STEPS of OVERCOMING
to the Seven Churches
Harris, Maine Convention
we begin our study in the book of Revelation, I would like to preface
it with the understanding that God’s plan includes the humbling
of mankind. When He spoke to Moses, part of His purpose in taking
the children of Israel into the wilderness was to humble them, and
to show them that man does not live by bread alone. Peter, in his
epistle, instructs us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand
of God; for God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
The trials He sends our way are not to perfect our strength, but
to show us our weakness so that His strength might be made perfect.
When we come to the end of our sufficiency, we find the power of
God. The apostle Paul sought the Lord three times to be delivered
of the thorn in his flesh, but heard only these words, “my grace
is sufficient for you”. He found that when he gloried in his personal
weaknesses and infirmities, that the power of Christ rested upon
him. True humility is to understand, ‘apart from God, I can do nothing
good.’ To humble oneself under the mighty hand of God is to surrender
ones’ will to the sovereignty of His kingdom and righteousness.
us now look at one verse in Revelation 21:7, before we address the
body of our text which is found in chapter 2 and 3. So often when
we consider the term “overcoming” spoken of in the Bible, we think
of it merely as hardness that we must endure and to some extent
that is true. Paul exhorts his son in the faith, Timothy, to endure
hardness as a good soldier. But overcoming is more than
simply enduring. It involves ‘tapping into the life of God through
faith;’ that life which is supremely able. This is all about
Him; not about us. As the psalmist in 61:2 states, “When
my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than
I.” This overcoming is a work of God, performed by His
Spirit in us, but only at our request.
that overcometh shall inherit all things and I will be His God and
He shall be my son.
can see here that it is not being born again, or being born of the
Spirit that qualifies us for the inheritance. It’s that Spirit of
the Overcomer. “It’s not by might, it’s not by power, but
it’s by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Zechariah
we receive from God, we receive by virtue of inheritance. In fact,
what we have received thus far is just the earnest of our inheritance.
God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit, the down payment, until
the day of redemption of the purchased possession, until we witness
the redemption of this body. So then we will have what we have by
virtue of inheritance, and we’ve now received the earnest of our
inheritance, which is the Holy Spirit.
is the Holy Spirit that is going to accomplish this work in us,
and that is why it is so critical that we not grieve the Holy Spirit
of God. The Bible says, “Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit, whereby
you were sealed until that day of redemption”. (Ephesians
4:30)The Holy Spirit has been given to seal us, to preserve us blameless;
spirit, soul and body. In the same manner that a can of vegetables
or fruit has been sealed, so the Holy Spirit has sealed us. He stamps
us with that stamp of authenticity and ownership. He is preserving
us spirit, soul and body, so we must allow that seal to stay intact
and not allow sin and disobedience to break that seal. As long as
that seal is intact, the contents may be corruptible but they are
not corrupted. But if that seal is broken, then what’s in that jar
is corrupted – it’s spoiled by sin, by bacteria, by elements that
enter in that defile. So, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God,
so that is why we must not grieve the Holy Spirit.
is a love word . You know, only those who I love can grieve
me. My children can grieve me because I love them, and we can grieve
God when we resist or frustrate the Spirit of God. He says, “Don’t
grieve the Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed” , and
allow Him to have His way in your life, for He is the one that’s
going to accomplish this in us. Don’t quench the Spirit, but yield
yourselves to the Spirit; for “if you walk in the Spirit, you’ll
not fulfill the lusts of the flesh”.
has actually given us a provision; this provision is the Spirit
of Truth who will take us, lead us and guide us into all Truth.
There is no way we can know the Truth but by the Spirit of Truth,
for the Truth is not an accumulation of facts, the Truth is a person.
And the only way we can know the Truth is by the Spirit of Truth
operating in our life, and by becoming intimately joined to that
Spirit of God.
said in John 21 to Peter, “Peter, when you were young, you girded
yourself and you went where you wanted to go, but when you are old,
you’ll stretch forth your hands and another will gird you and take
you where you would not.” And the Bible says, “He spoke these things
concerning His death.” And you know, the Spirit of God is our guide,
even unto death, for He’s the only one that knows how this
death is to be accomplished in our life. He’s the only one who can
conform us to His death, that we might know Him in the fellowship
of His sufferings, and be conformed to the death, that righteous
death of the Lord.
so, the Spirit of God is the only one that can take us there (to
the righteous death of the Lord), and I believe He’s given us the
earnest of the Spirit to see how we are going to interact with the
Spirit of God. Will we yield ourselves to the Spirit or not? For
only those that are led by the Spirit are the sons of God
(the huios) the mature sons of God. (Romans 8:14)
order to grow up in Him, we have to come into a greater and deeper
submission to the Spirit of the Living God; where we are willing
to go where we would not go; where we are willing to stretch forth
our hands and allow Him to gird us and take us where we would not
go! So He has given us the Spirit as an earnest of our inheritance
to see how we are going to interact. If we do not desire to be filled
with the Spirit, why would we want to be filled with all the fullness
teaches in Ephesians 5:18,19, “Be filled with the Spirit,
speaking to yourselves with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” God
does not want us to run on half a tank – He wants us to be filled
with the Spirit of God! When you are filled with the Spirit,
the desire for other things is just not present, and we find we
are full and we are complete in Him and that He is our life and
He is our sustenance and we live and we move and we have our being
in Him. Then we don’t have the temptations; it’s not at our door
knocking every day. “ If we’ll walk in the Spirit, we’ll
not fulfill the lust of the flesh”. (Galatians 5:16)
Him that overcometh, he shall inherit all things”.
inheritance can only come to us by and through the Spirit of God
and He wants us to be strong. Where? In the Spirit, in the might
of His power, to be strengthened with all might in the inner man.
Man is a spirit and this outward man can perish, but this inner
man, this man of the Spirit is renewed day by day, so He wants us
to find our life in the Spirit . “When I’m in the Spirit, I
am the voice of God; when I’m in the Spirit, heaven’s courts I trod;
when I’m in the Spirit the city I can see; when I’m in the Spirit,
He’s glorified in me.” It’s not my life, it’s His life, and
the life of the Spirit of God is revealed as we yield to go down
into death that He might be the one that lives.
will be looking at Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. It tells us in the
Book of Jude 3 that we are to “earnestly contend
for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.” The
word “ contend” here means, “to strive with an
adversary.” The adversary that I would like to speak about is the
adversary that would like to derail you, that would like to take
you and me off this path that God has set us on. There is a contending
that you and I must do, for he is out to derail any of the sons
that he can derail, for he knows he has but a short time. He knows
that his days are numbered; he knows that when there is a company
that God brings to the measure and the fullness of Christ and that
when the 7 th trumpet blows, the kingdoms of this world are become
the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ and He’ll reign forever
and ever and there won’t ever be any other kingdom established!
