Is Christ in You?
January 12, 2003
West Palm Beach, FL
(For printable version click here.)
Can you say, “Praise the Lord?” Can you say, “Praise the Lord?” I have a couple of things I need to say, some of the things that the Lord is speaking to me this morning. I need Brother Russ. I have a word for him.
There is a purpose and a reason why God succoured and saved you. Oftentimes that purpose or that position, that thing that God has had for you hasn’t always been so clear. It’s sometimes like walking in the darkness, feeling your way around, trying to determine what is the will of God. It’s something that God has, for lack of a better word, allowed. Because you know that there are things that you can do on a spiritual plane to see God more clearly, and for one reason or another, you haven’t participated fully in those exercises of spiritual exercising. Now, I don’t think I’m telling you anything that God hasn’t been talking to you about personally. I’m just confirming to you the things that God has. Now, the reason I am telling you all this, or the reason why God is having me talk to you in this manner, is because you are coming into a new level of testing. It’s a place that you haven’t been before, and the things that you have done in the past to alleviate the stress or the strain of your set of circumstances is not going to be sufficient or capable of delivering you or giving you the source of wisdom that you are going to need. The fact of the matter is, you’re coming into a very, very strong test of the Lord. There are certain doors that God is opening for you and there are doors that He is GOING to be opening for you and He is wanting you to participate and to move in the strength of your calling and your election, but that strength and that wisdom is only going to come as you spend a great deal of time seeking God’s face. If you do not seek God’s face, then you will begin to try to move in your strength of experiences. You will try to move in the strength of your own persona, your own personality. You’ve always been a hands-on person. You’ve always been one who, as the saying goes, ‘pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps.’ But in this position, in this place, your strength is not going to be sufficient nor adequate to do what God wants done. It’s going to be one of the greatest tests that you have ever come into. You’re only going to do it by the strength and the power of God. Now, your mind can begin to work all sorts of things, but it’s not going to be so much a natural thing as much as it has to do with the gifts and the callings and the elections of God, and the thing or the purpose to which you have been called. Now, the key to all of it is in the gospel of John where John the Baptist, who was the forerunner and the point man with regard to the coming of Christ, said, when God gave him a revelation, he said, He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30). So, Brother, we pray for you this morning, that you allow the fire of God. It’s not something you can do on your own, you know. You can’t create the circumstance that will humble you. God will create that set of circumstances. What you have to do is be able to recognize the hand of God in the midst of the trouble and submit yourself to it, even though everything inside of you is saying, “Put your hands on it. Do something. Move in a certain manner.” Everything in your soul is going to be crying to move in the manner and the fashion that you have moved in the past and if you move that way, you will miss God. Amen. Father, we commit this man in to the hands of God. You see the thing that is before him, and we are praying, God, that You would move in his set of circumstances. I pray for his wife, my God, that she might not fear or be trepidatious with regard to the hand of God. I pray, God, that she would have the ability to know that God holds her and her husband, as well as her children, in the palm of His hand, and what she has required of God with regard to her husband is the thing that God is doing for him and for her in this hour. As God moves in the midst of the situation, so shall there come forth out of the midst of her soul a song of how God has moved and how blessed she is that God has favored her to bring forth within them the anointing that is called Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Praise the Lord.
The other thing that I needed to share with you was a couple of visions I had this morning. There were about three of them, I think. The first one, I saw one of the host of heaven. He was praying for you (Cathy Burton) there as you were playing the piano, and I could feel the strength of God, coming out of him to you. I think that he was just really trying to pray for you and bless you and encourage you in your gift that you have and the ability that you have. And you know, if you begin to exercise yourself with regard to that gift, you will be amazed at how, as you get outside of your mind and the mechanics of how you play, you will be amazed at the unveiling of Christ, the unveiling of God, that God will begin to expand to you, and the more you get into it, the more beautiful and more heavenly will become the things that come off of this instrument. It’s created in a certain way, but God can take that and expand it far beyond your comprehension. So, this morning there was that aspect of ministry that was being made to you this morning, so that should encourage you.
