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Rivers of Living Water

July 22, 2001

(For printable version click here.)

I am very glad for the Word that says, “When two or three are gathered together, God says that He is in their midst.” I don’t think it’s something that we should take lightly.  I think it is something that is very real, something that is very pertinent to all of us with regard to coming to fellowship and worship together.  Hallelujah.

For those of you who have noticed the grounds outside, the nice cut lawn, the clean sidewalks, the weed-free beds, yesterday Brother and Sister Effiong spent most of the day here cleaning up, scrubbing, sweeping, cutting.  For that, I want to say, Lord bless you, thank you very much.  I, for one, appreciate it extremely.

There was a verse that was ministered in one of our sessions here in the last week or two ago that kind of stuck with me through the time frame from which it was ministered, and it’s found in John 7.  I don’t remember just exactly who ministered it but I want to go back over it if I might this morning.  I believe that there are some things that the Lord is speaking to me concerning it that I would like to share with you.  If you would, open your Bibles to John 7.  It was where Jesus went up to Jerusalem knowing that His life was in danger, because the hierarchical system of that religious hour was seeking to devour Him.  But He had a faith or trust in God because He knew that He had a job to do and till that job was done, no man was going to touch Him.  In fact, it touches on that aspect of it somewhere in the beginning of this chapter.  He stood up in the midst of the Pharisaical system and He proclaimed the good news of God and the crowd was wondering why it was that they did not take this man.  You know, the things that He was saying were things that they did not agree with.  Hallelujah.  There are many things that we hear in church that aggravate us, irritate us, and sometimes we don’t agree with, but we need to be careful with regard to all of that because we might be hearing from God.  I have found that God will usually use the avenue that you least expect or least want to bring you a word that you’re asking Him to give you.  How like God to do that to each and every one of us, but it’s our responsibility to discern the Word of the Lord as it comes.  It’s our responsibility to discern the Word of the Lord as it comes to us individually and also as it comes to us on a collective basis. 

My mother used to say that “familiarity breeds contempt.”  Now, I said something like that to someone and he told me that it was scriptural.  It doesn’t say it in so many words, but it gives you that impression.  He told me where it was, but since that time I’ve forgotten.  If one of you might know what he was referring to, you might bring it up and let me know at the end of the meeting.  I have found the saying to be true.  As we get to know somebody it seems like there is somewhat of a contemptuous attitude that we develop.  Why?  Because we are aware of their humanity.  We begin to see their frailties.  We begin to see their weaknesses.  We begin to see their lack of spirituality.  You know something?  It doesn’t hinder God in His use of the individual.  How like God to use our weaknesses as a means by which to deliver something that He calls power or His Word.  It’s up to the individual to discern and decipher the Word of God.  Well, let me say, it’s up to the individual to discern the Word of God; it’s up to the Holy Ghost to decipher it.  Then we are held accountable for the decision or the action that we make with regard to the thing that we heard.  Why?  Because you have the Holy Ghost.  Because you have the Blood of Jesus.  Because God has done everything that He might possibly do to elevate you into a position of understanding.  You have to utilize the tools and the equipment He gives you.  Hallelujah. 

I’m so very glad for the experiences that God has brought me through, the many different hats that He has caused me to wear.  I worked in a finance company.  I wore a finance hat.  I worked in a sales position.  I wore a sale’s hat.  I worked as a farmer.  I wore a farmer’s hat.  I worked as a carpenter.  I wore a carpenter’s hat.  In every situation there was something that was given to me by which I could do the job that I was hired to do.  Hallelujah.  If I was a carpenter and I came to work without any tools…  Now, I don’t know, I don’t think it’s quite like it used to be.  But when you were hired to do a job, you were required to bring your own tools.  Absolutely.

I had to learn to properly use the tools I was going to be using on the job.  Hello?  I’ve seen some people take saws and I just have to cringe or turn around and walk away because of the way that they use them.  Now, that doesn’t mean that all of my habits of using tools are good, because they’re not.  But the fact of the matter is, I have seen many people get hurt because of their carelessness with a tool.  Take the automobile.  It is capable of doing much damage.  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, it can change or eradicate a life.  With just a twist of the arm, a looking away or whatever it might take, as a result of that there is much damage that sometimes will take a lifetime of experience to get over.  God gives us tools.  He gives us tools by which we might become or be made or conformed, as the Bible says, unto His image. (Romans 8:29) God is in the business of changing us and He has provided for us all the accoutrements by which we might be able to do the thing that has been given unto us to do.  Hallelujah. 

