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The Abomination of Desolation

November 13, 2005
Dubuque, Iowa

(For printable version click here.)

Father, we do thank You for Your presence.  We thank You for Your goodness.  Thank You for the grace that is given, much more and far beyond what we are able to conceive or comprehend.  Father, we thank You for this opportunity to gather in Your presence that we might break the bread of life.  Father, we pray that that which is spoken will be that which Thou speakest.  Father, we want not words of men or intellectual manipulation of the scripture.  Father, we want You to be exalted, to be lifted up, in Jesus’ name.  Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.

There’s such a preponderance of scripture that is coming to me this morning.  It’s kind of difficult to know just where to start, but I trust that the Lord will begin to work it out.  When I left here last night, the Lord shouted at me the verse that is found in Matthew 24, so I think it would be good for us to open our Bibles to that point.  I also want to go into Revelation, not in depth, but to point out something that the Lord spoke to me awhile back.  I want to talk, about the plan, the purposes and the intent of God.  Of course, that probably surprises most of you, but that’s what is on my heart this morning.  Praise the Lord.

So, we want to get into that a little bit.  It’s really an ongoing development.  I used to picture it on the board parallel, side by side, but I have kind of revised my thinking a little bit, and I’m drawing eternity like this now (see figure a).  This line here is the boundary between heaven and hell.  Whether you are aware of it or not, there are only two destinies to choose from that you and I, as human beings, have in this arena that we call life.  Now, we like to think that we have more alternatives and that there’s some gray area in there that we can stake out and it can be something of our own and we can mess around in that environment and not suffer some sort of consequence.  It may be that we are comforted by the knowledge we have concerning the message of sonship and hope that when judgment comes, that we will be acquitted.  But if we find ourselves in some position of compromise; we have not really been fanatical about one or the other, then that isn’t true.  You didn’t make the rules of the game.  It would be a lot like Job facing God when God said, “Were you there?”  We are a lot like Job in our assumptions sometimes, (forgive me, Job, if I’m misjudging you) in that there is a certain knowledge we have that makes us think in a certain way that is not conducive to righteousness. 

Now, all of these terms are Christian terms, but they have a meaning.  If we don’t understand the reality of the meaning, then we really won’t get the point and we will continue doing what we’re doing and probably some of us will miss out on what God really wants and desires for each and every one of us.  You see, in the I AM, He wants the 100%.  That’s what Elohim wants.  The I AM wants 100%.  I suppose you could put that over here if you wanted to.  Yahweh wants 100% (see figure b).  That’s what He wants, 100%.  Now, the 100% isn’t in the aspect of what you have to achieve or work for, the 100% is what the I AM had in His mind in the very beginning and the intensity with which you desire it.  You see, Elohim created something in Himself when He created man.  He created something outside of you and I, something that would be unattainable as far as we are concerned if it were not for the fact that Yahweh intended it and planned it that way.  He created a position, He created an entity or a personality.  He created it and He called it 100%.  You could just as well say son (see figure c), but you can’t be a son in the way that the I AM is intending for you to be a son unless you move and desire the 100% with your 100%.  If I’m hired by a firm to do a certain job and I am satisfied or content with what I am doing, whatever I do is all that I ever will achieve in what I am doing.  I’m always going to have other things that are going on that will take precedence.  I am going to have other desires that are going to interfere with whatever it is that I am doing. 

Maybe you’re not into it, but do you know the team mentality?  “We’re a team.”  It’s a right concept in a wrong environment.  The devil takes the mechanics of God and twists and perverts them.  In the natural arena, “You and I are going to work together as a team, but we are going to work together that we might get rich.”  And basically, if I’m hiring you on my team, you’re not going to be as rich as I am.  I’m going to bless you, you know what I mean?  I will bless you to some extent, so that the more I bless you, the more you bless me.  So, you endeavor to do what you have to do in order to be blessed.  All the time you’re being blessed, I’m being blessed!  “Oh, this is teamwork!”  Right?  Right concept, wrong environment. 

Well, it’s not like that in the economy of Yahweh.  The only thing that the I AM requires of us is our cooperation.  That’s all He needs.  A 100% willing heart.  What does it say about an offering?  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise (Psalm 51:17).  This is an offering that the I AM will not despise.  It has nothing to do with who we are, what we are, what we can do, how much of it we can do, what we know, or anything that is consistent with our humanity, because Elohim has worked it all out.  It’s like having this endowment fund.  Never have to work, it’s always there in the bank, all you have to do is go to the bank and get it.  The problem is that we kind of wander hither and yon without really ever going to the bank to get what we need in order to live as we should live or to get what we need to get.  Hallelujah.  So, there is a plan, there is a thought that is in the heart of the I AM. 

Matthew 24:14, This gospelof the kingdom… You know, man has built humongous denominations on the basis of that thought.  Man has gone hither and yon all over the world on that thought.  But this thought has not necessarily perpetrated the gospel of the Kingdom of Yehovah as much as it has perpetrated and manifested the gospel of the kingdom of man.  Every kingdom that has been built in the name of the I AM, man has taken over and perverted and subverted that he might give himself a position of exaltation.  It all has worked contrary to the thought and to the desire of Yehovah God. 

