October 16, 2005
(For printable version click here.)
VISION from Sister Patty DeLap
I saw us like we were standing, but we could see just our heads and there was a heavy fog from our shoulders on down. It was very heavy. It was heavy cloud. When I was asking the Lord, “Okay, what does it mean?”, I felt like He said, “You can see and you can hear, but you can’t move because of the heaviness of the fog.”
Brother Burt Asbill
Praise the Lord! I am very much aware that we are living in a very critical time, a time that deals with the advent of Jesus Christ. I am also up here with much fear and trembling, because I understand the accountability that is given to us as a people, both in the speaking and in the hearing of the Word. There have been a lot of things that have been spoken by different ones, concerning how God views and rates us as a people. My concern is that I don’t know to what degree it is being incorporated into the lives of the church. The scripture that came to me when Sister DeLap was beginning to bring forth the vision is found in Matthew 13:15.
You know, after being away for so long, it would be very nice to be able to come back and to say, “Hallelujah!” and begin to talk about the things that tickle us and make us feel good. But I don’t believe that the situation that exists in the church is one that that type of demeanor is called for.
If you have your Bibles you might want to open them, and we will read the verses that the Lord spoke to me when Sister Patty shared the vision. Matthew 13:15-19, For 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. 16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
The whole intent of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not to build churches or to save you from going to hell. Unfortunately, that has been the basic premise of the church almost since the instigation of it, at the time that it was taken over by the world system, by the prince, the power of the air. I am convinced that there are very few churches that are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Jesus Christ demands change. It uncategorically demands change! Paul’s reiteration of this aspect of the gospel is found in Romans where he speaks of presenting your bodies as a living sacrifice as our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). There has never been a church, that I know of, that has had as much knowledge about the Bible and about the intent of God as the church we call “The End Time Church.” BUT, the having of the knowledge does not seem to have brought forth the desired result of God. That has been rather perplexing to me, that is, up until the time when God began to put a finger upon me, with regard to my own position and relationship with Him. You know the scripture in II Timothy 3:5. The way that the Lord did this for me was that He began to bring to me this particular scripture. It says, Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. If I might translate that into English, what it is saying is about you and I having a spiritual sense of right and wrong. We have an understanding of moving in the goodness of God, and yet we are not allowing or experiencing the change that the Word that we have received is supposed to achieve, thereby denying the power that is in the Word that we profess to have with regard to us and the church!
I have found something of a simple truth. You can have tremendous revelations. You can look back at the church, the men of God who have dedicated their lives to the gospel of Jesus Christ and have brought forth many mighty, wonderful, and oftentimes glorious works. But you will find that the men themselves were in a position or a place of destruction, and oftentimes without hope. Hallelujah! It seems as though the gospel has always been something that the church has been willing to talk about, but it is viewed by the majority of the church as something that is outside of the church, as a goal that we are striving after that is unattainable.
Sometimes I think that we are guilty of focusing upon the works that are involved in the obtaining of that objective, because we seem to think that the doing of good things, being involved in some sort of “Christian activity,” has the power to somehow miraculously change us and bring forth the evidence of the reality of God that we have some desire to have. What I am finding out in my own personal walk is that it is not the desire to do good, it is not the desire to be good that is really going to work a change within me! Now, that desire that I have might hold me in a position of rightness, and to all outward expressions it would seem as though I am moving in the right direction, and it may even appear as though I am achieving the objective upon which I have set my heart. BUT THERE IS NO CHANGE! THERE IS NO CHANGE! The evidence of that “NO CHANGE!” is that if you put me into a set of circumstances that pushes me beyond my position of tolerance, something in me manifests that is other than what I preach as the gospel of the Kingdom. Now, I can blame many different things for that transgression. That attitude, this attitude, that set of circumstances, this pressure, that pressure, my humanity – ALL OF THAT is a legitimate and viable excuse, but it doesn’t have a position of strength or credibility with God. You see, I am finding out something: God does not view my set of circumstances from my perspective. And yet, the determination of where I am going to be at the end of the day is given into my charge. Hallelujah!
If you have your Bibles, turn with me over into Matthew 24. I want to start at the 14th verse. It says, And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
All the aspects of religiosity and Christianity have been purported and have been brought down into this realm where men can hear it, see it, and come and touch it, yet the goal that God wanted accomplished is never getting done. You say, “But we did all this for God.” God is not interested in building churches. God is not interested in you doing good things. It says, “This gospel of the Kingdom.” What is the gospel of the Kingdom? The gospel of the Kingdom is the intent and the desire that God had from the very beginning. God doesn’t want you to be good. God doesn’t want you to be right. God wants you to be like God. That requires change because you and I are born with something other than that which is good. You and I are continually confronted with the reality of that objective. We are having to continually make decisions on the basis of the original intent that God had. Don’t you understand?
