Love Not the World
July 2, 2006
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Father, we are so glad to have this opportunity to come into Your presence. We are so glad that we have the opportunity and the privilege to gather ourselves together unto You, that we might have this opportunity to hear Your Word, individually as well as collectively. We know, God, that You are walking in the midst of our souls, that You are working according to a time schedule for You have a plan and we have to be in a certain position and a certain place at a certain time. Father, so often we are like children, unaware of the time or the circumstances. Though we see the events unfolding round about us, our cognizant reality of the circumstances is not what it should be. Father, we would ask that You would give us that pressure, pressure upon our souls, pressure upon our minds, that we might understand the position of importance and the vital necessity for us to perceive the moving of the Spirit of God in our lives – individually as well as collectively.
We present ourselves before You this evening, and we are asking You, God, for Your wisdom, asking for Your unction, Your anointing, not only upon the words and the mind and the heart of he who speaks, but God, also on those of them that listen. Let us have hearing hearts, Father, not hearts that are hard and rebellious, not hearts that are stiff-necked, but hearts that are open, my God, that they might hear to perceive and to understand the collective will of God.
Father, we have worked individually – You are requiring and asking of us to work collectively. It is not a preacher or a minister that You are looking for, but God, a BODY which You might inhabit and sit in a place of preeminence and predominance, that You might have rule over every thought and every action, and every soul, my God, might be in subjection to the power and the unction and the anointing of God.
We pray this evening that You would loose us that we might rise in the Spirit. Oh God, we pray that You would bring forth a revelation of Jesus Christ and our need for that position, that place. My God, help us, I pray in Jesus’ Name. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.
I want to start this evening by telling you about a dream that I had a while ago. In this dream, there was a Special Forces Unit. By Special Forces, I mean not the regular Army, but one that is specially trained in the art of warfare. Often that warfare is being conducted in a covert manner and, oftentimes, they are put in positions where they can expect no support if they get into trouble. They have to rely upon their own resources and of course, their own strength as well as their training. As I was observing this situation, the orders came for this team to go deep into the enemy territory, and they were to go in “deep,” I mean. They were going to be planted, as it were, in the midst of the enemy. The enemy was all around them and they were in a situation that was quite tough for them individually, as well as collectively. They were given their orders, and as they moved out, and as they arrived at their objective, it became known to leader of the force that one within their midst was collaborating with the enemy – but he did not know who it was. This leader intuitively knew that he was given the task. I don’t know how I knew all of this, except for the Spirit of God was revealing it to me as I was dreaming it. His job was to fulfill his task in spite of this troublesome worry. He had responsibility for the team and would be held accountable in spite of the fact that someone in the midst was giving up information about their objective and location. Hallelujah! But he also had to do it in a way that would fulfill his task without revealing too much to anyone about where they were going to be or what they would have to do next. He had to do it in such a way that he could eventually find out who it was who was in collaboration with the enemy. I also became aware in the dream that the individual that was collaborating with the enemy was not doing it necessarily because he was working with the enemy to defeat the force, although his actions were doing just that. It was that there was a relationship that he had with the enemy, and in that relationship, because the enemy knew who and what he was, the enemy would ask certain questions, or build certain scenarios, or certain circumstances in which he and this other individual would be involved with, and out of those circumstances he would get the information that he needed. It would be somewhat like a counter-espionage, I suppose, working to get that information. With that information, the enemy was causing a great deal of difficulty with regard to the mission that was given to these soldiers.
As I was waking up, the Lord spoke to me a scripture and it was out of the fourth chapter of James. Now, the fourth chapter of James is not really a good chapter for a “sons of God” message, in one sense. But if we want to be sons of God, then the message that is in the fourth chapter of James is very pertinent. Now, before I get into that, let me express to you another thought that I am having and that is about the early church.
God did something with the early church that was very special. Not only did He do something with the early church, but I believe what is just as important is that the early church did something with God. That is something that is just as pertinent and as important a fact that we need to recognize as it is to know that God was doing something with the early church. There was a particular Word that was being delivered to that church and the strength and the power of that Word began to revitalize the society in which the church was living at that time. It had a particular strength. It had a power to achieve a particular destiny and goal. There was an expectation that God had of the people when He began to anoint the ministry of that day to bring forth the Word of “Thy Kingdom come.” Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
This is not history according to Burt. This is history according to Acts. Any of you can go into your Bible and begin to read the story of the early church. Most of us, at one time or another, as we have read that story, have probably said, “Boy, I wish I could have been there at that time.” “I wish we would have lived in that environment.” Hallelujah. Well, the environment was created, not only for the purpose of establishing the early church, but it is was given to a people who had the potential to believe in the ability of the Word to create an environment that was conducive to the releasing of God into that environment. The power and strength that came via the Word was on the basis of the belief that the people had IN the Word and there was an action that was taken that demonstrated that belief. Hallelujah. There are many scriptures that demonstrate this principal but there are three that come before me and one of them is found in Hebrews 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Seeking implies an action that demonstrates that which is unseen. Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for (not seen), the evidence(things done because of action) of things not seen. Then finally in James 2:14 it says, What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? It is a rhetorical question and the answer is “No”! One must demonstrate what they believe by what they do.
