I want to suggest a Scripture to start with tonight. I'm going to give
you a potpourri. I am not going to sermonize, though I was taught that
in seminary. I want to give you a potpourri of some things that I feel
that God is speaking to those who have ears to hear. In the 13th chapter
of Matthew, the 52nd verse it says something like this, "a man who
is instructed under the kingdom is as a wise householder that brings forth
out of his treasure things new and old." And God has given a little
light. We had it happen in Lynchberg where God told a brother, He said
"everybody talks about revival, but revival means that something
is also dead and it needs to come back to life again." But he said
that the Lord had spoken to him that it's not revival that's needed all
together. It's new beginnings. Brand new beginnings. Because the tendency
for people is to want to revive what they've had. But God wants to show
us that there's more than that. There's something new. I've always been
challenged to go on, never to stop.
I have a cardiologist who is a Spirit-filled Cuban. He's a lovely brother.
And he and I had some similar experiences recently in Florida when we
went to Carpenter's Church, a church that seats 10,000. There's a brother
there, Rodney Brown, from South Africa who has a ministry that's very
similar to Benny Hinn. And he's -- in the area. He really has. Now, the
people at that particular church don't show up too much, but all the churches
around too and the place is packed out and it's wonderful in a way. People
like to see folks slain in the spirit, don't they? The bulk of the people,
so people flock to see how many are going to be slain tonight. And they
had people all around the church and he went around and touched people
and bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. But, I myself didn't feel especially
fed. It was nice to see 10,000 people praising the Lord and see people
get delivered and souls saved. It was wonderful. But, I felt a lack. Well,
my doctor went to that place and he said "it just didn't satisfy
me, that meeting." I said "well, I felt the same thing when
I went." And I said "I want you to go with me to church on Sunday.
Where do you go?" He said "well, I go to the Countryside Church
over in Clearwater." This happened to be a church that was established
by a brother of mine in the Assemblies that I knew years ago. It's a mega-church.
They have music like you never heard. They've got expert musicians. They've
got song leaders, 14 or 15 people with microphones and all the music and
everything. It's just bang, bang, bang and the place goes up. It's fine
and it meets the need of a lot of people on that level. But, I wasn't
satisfied there either and neither was this doctor and his wife. So, we
went out to eat afterwards and a funny thing happened. I felt led of the
Lord to go back like we did here years ago in this area when we first
came to Frank Patton's house and had spiritual food and natural food around
that big table. And I began to talk to this woman about eternity and time
and what it's all about -- where we're headed. How many of you that know
me from times past remember me teaching about time and eternity? Do you
remember? If you can think of this wall over here as a sheet of paper.
I put an arc on this end and an arc on this end and then connecting lines
in between, which is the time continuum. And then I put over here in the
first ark "God in eternity past." And it's just God and nothing
else, no creation. Over here I put God again, but this time it's more
than God. It's God in his tabernacle. And that's where it's all headed
for. God wants a body that he can inhabit.
I want to read you a Scripture, Psalm 132, verses 13 and 14. If you want
to know the ultimate purpose of God, this is the Scripture. The promises
are wonderful and it's very definite. 132, 13 "For the Lord hath
chosen Zion. He hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest forever.
Here will I dwell, for I have desired it."
Everybody in the fundamental levels is more or less looking for heaven.
Heaven is a fringe benefit, not the main line. The main line is to fulfill
the purpose of God in creating us in the first place. He wants a body.
And if you know your Bibles at all, you'll know that there are levels
in the body of Christ. For example, in the second chapter in the book
of Ephesians beginning with the 19th verse it says that the first stage
that we go through as a body of people is a household, a family, where
you have a lot of problems. And that continues to be so in many Christian
circles. The activity, a lot of it, has to do with the church itself because
there are people that are depressed, down-hearted. They need counsel and
everything else. There are babes that are being born and there are older
people that are in a huff and you have all kind of problems. That's stage
Stage number two begins with the 20th verse where it says you're built
upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ himself
being the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building, fitly framed together,
growth into a holy temple in the Lord. And that speaks of the second level
as far as the church is concerned where we become a corporate body whose
business it is to magnify the Lord. We don't come to church to praise
the Lord so we get anointed so we can prophecy. The gifts are not an end.
