Hell Is Real – Part 2
November 11, 2001
(For printable version click here.)
In going over the word for the last KIT bulletin, I realized I didn’t get to finish the word. I thought it would be very pertinent for me, being as it seemed that the Lord was reminding me of that, to come back on it and see if I can’t give you the rest of the message. Maybe that’s a little bit like “the rest of the story.”
I have been looking at what they call the minor prophets. I don’t know why they call them minor prophets. Maybe they weren’t as long-winded as the rest of them, but there are three prophets that were very instrumental in the work of the rebuilding of the temple. You know, you all can get the same information that I get. All you have to do is sit down at your computer or go to your dictionary or whatever deals with that type of information. There were three prophets that were primarily involved in that administration of God. They were Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Now, I believe that Haggai and Zechariah were contemporaries in the aspect of the time element in which they were working with regard to the Jews and the rebuilding of the temple or rebuilding of Jerusalem. History says that Malachi came about a hundred years later and I find that very interesting because I wasn’t aware that the rebuilding of Jerusalem took that span of time. So, if you really want to get a total picture of what was going on, you have to read all three prophets. Of course, if you do your cross-referencing, it will take you into Ezra, it will take you into Nehemiah. Now, I believe it was Ezra who did not necessarily call himself a prophet. He called himself a scribe. But that did not seem to lessen his position of prophetic ministry with regard to the establishment and the building of Jerusalem.
Now, I think that segment of time is very apropos to you and I with regard to our position and relationship and the thing that is going on as far as Christendom is concerned today, because I think that there is an effort that God is extending. I think that there is a desire that God has to see His people come to a position or a place of excellence. The first prophet that was used in this capacity seems to be Haggai. Now, Haggai is a very short book. It’s only 2 chapters and of the two prophets, he is the shortest book of them all. There is not very much known about Haggai and I find that very interesting. It seems like he comes out of nowhere and he disappears into oblivion, somewhat like the Melchisedec ministry. It talks about the Melchisedec priesthood, the king of Salem, it talks about him in Hebrews as having no father, no mother, no beginning and seemingly no end. So, we find that there is an eternalness about that individual and, to some extent, Haggai seems to fit into that scope. Not that he was God that came and prophesied as a prophet, I’m not saying that, but I believe that God uses individuals in the Bible in certain manners, in certain fashions, to demonstrate or to give, as an example, the thing in the spiritual realm as God sees it.
Also, another thing that was of much interest to me was that the rebuilding of Jerusalem went through three different kings. It went through Cyrus. It went through Darius and it went through a king called Artaxerxes. So, there was a dispensation of time that went through with regard to the rebuilding, a dispensation of governments that came and went with regard to the rebuilding of the tabernacle of Jerusalem. I think all of these things are pertinent in the aspect of where we are, what we are and the thing that is happening to us individually. There have been many nations, there have been many governments that have risen, that have fallen, things that have happened with regard to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though governments have fallen, the point or the place of destiny that God has had in mind from the very beginning has remained steadfast. Whenever there was a position or place of persecution of God’s people for the advancement of His kingdom, God would either move that people or He would do something cataclysmic on a national scale in order that His people might be preserved and that the Word could go forth. There were always those, in the midst of all of that confusion and strife and trouble and degradation, that were seemingly holding steadfast onto the reality of God that they saw with regard to the will of God. Hallelujah.
You know, I listen to a lot of tapes. I think it’s very important for me in my spiritual development, in my spiritual growth, to glean from those things that other men have that God has given them. So, I spend a lot of time listening to tapes. My video has this little sleep thing that you can stick into it. I turn my video on because I don’t want to miss a whole lot of it, you understand, but I know that at the end of the day I’m tired, I’m going to bed, I’m not going to get through the two hours and so instead of having to wrestle with the film and find out where I was the last time, I set my sleep clicker. So that, as I listen to the Word of God and I fall asleep, it clicks off. Hallelujah. But I go to sleep with that Word coming into my soul. I go to sleep with the thought of the kingdom ever before me. I go to sleep with God and the reality or the desire to know God in a greater measure, in a greater way. Hallelujah. I don’t have my TV plugged up to cable and for some reason it just doesn’t get the other channels in the air. I can praise God for that. It has one purpose for me and the purpose is for the expansion of the Kingdom of God in my soul. Hallelujah. Whatever expansion that God can do or bring to me I’m sure that in some measure, in some way, whether you want it or not, it’s going to bless you. Hallelujah. You may not think it’s a blessing, but I believe that it’s a blessing. Hallelujah.
