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Standards of Righteousness

June 1, 2003
Mahomet, IL

(For printable version click here.)

Praise the Lord.  I woke up this morning and the words of the song that were coming through my mind were from the song that I asked about this morning.  What were the words of it?  “Do you have any rivers that you think are uncrossable?  Do you have any mountains that you cannot tunnel through?  God specializes in things thought impossible.  He does the things others cannot do.”  But the way I learned it was, “He does the things no other god can do.”  I’ve found that things can be gods and sometimes we put our trust and our aspirations in the aspect of that thing that we are looking at.  Some people trust medical science to bring to them relief, security and good health and that becomes, as it were, a god.  Hallelujah.  The other song that was coming with regard to that was the song that Sister Emily sang at one conference.  “He giveth more grace when your burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength when your labors increase.”  I like those songs.  They’re encouraging songs and they get me thinking in some other way than in a human fashion and in a human way.  I know that our humanity, you’re probably not having to deal with it too much, but I know that in the recent days, recent past, much of my humanity is getting it’s finger put on and we have to understand the position, the place that we are in.  Sometimes I think we kind of lose focus.  Mother used to say that you can’t see the forest because of the trees.  I never did understand it.  I always said that it never made any sense.  She said, “You wait.  You’ll grow up.  You’ll understand it.”  And she was right.  I grew up, or I’m growing up, and at least I’ve come to the place to be able to understand what she was meaning when she said it.  It’s kind of surprising.  I appreciate Mom now more than I ever have.  Praise the Lord!

I got in a conversation with someone here a while back and we were talking about the determination, or the tenacity, the strength of vitality that individuals have for those things that pertain to God.  They asked me, “Well, how do you get it?” and at the time, I really didn’t have the Word to share with them, but as I meditated on it, the Lord spoke the scripture to me that says, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).  I have found that, for my own sake, if I don’t spend a lot of time in the Word, if I don’t have a lot of Word coming in to me, now not just spending time [reading it], if I’m not listening to it, if I’m listening to other things and the proportion of the Word that I need I am not listening to, I have a tendency to be wishy-washy.  I have a tendency to waver.  I have the tendency to be unstable.  I have the tendency to be faithless with regard to the calling and the election that is on my life.  Well, you can just turn that around, the calling and the election that is on YOUR life.

Our environment seems to be so predominantly active in trying to decentralize us or defocus us with regard to the stamp that has been put on us by the finger of God.  Recently, a dream came across my desk, and the context was that, without a proper foundation, without a position or a place or a reality of God in an individual, and if that individual comes into the revelation of God, of the business of God, of the kingdom of God, of the expansion of God or the destiny that God has for them, oftentimes that information will corrupt the individual in their purposes and their desires to know God.  Hallelujah.  How does that work?  Well, it works on the basis of foundation.  For those of you who are not builders, if you want a two-story building, you have to put a foundation under the building that will support, not only the first story, but also the second story.  It is much wider, it is much deeper, requires more concrete.  It requires more labor, it’s more intensive.  If you were to build a two-story home in lieu of a single story home, it would be more expensive.  There’s more work, more labor involved in it, because of the weight and the different forces that are in the world, the laws of gravity and whatnot that are working, the resistance it has against the wind and the movement of the earth and all of those things.  That structure has to be built better than it would be with regard to the single level home.  It is something like that in the aspect of the Word that you and I preach or are desiring to know.  We come into the Sons of God word, or the Kingdom message, we come into that position, that place of experience with a house that has a single story foundation.  If enough time and work and effort is not spent, both individually and collectively with regard to the Word that is required to substantiate the weight of the house, the weight of the house will overcome the set of circumstances and the house will collapse.  It may be alright for a while.  It may look pretty on the outside when it’s all finished and done and has fresh paint on it, but over a period of time, and as the elements of the world and the environment we are living in are working on it, and they begin to put pressure on the foundation, you will find telltale signs appearing in the house itself.  For one thing, walls will begin to crack.  Plaster will begin to chip.  Paint will begin to flake.  Hallelujah.  All of those things are necessary, even painting.  Let’s make it very simple.  Painting.  If you don’t prepare a wall the way it’s supposed to be prepared, and you get this super-duper deal on the one-coat over, no trouble, hassle free, years of service paint, I don’t care if you put paint over, you will find that, down the road, that paint will begin to fail and all of the imperfections of the wall will begin to show themselves or manifest themselves and you will not be at all happy with regard to the wall.  Especially being the cost and the labor involved that you went to to do what needed to be done to get the effect that you wanted.  I don’t know why it is that we think that that type of a situation that is pertinent to the natural is not also necessary or also true with regard to the spiritual realm to which we have been called.

