The Way of the Cross
September 28, 2007
(For printable version click here.)
I think we need to go on to the next phase of the Word. It says, He sent His Word and healed my disease. I believe that there is healing power in this Word right here.
Romans 10:17, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Hallelujah. The simplicity of that little statement was made very real to me one day when I was hearing Brother Gruver minister about some of his experiences. He had just gotten knocked off of a cliff by some devils. He must have fallen some 20 or 30 feet. He grabbed a little piece of twig. It kind of reminded me of the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: (I Kings 4:33). Hallelujah. But it was enough to keep him from falling on the rocks below.
I don’t know if you have ever heard Brother Gruver and all of his testimonies. You would think that, at that point in time, there would be some great spiritual manifestation or rising up in the Spirit. Yet because of the physical condition and the place that he was in, there was a certain trepidation and fear that was coming upon him. Of course, you would think that the man of God would rise up and rebuke it with the Blood of Jesus Christ, but the only thing he could think to do was to hang there on the cliff, pull out his Bible and begin to read it. I think it was a couple of hours that he hung there on that twig reading his Bible aloud before he got enough strength and courage and determination to try to start wiggling up the cliff.
He has another tremendous testimony to tell, but the simplicity of the solution to his dilemma was what amazed me. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Hallelujah.
So, just remember that little testimony. In your time of trouble I hope that you have a Bible and I hope that you pull it out and read it. But if you don’t, you can still memorize it and hide it in your heart. It is amazing what terror will do and what it will dredge up out of the old memory banks when it comes to the Word of God.
I believe one of the thoughts in getting back to basics is getting back to the Bible. There was a little saying that was spoken when I was young in the Lord and it was, “If it is in the Bible, then God said it, I believe it and that is good enough for me.” With this modern technology that we have and all of the devices that are at our disposal, it seems like the Bible really doesn’t take up a whole lot of room anymore. You can put it on a little chip about an inch long and half-an-inch wide. Then you put it on your device, like your phone. I guess that would be “Dial Up A Scripture.” Praise the Lord.
Let us turn in your Bibles this evening to I Corinthians. I want to tell you of a vision that I had here a while back. You probably heard it before, but I feel to go back over it again. I believe that it is not only pertinent for the timeframe and the place that it was given, but it is also pertinent for this hour. I believe that you represent the soldier that was in the vision. I believe it represents the company of people who are here before me. I saw the vision at a Schuyler, Nebraska, Conference. We were praising the Lord. I suppose it was a similar situation to Job 1. I don’t remember who, but somebody was ministering on Job during this session. I knew that it had a similarity to that position of that story in the vision.
In the vision I was in an office, or I was looking into an office. It was an executive type office. There was this big desk and it seemed like in this desk was this electronic console. It had all kinds of lights and switches and buttons. There was a Man behind the desk as though waiting for someone to come. It seemed as though He had an appointment with somebody. I knew the office was His and I knew that this Man was the Lord. As He was sitting there I looked over His right shoulder.
There was a man. He was dressed in a blue uniform. I really cannot describe the blueness of the uniform. It was like it was transparent, but yet it had substance because you couldn’t see through it. It also had an effervescent, almost alive, look. He had a beret on and he was decorated with many combat medals. He had the braid on his uniform which was significant of some position or honor. All of the accoutrements that were on him, the epaulets on his shoulders, were made of gold. There was a golden insignia on his hat which I could not make out. There was a patch on his left shoulder that bore the same insignia.
I knew that he was a man, that he was not an angel. I also knew that he was in the service of the Lord and he had been in many different battles. He was a seasoned warrior. He was also a man of deep respect and admiration and he was not moving a muscle. He was not standing at attention, but he was standing at what we call “parade rest” and he was looking straight ahead. Hallelujah.
All of a sudden another man walked into the room. He was a very handsome man. He had deep black hair and he was dark complected. He had a very expensive suit on. His shoes were immaculately shined, very black and very expensive. I knew it to be the devil. I knew that because I have seen him before, not only once, but on different occasions, dressed in the same way. Maybe he had on a different suit or different pair of shoes, but nevertheless, it was the same devil. Unlike those other appearances where he always came with arrogance and a presumptuous pride and authority, he kind of just slinked into the office. Instead of sitting like you would expect of someone dressed in the way that he was, erect in their chair and in a position of command (I’ve often pondered on that part of the vision), He was like a spoiled child that you were trying to discipline or talk to that sits in a chair and sort of slumps to one side.
