February 24, 2001
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I am finding, these days, that it takes a great deal of grace in between morning and evening. I don’t know how it is with regard to you, or your set of circumstances, or the tribulation that you find yourself in, personally, individually, physically, spiritually, but I am finding that it seems to be increasing and though you think that you have enough to deal with, it always seems like more comes along! Maybe your day is a little bit different than mine but it seems like there are new problems every day that pop up that you have to deal with. Then, just when you thought that you had enough problems, it seems like you didn’t have enough at all! I am wanting to, if the Lord will permit and allow me, to conclude what I started last week. I never like to leave a job undone and I really did not get into the portions of Scripture that God had spoken to me, particularly concerning judgment and that’s what I want to deal with. Now, I can hear it in your minds, some of you are saying, “Oh, no! Judgment again, here we go. It’s another one of Burt’s judgment messages.” Well, praise God. I don’t believe that it’s Burt and I don’t necessarily know that it’s Burt that has laid judgment upon my heart as much as it is the Word of God concerning judgment and the position that you and I have as human beings, and I use that term lightly, human beings, because it is not the intention of God that you and I remain in our humanity. God wants us to be divine. At least, that is the message that I am following after. Now, I don’t know if that is the message that you are following after, but I hope and I pray that it is the message that you are following after. I know that the message I heard thirty some odd years ago was called “Sonship.” At that time, when I came into the message they were teaching a lot of tabernacle. Now, I have taught a lot of tabernacle over the years in my travels in the places that God has given me to go. I praise the Lord that there is a lot of revelation that God has given me personally regarding the tabernacle, not necessarily to share with you, but it has helped me in my position of Christianity. It has helped me become Christian. Now, if you remember last week, we were talking about that aspect or word, “Christian,” and that word, “Christian,” meant to be Christ-like. We began to compare what we are in the natural with what we should be in the spiritual and I think that if any of you have done any meditating on the Word or got into the Word and investigated any of the scriptures that we used, you would find that there is a disparity. That word seems to me to be a very light word regarding the discrepancy between what it means to be Christian and where we are in the fact of being Christian. It seems like being Christian is one of the most difficult things for any one of us to do. Now, you have to be Christian before you can be considered a son of God. Isn’t that funny that that is the process that God has ordained? There is something of a redemptive quality. . . how many of you knew that redemption is judgment? Did you know that? Well, you thought you were being saved, yes, but you were being saved from something. It was on the basis of sin and the judgment of sin that the propitiation for our sins was offered. For there was a judgment God had to enact, a means by which we could circumvent that judgment. But in order to circumvent it, you first had to be judged. That seems like circular reasoning, doesn’t it? But nevertheless, that’s how it works. When you come, if you were to use the tabernacle as a type and as a shadow, you would find that judgment is something that confronts you from the very moment you enter the gate! Really, it confronts you before you enter the gate because the curtain of the gate that hung on the outer court between the pillars was a curtain that was made of fine linen and it was interwoven with certain colors that were pertinent and full of meaning. The fact that it was fine linen was a confrontation with our humanity. Your and my humanity, because white linen is a representation of the righteousness of God! Pure and simple. I love the Word. I love how God has written it. I love the things that God has done. I especially love how God reveals these secrets to you and I, the mysteries of this thing called redemption. We also looked last week a little at the mystery of iniquity and iniquity is a mystery to me when I look at individuals who have tasted of God. For some reason I can look at someone who has no knowledge of God in a little less critical manner than someone who has tasted of God, because someone who has not tasted of God, who has not had the blessing of salvation, who has not had the experience of the Blood of Jesus Christ is not able to have a comparison. When I say the Blood of Jesus Christ, I’m talking about the quickening. The quickening that comes by the fact that you say, “I profess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” I talk about the quickening that comes, not so much with the Word, but with the fact or the act of that confession, when we come to a place and acknowledge our position of transgression, acknowledge our position of being a sinner, acknowledge our position of being in a position of condemnation. Now, the Bible says, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1). Now, if you wanted to turn it around and read it conversely that would be a good way to understand the other side of the story. If you were to do it that way, then you would find out if you are not walking in the Spirit and if you are not fulfilling the will of God, then you are being what? You are being condemned! The word, “condemned,” in the literal translation with regard to the Greek language, means to be judged! That’s what it means. It means to be judged. So, there is an aspect of judgment that comes to you and I even as Christians. Now, I don’t know whether or not you believe as I believe, you don’t have to, that doesn’t upset me, but I believe that what I believe is God, and I pattern my life after that fact. It overshadows every decision I make, it moves in the fabric of my experience, in my environment. It moves, at least I hope it does to some extent, with my interrelation and interaction with everyone. It has an effect upon my relationship with my wife, it has an effect upon my relationship with my children, it has an effect upon the relationship with the individuals that I am in fellowship with in regard to the church and it extends out beyond that. That is the way it should be with regard to everyone of us who want to be called by the name “Christian.” But there is so much about our character that is not… now I want you to keep in mind, please, that the word, “Christian,” means to be “like Christ!” You know, they had a saying out in the church, and I say out in the church, several years ago, and I see the remnants of it every now and then on bumper stickers and whatnot. But there was this saying, “What would Jesus do?” Somebody started a phase or whatever it was and they began to make up all these stickers and place them on bumpers, they put them on billboards, they had them on plaques. Would to God they could have been written upon their hearts! You might have seen something of a revival in the midst of humanity had we taken to heart the thing that was being propagated as Christian propaganda. You understand what I’m saying when I talk about Christian propaganda? I’m talking about those things that we do or we associate with that give us the feeling of being Christian. You know, I have seen that bumper sticker on people’s bumpers, that would I not have seen the bumper sticker, I would have questioned whether or not they were really Christian by the way they were driving! Hmm!?! I think it is very important for us to understand the relationship or the desire God has for us with regard to our position of being like Christ or, if I might use the word, “Christian.” I think we are living in a very critical time. You know, I personally believe that we are living in the last days. I mean, I believe it! I am staking my life on it, I am staking my reputation on