If you look at history… Now, Brother Unger can probably do a much better job of this than I can. But if you take history and you go back and begin to examine the world, the church and the Word, you will find that the devil has always tried to subvert, divert, destroy, or change the Word. The whole basis of the attack of the enemy is to destroy the validity and the strength that is in the Word of God but the problem that he has is that the Word of God is infallible! It is immutable! So, then, what is the solution to this problem? It is again a rhetorical question. If you cannot change the Word, then you have to change that which is changeable and that is us. Three of the most destructive words that have had the most devastating affect on humanity are the three words spoken to Eve in the garden by Satan, “Hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1). It is my position of belief that this is where humanity was injected with the virus of unbelief.
Now, God did not give us a Word in order that you and I might get into Heaven, although the church has taken that Word and said that that is the purpose and the plan that is in God’s heart. Hallelujah. THAT ISN’T THE PURPOSE OF THE WORD. This is not the doctrine according to the theology of Burt Asbill. This is the doctrine according to the theology of GOD, because God’s desire is not to get you into Heaven, but TO GET HEAVEN INSIDE OF YOU. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
Brother Alan, I believe it is, isn’t it? I have a Word for you. Things are just beginning to happen. The start of something new is beginning to take place. There has been a certain desire that you have had in your heart. You have come through a very rough and rocky road and God has finally got you to a place where you are able to say “Not my will, but Thine be done.” And in accordance to that Word, and in accordance to that desire that you have had, and the position that you have placed yourself upon the altar of God, God is going to begin to open doors for you. Doors of ministry, doors of opportunity to not just talk about the salvation of God, but the plan that God has for an eternal domination of humanity. He is going to bring you forth in the midst of that position, in the midst of that place. Not as one that is high and lifted up, but as one that is down and before the Lord, upon their face in intercession for those around them that see not with their eyes, or hear with their ears. So, God wants to encourage you this evening to KEEP ON PRESSING. And there are many things in this Word that you don’t understand, but God is going to begin to open your understanding. Amen. Praise the Lord. Glory to God.
So, there is a Word that God has, and I want to tell you something – regardless of the position or the place or the dispensation of the time that we live in, the purpose of God is unfolding the same as it was in the beginning, in the middle, and especially so for the end of time that we ourselves now live in.
When God began to brood over the rebellion and chaos that was in the midst of Genesis 1, there was already something in the heart of God. There was a thought. There was something that He saw down the road, because He is not only the Beginning, but He is also the End. Now, how can a God that is the Beginning and also the End change His purpose or His idea, or change His theology? He wanted something from the very beginning. He wants to inhabit, as it were, humanity in such a way, in such a fashion, that humanity, in its weakness, in its loneliness, in its place of utter failure and defeat, can begin to magnify and exemplify the works of a living God, standing in resolute victory in spite of its inherent weakness. Hallelujah.
The Bible says that the devil comes as a thief (John 10:10). Hallelujah. So what is it that he comes to do? Kill! Steal! Destroy! Especially so when it comes to this Word that we have that we call the Bible. The Bible, simply put, is the blueprint of God with regard to bringing forth the reality of what He desired in the beginning. What He wanted in the beginning was a SON. You see, the devil had to impart, or implant his thought, and he did that in the Garden when he spoke to Eve. You see, the devil knows and understands the power of the Word, because the power of the Word finds its strength from the position of belief of the one that hears it. If I believe this word of the world environment around me more than I believe God, this environment is then going to be preeminent. This is going to be a predominant element of overshadowing. This world, human, devil environment is going to be in a position of control. I believe this, do you hear me? If I look up in the mirror and see what I see and I believe it to be the truth of the matter, then I am going to be what I believe. Hallelujah.
You know, there are so many different philosophies. When I was a young man, there was a man called Norman Vincent Peale. Boy, that was a long time ago. I think he was out of the West Coast in Oregon or Washington. He brought forth a doctrine and he became very popular because of it. What was it? “The Power of Positive Thinking.” I think Brother duCille mentioned something about it this morning. I’m sure he did, in that he started talking to us about what the “strange fire” was that is being brought into the church. One of the examples that he gave was that of psychology. This man took a thought from the spiritual principle of faith and brought it down out of Heaven and the church made it carnal, made it a carnal, natural understanding and psychologically apprehendable and put it in the church as a spiritual principle. So what happened? What we now have is the first church, or perhaps I should say, the universal church of the positive thinkers. Faith is not positive thinking; positive thinking is an alternative to faith. It is not that the man didn’t have a relationship or an experience with God. I don’t know anything about him. Not that the man was not a Christian, or did not love the Lord. I don’t know. I suppose that he has gone on to his reward by now. The fact of the matter is that he had a thought that was based on a principle of God – holding the truth of God in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). That is because the truth of God that he had, did not have as its motivation the thought or the intent that God had with regard to His original thought or intent. If you want to think positive, you have got to think GOD, because God is positive. God is never negative, which my wife is always reminding me, because I can be a very negative fellow. The fact is that God has a thought about a position that has a particular place as its destiny. And it is not to the degree of what we believe about that thing as much as it is that we believe that God is.
I don’t believe that God’s thought in the beginning is different than now. I do not believe that God’s thought is different. I do not believe that the Holy Ghost that we have today is different than the Holy Ghost that was poured out upon the early church. I do not believe that the Holy Ghost that we have now is different. So, why is the church in the condition it is in? Why is the church so far back from the place that the early church had achieved if it has the Holy Ghost? It is either a different Holy Ghost, or it is a Holy Ghost that the church doesn’t believe in.