It is not a matter of numbers. Did you know that? If it was a matter of numbers, the church would never have gone anywhere. It is the understanding of the individuals that are involved in the church or with the church and what that involvement produces within them. I look at the characteristics of the men of God, not only those men that are written in this Bible, but the “living epistles” that were written by the finger of God with the blood that was poured out of them, all for the sake, all for the purpose that I might arrive at a certain position at a certain time, and be able to achieve and to build upon what they themselves had been building. Hallelujah!
The gospel of the Kingdom is not a gospel of just repenting and drawing nigh unto God. I really believe that it is going to require tribulation. I really believe that it is going to require trouble for us to be motivated outside of the realm of our personal position of comfort. (Of course, you probably don’t have a personal position of comfort.) Do you want to know something? The devil knows what that position is. He will do everything in his power to convince you that his perspective of your personal position of comfort is right.
How many of you have ever thought of the devil as having a perspective? Let’s go back over into Genesis. Genesis 3:1, Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Now, there is an interesting statement: “And he (devil) said.” Hallelujah! Turn over with me to Genesis 1:2, And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3And God said… There are two objectives, there are two destinies, two words that have been spoken in the realm of eternity, two goals that have been designated outside of the realm of our control. We are like entrepreneurs, subjected to an entrepreneurial spirit. We think that we can create or carve our own destinies. We think that we have the power to shape and mold and to bring about something different. We think that we have a position of preeminence and a prerogative and an authority to create for ourselves some little niche, some little position that we can say, “This is my space. This is my destiny.” SORRY! Of course now, if you do not believe in God, then you don’t have a problem. I’m sorry, but there are only two destinies. Two destinies!
You could almost say that God set you up. Now, you can get angry with God over that, but then I would quote to you that scripture found in Jeremiah that says, “Does the pot say to the potter, ‘Why hast thou made me such? And why hast thou done with me as thou hast done?’” (Jeremiah 18:4,6). Now, lest you think that is a position or a place of permanence, I’ll take you over to the New Testament. It says that in the house of God are MANY vessels, some to honor, some to dishonor. Some of gold, some of silver, some of wood, some of clay (II Timothy 2:20). But then he sum totals and puts them all together and says, “If any man will purge himself,” then he can be what? He can become a vessel unto honor (II Timothy 2:21). And really, quite frankly, it doesn’t make any difference. It can be wood or clay. If it is “unto honor,” I’ve got news for you, and it should be something of a hope – everything in the tabernacle was covered with gold. That aspect of the nature, or what that nature was in the beginning, is no longer something that is of any significance. Hallelujah!
There are only two destinies. Oh, boy! Only two destinies! Two destinies! No middle ground! No place of compromise! TWO DESTINIES! In Proverbs 18:21 it says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Did it not say the power of life and death is where? In the tongue. Isn’t that interesting? “And God said…” “And the devil said…” Two positions, two destinies, two absolutes.
Now, you may think that there are a lot of absolutes: the education you have, the power of the money you have in the bank, the financial structure of the world, your prosperity! You may think that is absolute. “Oh, I don’t think that way.” Well, let’s see a demonstration of your non-absolute with regard to what you think is absolute! There are only two absolutes. There is no middle ground, no road in between. Now, that doesn’t mean that everybody is going to hell and that only a few are going to make it into heaven. I really don’t know who is going to hell and who is going to heaven. God only knows. I know that the one thief on the cross went into heaven by the skin of his teeth and the other went to hell. I don’t want to go into heaven by the skin of my teeth if I have been given the availability to be a son!
I John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the children…” It is not huios [son], but teknon [children]. Now are we children! We have thought it metaphorical. We have thought it was symbolic. We are thinking that it is something of a religious thought that sets us apart from the rest of the world, and maybe the rest of Christianity. It is not a thought! It is not symbolic, it is not a metaphorical, verbal gesture! It is, in actuality, the desire that God has for the purpose of bringing forth what we call salvation. Why do you think that the Bible calls it being “born-again” as though that is the key by which we get into heaven? IT IS NOT A MATTER OF GETTING INTO HEAVEN!