it, be that as it may. I am staking all of my aspects or my goals on it. Let it be said that there is a position or a place that we have to come to with regard to the burden that God has laid upon us. I am referring to the Word that God is speaking that is pertinent to the time that we live in. I believe we are living in the last days. I believe that God is looking for people who want to be called, not Christians so much as He wants to call sons! But I believe, also, that there is an aspect of judgment that comes in the midst of that position of relationship. I believe it because it is demonstrated in the aspect of tabernacle and all those things that appertain to life in God. It was so easy when I was in the Baptist church, and I was in the Baptist church at one time. I got saved in the Baptist church; my mother was a very devout Southern Baptist. I wasn’t just Baptist, I was Southern Baptist and I want to tell you that you couldn’t get into heaven unless you were Southern Baptist. You talk about exclusive. We were exclusive. And you didn’t need to just be Southern Baptist, you had to belong to the Southern Baptist Convention. I think it used to be in Georgia. I don’t know where it is now. But the fact of the matter is, it used to be very easy because all you would do was get saved and go to church and pay your tithe (that was very important, and that was one of the rules and regulations in order to get into heaven.) You had to pay your tithe. Well, it taught us all to be ten percent givers, that is, after taxes and you know how you want to work your taxes. You want to work your taxes so that you keep every little bit of every portion that you worked for. You don’t want to pay Uncle Sam anymore than you have to! A lot of that mentality came into the church! Hello? We worked ourselves or worked in our position of giving with regard to what we gave on the basis of reason and intellect, not on the basis of the moving of the Holy Ghost because had we done what God had ordained or scripturally written or professed or proclaimed in Acts, it says they came together in one accord and had all things in common. (Acts 2:44) People were divulging. . . “Oh, yeah, well, we have to live, we have to do this. . .” I’m telling you, we have moved out of the position of what it means to be Christian into a position of being religious, for lack of a better term. Now, I believe in religion – I have religion, because I believe there is a doctrine that is pure, there is a doctrine that is sound; that is good religion. Now, all of these things have a bearing on our position or relationship with regard to our calling and election.
The Bible refers many times to the mighty men of valor. I don’t know, there was something very pertinent, something very different about them. There was something very elite about them and one of the words that we have received, and when I say “we,” I mean we as a people, is that we preach an elite Gospel. Yes! I believe that it is an elite Gospel! But the eliteness of the Gospel doesn’t necessarily exclude anyone! Isn’t that strange?!? No, it is not strange because there is something that is written in the Word, or the fabric of the Word, that is designed to allow anyone that has the desire to be elite the opportunity to be elite. Now, when I was a young man I joined the service and I was really kind of gung-ho at the time. It may be kind of hard for some of you to believe that but I really was gung-ho and they were just starting up this organization that was called the Green Berets. I wanted to be in that company of people because they were the elite! At the time they were not only called the Green Berets but they were called Special Forces. Have you ever wondered at the terminology which is used to term or label certain aspects of things that we do in the realm of humanity when all of those things are a pattern or shadow of something that is far better and far bigger and more grand with regard to the purposes and the intent of God? I can’t understand anyone who wants to be in second place. I don’t know anyone who goes into the Olympics, and by the way, we have a very good article in the KIT bulletin this month about the Olympics. It came to me via the Signs of the Times and we felt very good about it, so we printed it and it’s in there, it tells the origin and where the Olympics come from and some of the things they are doing and who they are exalting. Oh my! What an eye-opener. Anyway, there is this aspect of eliteness in the scripture. It is something that is a scriptural principle. We are told about it many times and, you know, the eliteness is not so much in the eyes of men as it is in the eyes of God. Paul says that God took the weak things to make them strong (l Corinthians 1:27), that He might have preeminence in their strength. He says He took those things that were slow or not so intelligent and made them intelligent, that their intelligence, or their glory of intelligence, would be something that would exonerate or exalt God. Well, that gives me hope with regard to my position and my relationship with my humanity and the lower down you are on the scale, it seems to me, as far as human estimation, human qualifications are concerned, the better chance you have of making it on the high realm, on the high side with regard to God! Boy, that doesn’t stir you at all, does it? Well, it makes me excited, it makes me excited, especially when I get down and start doing math. I start figuring books or balancing my checking account. Oh, boy, that is really sometimes a nightmare! Trying to keep the money in the bank ahead of the checks. It says that there is a position or a place of excellence that I can have that is not based on my qualities as a human being or the things that I can do or cannot do. There is a position or a place that comes with regard to our relationship with God and the Word or the message that God is bringing forth in the hour that we are in. I believe that we are living in the end time. I also believe that it is a self. . . now, some of you are going to misunderstand me, but nevertheless, I am going to say it – I believe that it is on the basis of a self-help program. Self-help. You know, the Lord began to bring to me a revelation. . . the Lord started talking to me. . . you know, I’m still talking about judgment. I haven’t strayed from the thought because I think all of these things are wrapped up in the aspect of what God is going to judge us about. I’ve probably been to India seven or eight times. Maybe nine times, I don’t know how many times I’ve been to India, but the Lord began to talk to us about the aspect of introducing self-help programs with regard to the churches that we were establishing. The thought was that one day Big Brother would not be available or there to promote or to give the finances necessary and in order to give the church the time that the church needed to come to the place that the church needed to be, there was going to have be some mechanical or actual physical development of employment that would give them their substance and strength. Well, at the time we were doing it, I was a little skeptical because of the fact of not having the awareness or the knowledge of the Word of God, or that it was in line with scriptural principle. I had always been taught that you had to believe, you had to have faith. You have to have faith. That’s true, you do have to have faith. But one day I was reading in the scripture and I was reading James and what James said to me was that in order to have faith, your faith must also have feet. It must also have hands and it must also have a will to do and to bring about those things that you are believing for. The thing that you are believing for is your power to begin to move as though you had the thing! It was like the man that Smith Wigglesworth went to pray for. The man had no feet and he went to the man’s home to pray that he would get feet. Now that’s all well and good for Mr. Wigglesworth, that’s all good for him, that’s easy for him to do, he’s got two feet, he’s got two hands and he’s got a belief in God. Now, you’re going to a man that has no feet and he’s been in that condition for a number