It will be the Kingdom of God that will grow into a mountain
which will never be removed. “But the dragon was wroth with
the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who
keep the commandments of God” (Revelation 12:17)
are seven areas I want us to consider. The first is the enemy’s
work to miss-prioritize our affections. He is out to take your heart
away from the affection of the Son.
if he can’t do that, he is out to keep you in bondage all of your
days through the fear of losing your life.
he would like to derail you by getting you to believe that by the
doctrines and teachings of men you could remain alive, without paying
the price for a relationship with the living God.
he has opened the bottomless pit and there is a hoard from hell,
the fowls of the air that are blackening and darkening the mind
of man; the demon spirits out of the pit of hell, the seducing spirits
– that we are facing in this last day, temptations whose magnitude
have not been seen in history. I believe there is a release of seducing
spirits in these last days, and many shall depart from the faith
and will give heed to seducing spirits. I believe they would take
us away and keep us from being watchful, and knowing this, Jesus
said, “Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation.” Satan
wants to keep us in a position or a place where we are really not
aware of what’s going on. Not just in the world, but in our own
life, particularly. Essentially he wants to cause us to be impatient,
rather than keeping the word of God’s patience, to move impulsively;
to move before the Lord and not stay in harmony and in step with
Him. Lucifer would lift us up in pride, so we would not have the
ability or be able to receive correction. For you see, what keeps
us from receiving correction is pride . Pride is a very insidious
thing in our lives. It is the thing that will keep us from drawing
nigh to God, for the scripture says that the humble He knows, but
the proud He keeps afar off----He keeps them at arm’s length.
enemy of our soul is there:
st ) To alienate or miss-prioritize our affections.
nd) To keep us keep us in the fear of losing our life.
rd ) That we would take heed to the doctrines of devils rather than
maintain a hearing relationship with God.
th ) That we would be drawn away of our own lusts by seducing spirits.
th ) That we would not watch and pray.
th) So we would be impatient and seek to perform God’s word rather
than waiting on Him to accomplish what He has promised.
th ) So we would be lifted up and not really give heed to the correction,
for correction is the way of life---not in the way of life---it
is the way of life.
I want to begin here by reading Revelation 2:1-5:
the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he
that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the
midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy
labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which
are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles,
and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast
patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee , because thou hast
left thy first love . Remember therefore from whence thou art
fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come
unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,
except they repent. (Italic’s put here to help tie it in with your
following statement re. the heart.)
can see, it’s your heart that is being addressed here. As Solomon
writes in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence,
for out of the heart are the issues of life.” Really our
heart is where we believe – for a man to believe, it cannot be with
his mind, it must be with his heart. I heard an analogy not too
long ago, where one talked about the mind being the ant and the
heart being the elephant. You know the ant can’t move the elephant;
it’s got to be the heart that moves us, so we must believe with
the heart. It is out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,
and it’s the heart that we must keep with all diligence. Unfortunately,
the scripture in Ecclesiastes says that God has set the world in
can remember, back in 2001, my son Benjamin was there in Montana
helping me finish the house we were going to be living in. We had
a day planned where we were going to frame up the garage, and we
drove down to Proctor to return a few tools to Jack Bowerman, who
is a contractor there. When I drove up to his house, he said, “George,
have you been listening to the radio?” I said, “No.” He said, “You’ve
got to come in here!” Benjamin and I went in, and what we saw were
those two jet liners hitting the Twin Towers. We sat there and watched
it from about 8:00 that morning until 2:00 in the afternoon. It
was like everything that seemed so important to us, actually was
not important at all. We even tried after 2:00 p.m. to go back up
to our house and build; we even got the tools out but we were still
just numb. I said, “You know, I don’t think we are supposed to be
doing this today. This just doesn’t seem important—whether I have
a house or not; it just doesn’t matter to me anymore.”
wants us to see things as they really are, for you know, we can
put importance on things that really aren’t important. Martha did.
And Jesus said to her, “You know Martha, Mary has chosen the important
thing.” And God wants us to have a clarity in our hearts and in
our minds about what’s important and what’s not.
an urgency in our society that screams at you and me every day and
would take us away from what’s really important. God doesn’t want
us not to lose sight of that. I think that is why He tells us, in
Hebrews 10, “Don’t forsake the gathering of yourselves together,
and even so much the more as you see the day approaching.” This
is so as to encourage one another; to rehearse these words to one
another, so that you continually see what’s vital; what’s important;
many of you find an attraction to the world in your heart? And yet
He says I John 1, “Don’t love the world, for all that in
the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride
of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world”. So
we find in ourselves this attraction, these desires. If you don’t
need anything all you have to do is pull out a SKY MALL magazine
out of one of the back of those airplane seats and you come to realize
all the things you don’t have and what you really think you need.
There is a great marketing ploy in the world today to take our affection
away, for the world and our adversary wants us to believe that our
life is in the abundance of the things that we possess. Yet, so
often after we buy it, we don’t know what to do with it, we put
it on the shelf and it no longer holds our attention or our interest.
something in us that wants to find our security in things, rather
than in the living God. When our heart’s affection is turned – you
can hear this in the Psalmist – he says, “Turn us again,
Oh Lord; Turn us again and cause your face to shine and we shall
be saved.” Our heart and our soul are so fickle! They can
be turned very easily. You find yourself during the day, as the
Psalmist, “Lord, Turn, Turn me again, Turn me again Lord!” Our heart
has to come to a place where it’s fixed. David said, “My
heart is fixed; my heart is fixed”. I’ve set my face as
a flint, where there’s a prioritizing in heart where we are seeking
first the kingdom, for He says here, “You’ve left your ‘
first’ love. ” That Greek word here is ‘ protos
’ which means: to be first in time, in place, and in importance.
We can learn a lot about our affection by the way we spend our time—what
is first in time, place and importance.
can’t separate our love for Jesus from our desire to have Him rule
over us. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and
His righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto
you.” So there’s no separating my love for Him from also
having His government rule over me. He says, “I’ll know
you love me, when you keep my commandments.” There’s no
separating this. Our heart condition is what keeps that in the proper
place. You can see here, for a company that won’t correct ,
He says, “I will come and I will remove the
out of his place.” When our heart is turned away from the Lord,
the light of the candlestick inside goes out. You can see this literally
happening in our day. For many, the lights have gone out – they
don’t see what they used to understand. Well, what’s happening?
Their heart has been turned away. Paul writes in II Corinthians
3:15,16 “that even unto this day, when Moses is read, (by
the children of Israel) the veil is upon their heart, nevertheless,
when it shall turn to the Lord; (“ it”
being the heart ) the veil shall be taken away ,
” and they can see clearly. Our heart condition
is what enables us to see the invisible. But it is only the pure
in heart that can see God.
is where the devil wants to derail us, to alienate us, to misdirect
our affection. Why? So he can take the light away. The light will
be gone. It doesn’t happen all at once, but it happens, brethren.
Recently there was a young ministry in our midst, commenting on
one that had left, and he said, “He can’t see, he just can’t see.”
