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The Age of Accountability

June 29, 2003
Mahomet, Illinois 

(For printable version click here.)

I will be talking to you out of Matthew chapter 6.  If you have time, I would suggest that you go from the beginning of the chapter, because the whole chapter deals with the subject of the verses that I am going to be going over.  I want to start at Matthew 6:19, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Three little verses but they say a lot.  And I know that we do not fully realize the significance of what they say, or what is the expectation of God usward.

Earlier on in the chapter, the disciples came to Jesus and they asked Him, “Teach us how to pray.”  He said to them, After this manner therefore pray ye, verse 9, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  10 Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done.  I believe that if we look at the story of Abraham, it will help us to understand the intent of God with regard to these verses.  I have been spending a lot of time latelymeditating upon Abraham and the tenacity with which he pursued God, that intense desire he had for the Divine Presence.  He wasn’t someone, who I’m aware of, that had a religious history that dealt with the orthodox concept of God.  We do know that his father was involved in the witchcraft of the age in which he lived.  Yet, in that environment, there was something of a visitation, that God visited him and in that visitation created in him an intense desire for those things that pertain to God.

I don’t know that my thinking is different than most people’s, but I want to apprehend God.  I want to apprehend God!  I want to come into the reality of God.  Therefore, it seems to me that anything that I am doing, I have to do it as though it were unto God Himself.  And, whatever it is I am doing, that something has to be bringing me to a closer reality of the things that pertain to God and the realm that He is in. 

Another story that illustrates this thought is the story of Enoch.  We will have to use our spiritual imagination to some degree for we are not told a lot about Enoch, other than where he fell in the lineage of Adam and that he walked with God, and that one day he was not, because God took him.  Can you imagine the camaraderie, can you imagine the position, the place of interest, the conversation that was going on between Enoch and God?  Imagine you must, for there is no recorded history, but we know that as he was in that relationship, it was creating something in Enoch: his desire to know God.  Hallelujah!  You know, I am glad they put Enoch in the Bible because what we know about Enoch is that he was human.  Do you understand what I mean by human?  He had a wife.  He had children.  There was evidently something of the business of the hour, or the business of the day that he was involved in with regard to the things of life.  Yet, in the midst of that environment, he was becoming God conscious.  Personality problems?  He was human in an human environment.  I can imagine that he had to deal with the personality of his wife.  I can imagine that he had to deal with the personalities of his children.  There was something of “making a living” that he had to be involved with.  Now, you can say that this is all speculation.  But, no, it really isn’t speculation, because we are natural people living in a natural world.  There are natural things in the world that are pressing upon us from the fact of being natural, being secular.  Yet, in that environment, there was a relationship that Enoch was building with the Divine Presence.  I don’t think that it was all one-sided either.  You know what I mean?  I don’t think it was just a desire that God had to walk with Enoch.  Hello?  I think there was something in Enoch that desired to walk with God!  Now, you know, it is a very good possibility that what Enoch learned about God in the beginning, he learned from Adam because Adam was still alive at the time Enoch was growing into manhood.  If you were to follow the timeline, you would find that Adam lived almost up until the time of the flood.  I think he lived up to a couple hundred of years before the flood.  You could correct me on that if you have the exact figures.  But, nevertheless, there must have been something of God that Adam was sharing with Enoch that brought forth within him an intense desire, an intense desire to know God.  I cannot but believe that that desire began to overshadow everything in his life.  It overshadowed his place of employment, whatever it might have been.  It overshadowed his relationship with his wife.  It overshadowed his position and his relationship with his children.  It overshadowed his position and his relationship with the community at large.  He wasn’t a hermit.  He didn’t live in a cave.  Hallelujah!  There was something of God that was paramount in the man’s mind.  Something of God that was predominantly pressing upon his soul!  Hallelujah!  I don’t know that he could really even define it, in the beginning, you know what I mean?  Just a longing, a wanting or a dissatisfaction with the realm of the earth that he was living in, something of a desire within him that was coming to a birthing place.  Hallelujah!  I believe that it was the responsibility of Enoch.  I believe that if Enoch did not have the desire that he had, he would not have been able to be in the place at the time that God took him.  I don’t believe that it was something of a miraculous, wand-waving event.  Hallelujah!  I don’t believe it.  I don’t believe it.  I believe that Enoch had to work at wanting God!  Enoch had to work at desiring God!  Hallelujah!  Not to mention, with regard to Abraham, all of the things that were pressing in on him. You know, these men in the Bible leave us without excuse.  Do you know that?