He would not look directly at the Lord, but the Lord was looking directly at him. He said to the man, “Have you seen My people who have gathered today in Schuyler to praise and to worship Me?”
The devil kind of squirmed around a little bit and he said, “Yes. I have seen them. But they are easily diverted and they are easily subverted.”
At that moment the Lord looked down. It was as though I could see His eyes and I can’t really explain to you the kindling that I saw in His eyes. It was almost as though He was composing Himself, if He was able lose His composure.
Finally, He looked up and He looked right at the devil. He said to the devil, “Go and do what you have to do.”
Immediately the devil disappeared. The Lord kind of pulled back in His chair. He was looking at something on His desk that involved this electronic equipment imbedded in the desk.
All of a sudden, He spun around in His chair. Immediately, the soldier that was standing there snapped to attention. Although he did not know what was going on, he was looking deeply at the Master. There was something in his paying attention to the presence of the Master, or the Commander. As He spun around, He did not rise from His chair, but He leaned forward and pointed His finger right into the soldier’s face. Hallelujah.
All of a sudden I found myself inside of the man. This man was a seasoned soldier and yet there was something in him that kind of drew back. There was something in the action or the word that startled him. Now, he did not move a muscle. He was in complete control and command of his body. It was his soul that was somewhat reeling back, in the sense of responsibility, possibly.
When the Lord pointed His finger in the man’s face, He said to the man, “And it is your job to stop him!”
Hallelujah. I came out of the vision.
That was probably three years ago. I think that we are a whole lot closer to having to do what needs to be done than we were at that particular time. There are many things that we find in the Word that are exciting. We can talk about sonship and all of the things that it pertains to and it can excite us. We can envision thrones and positions of authority, bringing demons and devils under the subjective power of the Holy Ghost by the Blood of Jesus Christ. All of those things can excite us. When we talk about things that pertain to the heavenly position of ruling and reigning, the aspirations of what is out there in the heavenlies, how God has created the heaven and the earth and He desires for us to have some part in its operation. Hallelujah. My goodness! Or just in a position or place of walking and talking with God.
Can you imagine what it must have been like as Adam walked in the cool of the evening with God? I can imagine God sharing the innermost secrets of His heart and all His aspirations and desires with man. Can you imagine God reaching out in that little realm of what we have called the “Garden”? I don’t think we can even begin to imagine.
I can get excited by just looking up into the heavens at the millions and billions of stars that go on into infinity. Hallelujah. Yet, astronomers say that we are just a drop in the magnitude of the universe and there is some speculation that the universe as a whole is still growing. Why in the name of heaven would God ever create such a magnitude if there wasn’t some rhyme or reason in Him pertaining to those things that He has created?
Oh, I can sometimes even imagine myself walking with the disciples on the shore, listening to the words that are flowing out of this Man’s mouth. He is talking about a position, a throne, a place of rulership, of dominion, of bringing Israel again into a position a place of excellence. Can you imagine what it must have felt like if you were one of them that was listening to this man, watching the mighty miracles that He was doing? Can you imagine standing there and watching as He laid hands on a dead person, seeing that dead person cough and sputter and spit and come to life? Hallelujah. I don’t think we would be people who were glued to our seats. I think that we would be shouting. I think that there would be some thought in our mind, “What can stop this Man? What power can stop or thwart the plan and the desire of this Man?” Hallelujah.
Can you imagine what it must have been like as He got off the boat and He began to go up to the Gadarenes? This man, this demonic man who was bound in chains had the ability to break those chains and come running down on top of you. I don’t think he just sedately walked down there. What would you do if some naked man came running down, hair flying everywhere? He was probably like Nebuchadnezzar with hair all over him. He was probably frothing at the mouth with eyes wide open and wild. Hallelujah. He was probably screaming at the top of his lungs, “Aaaaah!”
I can tell you what I probably would have been doing. I probably would have been looking for the boat that we got out of.