We’ve heard, “If you keep your head in the lap of Delilah, you’ll
not only lose your anointing but you’ll lose your vision”. You can
regain your anointing, but you’ll never regain your vision. God
wants us to keep our heart. We can do nothing apart from Him. But
to him that overcometh, he recognizes that he has left, not lost,
but left his first love and is returning.
us, Oh Lord, turn us again, Oh Lord; cause thy face to shine and
we shall be saved! The Psalmist says in Psalm 73, “Truly
God is good to Israel, to those that are of a clean heart. As for
me, my feet had well nigh slipped. I was envious of the prosperity
of the wicked and I had cleansed my hands in vain, I washed my hands
in innocency – Lord, the wicked are prospering and I am suffering
– It’s just not worth it!! Until ----I came into the sanctuary
of the Most High, then understood I their end. Surely thou hast
set them in slippery places.” He goes on to say at the
end of that Psalm, “Who have I in heaven but thee, and there
is none upon the earth that I desire beside thee.” Oh,
let that be our testimony! Oh God, open our eyes to the truth! Keep
our eyes open Lord! For if your eye is single the whole body will
be full of light, so we have to keep our heart’s affection focused
God, keep our heart on YOU! You and I have to participate in this
matter of keeping. He says, “Keep your heart with all
diligence, for out of the heart are the issues of life.” Settle
him that overcometh will I grant to eat of the tree of life, which
is in the midst of the paradise of God.
realize that if you keep your heart with all diligence, you will
have the opportunity and the right to eat of that tree of life.
We are able to partake of it; we are able to enjoy it, as we are
now. God opens that to us when you have a heart after Him and are
longing for Him and our heart’s affection is for Him.
unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith
the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive. I know thy
works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know
the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but
are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou
shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison
that ye may be tried, and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be
thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
2 states the devil would keep us in bondage all of our life,
the fear of death, by the fear of losing your life. Jesus said,
“If you seek to save your life, you’ll lose it, but if you
lose your life for my sake, then you’ll save it.” So, the
devil would like to derail us by making us think we are really losing
something, when REALLY, there is nothing that we can keep because
no man brought anything into this world, and it’s certain that no
man is going to take anything out. When the children of Israel were
led out of Egypt on to Mt. Horeb, the mountain that burned with
fire, there was thundering and quaking; it was austere and appeared
dangerous. They said to Moses, “Listen, you go on up there and you
hear what God has to say, and come back down and tell us, and whatsoever
He says we’ll do, for no man can hear the voice of God and live.”
But Jesus in response to the Devil in the temptations in the wilderness
said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word
that proceeds from the mouth of God.” So you and I are
in somewhat of a dilemma because you can’t live if you hear His
voice, but also, you’re only going to live by every word that proceeds
forth out of His mouth. So you and I are on what is known as “The
horns of a dilemma.” There was a translator several years ago who
was asked when he was translating a message as to what that was,
and he replied, “An animal I have never heard of!”
in a position where we can’t keep our life if we want a relationship
with Him, for by hearing His voice we are going to lose our own
life. But it’s life to the Spirit. The outward man perishes, but
the inward man is renewed, day-by-day. So there is a choice we have
to make. The illusion is that you are losing something of value,
but really, what you are gaining by losing your life, is the eternal
weight of glory. You are losing the temporal for the eternal.
spring, my wife and I were on a trip to Florida, and we stopped
in Orlando to visit her cousin. She put us in a guest room that
evening that had a small full size bed with a headboard and a footboard.
My head touched the headboard and my feet were flat on the footboard,
so I felt a little confined and also I had a little chest congestion.
I got up during the night because I felt like I couldn’t breathe
and I went into this little office next to the bedroom. I got on
my knees and as I was praying there, the Lord brought to mind a
couple of experiences I had had recently.
of them occurred when I was replacing the foundation under the tabernacle
in Haines. We were jacking it up; (it was a wooden building on a
wooden foundation,) because it was sinking like the sun setting
in the west. The foundation was rotten and I was underneath that
building while it was on blocks, and as I crawled under this beam,
I got stuck. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced claustrophobia,
but I was stuck there for a moment. Of course I began to panic a
little because I was all alone. It was getting a little difficult
to move and so I said to myself, “Don’t panic, stay calm, breathe
shallow.” That experience came to mind that night while I was on
my knees praying. When I was stuck the Lord reminded of that scripture
in Matthew 24, “How hardly shall a rich man enter into the
kingdom of God for it is more difficult for a rich man to enter
the kingdom than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”
And as I was there, stuck, the Lord said to me, “What would
you give up for one breath? What is worth your next breath? Because,
if you don’t breath it, you’re finished. What’s worth keeping? What’s
worth holding onto that is more important than your next breath?”
He then spoke to me that night and said, “All that you need
to make it through any test is just your breath – the life. You
don’t need any of the other stuff; all you need is the life.”
I Timothy 6:8, Paul said, “With food and raiment, be content.”
The devil would keep us in bondage to the fear of loss.
And you can see it in this age. The word says in that day and hour
men’s hearts will fail them, because their security blanket is being
touched, is being taken away, and it is time for us as a people
of God to know that our life is not in our possessions. Our life
is not in the abundance of the things that we have. Our security
is not in money; it’s not in 401K’s; it’s not in a job; it’s not
in any of those things, and God is going to touch us all in these
areas, to see whether we really believe that or whether we are just
talking about it.
Sam Fife used to say that he’d be really happy when we all came
to the place when we were really broke because then, we would have
to really depend on God. I believe that God has a supernatural provision
for a people who will, not ridiculously, but cast caution to the
winds. I am not talking about foolishness, but I am talking about
no longer allowing ourselves to be caught in that web of possessions,
that can possess you and me. Our life is in Him and that’s where
He wants us to live these days.
has promised that he would shake heaven and earth; I believe we
are seeing the beginning of that operation and it’s only going to
intensify; everything that can be removed, will be removed until
that which cannot be shaken will remain, for He’s building a kingdom
which cannot be removed.
the angel in the church in Pergamos (Pergamos means:
Fortified Castle) write these things saith he which
hath the sharp sword with two edges. I know thy works, and where
thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is; and thou holdest fast
my name, and hath not denied my faith, even in those days wherein
Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan
dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast
there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to
cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things
sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also
them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against
them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white
stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth
saving he that receiveth it.
don’t believe there is anything that men hold more tenaciously to
than to doctrine. You can see there it says, “Those that hold
the doctrine of Balaam and that hold the doctrine of
the Nicolaitans.” This Pergamos is a fortified town. I have seen
this tenacity when the word of God comes. “I am He that has the
sword with two edges.” When the word of God comes, the struggle
and resistance is to ‘let go’ of the doctrine. Often people find
their security in doctrine or teaching rather than in a relationship
with the living God.
doctrine of Balaam is merely the teaching that gain is godliness,
and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans is the doctrine of eternal security.
I am not going to get into both those doctrines, but I wish to focus
on the truth that there are only two sources of wisdom. The wisdom,
which is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated,
full of mercy and good fruit, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Then there’s the wisdom from beneath; which is earthly, sensual
is not a third source of wisdom, so when you have a doctrine of
men, really that doctrine or teaching is not of men, but
of devils. If it’s not initiated in God, by default it comes from
the other source, because there is no third source. We’d all like
to think there is a gray area and that we are capable of original
thought, but the truth is, we are listening to one of two sources.
