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Light on the Inside

Thursday, July 4, 2002
Mahomet, Illinois

(For printable version click here.)

If you have your Bibles, you might want to open them up to Isaiah.  Hallelujah.  I hope to be able to get to the 54th chapter of Isaiah.  Oh, hallelujah.  Can you say, “Amen!”  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  It’s always marvelous to me how God moves in the midst of circumstances, hallelujah.  It says that when one member of the body suffers the whole body suffers.  (I Corinthians 12:26)  When one member of the body rejoices the whole body should rejoice.  Hallelujah!  Come on, hallelujah, the Spirit of God is here this morning.  If you want God you have got to reach out for Him.  He says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock.”  If any man open up that door, what’s He going to do?  He’s going to come in.  But you have to open up that door.  (Revelation 3:20)  If I come to your house and knock on your door and you’re there and you don’t answer it, you don’t get the benefit of my company, because I’m only going to knock for so long, and I’m only going to persevere for so long, do you hear me?  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah. 

We need to be cognizant of the spiritual realm of the heavenlies in which we abide.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  One of our problems is that we’re natural.  One of our problems is that we’re physical, and we have physical eyes and we live in a physical realm and the physical realm is always being utilized by the prince and the power of this environment, to sidetrack us or get us to look on this level instead of this level.  (Natural, instead of spiritual.)  Hallelujah, we need to look on this level.  (Spiritual.) 

You know, I don’t believe that anything that happens to any one of us is inconsequential.  I don’t believe that.  I don’t believe that things are just happenchance, do you hear me?  Hallelujah.  I believe that everything that we do is spiritual or has a spiritual emphasis.  Spiritual overshadowing.  Spiritual consequences at the end of the day, whether we behaved in the right manner and moved in the right way, or whether we behaved in the wrong manner and did the wrong thing.  There are spiritual consequences.  Hallelujah.  We like to think that we’re spiritual in this environment.  We have to take this environment out of this environment and put it in this environment, so that when I walk out of the door, I’m still in church, because church is in me!  (The environment of church out of church and put it inside of us.)  That’s why Jesus says that whatever you do, do all things as unto who?  (Colossians 3:23)  Doesn’t mean that you have to like what you’re doing.  Doesn’t mean that you want to do what you’re doing, but if God has put you in the doing of it, then you have a responsibility to do it as unto who?  Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.  Glory to God, can you say, “Amen”?  Maybe you don’t believe that.  That’s all right, you don’t have to, but it’s Biblical, it’s a principle, I have seen it work.  Now, you don’t go on my testimony.  You get your own testimony.  You go, I challenge you to challenge God!  I ask you to challenge God to prove Himself of the spiritual reality of what I’m saying.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  Then when it starts to happen, you had better start putting to work those spiritual principles that govern that realm, do you hear me?  Hallelujah. 

Isaiah 54.  Hallelujah.  You know, this chapter, as I think about it, is a good chapter, I meditate on it, I would like to be able to meditate on it more often because it reminds me of farming.  And you know, you’re going to hear a lot about farming when I’m ministering the Word these days because that’s what I’m doing.  I did some farming many years ago for my dad and for a number of years we farmed peaches and almonds – that’s “aamonds”  for you Californians.  Not “allmonds”  but “aamonds.”  There’s a little saying that we have in the almond business and that was that they were “almonds”  on the trees and they were “aamonds”  on the ground.  The reason for that is that we shook the “L”  out of them.  That’s what God is doing to you and I, but it’s not the “L”  that He’s shaking.  In Hebrews it says, “Yet once more will I do” what?  I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.  Well, not everybody believes that.  Turn over there to Hebrews, keep your finger in chapter 54, and let us read from the 12th chapter of Hebrews and let’s begin at the 23rd verse: it says, To the general assembly and the church of the firstborn – that would be to you and I, would you not agree?  Do you believe that you are a part of the general assembly of God?  Do you believe that?  Hallelujah.  Do you believe that you’re the church of the firstborn?  My goodness, this is climbing uphill today.  Hallelujah.  Well, then, if that is true then what it says is pertinent to you and I.  It’s not pertinent just to a New Testament church that was in existence in the days of the apostles.  It’s not something that’s written for the admonition of that church and that dispensation.  It is something that is pertinent, something that has been preserved, something that is written and something that is to be read by you and I because we fit in the mold that it’s speaking about.  Hallelujah.  If you don’t believe that, go into Romans.  Hallelujah. 

