The Watchman Watcheth
October 15, 2006
(For printable version click here.)
I’ve been accused of being something of a negative fellow, but there is a lot that I see, not necessarily from my perspective, but from God’s perspective, that really isn’t very positive. The prophet Jeremiah lived through the dispensation of King Nebuchadnezzar, and he didn’t seem to be very popular with the folks back home in Israel. They liked him so much they made a special room for him and their hospitality almost overwhelmed him (Jeremiah 38). It took the divine intervention of God in order to save him. But be that as it may, he had a responsibility and a place before the Lord, and an accountability to deliver the Word that the Lord gave him.
The scripture says that if a watchman stands upon the wall, and he seeth destruction cometh and he alert not the city, then the blood of those slain because of the coming destruction will be required at the watchman’s hands (Ezekiel 33:6). I believe that to some degree God has appointed me a position of watching. For one reason or another, He gives me certain dreams and visions, and not all of them are what I would call the very best things in the world that one would want to dream and see. I see a lot of destruction. I see a lot of death and desolation, but in the midst of a lot of that, there is always a word of hope that God speaks to me that is expressed very adequately in the scriptures where He says that if you will hear My voice, and you will heed and obey, it will be well with you (II Chronicles 7:14).
The Bible calls us to be single of eye. There’s so much that the Bible says about what we are to be or how we are to be that we are so terribly and absolutely out of sync with, and it’s creating a problem in the church, in that the church has not come into the place where it needs to be.
I had a vision. If you want the Spirit of God to move in visions, in dreams, in prophecies, and in exhortations in the church – if you want Him to move, you have to have anointed praise. One of the prophets was asked to prophesy in the Old Testament, and the prophet told the king, “Bring the praisers.” The praisers must praise so that the prophets might prophesy. You know, the situation with the old prophets is somewhat different in that the old prophets were more or less compelled to prophesy. They didn’t seem to have much of a choice. They had to do what the Lord commanded them to do regardless of what the consequences were, whereas New Testament prophets seemed to have an ability to not prophesy, or to prophesy, sometimes to not prophesy at their own expense, and sometimes to prophesy at their own expense. I’d rather err on the side of right than on the side of wrong.
We were in a meeting in Prague after the conference – I did not get into much of the conference, I only got in on the last two days – but I was told it was a very good conference. I know that the two days that I was there the praise was very good. I won’t say it was exceptional because I have been in other meetings where the praise has been in a place where God came in like waves on a beach and it kind of left me hungering for that type of experience. I always think, “Well, maybe we’re going to break through,” but it always seems that we reach a certain point and that’s as far as we go. I believe that it’s because we lack the spiritual strength to persevere and to press through and to bring this flesh under subjection to the power of the Holy Ghost. Hallelujah. I know when I first came into this word we had exceptional praise. I don’t know whether you would have called it the high praises of God – I don’t know whether we could have tolerated the high praises of God – but we had exceptional praise and the Spirit of God would move in a mighty way in the midst of the congregation.
I’ve been in meetings in Africa in the beginning when they weren’t so sophisticated. They were getting educated, please don’t get offended at me, but they weren’t as educated, and there was a hunger and a desire for the reality of God. They were in a place of difficulty so they wanted to touch God’s garment. How many of you have found that when you’re in the midst of tribulation and trouble and poverty and things are being pressed down on you, you’re more apt to be looking to God for your position of deliverance? You’re more apt to be looking to God for your health if there’s not a doctor to run to, if there’s not a finance company to go borrow money from to get you out of your momentary position of trouble. There’s only God. How many of you find that the reality of God is so much greater then than in prosperity? But I have found out something: that you and I have to overcome prosperity as much as we have to overcome poverty. And quite frankly, I think prosperity is a whole lot more difficult to deal with than poverty, because when you have nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. It is not that way if you have something. Hallelujah.
We have these young people that have come from Europe and are staying with us, and I think you know they had to come with a bare minimum of things. I’ve been telling those that are in my house, “Well, you have an excellent opportunity, you’re in an excellent position, you’re in an excellent place to allow God to meet your position of need.” I said, “The Body will respond.” Hallelujah. And the Body has responded. Now, some of the things that come, you may not like and they may not go with your color scheme or whatever, but the fact is that if God provides something there should be a sense of satisfaction and excitement that you should have in that God has seen your need and He has provided. Sometimes I think it’s a test. You know, I think sometimes God will give us something that we really don’t want but that we need. We think that we want something different because it will meet our need in a greater way or measure up, to some extent, to our expectations. But God, in His infinite mercy and His infinite wisdom, knows that it is not what you need that has to be changed. It’s what is inside of you that has to learn to obey and to submit itself to God so that God might work something irrevocable within our being to make us compatible with Him.