I think this time frame, this time element that we have here with regard to the rebuilding of Jerusalem is very apropos to the situation or the circumstance that you and I find ourselves in personally. There’s one thing that is very prominent. It comes out at me very much when I read these particular books that on most occasions he’s dealing with the priesthood. The Bible, in one of the epistles of Peter, I believe it is, talks about judgment coming to humanity, but it also talks about judgment coming to the house of God.(l Peter 4:18) Now, least you think, “Here he goes again talking about judgment,” well, you’re right. I’ll just relieve you of that speculation or guess, because I think judgment is something that you and I meet when we meet Jesus. On the basis of that judgment we make a decision as to whether or not we want to live or die and whether we want to go to hell or go to heaven. Hallelujah. It is not because of our goodness or anything or any type of benefit that we have, it is on the basis of judgment. We are confronted with the fact that we have been judged and we have been weighed in the balance and we have been found wanting. Judgment is something that is very pertinent to you and I throughout our entire walk of life. Peter says that you and I are supposed to judge ourselves. In the judging of ourselves there is evidently a ministry of grace that God gives unto us by which we might determine or ascertain with an impartiality our position or our place of trepidation with regard to our relationship with Jesus Christ, on which you judge even if you weren’t aware of what you were judging in the beginning. I happen to believe we’re held accountable for whatever action that we do that is not consistent with the action that Christ or God would do with that given set of circumstances. If you did not have the ability to ascertain or to come to a conclusion of your position of wrongness or rightness, then God would not command or say that you and I were supposed to judge ourselves. But we don’t judge ourselves on the basis of who we are, or what we are, or what we understand, or of the intellect that we have, or the schooling that we have received. We don’t get it on the basis of our strength physically or the position or the place by which we have attained a natural maturing level, but we judge it on the basis of how God speaks to us. That’s scriptural, you know. In the book of Romans, Paul talks about it when he talks about judgment. Well, he’s not really talking about judgment per se. He doesn’t use the word “judge,” but he says that the Holy Ghost is given unto you and I that it might search our inward parts and that it might seek down in the midst of our inward parts those things that are a weakness. Isn’t that what it says? Maybe we should look at that verse for just a moment. Romans, I believe it’s the 8th chapter. As a new Christian many, many years ago, God took me into two books. He took me into Proverbs and He took me into Romans. My Romans book is so marked up so that in some places I can hardly even read it, but I’m still marking it. Hallelujah! Romans the 8th chapter. It says, in verse 24, For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Alright…26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities… Hallelujah, He helps our infirmities. Now, you need to go into your concordance and you need to go into your dictionary so you understand the ramifications of what it means by “our infirmities.” It’s more than just being sick. It’s more than just not feeling well. It’s something that is inherently your weakness. It is something that is a part of you that causes you a great deal of consternation or trouble. It is something that has the potential of developing into something worse than chronic, that’s terminal. That’s what it means.
Now, in the Word in front of me there is something more that God is saying with regard to you and I. There is a scripture in Hebrews where the writer of Hebrews begins to admonish us about the sin that does so easily beset us. Are you familiar with that scripture? (Hebrews 12:1) There is something that the Bible calls the sin that doth so easily beset us, therefore, we come up with the terminology of our “besetting sin.” A problem with a lot of this terminology and the things that we use with regard to our Biblical exhortation is that we do not understand the ramifications or the magnifications of how it affects us and where it puts us with regard to God and how He sees us because the Bible always tells us that we have to deal with our besetting sins. Paul is talking about running the race and putting aside or laying aside all of those things that would hinder that running. You know, have you ever watched a long distance runner? I think the bicyclists are a good example. They wear specially designed apparel. They wear specially designed gloves. They wear specially designed clothes. They wear everything they can wear to eliminate the wind resistance that they are going to meet. I was told that one of the Indian cultures (or maybe it was some other culture), when they knew that they were going to be running long distances, they would begin to smear their skins with an ointment of grease or something that would eliminate or reduce the resistance that their body would have in the running against the air that they were running in. When Paul talks about laying aside or taking off those things, that’s what he’s speaking about. He’s talking about trimming yourself of those aspects of our humanity that stand in the way of the process of God or the thing that God desires with regard to humanity and your part or your piece in it. Hallelujah. The most frightening thing to me about the whole revelation of Jesus Christ and the coming of Christ into this third and final temple, which is our body, is that there is the possibility that I can miss it if I am not diligent to do the things that God said must be done in order to be in that place to perform and do the thing that He wants done, and all of the time I can think that I’m alright! Hallelujah.