In heaven and to God the judge of all and to the spirits of just men made perfect.  Oh yes, I want to be part of that company.  Do you want to be a part of that company?  Say, “Amen,” if you want to be a part of that company. 

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of the blood of Abel.  Hallelujah.  Now, you know what the blood of Abel spoke, right?  You know that.  Well, if you don’t know, I’ll tell you anyway.  Vengeance.  It says, “Your brother’s blood cries out from the ground for vindication or vengeance.”  (Genesis 4:10)  There was a recompense that it was making with regard to the act that was perpetrated against him by Cain.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  It says that Jesus, Yeshua, is the mediator of a new covenant that has a sprinkling of blood that speaketh better things.  What are the better things?  Do you know what the better things are?  It’s in Corinthians, one of the Corinthians letters, and it talks about, seeing therefore he has given us this ministry of reconciliation.  (II Corinthians 5:18)  Hallelujah!  You and I have a ministry of reconciliation.  That means there’s something that has been given to us that has in it the substance of power, the substance of strength and vitality, that vitality that was in Christ Jesus.  Hello.  We don’t use our power.  We don’t use our covenant relationship with God.  We’d rather trust doctors, prescriptions, herbs, or whatever else that there is out there, or we would rather talk something about something to somebody than talk in the manner of the thing to God and do something in the spiritual realm that is for the purpose of redeeming.  This is what He’s talking about when He’s talking about the blood that speaketh better things than the blood of Abel! 

Let us go on.  See that you refuse not him that speaketh.  (Hebrews 11:25)  Hello, hello.  Something is being spoken.  We are sitting here today – you’re listening to me – but it is not me you’re listening to and it’s not really necessarily the thing that I’m speaking.  There is something in the realm of the heavens, a Word of God that is God.  Hallelujah.  John 1:1, In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was what?  It was God.  That “word” in John 1 is the “word” in Hebrews that speaks in the realm of the heavenlies!  Hallelujah!  It was the “word” that was spoken in the very beginning that said, “Let there be light.”  Hallelujah.  That’s redemptive!  Do you know that Genesis 1 is not just necessarily the story of the beginning of the world in a natural sense, in a natural arena, in a natural place, with natural things?  It’s the story of redemption!  It says that chaos, do you know what chaos is?  How many of you have ever been in a chaotic situation?  How many of you have ever been confused?  How many of you have ever been disoriented?  How many of you have ever been baffled as to what decision, “Shall I go left, should I go right, which way should I go?  Was I right, was I wrong?”  How many of you spend a whole lot of time on hindsight?  Hallelujah.  We’re talking about the realm of the heavenlies and a Word that is in the realm of the heavenlies that not only has been spoken, but it is speaking, and will speak more tomorrow! 

Hallelujah, did you know that your salvation is progressive?  Boy I’m sure glad that I got delivered from the Baptist Church.  Boy, am I glad I got delivered from the Baptist church.  No amens out there.  You’re not happy that I got delivered from the Baptist Church.  You probably want me back in the Baptist Church!  (Congregation says, “NO!”)  Hallelujah.  You know, it was the Word of God that came to me in the Baptist mentality in the midst of Baptist doctrine!  Now, you know, I don’t really have it in for the Baptist people per se, it’s the Baptist Convention.  Men who have set themselves up as God.  You know, when He delivered me out of the Baptists I didn’t run into God, I ran into the Assembly’s.  I found out my condition was just as bad!  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah. 

See that you refuse not him that speaketh.  How many of you wish that you could hear God?  Well?  I think that God talks to us all the time and I don’t know that we always want to hear what God has to say.  Do you think that your flesh is any different than the children of Israel?  Do you know that they slew every prophet?  Hello.  Do you know that they slew every prophet? (Matthew 23:30-31)  They not only slew them, but they went into the temple to finish them off!  Hallelujah!  How about the story of the, was he an Edomite?  Not one of the mighty men of Saul would raise their hand, it took an Edomite to rise up and to smite the priest of the Lord.  (I Samuel 22:18)  Hallelujah.  You know, hearing God is dangerous!  I don’t know whether we should put a label on it – that hearing God could be hazardous to your carnal self!  Hello.  “Take at your own risk and with a knowledge and with an awareness that what you’re taking is going to kill you!!”  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  Well, you know, I didn’t get delivered from the Assembly’s, I got kicked out.  I guess that’s deliverance.  They gave me the right foot of fellowship. 