The fact is that you and I are incompatible with God. In our present state, in our present form, we are incompatible with God. We’re out of sync. I’m always trying to sync up my little PDA with my computer and if there’s something wrong, my computer wants to reject my PDA. A lot of times that’s what it is with you and me. We want to sync up with God, but there are certain files within us that are incompatible with God’s database. I cannot get away from the scripture that is found in James 4:4 where it says that friendship with the world is enmity against God. Now, I’m only quoting the last little portion. It amazes me. I wonder what the church that James was writing to felt like when they got the letter. “Oh, it must be this guy over here,” or, “It’s that congregation over there,” or, “It’s this one over here.” “But surely James isn’t addressing me. James isn’t talking about me! James isn’t referring to me as an adulterer or an adulteress.” Hallelujah. But he was talking to the church. James was not writing to a denomination or a non-denominational church. James was writing to the elect of God. Do you know that? These were the elect of God! The denominational system had not yet, to the degree that we know it, infiltrated and infected the Body. These were the elect of God. They had the end-time message. Now, we may not think of James writing to an end-time church because it was two thousand years ago, but the fact was, James was writing to the end-time church, the elect of God, those that are spoken of in Revelation! And the interesting part about Revelation is, it says, seven times, I believe, “To him that overcometh,” will I what? Several things because there are seven positions. I think they’re not only indicative of dispensations of what the church has gone through (which they are on one level), but on another level I believe they are points that you and I can attain to as believers in Christ that want to be sons of God.
Now, I don’t know what you believe, I really don’t, and I will not know what you believe, what you really believe, until Jesus comes and you appear as a son of God! When you are standing there with God as part of the first fruits company, there will be that demonstration: Yes! You’re a son of God! You really believed the Word! But God is not like me. He sees the thing that is in my heart. He knows those things that are detrimental to that desire that He has for me. You know, it wasn’t my desire for me to be a son. It was not my desire – it was His desire! I was a sinner; I was out there in the world. I was encapsulated in my humanity, destined for hell, and enjoying (I thought) every minute of it. But you were probably different. You probably came forth out of the womb desiring God. You probably made every effort through your childhood, growing into a young adult, and as a mature adult individual pursuing after those things that pertained to God. I was not in that condition. I was a sinner most wretched and miserable. I couldn’t think right thoughts, I couldn’t use my eyes in a proper manner, I couldn’t use my ears in a proper manner, I could not use my body in a proper manner. Everything that I was was contrary to Who God is. Yet, in that position, in that place, there was a desire in God’s heart to make me a son. Not just to save me! It’s not a matter of just getting into Heaven. Many are going to just get into Heaven like the thief on the cross. But sometimes I think the thief on the cross might be in a better position than some of us that have had a word that has the ability to bring forth and work such a transformation, and we have not made ourselves available to it or allowed it to have the full scope of work done that needs to be done. To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).
Now, it’s not even a matter of coming to a position or a place of saying, “I am victorious.” I don’t really believe that has a whole lot to do with it, although when we get to that place, I think many of us are going to shout, “I am victorious!” What I believe is the desire that we have and the intensity with which we apply that desire in our practical, everyday situations is going to bring us to the place where we are going to be able to shout, “I am victorious!” It’s like a man that is walking down the road and he stumbles, stubs his toe and falls. Now, he can wallow in the dirt and lament the fact that his toe is stubbed and bleeding and he’s down there in the dirt, or he can look at the toe and say, “Well, in spite of the toe, in spite of the blood, I am going to press on. I’m going to press in.” He can get himself up and shake himself off, and begin to make his journey. He has just overcome. He has just made a mark. He has just had a victory. Now, he may not feel victorious. He may not necessarily even see the aspect of victory, but in God’s sight, in God’s mind, he is one step closer to being a son. Now, does that mean he’s not going to stumble again? Absolutely not, because he might take one step, half step, or no steps and fall down flat on his face and find himself in the same position, the same place, without any distance. Does that mean he has not overcome? Only if he does not get up again. Only if he does not look at his circumstances from God’s perspective. In myself I can do nothing, but in God’s grace, by His virtue, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13). So he gets up and shakes himself off. You know, how many times? Seventy times seven maybe, I don’t know, but it is until the time, until the place that he has broken through with regard to that arena of his life that is under the scrutiny of the Holy Ghost. You see, God looks on the inward side of all of us. He sees the character, He sees the nature, He sees the inabilities, the frustrations, the weaknesses and all of the different things that are in there. God looks upon those things and He knows they’re incompatible. What does He do? He puts us into those situations that are demanding something we cannot give. We cannot give it! And yet, He demands that we give, so He gives us the strength to give! My goodness. Hallelujah.
