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"Holiness, Journey to God's Presence"


[This 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  or at John Bevere Ministries, P.O. Box 888, Palmer Lake, CO  80133-0888.  Phone: (800) 648-1477.]


Opening Prayer


"I just 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 of God 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."


"2 Corinthians 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 back for. 

        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, legalism 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."  The whole 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?  'You tellin' 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 else.          No, 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'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."


[editor's note

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.]



 Grace 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.  Correct?  However, 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 this:

        "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.  Evidence!  That 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." 


end 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 story


I'll never 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. 


"The 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". 


"receiving 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 2.

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 correct? 


"coming out of Egypt symbolizes being born-again and coming out of the world--coming out of sin"


Now listen 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. 


"let 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, let 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.


What 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?  Jesus.  Look 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 up--wham!'  And 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.


Now back to Israel at Sinai


Israel was 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.


"the 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.


"Whenever the glory of God is reduced, the church gets more worldly, more fleshly"


 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 things?  No.  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.'  Correct?  What 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 history."


End 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. 3:11-12]


Endure 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




Suggested material to further your understanding on this theme about Holiness and Grace:


The Fear of the Lord (book)


A Heart Ablaze (book)


The Pursuit of Holiness (two cassette series)


Empowered by Grace (video cassette)


Holiness, Journey to God's Presence (video cassette which this transcript was taken from by permission)



To 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: or or


"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."  the editor.

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content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
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