Can you imagine, the Man speaks a word, bringing him into a position of captivity? He speaks a word and begins to deal with the problem. My God, what do you think the disciples felt when those demons came out of him and the man was sitting there clothed? Where did they get the clothes? They probably supernaturally appeared. I mean, if a man is able to do that to a demoniac and cast out 40 or 400 or 4,000 demons, what is a matter of clothes?
What do you think was in the mind of the men that were sitting there? I think I can tell you. “Nothing can stop this man! Nothing can stop this man!”
No wonder Peter tried to rebuke Him and tell Him, “Not so, Lord!” when Jesus began to explain to him the reality of the situation. You know what is most amazing to me is that after all the walking and the talking, after all of the demonstration, after seeing all those mighty miracles… My God, can you imagine what it must have been like when the Man took the bread and the fish and He broke it and He began to hand it out of the baskets? What would you have done when it was all said and done? Do you know what I would have done? I would have picked the basket up and looked under it. I would have looked in it. “Where is it coming from? I counted it. It was five loaves and two fishes.” There was nothing that this Man couldn’t do. He could manufacture food. He was a one-man army. He brought limbs into being. He made eyes to see. He made deaf ears to hear. He made mouths to talk. My God! Loose!
And yet they did not believe. They did not believe. The church has been trying to bury the process of perfection from the time that Satan got into the church. Bury the process of perfection, hide it away, disguise it, put your focus upon something else. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
I liked Brother Martin’s drawing of the focus we are supposed to have. But in the world, what we call “God,” we have segmented into many different compartments. We have the ministries, the aspect of church or God. We have the “unity philosophy.” Do you know what the “unity philosophy” is? The “we can all get together and if we can agree upon one thing, such as ‘God,’ then we can work out all our differences.” Oh, yes. That is what the “unity philosophy” is. It is called “ecumenicalism.” It doesn’t make any difference if you are this or you are that if you believe in God. In some aspect or other there is some place that we can come to. We can call it “success” and you have all of these little stars down here that are looking at different things. What unity is there in that? It doesn’t become unity, it becomes confusion. Not only does it become confusion, it becomes deception because it eliminates the process that is required of you to get from this point, in the realm of earth, to this point, that we will call heaven. It is not a matter of just knowing God or just believing in God, for the Bible tells us that even devils believe in God. But there is a process that God has designed by which man can achieve the objective of knowing Him, and it is only through that process that that objective can be obtained.
Do you remember the parable that Jesus told about those who came before the Lord? Maybe it is healing. Maybe it is deliverance. Hallelujah. Maybe it is raising the dead. Do you remember the ones that came before the Lord and said, “Haven’t we cast out devils in Your name? Haven’t we healed in Your name? Haven’t we done these mighty works in Your name?”
Hallelujah. We sometimes measure the spirituality of our organization by the numbers that we have accumulated or the spiritual manifestations that are happening within our fellowship (Matthew 7:22-23). “Oh, look at us! We are successful in the position and the place of church.” So is Dupont! Prosperous like Dupont, the chemical company! All you need is a corporate board. All you need is an authority to run the operation and people who are dedicated to the thought. Your thought of God, or should I say, theology, and the position of His excellence is not going to accomplish what needs to be done so that we can be one. It’s not something that God does.
Do you know what remodeling is? Many of you are in the remodeling business. Oh, you come in the house and you move this wall and you move that wall, you make a new bathroom, you redo your kitchen, but you have the same house. Nothing is changed, really. The environment is the same. Hallelujah. You just changed the furniture around. God is not interested in changing the furniture around. He is not interested in removing a wall. Paul said, For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: (Romans 7:18).
Am I better than Paul? Have I graduated to a position of excellence and perfection that Paul had not yet achieved? Hallelujah. He said, But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: (I Corinthians 9:27). Why? Because the house had not yet been changed. The thing which was to transpire had not yet happened. Hallelujah. It was continually rising up and making problems and making it known that “I am not yet dead, Paul!”
I can’t imagine a man like Paul who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, telling us that he could be a castaway if he was not careful and if he did not submit himself to the process of not just getting to God, but moving in the fashion that was legal, as far as the prescribed method ordained by God to accomplish the task that is in His mind. Does anybody want to say, “Amen?” Man has been trying to figure out how to get to God without going through the dimension of change that God has ordained for man to go through.
