Knowing God’s Judgment
June 3, 2001
(For printable version click here.)
Sister Hannah has brought a word to the children concerning the will of God, and moving in that place; plus Sister Nancy has been ministering to the children. I find it very interesting that a lot of the words that are being ministered to the children are very apropos to the adult environment. If any of you weren’t here last night and you did not get a chance to hear the word, I would suggest that you get a hold of Brother Peter and get the word of prophecy that Brother Steve Crowder has sent out. Brother Crowder, from what I know about him, I do not know him personally, but I do believe that he’s a man of God. He’s not in fellowship, close fellowship that I know of, with many of our fellowships but he is a brother in the Lord. I believe he is from Minnesota. I believe he lives up somewhere in Minnesota and to some degree has been over the years somewhat excluded or isolated. He might be in Texas now, but I believe he started out in Minnesota. I believe he is a man of God. I believe that God is talking to him, and I believe the word he’s bringing is the Word of God. I think it’s pertinent for you and I because it’s very similar to the word that God has spoken to us through the years and especially so in the last several years with regards to our involvement and the thing that we are doing. Now I don’t know whether the man has any knowledge or awareness of what’s going on in this segment of the country. I don’t know if he is aware of the involvement that we are involved with, but I find it very interesting that one of the things that he said with regards to the children of God or the people of God is that they are like children. So I find it very interesting that a lot of the words that are coming to the children are very apropos to us as adults in our own particular adult environment. I believe the word of the Lord. I came to Illinois because of the word of the Lord, not because I wanted to, not because I thought it was the place to be. There were other places that I wanted to be. One of the places that I wanted to be was Africa, and I still want to be in Africa. I believe that one day God will put me in Africa. But I am here in Illinois because of the word of the Lord. Hallelujah. I believe that when God spoke the word to us in California about the time of tribulation that was coming, it was pertinent to this involvement and the place that we are presently in with regards to the work of God that is going on. Hallelujah.
Now I’m going to switch a little bit. With regard to judgment, we have, I believe, as human beings, a misconotation or a misunderstanding. I think that is not necessarily our fault as much as it is the fault of the society or the spirit under which we have sat and grown up. Now a man does something wrong. He goes out and he breaks the law. He is brought before a tribunal, there is a trial, and a sentence is passed if he is found guilty and he is sent to prison. So, we feel as though judgment has been administered. Although in a very low and base level, to some degree judgment has been administered. That is not so in the aspect of what judgment is when it comes with regards to God. God is not punitive. Our judgment system, the system under which we are judged on a natural, carnal level is punitive. Hallelujah. God’s judgment is always judged and always administered on the aspect of redemption. The whole position, the whole desire of God is that anything that He does that we might call judgment is done for the purpose of bringing people to a position or a place of being redeemed. So judgment does not become an instrument by which wrath is administered as much as it becomes an instrument by which one might receive correction in one’s life. Hallelujah. I think it’s very necessary for us to understand this in order for us to grow in God. Because if we do not understand the reason for which God judges His people, we cannot understand God. The Bible is full of the aspect of God’s judgment. You can go from Genesis right up through the Old Testament, right up to Matthew, and read again and again and again and again about the judgment that God judged with regard to His people. As well as those that were round about His people and the things that they did to His people! Hallelujah! Also, the instrument which God used to administer judgment. God used the Philistines to administer judgment to Israel, but in their administering of God’s judgment they moved presumptuously and they usurped that position or they moved in a manner that was not in line with the judgment of God, and God judged them! Now, that’s a double barreled shotgun that shoots out both ends. Hallelujah.
So, if God uses an individual, which was one of the things that the word said last night, that God was going to bring judgment on the religious system, because in their assessment of judgment or in the judgment that was administered, there was an attitude that was not in line with the mind and the purposes of God. On that basis God said He would judge them. Though the judgment that was brought was not necessarily a wrong judgment. Hallelujah. I think that’s very necessary for you and I to be able to ascertain and understand when it comes to the judgment of God, because I believe, brethren, that judgment is coming to the house of God. I believe, brethren, that judgment is coming to the people of God. It’s not coming in a vindictive and punitive manner. It’s coming for the purpose of bringing about an environment by which you and I might come to a position or place of making a decision not to do something that we have been doing and we are still doing and that is working something other than the will or the purposes that God has designed for you and I. The thing about God is that He sees the beginning and He sees the end. He sees that if there are certain things that we are involved in and there are certain things that we are doing as individuals that are working something contrary to His purposes, there is a corrective, administrative action that God has to put into play that brings pressure on us to bring us to a position of recognizing our place of jeopardy and transgression!