The other thing that I want to talk to you about before I get into the word is the other two visions I had. I don’t know how it is with you when you gather yourselves together. Sometimes we take it as a matter of course, because it’s a thing that we do, but it’s very important for us to understand that there’s a difference between church and ‘playing church.’ The line in that arena is not really so very definite. I mean, you can step over the line from being in church, a living church, where God comes, God moves, to playing church. The movement of God in the midst of the congregation is dependent upon each and every one of us. Now, if there are a number of us who have strengthened ourselves in the Lord, then it is possible for us to circumvent the plan of the devil. I want you to know that as you come together, hallelujah, to have Christ as your head, and to have Christ in the midst of your congregation, the devil comes also in the midst. He has that position, he has that authority, the door is open to him, because God wants to demonstrate something to him (Satan) in the midst of the congregation where He is in charge, but the degree to which He is in charge is dependent on how we are with regard to the internal environment of our soul. I don’t know if you have recognized or have noticed how, when meeting time comes around, or just before meeting time, or the day before the meeting time, or whatever it is in your own personal set of circumstances, how your contention, and your stress, and your strain, all the things that work against us on a human level, come into play. Oftentimes some of the worst times of contentions we have had in the past, is where the devil comes into our home prior to going out on a trip or something like that. It seems like devil comes in with everything, bills or this or that or some major catastrophe, whatever it may be. My catastrophe could be a whole lot less than yours or a whole lot more, it doesn’t make any difference, but somehow, some way, the devil is always working to get us out of sorts, and you know, the most marvelous thing about all of that, is that God is aware of our frame, you understand. He’s aware of our framework, and he knows that not all of us are going to come with the same purpose or with the same sensitivity as some of the others. Or we’re not going to come in the same level of spirituality as some of the others are coming. You understand what I’m saying? So, he knows all of this. You know, you have to know that God knows that. I mean, He’s Alpha and He’s Omega. When you got up this morning, God was already on the job. He already saw your gathering, He already knew the problems that you were bringing, He knew the contentions you were going to have at home, He knew the difficulty you were going to have to get here. He knew that if you were coming late, that in itself could be a burden upon you that was working to keep you out of the Spirit. He knows all of that. He knows all of that. So we come in and with that there are also certain and various needs that God is aware of, not maybe only in the midst of the congregation, but outside of the congregation, and there’s a necessity for us to be in a position, or in a place, that is conducive to allowing the Spirit of God to be maximized. That’s the major problem. We can come, we can have a good time in the Lord, and we can leave thinking that we have accomplished the will of God. But in the aspect of the will of God, if His will was for a magnification of power, or a magnification of His excellence, and for the administration of His being to go out was not realized, we did not accomplish the will of God. We did not accomplish the will of God and it’s not to your and my credit, you understand, because God is not treating us, in a place, as though we were something great. He’s treating us on the basis of where He knows we should have been, should be, regardless of whether we’re there or not, and He assesses our position of completion or our inability to complete on that basis. I don’t know, when I was in school, and they gave a final exam, it was final. I mean, there was no… if you didn’t make it through the final exam, you would have to go back and go through the course. You know, they have these funny standards now, where they adjust the scale in order to get you to pass. It’s like, I was talking to Brother Gordon, the standard when they take soil samples and all of that, they have raised the level of toxicity from what it used to be to what it is now. So, your land could be toxic, but it would show up like it’s normal because they have a purpose, they have a reason for doing that that is not righteous, but nevertheless, that’s what they do. But God does not operate in that manner and that fashion and that way. We are coming into a time where we need to be very sensitive to the will of God, to the moving of the Holy Spirit and move in accordance to the desire of God, and if we don’t move, then God says, “Well, OK, back to 101A.” He cranks up the fire and He puts you back into that situation, if you have time in the framework of God to do that, you understand. Because God is moving on. He’s moving on.
Well, there are two visions that I had this morning. I told you all of that to tell of the two visions I had this morning. One of the visions this morning….they were visions of comparison. The first vision was like this wall to my left was like an energy force. I knew that the wall was like power and the strength of the Spirit. To each degree of power, there was an agitation in the wall. We began in the praise and the worship, and there was a movement within the wall. All of a sudden, there was another wall out here to my right, some distance from the wall that was the energy wall. This wall was like a stone wall or a brick wall or something of considerable strength, and all of a sudden, out of this energy wall there came like a poof sound, and this force of energy kind of lackadaisically went out and it hit that stone wall. All it did was kind of vibrate the wall, maybe knocked a little dust off of it, maybe little crumbs of mortar fell down, but it really did not do any damage to the wall. Then, all of a sudden, that was the vision. Then I was back in the vision, and the energy force wall began to be there and it became extremely agitated, and the more it got agitated, the brighter and the lighter it became. Then, all of a sudden, out of the center of the wall, came the sound of a Boom! A booming sound, a cracking sound came out of the wall and this bolt of lightening came out of the energy wall and it struck the stone wall and it shattered it. It shattered it. What I think that God was showing to me was the difference between where we were and where we need to be with regard to the purposes and the plans of God.
I have a little story to tell you. There was a place one time that I was in the midst of a congregation, and I came to that meeting that morning with a particular burden on my soul that God was wanting to accomplish something very specific for that morning. I didn’t know what it was. I just had this pressure on me in the midst of that meeting and the meeting was going helter-skelter. You understand. People were coming in with their own burdens. They were coming in with their own loads. I could see the loads, you understand. In the Spirit, I could see one person had on these heavy, heavy boots. They were like knee boots, but they were like lead on the bottom. Another person had this big pack upon their back and the praise was drag, drag, drag, drag, and we weren’t really going anywhere and I finally decided, “Well, OK, God, maybe You can help me move in the midst of the congregation to lift it.” And God was very merciful to us, you understand, because all this time I’m feeling this pressure, this burden that God wanted to do something very specific with regard to that morning for someone. I didn’t know whether it was the entirety of the congregation, or if it was someone in particular, but anyway, as the morning went on, as the service went on, we began to get into the Spirit. The Spirit of God began to move, began to move, and we began to lift up in the Spirit, and I could look out into the midst of the congregation and see the effects of the Spirit of God working with regard to the different individuals involved. But the problem was, we ran out of time. Because, in through the door walks this particular individual who had a very serious physical malady that was terminal. They came in and they sat down and I knew that God wanted us to pray for her. Being obedient to the Spirit of God, the elders and whatnot came up and we went and we prayed for the individual, but the problem was that the results were like unto the first vision of the wall. Now, I don’t know whether God would have healed her, but He could very possibly have healed her. I have been in more than one situation like that, where I have known that God has brought somebody into the midst of the congregation with a particular malady, a particular set of circumstances, for the purpose of touching them and ministering to them, and the congregation was not up to it. Hallelujah.