I can relate to Sister Patty’s cry because I have to deal with a human nature.  It is after the family of Asbill and Elsberry and anything else that might be thrown in there back along the way.  I know that there is German.  I know that there is English.  I don’t know what else might be in there.  According to my father there could be a whole lot of things that I wouldn’t want to confess to.  But the fact of the matter is, all of it is devoted, it is concentrated, it is dedicated to eradicating my spirituality because none of it is after the nature or the heritage of what we call God.  None of it has the qualities or the godliness of the nature that we call God.  All of it is under the dominion (and incorporated into it) of the satanic, diabolical wickedness of that entity that we call devil.  Unless you and I can come to some understanding of that, we are defeated before we start, because we are not aware of the enemy with which we are to contend.  Hallelujah. 

Peter and I were talking, kind of reminiscing, I guess, about a radio or television comedian by the name of Flip Wilson.  I don’t know if any of you knew or heard of him, but he coined the phrase (and I sometimes think God uses the donkey to bring out a revelation of a spiritual truth or, man might say, a spiritual malady), “The devil made me do it.”  We think that all of our problems are based on the entity of wickedness or diabolical reasoning that we call devil.  Now, I certainly don’t want to demote him or relieve him of that position of wickedness, because I believe that he is the lord of darkness.  I believe that he is the lord of wickedness.  I believe that his nature is destruction, because the Bible calls him Apollyon.  Apollyon, in the Greek, means ‘the destroyer’.  Hallelujah.  But he has a lot of destroyer-ites.  Now, I’m not talking about the demonic kingdom of which his realm is comprised.  The demons, the principalities, they’re all very real.  Hallelujah.  They’re all very evident in our lives and in the environments in which we live.  All you have to do is pick up a newspaper and read it and you’ve got the local, daily, and national diabolical news.  Hello? They promote nothing but wickedness and tell you all of the evilness that is going on in the world.  Sometimes they’re touting and tooting and blowing their horn and sometimes, not very often, it’s as though they’re aghast at what happened.  Hallelujah.  All of it is designed to do one thing and that is to bring you into a position of subjection to the thought of a diabolical and wicked power that is to rule and govern your life and my life.  By some means, you and I accept it.  We accept it.  Now, I don’t know what it does for you when you read something that is diabolical.  I see a lot of articles that come across our desk for the KIT publication of Signs of the Times, and it does something inside of me because of which I have to get away or get out and begin to pray and ask God to intervene for His people.  It stirs something in my soul that begins to make me make a demand upon God that He begin to work within the fabric of my character, within the fabric of my being, something, hallelujah, that is powerful enough to resist the flood that is coming against me.  Hello?  Do you understand that in Revelation it talks about the flood of dirty water that was going to be spewed out of the mouth of the dragon?  Now, I don’t think there’s anything righteous about USA Today.  I don’t think there’s anything righteous about The Herald, The Tribune or whatever else magazine or newspaper, Newsweek.  I don’t think there’s anything righteous about it.  I think those that are involved in it, for the most part, as far as the hierarchical system is concerned, are people that need to be redeemed, are people that are under the control of Satan.  I think that most of the newscasters, most of the news writers, most of the articles of those who write news, are under the influence of their demonic nature.  Hallelujah.  So, the thing they’re going to pen, the thing they’re going to write, is not going to be for the purpose of edifying you as a Christian.  It can’t be.  It’s in diametrical opposition to the aspect of Christ in you the hope of glory. 

Let’s bring it down from that arena into the arena in which we live and we work.  Hallelujah.  Not all of us are privileged to work under a “Christian” environment.  Even in the “Christian” environment, how Christian are those that are over you, and how much do they desire righteousness more than they desire prosperity?  Hallelujah.  Sometimes Christians have double-standards.  Not sometimes, I should say, most times.  Double-standards.  They go to church on Sunday, but on Monday, Tuesday, maybe Wednesday, they clean up their act a little bit because they have to go to church Wednesday night.  I don’t know.  I do know that there is a double-standard in that type of environment and if there is no Christian in the hierarchical system, then you are sitting under the supervision of some diabolical mind that is under the influence of the prince of demons.  Hallelujah.  What this world is in need of are saviors!  Hallelujah.  What this world is in need of is kingdom of God believing people who desire to see the governments of God established within the confines of the environment in which they have been placed!  You know, it’s all in the purpose and the plans of God from the very beginning.  Sometimes you and I lose that focus, I think.  We lose it because of our day-to-day daily grind, day-to-day daily living, day-to-day thing of having to survive and having to do our business and go about and eke out our living.  Hallelujah.  So God is desirous to see, I believe, in the midst of the land, wells of living water.  Wells of living water.  He’s desirous to see those that have an ability to penetrate the veil of your flesh at any given time and any given circumstance, against any given foe or contention that you find yourself in.  I don’t know, maybe you’re not, but when I say we, just give me the grace to think I’m talking about me, or me and mine.  We are somewhat, if not more than somewhat, near-sighted people.  We all need to go to the physician and have him give us glasses for near-sightedness so that we can see beyond the immediate point of pressure and the life that we are living that we are being called to have an eternal focus, a focus that would be God oriented.  Hallelujah. 