Now, we as men, as human beings, have tried to in some manner facilitate that in the aspect of our judicial system. In the beginning, they wanted to call penitentiaries “rehabilitation institutions,” institutions of rehabilitation. Well, you can ask anybody who has been in, in that type of environment, if it’s really rehabilitating. Often times when we put criminals who are not so criminal into these institutions, they come out worse than when they went in. Why? Because it’s not under the jurisdiction or the perception, nor does it have the same understanding that God has with regard to judgment. So, we have to keep all of that in mind with regards to the aspect of judgment when we begin to speak about the judgment of God. I know that when we start talking about judgment, we are thinking about it in a mind that is down here in the carnal realm and not up here in the spiritual realm. Hallelujah.
I, as a parent who has had an experience with the automobile, know the capability of what the automobile is able to do with regard to the human body. If I have a son who wants to drive that automobile, there are certain rules, there are certain regulations that I lay down in the beginning in order for him to have access to that vehicle. Why? Because I want him to do what I want him to do? No! Because I have an understanding of what it’s capable of. I have visited people in the hospital who have been in automobile accidents. One of the most enlightening experiences for me as to what the ability of a car or a vehicle can do to the human body was a tour or a visit that I made to the hospital that is in San Jose. It’s where they bring all of the head trauma patients, or the people who have broken their backs. At one time it was a major hospital because this was their expertise and every patient in there had, in some form or some manner, been in some kind of vehicle accident. Some of them were mental patients. Some of them were paraplegics. Some of them were quadriplegics. Some of them were totally and absolutely encased and encapsulated in a body that would not do anything without a machine, all because they broke the rules with regard to how to operate the vehicle which they were riding. Sometimes it wasn’t even their fault! They were the victims of circumstance because someone else was breaking the rules! A person who drinks and drives and goes out and runs a stop sign and runs into 4 or 5 children can say he’s sorry, but does that change the grief? Does that change the anguish? Does that change the result of what he did with regard to his breaking the rules? They can send him to jail. They can try him for manslaughter. They can put him into the electric chair, or they can inject his system with poison and finally have him succumb and die. Does that change the position or the loss or the agony or the grief that happened because somebody broke the rules? There are experiences that you have lived in or gone through as you get older, that give you an awareness. That’s so you, in turn, begin to instruct your children in a way or in a manner that will cause them (your hope is) to not find themselves in that type of environment or set of circumstances! We do that because it is a Godly, spiritual principal. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
Often times the administration of justice that is administered in the aspect of parental authority or in the position of governmental authority, not only is it punitive but it is vindictive or it is an act of revenge. It’s not on the basis of redemption! I am a firm believer in parental discipline of children. I am a firm believer in it. But it should not be vindictive. It should not be punitive. It should always be done on the basis of redemption! It should not be done in anger or in the heat of emotion! Now I believe there is a time for emotions, because the Bible tells us that there is a time for the wrath of God. (Ecclesiastes 3) Wrath or anger is something that is of an emotional quality in our emotional makeup. The Bible says that you and I are created in the image of God, which means that the composition of our soul is made up after the attribute of the entity that you and I call God. (Genesis 1:27) I do not believe that wrath or anger is the motivation that should move you to do something that needs to be done. It should not be done in that frame or that type of an environment.
You might want to open your Bibles to Matthew 6 because I am preaching out of Matthew 6. The disciples came to Jesus Christ and they asked Jesus Christ to teach them how to pray. Now, I know why we don’t have prayer in our schools; I know why they are working to get God out of the American society. It’s because we don’t have prayer in our churches. We don’t have prayer in our schools because we don’t have prayer in our churches. I’ll tell you something else! I know why we don’t have prayer in our churches. It’s because we do not have Holy Ghost anointed, given, unctioned prayer in our homes. Husbands and wives are not praying together. They might be talking together. They might be talking about this. They might be talking about that and they might think, “Oh boy, this is going on over here!” and, “Oh my, this is going on over there!” but they are not moving under the unction and auspices of the Holy Ghost! They are not down on their knees before God!