They're a means to an end. The end is that God be magnified. And so we
come together and begin to worship the Lord and these other things are
merely steps to bring us to that place where we satisfy him. And when
you satisfy him it fulfills the types in the Old Testament, God accepts
that sacrifice and the fire comes down. There's an anointing that comes
as you begin to praise and worship God.
But that's not the ultimate. The ultimate is found in the 22nd verse where
it says you'll also become a habitation of God through the Spirit. Now,
some of you have heard me in times past say what the Lord has been putting
on my heard for the last ten years and that is to get more and more closely
acquainted with a God who not only dwells with his people, but dwells
in his people because we as Christians primarily still worship God as
Old Testament Christians, afar off. We say "God come down and bless
us" and "God go with us" and a lot of expressions that
really aren't too scriptural. What God is saying is "you need to
recognize that I have come to reside in my people." God does not
live in a temple made with hands. He lives in people. When you leave here
today, God goes. God's not here just because this is called a place where
you have meetings. God is here because you're here. And if you felt the
presence of God as we sang the songs, that presence of God came from within
you. For out of your innermost beings shall flow rivers of living water.
We have great potential inside of us and we just don't know it.
So here in the 132nd Psalm God expresses what he is after. This is the
ultimate. God is going to find his rest in us. So that means that we're
going to have to find rest because if I don't find rest, he doesn't want
to come in and reside forever like that. So, I have to find rest.
Now, the 66th chapter of Isaiah and the first and second verses is a heart
cry of God. He said -- and I'm giving the essence of it -- where is the
house that you builded unto me? We build it unto something else sometimes.
And where is the place of my rest. And he describes the kind of people
that he will find his rest in -- people that are broken and are of a contrite
spirit and so on. That's where he finds his rest. So, God is after that.
But there are steps in God's purposes that we find in the Bible that are
clearly laid out progressively. And what God began to do with me was to
deal with me during the time he had me aside for being refurbished and
began to show that the things in the natural are of spiritual significance.
For example, when he gave me new eyes He said "your eyes have been
opened naturally. I want to open your eyes spiritually -- anoint your
eyes with eye salve that you might see." There's two things in the
book of Revelation. Eyes need to be opened; ears need to be open so we
can hear what the Spirit is saying. So, he was showing me the correlation
between the natural and the spiritual. And then He began to reveal himself.
I want you to turn with me to Colossians, chapter two, that speaks of
the mystery of God. I said this was going to be a potpourri. Get your
Bibles ready; I'll be jumping. Colossians, chapter 2. It says "I
would that you should know what great conflict I have for you and for
them at Laodecea and for as many as has not seen my face in the flesh,
that their hearts might be comforted, being together in love and unto
all riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgement
of the mystery of God." Now, in your King James it says "and
of the Father and of Christ." It should read just "of the mystery
of God." The mystery of God is wrapped up in Christ because in him
dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Then he goes on to say
"this I say lest any man should beguile you with enticing words for
though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joy
and beholding your order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ."
And that is a profound statement that Paul made. He was so in touch with
God that he, as it were, could project himself in any given situation
and behold in the spirit what was going on. He knew what was going on.
And then he tells us in verse six, "as you have therefore received
Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him."
Everybody here has accepted Christ Jesus the Lord in one revelation or
the other. Now, it's not just a question of knowledge. It's a question
of experience. The devils believe in the Lord and tremble, but they're
not saved. We can believe a lot of things and not fulfill it. But, this
is an hour when God is saying the time has come for the fulfillment of
the word. It doesn't mean that we're to look down on any level because
every level is important. God so loves people that He even causes rain
to fall on the just and the unjust. A lot of people never see anything
besides the man of Galilee. A lot of people -- that's what they want to
see. They would like to see him as he was when he walked the shores of
Galilee. Actually, he's not that way now, but they would like to see him
that way. They are absorbed and they get excited about the pictures that
we have of Christ that men paint and that's what they want to see. They
want to see the Lord.
But God has taught by the Spirit over the years that seeing the Lord in
an ocular vision is not sufficient. There has to be a revelation. So the
Bible says "sanctify the Lord God" where? In your heart. "And
be ready with an answer for those who ask you a reason for the hope of
the life that is in you." Why do they do that? Because something
at that juncture is emanating from you that attracts them. What we try
to do is to convert people, but we haven't shown too much. Our shining
has been in the church. God wants to shine in the world. We're to be lights
in the world. And we're not just talking about the salvation of souls.