The Holy Ghost that was poured out upon the former church… You can go into Acts the first, second, third, and fourth chapters. It talks about being gathered in the room together and the power of God fell, and the Word of God began to go forth out of that room. Brother Ravenhill was a great one for statistics. He said there are… well, let me just throw a figure out there. Mine is not as great as his was. Let’s say there are 250,000,000 people that are professing to be baptized in the power of the Holy Ghost and yet sin is more rampant and more in a position of supremacy today than it was in the time of the early church.
Well, we can say that the sin in the early church environment wasn’t as strong as it is today. That is true, but the scripture says that where sin doth abound, grace doth much more abound (Romans 5:20). The problem is that we have had this injection of unbelief in the form of a human/demoniacal theology of alternative action. “Well, I am only human!” Of course, you don’t have that problem, right? “We are only human. We are not perfect.” Praise God! We are not perfect, but there is a Spirit of perfection, if we believe in the power of the Holy Ghost, if we believe in the power of the Blood! Do you hear me? It has the ability to override our imperfections. If it weren’t for the power of the Blood, my goodness! You know, God uses the foolish things to confound the wisdom of this world (I Corinthians 1:27).
You are looking at one of the foolish things! Do you know that there is no tenacity or determination in me to resist sin? Do you hear me? Hallelujah. But the power in the Blood gives me the determination and the tenacity, in spite of myself, to work against the nature that always wants to rise up and to usurp. If it weren’t for the power of the Holy Ghost, I would not even have the strength to stand up here and to speak to you because it is the power of the BLOOD that enables me.
You know, this fellow knows what he has to deal with. Do you know that? This fellow knows what goes on in his mind. This fellow knows what kind of thoughts come and what kind of actions are being perpetrated against his soul, and his emotions. This fellow knows! Do you understand? Without God, I would be a man most miserable (I Corinthians 15:19). It isn’t that your problems are worse than my problems, or worse than somebody else’s problems. It isn’t that your struggles are greater than someone else’s struggles. It is just that it is your struggle. It is your position, the place that has been given to you by God to prove the validity of your profession of faith. It is your responsibility to believe that God is and what God has spoken to you is a viable, living reality that He has the ability to bring into being. The practicality of this position is the thought that the environment that you and/or your body is in has no authority, has no power to override the sense of reality that you have of God concerning your physical or spiritual well-being; nor does it have the ability to undo or override the righteousness that you have because of the Blood of JESHUA. Quite frankly, I think we are a church most miserable. We have our – I don’t even know what they call them – IRA’s, ERA’s, ICU’s. We have our alternative plans and purposes. We are putting our little nest eggs away. We are doing all sorts of things and we are always looking for the retirement environment. Some of you haven’t even started thinking about retirement yet. You are not old enough. But you still have your dreams and expectations.
How much do you believe the Word? How much of what you are doing or what you are involved in is, in fact, pertinent to the bringing forth of the Kingdom of God? You know, it says that Jesus Christ shall not come until this gospel of the Kingdom is what? Is preached (Matthew 24:14). Now, does that mean the television and satellite and radio and missionaries and all of those things that are going on? I don’t believe that it is necessarily all of those realms of media that are going to profess or proclaim the fact of the Kingdom. The Kingdom, quite simply put, is the manifestation of the sons of God. There is something of a message that you preach by your overcoming. There is something of a message that you preach by the fact that you demonstrate the reality of the Word that you say that you personally believe. Hallelujah.
I believe that everybody needs to find their niche in God and do whatever is absolutely possible and then push through the impossible to fulfill the reality of what they believe. The very first thing that God is going to do is to get you out of the possible and into the impossible. Oh, you guys are saying, “Amen,” too easily. GOD HAS GOT TO GET YOU OUT OF THE POSSIBLE INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE. As long as you have a dime in your pocket, it is possible to do something. As long as you have your health and your vitality to be able to resist the disease that attacks your body, there is some possibility of you providing some means of escape for your own set of circumstances. HELLO!
One of the things, one of the manifestations of the power and the belief that the people in Acts had is that God began to move upon them in a financial way. “Oh, here he goes again!” No, I don’t want your money. I’m telling you, there is a manifestation in whatever you hold the dearest. Do you know that you don’t have to be 30 or 40 years old to be tight fisted and hanging on to your wallet? You don’t even have to have a wallet. I know some very young people who are very financially oriented and quite tight fisted.
I don’t know if in the time of the early church the apostles got up and began to preach, “Well, if you are filled with the Holy Ghost and you really believe this Word, you are going to go out and sell all of your goods and come and put it down in front of me right here at my feet.” I do not believe that was the case. I believe that there was a desire in the congregation to participate in a demonstration of the Kingdom of God. There was something of the demonstration of the power of belief in the Word that began to work within the hearts of the church that was hearing the Word. “Oh yeah! Give and you will be blessed!” Do you want to know how they were blessed? Shortly after that, in the following chapters, they began to be persecuted and God scattered them. They couldn’t have been scattered if they had been planted. Now, being homeless, they had no place to go. They had to go where the Holy Ghost told them to go. Did you ever think about that? That a home is like an anchor?