It’s either the wisdom of this world, or the wisdom of God, and
the wisdom of God is the hidden wisdom. It’s a hidden wisdom that
He speaks to them that are perfect, to them that are connected,
to them that are unblemished and unspotted in their walk.
wisdom of the world is a wisdom by which we cannot know God and
it is a wisdom that will come to nothing. I Corinthians 1:9 says,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the world, and I will bring
to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” And that
is what God is in the process of accomplishing. He desires that
we be taught of Him, so that we are getting our knowledge from the
source, from the fountain of living waters and not from every table,
which Isaiah 28 says is full of vomit. He does not want us getting
the truth second hand, but He wants to teach us Himself. He doesn’t
want us to substitute a cistern for the fountain of living waters.
Tapes and books all have value but they cannot take the place of
the anointing who can lead us and guide us into all truth.
we recently went through the split in our fellowship, some of the
first things that were said to me were, “You’ve got to hear this
tape----you’ve got to hear this----this guy sounds just like Brother
Sam.” If you are enjoying a fellowship with God, why would you want
to listen to the voice of another? Brother Sam used to say, “I don’t
want you to believe a word I say, unless God witnesses it to your
spirit.” The Bible says that we’ll only know the truth by the Spirit
of Truth. It takes that witness inside for you to know that you
are on the right path.
word spoken by another mouth is not necessarily the truth, because
the scripture teaches us that we can change the truth of God into
a lie. You can take the word here, that’s meant to bring life, and
can handle it deceitfully or craftily and that can actually change
its character. The way that is done is to worship the creature rather
than the Creator. You see, this word of God is meant to bring us
into a worship of the Creator, not the creature, and the truth of
God is turned into a lie when it’s being used to benefit the creature
rather than the Creator, who is blessed forevermore. That’s why
it is so critical you and I hear the word from His mouth – every
word that comes and proceeds forth from His mouth. That’s how you
and I are going to live, and by no other. We can’t yield to the
temptation of taking an easier way, for there is only one way, the
way of the cross.
the people of God, we have to pay the price for the relationship
with Him. That is the daily sacrifice. We have to present ourselves
daily; holy, acceptable, a living sacrifice that we might prove
what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God and be not
conformed to this world. When this daily sacrifice ceases to be
offered, do you know what happens? The abomination which makes desolate
is set up in the Holy Place. So there must be that continual daily
sacrifice for us to stay upright and without fault before his throne.
him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and
will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written,
which no knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
is hidden manna reserved for those who will pay the price for that
secret place relationship with Him. For a people who are not content
to just hear the word from another’s mouth, but desire to have that
intimate relationship with the living God. You know, He wants to
keep you and me, and He says in Isaiah 54:13 that “ all
the children shall be taught of God, and great shall be the peace
of thy children.” We can’t know His peace; we can’t really
know His grace unless He’s the one speaking that word to us personally.
You know, the word coming through another won’t have the grace,
won’t have the peace; won’t have the life unless it comes from the
lips of the living God. You and I must hear it at His mouth.
unto the angel in the church of Thyatira write; These things sayeth
the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and
his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and
service, and faith, and patience, and thy works; and the last to
be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against
thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself
a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication,
and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to
repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will
cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into
great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will
kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that
I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto
every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and
unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and
which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will
put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold
fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto
the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall
rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they
be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will
give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what
the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Timothy 4:1 says, “ In the last days some shall depart from
the faith and they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines
would like to share with you a little bit about the nature of lust.
In the book of James, the spirit says that “every man is drawn away
of his own lust and enticed.” And, “God doesn’t tempt you because
He can’t be tempted of evil, neither tempteth He any man.” But “every
man is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.” James 1:16,17 says,
“Don’t err my beloved brethren. Every good and every perfect
gift cometh down from the Father of Lights with whom there is neither
variableness nor shadow of turning.” In other words, you
and I don’t have to turn one whit to receive every good and perfect
gift from the living God; He will lay it right in our path. You
and I err when we are drawn away of our own lust and enticed.
is the desire for something God is not giving. It doesn’t have to
be in our eyes and in our minds as evil necessarily, but it is something
that we desire that God is not presently giving us. For every good
and perfect gift, He lays it right in the path. You and I don’t
have to turn aside; it doesn’t affect our relationship with Him,
His gift only enhances our relationship with Himself.
see, when we turn aside for something other than what He is giving
us, what we actually are beginning to do, is we are beginning to
cultivate a hunger for something that will never satisfy. The scriptures
tell us in the Book of Habakkuk 2, ‘Hell is the enlargement
of the desire that cannot be satisfied’, and to burn in
hell, is to burn in desire for something that will never satisfy
you; something that will never fulfill you. One author said it like
this, “You and I come created with a God-hole, and the only One
who can fill that hole is God.” If we try to fill it with anything
else, it is a bottomless pit and you will never be fulfilled; you’ll
never be complete; you’ll never be satisfied with anything else.
It’s a bottomless pit and if you try to fill it, it is never enough.
The belly and the fire say, “It is not enough!” How much is enough?
It is never enough, so the nature of lust is the desire that will
take us out of the way of God. It will take us away from Him.
a book I read some years ago, Return from Tomorrow by George
Ritchie. He tells his story, as a young medic in the Army, of how
he died in a west Texas clinic, and of his subsequent ‘out of body’
experience. When he died of pneumonia (later to be revived) his
spirit came up out of his body and he was above, looking down on
his own body for some moments. Then his spirit began to travel out
of the clinic, and to move east across the plains of west Texas,
and he felt himself being lifted up as he crossed what he recognized
as the Mississippi River. Later he came down on the eastern banks
of the Mississippi which he later recognized as Vicksburg, Mississippi.
he went into a bar where he saw people drinking alcoholic beverages
and smoking. This experience left a tremendous impression on him,
for he also saw spirits like him, who were reaching to satisfy their
thirst or desire. But their hand would just pass through the bottle
or pass over the cigarette. They couldn’t pick it up for they didn’t
have a body. There was no body to fulfill the lust that they had
cultivated in their soul. There was a burning desire to have, but
they could not be satisfied. That’s what hell is; it is the
enlargement of the desire that cannot be satisfied, and it
will take you away; for as the Spirit of God desires to have the
body, so do demons and devils. They walk about in dry places, and
they are looking for a body to inhabit.
is why godliness with contentment is great gain. Paul said ,
“I’ve learned in whatsoever state I’m in, therewith to be content.”
You know, godliness with contentment is the great
gain. If you and I think of gain as godliness, we’ll never be in
the right place. There will always be someplace that has greener
grass than where we are. But if we know in our heart, that godliness
with contentment is the gain, you can experience the great gain
wherever you are. To be content with God, to be content with Him
and Him alone; “Oh God, bring us to that place.”
says in Revelation 2:26 “To him that overcometh, will I
give power over the nations.” You see, this is the big
one – this is a big one here. They that are Christ’s have crucified
the flesh and its affections and its lusts. You know Saul did not
kill Agag the king of Amalek and guess who killed him? It was an
Amalekite! The very one we are unwilling to put the sword to, in
obedience to God, is the one that can take our spiritual life! He
said, “Sin shall not have dominion over you; you don’t need to obey
it in the lust thereof.”
lust is, is sin in its infant stage . For when
lust conceives, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it’s finished,
brings forth death. I’m glad sin doesn’t execute immediately. Aren’t
you glad? There’s a process whereby we can be recovered when we
fall and when we sin. God can recover us out of that sin, but we
can’t linger in that sin. The scriptures say that there
is a sin ‘unto death’ and there’s a sin that’s ‘not
unto death’. Well, the sin that’s ‘unto death’ is
the sin that we won’t come out of, but any sin that we come out
of, the apostle John states, “If you confess your sin, He
is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.”