See that you refuse not him that speaketh for if they escape not who refuse him that spake on earth how much more shall not we escape.  If we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven, present tense.  (Hebrews 11:25)  Hello.  It’s not past tense, it’s present tense.  It means that He was speaking and what He was speaking, He is now speaking in this arena and to a people who have ears to hear, eyes to see.  I think one of the prayers the church should have is, “God, give me hearing ears and seeing eyes.”  Hello.  Because, you know, religiousness has a way of making you blind and deaf.  Too bad it doesn’t make you dumb.  But it seems the more religious you get, the more you talk.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah. 

It says, whose voice then shook the earth and now he has promised saying yet more I will shake not only earth but also the heaven.  This Word, this Word, this Logos, this Rhema, Logos that became Rhema, come on, Hallelujah.  It means that yet once more signifying the removing of those things that are shakable.  Now, I changed the word from “shaken” to “shakable.”  Hello.  If that offends you, forgive me.  But it’s past, present, and future.  As of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken shall remain.  Wherefore we receive a kingdom which cannot be moved.  Can you say, “Amen”?  Well, if you can’t say, “Amen,” you’re going to say, “Amen,” one day if you persevere long enough.  Hallelujah. 

Hallelujah.  One of the remarkable traits about some of the saints is that they went looking for trouble.  Paul amazes me.  The man had a tenacity to get into the midst of the fire.  If he wasn’t being kindled or burning, hallelujah, he wasn’t happy, he wasn’t satisfied, he didn’t have the contentment that he was doing a good job.  Hallelujah.  Boy, that’s an attitude that’s foreign.  Wherefore we received the kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace were by we may serve God acceptably.  Your acceptability isn’t determined by your position or your perspective.  Hello.  You have nothing to do with that acceptability, as far as what your personal idea is with regard to what is acceptable.  Acceptability is something that is assessed from this level.  (Vertically – between you and God.)  Hello.  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  You know, the man that had 10 talents probably thought the man with five and surely the man with one, were not doing well with what all they had.  Who knows, he may have been offering all of the advice in the world.  “Well, you’re just not playing the market right.”  Hello.  Acceptability, or the man who had the five, looking at the ten.  (Matthew 25)  Of course, you never do that, do you?  You never look at those that are around you that seemingly are prosperous, or successful, or moving in the things of the Lord, or just happy and contented people and say, “Boy, I wish I could be like that, I wish I had what they have, I wish I was in that position, was in that place.”  That perception is often times this level (natural), not this level (spiritual).  Hello.  Hallelujah.  We’re not given, in the aspect of the parable, the human element of the individuals involved.  You and I have to work out the reality of the parable in the nitty gritty.  You and I have to have the pressure of discontentment and dissatisfaction and of the lack of faith and maybe the lack of hope and the physical suffering, and all the things that are pertinent to this realm in that environment.  We have to come to grips with the reality of the principle that is in here (the Bible) that says, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  (Romans 10:17)  Or, faith is the substance of things hoped for!  (Hebrews 11:1)  Hallelujah!  Loose!  Loose!  Loose!  Hallelujah. 

