When we start writing stories we always start with “once upon a time”. We start at the chronological beginning. And then we work our way to happily ever after. The end is uncertain until the last page. We find trials and tribulations on our storybook journey, and then struggle to find solutions.
When we read the Bible, it appears that it is written that way too, for the very first line we find is:
Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
So it appears that the Lord started in the beginning of the story too. The first line is the foundation of the world, the earth. But did he? When we look into the book, we find quite a different answer.
1 Peter 1: 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
So we find here that the Lord Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the world to suffer and die, even though that action was manifested in the last days. Before the foundation of the world? The first line in the Bible is the foundation of the world, so even before the Lord started writing the Bible, he already had this in his mind. Let’s look deeper.
Revelation 13: 8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Both the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the predestination of His Bride were foreordained, and complete prior to the foundation of the world, prior to Genesis 1:1. There are no accidents in the Lord God, there are no coincidences, there are no mistakes. He is perfect in all things.
When we write a book, we face tribulations and find solutions.
The Lord started with the end, then found tribulations to bring out that end. There is no chance for failure for the end was written even before the beginning. Our fate was sealed in Christ Jesus before the first subatomic particle was spoken into existence.
The Lord did not happen upon sin and iniquity and search for a solution to it. He already had the solution written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then created a universe in which to compel that solution. He created an atmosphere in which opportunities to express the solution would be found.
And through his infinite foreknowledge he already knew what your decision would be. He knew who would accept, and who would reject. He knew the scoffers, he knew who would nail him to the cross. He knew that you would be reading this today and whether or not you would receive it. He knew the end from the beginning. And because he did, he could write his word with absolute, unfailing certainty. That is how the Bible is perfect, the end was already known before the story was written.
50 But God by foreordination… We don’t want to call the word predestination. It’s a bad word to use before the people. But God, by foreknowledge can predestinate: God is infinite. Do you believe that? And He knowed everything that would be on the earth ’fore He created it. You believe that? If He didn’t, He couldn’t tell the end from the beginning. He knows all things. Therefore He could love Jacob and hate Esau before either one were born. He’s not willing that any should perish. No, sir. But His foreknowledge let Him know that they would perish anyhow, so He could predestinate everything to work to His glory. 58-0207 – Jesus Christ The Same Yesterday, Today, And Forever
Rev. William Marrion Branham
Brothers and sisters, we worry too much. We have no right to worry, for worry is unbelief, and unbelief is sin.
The Bible did not start at Genesis 1:1, that is just where the Lord started to create the atmosphere to reveal, demonstrate, manifest and vindicate the pre-written solution.
The first words the Lord wrote in the Bible are actually:
Colossians 3:1 If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in Glory.
May the Lord add a blessing to the reading of His word.
I’ld like to take as a topic for today “If ye be risen with Christ” and a text “Eulogy of the Flesh”. That is quite a concept. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. He was born, he lived, he died, he was buried, he even went into hell, and now he is risen from the dead and lives forevermore. Jesus Christ is alive and well today.
He sits today on the mercy seat making intercession for us. He is our advocate. When we make a mistake we bring it before his throne and he makes the intercession for us. When he steps off of that mercy seat to rapture away his bride, there will be no more mercy for he will no longer be our priest, he will be our King. And he will be our judge. And he will sit in the judgment seat and judge every man by his own word.
But today, at least at the writing of this blog, he is on the mercy seat. One day somebody may be reading this, and it will be too late. This morning he is on the mercy seat. This afternoon, he may not be there anymore, but right now at this moment he is still making intercession for us. But I digress for the moment.
So then “if ye be risen with Christ”. Quite a concept it is indeed. How can we be risen? And how can we be risen with Christ? Did you ever ask that question? Did you get an answer?
To start with, in order to be risen, must we not first die? To be risen, is to resurrect, or to come back to life. Then we must have to be dead in order to come back to life. And truly each and every one of us was dead in trespasses and sin.
Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
All! Everyone of us was concluded under sin. We were all dead in sin. And anyone who has not been born again is still spiritually dead. Walking, talking, laughing, singing, working, dancing, running and jumping and D-E-A-D dead. It does not matter who you are or who you think you are, if you do not have the Holy Spirit in you then you are absolutely dead. You could be a preacher, a president or a pope and it would not help you; the only true life, the only eternal life, is in Jesus Christ. Hard words but we need to hear them.
But it is not enough to be dead in sin. We need to be dead TO sin.
In order to be brought back to life we must die, to ourselves, to our flesh, and to the sin which dwells in our flesh. It is within our very flesh that sin, unbelief, dwells. Our flesh is lustful. It is evil. Our flesh is so bad that even the Lord God cannot fix it. Our flesh is not redeemed, our souls are. Then we move from our flesh to our theophany. Flesh and blood cannot inherit eternal life. The flesh loves fleshly pleasures that are contrary to the will of God.
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
That is not my word but God’s very own holy word. The lusts and desires of our flesh, of my flesh, of your flesh, are totally and completely contrary to the will of God. They work against God. In order to be the children of God we must be overcomers of sin and of this flesh. It is not enough to hold our flesh prisoner, it will escape. That is what we do in the carnal. That is how alcoholics anonymous works. They train themselves to take their flesh prisoner, to control their urges, to quit doing the bad thing. But the desires are still there and one day when you are least expecting it those desires will rear up and overtake you and you are back at square one. You never overcame, and the reason you never overcame is that your sin never died.
If you do not die to your sin then your sin is still alive in you!
Look at cancer. How is it treated? The doctors will cut our most of it from you, but there is still some left, and if more is not done, it will grow and destroy you. We quit smoking, we quit this quit that and think we are fine. We have just cut a few parts of sin away but there is more left just like cancer and just like cancer what is left will grow and destroy you. So the doctor then administers a poison called chemotherapy. The poison is designed to kill the remaining cancer cells. If even one cancer cell is missed by the poison, then it can grow, and with your weakened body from the poison, it will soon devour you. To those who are spiritual, even if every cancerous cell is destroyed, as long as the cancer spirit remains, the cancer can come back. That is how a person can be “cured” of cancer and then die of it ten years later. The spirit that caused it was never cast out. That is the same way a person can quit smoking and then start back up 15 years later. The spirit never left them.
We cut this, and cut that, and get psychology, and seek therapy, and get religious, and come to church, and hang out with new people and cut out a bunch of old habits. But if there is sin left behind, if we do not actually kill the sin then it will grow.
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fall of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Just like cancer, a root of bitterness, an undead sin in us, will spring up when we are least expecting it and defile us. That is why we MUST die to our sin. If we just put off a few things, or quit a few things, then we are not dead yet. We cannot be risen until we are first dead! Let me repeat that so it sinks in. We cannot be risen until we are first dead!
People will ask, “what must I do to get the Holy Spirit?” DIE! Die to your sin so that you can be risen with Christ. Die a death as sure as if you put a gun to your head and blew your brains across the room. But the death is a spiritual one, not physical.
Romans 6: 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of live. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. 6 Knowing this that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 for he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
Do you see it? Did you get all that? Lets look at it more closely:
Romans 6: 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death?
How were you baptized? Were you baptized into a church? That is what the Jehovah witnesses do. Not into Christ but into a church. Most denominations will baptize you into titles of father son and holy ghost. But look what the scripture says, we must be baptized into Christ. Then and only then are we baptized into his death. But there is more.
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of live.
Buried in baptism. Not sprinkled with him, but buried with him in baptism. A full immersion in water is required or the Lord does not recognize it. Jesus was placed in a tomb. Then we must walk in the newness of life. A new life. We must live a new life. If we are not living a new life, with new ideas and new desires then we are not yet dead to our sin. That is the problem, we get so excited to baptize people that we are baptizing live people. We are burying live people. You cannot bury someone until they are dead. The Bible says to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin. Repent, die unto sin, then be baptized. Without repentance you will simply go in a dry sinner and walk out a wet sinner. A spiritual zombie. We will think we are OK, but according to the Word of God, we are not.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. 6 Knowing this that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Our old man is crucified with him. The body of sin is destroyed. Is our old man crucified this morning, or just kept under raps until we get out of church and away from other Christians? Are we dead to sin? Are you serving sin in your life? If so then you are not dead to sin yet.
7 for he that is dead is freed from sin.
There it is in one line. “He that is dead is freed from sin.” There is your answer. There is my answer. If we are dead then we are free from sin, therefore if we are not free from sin then we are not yet dead. One leads directly to the other.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
And there is the fulfillment, “if we be dead with Christ we shall also live with him”. So to put it together, if we are dead then we are free from sin and thus we will live with him.
If we are still serving sin, then we are not yet dead, and we will NOT live with him.
Now there is a difference between serving sin and making mistakes. You and I will make mistakes until the very moment of the rapture. Every one of us will fall short. We are in the flesh and thus quite imperfect. The difference is, are you serving sin? Are you pandering to your lusts? We all have lusts. Do we sin wilfully? Anyone who says they are not tempted is a liar. The flesh we live in, that we just heard, wars against the spirit, but do we pander to our lusts, or do we do as the Apostle Paul did?
1 Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
“I Die Daily”.
Not once years ago when we became Christians, but each and every day of our lives, we either put our flesh to death, or we pander to it. It is not just to not do things, but to not want to do them. As Christians we become an incredible paradox, the desires of our hearts and the desires of our bodies are completely different. We will look into that in a few minutes.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness:
Who do we obey. Who do you obey? Who were you obeying last night, last Tuesday? Who will you obey tonight? Sin is of the devil. If we have not crucified our flesh and died unto sin, then in serving and obeying sin, we are servants of the devil. Let that sink in. Hear it and understand it. If we are serving sin, then we are servants of the devil.
If we sin wilfully, then we are wilfully serving Satan.
Nobody here wants to serve the devil. If you did, you would not be reading a Christian Blog, and certainly would not have gotten this far in it. But that is how deceiving it is. That is how he sneaks in. When Eve disobeyed God and listened to the serpent, she was serving the devil. She didn’t realize it at the time, but she was doing it. Every time we serve our sin, our lusts, we serve Satan. Remember that. Every time we pander to our lusts, we are serving the one that makes us sick. Every time we obey our lusts we are serving the one who is killing us. Think about it.
Hebrews 9: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Purge your conscience of dead works.
When we receive Christ he purges our conscience of dead works. Our flesh is still evil. We still have fleshly lusts that war against the soul, but now we have a new desire. Here is the paradox. Our body wants to do one thing, but our minds and hearts have a desire to do the opposite. It does not make sense to the carnal mind and in fact it seems quite mad. Our minds and hearts want to do things that do not please our flesh, things that do not bring us pleasure in the flesh, and not do things that our flesh finds very pleasurable.
And we fight a war daily with our flesh, crucifying it with Christ, so that when he comes, and he will come so very soon, we will be with him and be made like him. Lets continue our original scripture for a moment.
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, with is idolatry: 6 For which things sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
That’s pretty straight. You know your lives. I know my life. God knows our lives. We all have our individual weaknesses and the devil will attack you where you are weakest. But “mortify your members”. Kill them! Die unto sin and live!
Without Christ it is all impossible. If it were possible then he died in vain. But it is not possible without him. We have to meet Jesus Christ in person. It is not good enough to sit in church and hear about him. That is good, very good, but not good enough. We need the new birth. And it comes, as the fleshly birth, in three steps. And it has an amazing result on our lives.
Ezekiel 36 25: Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: an d I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them. 28 and ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses; and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. 31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
Can you see it coming together? First we get a new heart where we are sorry for our lives and realize that we need salvation, then a new spirit that makes us desire the things of God, his holiness and righteousness, then the Holy Spirit which imparts God’s holiness and righteousness to us. Water, blood and spirit. Justification, sanctification and filling.
And look at the results. First we receive the blessings of the Lord, the salvation of the Lord, Justification. We still have desires. We have guilt. But he removes the guilt. He washes it away. Then the sanctification where he cleanses us from all our uncleanness and iniquities. Then comes the paradox into us. We will loathe our own selves because of our fleshly lusts and the lives we used to live where we catered to those lusts which God calls abominations. God calls our own ways evil. My way is evil. Your way is evil. God’s way is good. Only God’s way is good. And He gives us the Holy Spirit. It is that Holy Spirit that empowers us.
Your flesh will fight against God’s way, which is in his word, and will hate it for God’s way crucifies your flesh in the lusts thereof.
Life is a series of decisions. We are given free choice in this life. We choose our final destination. Each and every one of us decides where we go. If you go to heaven, that was your choice, if you go to hell, that is also your choice. But those choices are wrapped up in the myriad of other choices we make every minute of every day. With every though, every word and every action, we have to decide how we are going to react.
You had to decide whether to come to church or not. You have to decide whether to believe what I am saying or not believe it. You have to decide whether even to listen. You have to decide whether or not you will receive Jesus Christ. You do that party by deciding whether or not you will believe and obey his word.
This is the word of God. If you accept it you are accepting God, and if you reject it you are rejecting God. My words are nothing, but His word is all powerful. What is more important to you, God or the world? Decide. What is more important to you God or your friends? God or your popularity? God or your reputation? God or your career? God or your fashions? God or your pride? God or your church?
Decisions, decisions, and each one leads you on a path. There is a way which seemeth right unto man, the end thereof is death. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it. Eve had to decide. Cain had to decide. Even Jesus had to decide whether or not to go to Calvary for you. he had to decide whether or not to accept the devils offers in the wilderness.
You want to be raptured? You are deciding right here and now whether or not you will be raptured. Did you realize that? We will be judge on our lives by this Holy Revealed Word of God. Either we crucify our flesh and live with Christ or do the opposite.
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
When we hear this word of God we either accept it and crucify ourselves, or we reject it and crucify Jesus Christ afresh. I’ll let that sink in real deep. If we receive the word of God then we will crucify our flesh.
If we reject the word of God then we crucify Jesus Christ afresh.
You know Israel was given the word of God, and they rejected it at Kadesh Barnea. And when they rejected it they died. Two million people left Egypt with Moses, they were all Israelites, they all had the prophet and his message, they all ate manna, they all were baptized in the sea with Moses and they all died. All but two. Two out of two million.
There are some 3 billion people who call themselves Christians today. If numbers hold true then only 3000 people will be raptured from the whole planet. 8000 go missing every day in the United States alone, so 3000 from the whole planet would not be missed. The United States makes up 5% of the worlds population so statistically they will only loose 800 people in the rapture. Canada is one tenth the size. Are you going to be one of the 80 people in Canada that are raptured?
How many will be raptured? FEW! That is all we know. Could be 80 from Canada, could be eighty thousand, could be 1.
I’ve mentioned this before. If you run the numbers, there could have been as many as 13,000,000,000 people on earth in Noah’s day. That is twice the population of today. And of all those people only one was raptured.
I am not trying to depress you. I am not trying to make you sorry but to a Godly sorrow, for a Godly sorrow brings repentance, and repentance brings life. Don’t start thinking it is impossible. With the Lord nothing is impossible. It is so easy to receive eternal life. It is the easiest thing in the world to do. It has no price for the price was paid 2,000 years ago at Calvary. You don’t have to work for it. You do not have to buy it for it was already purchased for you by Jesus. Eternal life is absolutely free, and absolutely available to everyone here. Every man, woman and child here this morning can receive Jesus Christ into their hearts. Every single soul here can receive the Holy Spirit right now. Some already have received it. And every single soul that is filled can be refilled right now.
All you have to do to receive eternal life is to accept it. The pillar of fire is right there in the room with you. All you have to do is crucify your flesh. All you have to do is decide that the Word of God is right, and everything contrary is wrong, and leave your old life and follow Christ. Believe and obey the Word of God and you have eternal life! Jesus said he who believes and is baptized shall be saved and he who believes not shall be damned. So believe! Cast off all doubt and believe the word of God.
Only Believe! All things are possible if we only believe.
The Christian world, with all its denominations and organizations has rejected the word of God in favour of dogmas and creeds which are contrary to the Bible. Are we rejecting the Word of God? Look to the Bible, whatever it says is right. Anything that contradicts the Bible is wrong. It is that simple. It does not matter what you were thought, what your Sunday school teacher told you, what your preacher said, what the science journals say, what the TV says, if it is not word upon word, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little exactly according to the Bible it is wrong.
