn’t he.  My goodness.  Traditional Jesus.  …and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  And there was a proclamation and a declaration that came forth out of the mouth of a man called Jesus, to proclaim the desire that God had in the midst of His own environment!  Amen.  My goodness.  They all applauded.  They all said, “Yes, amen.”  They all said, “Oh, wow!  What a man of God!  This is the Christ!”  What did they really say?  “Isn’t this Jesus, the carpenter’s son?”  17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written…  Hallelujah.  Do you think that this man probably could have quoted it from memory?  Do you think He could have done that?  Do you know that it was tradition that they had to teach their children the scriptures?  Remember the commandment to put it upon their foreheads, to put it upon their epaulets, to put it upon the hem of the border of their garment?  Do you remember that?  So that, what?  It was always before them?  Why do you think the living God, Who wrote the book, needed to turn to find the page?  He was verifying, He was exonerating, He was making the revelation that that which was written was that which was being spoken!  Come on.  If you do not think that it was deliberate, you are wrong.  If you do not think that it was something that was absolutely done for a reason, you are wrong!  You are talking about the Word of God that God gave to a man, and a man spoke, and a man wrote down, and it says he had to turn to find the place.  You know what I think?  I think He had it turned, I think He had it opened, and He just looked at them and began to prophesy.  Why?  Because it is the same Word, it is the same effect, it is the same position, it is the same thought, it is the same intent that you and I have that says that we want to be like Him!  It has the same power!  Has the same purpose!  Has the same intent!  I am not supposed to be what I was born to be in the natural.  I am supposed to be what I was born to be in the Spirit.

Luke 4:18, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  He found the place where it was written about Him!  You know, some of us need to find the place.  You need to find the place where it is written about you.  About you and you and you.  About this little one.  You need to find the place where it is written about you!  Because when He was writing it, and when He was speaking it, He was not only speaking about the advent and the coming or the first coming, but He was also talking about that coming and that advent of Christ, when Christ would come forth out of the midst of His church as Christ!  I travail again, little children, until what (Galatians 4:19)?  That Christ be formed…, who?  Christ!  Who is Christ?  As it is written…  18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel…  You could just as well put your name in there.  I am not trying to change the scriptures or un-deify God, He is the head of the body, but a head has to have a body.  What is true of the head, hallelujah, is also true of the body, as long as the body is attached to the head.  Now, did I make that perfectly clear?  I do not want somebody down the road saying, “Well, Burt’s doing away with Christ.”  I am not doing away with Christ.  Christ is the head!  Christ is the means, the way.  Christ gives us the ability, the strength, the vitality.  It was His Blood, not my blood!  Hallelujah!  I could not have taken His place, do you hear me?  Hallelujah.  But I did not need to take His place because what He did was sufficient to give me the strength to do what I need to do!  Oh, glory to God!  Preach the gospel to the poor.  What are we going to preach to the poor?  …he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  He closed the book. 

What are you doing with what you have?  What are you doing with the revelation?  What are you doing with the knowledge of the desire?  What are you doing?  I am not just talking about out there.  What are you doing in here?  What are you doing with your children, your grandchildren?  What are you doing?  Are you perpetuating the Kingdom of God, or are you perpetuating the things of the natural?  Do you want them to walk like you and talk like you?  Absolutely not.  Absolutely not!  No!  I do not want that!  I want them to want Christ.  Hallelujah. 

We have been given the opportunity to achieve a particular objective.  I pray to God that you would pray for me that I will be able to attain the goal that God has set before me, as I will pray for you that God help you achieve the objective that has been set before you, because I believe it is one and the same thing.  God bless you, and thank you very much.  Hallelujah.

 

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