So, we begin to pray that change might be made evident or come into being, but it might not necessarily be the will of God. Do you know that there have been many times when I have been confronted with situations that I personally did not like in an environment that is called church, and when I began to pray about the thing, God corrected me. He brought a word of correction to me in regards to my attitude and the thing that I was doing. Do you hear me? I found out they weren’t necessarily wrong as I was! That didn’t make them right, but it didn’t make them wrong. Do you hear what I’m saying? There was something in the midst of my prayer that God began to utilize as a vehicle by which He might begin to administer correction to me. Only, only, only, only at that point in time, as I came to that position of realization, that I came to that position of understanding, could I begin to pray in a righteous manner with regards to the situation! It wasn’t that it might be changed, but that God’s redemption and righteousness might be made manifest in the midst of the circumstance. I believe it was Rees Howells that started a mission or he was responsible for a work that he began to do, and there was this guy that was under him that was giving him some sort of trouble. It was someone like a subordinate, or insubordinate, and God spoke to Rees Howells to give him the work. When Rees Howells went to God about the situation, God told Rees Howells to begin to exalt the man in the position that he desired. Hello. Now that’s redemptive! That is redemptive. Do you hear me? That is redemptive! Then when the man begins to move… I don’t remember the outcome of the circumstance but whatever it might be and whatever it does, God is able to assess the situation and if there’s any vindication that needs to be done on the matter or on the part of Rees Howells, God is able to move. You know that God is not able to move on our behalf most of the time because if He vindicated us or moved on our behalf He would sustain unrighteousness. He would be supporting ungodliness. He would be supporting an attitude that is not conducive to godliness. Hello, are you listening?
They said, “Teach us how to pray.” He started out by saying, Matthew 6:5, And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. I was thinking about this aspect of reward. I was thinking about it a great deal. I was confronted with a certain situation and I saw something in my soul that I did not like. Something manifested in my soul. You couldn’t see it on the outside. But I could see it on the inside and I could hear my emotions talking to my mind. Oh yes, oh yes, I could hear it. All the things that my emotions were telling me were creating something of a discontent for my environment or for the place that I was finding myself in. I wasn’t satisfied with this and I wasn’t satisfied with that, and I was looking out here and seeing something else and that something else was feeding an environment of discontent within the midst of my soul. Hallelujah. There is something of a reward in all of that. Can you imagine that there is a necessity for you and I to have some aspect of reality with regard to the eternal? If you do not have vision that penetrates the veil, if you do not have vision that goes beyond the circumference of your world, if you do not have a vision that goes beyond your horizontal relationship with the things that we call our world, hallelujah, then it is impossible for you to pray in any other manner except as a hypocrite and there is a reward that comes to you on that level and that level only. You have to have an ability to look beyond your position of personal preference. Hallelujah. Is that not what God told them in the beginning? Wasn’t that the first thing they were to pray? “Our Father, which art in Heaven,” pertaining to those things of my personal environment, pertaining to the aspect of my trouble and my tribulation. Our Father which art in earth? But often times we approach God on that basis. We do not approach Him as our Father… We do not approach Him as our Father. There is a thought in all of that, that you and I need to be very cognizant of. What is the nature of our Father? What is the nature of our Father? When we say, “Our Father,” are we thinking of our earthly fathers and the attributes that they had, both good and bad? Our Father which art in Heaven, what is the nature of that being that we’re calling Father? I almost feel presumptuous calling God “Father.” We say it very easily. We say it very glibly, but there is something very holy and awesome at the aspect of calling a Jehovah-Jireh, a Jehovah-Nissi, an El-Shaddai, loose, hallelujah, calling Him, “Father.” It’s not that I don’t have the right or the privilege, because I do in the aspect of the blood of Jesus Christ. Not by virtue of my own righteousness, not by virtue of my own position of goodness, not by virtue of the aspect of how much money I give, or how much time I spend in church, hallelujah. It is not on that basis. It’s on the basis of the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no righteousness by which I might assume the position of being His son. We have lost that perspective. We have lost that perspective. We have lost that understanding somewhere in the mechanics of religion. We have lost, as it were, the aspect of the awesomeness of the character of God.
I think a lot of it has to do with some of our understanding of the scripture. They started a long time ago changing the Word, you understand that. It just hasn’t been something that has been happening that the aspect of the name “Lord” does not carry with it the same connotation or the same power or the essence of life as Yahweh or Elohim or El-Shaddai. It doesn’t have that same life, that entity of being that is God. Hallelujah. If you don’t understand what I am saying, you need to come to some sort of grasp between the reality of “logos” and “rhema.” Now you cannot have “logos” without having “rhema” and you can’t have “rhema” without having “logos.” There’s something of an actuality of the existence or the presence of God that comes with what is written!