You can get a soul saved and not even have the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
But, God has given us the glory for a purpose.
In the 17th chapter of John, for example, it tell us about the 20th verse
or 21st verse that he wants his people to be one that the world may believe.
But, that's only the beginning. Then he says the glory -- which he's talking
about the Holy Spirit -- "I've given them that they may be one as
we are one, that they may be made perfect or mature in one that the world
may know that you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me."
In other words, God wants to show off his people to the world, but there
has to be a lot of work done in each one of us. We're not only to witness.
We're to be witnesses.
So, God is putting great emphasis upon moving on. To be saved is wonderful.
I remember when I first got saved. I was excited. This was a new step.
I had been a nightclub entertainer and I needed help -- a lot of it. And
He saved me. And I was joyous and I had a honeymoon experience with the
Lord. But, He didn't let me stay there. He put the fire under me and I
began to go through a lot of things because God wanted me to move from
one stage to another. And we're going to find as we look further in the
Scriptures that God gives progressive revelation of these steps and we're
to walk in them. As God gives light on any one step, you have to walk
in the light of that thing that God has revealed unto you.
So, the first stage is the personal stage. When Paul was met on the road
of Damascus he said "who art thou, Lord." And what was the reply?
"I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." Jesus is the salvation name.
Jesus is the name that causes you to be saved in the first place. But,
after a while you learn that there are more ducks in the puddle than you.
And while you may have a honeymoon relationship with the Lord for a while,
after a while you begin to find that there are other people in this thing
too and they affect you. They can bring you down or lift you up. And you
affect them. You can cause a lot of grief in the body of Christ.
So you move into another revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now you
see Him as the Christ of God. And this is important because this was the
tenor of Peter's message on the day of Pentecost when he said "let
all the house of Israel know that surely that this Jesus hath God made
or declared to be both Lord and Christ." Jesus is both Lord and Christ.
Why the term Christ? Because it's talking about Jesus now on a new level.
He is in spirit form now and that's called Christ. "If any man have
not the spirit of Christ, he's not of his." The thing that makes
you saved is not the fact that you just say the name of Jesus, but the
fact that you have the spirit of Christ. The divine seed has been implanted
within us by the Holy Spirit. The miracle that took place with the virgin
Mary is repeated in us. I John 3:9 tells us that. "He that is born
of God does not practice sin for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot
sin because he is born of God." The thing that makes you a Christian
is the fact that the spirit seed is in you today. Not because you go to
church, not because you said the sinner's prayer, but because there's
been a divine deposit of the spirit of Christ in you.
And it's in that realm that God moves and exercises himself in the body.
Even the name of the body takes on the name Christ. I Corinthians 12:12
says this "as the body has many members, yet only one body, so also
is Christ." Christ then is not only the head of the body -- and he
is the head of the body -- but the body itself is called Christ. We together
with our head are called the Christ of God.
I think I shared with you a long time ago in the first chapter of Matthew,
I think about the 17th verse, where it talks about so many generations
from one place to another. You count all of the generations that are listed
there and you only get 13 when there should be 14. Turn with me to Matthew
1:17. It gives all of the names here. You can check it out yourself. It
says in verse 17 "so all the generations from Abraham to David are
14, from David until the carrying away to Babylon are 14 generations,
and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are 14 generations."
But, you count them. There's only 13. Why 13? Because Christ is double.
It's Christ the head and Christ the body that fulfills that Scripture.
And this is where all of the gifts come into operation. The gifts of the
Holy Ghost, the ministries of the body of Christ that are mentioned in
Ephesians 4, apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastors and teachers -- their
main work is not for the world. It is for the body of Christ. They're
given to the body for the purposes of that body being built up and edified
until we reach the stage of maturity that God wants.
But, that's not the end of the matter. I was in a meeting in, of all places,
Minneapolis, Minnesota. And everybody was all gung-ho about it's Christ
in you, the hope of glory. It was glorious and God anointed and all that.
I remember one day sitting in there and God said "the church has
nothing to do with that tree outside. It has nothing to do with the orbits
of the planets." I didn't get the full impact. But, this time when
he set me aside for a while, I got it.
The next revelation that we must have, not just in head knowledge but
experientially, is the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord. As Jesus, it's
individual. As Christ, it's corporate. But, as Lord, it's the whole works.