Now, I am not saying that you don’t need to buy your home. I’m not saying that. Don’t go out of here saying that! That is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that there is a power in the belief of the Word that you are pursuing after. If your actions promote self, a position of self protection and self-preservation, that will be a demonstration of what you are listening to. You are going to manifest in this natural realm that which you are paying attention to. Oh boy!
We sing the song, “In the day of My power, My people shall be willing” (Psalm 110:3). Why are they going to be willing? Because they have a sense of reality that supersedes that which they see, hear or feel, a reality that goes beyond their natural environment. And ladies, I know how important a house is; you have to have everything just so. Well, in your mind, anyway. There is just that sense of security when you drive in the driveway, “Oh, this is mine.” Like a little bird flying into its nest. Hallelujah. It is not only the ladies. The guys kind of like their position of predominance or that feeling of manliness. “I built this! I provided this! Don’t you drive a good car? Don’t you eat good food? I provided this!” All I would say is to look at the birds, having only trees and fields to live in. You know, I provide a lot of food for birds. Sometimes I think that what I am doing is for the birds. Hallelujah.
There is a certain position that you have to come to, a certain determination that you and I have to come to in our pursuit after God. We have to determine what it is that we are going to listen to. Now I am coming to the scripture in James. I just can’t give you James and slap you with this Word and sit down. I’ve got to kind of work you up to it, so you don’t get really mad at me at the beginning.
Do you know that the instinct of self-preservation is one of the strongest instincts in humanity as well as in the animal kingdom? Do you know that it also has a very strong presence as far as the earth out there is concerned? Did you know that? Did you know that the earth itself demonstrates self-preservation? I used to hate weeds until I found out that weeds have a purpose. I thought that their main purpose was just to give me something to overcome. But they really do have a reason to exist. Weeds have a purpose. Weeds are to preserve the land and to keep it until the earth can produce brush and trees that will bring it into a stable condition so that it might be able to resist erosion. That’s the purpose of weeds. That doesn’t mean that I go out there just to farm weeds! Although sometimes I think so.
There is something of a reality that you and I have to have as to the Word that we say we believe. I believe that the church is in trouble. I really do believe that the church is in trouble. I believe that we are standing at a line of demarcation as far as the church is concerned, individually, as well as collectively. I believe it! I believe that each and every one of us, in our own set of circumstances, is being confronted with the reality of who we are and what we are in a natural arena and we are being given the opportunity to exchange what we are for what HE IS. That is wherein the problem lies. That is the crux of the whole issue, because what we are/have/desire is something that we have more faith in and more belief in, than that which God is offering us and giving us an opportunity to participate in.
I cannot get up here and profess to the fact that the church is in a good place. The Word of God that has been coming to this church, collectively speaking, for many years, has been that God is not happy or satisfied or content with where we are, collectively and individually. We have things that we want more than we want God.
When the rich young ruler came to Jesus Christ, Jesus went through the mechanics. He went through the mechanics for a reason, because He wanted to establish for you and me that the man was a conscientious young man. He loved the Lord to a certain extent, and therein was the problem revealed. But when it came down to the brass tacks, down to the nitty-gritty, we find out that he loved himself more than he loved God. Now, if your Bible says something different, you let me know, and I’ll get you a new Bible! He loved himself more (Matthew 19:16-23).
Do you know that we have expectations and desires and things that pop into our brains with regard to our children, with regard to our lives and the things that we are involved in? We are planning and purposing for them, as well as for ourselves, all the way down the line. I have a question to ask you! Does any of that have anything to do with the expectation and the desire that GOD HAS FOR YOU or for them? You know, I am not opposed to a man or a woman going out and getting a good job, if God says to go get a good job. But I can tell you that in the goodness of that job, there is something that God is going to require of you with regard to what you believe as far as the Word of God is concerned, and the things that are going on around you. It really doesn’t matter what it is that you have or achieve. It can be a house, job, family – it really makes no difference. The requirement is the same. What purpose is it achieving and how will it facilitate the plans and purposes of God for an eternal end? Hallelujah.
Go into Hebrews and begin to read about the testimonies. We are going to be judged on the age or the time frame that we live in. We are going to be judged on the actions or the response of individuals that have responded to the Word and have done better than we have done. That is scriptural, for it says of Noah in the letter to the Hebrews that, By faith Noah, being warned of God…moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which… He what? …he condemned the world (Hebrew 11:7). Hello! I’m talking about Noah! One man’s obedience to the Word of God! The Word of God came to Noah and said, “Destruction is coming. I want you to build a boat.” Do you think that he built it without consequence? Do you think he built it without self-sacrifice? Well, maybe he went into a committee. Now, many of you say, “Well, we don’t have a committee.” Oh yes, you do! “We are going to get together and we are going to pray about it.” Well, I don’t have anything against praying. What I do know is that when you pray, God is going to speak, and YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY.