We don’t have Bible in school, because we don’t have Bible in church. We don’t have Bible in church because we don’t have Bible in our homes. Oh you may have the Bible on the table or it’s in your cupboard. Some of us have two Bibles, one here and one over there, but the fact of the matter is we have to have Bible in here, inside of us, in here, in here, in here, in here! That doesn’t mean you memorize scripture. It doesn’t mean you read the Bible one verse a day for 365 days or you follow the course of “How to get through the Bible in one year.” I was never able to adhere to one of those courses because I’d always get into the Word and something in the Word would speak to me and I’d have to follow it. Sometimes I’d follow it for weeks! Sometimes I’d follow it for months, just meditating on it and thinking about it, going back and reading it and reading it and reading it. Hallelujah.
We don’t have Bible in school. We don’t have Bible in our communities. We don’t have Bible in church, because we don’t have Bible in home and we don’t have Bible in home because we don’t have Bible in here (our hearts). I know people that can quote you scripture. They can quote you scripture. Some people I know can quote chapters! I have seen them move and go out and act as though they know no scripture at all! They speak with their mouth what they should not speak. They look with their eyes at what they should not look. They use their ears to hear things they should not hear. Why? Because the Word of God is not in here, in our hearts, not in here, not in here. If you don’t believe that’s a scriptural principal, you need to turn over into John where it talks about the firstborn of God and the light of God and the action of God in human flesh. It says the Word was made flesh and the Word walked and talked amongst them. John said they handled the Word of God. (I John 1:1) Do you know that there are some people that have a relationship with God and that relationship with God is bringing forth in their soul a revelation and a manifestation of the Word? Hallelujah.
You want a scripture for that? I’ll give you one. It says to be careful and open to hospitality for often times it may be that you have hosted angels unaware. (Hebrews 13:2) Oh, you mean those things with wings. Why? That is the lower dimension, lower dimension, lower dimension. I believe in angels as a higher dimension, but in the aspect of the Word and when it speaks, it’s a lower dimension. Do you know that when the Word begins to work in you and God begins to speak to you and you begin to move in what God is speaking to you, and you begin to allow the Spirit of God that is in you and is speaking to you and the Word that is working in you to begin to move in your life and to motivate you in a certain manner, in a certain way, and you walk into an environment and walk into a situation and something of God comes out of you, you are moving as an angel? You are delivering a Word of God. You might not say anything with your mouth. You might not do anything necessarily that is religious, but in the aspect of the righteousness that has been worked in the fabric of your soul, there is something of the loosening of the Word of God and you become an angel. Sometimes people handle you despicably because of the action of the Word that’s working in you! Do you want to know something else? You’re not even aware of it. If you were aware of it, you would be in trouble, because you would probably be wrong. “Shake the dust off of my feet, I’m not coming back here, God, you let my blessing come back to me!” John said over in one of his little gospels over there, that they handled the Word of God. He must have had an awareness of the reverence and the position of the glory. We use the word too irreverently. You know, we don’t want to see the glory of God. If you and I saw the glory of God, I don’t know that you and I would be able to stand it, because of the darkness and the religiousness of our own soul that is a despicable taste in the mouth of God. God doesn’t want religion. God wants a vehicle or a temple in which He can inhabit. Hallelujah! He is not coming into a pigsty! If He comes into a pigsty, He is coming in for the purpose of coming with the fuller’s soap and the refiner’s fire. Some places I’ve see that people have remodeled, they would have been better off if they would have just taken a bulldozer, pushed it into a pile and lit a match to it! By the time they finished, they still had in the rudiments of what they had, they still had what they began with, it was just dressed up! The foundation was still out. The floor was still sloping. The plumbing still didn’t work and yet all the things they looked at were so nice and shiny and had new paint all over it, but something was dreadfully wrong because every time it rained, their basement filled up with the rain. Hallelujah. We need to have an attitude, we need to have a perspective that is conducive to the presence of God. That is why He said, “When you pray,” He said pray, “Our Father.” “Our Father, Our Father which art in Heaven.” You’ve already elevated Him and lowered yourself. You’ve already elevated Him to a position of awe and reverence if you are able to have a reality! Hallelujah.
He says, After this manner therefore pray ye… He goes through a list of dos and don’ts. I’m so glad that we have dos and don’ts in the New Testament. I’m so glad that we are to do and we are not to do. Hallelujah. I’m so glad that it was recorded in the New Testament, so much for “the law is cast away,” so much for regulations, so much for rules. We’re going to be surprised at the amount of regulations and rules that are of high spiritual life. Do you know one of the complaints of God in Jeremiah 4 was that there was complete and total disregard for rules. Total and complete disregard for rules! He said that He looked and He saw chaos. He looked and He saw darkness and nothing had shape or form and it was void. And He said, “My bowels, my bowels. My tents are spoiled.” What’s He talking about? He’s talking about a society that is totally and absolutely motivated by their own appetites.