Now, we don’t know what the mind of God is as far as the end result is concerned, and that’s not our business, you understand. You know, because if you pray for someone that’s sick and you expect them to be healed, I mean, there’s an expectation, not something that is of God…don’t get me wrong, don’t misunderstand me…and they’re not healed, and you become disappointed because they’re not healed. You don’t know if you’re in the Spirit, praying by the Spirit, moving with the Spirit, then the end result of all of the stuff that is going on is the Spirit’s responsibility. Hallelujah, and I can release you to the hands of God on the basis that I have done what I was burdened to do and I did it, to some extent, to the fullest of my ability. Now, if in the midst of all of that, God begins to convict me that my effort was less than it could have been, then it’s something that I personally have to repent of.
Now, God wanted to be exalted this morning. I don’t know if you noticed the songs when we were beginning to sing and we began to sing about God and His position of exaltation and the place of His glory, and how there was a moving and a lifting in the song. Now, as we sang, we were being lifted up, but then the songs changed. We became the recipient of His glory, and the emphasis was more or less on us in the aspect of God and God began to withdraw His Spirit. I don’t know if you felt it, but the leaning of the Spirit of God began to move back. Now, I believe that God wanted us to do what we did with regard to prayer, but I also believe that God wanted us in a particular place, with a particular strength in order to accomplish what He wanted done. Hallelujah.
Now, let me say something else. When we sang the first blood song, did you notice, the moving of the Spirit of God? But the second blood song that we sang wasn’t necessarily so much of the preeminence on Christ. It was again the position of our receiving that position or that place. You can feel the receding or the recession of God, withdrawing Himself from that position of administration. That is the difference between playing church and being in church. It is having the Spirit of God in the midst of the congregation, moving in such a manner in such a way that God’s will is performed to the very MAXIMUM that it can be performed. We cannot conduct ourselves as business as usual. We can’t do it. We can’t do it. Some of you may do it, but we who desire the fullness of God cannot behave as we have behaved in times past with regard to church. Hallelujah.
There is a position, a place. I was so very cognizant, during this conference, of God walking in the midst of the congregation. I saw Him on a number of occasions moving in and amongst the people, touching and praying and I saw the saints of God as they were moving in that congregation and I saw people that were oblivious. There was one man who was sitting in the midst of the congregation and Jesus sat down beside him and Jesus put his arm around him and He kind of bent His head and put His hand to the man’s head and on his knee, and He was in prayer and supplication for that man and the man was totally, absolutely oblivious to what was happening! It’s not that that man is worse off than anybody else! It’s just that there are things of our humanity that often take precedence over God and the desire that God has for us. Hallelujah. So, I would exhort you that, whatever it is as you come together, that you come together with preparation, that you prepare your heart, and if you can just give it an hour, then give it an hour! If you can give it a half hour, it’s better than giving anything at all, give it a half hour, but I want to tell you, the more time that you separate yourself unto the Lord with regard to the activity of meeting together, the greater the manifestation of God, but also in the same level, the greater the adversity, because the devil is going escalate his activity with regard to your strength and your power. It’s proportionate, you understand. To whatever degree that you exercise yourself, to whatever strength that you come to, God says to the devil, “OK, it is eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” You know, “You can go in and you can exercise your right with regard to distraction,” but if we yield ourselves to God, then God will be victorious.
I want you to turn with me this morning, if you would, to Isaiah 54. I really like the book of Isaiah because God chastises but He also blesses. He chastises and he blesses, he chastises and he blesses. He tells you where you are and what you are and you feel literally cut down to the quick. You feel like an utter failure, no hope, no glory and in the next chapter, he says something like, “Sing, O barren sing.” I like Isaiah, because it seems to be so typical of the church in its position of moving with regard to God.
I believe that there is a revival coming to the church. Now, I’m not talking about the church out there. I’m talking about the CHURCH, the end church, the end-time church, but with the coming of that event, I also believe that there is the potentiality of us becoming like the church out there. You and I have not yet had that position or that test. We haven’t had the accoutrements. Do you know what I mean by accoutrements? We haven’t had all the attributes that have been given to us to give us the opportunity to be what is called “out there” church. It’s always been hard scrabble. Just a few working here, working there, as it were, on the outer fringe, on the backside, of doing whatever it is that we could do in the thing of the Lord with regard to what we might call Church. We have never had that position of temptation, but in order for us to be overcomers, and because we have been in the Spirit, and because we have been spiritually critical of the church because of the revelation that God has given us, we have to have that opportunity. It is up to you and I with regard to our position of relationship to do what God is wanting us to do. Now, I want to tell you something else. God is not going to stop you from doing the wrong thing. In times past, God has stopped us, you know. God has intervened, God has moved in a manner that was supernatural outside of us. He has coerced us, He has used leverage against us. He has put actual roadblocks in the way for us. Sometimes He has physically arrested us and sometimes He has not only physically arrested us, but He has physically incarcerated us. Hello? So that we would not do what we were going to do because it was outside of the will of God, but you and I have come to a position of revelation because of the knowledge that has been poured out by the Sprit, hallelujah, I’m not talking about the words of men that men have spoken. I’m talking about the Word, the LOGOS of God, that has been administered by the rhema of God, and there has been an impartation of God in the aspect of the logos that became rhema that became logos within you.