It says in verse 37 of John chapter 7, it said, In the last day, that great day of the feast…  I believe that there is a last day.  I believe that there are last days.  I believe that we are living in the last days.  I believe that there is nothing in the Bible that is not written for a purpose and is not pertinent to your situation and my situation.  You know, if you’re making a decision that involves your life and the lives of others, you better be sure that the decision that you are making is Biblical.  I’m not talking about inconsequential decisions as to whether I eat lunch or not.  That’s inconsequential, you understand.  I’m not going to live or die by the fact of whether I eat lunch or I don’t eat lunch.  I’m talking about decisions that affect my future.  Now, I’m just talking about my own personal set of situations.  I’m not talking about yours, although it might touch yours, and if it touches yours, don’t get mad at me, I’m sorry.  Hallelujah. 

You know, I can make a decision to buy a car.  In order for me to buy that car, I have to do certain things that have irreversible consequences.  They’re irreversible to me.  Now, some people can buy a car and just give the car back if they decide they don’t want the car anymore.  I can’t do that.  Do you know that?  I can’t do that.  Some people can run up a lot of bills and then when they can’t pay the bills anymore, they go out and they file bankruptcy.  Hello.  It’s done every day.  It has been done over and over.  When I was working in the finance company, that’s what people would do and then they’d turn around after their bankruptcy was all set and go out and do the same thing all over again, and because the world is under the diabolical mind, the diabolical merchant is willing to give the diabolical action of selling goods back to the person who they had to write off the month before!  Hallelujah!  But I have to make a decision based upon what the will of God is for me and the consequences of the decision that I make and how it will affect me down the road, and I don’t know that unless I go to God about it.  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah. 

I remember years back I desired to be normal, to be considered part of the normalcy of humanity in the aspect of what different ones were doing.  I had a family that was young and growing up and we needed a place to live.  I was thinking, “Well, I need to buy a house.”  Now, it’s not that I like renting, I don’t necessarily like to rent, but I find that there’s an advantage in that.  I just have to give my landlord notice when I want to or when the Spirit of God moves me, that I’m moving.  I can pack my stuff (which doesn’t really require a whole lot of effort) and we can move wherever the Lord has us to move.  Anyway, I went to God about buying a house.  I’m talking about when I was in my late twenties, early thirties, and I sought God very diligently about buying a house because I wanted to be normal.  I wanted my family to have security.  I wanted my family to have roots.  I wanted my family to feel like they were normal.  I wanted my family to be like the Joneses.  My kids would not have to put up with the peer pressure, “We own a house, your daddy just rents.” I wanted all of those attributes that were pertinent with the idea of buying a house and, of course, I used all of the mental, intellectual manipulation with God that we use with ourselves.  “Well, God, think of the investment.  Oh, think of the…” You know, I’ve heard it, I’ve heard it, I’ve heard it and I’ve heard it and I’ve heard it rehearsed over and over again by different individuals – the investment, the this and the that and all the things that go with it, the financial return.  Oh, yes, and then when everything’s left, you can sell it and you have all of that left-over money.  Hallelujah.  I used all of that with God.  I sought God for a number of weeks, a number of months, until God finally got me quiet enough to where one day when I was out working for my dad in the orchard, God spoke to me.  He spoke to me out of the scripture and He told me to go and to look at the place in the Bible where it was detailing the lives and the things that were to be given as an inheritance to the children of Israel.  When I got to the part of the Levite, they had neither lands nor homes, but they were given places by gratuitous virtue, I might say, of the house of Israel where which they were to abide and to dwell.  There was the Levitical nation and God said to me, “You are a Levite.”  That settled the issue.  That settled the question.  I’ve never asked God one time, “Should I buy a house?”  It doesn’t mean that I have not wanted to buy a house.  You see people buying houses and making money.  You see people building their homes and moving into them.  You see people doing this and that.  All of these people moving around and you, of course, want to be part of that place of humanity and to enjoy the comfort which they seem to be having in what they’re doing.  But I have never once gone back to God and said, “Can I buy, can I move, can I be like them?”  I’m not meaning “them” in a derogatory sense.  Hello?  Don’t get what I’m saying wrong or get it twisted up, I’m not saying that.  I’m saying for me, the issue is settled.  Now, that doesn’t mean I’ll never buy a house, because God could say to me, “Buy this house.” You hear me? I have to be open to the moving of the Holy Ghost.  I have to utilize the tools.  But for me to come to God and require or request Him for that provision is out of the question.  He’s settled it because He said or gave me a definite direction with regard to that issue.  You and I have to have the mind of God. 