When will we change our mindset? We think, “Oh! Wow! Hallelujah! I’ve won another soul!” I’m not putting that down. That is all well and good. They can be like jewels in your crown. But we have to understand: one planteth, one watereth, but what? God giveth the increase! (I Corinthians 3:6-7). There is something of the nature of development and growth and maturity that should be happening with regard to being an individual with what they believe. John says in the gospel of John 3:30, He must increase, but I must decrease. There must be CHANGE! NATURE CHANGE! PRIDE CHANGE! EMOTIONS CHANGE! DESIRES CHANGE! Everything must change from me to Him.
Oh my! The process of change. Turn with me back over into Genesis. I want to dwell on this “negative word” that was spoken, because really, there were two destinies that were released in the book of Genesis, the 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd chapters. There are two destinies, two wills in opposition to each other working to bring forth the evidence of the reality of heaven or hell.
Genesis 3:1, And he (the devil) said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? You know, the devil knew exactly what God said. There was something that was administered here, more than what was spoken. There was an administration, there was an overshadowing, a spiritual environment, a fog, if you will, that was over that meeting with Eve. When the devil “said,” there was something of the entity that was in him that came forth out of him over that woman that was standing there. Do you know what her mistake was? She began to think about it. She began to think about it. She began to reason. It would have been an entirely different story if she had put her hands over her ears and had run to the place where her husband was. It would have been far better, and a whole different ball game!
The devil could not have done what the devil needed to do without the woman. Come on! Let me say, the devil could not have done what the devil needed to do without using humanity! Brethren, you are going to have to wrestle it out, and especially you women. You have to remember that there are three levels on which this feminine nature works. First the natural, then the spiritual, and finally, the fullness. There is a susceptibility and a vulnerability that this feminine nature has. You can either bless the work of God or destroy it, and if you think that Eve is an isolated incident, you are mistaken. You are mistaken! Go into the Old Testament and look at the kings. Do you know that it always gives the mother’s side of the story? Now, that does not make you more bad than anybody else; it just makes you a whole lot more sensitive, a whole lot more cognizant of your spiritual environment. It also pinpoints that, if the devil comes and he can start a conversation with you, there is something that you need to do: GIRD YOURSELF UP in the midst of that situation. Not just when it happens, but in your relationship with the church, as wives with your husband. Now, maybe it would be more palatable for you to accept it if it was a woman who was telling you about it.
I am not a chauvinist. I’m not. If it wasn’t for the women, there would be no church. NONE. Paul couldn’t find a man. He found a woman. Her name was Lydia, a seller of purple, who had the sensitivity, who had the ability to hear God, and when she heard Paul, she heard God. She opened her house, she opened her bankroll, she opened her neighborhood to the things and the purposes of God.
Now, there has been a perversion of this thought that I have mentioned above, and that perversion came out in a word given by William Branham. That word became something of a doctrine called the “Serpent’s Seed.” I am not purporting that. Let me put it on record as saying that I am not preaching that word. But what I am preaching is the principle of the thing, because the devil has taken every truth and twisted it, perverted it, and made it sacrilegious, thereby robbing the church of its power. Isn’t that amazing? Every time that the church has stood on the precipice of moving on into God, there is some lie, some malignant untruth that takes the truth and twists it and perverts it and spawns death, hell and desolation. My God! Deliver us!
“The devil said…” He wanted the woman to reason, and do you know what? Humanity has been intellectually approaching God ever since. Men and women have been intellectually justifying their position of rebellion from where? Their perspective!
You don’t need to believe anything that I am saying. You don’t need to be taking it as being God. You don’t! But I want to tell you something. The day is coming that the thing that you are putting your hope in today is going to let you down tomorrow if it is not a part of what I am saying. There is not going to be any hope in any of the philosophy, psychology, and intellectual manipulation. It is not going to put food on your table. Did anybody see the news today? Did you see the violence that was going on in Toledo, Ohio? They use racism as an excuse to rob and destroy property. Locked doors aren’t going to make you feel safe and secure. You know, they put bars and walls around their homes in Nigeria. They are locked down, but do you think that makes them feel secure? Oh, absolutely not! Because do you know what? If a thief wants in, he is going to get in. If a murderer wants in, he is going to get in. Do you hear me? Why? Because the destiny that has been ascribed to the spiritual environment of wickedness is coming to a place of fullness.
What does that mean? That means that there is going to come forth, out of the midst, a birthing. It is not just one man, Brother Peter, but it is an anti-Christ body. It is a segment of people who joined themselves, intellectually, psychologically and philosophically to the man (anti-Christ) that will be the head of that body. Everything out here in the realm of your personal environment: your dissatisfaction with personalities, your dissatisfaction with religion, your dissatisfaction with the gospel of Jesus Christ, all of these issues of living that are not subjected to the process of change, will bring devastation and destruction. But even worse than that is that it will produce a nature that is contrary to and against God.