Well, anyway, I was in a meeting in Prague. You know, traveling isn’t fun anymore. I used to look up there and watch that jet go, and I’d say, “Boy, I wonder where it’s going.” I can remember the different places I’ve been and how I was excited about it, but the traveling doesn’t excite me any more. It’s a chore; it’s a job. I’m just afraid of being blown up. Hallelujah. It’s not fun anymore. You have to take your shoes off, take your coats off and walk through, and they wave wands over you. I think Brother duCille said he took his shoes off four times in one airport. And then, I don’t know what it is, I think it’s really a planned conspiracy, but your plane is always on the other side of the terminal and you only have so much time to get there. I wonder sometimes, “How do my bags keep up with me?” Sometimes they don’t. It was God’s mercy they came home with me this time, because I missed my plane in Detroit. But the connecting flight is always on the other side of the terminal. You walk, walk, walk, walk, walk and you wonder, “Maybe it was an illusion, maybe it was a deception, maybe there’s no plane there at all!” I asked the lady, “Is there a concourse E?” She said, “Oh, yes. Down the road a ways.”
My goodness. I’m telling you, brethren, we need to wake up and smell the coffee, or smell the roses and understand the reality of the situations that we are living in as sons of God. No, let’s say as “wanna-be sons.” Brother duCille is always correcting me. I’m saying, “Well, the Lord told me that it’s about the Body of Christ.” He says, “Uh-uh. Not the Body. Church.” He says the Body of Christ is not necessarily going to find themselves in that position. They’re not yet the Body, they’re still in church! Hallelujah. There’s a transition that has to be made from church to Body and a lot of us are in church but we’re not in the Body! I want to tell you, if we’re not in the Body, then we’re in a place of jeopardy, we’re in a place of not being covered in the way that we need to be covered for the time that is coming upon us! Hallelujah.
Now, you don’t have to believe what I say. You really don’t. Time is going to bear it out. If all of us live long enough and the Lord so wills that we tarry till He comes, time is going to bear out the reality of the word that we are ministering. But I’ve been there; I’ve seen a lot of what is going on. I’m telling you, if you don’t have the reality of Christ, there will be hopelessness. I don’t know what these people are trusting in that are getting on airplanes! I don’t know what they’re trusting in, but they must be trusting in something! The planes are packed. That was the most surprising thing that I found, that these airplanes are packed. People think all the additional security and all of the things that are being requiring of us are going to eliminate the threat! It’s an impossibility, do you hear me? Humanly, mechanically impossible to get through. There are things that go through that screening process all the time because the people that are working them are not infallible. Some of the people that are working with them are dishonest! Don’t put anything of value in your luggage. They made it easy. You can’t lock it so somebody can steal it. Well, praise the Lord. Hallelujah. I told one person in one place, “You know, you make me leave my bags unlocked and then you divorce yourself from the liability of it,” I said, “and then somebody steals it.” We live in the midst of a perverse and corrupt generation. They’re more interested in entertainment, more interested in having a good time. It says, as it was in the days of, who? Noah. So shall it also be in the days of the coming of the Son of man (Luke 17:26). Business as usual. Business as usual. Doing all the things as everybody else in the world has done them, when there’s a job that has been given to us as candidates for sonship. My goodness.
When I was a young man growing up, the service was mandatory. I think they called it selective service, didn’t they? “I select you.” That’s why it was selective service, wasn’t it? Well, I didn’t like to be selected, and I really think it was the Lord. I wasn’t living as a Christian at the time, but I really believe it was the Lord that motivated me to go and join the army. But when I joined the army, while I was in basic training, I was approached to be a candidate for another branch within the army. It wasn’t like special forces. Special forces you had to volunteer for and we weren’t quite that crazy, although I think that that type of craziness might have been good if it could have been applied to the position of being a son.
You see, there are different levels, I believe, in the realm of the heavenlies. Now, I believe the Bible teaches this. I don’t have time to go through all the scriptures, you’re just going to have to get into the scriptures and look at them – but the scriptures seem to indicate that there are levels that we can attain to in this realm that are not necessarily open to us in that realm. One of the things that gives me that impression is the fact that they without us cannot be made perfect (Hebrews 11:40). Okay, let’s go to another little more abstract one, where it talks about Paul. He says, “I have” what? “Laid up for myself,” how did he do that laying up? In the realm of the world in which he was living, he was in the world but he was not part of the world, and whatever he was doing in the world was, what? Laying up for himself treasures (II Timothy 4:8). In fact, he said a strange thing. He said, “I have a crown.” Now, a crown is indicative of a position of authority. Are you given a crown for the sake of wearing one, or is there something very significant about the fact that Paul says, “I have laid up for me a crown”? I think that he had secured for him a place. Jesus said of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, “Ye shall sit on twelve thrones” (Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:30). Now, brethren, I don’t believe they’re actual thrones necessarily, I believe it’s indicative of a position of authority, of something that God has ordained for you in that arena that is called Heaven. Maybe you’re still thinking you’re going to be sitting around strumming a harp and admiring the street of gold and the pearly mansions.