Our flesh is contrary to the Bible. Our flesh is wrong. Our carnal minds are contrary to the Bible. Our carnal minds are wrong. Our carnal minds cannot understand spiritual things. We cannot figure out the Lord God. The word must be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the light of the world and it is only through him that we can understand anything spiritual. And the holy spirit will always point us back to the word of God.
People will tell you that God told them to do something, yet what they are doing is contrary to the word. It cannot be God for God cannot contradict himself. Yet they will be very religious in their doings.
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent et, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Very religious, having a form of godliness, but their flesh is not crucified. Look at the works described here and compare it to the fruit of the spirit.
Galatians 5: 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law 24 and they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Can you see the difference? Men are lovers of their own flesh but we are told to crucify our flesh. If we love our flesh then we will fulfill the lusts thereof and crucify the Lord, but if we loved the Lord, then we will crucify our flesh with its lust. If we crucify our flesh and die to sin, then indeed we will raise with him, and are already risen with him and sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.
This word of God is power. When we hear the word it goes to our roots. If we accept it, the word washes us clean and sets us free, but if we reject it, that same word will condemn us. If we do not crucify our flesh, if we love our own selves, then we will not be able to endure a word that condemns our flesh. If we love the Lord, then we will love how the word circumcises our hearts and ears. We will love how the word of God cuts away our flesh. We will love how receiving the word of God crucifies our flesh with the lusts thereof. If we are not living the word, then we will be condemned by it.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than a two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God knows our every word, and our every move, and our every thought. When you hear his word, it will reveal what is inside you. It is better than any X-ray, better than any CAT scan, better than an ultrasound. God’s word cuts deeper than any of them. It cuts away at your flesh and not just at the surface, but deep into the bones and marrow. God’s word goes so deep that it reveals the thoughts and intents of the heart. Not just your thoughts, but the very motives behind your thoughts. Every desire, every lust, every want, every like and every dislike is open to him. He knows exactly what you are thinking about what I am saying, and why you are thinking it.
Our flesh cannot stand it. If our flesh is alive then it will flee from the presence of God, it will flee from the word. Our flesh hates the word of God. Our flesh is God’s enemy. Our fleshly carnal minds are God’s enemy.
If we crucify that flesh, then we will be able to endure sound doctrine, which is the Word of God, and we will be risen with Christ. And if we are risen with Christ we will seek those things above.
2 Corinthians 5: 14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; 15 And that he died for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have know Christ after the flesh yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man b e in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all thins are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
We must become A new creation in Christ Jesus.
The new birth is not just a figure of speech, it is not a ceremony, it is a literal birth of a new person, a new human being, a new creature. Old things are passed away. Things you used to love, you now hate, and things you used to hate, you now love. Things that meant everything to you are now garbage. Things you were proud of you are now ashamed of. Things you would have been ashamed of are now your greatest treasures.
Are you changed? Have old friends commented on how they liked the old you better? People wonder what happened to you? People who used to be your friends now want nothing to do with you and avoid you? That is because you are not you anymore. You are now a brand new person. That is the new birth, it takes a twofold child of hell and rebirths them as a child of God.
It is a mystery indeed and the greatest miracle of all. God took Saul of Tarsus, a pompous religious murderer, and turned him into Paul the humble apostle and prophet messenger. God took the shameful creature that I was and made the creature I am now. God took the shameful creature that you were and made the creature you are now.
When you are born again you are the same person, but not the same person. You have the same mind, but with different thoughts in it. You have the same heart but a different spirit in it. Your desires change. Your tastes change. Your motives change. Your treasures change. Your goals change. Your priorities change. Your likes change. Your dislikes change. You become a brand new person. Even my tastes for food changed!
When you are born again, you become the person that God had in His mind when he wrote your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world. The predestinated seed will accept the Word of God. The predestinated seed will crucify their flesh. The predestinated seed will receive the holy spirit. The predestinated seed will believe every word in the Bible. Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh. The predestinated seed is the Bride of Jesus Christ and just as Adam’s bride was a part of him, so is Christ’s bride a part of the Word of God.
It is up to us to choose, live for our flesh, or live for Christ. Crucify our flesh, or crucify Jesus. All we have to do is accept him, accept his word, believe his word and cry out to him.
Romans 10: 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 for the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 for there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
You want salvation? Cry out! Confess Jesus Christ with your mouth. Do you believe he is here? Prove it. Talk to him. Cry out to him. If you saw him standing in front of you with your eyes you would all cry out and rush to him. He is there with you right now, closer to you than your own breath. The pillar of fire is right there. Cry out to him and be saved. Do you believe on him? The word says if you believe you will not be ashamed. Fear is a spirit. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you. Praise God!
Praise God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your body. Let every facet of your being cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ this moment, and receive of him. He is knocking at your heart this moment. Receive him and he will come into you and sup with you, and you with him. He will be your God, your saviour, your healer, your deliverer, your redeemer, your friend.
Do it today, do it now, tomorrow may well be too late.
May the peace and grace, power and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Matthew 17: 1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
HEAR YE HIM!
What are we hearing? What are we really hearing? Is it my voice? Is it my words? Was it Matthew’s words? Or was it God’s word? Who are we hearing? Who are we listening to, the messenger, or the one who sent him?
We were given five senses with which to contact the physical world. The flesh profits little, but the spirit gives life. There has been quite a lot of preaching along this line lately, it is for a reason. We have five senses. We see, we feel, we taste, we smell and we hear. We hear with our ears. We hear words with our ears.
But we are also told that we cannot access the Lord God with our five senses. So if we cannot access the Spirit of God with our hearing, how then do we HEAR the word of God? How do we Hear Him? It also begs the question of how do we know what we are hearing? How do we know who we are hearing?
Amos 8: 11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:
The world is covered by churches. There are mega-churches in the US that have tens of thousands of people attending. There are officially 2.2 Billion Christians on earth! That is a full one in three people. Canada boasts 22 Million Christians. If that is correct two out of every three people in Canada is a Christian. The United States claims to have 247 Million Christians. A full 73% of Americans call themselves Christian. The VOG says there are 2 Million Message Believers worldwide.
Well then either the stats are wrong, or the Bible is wrong. The Bible says there would be a famine of hearing the word. Not a slow down, not a little bump, but a FAMINE. A global starvation! The souls of the people are starving to death. The world would no longer HEAR YE HIM. If one third of the world were Christians the world would be a very different place in deed. If two thirds of Canadians and 73% of Americans were Christians we would not have police, fire, ambulances or hospitals. We also would not have any prisons. And we sure wouldn’t have any politics!
So what is happening? What is happening in the world? What is happening in the churches? What is happening in the message? And why is it happening? Why is there a global famine for the Word of God? Why do the churches refuse to HEAR YE HIM?
This did not just happen overnight.
2 Thessalonians 2: 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
In Paul’s day it was already working. This started back in the First Church Age. It actually started in Eden and we shall look at that shortly. The “Mystery of Iniquity” was already working in the Ephesus Church Age. And the mystery will continue to work until the end of the world. But we know the mystery for the Lord had revealed it to us through his prophet. Amen! We are not in darkness because we have not failed to HEAR YE HIM.
The famine did not come overnight. But it came in our age. And in came in spite of the things that should have prevented it. This is the promise for us. This is what the Lord had done for us in our day.
Joel 2: 23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
We have both the former rain and the latter rain. What the devil hath devoured the Lord has restored in fullness. Every single word in the Bible is revealed in our day. There are no more secrets. There are no more mysteries. We have everything today. But we are in a starving land. How could this be?
Revelation 10: 7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
The mysteries are all revealed! Hear Ye Him! So then how can there be a famine in the land when the Lord has restored all that was lost, revealed every mystery and given us the former and the latter rains? Because we are still refusing to Hear Ye Him. There is food everywhere. The Bible is the most printed book in all history. The entire Bible is revealed in our day. We have over 1,100 of the prophet’s messages online. There are a million ways to access the word online in moments. Yet we are starving to death in the greatest spiritual famine the world has ever seen.
We have doctrines. We have dogmas. We have stories. We have traditions. We are too busy listening with our ears, and talking with our mouths. We are not listening with our hearts. We are not listening by Faith. Do you think if the two thirds of Canada that is officially Christian were hearing the Word of God that the country would be in the state that it is in? Do you think there would be homosexual marriage? Do you think that one in four babies conceived would be aborted? Do you think that 50% of marriages would fail in the first six months? Is that the fruit of a Christian Country?
But again, this is not new.
Genesis 3: 1 Now the serpent was more subtle 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? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
The very first sin was failing to Hear Ye Him. They had the word. They had Logos. They had the message of the hour. They had the prophet still with them. Both Eve and the serpent were even quoting him. They had the doctrines perfect. They were quoting the Word of God and their prophet’s message perfectly.
Now let’s take a moment here to look at another facet. How do we know that they failed to Hear Ye Him? We can say when they committed adultery. But that happened after. Remember what we discovered about sin. Sin is unbelief. And because we disbelieve we commit those acts. So we actually sin prior to committing the act.
This one is so subtle that most will miss it completely. Notice in Genesis that the Lord Jehovah is called “God” right up until Genesis 2. At this point he is suddenly referred to as the “Lord God”. The title Lord signifies a relationship. If he is Lord, then he must be Lord over somebody. And he is continued to be called Lord God. Genesis 2 is where the seventh day began and the description of Adam comes in.
Genesis 2: 7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Man was created in the likeness and image of God. Then the Lord God created a flesh body and man “became” a living soul. He was not created that way. He was created a spirit. And in Genesis 2:7 he “became”, Hebrew word “haya” which means to change state. Spirit Adam Haya, became, changed into flesh man. God was Lord and Adam was servant.
Now we see another change happening.
Genesis 3: 1 Now the serpent was more subtle 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?
The serpent did not refer to him as the “Lord God” but simply as “God”. The serpent did not have a relationship with him. God was not his Lord. The serpent was outside of any covenant with the Lord God and simply knew him as God. Today if we are not born again of the Spirit of God, we too have no relationship with him.
1 Corinthians 12: 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Many people get this confused. That is why 73% of Americans think they are Christians. They think that if you can call Jesus the “Lord” then you have the Holy Spirit. No brothers and sisters. The word here is telling us that he is not OUR Lord, we have no relationship with him, unless we have the Holy Spirit. Quite a difference. Someone is not quite sure so let me reassure you with this scripture.
Romans 8: 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit we do not belong to Christ. Without the new birth we are not Christians! Without the new birth he is NOT our Lord, he is simply God. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we have no representation in Heaven. And here is where Eve actually sinned. Here is where she stepped out of the relationship with God.
Genesis 3: 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
She was no longer referring to him as the “Lord God” but simply as God. She stepped out of the relationship with the Lord God, and now he was simply God to her, as he was to the serpent. But surely that is enough? Is it?
James 2: 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
The devils believe that there is one God. But they don’t believe in one Lord God.
Eve sinned when she refused to Hear Ye Him. She was still quoting the prophet! She quoted the prophet perfectly. She had the doctrine all lined up without one miss. She probably even spoke it with a Kentucky accent. But she had left the relationship. God was no longer her Lord. She had rejected to Hear Ye Him.
Now let us look at another example of how this happens in a church.
2 Kings 17: 9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger: 12 For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. 13 Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. 14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them. 16 And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
They had the Revealed Word of God for the Hour. They had the prophet. They had the scriptures. They had the statutes. Yet they refused to Hear Ye Him. Verse 14 tells us plainly that “they would not hear”. But then it gets insane. They have rejected to hear the Word of God, rejected his ways, yet they have not rejected his name.
2 Kings 17: 32 So they feared theLord, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.33 They feared theLord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
Now on face value this looks positively insane. They rejected the Word of God, they rejected the Prophet’s message, and yet they “feared the Lord”. But that is no different than today. Those 22 million people in Canada who call themselves Christians have done exactly the same thing. It was in Eden, it was in Israel, it is in Newfoundland. It is in the denominations. It is even in the message! We are refusing to Hear Ye Him.
And it is subtle, so subtle that they do not even realize that they are doing it. That is why they stay religious. That is how they stay religious.
1 Samuel 8: 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. 7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
Here we get a little deeper. Samuel was the prophet. He was the man that the Lord God chose to send his word to; the word of the Lord comes to the prophet. He was God’s mouthpiece. He was the messenger. Anything the Lord wanted to say to the people, he said through Samuel. And they rejected him, or so they thought. And Samuel had the same misconception. Have you ever been rejected for the message? I have. Samuel was. But it was not Samuel that was rejected, nor were you rejected, nor was I. They were not rejecting the messenger, they were rejecting the one who sent them. They were not refusing to hear the prophet, or you, or I, they were rejecting the Lord. They were not refusing to hear the man for they were asking the man to give them a King. They were refusing to Hear Ye Him. They were rejecting God to be their Lord.
And what about our day?
Acts 13: 41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
A man declared it. In our day William Branham was that man. A few years ago it was John Wesley. Before him Martin Luther and so on. The voice of the seventh angel has declared it in over 1,100 tapes. The Lord God, not just God, but the LORD God has sent the world a Vindicated Word Prophet and they have rejected both Him and the prophet he sent. And yet they are all religious. They will spend thousands of dollars every year on their religious ceremonies all in the name of the Lord that they rejected. Look how much they spend on Christmas trees and decorations each and every year.
Jeremiah 10: 1Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
And they will spend a fortune each and every year chopping down trees and setting up heathen idols right in the churches. It is an abomination unto the Lord! The Bible forbids even to have a tree near the sanctuary, and they stick a dead one right by the altar. And then call themselves Christians, act religious, pray and worship, and look down on the born again believers as being old fashioned prudes.
2 Timothy 3: 1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Having a form of godliness, ever learning, and never coming to the knowledge of the truth. They will get post doctorate degrees in theology, and believe trinity. They listen to professors, they listen to theologians, they listen to the pope, yet they fail to Hear Ye Him.
Proverbs 16: 25 There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
And it is slipping into the Message Ranks! We are refusing to Hear Ye Him! Look what Jude says. Notice the words. We tend to think he is talking about those on the outside, but look what he actually says.
Jude: 10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
They are “feasting with us”. They are with us! The feast of charity is the Lord’s supper.
1 Corinthians 11: 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
The feast without fear while eating damnation unto themselves. There are three kinds of believers. First there is the true believer filled with the Holy Spirit. Then there is the unbeliever who will simply dismiss the message in favour of dogmas and creeds. Then there is the make-believer, the Judas, that is who is described here. Feasting with you without fear eating and drinking their own damnation. They don’t have a relationship with the Lord; to them he is simply God and they could care less. They are like their father the serpent.
We tend to think we got it all figured out sometimes. We think that the “message people” are all OK. We are not OK. The prophet warned us that the tare will be with the wheat until the rapture. Jesus told the angels to not rip us the tares because the wheat is beside them. We in the message are now guilty of refusing to Hear Ye Him. We are forming clichés. That is nothing new either. Paul warned of it in his day.
1 Corinthians 1: 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
One is of Billy Paul, one is of Perry Green, one is of Joseph Branham, the next is of Ed Byskal. Carnal! Why would we say that of ourselves? We are not hearing HIM. We are not hearing the author of the message. We might be quoting it word for word as Eve did. We are worshipping the creation more than the creator. We are stepping out of the relationship. We are still worshiping God, but we are not worshiping the Lord God. Hear Ye Him!
It is easy to love a person who is charismatic. It is even easier if they are truly fine people, Holy Spirit filled Christians. It is easy to love a man who preaches the gospel by the Spirit, especially when they have a warm, friendly personality, when they are open and inviting. But the danger comes when we allow our Philio love to overshadow our Agape love. We will love the man more than the Lord who sent them. We will listen to the man’s words and not the Word of God, even though they may be the exact same words. We stop listening with our hearts through faith, and begin to listen with our ears through emotion. Then the devil has room to move in and cause trouble. We step out of the relationship with our Lord, and make men our lords. It is painfully easy to do. That is what was happening in Corinth. That is happening in the message ranks today.
Acts 19: 13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
What were they preaching? The Message of the Hour! They were quoting the Prophet! But they had no revelation. They knew the word, they knew the doctrine, they knew the message. They quoted it without reservation. They even believed that they had power. They deceived themselves. They thought they were something. They went and challenged the devil in the name of Jesus, not the name of the Lord Jesus. They did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. They only had a doctrine and a tradition. They did not know the author. They had no revelation of what they were preaching, all they had were quotes. Had they received a revelation, they would not have needed to quote Paul. Do you see Timothy quoting Paul? Or Barnabas? Or Peter? They quote the Word. They had a revelation and a relationship. They had representation in Heaven.