The context of my message is Hebrews 11.  I believe that there is, if you are a fundamentalist, if you are fundamental in your belief as far as Christ and God are concerned, all you need is the message of salvation.  That’s all you need.  You don’t need anything else.  If you are of the Pentecostal strain of Christian, all you need, as far as your basics are concerned, are the aspects of salvation by baptism or by virtue of confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and coming into the experience of what they call “the baptism of the Holy Ghost.”  That’s all you need, and you can get by very well.  It doesn’t mean that you will be an outstanding Christian.  Doesn’t mean that you will be a virtuous Christian, but nevertheless, you can be Christian in the broadest sense of the word.

Now, you have to remember that there is an understanding that comes to the church as the church progresses in God.  There are levels that God is adding to the building that God is building.  How many of you know that you are the house of God?  How many of you know that collectively you are the house of God?  Have you ever heard the expression that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link?  It’s a very true expression and to whatever degree of strength you have and you are connected to the chain or in place with the Body, whatever maladies that you may have on a spiritual plane, are weaknesses that not only will affect you, but they will affect the business of God as He endeavors to bring you and me into a higher realm, into a higher place.  Are you listening to what I am saying?  Anyway, it says in Hebrews 11, my principle verse, I want you to just keep all of this mind and meditate on this as I’m speaking with you, I don’t know quite where it’s going to go but I’m hoping it will make sense when we’re all finished…

I have been thinking a lot about Abraham.  I’ve been meditating upon Abraham and I’ve been looking into the Word about Abraham and listening sometimes to my tape cassette in the car, listening to the Word of God.  How many of you have found out that it makes a difference?  I turn the news on every now and then, because I want to know if the world’s still out there.  I don’t want to be accused of being totally ignorant of the things that are transpiring out there, so I turn the talk show radio on.  I don’t know why they call it news.  It’s more in the arena of opinion, because everyone is giving their side of the story as to how they view it.  If you’re looking at the murder in Modesto (Scott/Laci Peterson), he’s guilty because their opinion is that he is guilty.  The Iraq situation, it was good that we went in or it was bad that we went in, depending upon who you’re listening to and who they are in favor of.  If they are Republican and in favor of Bush, then it was a good thing.  If they are a Democrat, then it was a bad thing.  It just depends on your position of perspective.  So, it’s really not news.  But anyway, what I was saying about all of that is that I have noticed that my disposition changes with what I listen to.  My attitude and demeanor change.  It has an effect upon my attitude and demeanor.  I mean, I can either get out of my truck smiling, or I can get out of my truck frowning.  There’s a big difference with regard to the inner peace that I am feeling or the aspect of turmoil that is going on in my soul because of what somebody might have said about this or about that.  Hallelujah.

So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Abraham.  What’s all this have to do with Abraham?  Well, Abraham was a beacon, a landmark.  That’s a good word.  He’s a landmark that God has established from the very beginning so that you and I would be able to understand the perspective to which we have been called, because it said that Abraham is what?  The patriarch of faith?  You could just as well call him the patriarch of Christianity.  There was something very symbolic about what Abraham did.  Paul used him time and time again.  It was by their position of inheritance and their place of birth that the Jewish community, the religious Jewish community began to rise up against this Christian move.  One place Jesus said unto them, “You’re all liars because you have the father the Devil and he was a liar from the beginning.”  (John 8)  And the Pharisees said, “We weren’t born in fornication!  We weren’t illegitimate children!  We didn’t come by another avenue, another route!  We came out of the loins of Abraham!  Abraham was our father!”  I think that the Bible calls Abraham the father, using him in the aspect of the father with regard to his position of faith and his belief in God.  Does it not call him that?  Does it not use that terminology with regard to modern-day Christianity?  Hallelujah!  So, it’s very important for us to understand about Abraham, or to be able to see some aspects of Abraham in what is said about him.

Now, if you have your Bibles, you might want to turn to Hebrews 11.  The main verse that I am looking at is verse 8.  Eight is the number of new beginnings.  It says, by faith Abraham…  Now, think about that.  By faith Abraham…  That was before Jesus Christ.  That was before the writing that we have as far as Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and all of those different books of the Bible that were written by Moses.  All of this was before that!  Now, what does the scripture say?  Is the scripture wrong, then, when it says, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God?  Is there some sort of mistake in all of that?  Well, then, how did Abraham get faith?  How was faith being ministered unto Abraham?  There must have been a word that he was receiving in the realm of the Spirit, by the Spirit, an administration of communication coming from the throne of God!  There must have been something of a viable, living relationship that was going on between this man and this entity, this mystical, magical, sometimes theoretical entity that we call God.  How theoretical is your concept of God?  I like the terminology that the Bible uses when it talks about it.  It says, by faith Abraham.  By faith…

