We Wrestle Not…
December 19, 1995
(For printable version click here.)
I want to deal with something that has been weighing on me very heavily. Were any of you aware of a spiritual resistance that was moving in the congregation Sunday morning? How many of you found it easy to enter into praise? How many of you praised like you have been known to praise? I realize it is Tuesday, but can you think back to what your thoughts were as the praise was going on? It was very, very difficult, and not many of you were trying to break through. Some of you were, but not all of you. Now, why? What do you think was going on? See, it is a problem that I have been aware of in the Body of Christ as we gather together. It seems like there is an intention that God has, and so often it seems that as we begin to move into God’s intention, something happens and we get diverted. Somebody will start a song that is going a different direction. Somebody will speak a word that goes a different direction. It has perplexed me, especially when we have been in praise and we begin to move into God and somebody does something, almost like they scare off the Holy Ghost. I know that the Holy Ghost can not be scared. But you know, the Holy Ghost is as a dove and you have to be very quiet, very slow moving if you want to be around doves. I am talking about the wild dove out there. Any sudden movements, any loud noises and it is gone. I think the Holy Ghost is a lot like that. Why? Why do you think we have this type of problem? God is sovereign, so what do you think is the difficulty?
Congregation: Not hearing or not listening to what God wants us to.
Burt Asbill: I am sure that is all part of it. Let me read the scripture that the Lord brought to me Sunday morning as we were sitting there. It is found in Job 1:6, Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD… What is our gathering together? Is it just coming to church? How do you view it? What is your mindset as you get ready to go to church in the morning? What do we do? We really need to consider this.
One of the reasons why I am not in the organized church is because the church is not following God. The church is not doing what God wants it to do. They are not operating in the fashion that God wants them to operate. Going to church is more like going to a social event than it is like going to church. But what is going to church?
Congregation: It is presenting ourselves before the Lord.
Burt Asbill: But what does that mean to you? What does it mean to present yourself before the Lord?
Congregation: Entering into His presence.
Burt Asbill: What does entering into His presence mean?
Congregation: You go at a specific time and a specific place to fellowship with someone.
Burt Asbill: You have every expectation of meeting someone, at some particular time, at some particular place. Do you go to church with that expectation? You do? OK. Let’s say you are going for a job interview at a very plush place. Do you wear your jeans with holes in them? What do you do? You dress up. That takes time and energy. You might even take a bath, wash your hair, fix it just right and make sure it looks just so. Do you put on just any kind of clothes? No. Now, let us examine this a little bit. You wear your best, but your best today might not be what your best was yesterday. So, you go through your closet and you take this one and you look at it, “No, that is not quite good enough,” and you put it back. You take another one, look at it and say, “No, that is not quite right,” until you get just the right thing and then you dress yourself. You might put on a sweater over your shirt or blouse and the collars are not just right, so you take everything off and get something else to put on, because you have an important engagement. You have every expectation of making a good impression. You have every expectation of really showing the individual that you are meeting, that your are the absolute best that they could possibly have as their employee. I mean, there is a certain amount of preparation that you do for that particular event. How much do you prepare to meet God? How much time do you spend in the Word? How much time do you spend in prayer? Do you ask God what His intent is with regard to us gathering together? Do you ask Him what your function or position is in that particular meeting? “What is my purpose? What can I do that I might be able to minister or be a window or a door by which You might flow through me into the congregation?” Come on, brethren.
One of the other reasons that I left the organized church was because it was a one man operation. There was no room for God to move or for God to be creative. There was no room for God to manifest Himself other than from the position of pastor. We say that we have come out of that and yet, it seems that we still have a pastor mentality because of the responsibility that we delegate to one man by our lack of preparation. There is a scripture that says that there should be a song or a psalm. What are some of the other things that it says? I Corinthians 14:26, How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. “Let all things be done unto edifying.” Do you know what edifying means? It means “to build up.“ It says, every one of you… That means that the burden is going to fall on Brother Peter, Brother John, and Brother Emmanuel. Is that everyone? “Everyone” means who? Yes, every one of us – me, you, all of us, every one of us. There should be some aspect of God’s Spirit moving in each one of us, hallelujah.