Quite frankly, I believe you have that teamwork mentality working in those church environments, only it has a religious coat.  It’s not just about being saved.  Of course, you have to get saved in order to be eligible.  You have to get saved, you have to have a born again experience with Yehovah in order for you to be a candidate, but the fact of being saved doesn’t bring to you the reality or the totality of what Yehovah has created for you in your getting saved!  But you know, it’s funny, we kind of think sometimes that that’s it!  “I’ve got my foot in the door!”  “I’m in that place, I’m in that position.”  Now, we may not necessarily say that with our mouth, but we say it with our actions, with the way that we are and the things that we do.  Or maybe I should say it this way, the things that we don’t do.  Have you ever said, “I’m not going to do that!”  Hello?  Am I talking to the wrong people?  “I’m not going to do that.  They’re not going to make me do that!”  “Oh no!  I’m not going to do that!”  “Well, if they think I’m going to do that, they have to think again!”  You never thought that way?  Never had that problem?  You have never found yourself in that position?  I find myself there every day!  Well, the fact of the matter is, there was a time that we were alive and Paul talks about it in Romans 7:9.  Let’s start at verse seven. 

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  Oh boy, covetousness and lust are synonymous.  Hello?  Now, if you were looking at something and I said, “Stop your lusting,” you’d probably get mad at me.  If you were looking at this nice little car, this nice house, this nice suit, this nice thing and I said, “Stop lusting.”  “Boy, I’d like to have that.”  “Stop lusting.”  You’d probably get upset with me, wouldn’t you?  You’d probably be offended with me, wouldn’t you?  You’d probably be angry with me, wouldn’t you?  Hallelujah.  I’m not a gray person, I’m sorry.  I’m not a gray person.  I’m not gray.  It’s either black or white, and I believe that that is the scriptural position that one must take.  The Bible says, “I love righteous and hate wickedness” (Psalm 45:7).  Now, I can believe and have tolerance, or, if you prefer, mercy, for black as long as black is turning gray.  That means that there is a trip being made and black becomes less black.  I can tolerate gray in that respect, but that doesn’t change my perspective.  Now hear me out.  It doesn’t change my perspective, and if you think I am rough on you, how rough do you think that I am on myself?  I am not one of those that doesn’t try to practice what he preaches and, quite frankly, the Lord seems very much concerned about keeping my nose to the grindstone.  This color black has to turn gray in order to demonstrate the fact that it’s making its transition into this realm called heaven (see figure d).  Hallelujah. 

All right, you could call this heaven right here, and we could call this hell (see figure e).  Hell is also called world as well as being called flesh.  Another term that is used to describe this position in hell is the word carnality.  So you see, hell really has many definitions (see figure f), but every definition has the same end.  It produces the same result.  Now, one of these may be hell to one degree or another, but if you take them in progression, or if you find yourself wallowing in this position, your destiny is going to be what the Bible calls geenna (Strong’s Concordance #G1067 translated as hell in the KJV) (Matthew 5:22).  Hello?  There are only two alternatives, that’s all you have.  You don’t have any middle ground.  Does anybody see anything up there that’s middle area? 

It says in Romans 7:8 that, Butsin taking occasion by the commandment…  What commandment?  Well, Jesus spoke to Adam in the midst of the garden and He said, “You don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  In the day that you eat it you shall die” (Genesis 2:16-17).  Hallelujah.  And do you know what?  When he ate it, he died.  Now, we know that because we have read the back of the book.  We have read the end of the story, but the fact of the matter is that there is no middle ground right here. 

 We like to think that we have some leeway or some position of compromise.  I want to tell you, compromise is a diabolical term.  It did not come out of the heavenly dictionary, did you know that?  The Bible says of God that there is no what?  No shadow of turning (James 1:17).  Does that mean that He’s different today than He was yesterday, or He’s different tomorrow than He is today?  It says He’s the same.  The same.  The same!  The same.  Absolutely the same.  I mean, does your Bible say something different?  If it does, throw it away.  Throw it away.  The Bible says that in the I AM there is no variability.  He’s the same.  Not only does it say that, but it says there is no shadow of turning. 

Okay, this is the Yehovah God that laid down the rule.  The song that came to me this morning was, “Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness” (Psalm 35:7).  Do any of you find some compromise in that statement?  Now, let’s take it a step further because Jesus Himself defined the word hate.  Hello?  Jesus defined the word hate.  Do any of you remember where and when He defined it?  He said, Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer (I John 3:15).  Why?  Because it’s not a thought, it’s not a thing, it’s an action that is perpetrated against something else.  And that action is something that is detrimental to the entity toward which it is directed.  He defined it as an action of death.  So, when Elohim says, “I hate wickedness,” what is He saying?  “I’m going to wipe it out.  I’m going to annihilate it.  I’m going to get rid of it.  There is no room in my economy for evil to exist!”  Boy, where does that put you and I?  No wonder the Bible says that we need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).  That is not somebody standing over your shoulder saying, “Okay, now, you can’t do this and you can’t do that.”  It is about you having a knowledge in your heart that makes you know that if you begin to participate in certain things, it will begin to eradicate your history from the presence of the I AM.  We must have an understanding that there is something going on in the Spirit!