Now, just before we go on, just to establish the thought that I threw out on top of you about him hearing God and having a viable living relationship with God.  It’s hard for us to communicate (when you take one thought and try to relate it to another).  It’s kind of hard for us to relate the word “word” with the thought of God, but if you turn back into your Bibles into the very beginning of John, the first chapter says, In the beginning was the Word, and it’s a capitalized “Word,” which means that it’s the name of an entity.  It has a personality.  It has being, it has existence.  Hallelujah.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  So, God and the Word are something that are synonymous that were in the very beginning which we are talking about with regard to Genesis 1:1.  Are we not talking about that?  When there was darkness upon the face of the deep.  In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.  In the very beginning, the Word, the logos, this entity, this reality created the things that were.  So if it was able to create the things that were, it certainly would be able, no problem, for this Word to transcend from His position, His place in the heavenlies and to come down and not only walk with Adam and talk with Adam, but to talk with Abraham!  Hallelujah.

Do you remember the little story of the three visitors that Abraham had?  Do you think that there was any kind of recognition that he had as to who he was hosting?  I think there was, in his behavior.  Now, how did he know who it was that he was having fellowship with?  There must have been a person, there must have been a place, there must have been a time, there must have been an experience that he had when this entity, or this personage or personality presented himself at his door at a previous time, at a previous place!

Alright, it says, by faith Abraham, when he was called…  I’m glad that it used that word “called.”  I’m glad that it didn’t say “selected.”  I’m glad that it didn’t say “chosen.”  I’m glad that it didn’t say anything other than what it says when it says he was called, because it’s the same word that the apostle used when he wrote the book of Romans, the eighth chapter, and he said, verse 29, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Now, he used the word “foreknow” and he used the word “predestinate,” but down here in the 30th verse, Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called.  Now, what is so significant about that?  Well, the significance is that if there was an action that was precipitated by a word to Abraham that had with it certain conditions and qualifications, certain requirements, and if that word “called”, used in conjunction with Abraham, is used in conjunction with us, then it means that the same requirements and the same aspects of response are also the same!  Now, this is consistent with the nature of God.  What do I mean by being consistent with the nature of God?  I mean that, in God, there is NO SHADOW OF TURNING (James 1:17).  What He required for Abraham, what He required for Noah, what He required for the saints that this chapter outlines are requirements that He puts upon us, and His expectations of those requirements, are the same for us as they were for them!

Now, listen to me, brethren.  The greater the building the more of the position of responsibility that the building has for supporting the weight of itself.  There’s some sort of thought that… I call it the “magic wand theory.”  I don’t know.  It’s kind of like the escape theory, the rapture doctrine.  It’s the thought that there is some sort of magic wand that is going to be waved over our circumstances and it’s somewhat like the Cinderella tale.  Everything is going to be miraculously changed and things are going to be brighter, bluer, cooler, more comfortable, more secure, and we are going to be much more peaceful and happy because of the magic wand that is going to be waved.  Yet, that is not the testimony of those whom we call Christians!

I’m just building up to the point that I really want to make, but I’ve got to lay a foundation for you to understand the relevancy that it has to your own individual environment.  How many of you heard, many times from this platform as well as other platforms, that you are not going in on someone else’s shirttail?  You’re not going in because your husband is a godly man.  You’re not going into it because your wife is a godly woman.  You’re not going into it because you belong to a Sons of God church or community.  You’re not going in on the basis of an understanding or revelation or a word that you are sitting under!  Have you heard that?  Well, OK.  Hallelujah.

It’s true.  You’re not going in on the basis of someone else’s experience or revelation.  Now, I can tell you of my experience or give to you my understanding of the Word in order to encourage you, but you have to take what is being spoken and begin to allow it to begin to work within the fabric of your character and you need to do what you need to do, when you need to do it, and how you’re supposed to do it!  YOU HAVE TO DO IT!  Hallelujah.

What concerns me, tremendously concerns me, in the Sons of God movement, in the Kingdom people, is the erosion of integrity and righteousness.  I’m talking about people who have been sitting under the word of righteousness, not just the word of salvation.  I’m not talking about just the word of baptism.  I’m talking about BECOMING LIKE CHRIST, moving from one position to another position, from one level to a higher level, and to a higher level, and to a HIGHER LEVEL!  I’m finding that as individuals begin, as the Body of Christ individually begins to move from one level to another level, I am starting to see things manifest up here on this level that should have been dealt with down here on this level!  That doesn’t mean that it’s just now manifesting.  It means that there is a degrading, a degradation, there is an erosion of the aspect of truth…  You know, some of these individuals have walked, as it were, in the concept of the truth!  They have walked, as it were, in the concept of the truth, but put in the right set of circumstances, put in the right sort of pressure, and put the fire to the right temperature, something happens their position of truth, and there is a breaking down, a breaking down of the moral fiber and the character of the Body in Christ!!  A breaking down!  It’s not hard for me to believe that, when the Bible says that in the last days children shall betray their parents and all of those things going on… (Matthew 10:21, Mark 13:12).  Now, I always said, “That’s out there in the world.”  I said, “It’s out there in the things that are happening in the world at large, in the non-Christian community.”  But that’s not true.  That is not true!  These things are happening in the inner moral fiber of the Body of Christ!  Hallelujah.

