Journey to God's Presence"
is a transcript, word for word, of John Bevere's double sermon
message given in a Baptist church in Atlanta,
Georgia. John is the author of several books and various
tapes, all available online at http://www.johnbevere.org or at John Bevere Ministries, P.O. Box 888, Palmer
Lake, CO 80133-0888. Phone: (800) 648-1477.]
can't express how much I love you. This is my home church in Atlanta. I
tell people, when I'm traveling describing this church, because
I talk about this church all over the place, that they're
real Christians, and because you love God so much.
And you love your pastor.
Well, let's pray together. Father, in the name of Jesus, Lord I so much
want to hear from you today.
Father, I, of all people in this place, am aware of
how totally inadequate I am without the Holy Spirit.
Spirit of God, I can say, I can do nothing apart from
you. But thank you
for your faithfulness. I'm
asking that once again that you would literally invade this
sanctuary, not only give me your words, Master, but give me
your heart to deliver it as if you were here in person delivering
it yourself. Give us ears to hear, give us eyes that we might
see, give us a heart that we might perceive and understand
what the Spirit of God is saying.
And Master, as you have said, I stand before these
people, I stand before the principalities and the powers,
and the rulers of darkness of this world and the spiritual
wickedness, and I declare the Kingdom
is come, the will of God shall be done in this place on earth
as it is in heaven. Father, build a wall of fire around this sanctuary.
Again, as I prayed this morning, release legions of
angels, draw their swords and stand guard around this sanctuary.
Let your words be spoken, let them be powerful, let
them burn within our hearts. As your disciples said, 'Did not our hearts
burn within us, as he spoke the Word unto us?'
So let our hearts burn this morning, as Jesus, you
speak to us through the person of the Holy Spirit.
And I give you all the praise and all the glory and
honour. Because of you Jesus, it's all because of you.
In Jesus name, Amen. Say this with me. Don't let me leave this place, Father, the way
I came. And I ask it
in Jesus name. Now
thank him for it."
the 6th chapter, now I want to say this to you
this morning. I was
preaching in a church at the beginning of this year. And the only way I know how to describe this,
is God branded a word in my spirit. If
you've ever seen a cow that is branded, when they take that
hot iron and they push it into the back skin of that cow,
that thing is forever there.
It's there as long as that cow will live.
And the word, it was just one word God branded in my
spirit, and I can't shake it. And I don't think I want to, and I don't think
I ever want to. But
the one word that he branded in my spirit was the word holiness. The predominate description of the Lord in Scripture,
whenever he is revealed in his glory is Holy. Isaiah, when he saw the Lord, high and lifted
up in his glory above the temple, above his throne were seraphim
[I believe it was cherubim, have to check], and one cried
to another "HOLY!!!". They were not singing a song. They were not singing a hymn. I know we have a hymn, "Holy, holy, holy, the
Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is filled with his glory.",
that's not what they were doing.
Many today sing that hymn, and yawn.
They were not singing a song and making God feel good
about himself. They
were not singing a song, and saying 'Lord, we've been doing
this for ten trillion years, can we have a break and can you
send in a replacement, we'd like to go explore some other
places in the universe?' They don't want to be anywhere else. Nothing that he has created is more beautiful
than himself. He's
the most wonderful, wonderful, wonderful One to behold.
Everyone in glory wants to be in one place, the throne
of God. That is why David said, "I'd rather be a doorkeeper,
just let me be a doorkeeper in that place where his glory
is, then to abide in mansions of wickedness."
David's a king, he owns the greatest wealth, and yet
he says "I'd rather be a doorkeeper".
One cried to another, "Holy, holy, holy."
You know, to really understand this, whenever the Hebrew
writers wanted to emphasize a word, they would write it twice.
In our English language we bold
face it, italicize
it, we underline it, we put exclamation points (!). That's the way we emphasize a word. Not the Hebrew writers, when the Hebrew writers
wanted to emphasize a word they would write it twice. When Jesus made the statement in Matthew 7,
"Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom
of heaven", he does not have a speech impediment.
The emphasis was on the word Lord. Matthew who heard him speak it probably heard
Jesus say it like this: "Not everyone who says to me Lord! shall enter the kingdom." So in order to emphasize it, he writes, "Not
everyone who shall say to me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom
of heaven." Many times
this occurs in Scripture.
Jesus will say "Verily, verily I say unto you."
The way he actually said it was "Verily! I say unto you." Very few
times in Scriptures do the Hebrew writers write a word three
times. Once it's found in the book of Revelation when
the angels in the heavens cry out "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants
that are left on the face of the earth" because of the remaining
vials of judgments that are about to be poured out.
Woe is a heavy word.
Jesus said "Woe" to three cities, Chorazin, Bethsaida
and Capernaum, and they're rubble today. Woe meant judgment. When the angels say woe three times, they're
saying the woes that have come are unbelievably bad but what
is coming is unspeakably bad--beyond your comprehension.
Only one time in the Scripture, only once, is an attribute
of God spoken three times.
It is found in Revelation 5 and Isaiah chapter 6.
That is where the what are called the four living creatures
[cherubim] cry out "Holy". You know, the amazing thing, is they've been
around his throne for eons of ages.
And they are not crying out "Power! Power! Power!" Is
he powerful? Oh yes
he is. I mean, he upholds
everything just by the word of his power.
[Have you ever studied the physics of how a star burns,
and the unspeakable power inside these solar lightbulbs?
God created over 50 billion galaxies of them.]
They're not crying out "Bright! Bright!"
He's bright, so bright that when Jesus returns he's
going to darken the noonday sun, just like the sun darkens
the stars when it comes up in the morning--Jesus is so brilliant,
he's so bright he's going to darken the sun like the sun darkens
the stars. The is why
the men of this earth are going to cry out for the rocks to
fall on them and hide them from the face
of My God! Do
you realize how glorious he is?
They're not crying out "Bright!", yeah,
he's bright. What is
the predominant description?--"Holy!" They're
not singing a song. Every
single moment another facet of his being is being revealed
to them. And all they can do is cry out "Holy!". So loud do they cry, the doorposts of heaven
are being shaken! The
door-posts are the safest place to go in any kind of tornado,
any kind of hurricane. They say, if you don't have a basement, go stand
underneath the doorposts.
It's the most stable part of the house.
Can you imagine shaking the doorposts on an earthly
structure, let alone the heavenly structure?
Isaiah sees him, and he's a holy man, and he cries
out "Woe is me!" For
a man of God or a prophet to cry out "Woe" to somebody, is
devastation to a country or a person, but for a prophet to
cry out Woe for himself. He said "I'm undone!". Do you know what undone means? It literally means in Hebrew "coming apart at
the seams". Isaiah
groveled on the floor when he saw God's glory.
He couldn't have been in his body, it was a spiritual
vision. He's [God's] on the throne, 'floor!-groveling!--where
is a place where I can hide?' For the first time in his life he really understood
who God was, but really for the first time in his life, he
understood who he
was. And the angel took the coals, and cleansed him,
cleansed him. He's a Holy God. The predominant description that I see in the
Scriptures of the church that Jesus is coming back for, is
a holy church, spotless, without blemish.
That is the description that stands out above anything
else, when the Scriptures speak of the church he's coming
Are you in 2 Corinthians the 2nd chapter?
I know these are familiar verses.
Before we begin reading, let me say this. I just feel this in my spirit. Let me tell you my background. I was not raised Pentecostal, I wasn't raised
Church of God, Assemblies of God, anything else. I was raised as a Catholic. Got saved in my fraternity in college, and immediately
God brought me into the Word of Faith movement. This is not my background, so to speak, this
is something that God is burning like a hot iron in my spirit,
in the prayer closet. Holiness
is a word that people have shied away from, because of the
legalism that has been attached to
it. But to me it's
one of the most exciting things as a church that we can pursue.
Because without holiness you'll not have intimacy with
God. You see, let me describe it to you like this.
God says "Come out from the world and be separate"
for a reason. See,
says, "Come out and be separate just to be separate,
"We in the Club, we in a religious club, we
holy." And so they'd
run around (and this is what the white folk would do), they'd
run around and make the women put their hair up in a bun,
and they wouldn't wear any makeup, and any jewelry, 'no, no, we don't do that.' And they'd [the women] never wear pants. And dresses
had to be below the knees.
As a matter of fact, had to be to the ankles.
And let me tell you something, a woman can have her
dress down to her ankles, she can have her hair up in a bun,
she can have no makeup on, no jewelry on, and have a seducing
spirit up to her eyeballs! That's not holiness. A man can boast that he has never been divorced
and condemn other men who have gone through the tragedy of
it, while they lusted at every women that walked by them.
That's not holiness.
That's legalism. That's religion, and it kills people. God says "Come out from the world and be separate."
If a king asks a woman to marry his son, that woman
is brought into the palace where she is cared for by the eunuchs--everybody
say eunuchs. The eunuchs
prepare her. Esther,
when she was going to become queen, she was prepared for a
year. They bathed her every single day in oil [with
fragrances added to the oil], in the prescribed beautification
process. When that woman is brought into the palace,
attended by the eunuchs, she gives up, happily, freedoms that
other women experience on the streets.
She does it happily because she is going to have intimacy
with the king that those women will never have.
That's why the Bible says "Pursue it."
reason we have been created is to have intimacy with
God. Why did God put Adam in the garden!? To build a worldwide healing ministry? No, to walk with him in fellowship. Can you imagine naming five billion animals
with God? I'm sure
they laughed when they called the Tasmanian Devil the Tasmanian
Devil. You ever see that runt? He just probably reminded him of the devil,
and said "Tasmanian Devil".