Well, I started to talk to you about farming.  I didn’t forget it.  Hallelujah.  Farming is a lot of hard work.  I’m in the midst of it during this season with all of these weeds.  You know, you chop them down and they grow up behind you.  You turn around and you say, “I just chopped you down!”  I could spend all week just going up and down the same aisle.  I get down to the end and it seems like I could turn around.  I leave my machine down there.  “See this machine?  If you come up, it’s going to cut you!”  I’m trying to threaten them, scare them to death.  Doesn’t work!  Huh?  Doesn’t work!  The weeds still come up, and the things still happen!  Farming is hard work, but you know, I had a revelation.  The farming aspect of it is a lot like the church.  There is so much in the Bible that speaks about farming.  It talks about breaking up the fallow ground.  (Jeremiah 4:3)  It talks about the parable of the sower.  (Matthew 13)  All of those things there are pertinent to farming and the things in the environment of farming.  They’re dealing with Sonship.  The Bible oftentimes symbolically speaks of our body as earth.  Hello.  Hallelujah.  When God says, “Break up the fallow ground,”  He’s talking about the plow.  Hallelujah.  You know, I don’t know if you’ve ever watched a plower plow, but they get these monstrous plows.  Some of them don’t look so big because they’re buried.  They cut down into the depths of the earth.  They cut down, down through what they call the disc pan.  You know, you can get into tribulation and trouble and it can harden you somewhat.  Do you understand?  It’s like out here, I take a disc and I run it back and forth across the land.  I run up and I run it down, I run it up, I bring it down.  The next week I’m out there and I run it up, I run it down, but the scraping of the disk down about 2 inches creates what they call a disc pad.  It packs the dirt.  It packs the dirt of the ground and the disk is not able to cut through that dirt.  If you can, imagine dirt that hard.  Dirt can be so hard that you can sow a seed in it and it grasps hold of the seed around it and it compacts it.  It holds it there, and the seed is not allowed to germinate.  Or if the seed germinates, it resists the growing and the development of the plant.  You know, you can walk out here on some of this ground and you can pull a plant up, and all of its roots are mingled in on each other, all wrapped around, introverted.  Hallelujah.  That’s a lot like humanity.  That’s a lot like this earth.  It takes the plow to come in and to put down, it goes down 6, 8, 9 inches into the ground and takes up a swath of dirt maybe 12 inches across and it rolls up and rolls it over.  It exposes everything, all the roots, all of the dirt, and all of the bugs.  Hallelujah.  Does that sound a little familiar?  If that isn’t enough, if that doesn’t do what needs to be done, they have what they call a chisel tooth.  The size of the tractor determines the size of the tooth.  The harder the ground, the deeper you want to go.  So you get a bigger tractor.  The chisel tooth is sometimes 3 feet long.  I’ve seen them 6 feet long, and they put that thing down into the ground.  Now, the next time you see somebody farming, I want you to think about what we’re talking about this morning.  Hallelujah, and how it applies, how it is applicable to your life!  Hello.  Next time you get into a contentious position, hallelujah.  Next time you have some sort of personality conflict, hallelujah.  Next time someone rises up with you, and you hear the snap of the whip, and you feel the crack on your back, I want you to think about the plow!   Hallelujah.  I want you to think in your mind, visualizing this tractor running up and down your back!  God’s wanting to break up the fallow ground, God’s wanting to loosen up the soil.  Why?  He wants the roots.  Therefore be rooted and grounded, hallelujah, hallelujah!  Hallelujah.  (Ephesians 3:17)  There’s sometimes the need of external assistance.  It’s not called meddling.  It’s not called interference, hallelujah.  It’s not called harassment, it’s called plowing.  Hallelujah.  It’s called farming!  God has ground that He wants to farm.  Brethren, let me tell you, He’s going to be shaking some things that you thought were unshakable.  He’s going to be doing some things in your life that you thought were done and finished with, but because there yet remains something of a root, something of the character of Adam that needs to be exposed and needs to be dealt with, He’s going to put you into that circumstance, into that situation, which is going to reveal it and give you the opportunity to have God remove it!  God is in the removing business.  Hello!  Not moving business, REmoving business.  Hallelujah. 

I tell you, I had a dream one time.  There’s a scripture that says, Unless a seed do what?  Die.  I didn’t hear you.  Die!  I really don’t think you believe it.  Fall into the ground and dies.  (John 12:24)  I had an experience one time that I thought I was dying.  I was a young man and I was kind of on fire for the Lord and I was wanting the things of God and I was into the Sonship message, the firstfruit company, the two witnesses people and I wanted God!  Hello.  And I said, “Yes, I’ll die for God!”  Hallelujah.  He must have thought I meant it because He put me in a situation, a physical situation.  I had a physical malady and it could have been serious, but it wasn’t as serious as I thought.  Nevertheless, God was trying to demonstrate something to me in the experience that I had.  I had a collapsed lung.  I don’t know if you know what that is.  It’s like your tire out here if it goes flat, only this tire was on the inside of me.  And you need it to breathe.  I was going on about my business, I was a young man.  Hallelujah.  I thought I was too young to die.  You know, most of us are always too young to die.  I’m still too young to die, but I was a whole lot younger than I am right now, and when this experience came on me, I had this severe pain.  Which arm was it?  I think it was my right arm.  Come shooting up in there, into my shoulder, and right back here.  Severe pain.  You know what I thought?  Heart attack.  “Oh, God, I’m going, I’m going, I’m going.  I’m going.”  Of course, you wouldn’t have done that.  Boy, I got on the phone to everybody who could pray.  Hello.  I got on the phone to everyone, “Oh, I’m ready to go, God!”  “Please pray for me that God don’t take me!  Help, I’m in distress!  I’m having a heart attack!”  And it got worse, it got worse and I was gasping for breath.  You know, I was taking these little short breaths, I couldn’t inflate.  I was suffocating, I couldn’t inflate.  Fear!  Fear was rising up in my belly, do you hear me!  The entity, the personality of fear was rising up in my soul, giving me a taste of hell!  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah. 