You know, there was a time when my son, he was very small and he was looking out the window at the yard and he wanted to go out there and do something. He said, “Mommy, I want to go out there.” Mommy said, “No, you are not going.” He said, “Mommy, I don’t want that NO, I want the other NO.” This meant that he wanted yes but he was too young to understand NO, NO. Hallelujah. He heard “no” but he wanted to go. Do you hear me? We hear “no” but we want to go. We want whatever it is anyway. But there comes a time that sometimes God says, “Okay, go.” And to our chagrin, we find ourselves in a dilemma and we begin to say, “Oh, God! How could You do this to me?” But of course, you don’t do that, right? You don’t say, “Well, it is all Your fault, God. If You hadn’t done what You did, I wouldn’t have done what I did.” Or, “Why don’t You do different, and then I can be different?” OH! We always have the finger pointing somewhere else. It is always somebody else’s fault. It is always somebody else’s problem. It is always somebody else’s set of circumstances that made me do it. “What else could I do?” Well, for one thing, you can deny yourself. Humble yourself, as it were, before the LORD. Repent and begin to walk in a different direction, in a different manner and display a different behavior. Hallelujah! We are so self-serving; I don’t know how in the world God has ever put up with it so long! And believe me, I’m not just talking to you, I’m talking to me. Maybe I’m just talking to me. Maybe it is just my set of circumstances that I am preaching about.
Children are rebelling against mother and father. Wives are rebelling against husbands. Husbands are rebelling against wives. There is rebellion in all sorts of things. Independence! We have a philosophy that says, “We shall be as gods,” and that, “We shall be sons,” but we want to be sons without due process, without the cross! We want to step out of our human shoes into sons of God shoes without going through the change, burial! Through much suffering, much tribulation, much trouble ye shall enter into the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). It is only as we pick up our cross that we can follow in the appropriate manner. My God. How can God look down on a church in this hour, in this day and say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of the LORD”? I’m talking collectively. I’m not just talking individually. If your position of suffering is what it should be, praise the Lord! Pray for the rest of us. We don’t like to suffer. Does anybody like to suffer? Some of you don’t like heat. I like heat. I just don’t like cold. I would rather be hot than cold. When it is cold, you wear double socks, double pants, double shirt, and then you wonder why you don’t get anything done, when sometimes, if you would just exert some energy working, you could start shedding all that extra clothing. Isn’t it amazing? The temperature hasn’t changed.
You know, I appreciate some of the ministers in the Evangelical Church. One of them is Brother Kent Hovind. I do appreciate him. I appreciate the spirit, I appreciate the tenacity, the determination, and the fact of what he believes in. Do you hear me? He believes in what he is doing. I’m not assessing it one way or the other, but I am telling you that I have a commendation and an admiration for the man because he does what he believes. He does it with all of his heart and all of his resources; he throws everything that he is into it. There is nothing held back. Do you know he travels? I don’t think he is an isolationist. I don’t think he enjoys being alone. But he travels extensively. His funds are poured into it. I like people who get the burden of God and begin to pick it up individually and put themselves on the line. Would to God we had a church of them. Would to God we had a body of them that would understand the reality of the thing that God requires of them.
I appreciate people that come out here. I appreciate them coming out here and spending their time without thought of remuneration. You know, it is not fun pulling weeds. I asked Brother Martin Hloska one morning, “How are you?” He said, “Prepared to die.” That was his theme. That was his motto. Every time I talked to him, I’d say, “How are you doing, Brother Martin?” He would say, “Prepared to die.” He didn’t like pulling weeds and weeds are what he got, row after row after row after row, morning to night. If you think that we work just an eight hour day, think again. It is work, and work, and work, and work. And when you are through with work, there is more work to do. There is never enough time, and never enough energy to complete the task, to complete the job, and yet it is a job that has to get done and it is not that it is being done for the sake of GOOD VEGETABLES. What God wants to do is to make you palatable, so that when somebody takes a bite out of you, their face doesn’t go “uuughhhh” and you leave a sour taste in somebody’s mouth.
I am so blessed! I am so blessed! I have never done anything, do you hear, as an “off” occupation, a life-long position or place of labor that God was not talking to me about my position in the heavenly realm. My goodness.
There is a need for the church to STAND UP! SHAKE YOURSELF! SHAKE YOURSELF OF THE DUST! RISE UP! Let’s read it. Isaiah 52:1, Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
Isn’t it amazing! Brother duCille was talking about Zion. They that worship what? The Lord in the Spirit and in truth. “In truth” means facing the reality of who you are, of what you are, and the requirement that is upon you and whether or not you are performing in accordance to God’s desire. Not yours. It has nothing to do with you. Part of the plan, part of the process, part of the act is the fact of you denying yourself.
When I first came into this message, many, many years ago, it was not called “the sons of God message.” It was called “the death to self message.” DEATH TO SELF! That Word was imprinted indelibly upon my mind, and it is something that confronts me in every situation. Am I fulfilling the obligation of the power of the Word that is upon me in my given situation? Am I allowing death in the position of my ever loving of life? My goodness.
The souls of Hebrews 12, they talk about the place of their comfort. They lived in caves, dwelling alone. They were what? Sawn asunder! Hung! Pushed off edges of ravines! I don’t know. All sorts of things were enacted against them. Why? Because they believed and they demonstrated that belief in action!
Now, you think that because you have the sons of God message, when you come to the end of time and somebody comes up to you to blow your brains out, you are going to say, “Well, I rebuke you in Jesus’ Name.” THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING INSIDE OF YOU THAT IS NOT AFRAID! There has to be something inside you that has a reality that is greater than the gun, greater than the prison, greater than the place of isolation and devastation. These men had something. These women had something. Do you hear me? When the Communists came into power and began persecuting the European church, some of those men and women had a reality of the gospel of salvation. That is all that some of them had, yet it was enough to keep them in a place of integrity. They did not lose their integrity. There is a position of integrity that God wants to impart and impregnate the church with!