Matthew 15: 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. They don’t have a relationship. Their relationship is with men, not the Lord God. One is of Paul, one is of Silas. One is of Joseph Branham, one is of Billy Paul. They are like the seven sons of Sceva. One preached Jesus whom Paul preached. Today they are preaching Jesus whom Branham preached.
It is a second hand gospel. It is powerless! Hear Ye Him.
We cannot come to the Lord God through Paul, or Brother Branham, or any other man.
John 14: 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus Christ is the one and only path to the Lord God. Hear ye Him! But it is only for the elect. Only the elect will Hear Ye Him, because only the predestinated elect seed of the Lord God can Hear Ye Him. In fact we cannot even know who the Lord God is without revelation. That is why trinity has taken over in the world. The people have no relationship with the Lord God. They know there is a God, but don’t even know who he is. In fact they cannot, for it is not for them to know.
Luke 10: 22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
The very knowledge of who and what the Lord God is remains a complete mystery to every soul whose names are not written in the book of life. Think about that. You wonder why it is so hard to testify, to get the simplest ideas to people? They can’t understand the simplest of the ideas. If we cannot know or understand who and what the Lord God is, how can we ever understand any of his attributes? If you have the revelation of the godhead, that in itself is a gift of grace from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mark 4: 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
What does it mean to Hear Ye Him? It means to hear with our hearts. It means to receive the revelation of the Word through the Holy Spirit. No man knows the things of the Lord save he to whom it is revealed. Without revelation we hear with our ears, and see with our eyes. We will be able spit out quotes like a machine gun. But we will not have the spiritual understanding of what we are hearing, seeing or even saying.
John 8: 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
They cannot understand his speech because they cannot hear his word. That is why the message is so confusing, why that bunch did their “disbelieve the sign.com”. They had no revelation. The Lord God sent a man with a seventh grade education, and they with their doctorate degrees cannot understand his speech. They cannot Hear Ye Him. Do we hear him, or just quote him? Do you understand his speech? That is revelation.
John 10: 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
We shall never perish! We shall never be plucked from his hand! What a promise. What a reassurance. How can we ever be sad again? No matter what comes your way, you will NEVER perish. You are eternal! You cannot die! All we have to do is Hear Ye Him!
Hebrews 3: 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Today, right now, hear ye him. Not tomorrow. Not next Sunday. Not the next camp meeting. They may never come. TODAY! Right here, right now. Today if you will hear his voice. Today. It is not the message of yesterday, or last week, or 1952, it is the message of the hour. This hour. Right now. The prophecy says “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel”. Not the days of the man, the VOICE. Today if you will hear his voice. Hear ye him.
Stick with the Word of God. Stick with the Message of the Hour. If you can’t reconcile something with the Bible, if you can’t find “Thus Saith the Lord” on a tape, put it aside.
Matthew 16: 6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
It is a very dangerous thing. Remember the devil will come so close to the truth that it will deceive the very elect if it were possible. A Catholic priest can’t do that. Even a Pentecostal or Evangelical cannot do that. To deceive the elect, you need to come with the message. And it does not take much.
Galatians 5: 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
Sometimes it is not something new, but something old. We have all come from somewhere. We all packed baggage. Abraham packed baggage. He brought his father, and he brought Lot. The Lord had to take that baggage from him. Sometimes people come out of denominations, out of cultures, and bring something along and don’t even know it.
Luke 5: 36 And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
Sometimes we come out from something, and we are so used to aspects of it, that it seems better to us. It could be a doctrine, a dogma, a tradition. For example the Presbyterians call their preachers by title. Pastor such and such. Seems harmless?
Matthew 23: 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Hear Ye him! It seems such a small thing. A little religious title. Lifting a man up with a title, lifting a man above his brethren. But a little leaven will leaven the whole lump. Have nothing to do with it. Taste not, touch not, handle not. Hear Ye Him! Don’t hear me. Hear Him!
Revelation 3: 14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou may be rich; and white raiment, that thou may be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.
Who is the Angel to the Church of Laodicea? The Prophet. Who then is the Church? We are! This letter is not to the denominations, not to the secular world, but directly to us. We have become lukewarm as a church. The Lord is now standing outside! That is why we cannot organize. As soon as we do, he is outside. But what was the final word to us? “22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Hear Ye Him!
Get into that one on one relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Make him your Lord as well as your God.
These are the notes from a sermon I preached a couple of weeks ago here in St. John’s Newfoundland.
John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
“and the darkness comprehended it not”.
Every Biblical doctrine has its origin in Genesis. So let’s start in Genesis and piece it all together.
Genesis 1:3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Notice here that the Lord brought the light. Then it said he separate the light from the darkness. He divided it. If he had to divide it then light and darkness must have at one time be together. There is a spiritual side to every physical entity. The Lord created light, and then separated it from the darkness. Keep hold of that thought as we proceed.
Every Bible doctrine also has its harvest in Revelation.
Revelation 22: 5And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
There is no more darkness in the New Jerusalem. There is no more night. Day and night are used spiritually throughout the Bible in conjunction with light and darkness. In the New Jerusalem there is no darkness whatsoever. God had created light in, and separated light from darkness in Genesis. Then in Revelation we find that darkness was not only separated from the light, it was banished altogether.
While it is true that the Bible speaks of physical light and darkness, we all know that the Bible also speaks in types and shadows, in allegories and metaphors and symbols. The light that the Lord created in the beginning was the light of revelation. Darkness is an absence of revelation, it is unbelief.
1 John 1:5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
The Lord God is light and life and revelation. There is no unbelief, no evil, no darkness in him. He is pure light. Nothing is hidden in light. Satan on the other hand is the prince of darkness. But he was not always that way. He had a much brighter beginning.
Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For 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: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Lucifer was his name. In the Hebrew he was called “helel, the shining one”, the light bearer. Satan was the light bearer. He was God’s right hand man in heaven. God created light, then separated, divided the light from the darkness in Genesis. When the devil decided to make his own kingdom, to usurp the authority of the Lord, then the light was taken from Lucifer, forever. He was darkness, a liar and a murderer from the beginning and the father of it. He was given the most grand opportunity and he rejected it. The darkness in him tried to swallow up the light. The Lord cast him, and his band of demons, into darkness. The light was separated from the darkness. Forever.
Ephesians 5: 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
The light reveals. It exposes. Where the light is shone, the darkness flees. The two can no longer coexist. When there is no light, there will be darkness all around. But when the light shines, the darkness flees. When the light shines, the darkness will try to hide. That is why there are shadows; the darkness cannot face the light and hides. The natural types the spiritual. And the light reveals even that which is in darkness. This is why the devil hates revelation for Holy Ghost revelation does not just manifest the truth, it reveals the lies. The Pharisees and Sadducees in Jesus’ day hated him, not because he bore the truth, but because he revealed their lies, their darkness. The very presence of his light exposed their darkness. It is the very same thing today.
When a Christian, born again and filled with the Holy Spirit of God is in the room, their light will expose the darkness of the enemy. Your testimony, your very life, will expose the darkness in the world. Why did Cain kill Abel?
1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Cain’s works were evil, darkness, but it was not until Abel’s works came that Cain’s were exposed. Cain could not feel comfortable in the presence of Abel. The light that was in Abel through revelation exposed and condemned Cain. Once Cain murdered Abel, he thought the light had been put out. He of course was wrong.
They killed Jesus for the same reason. Why did the denominations hate the prophet? He wasn’t stealing members, he wasn’t taking money from them. He was actually building up their memberships because when he came to town and souls were saved, he sent them to the local churches to fellowship. But the light that was in him, the light of Jesus Christ in the prophet, manifested their darkness. Marvel not my brethren if the world hates you too.
Isaiah 60: 2For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
In our day there is a darkness that covers the earth. And the people will be a gross darkness. The only presence of the Lord upon the earth is in the Bride. The Bride is small, and the world is growing and getting ever darker. Remember that darkness and light cannot coexist anymore? Note too that the world is darkness.
John 14: 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Why can the world not receive the Holy Spirit? The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit because darkness and light cannot coexist. In order to receive the Holy Spirit our hearts must be free and clean from the things of the world. If there is any of world in our hearts then we have darkness in our hearts. And if we have any darkness in our hearts, the Holy Spirit cannot dwell there.
1 John 2: 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
If we love the world, “Cosmos” in the Greek. The world is not the earth, it is the “Cosmos”, the culture, the society, the fads, the fashions, the creeds, the politics, the trends, the philosophy, the political correctness etcetera. If we love the world or the things of the world then we have darkness in our hearts, and that darkness will prevent the light. If there is any darkness in us, then by default there is no light. Light and darkness cannot coexist. If we love the world or the things of the world, then the light of the Father is not in us. Let’s look at what the Lord Jesus said about it.
Matthew 6: 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
If we have any darkness in us then our entire being will be full of darkness. If there is darkness then there can be no light at all. So if what we think is light is actually darkness, then that darkness is great indeed. And this is why we have a world full of darkness and gross darkness the people. The church today thinks it is the light of the world, but the Bible says here that it is in gross darkness. There is no light in it at all.
Matthew 7: 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Darkness will produce darkness. Light will produce light. The two cannot coexist. Thus Jesus tells us there that we can tell what is in a person by what comes out of a person. We can tell ourselves by what comes out of us too. That makes perfect sense. If I pour from a bottle and catsup comes out, I am not going to say it is a mustard bottle. That would be insane at best. So then how can we look at a person from whom things come out that are completely contrary to the Word of God, and say that they are spiritual? Or do as the world does and call Christians who are believing and living this message as evil. They call Brother Branham a devil. Shows that they are insane. Shows the level of darkness.
Revelation 3: 14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 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: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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.
This letter is directed at the church. Now we read earlier that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Look where Jesus is standing today. Is there any light in the Laodicean Church? Then it is gross darkness. It says plainly that the church is blind. Why is the church blind? There is no light! They are in darkness because they have not cleansed themselves of the world. As long as we allow darkness we prevent the light. But when we accept the light, the message of the hour, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, his glorious light will chase out every shadow of darkness.
Let’s look at the parable of the ten virgins with this idea.
Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Notice here that there are ten virgins. They are all virgins, bride material. They are thus all pure. To be pure our sins must be forgiven. For our sins to be forgiven, according to the Bible, we must repent and be baptized in full immersion in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. So who are these ten virgins? Message people. The denominations cast off the message, along with the proper baptism.
But there are two distinct groups here. One has oil and the other does not. One half of this group of virgins is filled with the Holy Spirit, the other half is not. Five of them are holy, five are justified and sanctified, but not holy.
They all have lamps, which the prophet told us is a testimony. The lamps are lit. Well that means there is light. There is revelation. There is an anointing. But remember where the fire is burning. It is on the outside of the lamp, not on the inside. The light here is external. It is an anointing. The rain falls on the good ground and bad. The sun shines on the wheat and tares. The anointing of the Holy Spirit falls equally on all. The prophet showed us that throughout the Bible as being so. Remember even Judas came back rejoicing that he had cast out devils, and he himself a serpent seed devil. The anointing fell upon him in the same way it fell upon Peter to whom Jesus gave the keys.
So they all had the revelation and an external anointing from the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember we just read in John 14 that Jesus told us the Holy Spirit would dwell with us (the anointing), and (conjunction) shall be in us (filling). They are two separate manifestations. In one manifestation he dwells with us and anoints us and draws us to the Lord Jesus Christ. In the second part of the manifestation he indwells us after that he has justified and sanctified us. He draws us to the light, casts out our darkness, then he lights us from within.
They all had the message of the hour. But five did not go on to receive the Holy Spirit. They had no oil. And when the revival era ended, they realized that the light was external. They realized that they had an anointing but no filling. They realized that they were in pitch darkness. They didn’t even know where to look for oil for the light had gone out. Revelation had ceased. So they turned to their brothers and sisters in search of the filling, but it was too late.
Five however had light on the outside, and light on the inside. The oil was the source of the light. It was the oil that was burning. The Holy Spirit is what was giving the light of that revival era. Those that are full of oil are the true light of this world for they are Jesus Christ in human flesh. They are the Bride.
But if we don’t rid ourselves of worldliness. If we don’t separate ourselves from the things of the world, then we will have darkness in our hearts, we will be empty of oil, and living off the outward anointing. There are many types of worldliness. There is the music, the fashion, the culture, and even religion. Religion is the worst. Remember in the last days the lie would be so close to the truth as to deceive the very elect if it were possible. You won’t be fooled by rock and roll. You won’t be fooled by mini-skirts. The devil won’t come to you with a horse tail and a pitch fork. He will come to us with a message tract in one hand and the Bible in another. But he won’t live it! AMEN! There is no light in him to live it with.
Now how does this all manifest in life? Let’s look at Abraham for an example.
Abraham had a nephew named Lot. The Lord came to Abraham and told him all that he was doing. Three messengers came to Abraham. One stayed with him, and the other two went down into Sodom to preach to Lot.
Abraham knew of his messenger. He also know of Lot’s messengers. Lot knew nothing of the messenger that was sent to Abraham alone. Did you catch that Bride?
William Branham was sent to the Bride. Oral Roberts and Billy Graham were sent to Sodom. We were told all about that. But the world, the denominational churches were told nothing of William Branham. Notice the prophet spoke of the other two on many occasions, yet you never hear the other two speak of the prophet. The light of the message is only for the Bride. The world is a darkness and the people a gross darkness, but the Bride is a different seed.
1 Thessalonians 5: 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
We are the children of the day. You are the children of the day. We are surrounded by light. Day and night remember were divided by the Lord in Genesis. Thus the children of the day are also divided from the children of the night. It is the light that is in us through the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, through the message of the hour that divides us from them. We don’t leave people, we don’t shun people, they shun us. And the light, the message, is divided from the dogmas and creeds. The Bride is divided from the denominations. The wheat shall not be heir with the shuck. The children of the promise shall not be heir with the children of the bond woman.
2 Corinthians 6: 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
There it is! What communion hath light and darkness? NONE! The Lord divided the light from the darkness way, way back in the beginning. You are the temple of God. Not this building. This building will burn one day with the rest of the world. The temple of God is the people. Each of us is a “lively stone”, the Bible says, fit together to from the temple of the Living God. You are the temple of God and you have no communion with idols. You are the light and not the darkness. You are Mrs. Jesus Christ.
In Israel in the days of the Old Testament, there was a party held every fifty years called the jubilee. At the jubilee the trumpet was blown and when you heard that as a slave you could walk free. If, however, for some reason that totally escapes me, you liked being a slave you could refuse and then your ear was pierced and you would be a slave for eternity.
2 Thessalonians 2: 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
After the crucifixion, fifty days after, our jubilee trumpet was sounded at Pentecost. Today the message of the hour sounds clear in each age. Those who receive that message walk free forever. Those who reject that message are taken to the post and their ear is pierced by the devil and they will never hear that trumpet call again. They will receive a strong delusion that they will believe a lie. They wilfully reject Jesus Christ, they become willful sinners.
And the world is a darkness and gross darkness the people. When we reject the light, darkness overtakes us. When we turn from the light, we turn to darkness. When we close our eyes to the light, we become blind. The Laodicea Church was sent the brightest light in all history. We have the privilege of knowing more than the prophets did, for the things that we were told were hidden mysteries to them, sealed unto the end of the world. We are privileged in this day to have the greatest light in all history, yet today we have the darkest world in all history as well. The light is truly divided from the darkness.
2 Corinthians 4: 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
The light is hidden to the darkness. The light shines and the darkness comprehended it not. When the light shines, the world rejects it, and the “god of this world”, satan, blinds the minds of the people. He shuts them down so they will never receive revelation. He fills their hearts and minds with darkness, and once the light is blocked out, the darkness becomes a gross darkness.
Many people have predestination backwards. The Lord offers salvation to all, but to those who reject it, the devil blinds them to it. It is the devil that condemns us, through our own foolishness. Don’t ever blame the Lord. He even came to Cain personally and spoke lip to ear to him and Cain still rejected the light. Then satan marked him. Satan blinded him. Satan pierced his ear. That my brothers and sisters is the mark of the beast. It ain’t no tattoo as they believed 50 years ago, it ain’t no credit card like they believed 25 years ago, it ain’t no computer chip implant as they believe today. The mark of the beast began in Eden and is already here today. And today there are literally hundreds of millions of people who have received the mark of the beast and don’t even know it.