All right, I want to get back to why we gather ourselves together. We gather ourselves together for the purpose of meeting God. Now, it says here in Job that as the sons of God gathered themselves together in the presence of God, Satan came also among them. Now, I made a mistake Sunday, because I did not know whether or not I should have stopped the meeting, but in retrospect, I should have stopped the meeting and said, “Brethren, we need to pray. Satan is here in our midst.” I know that we were visited by Satan.
I also know that every time we gather together, if Satan himself does not come, he sends one of his cohorts. Who he sends is dependent upon the Body, upon the spiritual position and the place of responsibility. Depending upon the thing that is happening with the fellowship in question determines the rank of the spirit that he sends. He is not going to send some little demon into the midst of a congregation that he knows will discern it, smash it, send it into the abyss and use it as a stepping stone to climb up higher into the realm of the heavenlies. When the Bible says in Ephesians that we war not against flesh and blood, it means just exactly that. It means that we do not war against our brothers or sisters. It means that our warfare is on a spiritual plane and we come into confrontation with spirits. Not just ordinary spirits. Not just little demons that are running around working to annoy you and to give you a hard time. But it says it is a particular rank of spirits that we are dealing with. Hallelujah. It says, Ephesians 6:12, …but against principalities…
A principality is an area or a domain, do you understand? The village of Mahomet is a principality. Spirits rule and govern over the city of Mahomet up to its boundaries, and what they do and what they say is law. Do you understand what I am saying? It is a principality. You have a principality that is over the entire area in which you live and the particular place in which you fellowship. There is a principality over the area where Denver is that goes all the way down south past Colorado Springs and all the way up to Longmont, or maybe even farther than that, I do not know. There is a spirit of death that rules over that area. I saw it as I was flying into Denver one time. I looked out my plane window and I was expecting to see the Rocky Mountains and instead I saw this desolate graveyard. What I saw were graves that were in disarray, tomb stones that were broken down, some dead bodies laying not buried, others half buried, skeletons and bones laying everywhere. It all kind of went up to a hill. It was not a mountain, it was just a hill. On the top of this hill there was a throne that was made out of tomb stones, and upon this throne sat a gladiator. He was like an old Roman gladiator and he had his hat on kind of cocked and he had his armor on and he was sitting sideways in his chair. One leg was thrown over the arm of the throne and he had his arm over the back of the chair. As I was looking at him, he looked me right in the eye and he smiled. And then he took his arm in a sweeping motion over the area and said, “Welcome to my kingdom.”
Now, every time that we come together, what do you think goes on in Denver? You have to contend with that devil. God sent someone into our midst who had cancer and I believe that it was a challenge that God was allowing the enemy to present unto us. It was a challenge which we did not rise to.
I remember one time we were having meetings outside of Bonn, Germany, and as I was in the meeting and as the Spirit of God was moving, I had a vision. In the vision there was this knight in black armor. There was a small group of people, probably six or seven, I do not really remember. This knight rode up on a big, black, muscled horse in black, shiny armor, a black plume, a black gauntlet and a black lance. He came riding up and this little group of people was standing there and they were kind of awed or cowed by the presence of this knight. The horse had a breast strap that came around that had a gold emblem on it. I described the emblem to the people there and they said that it was the emblem of Bavaria. It was a ruling spirit. We were ministering the Word of the Kingdom, you understand. We were invading his territory. He rode up to this small group, he took off his gauntlet, his glove. He took off both of them, slapped them in his hand and then slammed them down in front of the group. What was he doing? He was challenging them. It was a challenge that they did not rise to. Do you hear me? Of that group, two couples went off into deception and error believing in the reconciliation of all things. One man died of hemorrhaging in his brain, and the wife of one couple is having to battle with a spirit of insanity. Not fun and games.