He says, when [Abraham] was called…  I like the fact that he was called!  You know, I’ve been called.  I’ve been called!  I remember as a young man, I don’t remember how young, maybe 7 or 8 years old.  My family, my dad, was very well-to-do.  We had this, what I would call an estate.  You’ve probably got this vision of lands and stuff all over the place, but no, it wasn’t quite that big.  It was probably about an acre of ground that he had, maybe ¾ of an acre.  It had this big, lovely home up on the top and it was on Edgebrook Drive.  Big, sprawling, elaborate house on the top.  Mom loved it.  You know, in fact, Mom made the foolish statement one day, she wouldn’t mind me telling, she said, “I’ve got all of this.  Why do I need God?”  That’s exactly how she felt.  You know what?  God took it all away from her.  She found out that she really did need God, more than what she thought that she did.  But anyway, I found out that God can even talk to you in that environment.  How about that?  If you’re simplistic enough, if you’re wanting something more than what you have on a natural plane, God can talk to you in that arena, without taking you through the grinder.  I’m telling you, Mom went through the grinder.  She went into the grinder.  She went through it for years and years and years and years and years, right up to the time she died!  I’ve never seen anybody die like Mom died.  Tough!  Tough!  And God, right there all of the time, working with her, working with her, trying to bring her to a position, a place of redemption!  I can tell you one thing for sure that, when she stood before her Maker, she stood there in humility and contriteness that she had probably never demonstrated throughout her entire life because the revelation of truth of all things that she was involved in up to that point in time became so evidently plain!  Hallelujah.

We need to have an understanding of the position, the place of the calling, the election that is upon our lives!  It says, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  It’s a lot like us, I think, in the aspect of heaven, the kingdom of God that is so eternal and yet so close, but yet so far away, so mystical, so without substance.  But yet, it says that faith is the substance of things hoped for.  Hebrews 11:1 talks about faith being, as it were, the substance of things hoped for!

But I was telling you about this little experience I had in my home.  Now, just picture this.  It had this big, elaborate house and it went down the slope, down the hill and they had this all terraced and there was this little walkway going down the hill and it spread out there…  Boy, you’re going to think, “Boy, this kid was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.”  You’re right.  I was.  But it didn’t do anything for me in the way of salvation or purity or righteousness, do you know that?  Nothing!!  Absolutely nothing!  I thank God for my experience as a young man in the place that He put me because it taught me the entire USELESSNESS of that type of an existence if that is what you are putting your hope in.

It leveled out into another level there and we had a pool, big pool, poolhouse with the patio around it and then it went and sloped down again down into what they called the yard, which was full of oak trees, big humungous oak trees.  I remember I was sitting on the diving board, eight years old, maybe seven, I don’t know, and I hear this voice.  “Burt?”  And I was looking around.  It scared me, you understand.  I’m seven years old, eight years old, I’m down there by myself and I’m hearing this voice.  “BURT?”  I get off the board really quick.  I didn’t know whether or not it had the power to throw me into the pool.  I didn’t know what was happening.  I was wandering around, looking in the bath house, looking down around the trees, looking around and I just didn’t know.  “Must have been my imagination.  Must have been the wind in the trees.  Must have been the noise of a vehicle passing by.”  And all of a sudden I hear, “BURT?”  Hallelujah.  And it wasn’t too many years later that I began to understand.   I heard the story of Samuel and how God talked or spoke to Samuel.  He spoke to Samuel I believe three times and there were three different experiences that I had at that particular time with God calling my name three different times.  And you know, my mother at that time told me she was a Christian, she was a good Baptist.  She knew the Bible, she was into the Word, and she might have even told me at the time about that experience.  Now, we all don’t necessarily have to have that type of an experience to know whether or not we’ve been called.  Hallelujah.

Why is it that you have a desire to hear what you’re hearing?  Why is it that you have a desire for the thing that pertains to righteousness and the Sons of God, or overcoming company of people?  Why do you have that desire?  Have any of you ever gone back to some of the old-order churches and set down in a service?  Did you enjoy it?  Did it feed your soul?  I’m not trying to ridicule them.  What I am trying to do is establish a point of reference.  They might be preaching a true word of salvation, but that word does not have the ability in you to lift your soul to a position of exhilaration or to give you the strength and the comfort that you need in order to face what you’ve got to face!  There’s something of a greater reality because of the word that you’ve heard, and the word that you’ve heard has put something indelible in you, has written something indelible on the fabric of your character!  It has changed something of the aspect of that nature that is inside of you, where it desires something greater than that thing that is being dished out in that position, in that place.  Hallelujah.