Look what Paul says, verse 14 of 2nd Corinthians
6. "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers."
Now would you look up at me.
They would put a yoke between two cows, and it was two pieces
of wood, and it had little notches in it, and their necks
would go in it, and the yokes would put them together, and
wherever one went the other went.
Are you getting this? "But I want to serve God!"--then unyoke yourself
from the world. "I
want to get free from this sin"--unyoke yourself from darkness. Lot vexed his righteous soul because he chose
to dwell in Sodom. He
chose it. Now he faced every day, lawless deeds, he chose
it. That's part of
our mission, we go out in the world, we're reaching the lost.
Lawless deeds don't vex our soul because we are in
our mission field. Jesus
could eat with sinners, but he predominated the atmosphere.
See, now listen, if you're stronger in God than the
sinner is in his sin, then you will dominate the atmosphere.
If the sinner is stronger in his sin than you are in
God, he'll dominate the atmosphere. That's why a lot of believers can't get around
sinners, because the sinners are stronger in their sin than
the believers are in God.
Jesus walks into a room and the devils cry out!
Jesus walks into a room, and the sinners all want to
hear about the kingdom! It's not about how good a personality you've
got. It's not about
how Ritzy you are. The
soul can imitate the spirit.
It's all about how strong you are in the Spirit.
John the Baptist developed a strong spirit.
A lot of people develop strong souls.
Are you here? "Do
not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what
fellowship"--fellowship in the Greek literally means participation
with--"what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness,
and what communion has light with darkness.
And what accord has Christ with Belial?
What part has a believer with an unbeliever, and what
agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For you are the temple of the living God.
As God has said, 'I will dwell in them and walk among
them, I will be their God and they shall be my people.'"
Some of the greatest promises made to us as believers.
Verse 17, "Therefore"--everybody say Therefore--"come
out from among them"--the world--"and be separate says the
Lord. Do not touch
what is unclean and I will receive you." Now look up at me. These are some of the greatest promises made
to us believers. "I
will dwell in them." God
says "In my glory I will dwell among you.
I'll dwell in you and among you.
I'll be your God and you shall be my people."
But it's not an unconditional promise.
It is a conditional
promise. "If you come out from among the world, Then
I will receive you."
In other words, "If you don't, you're not going to
see my glory." Now this, this statement, is not being made
to the world--this statement is being made to a church, that's
filled with the Spirit and operating in the spiritual gifts!
(I'm preaching better than some of you are saying amen
right now.) It's a condition. God said "If you come out, then I will
receive you." Next
verse. Chapter 7, verse 1, "Therefore"--everybody say
Therefore, because of these promises--"Therefore having these
promises, beloved, let
us cleanse ourselves"--hold
on, let us see that again--"let
us CLEANSE OURSELVES"--"let us CLEANSE OURSELVES."
Are you getting the picture?
It doesn't say "The blood of Jesus will cleanse us
from all our filthiness of the flesh and the spirit."
Now, is that what it reads?
It doesn't say that, does it?
me the blood of Jesus doesn't cleanse us!?' Oh yes, it cleanses us. But Paul makes it up in chapter 6 [of 2 Corinthians],
verse 1, why don't you read this--"We then as workers together
with him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain[!]."
Now wait, whoa, whoa, whoa!
Now listen to me, grace has been so mis-taught in our
churches, that this Scripture doesn't make any sense. Grace
has been taught as the BIG COVERUP.
You know what I'm talking about.
In other words, it covers all your willful sin and
fleshly worldly lifestyle, etc., you're rebellion and everything
no, that's not grace. I
said, that's not grace. Grace isn't the big cover-up,
grace empowers us to do what truth demands. Have you ever noticed that Jesus made the statement
"Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the
kingdom God, but
he who does the will of my Father." If
grace is the big coverup, he wouldn't say "Not everyone who
calls me Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of God."
Do you think Jesus is going to preach against the grace
him came to bring? No,
grace empowers us to do what truth demands.
You see, if you look at Matthew 5, Jesus said, "You've
heard it said of old, but I say unto you." "Again you've heard it said of old, but I say
unto you.you've heard it said of old, but I say unto you." Six times he says it. What is he doing? He's contrasting life under
the Law with life under grace.
Because John 1:17 says "The Law was given through Moses,
but grace and truth through Jesus Christ."
So, what he's doing is saying this is the life under
the Law and this is life under grace. Now I've heard people say, 'Thank God we're
not under the Law, but we're under grace'--almost like grace
is the big coverup, and I can do all that I want and not be
under those strict rules.'
I thank God I'm not under the Law, but not for the
same reason. Let's
just look at the first two, "You've heard it said of old,
'Thou shalt not kill'." To
be a murdered in the Old Testament, you had to run a knife
through somebody. Right? Jesus
said, "But I say unto you, 'Whoever calls his
brother a fool is in danger of hell.'"
Now wait a minute.
Under the Law, you had to take a spear and run it through
him and take the physical life to be a murderer.
In the New Testament, all you have to do is be prejudiced,
or refuse to forgive, or any other form of hatred--and God
says, "murderer". John
confirms it, he says "you hate your brother, you're a murderer--don't
even think you've got eternal life abiding in you, you're
not a Christian, just get saved."
So which one sounds like a higher expectation that
God's looking for? Correct.
That's because he's given us the grace to live it.
Isn't that good news?
They couldn't live like that under the Law because
they didn't have grace. Grace empowers us. Now listen, let's look at another one. "You've heard it said of old 'If a man divorces
his wife and marries another he commits adultery.'" Under the old covenant you had to jump in bed
with a strange woman to be considered an adulterer. Jesus said, "But I say unto you, whoever
looks at a woman to desire her has committed adultery already." Under the old covenant to be an adulterer you
had to do it. Under the new covenant,
all you have to do is want to do it. Which
one's the higher standard?
The new [covenant] has given us the grace to live it. Hallelujah!
So when Paul comes along and says "Don't receive the
grace of God in vain", what's he saying?
What is it to receive something in vain?
Come on, talk to me men.
It means not to use its potential.
Isn't that right? Are you here?
It means not to use its full potential.
God has given
us grace to empower us!--to live a life like Jesus
lived, all our lives. That's
why Paul says "Cleanse yourself."
Man, are you getting this!?
[Let's say] you live on a mountain.
Alright? And you're watching the television. And the emergency broadcast system comes on
and says warnings, flashing's and everything, "The mountain
is volcanic. Scientists have just determined it's going to
erupt in 24 hours. You
must be so many miles away, you must be sixty miles from the
mountain in the next 24 hours." And you watch in horror, because you know that
you if you started right now, you could never get that far
away in 24 hours. And
you don't have a car. And you've watched this program in horror because
your life is about to be destroyed, you have no hope at all,
you're destroyed, you're gone, you're as good as dead.
All of a sudden a knock comes at your door. A man holds up a set of keys, he says "I know
your condition, I know that you can't save yourself." He says, "Here, take this, it's a brand new
car. You're safe." "What can I give you for it?" "You can't buy it, you don't have the money
to buy it. It's my
gift to you." "Thank you!
Thank you! Thank
you! I'm saved, I'm saved!" You jump on the phone and call your friends
and say "I'm saved! I'm saved!"
You get out your map, you plot your course out.
You even get out your books on how to drive better. You call friends, "I'm saved!", you walk back
and forth--you do this for 24 hours [laughter]--the mountain erupts!--and you're
destroyed in its fury. What
will the people down at the bottom say when they hear
this story? "Stupid!" Now let's be more realistic.
What will the people say?
"He received the car in vain." Have you ever read in Hebrews 12, where
the writer says "Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom
which cannot be shaken, let us have grace whereby
we serve God acceptably."
The Grace of God can fail in a believer: This whole sermon revolves around what Paul
wrote here: Hebrews
12:12-16, "Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble
knees [spoken in reference to verses 6-11]; and make straight
paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out
of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest
any man fail of the grace of God""--verse 16 goes on describe
how the grace of God can fail in us, by harboring bitterness
or sin--"Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble
you, and thereby many are defiled; lest there be any fornicator,
or profane person." Furthermore,
the very passages John Bevere quotes in Exodus later on are
quoted here in Hebrews 12:17-29.
John's message isn't unscriptural at all, for it was
Paul's message in Hebrews 12 as well!
Read it for yourself, in your own Bible.
Then read on in this sermon transcript.
This is an important revelation for the body of Christ.]
empowers us to serve him acceptably--not to cover up.
You know.God spoke something to me earlier this year. It riveted me. I'm telling you, it riveted me. As a matter of fact, it scared me (in a good
way, not a bad way). He
said something to me that was so "out there" that I had to
go find it in the Bible. Did God ever speak something to you, and you
said "I've got to go check this one out"?
That's exactly what happened.
Now, he spoke two statements to me.
The first statement startled me, the second statement
riveted me. Now let me show you what I had to check out
after the first statement.
Can I show you what I had to check out first?
Put your marker right here in 2nd Corinthians,
and go to Revelation. Revelation,
the 2nd chapter.
Are you in Revelation 2? Now, would you look up at me when you're there?
Jesus is speaking to seven churches.
They are historic Asian churches.
Right? I mean, you can go back and find these cities,
they are churches that existed.
if his message would have been just to those seven churches
historically, then he never would have had it in Scripture.
The very fact that it's in Scripture means what?
That it has prophetic application. Correct? In
other words, can I say it like this?--it applies to us today. Now, I want you to notice what he says to each
of the seven churches--the first words out of his mouth. Revelation chapter 2, verse 1, "To the angel"--angel
simply means "messenger", I believe it's the prophetic ministry
sent to the church--"To the messenger of the church at Ephesus
write" (he gives a description of himself, look at verse 2),
"I know your works." Would you say it again
a little louder. "Works" Let's look at the second church. "And to the angel of the church at Smyrna",
verse 8-9, "I know your works." Say it a little louder please--"Works!"