You know, I remember growing up and with a young family and what not, I wanted a car that was trustworthy.  Oh, yes, I wanted a car that wouldn’t break down and leave my family stranded somewhere out in the boondocks, and I did not believe in debt.  Did you know that?  I did not believe in debt.  I was not going to go into debt for a car.  So I saved my money.  We worked and we scraped and we penny pinched and we saved our money.  And all the time I was saving my money, I was doing research as to what is the best car to buy.  I was looking at all the reviews.  I was going to Consumer Guide.  I was going down and looking at the best auto to buy magazine.  I was looking at automotive mechanics magazines.  I was looking at all of the ratings and for a year, I was saving.  I was saving more than a year until we accumulated enough money to buy a brand new car.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  I did not inquire of God, though, as to whether I could spend my money on this new car.  I figured because I was addressing the principal of debt, because I was being diligent in my stewardship in discovering the best auto to buy that God would, I assumed, bless my effort and give me a car that would last forever!  So I went out and I bought one of those hatch back Hondas.  One of the first ones that came on the market here, well, it wasn’t the first one, but it was of the later series when they were beginning to really come on strong.  I went and bought this car.  It was wonderful!  It was just great!  I was driving this new car and it had air conditioning!  Hallelujah!  I was comfortable!  My family was comfortable!  But boy, you better not scratch it.  Better not even get close to it.  You know who put the first dent in it?  Jacking it up one day, changing my own oil and the jack handle came up and put a big old dent right in the nose!  In the front of it!  You know what happened the day the warranty ran out?  The engine blew up.  Everyone is telling me how wonderful these Honda’s were and I’m sitting here with a piece of inoperable junk.  Well, that Honda gave me trouble for the next two years.  It used more oil than gas.  I took it to Florida, and it took me and my family almost two months to get to Florida.  How’s that for not being stranded out somewhere in the boondocks?  Mmmh?  It was a four day trip.  It took me two months!  I rebuilt the motor twice on the way!  All the time God was using the whip on my back, using the whip.  When we came back from Florida, it did it to me again.  We broke down in Georgia and we had to have the thing fixed in Georgia.  Boy, I’ll never stop to have a car fixed in Georgia!  They took my arm, they took my leg and then they took my wallet.  There wasn’t anything left when they got finished with me!  And you know what?  It made it as far as Omaha, Nebraska, and it did it again!  “Well,” I said, “This is enough.  This is enough.  This is enough.”  So I was trying to peddle the car.  I had four kids and a wife and we were 3,000 miles away from home.  You know what?  I got just enough to buy a plane ticket for all of us to be put on a plane.  You talk about repentance.  We have to know the will of God.  I tell you there is a retribution.  You talk about reaping what you sow.  I tell you, when I got rid of that Honda, hallelujah, I only had about $3,000 in my pocket and it went to pay for a plane ticket…hallelujah.  And when I got home, I was carless.  I had to call my uncle to come and get us at the airport and to take us to my mother’s home.  Hello.  There is a consequence involved in making decisions without knowing the will of God!  There is a consequence of reaping what you sow and everything that you sow, you shall reap.  It is a Biblical principle.  If you sow contention and discord, if you sow insecurity and faithlessness, you are going to reap all of the attributes and you’re going to reap a multitude of it!  Because God not only gives back what you put in, but He gives back pressed down, filled up and running over, so does it work on the opposite end!  (Luke 6:38)  You know, my son drove that old Oldsmobile that I had prior to the Honda for a number of years, a year or so later, and I think it was still running when he got rid of it.  I thought it was an old hog, but boy, I would have given anything to get the hog back after I got through driving the Honda. 

There are consequences to decisions that you and I make that are lasting and that have a multitude of experiences of tribulation.  I’d much rather walk through tribulation knowing that the will of God is for me to be in that tribulation because in the midst of that tribulation, I have the rope.  When everything else is falling off to the left and to the right, when everything else is coming down around my head, the rope is still sure, the rope is still firm, the rope is still attached on the other end.  Though all others might forsake me I still know I have a hold of God!  There’s a consoling and a ministering that God ministers to me in the midst of my circumstance and I’m not left to my external or internal diabolical nature!  We are supposed to be in the exterminating business.  We are supposed to be in the funeral business.  We are supposed to be putting the old man to rest so that the Holy Ghost can be in the resurrection business.  Hallelujah!  God cannot resurrect you if you are refusing to die!  God cannot move in the midst of your circumstance if you are always asserting your will.  It’s you, God will not move contrary to your will.  Hello.  We do not seem to understand, “Well, if God wants me to do it, He’ll just have to make it so that I can do it.” Poppycock.  Poppycock.  Poppycock!  Poppycock!  There is something that you have to do.  You have to stand up.  You have to put in and assert your position and your ideal of righteousness, your desire for goodness, your desire for holiness, your desire not to be something other than what God wants you to be! 