Well, I found out I wasn’t really ready to die.  I wasn’t as committed as I thought I was.  I was telling God, “I’ve got all these little babies.  God, who’s going to raise them?  Who is going to do the job?  I got this calling and election on my life, God.  Don’t you see I’ve got it written down in prophecies?”  Of course, you never do that, do you?  “What about this word here, God?”  Then they took me into the hospital and I was sitting there in the chair and I was gasping for breath and turning blue, and they’re… talking.  The nurse and the doctor are talking.  I was looking, “I’m dying!  I’m dying, don’t you see I’m dying?  I can’t get no breath!  Do something!  Save me!”  Does that sound a little familiar?  I mean, there are circumstances and situations, we can get into a financial bind… “Oh God, please, please, please, please.  I don’t want to file bankruptcy, I’ll be a reproach!  My credit history will be ruined!  I’ll be a blot on Your name, big blot!  My name won’t be ‘Burt’  in the heavens, it will be, ‘Big Blot!’  God, do something for Your sake!”  Oh yeah, ha ha ha.  We can get very spiritual about that, can’t we?  It says in the Bible here, He made Himself of no reputation.  Hello.  Hello.  He made Himself of no reputation!  (Philippians 2:7)  Hallelujah. 

God is in the business, He says unless a seed fall in the ground and die.  When I first came in this message, I don’t know, I’ve been in this message probably 35 or 40 years.  Every time I preach it, it gets longer.  Maybe that’s because I’m getting older.  We talked a lot about death to self.  Nobody wants to talk about death to self anymore.  You become harsh and judgmental, you become someone that is critical if you begin to talk about death to self!  But the Bible tells me that I must die in order to live.  Hello.  My ambitions have to die.  You know, I once had ambitions other than to do what I’m doing.  Did you know that?  The last thing in the world that I wanted to do was to do what I’m doing.  Hello.  Back there in the very beginning, there were things that I enjoyed, much to the surprise of many different people.  You mean, you were like that?  Oh, yes!  There were things that I liked to do.  And God said, All things are lawful.  “Oh, thank you, Jesus.”  I’m out the door with that  – ah ah, wait a minute – not all things are expedient.  (I Corinthians 6:12)  You know, the expediency of God becomes more extreme, more extreme, more extreme.  More demanding, more compelling, more restricted.  The closer you get to Him with regard to this carnality, or maybe I should say, human reality.  The human reality of this physical carcass that is birthed in Adam has the nature of sin.  Loose, loose, loose, loose, loose!  Paul said, “I am continually.”  You know, I would think that anybody, anybody who would come to a place where he had his house in order, was Paul.  And yet, he says, “I am continually wrestling.”  I am continually struggling, bringing this Adamic nature under the authority, into the position, the place of subjection to God. (I Corinthians 9:27)