Verse 12, 3rd church, "And to the messenger
of the church at Pergamos write" verse 13, "I know your works." Fourth, "To the angel at the church of Thyratira"
verse 18, look at verse 19, "I know your works." Hmm, that's four churches.
Let's go to the 5th church.
Chapter 3 verse 1, "And to the angel of the church
of Sardis write, these are the words of him who holds the
seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
I know your works." Hmm, that's five churches. Let's go to the sixth church. Verse 7, "And to the angel of the church at
Philadelphia write", verse 8, "I know your works." That's six. Maybe the seventh one will be different. Verse 14, "And to the angel of the church of
Laodocia write" verse 15, "I know your works." Now you all know what the first statement was.
The Spirit of God spoke to me and said, "John, did
you notice the first works out of my mouth to all seven churches in the book of Revelation
were "I know your works." And I went over there and thumbed through, and
I thought, and I'm thinking about this, I'm thinking about
it. And then he makes the second statement that
rivets me. And he says
"Did you notice that I didn't say to one of these seven
churches 'I know your hearts'?"
And I thought about it. How many times have I sat in a counseling appointment
with somebody and they're involved with a lose lifestyle,
or worldliness in their life, and they look at me finally,
and say "But God knows my heart."
Now, wait, wait, wait. He's not looking at their heart. Do you have to drill a hole through to the center
of an apple tree, the heart of an apple tree, to find out
if it's good or not? Just
look at its fruit! I'm serious.
You go by an apple orchard and you say, 'I want to
make sure these trees are good.'
Do you get your drill out and start drilling?
'Yeah, it's got a good heart.
I know it's got rotten fruit all over it, but it's
got a good heart.' Look
at James chapter 2. I
went to this large church in New Jersey this year, and this
was my opening text. You
know what I mean by opening text?
You know how I started in 2nd Corinthians
this morning, and said "Open your Bibles to." And I didn't give any preliminaries, I just
said "Open your Bibles to." and this is how I started the
message that morning. It
was a very charismatic church, and would you look at how I
started the message. "James chapter 2, verse 24" And I said this was my opening text, "Let's
read together, 'You see then that a man is justified by works[!] and not by faith only."
Boy it got real quiet in there that morning, it got
real quiet in here. I
mean, I don't think that they even knew that existed in the
Bible. Can we read it again? "You see then that a man is justified by works,
and not by faith only." Now,
now, look up at me before you start screaming out 'heresy!'.You
can teach, in America, this is the church in America--You
can teach a falsehood for so long--now listen--that you eventually
believe it's true. And
then when the truth is preached, you call it heresy.Don't
check out yet. I'm
going to finish the story. See the problem is, you never finish the story.
You can preach something that's just halfway true and
end up in heresy because you only preach a half-truth.
Here's the first half that we all got it down real
good. We are saved by grace, and it is the gift
of God, it can never be bought--and it is only by grace we
are saved today. Right? No man will ever be able to stand before Jesus
and say 'My good works have earned me a position in your Kingdom.' It is by grace and only by grace that we are
saved. Isn't that right? But let's complete the story. James said, "You say you've been saved by faith
through grace? You
say you've got grace? Show
me the grace of God in your life, without your works, and
I'll show you that I've been saved by grace by my works." In other words, the evidence that I really am
saved is that I have the lifestyle to live it.
means it's already there.
See, look at 2nd Timothy chapter 3.
Are you there? "But know this, that in the last days"--now
are we in the last days?--"know this, in the last days, perilous
times will come." In
the original, it really means "difficult days".
Now, would you look up at me?
Paul was stoned, beaten with rods, whipped, shipwrecked,
etc. You ever bruise
a bone? You know how
painful it is weeks afterward?
They would beat people with rods just so they'd live
with that kind of pain for weeks. OK? He's
whipped five times. He's
stoned. I mean, he's
had some difficult days, wouldn't you say?
But you know what's amazing?
He looked at our day of religious freedom and called
our day of religious freedom "difficult days", compared with
what he went through. Look
what he goes on to say. "And
know this, in the last days difficult times will come."
What's going to make the times difficult? Keep reading.
"Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money". Everybody see that? It doesn't say they're going to have money,
just that they're going to love money.
You can be a lover of money and not have a dime. So quit pointing a finger at people because
they got money, I hope you don't do that.
I don't believe this church would ever do that. But I want to make sure that there's not a couple
of you here that might have that thought. It's one thing to have money, it's another thing
to love it. Keep going. "For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers
of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy[!]."
[he's quoting from 2 Timothy 3:1-7.]
Now you keep reading down the list--"unloving, unforgiving"
etc. Look at verse 5, cause we're running out of
time. "Having a form
of godliness." Can I say it in modern terms?--"Having a form
of Christianity--"I'm saved, Jesus is my Lord, I go to the local Spirit filled church,
I'm saved, sanctified, I got my Jesus pins, my Jesus shirt,
I've got my five-inch-thick Bible, I'm
born again.'" But
you see, they're still going to be disobedient, they're still
going to be unholy, they're still going to be worldly, they're
still going to be attracted to what the world is attracted
to, they're still going to live for themselves, they're still
going to live for money. But
now look what it says "Having a form of Christianity, but
denying the power[!],
from such people turn away" (2 Timothy 3:1-7).
You know what's amazing?
Look at verse 7, "they're always going to be learning,
but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
In other words, they're going to go from church service
to church service, camp meeting to camp meeting, seminar to
seminar, but they're not going to be changed. "They deny the power of God"--what's the power
of God?--what's the power of God do?
It changes us, from being a lover of self to a lover
of others, from being a lover of money to a lover of people,
from being, listen, unholy to holy, from being unthankful
to thankful, from being a lover of pleasure to a lover of
God. "My gospel is
a powerful gospel, and my gospel changes lives."
of first transcript
"If you don't, then I won't."
'Holiness is not perfected
in the love of God, but in "the fear of the Lord"
"This morning I want you to go with me
to 2nd Corinthians, 2nd Corinthians
the 6th chapter. I started something in here this morning, I
should say the Lord started something in here that I didn't
get to finish, and I don't know what's going to happen in
this service, but we're just going to take off here and go.
Amen? I was explaining to the first service that there's
been a word branded in my spirit this year by the Holy Spirit,
and I mean branded. I
never really had this happen before.
It's just like a word has just been with a hot iron
branded right across my chest. And the word is "Holiness". Can you say "Holiness"? Now I will say this, that people have been afraid
of that word because of the legalism that has been attached
to it. It's so sad.
But you're going to see today that holiness is not
legalism at all. It is very, very exciting. Amen? I
want to begin reading from 2nd Corinthians the
6th chapter, very familiar words spoken by the
apostle Paul. In the 14th verse we read, "Do not
be unequally yoked together with unbelievers."
When two cows were yoked together there were two blocks
of wood, they both had two little neck holes in them.
And they would lock those cows together and wherever
one would go the other would go.
They were connected.
Paul is saying "Don't be unequally connected with unbelievers." "For
what fellowship"--fellowship simply means "participation with"--"what
fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness, and what communion
has light with darkness, and what accord has Christ with Belial,
and what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the Living God.
As God has said, 'I will dwell in them and walk among
them, I shall be their God and they shall be my people.'" Man, oh man, what powerful promises. Verse 17, "'Therefore"--everybody say "therefore"--"come out from among them and be separate', says the Lord, 'do not touch
what is unclean and
I will receive you.'" Now,
this is one of the greatest promises ever made to mankind,
to us, the church--but it is not an unconditional
promise--it is a conditional promise.
God says "I will dwell among you and walk among you
in my glory, IF you come out from among the world and
be separate." In
other words, 'If
you don't, then I won't.' Good place to say 'Amen.' Now I want you to remember this is not being
spoken to the world, this is being spoken to a church that
operated in spiritual gifts [the Church of God at Corinth,
1 Corinthians 1:2]. 'Well
God dwells in me [you might be saying].'
He's talking about his glory.
And that's what we've been created for.
Because of this great promise Paul goes on to say,
verse 1 of chapter 7, "Therefore, having these promises beloved,
let us cleanse ourselves"--everybody
say "cleanse ourselves"--"let us cleanse ourselves from ALL filthiness
of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the love of God." Do I have a wrong translation?
I've got a wrong translation?
[Audience answers "yes!"]
Is that what it says? "Perfecting Holiness in the love
of God."? Holiness is not perfected in the love of God, it's perfected in the fear
of the Lord.
"I didn't fear him"--Jim Baker's
forget when Jim Baker asked me to come to prison and meet
him. I'd never met
him before. He had
read "Victory in the
Wilderness", he had the first book I wrote out there on the
table. And [he] said
that book touched his life more than any book he had read
in his life except for the Bible.
Had his secretary contact me, and said "Would you come
up to Georgia and visit him in prison?" I said, "Yeah, I'll go." And I remember when I walked into his prison
cell, the man grabbed me and hugged me and hugged me and hugged
me, and just wouldn't let go of me.
And he said, "I've got so much to talk about but I
only have an hour and a half to do it."
He said, "John, this prison was not God's judgment
on my life, it was his mercy."
He said, "If I had kept going the way I was going,
I would have ended up in hell."
He said, "I met Jesus the first year in prison.
He came into my cell."
And as we continued to talk, and I felt comfortable
enough, I started to ask him some pretty pointed questions.
I asked him, I said "Jim"--because I knew he was raised
in the church. Listen to me young people, listen to me carefully.