We have a headache, we take aspirin.  I’m not against taking aspirin.  I take aspirin.  Hallelujah.  I’m not against taking aspirin, but the fact of the matter is, I don’t know who it was that said, “No pain, no gain.” There’s something to be said about suffering.  Do you hear me?  Not suffering for the sake of suffering, but suffering for the sake of the hope of a better resurrection and hanging on in the suffering as long as you can hang on, believing that God is going to move or intervene in your circumstance.  Hello?  Hello?  Hello!  Now, you know, I have an affliction that afflicts me sometimes.  It hasn’t, praise God, afflicted me of late, but something goes wrong back here in the muscles.  I don’t know what it is, but I know that God is greater than it is.  You know how I know that?  Because I have been in meetings where I could hardly stand up straight and I would have to walk by holding onto something, but in the midst of my pain and suffering, God speaks to me to get up and to share or to prophesy.  I have before said to God, “I can’t even walk.  I can’t even stand up.  Why do you want this decrepit, bent over, disabled vessel prophesying a word of encouragement?”  Hallelujah.  And you know something?  It doesn’t stop hurting just because I get out of my seat.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t have to hold on to something as I’m walking up to the front.  I’m just using that as an illustration.  But I’m telling you that in the flow and the blowing of the Holy Ghost, something comes in and begins to regenerate and revitalize my body and there’s a loosening of the muscle tissue that no chiropractic service could do!  Hello! Hallelujah! Tell me that God is not greater than a physical affliction that afflicts you on a physical level!  Hello!  I’m not talking about devil.  There are things that we do to our body sometimes that are wrong and there are consequences, but I’m saying that God is able to move in that type of a situation and alleviate my position of pain!  Jump and shout.  Why?  Because there is a mindset in God, there is a mindset in God that is greater than the mind with which we have grown up and have developed and have nurtured. 

If they would just teach reading, writing and arithmetic, but they don’t.  They don’t do that.  They don’t do that.  They don’t do that.  That is my contention with the educational system.  I’m telling you something – the NEA?  It’s diabolical.  It’s headed by demons, demons, demons, demons, demons, demons!  They are the ones that are deciding the curriculum, the influx and the outpouring of filth that is coming into the schools.  They’re involved in diabolical worship, diabolical things.  They are!  I’m telling you, they are!  Some of them are witches.  Now, tell me, what good is the curriculum or what are their intentions with regard to reading and writing and arithmetic?  They use it as a means by which to bring their students into a position or a place of subjection.  Hallelujah. 

I believe it’s the last day and I believe it is a great day and I believe it’s the time of the feast.  You know, the Bible talks a lot about the wedding feast.  It said that the Lord prepared a feast.  The gospels talked about the Lord preparing a feast and inviting the nobles of the land.  Well, my contention or my position of belief is the nobles are those that have heard the Word, have received the Blood of Jesus Christ, have received the power of the Holy Ghost.  They have had a taste, as it were, of the things to come.  There is a reality or an awareness of the reality of the kingdom that is yet to be manifested.  I believe those are those that are called “noble” and they refused to come to the feast that was made.  Refused.  God is not writing out, as it were, “Dear Brother Jim and Sister Betty, you are invited to this dinner arrangement that I am throwing for my Son.  He is getting married.”  I mean, it’s not as blatant, it’s not as open as that is.  You hear a word, you come to service, you open the Word, you listen to tapes, you watch videos.  You watch and you hear and you receive an influx of spirituality.  There’s something of a ministration and an imparting into you that makes you liable and accountable and it puts you in that position of having received, as it were, a written invitation.  Then you go out the door and you’re not cognizant of your position of misgiving.  You do and you perform in the same manner without the consciousness of your action.  Oh, you might have this twinge, you might have this little prick, but pretty soon that even goes away.  And the farther you get away from Sunday, the farther you get away from Tuesday or Wednesday night, the farther you get away from it, the less that it is, until at the end of the week when you come together and you come back into this place and you begin to sit down and order your minds, everything seems to be going nowhere.  Why?  Why?  You’ve spent too much time in the other world.  You’ve spent too much time meddling in the affairs of humanity.  You’ve spent too much time talking about humanity.  You’ve spent too much time looking into humanity.  You’ve spent too much time thinking about humanity.  You’ve spent too much time being human and very little time have you devoted and given to the God that gave you your ability to live forever.  We get angry.  We get contentious.  We get rebellious.  We get stiff-necked.  We get hard of hearing.  We get hard of heart and then we come back and we expect God to forgive everything and everything to be as it was when it was, when it was, when it was, and it’s not. 

