CROSS – THE POWER OF GOD
Jeffreys at Whitestone Convention
would like for you to turn with me to the book of Galatians. I’ve
been spending a lot of time in the book of Galatians.
help us! Help us in Your word in this convention—line upon line.
We look to Your counsel. We need Your counsel; we must have it.
Lord, where we have veered to the left or to the right, give us
a mid-course correction. Get us oriented back on being sons and
walking under Your hand on a day to day basis; listening for Your
voice and then walking by faith in what You speak. Help us, Lord,
whenever we veer from that. Please, let a Voice come from behind
us when we turn to the left or to the right—“ This is the
way, walk ye in it”, that You may have free course by the power
of Your Spirit to finish what You have begun. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
turn to the last chapter of the book of Galatians where Paul is
summing up the epistle and begin in the 14th verse:
6:14 ‘But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I
unto the world.’
call that double crucifixion because the cross of Christ crucifies,
first of all, the world unto me and secondly, I unto the world.
Wouldn’t you call that a double crucifixion? The cross is the central
theme for the book of Galatians.
6:15 ‘For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything,
nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.’
discusses in the book, circumcision versus uncircumcision; walking
by the law or walking by no law. There’s always a conflict in the
spiritual realm between the legalistic and the carnal. The legalistic,
I’ve noticed, are always sniping at the carnal and the carnal back
at the legalistic. The problem is both of them are in the same perdicament.
Neither one of them will produce a new creature which is why that
thing rises up in us against the opposite fold—because it’s the
same problem. You wouldn’t think so; you wouldn’t think that the
one realm that can look so much better is on the same level as the
other one, but God sees them as the same way.
so, circumcision availeth nothing, nor uncircumcision, but a new
creature. If you link back to the verse before, it’s obvious that
the only place where I can walk in the new creature is in crucifixion—it’s
on the cross. Jesus said that we, as His disciples, should take
up our cross— our cross, not His. Take up our cross—every
once in a while? No; every day. Everyday. And that
is my access to the new creature.
6:16 ‘And as many as walk according to this rule,’
think that the word “rule”—I didn’t look it up, but I’m pretty sure
that it’s the military order under the commander.
Galatians 6:16) ‘…peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel
I get off of the cross, there’s a default setting on my “computer”
that puts the burden of getting me right, back on me—no matter which
way I swing. Either I try to become very, very much conformed to
what I think you want me to be or if I rebel and go the other way
and go just the opposite; both ways, I miss it and I’m under the
burden both ways. There’s no peace there and there can’t be peace
because there’s not a new creature. You’re either in the form or
out of the form. There can’t be any peace because peace is a fruit
and I can not produce peace. That’s something that’s out of our
power. Peace is a work of the Spirit. It can only be done by the
Spirit and it can only spring out of a new creature. The only time
I can realize a new creature is when I’ve picked up the cross.
mentioned that they were asking Brother Buddy a question as to when
a person could get “back in”. Well, right now . All I have
to do is come back to the cross now . The burden of having
to fix myself—to finish myself—is not there because His work is
done on the cross. That’s where the adventure starts over again.
Adventure may not be an appropriate word, but let’s let that be
an appropriate word for right now. You can get out of the adventure
of this and then it’s a drudgery. When you’re in the drudgery, all
you can keep seeing is the things you still have to do in
here (in yourself). And then, couple that with the things you have
to do out here (in the world) and everything comes caving in on
you because you just “go down on the axles in the mud”. There can’t
be any peace and therefore, if there can’t be any peace, there can’t
be any joy or righteousness. So therefore, you try harder, and the
answer is right beside you all along— the cross !
will read an asounding statement from Brother Buddy Cobb here from
a document that came from last October’s IMA (International Ministries
Association) meeting. It says, “This program doesn’t call for you
to improve.” Do you want me to read that again? “This program doesn’t
call for you to improve. It calls for you to die.” Therefore, the
cross is a blessed relief from my problem. It’s a blessed relief
from my problem. (Brother Buddy Cobb said in the background, “That’s
why there’s no sweat in this ministry!” John Jeffreys responded,
is calling the Galatians back to the cross because they got off
of the cross. They got off of the cross. You can see that in:
3:1 ‘O foolish Galatians,’
it says, you non-thinking Galatians. As soon as I get into my mind,
I’m in a realm of non-thinking. I’m out of my right mind. Only in
the Spirit am I thinking. Get into my own mind and I am not thinking.