I knew he was raised in the church and I said, "Jim,
please tell me, when did you fall out of love with Jesus?"
And he looked at me with the most serious eyes, I won't
forget the eyes when he looked at me. And he said, "I didn't". I said, "Excuse me?" I said, "What about Jessica Hann, what about
all this stuff you're in prison for?
What are you talking about?"
He said "I didn't."
He said, "I loved him all the way through it."
He said, "I didn't fear him." The exact words that he used was he said
"He was not the supreme Master."
And he said "There are millions of Americans, in churches, that confess him as Savior and even Lord, but yet they're just like
I was." Holiness is
not perfected in the love of God, it is perfected in the fear
of God. Proverbs 16, verse 6 says "By the fear of the
Lord one departs from sin."
God has given us two great forces, to keep us on the
path of life.
Road to Life has two ditches, one to the right, one to the
left of it."
How many of
you know Jesus said the path of life is a narrow road?
Let me see your hands.
You know, so many people see.remember he said "Broad
is the way that leads to destruction"?
Remember he talked about that?
And "narrow is the road that leads to life"?
So many people see the gate as being after the road,
the broad road going to gates leading to death and then there's
the narrow road going to another gate.
That's not what he said.
He's talking about the narrow gate first and the way
after the gate is narrow. Sometimes I think today in America, we think
the gate is narrow as with Jesus being born again, but then
the way gets broad after that.
That's not what he's talking about, because if you
read it all in context he goes on to say "not everyone who
says to me 'Lord', is going to enter into the kingdom." He's talking about people walking a broad road
after confessing his Lordship.
Are we still here?
Are we on the same page this morning?
You ever notice he said "Narrow is the way"--everybody
say "Narrow". Now the
path of life has two ditches on either side of it, just like
every other road has two ditches on either side of it. And God has given us two great forces to keep
us out of either one of those ditches.
The church was in one of the ditches [the majority
of the body of Christ] in the early 1950s and 60s--that ditch
was called legalism. Everybody say legalism. Holiness and legalism, don't even connect the
two, they don't have anything to do with each other. Back then, and even in some circles today (thank
God there's a lot fewer), you were holy if you didn't wear
make-up and jewelry, and you had your dress down to your ankle
and your hair up in a bun if you were a woman.
But as I said to the first service this morning, you
can have your dress down to your ankles, your hair up in a
bun and have no make-up and no jewelry, and have a seducing
spirit up to your eyeballs.
As I said to the first service, a man could boast how
he's never been divorced, but still lust after every woman
that walks down the street.
That's not holiness.
God revealed something to us in the late 60s, early
70s. A major revelation
came to the church, and that was that he was a good God, and that he loves us. And as that revelation of the love of God came,
it delivered us out of that legalistic ditch. But what we did is we said "I want to get so
far away from that ditch" that some of us went all the way
to the other side and fell into the other ditch.
And the other ditch is called lasciviousness. And lasciviousness is an excessive fleshly
or worldly lifestyle. And
God's given us a force to keep us out of that ditch, and it's
called the fear of the Lord. It takes the love of God and the fear of God to keep
us on the road to life.
And unfortunately, the church does not emphasize the
fear of the Lord as we should in its proper context.
Unfortunately it's been done more out of the legalistic
side, then out of the exciting side it really is.
Notice Paul says, "let us cleanse ourselves."--everybody
say "cleanse ourselves".
something in vain" and "erroneous grace"
To really understand
what he's saying here we have to look at 2 Corinthians chapter
6, verse 1. Look at the first verse of this chapter. Go right back up to chapter 6, verse 1. Paul says, "We then as workers together with him, also plead with you not to receive
the grace of God in vain."
Everybody say, "don't receive the grace of God
in vain." What does
it mean to receive something in vain? It means not
to use its potential.
Amen? Now, there has been an erroneous
grace that has been taught widely in the church of Jesus Christ
in America, in the last 15 to 20 years.
Many people today really don't have the
true idea what the grace of God is. They see the grace of God, many, as the big
cover-up--in other words, it covers me from [while I live]
a fleshly loose lifestyle--disobedient lifestyle--'I've
prayed my sinners prayer, I'm saved, I'm going to heaven,
now I'll just do the best job I can.'
That's not grace at all.
I said, that's not grace at all.
Put your markers there, and go with me to Titus, chapter
Titus the 2nd
chapter, in verse 11 says this."For the grace of God that
brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us"--the
grace of God--"that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present
age." Grace not only
teaches us, but it empowers us to live righteously, soberly
and godly in the present age.
It empowers us to deny worldliness
and ungodly lusts or desires.
Hebrews chapter 12, verse 28 says, "Therefore since
we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us
have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence
and godly fear." Grace
as taught in Hebrews is God's empowerment for us to do what
truth demands. Are
you getting this? So when Paul says "Don't receive the grace of
God in vain" he is literally saying, 'God has given you his
grace for you to walk in holiness, so that you might have
fellowship with him.' Are you seeing this? When a woman is chosen to be a king's wife,
she is brought into the palace and eunuchs attend to her. And the eunuchs prepare her for the wedding
with the king. You
can see that very clearly in the book of Esther.
That woman, when she comes off the streets, gladly
gives up what others would call freedom.
Other women have freedoms on the street that she gladly
gives up. Why does
she give them up? Because
she's going to have intimacy with the king that those women
will never have. God is a Holy God, church. And the Bible says "Without holiness, no man
will see him." Grace
has been given to empower us to walk a separated, sanctified,
holy lifestyle. Are you seeing this? If you look at what Paul says again in 2nd
Corinthians chapter 6, I told you to keep your markers there,
look at verse 16. "And
what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For we are the temple of the living God; as God has
said, 'I will dwell in them, walk among them, I will be there
God and they shall be my people.'" Now this is not an originating thought. This is not the first time the Spirit of God
speaks this through a man.
Paul is simply quoting what God has said time and time
and time again to his people.
And I find that a lot of believers come today, come
to this portion of Scripture today, and they read it--"I will
dwell in them, walk among them, I will be their God and they
shall be my people." They
say 'That's great, hallelujah', they keep reading their Bible--but
they fail to get the impact of what he's saying here.
Movie writers will develop stories that will bring
you right up to a climax. And if you don't watch that two hours of that
movie, you'll miss the climatic statement.
When I was a young man I was the only boy of six children,
alright? [laughter] I
love all my sisters. But
anyway--just got sometimes a little emotional in the house--I
remember one time coming downstairs into the television room,
and all my sisters were watching this romantic
drama, movie. And I remember when I walked into the room the
air was just thick. They
didn't even know I existed when I walked in, to be honest
with you. And I could just see they were glued to the
television. And I walked
in right at the end of the movie, right when the lead actor
was making the punch-line. You understand, making that statement that just
hit them like a bomb. And
as soon as he made this statement, I'm just watching them
weep and weep and weep. And I look around, and I think 'Big deal.'
I didn't understand the context of the.I hadn't seen
the whole movie. And
that's what I find some, so many people, when they read this
verse of Scripture. They
just go 'Yeah, that's great' and they just keep reading on.
They really don't understand the background of this. This statement has been God's heart-cry ever
since the world was created.
The whole reason he put Adam in the Garden was because
he wanted to walk with him into the glory, that he wouldn't
have to hide himself from him. To really understand what Paul is saying
here, we got to go back and look at the Old Testament, because
this is a direct quote from God from the Old Testament.
Go back to Exodus the 19th chapter. And then let me take you back there. Exodus 19, please. The book of Exodus opens up with Israel in captivity.
Correct?--in Egypt. Moses is a Hebrew who is raised in Pharoah's
house as his grandson. When
Moses becomes 40 years of age he wants to go see how his brothers
are doing, and ends up killing an Egyptian soldier, trying
to save one of his Hebrew brothers, and he ends up going to
the back side of the desert for 40 years. After 40 years on the backside of the desert
God reveals himself to Moses one day in a bush that burned
with fire. Moses made this statement, church, he said "I
will turn aside and see this great sight."
And the Bible says very clearly, when God saw that
he turned aside, that God spoke to him from the bush.
It's amazing how God brought Moses to the backside
of the desert for 40 years to quiet his heart--so that when
God revealed himself to him, Moses just wouldn't spurn it
off and say 'no-no-no, I'm busy'.
And when Moses responded then God spoke.
See, that's what the Bible means when it says "Draw
near to God, and then he will draw near to you."
Sometimes people are just a little too busy to draw
near when he's beckoning them.
Good place to say Amen.
God looks at Moses and says "I've come down, I've heard
the affliction of my people, and I've come down to deliver
them. And I've raised
you up as a deliverer, I want you to go and tell Pharaoh to
let my people go." Moses goes back to Egypt and Moses commands
Pharaoh the word of the Lord to let God's people go. And God with mighty, mighty power delivers Israel
out of Egypt. Isn't
that correct? Is that
out of Egypt symbolizes being born-again and coming out of
the world--coming out of sin"
to me carefully, church, Israel
coming out of Egypt is a type and shadow of what, today?--It's
a type of what?--coming out of the world. Egypt
is a type of the world, Israel coming out of Egypt is a type
of being saved or born-again.
The Bible says that very clearly in 1 Corinthians chapter
10. Israel came out
of Egypt which is a type today of us being born-again, coming
out of the world. Now,
when Moses brought Israel out
of Egypt, where
was his destination?
Most of you are saying 'The Promised Land'.
That is incorrect.
What did Moses say to Pharaoh six times?