You know, it’s not like a dog on a leash.  We think it’s like a dog on a leash.  The nature of man.  We keep it harnessed, we keep it muzzled.  Hallelujah.  We keep it restricted.  What happens if you let go of the leash?  What happens if the muzzle slips off?  Hallelujah.  Oh yes, what happens in the midst of that type of environment, in that type of a situation?  Come on.  Hallelujah, God doesn’t want to muzzle it.  God doesn’t want to leash it.  God doesn’t want to pen it up.  We pen it up.  Feed it little bits of this, little bits of that, take it for walks, pen it back up.  Come on.  God doesn’t want to pen it up.  Hello.  God wants to kill it!  God wants to bring it down!  Hallelujah!  Brother Ravenhill said that the foot of the cross is crowded, the cross itself is open.  Everybody wants to huddle, as it were, at the foot of the cross.  Clasping, as it were, the wood.  Oh, the precious Blood, hallelujah, that flows down and gives you some measure of relief.  But it doesn’t do for you what the situation and the circumstances of allowing your hand to be put upon the wood, hallelujah, and of submitting – it says, not a cry.  You know, it says He didn’t resist.  There was not one ounce of resistance in his being, He submitted His hand to the nailer.  Hallelujah.  I believe He submitted His feet to the nailer.  I believe He allowed them to drive it, I don’t think there were 400 men holding Him down.  He was submitting, he had a focus, he had a vision, hallelujah.  It says, for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross.  (Hebrews 12:2)  He took upon Him the shame and the despicableness of damnation and hellishness, He took it upon Himself.  Submitted it and allowed it to be nailed.  How much more should we, who are called by His name, who have been ordained by His Blood to walk in His footsteps?  What did He say in one of the Gospels?  He says, when all manner of men speak evil of you, rejoice!  (Matthew 5:11-12)  Rejoice!  We don’t rejoice, we do the other rejoicing.  It’s called mumbling and complaining.  If we don’t do it out loud, we do it in our mind!  It’s leashed, do you hear me.  We’ve got it on the short leash, on a short muzzle, it’s in our minds!  Hallelujah, it’s not good enough to just not have it come out of your mouth. 

Do you know what?  I found out something very astounding.  The sin wasn’t external, the sin was internal!  I was a chain smoker when I was in the world, coming to the Lord.  And I had a spirit of alcoholism that was hard after my soul.  It’s a familiar spirit to my family.  And it was after my soul, do you hear me?  It was after me to bring me in to the hall of fame, of shame.  He wanted to write my name, as it were, upon his walls!  Here’s another Asbill, right next to Grandpa.  And Great-Grandpa.  And Great-Great Grandpa!  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  So when I came back to the Lord, I required of God to deliver me of my propensity to smoke, to drink, and all the other things!  Hello.  You know something, it must have been the stage and the framework for which God would walk out through my entire life, because I said to God, “If you can’t deliver me, then kill me!”  That’s all He was waiting for.  Because then He began to move in my life in a marvelous, marvelous, marvelous way.  Marvelous experience.  God met me in a mighty way, do you hear me?  He took away the physical addiction.  I mean, I got up off of the floor free of cigarettes, free of the drink, free of the other stuff, free, free, free, free, free!  But you know what?  It wasn’t a week down the road that I began to contend with it inside!  The sin was inside!  The thing that was wanting, the thing that I was doing on the outside was not outside, it was inside!  It was something that was written in my mind!  It was something that was written in my emotions!  It was something that was written in my soul, do you hear me?  Thou shalt drinkThou shalt smokeThou shalt carouse aroundThou shalt  – I said, “God, change me, irrevocably change me.  Something has to change inside of me!”  This time it wasn’t so easy.  This time it wasn’t just a visitation.  This time it was adversity and fire!  I got put into one situation after another where smoke was being blown in my face.  All the profanity of the world was coming into my ears.  All the sensuality of the world was coming into my mind, into my eyes, and into my soul!  I had to sometimes plug my ears and close my eyes and say, “I rebuke you, Satan, I will not submit to you!  I will not submit to you!”  Day in, day out, week in, week out, month after month, year after year, year after year.  One day.  One day, hallelujah, I heard the chain snap!  Hallelujah!  I’m telling you, something broke in here!  No longer fettered!  No longer tied to nicotine or alcohol or sensuality!  Something broke!  Something was devoured by life!  It wasn’t just a breaking of something, it was the breaking forth of something that took precedence and power over the death that was in me!  Loose, loose, loose, loose!  Death being swallowed up by life!