I have been getting a flood of all these emails from these church groups that are beginning to wake up and smell the roses. But do you know what? I think it is too late. They should have started fifteen years ago, Brother George. They are talking about the sodomite agenda, the hate-crimes things, all of the things that are going on in that arena. Look at what they are doing with the nominees of the Supreme Court. All of it is on the basis of religion. God has become a profane thing. In the ears of humanity out there, God has become profane.
We could also mention what the medical society is doing with the name of God. What about the right to die? Do you know, I would not trust myself into the hands of a physician for any reason, no way, no way! I told my wife, “If I find myself on the point of death, either pray and raise me up, or let me go.” I wouldn’t want to put my trust in a man who is practicing medicine! No way! NO WAY! NO, NO WAY!!!! Now, my gospel is not your gospel. I’m not telling you to go out into your living room and suffer. I’m telling you that you need to find the reality of the positive Word that was spoken by Elohim in the beginning! I have run into four people in the last six months who have gone into a hospital semi-healthy and never came out alive. They never came out. NEVER CAME OUT!!! Sorry! They get a mentality. They think they have the prerogative and the authority to determine the right to kill you, when to kill you and how to kill you.
What makes our society any less degenerate than any other foreign country? We are kind of twiddling our thumbs, going to church occasionally, doing something for God occasionally, working occasionally for God! And all the time, something in you is being developed – a mindset, an emotional position, a place of desire – something is being worked on, something is changing, and it is something other than God. Pretty soon, all of these degenerate things that are happening around us, well, they’re not so bad. They’re not so bad after all; we become more and more desensitized to the perspective of what is good. Do you know that families used to take care of their parents? Did you know that? “Oh, that’s just because they didn’t have homes to put them in.” Oh, they had homes, all right, and they used to take care of them. You go back into church history. Come on! It was the responsibility of the church to deal with the widows. There was something of a necessity. “Well, we are too busy trying to formulate our OWN destiny, our OWN position of comfort.” I don’t know how we can read the scripture and not be convicted of the way that we live. Paul was such a tremendous example. My goodness! I wonder what it would have been like to travel with him? ROUGH, huh? We would have thought “economy flight,” eight hours, was heaven, wouldn’t we? But we have the spirit of the complainer. “The seats are too far, the guy lays down in my lap.” “The guy next door to me is taking up two seats.” “My legs are cramped.” “My ankles are swelling.” “My knees hurt.” “My back hurts.” “The restroom is full.” The spirit of the complainer. We are prophesying. Do you know that we are prophesying? Do you know that we are yielding to a destiny? Do you know that we are creating something by what we speak with our mouths? Some of you are going to go out of here and create more of the anti-Christ nature. Some of you may go out of here and create more of the sons of God nature. Whatever nature (we are creating with our mouths/minds) there are only two objectives in the making! TWO THINGS! TWO – TWO – TWO – two ways! Two, that is all! Do you hear me? One, two. Two! “And the devil said…” (Genesis 3:1).
Okay! Let’s get down to the bottom of it. Turn with me over into Isaiah. Let me interpret it for you. You see, when the devil spoke to Eve, he was talking in tongues. What kind of language do you think they used? Have you ever thought about it? Greek? Hebrew? I don’t think it had been communicated yet. I think it was garden language, whatever that was. I kind of wonder – when Moses was writing this, what language was God using? My mother always said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Hallelujah!
“And the devil said…” What did the devil say? I’m going to interpret it for you! Isaiah 14:13, For thou (devil) hast said in thine heart, I (devil) will ascend into heaven, I (devil)will exalt my throne… You know, we could stop right there. How many of you are in contention in your home? Do I go there? How many of you are in your home contending for the throne? Wife: “Oh no! I can’t do that! That is not what I want to do. I want to do this. You are not going to tell me what to do.” Husband: “Yes, I am! You are going to do exactly what I say you are going to do, and you are going to do it when I tell you to do it.” Wife: “You never consider me! You never know my position.” Husband: “You don’t know what is going on. You don’t know how rough I’ve got it!!” Wife: “I’ve got all these kids.” Husband: “I’ve got all these problems, all these bills on top of me and all these things going on and you don’t know what I have to do!”
Either one or both: “Oh, be quiet! You don’t know what you are talking about! I could tell you what my position is! I’ve got to pay the rent here. I’ve got to put clothes on your back. I’ve got to do all of these things to take care of you! And on top of all of that, I’ve got you pressuring me to do something that I don’t want to do!!”