Don’t get angry with me. I like to think that my interest level is a little higher than that. You know, you can take a child and you can entertain him very well with a little toy that does nothing. They chew on it, slobber all over it, run it all over your back and your clothes, drop it, pick it up, drop it, pick it up, drop it, pick it up, and they can be completely content, they can be completely happy. But you give me one of those little cars and what value is that in the expectation or the thought of interest that I have? Absolutely none, unless I’m mentally deficient in some manner. How is it any different in the realm of the Spirit? “Oh, walking down that street of gold. Beautiful gold, oh yes, oh a pearly house made of pearls, woooow!” Heaven and pearls? Give me a break! There’s no monetary value in Heaven. Gold is indicative of a nature. Pearls are indicative of a quality, a thing of value – I love pearls, by the way. I like pearls. I don’t know a whole lot about them, but I think they’re just so beautiful when you look at them. I am told there are perfect pearls. The perfect pearls always have some little flaw in them or something, but because it reaches some standard, level or point value, it becomes categorized as a perfect pearl. Hallelujah. Well, the Bible says that when a person finds the location of such an item, he does what? Sells ALL that he has (Matthew 13:46) – oh, he just sells some of it. Oh yes. We think intellectually, “sells all,” but in actuality, “Weeeeeell, it doesn’t really mean all. It really didn’t mean everything. He can’t expect me to do this or to do that.” Well, I don’t know. You have to ascertain what He expects of you. What I do know is that for some of us He has an expectation of everything.
It’s not that I want to push anybody into my theology of sonship, I really don’t. You cannot be pushed into being made a son. You can be pushed into Heaven. You can be dragged into Heaven. There was once a dream or a vision that came forth about somebody that had gotten saved, and the dream was that somebody was angling (fishing) and he hooked the fish in the back along the dorsal fin. He hooked it, and he began to pull it in, and that fish was fighting. You know, a fish that’s hooked in the mouth is sometimes a whole lot easier to pull in than one that’s hooked in the dorsal fin. I don’t know, if my son was here I’d ask him if that’s really true. But the fact is, he was hooked in the dorsal fin. I asked somebody, “What does that mean?” They told me that the fish was illegally captured, but captured none the less. It means that God circumvented the circumstance and the position of their bondage and their place of hell. God circumvented it, divine intervention – He orchestrated it, He just said, “New rule.” So there are some people that God can save, but you know something? That individual really never progressed. He is saved, he has the ticket to the Kingdom. What do they say in church? His ticket to ride that glory train? He has his ticket to ride, but he never progressed beyond that position, that place of salvation, the initialization of life. He has it. Individually speaking, he’s better off, but how is it that he is blessing God? How is it that he is perpetuating the Kingdom? What is he doing with the desire that God has for him? He is still rebellious, still hardheaded, still resisting the move of the Holy Ghost. And yet God, in His mercy, redeemed him! Hallelujah. Well, I can say, “Hello! Thank You, Jesus for that redemption, one more soul out of hell!” But God, I don’t want to be found in that position of resistance with regard to the calling and election that is upon my life. You’re not a candidate for sonship if you want to resist sonship. You’re not a candidate. A son can only be a son because he wants to be a son. The only thing that makes him a son is the desire to be a son! And as long as I desire to be me, I am the son of Asbill, not the son of God – I am the son of humanity, I am the son of Adam, I am not the son of God. That would be my position, but I don’t want to stand before God in the last day at that time and say, “Well, I could have, I should have, I would have, but I didn’t.” Hallelujah.
It says that in Him is no shadow of turning (James 1:17). There is a lesson on light and darkness. Oftentimes our ascent into God is illustrated as one that is climbing a high mountain. As long as he’s on the side of the mountain, the mountain itself is overshadowing him. But the moment that he gets up on top of the mountain that is higher than any other mountain, there is nothing in that arena that has the ability to overshadow him. He is bathed with light all around and in himself. And it is not so much the light or the darkness that is around you as much as it is the darkness that is within you. God has devised a plan by which you might eliminate that darkness. This therefore is the light that cometh into the world that, what? Lighteth every man! (John 1:9). Every man! It doesn’t make any difference if you are born in the darkness of India or in the most modern of countries.