Listen to me, brethren.  Man is born again.  Listen, this is where the fire starts.  This right here is where the fire starts (see figure g).  There is a fire right here.  Do you want the middle ground?  They say a picture is like a thousand words.  Do you want to be in the middle ground?  This isn’t Burt’s theology.  This is scriptural.  When did Adam die?  Do you know when he died?  The Bible tells us when he died.  Did you know the Bible tells us when he died? (Genesis 2:17,3:6)  He said that he was driven out of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24).  Why?  Lest he partake of what?  He was in the realm of life.  He was alive.  He was vibrant.  He was being filled with God and God was walking and talking with him, working His way to the inside of him.  The great I AM was having a relationship with him.  He was in the environment of the great I AM on a day by day, moment by moment situation.  Hallelujah!  He was alive!  But he died!!  The I AM drove him out of His presence.  And He put what?  Cherubim with flaming swords which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life (Genesis 3:24).  So, I could have just as well have drawn that flaming sword.  Oh yes.  Praise the Lord.  Isn’t HE wonderful?  My goodness.  I could have just as well put these swords there, flaming swords, right (see figure h)?  With flames coming off and, brethren, I want to tell you, that is the initiation of fire and for you and me to get from point A to point B, or from point B to point A.  We have a negative alphabet.  You know what I mean?  You have A here, but you have minus B here, and you have A here which is a plus with a plus B here (see figure i).  Hallelujah. Yehovah meets us right here.  I’m talking to you out of Matthew 24:14 (I want to remind you).  It says, This gospel; I’m talking about THIS gospel of the Kingdom.  That’s not really the verse that I wanted, but it’s the next one that talks about the abomination, but maybe, praise the Lord, we might get there.  We find ourselves in this predicament before we meet God.  We are not where Adam was.  How many of you know that?  How many of you know you are not where Adam was?  Adam was here in this realm that was called heaven, or Eden, right?  You can call it the Kingdom of God (see figure j).  You can call it all of these things, but remember, it has as its intent a position, an entity, a personality that is eternal.

As I have said before, the devil is not an original thinker.  Hello?  God created him on the basis of him receiving his life from God.  So that means any and every substance that he was or what he could get had to come from God.  Stupid devil, to think that he could get life from a different source.  So, the devil is limited in what he can do.  Nevertheless, the intent of Satan is to bring forth a son also.  He’s not an original thinker.  Go into Isaiah 14:13, and get the “I wills.”  “I will ascend, I will exalt, I will become,” all of these things are pertinent to the devil’s theology.  The devil has, unlike God, many ways to get there.  Oh, yes, he does!  You can be a Catholic and you can get there.  You can be a Baptist and you can get there.  You can be a Pentecostal and you can get there.  He doesn’t care if you’re Baptist, Pentecostal, or Catholic.  He doesn’t care!  He doesn’t care if you’re Protestant!  How many of you know that Protestant really has nothing to do with God? Protestant has nothing to do with God because, you see, God isn’t interested in you being Protestant!  Isn’t that a strange concept, Brother Tom?  No Protestants in heaven, can you imagine that?  I mean, there’s going to be people that were Lutheran in heaven.  Lutheran?  People that were Catholic!  Catholic?  People that were Methodists!  Methodist?  They’re all going to be in heaven.  But you know what?  They’re not going to be Lutheran or Catholic or Methodist anymore!  So, if the anymore then applies in that arena, why is it so significant now?  You know, there’s really not going to be any come-out-of-hers there either.  There really aren’t going to be any end-time groups in the heavenlies.  Oh yes.  Oh yes.  Not in heaven – no end-time groups!  Where am I going to go to church?  Who am I going to fellowship with?  Maybe you never thought about it. 

Jesus says there is only one way to get into heaven.  You want scripture for that?  Sure you do.  It’s found in Matthew 7:14 and it says, narrow.  N-A-R-R-O-W!  Oh, so confining, so very restrictive!  I don’t want to hear those words!  I want prosperity!  But wide is the way that leads to destruction!  Wide!  Wide!  Why is it so wide?  Because it can encompass so many different things.  The devil is as a roaring lion (I Peter 5:8).  You can be religious and get to hell, but you don’t have to be religious to get to hell.  But what you have to be to get to heaven is consecrated!  Can you say that word?  Consecrated!  Dedicated!  Hello?  Focused!  Fanatical!  Oh, my!  Now, he’s getting over the edge.  We can’t be fanatical!  Well, I’ll tell you what, I’d rather be fanatical for something that I am convinced is the way to get me into heaven than to be lukewarm and find myself wandering around in the wilderness.  Hallelujah. 