He's the Lord of the universe. He's the Lord of the galaxies. He's the
Lord of everything. Everything subsists because of Him. Everything is
upheld by the word of his power. And we have limited the Lord, many times,
to religious operations. God wants to do more than that. He wants us to
know right now that He is the Lord of every situation. The powers that
be are ordained of God. He's right there in control whether you like it
or not. Nothing happens without Him knowing it. The hairs on your head
are numbered. And on some of us they're getting fewer all the time. Isn't
that true. When a sparrow falls, He knows it. Who is able to do all this?
It's more than just the revelation that Jesus Christ died for us and that
we're his body. It's the fact that He is the Lord.
Now, the ultimate confession is not that Jesus Christ is savior, healer,
baptizer and all that. The ultimate confession is that every knee and
every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Jehovah to the glory of God
the Father. Isn't that true? But, the confession is more than just out
of your lips. You're supposed to confess him as Lord when you get saved.
But, he has to become Lord. He wants to move in a different direction.
God has been challenging me on a lot of things. Now, some of you know
that as we shared with you in times past that he dealt with us on the
natural and the spiritual coming together so that you carry an anointing
wherever you are, whether you're at home or whether you're washing the
dishes or riding in an automobile or eating a hamburger or whatever. That
he wants you to be God conscious all the time. But, if we're honest with
ourselves, we're only God conscious to the degree that most people are
when we come together. But, he wants people to be God conscious all the
time. And while I was off I got anointed again washing the dishes. I really
did. I got anointed mowing the lawn. One day I mowed the lawn for six
solid hours and I had a ball. And it wasn't one of these things that you
ride around. I pushed it for six hours. God gave me the stamina. He's
the Lord. He's the Lord over everything and he wants to prove himself.
Now, he said "greater miracles than these shall you do because I
go to the Father." Didn't he say that? There are a lot of greater
miracles that we haven't seen yet. We haven't seen limbs come out again,
but it's got to come. If greater miracles we're going to do, we're going
to have to see them. Somebody is going to have to someway lay hold of
God in a new way so that these things begin to happen.
It may not be a complicated thing. It may be a simple thing. I was sitting
in this church in Clearwater and a fellow in front of me, he stood up
to praise the Lord and put his glasses on the seat. The Lord said just
as clearly "move his glasses. He's going to break them." Is
the Lord interested in moving glasses? He's interested in every detail.
I visited a friend of mine that had some septic poison of some kind from
his kidneys. His temperature went up to 107. He passed out and they rushed
him to Emergency in the Atlanta area and I went to visit him in the hospital.
And he was telling me about how the fact that he has a weak heart. He's
had many strokes, congenital heart failure, all kinds of things wrong
with him. And he said "the family is just sort of praying that I'll
get out of here." And God gave me an impetus in the spirit. He said
"don't just pray for his getting out of this hospital. But pray that
I'll give him a new heart." Why not? God did it for my mother. Years
ago when her heart was gone I flew in from Portland, Oregon and God gave
the word of faith and God created in her a brand new heart. She never
did die of heart trouble. She died of something else.
God can create. It's the creative word in action as we recognize his lordship.
With him nothing is impossible. The only thing that makes it impossible
is our lack of faith. So, God wants us to begin to move by faith. Now,
we have not moved a lot by faith. Most of us, if we're honest, we've moved
by feeling. If we don't feel something, God's not around. But, if we feel
good, oh hallelujah. Wasn't it a good service? You know what I mean? We've
got to start moving in a level of faith. A level of faith. Amen.
These things are progressive. Turn with me to I Peter, chapter two. It
shows the place where we start and where He wants us to go. It's progressive.
I've learned in the past ten years that's special. Don't pull things out
of context. Unless God specifically gives you the right, you study the
whole context. All the surrounding scriptures less you miss something.
Verses two, three and four talk about the initial stages of salvation.
"As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word that you may
grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom
coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of
God and precious." That's talking about the first stages of our honeymoon
experience with the Lord. It's wonderful. He is very precious to us at
that time. We have him on our lips. We spend time reading our word. If
we're genuinely born we hunger for the Word of God. Now, I think I shared
it sometime here before, God spoke to me one time and He said "an
illegitimate child of God" that the Bible speaks about "is somebody
who has been born of the Word and man's spirit. But genuine salvation
is the word of God and the Holy Spirit." Illegitimate comes short
of reality. But, if there's reality, then the natural baby gives us an
insight as to what the spiritual baby should be doing. It should be crying
for food. It should want to draw close to the one that produced it. Isn't
that true? All the things you see in the natural baby should take place
in a spiritual baby.