of years. He’s had no feet, so therefore, he has never had a pair of shoes. He just went in and he prayed for the man and said, “Now go buy yourself a pair of shoes.” It would have been much easier for the man had he looked down and saw two feet. Now, how would you think or how would you respond in that position or in that place? “You want me to go buy shoes? Well, what my eyes are seeing and what my legs are feeling is the same thing they have seen and felt for the last ten years.” There was something of a requirement that God was putting upon the man who was wanting the new feet. If he was wanting the new feet, there had to be a demonstration and an operation on his part. Now, I don’t know what he was thinking when he went into the shoe store. “I’m going to go in there and they are going to think me a fool. What if I get in there and there are no feet to put these shoes on?” How do I know he’s having these thoughts? Because it is what I would think! I don’t know that my humanity is any different than his humanity because there have been situations and circumstances that I’ve found myself being confronted with that have demanded of me something that I did not have! Whether it is something materialistic or something that is of an abstract nature, there is a demand that is being made upon me that inside of me there is nothing there to meet or fulfill the requirement that is being required! Yet God says, “You must believe!” There must be something that goes on in the realm of your natural environment, on a natural level, that begins to make you move in a certain direction in order to obtain something that seems to you unobtainable. Now, you can take that and subvert it. You can take that and blow it out of proportion. Church did it. They called it “Name It and Claim It.” They’d go out and walk around properties, they would go out and walk around somebody elses’ car or something else and claim it and do all sorts of things and you know what? The principle worked to some extent but it was not necessarily bringing them the blessing that God intended for it to bring! Now remember, I’m talking about self-help. Self-help programs. There’s a self-help program in the Bible and the Bible terminologies say, “Whosoever will.” That’s what the Bible says. Whosoever will! There’s something of your will that is involved in going and moving with regard to the position or the desire that God has for you as an individual in and amongst a body and in an environment to bring forth the fullness of the thing that God wants to manifest. Now, God may choose different things or may put you in a whole different set of circumstances other than what is of your choosing or that would be different than someone elses, but nevertheless, if you want to be a son of God, if you want the position of what God calls the overcomers, if you want to be in that place that God calls first fruits, then it is very necessary for you to behave in a certain manner, in a certain way. There is something of a character that needs to be worked within the fabric of your soul that is different than the nature with which you were born! To know that there is that aspect that is made available to me excites me because you know something? I don’t know how it is with you, but I am confronted with my humanity from the very first moment I awake in the morning. Sometimes this body is speaking to me contrary to what the Word says that is available and being made or given to me with an opportunity for me to participate. My own body! And the things that are around me, the environment. Have any of you ever noticed that when you go to do the will of God you always meet resistance? We always meet resistance. Now, some of us, we throw up our hands and we try to find another route, we try to find another avenue, we try to find, as it were, another door by which we might accomplish the thing. We use another means or by another route or perchance God will smile upon me or per chance God will alleviate this difficulty or per chance God will not make it so difficult or so extreme. I’m sorry, I’ve got good news for you! I have good news for you! The Bible says that if we desire to be like Him, we must suffer even as He suffered (Romans 8:17). That means that there is going to be reproach. That means that there will be what He bore in His body, all of those marks of physical destruction, physical malady. It means that you and I are going to find ourselves, not only in emotional and mental turmoil, not only an emotional and mental position of trouble. . . boy, we’re really getting it today, but we are going to find ourselves sometimes in a physical position of suffering. You can quote the scripture all day long, by His stripes we are healed (l Peter 2:24) and at the end of the day you find that your sickness is the same, your physical malady is the same, your pain is the same and all of those things that are pertinent to you and the thing that is prophesied are the same! So it must not be the body that God is really wanting to touch, but there is something in the midst of that body that God wants to grab hold of, there is something of a reality that God wants to bring to you and I in the midst of that place of suffering, that goes beyond the suffering, that opens a veil, as it were, in the realm of the heavenlies and gives us an ability to penetrate the fog that surrounds God. There is a splitting and a breaking forth of the shekinah glory of God that gives us our strength in the midst of our malady. And though we are sick, we are strong! Though we are dying, we are alive! And we can prophesy to the principalities that are around us, we can prophesy, as it were, to our own physical flesh, “though you slay me, yet shall I live!” I have come to one conclusion – growing old is a bummer. Some of you haven’t come to that conclusion yet. I have come to that conclusion. I don’t like my hair falling out. I don’t like it changing colors. I don’t like my physical strength dissipating. I don’t like these different maladies that come to me that are old men things. I don’t like looking in the mirror and seeing my father. When I was your age I was looking at him and seeing him. Now I look in the mirror and I see him. I am so glad that there is something that God has given to me that gives me the ability to look beyond the mirror and into a mirror that reflects something other than the thing that I was born with. I am so glad that there is written upon the pages of this book something that is indelible and cannot be erased, cannot be changed, cannot be altered. It’s like the decree of the Medes and the Persians. It is written, I am slated to get old, I am slated to die. It is written, do you know that? Back there in Genesis, He wrote it down indelibly. He inscribed it with His finger, as it were. But there is something that He did in lieu of the law that was passed with regard to sin and death and that is the law of the life and liberty that is in Christ Jesus! There is something that is required of me in the midst of my malady. When I look in the mirror and see something other than Christ, there is something that needs to rise up within the midst of my soul that says, “Devil, you’re a liar!” When I awake in the morning and I feel that pain or that discrimination against my body, there’s something that needs to rise up in the midst of my circumstance and the midst of my soul in my mind, in my emotions that is something other than that which is human! Hallelujah! My desire is to stand in my flesh, in my shoes and by my own strength, if so be it, if it is not by someone else that is holding me up, even as it was prophesied unto Peter. It says, “The day cometh, Peter, well, you’re going to be girded up and carried by another.” Well, the fact of the matter was, Peter was rejoicing in the aspect that someone else was going to carry him, but nevertheless, He was going to be where he needed to be when God wanted him there. There was something that was written indelibly in the heart of Peter, there was a change that came to that man’s soul, that man’s nature, that superseded all the carnality, all of the insurrection and rebellion that was of his own nature, of his own form.