He says, Romans 8:26, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought… Jeremiah had the revelation way back there I think in Jeremiah 17. He said that the heart is deceitfully wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9) It wasn’t something of an understanding that Jeremiah came to, it was a revelation that God was expounding through Jeremiah. You see, the operation of the Holy Ghost in the Old Testament is so much more different than the operation of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament. Most of the time the prophets did not have the ability to understand the thing that they were saying. They did not have the comprehension. Now, I’m not saying that all of them did not have that, but I know that the Bible tells me that many of them desired to look into those things that are being revealed unto you and I as a fellowship and as individuals in the move and the calling of God as far as the end time is concerned. (Matthew 13:17) Now, the Scripture says that. When the Holy Ghost moved upon them and they began to prophesy, they had no choice, do you know that? There was a compulsion that was outside of them that caused them to move in a manner and fashion that was beyond their humanity. We see examples of it. Let’s take the example of the old prophet and the young prophet. The young prophet was compelled by the Holy Ghost to move and perform the administration of God with regard to the altar that was built in that particular place. The Holy Ghost told him, “Do not stop, do not pause, do not tarry, but once you have finished your job,” to do what? To “Get out and come back.” He did what he was supposed to do as far as the Lord was concerned. He was compelled. But the moment that the compulsion was off of him he transgressed. The old prophet said, “Am I not a prophet also?” He paid for it with his life. Thank goodness they had the decency to bury him right, but nevertheless, he was dead. Hallelujah. Now, Paul said something about this type of situation, in that he says, “I not only pray in the spirit,” which means that there is a position or a place of praying that I’m praying and I really don’t know what I’m praying, because it’s high, it’s elevated, it’s somewhere up in the realm which we call heaven. We are so religious in our thinking with regard to all of those types of situations. I don’t know. What do you envision when somebody talks about heaven? That place far away sometime out there, that mystical realm? When it’s just as real and it’s a realm that’s in existence with the realm that you and I are living in and we could be just as much in that realm as in this realm! Hallelujah. Enoch proved that, do you know that? There are things in the Bible that God has allowed to be put in the Bible that we might understand the reality of the thing that He is calling us unto.
You know, Paul had the same trouble with the church in his day as God is having with the church in this day. He said unto the Corinthian church, “I would to God that I could express unto you those higher things that are pertinent to the realm of heaven.” I believe that they still had this mystical, utopia land, the thought of, what was C.S. Lewis’ land? Narnia. This mystical, far away place, this land that’s a Utopia, it’s a fairy tale world. We’re not going to have any aches or pains. We’re not going to have any sicknesses. We’re not going to have any trouble. We’re not going to have any contentions. We’re not going to have any more fear. All of those things are true, but they’re by-products of the reality of that position that God calls heaven. Paul said, “I not only pray when in the spirit, but I can pray, I have the ability to pray with the understanding.” (l Corinthians 14:15) I don’t know that he just didn’t pray in the spirit anymore. I believe that he came to a concept of reality of the presence of heaven that walked or worked simultaneously with the world in which he was living, in the realm in which he was walking. No wonder he could say unto the Galatian church, “Oh, little children, I travail again and pray that Christ would be formed in you.” (Galatians 4:19) I think that there is the desire in God to see His church built in the manner and fashion that it needs to be built.
You know, God has a plan. He has a purpose. From the very beginning He had purposed in His own self that humanity would not be lost, that humanity would not be destroyed. Did you know that? Did you know they call the devil “Apollyon”? Apollyon means destroyer. Now, there’s more involved in that word than just “one who destroys.” It means that the nature of devil is not only just to destroy, but to dissimulate, to disintegrate, to tear to shreds. Have you ever seen someone in a fit of rage and they began to be physical in that environment, began to just destroy, bash in walls, break windows, break chairs, break furniture and to just make a total absolute wreck and chaos of everything? You know, that’s what it means in Genesis 1 when God said He looked upon the earth and saw that it was without form and void. He saw the darkness that it had no form, it was void. It says, what was it? Darkness and chaos? It was a chaotic darkness that was present in the midst of that environment that God was looking upon. That is the nature of sin. That is the nature of devil. That is the nature of the prince of Hell that we call Satan, and his desire is to bring everything and anything into conformity with that aspect of his nature. I suppose that what we need is an understanding of that nature.