It’s like a baby that grows up, I suppose.  You know, a baby may like all that smashed peas and carrots and all that other stuff that they feed them, but I don’t know that I’d appreciate it so much if my wife were to set that out for me at dinnertime.  I’d probably look at it and look at her, look at it and look at her and be biting my tongue.  You know, “What is THIS?  Oh, delicious, absolutely wonderful.  Just what I really wanted.  How’d you know?”  No, no.  She knows better than that.  It wouldn’t have been something like that at all.  You know, the fact is, she might have gotten something of an adverse reaction which I might have had to repent for later on down the road.  Hallelujah.  Because I have tasted other things!  You put smashed peas and carrots on one plate and put a steak on the other one, and there’s no choice for me!  The decision is already made!  The steak is it!  It’s in!  It’s the thing!  The other thing is OUT!  I’ve gone beyond that position of smashed food!  If you want to put something on my plate, put a potato on my plate!  I’LL smash it!  Hallelujah.  I’ve got the power, I’ve got the authority, I’ve got the ability, I’ve got the training!  I know how to operate this hand with a knife, this hand with a fork, and I know how to find the way from the plate to my mouth!  There’s something of an experience that I’ve had!  There’s something of a development of my character from that of a child that no longer does what it’s supposed to do for me!  That’s why I have such a hard time when I’m spoon feeding some of these babies saying, “Oh, yummy, yummy!”  I’d say, “Oh, yummy, yummy!” with a grimace on my face.  That’s why I don’t feed them.  They get fed by somebody else.  Now, you want to give me a piece of steak, I’d be, “Try this!!  Gum this one for a while!”  Hallelujah!

That’s what Paul says.  Paul deals with this Word when he talks about the relationship of having a relationship with God!  There’s something of a responsibility and a position or a requirement that is necessary!  Sometimes I feel like the church today, the overcoming company, the Sons of God church is in exactly the same place as the Corinthian church was when he wrote the first letter!  They are self-centered, self-orientated, and self-satisfying.  That seems to be the paramount position or goal for the vast majority, and that’s why I think that we’re seeing some of the things going on in the Body of Christ!  People that would have need of strong meat are in need of milk.

We have no spiritual strength.  I’m not talking about physical strength.  You know, you can be physically weak and be spiritually strong.  You know, I knew a man in Hungary.  Physically, he was a wreck.  Physically, he was totally wiped out.  Physically, he had nothing going for him, but in the spiritual realm, the man was STRONG, and though he was confined, immobilized…the only thing he could work was one hand and a mirror.  He couldn’t turn his head, couldn’t move his legs, couldn’t move his body.  He was rigid, like a board, you understand.  I don’t know, calcium solidified, I don’t know what his problem was, but nevertheless, he was incapacitated as a human being!  Totally, absolutely at the mercy and the administration of everyone that was around him.  There was no way that he could physically take care of himself, and yet, he was the father of the church.  It was by his endeavor in his position of administration that the work in Hungary began to birth and to come forth and to begin to blossom in the Lord.  It was by virtue of his desire for God, hallelujah, that we were allowed to come in, do you understand, and to minister to his flock!  Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.

Did anybody find that scripture?  It’s in Hebrews?  I thought it was in Corinthians.  Hebrews 5.  Well, it’s even better that it’s in Hebrews.  He’s talking to the Hebrews.  He’s talking to the Hebrew children.  Well, I’m a Hebrew by faith, hallelujah.  I’ve been grafted into the Hebrew tree.  Hallelujah.  Let’s start at the fifth verse.  So also Christ, it’s talking about the priest taken from among men, verse one; having compassion on the ignorant, verse two; verse three, that he for us should suffer.  Now, verse four says, And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God.  We have that word “called” again.  Now, what does that do?  What does that do?  That’s the only word they had to use, right?  No, wrong.  It’s not the only word they had to use.  It’s the word that is used to connect it with the theme or the reason or for the purpose for which you and I are being called.  My, my.

Get your thoughts up a little bit. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as…Now, you can just take “was” out of there because it’s an added word, as…Aaron.  He that was called of God as Aaron was called. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.  You can just keep your finger there and turn over into Romans 8, verse 15.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself, His spirit, His holy Spirit, beareth witness with our spirit, man’s spirit, that we are the children of God:  17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…  What does that mean?  What does it mean when he says back over here in Hebrews, that he says in verse 4 no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron?  How does that apply if we were to turn back over into Hebrews 11, and it says that, 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went?  Isn’t there some sort of connection in the calling and the expectation that God has with regard to the individuals involved?  Is there not some sort of aspiration or hope that is in the heart of God with regard to humanity as it finds itself in the position of being put under the hand of humanity?  Humanity being put under the hand of devilishness?  Isn’t there some sort of expectation that God has with regard to the reaction of that humanity that is different from the reaction of the humanity that is out there?  And yet, the humanity that is in here, not this room per se, but in the realm of Christianity, in the realm of Sons of God oftentimes is very much like the reaction of the humanity out there!  It’s not that we should be condemned, but we should be ashamed!  We should be ashamed, and there should be something of a position of, or a place of repentance that begins to work within our soul!  Oh, my.