Let’s look at Abraham.  What was his environment as a young man, in the Babylonish system of Baal worship?  Do you know that they believed in human sacrifices?  Hello?  And that his father was actively involved in that type of orchestration of religion?  This is the environment that Abraham was in.  This is the environment that he grew up in.  Yet, God unveiled Himself in that environment, God penetrated that darkness that was around him!  Hello?  And in that penetration, there was something of an experience that Abraham experienced.  We’re talking about something other than the Blood of Jesus Christ.  Hello?  We’re talking about something other than the power of the Holy Ghost, in the form and the fashion that we know it today!  For in the midst of that heathenism, in the midst of all of that paganism and secularism that was going on, hello, God manifested Himself to him!  In that manifestation, there was something that was created within Abraham that he desired to know God!  Hallelujah!  It is my belief that we need to have that “something.”  I believe that you and I are in want of having that type of a relationship and experience with God.  Hallelujah!

We are a very religious people.  We’re very religious.  It gives us a sort of comfort.  It gives us a sort of a, what is it?  A safety line, to feel that in our religiousness we have an opportunity to be saved.  But, God doesn’t want religious people.  God doesn’t want just a church environment.  Hello?  There is something more that God wants with regard to you and me.  There is something in this place of living that God wants to bring forth a demonstration of His ability to be God.  We let so many things intervene in our relationship with God.  We let finances, sometimes.  We let health, sometimes.  We let personality relationships, sometimes, intervene.  Or we just let the business of the day.  What I mean about being religious is, we go out there and we do all sorts of things as human beings and we have a facade or a demeanor that is consistent with the environment that we are in out there.  Then when we leave that environment, and we come into this environment, we wear a different facade.  We have a different coat to put on.  We have a different hat to wear that has nothing to do with the kingdom of God but that has everything to do with being religious.  We can be one way in the home, in private, and another way out in the community, or in the church arena.  God is not desiring a religious fellowship of people!  God is desirous of having a living body, a body that has the ability to manifest the kingdom of God!  Everything, everything, everything that is pertinent to that is the thing that should be working in our lives.  Hallelujah!

You know, I think of God.  I have been thinking about it a lot lately, when it says, verse 20, lay up for yourselves treasures in heavenI think the accounting system that we have on a secular level was something that was invented by God.  Hello?  It says that Abraham believed God and what?  It was accounted (Galatians 3:6).  Accounting is a mathematical term.  Did you know that?  It means that something is taken and added to something else, mathematically.  My goodness!  Now, I don’t know.  I am going to try to give you a picture and I hope that I can clarify it for you enough to where you can understand it.  If you can, in your mind, imagine a bank account.  We will call it God’s checking account, and the thing that we are going to use for money in the terminology of the bank account is the grace of God.  I am wanting to illustrate it so that you can understand what I am saying.  Everybody understands money.  Right?  Oh, yeah, sure they do!  Hallelujah!  That’s what you work so hard for, and spend so fast.  When we are saved, it says, we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8).  All right?  What that means is that in the beginning, our bank account is empty.  It has no money in it.  It has no ability to sustain us in the world or in life.  But, when we are saved by grace, it is like God taking a humungous amount of money and depositing it in your bank account.  Now, that is deposited on your behalf.  Hello?  You are not yet to a position or a place by being saved to be able to handle the business of what is called accounting.  You are too young.  You are too immature.  It is like an inheritance that has been given.  It is a trust.  You can look at it as a trust.  It is deposited in this account for you and it outweighs your debt.  Hello?  Are you following what I am saying?  Now, as we grow in the Lord, as we grow up in the things of God, we are continually debiting the account because of our foolishness, because of our ignorance, because of our position of rebellion.  We’re continually debiting the account, but there are always sufficient funds in the account to offset the debit that is being created.  Are you still with me?  Hallelujah!  Now, all of that is well and good because we have not yet come to a place of maturity.  The business of the account has not yet been given over into our hands.  It is being orchestrated for us by an administrator.  Hello?  He is taking care of the accounting business because we have not yet reached an age in God that you might call accountability.  Hello?  Do you know that there is a time frame in the Lord?  It says that in times past, He winked at our foolishness (Acts 17:30).  Are you familiar with it?  Now, listen to me!  This aspect of accounting is different for everyone.  What an accounting schedule, huh?  Everyone is different in their position of relationship, and their position or their place of finances or their bank account.  Everyone is different.  That’s why someone can do something and get away with it and someone else can do the same and they don’t get away with it.  “Well, he could do that, why can’t I do that?”  You know, of course, that maturity is not always on the basis of age.  I have seen God exact from little ones.  Hello?  I have seen Him exact from little ones what He hasn’t exacted from big ones, as far as age is concerned.  So, it has nothing to do with the physiological make-up of an individual, but it has to do with the spiritual potential and the ability of understanding that any and every person has with regard to God in those things that are in the spiritual realm.  Hallelujah!  So, we go through life growing up into this place of life.