I was very curious as a new Christian, as a young Christian, and I wanted to know what it was about, this thing that was called hell. You know, I had heard about it all of my life, but I did not understand it. I needed God to talk to me in some manner, in some fashion which He could bring to me some point of understanding that would impress upon me the reality of what hell was. You know, I was a young man one time and I did many things that young men do and I thought it was fun and I was having a good time. But I did not understand the consequences of my actions and I needed God to speak to me with regard to that arena so that I might understand and I might perceive. Well, thank God I’m a simple person. Thank God I’m not very complex in my thinking, because God spoke to me in a very simple way. At the time I was working as a file clerk and we had what we called a dead file. A dead file is a file in which you put these people that have done business with your business and have not done business with your business for a very long time. Once you’re in the dead file, the next step is the trash can. As far as the business is concerned, you’re no longer in existence. Now, I don’t know how God does things, but somehow, in some way, God is able to eradicate out of His mind your position or your place of existence, because that’s what He showed me in the dream that He gave me. In the dream that He gave me it was as if the Spirit of God took me up and then He took me down. Maybe it was because I always thought hell was down and heaven was up. I don’t know. I was a very young Christian at that time. I didn’t know that the realm out here in which we live is called hell. I wasn’t aware of the prince of the power of the air ruling over the hell in which I was breathing. But I was very cognizant that instead of going up, I was going down, and I knew that I had been judged and I had been separated with regard to my sin. Hello. As we were going down, the environment which I was in began to get darker and darker and it wasn’t just a sight, visual darkness, but it was a feeling of darkness. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a darkness that you can feel. I have been in it a couple of times when I’ve gone overseas into different places where the night comes down and there are no city lights, there’s no this light, there’s no that light, there are no lights at all. There’s a darkness and the spirits that are in the darkness. You can feel the presence of those spirits as they’re pressing in upon you in the darkness. So the darkness that is in the spirits, because the spirits are spirits that come out of the darkness of hell, begins to press in and mingle with the darkness that is around you and pretty soon you’re in the presence of wickedness and it’s pressing upon you. I could feel that as I was descending, as it were, into this hole, into this pit. As I went down, it was like there was this huge filing cabinet. Now, I wasn’t aware of being tormented at that particular point in time. It was just the aspect of fear that I knew that the distance between me and God was beginning to become greater and greater and I had some intuitive knowledge that it was an impossible distance, that once I reached a particular point, once I went over into this place that I was going, there would be no provision for me to once again come back into that other position or that other place. As we drew nearer unto that place it was like a big filing drawer. What I saw there was a file in the drawer and it had my name on it, and it was as though I was filed in that position and in that place and the door was slid shut. When it clicked shut (as only a file drawer can click shut), there was a sense of terror that possessed my soul that I cannot explain to you. But I can tell you that the sense of that terror was so great and so real that it has caused me to walk in a very straight and narrow manner for many, many, many years. I want to tell you even as I am sharing with you the thing that I experienced back then, I can sense the terror that was in my soul with regard to the place that I was in. The thing that alarms me is sometimes when I am in fellowship with certain different individuals I can absolutely, absolutely feel, because of their position, their condition and the thing they are doing, a terror that comes upon my soul for them and the thing that they are doing and the thing that they are perpetrating, because I know where it is taking them. Hallelujah.
So, it says in Romans 8:26 that …the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us. Some of us do not give the Spirit an opportunity to do that. We don’t give the Spirit of God the opportunity. We get into prayer, we say a few words, we speak a few sentences in tongues or spend a couple of minutes in that form and then we’re up and we’re out and we’re going about our business. Hallelujah. I believe that there are, there has to be in the realm of Christendom, in the realm of the called out of the called out and of what we call the sons of God… We’re not really sons of God. We’re candidates to be sons of God. I believe that in that realm somewhere there have to be hearts that have to be full of that desire God with all of their heart, with all of their might, with all of their mind. You know, sometimes I think that’s the only thing that really keeps me going and doing what I believe is the will of God, is the hope that there is somewhere out there people who desire the will of God to be worked within the fabric of their character, that they’re willing to expend themselves totally and completely.
We were talking about Moses last night and it reminded me of Abraham when the brother last night was talking about the character of Moses in the place and the decision he made. The Lord spoke a word to me and the word was intrinsic. Intrinsic! What the word means, and I’ll paraphrase for you, you can go to your dictionary, but it means something that is immovable and a part of something else, or maybe I should say someone else. It’s interwoven or interlocked within the fabric or the character of the individual. That is intrinsic. You look at certain individuals in the Bible and there is that “intrinsicness” or that intrinsic development of their desire to have God, the desire to want God, the desire to see the fullness of God. Not only do they desire Him, but because of the thing that is working in their lives and the desire that they have, they begin to walk in a certain manner to do a certain thing. Though you make a mistake in that realm, if that position or place is meeting the aspiration and the expectation of God, I think there is a grace that is administered to you in the midst of all of that to cause your mistake to work out to your benefit. Abraham came to my mind last night as I was thinking about it. Now, this all has to do, believe me, this all has to do with Haggai in the 2nd chapter and it’s talking about the priests in the place that they were in.