Son of perdition (see figure k)!  Only two options!  Two, two, two!  Do you hear me?  Two!  Only two!  Not four!  Just two!  Only two and one of them really isn’t a choice.  It’s like being confronted.  Come on!  Jesus said that unless you eat My flesh and drink My Blood, you have no part in Me (John 6:53)!  They were stupid people to get up and leave when he said that.  They did not understand.  They were so carnal, so religiously correct; I don’t know what they were thinking.  They couldn’t possibly have thought that this man was saying that they had to actually take some piece of his flesh and bite it and chew it and assimilate it and then cut him open and bring his blood into a cup and drink it.  I can’t possibly believe that they were thinking that, but you know, it happens all the time.  Some things some people say about you or me or something, we just swallow it.  We just swallow it.  (Glug, cough, gasp, choke.)  Oftentimes it’s to our own detriment.  We find ourselves choking and our fellowship is broken!  Stupid!  There is no other word for it.  Stupid.  Just plain stupid.

You know, many years ago I was involved in a situation with a couple friends of mine.  It wasn’t here; it wasn’t there in Illinois.  It was many, many, many years ago.  We were in the business of serving the Lord, as we are now, and these people were working for my father at the time.  There was a situation that arose where somebody had some sort of contention with me over something that I said, and this person was telling these two brothers about their discontent with what I said.  You know, these two brothers knew me.  You understand?  I fellowshipped with them.  I walked with them.  One of them had been in the ministry with me, working side by side.  It was nobody that you know.  You don’t know them personally, so don’t hypothesize.  Don’t start wondering in your minds.  You know, I’m saying this because somebody’s thinking, “I wonder who it could be?”  Anyway, they were complaining to these two brothers about the thing that I did and they said, “Oh, we don’t know.  You’ll have to talk to Brother Burt about it.”  Finally, we got the issued settled and I went to these brothers and I said, “You guys surprised me.  You know that I would not do what she thinks that I did.  You know me!  You know me uncategorically!  Know me!  Why is it that you would think that of me and not oppose the accusation?  And then, if there is doubt, come and find out if it’s true.” 

This is what it was like when Jesus said, “You have to eat My flesh, drink My Blood…”  Wasn’t it seventy who were walking and talking with Him?  Following Him around all over Israel, you know, hearing the Word of the Father and then He says something that completely, totally blows them out of the spiritual realm and they find themselves in the wilderness.  He asked His disciples, “Will you also forsake Me?  Will you twelve leave Me, also?” (John 6:67).  And Peter said, “Jesus, where would we go?”  At least they had that much sense.  We don’t even have that much sense.  We don’t!  We cut off our nose to spite our face.  We don’t know the reality of the Word that we are fellowshipping with and we think that, because we are a part of the church or are in the midst of the Word of God, that there is some leniency for individual preference that allows the human aspect of our being to survive.  That is one of the most common difficulties in marriages, you understand.  One partner does not see the other partner as a piece or a part of the I AM.  Oh boy.  Of course, you don’t have that problem.  Oh yes, you do. 

This gospel.  I’m talking about a gospel, I’m talking about a thought, I’m talking about a desire that was in the heart of I AM…  You know, I often wonder what it is that Yehovah God is doing and why He is doing it.  One of the thoughts that came to me is that Elohim is so big, He is so absolutely out of proportion to our way of thinking that there is nothing in the natural arena that will ever, ever be able to manifest or display the totality of who He is.  How would you manifest eternity?  How would you demonstrate or draw omniscience?  How would you do it?  Well, I’ll tell you how Elohim is doing it.  He’s taking this person and this one and this one and this one and this one and this one and this one and that one and that one over here, and this one and this one and this one.  He’s putting a little piece of Him here in you and a little piece of Him there and a little piece of Him over here.  Some of it is going in over there and some of it’s coming in here and some of it’s coming in there and some of it’s over here.  All of a sudden, when it all comes together, you begin to comprehend the greatness of the I AM!  Quite frankly…  Come on, I’m not being sacrilegious.  If Jesus was enough, He wouldn’t be doing what He is doing with us at this point in time.  Now, don’t go out of here saying that Burt just demoted Jesus and elevated humanity.  Besides, humanity is not the answer.  The answer is divinity.  He is the head.  You have to have something attached to the head, don’t you?  Don’t you have to have something attached to the head?  My goodness, what if we just walked around here with only a head?  Head.  Head.  He’s a head!  Of what value?  You would more likely be repulsed by the fact that there is just a head.  Yeshua wants a body because Yehovah wants a son!  Hello?  Yeshua was the first installment.  Jesus was the essential needed ingredient that opened up a way for us out of hell into heaven (see figure l).  I don’t know that I so much like that little illustration of the cross over the gap because, you know, I’m not coming from one side over here that’s nice and pleasant over into another side that’s a little bit more of the same.  I’m coming up out of a hole that is called hell.  Let it be a rope.  An asbestos rope.  It’s not so much me pulling myself up the rope as much as it is Him grappling me up out of the hole.  I’m not eliminating Jesus, but I’m not eliminating our position or place of responsibility.  Oh brother, it would have been better to be in the Baptist church if we just wanted to feel safe in whatever we chose to do.  Once saved, always saved.  You could just go out and do whatever you wanted to do when you wanted to do it and then go back and be Baptist.  As long as you are Baptist, you’re all right!  You’re safe!  Absolutely.  That’s what they believe.  I was Baptist.  I was Baptist when they were really Baptist, Brother Wade.  If you were anything but Baptist, if you didn’t belong to the Southern Baptist Convention, you weren’t saved.  You could be free will or whatever you want to be Baptist, but you weren’t saved because you didn’t belong to them!  It’s not about denominations and yet we are a denominational people.  It’s a difference between being, (I’m going to be nice to you) it’s a difference between being cows or pigs.  Quite frankly, it’s kind of leveling.  Cows.  You want to talk about evolution?  This is where evolution comes in, because as you resist God as a cow, you become a pig (see figure m).  I don’t know how the evolutionists are going to work that one out, but you wait and see.  Oh, hallelujah.