You know, my dad was not a Christian man.  As I was meditating on this, the Lord brought this experience back to me that I had with my dad.  I remember as a young man, I was in the Service, and I was in Germany.  I was fixing to come home, and I wrote my dad.  I said to him, “Dad, I need some money, I need to do this and I need to do this.”  I was bringing a car back and I needed to do this and I needed to do that, and Dad wrote me a check and sent it to me.  He said, “Son, if you need more, just let me know, there’s more where this came from.”  Now, “came from” was different in my mind than it was in his mind.  You know, they had started a trust fund for me when I was small.  I didn’t find out about this until the trust fund matured, you understand, and the funds were given out.  But, all of that money that I was spending to do whatever, I thought it was coming out of Dad’s pocket, and it wasn’t coming out of Dad’s pocket, it was coming out of my pocket, because when they distributed the checks, I didn’t get a check.  He said, “Oh, by the way, son, you used yours up already!”  Hallelujah!  There is something in that in what I am talking about here that is very, very pertinent.  I am having a little difficulty this morning, so I need your attention.

All right.  We have this position, this place, this bank account.  There is an administrator that is administrating it until we come of age.  Now, your age is different than my age, and my age is different than someone else’s age.  But, nevertheless, everyone of us, at a particular point in time, both natural and spiritual, comes to a position of the age of accountability.  Hello?  Hallelujah!  I think that there is something in this particular thought.  We have the story in the New Testament.  I often wondered why God put that story in there about the young man, the son who wanted his inheritance.  He went to the father and he said, “Give me my inheritance (Luke 15:11-32).”  I always thought, “What a louse, what a brute.  The man’s not even dead yet, and he is wanting his inheritance.  God, why would You put that story in the Bible?  An inheritance does not come until someone passes on.”  But, I am beginning to understand something about the story.  Do you understand?  Do you remember the story?  The young fellow came, and what did he do with his inheritance?  He squandered it.  He threw it away.  Not that there wasn’t forgiveness in his father’s house, but I don’t know that he ever was restored to his previous position.  But, why would God put that in the Bible?  Why?  What practical application could that story have with regard to the fact of life everlasting, or life eternal, or the kingdom of God?  Why?  Well, there must be something of a principle that God is demonstrating about the age of accountability.  Do you know that God works by principles?  Do you know that God will not break His rules?  We think of God doing anything.  Well, God can do anything.  One of the things God will do is that He will not break His principles!  Hello?  God works in accordance to divine principles.  Why?  It is inherent in His nature.  Hello?  Now, we come to an understanding of this in the aspect of what God said about His people.  He said, “I will write with my finger upon the tables of their hearts (II Corinthians 3:3).”  What was He going to write?  His laws?  What are laws?  Get out of the natural.  Get out of the carnal.  What are laws?  They are principles.  They are aspects of nature that put a demand upon you to do what is right!