You see, in Haggai the 2nd chapter, God begins to deal with them by the Word of the Lord, and I believe it was an unadulterated Word of the Lord. There’s no aspect of humanity involved in the ministry of Haggai. Do you hear me? He’s without beginning, he’s without end. We know that Zechariah was the son of Berechiah of the son of Iddo the prophet. We knew he had a lineage. We knew he had a father. We knew he had a mother. [Now, I don’t know about Malachi… It doesn’t state it in the aspect of the book itself, but in history there may be some ability to trace his lineage.] It wouldn’t surprise me if Malachi had no beginning and had no end because He’s the Alpha and the Omega. But the fact of the matter is, we’re not told anything about the nature of the man that is called Haggai. There is a word that came to Haggai, hallelujah, that was unadulterated and pure and it was God expressing His position of concern. He was the first prophet that came along the line to speak. All the other prophets elaborated or expanded on that which Haggai delivered with regard to the Word and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. My, if that isn’t pertinent for us, I don’t know what is. Hallelujah. He was a man with no beginning. He was a man with no end. He came and he was dealing with the ministry of that hour, of that time, which was called the priesthood, which was after the order of Levi. Now, there has been a shifting of power in the things that pertain to the realm of heaven. We know that Jesus did not come out of the tribe of Levi, but that He came out of the tribe of Judah. We know that the promise of God to David was that David’s throne would abide forever. He was out of Judah, who was not out of Levitical priesthood, but he was out of a tribe that was not even in that position or place of service, yet God deemed it necessary that God Himself would come out of that tribe, thereby giving us an opportunity to know that no longer does God look at us, look at the Levitical priesthood as being the priesthood that God deals with. Hello? Are you following what I am saying? Perhaps I can make it a little simpler if we just talk about Peter and what Peter said. He said, “Ye are kings and priests.” Isn’t that what he says? Let’s look at that just a minute. l Peter 2, let’s go back up to verse 6. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner. So, in spite of whatever we do or what we don’t do, God is still going to be preeminent in the thing that He desired from the very beginning. I’m telling you, there is going to be someone, some ones that walk in that position, in that place. It may not be me, may not be you, but someone is going to be there. I want to be there. I would that you would be there. I would that you would want to be there. Hallelujah.
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Isn’t that a tremendous scripture? We can get all revved up, we can get all excited about that, but there is something in that that is being spoken that should smite us with the seriousness of our calling and election and the position of responsibility and accountability that you and I have with regard to that thing that God wants. Not what you want, it has nothing to do with what you want, has nothing to do with what I want, has nothing to do with what I desire.
Let’s look at the thing that was required of Abraham. There was an act that he was going to be committing that was going to cut the ability of the boy, Isaac, to come back in the same condition that he went up. Yet he took the boy and laid him upon the altar and as he went to do the thing that was required of him by God, God stopped him and God spoke a word. He said, “Now, I know…” I think there’s something of that intrinsic nature that was created in him. I think there was a similar experience in the life of Moses. There is something in Moses that may be due to the teaching of his mother. It’s important how sometimes you ladies relegate your position to just changing wet diapers and wiping snotty noses. But do you know that every man of God in the Bible, do you know that every king that reigned in the Bible, it doesn’t give necessarily the lineage by father, it gives the lineage by mother? If the mother was wicked, the king was wicked. If the mother was righteous, the king was righteous. I mean, there’s something to be said in all of that. There’s some position, some place of spirituality to the drudgery of being in the home hour after hour, day after day, month after month, and the kids doing this and the kids doing that. There’s something of a spiritual accountability that you have in the administration of God in the midst of that environment. In the Jewish culture, the closest thing to any child for the first 13 years of their life was the mother. The mother had complete control over their development and the oversight of the child. It wasn’t until the child of the Jewish culture came to the age of 13 that he had what they call a bar mitzvah (a Jewish boy who reaches his 13th birthday and attains the age of religious duty and responsibility). At the bar mitzvah he was considered to be an adult and he came under the tutoring of his father and of a rabbinical society to be taught the things that involved the law, to be taught the things that involved the Torah. But for the first 13 years of his life, the input that he got was that of his mother. We take it so lightly, we take it so frivolously, we take it so matter-of-factly, and sometimes we don’t take it at all. We mumble, we grumble, we complain, we… I am not lessening the position of a squalling baby, a sick baby, a wet baby or whatever the baby may be or the condition or the thing that the baby is doing. Boy, I wouldn’t want to do it again! I really wouldn’t. Hallelujah. But because God decrees a certain thing in a certain way in a certain manner, there’s a necessity for us to understand the relevance of our importance in the position of our overshadowing. You know, there are some things a mother can do and there are some things a mother can’t do and the mother has to have a sensitivity in the Spirit of God and by the power of God to recognize those positions of weakness, that she might call upon the father. Do you know there are certain things that God gives me the power to do, do you know that? I have the power to do them. God has given them to me. They are something that God has bequeathed unto me, something that God has designated or instilled or developed within me. I have the power to do it, not because I’m strong, not because I’m smarter than God is, but because God has given them unto me. It’s under my dominion. I don’t necessarily have to ask God, because in the thing that God has given me, God is there, do you understand? I’m not trying to usurp God’s position. Please don’t misunderstand me. But there’s something of a character God develops within us that begins to displace the character of man that is within us, or, at least, that’s what it’s supposed to do. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. I’m trying to get back to Haggai. Hallelujah. The mother needs to recognize that type of situations.