But, we as parents don't want our children to be babies all of their life.
We want them to grow up. So does God. The Bible is full of exhortations
"go on to maturity". Don't stop. Yet the tendency for Christians
is to get to a certain level and say "this is wonderful. Let's build
three tabernacles and stay put." Thus a denomination is formed. God
wants us to go on. Heaven is open. It's not closed.
So He tells us here the steps that we're take. First it's that individual
relationship with Jesus. And then we move into the revelation of the Christ
of God. You see, the Bible teaches us in I Corinthians 15:45, "the
first man Adam was made a living soul. The last Adam has become a quickening
spirit." Christ exists in spirit form now. That's why you're Christians
because the spirit of Christ is in you.
And it's Christ. It's not just Jesus made real by the Holy Ghost. It is
the spirit of Christ. I Corinthians, II Corinthians 13:5 tell us "examine
yourselves. Know ye not except Jesus the Christ be in you, you be reprobate."
He really lives in us. When Paul met the Lord on the road to Damascus
and he said "who are you." He said "I'm Jesus." But,
he didn't get by with that. Later on God took him into the wilderness
and taught him something else. He taught him that there had to be an inward
revelation of the Son of God. So he said "I want to please God who
called me by his grace from my mother's womb to reveal his Son" where?
"In me." "In me." It's Christ in you corporately,
individually, the hope of glory. That's the reason we have to sanctify
him in our hearts because he has something in mind.
Now, in verse five he's talking about the worship level. Praise and worship
by the corporate body. "Ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual
house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable
to God by Jesus Christ." This is talking about prayer meetings. It's
talking about praise meetings. It's talking about worship. All of this
is for God's benefit. It's what God wants at that stage.
But, anyone who has gone on with the Lord knows that even that will not
totally satisfy. There comes a time in your life when you recognize you've
got to know more about this one that has saved you and this one who is
the head of the body and this one who has given you gifts and everything
else -- you've got to be closer to him. In the book of Daniel says "they
that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits." The first
thing of prime importance is knowing him. Even Paul at the end of his
life was not asking for more miracles, more souls saved. He said "oh,
that" what? "I may know Him." 16 times he says I -- I --
I -- I. It was personal. You have that same thing here. "Wherefore
also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone,
elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded."
"He" not "they" -- he.
You've gone from the singular experience to a corporate expression. Now
you're going back to a singular experience where he becomes precious.
Not just knowledge about the Lord, but he himself becomes precious. Because
it's at this juncture that we've got to be fed something else. What's
the difference between the milk of the Word and the meat of the Word.
The milk of the Word is knowledge about the Lord. The meat of the Word
is the Lord himself. He said "I am the living bread. As I live by
the Father, you shall live by me." The one who is going to take us
through now is Jesus himself. He is the Lord and he wants to be in everything
that we do, whether it be in the natural or spiritual. He wants to fill
everything. That parenthetical expression in the 4th chapter of Ephesians
between verse 8 and verse 11 where it says "he that descended is
the same also that ascended up far above all things that he might fill
all things." He wants to take over everything -- business, people,
groups, everything. He wants to take over and he'll not stop until all
of these things come into his dominion -- into his kingdom.
I've been a little bit, I won't say upset. I just don't think it's the
best. That we're only dealing with Christians. God wants us to deal with
all people -- all kinds of people. If God so loved the world and we're
like Him, we love the world too. Not it's sin. But we love it. And we'll
do something about it.
So, in this stage you get refurbished again by the Lord so that the Lord
becomes more important than anything else -- more than your ministry,
more than your life even. It doesn't matter, but his will does matter.
He's not preparing you just to reach a high place. That can be egocentric
too where you take pride in the fact that you've gone a little bit further
than average and it's at this place that many people stop. They're interested
in a big expression and they stop right there and don't go on. God wants
us to go on.
And the next step is corporate. Verse 9. Single, corporate, singular --
now it's corporate. "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a peculiar people." A people not peculiar in the fact
that they're odd, but a people for his possession. We're becoming at this
time or should be a habitation of God through the Spirit. He wants to
be manifest into people. And the purpose is that we might show forth,
emanate the praises or the virtues or the excellences of him who has called
you out of darkness into his marvelous light. It's another way of saying
"I want to express my divine nature through you. I want the world
to see what I'm doing."
