The Nature of the Beast
August 8, 1999
(For printable version click here.)
I don’t know what it is about the back of this building, but everybody seems to congregate on the last rows. I wonder if it’s because it’s closer to the door. You know, sometimes I have been in meetings that seemed like the anointing was always on the front two or three rows. I always wanted to sit in the front two or three rows because it seemed like that would in some way get me closer to the fire. Amen.
Praise God. Can you say, “Amen?” I mean, can you REALLY say, “Amen?” Well, that sounds a little better. Amen! First of all, I want to thank all of you who remembered to pray for us, and those of you that didn’t remember to pray for us, well, next time we go out, you can try a little bit harder. We had a very good trip into Romania. It makes me very much aware of the hour that we are living in. It seems like Romania has suffered more in the persecution under the Communist world than some of the other countries, or at least, the suffering or the destruction that was administered by the Communist regime while it was there had a more devastating effect on the populace than in some of the other countries. I don’t know if it’s because they’re not as strong a people as some of the other lands, like Hungary. Hungary has virtually rebounded, I think, on a natural plane with regard to the people. They seem to be more hardy. They seem to be survivors, so to speak, whereas in Romania, it is different. When you go into Romania, you can feel the darkness. I mean, you can FEEL it. It’s not just an oppressiveness. You can sense the darkness that is around you, that is upon the people, that is upon the land. Someone told me while we were there that the Communists used Romania as a dumping ground for all their chemical trash and pollutants – things that were created by different processes of manufacturing and whatnot. Although that in itself would probably be bad enough, it’s just that you can sense the destruction upon the minds of the people.
You know, brethren, we all have the capability, without Jesus Christ, without the blood of Jesus Christ, we all have the potential to be in the Beast company. Hello? Are you listening to me? We have a natural nature that is not compatible with the nature of Jesus Christ. The nature that you and I were born with is not a nature that is conducive to righteousness. There is nothing righteous about the nature that you and I have been born with. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It has been under the overshadowing of Satan (as much as you might love your father and mother, this is nothing against them – your grandparents – this is nothing against them) the fact of the matter is that the Bible says in Romans that under Adam all men died and so death passed upon all men. (Romans 5:12) Now, men have been trying to contrive various means and various ways to circumvent the aspect of this death. They invent psychological religions that will excuse their behavior but it doesn’t change it. Religion gives them an access by which they might be forgiven for the act of sin, but it doesn’t change them. Hello!?! Because they go right back out and they begin to move and do the very same thing that they did before they repented.
How many of you get David Wilkerson’s letter? Well, have you seen the last one? He says, “Whatever happened to Repentance?” It’s a good question. I think it’s a valid question. I think it’s something that you and I, as individuals who have the Adamic nature… Hello? Have any of you been delivered of your Adamic nature yet? How many of you here are perfect? I know some of you think you’re perfect, but how many of you are really perfect? No hands on that one, right? Well, the fact of the matter is, God says that you have to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48) “Oh,” you say to me, “that’s an impossibility. That’s an impossibility. I’m only human.” Yes, you are human, but God never created or intended for you to remain in the state of being human. Hello!? Are you there?
Go back into Genesis 1. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Genesis 1 in the past two weeks. We’re going into a land and ministering to a people who are a religious people. Some of those that we are ministering to are religious! They’re Baptist, but they have no conception, no idea of why they’re saved, what’s going on in the process of their salvation, or even the fact of the matter of how to BE saved! That means repentance. Repentance! But sad to say, they are not the only people that are in that position or in that place. We are a people who say we know God, say that we love God, and yet there is a resistance and a rebellion that we have to deal with when it comes to the plan of God for our lives. Adam begins to make himself very well known. Hello? Are you listening to me? If you don’t believe that he makes himself known, let somebody bring a word that touches something that you have some personal preference for or interest in. All of a sudden you will rise up in indignation and begin to conjure up religious excuses as to why you can do what you’re doing.
It amazes me. When I read the story of the children of Israel, it amazes me the mercy and the long-suffering of God and how He worked to bring those people into a position or place that He calls “Promised Land.” Oh, how they resisted, how they rebelled. He moved in provision, He moved in healing, He moved in their environment by providing them clothes; it says their shoes never wore out! Yet, they had the audacity, when they came to the edge of the place which God said, “It is yours,” they rose up and rebelled! Why? Why? Why? Why? It was because they were rebelling the whole time and the whole of the ministry that God was ministering to them was being rejected by them, so that when they come to the point of entering in to the Promised Land, they thought that God was going to wave some sort of magic wand. They thought it was going to be like every other time before. I’ve got news for you. If you don’t deal with your rebellion in the wilderness, you’re not going to be able to circumvent it when you come to the line of the crossing of the Jordan and going on into the Promised Land. I’m not talking about over there, sometime way off in the future. I don’t know. It’s like, when God knocks, it’s like He’s knocking on wood, only it’s our heads. We can hear the echo and the reverberation but it seems as though it makes no difference with regard to our position of response. But when the fire gets cranked up and the screws get turned down and we find our finger caught in the crack, then we begin to scream and holler for God to move in some miraculous manner to bring deliverance to us! Hallelujah!