Fire!  Fire!!  It takes fire!!!  You know, you come into the tabernacle with fire.  You do.  You know, it’s not the Cadillac and the $250,000 home, the shiny rings on all of your fingers.  That isn’t prosperity.  That’s lust and greed!  That’s pampering and petting!  It says, the son of man had no place to lay his head.  (Matthew 8:20)  Hallelujah.  You know, when we go down for the night or wake up in the morning and we have our time of prayer, the thing that my wife prays for very often is, “Thank you, God, for the bed we sleep in.”  Some people are sleeping in some places with no beds.  They are every bit as much a child of the King as you and I are a child of the King.  Is it that they’re just doing and having to suffer in a different way than you and I?  No, no, no, I don’t believe it.  I believe there is a position, there is a place as the rich young ruler came to Jesus.  (Matthew 19:16-22)  My goodness, have you ever thought about that?  Hallelujah.  Death to self is a very real message, it’s a very pertinent message.  You had fire when you came into the tabernacle.  You were immediately confronted with the brazen altar and with the propitiation of our sins.  “Oh, that was Yashua.”  I don’t know about you, but there was a certain amount of dying that I had to do in order to be Christian.  You know, I’m not a man that makes a lot of friends.  I am not an effervescent personality, but when I do make friends, they’re friends.  And I’m very loyal.  You don’t see a whole lot of that anymore.  I’m very loyal.  I don’t take the friendships lightly. 

You know, when I got converted, I didn’t know anything.  There wasn’t anybody to teach me that God talked to people.  I didn’t know that God talked to people.  I thought you just went to the Baptist Church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night.  Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night.  Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night.  Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night and occasionally you had a revival.  And you got revived – to go to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.  I didn’t know that God talked to people.  Didn’t know that.  I didn’t know that, I didn’t know that, I didn’t know that there were requirements.  I didn’t know there were requirements.  The law was something that was thrown out in the Baptist Church.  We were saved by grace.  There were no more rules, there were no regulations, you were just saved by grace.  And you went to church – Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.  And occasionally you had a revival.  I didn’t know that God talked to people.  One day I was coming home in my car, and if you didn’t know my car at that time, God had to talk pretty loud because I was a young man, and I had this souped up car with these big exhaust things.  You know, it’s amazing, God talked over the muffler noise.  He talked where I could hear Him.  He said to me, “Thou shalt not be unequally yoked.”  I slammed on the brakes.  I jumped out of my car.  I looked in the back seat.  I didn’t know that God talks to people.  I didn’t know that.  I went to the Baptist Church!  That was for the dispensation of the apostles.  That was for the place and the realm of bygone days!  Then I thought I was going crazy, and the devil said, “Aha, see what religion does for you?  It makes you crazy.”  I got back in my car, I drove at a very moderate speed, listening, and then I was getting all comfortable again in thinking that, “Well, that must have been a figment of my imagination.”  I pulled up to my house, shut down the motor, and all of a sudden I hear, “Thou shalt not be unequally yoked.”  I jumped out of my car!  Well, thank goodness my mother was a praying woman, and she knew the Bible.  I said to her, “You know, I had this strange experience.  I just want to relate it to you, maybe you can give me some insight as to what is going on, if I’m losing my mind or what.  But I keep hearing this voice.”  She says, “Well, what does the voice say?”  I thought she was going to say, “Voice?  You hear a voice?”  But she said, “What does the voice say?”  And I said, “Well, it says, ‘Thou shalt not be unequally yoked.’”  She says, “Well, that’s a verse in the Bible.”  I said, “It is?  You must be kidding me.”  She says, “No, let me show you where it’s at.”  And she took me to the Bible, opened it up, and showed me the verse.  (II Corinthians 6:14)  So I began to pray about that verse, and began to pray about that experience, and I began to understand what God was saying to me with regard to “being saved.”  Hello.  You know, I had formed an affiliation with some men that were what I called friends, people who had extended to me kindness.  Several of them were married.  They had opened their homes to me as a single person, and I would go over to their houses on particular nights and we would play poker.  We would have fun, you know.  Just fun.  I was now saved, hallelujah, and I was trying to talk to them about being saved as if I was doing them some good.  I was infecting their environment.  They’re swearing and I was telling them, “You shouldn’t talk like that,” and they began to ask me, “Why?” and I told them, testifying to the power of God to redeem them.  What could be more right?  What could be more in the line of doing the will of God?  The problem was, I wasn’t dead!  Hello.  I hadn’t come to a position or a place of strength and vitality.  I had no virtue that had been established from walking, as it were, with the Lord on a day-by-day basis.  God knew that up ahead of me was a cavern and there was a potentiality of defeat, destruction, and damnation, so He spoke a word!  Well, I don’t know if you understand the ramifications of all that, but I had to cut the relationship.  I’m telling you, it hurt in here.  There’s something of a price that you and I have to pay with regard to walking in the things that pertain to the kingdom!  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah. 