I remember back in Turlock, I got involved with the early move of the Holy Spirit in this casting out of demons, a Darek Prince, Bob Mumford, Don Bashom kind of thing. They were the pioneers that the Spirit of God was moving upon and they ushered in this dealing and deliverance ministry. I think that is where “New Wine” came from, some of these Holy Ghost magazines that we have. There was a group of us of about ten people. For lack of a better terminology, we were a deliverance fellowship. We would get the person and we would sit them down in what we called “the hot seat.” Then we would all stand around them and begin to talk to these demons. We would command the demon to come up and begin to manifest itself. The person would begin to talk in strange voices. A woman might talk in a very guttural man’s voice, gravelly. There were all kinds of manifestations. People would do all kinds of weird things. One woman we were dealing with was lifted up out of the chair and slammed against the wall. That is when I decided to get out of it. Playing games, you understand? Dealing with a principality, dealing with a ruling spirit. Of that group of ten, one man had an accident and he is now a paraplegic; one man had cancer and died; one man was in his jeep up in the mountains driving through the hills and his jeep rolled over on top of him. Of that family there was a woman, a wife of one of the men, that had a relationship with one of the people’s sons that was in the group. Several went off into deception and error. Another died of cancer. The group was totally, absolutely, completely destroyed and lives were ruined.
This is serious business, especially for us who are hearing and desiring the Word of the Kingdom. It is a life and death matter and it does not make any difference whether you know it or not. I was working at the top of a ladder on a job framing this house. It was up on a foundation, and it had a little bay window that came out. The foundation and everything stuck out. I was working right there in the middle on top of this ladder and it was an open wood frame, so there was no wall, no siding. My son said it was like somebody picked me up off of the ladder. Instead of falling out, I went up. I went up, the ladder was kicked out of the way and I dropped. As I dropped, my head came down right against the wall of the bay and my hand came down on the top of the foundation on the wood of the frame and it broke my arm. Well, Brother duCille was very disturbed about the situation, so he went to God and asked God, “Why did you allow Burt’s arm to be broken?” The Lord spoke to Brother duCille and said, “Burt does not know what he is dealing with. It should have been his neck and not his arm.” It could just as well have been my neck because I was right there in the bay, the open frame, the window ledge, and all it did was knock my hat off as I went down. Why? Because we are in the business of ushering in, of promoting, of building up, of moving and establishing a dominion, a territory in the midst of enemy occupied land.
It says that when the saints of God come to gather themselves together, that Satan is there in the midst and he is contending for the anointing. Do you hear me? Now, if you are not moving in God’s anointing, you have to be moving in someone else’s anointing, an anointing that will not give you the strength, vitality or ability to receive the life that God wants to impart to you in that setting. Do you remember the scripture that says, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together”? Do you remember it? Well, there is an admonition in that scripture that is pinpointing a particular time. Hebrews 10:25, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. I want to read that in the Amplified. “Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.” Now, what day do you think he is talking about?
Congregation: The last days.
Burt Asbill: Yes, absolutely. What do we call ourselves?
Congregation: The First Fruits.
Burt Asbill: The First Fruits, but we are also the end time people. So, it would seem to me then, that this scripture is particularly a scripture that is for us. Would you think so? Hallelujah.
You know, I think that God is very merciful to us. If we could see spiritually, I think it would scare the living day lights out of us. When we go into service, when we begin to sing or pray or exhort, brethren, we are doing it for a reason. If our thoughts are going to the left or to the right we become easy prey for the devil. You have to understand that there is something spiritual being administered to you. If you are feeling at odds with something or someone, it is an indication of the spiritual pressure that is being applied to you and it should motivate you to rise up in the Spirit and begin to think about God, to lift God up in the midst of the congregation. My goodness. You know, when I am in a congregation and I do not want to lift my hands, it is not God. It is not God. The Bible tells me that I am to lift up holy hands and every time that I say, “Well, I don’t want to lift my hands, I am not going to stand up, I am not going to clap, I am not going to move my feet, I don’t feel like doing it, I will not…” Feeling has nothing to do with it. There is a position that God is calling us to that is obedience and if we don’t move or allow ourselves to be moved up into that realm to be strengthened when the enemy comes to strike, we will be vulnerable and he will hit us with everything he has and unless God intervenes, we will not have strength to resist it.