You know, when I went to India, I got a revelation: God is in the bush as well as in the city. God is in the bush. We had a seminar and we brought all these ministers together to began to try to teach them the Word of sonship, the Word of the gospel of the Kingdom, and we asked them to all begin by standing up and giving their testimonies. If you think Brother duCille’s testimony is strange and wonderful, you should have heard some of these testimonies! A man that was a drunkard, a man that was a Hindu and a wife-beater, God appeared to him out in the bush! No church, no missionary, nothing, and yet a man approached him and told him about the plan of salvation. He accepted the Lord on the basis of that invitation, and he told him, “There’s coming a man that’s going to teach you out of what is called the Bible.” He testified to the fact that this was the Word that was being referred to when that man met him! Now, I didn’t hear just one. There were probably fifteen ministers there and I heard word after word of testimony about how God met these men – in the bush! – and revealed Himself to them. But in every instance He would say, “There is a man that is going to come and is going to teach you.” My goodness.
You would think, with a situation like that, that these men would be on fire for God and they would embrace the Word of God that came. But I want to tell you, even with those types of experiences, you still have to deal with this old fellow and all of his perverted ways, because there’s something about this old fellow – he always wants to be preeminent. You don’t have that trouble, right? He always wants to be first. That’s why you get in arguments, you know. That’s why you have disagreements that turn into arguments. Of course, you don’t have disagreements. You don’t have arguments and you’re all very happy with one another, all the time. I’m preaching to the wrong crowd. But nevertheless, I’m going to finish. This old fellow, he always wants to be preeminent. Oh my. This preeminence is sometimes manifested in an attitude of, “Oh, poor me. Oh, poor me. Everybody’s picking on me. Nobody understands me. Nobody loves me. Nobody considers me. Nobody knows my difficulties. Nobody knows how terrible it is, or how rough I’ve got it. Nobody knows how sick I am. Nobody knows what I’m feeling in my body. Nobody knows!” Of course, you don’t have to deal with that, do you? Well, Somebody knows. Somebody knows. The One that knows is omnipresent, omniscient. He knows. He knew you before He called you. He knew you when you are at the place that you’re at. He knows what you must be, and what you will become if you resist the devil. My goodness. Sometimes the devil that we have to resist is not the entity out there or your husband or wife. Sometimes the devil that we have to reject and resist is this old fellow. Right here. You know, I can get up in the morning and look in the mirror sometimes and see with whom it is I have to contend. Oh, yes. I can get up in the morning and look in the mirror and see old Dad looking right back at me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my dad, but Dad was Dad, and he had certain attributes that were not Christian. He had certain familiar spirits that were not producing Christ. Do you hear me? You think they just took a vacation when Dad went on? I can tell you right where they came. They came to my house, knocked on my door, and if I didn’t answer my door, they went to my children’s house and began to knock on their door. Anybody who wanted to open their door, that’s where that spirit came and that’s where that spirit took up his abiding. My goodness. Hallelujah. It has been given to me to overcome. He that overcometh will I, what? Grant to sit with me in my Father’s throne (Revelation 3:21). Can you imagine what it must be to sit in the Father’s throne? Oh yes, in the sweet by and by – no, no, no. No, no, no. The commandment to Adam was, “Go and take dominion.” He was in an earthly place, in an earthly surrounding. He was in an environment that was human and God said, “Have dominion. Subdue it and bring it into a place of subjection” (Genesis 1:28). Oh, hallelujah.
We are living in perilous times. I don’t know how long ago it was, but I was in a meeting in a place in Germany, a little place, a little town outside of the mainstream of everything. God sent me, you understand. I didn’t go because I wanted to go. I didn’t rehearse a word. Do you understand what I’m saying? I didn’t make my notes and put them all down on a piece of paper, not that that’s bad, some people have to do that. I don’t have to do that. When God sends me, He says, “Open your mouth, I will fill it.” So He sent me. He sent me there and there was a total nonchalant-ness about the Word. They were eating dinner, drinking their sodas and conversing and fellowshipping, no really serious discussion and maybe I had about fifteen minutes to bring the Word of God that God had sent me over five thousand miles to deliver. Hallelujah. I have no animosity; I just have sorrow. I’m telling you, I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t mad, I didn’t feel rejected. Hallelujah. Yet there was a total inability to discern the visitation of God. Some of us are more fortunate because we kind of live in a repetitive environment. What I mean by that is that we have more than one opportunity to hear the Word. Now, I don’t know if God’s sending anybody there again. I don’t know. I don’t know. I really don’t know. But what I do know is that when I came out of that meeting, God spoke to me. As I walked out the door, He said, “You are at the drinking of the water.” You know what He was referring to? He was referring to Gideon’s three hundred. Now, I believe that it was not only for them but it was for me also. There was something of an admonition that God was saying, “I have set in order, I have initiated the process of drinking water, the process of determining the election of God.” That means everything since that time, as far as my life is concerned, is being orchestrated and looked at and examined by the Holy Ghost of God as to whether it is qualifying me or disqualifying me individually for that position, that place of selection. Now, do I measure up? I don’t know. I don’t know. But I want to tell you, the fear of missing the mark makes me have second thoughts. The fear of missing the mark lets me examine myself a little more closely. “Well, should I do this? Or maybe I should do that. Or maybe I should do nothing. Maybe I should just wait upon the Lord. What is it that I’m going to do?” Because there’s a fear in me that perchance some aspect of my humanity will rise up and usurp my inheritance in God.