So anyway, we are talking about moving from this realm into this realm.  This is the sheep realm (see figure n).  I didn’t say goat.  The goat is still something that is relegated to this realm (see figure o).  Wasn’t the sin offering also goat?  Yes, it was.  Hallelujah.  Praise the Lord.  So, we’re talking about the plan and the purposes of God to move us from this point of negative A to a plus A.

Turn with me, if you would, over into Revelation for just a moment.  There were seven churches and they were given seven words.  I want to look at the fifth church, Sardis, and it’s found in Revelation chapter 3.  Let’s go down here to verse five, which is the number of grace, also the number of ministry.  He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.  Did any of you get that?  It was not until the fifth church, the fifth stage, that there was any sense of security or finality with regard to one’s reward for service in the Lord.  Now, I believe that what I’m saying to you is the Lord.  He says, “I shall clothe him in white raiment.”  That is a position of Christ in God, and having obtained that position of maturity, you move into what I call the Son Company.   I have to work out my salvation with fear and trembling.  It’s also interesting to note that the fifth church, or that fifth exhortation to the church is also the position of the Golden Altar of Incense and this represents the laying down of my soul.  Quite frankly, I think that fifth position is in this arena (see figure p).  Why do I think that?  Because the scripture tells me that.  If you will turn with me over into Ezekiel 28:15, God said of Satan, Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  This area that is called heaven is then the arena from which Satan was being cast out (see figure q). Therefore, this heaven area becomes synonymous with the position in the Bible called the mountain of God (see figure r).

The verse says he was cast out.  Cast out of what?  Cast out of where?  Go up to Ezekiel 28:13, Thou hast been…  where?  …in Eden the garden of GodOkay.  Would drawing it like this be better for you?  Does it make it more palatable?  Here is the garden of God (see figure s). 

Have you ever noticed that the Bible uses many different words to express and to explain one thought?  Genesis 1:26 says that they, the I AM, communed with Himself and they said, “Let us make man in our own image.”  He (Elohim) wrote 65 more books and only God knows with how many people.  How many people did it take to decipher and translate the Bible?  Why did He do all of that?  Why?  Because He wanted to write it and make it plain that He, Yahweh, in the beginning, had a thought, had an intent, had a desire and He took all of these pages to express that thought, to express that intention.

How much blood did it take to pen the pages?  Did you know that you and I are like the stylus pen of God, and that He writes the living Word on the basis of that blood that we are willing to shed with regard to that position of righteousness?  Do you think that your overcoming spiritually is some sort of linguistic metaphor to give you some sort of thought or idea of what’s going on?  Spiritually, you’re bleeding when you begin to resist the devil.  Spiritually, you begin to bleed because the devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8).  The fact is that, as we overcome in the Spirit, by the Spirit, for the Spirit, there is the real reality that one day we will have to bleed naturally.  If you’re not willing to die or bleed spiritually, you’re not going to be willing to die or to bleed naturally.  You’re going to do everything you possibly can do to preserve your position of life and liberty.  You’re going to do whatever it takes.  Unfortunately, some of us may even forsake the Lord.  I have to consider it as a probability.  Do you hear me?  Paul had to consider the probability of him being overcome by his flesh.  He said, “I have to bring my body under subjection to the power and the unction, the anointing of God” (I Corinthians 9:27). 

I’m so glad for Paul.  Whenever I think that I’m really something more than what I really am, I just begin to think of Paul.  I think of the problems and the tribulation that that man went through to obtain the awareness of the reality of what he was speaking.  “I knew a man, whether in the body or out of the body…” (II Corinthians 12:2-3).  “I knew a man that was shipwrecked three times.” (II Corinthians 11:25).  What do you think he was thinking out there?  Do you think he was looking out over the horizon and saying, “Where is that ship, Lord?  Where is that life preserver?  Where is there somebody to save me?”  I don’t know what he was thinking, but I know what I would be thinking.  “God, how did I get into this thing?”  I think he had a good report.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).  That’s what he said.  He had made up his mind, long before he was there in Jerusalem waiting for the executioner.  Do you hear me?  He had a divine appointment.  Do you think that if he was thinking about his neck, he could have testified to Nero of the goodness and the grace of God?  Do you think he was any different with Nero than he was with Festus and Agrippa?  Do you think the conviction or the unction or the anointing was any less prevalent in that circumstance?  That was the epitome of his life.  He had run his race, he had come up to the finish line and he was going to break forth through the ribbon with as much strength and vitality and ability that he had when he started it.  We wimp out, we snivel, we groan, we moan, we complain.  Of course, you don’t do that.  We form our little commiserating clubs.  We call this one, we call that one, and we commiserate and we commiserate and we commiserate, not knowing that we are working against the plan and purpose of God and we are resisting the move of the Holy Ghost to extract us out of our humanity. 