We were in India and God had been talking to us about Kannapuram. We knew that the enemy was waiting for us in Kannapuram. We had been cautioned, we had been alerted, people had visions, they had dreams, but we did not know what to do. Do you understand? We just knew that the devil had a plan and he was waiting for us in Kannapuram. It was like, day by day, we were getting closer to the time that we would have to be leaving to go to Kannapuram. We went to Meerut, we went to Hyderabad, we went to Vijaywadi and the time was coming that we were going to have to make a decision about going to Kannapuram. We knew that there was something waiting for us in Kannapuram, and we did not know what to do. The answer was so simple, yet it was being hidden from us because God wanted us to do something. You understand? He wanted us to do something. It is not that we were not doing something, but He wanted us to really do something. So, the night before we had to make the decision, we all got down on our knees and began to press God as to what to do. It was so simple, but we had to press God. We had to push God. We had to get down on our knees. All the praying that we had done before did not matter as much as this particular time. There was something that God wanted us to do and what He wanted us to do was get down together into prayer and began to press Him. He wanted us to get down on our knees, down on our faces and begin to ask Him, “God, what is it that we need to do with regard to Kannapuram?” And it was so simple. He said, “You don’t go to Kannapuram. You go to Narsapur, then you go down to Madras and you call to Kannapuram and tell them to come down and meet you in Madras.” So, we had to do something. Personally, I think God would have let us go to Kannapuram even if we had not done what He had required; He would have let us go and God only knows what would have happened had we gone.
Well, we do know that there was a plot to get us thrown into jail. I, for one, do not want to be thrown into an Indian jail. They do not have laws or rights like we have here. We were all so certain, so much aware of the intent of the enemy when we were in Meerut. You know, the police came to check us out. God spoke to us about locking our luggage up, leaving no place… In fact, I have luggage now on which everything can lock. Not that the locks are anything, but it will keep somebody from slipping something into your bag, because if they find dope, you are in jail. It is not like here. You are guilty because it is in your bag. We were aware of that pressure and there was someone always praying. You understand? We only got two, three, four hours sleep per night on that trip and every night someone, if not more than one, was awake all night praying, pressing God. It seemed like we would rotate. I would not be able to sleep one night and so I would spend the night in prayer. The next night it would be Sharon that could not sleep all night. She would spend the night in prayer. You war not against flesh and blood but against principalities.
I do not know how that is going to be impressed upon you to such an extent, maybe it will require some major event happening in your life to wake you up to the fact that there is a devil out there that wants to smite you and destroy you and keep you from moving in the calling and the election that is on your life. He will use brother, sister, mother, father, sons, daughters, anything that is in his power, his control to bring you to a place of devastation and to stop you from coming in to the place of your authority, your anointing! He is after your anointing. I will read it to you. It is in Isaiah. The anointing is having the abiding presence of God. Isaiah 14:13, For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. What is he talking about when he talks about sit also upon the mount of the congregation? What is he talking about? He is talking about you and I gathering ourselves together for the sake of coming into or inviting the presence of God to come into our midst. What is happening? He is there walking around in the midst of the congregation and he is looking into your mind and he is seeing all of your weaknesses and he is seeing all of the diverting thoughts and he is working and playing and trying to keep that diverting thing going until you move out of the place where God wants you to be so that you might not receive the fullness of the thing that He would want to minister to you. Not only has he managed to stop you from going into God, but he has managed to stop the person next to you because what you are doing brings an intervention and an interference with what they are doing. Hallelujah!
I am telling you that Satan was there in our midst last Sunday morning – Satan himself – not some little cohort, not some little insignificant demon. What this fellowship is doing, and the place this fellowship is going, hallelujah, is making ripples upon his domain, and it is causing him some problems. The last thing he needs is a bunch of little anointed ones running around using the sword of the Spirit to smite his rulers in high places! Come on, brethren. Satan notices this one or that one and he sees the anointing on the life of this one or that one. He went to God and he said, “Does this one serve you for naught?”(Job1:9). Now, listen to this. There is a license and a liberty that God gives with regard to the anointing that He is pouring out upon you. Are you hearing what I am saying? You may not think your anointing is very much, but I have news for you: you do not see it in the same light as God sees it. You may not be moving in the strength or in the maturity of the thing that God has planted within you, but that makes no difference because there is a certain expectation that God has with regard to the Holy Ghost that is within you and the thing that He has done with you. There is a certain knowledge that He has of the place of strength that you have within you and He tests you on that aspect or that potential.