There was never a man (that I know of) in our time frame (I’m talking in the last 100 years) that was a man like William Branham. Hello? He had a calling and an anointing. I don’t know if any of you have ever read anything about William Branham, or studied the man’s life or anything, but I have. I’ve read quite a bit of material about him and the man had an anointing from God. HE WAS ANOINTED like no man that I know in the generation in which he lived or the time since. I don’t believe there’s going to be one man that ever rises up again in the same fashion or in the same form, because God’s not after one man. God’s after a many-membered Body of people that rise up in the same anointing. But you know, for all the anointing, all the anointing that he had, it could not produce righteousness within his soul. Do you hear me? None of the healings, none of the deliverances – the man would speak to cancers, he would speak to situations… You’d walk in the door and he would read you like a book. Up and down! All it did was go to his head! Hello? And they began to say, “You’re Elijah,” and he began to believe it! How’s that for going from Holy Ghost, sanctified, filled with the power of God to believing in reincarnation? What foundation did he have? What concept of reality did he have with regard to God? Not very much. His reality was based upon the operating of the gifts and the anointing that was upon his life. If a man is anointed of God and begins to judge his maturity and his position and his place in God by the aspect of that anointing, he is in TROUBLE. You know, you can save souls all day long and still go to Hell. Hello? You can save souls all day long! I have known men that were sinners who were in the preaching business! They were in the preaching business because it was profitable. It was profitable! They drove Cadillacs, they wore good suits, they lived in expensive homes! But in spite of that, there were people who got converted under their ministry!
The Bible tells me, unless you are saved you are going to Hell. Unequivocally. Not dressed up. Hell is where you are going to wind up. There is no way that you can get to the Father except through Jesus Christ. He says, “I am the door!” I am the door, I am the way! If you come, you can’t come over the fence. You can’t come by some theological or theoretical or psychological, physiological means of getting into that place. You can’t work your way in, you can’t give your way in, you can’t save souls to get in. All you have to do is submit yourself to the power of the Blood of the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ in order to receive the benefit of being what we call “saved.” But what I am finding out is, we don’t understand what it means to be saved. Some of us are just as bad off as the Romanian Church. We do not understand the process of salvation! We look at it from our own position of personal perspective.
God had an axe to grind, did you know that? Do you ever visualize God as having an axe to grind? Hello? God had an axe to grind! He was out to prove a point! He knew He was God. The heavens and the angels knew He was God. But there was a segment of heaven that kind of questioned His ability to be God! He said, “All right, I’m going to prove I’m God. You just give it your best shot. Here’s what I’ve done, this is what I’m going to do. Now, you do what you can do to circumvent it.” And in the midst of darkness He planted life! I mean, in the midst of gross darkness!
Brethren, the end is not yet! Do you understand? The end wasn’t in the time of Moses. It wasn’t in the time of Isaiah. It wasn’t in the time of Jeremiah. They all prophesied about it. It wasn’t in the time of Jesus, do you hear me? He wasn’t talking about that darkness. He’s talking about the hour of darkness that is coming upon the land RIGHT NOW.
You know, we are closer to becoming BEAST than we are to being what you would call “human beings.” We all have that BEAST nature because it was given to us by an inheritance that was given, or received, through Adam. Do you think the devil’s been sitting around playing solitaire all of the years and the years and the generations and the generations and the generations? Do you know how many generations have come and gone in six thousand years of creation? You think creation stopped back there, you’re wrong! It has not been a creation that has been going forward, it is a creation that has been going backward. It’s not a creation that has been going up, it is a creation that has been going down, looking for the bottom of the pit or the hole that we have called Hell. I’m telling you, we better wake up. We better wake up! We better realize the position, the place we are in.
It says in the Bible, if a man win the whole world, or gain the whole world and lose his soul, what has it profited him? (Mark 8:36) It’s really rhetorical, you understand, because the answer is “nothing.” Zero. Nothing! Zero, zero, zero! In the United States we are so sophisticated because we are so educated. We have advanced technology. We have people who are advancing technology. We have people that are smarter than I could ever hope to be. Educated! Educated! There is one thing I know, the educational system under which we are sitting is something that is derived out of the European theater. Now, I’m not a scholar and I get in a lot of trouble because of that, but the fact of the matter is, I know that the objective of the National Education Board is to eradicate the knowledge of God. You know, I home schooled my children when they were small and there was a lot of material, a lot of things I needed to find out why I had to do this. I’m not one of those people, personally, that just do it because I have to do it. I want to find out WHY I have to do it. I spent a lot of time and a lot of money getting material, looking and investigating. We belonged to those home school fellowships. Now, brethren, this was a long time ago when this sort of thing was not popular, you understand? I was in the wave of the ground breaking parents that began to move in that. There was a lot of criticism, both in your community, with your school, and in your own personal environment. My mother thought we were crazy because she knew my scholastic level. “YOU teach school?!” But I know, I know, I know, I know what the objective is! Psychology and all of that is working to eradicate the knowledge of God and to bring up a nature that is opposite.
I don’t know what you think when you read Romans 8 when it begins to talk about the carnal mind. We spend a lot of time and energy, a lot of time, a lot of energy, and a lot of money developing what? Our carnal mind! I’m going to get in trouble for this today. I can feel it.