"Let my people go that they might worship me in the wilderness." Why
would Moses want to bring them to the Promised Land before first bringing them
to the Promiser? If he brings
them into the Promised Land without first bringing them to
the Promiser, they'll make the Promised Land into a place
of idolatry. Have you ever wondered why God said to the priests
in the book of Malachi, "I'm going to curse your blessings"? The blessings are what he gave them. They made an idol out of the blessings. Moses, now listen to me, Moses, as a preacher, knew
that there was a call of God on his life at 40 years of age. I mean, Acts said it, he went to deliver his
brethren, he would have thought that they knew he was the
deliverer. He knew there was a call. But let me tell you something, he went to deliver
them based off the call. And
when you just move on the call, just want to get people free
to be free--and getting people free just for the sake of being
free, isn't the full answer!
Now after he goes to the back side of the desert for
40 years, God reveals himself to Moses in the bush.
Now he goes back, based off the revelation!
Now he's not delivering them based on the call, he's
delivering them out of the revelation of God--and he's going
to bring them to the mountain and introduce them to the Revelator!--because
that's what we've been called to!
I remember I was a member--let me just
say this before we talk about that.
So many people have been brought into the kingdom in
America off the promises of God, not the revelation of God.
Does he want to bless us?
Yes! Does he want to heal us? Oh yes! Does
he want to prosper us? Oh
yes! Does he want us
to have peace, love, joy?
Yes! But you know that verse where Jesus said "Seek
first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added"? We've almost lived and even preached this verse
like this: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God in order to GET!" That's like a woman marrying a man because he's
got money! She doesn't marry
him for who he is, she marries him because of what he can
do for her! You know, I remember
I'm in this church in the early 80s, and this a church that
had 8,000 members in it. It
was a powerful church [Robert Schuller's church?
I wonder]. He
was one of the most powerful preachers in America.
And the emphasis of what was preached every Sunday
was the blessings, the benefits, faith, prosperity.
Let me tell you something, I believe in faith and prosperity,
and don't ever knock it. I feel so sorry for these people who knock it.
They really don't know God. I know it upsets them that they see there's
more emphasis on the Promised Land than the Promiser, I understand
that. But let's deal with it correctly. But I remember, this man was very, very passionate
about seeing people get free.
Well, Moses was passionate about seeing people get
free too, when he was 40.
And I remember, people would come from all over to
go to this church, and they'd be fired up, and be talking
about the promises, the promises.
And I remember one day, in this time period, not one
day, but for this time period I was in this church, I was
praying every morning "God, use me, God, use me to do this,
God use me to do cast out devils, God us me to heal the sick,
God, use me to win nations."
I prayed that way every single day.
And one day God spoke to me and he said "You're prayers
are off." I said "What?"
"What?" He said, "Son, you can cast out devils, you
can win nations to Jesus, you could heal the sick, and end
up in hell." He said, "Judas left his job. Judas healed the sick, Judas cast out devils,
Judas preached the gospel.
Where is he?" The
fear of God hit me. I said, "Lord, what do I do?" And the Lord said, "Learn what the focus of Christianity is--it is to know me." My prayers
began to change. And
I remember the sad thing is, is this church ended up going
from several thousand to several hundred, and today it's not
even there anymore. A massive, massive building has now been sold
to the city. Moses
brings them to the mountain because he wants them to have
intimacy with the One he had met at the bush that burned with
fire. He brought them
to the same place that he met God.
them wash their clothes"
And when he
brings them to Sinai, he leaves the people at the foot of
the mountain and goes to the top, and look what God says to
him in verse 3. And
Moses went up to God and the Lord called to him from the mountain,
saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell
the children of Israel"--I want you to notice this message
is for every single one that came out of Egypt--verse 4, "You
have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on
eagles wings and brought you to myself." Does everybody see that? Say "brought you to myself." What's the whole reason you got saved? God saved
you to bring you to him--because he's so in love with you--he
so desires a relationship with you.
Are you seeing this?
I mean, folks.the whole reason you got saved is because
God wanted to have fellowship with you, intimacy with you.
God says 'I delivered you out of Egypt for one reason,
to bring you to myself." And the benefits of that is going to be the
Promised Land, you'll love that, but first of all, I brought
you to myself.' Now look at this. Verse 4, "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians
and how I bore you on eagles wings and brought you to myself." Verse 5, "Now therefore if you'll indeed obey
my voice and keep my covenant, then you shall be a special
treasure to me above all the people, for all the earth is
mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy
nation. These are the
words you shall speak to the children of Israel." Isn't it interesting, he said to the entire
nation of Israel "You'll be a kingdom of priests"? A priest is one who ministers to God. He didn't say that to just Aaron or his sons
or the Levites, he said it to the whole nation.
Are you seeing this?
So now, look
what God says to Moses. Verse
10, "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Go to the people and consecrate
them"--everybody say "consecrate them"--"today and tomorrow,
and let them wash their
clothes"--now look, keep reading, next verse--"And let
them be ready for the third day"--everybody say "third day"--"because
on the third day the Lord will come down upon mount Sinai
in the sight of all
the people[!]" Are
you seeing this? Would
you look up at me? This
is prophetic. God says to Moses, 'Go consecrate the people
and tell them to wash their clothes for the next two days.' How many is two days in God's timetable? Let me walk you through this. 2nd Peter 3:8 says 'One day with
the Lord is a thousand of our years.'
Are you with me? In
other words, from 999 A.D. till right now, has been 1-day.
How many years has it been since Jesus has been raised
from the dead?-- almost
two-thousand. He was raised from the dead right around 28,
29 AD, somewhere around there [some think 31AD]. So how many days have we gone, prophetically?
2-days. We're at the end of the 2nd day.
Now God says, that at the beginning of the 3rd day I'm coming
down. And he says,
"You'd better be ready, because when I come down"--you're
getting this now! You're getting it--the church's responsibility
for the past 2,000 years--outside, now listen, outside of
our responsibility of the Great Commission--I'm talking about
our responsibility within ourselves--the church's responsibility
for the last 2,000 years has been to consecrate ourselves
in the preparation of his coming glory! Now wait a minute, you say, wait, wait,
consecrate, I don't hear that on the streets, that's a big,
big word. Now let me simplify it, because I have trouble
with those words too. Took
me ten years before I even understood what sanctification
meant. Consecration just simply means "set apart". When that woman comes in off the street and
gives up those freedoms, she's saying "I'm setting myself
apart for that king. I'm
going to be all his--but he's going to be all mine!" Consecrate
simply means set apart. What God is saying to them is he's saying, 'I delivered you out of Egypt, now get Egypt
out of you!' Now,
what is he saying?--look at verse 10, "Then the Lord spoke
to Moses, 'Go tell the people to consecrate themselves today
and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes[!]" Did
God say "I'm going to wash them"?
God said "You tell them to wash their clothes." What
is he saying? 'Hey
guys, there's filth on you guys from Egypt!
Wash it off! Get
rid of it!' What did Paul say to us in 2nd Corinthians,
the New Testament? "Having
the promise of his coming glory, when he comes in our sight,
us cleanse OURSELVES"--WASH OURSELVES--"from all filthiness
of the garments of the flesh, and the garment of the spirit."
But who was supposed to do it?
Did Paul say, 'Therefore, having this promise, the
blood of Jesus will cleanse you from all filthiness of the
flesh and spirit'--is that what Paul said?
I said is that what Paul said?
See, there's been two extremes in the teaching of holiness.
The first one I already mentioned, is the legalism
side--'We just come
out to be separate to be separate--so we get all fleshly and
do all this awkward stuff and try to earn our way to God'--that
is legalism, that is so far from what God's heart is.
The other extreme is what's been more prevalent nowadays
in America. 'Well,
once you're saved you're saved--I've prayed the sinner's prayer,
I'm covered by the grace of God--hallelujah, one day I'll
fly away, and I'll just try the best I can, Christians are
really no different than sinners, we're just forgiven--no-no-no-no,
that is an insult to the grace of God.
True holiness is a cooperation between Deity
and humanity. He supplies
the grace, but we must cooperate, because grace empowers us
to cleanse ourselves. Are
you getting this? I
said, are you getting this? They were told to wash their clothes because
God said 'I'm coming down at the beginning of the third day. I wrote something in my new book. Can I--"The 3rd day comes". Now before I go to the 3rd day, look
at verse 7 & 8 and Moses told the people everything. Verse 7, "So Moses came and called the elders
of the people and laid before them all the words which the
Lord commanded him to speak.
All the people"--everybody say "All the people"--"All
the people answered together and said 'All that the Lord has
spoken we will do.'" In
other words, 'We're ready, we're ready for his coming.
Yeah we're ready!'
I mean, come on. Look
up at me and think about it.
They saw some pretty significant miracles and the miracles
benefited them. Right?
So how is his manifested glory going to be any different
from the miracles? I mean, he's been before us with all the miracles.
He's fed us every day. He split the Red Sea for us.' Now, I'm not seeing any ministers splitting
lakes today, let alone seas.
'Come on, Lord, talk to me.
I mean, God has been good to us, right?
We're going to be ready when he comes.'
Listen, this is the new book I wrote called Heart
Ablaze. Let me just read to you something God inspired
when I was in a hotel room and this came to me. "Two days stood between the people of Israel
and the glory of God. Were
they ready? Did they
take God's warning of preparation seriously?
Or did they reason that since they had seen his miracles
of how he delivered them time and time again, that his appearing
would be no different. What more could it be? And besides, all the manifestations had been
favorable to them. Why
would his appearing be any different?
Time would tell. Could
any besides Moses think that it was possible that they had
become too confident or familiar with the Holy One?
Two days passed. Morning was about to break forth on the 3rd
day. The atmosphere
seemed unusually quiet. The
eerie stillness before invasion of the Almighty was almost
unnerving. The people
grew more and more uncertain.