I believe that there is a Word that is going out about the feast.  I believe that Jesus is crying now, standing up in the midst of us, us, me, in the midst of my circumstances, in the midst of my mind, in the midst of my emotions.  Jesus is standing up saying, “All those that thirst, let them come unto me.” (John 7:37)  Do you know we can reason ourselves right out of our position or the place of excellence that God has reserved for us?  You can reason, religiously reason yourself out of that position.  Use the right scriptures, use the right ideas, use the right aspect of attitude and reason yourself right out of it.  I’m not saying you’re not going to heaven.  I believe that we will be judged for that which you could have done but you didn’t do.  I think it’s double judgment.  If you did something that you shouldn’t do, you’re going to get judged.  If you didn’t do something that you should have done, you’re going to be judged.  One judgment is the other judgment!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

He said if any man thirst…  I don’t know about you, are you thirsty?  Do you know how Azusa Street started?  From three or four, it didn’t start as a corporate thing.  You know, that’s one of the things that I have about these corporate burdens.  It’s not that I’m not in favor of them, but I think that we’re missing the point.  We think because we all join together, because somebody puts out a letter about some sort of crisis, and it’s not that God doesn’t hear it and God doesn’t move, sometimes He moves and sometimes He doesn’t move.  But the thing that bothers me about it is that it doesn’t start on an individual, grass roots level.  It’s not that an individual has such a burden upon him and such a pressure in the spirit and such a concern and such a desire for holiness and righteousness that he gets down on his face before God in secret and begins to pour out his soul before the Lord.  Hallelujah.  It says that God, hearing in secret, rewards openly.  There’s no, “Well, I did it.  I did it.  I called the Body to prayer.  I called the Body to fasting.  I called all of the saints together and we entered in!  See, God, what I’ve done?”  There’s none of that.  Nobody knows who did it and everybody thinks they did it.  But God knows who did it.  God knows the saint that took the opportunity and the time to get down on their face before God and to pour out their soul, who began to afflict their soul.  You know, you can talk about fasting and prayer until your lips fall off.  You can talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk, and all the time you’re stuffing your face and eating and doing all of the things that you normally do.  Hallelujah!  There’s something to be said about someone who goes into their closet and begins to seek God with all of their heart, with all of their mind and there is an open result that happened!  Hallelujah!  You don’t stop until God begins to move in the circumstance or God says to you, “Enough is enough!”  You know that God will tell you enough when enough is enough?  Do you know that?  There’s something to be said about the individual, “God, if you can’t deliver me, kill me.”  He means it or she means it and they begin to press God in such a manner and such a way that God hears and God responds. 

I don’t know that we can be foolish in seeking God for the aspect of the reality of touching God.  When Brother Rood began to elaborate and explain the parable that is written in the Bible or the story of the woman with the issue of blood…  She was at the end of her rope.  She was at the end of her rope and though she could have been killed, she knew she was a dead woman anyway.  Do you hear me?  She was already dead and in her mind she knew she was already dead.  What could these Jews, these pious, religious Jews do to her who was an outcast because of her disease?  Kill her?  Go ahead, you’d do me a favor!  She was dead and she was going to put this man who called himself the Christ to the test!  He was either what He said He was or He wasn’t!  She didn’t know Him personally.  Do you know the Jews here in this passage of scripture, it’s amazing, these men, these people, they’re supposed to be learned, intelligent men and they talk about Christ coming out of Bethlehem.  “Is not the Christ come forth out of Bethlehem.  We know this man from whence he is.”  Nobody asked Him where He was born.  They were too interested in their religious rightness.  They were too interested in their position of religiousness, hallelujah, to be interested in the gift that had been given to them!  Loose!  She was out to prove Him, prove Him, prove Him.  Jesus says, “Prove me.  Prove me.  Prove me.” He challenges you.  He challenges you, He challenges me!  “Prove me, prove me, try me!”  Hallelujah.  This woman was trying Him in the right way.  There was no religiousness about her.  She was a dead woman.  You and I do not realize that we are dead men and women.  We are dead men and women!  Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, though we have life, we’re dead!  If you don’t think the devil has not been sucking life out you for all of these years, you’re wrong!  He’s been sucking the life out of us, been sucking the life out of us, been sucking the life out of us, been sucking the life out of us!  Cancer comes into our bodies.  Heart attacks come into our bodies.  This comes into our bodies, that comes into our bodies.  Devil has been sapping the life out of us, taking away, taking away, taking away!  And we go on as though nothing has happened.  Individually, individually, individually go on.  Where are the antibodies?  Are they the things that attack when foreign elements are in the body?  Cancer makes itself up as though it were a part of the body and then utilizes the body against itself.  Is that correct?  Well, that’s the way I understand it.  That’s a little like having the form of godliness but denying the power thereof, isn’t it?  You know, cancer is not a physical disease per se.  I think a lot of the cancer that we have in the world today is because of what they have done with regard to the food and stuff like that.  Of course, all of the sprays and stuff that we use and all of the things.  I’m not one of these people that are looking for holes in the ozone and earth temperature.  You know, God is in control of all of that.  Not that it could not destroy us, but I believe that God is not going to let it destroy us

Except for the elect’s sake, except for the elect’s sake…  Somewhere in the midst of all of the congregations that are gathering around the world, in the midst of those congregations, there are those that are designated, designated!  There is a difference between being designated and apprehended.  You and I are designated.  I don’t know any one that has apprehended.  Maybe you have apprehended something.  We’re supposed to be apprehending that for which we have been apprehended.  There was a purpose, there was a place, there was something that God desired from the very beginning!  Hallelujah!  My! I need to go on.  I didn’t even get down to the verse. 