Has it ever occurred to you why we have to be so carnally smart? Now, I have got nothing against reading and writing and arithmetic. I don’t have anything against learning to be a good mechanic, learning to be a good draftsman, learning to be a good, productive individual in a society in which you can go out and make a living. But my living and my subsistence is not based upon what the world can teach me about living! It is not based upon that aspect or that knowledge. You know, my dad was not a Christian and he was not an educated individual, but my dad taught me something about the ability of man to persevere and to survive. He had polio when he was 12 years old which crippled him up on one leg. Now, you talk about determination! I’m not lifting him up. I’m just telling you, I’m just relating to you the instinct of self-preservation and what it can do even without education. He had polio when he was 12 years old which crippled him up on one leg. His foot was nothing but a little ball rolled up into a deal that he had to put a special shoe on. He put his shoe on and then he would walk with a limp. Then, in his 20’s sometime, he contracted tuberculosis. When he was a young man and TB was there, there was no cure except that they sent them to a sanitarium. In the sanitarium he contracted pyemia, a rotting of the tissues. It’s a rotting of the tissues and they had to open up his back, a great big hole, and just lay him on a table and let him drain. Eleven years he spent in that place. He lost all of one lung and half of the other, so when he came out he was working on one half of a lung. Yet, the man, by sheer determination and will power and the aspect of his own carnal mind, built himself his own little empire. Everybody was looking for the man to die! Do you hear me? His brothers were looking, but his brothers were coming in to his business. HIS business. He was setting them up. His sister was coming in to his business, and my mother, of course, was getting blessed by all of this in the midst of it all, right? They were all saying, “Well, your dad is not going to make it. Your dad’s not going to make it. One of these days he’s just going to drop dead. He’s half dead already.” “Well,” I said, “for somebody who’s half dead already, you certainly have a good income,” because they were all living off what he was doing, you understand? He was feeding them. Well, now they’re all dead. Do you hear me? They’re all dead, they’re all dead. All of his brothers, all of his sisters, his wife is dead, and he’s still alive. He’s barely hanging on, but he’s still alive, do you hear me? Eighty-five years old, miserable because he doesn’t know Jesus, if he even has a consciousness to remember Jesus. The fact that all of his money, all of his prestige, all of his empire has folded, vanished and is gone. It is nothing but dust.
What I’m telling you is that we spend a lot of time, a lot of effort, doing something that is temporal and has no business in the thing or the concept or the call or the destiny of God that is upon our lives! We need to get a little higher in God! We need to get into a realm of the Spirit in which God becomes the focus point and the reality of our existence. But we don’t want to do that! We want to be “church.” We want God on Sunday morning or Sunday night, and maybe on Wednesday. Maybe. Maybe, maybe. That’s the only time we really want God. We allot a certain amount of time, and you know what? We can’t even keep that! Time comes around to fellowship and to come together and we’re still somewhere out there, walking around, trying to get here! But when it comes time to fellowship… You know, God is so precise. You know, we all need to repent. If we start a meeting at 10:00, it should start at 10:00. It should START at 10:00! Hello! It should start at 10:00! Shouldn’t start at ten minutes after ten, 15 minutes after ten, 10:30. God has a reason for bringing us together and maybe that time frame is the only time frame that we have to hear it! You don’t know what’s in the mind of God! You don’t know what’s going to happen out there tomorrow. Brethren, there is a need for us to repent of our position of lethargy, stubbornness and rebellion. REBELLION! REBELLION!! Boy, it seems like every time I get up here I’m talking about rebellion and stubbornness. It must be that I am the most rebellious and stubborn person, and God really needs to work me over, or you really need to hear this!!
We are not spiritual. We’re carnal. We’re carnal, carnal, carnal. If we think we’re spiritual, we’re wrong. We’re assessing our position by the position of the word that we have. Because you have a word doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to see the fulfillment of the word. Look at the children of Isreal. Every one of them dropped dead in the wilderness, do you hear me? Two men made it. Two men. TWO MEN out of 3 million! (I think it was 3 million, counting babies and children, women and children and grandpas and grandmas and maybe the stranger, there were probably more than 3 million.) But all of their carcasses rotted out there in the desert, and do you know what? That decision wasn’t made at the time of the crossing of the Jordan, it was made at the time of the erection of the calf, the golden calf. Are you aware of that? God said, “I’m going to wipe them all out! Get out of my way, Moses!” I heard somebody ministering on the fact that Moses changed God’s mind. Moses didn’t change God’s mind! Every one of their carcasses dropped in the wilderness. It took 40 years, but the word that He spoke was a word that came back unto them and it was only their children that went into the Promised Land.
I have made some very startling discoveries in the last two weeks. In one of the meetings we were in we had a tremendous time. One of the brothers was ministering and the Lord began to open up something to me in the word and I began to get in there and I began to get excited and my wife had to hush me down. “Shhhh! Be quiet! You’re making too much noise!” I was making noise because I was getting excited about what I was seeing in the word! Seeing in the word, seeing something in the word that was viable! Something I had been asking God about for a long, long time. I found out something. The whole basis of the Satanic kingdom, the whole basis, the whole, whole, whole basis of Satan’s kingdom is built upon two principles. Only two principles, do you hear me? But out of those two principles come 17 activities that the Bible calls the workings of the flesh. (Gal. 5:19-21) Those two prongs – you give the devil 2 horns, all right, one prong here, the other prong there, two prongs – one is rebellion and the other one is stubbornness. I can almost guarantee you that you go back to any situation that you have where you are in contention with the word of God, and you will find your basis of resistance rests on one of those two things, or both of them. Stubbornness and rebellion. You don’t want to hear what you’ve heard, so therefore you choose not to believe it. “I’m just not going to believe that’s God. I’m not going to believe it. I’m not going to believe that’s God. That’s not God!” Oh, boy.