This is the context. Isaiah 54 is the context of what I am speaking. I don’t want you to lose the context because I’m fixin’ to move. But it says, Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. There is a blessing that God is going to begin to pour out upon the end time church. I also believe that with the blessing and revelation or the evangelical crusade and the awakening of hearts for God, that there in the midst of that there’s going to be tribulation, great tribulation for us with regard to that position. I believe that God is going to try us in a manner and fashion that we have never been tried. I believe that God has to do that. If God is going to do that then there is a necessity for us to be in a position or in a place because God will not keep us from the wrong step. Hallelujah.
There is a scripture verse coming to me. Second Corinthians 11, verse 10, As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. 12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. The most perceptible and most vulnerable position of deception that is in the church is through a church that has the ability to be spiritual. There has been deception in every work of God, in every move of God. You can go back to every one of them, if you do some Christian heritage studies, you go back to the Welsh Revival, out of the Welsh Revival came the doctrine of rapture. It is amazing to me, absolutely amazing. I was very much aware of a situation this past December in the camp. There was the Spirit of God. Many of you could testify to the moving of the Spirit of God in the meetings and how God was working, working, working and how He would manifest Himself and how the Word of God was coming in such a rich and real way. But do you know, in that environment, I saw Satan working a set of scenarios with individuals? Do you hear me? It wasn’t that somebody was just not conscious of the fact that God was there, but they were moving, not according to the spirit of deliverance, not moving in the spirit of conviction. They were moving in the spirit of wickedness! The devil was working within their circumstance to produce unrighteousness, all the time that the Spirit of God is flowing in the midst of the congregation. It is absolutely necessary for you and I to have a very, very personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s very, very essential. I think Peter is the one who is always using the expression of “living vicariously.” That is, you begin to look at the life experience of someone else and you begin to act as though it’s your experience. That type of living somehow, someway, sometimes is what you and I are guilty of with regard to the Word that we are sitting under. There is a ministry in the Body of Christ. Listen to me. I firmly believe in the position of ministry that is spoken of in Ephesians the 4th chapter. I also believe that as we come into a position and a relationship with God on an individual basis, the need for that relationship will begin to fade, because we will in some manner, in some fashion, begin to take on the attributes of that ministry. It’s not at my discretion, you understand, and it’s not my position of supposition. Well, I suppose or I assume that you’re ready for that experience or I suppose or assume that you’re NOT ready for that experience.
Sometimes our problem is when we look at people, we don’t know God, we don’t SEE God. We see their humanity, we see their strength and the power of the deception of sin that is working in their life and we think that because we’re seeing it, we have a power and an ability to reach out and fix it. Hallelujah. Somewhere along the line, with all of our revelation, we’re going to have to begin to trust God in the aspect that HE IS the revelation.
I believe in prayer, anointed prayer. I don’t believe in wimpy prayer. I don’t believe in namby-pamby prayer. I believe in anointed prayer. That means that, when I pray, it is very necessary for me to pray in accordance with the Holy Ghost! Not pray what I think should be done, not pray as I emotionally or mentally feel with regard to the situation. I may have a sentimentality for this man, and if this man is in a position or in a place that is detrimental to his spiritual health, my sentimentality might get in the way! I might pray contrary to the will of God. That’s why, when I pray for him, I can’t pray by my position or knowledge of who he is and the relationship that I have with him. I have to pray in accordance with the Holy Ghost, and if I can’t pray in accordance to the Holy Ghost, I don’t pray! Because I don’t believe that there is any middle ground, quite frankly. I don’t. You either pray for the will of God, or you don’t pray. You have to pray in the Spirit, and just because I don’t FEEL like I’m in the Spirit, that doesn’t give me the right not to pray. I have to push, I have to put myself in a position, in a place, by which I might begin to facilitate the will of God. I have to get into the Spirit myself, whether it takes five minutes, ten minutes, half hour, one hour, whether it takes all day…
You know, I listen to different people. Now, Brother duCille says that after seven days, hunger goes away, and you’re just not hungry anymore. I haven’t been one of those that has really been that fortunate. It seems like the longer I fast, the hungrier I get. But that doesn’t mean that I can stop fasting, you understand. I have to fast in accordance to the pressure and the will of God that is upon me. Now, as a young man, I did a lot of fasting. I did a lot of fasting, because I was aware of my position of humanity. I was aware, and you know, every time I let up one little inch, if I let up one little bit, if I let up one little bit, “Oh, I can take a break now, I can rest,” I’d find myself slipping back into my position of humanity. I want to tell you something. As I got older, I said, “Well, I did my fasting. I did my position of fasting. I paid my price. Now I can get by without it.” But I am finding that that’s not true, and I want to tell you, the older you get, it just seems like the harder it is to fast. I could fast a week at a time and I worked. I worked. I went to work and I did hard work! I worked carpentry, I worked in the farm work, I worked sometimes sixteen hours a day, fasting, fasting, fasting, working, working, working. And the more I fasted and the more I worked, the stronger I got! It didn’t mean I didn’t get hungry. I was always hungry! But there was something of God that God was doing in my life to bring me to a position because He knew what was up ahead of me. And, you know, he didn’t come down and just wave a wand over me. That would have been nice, it would have been comfortable, it would have been easy, but there was a requirement that God put on me.