My goodness! You know, we have the wrong idea of what it means to be Christian! We do, we do, we do, we do! We want to live in posh houses, drive posh cars, wear posh clothes, not be too warm, not be hot, not be cold, we don’t want to go hungry, we don’t want to eat too much – I don’t know, maybe some of us do! We want to be comfortable! Well, okay! Comfortable is all right, but comfortable is not part of the criteria for being a son of God! You have to be sick, you have to have financial worries, you have to have problems in your homes, you have to have problems in your community. You have to have all these things that you are warring against and you have to be right in your position and your attitude with regard to all of these things that are going on that we call “life.” You have to be right inside! You have to be right inside! Brethren, it’s not a matter of going through the mechanics of Christianity. Praying, reading your Bible, paying your tithe, going to church. It’s not in the mechanics, do you understand me? There’s something that has to be working on the inside that begins to change you so all of those things become a part of your nature. You would not skip church or even think of not coming to fellowship because your nature demands that you be in fellowship! Anything outside of that is religious. Anything outside of that is judged and there is some aspect of condemnation that comes to you and I as we move into that position of behavior.
You know, I couldn’t live without any part of my body in the manner and fashion that I have been designed to live. I can’t live without my foot and be able to walk comfortably or to walk in a manner that I am supposed to. I can’t work without my arm or my hand. I can’t do without my sight. I can’t do without my hearing. Do you hear me? I can do without it, but it makes me dysfunctional. For any of you that might have some disability, I’m not picking on you. I am trying to illustrate a spiritual point of view. A spiritual perspective. Yet it seems as though we cut ourselves off from the Body. We isolate and withdraw ourselves from the position of strength and there’s nothing that God can do for you in that position. Being in the carpenter trade, you hear a lot of horror stories of the different things that happen but, you know, they found out that if a man cuts his finger off, sometimes if you take the finger in, with the man, they can reattach it. But if they take the man in and leave the finger in the sawdust heap there’s nothing that they can do for him. To some degree I am talking about judgment that comes to you and I with regard to the position or the place that we are in. Sometimes we are in adversity and trouble and we hide it! It’s like a cancer that is in our soul. You know, there are some forms of cancer that you cannot detect because it has hidden itself in the overall structure of the body. It is not detectable until it comes to a size or a place to where it can no longer hide, but when it is detected it is too late! I was just reading an article about ovarian cancer and they were saying. . . how marvelous God is! He brings all these things across my path! Every time I read something I try to relate to God, “What are You speaking to me?” You know, ovarian cancer has been something that was very hard to detect until they developed blood analysis. Blood analyzing segregates certain properties in the blood and these properties in the blood will tell you whether or not a woman has within her body this type of cancer. Loose, loose! It is a lot like that for us as individuals in the Body of Christ. You know, it’s very interesting that ovarian cancer attacks the woman and it affects her in her ability to reproduce, to bring forth life. How apropos is that to you and I as God looks at us as the church, the bride of Christ! You know that cancer, in the spirit, is something that is avoidable! Do you know that cancer, in the spirit, is curable? It is not like it is in the physical. It is funny to me that they can analyze the blood. They can analyze the blood and determine the certain properties that are out of proportion to what is supposed to be in the blood. How much more is God analyzing our spiritual blood? We need to walk, as it were, precisely. We need to walk, as it were, exactly. Not in proportion to how we think but as God perceives! God has set deliverance up, do you hear me? God has set deliverance up for every malady. God has set deliverance up for every set of circumstances. God has set up something in the Word that pertains to you and I and what we do and how we live and how we respond.