Have you ever heard the terminology, “legislating righteousness?” Have you ever heard that term before? You know, there is a legislation of righteousness that God does for you and me. Do you know that? He legislates righteousness because of the principle of life and death. You sin, you die. How’s that for legislation? “I don’t want laws. We’ve been delivered from laws! I don’t want laws! We live in a time of grace!” Boy, do I have a surprise for you. There is a law that God calls the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2) How’s that for law? Now, are you going to call Him religious? Are you going to call Him structured? Are you going to say that He’s an organization that is demanding righteousness? Well, you could say He’s demanding righteousness, but there’s no way you could say that He’s an “organization.” There’s no way you could say that He’s under “religious authority.” He IS the authority, and yet He says there are TWO laws that regulate and govern your whole entire existence! Now, how’s that for law?
Now, if we don’t like it, does that mean it’s not going to go into effect? Well, walk out in front of a car and find out just how fast law goes into effect. That’s the principle (or law) of inertia and force! You take an object that’s hit by another object that is going at a certain speed, or you just take YOU as an object traveling at a certain speed. There’s a law of dynamics where you, going at a certain speed, hit a wall and there’s a certain aspect or principle that comes into effect. You slow down but the inside of you doesn’t. Now, are we going to say law has no governing or no ability or position or place in the life of a Christian? Give me a break!
There are two laws! Two laws, two laws on which the whole gospel and the whole aspect of salvation hinge. One is the law of sin and death. It says “law.” Law, law, law, law, law. L-A-W. Now, if somebody else has something in their Bible, they need to give me the revelation. It says law, and it says the only way that you can circumvent the law of sin and death is by incorporating and moving in and adhering to or receiving the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Hello?! Law! It’s not law as you know law. It’s a principle that is set down because of the divine nature of God. It goes on to explain that law and the functions of it with regard to our carnal minds.
We spend a lot of time indoctrinating our carnal mind and giving him plenty of ammunition by which he might resist the move of the Holy Ghost on a theological basis. That’s not rightly dividing the word of truth, brethren. That is using the word as a means by which to bring destruction and damnation – the very thing by which God brought condemnation with regard to the devil! Or does my Bible say something different than your Bible? It says that evil might be exceedingly evil, exceedingly disastrous, exceedingly, absolutely, without doubt, unequivocally wickedness, used something that was ordained to life. (I’m paraphrasing out of Romans right? Seventh chapter.) “And that which was made holy, that which was made just, BECAME DEATH unto me.” How much more are you and I guilty of that aspect of death when we begin to theoretically, theologically, intellectually manipulate the word of God to justify the position of obtaining a goal that we want on a natural plane?
We all have set goals. We all have things that we are striving for. Some of us are striving for a better position in life through employment and education. Some of us are striving for a better, more secure place to be more comfortable, having the necessities. Not wanting to be lavish or extravagant, but having those things that make us comfortable. We all have goals! Some of us have goals to help people. Do you understand? To help people to do the things that are necessary, those things that are Christian. Some of us have a goal of just having a good time. We want to party. We just want to have a good time. Some of us have set goals and our children are our goal! We begin to invest our whole soul in the aspect of developing our children so they might obtain something in life! What life are we talking about? A life that is doomed, a life that is damned, a life that is but maybe a span of sixty or seventy or eighty years, and the last of which is probably lived in a comatose state because of the medical facilities we have to keep us alive! And the drugs that we have to combat all the measures of sickness and death, to put death back! You know, man has been trying for so long to climb up that inevitable Tower of Babel in the fact of preserving his own life for years and years and years and years and years! But what good does it do a man when he comes down to the end and all that he has worked for has vaporized like vapor on a hot day? Have you ever taken a bottle out of the refrigerator and had all that condensation (well, around here its not possible, it’s so humid) but you take it out into a dry climate and whoosh! It’s gone. In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, it dries up! It’s gone! So, what does it value you and I if we labor and labor and labor for a position on a natural place, on a natural plane, only to have that position snatched from us? I want to tell you something. Anything that you are striving for in this world arena is not under the headship of Jesus Christ. He has not yet come to a position or a place of being restored unto His kingdom. Do you hear me? It says that the devil is the prince and the power of this world – your world, my world. I don’t know how we justify some of the things we do. I don’t know how we justify some of the things that we are involved in! I don’t know how, because there comes a point, there comes a time when the devil comes and says, “All right, I’ve come to collect my investment.”