It is mind boggling that people will think they are Christians, think that they are serving God, and all the while worshiping the devil. Without light though, it is impossible to see. The darkness is a spiritual blindness. It renders the person incapable of telling right from wrong. It makes it impossible for the person to know the truth from a lie. And they will swallow up the lie because it pleases their flesh. It makes logical sense to them. Light is revelation and without revelation, we simply cannot understand the most basic things of the Lord.
The example I like to use is baptism. Why? Because it is one of the first things that the Lord will reveal to you. It is written in black and white and requires no “interpretation” of any kind. You simply read it. Yet when you bring Acts 2:38 to a denominational church goer, they don’t understand it. They simply cannot. If we cannot understand something written so plainly, then what hope do we have to understand the deep things of God? The darkness is gross indeed.
The seal of God is the Holy Spirit. The seal of God is light. The mark of the beast is perpetual darkness.
Ephesians 5: 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Darkness. Doubt. Unbelief. We were all in darkness before the light was shone to us. When we saw the light, we rejoiced and received it. We received it as an anointing that led us to the source of the light, which is the Lord Jesus Christ. We received it as an indwelling after that the light cleansed us from our darkness. The light cast out the darkness, separated us from the darkness. Be careful to avoid the darkness.
Remember how the Bible likens Jesus to the sun and the Bride to the moon. He is the source of the light. We reflect his light onto the earth in the night time. The night is the darkness that covers the earth, in which time we are. The Lord separates, divides the light from the darkness. The darkness reject the light.
Did you ever hear of sun spots? They are large black spots on the surface of the sun. They block the light at the source. The church is suffering from sin spots today. We have let the bars down and let worldliness into our ranks. A little here and a little there. A little clear nail polish. A little professional sports maybe. A Christmas tree. A thing that the Bible clearly forbids and calls a heathen idol and we will have the gall to put one up in church next to the altar! Sin spots! How can the light of Christ shine through that? Clean it out! Get rid of that Babylonian garment and that wedge of silver. Clean the camp Saints. It’s lamp trimming time. Make sure you don’t have any black sin spots between you and the Lord.
Sin spots. The light shines to us. The Word shines and says “by my stripes you are healed”, and a sin spot jumps up and says “oh but this is a rare cancer”. The light says we shall have prophecy, then the sin spot steps in the way and says “that was only for the prophet”. The light shines and says “you are forgiven” and the darkness jumps in and says “but what I did was soooo bad”. Sin spots. Unbelief. Get rid of it. The Bible says “resist the devil and he shall flee from you”. Don’t let those sin spots block out the light.
Matthew 13: 58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Jesus Christ the Lord of Glory walking through a town in Israel. The very Lord God of heaven and earth standing there in flesh before them and he could not work any miracles. The brightest light that ever was stood there shining before them and their hearts were so dark that the light could not shine to them. The light was shining and their sin spots blocked it out.
People wonder why there are no miracles in the churches. This is why. Darkness is getting in the way. The darkness is blocking the light. The churches have pushed the light out and wonder why the light is not working. There is darkness in the preachers. Blind leaders of the blind. There is darkness in the benches. So they make excuses for the fact that the Lord is not with them. They have rejected the light. They are heady, high-minded lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the very power thereof. They are extremely religious yet blindly walking in total, absolute, darkness.
They think they are worshiping the Lord God, and yet don’t even know who, or what, he is. Trinity? They don’t even know what the Lord God is, let alone who. Darkness!
We are so privileged that the Lord has opened our eyes to the light, else each and every one of us would be exactly the same. We are as we are because the Lord has revealed the truth to us, and given us open eyes and believing hearts to receive it. We are saved by grace.
Mark 4: 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Unto you, and to you alone, Saints of God, by the grace and mercy of the Almighty Lord God Jehovah, it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. To you and to you alone has the Holy Spirit revealed the nature and identity of the Lord Jesus Christ. You alone have been given the understanding of the godhead through spiritual revelation. No man has revealed it u nto you, but the Father in heaven has revealed it unto you.
Unto you, Mrs. Jesus Christ it is given the message of the hour. It is not for the world. They as Lot, as the men of Sodom, were never even to know about it. Melchesedic never visited Sodom, never visited Lot. Unto you, Saints, is given revelation. It is completely hidden to the world. It is hidden to the denominations. Yet with revelation alone comes salvation. For unto you is given light in the darkness. That light will divide you out of the world. That light will separate you from your church, your religion, your philosophy, your family, your politics, your traditions, your creeds, your cultures, and all your other darkness.
The world will never receive revelation. The serpent seed will never receive revelation. The world will remain wilfully blind to the light and the god of this world, the devil, will seal them with the mark of the beast. A darkness is covering the whole world, and a gross darkness the people.
There was darkness upon the earth in Genesis when the Lord started his work. There was a darkness when light was created. That same darkness has returned as the light is about to go out upon this earth. Brothers and sisters when we leave this world in the rapture there will be absolute darkness on the earth. There will be no presence of the Lord God whatsoever upon this earth outside of Israel. It will be a total, complete blackout. Today we are the light of the world, and the Holy Spirit of God in us is the source of that light. Walk in the light! Be that light to others.
The Bible tells us clearly that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh. The message of the hour is the revelation of the Word of God. The message of the hour is the light of the word. The Holy Spirit is the source of that light, it is the oil in the lamps of our hearts. It is the Spirit and the Life in the Word. Make sure your lamp is full and don’t let any sin spots rise up to block your light.
There was darkness. Then the Lord said let there be light. Then the Lord separated the light from the darkness. In the end, the darkness will be banished and there will only be light.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not.
I have talked with many people who are put off by religion in general. I too had the same attitude towards churches and religion. Then I realized that there is a difference between the church and the bride of Christ. There is a difference between them that call themselves Christians and those who God calls Christians. I found out that the book of Acts is being replayed in the lives of real Christians all across the planet every day. When I met Jesus Christ for myself, then the book of Acts started playing out in my life too.
This sermon is for you. God gave me this scripture and opened it up to me by revelation from the Holy Spirit that I might be able to pass that same gift on to you. But as I always caution people, do not believe me, do not take my word, but go back to the scriptures and see if what I tell you is right. And if it lines up with the scriptures then accept it. Take God’s word for it. Our absolute must be the Bible.
Here I have taken my original notes that I used to preach on the subject, and edited them to make them readable. I pray that you might find them useful. As such I would like to take for a text John chapter 17 and verse 22. And for a subject on that text I would like to concentrate on the theme of the Glory of Jesus Christ and how we are called to glory. And for a subtext we will observe how the Church and the Bride are not one and the same.
John 17:22 And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.
Here we see Jesus at the end of his ministry praying openly for his followers. After reading this scripture a number of questions came to mind. I find that learning is often better served by asking the right questions, rather than just trying to find better answers to less perfect questions.
This is a very short scripture indeed but it carries an enormous message for us. It says that God gave Jesus glory. And it then says that Jesus gave out that same glory to a select group of people. Then it says he did it so that they might become one even as Jesus and God are one. This simple scripture brought up ten interrelated questions in my mind.
What is Glory? Is it tangible or figurative?
How did God give glory to Jesus?
When was this glory given?
How did He, in turn, give it away?
When did He give it?
Who, exactly, does He give it to?
How do we qualify to get it?
How do we know we have it?
Can we loose it once we have it?
How does this glory make us one with each other?
The answers to all ten questions are woven so tightly together that in order to properly answer one we have to answer all ten. And we will know if each answer is right because the scripture must run true; line upon line, word upon word, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. If our doctrine gets to a point where we get stuck in a scripture then that is a sign our doctrine is completely wrong. The Bible always perfectly agrees with itself!
Paul said that if we preach anything different than what is written we are accursed, Peter said if we wrestle against any scripture we do so to our own damnation and John said if we add or take away we are given plagues and our names removed from the book of life. We must stay with the written word of God. If we get to a point where we have to explain away a scripture to make our doctrine work then that is a sign that our doctrine is wrong and we must go back and start over.
So the answers to all ten questions must all agree with each other in the scripture or we have to go back and start over. And each and every answer must run with the message as well for it is the Revealed Word of God for the Hour. The prophet told us to preach what is on the tapes. He didn’t mean to quote him like a parrot, to preach Jesus whom Branham preaches like the seven vagabond sons did in Paul’s day earning for themselves a good beating and demonic possession. He meant that if our doctrine does not line up with what is put down on the tapes and vindicated by the Holy Spirit in signs wonders and miracles, then we had better fix our doctrine because we are wrong.
So let’s, by the grace of God, get some Bible answers for these Bible questions.
Our scripture here says that Jesus got Glory and gives Glory. He gives his glory to a select, special, elect group of people. And it is the same glory that God gave to Him. So let’s start by finding out exactly what is glory?
The original word for Glory found in the Bible is the Greek word Doxa, which means Splendor, Brilliance, Awesome Light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power, honour and praise. That is a pretty big definition. Today we think of glory as popularity or public notoriety but the Bible has a very different definition. There is nothing popular about it.
So what is this Splendor, this Brilliance, this Awesome Light that radiates from the presence of God that is associated with acts of power, honour and praise?
How and when did God give His glory to Jesus. What is the defining moment in scripture when God gives his glory unto the Lord Jesus Christ? He said that God gave it to him, so there must have been a time when he did not have it, a moment at which he received it, and a time in which he carried it. At the time of his speaking in John as we just read, Jesus notes that he has already received it. So we must look back in time to find where and when he got it.
Look at the life of Jesus on earth. Not much is noted about him for the first 30 years of his life. Many have speculated about him in this time and the Bible gives us just enough information to see that they are all wrong. He was not studying with mystics out east etcetera, he was living in Nazareth as a devout Jew working in Joseph`s business as would be the tradition of the time. He lived a normal life.
He had no defined ministry, to the point where the people from Nazareth didn’t think much of him. Sure he was a nice guy, and pretty smart especially about the scripture, never got in trouble as a kid, didn`t run with the bad lot, but he was just a carpenter, one of the boys, one of Joseph’s sons. He grew up down the street and played games with us as kids. There was nothing too great or spectacular about him. He was not a pretty boy either. The Bible says that there was no beauty in Jesus that men should be attracted to him. He lived as one of us, an ordinary average guy.
The people from Nazareth where he grew up and lived could not believe that He was the messiah. When He came back to them they didn’t believe. He couldn’t even work miracles there because there was no faith in the people. They could not wrap their minds around the fact that this fellow from down the street was a prophet, priest and king. He was the great I AM but his neighbors could not see it. He was the saviour of the world but his friends, those who should have known him best, were blind to it. Isaiah chapter six says that he was “Prince of peace, the councillor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father”. Here was God himself, the creator of all things, veiled in human flesh and the ones who were closest to him could not see him. That should be a humbling wake up call for us. Do we truly see Jesus Christ today? Do we see him for who he really is? Do we have the revelation of the godhead? That is a whole separate sermon, or series of semons.
So when did His ministry start? When did he lay down the carpenter’s hammer and start showing himself as the messiah?
St. John 1:29The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the spirit of God descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him.
John the Baptist was the messenger of God sent to forerun the first coming of the messiah. According to the Old Testament prophet Malachi, John is the third coming, or manifestation, of the spiritual ministry of Elijah. Jesus also confirmed this in the scriptures telling his disciples such. John, God’s prophet messenger, saw a vision of the Holy Spirit of God descending from heaven and resting upon Jesus Christ. The spirit of God, the pillar of fire descended from God and rested upon Jesus Christ like a dove. And it stayed there! The Bible said it “abode” upon him. This was not a one-time transient event, God came and God stayed.
Jesus was always the Word of God manifested in flesh. He was always the only begotten Son of God. For thirty years he walked the earth as a man, but here we see God putting a seal on His son. God was putting an AMEN upon Jesus Christ for the whole world to hear. He sent his prophet ahead and prepared him to make the announcement and then vindicated Jesus Christ as the one anointed Messiah to all mankind. Here God officially says “I approve of you and of your life and of everything that you are, and in thee am I pleased to dwell” and He does it through a vindicated prophet. The glory of God, the pillar of fire, the Holy Spirit comes down from heaven like a dove and rests upon Jesus as a crown of glory for the eyes of the prophet to see.
And it stayed there!
And from that moment and that place in the desert we see the miraculous ministry of Jesus on earth began. He started His ministry AFTER he received the glory from the Father, not before. That is an important note we’ll pick up later. He had the power, wisdom, knowledge, virtue etc. but it was not until AFTER He received glory that he began his ministry. He was the only begotten of the Father. He was the great I Am. He was the Messiah. He was the word of God made flesh the whole time but he did not begin his ministry until after he received glory from God.
So we see God giving His glory, His “Doxa”: His Splendor, His Brilliance, His Awesome Light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power, honour and praise unto Jesus. We see it as the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and abiding on him. All that power, all that splendor, all that brilliance, all that awesome light that radiates from God’s presence with acts of power honour and praise, veiled as a dove and resting solely on Jesus Christ glorifying Him above all that is, was or ever shall be!
The pillar of fire, the spirit of the great creator himself, the fullness of God lightened on the man of Jesus Christ for in him dwelt the fullness of the godhead bodily. Not some, not most, but ALL, the complete fullness of everything that is God was in Jesus Christ. All that God is was poured into the man Jesus. All of God’s glory is given to Jesus. All of God’s splendor is given to Jesus. All of God’ Brilliance is given to Jesus. All of Gods awesome light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power, honour, and praise is given to Jesus. He was all in all. He was the complete fullness of everything that is God. He was the alpha and omega the beginning and the end, the resurrection and the life. Jesus Christ, a man of flesh and blood like you and I, was standing there dripping wet and soggy in the water of the Jordan River beside that prophet with hundreds if not thousands in attendance and the Glory of God resting on him for a testimony to all mankind. THIS IS MY SON AND IN HIM AM I PLEASED TO DWELL!
If you feel blessed now, it is only going to get better. It is so unbelievably wonderful I find myself reading it over and over.
Jesus said the Glory that you gave to me I am giving to them. Oh what a wonderful glory that is. “The glory that you gave to me I give to them”. Now we have to slow a little. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, do you realize what Jesus Christ is saying here? Do you really understand the depths of his statement? We have been splashing in the shallows long enough, let us go out into the deep now.
The glory that God gave to Jesus Christ, he in turn is giving to us.
The Doxa that God gave to Jesus, he is giving to us.
The Splendor that God gave Jesus, Jesus is giving to us.
The Brilliance that God gave Jesus, he in turn is freely giving to us.
The Awesome Light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power, honour and praise that God gave Jesus is now given to us.
Did Jesus take all that Glory that we just talked about, ALL the glory of the complete fullness of all that is God and give it to his elect? He said he did. He did not say that he gave us a piece of it, or a copy of it, but the very self same glory that Jesus Christ received when the Holy Spirit of God came down in fullness and indwelt him, he in turn has given to his earthly Bride.
Jesus said that he took the glory that God gave to him and gave it to them. Amen? Are you Bride? It is given to you!
So then we must have his splendor. We must have his Brilliance. We must have his awesome light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power…honour…..and praise. We must have it because Jesus Christ said that he gave it to us.
Here is a point of contention that many have brought up through unbelief. I have had many a “scholar” and “theologian” tell me that it was just for the apostles, just for the first church age etcetera but with no scriptural backing. They did not receive the glory so they then have to explain the glory away or humbly repent and receive it. Pride will prevent them from receiving it. So let us look at that argument a moment.
Let us now look to find out who the “them” that Jesus talks about here are? Is he talking about the world in general? Is he referring to the Jews? Does Jesus mean the church? Is he speaking about the apostles only? Or maybe is he talking about the gentiles? Could it be the Catholics, or the Lutherans or the Pentecostals? Who exactly did Jesus give this glory to?
A little confusing isn’t it? If we look to the context of the prayer he was praying we can narrow it down a little.
John 17: 9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me for they are thine….20 neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their words.
That helps a lot. Jesus said he would give the glory to those which shall believe on him, who are given to him of the father. So it is not for the Jews per se, and not for the gentiles per se, and certainly not for the world, for Jesus specifically said he is not praying for the world. It is for the believer. It is for those who God has chosen out of the world and given to Jesus Christ to believe on him. And not just for the apostle or the first church age because Jesus specifically said it is “for them also which shall believe on me through their words”. For the first age and for the ages to follow who believe on the words of those from the first age. It is for every single believer down through all time.