I was in the greenhouse one day and I said, “God, I wish it was this easy.”  When we go into the greenhouse we plant these little seeds in these special little trays.  They all have their little individual tray and those trays are formulated in such a way with plastic that the plants won’t cling or grip.  You can just pop it on the bottom of the tray and the plant pops right out.  “God, I wish it was that easy.”  I wish being transplanted was that easy.  You know, just pop it out.  But if you leave them in the tray too long, the roots will work themselves down through the holes in the bottom.  Then when you bring them loose you just tear everything up, but out it comes because you’re not going to leave it there.  It has got to come out.  It is of no value in the tray and besides that, it’s going to end up in the trash can.  It’s of no value; you’ve got to pull it out in hope.  It is in hope, in some manner, as you plant it in the ground.  “God, bless it, let it multiply, let it grow!”  You know, we are a lot like that.  Some of us can pop out just like that, but some of us are really stuck.  We have our roots all entwined around things of no value. 

Paul said it a different way.  He said, “Oh, foolish Galatians!  Foolish Galatians!  Who hath bewitched you?” (Galatians 3:1).  Foolish!  I’ve given you the Word of life!  I’ve demonstrated to you the power of God and His plan and purposes!  I’ve focused you.  I gave you a road map of how to get there, and you have turned away from the truth and you’ve gone back to the beggarly elements.” 

We get so wrapped up in the mechanics of humanity.  I knew a family that couldn’t stand each other.  They were always fighting, always clobbering one another, verbally and physically.  They couldn’t stand each other, but boy, you pick on one or the other and you had better watch out, because you had them all to deal with!  All of a sudden, they were the best of friends.  No animosity between them at all, and they were all on top of you, beating the snot out of you! 

We don’t understand the spiritual economy.  This is all natural, but over here is what I like to call the spiritual economy (see figure t).  I call it the spiritual economy of God.  There are spiritual principles, and those spiritual principles are higher than the spiritual principles that are at work on the natural realm.  In fact, they are the reason for which things work in the natural.  That’s what Paul was saying to the Galatians.  “You’re taking your eyes off the spiritual and putting them on the mechanics of the natural arena.  You are doing things that are not conducive to life and to liberty.” 

There was a woman who died on 9/11.  She stayed back to have a birthday party for her husband.  It was the last birthday party she ever attended.  She was scheduled to leave the day before.  She rescheduled her flight because of a birthday party for her husband.  Now, I’m not against birthdays.  I’m really not.  I take my wife out, when I’m around, for dinner for her birthday.  I buy her a card, but if I’m in Africa when her birthday comes and I can’t communicate with her, I’m not all bummed out about it.  She’s not all bummed out about it.  She’s praising the Lord, hallelujah.  (Aren’t you?)  The proof of the pudding is in the eating.  If some of you don’t get your birthday, my goodness, we might as well stay away from you for a week.  You’re going to be so miserable and you’re going to be so disappointed and so frustrated, and angry because they didn’t honor you!  They didn’t give you that thing that you really wanted.  “Ooooh… this…  Oh, this is (cough, cough) nice.”  I don’t think that I’m stretching the truth. 

Let your husband not think of something that’s important.  Anniversaries.  Oh yes, they’re so nice, they’re so lovely when you can have them.  That’s fine.  Do whatever it is you have to do, but don’t let it have control over your life!  Is it just to remind you that you’re married?  Now, if anniversaries are that important and that’s what it’s for, I suggest you have all the anniversaries you can have.  I don’t need a particular date to appreciate the fact that I’m married to this woman.  Hallelujah. 

We are so wrapped up in the mechanics of family and familiarity.  “Oh, there he goes again, he’s going to step on it!”  Now, remember, Mary, you said you’re going to like me anyway.  All of these mechanical things are things that are not designed with a heavenly intent.  How can my birthday in a natural arena have anything to do with my becoming a son of God?  Now, if I want to celebrate a birthday, let me celebrate being born again!  Except, that would be wrong, too.  But I would rather be less wrong than really wrong.

Brethren, I’m talking about the things in our lives that are hindering us from ascending.  We’re talking about this gospel of the Kingdom that must be preached!  It MUST be preached!  Hallelujah. 