I had a situation here not too long ago.  I was backing out of a driveway and I backed into somebody’s parked car.  It wasn’t bad, you know.  I got out and I looked at it, and then I looked around to see if anybody saw me.  Of course, you probably would never do that.  All of a sudden, the thought comes, “Well, it’s not bad, nobody is seeing you, why don’t you just leave?”  Hello?  But, there was something inside of me that when the thought came of leaving, it began to put pressure on me to go and find the owner of the car.  Go and find the owner of the car.  It says, “I will write my laws upon the tables of their hearts.”  So, the thing that God calls the table of your heart becomes the thing that motivates you to do what God would do.  It was really an eye opener for me, you know?  I wouldn’t think that I would ever think that way.  I wouldn’t think that I would really think that way.  You understand?  Or I could possibly ever be tempted to move contrary to righteousness, and yet, that thing was there working.  It was working to bring me into conformity to the principle of unrighteousness. 

Now, ok, here we are as immature people growing up in the world and having to deal with sin and Satan and we make slips, and we make boo-boos.  Of course, the administrator is on the job and He is working the credit of grace that is applied to our account.  But there comes a time when we come of age, in the concept of God’s thinking.  We become of age.  That means that there is an aspect of that inheritance that is ours to administrate as we see fit, and you can be like the prodigal son and you can go out and you can squander it.  I don’t know the ramifications of all of that.  But, my goodness.  Or we can begin to work to build up that account in the time frame that is of the Lord’s choosing.  Hallelujah!

It says, But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal…  (Matthew 6:20).  It says that Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.  Now, there was something that Abraham had to do that was unseen in order to demonstrate the righteousness that was working in him.  There was something that Noah had to do.  Do you hear me?  There was something that Noah had to do.  I have been thinking a lot about Noah, too, lately.  We believe that we are in the end time, or at least that is part of the doctrine that we adhere to.  We believe that we are coming into the grand finale of time.  Hallelujah!  Now, we are supposed to believe that.  That is what we are supposed to be believing.  OK?  Now, if we believe that, then there has to be some aspect of ark building that you and I have to be involved in.  Hello?  Not doing our own personal thing for the benefit of our own personal position of comfort or blessing, but working, as it were, for the purposes of God to bring forth the revelation of the kingdom of God in the realm of humanity!  It doesn’t make any difference where you are or what you are doing.  If you believe the Word, then I believe that God has put you in a particular place at a particular time for a particular reason.  And we need to find out individually what that reason is and demonstrate it in our lives!  Hallelujah!

I want to turn over here to Hebrews 11:1-2, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.  What did they have faith in?  That’s all spiritual terms.  What is the practicality of it?  What is the “down in the nitty-gritty” of it?  It says, verse 7,Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet.  As far as that is concerned, Abraham being promised of things that he himself personally did not receive, nor saw the benefit of.  Do you know that he died before the promise was fulfilled?  Hello?  So, it wasn’t necessarily a natural set of circumstances that Abraham was seeing.  It was something in the spiritual realm.  It was something of a different consistency.  Verse 7,By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemnedWho condemned?  Noah condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.  We are a like people.  We’re supposed to be believing in the substance of what we call “the calling and the election.”  If we understood the practicality of the thing that is to be done and the consequence of not doing that proper thing at the proper time, we would be as Noah, fearful, and perhaps a little more diligent with regard to doing what God has given us to do.