Jesus Christ has promised his glory, the same glory which he received, will be given to every believer, regardless of where or when they live. If we believe on Jesus Christ through the words written in the Bible then the promise of the glory of God is for us.
I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.
Now we can also see that it is not random but that we are called to it by God himself. He has called us unto his eternal glory. The glory is eternal. The glory is not just for a time, not just until the next revival, not until next Sunday, not until you make your next mistake, but the glory of God that Jesus Christ gives unto those that believe on him is forever and ever, time without end, Amen.
If the glory will never fade, will never die and will last forever does that mean once we got it we can never loose it? We’ll see that a little later too. The Glory is eternal. The Holy Spirit, God is the only eternal. There is no eternal life outside of God and only God has eternal life. For us to have eternal life, God himself must be dwelling inside us. Without that indwelling we do not have eternal life.
This is another example of the Holy Scripture running true again. He has called us. We are called by God. We are called but remember many are called but few are chosen.
Now we see another topic showing up. Many are called but few are chosen. Is that what Jesus said, many are called but few are chosen? This pattern runs all through the Bible. There are two groups of believers. There is the Church, called and the Bride, both called and chosen.
Romans 8: 29 For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and who he called, them he also justified: and who he justified, them he also glorified.
The word “predestinated” will get a lot of people’s fur up. But that is the word that God uses. God knew before the first sub-atomic particle was created who would and would not receive his words. He knew how many hairs I would have and how many would be left this morning. And he wrote the names of his children in the Lamb’s book of life before the earth ever existed. Way back beyond eternity God had you in his mind. You are the expressed thought of God. Think about that for a moment. You are the desire of God’s own heart expressed for all to see. Let’s look a little closer now from a different angle.
2 Thessalonians 2:13But we are bound to give thinks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are both called and chosen. Is there a difference between those who are called and those who are chosen? Are all who are called also chosen? Jesus said no. So then there are two distinct groups here in these scriptures. Two distinct groups, yet somehow the same group, for the scripture does not differentiate them here. How could that be?
II Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us unto glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.10 Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make you calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
Make your calling AND election sure. We can be both called AND chosen. Two groups made from one! The called out church AND the called out and chosen bride. This relates back to the parable of the ten virgins. There were ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom. They all had their lamps lit, but the bridegroom tarried, and when he finally came, only half of them were ready and the rest were left behind.
Look very carefully here and note that they were all virgins. They were all called. They were all justified. Peter says that those who don’t get chosen, the foolish virgins, “have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins”. The foolish virgins were purged by the blood of Jesus Christ. They repented and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins according to Acts 2:38. The foolish virgins were made pure and white just like the wise virgins. But only the wise virgins, only the bride is elected. She is the “elect lady”. Why is this so?
What sets the bride apart from the church? Quite the mystery isn’t it? They are both bride material as we have just seen. They are both called by God for eternal life. They are both pure. Their sins are all washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, church and bride the same. Their names are ALL written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world. Think about it. Both had a testimony with their lamps lit. Both believed and testified the message of the hour. The foolish virgins are message believers.
What is the difference? What sets the Wise virgins apart from the Foolish virgins? The answer is OIL! Amen? OIL! Oil always types the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Things are coming together now. The wise virgins and the foolish virgins all testified of the message and all believed the message but the wise also lived the message and were filled with the Holy Spirit. It is not enough just to be justified. It is not enough even to be sanctified. We must be glorified if we are to be the bride of Christ. Only a glorified bride will be raptured.
Paul said in Thessalonians that we are “called to the obtaining of the glory”. The obtaining or receiving of the glory, the Bride is to be called to the obtaining of the Holy Spirit. All Christians are called to it. That is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ does, it calls us to the obtaining of the glory of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian is called to it but not every Christian is chosen and elected to it. The whole church is called to it but only the bride is chosen and elect to it. And they all tried to get it. Get this point. They ALL tried to get oil. The foolish virgins just started too late and looked to the wrong source. Isn’t that what the Bible says? Look carefully, they tried to get oil. Let’s look at the scripture.
Matthew 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise GIVE US OF YOUR OIL; for our lamps have gone out. 9 But the wise answered saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Do you see it? They all tried to get oil. They knew they needed it but they realized it too late, and they went to the wrong source. They were called for it. They were virgins like the others. But they were lazy. They were lukewarm about it. They did not practice Christianity, they practiced churchianity. They looked to men for salvation for once they realized they needed oil they went to men and not to God. They look to their pastors for their absolute not to God. They were still carnal. Paul preached about it how one said they were of Apollos and another of Paul and another of Cephas. We have the same thing going on today. One of this preacher, and one of that group. It is the spirit of denominationalism. It is not of God.
They were the church. They were justified every one of them. Every one of them was water baptized in the name of Jesus Christ in full emersion. Every one of them believed the message of the hour. Every one of them recognized the Elijah visitation of their day. Every one of them believed the message of the hour. They were even sanctified most of them. But none had gone further. They were still splashing in the shallows and never truly pushed out into the deep. They were satisfied to be good, decent church going citizens.
Ephesians 1:4 according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
They were most certainly called and they were justified but they were not chosen, not elect, not glorified. God through foreknowledge knew all of us. By this foreknowledge he elected a chosen bride that he knew would keep pushing, keep fighting, keep knocking, keep asking and seeking until the day that he calls them home. This is the group that he elected to be his bride and he elected them out of the called out ones, out of the church.
God called two million Israelites out of Egypt through his prophet Moses. Every one of those people was a believing Israelite. Every one of them followed a vindicated prophet. Every one of them saw signs, wonders and miracles in the desert for forty years. Every one of them was baptized in the Red Sea. Every one of them ate manna in the wilderness and drank from the Rock in the desert. The Bible says so. And of the two million adults that God called through his prophet Moses, he only elected two souls, Joshua and Caleb, to enter into the Promised Land.
What a mystery this is indeed. There is a biblical mystery of glory.
Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is make manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
The mystery of glory is Jesus Christ IN you. Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Glory of God, IN you. That is what happened at Pentecost. It is not just Jesus with you. It is not just memorizing scripture. The mystery of Glory is Jesus Christ dwelling inside you. Look what Jesus said of it in John.
St. John 17: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Jesus said “I in them”. The mystery of glory is Jesus Christ literally dwelling and living inside of you. This is the mystery that was hidden for all time. It was hidden from all ages. It was hidden from all generations. This mystery of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was hidden from everyone, even the prophets. And the Bible says that this ageless mystery is now finally is made manifest to his saints. How is this mystery made manifest? It was hidden from everyone. Even Moses didn’t know it. How does God interpret his word? God interprets his word by making it come to pass, is that right? So then he must have interpreted this mystery by making it come to pass too.
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up; with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. 17 AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and you young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
This is so beautiful. Slow down here and read carefully so you don’t miss it. How did Jesus Christ give us His Glory, the Glory which he received of the father? The very same way He received it. God does not change so if we got the exact same glory that Jesus received, then we must have gotten it in the exact same way that Jesus received it. If we were baptized by the Holy Spirit we must have been baptized in the exact same way that Jesus was baptized by the Holy Spirit. So where in the Bible do we see people being anointed the same way that Jesus was anointed?
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
It was the exact same glory and it manifested itself in the exact same way. I hope you see it. It is undeniable in the scriptures. In order for us to receive the Holy Spirit we must receive it in the exact same way that Jesus Christ received it or it is not the same spirit.
The Bible says that there “appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it SAT UPON EACH OF THEM”. And we read that when Jesus received the glory that “God’s spirit descended like a dove and it abode on Him”. Was it the same manifestation? Was it the Same Glory? Or was it different? It had to be the same. AMEN! EXACTLY THE SAME! JESUS CHRIST THE SAME YESTERDAY TODAY AND FOREVER!
It has to be the same or it wasn’t God. And it has to be the same today or it isn’t God. Jesus was baptized in water and then the Holy Spirit, the Glory came to Him and stayed with him. We are baptized in water in His name and His Glory will then come to us and stay with us.
Do you think you can receive the Holy Spirit by being baptized in any other way than Acts 2:38? NO! It is not possible. God has provided a way, Jesus Christ is that way and Jesus said no man can come but by him and all others who try to come any other way are THIEVES AND ROBBERS. (John 10:1 look it up when you get home). We even find that in Acts chapter 19 a group of honest believing Christians could not receive the Holy Spirit because they were not baptized in Jesus name. And we then find that as soon as they were rebaptized in the name of Jesus Christ they received the Holy Spirit.
Now we noted that Jesus didn’t begin his ministry until after he received the glory of the Father. So too did the disciples not minister before they received the glory of Jesus either. In fact they were forbidden from preaching until they were glorified. Jesus said to them to go to Jerusalem and wait. What did he tell them to wait for? Did he say to wait until you get a degree, until some university offers you a PhD? Did he tell them to wait until they were a certain age? Did he tell them to wait until they get voted in by an assembly?
Jesus said to go and wait until you are “endued with POWER from on high”! Go and wait for the Glory of God! The Holy Spirit is the power of God! Not by might, nor by strength, but by my spirit said the Lord. The Holy Spirit is the Splendor of God! It is the Brilliance of God! It is the awesome light that radiates from God associated with acts of power, honour and praise! It is the Holy Spirit that does the works, the signs wonders and miracles in our ministries. It is the Holy Spirit that heals the sick, that raises the dead, that saves and delivers, and prophesies. It is the Holy Spirit that speaks in unknown tongues and interprets tongues.
II Peter 1:3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
The Holy Spirit is power. It is glory. Amen! It is given to us. He gave us “ALL THINGS”. How? Through knowledge of Him who called us to GLORY and virtue. Virtue, that comes up a little later too.
So now we know what the glory is. We know how Jesus got it and when he got it. We know how we are to receive it. We know how he was able to give it to us. We still have only answered half of the questions.
When is it given to us? Good question. That is a very important question. How do we qualify to receive it? That is probably even more important to ask.
We have touched on that a little. We said earlier that we must be both called and chosen, but what does that mean in practical sense. Often we find ourselves quoting a verse and not really understanding how it applies to the here and now. Do we have choices here or is God unfair? Of course we do but God knew what choices we would make before hand so that is how he was able to predestinate us. And then He reveals it to us but not to others.
Mark 4:11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
So God predestinates us, calls us, and reveals his word to us. He also says that this revelation is only given to the called. If we are not called then we will not know any of the secrets of the Kingdom of God. We might be religious, we might attend church every Sunday, we might even be a preacher, or a bishop or a pope even, but we will have no light to know the meaning of the scriptures. Sure we will be smart. We will even memorize the letter of the Word, but we will be in complete darkness. We will never understand the godhead, baptism, the Lord’s supper, or this topic that we are discussing here.
So how do we go about becoming qualified? Peter tells us in two separate places.
Acts 2:38 Repent every one of you and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for the promise is unto you and to your children and to all who are afar off even as many as the Lord God shall call.
We mentioned this scripture earlier but is that it? Seems too simple doesn’t it? All we have to do is to repent and be baptized in Jesus name and we are qualified to receive the Holy Spirit? Is that all you have to do? YES! Baptism is straight forward. You get someone to completely immerse you in water and bring you back up again in the name of Jesus Christ and you are baptized according to the Word of God. Simple yes, but who is doing that today? Today if they even will immerse you, it is difficult to find a church that will baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ. They all use titles today but that is not according to the Bible and God will not accept it or count it as a baptism.
But what about repent? That is where we tend to fall down. Repent is not a one time thing. It is ongoing. It is making right what was wrong. How do we make right what is wrong in our lives? How do we sanctify ourselves? God cannot dwell in an unclean vessel. So how do we get clean? We are cleaned by the Word of God. The Bible calls it washing with the pure water of the word. Repent, fix what you broke, get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and then get sanctified for your glorification. If you stole something, pay it back. If you lied, go tell the truth.
2 Peter 1: 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge, 6 and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
What is charity? It is not giving to the poor for Paul writes though I give all I have to the poor and have not charity it profits me nothing. The original Greek word is Agapos which means the love of God. It is not human compassion that the Greeks called Phileo. This love is Holy and pure, this love is God. This love is the Holy Spirit.
It is the Glory, the Splendor, brilliance, awesome light radiating from the presence of God associated with acts of power, honour and praise. Peter said “IF ye do these things you will never fall and you will make your calling AND election sure”.
There are three that bear record on earth, water, blood and spirit. Ezekiel says I will give you a new heart, justification, and a new spirit, sanctification, and MY Spirit, Glorification. But not for all, because some are content with sanctification and some are happy with justification. But there are some that feel that extra tug in their hearts, that sense of urgency, a desperate longing to be in the presence of God. They seek out the oil now, they seek it out daily. They aren’t happy just being church, they want, they need, long to be the bride of Jesus Christ. They do not rest until they have been sealed with that Spirit of promise. And once they are sealed, they still cry out for more of God.
But what of those who don’t? What happens to the church? Where are they in and after the rapture? In the rapture, Jesus says, two will be together, one will be left and the other taken. The rapture will come and go and they will not be included. Then the tribulation strikes the earth. How about receiving glory then? Is it too late for oil, to late for glory after the rapture?
1 Thessalonians 4: 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
There are a couple of points we should note from this scripture. Here we see Paul telling us the series of events that make up what we collectively call the “rapture”. First the dead in Christ are risen. Then we which are still alive are caught up with them in the air. Then we all meet Jesus Christ in the air and remain with him forever. The point we need to see here is that if Jesus is meeting us in the air, he is no longer on the mercy seat making intercession for sins. Once Christ rises off of the mercy seat to claim his bride there will be no more mercy for any gentile anywhere on earth. If we look to Romans chapter eleven we can see that this is confirmed. Paul writes that the eyes of Israel are closed until the fulfillment of the gentiles. Once the rapture takes place, there is no more mercy for any gentile, no more salvation available. God then turns to Israel with two prophets, Moses and Elijah who will turn the hearts of 144,000 Israelites to Christ with a message that is vindicated with signs wonders and miracles. And in the book of Revelation we can read this:
Rev 22:10And he said unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Once Jesus gets off that mercy seat, as you are is how you stay. If you are justified you won’t be able to move forward to sanctification, if you are sanctified you won’t be able to move forward to glory. And if you are lost, there is no salvation to be found at all. The church is saved but she is saved Before the rapture. She goes through the tribulation and comes up in the white throne judgment, but her salvation came before the rapture. Don’t take my word for much, but you can believe me on this, “YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH THE TRIBULATION!”
Now we have to examine the idea of the Church versus the Bride a little deeper. Let’s look to Abraham for an example back in the book of Genesis. Three “men” came to Abraham one day and Abraham, speaking only to the central character, called him Lord, and the other two went off to Sodom. Notice that the messenger with the message of promise, the Lord, came to Abraham but not to Lot. Lot got the message of impending judgment.
Abraham, the Bride, got a single messenger, while Lot, the church, got multiple messengers. Enoch, the bride, got the message of promise and was raptured, Noah, the church, got the message of judgment and went through the tribulation.
In each age God sent a Single messenger to the bride, and multiple to the church. One Luther and hundreds of others. One Wesley and hundreds of others. One Branham and hundreds of others. The message of the hour is not for the church. It is for the bride alone, for only the bride will receive it. The church can’t take it, she has to try to change it, to water it down or inject her own ideas into it. But the bride, she takes it as it is written, as it is spoken, and believes it and obeys it. She is justified, sanctified and glorified.
Which brings us to the question, can we lose it? Once we are sealed, once we are filled, once we receive the glory of Jesus Christ, can we loose it? This is an easy one to answer.
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Can you loose it once you got it? NEVER! If you weren’t ready for it God would never have given it to you, and once he gives it to you He is making the testimony, this is my beloved son/daughter in whom I am pleased to dwell. God’s glory is eternal. God’s life is eternal. Once God puts his seal upon you, once God fills you with the Holy Spirit, once Jesus Christ gives you his glory which he received from the Father, you have it forever.
Here is the tough one. This one has baffled millions for years. This question stumps all the churches; the one question that seems almost without explanation to most people today. This is the question that is still argued about among the “message people”.