I want to tell you something. I am in careful consideration when a man like Moses can make a mistake, a man who was very much in tune with God, walking with God, talking with God, where God said, “I see Moses face to face.” He said, “I speak to Moses, I speak to him face to face. I don’t speak to him in similitudes” (Exodus 33:11). Yet the man made a mistake. Some people think I’m hard-nosed. Really! They think I’m just too rigid, too much in line with something. They can think all sorts of things, but look at this man Moses! Can you imagine? He was dealing with this hard-hearted, rebellious people. Can you imagine? Forty years of hearing the voice of God and leading these people through all sorts of things, not to mention the forty years before that when he was on the back side of the desert and the giving up of the position of preeminence and power. Somebody told me once that they thought that they were training him to be Pharaoh. I don’t know, could have been. Yet, this man who walked and talked with God disobeyed the Word of God one little time! And God said, “Because you did not sanctify Me before the people…” (Numbers 20:12, 27:14). Now, we could say, “That was before grace,” but he had the rock, and it says that the rock was Christ. What do you think you would have thought if you saw this big rock following you everywhere you went? He smote the rock when he should have spoken to it. He did it because of some aspect of his humanity. Now, if a man like that can make a mistake, my goodness. My goodness. Where does that leave me, without the grace and the power of God to redeem me to the uttermost? Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
John 3:19 says that this is the condemnation. What is the condemnation?…that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved(John 3:19-20). Do you know you have to come to the light? Draw nigh unto the Father, that what? The Father might draw nigh unto you (James 4:8). What’s that say? If you don’t draw, He isn’t drawing. You have to draw nigh. It takes time and energy. One of the reasons that we have the problems that we’re having in this time and this age is because of lack of spiritual strength, our spiritual understanding, our spiritual integrity before the Lord! Hallelujah.
I’m going to tell you about the vision I had. Hallelujah. It is only one of many visions that I have had. As we were in Prague and the praise was rising up before the Lord, the Spirit of God began to move and I was praying about a particular situation with regard to a particular individual. I was praying about it and looking to the Lord for comfort and advice because I was grieved in my heart about the situation. I saw nothing but destruction before this particular individual, and destruction to many that were round about them because of the places that they are in and the effect that they would have on others’ lives. There was such a spirit of grief upon me and as I began to intercede and pray for God’s divine intervention, I went into a vision. I was in a room much like the place we were in but it wasn’t necessarily that place. We were in a meeting and all of a sudden a man had a heart attack. He cried out and slumped down spread-eagle on the floor. Hallelujah. As I was watching, I became aware of the spirit of intercession that was over the circumstances and in the world round about this little fellowship. Not only that, there were men and women that were on their faces before God, interceding and crying out for the grace and the mercy of God and for divine intervention into the life and the sealing of the life of this one. Hallelujah.
The paramedics were summoned and there were four or five of them. Oh, Jesus. They began to work to try to revive this person. From my perspective, my viewpoint, because I was down here on the earth, in amongst the earth and amongst the earthly, I said, “He ain’t gonna make it. Not gonna make it.” To me he seemed like he was already dead, but they began to work on him and they were doing all of the things that they do. They were on their radios and they were conversing with the hospital. They had their IVs and they were setting him up. One guy was pumping on the man’s chest, and another guy was giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation, working, trying to revive him. Finally they decided that they needed to get the electrodes, the paddles out and zap him. They would zap him, then they would look to that little monitor to see if there were any signs of life and all you could see was a flat line. You could feel the oppression, you could feel the thought of defeat. In my soul, in my body, I could feel the thought, “We’ve lost.” One by one, the paramedics began to give up. As they began to give up, they began to encourage the others to give up. One by one, they began to murmur, “He’s gone, he’s dead. There’s nothing we can do. This man is DOA, let’s wrap him up, send him off.” All this time I’m aware of a spirit of intercession, not only in the midst of the Body, one or two or three, but as it is in the scriptures that we have one that stands before the Father, interceding day and night! (Romans 8). I was so much aware of that position of intercession, you cannot believe the relief that I was feeling in my soul, no matter what my eyes were telling me, no matter what my ears were hearing. No matter what the facts were saying, no matter what it was that was going on, there was ONE who had a desire to see life and living come forth out of that dead thing! Hallelujah. And there was one man that kept going and kept going. The others were saying, “Come on, give up. Give up,” but he wouldn’t give up, and he was just working away at it and all the time he was saying, “You’ve got to live. You’ve got to live. You’ve got to live. You’ve got to live. You’ve got to LIVE!” Finally, he came to the point of desperation, I guess, I don’t know. He said, “I’m going to try one more time.” He grabbed the paddles and he turned the machine up. They say if it doesn’t kill you, it will cure you. He turned the machine all the way up! It was an act of desperation in the desire to see something happen, to see life come forth! He yelled, “Clear!” But when he yelled, “Clear,” I heard, “Live!” and he slapped those paddles down upon that body.