Now, I want to tell you that you are going to be confronting seducing spirits. I have seen many moves of God. Like I told you, the Welsh Revival started, for those of you who don’t have any spiritual history. You need to get your spiritual history. The Welsh Revival, the deception came out of the midst of it was the rapture of the church. Then God moved in 1906 and what did we see out of that? We saw denominationalism, dividing up of the church into segments and portions. They had divine intervention of God in the midst of humanity. I don’t know that you and I can possibly fathom what was happening. It would be like you, walking down the street in West Palm Beach and seeing the people fall under the Spirit, being smitten on the sidewalk, laying down, confessing their sins before God! They had experiences. There was a place in Detroit called Beal’s Temple, where the fog of God would come into the place. I talked to a sister, an older sister, who had been a missionary to China and it was out of that out-pouring that she was born again and sent to China. She said that people would come in and that fog of God, like a vapor, was moving on the congregation, and people were being smitten and slain in the Spirit. There was no one on the platform. NO one dared go up there! There was one man in the midst of the 1906 revival that poured out on Azusa Street, who would put a bag over his head when he was in the service and he would minister with a bag over his head because he did not feel worthy to be utilized by God in the capacity that God was using him. But out of that revival, we got denominations! Hallelujah.
Then we have the 1948 revival, where the Spirit of God fell miraculously upon men and upon women. God restored, in that actual outpouring, one of the significant things that God did was to reestablish the church with aspect of the five-fold ministry. But what did we get out of that? We got the Full Gospel Businessmen. We got that guy up in Canada, and I don’t mean Brother Warnock. These were men that experienced God in a supernatural way, in a way that you and I just hear, and maybe to some little degree, have experienced some aspect of the revelation and the magnanimity of God.
Then we have the End Time word, the revelation of the Sons of God. One of the brothers who was instrumental in bringing forth that word was Bill Britton. He was one of the forerunners. He was one of the staunch ones, and there were other men that were involved in the ministry with regard to the position and the place of the Sons of God. But you know what came out of that Sons of God anointing? The ultimate reconciliation doctrine. You and I stand in a very precarious place. You and I have a position and there is a working of this spirit of supernatural spirituality of deceptive light that is yet in the corridors waiting, as it were, for its opportunity to come and to minister to you the revelation of corruption. Hallelujah.
Subsequently, out of that move , there were men that I knew of personally…there was a man over in Bradenton who had the revelation of Sonship and he began to minister with an anointing. He began to reach street people and kids of all different ages, young people of all different ages, but his revelation of Sonship went into adultery and fornication, and it didn’t happen just overnight. It comes by the aspect of some revelation that is twisted, some little understanding or position of personal perception of their position with regard to ministry. He ultimately went off into ultimate reconciliation, too. I am talking about personalities that were major players in developing the Sons of God movement.
Then there was the brother from over by Miami. There was a group up in Stockton where I came in contact with him. This man was called to be an apostle. I want you to know that. He had an anointing of God upon his life. God was anointing his life. He had a revelation and an understanding of the Word of God, but somewhere in the midst of all of that, he began to twist God and he came up with this doctrine of the “Head” ministry, where the ministry is to overshadow the congregation. Now, you can shake your heads, you can say, “Oh my, oh me. How could they ever possibly do that?” They do it on the basis of something that is of truth in the Word. The devil is able to come into the midst of their soul and begin to twist something of their soul that they have held and reserved as their right of a human being to possess. Something of their humanity they have not, they were not willing, not willing, not willing, NOT WILLING to have God put it upon the altar and BURN IT. Hallelujah.
I think we are living in the age of the actuality of resurrection. I believe that. I’m saying that because of the experience that Abraham had. Abraham was living in the realm of the prophetic revelation of God, so everything that Abraham was doing, he was acting out the prophecy that He was to come. Isn’t it amazing that God will take some man’s life and use the attributes of his living to testify to some spiritual position of revelation? He was prophesying of those things that were yet to come, but we’re living in the actuality of that experience. When he took his son Isaac and he raised the knife, God did not allow him to slay the son because he was prophesying of an event that was yet to come. God chose to spare Isaac and provide the lamb, but in this hour, in this day, we are living in the hour and in the day of resurrection. That means that whatever you lay on the altar isn’t going to be spared. Hello? No amens on that one, Peter. Whatever you lay on the altar is going to be consumed by fire, if it is an offering that is being presented unto the Lord!
Do you know that everything that God gives you, He wants you to give it back. No amens on that one, either. Everything that God gives you, He wants to take it back, because in the taking back He can only do what He said He’s going to do and you need to be released of it for Him to do it. What does that mean? No ashes, no beauty. No loss, no redemption. We’re talking about the golden altar here. We’re not talking about the altar of sacrifice out in the outer court. We’re talking about the golden altar of incense here, the offering up of one’s soul. We use the terminologies without definition, and without thinking of the ramifications or the consequences of what God is saying when He says, “I want your soul.” We can say, “Oh, yes, praise the Lord! God, here’s my soul!” But then God goes into the midst of your soul and He touches some emotional aspect or some emotional inconsistency that you have. Or, He goes into your mind and He begins to walk within the realm of your intellect and certain ideas of service that you have with regard to God and God says, “Give it back to Me. I want it.” And you lay it on the altar, thinking, “Well, like Abraham, I’m going to get off of the altar and the lamb is going to come.” I’m telling you something, fire is going to fall and the offering is going to be consumed!! All of this is necessary for that chapter in Isaiah 54 to come to pass in the manner and the fashion that God desires it to come forth. God doesn’t want a situation of evangelical revival, where man is going to rise up in the midst of it and begin to usurp and to form the work and the moving of the Spirit of God to his perception of what he thinks God wants. You don’t know what God wants! The Bible tells me what it is in the heart of man or the mind of man , what God can do (Jeremiah 17:9). The Bible tells me that it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to determine what it is that’s in the mind of God (Ecclesiastes 3:11) unless God specifically tells me, “THIS IS MY MIND!!! THIS IS MY PURPOSE!! THIS IS MY POSITION! This is your destiny with regard to MY service, MY position, MY place, the thing that I want done!” God needs a man who will submit to this kind of regime.