You know, I was talking to one of my children, I don’t remember who it was, and they were relating to me, oh yeah, I remember who it was. They were relating to me a situation or circumstance and as they were relating it to me God spoke to me a scripture and I said to them, “Well, you know, that’s scriptural. I mean there is a scriptural remedy for the circumstance or situation you are in and thus saith the Word, blah, blah, blah.” They looked at me and said, “I guess there’s something in the Word for everything.” Surprise, surprise! “Yes, you’re absolutely right! You have a revelation! You just came to an understanding and God just parted a veil. God just spoke something into your heart. Hold on to it! Hold on to it! Hold on to it!” No matter what the circumstances are, no matter what the situation is, there is something in the Word that is particular to you and to that circumstance as you ask God, if you press God, God will speak it to you. If it is just no more than hope to hang on, hang on. Hang on just a little longer, hang on just a little while longer, hang on. “Oh, God, if I can just make it through one more day. One more day is all I ask for.” One more day and then that day dawns and you say, “God, I want one more day. One more day.” You know, one of our prayers has been with regard to the end time and the end time church and the thing that God is wanting to do is the work that was undone. Hello? The people that have not heard the Word that you have heard. The things that God has required of us that we have not done, our prayer has been, “Oh, God, give us one more day!” For 25 years we have been praying, “God, give us one more day!” I don’t know how many “one more days” God is going to give us! But until He says, “One more day and that’s it,” I’ll keep praying, “One more day.” But you know something, there has to be something of a demonstration of your asking for one more day. I can’t get up in the morning and say, “Well, all right, I’m going to take off and I’m going to have a little respite. Me and my wife, we’re going to go down south here and check into a hotel. We’re going to have a little rest. We’ve deserved it, we’ve worked hard. We’ve sweated, we’ve fought, we’ve done this, we’ve done that. We need a little rest.” You know, my vacation time is not subject to my whim or desire. Hello? You think I’m hard, you should be working for the fellow I’m working for! I had a son, when they were growing up, this was when they were much younger. Much, much younger. I was in the construction business. I would bring my boys out on the construction site. They were very young, they were probably the age of my grandchildren now. Quite frankly, I never thought I would see so many grandchildren at the age that they are. I thought Jesus would be here first, but I’m still hoping! There’s always next year! We’re still looking for Jerusalem. I used to take them out to the construction site and I would snap the whip over them – just ask any one of them. I would snap it, and snap it, and snap it, “Pick up that piece of wood, pick up that piece of wood, pick up that piece of wood over there. Go over there. Do this, do that, do that.” All day long running back and forth. All day long working, working, working, working. Finally one of them said to me when he came of age, “I’m not working for you anymore, Dad.” I said, “That’s fine with me.” He said, “You work me too hard.” I said, “That’s fine. Go get yourself another job.” He did and he turned out very well and I didn’t really have anything to do with it. But the fact of the matter is, there is an employer that you and I are working for that needs to have, as it were, preeminence in our position of personal desire. You talk about judgment! Now, all of this is pertinent to judgment and being judged.
The Bible says that you and I, as the house of God, are supposed to do what? Judge yourselves that ye be not judged. Judge yourselves that ye be not judged! (Matthew 7:1) It was interesting, I was driving down the road. You know these “Guns Save Lives” signs? They’ve changed it to Governor something-or-other and it talks about insiders. “No more insider dealings.” Well, that’s how we judge sometimes, only it’s our flesh, our humanity that says, “I’ll give you this if you do so-and-so. If you make a decision upon this and this and this and you move in this manner and you do this thing and this thing that will appease my circumstance, that will alleviate my fleshly trouble, that will take away some of my personal tribulation,” that’s what you call insider dealing. There’s something on the table for you. Well, it’s under the table. And all of the time we’re saying we’re Christian. “I want to be like Christ. I want to be in that position, I want to be like Him, I want to walk in His shoes.” Well, what we really want to do is His miracles. What we really want to do is turn the fish into money! When I was bringing my family up I wished I had the ability to speak to the stones and have them become bread! Especially after I saw the way some of these boys were eating! We want to use those things that are pertinent to God, to the kingdom of heaven, for something that brings us a little comfort! Well, my Bible says that comfort is not in the scope of the calling. It’s not one of the job requirements. Suffering is. Suffering. SUFFERINNNNGGGG!!! SUFFERING!!! Do you hear me? Hello? Nobody likes to suffer! I am not someone who takes joy and gets my thrills and laughter out of hurting. It’s not so much the hurting, do you hear me? It’s something that lies beyond that position of affliction, whether it’s this side of the veil or that side of the veil. My hope is that I am on this side of the veil, hallelujah, and I am able to go through with you to the next side of the veil. That is my hope, but you know something? That’s all in the hand of God. What I don’t want to happen with regard to me and those that are around me or those that God has given into my care is to see them lose out. I’m telling you, we are working very hard on losing out by being human. Being human. I tell you, it takes faith not to be human! It takes faith to rise up in the face of humanity and rebuke it and call it a liar. When the devil extends something to you that makes your life comfortable, fulfills some of the aspirations of your soul, gives you some sort of high opinion of yourself. Gives you a raise, gives you a car, gives you a pair of shoes or a nice suit, something that is so trivial or base. Come on, come on! Yet it seems that we are so easily satisfied. I used to have a dog and all you had to do was feed him a little treat and he was just happy, happy. Absolutely. He thought you were the greatest thing on earth and he’d always follow you around (pant, pant, pant). Just keep giving him those treats. We are a lot like that with regard to the devil. We grovel at his feet and we whine and we wimper and we flop around, as it were. I wonder sometimes how God sees us in the Spirit, you understand!?! I wonder how God looks at us sometimes in the Spirit at the shenanigans that go on. I don’t know where it was, but one of my grandchildren. . . you know, they’re great teachers for me. My kids taught me all that they could and now it’s my grandkids. Let me tell you, I’ve got enough of them so I get a lot of teaching. Sometimes the teaching I get I don’t want to be taught because it is a demonstration of who I am. I can look at his daddy or mommy and say, “He’s your kid.” But all the time I know down inside, “He’s related to me.” I wonder sometimes, you see these kids and they throw their little fits. Huh? They throw their little temper tantrums and yet I wonder sometimes if that’s not what we do. You know something? I saw one of my grandkids doing something one day – pouting, sulking, stomping around, being mean to his siblings, his sisters or his brothers – mean. Wasn’t going to do anything. Ignoring mommy, ignoring daddy, just walking around being himself. Enjoying himself. Manifesting himself to the greatest degree that self could be manifested. And I was saying, “Oh, boy! Why don’t his daddy, why don’t his mommy grab a hold of him and just whale the dickens out of him?” That would be judgment. You know what? You kind of eat those things later on down the road. I was involved with something and somebody said something to me and you know what? I started acting just like them. I started sulking and slamming things around. I started doing this and I started doing that and I wasn’t talking to nobody! I’m so thankful that I have a loving, forgiving wife who forbears with me for all of my little temper tantrums and all of the things that are Asbill and Elsberry and whoever else may be in there! Hallelujah!