He cried, He’s saying, if any man thirst…  Are you thirsty?  In a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.  You know, in temperatures like this, any water that there is is all going up.  It’s all going up.  I walk outside and I got sweat all over me, coming out of me.  Coming out on top of my head, coming out on the bottom of my head, coming off my fingers.  In a dry and thirsty land, where no water is…  He that believeth on me as the scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  …rivers of living water…  Brother Peter was sharing out of II Corinthians 4 last night and I want to go back over it.  There was a verse that he used, verse number 2.  1Therefore seeing we have this ministry…  What ministry?  Rivers of living water ministry.  Does naming yourself after the scripture give you the nature of the scripture?  Living Waters Fellowship, mmh? Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not.   2But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully;  Well, God spoke something to me last night when Brother Peter was ministering.  I went home and I looked up the word and I’ve been meditating on it and I believe that the Lord gave me kind of an understanding of what it means to handle the Word of God deceitfully.  Now, in times past, I’ve always felt like, well, you take the scripture or you do this or you move in some manner scriptural knowledge to justify an action that is wrong, or to justify an action that you’re doing as though it was right but yet is wrong, or use it in a manner by which you might bring others into a place of deceit or deception.  That’s what I thought handling the Word of God deceitfully meant.  I’m not saying that it cannot be in that aspect, but there is something, I think, a little closer to home and more pertinent to the Body at large and you and I as individuals with regard to what God spoke to me concerning that scripture.  The number one definition is “practicing or tending to practice deceit.”  When I read that, God spoke to me and He said, “Not walking what you preach.  Not walking what you preach.” You can preach righteousness, do you know, and have it anointed?  Do you know you can preach sons of God and have it anointed?  Do you know that you can preach salvation and people get saved?  Do you know that you can preach baptism of the Holy Ghost and people be baptized with the Holy Ghost and not be righteous?  Do you know that a sinner can get up and begin to preach in the name of Jesus and people will get saved?  Hello?  And his motive is that of financial and material gain.  People will be healed under his ministry, people will be saved under his ministry, people will be filled with the Holy Ghost.  Why?  Because God honors His Word and He wants you and I saved and redeemed.  And if a donkey wants to preach it, God will anoint him, because there is someone in the congregation who’ll receive it.  Now, do you think the reward of the saved is the same as the reward of the saver?  You reap what you sow.  If you are sowing deception, you will reap deception.  If you are sowing graft and corruption, you will reap graft and corruption, maybe in your own body.  It’s not walking what you preach.  If you preach sons of God, if you profess sons of God…  Now, I’m not talking about just preachers.  I’m talking about those who hear it and say, “This is the Word of the Lord; this is what I want to do; this is what I want to be; this is where I want to be.”  I’m telling you, there is a manner and a fashion in which you preach by your lifestyle, the things that you do, the things that you say, the things that you wear, the way that you behave yourself, the things that you get involved with and who you’re involved with in it?  There is a consequential action…  God said out of your belly, out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water.  And as our brother was talking about it the other night we know that that scripture is out of Ezekiel 47.  It’s not just a matter of the word flowing out of you as you being in the water and the water in you, and, to an extent, which the water has control over you, by which you might be able to perform and do the will of God. 

…not handling the Word of God deceitfully but by manifestation…  It says “manifestation.”  It means “an outward expression that is visible.”  It doesn’t mean a thought or a concept that you’re thinking about.  “Well, I can’t do that.”  Think, think, think, think.  “I don’t want to be involved with that.”  Think, think, think, think.  “I can’t participate in that.”  Think, think, think, think, think, and all of the time it’s going on around you.  There is no outward manifestation.  There is no revelation or illumination of life that comes forth out of your countenance, out of your mouth, out of your action.  Sometimes the best avenue of escape is to flee.  Pick up your feet and point them in the opposite direction and move them just as fast as you can move them!  If you don’t think God won’t tell you to run sometimes, you travel with me sometime.  There have been a few times when God told us to run.  And let me tell you, we ran.  Hallelujah. 