All of my opinions are offered from a non-thinking position. Therefore,
its says, “Take no thought…”
in Galatians 3:1 ‘O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you,’
when I get off of the cross and start a new program, Paul likens
that as being bewitched. Who has cast a spell over you? Who has
fascinated you? Who has put an evil eye upon you? Who has charmed
you? These meanings are used here. Sometimes it doesn’t take anybody
else to charm us; we get enough self-confidence to pull that off
on our own.
in Galatians 3:1-4) ‘O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you
(charmed you) that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes
Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
This only would I learn of you, received ye the Spirit by the works
of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having
begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have
ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain.’
brethren, the Galatians—those churches that were there in the Galatian
area; when they stepped aside from the power—because the power is
only in the cross. The cross is the only place of power. The cross
is the only place that I can hope to see the performance of God.
Get off the cross and I’m under my own performance. If I get off
the cross to live in my own life, the performance is mine. God does
not share the stage. Sometimes in a movie, you get all the actors
(names) scrolling on the screen—so and so and so and so on—and all
of a sudden at the end it says, “And special guest appearance—God.”
(Laughter) He doesn’t do that. He won’t share the stage. God has
many times been backstage, waiting for our performance to end. Fortunately,
most movies are only two hours long. A portion of those two hours
are the credits, but then we have a habit of just starting another
movie, missing the essence—the key—the power—trying a new form.
There are form manuals that you can get. Some of them are in the
Chrisitan bookstore and others are on bookshelves. They only lead
from one form to another.
says, ‘Have you suffered so many things in vain, if ye be yet in
other words, he is concerned for them because as it says back in
2 John in one verse:
John 8 ‘Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which
we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.’
the possibility exists after having run this way for 40 years, we
could lose out on the reward simply by trying to put the finishing
touches on it. That picture is what has happened to every previous
move of God. They started in the Spirit, and then they tried to
finish it in the flesh. Our fathers have had to face this down through
the generations. Sooner or later—well now is the time—it
(the flesh) is going to be overcome. God is going to have a people
in this hour who allow Him to finish the work.
we go back to Galatians, chapter 1, the theme of the cross starts
right up front. It says in verse 1, ‘Paul, an apostle’, then in
verse 2, ‘to all the brethren’, then in:
1:3-4 ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our
Lord Jesus Christ, who’
what? Who gave Himself. How did He do that? He died—on the cross.
in Galatians 1:4) ‘Who gave himself for our sins, that he might
deliver us from this present evil world,’
present evil world—this present evil “cosmos”. The cosmos is the
orderly arrangements by which something runs. The church of the
Old Testament ran under orderly arrangements. They could only produce
a form. It was a form that stood out against all the other forms,
but God was not going to be able to bring sons to His right hand
by a form. This will come up again in 4:9.
4:9 ‘ But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known
of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto
ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and
times, and years.’
Colossians 2:21, it says, ‘Touch not; taste not; handle not;’
back to the beggarly elements that didn’t work in the first place.
You can see that for me to get off of the power and into the beggarly
elements, it really does take up bewitching. It’s a spell that I
lay hold of.
1:6 ‘I marvel that ye are so soon removed’
is the Greek word there for military desertion. You see, we’re to
walk in this “rule”—that’s the military order under the Commander.
So, when I get bewitched, I desert the military order under the
Commander. I remove from Him.
Galatians 1:6) ‘…removed from Him that called you into the grace
of Christ unto another gospel:’
another gospel is not another form. Another gospel is a removal
from Him! Therefore, if I want Him, I have to pick up my cross every
day and follow Him. Otherwise, I desert to a concept
rather than the real gospel.
1:7 ‘Which is not another (gospel); but there be some that trouble
you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.’
thing is, what operates in the church is everybody is really deep-down
insecure enough about their doctrine that they’re compelled to talk
somebody else into it. And if they can talk you into it, they’re
happy because if you bought into it, then it strengthens something
we get off the cross there can be a propensity to talk you into
joining me into whatever new formula I have found. Sometimes you’ll
get the evangelism on the IMA (email) every once in awhile to join
the “new program”.
example in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, they have lots of canals going
through it so when you drive down the street, you go over one little
bridge after another without even noticing there are bridges. One
of the things that you’ll find there is people will be on those
little bridges with their fishing poles over and they’re fishing
or their going after crab. I think it was Blue Crab that they pull
up and they have a bucket there beside them and when they catch
a crab, then they put it in that bucket with no lid on it. You don’t
need a lid as long as you have two crabs. You don’t need a lid anymore
because anytime a crab tries to crawl out of the bucket, the other
crabs reach up and pull it back in. (laughter) So when I’m a crab,
all I have to do is find one more crab! (much laughter) I didn’t
mean to get off on that.