Creation was more aware of the One who was about to
enter the surroundings than God's own people were.
The light of dawn was breaking forth, but it wasn't
going to be a typical sunrise.
Suddenly a dark cloud descended out of nowhere.
The sight of it alone was terrifying enough, yet preceding
its appearance was a very loud sounding of a trumpet.
Louder and louder it blew.
Who could make such a noise? As the cloud descended on the mountain, out
of it came brilliant flashes of lightning and roaring thunder. The constant thunders were different from anything
the people ever heard. They
were accompanied by lightning flashes so bright that the sun
seemed to darken from their intensity.
The children of Israel looked with fear.
Moses himself was so frightened that he said 'I am
terrified and trembling.' Despite his fear, Moses assumed his leadership
role. Moses led them
out of the camp to meet with God, and he stood at the foot
of the mountain. All mount Sinai was covered with smoke, with
the Lord descending upon it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed up into the sky like the
smoke from the furnace, and the whole mountain shook with
a violent earthquake. And
the horn blast grew louder and louder.
Moses spoke and God thunderously replied.
All could hear." What
happened folks? God came down on the mountain in glory. I am talking today about the One who measured
the universe from one end to the other with the span of his
hand, from his thumb to his pinky he measured it.
I am talking about the one who put the stars in the
heaven with his fingers. I am talking about the one who weighed every
bit of the water in the earth in the palm of his hands. Do you know if a meteor of about one mile wide
hit the Atlantic Ocean outside of New York City, do you know
it would wipe out the entire east coast of the United States.
It would wipe out New York City, Philadelphia, it would
wipe out Washington D.C., all the way down to Miami, it would
completely wipe them out, just like that.
It would create about a three thousand foot tall wave
of water. It would
then go across the ocean, wipe out England, all of the coastal
cities of Europe. That
would be if just that much water were to be let loose.
Yet God weighed every bit of it in the palm of his
hand. That's the one who came down. You see folks, he came in his glory.
is the glory of the Lord?
What is the
glory of God? Can I say this? Most people don't even really have a clue to
what the glory of God is.
Do you see what I'm saying?
How many of you have ever heard people say, "Man, we
were in a meeting the other night and the glory fell"?
How many of you have heard people say that?
I don't think so. I don't think so. What is the glory of the Lord? The glory of the Lord is basically everything
that makes God God. It's
not a cloud. Some people
think it's a cloud [the Jews mistakenly often think the Shikinah
glory cloud is God, it isn't]. Why is there a cloud every time God's glory
appears in the Old Testament?
The reason is, because his countenance is so brilliant,
it's so bright, that if he didn't hide himself behind a very
dark cloud, all living flesh would be completely annihilated
[cf. Zechariah 14:1-4, 12].
Put your markers right there [in Exodus 19] and go
to 1st Timothy chapter 6.
I'm going to show you something.
I just really feel there's a strong urge on my spirit
to teach this, this morning. 1st Timothy chapter 6, I want you
to notice what Paul says about Jesus.
Is everybody there?
Paul says in 1st Timothy chapter 6, look
at the 16th verse. Look [first] at the 15th verse.
"Which he will manifest in his own time, he who is
blessed and the only potentate, the King of kings and the
Lord of lords"--who's that speaking of?
Come on, church, who's that speaking of?
at verse 16--"who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has
seen or can see." Would
you look up at me? He
dwells in unapproachable light which no man has seen or can
see. How could Paul
write this? Because
he had a glimpse when he got saved.
When he was on the road to Damascus the Lord came in
his glory. And Paul was giving his testimony to a king
named Agrippa and look at what he says in Acts.
Go to Acts 26. Let
me show you this. I
want you to see this, it is so important that we really, that
we as believers understand this. In Acts 26 Paul is giving his testimony to this
king named Agrippa, and look what he says, verse 12. Acts 26, verse 12, "While thus occupied I journeyed
to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests"
verse 13, "at midday O king"--now look up at me real quickly,
everybody say "midday", I've been to Israel.
I've lived in Florida for 12 years.
In Florida I never needed sunglasses.
If I wore them, I didn't need them.
When I was in Israel, I had to wear sunglasses.
It is so bright
over there. Because
it's a dry climate, the sun not only comes directly down,
but it reflects off of everything. It's not so bad about 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock
in the morning, but around 11 or 12, 1 or 2 o'clock your eyes
are like slits if you don't have sunglasses on, it is so bright
over there from that sun. How many of you know that to be true that have
been over there? Put
up your hands. Is that
true? Watch what Paul says, it's midday. Notice he doesn't say it's about 8 o'clock in
the morning. "At midday
O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun[!]"--brighter
than the sun? Now can
you understand why Isaiah and John both say when Jesus comes
back in his 2nd coming, the sun will be turned
into darkness, the moon with not shine and the stars will
not give their light? How
many of you are not seeing it?
Now listen, look up at me.
When you go outside at night on a clear night, what
do you see? Stars are
everywhere, aren't they? Right? But what happens in the morning when the sun
comes up? No more stars. What happens?
Right when the sun comes up, the stars go 'Get ready, get ready, here he comes, here comes the sun, and the sun comes
then the sun just cruises through the sky, and right when
the sun gets ready to go down, the stars go 'Get
ready, get ready, the sun goes down and they go--wham!'
Is that what happens?
No! When the sun comes up--what happens? Are the stars still there?--yes! But the glory of the sun is so great that it
darkens the stars. When Jesus returns, his face is
SO bright the sun will not [appear to] shine, even
though it's still burning! That's why Isaiah says the men of this
earth are going to cry out for the rocks to fall on top of
them and hide them from the face of him who's coming.
Are you getting this?
So then, what is the glory of God?
To find out, lets go to Exodus 33.
When God says in 2nd Corinthians, "I will
dwell with them and walk among them" he is speaking of his
glory. Everybody say
"his glory". In Exodus 33, are you there? Moses looks at God and says, look at verse 18,
this is the cry of his heart.
Moses says, "Please show me your glory."
If you really stop and think about it, that was the
cry of David's heart, it's the cry of Moses heart, it was
the cry of Paul's heart. That's the whole reason we've been created.
Everything in heaven wants to be in one place--in his
throne room. And Moses
cried, 'Look, I've seen the miracles, they're wonderful, but
I want to see your glory.
Show me your glory.' And look
what God says to him in verse 19, "And God said, 'I will make
all my goodness"--everybody say "all my goodness"--"pass before
you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you."
Would you look up at me?
Before a king enters into his throne, there has to
be what?--Order. Isn't that right? Now, before I go on and tell you that, God's
said "I'll cause all my goodness to pass before you"--the
Hebrew word [couldn't hear it, spoke too fast], which means
the unvailing, nothing hidden or held back.
Then God says what?--"I'll proclaim the name the Lord
before you." Why did
he have to do it? Because
there wasn't a herald there to do it.
Because, before a king enters into his throne-room
there's got to be order, and once there's order, the herald
proclaims the name of the king. When he does it, the trumpet sounds, and out
comes the king in all his glory.
He's got his robes, his crown, I mean there is no mistake
in that room who's king. Right? Right? He's
in all his glory, nothing hidden, held back. But if that king would have a polo shirt on,
and he was walking down the street in his very, very huge
kingdom--let's say there was millions in his kingdom, and
had a polo shirt on--and he's walking down the street, people
may pass him by and not recognize him. Because he's not in his glory. [That's why you have the paparazzi nowadays!] Isn't that right? Isn't that right? Well Joshua saw the Lord. Didn't he? Didn't
Joshua see the Lord? And
Joshua said "Are you for us or them?"
He didn't even know who he was!
And the Lord said "Neither.
I'm the Commander of the host of the Lord."
And Joshua fell down on his face, and the Lord said,
"Take off your shoes, this is holy ground."
Joshua saw him--not in his glory.
Are you seeing this? Abraham ate with God, didn't he? By the terabim tree, he came with two angels,
made him something to eat.
[Abraham slaughtered the fatted calf, and served milk
and unleavened bread to the Lord--Genesis 18--why the Jews
believe this must have been the Days of Unleavened Bread,
which they believe Abraham was observing before the Law was
given to his descendants.]
He saw the Lord and ate with him--not in his glory.
Jacob wrestled with God, didn't he?
Come on, talk to me.
Not in his glory. When
Jesus was raised from the dead, who's the first person that
saw him? Mary. She thought he was the gardener. When Jesus was raised from the dead, afterward
he walked down the road with these two disciples [one of them
was his uncle], they were on their way to Emmaus.
They were with him all afternoon and don't even know
who he is! The author says their eyes were restrained. After he was raised from the dead, he had breakfast
with John. Didn't he? John the apostle? Didn't he eat and drink in their presence by
the sea of Galilee? Remember
they were fishing? He
said, 'Hey, cast the net on the other side.'
They said, 'It's the Lord', and Peter swam in and they
all had breakfast with him--not in his glory.
But that same John, who ate breakfast with the Lord
after his resurrection, also saw him on the deserted island
of Patmos. And when
he saw him, he said his face shone like the sun.
His eyes, he said, were like laser beams.
His voice, the sound of many waters [ever hear Niagara
Falls, right up close? This
is what amounts to hearing-sensory overload].
And he said "I fell down like a dead man."
He saw him in his glory [Revelation 1:13-18].
When God says "I'm coming down in the sight." You see, it's also prophecied in Hosea, Hosea
says after two days, he's going to revive us"--after two thousand
years he's going to revive the church.