Too true to be funny. Fighting. Contending. Contending. Contending! Continually arguing! Arguing! Arguing! Arguing! Spirit of complaint! Complain – she complains – he complains. He complains – she complains. She complains about him complaining. He complains that she is complaining that he’s complaining about her complaining. OR they just don’t say anything. Nothing! Then it is silent warfare. It’s, “I don’t know he/she exists. I guess he/she is around here somewhere. But he/she doesn’t exist as far as I’m concerned. I’m not going to see him/her, hear him/her, or smell him/her!” “Well, if that’s how he/she is going to be about it, I will just go somewhere where someone REAL is living.”
Out the door – Bam-bam. Contending! Fighting! Why? For your position of preeminence? Spirit of self-preservation working? Well, it is all devil mind-set, devil word. “I WILL EXALT MY THRONE.” My God! Do you want to know what the other word is? I think it is II Corinthians 4:1, “We therefore have this ministry,” of what? Reconciliation! How about Paul in Ephesians? “Therefore endeavoring,” to do what? “To keep the unity of the Spirit…” (Ephesians 4:3). Do you know that you can’t do that unless you are in the Spirit, of the Spirit and moving toward the goal of the Spirit? You know that, if you are in the Spirit, you are not going to like what the Spirit is going to tell you what to do. You are not going to want to do it because you are not really contending with that other partner, but you are contending with God. The rebellion that is in your heart is resisting the Word and the thing that is manifesting itself is in the relationships around you. GET RIGHT WITH GOD! I won’t say it will fix everything. I will say that your tribulation will increase, because it says, Acts 14:22, …we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. But what I will say is that it will provide a cure and bring deliverance.
I kind of want to scratch tribulation out of the book. Of course, you are not like that. You want tribulation. You want trouble because you want to rejoice all the time. You have the revelation, right? That tribulation worketh patience (Romans 5:3), and that we should all rejoice in tribulation! “I’m rejoicing, but he is still a jerk.” Come on! You may not say the words, but you know that everything starts in this minute little form, in this minute little fashion. The more that you propagate it, the bigger it gets and the farther away you get from the thing that you really, really, really wanted in the beginning. And really, God isn’t doing anything with you or for you on the basis of what you asked Him to do with you in the very beginning. “Oh God, I want to serve You! I want to be Yours! I want to be Your vessel! I want to be filled with You!” Is there anybody here who didn’t say that when they got saved? So, do you think that you can be you and what you are and what you are born with and be with God? I’d take you back to James. It says, “Bitter water and sweet water cannot come forth out of” what? “The same fountain!” (James 3:11). Maybe we should go back over there and just look at that for a minute. I don’t want people to say that I am misquoting the scripture. It is found in James 3:11 but I want to go back up so that we get the context.
James 3:1,My brethren, benot many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. Now, lest you think that this does not pertain to you, put your finger there, and go back into Genesis 3, and one of the things that the devil said to Eve in verse 5 was, “AND YE SHALL BE AS,” what? “GODS!” What is that? Master, a position or place of authority, the ruler of your own destiny? …be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man… Can you imagine what he is saying? Is that just biting your tongue? Well, that would help with some of us. He is talking about the position of spiritual authority and the word of prophecy that was pronounced and proclaimed in the very beginning. First, in Genesis 1, and second, in Genesis 3. The devil had to counter the Word of God (which is a spiritual word) with a spiritual word of hell that is as spiritual, and has as much power in it to do what needs to be done, except it cannot create sin without the participation of the individual! God doesn’t need that. Did you know that? God doesn’t need that. God doesn’t need that! Don’t you understand the difference?
God formed man of the dust of the ground. He fashioned and formed him, and it says He breathed into the man and the man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). Does your Bible say that the devil formed the man of the dust of the ground and he breathed into the soul and he became a dead soul? He (the devil) had to take that which was living and make it dead! Why? Because he is the prince of hell. He has the power of death – to the degree that the listener submits himself to the word of death and begins to act out that prophecy of that word one step at a time. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 16:25). How is it that we exclude ourselves in our humanity? How do we make excuses for the fact of our humanness and our desire to be comfortable? “Well, God doesn’t want me to be that uncomfortable.”