All right, I’m going to go that direction. I’m going to talk about appetites. Do you know that we make decisions based upon our appetites, and not upon the will of God? O, yes you do, yes you do. Sometimes they’re major decisions, sometimes they are little decisions. But I want to tell you something. Little decisions always add up to big decisions. If you make the little decisions wrong and on the basis of your appetite, you’re going to make the big decisions on the basis of your appetite that has grown to a proportion and to a position or place that you have no prerogative, but to feed it! Hallelujah.
Now, let me clarify something here. If a man or a woman has a desire that is outside his or her ability to provide and they do not move in accordance to the will of God with regard to their situation or their dissatisfaction, the devil will begin to move in a manner to bring you the opportunity to do something about your discontent. God allows that devil to come and to tempt you because you have professed a position of faith and belief in Him and to have stated with your mouth or with an intention that you desire to be like God. He was a man who had no place to lay His head. He was a man who was scorned and He was deserted by all of His friends. Now, let us say that, for instance, I want a new house. I am not satisfied or I am discontent because in the summer I am too hot. I am discontent and dissatisfied because in the winter I am too cold. I am dissatisfied because of the position or the place that the house is in or the condition that the house might be in. The Bible says that I am to be content in all situations and all circumstances whatsoever they might be. (Hebrews 13:5) Now, if I don’t do something about my discontent with regard to the will of God… Do you know that the will of God, knowing for me and my own position of personal preference, knowing the will of God gives me a strength to overcome my discontent? “But, I don’t make enough money, I don’t make enough money. I can’t buy the car I want. I can’t buy the clothes I want.” Well, we want to be a little more noble. “My wife can’t have this. My wife can’t have that. My wife can’t do that.” Or, “I’m bringing up my children in something that I consider an environment of lesser value.” I don’t know if we ever stop (oh, yes I do know) and ask God, “Is it Your will for me to suffer in this manner? Is it Your will for me to live in a house that’s too hot? Is it Your will for me to live in a house that’s too cold? Is it Your will that the plumbing doesn’t work? Is it Your will that there are holes in the foundation and all kinds of varmints come in? Is it Your will that all of these things that are pressing on me, that are making me discontent and making me come to want to better my position, is it Your will that I do or move to a higher standard of living?” Now, I should say, move to the standard that I have set. Is it consistent with scripture? Is it consistent with scripture that I take the means and the substance that God has provided to me to better my environment? Is it consistent with scripture and the pattern of scriptural men, hallelujah, who have given their lives for the sake of the gospel? Hallelujah. Is it consistent that I pamper myself in such a manner that I am comfortable? Is it consistent with scripture? Absolutely not. Huh? Absolutely not! Absolutely not! There is no pattern in scripture that gives me the liberty or the right. Now, I can take scripture and twist it. I can take scripture and manipulate it. Oh, yes. Give unto God and He’ll give back to you. Oh, yes. If you give tenfold, God will give you a hundred fold. Oh, yes. If you believe and ask for it in His name there is a claiming of it and it will come to you. Now, you can say what you want to the outer church or that aspect of church that we call church that moves in that environment, but I am telling you something, there is a mentality that we have with regard to that position. Hallelujah. Is it consistent with scripture?