We should be fire-eating people. We want fire. FIRE! We want fire! We should be fire-eating people! I think that there is something of a revelation that God is giving me personally, not that I like tribulation, believe you me! Tribulation comes and if I can find some way to get out of it, I’m going to be working my way that direction! Hallelujah. Sometimes God allows me to run, but I always find that I’m in bigger trouble when I finish running than I would have been in had I not run and had stood and let God do what He wanted to do in the beginning! You know something? I DO NOT WANT TO MISS THE WILL OF GOD. I do not want to miss the will of God. I don’t want to be saved by the skin of my teeth, as my mother used to say all the time. I used to say, “Mama, how can your teeth have skin?” She said, “You’ve got the idea.” It means that you’re not just barely saved. I don’t want to be in that position. I don’t want to have that type of an experience.
You know, hell is not something that I am afraid of. Hello? Now, don’t get me wrong, but hell is not something that I am afraid of. It’s not performing up to snuff, up to par, up to that position of excellence that God has ascribed for me that I’m afraid of. You know, the Bible says that in the Book of Life there is a new name, or in the heavenly accounting system, there is a new name that ascribed unto me. You know what that means for me? That God has seen my beginning and He has seen my end, and in all of the seeing, He has designated something very particular, very peculiar, and so much absolutely, totally, absolutely FOR ME!! He has ascribed it. He has stamped it. He has written it, as it were, with the finger of God. Now, He’s always looking there, looking here, looking there, looking here, looking there, looking here, working and fashioning the thing, not to this environment, but THAT environment. I don’t know what THAT environment is. I may have this desire to be a teacher in the Lord. I want to teach the Word, I want to teach tabernacle. I may have that desire, you understand, and I’m working to be a good teacher, working, working, working, working, and all of the time, God is saying to me, “I don’t want you to be a teacher. I want you to be an evangelist.” And I don’t want to be an evangelist. I don’t want to talk to people. I don’t want to be out there in the forefront. I don’t want to be considered fanatical. I want to be a teacher, and I teach and I teach and I come up with all of this revelation and all of these things that pertain to righteousness, but all of the time, I am fighting the destiny that God has ascribed unto me! I am moving contrary to the will of God. And you know something? I can work so contrary to the will of God that I can move out of the will of God and into the will of hell. It’s a scary thing. I knew a person many, many years ago who had a prophetic anointing. Many years ago. You don’t know them, so don’t go around imagining in your mind who I might be talking about, because you don’t know them. They had this gift. My, it was sharp. It was sharp! I mean, you couldn’t do anything that they were involved in without them getting the ability to discern what was coming on, what was going on. They had this gift of God that was like the discerning of spirits, the word of wisdom, working within the fabric of their being. They would be at home, they would be at work, they would be out on the street, and you know, you could never surprise them with something. If you wanted to do something good for them, all of a sudden, while you’re in the midst of trying to do good, they would pull one, two, three together and they would say, “Are you doing ____?” And I’d sit there, “Well, yes, I am doing that.” But I saw that individual begin to turn from righteousness, because of something that was in their heart, something that they desired more than they desired God, and they began to put that thing in the position or in a place of exaltation. It wasn’t something that was that bad on the surface, you understand. They were doing GOOD in what they were doing, but what they were doing was contrary to the will of God! I saw the gift change and instead of moving under the unction and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, they began to move in a spirit of divination. You know, there’s a counterfeit for everything. There’s a counterfeit for everything. This is what this scripture says, for such are false apostles. That means that they have a position or a place of authority, and they’re moving as though they were apostles, and there’s an unction and an anointing upon what they are moving in! You, the church, have the RESPONSIBILITY to hold on to the administration of the gift that is in the Body!! You have the responsibility to be in a position of prayer and fasting and working with God to bring forth the revelation. If there’s an apostle in your midst, you have the responsibility of his apostleship!! You have the responsibility! If there’s one in your midst who’s moving contrary to the calling, they’re moving as an apostle and they’re not an apostle, you have a RESPONSIBILITY in the spiritual realm to tell him, “You’re not an apostle! Sit down!” It is not your prerogative unless you have the unction and the anointing of God and you get up and say, “THUS SAITH THE LORD, YOU’RE NOT AN APOSTLE!! SHUT UP!! SIT DOWN!!”