I was sitting in church one day and I was listening to the children’s word. You have to become like a child in order to hear God. As they were ministering to the children, they began to minister about the 5th station in the tabernacle. Do you know what the 5th station in the tabernacle is? It is the Golden Altar of Incense. That is where the priest would sprinkle the incense upon the Altar. He was commanded by God not to bring strange fire into the Holy Place up to the Altar of Incense. Hallelujah.
There were two men of the priesthood that thought they could take a shortcut. You were supposed to take the fire off of the brazen altar and bring it in the censer and sprinkle it upon the golden altar, but they were looking for a shortcut. I don’t know if it was because they did something and the fire went out or what. They might have had an excuse that was quite sensible.
Saul thought he had a perfect excuse. The prophet told him the way, but the prophet held back, much like Jesus held back with Lazarus. I never thought of it before, but there seems to be some sort of connection. Jesus knew that Lazarus was dying. He also knew that there was going to be a demonstration of God. But these smart boys, these two priests, thought of how they could circumvent the laws of God. They moved presumptuously. Wasn’t it David who said, “God, keep me from the sin of presumption.”? He didn’t say, “Forgive me in this place,” but he said: Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins (Psalms 19:13).
Do you know that you can begin to take God for granted? Do you know what I mean? It is a lot like how some kids take their parents for granted. They are always around and sometimes because of familiarity they think they can do things this way or that way and get away with it. Maybe here and there it does happen and they do get away with it, but sometimes they don’t get away with it. They aggravate or provoke the parent and all of a sudden they find the Bible [discipline] being applied.
I believe in the application of the Bible. My mother was a believer in Bible. My mother believed in “spare the rod, spoil the child.” She could quote scripture and she really waxed strong and anointed when she had the switch in her hand. Every time that switch would come down, Mom would be pronouncing and prophesying over me and rebuking the devil. It must have worked. I tried hard to be a devil, but God saved me in spite of all that because He revealed Himself to me down the road of life and what I saw excited me. You know, we need to get excited about God.
If you look at yourself for too long, you will become depressed. Some of us are professionally depressed, because we are always looking at ourselves. “Oh, I want to be depressed today so I am going to go into the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror. Oh, you poor fellow, things are so rough for you. Oh, you poor fellow, nobody understands you. Nobody! You poor fellow. You and I can commiserate together.”
Of course, you probably never do that, do you? Some of us carry around a mirror in our vest pocket or in our purse. We find the bathroom is too far away. We need comfort, so we pull out our mirror and look at ourselves! “Oh, yes, there you are! You are my friend, aren’t you! Oh, you are so sweet and so lovely! It is just you and me against them!”
Well, quite frankly I believe that the church is responsible, because the church has not told us; the church has not informed us, the church has not taught us of the means and the way by which God intends to bring us into a place of unity. Maybe your church is different? I really don’t think so.
Have you ever met somebody that wants you to sympathize with them? They come to tell you their problem. I think it is kind of funny. God will cause your toe to hurt so bad that you will come and ask somebody for prayer. The minute the man lays hands on you to pray he begins to prophesy that you are stubborn, arrogant and hard headed. “I don’t want to hear that! My toe hurts!” Well, that is not the problem. Your toe isn’t the problem. There is something in your soul that is vexing you down to your toenails.
I have had it happen over and over and over and over and over again. Do you know what? If you don’t want to hear it you will run around until you find somebody to tell you what you want to hear. It is like a “May-pole” – they are all running around to find an answer that suits them. Why? Because we have not defined the means or the process by which God intends for us to come into a place of unity.
Anyway, I was sitting in church listening to the children’s word. They were dealing with the tabernacle and something pricked my attention. I was brought up in a Baptist Church. My mother was a Christian, saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ, but boy, she was also Baptist. I thank God for my mother’s Christianity, but I also rejoice that she got delivered from being Baptist. The Baptists believe that once you are saved, you are always saved. That really isn’t the Baptist’s fault. Come on, it is not the Baptist’s fault. It is a doctrine that was born in her mother, the Catholic Church.
The Catholics believe that if you go to hell you can either buy your way out of it, or absolve yourself from it, or do something to get your soul out of that place and into the realm of heaven. Isn’t that what they believe? They believe it!