You make decisions; you move out of your house, you change your job, you buy a new car. You do this, you do that, all on the basis of some aspect of desire or position of want that we have called need. We make the wrong decision! Because we make the wrong decision, we set in motion a set of circumstances that has an inevitable result. There is nothing God will do about it because a decision was made, we have asserted a sense of direction and He will not intervene with your environment and the direction of your travel except in the aspect of trying to bring you to a place of recognition! The problem is, brethren, when you make a decision, something happens in here and it’s called hardening hearts. If you want a classic example of hardening heart, I suggest you go and look at Pharaoh and the decisions that he made based upon his position of personal preference and comfortability. You know there was a certain amount of ease and luxury that they got from working the children of Israel. They didn’t have to work so hard. They didn’t have to do what they were doing. They could go out and play golf. They could go out and watch a ball game. Thy could go and sit down in front of the TV and watch the people playing basketball and they could spend time out tossing some stupid ball through a hoop! What does that have to do with redemption? What does that have to do with souls that are slipping into hell? What does that have to do with Thy Kingdom come? Do you think we’ll be playing golf in the kingdom of God? NO, no. I think there are greater, greater things. The Bible says, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. We are not going to be playing harps all day. Thy Kingdom come. It says, be ye therefore not like unto them. You know this all goes in, this all ties in with the latter part of the Matthew 6. I’m afraid I’m not going to get there today. That ties in with the latter part of the chapter that says you can’t love two masters. It all leads down and goes into the aspects of serving God and serving mammon. Listen to me, hallelujah, listen to me! I knew a man that had the call of God upon his life, and he didn’t desert life, he didn’t stop living, do you hear me? He was in a natural environment. He had natural responsibilities. He had a family. He had bills to pay. He had rent to pay. He had car payments to pay. He had to buy food. He was a skilled worker. Yet in the midst of all of that there was an action or an unction that God had put upon him. Do you hear me? There was a call and a hold that God had upon his life for the souls of men. God required of him to live, as it were, in his environment and move under the unction of his calling. But there was one difference about all of that, it was that everything he did on this level, though he was taking care of his responsibility, everything else was going into the operation or the mechanics of the kingdom of God. All of his strength, all of his desires, all of his hopes and aspirations. I saw God move in his set of circumstances. The devil came in and tried to destroy, tried to rend, to tear, to bring to naught, to bring destruction, bring all kinds of chaos, but because his desire for righteousness, God intervened in his set of circumstances. He didn’t have a better house. In fact, he ended up with no house. He didn’t have a better car. In fact, he ended up with no car. Hallelujah. But his children were being redeemed. He was laying up for himself a crown in heaven that was indestructible. Why? Because there was something that he saw with his eyes that was not natural, there was something that he was desiring and grasping hold of. He was a man that was possessed with a calling and a destiny. Hallelujah! If you really want to know what motivated Hudson Taylor, Rees Howells or David Brainerd, it was men that had an ability and a reality of the Word that says, “My Father, which art in Heaven.” We want to say, “My God, who is in earth!” You make decisions based upon your desires. What it does for you when you make the wrong decision, it takes you out of a position of protection and an environment that is conducive to your growth spiritually, and puts you into an environment that is unprotected. There is no covering of God over you in that position. Do you hear me? Because you have determined to take upon you your own destiny because of the motivations of your wrong desires.
It would be like me going into our greenhouse, taking a plant that is about four weeks old and in an environment of about 75 degrees, controlled, they get the right amount of water, they get the right amount of fertilizer and they’re tender, young, sweet and growing and green, and taking it out into an environment that is so much more harsh and not conducive to developing it’s position of maturity. Hello? Have you ever seen a plant that was blooming taken out of a controlled environment and stuck into an environment and see the temperature plummet? Have you ever seen it? Leaves curl up! What has happened? Sin hath come in like a breath of frost! Hallelujah. Things you hear: not godly, things you see: not godly, because you’re not under the shadow! Oh yeah, we can quote it, my goodness, we can quote it, we’re end time people. Psalm 91, He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. In order to be in the secret place you have to be under the shadow of His wings. If you make a decision based upon a want or a desire or a discontent or miscontent, you move out of that position of protection. I don’t believe, and you don’t have to believe this way, but I believe it’s God, and you don’t have to believe it, but I believe there is no middle ground. I don’t believe there’s good and evil and then there’s Burt and Burt’s environment and Burt’s desires and Burt’s wants. We are under an overshadowing of an authority, a governmental authority, a governmental spirit that says, “Me first.” For God hath given unto each and every one certain inalienable rights. Yeah, He has. It’s the right to die. There is nothing of inalienable rights about the economy of the government of God. Oh yeah, government of the people, by the people, for the people. We prophesy it, we talk about it, we actively move in it in our own personal environment. “I have a right to better my condition.” “I have a right to make more money.” “I have a right for this type of a wife.” “I have a right for this type of a husband.” “I have a right for this type of children.” “I have a right for this type of work environment.” You have no rights! If you have given your heart to Jesus. You have no rights, no rights, no rights! How can it be more plain? How can it be more evident?