Alright, go back into Hebrews again, the 11th chapter.  He says that Abraham by faith, verse 9, sojourned…  I like that word, “sojourned.”  Somebody and I were talking the other day about the verse , occupy ‘til he comes (Luke 19:13).  It doesn’t have the same connotation as “occupy.”  “Well, I can build homes and lands and barns and acquire goods and acquire this and acquire that,” although Abraham did all of that, but the thing about it was that every time Abraham had to move, he had to take it all with him.   So much better the philosophy or the position of belief that was attributed unto or given to the disciples.  He said, “Go out.  Take no thought of where you’re going to lay your head.  Take no change of raiment.”  My goodness.  I haven’t come to that place of perfection yet.  You should see our suitcases when we pack up to go away for a weekend.  It’s unbelievable.  Hallelujah. It’s unbelievable, especially when I’m trying to pack it into the car!  Hallelujah.

I looked up that word “sojourned.”  It has the connotation of something that is temporary and that something should not have the power to work a change of perspective within you. It means that there is something working out there to that was wanting to work a change within the nature of the man Abraham that was contrary to the thing that God wanted for Abraham.  Are you following what I am saying?  Let me give you a very good example of it.  If Abraham were to give over to his nature, he would have never given Lot the choice that he gave him.  Abraham was an astute business man.  He was shrewd in his business dealings.  He was a diligent man.  You can’t accumulate what the man accumulated!  You can’t even run it without organization!  Can you imagine that?  Three hundred and twelve souls he had in his house that were told about when he went down to rescue Lot.  How do you take care of 312 people, plus your family, and all of their children?  You have to house them.  You have to clothe them.  You have to give them something to do.  You have to organize and orchestrate their day to make sure everything is running.  Who do you think took care of all of that?  Who do you think was involved in the rudiments of this world?  Abraham was, up to his eye teeth!  And if that weren’t enough, he had one or two or three wives that he was having to deal with, and all of their problems and all of their children!  He was busy with his humanity!  We think, “Well, boy, if I was Abraham, I’d have it made in the shade!”  Now, not only that, but how about land management?  We’re not told how many herds he had, but he had to graze them right, he had to be able to well up, store and stock.  He had to do all the accoutrements of the things that pertain to the world!!  He was an astute businessman!  Now, you tell me any astute businessman who would give Lot the option of the very best of everything?  How did he do it?  Because that wasn’t important.  That was a means to an end.  It wasn’t the end of all means.  It was something that was happening and he was being utilized in the midst of all of it, and in the midst of all of it, he was looking toward God and something of God was coming to him that began to change something within his inward being!

Boy, I tell you what.  We would have said, “Wait a minute, Lot.  Let’s divide this in half.”  Maybe we wouldn’t have even been that generous.  Maybe we would have said, “Lot, you take 40, I’ll take 60.  After all, Lot, you’re here because I brought you.  After all, Lot, you’ve prospered because I’ve prospered!”  Lot was following the example of everything Abraham did, Lot did.  It wasn’t by his own resourcefulness that he got what he got, because we know the latter end of the thing with regard to Lot and the place that he was in!  He was spiritually bankrupt!

Just take that and bring it down.  Take it out of the realm of Abraham and Lot.  I’m telling you what, the story of Abraham is an illustration of the warfare that goes on between your humanity and your calling and election.  It’s the same thing, and there was a demand upon Abraham in light of the position and the place that he was in.  Do you hear me?  Hallelujah.  When the angels came to visit him, he was up there in the most stony mountains, those old rocky gorges, up there sleeping on the hard ground.  Oh, he may have had several skins under him, but nevertheless he wasn’t down there in the comforts of the city!  And yet, when the destruction came, he was safe and Lot had to flee for his life!  Only at the behest of Abraham!  Do you know that?  God took mercy on Lot strictly and only on the basis of his position of relationship with Abraham and Abraham’s position of relationship with Him.  Abraham was not willing to compromise.  If that is not enough for you, you could go to the story that preceded Abraham, and is only on the basis of the virtue of the fact that that’s the way it was written, of Noah.  My goodness.  Come on, brethren.  Listen to this, listen to this.  Let’s go back up to verse number six.  That has to do with man.  But without faith it is impossible to please [God] (Hebrews 11:6).  As long as you are in your humanity, as long as you are working for humanity, as long as you are under the whip of humanity, as long as you are toting your humanity, pulling your humanity, pampering your humanity, pleasing your humanity, doing whatever you call it to ensure that your humanity survives, you are in a position or place of FAITHLESSNESS!!!  That’s what it’s saying.  It says, without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is.  Brother, that’s more than just saying, “I believe in God.”  It says devils believe in God.  That doesn’t change their disposition or place of hell, does it?  It says that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Isaiah 45:23, Romans 14:11).  Do you think that the devil that bows and says that, yes, He’s Lord, is the one that is going to be redeemed out of the pit of hell?  There’s something other than just saying, “I’m saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ, I’m filled with His Holy Ghost and I have the word of Sonship!  I’m going on to perfection!”  There has to be that demonstration in the midst of your adversity, when your humanity is pressing you to be diabolically human!