Just another little thing I’ll throw out to you ladies. I believe in spiritual widows. Hello. You have a natural husband, you’re living in a natural environment that is conducive for husband and wife. You have all of the fixings that are prevalent to make that type of a situation but your husband’s a spiritual dud. He’s dead spiritually. Now, where are you? Are you left out in left field? Are you left without any hope? Absolutely not! I believe that there is a scripture in the Word that designates a position of hope, what is true on a natural plain is also true on a spiritual level. It says in the Bible that God is the husbandman to the widow. I believe, in that type of situation, a woman, if she goes to God even as Hannah went to God in the sense that the thing that she was asking for was outside of the ability of her husband to provide. Hello. There was something physically amiss within the realm of their relationship that was not convenient or conducive to the bringing forth of a child. She could lament to her husband all day. She could have worked on him all day. She could have told him this and that and made his life miserable and it would have done absolutely no good, absolutely no good, absolutely no good. Within him he had not the power to do and to perform and to bring forth as she desired. Something was wrong. Her only recourse was to go before God and begin to lament and travail before God that God might intervene in her circumstance. Do you know something? Not only did God bring forth and give her the petition, but He healed them. How do I know that? Because they brought forth many children and up until that time and up until that place the only children she had was by the second wife. That was a grievance unto her also. I’m talking here about spiritual reality. It’s in the Word. It’s in the Word for the purpose of giving you and I a hope by which we might hope and an avenue by which we might act.
I believe that God is calling us all to the offensive side with regard to the things that pertain to the realm of the Spirit. There is a scripture in the Bible, I may be misquoting it, I may be taking it out of context, I don’t know, but it talks about taking the kingdom of heaven by force. (Matthew 11:12) I think there’s a position, there’s a place of wresting away. We are in a battle. We are in a major conflict. We are in a major fight that we have never been in before. This humanity is coming to climax, humanity is coming to an end, to it’s cessation, do you hear me? All the Bible talks about, it says, “If it were not for the sake of the elect.” Hello. “If it were not for the sake of the elect,” it says, “all flesh would die.” (Matthew 24:22) God doesn’t intend all flesh to die. Where do you want to be? What do you want to be? What part do you want to be involved in? What aspect of humanity or divinity, what portion of divinity do you want? What aspect of kingdom is yours? Do you know that there was a position or place of ruling that God offered unto the disciples? He did. He did, He did, He did. He offered them a position of power. He offered to them a position of authority. Their problem was that they were carnal. They were looking for an earthly kingdom. They wanted to be a prince over a certain geographical, terrestrial position or place. All of the time, God wanted to expand their vision, wanted to elevate it, wanted to get it higher. He said, “You shall sit with me on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28) You know, God says that we can sit on His right hand. What are movies? What is having a good time? What is fishing? What is hunting? What is expending all of your time and energy with the things that pertain to life in this realm, if the life in this realm is but about 60 years? Do you know that you and I have been allotted three score and ten; twenty, forty, sixty, seventy years, you and I. How old are you? No, I’m not too old, not too old. You’re not too old. I rebuke it. You’re not too old. You’re not too old. It’s not that we’re too old. There is an eternity of time that God wants us to elevate our sight into that we might view the eternalness of God. He said, “He that believeth on me, though he is dead, yet shall he live.” (John 6:47) There is an eternalness of God that God has with regard to you and I and the position, the place, but we have to elevate our sight. We have to elevate our ears. We have to elevate our feelings. We have to elevate our emotions. We have to elevate our desires. We have to elevate our will, to move into that realm, into that position, that place and we must desire it with all of our heart. It must be paramount. It must be absolutely so paramount that we forget all things, other things that we might forsake them. Paul says, “I have forsaken all things that I might walk.”
All right, Haggai. You know, the word in Zechariah was to Zerubbabel and the word was to Josedech. Zerubbabel was a governor. He was the one that was in charge. You know, kings and priests again. In the two aspects of the thing that God is talking about with regard to kings and priests He says, “To Zerubbabel the ruler and to Josedech the high priest.” Haggai 2:2, and to the residue of the people, saying, 3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? But you know, when I look at the testimonies of some of these mighty men, I see, and you know, they’re getting fewer and fewer, you know that? Do you know that one generation is passing into oblivion as far as the men and women of God are concerned? 3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory… Can you imagine what it must have been to be walking down the streets of Azusa in 1906, or before that in 1898 or 1888 in Wales when the revival and the outpouring of the Spirit of God, can you even imagine what it must have been in 1947, 1948? How many years ago was that? What is a generation? Can you imagine what those men, men like Branham… I don’t know if you can even comprehend the magnitude of the gift that Branham had. Yet the gift that Branham had did not make Branham perfect. It did nothing for him when there was a need for the Body to rise up in the midst of his tribulation and his circumstance to lay hands on him and to be able to pray. His son, who had been around him all of his life, who had been, as it were, his right hand man, was not able to do what he was able to do for his wife when they were both dying. Hello. Hallelujah. Can we even imagine what it must have been like?