You know, California was a real spiritual eye opener to me and I notice some of the invasion of the California mentality coming into the Midwest. You go out to California and you don’t see open grounds, you see fences. Everybody’s got a fence, no matter if it’s two by two. If it’s two by two and it’s yours, you build a fence around it. If your neighbor’s got an 8 foot fence, you build a 10 foot fence. So you have an 8 foot fence by a 10 foot fence. I’ve seen them, oh yes. How do you like this fence? We all build fences around our houses. Out here when I first came, you didn’t see any fences. Am I mistaken or was I just hallucinating? Were there fences 10 years ago, 11 years ago? You go out here, house after house after house and I’m talking to someone, I was talking and I said, “Where are the fences?” I said, “Where are the property lines? How do they know when Johnny’s ball rolls over into Suzy’s yard?” I have seen neighbors squabble over the fence. “You’ve got it on my property line, it’s six inches over! It’s on my side of the line. Move it over! Tear it down, move it over!” Some neighbors don’t even talk to each other because the fence is six inches on their property and one of the neighbors is Christian, maybe. Our Father which art in Heaven. I saw a situation of a tree growing on one persons property and the leaves were extending over on the other persons yard and the leaves were falling on that man’s yard and he was at odds with his neighbor because his neighbor wouldn’t come over and rake them! “Your leaves are dropping on my property!” What did he do? He cut half the tree off. He was a Christian. What kind of testimony? What kind of position or place of righteousness? It’s no different than what we do with God in the aspect of our desires, our wants and we move without knowing the will of God!
People tell me, “It’s the will of God that I pick potatoes.” So they come out and they pick two days. We’ve got five days of picking potatoes and in the middle of picking the potatoes, God suddenly changes His mind and tells them to go pick turnips. God doesn’t change His mind. God puts you in a position and unless God speaks to you definitely, directly, you have no business doing something else other than what God told you in the beginning.
I wonder what Noah thought about 98 years down the road. I was thinking about it the other night. Do you think he had prophets coming to him and delivering to him the Word of the Lord? Do you? They weren’t on the boat. 98… 97… oh, let’s go back, 60 years working, 61… 62… 63… 64… and his friends become fewer and fewer. His acquaintances become scarcer and scarcer and pretty soon, nobody’s talking to him. Then down at about 70 years, someone’s throwing rotten eggs at him or cursing him or telling him what an old fool he is. But somewhere down there many years ago, he heard something that God spoke to him and he persevered and he moved through it. Do you think he really enjoyed doing that for a 100 years? How many of you have had a job that is monotony and you wish to God you could do something else? And you just get up in the morning, “I got to go and work again. I gotta do the same thing all over again. Oh, I gotta do the same thing again. Oh, I gotta deal with the same people all over again. I am so bored with what I’m doing!” Why are you bored? Because you’re seeing here and you’re not seeing there. You’re not seeing the aspect of change. You’re not seeing the aspect of judgment that God is wanting to work within the fabric of your soul!
I believe that we have power with God. I believe that there is a position or a place… You know, I tell you what, we create environments, do you hear me? We create environments. I had someone tell me not to long ago, they were complaining about all the things they had to do and I got to thinking about it and everything that they were talking about was something that they initiated many years ago. But, you see, we don’t see the end, we just see the beginning. We have certain aspirations, certain desires and we put those aspirations and desires into operation and they begin to create as it were, a monster that devours our time, that devours our energy, that devours our substance, hello, and then we begin to cry out, “God, get me out of this mess! Lord, what am I going to do? I need to be over here and I need to go over there and I need to be over here and I need to be over there. God I can’t be everywhere!!” Then you have a nervous breakdown. Is it God’s fault? Absolutely not. Their marriage ends up in divorce, or their children end up in sin and degradation, or their loved ones slide and slip and go into hell or the community in which they live never comes to some sort of realization that they had the power to be sons of God! They did nothing with it except to squander it as Esau squandered his. Some of us are squandering our inheritance for porridge, porridge. We’re squandering it. It doesn’t go the way we want it to go; doesn’t look the way we want it to look; doesn’t act the way we want it to act and so we do something that is contrary to righteousness, contrary to the will of God and it puts in motion a set of circumstances that has an ability to judge us in the end. Thy Kingdom come… Do you pray that? If you pray it then you’re indicted. Do you pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” and do you walk away and go out and do your own business as though it was nothing pertinent to the coming of that kingdom or establishing an access by which that kingdom might come? I’d like to ask you, is the kingdom coming through you? Do you think that Jesus is going to come down and rapture the church? Oh yes, come on… Do you think that? If you don’t think that then how do you think Jesus is coming? He’s coming through those who have allowed and made a way by which He might come in them and through them. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Hallelujah.