He said, "Then on the 3rd day, he'll then
raise us up that we may live
in his sight." That's
when he reigns in his glorified body.
back to Israel at Sinai
so excited, 'Yeah, we're ready, let him come, we can't
wait!' And when
he comes down, you know what happened?
You know what happened?
Look at Exodus 20, I'll show you what happened.
Verse 18, "Now all the people witnessed the thunderings
and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and
the mountain smoking, and when the people saw it they trembled
and stood afar off, and then they said to Moses 'You speak
with us and we will hear, but let not God speak with us, lest
we die.'" Verse 21, "So the people stood afar off, but
Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was." What happened? When God came down, they all ran away. These are all the ones who got saved from Egypt, these are all the
ones who got "born-again".
When God comes down, they all run.
And they say to Moses, 'There's no way.
You talk to us whatever he says, preacher please,
go talk to God, tell us whatever he says, we'll do
it, we'll do it.' And you know what's amazing? Let's chat about this for a few minutes. These people had seen some of the most powerful
miracles that any human being had ever seen. I mean, really. I mean, can you imagine the miracles that occurred
when they ate that Passover lamb?
They ate that Passover lamb, and three millions Jews
[Israelites], and they walked, not one sick or feeble among
them. Can you imagine
a city the size of Atlanta, Georgia, not one person in the
hospital, not one person got a cold, not one person's got
the flu--and they were brutally treated as slaves.
I mean, can you just imagine here.
I mean, like I said, can you imagine the Red Sea
being split, dry ground, not even muddy ground, and you're
walking across looking at these towering hundred foot tall
walls of water? "Oh my God, I'll never doubt him again, I'll
never doubt him again." And
you get to the other side, you get to the other side, and
you look at your oppressors for 400 years, buried.
I mean, listen, they had a charismatic party!
I mean, one million women took their tambourines, went
out and sang and danced to the Lord.
I mean, they went wild with praise.
Now isn't this amazing.
camp is the place where people can have the Lord but yet not
be too close to have their sin uncovered"
Now listen to me, church. Please listen. They were comfortable in the atmosphere of miracles.
And I can even say this, they enjoyed the atmosphere
of miracles, and were comfortable in the atmosphere of miracles.
But yet when his glory came they ran for their lives,
because they were extremely uncomfortable. Now why is it that they could be so comfortable
in the atmosphere of miracles, but yet be so uncomfortable
when his glory came? The
reason is this, you
can keep sin hidden in your heart in the atmosphere of miracles. Didn't Jesus say, "Many are going to say, 'We
did miracles in your name, we did this." and he's going to
say "Depart from me you who have iniquity in your heart"?
You can keep sin hidden in the atmosphere
of miracles and still be comfortable--but
you cannot hide sin in the presence of his glory--because
everything gets exposed.
Do you remember what Jesus said in Luke chapter 12
in the New Testament? "Don't
fear others who can kill your body. But fear him who can kill the body and cast
the soul into hell." Why
does Jesus say that? Because
of the previous verse. "There
is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed."
There is nothing kept in secret that shall not be brought
into the light. Folks, look up at me. What did Adam do when he sinned in the Garden?
He hid from the presence of the Lord.
And can I say something? Would you look up at me? Did he smoke a joint? Did he jump in bed with some strange woman?
Now, now listen to me. We have a very warped concept of sin today. We think drinking, cussing, smoking--that's
not [sin], that's a by-product of sin.
Sin is just disobedience, not being submitted to his
authority. That's what 1st John 3 says. Sin is lawlessness, and lawlessness which is
the Greek word anomia
which means not being submitted to his authority. Are you here? See, it's real easy to get legalistic in that
sense, isn't it? I
don't drink, I don't cuss, I don't smoke.
Jesus said of the Pharisees "If your righteousness
doesn't exceed their righteousness, you'll by no means enter
the kingdom." And yet,
he said their righteousness outwardly was good.
He said they were pure white on the outside. Grace transforms us from the inside. Are you seeing this? Now, you know what's amazing? God comes down on the mountain to reveal himself,
and what do they do? They
run away. So God says,
'I've got to create a priesthood, I've got to create a family
of men who can come to me for the people.'
Isn't that right? So who did he chose? Who did he chose? Aaron, right?
Look at Exodus 19.
The people run away after God comes down on the mountain,
and the Lord says this to Moses, look at verse 24.
"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Away, get down, and
then come up, you and Aaron with you.'" Look up at me. God looks at Moses and says 'Get down there,
get Aaron, and both of you get up here.'--everyone say "both
of you"--But if you keep reading several chapters, you'll
find out, now listen, Aaron ends up back in the camp playing church, and Moses ends up in
the presence of God on the top.
You see, the camp.
I want you to look up at me.
Aaron does not end up back in Egypt. You understand what I'm saying? He ends up back in the camp. The camp
is the place where people can have the Lord but yet not be
too close to have their sin uncovered.
Are we together? Now
watch what happens when we do that.
Are you ready? Go to Exodus 32, a very familiar portion of
Scripture. Exodus 32
please. Moses has been on the top of the mountain almost
40 days and Aaron's down at the camp playing church.
the glory of God is reduced, the church gets more worldly,
Watch what happens. Verse 1, "Now when the people saw that Moses
was delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered
together to Aaron and said to him, 'Come make us gods that
shall go before us. As for this Moses who brought us up from the
land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.'" Now look up at me. They don't say, 'As for God, we don't know
what has become of him.' They
said 'As for Moses.' Isn't
this interesting. I'm going to show you why they said that. First of all, they gathered together to who?
Aaron. They gathered to the one who didn't go to the
top, because they knew he didn't look or want it. Now listen, why did they gather to him? Aaron's got a gifting on his life. He's got leadership [he was a good speaker]--everybody
say "leadership". Leadership's
a gift, we find it listed in Romans chapter 12.
And that gift carries qualities about it. One of the qualities or characteristics is it
draws people. Now listen
to me. It will draw people, whether the man's been
to the mountain or not. That
is why a man can have a church of five thousand people and
God never showed up. Are you here?
Now they gathered to Aaron, and what did they say. Look at this.
"Come make us gods that shall go before us"--everybody
say "gods". Are you ready for this? The Hebrew word there for "gods" is the Hebrew
word Elohim. Now I'm telling you, the translators got
scared. Now, let me
tell you why. Elohim occurs 2,250 times in the Old Testament.
Now listen to me. 2,000 of those 2,250 times it refers to God
Almighty, whom we serve. Genesis
chapter 1, the very first verse "In the beginning God created
the heavens and the earth"
Literally, "In the beginning Elohim created the heavens
and the earth." You
will see God mentioned 32 times in the first chapter, all
32 times it is the word "Elohim".
250 times it refers to false gods.
In the Old Testament we have to read Elohim in context
to understand what they're talking about.
Everybody, are you with me? So let's keep going here. Verse 2, "And Aaron said to them, 'Break off
the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives and
your sons and your daughters.'"
Verse 3, "So all the people broke off the earrings
which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron."
Look at verse 4, "And he received the gold from their
hand and fashioned it"--everybody say "fashion". Fashion means to form into a mold. "He fashioned it with an engraving tool.and
made a molten calf, and they said"--now watch this--"and then
they said 'This is Elohim of Israel that brought you out from
the land of Egypt." Now let's keep reading it in context. Look at the next verse. "So when Aaron saw, he built an altar for it,
and Aaron made a proclamation and said 'Tomorrow is a feast
of the Lord.'" Well does everybody see the word "Lord" there?
You know what that word "Lord" is?
YHVH. YHVH is the most sacred word in the Old Testament.
Listen to me. It is never used in reference to a false god.
It is God's name, it is so sacred that the Hebrews
wouldn't even write the vowels. Would you look up at me? Basically, Aaron points to that calf and says
"Behold YHVH who led us out of Egypt".
Now listen, he does not say "Behold, Baal" or any other
false god. He says "Behold YHVH". They still confessed and acknowledged that YHVH
delivered them, that he saved them, and he healed them. And goodness, what did they do? They
reduced the image of his glory, and brought him down to a
cow. Are you with me? And if you'll notice in verse 6, "And they rose
up the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace
offerings, and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose
up to play." They came to church the next day, worshipped
YHVH, but then they got fleshly.
Whenever the glory of God is reduced, the
church gets more worldly, more fleshly.
Now listen, Moses is on the top of the mountain. And God says to Moses, 'Hey, Moses, your people have corrupted themselves.'
Notice, God didn't say "My people", he say "Your people."
It's amazing. 'Your
people have corrupted themselves, get down there.'
So Moses comes down, and when Moses comes down he goes
straight to Aaron. Isn't that right? And he says to Aaron, 'What did this people do!--that they
brought such a great sin upon them?'
And Aaron looked at Moses and said, 'Hey Moses, don't
let your anger be hot. You
know the people. They said 'Make us Elohim that shall go before
us. As for the man
Moses, we don't know what has become of him.'
Now look at verse 24.
This is Aaron's reply to Moses.
Now read this carefully. "And I said to them, whoever has any gold, let
them break it off. So
they gave it to me, I pass it into the fire--and this calf
came out!" [laughter] Wait
a minute. Look up at
me. 'Wait! This calf came out!? What did we just read? "He formed it with a mold." Right? "With
an engraving tool." This
calf came out? I remember,
I'll never forget this day.
I was in my bedroom praying.
And I saw this, and threw my Bible on my bed and said
"Time out! Time out!
Wait a minute!" I said "Lord!
It's one thing to lie when you're not angry, it's another
thing to lie when you're already angry."
I said, "This is a bold-face lie!"
I said, "Lord, I don't want to see the earth open up
and swallow him alive or anything, but how did he get away
with this!?" And I'll
never forget what God spoke to me.