You know, the devil is very good at collection and some of us are selling our soul – selling our soul, selling our mind, selling our emotions, selling our wills to the devil in order to achieve a natural position of reputation, representation, and satisfaction! The devil is a liar! Have you ever looked up the term “liar?” It is one who cannot, who will not, under any conditions or any circumstances, tell you the truth! Do you know that you can catch a liar in a lie and he will lie to get out of his lie? You ever had that problem? I mean, my kids used to be very good story makers. Little liars. “Did you do that?” “Oh, no! I didn’t do that! I did such and such and such….” And they’d talk to me about this elaborate thing and I know, I know, I know, I know , I KNOW. I saw them do it. “That wasn’t me, Dad. I didn’t do it.” “I saw you do it.” “That wasn’t me Dad!” “But I saw you do it.” “That wasn’t me, it wasn’t me, I wasn’t even there!” A liar cannot tell the truth and the Bible says that the devil is the father of lies! If he’s promising you prosperity, if he’s promising you position, if he’s promising you status… Status. “Oh, I’ve got a title now! I’ve got a title! I’M Lord Mayor. I’ve got a position. This is Senator So-and-so. Oh, this is VP So-and-so. This is the President…” It’s a joke! Come on! The position, the place, the title – it does nothing for your soul! It has nothing to do with the plan of God of bringing in the kingdom of God!
Boy, if you think you can take the kingdom of God in a secular situation in which you are not in control and begin to introduce it into that system, you’ve got another think coming! You’re going to be beat up, battered, bloody and kicked out! The system will reject you because Jesus said, “I am not of this world.” I am not of this world! Now, did He just say that for His sake or did He say it for the disciples sake? Well, he said it for the disciples sake, but didn’t he also say, “I don’t only pray for these.” (John 17:20). He said, “I don’t only pray for these but I pray for those that will come to believe on me through their word!” Well, I don’t know what word you heard, but I heard a lot of words that they said and they wrote and they recorded, and I believe the promise that was made for them and the implication that what was happening to him was going to happen to them. It’s going to happen to me because I desire the same thing they desire.
We have to make decisions! We have to make choices. There are choices that cost us something. Hello! If it doesn’t cost you anything, its not worth the choosing! I’m not talking about costing something in the aspect of natural position or relationship on a natural plane. I’m talking about the thing that God requires of you to lay on the altar and watch it burn! The whole acceptance of God with regard to the offering is the burning, the consuming of the offering! It says that when they built the tabernacle… Hello. Tabernacle! “Present ye your bodies as living sacrifices…” (Romans 12:1) “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?” (I Corinthians 3:16) What sacrifice do you have? You have your ambitions. You have your desires. You have your aspirations. You have all your goody-goody, do-good works that are based, not upon the moving of the Holy Ghost, but upon the aspect of survival and maintaining somewhat of a conscious aspect of peace with God. But you know, you can’t please God with just half. You can’t please God with one-quarter. You can’t please God with three-quarters! You can’t please God with 15/16ths! What God demands of you is your all, your everything!
We used to sing a song in the church – “Is your all on the altar a sacrifice laid?” Is your all on the altar a sacrifice laid? C’mon, brethren! We pull out our 10%, we pull out our 15% or 20%, maybe we even give Him half of what we’ve got. I’m not talking financially! I’m talking about our whole arena of personal involvement and life! We don’t give God hardly even 1/10th of our time! Then He’s got to move in some a manner, in some supernatural means by which to shake us! Well, I’ve got news for you. Things are going to get shaken! This natural environment we are living in, it’s coming down. It’s coming down! This peace and prosperity that they’ve been bragging about for the last eight years is going to come down. It’s going to come down! It’s going to come down! It’s going to come down! If you haven’t been in a position and a place of allowing the Spirit of God to build within you the faith that Caleb and Joshua experienced, you’re going to be like all the other tribes that were round about. There were only two tribes that went in – Ephraim and Judah. Ephraim was firstfruits. Ephraim and Judah. The rest of them died out there in the wilderness because of rebellion and stubbornness. Rebellion and stubbornness! They thought that they knew better than God. They thought they knew better. They could justify their position, their place. They could justify the things they were doing. They had an opinion about everything and their opinion was the right opinion. Well, that didn’t count. That didn’t make no bones with God. God said, “I have weighed this people. I have put them in the balance and have found them wanting. I’ve found them wanting.” I think we’re in a position and a place of being found wanting.
Now, I wish I could come in here and preach to you about all the blessings, the firstfruits and all of that. I would like very much to talk to you about the things, the blessing, the inheritance that God gives us. But of what value is it for me to talk to you about the inheritance, if the inheritance is something you are not going to get because of the action by which we are being motivated?
We all have the capability of being beasts. Do you hear me? We all have it. Paul was a man that knew God. At least, he knew God better than most people knew God. He certainly knew God better than I know God. I haven’t yet suffered in a dungeon, three days and three nights. I haven’t been shackled. I haven’t been beat with 40 stripes. I haven’t found myself floating around out in the water with a little piece of oak, hanging on to it for dear life. I haven’t been bit by some poisonous snake (not on a natural plane. I’ve been bit by plenty of spiritual things. Spiritual mosquitoes.) Yet Paul says, “I keep my body under subjection.” (I Corinthians 9:27) He wasn’t talking about this physical flesh! He was talking about the aspects of his soulish nature. He said, “I know that in my flesh, in my soul, dwelleth ..” what? “No good thing.” Yet we have the presumption to think that, because we’re baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, we’re going into heaven. I think it’s presumptuous of us. It’s presumptuous of us. Paul said, “I have to work out my salvation with fear and trembling! Work it out with fear and trembling least I become a castaway.” Now, I’m talking many verses and putting them all together, but they all have the same thought, do you hear me? They all deal with the same issues. They deal with the aspect of throwing ourselves on the mercy of God! “God, here I am! Do with me what you want. If you want to strip me of my position, if you want to strip me of my title, if you want to strip me of the little initials that come after my name, do it!” You know, they put initials after everything these days.