He can make us just as if we’d never sinned; He can reseal
us, if we stay on short accounts with the living God and come
out of the sin. “God, give us eyes to recognize it in its infancy”.
Paul said to Timothy, his son in the faith, “Flee youthful
lusts.” That is not just lust that youth have, that’s sin
in its infancy; it’s sin in its initial stages.
scriptures say that Satan is a liar; in fact, that he is the father
of lies. It says that he abode not in the truth because there was
no truth in him. And yet Jesus says, “I want you to be as
wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove.” If I ask
you, “What wisdom could you gain from a serpent who is a liar, the
father of lies; who abides not in the truth for there is no truth
in him? What wisdom could you and I gain from him?” Not a trick
question – but I will give you a hint. His whole program is predicated
on this. This truth is something that I believe God wants us to
really get under our belt. It is this: God doesn’t lie
. You see, he knew that if he could draw Adam out,
as he did with the woman, and that when he disobeyed God and sinned,
God’s judgment would execute. The lie that comes from the serpent
is, “You shall not surely die.” It’s in direct rebuttal
to the truth that Lucifer knows and has built his whole system on.
says, “Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked. What a man
sows that will he also reap. If you sow to the flesh, you’re going
to reap corruption; if you sow to the Spirit, you’re going to reap
Him that overcometh, will I give power over the nations.’ You
know, we have men now, ruling over countries that can’t rule over
their own lives. They can’t rule over their own lusts and desires;
these stories are all over the news. But He says to this
company, “To him that overcometh, will I give
power over the nations. He will rule them with a rod of iron, and
will break them to shivers as a potter’s vessel.”
wants to bring forth a company of overcomers who realize it’s a
losing proposition to be enticed to sacrifice the eternal on the
altar of the temporal. Not only will you suffer the loss of the
greatest prize, but we could end up burning in a fire that never
goes out. God help us to see the reality of sowing to the flesh
and its outcome in our lives, but also to see the nature of the
son overcoming the nations, for He is able to rule these natural
in the test where we have to cry out to Him with strong crying and
tears, unto Him that is able to save us from death. If we have that
reverential fear and we don’t desire to lose the intimacy of that
relationship with him; if we prize that above anything else, He’ll
hear us. Like David in Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I desired
of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house
of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the
Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” I will give him
power over the nations!
unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith
he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know
thy works, that thou hast a name and thou livest, and art dead.
Be watchful, and strengthen those which intend to die; for I have
not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou
hast received and heard and hold fast, and repent. If therefore
thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt
not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names
even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall
walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh,
the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot
out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name
before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy—they shall walk
with me in white. He says, “If you’re not watchful, He’ll come upon
you as a thief in the night”, but He also says we are not children
of the night but children of the day, and that day should not come
upon us unawares, if we understand the times that we are living
in and we are circumspect.
goes on to say, “You have some in Sardis that have not defiled their
garments that they have been kept unspotted, and they will walk
with me for they are worthy.
believe, as I was saying, that a watchfulness of what is going on
in the world is not what He is really after here, but what we are
to be watchful of, is what is taking place in our lives
because He wants us to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.
The scriptures say, a garment is spotted by the flesh, but you know
what really stains a garment? If you are washing a garment, there
are a lot of things you can throw in the laundry and the spots come
out, but I believe the stains are what God is after these days.
stains are, are spots that don’t come out. They are unresolved
issues — unresolved issues in our life . We
can have white elephants in the room that we just walk around. Unresolved
issues can exist in our lives, and generally take root when we feel
that we are treated unjustly. We struggle with what appears to be
injustice, and Jesus said that “offences must come, but
woe unto him through whom they come.” But offences must
come! It is interesting that Psalm 119 says, “Great
peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them.”
NOTHING shall offend them! If we are in a place
where we love the living God, even the bitter things —“To
the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.” Unresolved
issues are the things that keep us from walking with Him in white.
can see this in Job’s life. There was an ‘unresolved issue’ that
he faced in his life and he went through a great struggle until
he finally saw the living God and he said, “I have heard
of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye seeth thee and
I repent in dust and ashes.” As we read the story of Job,
so often it just kind of “trickles off our tongue” and we really
don’t get the impact of what happened—what took place in his life.
this same book that I mentioned, Return from Tomorrow , there
is a chapter where after George had come back to life. He was in
WWII and toward the end of the war; he was part of a group that
liberated a concentration camp either in Poland or Germany. These
prisoners had been ill-treated and they were basically just skin
they checked them through medically, they met one man there that
seemed to be stronger physically. He seemed more robust, and he
seemed to be more alive than the others. They thought, initially,
that surely this man has been here for only a few months and these
other people have endured years of this. But as they looked through
the records, they found this man had been there as long as anybody,
and yet he was more robust and physically strong than any of the
rest. As they began to look into the records, they found an account
of this man’s history. He told them his story.
had actually watched the SS machine gun down his family; his wife
and children were literally butchered before his eyes with a machine
gun. (His life had been spared because he could speak three or four
languages and was useful to the commander.)
that, for days and weeks he lived in a prison of torment, reliving
the memories of seeing his family murdered. There grew a bitterness;
a hatred; an anger in him that he could barely abate; it was just
about overcoming him. Finally, he said he heard these words, “If
you keep living the way you are living, you will be a prisoner of
the past.” So, he got down on his knees and he actually
began to forgive every man whose face he could remember. He forgave
all of them there. When he got up from his knees, he found in the
coming weeks and months, a zest for life.
wasn’t plagued like the other prisoners by what had happened to
him—the injustice; the indecency; the barbarianism—he wasn’t plagued
by that. He had a zest to live today. He could see, that even as
bad as his circumstances were, that this was the day the Lord had
made. He began to minister to other prisoners. Those that were dying,
he would spend time with and would pray for; he would even give
up his food for these men. In fact, in many cases, he would eat
less than the men that were skin and bones, and yet there was a
vigor, a vitality; there was a life in him that none of the others
had, and it was clearly recognizable.
see, he had resolved the spot; he had resolved the issue in his
life. He was walking in white. He was walking unspotted from the
world. There was filth, and dirt and gnats all around him; he was
above it all.
know, the enemy would want you and me to believe that ‘time heals’.
Time doesn’t heal; time doesn’t heal anything. There are
areas in our lives where we have matters and times that are not
resolved. You may avoid somebody when you walk into the room, rather
than going to them for you are just not comfortable with them. I
understand and realize there are some situations that you and I
can’t change; you have to be led of the Spirit here, but there are
issues that we can let continue in our life that will keep us from
walking with Him in white; from being worthy For to attain to the
resurrection and that world, you and I have to be counted worthy.