I am willing to say that we’d be a little more afraid to do and move if we had a Body that was functioning in the manner that it was supposed to be functioning!!! That bar in the tabernacle ran through the midst of the boards. Those gold rings that held the bars were attached to the boards. It is the rings that hold every bar of ministry that is in the Body!! In the realm of personal ministry, I’m very much aware of the freedom I have in the Spirit when the congregation is in the Spirit. It’s not a matter of a man just coming and laying hands on you and saying something. There’s something in the spiritual realm that God has to impart in the mechanism of the words that are being used in the action that is being demonstrated! It takes spiritual strength! Hallelujah! It takes spiritual, corporate strength to have that ability to move in the midst of the congregation! We have the tendency to think that it’s one man. It used to be in the early days of ministry that at the end of the meeting we’d have these prayer lines and there would be multitudes of people coming up for prayer, and the congregation was walking around and having coffee and doing this and doing that, and talking about this business and that business and the ministry was isolated and set apart from the congregation. There is no redemption or the fullness of the Lord working in the concept of the Body in that type of behavior. It shows indifference and a lack of concern, it shows a lack of awareness of the fact of the participation of Body. What if your mind was working on a problem, a math problem, and you’re fingers decided they wanted a cup of coffee? Or your feet decided they wanted to take a walk? Or your eyes decided they wanted to look at something else? You’d be in a mess! You’d have this going this way, and this going that way, and something else going the other way. There would be no continuity. There would be no fluidity in the Body. There would not be the flowing of God. You know, we need to be sensitive in the Lord with regard to the administration of God and the thing that is happening in that arena as a corporate expression of God! I want to say something else here. There is always the human element that is involved with ministry and if that element is, for some reason, not under the power of righteousness, there is the probability of error. There is a corporate response that is required by God in those situations. There’s a response and a behavior that is required of us, corporately, that we respond in the manner that is conducive to righteousness!!
Oh, boy. Whenever you get caught in a situation or a circumstance that is somewhat humiliating or detrimental to your persona and how people perceive you, what is normally your first reaction? Isn’t it to excuse yourself in some manner or some fashion? That is not the reaction or the thing that we are taught in the example of Christ. It says that when he was reviled, he reviled not again (1 Peter 2:23)! We go around looking for someone who will commiserate with us. Hallelujah. We try to explain to them, and oftentimes, it is someone who is a very good friend! Sometimes it’s our wives. Sometimes it’s our husbands. Now, I’m not saying that husbands and wives should not be sharing things that they need to pray about, but you in your relationship with your husband or with your wife need to be very cautious with regard to how you speak, what you speak, and when you speak it!! Hallelujah, hallelujah. Because sometimes the information that we share for “prayer requests” becomes something very detrimental to someone because they do not have the maturity to handle thing that you’re speaking! We need to understand this. In 2 Corinthians 5, it says, verse 16, you need to read the whole chapter when you go home because without the first part of the chapter you won’t understand the second half of the chapter. It’s contextual. It means those things that pertain to the first part of the chapter are things that have to be experienced by you and I! The frailty of our flesh, the position of adversity, the heat and the tribulation, the fire that comes to dissolve our house! Hallelujah! But here it says, Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Now he’s using Christ as an example, but you could just as well put your name in or the name of someone else in there! I don’t think we’re fully cognizant of our position or the place of our ministry. How many times have you said, “What is my ministry? I’m looking and wanting to know. What is my ministry?” Well, God tells you what the ministry of the church is! We want some sort of high-faluting position. We want some position of excellence. We want someone to say, “Oh, he’s such a good chap! So strong in the Lord! So spiritual! You can go to him anytime, with any problem, any trouble, and he will always give you the answer of God!” Well, praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! We need more of those around! I haven’t found any yet, but we need more of those around!
It says that we are to know no man, not knowing Christ after the flesh, but not knowing any man after the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:16). What do you do when you begin to bring up a man’s deficiencies, his human deficiencies? What are you doing? “He’s arrogant. He hard-headed. He’s this, he’s that. She’s this, she’s that.” What are you doing? Well, first of all, you are putting yourself up, but you’re also exalting his position of weakness, which is his flesh, and by doing so, you are putting him down. You’re working contrary to the ministry of what the latter part of the chapter talks about. You’re already defeated. You can’t even pray for that individual. You can’t go into that ministry of reconciliation because you already programmed your mind that that person is a total flop! He’s finished! Hallelujah!
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Now, in Christ means that you are AS Christ. IN Christ doesn’t mean that you’re saved, filled with the Holy Ghost, doing some things right and doing some things wrong. IN Christ means that Christ is IN you and OUT OF you! We talk about the glory of God. Glory of God is nothing more than the excellence of Christ that is IN you coming OUT OF you! I don’t remember what meeting we were in, but there was a vision that I had and it was like I saw a human form and a seed was planted or impregnated within the midst of their being, and this seed began to expand and began to grow inside of them. It was like a subterranean root system working in the midst of them, working all down through the form, into the arm, into the head, into the legs, into the feet, into the toes. All of a sudden, this glorious plant began to break out of the pores of the skin, and this glorious flower began to bloom. God was explaining to me on a natural basis the aspect of the nature of God or Christ that is IN you. “I travail, little children, that Christ be formed in you.” We’ve used it, used it, used it, used it, preached on it, listened to it, read it, dreamed about it, desired to have it, but there is something that God wants more than just Christ IN YOU. He wants Christ OUT OF YOU!! Hallelujah!
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. What do you do with the ministry of reconciliation? How does it work? It works to reconcile. Absolutely. You’re working on the aspect of redeeming humanity, not even looking at it at all! You’re looking to Christ! You’re looking to God! THE MINUTE YOU STOP LOOKING AT GOD, YOU START LOOKING AT MAN. When you look at man, you’re finished. You’ve got to go back to square one and start all over again. You’ve got to go back to square one and START ALL OVER AGAIN. Hallelujah.