Do you know what a Baptist believes? I will tell you what a Baptist believes. I was Baptist. I know all about it. They believe that even if you are involved in something, if you are in a place of sin; I mean sin sin. I mean sin sin sin. They believe that if you have ever, somewhere along the road of your sinning career, had some sort of salvation experience, no matter if you did sin and you die – you are going to heaven. That is what they believe.
You know, all religions have some sort of “escape hatch” by which it becomes all right to sin.
As I was in church hearing this word about the tabernacle – do you know something? I have been in the gospel 34 years maybe. I want you to know that I cut my teeth – do you know what it means to cut your teeth? A baby cutting its teeth chews, chews, chews until the teeth break through the skin. I cut my teeth on tabernacle. I have been back and forth all over the world ministering with a man that does nothing but teach tabernacle. So how many times do you think I might have heard about tabernacle? How many times in 30 some odd years of ministry? Not only that, but I began to teach tabernacle. I would get into the Word and God would open it up and it would begin to flow. Do you know what? Every time I hear it under the anointing, my God, I hear something new. I get a little glimpse. I get a new revelation. Hallelujah. Then the growth and the development begins to expand. . It grieves me down to my heels to hear people say, “Well, I have heard all about that.”
Sister Pavlina was teaching the tabernacle to the children. Thank God I have the child’s ear to hear the revelation. I got a couple of revelations that day. You know, I always wondered about the coverings. She said something and it pricked me and I said, “You know, those are layers of ministry.” Some are more refined than others, but each was put there with careful care and consideration for a particular reason, for a particular purpose. The linen would not have done what the badger skin was supposed to do. Of course, the linen might think it is prettier than the badger skin. You take away the badger skin and what happens to the linen?
The Bible says that there are diversities of ministry in the Body. Do you know what? One of the things that I am most critical of could be giving me the most protection. Glory to God.
I began to think about this position of eternal security. I had been asking God about the Scripture that says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12b). Why should I fear and why should I tremble if I have salvation? The conclusion that I came to is: I should fear and tremble because there could be a good possibility that somehow, someway, I might miss it.
We are really part-time Christians. We really are. We are part-time Christians. We have God segmented or categorized into certain slots. Now, if you are not a part-time Christian, then don’t get mad at me. I’m not talking to you; I am talking to the guy that is next to you. It is always the guy next to you, right? “That can’t be me, God. That is that person over there. Oh, yes. He is mean. He is nasty. He doesn’t like me. It has to be his problem, not my problem.” That is a sure sign that you have the “ME” disease.
The “ME” disease, it is “ME,” “MYSELF,” and “I.” I can have a unanimous vote between “ME,” “MYSELF,” and “I.” I’ve got a majority, so what does your one vote matter? I’m three against one. You are a corporate structure all in yourself and you are the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary-Treasurer. You have control of the corporation and it is going into bankruptcy.
Do you know there is a revelation that the church in Acts had? I do not necessarily believe that they had the totality of the revelation that we have in this hour, yet there was something that was being ministered that the people were hearing. It is not as though that word that was being ministered then is not being ministered now but it could be that the church is not hearing the word, because they are not responding.
You know, I am like anybody else. I would like to see people flood the altar and get down on their face to pray. I would like to see those people being ministered to. BUT, if those people get up off of the floor and go right back out there again and do the same thing that they were doing before they went down on the floor, something is missing. Something is missing, and if you think it is in the ministry of the word, you are wrong.
It is not that it could not be that way, but Judas was in the midst of the twelve disciples. There was something that he wanted in his heart. There was some position of personal preference that he was demanding. There was some selfish motivation in his involvement with Jesus. No matter what Jesus said, he refused to let go of the thing that was in his heart. Self-interest combined with self-love brought self-destruction. Think about it.
Self-interest and self-love equals self-destruction, WHY? Because the church has hid the remedy. They have not been diligent in pronouncing the means and the method by which the people can come to a place of release and sanctification. Hallelujah. The ashes are mixed with blood and put into a little dish and they take the hyssop and saturate the bush and they go around and begin to sprinkle those other articles of furniture. From that point on into the depths of the tabernacle everything is sprinkled with blood, meaning that it is all one and the same thing. It has one objective. It has one destination. My God, we don’t want to hear about it. We really do not want to know.