It’s not just for anybody, but for those who are watchful and aware
of the areas in their life that need to be on short accounts with
know a little bit about loss; nothing like Job—nothing like Job.
Job lost his whole family, save his wife. He lost all of his possessions;
lost his health. He lost what appeared to be everything; he suffered
the loss of everything. He couldn’t understand the fiery trial that
he was going through.
years ago I was in a ministry meeting prior to the Bowens Mill Convention
and was called out of the meeting by Woody Crossin for an emergency
telephone call. I went over to the Crossin’s house on the campgrounds
at about 10:30 am, which was about 5:30 in the morning in Alaska.
My wife was on the other end of the call and she shared with me
that our daughter Joy had just died. I had left home on a Friday
morning (this was a Tuesday) and our daughter Joy jumped into my
arms off the bench at the lunch table. She had given me a big hug
and a kiss as I was leaving for the convention. She was a very vivacious
little girl; in fact, we called her our “joy bell” for she had an
energetic love for life. Shortly after I left, she got sick with
nausea and couldn’t keep anything down.
had a registered nurse living with us at the time and, I believe
it was Monday night, she recognized what she referred to as the
“cardinal signs”. Joy began to breathe very shallow, she had blueness
around her lips, her eyes began to roll back, and Lynn Perkins at
the time, and another woman there who was a midwife, Nancy Baltrum,
began to give her, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, mouth-to-mouth
administering the mouth-to-mouth, the nurses and my wife and son
all piled into the van and were driven to the military hospital
there in Delta Junction. When they arrived and met the attending
physician, she pronounced Joy dead. It was a complete shock to our
system; to my wife who was there by herself – not alone, but without
her husband. And I was just torn to pieces inside. Brother Steve
Doerter, Brother Tom Rowe and Brother Wayne Gentry drove me to Atlanta
to meet my family so I could get back home.
weekend prior to Joy’s death had been an interesting few days. On
Saturday night I had flown into Atlanta and spent that evening with
my parents. My Mother and Father had asked me a very penetrating
question that night; “Why do the righteous suffer?” I had shared
with them for about two and one half hours out of the Book of Job.
The next morning when I attended their Presbyterian church service
with them, the minister preached using the identical scriptures.
My mother turned to me during the service and said, “I can’t believe
this!” When we drove in the driveway after I had gotten the news
about Joy, my mom opened the door to meet me and her first words
were, “We had to hear it twice. We had to hear it twice.”
know God knows what’s happening; He knows what’s going on. He doesn’t
just know about our circumstances, He actually engineers them –
He actually is the author working all things after the council of
his own will. II Corinthians 5:17,18a says, “If any man
be in Christ he’s a new creature, old things have passed away, behold,
all things are new and all things are of God” ; Hosea 6:1
says “Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath
torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us
up.” He has broken us, and He’s the only one that can
fix us or heal us.
can remember flying back to Alaska in turmoil. I didn’t have any
peace inside, and on the final leg from Seattle to Fairbanks, the
stewardess had seated me in the back of the plane. I was in an unoccupied
row with three seats to myself, and I was lying down just crying
out to God! There in that desperate condition, God met me; He gave
me peace that passed understanding. I knew He was in control of
the situation. I didn’t have any answers but at least I had peace
to console my wife when we met at the airport.
a week following the memorial service where we had experienced the
carrying power of God, I found myself becoming very angry inside.
Angry at God, for there was really no one else to blame. If I could
have found someone else to point the finger at, I would have, but
there was no one but God. I knew that He’d allowed this tragedy
and I struggled with this. I can remember running down the Alaska
Highway from our community entrance to the Johnson river bridge,
and in every footfall I could feel my anger. My feet were pounding
the pavement in bitterness toward God! And God brought me to a place
where I knew I would explode, if I didn’t get this issue with Him
resolved. One person who knew my struggle suggested that I forgive
God. That sounded like a consideration but as I searched the scripture,
I noticed in the Book of Job, that Job’s remedy came when he repented
. It came when he would say, and when he recognized, “God,
you’re the potter. You’re the potter and I’m the clay.” Will I let
You have Your will and Your way in my life?
see, God has to work out these stains in our garment; these unresolved
issues in our life. You can have them with God and you can have
them with people. In Acts 24:16 Paul said, “I exercise myself,
to have always a conscience void of offence, toward God, and toward
men.” God can’t heal us unless we return to Him.
He’s smitten us, but He’s not going to heal us unless we return
to Him. But, I’ll tell you something, He’s there, if you just ask.
He can make you and me whole and we can walk with Him in white.
You can walk with Him in white!
know, my wife didn’t get over the death of our daughter easily.
In fact, we were sitting in a service in Haines years later when
John Jeffreys opened a Sunday service sharing about an incident
that had happened the night before.
was a young man who had been snowmobileing near our community who
had gotton off the path while following his friend and run into
the stump of a tree at a relatively high speed. John’s son, Andrew,
had been called out as an EMT with others to the scene of the accident
in an attempt to revive or resuscitate this young man. When the
doctor arrived the young man was pronouced dead. As John was sharing
the account He commented, “Just think, family, yesterday this mother
had a son, and today she does not.”
that thought, my wife began to sob deeply with tears. She wept,
and as she did, a prophet who could not see my wife sobbing, began
to have a vision. She saw a heart that had been smashed. It looked
like it would never be repaired; it had been completely smashed!
After a period of time a white substance began to rain gently down
from heaven and bathe this heart, filling in all the cracks. And
when this took place, the heart began to beat, ever so slowly. As
the visión progressed the heart beat bécame stronger and stronger.
Now it was with a beat that was so much deeper and vibrant—so much
bigger—for the heart had the capacity to expand. That white substance
had given it elasticity, and the prophet said, “I knew this heart
could hold the grief of the whole world.”
know, we don’t understand everything that happens to us, but we
have to commit ourselves to God knowing that He who has smitten
us can also heal us. He is the only one who can resolve these issues
and remove these stains so that we might be able to walk with Him
in white. You see, He’s allowing these things to happen to us, so
that we can be saviors; those saviors that come up upon Mt. Zion
who will have compassion because they themselves have been through
the dealing of God the Father.
says, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment,
and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I
will confess his name before my father, and before his angels. He
that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”.
to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith
he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David,
he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and
no man can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept
my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of
the synagogue of Satan , which say they are Jews, and are
not, but do lie; behold I will make them to come and worship before
thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee .
me bring your attention to this thought; if God loves everybody,
why would He make such a point here of saying, “I would make them
to know that I have loved thee ?” Jesus never really minced
words with his disciples. He was pretty direct with all of them.
He commended Peter in Matthew 16:13-18, when he asked, “Who
do men say I, the Son of man am?” , and Peter said, “Thou
art the Christ, the son of the living God.” Jesus then answered,
“Blessed art thou Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood hath not
revealed this to you but my Father which is in heaven and upon this
rock I’ll build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail
then in verses 21-23 He began to share with His disciples how He
must go to Jerusalem and suffer at the hands of the elders and the
Pharisees. And Peter began to say, “Lord, pity yourself.” And Jesus
didn’t respond by saying, “Oh Peter, you just don’t understand.”