Brethren, we sell ourselves so short.  We get so much involved in family.  We get so much involved in business.  We get so much involved in entertainment.  We get so much involved in comfort.  We get so much involved in those things that are pertinent to this realm.  We do!  We get so involved with it that they become the thing that is paramount.  They become the thing that is important.  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  We need a dose of reality.  We need an experience of God that will shatter, confront us in our position of humanity, that will shake us out of our position of humanity.  Everything that we are doing, we should be doing for the sake of bringing forth the reality of the kingdom of God!  Bringing it forth in some living, reality way!  (Ark building!)  Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!  We need help, we need help, we really do.  We need help.  We need help.  We need help.  We are so easily side-tracked.  We are so easily caught up in this or that, in things that are unimportant with regard to the position, the place, or the desire that is in God.  God has a desire.  Do you know that God has a desire to bring forth Himself within the midst of the land, within the midst of a people?  God has a desire!  He has a desire!  He has a desire to bring forth the living reality of His kingdom.  He has a desire!  Hallelujah!  I don’t know that we think so much about the desire of God.  We read that scripture over in Jeremiah that is so pertinent to God.  I just want us to look at it.  Jeremiah, chapter 4.  Listen to this; this is God talking to His people.  Verse 14,O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved.  How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?  Do you know what vain thoughts are?  They are thoughts that are self-centered.  They are thoughts that pertain to you and yours and no more.  Hallelujah!  I was sitting in a meeting one time with some elders that should have known better, but they didn’t.  They brought up this concept of, what is it?  God first, then family, then job.  That’s a theology, you know?  How can that be possible?  How can that be possible when God wants to be in everything and God is everything?  You can just eliminate anything down underneath God.  Just say, “God.”  God first.  God uppermost.  God only, because, if you fulfill the obligation that is upon you, with the requirement of God, you will fulfill all obligation.  It says to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your might (Deuteronomy 6:5)!  How can you have room to do anything else?  If you do what you are supposed to do in that arena, these other things will fall into place.  Maybe not in the degree that others would like them to be.  It’s God, God and God!  When it’s all said and done, it’s still God!  How can it be anything but the Alpha and the Omega?  Do you notice that there is no word for “in between?”  Do you notice that?  Alpha.  Omega.  Beginning.  End.  And anything in between, what is it?  It’s God!  God should be paramount!  God should be uppermost!  We should be fanaticals!  We should be obsessed with the thought of God.  I am not talking about quirky, kinky types of things that go with the kooks out there that have the devil as god.  I am talking about people like Enoch.  I am talking about people like Abraham.  I am talking about people like Noah.  Hello?  I am talking about those types of people.  They are just people living in a human environment, with a human element, and yet there’s something within them that says, “God, God, God!  God is paramount!  God is foremost in my thoughts.  It is not taking care of my family.”  Hello?  Because if I take care of God, God has to take care of my family!  Hello?  Maybe not in the way that I would necessarily think they should be taken care of, but that is God’s business.  If I am doing what God tells me to do, if I do it with all of my heart…  I don’t know how it is that we think that we are giving to God all of our heart, all of our strength, all of our might, when we always have this personal preference, this personal preference, this personal preference, or this personal preference.  “I would like to do that, but…!  I would like to do that, but…!  I would like to do that, but…!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

We have an entertainment mentality.  We always have to be entertained, when God should be enough.  You know, my mind, maybe it’s just me, I don’t know, but I can imagine being out there in outer space somewhere.  Maybe I’ll be getting my own planet.  He created all of that out there for some reason.  I am not regulated to this little hunk of earth, not when I have the eternal around me.  I am not satisfied with living 70 or 80 years in this time frame and having a full ripe life.  I am not interested in it.  I am not interested in it.  I believe in eternity!  I believe in eternity!!  I believe in eternity!!!  Do you hear me?!!  I don’t believe that God is a God of the dead!  I believe that God is a God of the living, that life goes on and there is more to life than this sphere on which I am planted!  This little hunk of earth, and yet, we settle for that as if that was the total of life.  We drudge away, we drudge away, we drudge away, we drudge away, struggling, struggling, struggling, struggling, when God wants us to be liberated, liberated from our flesh theology, liberated from our position of flesh, demonic theology.  Come on!  Liberated to rise up in the Spirit.  Hallelujah!  We should be teaching our children to reach into that mystical, magical, realm of the Spirit, not how to make good citizens.  You want to teach them citizenship?  Teach them citizenship of the kingdom of heaven!  Teach them those things that are pertinent to the life and the liberty of reaching beyond themselves into the realm of the spiritual!  Hallelujah! 