Let me go over to verse 19. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal… Very temporal. You know, there is a prophecy is of a coming financial crisis, crunch, as it were, lack of money. What are you doing to prepare yourself for that spiritual dilemma? Are you reading the Bible more? Maybe you’re praying in tongues more. What are you doing on a practical basis? Do you know, I believe Brother Peter said it last night, he quoted the word about God not doing anything unless He first revealed it to His prophets and His servants. There was a time in Egypt when… Egypt? Isn’t that strange that God would talk to Egypt, hello, about a coming famine? And that He would put a man in a position that wasn’t Egyptian but he was Hebrew and he gave that man an authority by which he might instigate and institute a means by which He might redeem, not just the Egyptians or for the sake of the Egyptians… Do you know why He did it in Egypt? He couldn’t have done it in the land of Israel. Israel did not have the means, Israel did not have the position, Israel did not have the substance by which to do what needed to be done! He took a man through years of training, years of tribulation… If you really want to better your position look at Joseph. He went from being free born to the servant of Potiphar and from the servant of Potiphar to the servant of the jailer! Do you know how long he spent in prison? You ought to look it up sometime. It was a long time. It wasn’t a year, it wasn’t year and a half, it was a long time. He was a man who had the rod of God’s judgment laid to his back.
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Hallelujah. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
What is the thing that you have set your eye upon? Is it the bringing forth of the kingdom of God? Is it the establishment of redemption and the work of salvation with regard to souls and bodies? You know, there’s a scripture in the Bible that says, fear not him that is able to kill the body but fear him that is able to destroy both the body and the soul in hell. (Matthew 10:28) There is a concern that God has with regard to our physical bodies for a physical purpose and that purpose is to bring forth a spiritual kingdom. Hallelujah. 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other… Now, I don’t know how you read that, but I read it in the manner and fashion that says that if I’m serving a master I’m going to love the master. The more I love and serve the master the more I’m going to love him and the more I love him the more I’m going to hate the other. If I’m serving mammon for the sake of what mammon can do with regard to my personal environment, then I am coming to a position or place of hating my spiritual inheritance and, as I said before, we end up in the place of Esau.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns… How many of you would like to live in a tree? Have you seen places where birds make their nests? …yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. It must have been something spiritual that he was seeing in regard to the lily. Most lilies I have seen are always in some kind of pond that is somewhat repugnant. It smells bad, it looks bad, it’s got all kinds of creepy, crawly things in it, and yet he said a lily is in that position or that place, or maybe it’s the lily of the valley. Have you ever seen where lily of the valley, the flower they call lily of the valley sometimes grows in thorny places, hilly places, rocky places! 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. I want to know… We need to ask God on what basis are we approaching Him. On what basis are we pursuing after Him? On what basis are we participating in the program that we call God? What is the basis, if it’s not scriptural, in the thing that we’re doing? If it doesn’t line up with the precepts and the facts and the intent that God has, then we need to change our direction.
Excerpt from Rees Howells, Intercessor
In separating him to Himself, the Lord was preparing to take Rees much farther than this. He was going to call him away from public ministry altogether and the next step came through an attack of the enemy on his special friend and co-worker in the mission. They loved each other and “by nature,” observed Mr. Howells, “he was one of the most lovable persons I had ever met. Also, like Apollos, he was eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures.” But the enemy, through some believers, began to tell his friend that so long as he remained with Rees Howells in the village he would never be at his best. He needed to have a work of his own.
The Lord showed Mr. Howells the seriousness of this attack, and that he was the only one who could save his friend: “The only way you can do it is by giving him the very thing the enemy says he will never get. Why don’t you give the leadership of the mission to him? Retire behind and be an intercessor for him. Pray that the mission will be a greater success in his hands than in yours.” And He reminded Rees that this was one of the very things He had spoken to him about years before at Llandrindod.
He had to face the effect it would have on his life. “For three years I had put all my time, money and everything into the mission,” he noted, “and had been over every night. And now, when there were great prospects, He was asking me to step down and help behind my friend, as he had previously helped behind me. The mission was growing, and would become still more popular, and the people naturally would attribute all the success to my friend. They would never see nor remember that it needed someone to put down the foundation.
“It was a great inward conflict to allow my friend to get the outward success. This was the next grade of self the Holy Ghost was going to deal with; and it was a hard process, allowing self to be replace by His divine nature. For three days I could not willingly accept it, but I knew I would be pulled through. It was God’s way of working one up to having as much joy in a hidden life as in an open and successful one. If my aim in life was to do God’s will, then I could truly say either way would be equal joy.”
The story of Madame Guyon, in which the process of sanctification was to be seen very plainly, proved a help to him at this time. Even in the dungeon in France she would say, “I ask no more, in good or ill, but union with Thy holy will.”
God brought Rees through and made another deep change in his nature. Like Jonathan, he was able to love the man who took his place. He talked it over with his friend and told him how God was leading him and that from henceforth the mission would be his while he stood behind him in prayer. “Build it as a great mission. The Lord will win souls through you, and I will be praying for you. I want the mission to become a greater success through you than it was through me.”