No, He was direct; bluntly saying, “Get thee behind me,
Satan. Thou art an offense unto me; for thou savorest not the things
that are of God, but those that are of men.”
then is this synagogue of Satan? Well, if we savor
the things of men; relish, admire, draw into our affections the
things men value, then we find ourselves as the enemy of God. Thou
dust savor the things of men and not the things of God; who say
they are Jews and are not, but do lie. Most of Christianity
today is convinced that natural Israel is God’s chosen people. Paul
in Romans 2 at the end of chapter lays this out clearly. “He
is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision
which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly;
who’s circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in
the letter; whose praise is not of men but of God.” This
is the critical issue; whose praise is not of men but of God; a
people who are not seeking the approval of men. We can find ourselves
in that position, right here in our fellowships, looking for the
approval of men rather than the approval of God. We are not standing
before men seeking their honor but before the living God desiring
to be pleasing to Him that we might know the honor that comes from
He says, “Who say they are Jews and are not, but are of
the synagogue of Satan, but do lie; behold, I will make them to
come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved
thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will
keep thee from the hour of temptation , which shall come
upon all of the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
We are living in that hour of temptation , I believe, that
has come upon all the earth.
Revelation 19 there is a release of the fowls of heaven and a supper
of the Great God that no deliverance service will turn around. Those
fowls feed upon the flesh of all men from kings to the lowliest
of our society. There is no distinction made when God releases the
demons in this last day and allows men to have what they want. What
is really transpiring during this time in history when men’s desires
are out of control is the nature of each fowl (demon) is consuming
the flesh or life of men. Men are yielding their bodies to a host
of spirits that will consume them by manifesting their nature through
their bodies never to be satisfied or fulfilled. God is releasing
these unclean birds to accomplish his purpose in providing men the
fulfillment of all their desire because they have chosen their own
way rather than the way of the cross.
thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from
the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all them that dwell
upon the earth.
I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take
thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple
of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him
the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is
new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and
I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
word of His patience is to persevere ; to not grow weary
in well doing, for in due season you will reap, if you faint not.
It’s in patience that you possess your soul. There’s a beautiful
thing about patience. James1:2-4 discloses, “Count it all
joy when you fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the
trial of your faith works patience, but let patience have her perfect
work that ye might be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
scripture says that we have need of patience, for it is through
faith and patience that we inherit the promises. So it takes more
than just faith; perseverance is necessary ; faithfulness
through time and a certain knowledge that what God has spoken, He
is going to do. This is not a process or promise that you and I
are going to perform. It’s not going to have the fingerprints of
men on it, but it will be purely a work of the Spirit of God.
Paul in Romans 4:20,21 states that Abraham staggered not at the
promise of God, it does appear that he staggered a little, but the
word says, “He staggered not at the promise of God through
unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, being fully
persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.”
God must be the author and the finisher, the Alpha and
the Omega in this process; God not only spoke it but He
also performed it ; and yet for Him to do that, we have
to wait patiently upon Him because his workmanship in the interim
is very necessary in our life.
patience possess your soul. We are to possess our vessel in sanctification
and in honor for this is the will of God. Just as Abraham had to
walk through the land and place his foot on every portion that he
would call his, we must also possess our promised land. God spoke
to Abraham saying, “Arise and walk through the land, wherever you
place the sole your foot shall your seed possess.”
had its perfect work in King David’s life. David was anointed by
Samuel as a young stripling. Later when he was still just a young
lad, he slew Goliath. Although he was anointed to be a king, he
didn’t become a king immediately. In fact, when he had the opportunity
to accelerate the process a little bit, he withheld his hand. He
could have slain Saul there in the cave; in fact his men were prompting
him to just give them the word and they would have gladly disposed
of him. They said, “Look David! God has delivered him right into
your hands!” And David would not budge. He took his sword and cut
off a piece of Saul’s garment, and it says, “His heart smote him”.
David had a very tender conscience and heart toward the Lord. But
David was given another opportunity, and he never moved to accelerate
the process that God had him in. He didn’t stretch forth his hand
to touch the Lord’s anointed because He knew that it was through
the process of patience, God was forging by fire, a relationship
that would qualify him to rule justly, with mercy and in the fear
and his son Jonathan were slain on Mt. Gilboa. Today there are Saul
ministries that try to hold on to a position not realizing that
shepherds lead by example through relationship. In Revelation 18:4
God is giving a stern warning cry by the Spirit, “Come out
of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that
ye receive not of her plagues.” There is a Jonathan Company
that loves the working of the Spirit of God and loves the David
Company, but has a difficult time leaving; never leaving that Saul
ministry and as a result, dies along side of them. Even though he
had a rod, even though he recognized the truth; recognized the ministry;
recognized the call; Jonathan died alongside his father Saul because
he could never break the soulish affinity. What a tragedy for a
man who has the call, sees the vision, has the courage of the Spirit,
to die just because he cannot break the natural ties. David lamented
when he heard of Saul and Jonathan’s death. He even slew the man
who came with the supposed “good tidings”.
that time, the scripture says that the men of Judah came to David
and they anointed him king. This was the second witness. There was
not only the witness inside, of that first anointing, but there
was a second witness that came through the men of Judah. David was
king of Judah for seven years because he kept ‘the word of his patience’.
He knew what God had spoken to him, he was not going to lift his
hand to establish or accomplish, but he was going to wait upon the
Spirit of God to do it, to do a complete work.
didn’t wait passively . Throughout the Psalms he was a
man who not only waited on the Lord but also he cried out to the
living God to perform all things for him. In the days of Saul he
cried unto the Lord, who would perform all things for
was king of Judah for seven years, during which time Isbosheth,
Saul’s son, was king of Israel. David did not lift his hand against
Ishbosheth. He had a mightier army; he could have easily consolidated
the kingdom, but he waited on the Lord. He was not interested in
establishing his own kingdom. When Ishbosheth was slain, David even
lamented his death. He rebuked and held accountable the men that
had slain a man more righteous than they were. He never rewarded
iniquity, even though it had brought him some advantage. At that
time, the men of Israel came to David and anointed him king and
in I Chronicles 11:1-3 the Bible records, it was then, that David
knew that God had established his throne. David knew that God had
established his kingdom. The difference being that when God does
something, He does it forever! So where is Jesus sitting? On the
throne of David; He was referred to as the Son of David. His throne
was established in mercy; in mercy and in judgment.
if you keep the word of My patience, I will also keep you in the
hour of temptation that shall come upon all the earth. Through patience
you will have possession of your soul in sanctification and honor.