Brethren, there is something of a judgment that comes to us in our behavior and our reaction to certain circumstances and situations. There’s something that comes to us in the midst of our place of environment, our living! There’s something of a perspective that you and I have to come to. God is not partial, do you understand that? How many of you know that God is not partial? You know it theoretically, religiously, Biblically, that’s all true. Do you know it in actuality? God is not partial! The first revelation I got of this is in the Old Testament when Joshua met the captains of the Lord’s Host. Now, if you would think that anybody was on God’s side, or God was on their side, you would think that it would be the children of Israel. They were where they were because God had moved them there. They were involved in the conflict they were involved in because God had brought them into conflict with these tribes that inhabited the land. On top of all that, God said, “Go in and take the land away from them!” Sounds a little bit like you and me, I think, in the position or place of where we are and what God calls us to as being Christian! And Joshua went out. . . I think they had suffered some sort of setback. God’s chosen people, in the place that God had put them, ordained to do what God had told them to do and yet they had suffered at the hand of the enemy. The enemy had risen up against them, the enemy was able to smite them, the enemy was able to bring them, as it were, into a place of defeat. I would call that judgment. Hello? I would call that judgment. Come on, brethren, I am trying to give to you some reality of where you and I are in our relationship to God and if we want God to do something for us in this end-time, you have to be where God wants you to be and you have to be in the frame of mind that God wants you in. God is not partial because of your Christianity, God is not partial because of your service. God is not partial because of your commitment. God is not partial because of your giving. God is not partial because you call yourself Christian. You have to be right on the inside! You have to be right! There’s a scripture and I’d better give it to you before I forget. There’s a scripture in l Peter 2 and this is where I have been preaching all morning. It talks, in the 13th verse, about submitting yourself to ordinances, 14th verse, submitting yourself to governors, 15th verse tells you about the will of God, 16th verse uses the position or the place of our liberty in a manner that is right, 17th verse says that we are to love all men and honor the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully (l Peter 2:17-19). Wrongfully. Not rightfully. Wrongfully. Hallelujah! For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (verse 20). That requires something of an inward attitude. You know, you can go through all the motions. Here again I come to my grandchildren. Aren’t you kids glad, I’m talking to my children, aren’t you glad that I’ve got grandchildren now? I don’t have to talk about you anymore. I just talk about them! You tell them to do something and they are (growl, rumble) but they do it (more growling and mumbling). All the time they are telling you how much they don’t want to do it, they don’t want to be involved in it, they want to be doing something else. Or else they just. . . whine, snivel, whine. . . “I can’t”. . . It requires something of an inward attitude. You know, though they are son in blood or daughter in blood and by virtue of their name, that is not what sonship is all about. Hello? Son is being that compliment that works in harmony with the Father. Son is being in that position, in that place of adoration and love that moves before it is asked, that sees with the eyes of the Father. Hello? It would be so tremendous if we could experience on a natural level what God expects on a higher level. There is something of an understanding that is hidden in the Word, if we can just grasp it, when Jesus said, “I do nothing of Myself.” I do nothing of Myself” (John 8:28). He wasn’t being run by remote control, do you hear me? He wasn’t being manipulated with some electronic device that made him move and act as the Father would act. We have what is called “virtual reality.” I think they got the principle from God and the operation of the Father through Jesus Christ, His Son. Hallelujah! I don’t think it was so much God whispering within the ear of Jesus Christ, “Son, heal that man. Son, do this over here. Son, go over here.” I don’t think it was like that at all. I think the nature of the Father was so much ingrained within the fabric of the Man’s soul, do you hear me? The Man’s soul was God and when He spoke, it was God. When He moved to heal, it was God. When He prophesied, it was God, because God was a part of His fabric and God was a part of His nature. Would to God that we could come to that kind of an understanding, that kind of reality in the realm of our humanity! I found out, as a father, my sons don’t see like I see. They don’t think like I think. Hello? They don’t feel what I feel. Yet on the spiritual level, on the spiritual plane, that is the way it is supposed to be! Not only in the natural realm but on a spiritual level. We have sons, we have daughters, do you hear me? The scripture talks about fathers in the house of Israel, it talks about mothers in the house of Israel. Come on, brethren. I’m talking about the end-time and the relationship of the church with God. I’m talking about missing out and escaping the judgment that is coming on the land. You know, prophets have crawled out of the woodwork since September 11th. They’ve crawled out of the woodwork. They’re prophesying doom and gloom and all kinds of destruction. Now, I don’t know whether they are prophesying of God. Would to God they could have prophesied before the fact! What good is it for a prophet to come to me and tell me about destruction that has already come or that there is other destruction coming? They’re prophesying that in the news! I know something else, for a fact, there is a word that has been coming to this fellowship at-large for over thirty years that has been talking about the coming destruction upon America and the exaltation of humanity! Do you hear me? It was coming down and unless we are in a place that we need to be individually, personally and collectively, we are going to be partaking of the judgment! We are going to be partaking of the judgment! You cannot be wrong in family relationships, you cannot be wrong in community relationships, you cannot be wrong in church relationships and be in right relationship with God! Cannot do it! You will come down when the rod comes down and catches part of your or my backside. I don’t know which one of you, as a loving, Christian individual, would have allowed what happened in New York to happen and yet God allowed it! I said it last week and I’ll say it again because it bears repeating. The church should be the most powerful thing in the face of the earth. We should be the most powerful thing on the face of the earth. Not because we are powerful but because we are in subjection to God. He is the power! He is the source! This whole chapter of Peter deals with governments, of authorities, if kingdoms and men all under the supervision, all under the authority of God. We have the audacity to go out and flaunt our humanity in the face of God and we call ourselves Christians or we say that we believe in being sons! Come on, brethren! Someone says there are seven more judgments coming. I don’t know. I think that we think that we got through the first one okay. We don’t even have the scar to remind us unless we pick up USA Today and they’re not even printing it anymore! Unless we go into the news, CNN, and they’re not showing it anymore. They’re all wrapped up in whatever scandal or scum that they are trying to dig up out there. Do you know that President Bush was elected by the power of the Holy Ghost? How many of you are praying and interceding? How many of you are asking God to give us a little more time? How many of you are praying that the man not be deceived by those that are around him? My biggest concern is that the man is not used to usher in the system of the beast! My God, for a man who has known the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ to be converted and to be used as an instrument of hell to bring destruction to God’s people, what must he feel when he stands before God? God, do not let him be deceived.