Let me go back into Ezekiel 28:15.  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.  Boy, I want to go on reading, but I just have to stop.  You see, till iniquity was found in him.  It wasn’t that there wasn’t iniquity before, because one little iniquity was adding up to another iniquity and another iniquity was adding up to another iniquity and another iniquity was making up another iniquity.  All of that iniquity put together, all of it compressed together, was leading this entity that is called the devil in this direction until he came to a place where he created within himself a nature that was irreversible and irrevocable.  He was changed beyond the ability of Yehovah to change him back (see figure u).  That is scary.  That is scary to me, scary, scary, scary.  You want to know why?  The devil is leading us down that same path.  He is the god of this world.  Come on, brethren.  He is the god of this world.  Oh boy.  Ezekiel 28:15 says, till iniquity.  What does He mean?  He had defiled all of his sanctuaries.  He says, “You have crossed the line.  Your creation is complete.  You have fabricated and manufactured something that I can do nothing about except to exclude you.”  I mean, it is scary because I have that same power and ability.  Oh, hallelujah.  It says, …till iniquity was found in thee. 16By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned (Ezekiel 28:15-16).  He crossed over an unredeemable line.  Now, you think it’s up here in the diagram, don’t you?  But this is where God finds me (see figure v).  I was altogether created, in what?  In iniquity, and I was formed and fashioned in sin (Psalm 51:5).  Am I preaching something other than what is in the Bible?  Come on, brethren.  We are talking about the beast nature.  You see, there is a thought that you and I have that when we’re saved, we are translated out of the realm of darkness into the realm of light.  It isn’t so much that we are moved out of hell into heaven, as it is that heaven comes down into hell and that is the initiation of transition. 

Let me read it to you.  Ezekiel 28:16, …therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  And so on and so on…and verse 18, Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities.  Come on!  Iniquities!  It was his personality and his preference, the position of thought that he had concerning his own position and his own right.  It was the power of the nature that he had created, based upon the desires that he had for the things that he was involved with.  I don’t know how it must have gone in heaven, but I can imagine it on a lower level.  It would be like calling up somebody and saying, “Did you see that on Sunday?  …Blah, blah, blah…  and they did this, and what do you think about that over there, and how about this going on here and that going on over there?  Don’t you think that we should have a rebellion?  An insurrection?  Maybe we should call for a new election?”  Hallelujah.  There were others that he took with him, so there must have been some sort of communication, some sort of rebellion, some sort of thing working there behind the scenes.  He thought it was behind the scenes.  We think we’re so private, don’t we?  We just have this little secret that we tell this really good friend.  But what we don’t know is that that friend has another really good friend and what you told them goes there, but it goes there worse than what you originally said.  Pretty soon what you have is sin.  Come on, brethren.  There is a spiritual economy and, you know, God does things in the spiritual realm that set a precedent and override the mechanical aspects of the relationships that we have with people in this natural realm.  Oh yes.  Yes, yes. 

God invoked that spiritual principle on the cross to John concerning His mother.  He said, “Woman, behold thy son” (John 19:26).  Do you think that it was just the last dying act of a loyal and faithful son?  He had a position of responsibility in the natural, but He also had a position of responsibility spiritually.  He used His position of spiritual authority to set a precedent in the natural, for it says that that disciple took that woman into his house and he took care of her as though she were his mother.  It wasn’t any thought or any, “Well, it was all symbolic, it was all metaphorical.”  I’m telling you, God does some things in the spiritual realm that set a precedent and override the mechanics of the natural arena.  Oh hallelujah, hallelujah. 

When I said that we are in hell when we meet God, it is there in hell where the potential for transition is created.  Verse 18, Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee.  Where is that fire going to be?  In the midst of where?  Where’s that fire going to be?  It’s going to be right here in the midst of hell (see figure w).  Do you remember what John chapter 3 says?  John said that Elohim would baptize with Holy Ghost and fire.  “I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee.” 

Turn with me over into Joel 2:1.  Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 2A day of darkness(my goodness) and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness.  Does that sound like heaven to you?  Does it?  It doesn’t sound like heaven to me.  If it’s heaven, I don’t want to go there.  2A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. 3A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness (Joel 2:2-3).  Where are they?  They’re in the midst of the fire – fire before them, fire behind them, fire all around them.  They’re fire people.  Do you want to be a fireman? 

Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  Let me go over into Revelation chapter one.  This is the vision that John had of Jesus Christ.  Revelation 1:12, And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks.  Jesus set the example.  You could also call this area that is hell, earth, right?  The son of man did what?  He came from heaven down to earth.  What does it mean?  He came down from heaven to hell that He might redeem man from that position of corruption (see figure x).  13And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  My goodness.  15And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters (Revelation 1:13-15).  Hallelujah. 

Let us turn to Daniel 3:10.  You know, I don’t know if it’s true, but I believe that it’s true because I believe the Lord showed it to me one day when I was preaching.  I believe that the image that Nebuchadnezzar made had to be dedicated with a living offering.  Why do I say that?  Because he was of the Chaldean religion and their religion required the sanctification by living sacrifice.  Not only do I believe that, but I also believe that that furnace that the story is talking about was built in the image.  That’s what I believe.  Somebody can find it and show it to me and tell me about it.  Daniel 3:10, Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image.  Quite frankly, I think there is a lot of allegory that you could bring out of this story into the message that I’m sharing with you with regard to familiarity and the mechanics of what works in this realm that is called earth or world or hell.  There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up (verse 12). What are you going to do when they start enacting laws concerning your Christianity?  Laws about what you can preach and what you cannot preach and you’re brought before the magistrate with the charge that you are not observing the rules and giving recognition to the government?  What are you going to do?  Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king (verse 13). Of course, you know how the story goes.  The king threw them into the fire.  Where did he throw them?  Into the ice water?  He threw them into the fire because they would not bow to the rule or to the spirit of the age.  Oh boy.  There’s no middle ground.  None.  There’s no middle ground.  No middle ground.  Let me go to Matthew 24 and I’m going to finish this up. 