You know, I thank God for my wife. She is always confronting my position of unbelief in a very simplistic way, so simplistic that I just say, “It can’t be that simple.” Yet, God comes to her aide and proves her right and me wrong. Hello! Boy, if you don’t think that is humbling! Of course, I always go, “You were right, and I was wrong! Well, Okay! You won that one!”
I’m telling you, it is an attitude that is instilled in this nature that is called man. “Oh, I’m going to dress the way I want to dress.” “I’m going to talk the way that I want to talk.” “I’m going to do what I want to do, and I’m not going to be like anybody else.” FOOL! Walk out the door and you’ve got a hundred of them doing the same thing and yet they are “different.” Do you know that God allows sin and rebellion out in the world? He allows it in order to confront us with our position of rebellion. By the virtue of what God has deposited in us, we should have something of a power in the name of Jesus to rebuke it! But we are so in love with ourselves and who and what we are! We have our nationalistic spirits. We, the people of the United States, have certain unalienable rights. YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS IN GOD! The only position, the only place, the only privilege that is allowed me is to worship Him and to give Him preeminence, predominance, and a place of preference beyond my own position, my own place. Hallelujah!
It is easier just to farm. It is easier just sitting on a tractor. I don’t have anybody around me. I just drive back and forth, me and God! But nothing happens as far as my soul is concerned. Nothing happens as far as my desire for God is concerned. Nothing happens unless I am doing what God wants me to do – putting myself on the front line. Come on, brethren! I would much rather be in a position of support back there in the old supply house far enough away that I can’t hear the shells going off or the screaming of men as they are wounded or dying. Come on! But that is not the position or the place that I desire! I WANT TO BE A SON!!!!
He said to the rich young man, “You need to keep the commandments.” The young man said, “No problem! No problem! I read my Bible. I pray. I give my tithe. I’m there on Sunday morning. I’m there on Sunday night. I’m there on Wednesdays, sometimes. I work hard. I love my wife. I love my children. I’ve done all of these things. I’ve done them well. I’ve done them all.” You know what I think? I believe that he was telling the truth. Jesus didn’t rebuke him! He said, “Okay. Well, what about this? Love your father and your mother.” You can deal with that one for a while. He said, “I’ve done that.” And do you know, I think that he did. I think that he was a son that had exemplified himself in a manner that wasn’t braggadocios. Boy. Put that one on. But Jesus said, “One thing you lack. There is something that you love more than Me. Something you lack.” He said, “Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor.” It says that the young man went away sorrowful. He rejected his opportunity (Matthew19:16-22, Luke18:18-23).
Now, may I tell you what God was offering him? He was offering him a position of sonship. Do you remember what He told the twelve apostles? “You shall sit on twelve thrones” (Luke 22:30). It was a position of authority, a position of preeminence, but more than anything else, a position of obedience. Jesus said, “Sell all that you have and come and follow Me” (Matthew 19:21). Hallelujah! The Bible says that he went away sad. You see, it wasn’t that God didn’t have the position to give him, because He did, in the aspect of offering it to the young man. He wouldn’t have offered something to him that He couldn’t give, and that was not his to give in the first place. The most tragic thing about it is that that young man had the ability to get up and over his position of prestige and his love for the things that he possessed. It doesn’t have to be money. It doesn’t only have to be money.
In Isaiah 52:1 it says, Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion. He is talking about the end-time church. He is talking about the sons of God. …put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
But there is a prerequisite, a precondition. It says, “SHAKE THYSELF!” You have a responsibility! I have a responsibility! I am sure that we would much rather have somebody else get shaken. “Shake my wife, Lord.” “Shake my husband, Lord.” Well, you shake one corner of the house and the whole house will shake. It is amazing how often God begins to answer some of our prayers, and when He begins to answer them, we begin to howl. The Bible says to shake thyself from the dust. Rise up and sit down (Isaiah 52:1). First, you have to shake yourself of your humanity. Hallelujah! Come, let’s look at some of the aspects of this humanity.
Genesis 3:1, Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? He was using the Word of God in a manner and in a fashion to bring you into a place of submission. Paul said it a different way in Romans 7:11, For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. Oh my! So here we have the devil in a conversation with the woman. I want to tell you something. The devil is today in a conversation with the woman, the church. “Hath God said? Could it not also be that ye shall be as gods? Don’t you have a right? Don’t you have a position of personal recognition?” Come on! What about a church that desired no recognition? What about a church that desired no position of personal preference? What about a church where we have everybody thinking about somebody else instead of themselves? It is not just a matter of thinking about somebody else. Do you know that? I cannot think good about an individual unless I am thinking about God. It is not you that becomes my focus. “Oh, I am going to help you, sister. I am going to do good by you. I am going to encourage you. I am going to help you today, whatever it is you have to do.” My help for you is superfluous if it is not motivated by the Holy Ghost, and if my thought and my intent is not to please God. It says of Jesus that He did that which His Father did. Now, I might be trying to exalt myself or to build myself up in your sight, that you might have a special consideration for me. Do you think that will achieve the objective of God? Absolutely not! It will bring me into a place of trouble and tribulation because God will want to deliver me of my position of personal preference.