You like being an American? You like the comforts of being in America? Does it stand in the way of you praying for the will of God? Does your ease of communication, your ease of transportation, your ease of buying and getting those things that make your life more comfortable, that ability for you to get medical help when you want medical help or need medical help, does that stand in the way of you praying for the will of God to come in the midst of your community, in the midst of your home, in the midst of your land, in the midst of your country? Does it stop you from praying? I would say that yes, on many occasions, it does stop it. We don’t want to see our loved ones hurt. We don’t want to see ourselves suffer in a fashion that is physical, that makes a physical demand upon us. I don’t like to be cold. I like heat. Yet it seemed ordained in the mind of God to put me in a place that is always cold. I told someone one time that I’ve been trying to get to Florida for 35 years and I’ve only made it as far as Illinois! What kind of itinerary is that? Better yet, I wouldn’t stop at Florida, I’d keep going until I hit Africa! Now, Africa is hot enough for me. You know, the Bible says. . . let’s see, I’m always quoting it. Psalm 24:4. Turn with me, if you would. First of all, let us start at verse one so we don’t take it out of context, so we know what the Lord is talking to us about with regard to all this. It says, The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Isn’t that apropos to what we are talking about? Or is my preaching in vain this morning? For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend, the question is rhetorical, for it tells you who shall ascend. But He wants you to know that there is a criteria, that there is a position, there is a place of requirement, of responsibility that you and I have. We must begin, as it were, to put feet to our faith. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? Boy, you know, the tabernacle flashes up before me and the veil, but it says the veil is rent. It says that when Jesus was crucified the veil was rent but we act as though it’s still intact and in place. The thing that keeps you and I from entering in is the fact of our flesh, our humanity, our position of carnality, the baseness of our position of living! That’s the Judas nature, by the way. Do you know that all of us have the Judas nature? Do you know that all of us are capable, outside of the jurisdiction of the Holy Ghost, to offend a brother? To betray our brother? To turn our brother into tribulation for the sake of our own humanity? Do you know that? We are all capable of that. Humanity is capable of that. “Oh, I’d never do that.” Boy, you don’t know what you would do. You don’t know what you would do. We hope that we would do different but are we doing differently now? Are we moving diametrically in opposition to that function of humanity? Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands. Clean hands deal with the horizontal relationship. That’s a horizontal relationship. That is my relationship with you and your relationship with me. Is it clean? Is it clean? Am I doing what I need to do? Am I moving as I need to move? Am I moving in harmony with what the Holy Ghost is requiring of me in my interaction with you and with the Lord? Am I doing everything that I can possibly do? Well, if you’re honest, you’ll have to say, “No, I am not.” Well, some of us. Now, if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t try to put it on. He that hath clean hands, that’s a horizontal relationship, and a pure heart; that’s a vertical relationship. It’s a horizontal relationship and it’s a vertical relationship. You cannot have a pure heart without having clean hands. Hello? “Oh, I pray everyday, I read my Bible.” Come on, brethren, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the inward action and the motivation and the way that you move with regard to the calling and election that is on your life. Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, that’s self interests. Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. You could read it in the converse, turn it around. If you don’t have clean hands, if you don’t have a pure heart, if you’re not working that within the fabric of your soul. . . Hello? I’m not saying that we are moving in a place of perfection. We have to be in a place of persevering against unrighteousness. We must maintain our position of stability against wickedness and the thoughts of wickedness that come against us. We need to maintain, “I don’t want to think like that, I don’t want to act like that. Lord, deliver me of my malady of being human and bless them, bless them, bless them, bless them and let righteousness move within their circumstances.” It says, “Pray for those that despitefully use you” (Matthew 5:44). Boy, what power! He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle (Psalm 24:5-8). You know, this is work!