It is like a man who has the capability of pressing 130 pounds but he only stays at 110, or he stays at 100. He never goes out and tries the 130. So, he is not conditioned, he is not exercised so that he might, when the test comes, lift the 130. He goes out there and he finds himself in trouble when he tries to hoist it and press it and he can not do it. But, he has the capability, he just has not exercised himself in the potential that is his and he loses. He does not come home with the prize.
That is the way God tests you. There is a certain knowledge that you have with regard to certain issues, precepts and concepts. There is a certain knowledge that you have. And it is on the basis of that knowledge that you have that God is going to test you. It is the same way in school, right? The teacher comes along and gives you so many chapters that you have to study and says, “At the end of the week, you have to know chapters five, six, seven and eight because we are going to have an exam on them.” Now, if you only study five and six, you will go in and get the first ten questions right but miss the next 60 because you did not read the rest of the chapters. What is the teacher going to tell you? “You failed.”
Brethren, listen to what I am saying. You have to make a difference. There has to be a sensitivity and an awareness in you and you have to meet the enemy on the terms prescribed by God. Do you hear me? You have to meet the enemy on God’s terms according to His assessment of you and what you have. You don’t think so? “Does Job serve You for naught?” Who set the boundaries? Satan said, “Just let me touch his skin.” God said, “OK.” Very agreeable, isn’t He? “Oh, OK. Now, you may touch his skin. That is the line that you have drawn in the sand. You can go as far as you want to, as far as his skin, and that is as far as you are going.” Satan set the parameters but it was God that gave the authority. Satan had to come back to God and ask for more, “Well, You just did not give me enough liberty.” And God said, “What do you want?” So Satan said, “All right, let me touch this and let me touch that.” God said, “Go. Touch him.” Some of us are being touched in the area of our experience or relationship with God. God has allowed Satan to come and He has said, “Go, touch him.” “Does Sarah serve God for naught? Let me touch her skin.” My goodness, come on.
This is serious business. It is life and death business. You make the wrong move at the wrong time and you are dead. You are out of God. You are dead, you are out, you missed it. The door is shut, it is closed. I am telling you, there is a position of responsibility that God is inching us toward. Unfortunately, many of us are too reluctant to go, and sometimes it is like He is pushing us there. But nevertheless, we are getting there. It is like Peter as Jesus was coming across the lake, right? He said, “Lord, if that be You, bid me to come out.” And you know what? God bid him to come out. You know, that is the most miraculous thing. God said, “All right, it is time, Peter; step out. It is time, Peter; you have the faith, you have the ability.” And he did, because he started walking on the water, but he got distracted.
Distraction. Your thoughts go out the window. You are in service and praising God, and you begin to step outside your sphere of being comfortable. You step outside of it. Hallelujah. You are moving in God and all of a sudden, some thought hits you and your thought goes up, up that way and down you go into the water. Only, you do not know that you are sinking. You don’t know it. You just think, “Well, that is the way it is. Boy, I wonder what happened in church today.” Come on. We do not even have enough of an understanding to say, “God, help me, I am sinking!”
This is serious business. You have a message that goes beyond normal Christianity, beyond going to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. You have a responsibility that goes beyond that position. You have been invested with the Word of the Kingdom. What does that mean? That means that there is a power, an energy, a light, if I might use that terminology, that has been deposited within your soul and it is for the purpose of taking away the dominion of Satan! Is he going to treat you like he treats Tom Baptist, or John Methodist over here, or the ones down there in the Presbyterian church? How about the Lutheran down on the corner? Is he going to treat you in the same way? “Well, God, he can do it, why can’t I do it?” Because, you have the message of the kingdom, you have the tool of the Spirit which is designed to smite the devil, pull down his kingdom and throw him into hell. Do you think he is just going to sit back on the sidelines looking at the potential that is in you? Do you think he is just going to not take advantage of your ignorance? Do you think he is just going to say, “Oh, she does not know any better than that. I can’t touch her.”? Oh, no! If you are in that place, bang, you are hit. Hallelujah.
This is serious business, business in which you have been called and ordained to function and flow. If we are going to have a Baptist mentality, if we are going to have an Assemblies of God mentality, if we are going to have a Pentecostal mentality, it is best for us to get out of this arena of experience and get into that arena of being a Baptist. Do you hear me? Much better! You are safer. Well, you are not really, because you have had a glimpse, you have had a touch, you have had an awareness of the position that God is calling you to and nothing else is going to satisfy you. None of you could go sit back in a Baptist church and be content. None of you could go to an Assemblies of God church. You are spoiled. Thank God for being spoiled. Hallelujah. You would be bored to tears. And you would be in your closet saying, “God, we need a little revival.” Come on. Hallelujah.