1:8 ‘But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel
unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.’
him be, what? Let him be accursed. This thing’s getting serious.
We’ll see a lot about the curse in here.
1:9-10 ‘As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach
any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be
accursed [under a curse]. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or
do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not
be the servant of Christ.’
if I’m here to win your approval, I’ll miss the power of
Christ. What will happen will be an external behavior, but not the
real power. Like I said, the movie only lasts two hours. After awhile,
it just wears out. But, if I am here to have an internal work done,
then my focus, as you’ve heard many times in this convention already,
is that I’m in this to please God. (I have to be reminded of this—that’s
why I came.) When I want to be approved by Him, then there’s life
and everything starts to fall into place. You can tackle anything
if your focus is right on Him—that you’re here to please Him.
You’re here to see His performance rather than your own. ‘I can
do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’
1:11-15 ‘But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was
preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man,
neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
For ye have heard of my conversation [lifestyle] in time past in
the Jews’ religion [when I moved in the realm of form], how that
beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And
profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own
nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb,
and called me by his grace.’
other words, when it was time for me to come out of Kindergarten
and start walking towards sonship—Paul understands what it means
to run in the form; he knew that; he did it above all of his equals.
in Galatians 2:1, After fourteen years; fourteen years of obscurity
in Paul’s life then in verse 2, ‘I went up by revelation, and communicated’
word “communicated” is not the Greek word “koinonia” there; it’s
the word for consultation. He was looking for a witness unto them
that were before him. He ran into the Judaizers.
2:4-5 ‘And that because of false brethren unawares brought in (the
Judaizers), who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we
have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to
whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the
truth of the gospel might continue with you.’
see the Judaizers rise up here:
2:11-12 ‘But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to
the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came
from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come
he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the
did Peter separate himself? He feared them which were of the circumcision.
2:13 ‘And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch
that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.’
word “dissimulate” here in the Greek is “hupokrinomai” or “hupokrisis”
which is the word for hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is the English word for
the Greek meaning “to speak from under”. Hupo means under. Krinomai
means “to answer from under”. Where it got associated was from the
Greek plays because they wore a mask over their face in the Greek
play and spoke from under the mask. You might have been under a
lot of pressure and couldn’t even stand your fellow actors so there
was one face under there, but you had the smiling face mask on.
I don’t know why I brought that up because it’s something that never
happens in community. (laughter)
Romans 12:9 it says, ‘Let love be without dissimulation.’
love be without speaking from under the mask. If I’m speaking from
under the mask, I’m performing love and love is a fruit that can
not be replicated; it’s from under the mask. The only possible alternative
is the love that is of the Spirit. The only way that is going to
happen is “the cross”—daily. It’s as simple as that.
is when I go into an act. I’m the one doing the performing. The
greatest thing that could happen to my resume is “John Jeffreys,
actor, retired.” Dead. “John Jeffreys, actor, dead.” Cross out the
word “resume” and put “epitaph” there.
I’m not the one performing this; there’s another performer—there’s
another performance. When I start acting, I’m in hupokrinomia or
I become one of the crabs in the pot—I’m acting with a whole group
of you. You can say, “Well the ones who are just trooping along
after the order, they’re the ones that are acting. The rest of us
are a little smarter than that; we’re not acting.” No! It’s acting
on both sides! We’re both a crab in the pot. We may be in different
pots. Same crab—different pots. (laughter) Both of it is acting.
There is only one reality. That reality is available to me right
now! I can get out of the pot—out of the act. That’s where the reality
is. There’s no power or reality in my own act. As soon as I get
my eyes re-focused on this thing—and I have to get it re-focused—the
reality comes back; the meaningfulness comes back.
been times which I have been on my knees and God has finally made
this real to me—all I can explain is that it’s like a harness or
a yoke coming down over me—and I heard the Spirit say to me, “Welcome
home, son.” I hadn’t gone anywhere, but I had gotten down from something.