It says, Jeremiah 4:14-17, O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved.  The washing is pertinent to the being saved.  How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? 15 For a voice declareth from Dan and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim. 16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.  You know something?  We may think that we are doing “OK,” but the perception that we need to have is not the perception that we think that we are “OK.”  We need the perception on the basis of what He thinks about us, and the involvement in what we are doing.  The thing that we are doing, how are we doing it?  Are we doing it to the uppermost?  Are we demonstrating that we love God?  Do you know something?  We can say, “I love you Jesus.”  Do you ever watch these children?  “I love you, Jesus!  I will obey you, Jesus,” and turn around and act like little devils.  Have you ever noticed that?  We do the same thing.  We do the same thing.  Only we do it in a more educated, sophisticated way.  We do.  We do.  We do it and we make excuses.  “Well, I would have done that except for this and this, and this and this.”  “Oh, yes, I know, but this and this and this and this.”  Or “This and this and this and this.”  Hallelujah!  We have to determine what God is saying to us individually, personally.  Do you understand me?  You have to know, you have to know, you have to know, you have to know!  You individually!  No one is going to come and lay hands on you and say, “Thus saith the Lord, you’re to do such and such, and such and such, and such and such, and such and such!”  You have to know!  You have to know!  You have to know what is God’s will!  I don’t know why we make it so difficult.  I mean, I don’t know why we make it so difficult.  One of my children, when they were growing up, wanted to do something.  He looked at his mother and he said, “Mommy, I want to go out and do so and so.”  And she said, “No, you can’t do that.”  And he turned to her and said, “But, I want the other ‘no’.”  It means he wanted yes, but he didn’t… he wanted the other ‘no.’  We are a lot like that.  We are a lot like that.  Do you know that we are a lot like that?  We have a certain thing in our mind.  We want to go a certain way, we have a certain perception of it, and God is not wanting us to move in that way, or that line, and He is bringing this and He is bringing that.  And we are saying, “No, no, I want the other one, I want the other ‘no’.”  Hallelujah!  This is the perception of God with regard to humanity and the life that He has put in the midst of humanity. 

Verse 17,As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD. 18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.  This is the lamentation that Jeremiah takes up for God.  Can you imagine that?  19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment. 21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.  They have not known me.  They have not known me.  You know something, there is a portion in the scripture in the New Testament where Jesus speaks and the words that He used refer back to this particular verse.  It says, depart from me ye workers of iniquity, for I never knew you (Matthew 7:23).  They had a religious theology.  They had a religious philosophy.  They were people that said, “We cast out devils in Your name.  We prophesied in Your name.”  They were a religious community of people, doing religious things and yet God said, “Depart from Me.  Depart from Me.”  There is a necessity for us to become cognizant of the desire that God has for us in this hour, with regard to the demonstration of His kingdom and the bringing forth of His will and His kingdom.  Hallelujah!  22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children…  That means kind of hard-hearted and hard-headed.  And they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.  23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.

Have you noticed the escalation of wickedness in the world at large?  Have you noticed the escalation of the assault that is on your mind?  Lewd thoughts, things that come at you mentally?  Have you noticed the escalation of it?  It should be something of a, what do you call it, a barometer, that tells us, if it is that bad out there, how is it in here?  What are we having to contend with with regard to our position, our place, our calling and our election?  Are we working to bring forth the kingdom?  Are we laying up treasures in heaven?  You know, Paul was a man, I would say, who basically didn’t have much of anything.  Wouldn’t you say so?  I suppose, I don’t know whether the garment he was wearing when they killed him was good enough to pass along to anybody.  And yet, he said, “I have laid up for myself a crown.”  A crown.  I have laid up for myself a crown (II Timothy 4:8).  What are we doing to build the kingdom of God?  What are we doing?  What are we doing?  What are we doing?  Are we having a good time?  What are we doing to build up the kingdom of God, to bring forth the will of God, to bring forth the manifestation of God in the midst of the earth?  What are we doing, both in a spiritual sense and a natural application?  It is not only spiritual.  You can talk spiritual until your lips turn blue, but, if it is not producing something of a reality of God in the midst of your environment, it is of no value.  No value!!