3 Who is left among you that saw… You know, God did something very mighty, very great, very fabulous in 1948. You know that Brother duCille came forth out of that movement of God that was around the world in 1948? Brother Warnock up in Canada, have you read any of his books? Tremendous revelation. There was an establishment of God in the midst of humanity, do you hear? God divinely brought it back in. They had shelved apostles, they had shelved prophets, they had shelved shepherds, they had shelved teachers, they had shelved the five fold ministry. They were all involved in church, organization and the things that were structured, like building and membership and tithe and all of those things that are attached, as it were, to Christianity. All of these things that were spiritual, we could have just taken the book of Ephesians out of the Bible! It was no longer pertinent. It was no longer apropos and God, in a divine move, moved in the midst of humanity. No, no comprehension! Hallelujah. Let’s go over a little further and he says, in verse 11, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. Well, you need to get into your little dictionary and really get into that to find out what this really means because it does have a meaning and it’s very pertinent to you and I. Hello. It’s very pertinent to you and I with regard to our position of ministry. Sometimes we think that, because we have the Holy Ghost, because we have the revelation, because we have some kind of an understanding, because we’re involved in some measure or some way with the activity of church, hallelujah, that because of that relationship, then everything else we do, everything else becomes holy. It’s not true, that’s what it says. That’s what it says. He touched every aspect of involvement, every aspect of activity. He said, “Shall a man that bears…” Now, what did he mean? “Holy flesh within his garment,” you know what that means? It means you as an individual, it means you as a person who has been sanctified by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Do you know that the sprinkling of the blood brought forth the sanctification of a person on which it was sprinkled? That means that though you were covered with sin, though your sins were as scarlet, when the Blood touched you, when the Blood moved against you, it moved against your sin to eradicate it, to wash it clean. You were considered clean. Hallelujah. We take our cleanness and we try to superimpose it on all of our activities, thinking that because we are clean, it is clean. No discernment, no discernment, no discernment, no reality, no ability to discern the spiritual consequences of the thing that we’re doing. It’s a most amazing principle. We are talking about a principle, a spiritual principle of warfare. If you were to turn back, as it were, into the book of Joshua, one of the first things that was commanded of Joshua with regard to the people was that they were to do what? They were to sanctify themselves. Themselves, themselves and it’s very explicit, very pronounced. Themselves. It wasn’t, “You sanctify your brother and your brother sanctify you,” they were to get involved personally with God on a basis by which they might be cleansed. That means that there was an operation that was designated for them in that activity. Do you know that? Do you know that the law required a certain course of action and participation in order for you to be clean and that there was an offering that you could bring to a priest that would sanctify you as an individual? We’re talking about the principle of spiritual warfare. Now, what would happen if they did not sanctify themselves? What do you think the consequences of that would have been? Well, because of the time I won’t let you guess, I’ll just tell you, because it’s written in the book. You remember Achan and the action of Achan? Hallelujah. Achan lusted after something. He saw something and he thought it was his by right of conquest. “To the victor go the spoil.” He thought it was his by right of conquest. But you know something, he had a sneaking suspicion that what he was doing wasn’t right. Why else would he have hid it in the bottom of his tent? Why else would he have dug a hole in the midst of his tent and hid it as though God does not have eyes? His uncleanness brought physical defeat in the midst of battle. He wasn’t the only one that suffered. All Israel suffered. There’s a principle of warfare that God is demonstrating with regard to the consequences of sin and the aspect of one sinning in the midst of the congregation, because God does not see you and I as individuals. Do you know that? God sees you and I as parts of an intricate Body and what you do has an effect upon me and what I do has an effect upon you. If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do there is a consequence that you enact. I don’t know that we really understand the concept of what it means to be in the Body of Christ. You know, this word in Haggai is a word that kind of encouraged me when I was reading it. When it says they said, “No,” it doesn’t say they just said, “No.” Do you know that that word is a vehement word; like an exclamation? (vehement: showing strong esp. violent feeling. extreme in degree, power, or effect. syn: intense; concentrated; desperate; exquisite; fierce; furious; terrible; vicious; violent;) It wasn’t something that was spoken in a soft manner. But it was something that was spoken with vehemence. Something that was spoken in a form of exclamation. NO! It’s like a person stands up in the midst of some sort of perversion or degradation that is confronting him and he said, NO, it shall not be! NO, it shall not be! That’s the force of the word that they say when they said, “NO.” See, this is my Bible study and don’t get in a sweat, I’m not going to go through all of this. There’s just something that I want to touch on here, that is, if I can find my place. Well, maybe I won’t find it here. Here it is. The word that is used as body is the word nephesh. It’s pronounced neh’-fesh. It’s from 5314-5315, a breathing creature. Talking about dead body now, I’m talking about dead body, has touched a dead body. It’s talking about a breathing creature, animal or (abstract) vitality: used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental) any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, desire, lust, man, mind. I mean it’s not just a dead body. It’s not just someone whose life has extinguished and their body is dead. This is the thing that he’s addressing when he says, if a man who has holy flesh within his garments and his garments touch a dead body is he unclean? That’s in verse 14.