Sister Susan Herrig was telling me that medical science has a name for rebellion now, a name for stubbornness and rebellion in children. Attention Deficit Disorder. A.D.D., right? Add it up! Ha ha. They’ve labeled it! They’ve changed the name of rebellion! A.D.D. Do you know what their answer to A.D.D. is? Ritalin. Did you know that there are 3 million children, somewhere between 1 million and 3 million children, that are on Ritalin, a drug to tone them down? Or, speed them up. We forgot that the antidote is not Ritalin, but A.P.T.B. – Apply Paddle To Bottom.
The Bible says that obedience is better than sacrifice! Don’t you remember? In the story of Samuel and Saul, Saul was anointed king. He had a position. He had a relationship with God. There was something miraculous that God did to bring this man into a position that was ordained of God. And yet, he rebelled! He rebelled! He rebelled! If you don’t think that is pertinent to us, you are wrong! Saul is a type of a church! David is a type of a church. Saul isn’t the old order church. I don’t look at Saul as being old order church. I look at him as being “new” old order church. Rigid and sanctimonious in their position of righteousness and because of the authority that they have received from God, they become presumptuous. He had a knowledge, he had an awareness that he had been anointed King. He knew the ramifications of all of that, do you hear me? Yet, he rebelled against the word of God and he had a perfectly legitimate excuse. “I have saved the best of the sheep and I have saved the best of the ox…” For what purpose? “…to be sacrificed unto the Lord, OUR God.” What better reason could you save something, only to have it be sacrificed? “Well, it’s going to die in the end anyway.” Ah! That wasn’t what God said. He said, “Slay them utterly! Slay them utterly, man, woman and child. Beasts in the field, beasts in the barn, slay them!” It’s not that God was not merciful or long-suffering or kind. There was a reason! There was something that God was wanting to illustrate! We don’t know what kind of disease may have been rampant in the society which God sent this man up to destroy. They were Amalekites! It was an “-ite!” We don’t know what was going on. Do you know that they had some practices that were what God calls an abomination, that men do with men and women and beasts? Hello? It was an abomination and God said, “Go in and destroy them all!” God was trying to take care of two problems. He was trying to eradicate something that was developing within the society, not to mention the aspect of sin that was coming to a place of preeminence, but He was also wanting to work something within the life of Saul and Saul resisted and because of his resistance, he was eliminated.
Do you hear me? He didn’t just walk out and drop dead. He was like the children of Israel who wandered around for 40 more years in the wilderness. He spent most of his time chasing his replacement! Chasing him all over the place! Chasing him here! Chasing him there! And yet, he still died! He still lost it! His son died! His house died, do you hear me? He was wiped out, and it was only by the grace of a promise made by the righteous that any of his seed was preserved! That was mercy! Do you hear me? God had the obligation and the right to totally wipe him out. Look at the house of Eli. Because Eli would not discipline his children, would not move in righteousness with regard to their position of unrighteousness, God said, “I am not going to leave you one male that is able to procreate and sustain the line or the house of Eli.” That seems pretty hard, doesn’t it? Now, do you think the God of Elijah, the God of Abraham, the God of Moses, the God of that era of time, the God of David – do you think God has changed in character and in nature with regard to how He looks at the principalities and the powers and the subjection to which we submit and subject ourselves to? Do you think He has changed? Well, if you do, you’re wrong. You’re not scripturally correct. He says, “I do not change. I am the same today as I was yesterday and I will be the same tomorrow!” (Malachi 3:6) He says, “In Me is no shadow of turning!” (James 1:17) What you and I need to ask ourselves is, what point was He trying to demonstrate when He wiped out all of these people and He did what He did with Saul, and He did what He did with the kings that were in succession after David? It says they did exceedingly evil in the sight of God. There was a judgment that came because of their evilness! Do you think that God will be any more lenient with us in our position, having given to us something that they did not have? I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it! I believe that men suffered and died. I believe that, when it talks about those heroes, those heroes in Hebrews 11 – don’t you think that those individuals are going to be up there in heaven, wherever heaven is? They sacrificed husbands, they sacrificed wives, they sacrificed children. Probably many of them saw before their very eyes, their children killed, their husbands, or their wives, or their brothers, or their sisters, or their fathers, or their mothers – they probably saw them all die, do you hear me? What justice is there in God if He gives us a pardon or a leniency to do something other than what they stood and gave their blood for? Do you understand what I’m saying? They are going to be there at the judgment seat of God, wherever the judgment seat is. Do you hear me? It said that Abel’s blood cried out from the ground – for what? Vengeance. What more will their blood be demanding of God? It says that, in Revelation, the souls that were under the altar were crying out to God, “How long, oh God, will thou not avenge our blood?” (Revelation 6:10) How much more exact, how much more precise will it be for you and I as we stand, as we NOW stand before God with the knowledge that we have, and make some theological conjecture as to your position of rightness? If your opinion is based upon conjecture and human thinking, your opinion is not worth a hill of beans. It’s not worth a hill of beans. It has to be based upon Biblical, spiritual principle.