“But unto whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:48). And it is not me that is requiring of you. It is God. Who was putting the demand upon Job? God. We need to wake up. The devil is out to usurp your anointing and he will do it by any means and any way that he can do it! God has to get into every aspect of our soul. He has to get into every part and piece of our nature. He has to get into every door, every cupboard, every space. God has to invade it, He has to get in those places that we consider private and personal. God has to get in there. He has to do what He has to do in order to eliminate your vulnerability and your susceptibility to sin. Come on. Your susceptibility to sin. Some of us are susceptible to colds. Some of us are susceptible to this or that. All of us are susceptible to sin and God has to go in, hallelujah, like a laser and burn out everything that makes you vulnerable! Come on. My goodness. Hallelujah! No wonder Paul could say, “I rejoice in my tribulation” (II Corinthians 7:4, Romans 5:3). Hallelujah.
There was a Sister in Africa that was sent a little boy, seven, eight years old, into her compound. She took him in, mothered him, fed him and put clothes on his back, and he poisoned her. Poisoned her. But, God revealed what it was, and touched her and raised her up off of her death bed. Witch doctors, all kinds of shenanigans, all kinds of things going on. Do you hear me? She wrote me a letter and she said things are quiet and she is afraid that God has put her on the shelf because she is not in tribulation as she has been in the past. She is out there in the bush with no electricity, no phone and no running water! She is afraid God has put her on the shelf. Hallelujah. We need to wake up.
Let us turn over into Isaiah 52. I believe this is God’s cry for this Body. Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down… Hallelujah. What is He saying? He is saying, “Get thee up on the mountain, get thee up on the mountain, get thee up, oh, Zion, get up.” Don’t we sing a song, “Get thee up be not afraid“? What is He saying? “Come on! Get up into this realm, this spiritual position, this spiritual domain that I have for you. Come up here and take your seat in the realm that I have prepared for you.” He grants for me that I sit in my Father’s throne. How about the scripture, “Where I am, I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-3). Where did He go? He says, “At the right hand of the Father.” That is right there in God’s throne. It is in the position of ruling. That is in the position of authority. He says, “Wake up, wake up, you people. Wake up. You need to shake yourself from the dust.” What does He mean? Come on. “Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19). What is He saying? Come on. Oh, yes, “Put down your humanity. Shake it off of you, shake it loose, cut it loose. Hallelujah, shake it!” Have you ever seen a dog come up out of the water, or a horse that rolls around in the sand? Have you ever watched that animal as he gets up? What does he do? Every inch of his body shakes, violently. And I don’t think this is just a little shaking.
What does the Amplified say? Isaiah 52:2, “Shake yourself from the dust; arise, sit [erect in a dignified place], O Jerusalem; loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion.” Do we have a concordance? I want to look up the word shake.
Verse 3, For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for naught; and ye shall be redeemed without money. Revelation 3:17-18, Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Hallelujah.
I think God is calling us to wake up. I think the alarm clock is going off. Now, we can hit the snooze button. Do you hear me? I think a lot of us do hit the snooze button. “Oh, just a little more, just a little more… Oh, what was that, what was that?” Until you hit it one too many times. Or you hit the wrong button, and you just turn it off.
Congregation: What are we supposed to do?
Burt Asbill: Get up. When the alarm goes off, you get up. You can pray in the morning before you come to service. You can get together in your household and bind the spirits of the devil – the principalities and the powers. Pray for the purpose and the planning of God. Ask God what He would have you to do, how He would have you to do it. During the week, be meditating upon the words that are spoken and the things that are said. Be diligent in your studies as far as God is concerned. Prayer time in the mornings, together and individually. Prayer time at night and Bible reading. Come on. What do you mean, “What do we do?” We wake up. The alarm is going off. We can be like this sluggard in Proverbs 6:10, “Oh, a little more sleep, a little folding of the hands,” or we can sit in the service and be that bump on the log – move our mouths and say the words and not feel that inner spontaneous combustion. We can resist the move of the Holy Ghost, we can tell jokes, we can be busy with our children or somebody else’s children. Come on. Listen to what I am saying. We can begin to move in a manner to press God that when we do not feel like praising, we begin to praise Him anyway. If we do not feel like raising our hands, we raise our hands anyway. If we do not feel like clapping, we will clap anyway if that is the move of the Holy Ghost. If we don’t feel like doing a little two-step, we do a little two-step.