I don’t know why it is, but we have the concept, we have the concept that there’s devil, there’s human, there’s God.  Sometimes devil enters into the realm of humanity and stirs things up, but there’s still humanity as a separate entity, a sovereign state.  Maybe it has to do with our western culture, the fact that we’re born under the Stars and Stripes and that everyone has certain inalienable rights.  Tell that to a Czech person that has come up under the Communist regime about their inalienable rights, not just the generation that’s coming out of it, but the previous generation!  The fear that is upon them, talk to them about inalienable rights.  Talk to the ones that were slaughtered in Iraq.  I can’t believe it.  And yet, that’s not just happening there, it’s happening all over the world!!  Wickedness personified!  Devil walking around and you would think how diabolically evil would be the human frame that the Antichrist [will manifest in].  You would think that that man could be the epitome of evilness, and yet, he’s not evil enough!!  That gives you food for thought!  He’s not evil enough!  And Antichrist is coming!!  THE Antichrist, as well as the antichrist spirit that works in the midst of your and my humanity to get us to deny the position of our divinity!  Our calling and election is on the line.  Our calling and election is upon the line.  It says, Hebrews 11:7,  Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear…

I had an altercation one time with an individual and I was going overseas.  You know what?  I didn’t necessarily think that I was in that altercation, but I feared God, you understand?  I wanted my heart to be right as I was going overseas, because I know what it’s like over there.  Get me out of my environment and get me into a foreign environment with all of these devils pressing left and right and right and left and moving in where they believe in the entity of the Satan as an entity and they worship him as a god, do you hear me?  I want my heart to be right because I fear God!!  And if my heart is not in the right place at the right time I could be toast, do you hear me??  Man that dies out of due season, I don’t want to be a man that dies out of due season!!  If I’m going to die, let me die in the service and in the work of the Lord, in the timing and the frame that God says, “Yes, my son, well done!”  That’s how I want to die!  I had to go to that individual and make my peace, do you hear me, because I feared God!!  Feared God in that He won’t cover me in the place that I’m wanting to be covered because my heart is not right!  My heart has to be right.  Those things that pertain to life and liberty.

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet …  How more apropos could that be to a people than to a people that hear the word of Sonship?  How much more apropos could it be to anyone than in our day and our hour?  Maybe you don’t believe it’s the end time.  Maybe you don’t believe that conflagration* is coming upon the world in the next ten years.  Maybe you don’t believe that we don’t have ten years to fulfill the destiny and the aspirations of our flesh.  Maybe you don’t believe it!!  But that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen!!  That doesn’t mean that it’s not going to come to pass!  Come on, brethren.  We have been preaching this message for 35 years.  I can tell you one thing – one day it’s going to come to pass, and it’s much closer now than it was 35 years ago.  And it hasn’t changed one iota!  The revelation of the coming of the Son of Man, the only thing that has changed, that has made it different for me is all the things that have been prophesied through the years I have seen with my own eyes coming to pass one by one by one by one by one.  Hallelujah.

You know, I often used to lament my position of birth, do you know that?  I said, “I wasn’t born in the right time, in the right season, for the right purpose.”  Do you know that?  I used to lament that.  I used to be a lamenter.  A moaner, a groaner.  “Oh God, why did you put me here at this time?  Why couldn’t I have been born in 1889?  I would have had the benefit of experiencing the Welsh Revival.  I would have traveled over there just to get into the touch of things!  I would have been able to walk down Azusa Street, looking for the Spirit of God to fall on me!  God, I would have been of an age, of a place of maturity to know what was happening in 1948!”  God said to me, “That was the beginning of the book, that was the middle of the book.  This is the end of the book.”  My goodness.  What a time to be alive.  What a time to be in a position, a place of LIVING!!  Hallelujah!!  To be able to, by virtue of the grace of God, to be in a position, a place.  It says, being warned of God of things not seen as yet…