I think we’re more hooked to the cross than we are nailed to it.
We come off it so easy. It’s like we’re on there with Velcro.
Paul got after Brother Peter because this thing was so automatic
in Peter. Think of Peter’s whole background. It was so automatic
in Peter that he just went off onto the siding, just like that.
He switched through off the main line to the siding. The trouble
with siding is that there’s always a bumper at the end—you don’t
get very far.
2:14 ‘But when I saw that they walked not uprightly…’
is the Greek word from which we get “orthodics”. It means to “walk
correctly—to walk straight or upright”.
was having some real problems with my right foot and it caused me
to stop running and I walked. But then it got so bad that it was
affecting my walking. So Dr. Tim Tesi said that he could fix that.
Tim became a foot doctor because he had ruined his feet—that’s what
started him down that path. I was willing to try anything. I came
into Dallas and rented a car and drove all the way to Tim and Mary’s
house. They have hardwood floors and the last thing you want to
walk on when you have bad feet is hardwood floors. Tim said, “John,
you just sit right down here and put your foot up.” I put my foot
up and he put on there 3 pieces of tape and said, “Walk down through
the living room on that hardwood floor, down through the dining
room on the hardwood floor and turn around and come back.” The first
thing that I wanted to say was, “Tim, I don’t want…”, but I got
up and started walking. No pain. None! Absolutely none! So then
he made an orthodic. It’s a plastic orthodic and it’s kind of like
shoeing a horse. You put it in the toaster oven and get it good
and hot. You have the “horse” sit down and put his foot back up
and then he presses it on there and forms it to your foot. When
it cools, you put that in your shoe and go out of Tim and Mary’s
house a brand new man. Tim said that most knee and back problems
are from just not walking correctly. There’s an orthodic that’s
not plastic—it’s wood (referring to the cross)—and it doesn’t have
hooks on it.
2:16 ‘Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law…’
matter how good I try to simulate—to simulate the message. I’m not
called to simulate it (to imitate behavior by means of a model).
I’m called to assimilate it (to become of the same substance)—to
come into the reality of it—not make a model of it in me. You do
know that I’m preaching to me.
says this—you could write a whole constitution on this:
2:20 ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;’
that phenomenal? That’s the only place where the life of the Spirit
is. Being crucified with Christ, I come into the life.
I continue reading, I’ve noticed that we are not in concert concerning
what the life of the Spirit is. I’ve noticed in my travels that
we don’t all call the same thing “the life of the Spirit”. I have
seen downright soulishness called “life”. I’ve heard people say,
“Oh, this is so much life!” I thought, “Oh dear, I’m not sure I
want that life.” Because once we’re off the cross, we’re into the
realm of concept. In the realm of concept there is a universal law,
which causes us to think: “My opinion is just as good as yours and
yours is just as good as mine.”
on the cross is there the real life. There are things that
are not the life of the Spirit, that we call life. And there is
the life of the Spirit that we also say, “oh no” over, because
2:20-21 ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not
I (that’s the relief), but Christ liveth in me: and
the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the
Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate
(nullify; set aside; reject) the grace of God: for if righteousness
come by the law (works; my own works) then Christ is dead in vain.
6:6-7 ‘Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that
the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not
serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.’
6:11 ‘Likewise reckon (it takes a reckoning) ye also yourselves
to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ
we get fooled is that we think that reckoning is a feeling. When
everything is just right and all the circumstances are in line and
we have this wonderful feeling that I am crucified with Christ.
It’s a dead reckoning. It’s a reckoning by faith. By faith—“God,
I have no idea what the crucified life is today—for this morning.
I could not identify it if my life depended on it.” The crucified
life from yesterday does not transfer; there’s nothing left over.
It’s not like Alltel or Verizon where the minutes go over and you
save them into the next month. It’s just worms. So I have no idea.
“But by faith, I believe that if I call on You, and put my faith
in You, I can walk in a life that’s other than my own right now
.” And He has set me free to do that. If I stay back from doing
that, in order to patch up the problem—put a few extra shingles
on my structure—I’m never going to launch out and find the reality.
I’ve got to identify with the truth. That is not identifying with
it so that I can have a stamp of approval on what I’m doing. I have
to come to the cross and reckon it to be the truth.