…by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves…  What truth? The truth of, one of the truths or part of the truths of the cascade of the abundance of living water.  Do you know that a hidden underground source of water can have many avenues of release and you can go on one side of a mountain and you can find this little trickle, little trickle coming out of the rock?  You’ve probably seen them if you have spent much time up in the mountains (well, that’d be kind of hard to do around here).  A little trickle coming out of the side of the mountain and then you go around the other side of the mountain and there’s this gusher. You know, they’re all coming from the same place.  They’re all coming from the same source.  It’s like you and I as Christians, you understand, the one that is on the other side that is gushing out, that is pouring out and you can say, “Oh, that’s not my nature.” You’ve got that right.  I’ll say amen to that.  It isn’t your nature.  It’s God’s nature!  And God’s will is that every man be a river of living water!  River in the style and in the form and in the fashion which God has created you.  If you are diminutive, demure, soft, praise God, but be gushing!  Be diminutive, demure, soft gusher!  Let the truth, let the truth, let the truth, let the truth, the truth, the truth, the revelation of Christ in you the hope of glory!  Hallelujah!  The Christ in you is your hope of glory!  It isn’t the man that signs your check.  It isn’t the man that makes you all kinds of promises.  It’s Christ in you!  Christ in you!  You have a responsibility, you have a demand, a command that is upon you to allow the truth of God that is within you to manifest itself in the nature of the kingdom that you are desirous to apprehend.  You know, I’m all for people being saved.  I am.  I praise God for it, the evangelistic ministry and arm of the Body.  But I’m also very concerned about people coming on into God, growing in God, becoming like God and reaching out unto others with the God that is in them!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Glory to God!

…to every man’s conscience…  That means every man’s conscience, means every man’s conscience.  That means that there must be a conscious acknowledgment of the truth that is in you.  Hello.  They may get mad.  That’s an acknowledgment of the truth.  You may be persecuted, you may be stoned, you may get fired.  I knew a man who would not compromise his position because they felt that it was necessary for them to participate on a party level and because of his convictions and because of his beliefs, he refused to do it.  Now, he didn’t just say, “I’m not going,” or didn’t show up.  He told them that, on the basis of the election, hallelujah, and because of the Blood of Jesus Christ that had been imparted at such a cost to him, he was unable to attend.  They gave him his walking papers.  Said he didn’t fit.  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Glory!  Glory!  You know, he went away rejoicing, counting himself that he was counted worthy to suffer.  Hallelujah!  I don’t think God looks at that as being presumptuous!  Hallelujah!  It says of the disciples that they went away rejoicing for the purpose of knowing that they had suffered for the sake of God.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  We have filled up and we have paid back a little of what you’ve given unto us!  Glory, glory, glory, glory, glory!  Glory!  We need to get up into the heavenlies!  Hallelujah!

He that believeth…  Do you believe Him? Then say it with your actions.  Don’t always say it with your words.  “I love you, Jesus.”  Sometimes we can’t even say that.  “I want you, Jesus.”  Oh, it’s easy to be sanctimonious and spiritual in a spiritual environment, but when you’re in the grinder and you’ve got your face to the stone, or your face is to the floor, you’re in contention with someone, or someone is in contention with you or you’re feeling sorry for yourself…of course, maybe I’m the only one that does that.  You know, that’s when you are your worst, greatest enemy, when you’re feeling sorry for yourself.  Oh yes, “They shouldn’t talk to me that way.  They shouldn’t treat me that way.”  Rivers of living water!  Rivers, rivers, rivers, rivers, gushing rivers!  You know, the only thing that is going to contend with the flood that is being poured out of the dragon’s mouth is rivers of living, fresh, clean water!  You know, it’s going to make a manifestation of the truth of the diabolical nature of the environment of the water that people are drinking.  “Why am I drinking this when I could be drinking that.”  Where is the thought, “You’ve got something, I want it.”  Do you know I used to go around in church, I used to hear testimonies all the time.  I don’t hear testimonies anymore about people saying, “I want what you’ve got.  You’ve got something that I don’t got, but I want it!”  What have you got?  What have you got that they don’t want?  Is what you’ve got what they have? I think it’s a valid question.  Don’t want to be fired for doing a job sloppy.  Don’t want to be fired doing something I shouldn’t be doing.  Want to be fired, if I’m going to be fired, for doing the will of God.  Oh yes.

If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink…  You’ve got to drink.  What is the saying?  “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”  Get him thirsty enough, work him hard enough, he’ll want water.  I found out that.  A horse that goes to the water that doesn’t drink isn’t thirsty.  You know, if a horse is really thirsty they’ve got to keep him from drinking? Isn’t that right? They’d founder. 

…He that believeth on me…  He that comes to God must believe that He is.  …He that believeth on me as the scripture saith, out of his belly, out of her belly, out of their belly shall flow rivers of living water.  Not Burt, not John, Tom, Peter...  He that believeth on me as the scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow living, living, living, living…  If I give you Burt, you’re in bad trouble, but if I give you living water, you’re going to be refreshed and you’re going to have life.  Living water is for the purpose of bringing forth life!  Because this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.  Well, that isn’t our problem.  That isn’t our problem.  That isn’t our problem.  Did you ever think about that?  That isn’t our problem.  Jesus has been glorified and the thing that He’s given us is a glorified representation of Himself!  Hallelujah!  Power, dunimous power to work within us the framework of the nature God calls Son.  Son.  Son.  This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.  Hallelujah.

 

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