Two destinies. Two destinies. Listen to me, brethren! The time of accountability is at hand. The time of accountability is at hand. You know, I don’t want to cudgel anybody into the Kingdom. I don’t want to kick them into the Kingdom. I don’t want to beat them and drag them into the Kingdom. I want the Word of God to create within them a desire to be in the Kingdom, not just for the sake of the salvation of their own soul. That is a spirit of self-preservation! We have to be willing to expend ourselves. If what they say about the Titanic when it went down is true, I would say that a lot of those men that willingly, voluntarily submitted to the fate in order that someone else would be saved, made their way into heaven. Do you hear me? That is one that everybody knows about. I would imagine that there are many such like examples. It is not like, “Well, one of us has got to go! We had a vote and you are it.” “Whew! Boy! We are saved! Now we’ve got it – we are going to stay afloat!” Hallelujah!
How about old Jonah? How about Jonah? You know, we look at his rebellion. What about Jonah? What about him? It took something of an understanding of spiritual principles to be in his position. “I am the man! You are in this fix because of me.” How many of you are going to say, “We are having this trouble because I did something that I wasn’t supposed to do and the only way that you can remedy this is to throw me overboard!” Of course, everybody, all of you would have run up to the railing of the boat, wouldn’t you? Come on! There was something of a principle, even in the man’s rebellion. There was something of God revealing the plan, the purpose of God for humanity. He was sacrificing himself, and believe you me, I don’t think that he had any preconceived notions about deliverance. Your religiousness will just fall off, isn’t that right, Brother Peter? We were in Nigeria, and that guard had the shell in and the gun cocked and was waving it in the car window. In the moment, “Oh well.” And of course, I’m sitting there – “Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Please, please, please God, for my sake, don’t let Peter say anything!” A real position of sacrifice, right? Oh my goodness! I mean, that guy was mad. His eyes were about that big around. Steam was coming out of his ears. He had that big old AK47 waving around there. He jacked that shell into the chamber; and I’m sitting there saying, “Oh God! I guess we might be coming home here pretty quick!” Oh hallelujah! But God delivered us.
Two words. Two places. Two positions. Two destinies. The Bible says that the devil said, “I WILL” (Isaiah 14:13-14). You know, it is not your husband. It is not your wife. It is not your parents. It is not the man next door. It is not the man out in the street. It is not your boss. It is not whatever you think it may be. It is not that. THAT IS NOT THE PROBLEM! The problem is that there has been a word that has been spoken from the very beginning that is working to bring you into conformity to an ANTI-CHRIST spirit and the first level of contention is the position of exaltation. You know, he just didn’t repeat himself. Do you know that? He just did not repeat himself. In fact, you know, I haven’t done it, but you can do it; you can take those words in Isaiah and begin to compare him with this little position or this little event that happened in Genesis and you will find an exact correlation! And the most amazing thing of all is that you will begin to examine your own life. Won’t you? Oh, yes! You will begin to see all of these little things that are working and the things that you are doing and you are going to repent! RIGHT?
Have you ever done it? Go out the door from the Sunday meeting and go down the road and say, “My, we had a good service! Oh, the Word was tremendous. The Word was wonderful. We were eating at the Tree of Life!” “What did he preach on?” “Well, he ah – he ah – well, he read something out of John.” How many of you read the K.I.T. Bulletin and how many of you pass it out? I see a lot of them back there. Oh, by the way, K.I.T. staff, I have gotten nothing but praise and good reports from Europe. They enjoy it. They love it. They eat it! They chew on it, those that speak English. I even gave it to someone that couldn’t speak English and he said, “I am going to have somebody read it to me.” We don’t have time for the plans and purposes of God. We don’t have time. We don’t have time. We are too busy doing other things. Take them to work. Pass them out. Hand them out. If you start handing them out, I will print as many as you need. Hand them out! Get the Word out! I’m not ashamed of it. I believe it is the Word of God. Of course, you might get accused of the separation of church and state.
Exaltation. Exaltation. “I will ascend.” “I will ascend…” (Isaiah 14:13). Oh, boy! The spirit of competition. Oh, yes, the spirit of competition is good. Right? Ooooh! Does the spirit of competition line up with the spirit of reconciliation? Do you know that for every time that somebody wins, somebody else loses? “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! We won!” and the other guy’s head is hanging down.
We think that we are more human than we are anything else! We think we are more human than we are devil. I’ve got news for you. Devil took over humanity a long, long time ago. It is the truth that Paul stated when he said, “Brethren, I know that in me dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). You know something, if I can promote, if I can stimulate, if I can encourage you to seek after God with all of your heart, with all of your strength, if I can encourage you to resist your rebellion, then I don’t have to talk about this or that, or that or this, or this over there, or that over there. All you have to do is to see Christ – see God!