How do we know we got it? How do we know that we have the Glory? And taking it a step further, will we know? Will we know that we have the Glory and what will be the sign that we have it? Jesus said we would.
John 14: 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
So we will know. But how will we know? How do we know for sure if we got it?
Will we have some sensation? Will be speaking in unknown tongues? Will we shout, raise our hand, pass out, scream, run around? Will we believe the message? Maybe we will go hunting with the prophet? Some would almost say that. Is going to church or getting voted in as a deacon or a Sunday School teacher the sign? Is being baptized the sign or maybe taking the Lord’s supper?
What is the defining characteristic of the Holy Spirit in an individual? How did the disciples know they had it? What sign or evidence did Jesus tell them to look for? What were the disciples told to wait for when they were sent to Jerusalem? What ever they were told to wait for must be the sign or else how would they have known whether or not they had it. And since God doesn’t change, whatever was the sign to them in that day MUST be the sign now to us today.
Luke 24: 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
What were they told to wait for? What was the sign that Jesus said would be the evidence of the Holy Spirit? POWER! Wait until you get power from on high. The power was the sign, or evidence of the Holy Spirit. The power Peter spoke of:
II Peter 1: 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
POWER! GLORY! VIRTUE! Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Do you have power? Do you have Power over your flesh. Do you have Power to believe and obey the word of God. Do you have Power to testify about the name of Jesus Christ and all that he has done for you? Do you have power to overcome sin in your life?
It is not the gifts, they are without repentance. Jesus never told them to go and wait until they had spoken in tongues. He never told them to wait for education, or a sensation, or anything else but Power and Power from on High. The power is the Glory of Jesus Christ.
And how does it make us one? Oh my. That one is easy too. We will have One mind. We will all have One spirit. When we are filled with the glory of God, the Holy Spirit, then we will all have the mind and spirit of Jesus Christ. The bride is one with the groom, life of his life, spirit of his spirit. We will be the image of Jesus Christ, the stature of the perfect man. When we have the power we will say AMEN to every word in the Bible. We will believe it, we will obey it. We will think the way God thinks.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him, but we have the mind of Christ.
If you have the mind of Christ, and I have the mind of Christ, then we both have the same mind, the same thoughts and the same ideas. And if you have the Spirit of God in you, and I have the Spirit of God in me, then we are the same, filled with the same life. We will have the same spirit and the same mind. We will be one. We will be members one of another, members of the body of Jesus Christ. Maybe you are an eyeball and I am a little toe but we belong to the same body. We will have different jobs, and different gifts, but all our gifts will work together to make the body whole.
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone;21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
There it is in a nutshell. We are the habitation of God through the spirit. When Jesus gives us the glory that God gave him, we become citizens of the Kingdom of God, we become lively stones fitly framed together with the other saints, and we become the habitation of God himself through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
That is what we need. It is not enough to come to church. That is a good thing but it will never save you. It is not enough to be a member of a church. It is not enough to be justified. It is not enough to be sanctified. We must get glorified. We, every one of us, needs to come to the position where we receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. The only people who will be raptured off of the earth before the great tribulation where Peter tells us the very elements will melt with a fervent heat, are those who have received the glory of God, the glory of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit of promise.
The justified are saved, for that is what salvation is. We are saved from sin. Justification through repentance and full emersion water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ grants us remission, or salvation, from sin. The Sanctified are saved, for we must become justified before we can become sanctified. But only the glorified are the Bride of Jesus Christ. Only the Glorified are stolen away in the twinkling of an eye. Only the Glorified dwell with Jesus one thousand years in the new Jerusalem. Only the Glorified sit with him in Judgment.
We are all on a journey. There are two paths, one is narrow and very few people will choose it. That is the path to eternal life in the Kingdom of God. It starts with accepting Jesus Christ as your saviour and getting justified. That path requires rejecting all, rejecting the world, rejecting religion, rejecting men’s ideas, rejecting unbiblical church dogmas, and following the Bible alone. The Bible must be our absolute or we are not on the narrow path. And if we leave that path, we must go back to where we left off and start over.
It is a lonely path. It is a rocky uphill constant battle. It is a call to arms, a call to war against spirits, and powers, and principalities and powers of the air. It requires the whole armour of God. But It is also the path to glory for it is a path of glory. God lights the way with the brilliance of His glory that he promised to fill you with. And he gave us a simple prescription for receiving it which we discussed earlier. It is the only way. There is a way which seems right unto man the end thereof is death. That way is the broad easy way.
It is a wide easygoing path. It is a path of popularity, a path of worldly opportunity, a path of luxury. It is the path that most “Christians” will take. Just look to Bible examples. How many did Noah have with him? Eight souls out of the billions that were alive on earth at the time. How many got raptured before the flood? Only one man, Enoch. How many of the Israelites believed Moses and actually entered the Promised Land? Only two out of two million; Joshua and Caleb. How big was Daniel’s church? He had three men Shadrah, Meshack and Abed-nego. How many followed Jesus? In the end there were only twelve and one of them was a devil.
They do not want the narrow way. They do not want to sacrifice. They do not want to be laughed at and called “holy rollers” or “Jesus Freaks” or any other of the countless names the devil will throw at you. They do not want to crucify the flesh daily. They are too proud to admit they are wrong. They cannot repent, just like Cain of old. They do not want to be put out of their churches for testifying that Jesus Christ is still the healer, or for speaking in tongues, or for simply believing every word that is written in the Bible. They want the path of ease. They want to be popular. They want to be respected and accepted by the world and by organizations of men. They want to be lifted up by men. They want the pleasures of the world but to be called holy. They have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. They call themselves Christians, they go to church, they sing and worship and pray, but inside they are a gross darkness. Cain was the same way. The end of that path is death.
But I trust that is not so of any of you who are reading this or I don’t think you would have gotten anywhere near this far without tossing the paper in the fire. You are called to glory! You are called to be the Bride of Jesus Christ. You are called to be a fellow citizen in the Kingdom of God. You are called to be the habitation of God!
Come to God’s glory today. Do not wait for tomorrow for there may not be a tomorrow. My dear brother, my sister, I am pleading with you to listen to the Word of God. Jesus Christ is pleading with you to receive him. Do not believe me for I am a man such as yourself, but take every word I have written here for you by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, and take the Word of God and search it out and pray over it and see if it isn’t the absolute truth. Wait upon God for revelation. Do not go to another man, do not go to a pastor or priest, go to the high priest that can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. Go to Jesus Christ and wait upon him to reveal to you the truth in his Word.
Follow ever after Jesus Christ. Believe and obey only the Word of God. The Bible is the word of God in print. Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receive forgiveness of sins, sanctification from the filth of the flesh and of the world, and receive the glory of God from Jesus Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is the new birth. Be born again of water and of blood and of spirit. And as Jesus said, except you be born again you shall never see the kingdom of God. Come and see the Kingdom of God with the fellowship of the saints. Come and walk on the streets of pure gold in the city where the Lamb is the light.
So let’s look back over the questions one last time so we get it right. I have not included every possible scripture here, but rather just enough to get the point across. There are many more. I strongly urge you to study what is here and compare it with your Bible and look for more scriptures on the topic.
I’m going to ask you for the answers now. You all know them, and I think many readers probably knew most if not all of them before today.
What is Glory? Is it tangible or figurative?
How did God give glory to Jesus?
When was this glory given?
How did He, in turn, give it to us?
When did He give it to us?
Who, exactly, does He give it to?
How do we qualify to get it?
How do we know we have it?
Can we loose it once we have it?
How does this glory make us one with each other?
The glory of God is for you.
Salvation is for you.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is for you.
Do not stop short but earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the Saints. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Seek, knock and ask for Jesus promised to give unto you the Spirit. I would like to finish with a brief excerpt from a book written by a precious brother who God anointed with his Holy Spirit to bring a message of salvation and hope to the Bride of Christ in these last days. His name was William Branham. I strongly recommend that you find a copy of the book (there are many, many available in print and online) and read the whole thing.
Thus the grain of wheat that became a plant for the harvest is the record of the church. And even as not all the wheat plant is wheat seed, and as not all the plant is used in the harvest, so with the church:–all the church is not the bride, and neither is it all given eternal life, but a PART of it is gathered into the garner, and a PART of it is kept that it might enter into eternal life in the second resurrection, and PART of it which is accounted chaff is burned in the lake of fire.
Be that part that is gathered into the garner. Get your oil, get your promised glory today!
May God richly bless you with his spiritual revelation.
The message for today is one of encouragement. It is the message of the Lord God Jehovah working in us.
Philippians 2:13For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
May the Lord God add his blessing to the reading of his word.
It is a short scripture but there is so much in it. It is God working in you, in me. We are not Christians of our own accord, it is by the grace of God. We could not do this on our own. We did not come here on our own. We cannot understand this word of God on our own. But it is God Himself working in us.
Who here has been delivered? Did you do that or did God deliver you? Who has been healed? Did you do it or did God heal you?
Everything we have is of God. He is the giver of all good gifts. God himself is working in us for two purposes: to will or desire His good pleasure, and to do His good pleasure.
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father.
Your very desire for God is not of yourself but is given to you from God. We are fleshly creatures the same as the world. We lived in sin the same as the world. We were conceived in iniquity, born in sin and come into the world speaking lies. Every one of us the same as the world.
Yet there is something different about us. When we heard the word of God we accepted and believed it. When we heard the voice of the Shepard we came and followed him. Why? What makes us different? Are we holier than they are? No. Are we more righteous than they are? No. Are we smarter than they are? No. The difference is that God is working in us. God is working in us!
John 6: 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Have you come to the Son? We have all come to Jesus if we are Christians? We have come because God drew us. We can only come to Jesus if God draws us. We can only come to Jesus if God is working in us. Jesus Christ is the word of God. Amen? The message is the Revealed Word of God. Amen? So we can only come to the word, to believe the message of the hour if God is working on us. And to believe the message is not simply to parrot the prophet. To believe the message is to have the message, the word of God, the Bible, revealed to you by the Holy Spirit. That is God working in you.
But that does not mean that we can be slack and idle. We have a job too.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Prove the perfect will of God. Be not conformed to this world. Who runs the world? The devil. So be not conformed to the devil’s world, but be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. Be transformed into the Word of God. Present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Did you ever ask yourself what this means or what it entails? What are we sacrificing? We are sacrificing our flesh. We are crucifying our fleshly desires, our ungodly lusts, for Christ. To present ourselves as a holy sacrifice unto the Lord we must be holy, and we can only be holy if the Holy Spirit dwells in us. That, once again is God working in us. It is His holiness that makes us holy.
We also have to offer up the sacrifice of praise. Jesus said if we will deny him then he will deny us, but if we will confess him, then he will confess us. Did you ever wonder why it is so hard to open your mouth and praise God sometimes? The hardest thing for people to do is to praise the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, even in church. The devil, and our flesh are working against us. But God is working in us, and if we choose to think God’s thoughts, then we will overcome our flesh and the devil and be able to raise our voices and praise and worship God.
God is working in us but He requires an effort from us to. Remember the wise and the foolish virgins. God was working in both of them, they were all saved but the foolish virgins worked against God, they fought against the working of God in them. Remember we are at war and the battle is in our minds. We can hinder the working of God in us. We have to be transformed into the image of Christ by the renewing of our minds. It is in our minds, our decisions, that we accept and prove the perfect will of God.
And it involves a change in us. What we were is no good. We must be transformed, changed. We must get rid of the old things. That is the circumcision of the heart. Old ideas, old ways, old feelings, old thoughts, old manners, old lives must all perish with the old man.
Colossians 3:7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of you mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
Put of the old man with his deeds. Our old man, the person we were, must be put off with all of our old deeds. When we are baptized we are burying that old man, with all of its sins and all of its vices in water that we may be born again renewed in Christ Jesus. And we have to put on the new man after the image of Christ. Are we the image of Christ? When the world looks at us do they see Jesus Christ, or do they see the old man? Has the world seen a change in us? Are we allowing God to work in us or are we hindering Him?
Moses fought against the Lord. Caught you off guard with that. He was not intentionally fighting God, but by His Egyptian education, by the learning he received in the flesh, he was acting contrary to what God wanted. God was working in him, but his mind was not in tune with God’s word. So he tried to do what he thought was the will of God but in fact he was working contrary to it. It took another 40 years for Moses to get in to the right condition where God could work in him unhindered.
There was a young man in Israel. He was very zealous for the Lord, a Pharisee and a devout Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. He studied under the best teacher that Israel had to offer. He knew the scriptures, the law and the prophets, better than any man in Israel. His whole life was dedicated to the living God of Israel to the point where there was nothing he would not do for God. But even though this man was a predestinated seed of God, he was hindering the working of God in him, that is until God got hold of him.
Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.
Paul was a predestinated seed, a chosen vessel of the Lord, an apostle, a prophet and the messenger to the first church age and yet he was hindering the working of God in him. How much more do we? Our thoughts, our ideas, our works, our lives will either hinder God’s working in us or it will complement it. What are our live like? Are we hindering the working of God in us? Attitude says it all. Let’s look at two people who were given the same message. They were both children of God. One hindered the working of God and the other complemented it.
Luke 1:13But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 for he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years? 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings. 20 And behold, you shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because you believe not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
Zacharias was a man of God, and a preacher too. He was not an unbeliever. But because he could not understand Gabriel’s words, he foolishly rejected them. And because he rejected them the angel gave him a little time of trouble. The angel had to make a little adjustment in Zacharias so that he could come to terms with the message and yield to the working of God in him.
Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
So it is truly our choice. It is your choice right now. Make the right choice. Our attitude will determine how God works in us. We can either accept the Word and yield to the spirit, or we can hinder the working of the Lord by doubting what the word says to us.
Some through the fire and some through the flood, some through the water but all through the blood, some in great sorrow, but God gives a song, in the night season and all the day long. If we are called for eternal life God will have His way with us. If we hinder his working he will still accomplish that which he determines to accomplish, we will just have to suffer a little. He is not punishing us, he is chastising us. Zacharias was not punished, he was chastised. He was given a little spank by God so he would line himself up with God’s will.
It may seem a little rough or scary to think about being chastised of God but the Bible gives us direction.
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. 7 If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, wherefore all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons.
The devil will tell you the opposite. The devil will tell you that God has written you off, that you are being punished and God has left you. That is a lie! That is God dealing with you. That is God working in you. If we do not yield to the working of the Holy Spirit in us willingly of our own accord then God will give us a little spank to wake us up so that we will yield to him. Was Moses being punished when he got sent off into the desert to be a Sheppard for 40 years? No. That was God dealing with him. Was Zacharias being punished with his stroke or whatever it was? No. That was God dealing with him. Was Paul being punished when he was blinded on the road to Damascus? NO. That was God working through and in him. Some through the fire and some through the flood.
But it will come down to our attitude, to how we see ourselves and how we see God.
James 4:6But he gives more grace. Wherefore he said, God resists the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Is it coming together? Am I making sense to everyone? God is working in each and every one reading this blog right now. He is doing it by his word and by the incidents in our lives. He is working to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ. He is molding us like clay. He is the potter. And if the clay will not come into shape, then sometimes the potter has to bust it up and start over. But the potter doesn’t throw away the clay, he starts over from scratch with the same clay. Sometimes we get so out of God’s will that he has to bust us up and start from the bottom up. That is what he did to Moses.
Romans 6: 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Yield yourself to God. You are called for it. One way or another God will accomplish in you the things that He has determined for you. You cannot avoid it. Your name was written in the lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world and God did not do that by mistake. You fate was determined before the universe was created. What was not determined is how you will get there. You will get there, that is for sure, but you can come the easy way or the hard way, but you will surely come.
Zacharias could have taken the easy way but he did not and it cost him 9 months of not being able to talk. He was still saved. He was still the father of God’s greatest prophet. But he had to go through some fire on his journey.
What about us? What about you? Are we going to yield to God? Eventually we will. Why not take the easy way? God will mold you into the image of Jesus Christ. He has promised to do it and one way or another He will do it. It is really up to us as to which path we take. God only spanks us when we are bad. If we have a stubborn spirit God will break that thing. If we are proud God surely will humble us. If we are Laodicean and lukewarm God will surely set us on fire.