3:10 ‘For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:
for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all
things which are written in the book of the law to do them.’
the curse—not under pressure or confusion—under the curse. So I
can be walking in the Spirit one day and I get off into my own performance,
and where am I? I’m under the curse and I’ve just taken two steps.
As soon as I am carrying God’s burden—helping Him out—trying
to get me finished, I’m under the curse of my own performance. I
have never put on a movie yet that wasn’t a “B” (grade) movie—a
“B” performance. If you want the really good stuff, you have to
go to Him; He’s the only one with the performance; He’s the author
and the finisher.
soon as I step off from the cross, I’m under the curse. Now, look
at what Paul says about this:
3:10 ‘For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:’
the position? Under the curse. So, if you’re under
the curse, where is the curse? It’s over us. So, as soon
as I step out, there’s a curse over me. Then if you come
down to verse 13:
3:13 ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.’
Greek says, ‘out from under the curse of the law’. So there’s
a curse over me. Christ hath redeemed me out from under the curse
of the law. How did He do that?
in Galatians 3:13) ‘being made a curse for ( over ) us: for
it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:’
I still have some thinking to do on this, but it appears when Jesus
went on the cross (the tree), He became a curse over me so that
I can go on the cross (tree), and it’s not a curse, but
life. How does that sound? I’m still thinking whether that fits
the curse was over me and He solved it! He was the solution! He
took me out from under the curse by being made a curse over me.
in “The Little House” book series (by Laura Ingalls Wilder about
American prairie life), if I remember correctly, it was “The Little
House on the Prairie” and the prairie fire was coming. It was 30-40
feet of flame in the air just rolling along in the wind. It was
going to take the house, the family & everything. Pa Ingall
got out there and set fire to the grass around his house. Well,
that fire didn’t have time to raise up to 30-40 feet high; it just
started burning out (outward) and that black circle of salvation
just kept burning out—burning out (farther) and this huge fire that
sounded like a freight train came rolling toward their house and
as it hit Pa’s circle, the flames went low and just crackled around
the sides of the circle and just kept on going pass their house.
Then Laura Ingalls—she’s free—she’s saved—went out into this black
world and found the family’s mother hen just cooked on the ground.
She punches it with her shoe and she heard, “Peep, peep, peep.”
Then she kicks the hen over a little more and out from under that
baked hen came all these little chicks. That hen took the curse
over them. She bore the curse of the fire over them and brought
them (her chicks) out from under it.
picture comes to my mind when I’m back here with sweaty garments
on; wondering how this thing is ever going to get finished
in here (inside me). He did all that to take me out from under the
curse. But, when I leave this realm, which requires faith to walk
in it, and come back here to my own performance, it says I am immediately
stepping back under the curse. So the joy is still there, if you
have the “joy mask”.
5:1-4 ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath
made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall
profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised,
that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no
effect unto you (Christ has been rendered of no value to you), whosoever
of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.’
seen situations when a new program is developed, it creates a fellowship
of pride. It creates an exalted circle. Isn’t that funny how that
works in us? We are so confident that I can then look down on you.
But when I’m into that thing of performance and confidence, I have
actually rendered Christ and the power of the cross invalid; it’s
invalid and then I’m back under the curse.
it talks about the cross in Galatians 5:11 ‘…the offence of the
cross (is) ceased.’
think part of the reason the Judaizers did not like the preaching
of the cross—it was the offence of the cross—was because on the
cross there are no credits! Your name doesn’t go up in lights. There’s
no credit in that realm. Getting off the cross is not just an issue
of trying to get finished up or perfected. Brother Buddy said yesterday
that what gets you off the cross and into your own performance is
that you don’t like the way it’s going! You don’t like not being
center stage and calling the shots. There’s an offence to the cross!
No credits! The movie just ends!
5:24 ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the
affections and lusts,’
didn’t take those different things and nail them to the cross. We
get on the cross and they get crucified. The disease is carried
around inside of us but there is a blessed relief called the cross.