The problem is that we come, we sit, we listen and it doesn’t get down into our hearts, because something happens when we walk out the door. “I will exalt my throne…” “I will ascend…” (Isaiah 14:13). First, he is going to ascend and then, when he is in that place of ascension, do you know what that is? It is predominance! You know, I really wanted to read to you today from Matthew 24 where it talks about the abomination of desolation in the Holy Place. That is what I’m talking to you about. Because, know ye not, brethren, that what? Ye are the temple of what? The living God. So, there is an abomination of desolation that is taking place within the realm of the human element that is in the church, or that is the church!
I wonder how long it took the Ammonites to build that idol unto Molech, Brother George? Stone by stone, step by step, hammer blow by hammer blow building it. Do you know what? I came to a conclusion that the furnace that they threw those children into must have been incorporated in the idol of Nebuchadnezzar. It must have been incorporated in the idol, because you see, in those days, they didn’t build an idol without sacrifice. Did you know that? There had to be some provision made in the idol itself for the sake of bringing the oblation that was required to sanctify the idol. We are talking about the demonstration in the midst of a civilization that was uncivilized. It was demonic and it was wicked. Do you know how wicked…? Do you know Molech? Oh, barbarians! Don’t you think? Barbarians. Do you know, I think that some of us are just as barbaric. Do you know what they do? Do you know who Molech was? He is an idol that was built with his hands out like this, in the shape of a bowl. They lit a fire in the idol and they got the fire up, and the heat of it would be in the bowl of the hands. Then they would bring the oblation, their children, and they would lay it in the hands of the idol. FIRE! BARBARIANS! How many of you here would say, “Oh, barbarians!” and yet it is that we give our children into the hands of the system without a concern! Oh, we might quote a few Bible verses. We might spend a little bit of time rehearsing or reciting the scriptures, or we might read a chapter a day and pray for 10 or 15 minutes longer than normal. Are we producing sons of God? Are they overcomers? Are we teaching them, “Now, Grandpa has this particular thing that he has to deal with, and he doesn’t want to see it in you. And yet Grandpa sees it in you, so Grandpa wants to join with you in prayer, and in fasting maybe, and begin to come against that nature of sin that is in you so that, first of all, it can be broken in you and then it can be broken in Grandpa.” Do we teach them about the things and the principles of the body, that the body is the temple of the Yahweh? That whatsoever you do unto the temple, you do it as unto the Lord? DO WE TEACH THEM THAT? Stuffing in all of that junk food and all of that that has absolutely no value for them and we don’t know what consequences it may have, that is, unless we look at the cancer rate, Alzheimer’s disease, and all of the other maladies that we have in our society. You know, I don’t preach food. I really don’t. But it seems like I see God changing the diets and restricting… I know a woman who had to go on a strict, strict, diet. God had to inflict her with diabetes in order to get her into a place where He wanted her that she might have the opportunity to obey. He began to talk to her about the body. Not about food necessarily, but about the body, about the principle of sanctification. Do you know that when she got the point, she got delivered? Hallelujah!
I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… Oh, yes. You remember James and John? “Oh God, that one could be on Your left hand, and one could be on Your right” (Mark 10:37). If they would have just said left, that would have left the right open, but they wanted both positions. Call that a little bit like nepotism, or something like that. It is not wrong to want to be there. It is wrong if you want the preeminence of the thing, and you want to have your position as a place of rulership and a right. “Oh – you don’t recognize me as the SHEPHERD?” “You don’t recognize me as the APOSTLE?” There is only one place that I know of where Paul began to expound upon his position of apostolic-ness, and it was when in the act, the church was questioning it (I Corinthians 9).
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (Isaiah 14:13). “Thou fool, knowest thou not that unless a seed” – what? Does what? Does what? Husbands? Wives? What’s your place of preeminence? What ascension? Who are you stepping on to get to your position or your place of preeminence? “I will sit,” my goodness, “upon the congregation, in the sides of the north.” In these scriptures God is dealing with the ssce (Isaiah 14:13). “…And the devil said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1). What is that? A rhetorical question? Yes! But she fell for it. And the Body of Christ, not women in particular, but the Body of Christ is, as it were, a woman who is supposed to be betrothed to another, to Christ, and we adulterate the sanctity of that position by our hobnobbing with the other. Let’s look at Mary for a moment, the position that she was in, with the fact of her being pregnant. The fact that she was betrothed made her an adulterer because she was not married as we know being married. YET they would have considered her an adulteress, because you see, the judgment that came was not from OUR perspective.