Sin. Sin is unbelief. Unbelief is the only sin. Lying, stealing etc. are attributes of sin. We do them because we do not believe in the first place. Unbelief is sin. Let not sin, unbelief, reign in you mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof. The old man again. Yielding again. You have two spirits talking to you right now. Which are you going to yield too. The Bible tells us to yield to Christ and not to the lusts of our flesh because the lusts of the flesh work unrighteousness. If we yield ourselves to sin we will reap the wages of unrighteousness. If we yield ourselves to the lusts of the flesh or the things of the world we are hindering the working of God in us. God will warn us, and warn us, and speak to us, and preach to us, and finally he will chastise us. He has given us a way to walk and one way or another we will walk with him.
What is our walk? It is our service to the Lord and our service to the world.
Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in knowledge of God;
Our service unto God is our lives. God is working in us, transforming us into the image of His son through his word, and working in us to both desire and to do His will in our lives. If we walk according to the spirit, then we will be pleasing to God, serving God and serving men in a godly fashion.
2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to bed the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in table of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
We are written epistles. We are the word of God in flesh today. We are supposed to be. The Bible says that we are supposed to be. Are we? Are people surprised when you tell them you are a Christian? Is it because your life does not match your testimony? Are we pleasing to the Lord?
We have the message of the hour. We have been sent a prophet of God, vindicated by signs, wonders and miracles, who brought out the hidden mysteries of the Bible, restored the lost doctrine from the Bible, and restored the faith of the children to that of the original Pentecostal fathers. We have, for the first time in history, the first time since time began, the whole Bible revealed. Every single word written in this book is now open to us. We have the greatest light that has ever shone on earth today. We have more light than Noah, more than Moses, more than Paul, for the mysteries were sealed up unto this hour.
We have the greatest truth the world has ever known. We have the pillar of fire, not just in a picture on our mantels, but right here amongst us working the same miracles that he has always worked. God is working in us, in our hearts, in our souls, changing us, teaching us, transforming us into his image. Our job is to live that life, to yield to the Holy Spirit and to resist the devil. Our job is to be the Bible to others, to show Jesus Christ in our lives. Our job is to crucify our old man with the desires thereof and to live a new life in Christ Jesus.
You cannot have it both ways. You cannot mix God with the world.
Matthew 9:16 No man puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottle: else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
They did not have glass bottles in those days, they had wine skins. And new wine is still fermenting. It is full of life and bubbling up with life. You put new wine in an old dried up wine skin and the pressure from the bubbles will burst that old skin.
We cannot take a patch of God’s righteousness and patch the holes in the filthy rags of our righteousness. We must do as Elisha and cast off our robes, cast off our self-righteousness and wrap ourselves in the robes of God’s righteousness. We must be justified and sanctified before we can ever be filled with the Holy Spirit and there is no way to put the Holy Spirit into an old dead carnal denominational religion.
You try putting the Holy Spirit into a dead formal denomination and it will bubble up with life and bust its way out. The upper room could not contain the 120 once the Holy Spirit indwelled them and neither will a denomination contain a Christian once God fills them today. The only difference today between a Pentecostal and a catholic is the street address. We must be born again of water and of spirit, and that new birth will set us free from all traditions and dogmas and creeds.
And if we cannot put the Holy Spirit into a religion, how much less can we put it into the world. You cannot patch up an unholy worldly heart with a Holy Spirit. It won’t stick. It is full of power and it will rend the worldly heart in two. You cannot put the Holy Spirit into an old dried up heart. It will bubble up and bust you wide open.
We need a new heart and a new spirit, then God will give us the Holy Spirit. We have to cleanse ourselves, or rather let the Lord God cleanse us, from the things of the world and the things of the flesh and the things of religion. We have to yield to the working of God in us. We have to stop resisting him. He will have his way in the end.
Look at Jonah the prophet. He steadfastly resisted the will of God. God told him to go one way and he went the other, and God sent him a spanking in the form of a storm and a big fish. If Jonah had not resisted the working of God in him then he would have foregone that whole nightmare. And look at Nineveh. When the word of the Lord came to them they accepted it immediately and suffered nothing. They were on the verge of being condemned and destroyed off the face of the earth but when the heard the message of the hour they immediately repented and received it and yielded themselves to it.
Sodom was sent a similar warning but they scoffed at the message. They refused to yield to the word of God and were destroyed of fire.
We hear the message of our hour. This generation is on the verge of destruction by fire. This generation will be like Sodom but worse for Jesus said if Sodom had seen the signs and wonders they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes and be standing today. This generation will not yield to the word of God, to the message of the hour and will most certainly be cleansed by fire.
But God is working in us. God is giving us his word. His spirit is molding us, sculpting us, transforming us into his image. All He requires of us is to yield to him and to resist the devil. All he requires of us is to choose. He is doing the work.
Ephesians 2:10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are His workmanship. It is God that is working in us. It is God that is changing us. It is God that forgave our sins. It is God that delivered us from bondage. It is God that healed our diseases. It is God that is transforming us and it is God that ordained us to walk in his word before the foundation of the World. And let us leave you with this last word. A word upon which you can meditate for the rest of you time on earth. A promise of God that will not pass away, will not fail and will not change.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Paul says to be confident. Be confident in his promise. Be confident in his workmanship. Has he begun a work in you? He won’t stop until he comes back for you. Be confident in that fact. Yield yourself to him, he is working in you right now. He will be working in you tomorrow. He will be working a good work in you till the rapture comes to take you home. Be confident. It isn’t us working. It is God working in us. We cannot fail for it is not us doing the work it is God himself. God is doing it and he never fails. Be confident in God.
Rejoice oh Christian and shout for God is working a good work in you. The most holy Lord God Jehovah, creator of heaven and earth, is perfecting you with his word. Yield to God and be quick to answer him. Receive of his word and of his spirit. Receive his word, believe his word and obey his word. Cry out to him day and night. Praise his name for it is God himself that is working in you. And He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world. What victory we have in Jesus.
Today we are inundated with ideas and theologies and philosophies trying to teach us how to think and behave. But we have been given the master theology from God himself. I believe, as do all Christians, that the Bible is the perfect, unfailing, inspired word of God. It does not contain all information or all history but contains the essential elements for life. There is nothing needed that has been left out, and nothing added that is not essential. That is why the Bible tells us never to add to it, and never to take away from it. We need the Bible, as it was written, in its entirety. It contains all that we need to live and find salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the user manual for life.
And on that note I would like to take an admonishment from the Bible for a text out of the book of Philippians.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
And may God add a blessing to the reading of His word.
Notice Paul’s admonishment to us. He is telling us to consciously control our thoughts. Not only is he telling us to control them but giving us a very specific direction in which to think. And if the Bible tells us that we are to think on these things, then by default are we not also supposed to avoid thinking the opposite as well?
Look what he tells us to think on; true things, honest things, just things, pure things, lovely things, things of a good report, things of virtue and praise. He is telling us to think only on good things and to not think about bad things. This is what we are told to think on. And everything God tells us if for a reason and for our own good.
Now we have to ask ourselves some questions. Why? Why does Paul tell us to get control of our thoughts and why is it so important what we think on? Why is it essential to think only on good things? Why is it bad to think on the things that are maybe not so good? What will happen if we do not think on good things? Asking the right questions is the key to learning.
He is telling us to control our thoughts. We have to look a little deeper, to see where our thoughts actually come from, what they are, what they do, and how they manifest themselves in our lives. We have all heard of “positive thinking” and the “power of positive thinking”. We have heard of the placebo effect with medicines, how someone’s belief in the medicine will affect the outcome of taking the medicine. We have all heard how Olympic athletes will “visualize” themselves performing their sports perfectly. Everything physical has a spiritual counterpart. It is like the negative and positive of a picture.
So where do our thoughts come from? Did you ever stop to ask that question? It will surprise some. Science will disagree completely with me here but I believe what the Bible says above all.
Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Did Paul say they were the thoughts and intents of the mind? He said they come from the heart. That is where your thoughts come from. They come from your heart, from inside. What dwells in your heart? A spirit dwells in each and every human being. Your thoughts, my thoughts, come from the spirit or spirits that dwell inside us. Now this is not spiritualism. This is not voodoo, this is perfectly scriptural. I know it seems strange to most, having never ventured into these waters, but if you bear with me, I will show you by the grace of God through the Holy Scriptures that it is perfectly so.
For some I would say it is starting to make a little sense now. The thoughts in our heads come from our hearts. Every thought has its origins in the spiritual realm before it ever enters the intellectual realm. We wrestle with them in our minds but they come from our hearts, from spirits. And when we hear the Word of God, it will expose our spirits by discerning our thoughts, which come out of our hearts. When we hear the word of God, our spirit will either reject it or accept it. That is why the John writes to try spirits with the word.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. 3 And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
John doesn’t tell us to try men, or to try preachers, but to try the spirits that are in the men. In the fourth verse he plainly tells us in black and white that we either have the spirit of God or the spirit of the world. Every man, woman and child on this planet is possessed of a spirit. This is a big piece of meat and not for babies. We are either born again and possessed of the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, or we are not yet regenerated and possessed by the spirit of the world, which is a devil.
So keeping this in mind, let us return to the idea of finding out where are thoughts originate and how they function.
Matthew 15:18But the things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
It is not out of the mouth, or out of the mind that thoughts originate, but of the heart they come. Notice Jesus said they do come out of the mouth, but before they can come out of the mouth, they must first be a thought and the thoughts come from the heart.
This is a simple idea but some people have trouble grasping it. A word is a thought expressed. When you speak a word, when I speak a word, when God speaks a word, that word is the expression of a thought. The evil thoughts in the heart, go to the mind where they are considered and either rejected or embraced. And when we embrace evil thoughts they will conceive and bring forth fruit; adulteries, murders etc. And when we embrace a thought, we are embracing and give obedience to the spirit from which that thought originated. When we reject a thought we are rejecting the spirit from which it came.
2 Corinthians 10: 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty though God to the pulling down of strong holds:)5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Amen? We do not war after the flesh. We are not warriors of guns and swords. Our war is not in our body, but in our minds. The greatest battle ever fought is in the human mind. It is the chosen place of battle. For there to be a war, the two parties have to settle on a place to fight that war. There must be some place where they can both come and both fight. The chosen place for spiritual warfare is in the depths of every human mind. It is the “no mans land” of the spirit realm.
God and Satan are facing off, and it is not in Armageddon, it is not in some future battle or some historic epic, it is right inside of your head right now! The greatest spiritual war ever fought is going on right inside of your mind, right at this moment! You are hearing the Word of God anointed by the spirit of God, and the devil is telling you just the opposite. The Holy Spirit is standing right there pouring Himself out to you, offering you the gift of faith with the revelation of Jesus Christ and the devil is standing right beside Him pouring out his unbelief at you. Right inside of your mind at this very moment you are going to either receive or reject the Word of God. Right inside your mind you will either receive or reject Jesus Christ. Right inside of your mind you will determine your eternal destination, based on what you think.
That is quite the revelation in itself. Do you really understand what I just said? Are you able to believe that? It is one of the most important revelations we can receive, for if we do not know our enemy, and if we do not know where the battle is being fought, then we will surely loose. Our battle is in our minds and it is the battle of faith versus unbelief. It is the battle of good versus evil. It is the battle of the Truth of God against the lies of Satan.
Why did the allies win in WWII? Did we have better guns? No. Did we have better soldiers or better training than the Germans? Not even close. We won the war simply because Germany did not know where the battle was to be fought. Think about it. We were not winning WWII, we were losing and suddenly in the end we won. We surprised them when we stormed the beaches in France.
If they had known where the battle was being fought, they would have mowed us down like grass. But we kept it from them, we hid it from their eyes, and because they did not know where the battle was going to be fought they had no resources, no plan, no strategy and no chance. And if we do not understand where our battle is being fought today the devil with his inferior tactics, and his inferior power, and his inferior weak lies will defeat us! WE HAVE TO KNOW WHERE THE BATTLE IS BEING FOUGHT SO WE CAN COME AT THE DEVIL WITH EVERYTHING GOD HAS GIVEN US! We cannot let down our guard for a moment.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
“Having done all to stand”. The devil will not let up so we must not let up either. We must do ALL. The devil has wiles. Wiles: scheming, craftiness, lying in wait. He will wait you out and when you least expect it he will attack. He knows where you are strong, he knows where you are weak. You cannot fool him, you have to stand with truth and faith. This whole world is ruled by darkness. The devil is not only the spirit of the world, but the Bible calls him the god of this evil world. He rules the politics, he rules the philosophies, he rules the religions.
14 Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Do you recognize it? That is our first scripture. Whatsoever is true, righteous, lovely etc. The battleground is in our minds and we have been given the weaponry and the armour to win. But if we either don’t recognize the enemy, don’t recognize the battle, or fail to use our weapons, then we will surely loose. The devil will never give up. He has an appointed end, and until that day arrives he will fight tooth and nail. Even though he lost the battle 2000 years ago on Calvary, he will fight and fuss to the very bitter end.
But we do not have to lose. We are not in darkness. We have been given the light of the hour. In this day the entire written Bible has been revealed for us. And the Bible not only tells us of God but it also tells us the devils tactics in detail. It shows us how he attacked Job. It shows us how he attacked Eve. It shows us how he attacked Jesus. It shows us every move the devil makes and how to overcome them. We have the devils playbook. We know his tricks. And not only that, but Jesus has already won the victory for us. We are fighting against a defeated enemy. We cannot lose because we have already won in Christ Jesus. When we are born again we are already victorious and sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Can you imagine if you were a boxer going into a title fight against the champion and you walk into a boxing ring to find your opponent has already been beaten up and knocked out and all you have to do is stand there for the count of ten? That is the case here. Jesus beat up and knocked out the devil 2000 years ago and He told us in Ephesians that all we have to do is put on the armour, the spiritual boxing gloves and stand. That’s all, just stand. Stand on what? Stand on the word of God. Stand on God’s promises. No matter what the devil says, no matter what the physical evidence seems to say, no matter what the doctor’s diagnosis says, no matter what you pastor or church say, no matter what I say, stand upon what Jesus Christ says and you have already won the victory.
It is all in our minds. It depends on our attitudes. What we think and believe will determine the battle. And what we truly believe is what we will act on. That is another important point. It is easy to subscribe to a theology or doctrine, or to profess a belief, but it is when the rubber hits the road that you will find out what you truly believe. There is where your trials come in to play. Do you believe in divine healing of Jesus Christ? Get sick and find out. Do you believe that he is your provider? Go broke and find out. Our trials, and more importantly our actions and reactions to those trials, will show us what we truly believe.
Romans10:10For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
We saw earlier that a word is a thought expressed. So we need our thoughts to come to fruition, to be expressed. That is where they get their power. As long as God was just thinking about light, there was total darkness. But when God spoke the word, “let there be light”, then the thought of God, expressed as a word, brought forth the light in power. So to we must overcome in our minds and bring forth the expression of our thought. We believe in our hearts and then in our minds we claim that belief and manifest it in our words, and by our words, the confession of our lips, our belief brings forth salvation. Jesus said if we would confess Him before men then He would also confess us before God, but if we deny Him before men then He would deny us before God as well. Again the Bible says that all those who cry out in the name of the Lord shall be saved.
In Hebrews Paul calls Jesus the high priest of our profession. Not of our belief, but of our profession. We must not only have the thought, we must express that thought.
Luke 6: 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of things men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
It is not out of the abundance of our minds, but of our hearts that we speak. When we believe the word of God we will confess it with our lips. When we disbelieve the word of God we will also confess that with our lips.
Our thoughts both reflect, and effect, our faith. They show where our faith stands and determine whether our faith is increasing or decreasing.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God.
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Not by hearing dogma. Not be hearing church creeds. Not by hearing philosophy. Not even by hearing testimonies. But faith comes only by hearing the word of God.
What happens when we hear the word of God? It goes into our mind. It goes into the battlefield. The words you are hearing right now are going into battle in your mind. It all depends on what you do with them. Will you receive them and accept them and believe them? Then you will increase in faith. Will you reject them, disbelieve them, deny them, argue against them? Then you will decrease in faith. There is no standing still with God. We are always thinking something so we either move forward or backward but we are always moving. The battle never stops. We win or we loose but we never get to step out of the battle. Look at what the Apostle and Prophet wrote about himself:
Romans 7: 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Paul was constantly warring in his mind. There are two opposing forces, one of good and one of evil warring in his mind. The devil will play to your flesh, to the lusts thereof but the Holy Spirit will deal with your soul, with its needs. And when you are a Christian, the two forces will war in your mind day and night. We are soldiers of the cross. And the two forces will have two conflicting thoughts for you to deal with, one of faith in God’s word, and one of disbelief in God’s word. And we have the right and the power to decide which thoughts we will reject and which ones we will accept. God granted us free moral agency, the right to choose.