I wish that we could see with God’s eyes. We so often read things in the Bible and we relegate it to the Bible. We relegate it to a place that is historical when all of the time there is a spiritual principle, a spiritual quality. There is a lesson of instruction. What were the children being taught? Obey. You know, sometimes I think we have so much trouble with our children in them receiving instruction because we as parents have been so bullheaded. Oh, excuse me. I have been so bullheaded. Stubborn. Adamant with regard to my own position of self-preservation. You know, my father was what they called a “self-made man.” My father was very determined. My father was very ruthless. Well, praise God, he’s with Jesus now. He’s repented. But I want to tell you, there is something of a spirit that is familiar with regard to that and it was drummed into us children, drummed into us children and it was hammered on and hammered on and hammered on until, if you weren’t a self-made man, if you weren’t moving in that attitude, if you weren’t pulling yourself up by your own boot straps, you weren’t making it as a man! That’s something that I had to dislearn. Hello? You know how I dislearned it? What would that be, “dislearned?” (from the congregation, “Unlearned.”) I like dislearned. Dislearned is like disassembled. Really it wasn’t disassembled, it was disseminated. God put me into the fire and I had failure after failure after failure, using all of the right principles, using all the right ideas, using all the right formulas. Dad did it like this, he made millions! Dad made it like this, he was a success! Dad did it like this, everything worked out okay for him! Why am I in the midst of this hell? God spoke to me very simply and very personally, “Because you are not the son of Asbill. You are a son of God and if you want to be a son of God you have to do it by My strength. You have to do it by My abilities. You have to do it by My way of thinking.” We have to be in a right place. Come on, brethren, come on. God does not take sides. God does not take sides because you go to church. God does not take sides because you pay your tithe, if you pay your tithe. God does not take sides because you are sitting here and listening to this word this morning. God moves on your behalf because of your relationship with Him and His assessment from His perspective, not yours!
Go back into Peter. I’m going to close it up here, hopefully. Hallelujah! Alright, we are talking about being buffeted for those things that you suffer wrongfully. It says, verse 21, For even hereunto were ye called: Now, he means we, right? That means you, you, you, and you, all of you and me. “We” comprise the “ye.” You got that, right? Let’s say it, WE! Wherein WE are called! Because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: I would say that is having clean hands and a pure heart! I would say that that was where he should have been. His relationship with God was pure. His relationship with man was pure. When it was time for Samuel to move on from his position of priesthood he gathered the Children of Israel together and he said unto them, “Which one of you have I defrauded? Which one of you have I misled? Which one of you have I moved against in wickedness?” Hello? Clean hands and a pure heart. Sometimes it’s something more of a requirement than just you thinking that you have clean hands and a pure heart! Sometimes it’s necessary for you to go to your brother and say, “Have I offended you? Is there something between you and I that needs to be dealt with? Can we deal with it in the name of the Lord? Do I need to apologize to you? Do I need to work out some manner or measure by which we can bring forth some sort of harmony and reconciliation? Quite frankly, from my own personal position or perspective I’d rather have a man talk to my face than to talk behind me or talk to someone else. I appreciate that, I really do, I really do, I really do appreciate it. I may not agree with you, I may not come into agreement with what you’re saying, but nevertheless, if you speak to my face, I appreciate that. It’s something that is Biblical. Hello? It is something that is Biblical. If somebody talks to you about me, I’ll tell you right now, tell them to come to me. I’m always available. You can always get a hold of me. Hallelujah! Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (l Peter 2:22) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he. He, Jesus Christ in the midst of His affliction, in the midst of His adversity, committed all those things of reviling against Him unto God. Have you ever watched these TV. courts? I think some of those judges are pretty hard-nosed. I don’t see much compassion. I don’t see much sympathy. One guy calls another person “stupid” and then passes judgment on him for his stupidity. You have to be in right standing with God. You have to be in a position of righteousness with God. You have to be in an attitude and in a position or a demeanor that God can look at you and say, “You’re okay!” Not because He likes you. Not because you’re wearing a brown coat. Not because you’re going to church, but because your attitude before Him is right! Your desire toward Him is right! Your desire toward His brethren is right! Hello? You cannot get there on your own position of self-esteem, do you hear me? Go into Corinthians and read when it says that, he that eateth and drinketh of this covenant and do so unworthily, that is why there are many sickly and many dying in the midst of you. (l Corinthians 11:27,29) Why? Because you are unclean. God cannot vindicate you, God cannot move on your behalf, God cannot move and bring right judgment and when He speaks, you go before the judge and he says, “Judge us.” He judges. You bet. He judges and then you find yourself in tribulation along with the judgee. Why? Because God wants to see you both redeemed. God wants to see you both redeemed. We have to be, as it were, in our attitudes with regard to God and judgment, we have to be even as God is. That’s a hard one, isn’t it? Do you hear me? We have to be even as God is. Hmm? May God help us to measure up.
I need to leave one thing with you. It’s not so much the doing and succeeding. Hello? Do you understand what I’m saying? It’s not so much the doing and exceeding. It’s the doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and doing until you do exceed! Because we are going to exceed in our doing whether it be on this side or on that side. Hallelujah! But I want to tell you whether it is coming forth in the midst of this body or through the veil. I want to come through with a shout! I do. I do and I want to be able to stand before God and say, “God, I have done.” I know it is possible. The Bible is written. Paul says, “I have run the race that God has given me to run and I have done all that God has given me to do and I know that I have laid up for me. . .” (ll Timothy 4:8). It’s not presumptuous for a man or for a woman or a child to feel or to think that they can exceed in the quality of righteousness that God has apportioned or dispensed to them in the generation to which they were born. Noah was considered a righteous man. You, too, and I, too, can be considered in our endeavoring and in the effort that we expend with regard to the principles and the desire of what it means to be Christ-like. Trouble is coming. Trouble is coming to the house of Jacob whether they are pseudo, make believe, pseudo prophets or not. I’m telling you, there is a prophetic word that says destruction is coming to humanity. Let us be ready that we might be the instrument by which God brings salvation to the midst of the world. It was on the behest of the sons of God that God intervened. It says, “If it were not for the sake of the elect.” (Mark 13:20) Hallelujah! All of us would be damned! All of us would be on our way to hell! But the fact of the matter is, God said He would intervene. Let us endeavor to be part of the intervention. Lord bless you.