We need to begin to lay up treasure.  First of all, ascertain what it is that God wants you to do.  “What do You want me to do, God?  What do you want me to do?  What do you want me to do?  God, what do You want me to do?”  If you don’t know what God wants you to do, fast and pray.  Fast and pray.  Fast and pray.  Fast and pray until God speaks to you.  Fast and pray.  Look to God, because I know that if you want to hear God, God will talk to you.  Then pray, “Give us a hearing ear.  Give us an ear to hear what You want to say to us.”   Most of the time what God wants to say to us, it’s something that we don’t want to hear.  We don’t want to hear it because it will cost us something that we’re not willing to give.  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

Let’s go back into Matthew 6:21,For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye…  Now, why in the world does he go off on a tangent?  Have you ever noticed that the Bible… if you just really sit down and read, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense?  He’s talking about laying up treasures.  Maybe the translators made a mistake, and they should have made another chapter there.  New subject.  New topic.  Maybe that’s what they are doing?  No.  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  He is telling you the way and the means by which you and I can go about finding the treasures to lay up.  23 But, if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.  Ok, I can say to you that evil is relative.  But, the Bible is more definitive.  Hello?  It is not on the basis of your personal position of interpretation.  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17).  And if it is sin, then it is evil.  …if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.  If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters…  Hello?  No man can serve two masters.  Have you ever tried to please two people at the same time that were on opposite ends of the fence?  Have you ever tried to do that?  You know, you try to do this one, and you try to do this one?  What does it do?  It kind of pulls you apart.  It’s an impossibility.  The Bible says that it is an impossibility.  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one…  Come on, this is not Burt’s theology.  This is not Burt’s theology.  I did not write this portion of scripture, and stick it in the Bible.  The Bible says you can’t serve two masters.  It doesn’t only say that you can’t serve two masters.  It says that you will hate one of them and love the other.  Or hate that one and love the other.  You can’t serve two masters.  Why do we think that we can get somewhere in the middle?  Why do we think that we can be part-time Christians, part-time righteous, part-time sons of God, part-time overcomers?  Why do we think that we can be part-time anything?  Part-time is like lukewarm.  That is part hot, and part cold; lukewarm.   Of course, we know the answer to that one.  He says, “I will spew you out of my mouth (Revelation 3:16).”

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  Now, you have a problem.  You have to ascertain what is God and what is mammon.  It is not hard for me to do.  It may be a little more complex for you.  I don’t know, because everything is God.  As far as I am concerned, everything is God.  If it doesn’t benefit God, if it doesn’t benefit His kingdom, if it doesn’t benefit the fact of bringing forth the manifestation of the ark in this hour, then I am not interested in it!  That doesn’t mean that I don’t have to struggle through my humanity, because I do.  There are things that I might want to do rather than the thing that I am doing at the time that I am doing it, but, because of the burden that is on me, and the desire that I have to lay up for myself treasures, or to please God, I do it.  Quite frankly, I think thinking about treasures in heaven is something a little less than having the commendation of God.  Well done, thou good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21).  And because of His nature, He says, “Enter into the rest, the place that I have prepared for thee.”  His being and my relationship with His being and the character that is Him creates for me a position.  It is not the position that I am working for.  It’s the look of gratitude that is in His eye when He looks at me.  Hallelujah!  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  “Well, we’ve got to live, right?”  No, thou fool, thou fool, knowest thou not that lest a grain of wheat falls into the… What kind of theology is this anyway?  Thou fool, lest a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die… (John 12:24).  Die!  Die!  Die!  Die!  That’s metaphorical, mystical, spiritual.  That’s why you could say that to Paul, “Well, it’s all… he wrote it.  It’s all hypothetical, Paul.”  Down there in the midst of the dungeon.  Hands and feet in stocks, blood running down his back.  “It’s all hypothetical, Paul!  It’s all spiritual, Paul!  There’s really no having to actually suffer, is there?  It’s not being put out of sorts, is it?”  Come on.  Hallelujah!  No, we don’t have the right to live.  We don’t.  Not if you have taken up the position or the place, and you have accepted the invitation.  You have accepted the invitation to come and to join the cloud of witnesses.  You don’t have a right to live.  You only have a right to die. 

25 Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life.  That’s why we rise up and revile when we’re reviled against, you know?  Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  My goodness!  26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  Do we think that this is all metaphorical?  Is it metaphorical?  Do you know what I mean by metaphorical?  Is it something that is just given as an illustration, like poetry, or is there something of actual substance that I am talking about when I am talking to you about the kingdom of God?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  We started out by talking about faith. 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  I didn’t write it.  But there seems to be some necessity, though, for me doing it, and adhering to the principle.  Amen.  God Bless You.

 

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