Let’s take Abraham. Abraham fought a great war of faith. His fight of faith was so great that he is called the father of faith. A great war indeed. Here was a man a hundred years old. He had been given a promise by God that he would have a child by his 90 year old, barren, wife. And here it was 25 years after he had been given the promise, getting older and weaker by the moment, and he was still fighting a war of faith for the promise had not yet been fulfilled. But what does the Bible say of him?
Romans 4: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief: but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
He staggered not through unbelief. He fought a battle in his mind. And a great battle it was. How would we fair in his shoes I wonder? A hundred years old and his wife 90, older and weaker by the day and still believing a 25 year old promise that he was going to have a child. He fought that battle every day and every night for 25 years. Do you think the devil gave him a day off? Would the devil say “oh Abraham I have been at your heels for a few years, I think I will give you a holiday and leave you in peace for a few weeks”? NEVER! Day and night, wake or sleep the devil was attacking Abraham in his mind telling him that it was impossible, that God had forgotten about him, that God didn’t want him anymore, that he went too far and was out of the will of God and lost salvation and his promise. Daily and nightly this went on. And Abraham was up to the fight. He did not back down. He had on the whole armour of God.
And when Abraham finally got his son what did God do? He sent him right back into battle. He told Abraham now that you got him, I want you to sacrifice him to me. Could we do that this morning? Abraham was up to the task for he was persuaded that the same God who gave him a son from the dead could raise his son up from the dead as well.
And Abraham was so filled with the spirit of God that not only did he overcome the devil in battle, but he also prophesied of Christ in the process. He said “God will provide a lamb for the sacrifice” and there was a ram in the bushes. Not a lamb but a ram. Abraham did not just prophesy that God would bring an animal, he prophesied that God would send Jesus, the Lamb of God for the sacrifice, the perfect sacrifice for all sin, for all men, forever.
God is the victory giver. He is the overcomer. We just have to take Him at His word the way Abraham did. We just have to fight and win our mental battle.
So how did Abraham overcome? What did he use? Abraham decided to consciously control his thoughts and to think only of the good things. Both good and evil thoughts were presented to him. He could either believe God or reject the Word of God. He decided to think only of that which was true, that which was holy, that which was righteous. He consciously rejected every doubt presented by Satan. He consciously accepted all faith presented by God.
And we should point out here that it is not logic, or intellectualizing, or how smart you are, or your education, or what church you go to, or that we have to figure things out. It is simply a matter of accepting one thought over another. Wisdom, earthly wisdom, actually gets in the way. That is the devils trick. He used it on Eve, he will use it on you. Earthly carnal wisdom is not of God.
What was Eve’s mistake? She was deceived. She had two thoughts, one from God, and one from the devil. The devil’s thoughts played to the lust of her flesh. In her mind was a battle. On the one hand God said if you eat you will die. On the other hand the devil said, you won’t really die physically, but it will be a death of your ignorance and you will be wise like God. How long did this battle rage? We are not told. But what we are told is that Eve decided to reject the Word of God and believe the devil’s lie over God. It was her decision as to which thought she was to think. She decided to think the devil’s thoughts. And that is where she actually fell.
We today have two sets of thoughts going into our mind. We too have to decide which thoughts we are going to think. And like I said earlier, when we accept the thought, we become obedient to both the thought and to the spirit from whence it came. This is a critical point.
Romans 8: 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
The mind, the thoughts of the mind determine us. To be spiritually minded is life and peace. To be spiritually minded is to have spiritual thoughts, or more precisely thoughts from the Holy Spirit. To be carnally minded is to have carnal thoughts. And the carnal thoughts are an enemy against God. Carnal thoughts disbelieve the Word of God. Carnal thoughts deny the power of God. Carnal thoughts build our pride. Carnal thoughts play to the lusts of our flesh. Carnal thoughts come from the devil. By our thoughts we decide whom we serve. If we embrace the thoughts of God we are serving God, but if we embrace the thoughts of the devil we are serving the devil.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness: 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Whom do you obey? Notice the use of the personal pronoun, whom. He does not say what you obey, as of a thing, but whom as of a person. Unbelief leads unto death. What does it mean to obey unbelief? It is simply to believe and accept the devil’s lie. When we obey an idea we are obeying the author of that idea, and when we reject and idea we are rejecting the author of that idea as well. And the authors of all ideas are spirits.
To obey righteousness is to accept the word of God, for we are told that we “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine” that was delivered us by the apostles. So to believe the Word of God is to obey God and to disbelieve it is to obey the devil. And we fight the battle in our minds and when we have made our decision on what to believe, we open our heart to it and it enters in. Amen? When we make our decision on what we are going to believe, we open our heart to it and both the thought and the author, the spirit, of the thought enter in.
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
The words that Jesus spoke are both spirit and life. When we receive them, when we decide within our minds that we are going to believe them, those words and the spirit from whence they came enter into us. It is when we decide to believe the word of God that we become servants of righteousness. It is when we reject the word of God that we become servants of unbelief, servants of sin, servants of the devil. Everyone that rejects the revealed word of God for the hour is a servant of the devil.
Now that also brings the topic of interpretation of the Word of God. We can settle that right quick.
2 Peter 1: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The first one to “interpret” the Word was the devil in Eden. We find the devil interpreting the word to Jesus after his forty day fast as well. All private interpretations are demonic. God interprets his own word by bringing it to pass. It is as it is written, and it means what it says. We do not need to interpret a single word. The Bible interprets itself, word upon word, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little.
Every denomination has its own “interpretation” of the scriptures and every single one of them is wrong. The moment we try to interpret that is the moment we fall away. We interpret because we do not believe it as it is written. Or more to the point we do not believe.
The battle rages on. We hear the word of God the same as the world does but to us it is eternal life, peace and hope. The difference is that when we hear it we decide to believe it. We decide that the word of God is true. We accept what we hear, the way we hear it, and when we do it goes into our hearts. And more importantly when we accept the word of God, we also receive the Spirit of God into our hearts.
When an unbeliever hears the word of God he decides that it is not true. He either rejects it flatly, or puts his own twist on it to make it fit his fleshly lusts. That is interpretation. An “interpreted” word is a lie. When the unbeliever hears the word of God he rejects truth, rejects faith, and accepts unbelief of the word and the unbelief, along with the spirit of unbelief which is a devil, enters his heart.
Hebrews 4: 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
The unbelievers and make believers heard the very same words that the believers heard. It is the same today. The difference is that the unbelievers rejected the word and did not believe it as truth. The unbelievers prefer a lie over the truth.
When we hear the word of God, it corrects us, shows us the right way. In order to accept the truth we have to admit that we are wrong in the first place. We have to be humble and teachable to receive the truth. If we are proud and cannot admit our faults, cannot receive correction, then we have to reject the word of God. We then will gladly accept the lies of the devil because he will tell us exactly those things that our proud, carnal, lustful flesh wants to hear.
Look at Cain and Abel for an example. They both heard the same message from the same prophet, Adam. They both went to church to worship. They both had altars and brought sacrifices. But they had different thoughts. Abel’s thoughts were in line with God’s thoughts and Cain’s were not. Then even when God went to Cain to straighten him up, and God spoke to Cain lip to ear and told him the truth, Cain decided to reject God’s words and instead accept the devil’s thoughts. The devil is a murderer and his thoughts are murderous. When Cain accepted the devil’s thoughts he fulfilled the devil’s lusts by murdering his own twin brother.
Whose thoughts are we accepting? Are we accepting God’s thoughts this morning? Are you accepting the Word of God or rejecting it. If you’ve gotten this far I am thinking you are accepting it. What is in your mind right now? The battle is raging, whose thoughts are you going to accept? Who are you allowing into your heart? Are you going to accept the Holy Spirit or Satan?
Hebrews 9: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
We are not just freed from the guilt of sin but the blood of Christ will actually purge your conscience. It will utterly clean you out. It will take away the desire for dead works, for the lies of the devil and for fleshly things of this world. It will give us victory over the battle in our minds. We have overcoming power in Christ Jesus that did not exist before the crucifixion. They used to sin, and then bring sacrifices and then go back to sin. But we have the opportunity to receive Jesus himself into our hearts. We have the opportunity given to us to receive both the spirit and the mind of Jesus Christ. And it is that mind of Christ, that holy mind in us that will give us victory over our thoughts so that we can freely choose to believe the word of God.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.
Here in Romans Paul is discussing a lot of bad things done by people. And he gives the cause as well. They did not like to retain God in their knowledge. They did not like the thoughts of God and rejected them. When they heard the word of God, they rejected that word. And because they did God gave them over to a reprobate mind. Their minds were reprobate. And because their minds, and thus their thoughts, were reprobate, they performed all the disgusting evil acts spoken of in that chapter.
If, however, we have the mind of Christ then we will think his thoughts. We will believe his words. We will overcome in the battle. And it is a promise to every Christian. And it is only for the Christian, only for the predestinated seed. It is only by the Holy Spirit that we can know these things, and only by the Holy Spirit through revelation that we can believe them. Without revelation we will never understand the things of God. And if we choose to disbelieve them, we will never get revelation.
When Jesus told the people to eat his flesh and drink his blood the apostles did not know what he meant, but they chose in their minds to believe his words regardless. Not knowing the revelation they believed the words and because they chose to believe him, they were later given the revelation that he was speaking of the Lord’s Supper.
1 Corinthians 2: 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Do I hear an AMEN?
Are we receiving this morning? Are we choosing to believe the word of God or are we passing it off as foolishness? Are we thinking God’s thoughts or the thoughts of the devil? The devil will surely in telling you his thoughts too, but which thoughts are you choosing to believe? Do you believe this word? That is God. Do you understand this word that you are hearing? That is God, for without revelation from God you would not understand a single thing I am writing. If you are not called for eternal life then you will believe that everything I am telling you is pure foolishness.
2 Thessalonians 2: 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Reject the word of God, decide not to believe it and you will believe any lie that comes your way. If we decide to believe the truth, the Word of God, and we think the thoughts of God, then God will reveal that word to us by his Holy Spirit. But if we reject it, consider it foolishness, decide not to believe it, then we will be completely blinded to it and in total darkness we will gladly receive any lie the devil feeds us.
In the Old Testament we are told of the feast of Jubilee. Every fifty years they had a celebration and one of the activities was the freeing of slaves. If you were a slave at Jubilee, when they blew the trumpet, you could go free. But if you preferred to be a slave, then your master would take you to the gate of the city and pierce your ear with an awl and you would be a slave to him for all eternity.
2000 years ago Jesus paid the price for our deliverance. Today when we hear the gospel trumpet proclaiming our freedom we can walk free from the slavery of the devil. But if we reject that trumpet then the devil will pierce our ear and we will become deaf to the truth and no matter how many times that gospel trumpet blows in our ears, we will be reject it in favour of the devil’s lies. That is the strong delusion. When we reject the word of God, the trumpet of salvation, we become deaf and blind to the word of God. We will not be able to discern right from wrong. We will look at a scripture written simply in black and white and not get it. That is why no church baptizes according to Acts 2:38 any more, they have rejected the truth and been pierced.
The religious world rejected Luther’s message and went off into a catholic apostasy. When the Lutheran’s rejected Wesley’s message they too went off into a catholic apostasy. And on up it went to where you can hardly tell the difference between a Pentecostal and a catholic today. And if we reject the message to this hour, we too shall surely fall victim. Perusia. Return ministry. Seven thunders. How many others are out there today?
Get back to the word. We have to keep our minds on the word thinking God’s thoughts with the mind of Christ.
Our thoughts determine both our words and our actions. Proverbs 23:7 tells us, that “as a man thinks in his heart so is he”. Remember where the thoughts come from and where they go to. The thoughts in our minds that we decide to think about go straight to our hearts along with the authors of those thoughts.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Can we say this about ourselves today? I surely hope so and I trust that I can. I do believe that we all are receiving the word of God with readiness of mind, choosing to believe what God has said. And I trust that everyone reading here will search these scriptures and make sure that what I have said is indeed Bible.
So I have mentioned the thoughts of God. Let’s find out what the thoughts of God are concerning us so that we can think His thoughts. I am not talking about major doctrines right now like baptism and the godhead. We’ll hunt lions later but this morning lets hunt foxes. The little foxes spoil the vine. The daily thoughts in our heads spoil our vine and sour our fruit.
What is our daily attitude like? It is easy, maybe to be up on Sundays and Wednesday evenings, but what about all the other times? What will our thoughts be on Monday morning? Tuesday at lunch? Will we be thinking God’s thoughts? Will we be completely immersed in the things of the world? Will we have forgotten this sermon? These are questions we need to ask ourselves and answer. We need to search ourselves, to examine ourselves whether or not we are in the faith.
It all comes down to attitude. What is our attitude, towards the word of God in particular and life in general? Have you ever been around a complainer? No matter what is going on they will find something wrong with it, something to whine about. They depress you and sap the life from you. It is a spirit. That same spirit will talk to you to. That same spirit comes to all of us and points out what is wrong. He has already told you what is wrong with this blog, what is wrong with the way I am speaking, what is wrong with my suit, what is wrong with the scriptures I have used, what was wrong with the song service, what is wrong with the way the benches are placed in the church. He will find something wrong with everything and point it out to us. Now that is not to say we have to be blind to that what is contrary to the Word of God. But our attitude will make the difference. Our attitude will determine which thoughts we will embrace, and which ones we will reject.
We as Christians need to have the attitude that the Bible is our absolute and every word is true. Then we need to act on that thought. We need to claim every promise in the Bible as our own. Regardless of what the physical circumstances seem to be, we as children of God have a right and a duty to stand upon the revealed word of God. We have an inheritance in Christ Jesus and since it is by his grace and not of ourselves it does not matter how unworthy we are, we still have full right and access to it. We are not saved because we were worthy but because He IS worthy. He overcame death, hell and the grave for us and we have free access to the holiest of holies today. He is our perfect, unblemished sacrifice. We are not covered by our own dirty blood, but by the holy, perfect blood of Jesus Christ.
What are the thoughts of God towards us? What is the mind of Christ?
The Bible says that we are overcomers! The Bible says that we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus! The Bible says that we are saved! The Bible says that we are healed! The Bible says that we are delivered! The Bible says that all of our sins, past, present and future are forgiven! The Bible says that we are sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus! The Bible says that we are the elected lady, the Bride of Jesus Christ, the predestinated children of God! The Bible says that we have eternal life! The Bible says that God will rapture us before the tribulation falls! The Bible says the dead in Christ shall raise first, incorruptible, and then we who remain will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and be caught up to meet them in the air.
The devil will tell you contrary stories. He will tell you that the signs and wonders were just for the apostles. He will tell you that we don’t need divine healing because we have medicine now. He will tell you that the days of miracles have passed.
Who are you going to listen to? Are you going to listen to the devil? NO! Rebuke him! The Bible says resist the devil and he shall flee from you. Resist the devil with the Word of God just as Jesus did in the desert. You are an overcomer! You have the victory.
When the devil tells you that you are sick, rebuke him. The Bible says that by His stripes I am healed. “Oh, but you feel sick”. I am healed! “But you have swelling and pain”. I am healed! “But the doctors have given it a name, and it’s a bad one because you can’t even pronounce it”. I am Healed. Get thee behind me satan! By His stripes I am healed.
“You have sinned and God hates you”. All my sins are in the sea of God’s forgetfulness! I am covered by the blood of the lamb! “You are serpent’s seed”. If I was serpent’s seed I would not even believe in serpent’s seed doctrine in the first place! Get thee hence Satan you are defeated, you are exposed, you are a liar and God’s truth has exposed you as a fraud.
The devil is a liar. Everything he tells you is a lie. The mere fact that he is bothering you and telling you these lies is the proof that you are a child of God. The devil never bothers those in the world, he already got them. He wants you and he comes to meet you in the battlefield of the human mind. Our defense is the word of God. Our defense is to control our thoughts, to reject the lies of the devil and to cling to and claim the promises of God.
As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Do you get it? So what are we going to think about from now on?
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
And let us close with one final thought to add to this scripture.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Think on these things.