Proverbs 6:6, Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: You can learn the wisdom of God by observing the ant. That means that as you watch the ant, God speaks to you through the ant. They do not sleep at all. I did not know that. “Oh, I have to sleep.” Verses 7-11, Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. It is a promise. Travelleth means always busy, going, going, running day and night. Busy, busy, busy, can’t be here, can’t be there, cannot do this, and cannot do that. Busy, busy. I do not have time to do that, I do not have time to pray, I do not have time to read. I do not have time to talk about God. I do not have time to go to church. I do not have time, I do not have time. One who “travelleth.” Oh, my. It says, 11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
Revelation 3:20, Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. It is time to wake up. Praise God.
Most of us were not even aware of what happened in church on Sunday. We came out of there, thought it was a really good service and we missed God. It is a corporate responsibility. It is not an individual person’s responsibility. It is a corporate situation because we are a body of people and we all need to repent. Amen. We all need to go to God and ask Him to instruct us.
Congregation: I looked up the word shake that you asked for earlier. Strong’s Concordance #5287, shake: a primitive root (probably identical with 5286, through the idea of the rustling of mane, which usually accompanies the lion’s roar); to tumble about:—shake (off, out, self), overthrow, toss up and down.
Congregation: It is extremely troubling to me that I had no idea that Satan was there during the service.
Burt Asbill: Well, not very many people did. There were some that knew something was wrong.
Congregation: So, what is the answer to that?
Burt Asbill: Do not take coming to church for granted, because that is what we are doing. We are falling into the “church” rut. It is Sunday and we have got to go to church. We sleep as long as we can sleep and then we get up, get dressed and eat or do our thing and then go to church. And we are not ready. We are not ready! We come in stone cold and God’s got to work and work and work and work. I don’t think God is going to work with us anymore in the way that He has worked with us in the past because of the expectation that He has with regard to all. You have enough. You young people that were in Schuyler, do you remember the night I told you that you had to get together and pray? Did you see the difference it made on the next morning? I mean, that is the strength that we moved in, the strength of just that little bit of time that you spent in prayer. God did it to whet your appetite. It was not just something that God did with regard to that special occasion. He gave you that occasion to instruct and teach you that He might get you to be trained to do it every time, because every time we meet, Satan is there to hinder.
Congregation: I cannot remember the scripture exactly, but God says He shakes the heavens and the earth, until all that remains will not be shaken. I was wondering, if we do not shake ourselves, is it saying that we will be put in a position to where He will shake us?
Burt Asbill: We will be shaken. Now, the key to that verse is Hebrews 12:26, Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made… So, to whatever degree you have that which is able to be shaken, when He shakes, it will tumble and it will fall. Do you understand? But it says, …that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. I believe that if we shake ourselves now, then when the time that He is going to shake comes, we will be unshakeable. It is the Word that says, “Judgment begins at the house of God” (I Peter 4:17). He says, “If you judge yourselves then you will not be judged” (I Corinthians 11:31) You understand? He says, “If you judge yourselves, if you take the time, the energy and the resources that God gives you to judge yourself, then you will not be judged.” To be judged means you are going to be shaken.
Congregation: But isn’t everybody supposed to be judged?
Burt Asbill: The Bible says if you judge yourself you will not be judged (I Corinthians 11:31). There will not be anything left to judge, if you judge yourself, because as you judge yourself, you determine what is right and wrong and what is wrong, you deal with. You pass sentence on it, “Death, I do not want that anymore. I do not want that in me. Take it away, God.” God begins the process by which to eliminate your problem and your shaking starts now because you are shaking yourself. You are breaking loose that thing that is a burden or a hindrance to you with regard to righteousness. Right? So that when such a circumstance comes that was designed to shake you and it begins to shake your neighbor, you cannot be shaken, because you have a reality of God that he does not have. If you learn to trust God… It says, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17, Hebrews 10:38). Let us say that you are in a situation and you begin to live by faith. God is your provision. He is your substance. He gives you this substance by which to live, the money or whatever it may be. He gives it to you, you trust Him for it, and in your experience, you know, you go through a certain amount of insecurity.