Isn’t it amazing how we are always willing to help God on our time schedule? Have you ever noticed that God always interrupts your time schedule? First of all, it is kind of amazing to me that an eternal God has a concept of time and will allow Himself to be hedged in and regulated by it. You talk about infinite patience! Can you imagine what time must be to an eternal God? I don’t know what it would be to me. “Let’s just get on with the business of eternity. Let’s just forget about this thing of time.”
So here comes the devil and the woman says in Genesis 3:2, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. You see, the devil knew to some extent, the weaknesses that were in Eve, and that are in humanity. Now, if you don’t think that the devil doesn’t know your weaknesses, you are mistaken! He knows me. He knew my father. He knew my grandfather. He knew my great, great, grandfather. Everything that he knew about them was employed and implemented, until down through the ages here comes “little Asbill” in the fullness of all of his grandfathers. You don’t think that he knows me? In spite of that factor, there is something that God gives to me, He imparts it, and it is called WORD. WORD! Just think about the Word of salvation! That a man can say, “You must be born again,” and it does something in my soul, a sinner’s soul. Do you hear me? Amazing! Hard hearted, stiff necked, rebellious, determined, absolutely determined to go to hell. Then a man comes and says, “You must be born again.” And something in my soul stirs and begins working something of an understanding, and if not an understanding, at least a desire to be born again. Out of that thought comes a revolution against the nature of sin that has been upon me since who knows how long. Out of that place, out of that hell, out of that hole, God reaches down and brings me up and a soul is redeemed. Glory! Hallelujah! But it took my participation!!!
I had to believe that what I was being told was possible. No wonder that the Bible says, without faith it is impossible to please him (Hebrews 11:6). Do you know what pleases God? The demonstration of the reality of who He is is on the basis of the Word. That Word, let me tell you, it wasn’t that that Word just saved Burt Asbill’s soul. Do you hear me? That Word began to break the bondages of hell that were on my family. Spirits of fornication, spirits of adultery, spirits of alcoholism, spirits of addiction, spirits of malice, spirits of hate, all those things – that one little seed that was imparted and the belief that I had in the ability of that seed to save this soul began to germinate and bring forth a deliverance in the realm of my natural being. My father was delivered. My brothers were delivered. My children were delivered. Hallelujah! My grandchildren are being delivered. Glory to God! One little thought, one little word, one little place of acceptance of the hope that was in my mind that this could actually be a reality began to reach out into the darkness of hell and break the chains, break the bondages. Hallelujah! And I began to shed that old snakeskin. HA! Come out of that cocoon! But it is not without cost!
The devil has risen up in many different situations, and come again, and again, and again, and tried to tell me that the Word of God is not real, that it is a figment of my imagination, that it is something that is contrived by my psychological involvement in my hope and my aspiration for a better life. COME ON! See, I am not talking Greek to you. I am talking English! If you don’t think that you aren’t being confronted with the reality of the world out here, you had better think again. Many of you are in the valley of decision between the reality of the world and the reality of the gospel of the Kingdom of God by the Word that has been delivered unto you and the soul that has been saved and the offering of the position of sonship. What is the position, the destiny of that soul? What will that salvation do for you in the realm of eternity or in the realm of the natural?
Let me tell you a little secret, if I may. My family has certain familiar spirits and I have been privileged to come against those spirits. I have seen God deliver me and my family from those familiar spirits. But do you know that there are certain spirits that are in my family that are not my responsibility to overcome? They are my children’s responsibility. Do you know that? I mean, I can do everything that I can. I can pray for them, I can council them, I can instruct them, I can teach them in the acts of warfare, but there are certain spirits that they are designated to meet and to overcome. Not that I could not overcome them, but for whatever reason in the economy of God, God has designated them as the overcomer. So, I have an awesome responsibility, do you hear me, to prepare my children and my grandchildren. Hallelujah! What a marvelous opportunity that is confronting me on a natural realm. Do you know that in my family, there have never been consecutive generations that have loved the Lord? For some reason, God picked me! Do you hear me? I don’t know why! For some reason, God picked me to begin to prosper in the gospel and to reach out in the spirit and to deal damage to the kingdom of hell. Do you hear me? My children were under the auspices of this Word and their children are now being instructed in the accoutrements of warfare. I have a responsibility as a grandfather to teach them how to be fighters in the Spirit. I have to teach them what their heritage is in the Lord, not in the aspect of Asbill, or whatever else it may be. Hallelujah! Glory to God! And the darker the situation, the greater the glory. My goodness. You know, Brother duCille talks about a man who used the term “sudden death, sudden glory.” He was talking about it in a negative sense, but I am saying it in a positive sense. There is a position of death that I can come to that gives me the taste of victory and the vision to see eternally. Hallelujah!
You know, we are not to know each other after the flesh (II Corinthians 5:16). Do you know that? That is what the Bible says and yet the flesh is so predominant that it is all that we see. We spend so much time in the flesh! We do not want to exceed our comfort level.
Genesis 3:4, And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. “Oh, you won’t really die.” My goodness. “Oh, you are not really going to hell. You’ll make it into Heaven. You don’t have to be so fanatical. You don’t have to be so tenacious. You have a right to live your life. You have a right to program your children and prepare for their future.” Let’s say that the world is going to go on for another sixty years. Your preparation for your child, what is it doing for the Kingdom of God in that sixty year time frame? Will they just be good at their profession? You know, I have been told that without an education it is impossible to succeed. “Oh, I want my children to have better than what I have.” Would to God that my children could walk in the path that I have had to walk in, because the blessing of God has been at every turn. The provision of God was at every impossible set of circumstances.