It is not all the church’s fault, because what the church is doing is exciting something in the hearts of people that they can obtain a certain position, a certain goal without paying the price that needs to be paid.
There is one objective and position. All of these things, if they happen here, are a by-product of the position or the place that God wants to bring us to, no matter who we are or how we believe. Do you know the interesting thing? We were in India holding a seminar. Many came from different parts of India down to Madras, which is now called Chennai. We were having this ministers’ meeting and teaching on the things that pertain to God regarding His calling, His election and the tabernacle. There was testimony after testimony of Jesus appearing out in the bush, appearing to men that were staunch Hindus, drunkards and wife-beaters, ministering salvation to them. Yet, in every occasion, there was some word that was given to them by the Lord that: “There would be some men or man coming that would teach them in a greater way and in a greater manner of the things that pertain to Him.”
I believe that in that congregation there was one man that stood up and began to testify to the power of God to speak to him out in the bush concerning the coming of the revelation. He testified to the fact that what he was hearing with his ear now was the very thing that had been spoken to him. Hallelujah.
You know, it is a funny thing. It is a dreadfully funny thing. We hear a lot about the bars that are on the tabernacle, but I don’t know that we hear much about the pillars that support the door of the tabernacle. There are five pillars and they are made out of wood covered with gold. They support the entrance to the tabernacle. You cannot enter into the tabernacle unless you go through that particular door. Hallelujah.
We know that five is the number of ministry. I want to tell you something else, a revelation, if you can grasp it. This is called the door. Jesus said, I am the door: (John 10:9). Now, why would Jesus take five pillars made out of wood and cover them with gold and hang His door upon them? Why, if it were not that you have to hear the thing that God sets in the Body in order to enter into this sanctum that is called the Holy Place. Ephesians 4 says that God has set some in the Body. “Oh, I am not going to follow man. I am not going to follow man’s idea. No man is going to tell me what to do. I have a right to my position of choice. I can be an independent agent and make the right decisions.”
Well, you may have been able to make that decision twenty-five years ago and have time to turn around and repent, but you no longer have the time that it takes to turn around and repent. Now, we either believe that it is symbolic and an allegory, or we have to believe that it is a fairytale and it means nothing. What is man? (Psalm 8:4-6). Hallelujah.
Do you know that it is the only gold that is on the outside? Do you know that it is the only gold on the outside that you can see from the outside? Hallelujah. Everything else is brass. Isn’t that right? Brazen laver, brazen altar, the other items that are gold are covered you can’t see from outside.
One of the things that the Bible says in Revelation is Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God (Revelation 3:12) and (verse 13) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Now, if you think that I am trying to exalt the ministry, you have another think coming. The ministry has its own row to hoe. It is a long hard road and its glory is never visible. We never love them until they are dead, and they all died.
Ministry that today is exalted and in a position of pre-eminence is not real ministry. The position, the place of service is down washing the feet of the disciples. There is a giving up of his position and right of authority. So, by the fact of washing the feet, he is exalting the one that he is washing into a position that was above him. We might wash one another’s feet, but I don’t know that we wash them for the right reasons. Jesus talks about giving: But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: (Matthew 6:3).
Can I tell you a little story? I was a very young Christian, very young. I didn’t have a lot of money, but there was a need that I was aware of. God began to speak to me about giving the money to this individual for that need. It wasn’t a spiritual thing. Do you understand? It was not necessarily something that would even be of benefit to the church in any way, shape or form. In fact, you could probably say that the man that received the money was probably more interested in self than in God. Yet God was speaking to me to give what I really didn’t have to give.
Now, I don’t want to paint this picture of somebody who just runs out there and pulls money out of his pocket and slaps it out there. I had to wrestle this thing through. I finally came to the place of surrender and said, “Okay, God. I am going to do what You told me to do. I am going to walk into his office and I’m going to say, ‘Well, bless the Lord, this is for such and such.’.”
He said, “No, you are not.”
I said, “What do You mean? You wanted me to give it to him.”
He said, “Yes, but I don’t want him to know that you gave it.”
“What? You don’t want him to know? But God, that takes all the fun out of it! I should AT LEAST get something out of this besides an empty pocketbook.”