And we become a message. Not so much what we say now, but what we become.
II Corinthians chapter 3, verse 3. I believe it
says "you're living epistles known and read of all men." That's
the trouble. They read us. We claim great things.
How many of you are happy? Raise your hand. Everybody raise your hand.
Well, the truth of the matter is you're scraping the bottom of the barrel
and you're lower than a snake's belly. But you can't say that you are,
so you have to raise your hand, which makes you a hypocrite. God wants
us to be honest. Amen. I just give that as an illustration.
The world is waiting for reality. Right now in this country the church
is a laughingstock. I know that God is saving souls and I know that we
have big churches and all that, but by and large the attitude of the world
towards his church is, hah. What did we just read the other day?
(OTHER MAN) Some paper had an article in it that they had caught -- the
police had caught 20 Pentecostals in a Grand Am. They were all naked because
they thought their clothes were possessed by demons.
(WOMAN) And they felt called by God to go naked in this car.
You see, that's absurd. We have done things just as absurd. Well, maybe
But, we are to speak as auricles of God. We are to emanate the divine
nature of God. We're to have an intimate personal acquaintanceship with
him because that's what the world needs.
Let me give you something I've given before, but it's apropos here. Turn
to the third chapter of I Peter where it talks about wives and husbands.
"Likewise ye wives be in subjection to your own husbands that if
any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation
of the wives." And you all know the word "conversation"
does not mean talk. It means walk. It means behavior. "While they
behold your chaste conversation" -- or behavior -- "coupled
with fear." In other words, here is a husband that the word doesn't
touch him. He's not listening. He turns it off. So, the woman wins him
by becoming the word to him. She becomes the message of what God is like
and he's won. The unbelieving husband, the Bible says, is sanctified by
the believing wife. A lot of women preach their husbands right out of
the things of God because they're not ready. Now, God is saying by the
same token, you've got a world out there that by and large --
(BREAK TO TURN TAPE. SOME LOST.)
Verse 11. He begins to show our ministry. "Dearly beloved, I beseech
you as strangers and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lusts which war against
the soul, having your conversation" -- or your behavior -- "honest
among Gentiles" -- or the nations -- "that whereas they speak
against you as evildoers, they may by your good works which they shall
behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
Where is the visitation coming from? You. Out of that house -- in the
47th chapter of Ezekiel -- flows a river and wherever it goes it brings
life. That's us -- individually and corporately. Right now God is indicating
through prophecy that he not only wants to use individuals, he not only
wants to use churches, he wants to use families -- whole families to demonstrate
what God is like. And we're to magnify him as Lord.
In the parables when it talks about confessions -- I think it's in the
seventh chapter of Matthew -- he said "many will say in that day
Lord, Lord. We've prophesied." We've done this and we've done that.
He said "depart from me. I never knew you." We can say Lord,
but that doesn't make him Lord. In other place it says he's taught in
our streets and you've been with us and all. I think it's in Luke, 13
or 7. And he said "I don't know where you are now."
We've got to become real. Amen. And we've got to do it by the grace of
God. You cannot do it. You can fast all you want to. You can pray all
you want to. And that's not the total answer. Now, you have to pray. But,
you know something, in spite of all our prayers and everything else --
and there are a lot of prayers that have gone up -- the world is not getting
better, but more and more wicked. The levels are coming down. If it's
going to be rectified, God's going to have to do it. And I don't know
what it's going to take except that we've got to begin to, as it were,
yell "The Lord can take care of everything." The Lord can do
anything. We just haven't seen what he can do. Amen.
So, God is challenging us. He's challenging me. I have not seen enough
positive things that I know God would be pleased to do. I know it takes
faith. I can't conjure up faith. But, I can draw closer to him. And I
think about one girl in Lynchberg. She said "well, how do you draw
closer to the Lord." I said you begin to talk to him. You begin to
think about him. You begin to bring every thought into captivity. You
quit letting the world infiltrate and sort of mess things up so that you're
in a befuddlement. It's a question of discipline. We've got to think more
and more concerning him. You pray continually. There are standards that
you've got to set for us as a bunch of happy people. Isn't that right?