Do you know that God puts things in our midst to encourage us and to judge us? I know a man that is in a position that he shouldn’t have because he doesn’t have the degree that is required to be in that position and yet God has exalted him. Time and time again men have risen up to put him out of that position and God, again and again, has removed those men – men with PhD’s, CCD’s, TCD’s, who knows what they are. God removed them. We would rather go to school and learn how to do something well and be a success at it, than to go to the Creator for the solution and move in the auspice of that anointing, that power. We would rather do something in a natural arena to achieve some sort of goal. That is why we have programs in churches. Building programs! Growth programs! All kinds of programs! Why? Because it is natural? Because somehow it is easier to do? Or just because we really don’t believe in the power of the Almighty? We just don’t believe it!
Let’s go back over into James. When I awoke from this dream I woke up thinking, “Well, who is it?” (chuckle) Of course, you probably wouldn’t have done that, right? “It’s not me. Who is it?” God spoke this Word because He knew that I would be asking Him, “Who is it?” James 4:1, From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Romans 6:11 says, Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Those words, members as instruments, mean weapons of unrighteousness unto sin. You know, we sing the song, “Ye are God’s Battle-Ax.” Weapons of righteousness. James 4:2, Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. He is talking to the church! He is not talking to sinners. He is talking to the church. Now, do you think that they were coming to church, coming to meetings with their six-guns, and having shoot-outs? Isn’t he talking to the church? I believe that he is talking to the church and not only the church then, but the church NOW. Hallelujah! Don’t yield your members! He said, Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. You know, I don’t know how to put this, but we have this miracle wand theology! However, most of the time I have found that if you are doing the will of God, there is a resistance in doing the will, to stop the will of God from coming to pass. So there is something of a necessity for me to persevere in the midst of doing the will, against the resistance. Hallelujah! And you know, the timeframe is not up to me. God is not McDonalds. Sometimes it takes years in the aspect of what God tells you to do, and as you begin to press to do the will of God, weeks, months, and years go by without any evidence that that will was being performed. But as you persevere and press and you come to that position where you can’t press, you can’t persevere, but yet you persevere because you hope in God. The Word says, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD (Exodus 14:13). Hallelujah, the will of God is done!
We need to be a persevering people! We need to be a pressing people, a people who have the ability to say, “Hath not God said ‘Yea and Amen’?” (II Corinthians 1:20). Hallelujah! Do you know that the first problem that Eve had is that she began to talk to the devil and she did not even know that it was the devil. Many of us are talking to the devil and we, like Eve, don’t even know that it is the devil.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (James 4:3). Just think about it! Ask amiss is not asking in accordance to what it is that God desires. Well, in order to know what God desires, you have to first desire God and then get to know Him. The degree to which you desire God is the degree to which you are going to know what it is that God desires. HELLO? My desire cannot be different than God’s desire. Therein lies the problem – my desire is not God’s desire.
James 4:4, Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. You talk about straight and narrow, Brother Bob! Jesus said, “Deny yourself, pick up your cross, follow Me” (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 19:23). Praise the LORD! Hallelujah!
The sad part about it is that I don’t know, after all this, that we really comprehend the position, the place of decision that we are in. You cannot remain in a static position – it’s an impossibility. If you think that it is not, go up on the roof and walk off of the edge. There are rules and regulations that are governing the environment in which you live. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spirit. There are rules and regulations that are governing the environment in which we live spiritually. I think that we are in a very serious place, spiritually speaking. I think that we are in a very serious set of circumstances, and there are requirements that God has put upon us individually, as well as collectively, that we are not fulfilling.
Friendship with the world is a situation that is unacceptable! It is unacceptable! Romans 8:10, And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. The quickening is a quickening of eternity and immortality. The phrase, “shall quicken your mortal bodies,” explained and defined in the Greek gives the impression that the quickening is something other than just the life of the natural thing responding to life. It is an eternal, immortal impartation that gives you the ability to rise up above and over the circumstances in which you find yourself. It says, 11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. We are talking about a resurrection spirit! 12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Mortify means to kill, to put to an end our self-serving, our self-preservation, our self-centeredness, our place of personal preference. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to do the killing. It says, 13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. What are you aspiring to be? What is your calling and your election? It makes no difference of the condition or the thing that you are dealing with, IF you believe the Word.
You know, I appreciate Brother Gruver’s testimony. It was so simple, so practical and so natural and yet so spiritual. Do you remember his testimony of getting knocked off of the cliff? Faith! He was injured in his leg or something. He was unable to walk, hanging by a branch on the side of a precipice and the Word came to him, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
Now, what would you have done? Would you begin to speak in tongues? Rebuke the devil? What he simply did was to somehow pull out his Bible, hang on to his knapsack, and I don’t know how long it was, a couple of hours, maybe? It was quite a while, wasn’t it? Hanging on the side of the cliff, reading the Word of God out loud. It gave him the strength to climb up the side of the mountain and to walk on a leg that was impossible to walk on. My goodness! We need to have such faith! We need to have that position of belief that we can exercise ourselves in the Word that we have, that we might receive the promise. God bless you! God bless you!