The Bible says a good tree will always produce fruit that is good. People will know you by the fruit that you produce. People have a right. Hello? The only aspect of assessment that you and I have is on the basis of what the Bible says of how we are to assess. The Bible says we are able to assess a person’s position and relationship and the aspect of their nurturing in God, by what? Fruit that they are producing that can be seen and partaken of by others. If you are one that is given to temper, a temper tantrum is going to be your position and place of fruit. If you are one that is given to indulgence, your indulgence and your lack of restraint is going to be an example of the thing that is growing within your vessel. If you’re one that is given to kindness, then it’s going to produce kindness. If you’re one that is given to gentleness, then it’s going to produce gentleness. If you’re one that is given to meekness, if you are giving and working for meekness, you will produce meekness and it will demonstrate something within your character! But let me tell you, meekness is always working against arrogance! Arrogance is always working against meekness! Frugality is always – temperance! Call it frugality! It’s always working against extravagance, being extravagant! Being impulsive!
My mother was a seamstress, a good sewer, but the minute she’d ever get upset she’d go out and buy material. Go out and buy material, just go out and buy material. Buy it, buy it, buy it, and store it, store it, store it! That woman probably could have sewed 24 hours a day for the rest of her life and never used up all the material she bought! We packed up boxes of it when she died. Gave it away! It wasn’t fashionable at the time that she died. She bought some of that stuff and must have had it 12, 13, 14 years, I don’t know! Of what value? It showed something of the character that was working within her. No restraint in that aspect or that area! We can all put our fingers on areas of excess, do you hear me?
You let things become beastly around you – lack of food, lack of shelter, lack of this, lack of that, those things that make your living what it is and I wonder what fruit you and I would manifest. Have we dealt with the nature of the beast sufficiently that it would not raise up its ugly head? You know, that gate is designed to deal with the beast. Did you know that? The gate in the tabernacle is designed to deal with the beast. Did you know it’s prophetic? How about that. Who would have ever thought that the tabernacle was prophetic? There was a 20 cubit area that was designated at the gate. It had four posts. That means that you have to have three spaces. Twenty cubits divided by three gives you 6.666. So each space was six cubits wide. Six cubits! God said, “You are a beast but I am going to change you from a beast to a son of God!” There’s a nature within us that is compatible with the beast nature that Satan is bringing up out of the midst of the sea of humanity. We are beast. We are beast! We are born under the nature of the beast. We’re born by the beast. Do you hear me? We are all after the household of Satan. Don’t get yourself all worked up over some aspect of your heritage and where it comes from. I’m telling you that it all comes from Adam. Adam submitted himself to the overshadowing of the devil and it didn’t take very long. It didn’t take very long.
You know, you want to talk about religious confusion and religious deception, look at the words that Eve spoke when Cain was born. “I have now got a son from the Lord.” (Genesis 4:1) There was nothing very godly about Cain. He was a man given to appetite. He was a man given to excess. He rose up in anger against his brother in a fit of resentment against God and he slew him. It was God that he was mad at, do you hear me? It’s indicative of the nature that is within you and I. You and I have a Cain/Abel nature. Cain is that aspect of the flesh, that aspect of humanity that has had that overshadowing of Satan, do you hear me? Satan working all of his character into the fabric of what we call humanity. He’s been doing it for a very, very, very long time. Now, whether you believe in the principle of overshadowing or not, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. You don’t have to accept or believe anything that I’m saying here this morning, but I’m telling you it doesn’t disavow or annul the aspect of the principle of righteousness that God is demanding of you and I in our walk with Him. He wants committed people. Now, if you’re not committed, that’s quite all right. That’s quite all right. If you’re not committed, that’s quite all right. You can live your life as you see fit. You have been given that privilege. But don’t think that living and using or utilizing that privilege, you will receive anything of God. You won’t. You will not receive it! YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE IT! The Bible says that there is a way, in Proverbs, it says that there is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof is death. (Proverbs 16:25) It’s talking about Hell. It’s not talking about physical death. It’s talking about Hell.