"Be not drunk on wine where is excess, but be filled with the Spirit."
You'd be amazed at how many long faces are in Christian circles. We shouldn't
be that way. We should be joyous. The song that our sister introduced
tonight "the kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteous,
peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." It means in and by the Holy Ghost.
God is challenging me wherever I go now to say Jesus Christ is Lord of
everything. Don't cut him short. "To him that believeth all things
are possible." And that involves natural things as well as spiritual
things. The world has problems that only God can solve. God is able to
work with figures just like you can and do a lot better job of it. You
may have your computers, but God is a bigger computer, in a sense, than
you are. He can put things in their proper place. He can put the proper
emphasis upon something. He can tell you when to do something and when
not to do something. What we need is to hear what the Spirit is saying
today. If you think it's just a question of getting souls saved and filled
with the Spirit and that's it, you're wrong. We've got a world that needs
our help and he has chosen us to do it. Amen.
Not only the world, but to the principalities and powers in heavens. He
wants to show what he has done in his people. This is a new hour. Amen.
I want to close with a song. If you haven't heard it, we'll teach it.
If you have heard it, sing it with me. "My life is in you, Lord."
Let's sing it. My throat's a little bit rough. We prophesied over a lot
of people today. (SINGING SONG)
I'd like to pray for those who would like to go deeper with God. Not individually,
I'll just pray a corporate prayer. If you're content where you are, you
have that privilege. God loves people. But, if you want to go on, I want
to pray for you because -- needs you. He'll use you where you are, but
he'll use you more if you go on. Wherever you are, there's another step.
We never arrive. Amen. So, I'm going to ask you that you stand if you
want prayer. And remember, you're saying yes to the Lord. Don't be a hypocrite
and say "I don't really want to go on. I'll just stand so people
think that I want to." That's hypocrisy. Amen.
Father, in Jesus name, I bring this group of people that have been so
precious in coming out to the meeting tonight. I pray that you'll give
them a revelation of the lordship of Jesus Christ beyond anything they
have ever had. I pray God that you shall show them by your spirit that
it's absolutely essential in this hour to emanate the divine nature of
God. You told us Lord, as the Father has sent me, so send I you. We pray
God that you shall send these people when they're ready to be a light
in the midst of darkness. Not just to preach the Gospel alone, but to
be sons of God without rebuke in the midst of perverse nation among whom
they can shine as lights and then hold forth the word of life for people.
But, first to glow with the divine character of God himself that the world
may see something that's attractive, be drawn and ask them the reason
and they can, with confidence, hold forth the word of life and see them
change from death unto life. Thank you, Lord, for what you're doing in
this hour. Thank you for the joy that comes in really confessing again
on a new level Jesus Christ is Lord. Jesus Christ is Lord. Jesus Christ
is Lord. Hallelujah. To the glory of God the Father. Hallelujah. Thou
art Lord. Thou art the I am -- the great I am. Before Abraham was you
said I am and we believe it. You are the God of the Bible with whom we
have to do. You are the image of the invisible God. You are the expression.
You are the embodiment of the Almighty God and in you dwells all the fullness
of the Godhead bodily. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for what you are in
the plan and the purpose of God. And help us to say to the world He is
the Lord and beside him there is no God. Hallelujah. Thank you, Lord,
for the word that you're making real this hour. Thank you for ears that
hear what you are saying now to the churches. Open eyes to see what they're
supposed to see in these final hours because we believe, Lord, it's drawing
to a close. We don't know how long we've got, but we know that we must
be about the Master's business. So, thank you Lord, for these souls that
at least are hungry according to their confession by standing. We ask
God that you do the work in them that only you can do. Prepare them for
the suffering that will actually come because without suffering we cannot
be made perfect. Give them grace to accept every vicissitude of life as
a step in their growth. Hallelujah. And in the midst of all the trials
and tribulations may there be an unadulterated joy of the Lord. Not just
rejoicing in the Lord, but the Lord God rejoicing in his people. Hallelujah.
I commend them to thy grace, Lord. I commit them into thy hands. Only
you can do this thing, but we know that it's incumbent upon us that in
this hour we begin to reach out and let God have more and more and more
of us. Bless them, Lord. Anoint them and make the word that's been spoken
today real in an experiential sense, not just an ascent in the head. Thank
you for your grace. In Jesus name, Amen.