We’re talking about the gospel, THIS gospel.  The gospel of the Kingdom of God is what I am outlining for you.  Not to become a member of a church because they believe what you believe and they’re doing and they’re preaching what you want to hear.  It’s not the accumulation of numbers or roll call, it is on the basis of the manifestation of the will of God to work out one’s salvation in the midst of hell and in spite of hell, YOU PREACH THE GOSPEL!  I don’t mean you get up and say, “Thou must be saved.”  I mean you get up and you begin to demonstrate with your life that these things no longer have a position of power or authority over you to bring you into a place of bondage!  Oh boy.  Paul had the revelation down so well that he said, “Neither death nor life will separate me from the love of God” (Romans 8:38).  That tells me life can separate me from light.  Neither death nor life.  Do you know that we have life, but if we do not utilize the life and allow the life to bring forth the death that is required and necessary, then we will not come to a place of fruition or manifestation?  Hallelujah.  It says, When ye therefore shall seewhat? the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15).  What is He talking about?  He’s talking about the soul of an individual and a soul so devoid of the characteristics of God that there is absolutely no light of any quality coming forth and radiating from within the soul of man.  He says to do what?  …flee into the mountains (verse 16).  Oh, hallelujah. 

There’s one more thought that I want to illustrate, if I may, and then I’m going to release you.  I’m so glad for the mercy of God.  His mercy endureth forever.  You know, I start out over here (in hell) and I receive the Blood of Jesus Christ.  I was down here somewhere, pretty close to the son of perdition (see figure y).  I began to make my journey up.  It looks kind of pitiful, doesn’t it?  But that’s the way it was.  And then I fall.  You see, I’m still saved, I still have the Blood of Jesus, but the darkness that is all around me is telling me that I’ve lost it.  Do you know something?  There’s a measurable difference between here and here.  There’s a measurable difference.  I am encouraged by that measurable difference, so I begin to go on reaching for the top and I get a little higher.  But before I can get there, something else happens and I fall, I stub my toe, I fall on my face.  Once again, I find myself here on my face and the darkness that is all around me is ministering to me, “Oh, you’ve failed, you’ve lost it, you’re absolutely out of it.”  But you know what?  There’s a measurable difference between here and there and there’s a measurable difference between here and there.  Proverbs 24:16 says, For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again, and I’m encouraged.  It says that David encouraged himself in the Lord (I Samuel 30:6).  It means he was discouraged, brother.  It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have discouragement, but you have to encourage yourself in the Lord!  “Father, You have called me, You have elected me.  I’m sorry, Father.  I have misbehaved.  I have done the wrong thing, but, Father, You have brought me from this point to this point and surely if You brought me from here to there, then, Father, You will be able to get me to the top!”  So, I always say, “God, if I fall, let me fall on my back,” because I want my eyes upward and not downward.  It’s strange, isn’t it?  If you fall face down, all you can see is the floor, or if the floor wasn’t there you’d just be seeing down there.  Hallelujah.  So let me fall with my eyes upward.  It says, David encouraged himself, so I’m encouraged in the Lord and I begin my ascent.  My walk begins to get stronger and more determined.  It gets more strength.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes, but with every mistake, I learn what not to do and what to do.  Hallelujah. 

It says, When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15).  The abomination of desolation.  The word abomination is not just a word that describes something like a metaphor would, but it is the aspect of a nature.  Abomination.  I have this little word study program and it says, “Extreme hatred, detestation, the object of detestation, a common signification in the scripture.  The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord (Proverbs 15:9).  It’s not what they do, it’s what they are.  Hello?  You do what you do because of what you are.  It’s not so much the thing that they’re doing as much as it is the nature that produces it.  Hallelujah.

You have to look at hell in a positive way.  Let me draw hell like this.  I look at it as the womb of something, and that something has the potential to produce one of two things.  Hallelujah.  As God comes in and inseminates my world, I become born again (see figure z).  All of these things here in this arena of hell are working to abort; if not to abort, then to deform.  Hello?  That which God has produced that does not bring forth the reality of what is in His mind is the aborting or deforming.  Now, I’m not trying to be offensive.  I’m really not.  But these things, as they come, there is something that is generated in the midst of this environment that is to repel…  Isn’t that what inoculation does?  It repels the disease?  It repels, it forms a shield or an ability to resist the influence, to resist and to reject it, in the natural.  I do know that in the spiritual realm there is an ability to have a spiritual inoculation that is eternal!  Until it comes to a point to where that which is created is fashioned and formed into the nature of the Son.  What a place to train a king.  Hallelujah.  My goodness.  We walk out of or we are birthed out of hell into heaven where we begin to establish the right of the King to rule.  That is what going to heaven is.  Hallelujah.  But, it says, When ye therefore shallsee the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Matthew 24:15).  What are we to understand?  We are to understand the mechanics and the spiritual principles that govern the working of the intent that God had from the very beginning and how the devil is using your circumstance to bring forth a nature that is contrary to the will of God.  God bless you.  God bless you.

 

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