There’s a scripture in Ecclesiastes that has puzzled me for a long time, but I believe that the Lord has been giving me some understanding on it. It’s found in Ecclesiastes 3:11, and it says that God has set the world in their hearts that they might what? Not discover. It says, He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also [he had to throw that little “also” in there. We could have just stopped right there, but He said, “also”] also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. You know, that bothered me. It bothered me immensely, and here’s the reason why it bothered me. It’s because it seemed like God was saying that He’s making it impossible for me to find out the things that I want to find out with regard to God. Isn’t that what it sounds like? He’s done something to my character. He’s done something to my humanity that prohibits me, that stops me. It bothered me a lot until one day I put a verse in Romans together with the verse in Ecclesiastes, and the verse is found in Romans 8. It says that God – it says “he subjected,” but it was God, it wasn’t Adam, it was God – it says in Romans 8:20, for the creature was made subject to vanity. He’s talking about the world out there, do you understand? Vanity. Those things that are of self-interest. Vain. The thing that is the object and the focal point of attention. Self-preservation. …was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature (or the creation itself) also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption… Hello! It’s talking about that which has been set in the hearts of men! …the bondage [of the world unto corruption] into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Well, that was good enough, but it wasn’t enough until I turned over into I John. It says, I John 2:13, I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. How? LOVE NOT THE WORLD! Hello? If He’s set the world in your heart, the way to deliver yourself of the blockage of the world that is restraining you, or stopping you from knowing and finding out the mysteries of God, the key is “LOVE NOT THE WORLD!” All right! Matthew 6, in verse 20, says, Lay up for yourself treasures in heaven . . . for where your treasure is there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. What’s it saying? World. World. What do you conjure up in your mind? When it says world, what do you visualize in your mind? Partying? Dancing? Drinking? Smoking? Is that part of the world? Yes, its part of the WICKED world, but then we kind of think, because we are saved, every part of the world we touch becomes sanctified. It doesn’t work that way! Just because we put our presence in the position or the place where wickedness is in abundance, doesn’t mean that that wickedness becomes sanctified. Have you ever walked into a place like a bar since you’ve been saved? I used to have to go in and get my dad out all the time. Two o’clock in the morning they would call up my mom. My mom would call up me and I’d have to go down and haul Dad out of some bar. You know what? They didn’t turn the lights on when I walked in, they didn’t stop selling booze, they didn’t stop cussing, they didn’t stop telling their dirty stories. They didn’t stop doing all of their diabolical debauchery. When I walked in there, nothing had happened except for maybe to agitate a few spirits. My presence, my personality, my sanctimonious or religious personality had no effect upon the environment in which I was entering. Why? Because there was too much in me that was still compatible with the world!
Now, I can guarantee you, it would have been a different set of circumstances had Jesus Christ walked into that place! Why? Why, why, why, why? Because it says, “the god of this world cometh unto me and he finds NOTHING!” (John 14:30) Hallelujah!! He had worked on delivering himself from his position of compatibility. We get so religious. We get so sanctimonious. We get so very spiritual about the whole thing. C’mon, brethren! Give me a break! Sin is sin! We need to deal with sin as sin! We need to repent! We need to turn away from that thing that is world! The fact that you’re a Christian, filled with the Holy Ghost, got a revelation of the sons of God and are waiting for the appearance of God in the secret of His coming makes no difference if it’s not working something indelibly on your soul that the world, when it sees it, begins to spew you out of their mouth.
I’m telling you what. The educational system of this land is being called to judgment. It’s being called to judgment by the blood of children. Do you hear me? It’s being called to judgment by the blood of children. Columbine was not something that was just a happenstance. It was a plan, a plot of the devil and God is going to use it. How many of you read Brother Scott’s testimony in the Bulletin? (July 18, 1999) He had brought the word to the United States Senate! What did he tell them? “YOU NEED TO REPENT!” He said, “It wasn’t the boys that pulled the trigger.” He said, “It was you by legislating God out of our educational system!”
You want to know how opposed the system is to you as a Christian? Begin to teach sonship. Begin to share some of the aspects of your experience in Jesus Christ. You want to know how much your friends really appreciate you and how much they are with you, all your colleagues in the world? Begin to share with them. You know, there are some people I don’t even have to say a word to. I don’t know, it just seems they rise up against me. “I don’t want that man in here anymore!” There’s something about righteousness that demands a response of wickedness, either to respond or to reject. If we’re walking around with the light of God in our soul and we are compromising that light because of our desire to move into a position of acceptance with our environment, WE WILL NOT INHERIT THE PROMISES OF GOD!!
You know, God did not pull His punches. You know what I mean by pulling a punch? You take a swing at somebody and just before you hit him you pull back and you just kind of whiff the air by his face. God did not pull any punches! He said that Israel went awhoring after other gods! He says they adulterated themselves, not in a manner of sexual activity, but by accepting the world that was around them, the environment of those that were living around them and their gods! He says, “You’re a harlot.” Jesus was no different. Jesus was no different! He said, “You are whited sepulchers full of dead men’s bones.”
How is it that you and I are going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ when we have the light of God within our soul and we have failed to allow the light to penetrate the darkness in which we are fighting so tenaciously to establish some aspect or foothold or preeminence of self? Is what you’re doing inspired of the Holy Ghost? Is it the will of God? I think that there is a need for a little self-examination. I think there’s a need for us to know that we know that we know. You know, Paul had a reason. He had a place to be able to say, “I AM persuaded.” He had a reason. He had proof. Did you hear me? “I am persuaded.” It wasn’t a theological conjecture with Paul. He had suffered. He had given up his ambitions, his career. I knew a man in California by the last name of Seaman. He worked and worked and worked to establish a position of retirement only to have lung cancer and the devil stripping him of his family. First the devil stripped him of his family and then he got lung cancer and died.
The devil’s a liar. The devil’s a liar. Devil can’t give you what he’s promising you. Excitement, friends, success, clothes, houses, cars, financial prosperity – devil can’t give it. Devil can’t get it, and if he gives it to you it’s only for the purpose of bringing you into a place of Hell, to snatch it from you and to rip it off from you. The devil’s a liar and we need to know that the devil is a liar. God bless you.