I want to tell you, the moment that he slapped those paddles down on the body I was taken back to your [Bette Mullikin] hospital room. My God, am I glad for that experience. I mean, I was in the hospital room again. I saw Peter standing on one side of you, Bette, and I was on the other side. He had one hand, and I had one hand. They had given you up for dead. Hallelujah. But the Spirit of God said, “Live!” Hallelujah. As we began to pray, the Spirit of God came down like electricity. Hallelujah. Hit me in the top of the head, hit him in the top of the head, went down through our bodies and out our hands. Hallelujah. When it met in the middle, Bette came off the bed. She went rigid and came up off the bed about two inches. And here she is.
That man, he came up off the floor. My God, I came back out of that vision into this vision. The man came up off the floor and there was such a shout that was raising up out of the depths of my being, I felt like it was coming up out of my toenails. Hallelujah. He came up off the floor, and when he slumped back down to the floor he was breathing. Whoow! As I came out of the vision, the Lord spoke to me, “This kind cometh not out but by much prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29). He’s talking about living now. He’s talking about overcoming now. He’s talking about walking righteously now. He’s talking about being a son of God now. If you want to be a son, it is not going to be like it was before, a few five minute prayers and God moves in His divine grace and mercy because we spent a little bit of time with Him. It is requiring something to be demonstrated within our realm. It is going to take a pressing through! It is like the front-line troops, it is like the shock troops that they send out to penetrate the enemy lines. It took training, it took dedication, it took perseverance! You have to endure hardships like a good soldier. My God! Hallelujah. We think we can say a little prayer here, a little prayer there, and get all tied up in the mechanics of living and the things that are going on around us, and expect God to do what He did before, when you want to be the first of the first, the best of the best!
You know, I spent almost eight weeks in basic training. Well, they called it basic training, and then advanced training. But if I wanted to be special forces, if I wanted to volunteer for special forces, it was a whole different ball game. Hello! Are you still there? It was a whole different ball game. It wasn’t six weeks, it wasn’t eight weeks, it was months! They put you in all kinds of extreme situations, and you had to volunteer! Well, I don’t know what that training could have been or would have been, but I know it must have been very hard, pretty tough. I tell you what, I met some of the first ones. The first generation was a whole lot different than the second and third generation. I met some of them, they were tough. There was no foolishness in them. They were serious. They were dedicated. They were consecrated. They were good soldiers. They’d been trained to do a job, and the only thing they had in their mind was the doing of the job. I tell you what, they didn’t volunteer to sit down on the back side of the lines to be the support to the troops. They wanted to go beyond the front lines! They wanted to get in where the action was, where there was no help. They had to rely upon their training and they had to rely upon each other! Can you imagine that? Relying upon each other. Can you imagine that? Relying upon each other. What one man did could affect the whole squad, and the fact that they could all be killed because someone had to take a moment to do something that he wanted to do and not what needed to be done.
Do you think it’s any different with regard to the elite, the called out, the first-fruits company of God? Do you think it is any different? Do you want to be first fruits? Do you want to be a son? He was on the front line, you know. He accosted the church in its position of hypocrisy and its religious order. What did they do for it? How did they respond? They killed Him! Or at least they thought they did. He said, “No man takes My life from Me” (John 10:17-18). Then He ordained the twelve, front lines, shock troops, special forces! Of course, everybody received them, didn’t they? All of them died! Sometimes I think John would have wished he was dead. Maybe, until he got the revelation. In this world ye shall have, what? Tribulation. But be of good cheer for I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Friendship of the world is in enmity against God (James 4:4), it is counterproductive. Look it up. Romans says that the carnal mind is in enmity against God, cannot harmonize, cannot come into a place of agreement with the mind of Christ; they cannot walk together at all! Yet we’ve got world here and God there, and we think this shoe walks with this shoe, and all the time this shoe is in conflict with this shoe. How far are you going to walk if your feet are fighting one another? It’s all on the basis of whether or not you want to be a son. You cannot be coerced into being a son.