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing… Boy, you need to look up the word imputing. …not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word. The word of reconciliation. You can just put your finger there, and turn with me over into John 1. In the beginning was the LOGOS… By the way, that word over there, I believe that word is logos, somebody can look it up and tell me for sure, but I believe it’s logos. In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Word, or the Logos, was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him,the Word, the logos, and without him, the Word, the logos was not any thing made that was made. Turn the page or go down to verse 9, That was the true light, the light, the Word, the logos, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. Now, verse 14 says, And the Word, the logos, the light, was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the Word, the logos, the light, the glory, the Word, the logos, the light, as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace… Now, we’re not just talking about Christ, you understand, in light of the scripture that we read in 2 Corinthians. He was full of the logos, the light, the Word that was in Him, that WAS Him, that became, as it were, flesh! Are you following what I am saying? That logos, the Word, the light, the glory, was full of grace. Grace. I could be here for another hour preaching to you on that one. I could take you into Romans 6, I could take you into Romans 7, with regard to the grace! We think it has some abstract thing. It’s an entity of life that is in, or incorporated in, the entity that we call Jeshua! It says, back over in 2 Corinthians, he hath committed… All right, this word over in John, the world is cosmos, by the way, and if you go over here it says, hath committed unto us the LOGOS, the Word, the light, the glory, of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors… You know, you can’t be an ambassador unless you’re a citizen? You can’t be an ambassador unless you are affiliated with the government which you are an ambassador for. You have to be, as it were, a representation of the government for which you are being called as an ambassador. Hallelujah. Now, this ambassadorship is not on the basis of philosophical or political anointment. It’s on the basis of nature displacement. Nature displacement! There is a character composition of your being that is called world. You are a part of the cosmos, physically so. You’re made up of the composition of the earth. Spiritually so, you’re composition is the same as the entity of the power that rules the arena that we call earth or the world, cosmos! Not only are we ruled by it, but we are the offspring of it! I think that it was here that I was talking about being born, or created in iniquity and born in sin. There’s an interesting verse back in John 1 and he says, he was in the cosmos, now remember, over here it’s talking about the cosmos in verse 3, because it’s saying that all things that were made were made by him and that everything that was made, everything and every aspect of the cosmos that you have and see on a natural plane, a natural level, has a definite spiritual reality or counterpart, because it is of the composition of the word. I don’t think you’re following me. Are you? I think I’m probably wearing you out, right? It says, he was in the cosmos and the cosmos was made by him and what? The cosmos knew him not! Oh, boy. Now, if you were to go back into that chapter and begin at verse one and begin to talk about the structure of the tabernacle, he’s talking about the reality of the cosmos on a different level. He’s taking it from a natural plane, a natural illustration and is beginning to give to you a definition of a spiritual counterpart. And the habitation of this cosmos, this house that he called tabernacle, is for the purpose and the placement of the reality of what we call Word.
First John 1, That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the LOGOS of life… Let’s go on here. 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God, the Word, the logos, the light, the glory. Now, what has he done? Have you noticed the transition? There’s a transition in the Word here, have you noticed it? He takes the transition from heaven, puts it into Christ, Jesus the man, takes the transition or the ministry of the Logos that is in Christ Jesus, the man, and equates it onto Himself (Yahweh) and the position that He’s in! However, this is something that He’s not doing on the basis of His apostleship! This is something that He’s doing on the basis of the will of God that God has for mankind! What He is demonstrating in actuality of His experience is an experience that is designated for all of the Church! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
I don’t think you understand it. 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead… I suppose this is where the Catholic church perverts it and twists it and gets the position of pope. The problem is, it’s not pope that God wants! It’s Body!
Revelation 12:9, And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan… Remember the connection of cosmos with humanity. He’s talking about the heavens that are heavens here. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ. HIS CHRIST! Christ in you the hope of glory. …The kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the LOGOS, the Word, the light, the glory, of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Hallelujah.
Go to John again, chapter 1. I’ve been in John for almost 6 months. John 1:11, 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power, POWER, to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. That doesn’t mean you just profess the name of Jesus. That doesn’t mean that you just speak the name of Jesus. What it means is that the nature of the Almighty God, which God calls CHRIST, has a preeminence within your vessel, and is working, working, working, working, working against all of the framework of your humanity, your cosmos, to bring forth the revelation of resurrection in the midst of your body!!! What good is the revelation of Christ if it’s in your spirit, if it’s in your soul, if there is no manifestation of life coming out of your body?!?! If you walk like a heathen, if you talk like a heathen, if you move in accordance with the Gentile nature, that is something that is diametrically opposed to the will of God! Christ doesn’t want to be inside of you! Christ’s ultimate position or place of habitation is OUTSIDE of you!!! In the submission of your will unto Him, to allow Him to have preeminence, to demonstrate His glory.
You know, Jesus Christ went to great lengths to avoid the attention of the populace. Many times He healed people and He said, “Go tell no man. Go tell no man.” He did it secretly. There wasn’t a crowd that was gathered around. One of the men didn’t even know who had healed him! “I don’t know who it was except for the man came and told me I was healed!” How can that be in the midst of Jerusalem where the man (Jesus) had been in operation and functioning under the unction of God and the man had no concept, no awareness? Because God HID HIMSELF FROM HIM!!!
There’s something to be said with regard to that position of excellence. Let’s finish up. Isaiah 54. 1Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. 2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; 3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. 5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. 9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. 10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
One more scripture. John 17, verse 5, And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the COSMOS was. Verse 22, And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. Verse 6, I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the COSMOS: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. That word is rhema. 7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. Verse 14, I have given them thy LOGOS, and the COSMOS hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the COSMOS. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the COSMOS, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the COSMOS, even as I am not of the COSMOS. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy LOGOS is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the COSMOS. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their LOGOS.
Amen. God bless you. Amen. Lord bless you.