I tell you what! I am so glad that God did what He did when He picked a people. It wouldn’t have made any difference who He picked, as far as I am concerned, as long as He picked a people. God had to pick a people. We used to have a little rhyme, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers…” I am glad that God picked a people, because you know something? There are so many different nationalities! There are so many different cultures! There are so many different ways of doing things and everybody thinks that their way of doing things is the right way. “But we don’t do that here.” “Oh, you don’t?” “And we don’t do that here.” “Oh, you don’t?” “But we do this!” “Oh, you do!” “Well, we don’t do that, either!” Huh? But you see, God picked a people and He gave that people instructions on how they were supposed to live. You know, there wasn’t anything left out! He told them how to eat. He told them how to dress. He told them how to talk to one another. He told them how to live. He told them how they were to do business. He told them how they were to go to church. He told them how they were to brush their teeth. He told them how they were to wash their hands. He told them how they were to wash their clothes. He told them how they were to grow their food. He told them EVERYTHING! How would you like to be in that position? We would accuse anybody who was in that position as being religious or a control freak!
Why did He do that? He had to set a standard to which everything could be conformed and that we might have some understanding on how we are to live! I’m not saying that you all go out and be Jews! God did not leave us without interpretation! He brought forth the standard and then He brought forth the Holy Ghost to interpret it. You know, we use the word “culture,” or they do, and that is something that is processed in the right way. Did you know they taught respect for their elders? Did you know that? We have no respect for elders. “Well, he is not right.” Well, he may not be right, but he is your elder! If a son rebelled against his parents, do you know what they did? They took him out by the gate before the elders, the elders assessed the situation, and if he was found wrong, they stoned him until he was dead! Thank God for the grace of God. I would not ever have been here. Hallelujah!
Do you know something? In the ministry of the Body of Christ, I have a position of authority. Did you know that? And you really don’t even have to like me. That has nothing to do with it. But I have a position of authority, and on the basis of my authority and the position that I have, and the responsibility that I have concerning someone in the Body, I can go to God about that someone and ask God to do what needs to be done. I can go about my day, knowing that God is going to hear, that God has heard my prayer and He is going to do just exactly what I asked Him to do. Now, it may take the whipping stick. It could be sickness in the body; it could be sickness in the flesh; it could be tribulation in the family; it could be tribulation in finances. It doesn’t make any difference if all that tribulation brings them to a place where they recognize the authority of God! Hallelujah! That is why it really doesn’t bother me if people rise up against me. It doesn’t bother me. Oh, you know, you get over the first signs of irritation and of course you kick the “poor me” spirit. But the fact of the matter is, I can trust God. I can be fellowshipping with people and working with them in the Lord and if all of a sudden they begin to turn around and they begin to treat me in a way that is not respectful or right, I’ve got an advocate! I have an advocate and a responsibility because of the position that I have as an elder in the Body, or the position/relationship that I have with the individual that is rising up against me, I have a responsibility to go to God about their attitude. “Look, God! I didn’t put myself in this position. You put me here, and You see what is going on here! Oh, God – SEARCH ME FIRST! SEARCH ME FIRST! Now, if my attitude is not right – let’s fix it and get it taken care of! But if there is nothing wrong, You need to do something about this situation!” Do you know what? I can trust God! I can trust God, because at the end of the day we are going to be walking side by side. We are going to be walking side by side in the midst of the Kingdom. We are going to be talking about the things of the Lord and doing the thing that God has created us to do together!
It is not about ascending and exalting! It is about ascending and abasing! “He that is the greatest, let him be the least. He that would want to be waited on and served, let him be a slave” (Matthew 23:11). He that would want to be waited on and served, let him be a slave! Hallelujah!
I mean, “I will ascend… I will exalt… I will sit… I will ascend above the heights… I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14). That is not the way to get to where God has called us to be. That is not the Word or the destiny that we want to work out in the midst of our situation. John 1:12 says, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God…
What do you want to become? Sons of perdition or sons of God? You know, I really don’t know how God works out the economy of it. Some of us are caught betwixt the two, wanting to be a son of God and wanting to be a son of perdition, each position working contrary to the other and in the midst of all of that, we are crying out to God for help. I don’t know how He balances out that account, but somehow or another, He does. Boy, am I glad that He has got that job! John 1:12, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood… That takes care of the lineage of Asbill and Elsberry and all of the rest of them! …nor of the will of the flesh… There goes Mom and Dad! …nor of the will of man… There goes my position, my place of personal prerogative, …but of God. Therefore, brethren, seeing as we have received this “ministry of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:18). Hallelujah! II Corinthians 5:19, To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses… Trespasses where? Against him. …unto them; and hath committed unto us the word… I love it! “And God said…” God Bless You! Hallelujah!