We need to know that “we are being kept by the power of
God through faith unto salvation which is ready to be revealed in
these last days.”
says here, “Behold I come quickly. Hold that fast which thou hast,
that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar
in the temple of my God, and you shall go no more out and I will
write upon him, the name of my God, and the name of the city of
my God which is New Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven from
our God and I will write upon him my new name.
will make him a pillar, and he’ll come in and go no more out. Only
God can establish one on that kind of foundation. Only He can make
us pillars in the temple of the living God. A pillar is meant to
bear weight; in fact, there is nothing more useless than a moving
pillar. We will never be a pillar in the house of God if we’re not
willing to take some responsibility; if we’re not willing to let
him place upon us His weight.
ago, I had a dog team at The Land. One summer we had this great
idea of making packs for the dogs. We hunted there at The Land and
one time we had two or three moose down in the woods, and we had
a couple of caribou down on the plateau. In those days, we didn’t
have horses. We had to carry the meat out on our backs. So I took
this dog team, some women and a group of willing children to pack
out the caribou. The men were going after the moose which were a
much greater distance away, and our group went out to get the caribou.
thing I noticed immediately about these dogs; they were full of
energy and completely undisciplined. They were sled dogs and they
were kept chained up most of the time. With just these empty packs
on their backs, we couldn’t keep them on the trail. They were running
through the woods chasing any diversion. Finally when we came to
a creek I loaded their packs down with rocks. And I noticed after
that, they never got off the trail. They took the shortest distance.
God puts us under His weight, there’s not a whole lot of running
around. I believe that as God’s people, when He places responsibility
on our shoulders it will keep us from being flighty. We’ve got to
be willing to take the responsibility that God gives us. It may
just be prayer responsibility, but I will tell you, if you become
like a fixed object on your knees, God will make you a pillar in
the temple of the living God and He will write upon you His name,
and the name of the city of our God, His new name.
pillar is not really effective if there’s nothing under it. I was
with an engineer recently and we were going over a set of plans.
He made a statement that made me understand this a little better.
He said, “Well George, what we really want to make sure of, is that
the pillar is able to effectively transfer the weight to the foundation.”
A pillar can’t in and of itself carry the weight. What a pillar
does is transfer the weight to the foundation. That’s why the Bible
in Psalm 55:22 states, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord and
He shall sustain thee; He shall never suffer the righteous to be
moved.” As we become able to effectively transfer that
weight through prayer so that we’re not carrying it, the One, who
can carry it all, is underneath bearing us up. “Be anxious
for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God, and the peace
of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your heart and
minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7) He desires
to make us pillars in the house of the living God – a people who
will come in and go no more out. Amen
unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things
saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of
the creation of God. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold
nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art
lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have
need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable,
and poor, and blind and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold
tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment,
that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness
do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest
see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore,
and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear
my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup
with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to
sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down
with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
3:20 – ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man
will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and
will sup with him, and he with me.’ Years ago, I memorized
that verse when I was involved in evangelical work and this was
my closing line. Jesus is standing at the door, and if you’ll just
open, He’ll come in, and He will sup with you and you with Him.
But when you read this scripture here in context, really, what is
Jesus knocking with? Why is there a resistance in us to open the
door to Him? If He is our Beloved, why would we hesitate to open
up? The reason is that He is coming with correction, because the
condition of the church appears here that they don’t really have
a clear perspective of their condition. What would you say about
states that when a man thinks himself to be something when he is
nothing, he deceives himself. The condition of this church is that
they thought they were “something”. They thought they could see;
they could hear; they thought they we clothed; they thought they
were rich; and what really is the true condition of the church?
So when Jesus comes, He comes knocking with correction and for us
to open the door, there is something that we have to swallow— our
Russell Stendall wrote a book on the Beatitudes in which he states,
“Blessed are the poor in Spirit, rightly translated is, ‘Blessed
are those that are poor in pride’; blessed are those that have been
divested, completely divested of pride”. God is in the process of
divesting us of our pride, and opening our eyes to the truth; not
to discourage us, not to take from us, but that we might no longer
be lukewarm. But that we might be hot; that we might be desperately
crying to Him because we realize our condition.
found that when I open my heart to correction that I have the most
intimate times of fellowship with the living God. I believe
this constitutes knowing Him in the fellowship of His sufferings;
because He learned obedience, how? By the things He suffered.
He was made perfect by the things that He suffered. So I believe,
when we open our heart to the Spirit of God to bring that correction,
that we are engaged in the fellowship of His suffering. We’re learning
obedience. We’re enduring the chastening that He says is for our
benefit that we might be a partaker of His divine nature. It’s
in that time of discipline that we are buying the truth. One
must buy the truth about his condition and see himself from God’s
in the Book of Matthew 25, at the end of the age there were 10 virgins,
5 of them were wise, 5 of them were foolish. They were all virgins;
they all were asleep; they all had a light that was burning when
they awoke. The difference was that 5 had oil in their vessels and
5 did not. Then, those whose light began to wane, asked of those
who had the the oil. What did they say? “Give us of your oil.” They
said, “We can’t. You have to go and buy for yourself.” What
is happening when ‘we get that knock at the door’, is that we have
an opportunity to buy the oil; when he comes to us with a word to
speak into our lives, that’s our opportunity
to receive or purchase the precious oil.
Psalm141:5 David writes, “Let the righteous smite me; it
shall be a kindness. And let him reprove me; it will be an excellent
oil, which shall not break my head.” Here, you have a picture
of the 5 wise and the 5 foolish virgins. In Rev 3:19 John states,
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten;, be zealous therefore,
and repent”. ‘I’m chastening you because I love you!’
In the Book of Proverbs 6:23 Solomon writes, “The commandment
is a lamp, and the law is light, and reproofs of instruction are
the way of life .” They are not in the way of life;
they are the way of life. This is something we have to do.
We have to cultivate a love for the truth, because the truth will
not just set you free, it will make you free. We have an
opportunity to buy the truth and sell it not. He said, “To him that
overcometh, to him will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even
as I overcame and am set down with my Father in His throne.”
Proverbs 9 the author writes, “Rebuke a wise man and he’ll love
you and be wiser still, but don’t rebuke a fool.” Why? He’ll turn
and rend you. So God comes knocking; He comes knocking to see if
you and I will open to Him and He is offering the most intimate
time of fellowship when He comes with correction; when He
comes with instruction. He’s offering an opportunity to buy the
truth and to buy the oil—that anointing oil that will keep this
light burning in the dark; the dark night that’s ahead. To him that
overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne even as I also
sat down with My Father in His throne.
him that overcometh; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of
the tree of life in the midst of the garden of God.
him that overcometh; to him that overcometh, he shall not be hurt
of the second death; upon him the second death will have no power.
him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna and I’ll
give to him a white stone, and in that stone a new name, which no
man knows save he, to whom it is given.
him that overcometh will I give power over the nations and he shall
rule them with a rod of iron.
him that overcometh, he shall walk with Me in white and his name
shall not be blotted out of the book of life.
him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God
and he shall go no more out and I’ll write upon him the name of
My God, the name of the city of My God and My new name.
him that overcometh will I give to him to sit down with me in my
throne even as I also sat down with my Father in his throne.
him that overcometh, he shall inherit all things, and I will be
his God and he shall be My son.
Joe McCord closes the evening by quoting Brother Buddy Cobb’s parting
and gentlemen, the decision is in your hands.’