Let me read to you here out of Matthew and then I’m going to close, I think. Matthew 13. It’s the parable of the sower, and I want to go down to verse 10. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries… That word can also be interpreted secrets. It was once spoken to me that God has no secrets, but God has a lot of secrets. Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries,or the secrets, of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Why was it not given to them, and yet it was given to the others to know? Because there was something in God that wanted them to know. It is not me that determines who is or who is not a son. God gives each and every one the opportunity, but it is the individual that determines the outcome. The fact that I want to know makes me something of a candidate! If I’m completely happy with not knowing, then don’t tell me! But if I want to know, then it is a different situation. How much do you want it? “To know Him, to know Him is the cry of my heart, Spirit reveal Him to me.” How many of you have sung that, and sung it as a prayer, a position, a place of dedication and consecration? Do you think they were idle words? Do you think that there wasn’t something in your being that was reaching out unto God? Do you not think that there was something in God that was also reaching out unto you? Don’t you think that in the midst of all that was going on and reaching forth, there wasn’t some sort of connection, some sort of impartation, some aspect of His desire that was being transferred? Don’t you think there was some sort of transference of the fact that He desired you to desire, and then He gave you something in the midst of that desiring to make it a reality? My God.
But it’s not a magic wand, brethren. He says,Unto you it is given, but to them it is not. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. My goodness, I don’t know that we really comprehend the totality of the position, the place, the calling, or the election. He’s talking about the calling, the election, the position of excellence, to sit with Him in His Father’s throne. To be made, as it were, a pillar in His house, not being moved. Is money going to move me? Friends going to move me? Family going to move me? Criticism going to move me? Prosperity going to move me? What’s going to move me if I’m made a pillar? All of these things are things… By the way, I have to overcome every one of them in order to be a pillar that’s not going to be moved. Is life or death going to separate me from the love of God? Not if I’m determined! Paul reached that place of excellence. I don’t believe they were idle words. He went through a whole list of things that wasn’t going to move him. Is my physical condition going to move me? The fact that my feet hurt, my legs hurt, my back hurts, my head hurts? The fact that I have limited mobility, the fact that I’m poor in health or whatever may go wrong, maybe I’m sick in my mind somehow! Well, it is probably so in some people’s minds. They always put us in insane asylums. That’s where the Christians usually wind up, you know, under psychiatric care. I knew a man that got put under psychiatric care, and he began to examine the doctor! He did. He told the doctor he was being unfaithful. He told the doctor with whom he was being unfaithful. He told him what was going on within the realm of his home and his business associates. How long do you think the doctor held on to him? My God. No, they got him out of there. “This man is sane.” Insane, but sane. He’s not of this world.
13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. Now listen to this. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: Now listen, it wasn’t because God chose for them not to hear, it wasn’t because God chose for them not to receive, it was because their heart had waxed gross. They were in a condition of cardiac arrest. Hardness of heart. Full with the abundance of the things of this world, full of lust and flesh, full of everything that was pertaining to life. Preeminence and position, religious excellence. And yet, they could not hear the still small voice, and they crucified the Son. 15For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Revelation 3:14, And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; That’s lovely, isn’t it? Right at the end, he takes it right back to the beginning, because the intent at the end is still the same as at the beginning. What was His intent? I want to make man in My image and My likeness. I want them to be like Me. I want them to be like sons. Hallelujah. 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke…
I am so glad that God loves me. I can rejoice in the chastening of the Lord and to feel the strap upon my backside. You know, I had a great deal of respect for my mother, and she was a disciplinarian. She did not take any guff, she didn’t take back talk, she didn’t take sass. She made us three boys toe the mark. She had what we called an old razor strap, I don’t know if they have them anymore, but it used to belong to my grandfather. He had a straight razor, and that’s what he would sharpen his razor on. She had that old razor strap, and when you saw her go into the closet, you knew that your time had come. If that did not break you, she said, “I am telling your dad when he comes home.” Boy, my dad only disciplined me three times that I can remember, but I remember every one of them. I want to tell you something, though. It brought a deep, profound respect for my mother and for my dad. Hallelujah. It says, I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Finally, over in II Corinthians 5:1, For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly… For in this we groan. Do you groan in that position, that place of that earthly external house? For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For we that are in this tabernacle do groan… Are you groaning? …being burdened… Are you burdened? Hallelujah. …not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. It says in John that this is the light that comes into the world that lighteth every man. If you take it in context with the first chapter and the subject matter, it is talking about sons and it says that He has given us, or every one that believeth in Him the power, what? To become sons (John 1:12).
Finally, brethren, let’s read the verse that we have reiterated and reiterated so many times. I John 3:1, Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall… what? Appear. Where is He appearing? He can only appear if you are willing to trade that which is poor, wretched, miserable and blind, for that which is far more glorious and much more excellent than we could ever possibly comprehend. It has not entered into the mind of man that which God has prepared for him (I Corinthians 2:9). From what? The foundation! Let us press in, let us press on, let us become sons of God, in Jesus’ name. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you.