So, I had to wrestle that through. I’m glad that the need wasn’t dire and immediate. When I finally submitted to God, I put it in an envelope and I laid it on the seat of his car and I made sure nobody saw me get into his car. I felt more like a thief than a giver. But after that initial shock, I felt good. I was just praising the Lord and whistling. I had gone about my business and I happened to run into this fellow down the road a little ways. He began to tell me of his blessing and the more he told me, the happier I got.
I was saying, “Isn’t that amazing?” (You probably would have been a little more spiritual than me.) I said, “Isn’t that amazing that somebody would be so gracious to give you that gift? How could anybody do that and not be a nice person? Or at least a cheerful giver.” I was very happy at the time. Everything went well until he said these next words. He said, “And you know what? I think I know who did it.”
I said, “Really?” (Do I ask who?) I couldn’t resist it. If this was a test, I failed miserably. I said, “Who?”
I’m waiting there and he names some other fellow. Have you ever taken a balloon and blown it up and just let the air out of it suddenly? Amen. Oh, my goodness. What a valuable lesson.. It showed all kinds of things in me. You know, he probably really didn’t even need the money, but I needed the lesson. Now, if you think that God came in and miraculously and abundantly gave me back the money, you are wrong. I had to squeeze it out of my existence in order to replenish the stores from which I took it. Hallelujah.
I found out something here as I was listening to that children’s word. Boy, that was a really anointed word. I think the person later asked me, “Do you think it was really anointed?” I said, “You have got to be kidding me.”
The fifth station – He says to this church of Sardis, Revelation 3:4, Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. We are in the third chapter, the fourth verse, the fullness of tribulation, a position of tribulation. Hallelujah. He says there are a “few names,” “few names.” I think those names are still a “few names,” but I believe that they are categorically available. I don’t believe like the Jehovah Witnesses that they are sealed up. Of course, I understand that now they have a new doctrine that they have a new 144,000. I’m still working on the first one.
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. Did somebody mention a word that Brother Mark was ministering here in the Czech Republic about blemishes? It says, these few names have not defiled their garments. It is not that we don’t make mistakes, but we are a people who have known the way of repentance. Or, we should be a people who have known the way of repentance.
One of the words that has been utilized in this conference is the dissemination of pride. What are those three things in John? I John 2:16, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. Pride in who or what we are. I don’t care how low you are in the estimation of other people; there is always some vestige of pride that is in your debauchery and wickedness that is familiar to you as a person. You take a drunkard that is living in the gutter and you begin to minister the word of God to them. What do you think it is that resists the move of salvation? As the Spirit of God begins to penetrate the fog of his mind and the delirium of his drink, my God, what do you think rises up within that individual as he proclaims, “I do not need God.”? Pride. If you don’t think it has not happened, you are mistaken. If you don’t think it doesn’t work that way, you are mistaken.
Pride! How much more those of us who do not find ourselves in that condition? What is the estimation of your self-worth? Let me come up to you and slug you one good hit and I will take you by surprise. You won’t know it is coming and this little talk will not be in your mind. What do you think your reaction would be? When was the last time somebody stepped on your toe or moved against your opinion of self-worth? What was your reaction when somebody said something derogatory about you? What was your reaction? Maybe they didn’t treat you like you should be treated? Maybe they are wrong but in their wrongness, are you right? No, you are wrong! You are wrong because you have not come to a position of revelation. Your focus is on something other than what God has designed for the church and for you individually. Hallelujah.
God desires for you to focus upon Him, but you and I need glasses. We need glasses. We cannot come to a position of harmony and agreement, unless everything that you disagree about with me and everything that I disagree about with you has found its resting place, not, as some would say, at the foot of the cross, but there in that position prepared for us upon the cross.
I was born to rule and to reign, but I was born to die. The road to heaven is not paved with gold. It is made up of cobblestones that are sprinkled with blood. Hallelujah. There is the position or place of wrestling that I must endure in order to come to grips with the destiny that is attributed to the sons of God. Hallelujah.
This door is designed to fix the malady of me-ism. It is the only cure; it is the only thing that can be done. It is the only healing that is totally perfect. It is the only position that is available for those that desire to come into this relationship. Hallelujah.
The disciples can gather at the foot of the cross, but the son has to accept the position and the responsibility of being upon the cross, that the cross might be the beginning of the end unto the glory of God.