There’s a position, there’s a place of servitude.  You know, the Bible has a lot to say about a servant and a slave.  When it refers to you and I and our relationship with God, our relationship with other individuals, it doesn’t always call us servant, sometimes it calls us slave.  Slave has no rights.  Slave has no ability to choose or to do of his own whim or his own desire, he has to do what the Master tells him to do. 

We are living in a very precarious time.  We are living in a very precarious time, and we are at the position or place of having to make certain decisions that are unchangeable decisions.  Unchangeable decisions, do you hear me?  Unchangeable decisions.  They told the story of one of those ladies that got on one of those planes that they used as a missile on September 11th.  She made a decision to cancel her flight on one day in order to attend a party for her husband.  Had she gone when she was appointed to go, she would have been alive today.  She made a decision that was irreversible.  Irreversible!  Irreversible!  We are living in the time frame of the irreversible decision making process!  Let us submit ourselves unto God!  Let us submit ourselves unto the will of God!  Let us move in the unction and the anointing of the authority that is given to you and I to deliver ourselves of the propensity of our humanness.  Aspirations and desires on a natural level have nothing to do with spiritual reality, unless the naturalness of the circumstance is ordained by the will of God!  You and I cannot make a decision outside of the realm of what we call the willofGod!  Hello.  You and I cannot make a decision about anything of any consequence that will have an effect without knowing the will of God. 

Let me give you just a little example that God did for me the day before yesterday to establish this fact for me.  We had been working out here.  It was very hot, and I decided I was going to go down and get something to drink at the 7Eleven.  I went down there, and I got something to drink, got back in my van and pulled out, and was going to come back up to the building here.  Then another thought came into my mind.  I decided to follow that thought, do you hear me, so instead of turning to the left, I turned to the right coming out of the parking lot.  I drove down to the stoplight, and it was a moment of carelessness when I was at the stoplight.  Now, had I done what I originally intended to do, and not followed the other thought I would have avoided the circumstances that happened at the stoplight.  I came to the stoplight, there was one vehicle in front of me, it was making a right turn.  And you know how you do, you come up to that stoplight, you see the guy in front of you, he looks to left, looks to the right, his vehicle begins to move.  You look to the left, and by the time you look back, your vehicle is already moving, too.  Well, he decided to stop.  I don’t know why he decided to stop, except for the devil wanted me to run into him.  Thank the Lord, He was merciful, I don’t know how I moved that fast to get the brakes on that quick, but all I did was touch his vehicle a little bit, and it could have been much more serious.  I tell you, it was all on the basis of making a decision to a thought that came into my mind to do something other than what I originally intended to do.  You know, I had really nothing over in that direction that I really needed to do, it was just that I was pursuing a thought. 

There are circumstances that you and I are being confronted with of a greater measure of consequence, that have everything to do with you and I being in a spiritual position of acceptability in order to receive the promise.  The chapter that I was going to go to was Isaiah 54 and that was a promise, do you hear me?  But there is something that has to be worked out in the midst of the process and the situation in order for us to come to the position or the place that God can say to you and I, “Sing, oh Barren, sing.”  There’s something that needs to be done with regard to the fabric of our character to change it from what it is to what it has to be.  There’s something of a submission that we have to submit to.  Now, that doesn’t mean that you just lay down and let the devil walk all over you, it means that you do and allow and experience what God has for you to experience.  In the midst of all of it, you hold on to God.  We need to know and determine what is the will of God.  When we know what the will of God is, you know.  We like to, I can hear it in the Spirit, “The will of God.”  It’s like some big mystical thing in the Lord.  I’m talking about everyday activity that has as its destination, hallelujah, heaven or hell.  Hallelujah.  The devil is pulling out the stops and God is giving him the liberty because we have said, “We are sons of God!”  And as sons of God, we have to be tried, we have to be tested on the basis of the regiment that is pertinent to that realm!  Let us submit ourselves to the hand of God.  God bless you.

 

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