And if you hear this, this morning it could change
your life. God spoke to me and he said "John, he didn't
go to the top of the mountain with Moses when I called him
to come. He didn't behold me that 40 days." He said, "Therefore, his image of me was shaped
by the society in which he was raised.
And that's what came out of him [Aaron]." I went, "Oh my God, I see it." He was raised in Egypt for 80 years. They had all kinds of objects like that. They were images of what they thought were gods.
He didn't carve that calf and say "behold Baal" or
any Egyptian god or something like that. He said "YHVH". And then the Lord took me to Romans chapter
1. Go to Romans 1. And this is speaking of the last day. How many know we're in the last days? Can you say Amen? Look what Paul says will happen on the last
day. Are you there? Chapter 1, verse 20, "For since the creation
of the world, his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being
understood by the eternal power and Godhead have been clearly
seen, so that they were without excuse, because although they
knew God, they did not glorify God nor thank him.
But became futile in their thoughts and their foolish
hearts were darkened, professing to be wise they became fools."
And verse 23 "and changed the glory of the incorruptible
God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and
four-footed animals and creeping things."
Now would you look up at me?
Does our society worship birds and animals and four-footed
No. You create a golden calf and go put it outside
on the lawn today, and the world will laugh at you and say
'Go melt it down and do something with it.'
does our society worship?
Let's go deeper. Self--Corruptible man. So this is the statement that's gone through
my spirit for several years, and it's getting stronger . We have
worshipped a Jesus, we have served a Jesus, in the image we
have made. We've acknowledged that he's saved us, he
delivered us. But is
he the one sitting at the right hand of the Father, or have
we made him more like us? That is why so many people today in the church--and
thank God this is not an ordinary church, and I mean that,
I hate flattery, and I refuse to flatter, but this is a different
church--but that's why so many today in American churches
obey God when it's convenient. They don't take his Word seriously--because
why? In our society,
we don't take people's word seriously.
We agree? Listen to me.
Our definition of submission is "I'll submit if I agree." That's not submission. Are you getting it? That is why we have people today who will not
even blush when they divorce, for no reason, for no Scriptural
reasons at all--because they're not compatible.
Two young people in Bible school, young man devastated
because his wife divorced him.
She just didn't get along, no reason.
She's gone through Bible school.
Another couple I've met. He's gone through a couple Bible schools.
She's gone through a couple Bible schools--they get
married. She leaves
him. Goes living with
another man. But yet
they say "God knows my heart."
And as I preached to the other service, Jesus doesn't
preach to all seven churches in Revelation [2-3], "I know
your heart". He says
"I know your works." Because
your works are evidence of what's in your heart.
So we bring him down [to our level] and say "Jesus
is my friend, he's my Savior, he's my buddy, he's my Lord"--all
in the same breath. Have we become too familiar with the Holy One?
Ananias and Sapphira did. They came up, acted just like normal humans
beings, and they just kind of twisted the story a little bit--trying
to make people think they were giving generously, 'because
it might stir people's faith.'
So they said 'This is everything we got for the land.' ('I know we kept a little bit back, but they
don't need to know that.')
The next thing they knew, they were falling over dead.
Why haven't people fallen over dead, in this day were
living in? I know preachers who have been lied to. Why aren't people falling over dead? The reason is, because the glory is not as strong
as it's going to be. What
they did is they lied in the presence of the glory, because
if you watch that, Peter walks right out of that room, and
he walks down the streets of Jerusalem and his shadow falls
upon people and they're raised up [healed from their sicknesses,
cripples being made whole etc., read the book of Acts]. The glory of the Lord was on him so strong that
people were being healed.
That's like a guy walks into a hospital and everybody
gets out of their beds healed as he walks by their rooms.
I mean, it's going to happen folks, I'm telling you,
it's going to happen. Because, you know what? Because God says the glory of the latter church
is going to be greater than the former.
God says in the book of Isaiah that in this day that
we're living in, the sun will shine seven times greater.
You take the book of Acts, the Lord says you multiply
it seven times, that's what you're heading for.
Well, why hasn't it happened yet.
It probably hasn't yet because we'd fall over dead.
And God's saying, I'm giving you time to prepare the
temple, because [we] are the temple--"I will dwell in them,
I will walk among them, I will be their God."
I've got to close, but can I show you a picture of
what's going to happen? This
is what came to my spirit when you and I were praying this
morning, Pastor. Look
at Genesis 35. Let me show you what's about to happen. I believe that this church and the American
church knows to follow God.
Genesis 35, "Then God said to Jacob, 'Arise and go
to Bethel"--Bethel is the house of God--"and dwell there"--everybody
say "dwell there", not visit there--"dwell there and make
an alter there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from
Esau your brother.' And
Jacob said to his household and all who were with him 'Put away your foreign gods[!]." Look up at me. What is idolatry today in America? It's not statutes! It's everything we give affection to more than
we give our affection to him!
It can be sports, it can be shopping, it can be 'What do people think about me?' What
may be an idol to you isn't necessarily an idol to me. You're the one who makes it an idol. A gold statue wouldn't be an idol to me, it's
what you make it. I
can watch a football game, but some of you can't, it's an
idol! It's what you
make it. Do you understand
this? Jacob says "Put
away your foreign gods". Look
at verse 2, "And Jacob said to those in his household and
all that were with him, 'Put
away your foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves,
AND CHANGE YOUR GARMENTS[!]"--Change 'em, cleanse 'em!--"and
let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar
there to God, who answered me there in the day of my distress
and has been with me in the way in which I have gone.'
So they gave Jacob all of the foreign gods which were
in their hands and the earrings which were in their ears and
Jacob threw them under the terabin [oak] which is by Shechem." And I'll even read verse 5, "And they journeyed,
and the terror of God was upon the cities that were all around
them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob." The terror of God. You want to know what's going to happen? We're going to walk into places, and everybody's
going to say 'Tell me
about Jesus.' Listen,
we'll walk into places and control the atmosphere because
the terror of God will be on us. You know what the Bible says, Bishop, after
Ananias and Sapphira fell over dead?
You know what the Bible says?
You want to see? I'd
rather you see it. Acts 5. Look,
Acts 5 and then I'll close.
Act 5, are you there?
Sapphira has just fallen over dead.
Everybody say "Sapphira just fell dead."
And we're not talking about going under the power today,
we're talking about six feet under the ground dead.
OK? Verse 12, "And through the hands of the apostles
many signs and wonders were done among the people, and they
were all with one accord in Solomon's porch."
Verse 13, "Yet none of the rest dared join them, but
the people esteemed them highly."
What happened? The terror of God hit the city. Verse 14, "And believers were increasing as
the Lord multiplied them, both men and women."
Isn't that amazing, nobody dared join them. We didn't have any onlookers come to the church,
saying 'I'm born-again,
I'm saved'--but really living for themselves, and making
a Jesus that they want. Halilujah! Listen to me.
Where we are going is not where we've been. You'd better remember that. We are living in some of the most speedy times
of second transcript
I just want
to show you that John Bevere's message is totally Scriptural,
and as I stated before, is totally mirrored in what Paul penned
in Hebrews 12. So now
I'm going to quote you Hebrews 12:4-29, right here: Hebrews 12:4-29, "In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point
of shedding your blood. And
you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses
you as sons:
'My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline and do not lose heart
when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he
loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.' [Prov.
hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.
For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes
discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true
sons. Moreover, we
have all had human fathers who disciplined us and re respected
them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father
of spirits and live! Our
fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought
best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may
share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but
painful. Later on,
however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace
for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms
and weak knees. 'Make
level paths for your feet' [Prov. 4:26], so that the lame
may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Warning Against Refusing God
Make every effort to live in peace with
all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see
the Lord. See to it that no one misses
the grace of God and that no bitter root [King
James Version: "root of bitterness"] grows up to cause
trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral,
or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance
rights as the oldest son.
Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this
blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though
he sought the blessing with tears.
You have not come to the mountain that
can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness,
gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking
words that those who heard it begged that no further word
be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded:
'If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.'
[Exodus 19:12-13] The sight was so terrifying that Moses
said, 'I am trembling with fear.' [Deut. 9:19]
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the
heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.
You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels
in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose
names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men,
to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the
mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that
speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
See to it that you do not refuse him
who speaks. If they
did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth,
how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns
us from heaven? At
that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised,
'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.'
[Haggai 2:6] The
words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken-that
is, created things-so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom
that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship
God acceptably with reverence and awe, 'for God is
a consuming fire.' [Deut. 4:24]"
That was Hebrews
12:4-29, from the NIV. As
you can see, the apostle Paul, who penned Hebrews, wrote the
very same message we have just read from John Bevere.
So don't even think of calling it "heresy", or else
you're calling what Paul a heretic. the editor
to further your understanding on this theme about Holiness
Fear of the Lord (book)
Heart Ablaze (book)
Pursuit of Holiness (two cassette series)
by Grace (video cassette)
Journey to God's Presence (video cassette which this transcript
was taken from by permission)
order the above material online log onto:
"Go And Sin No More--A Call to Holiness" by
Michael L. Brown (book). Pub.
By Regal Books, A div. Of Gospel Light, Ventura , CA,
USA To order log onto:
http://www.gospellight.com or http://www.chistrianbooks.com
"The congregations in the body of Christ
are like laundromats where believers in Jesus go to wash their
garments. But the problem is, a lot of those congregations,
laundromats, if you will, have turned off the water-mains
going their washing-machines.
They're no more than social clubs now.
Everybody gathers around the dysfunctional washing
machines and chit-chat about anything but the real important
spiritual things of life."