Verse 13, Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priest answered and said… They shouted, they exclaimed, they vehemently affirmed that it was unclean. Let me say this, we do not seem to have the ability to transfer our holiness onto those things that we are participating in and doing. But it seems that the things that we are participating in and doing have the power to make us unclean. You are spiritually defeated before you even started. God says that you and I have to sanctify ourselves. We become defiled sometimes outside of our jurisdiction of authority. I had a situation that happened to me Friday. We were in this particular place doing this particular thing and across the street there was this vehicle that drove up. Evidently this man in the vehicle, I assume that it was a man, I couldn’t see it, I could just hear what was going on. This man began to honk his horn. So, I assumed that there was someone in the house that he wanted to come out and possibly give him a ride to wherever they were going. He honked, and he honked, and he honked. I could feel the spirit of agitation, do you hear me? Because it began to work on me. I said to someone that was with me, “I wish he’d stop honking that horn.” It must have really bothered the guy that was in the house. The man that was in the house came out and he must have been a young man, I don’t know, but he began to curse the man in the car. Hello. He began to curse the man in the car. As he cursed the man in the car, there was something of a spirit that began to assault my mind. Do you hear me? Began to assault my mind and began to say all manner of despicable things. Well, the man in the car, he didn’t like what was being spoken and so all of a sudden you hear this car squealing and burning and you hear gravel flying. You know, you could feel the presence of defilement. You could feel the presence of defilement. I had to begin to allow God, I began to pray in the Spirit. I began to ask God to sanctify my mind, to sanctify my soul, to sanctify my emotions. You know, as I drove back into that area the next day I could feel the presence of that spirit everywhere and it was like it was brooding or hovering over that place, but now, because I had done some exercises of sanctifying my soul and asking God to cover my mind, I was able to fight in the Spirit. You know, I had a terrible, terrible, terrible time with foul words, foul language. I had a terrible time. I was someone who really couldn’t talk without using four letter words and all manner of garbage and stuff was coming out of my mouth. I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t think. Hallelujah. So there is a vulnerability, it seems, that I have in that realm of the spirit. I have to do something with God, I have to have an exercise of cleansing with God in order to eradicate the thing that wants to penetrate and reestablish it’s position of dominion over my mind. It cannot be so. No, it cannot be so. No, God has delivered me. He delivered my mouth. He delivered my eyes, my mind. He’s going to deliver my ears. He’s going to deliver my eyes. So I spent a lot of time praying in the Spirit and asking God to eradicate, to erase, to sanctify. Blood of Jesus Christ, God, apply it to my memory, apply it to my mind, apply it to my mental acquisition of the thing. You know, you can mentally acquire a thing, grab hold of it and hang onto it and it’s as though it’s real and it’s there and it’s happening over and over and over and over again. You are under an assault. You are under an attack of the enemy and the whole intent is to make you unclean so that you cannot be an effectual fervent prayer or fighter and do the fighting and have the result of what you are looking for as far as the victory is concerned. You know, this has such ramifications and such magnitudes. Do you know that we can defile each other? Do you know that a husband can defile his wife and a wife can defile her husband? A mother can defile her children; brothers and sisters can defile each other. We have to have a spiritual sensitivity. Well, anyway, as I was coming back into that place the next day, I was aware of the presence of the spirit that was hovering over that neighborhood and I began to enter into prayer. I began to say, “God, I rebuke this devil. I come against this principality, this foul, perverted spirit that has ruled over these minds and over these homes. I’m asking you, God, to break it’s power.”
The command to Joshua was that he sanctify himself and the people sanctify themselves. You have to sanctify yourself. Hallelujah. He said, 14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me… He’s not talking about America. No, no. He’s talking about spiritual Israel. He’s talking about spiritual Jerusalem. He’s talking about all of the things that are apropos to that type of an environment. It says, and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean. 15 And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Lord: 16 Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty. 17 I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands… Have you ever, ever tried to put money into a bag with holes in it? It goes right out the other end.
18 Consider now from this day and upward… Hallelujah. God wants us to consider from this day and upward. I think it’s very pertinent to us. I think we’re living in a very precarious environment, physically. I also think that we’re living in a very precarious environment spiritually. We are supposed to be saviors and not casualties or consequences. Hallelujah. God bless you.