Where have we missed it? We want health, prosperity and victory. It is the fact that we want to live this life in the flesh that is not consistent with the theology of sonship.
John 12:24, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. It remains in this ground alone, this lower realm that is called earth. No wonder Jesus was talking to the disciples and telling them, as well as Nicodemus, that if a man wanted to partake of heaven he had to what? Be born again (John 3:3). He told him that if he wanted to see heaven that he had to not only be born of the water, but also of the Spirit (verse 5). He said these things are earthly things. There is yet another realm of glory. Do you hear me? Glory that is called death. It is called burial. Hallelujah.
There is a glory in burial because the one who has come to this position has come to an understanding, a place of knowing that though he lay his life down that he has the ability, because of the promise, the hope, the Blood of Yeshua, to then be resurrected. Hallelujah. Glory to God. The glory of one is lesser than the glory of the other. My God. Hallelujah. God does not leave us in the tomb emaciated and mangled but He brings us through in victory, in power, in resurrection. THEN WE CAN HAVE UNITY!
I have divested myself of all that is me. What do you think that the fifth article in the tabernacle is indicative of? It was the ministry of the priest. The priests had the responsibility to tend to the fire and,load up the incense and sprinkle it upon it. Their responsibility was to push that piece of furniture out of the Holy Place into the Most Holy Place. It was a prerequisite, do you hear? There was a ritual that they had to go through. There was cleansing, there was sanctification, both in spirit and in body. Hallelujah. Their motives had to be pure. They had to have the thought of God in their mind. NO SELF INTEREST HERE! Yet, they did it with fear and trembling, except for two presumptuous, arrogant human beings who thought they could outsmart God.
Listen to this about the fifth station. Revelation 3:4, Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Amen.
No wonder I am supposed to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. I can minister at the Brazen Altar. I can minister and go through all of the ritualism of the Brazen Laver. I can have the priestly garments. I can have the tools of my profession. I can do everything in accordance with the rules and the regulations. But now all of that is temporary, none of that is permanent.
I can go into the Holy of Holies and do the service of the Golden Lamp Stand, trimming its wick, making sure it is filled with oil. Hallelujah. I can go to the Table of Shewbread and do the service as unto God and partake of the loaves and have the fellowship of the priesthood and be in fellowship with the congregation and all of the things that go with the realm of church. Hallelujah. But if I do not fulfill the prerequisite of the Golden Altar of Incense and come to the position where my self-worth, self-interest and self-sufficiency is zero, then all my labor is in vain for I have not achieved the objective that God had for me.
There is a call going out. There is a word that God has loosed out of the heavens. There is a door of opportunity, you might want to call it a golden door, that is being presented to the church on the whole. But it is only accessible for those that are willing to consider the position and the cost and be willing to pay the utmost of all that it is in order to obtain what lies on the other side of it.
Let me tell you something. If you make up your mind that this is what you want, you will not have to manufacture your tribulation or persecution. I want to remind you that the devil said to Jesus, “Your people are easily diverted and subverted.” If you will recall the message that we had the other day about Job it says, 1:6, Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Can you imagine what it will be like for us? Can you imagine such a conversation being made of you by the Lord to Satan? 9Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? “Does he serve You for nought? Does he serve You for nought?” 10Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. “Don’t You cover them up to let nothing come near them to harm them or to vex them or to upset them?”
“Oh, you think that is the problem? You think that is the reason that they serve me?” 12And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. “Go! Do what you have to do. Go! Do what you have to do.”
Who is going to volunteer to stop him? Who is going to join that one-man army? Who is willing to pay the price? Who is willing to walk the road of Calvary? Who is willing to have Gethsemane?
Can you imagine? Do you know there is a Gethsemane for you? There is a Gethsemane for you. You and I have to have Gethsemane to prove our spiritual worth. There were two revelations made known in the Garden of Gethsemane. There were two revelations that were manifested and displayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Do you know what they were? There was the nature of the disciple. What was the nature of the disciple? They could not watch and pray. They were self-interested, self-focused, and they had to sleep. They could not pray. What was the other revelation? There was the nature of the son.
The nature of the disciple is good, but it isn’t sufficient if you want to be a part of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Hallelujah. What position do you want to fill? Are you ready to volunteer? God bless you.