Turn with me if you would to Matthew 24, verse 8.  New beginnings.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.  He’s talking about all those things that happened.  9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house…  Why did he put that in there?  Because the affairs of your house are not as important as getting up into God, getting into the reality of God, getting into the realm of the Spirit, getting into the move of the Holy Ghost as it moves through the framework of your being, feeling the surge of God’s power.  Hallelujah. 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake…  Elect!!  Why?  You could just add, “except for the fact of the called!”  Do you know that there is a progression from being called to being elect, that you don’t automatically become?  There’s no magic wand.  You don’t automatically become elect by the fact that you’re called.  There’s a process, there’s a furnace, there’s tribulation, there’s trouble, there’s pressure.  There’s physical sickness, there’s physical abuse, there’s physical, mental anguish.  There’s all manner of things that happen in the realm of your and my humanity that are there to demonstrate to us the frailty of our position, the place of our flesh.  OH, that flesh was as grass!!!  Hallelujah!!  And yet, in that position, in that place, there is something that God wants to do with regard to the demonstration of power that is within you!

Now listen to this one.  Back into Hebrews.  Did you know that there are Noahs throughout the land?  Do you know that there are Noahs throughout the world?  Did you know that, that God has Noahs, a company of Noahs?  Noah is a type of a first fruits company.  Noah is a type and a shadow of the elect of God.  It says, now listen to this, 7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his (Noah’s) house; by the which he (Noah) condemned the world  The action of his saving, or the doing of the command that was on him to the building of the ark or the thing that he was involved in or the word that God gave him to do or the thing that God gave him to do, and his doing of it, did what?  It SAVED his house, but it did something else.  He became the standard of righteousness, and by his standard, others who did not participate or others that moved contrary or against him because of his obedience to the Word of God were condemned (judged).  Now, I want you to notice something here.  It never said that he did everything perfect.  Never said he did everything in the exact manner, in the exact way that he was supposed to do it.  It doesn’t say that.  Because he was still dealing with the aspect of his humanity.  Maybe his wife had a problem with him.  Maybe he was overbearing.  Maybe he was too authoritarian.  Maybe he was totalitarian.  Doesn’t make any difference.  Doesn’t make any difference as to the character of the man, because something was being worked out within his character as he was obedient to the word of God!  You know, you and I may not have gotten along with Abraham or with Noah.  Did you ever think about that?  Their personalities may have just been too much for you.  Do you know that Jesus’ personality may have been a personality that you did not jive with?  That you did not harmonize with?  Do you know the man had followers coming out his ears, and yet he ended up with no one.  How’s that for compatibility?   Come on!!  There’s something that God is saying in all of it.  You have to determine what it is that God has spoken to you!  You have to determine what it is that God wants of you!  You have to determine what is the destiny that God has with regard to His overall plan!  What word are you listening to?  If your word does not involve Sonship, if your word does not involve the coming of the kingdom and preparing yourself and those that are around about you, or building your ark.  It means just do what God tells you to do, and you do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, and you do it until either the job is done or God comes!!  You just keep doing it.  You know, I have no right to do anything else.  No right!  No right!  No liberty!  Use not your liberty for what?  An occasion to the flesh!  (Galatians 5:13).  What does that mean?  It means my liberty has nothing to do with my humanity!!  My humanity has nothing to do with my liberty!  I have not the liberty to exercise my humanity in the midst of God’s business and God’s business has to be my total objective!  My total position of concentration can’t be anything else!  Can’t be anything else!!  There is no way that I can please God in the manner that God wants to be pleased without that type of mentality!

He prepared an ark to the saving of his house, and we certainly know that his house wasn’t a perfect house.  Look what happened when they first got off the boat.  Noah got drunk.  Ham scoffed and exposed the humanity of his father.  Boy, I don’t know what was in Noah.  It must have been the Spirit of God that caused him to rise up and curse his own son.  We know that it was the Spirit of God because the Word tells us how it came to pass.  It says that he prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world.  Boy, I don’t know that you and I have really come to grips with the reality of what that is saying.  And became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Verse number 10, I’m dropping down here, because I’m going to close, For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.  You know, we get so surrounded by our humanity and the environment in which we live – children, parents, grandparents, business, living – that we seem, sometimes, to lose sight, that all of those things – children in the home, children out of the home – we lose sight of the fact that there is something of a greater expectation and a greater desire that is in the heart of God.  The Bible says that He is the Alpha and the Omega.  Now, I don’t know what the word is for the interim, you understand.  I don’t know what it is because it’s not in the Bible.  It just tells me He’s the beginning, He’s the end.  That means He has to be the focal point of everything, and what He desires for me and my life and for my existence has to be the epitome of my purpose and my reason for existence.  Hallelujah.  God bless you.

 

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