When I first went full time in the ministry it was not something that I had ever done before. I am a man that likes to work and I like the work that I do and that makes it even harder not to do the work. Nevertheless, I enjoy working. But I also enjoyed that monthly payment that was given to me for the job that I did. I liked to take that money and stick it in the bank. I liked to be able to say, “Oh, I have this much money in the bank and I have this many bills, so that gives me this much excess, or I need that much more in order to cover the outflow.” So, there is an awareness that I have with regard to my finances which gives me a measure of control. Do you understand? I am in control of my position and my surroundings and my environment by the money that I have in the bank or by the money that I need to acquire. Then I go about doing what I have to do to acquire that. Now, when God takes you out of that type of situation, there is a certain amount of shaking that goes on in your life because you are not looking any more to John Doe to do his remodel that he might pay you the money to pay the bills or whatever. You are just looking to this invisible Being that you call God and you are expecting Him to do what He says He is going to do. And there is a certain amount of trepidation. I do not know about anybody else, but my experience has been a very shaky stepping out. You know what I mean? But God was faithful, because He met me in that shaky position. He has always continued to meet me and the situations get bigger and they get more profound or pronounced, you know. In experiences, your faith begins to expand. OK, you are in a position now, and you have learned to trust God. When you did not have food, He brought food. When you needed money, He brought money. Sometimes it just miraculously appeared. You know what I mean? I do not know how to explain it. I look in my wallet, I do not have any money, and I look in my wallet the next day and there is money. And you are able to trust God. You are able to say, “Well, I remember the time back then when I was in this situation.” Then the economy out here collapses. Let us say Tyson over here has been working at his job and doing everything that he can to put money in the bank. Now, his position of security is suddenly in a place of shambles and the shaking is going on that brings a great deal of devastation emotionally, mentally, but, here I am standing firm in the aspect, “Well, God met me back there, God will meet me here.” My shaking has already taken place with regard to that aspect.
You believe in the reality of life over death. Now, when the guy points a gun at me and I see a bullet is in the chamber, there is a different shaking going on. How am I going to meet that situation? Well, God is faithful because He has already begun circumstances. Back here He convicted me of my lack of trust in Him with regard to my life, you know what I mean? He has put me in situations where I have feared for my life. I did not really understand how dear my life was when I gave my life to God. “God, I am yours, just take it. I am laying it down.” Right? Well, God took me at my word one time. I remember pulling into my driveway and I had this pain in my chest. It went up my chest and into my arm. It was an excruciating pain and it got worse. I was down visiting a friend of mine who was doing a remodel and I was talking to him about it and this pain started up. I said good bye, got in my car and went home. As I was driving home, the pain was just getting worse and worse and worse. By the time I got home and out of my car, I was gasping for breath. The pain was excruciating. I thought I was having a heart attack. I thought I was dying. You do not know how much I did not want to die. “Oh, You are a Christian, You are going to be with the Lord.” „I do not want to be with the Lord! I want to stay here, God! I have all these little babies running around; God, I want to stay here! I do not want to die!” “Oh, you are a Christian, you are going to heaven.” “I do not want to go to heaven! Please, God, don’t kill me!” Fear of death. Oh, I wanted to live, I did not want to die. It was just a collapsed lung. But, it made me aware of my weakness, my unwillingness to die. So I said, “God, you have to fix this.” And He has been fixing it. He has put me in situations in Africa, in India, all over the world where I knew in the Spirit that someone was out to kill us. Full Gospel Businessmen in Nigeria plotted to kill us. They wanted to do it at a particular meeting but there were so many people at that meeting that they were afraid to move. There were over a thousand people that had come to that meeting. Hallelujah. I am telling you, God is so marvelous and He teaches you little by little by little. If He makes you conscious of your weakness, He does not do it that He might condemn you, that He might bring you into a place of guilt and agony and despair. He does it so that you will know you can turn it around.