6:12 ‘As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain
you to be circumcised: only lest they should suffer persecution
for the cross of Christ.’
in Galatians 4:17-18, it says this, ‘They zealously affect you,
but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect
them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing,
and not only when I am present with you.’
this is what this says in the Amplified Bible, Galatians 4:17, ‘These
men [the Judaizing teachers] are zealously trying to dazzle you
[paying court to you, making much of you], but their purpose is
not honorable or worthy or for any good. What they want to do is
to isolate you [from us who oppose them], so that they may win you
over to their side and get you to court their favor.’
some of the controversies we’ve gone through in the past, you may
have run flat into that one. You all of a sudden get a lot of attention,
but the motive is wrong. The motive is not for you; it’s to get
you to follow them.
were, therefore, competing with Paul but Paul wasn’t competing.
Now with this in mind, let’s go back to:
6:12 ‘As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain
you to be circumcised:’
shew in the flesh” means this; to put on an appearance, to make
a fair appearance. It presents the contrast between appearance and
reality. It means to play a good role. It’s the contrast between
appearance and reality.
what we’re talking about here this morning. Only the cross is the
reality. Only the cross is the power. Only on the cross am I not
playing a good role. I may not understand every test that you and
I go through, but it’s all to chase us into reality. It’s all to
bring us into full dissolution with our own performance so that
we cry that we might stay in reality. It’s the beggar that
cries and when it says, ‘Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matthew 5:3), the Greek word there for
“poor” is “ptocheuo”—the beggar that Jesus became. He went all the
way to that position.
we come to a double crucifixion where the world can not come to
us, neither us to the world. There’s a wonderful provision; it’s
so simple that our little kids can walk in this and I can too.
few weeks ago, we were down in Texas. By the way, many of you have
asked about Sister Nancy and I’ve been telling some of you that
we have put Nancy into intensive therapy and everyone’s eyebrows
look a little concerned at that point; only because they don’t really
know me that well. We compelled Nancy to the whole month of December
to hold our new grandson down in Texas. Nathaniel and I went down
there for the last 10 days.
in Texas, I remembered when I had lived there for a year and had
killed 18 rattlesnakes that year. When I left the ranch in the canyon
there in Texas, the final score was 18 to 1. But this one particular
snake—I know I’ve told this story before, but I love this story.
We had received a phone call from a neighbor that was “overjoyed”
to tell us that our cattle had got out and were eating his wheat.
You could hear the lever action of his gun cocking over the phone.
(laughter) There were about 200 head that had climbed out of the
canyon and gotten onto a trail that led out of the canyon and had
gotten through the fence. By the time we got up there on our three
horses, the cows as soon as they saw us started to stampede into
the middle of this neighbor’s wheat. I was on my favorite horse,
Wolf, and spurred him. When a horse stops trotting and starting
running full out, you’re driving a Cadillac. It was my finest moment.
(laughter) If it could have been filmed, I could have been a “double”
for one of John Wayne’s movies. There was wheat going by. All you
had to do was get up in front of the first cow and she would swing
right around. So when it was all over and the dust and the wheat
had settled and the herd was pushed back down back to the canyon,
I had to go back to repair the fence. I was pulling out the U posts
and there was a tangled mess of old barb wire laying there and snapped
off wooden, rotted posts. I was walking up with this U post and
all of a sudden I heard this rattling. As I looked there were three
big rattlers. Two of them went opposite of me, but the “big boy”
came right toward me. He was just rattling up a storm. Rattlers
are gentlemen; you go by them and they just coil up and rattle and
wait for you to go by and they can find a rock, but this guy was
no gentleman; he was in route. I later found out that this was the
mating season for rattlers and I had inadvertently gotten myself
involved. (laughter) This guy was big and he had a head on him like
this (measures with his hands). Like that (measures even bigger
with his hands) (more laughter).
was pretty tough back then and without any hesitation at all, I
took that 8 foot post that was in my hand and took his head off
and the body coiled back and there he was just laying there. He
still had the same intent; he was still focused on me and he was
still thinking of what he was going to do when he got to me; he
just couldn’t get there. So I watched that body coiling back there
and it was still moving. It moves for 24 hours, you know?
we’re crucified with Christ, we can still feel emotions. In fact
you can even get associated with emotions and identify with them
and it’ll pull you right off of the truth. You have to stand, by
faith, right where He’s put us.
anyway, that snake was settled. It was done. When I was walking
back to get the post pounder out and when I working I could see
out of my peripheral vision the snakes mouth opening. His head really
was at least as big as my hand and he had his mouth opened. I thought,
well, that was just a “knee jerk” motion of sin. So I waited and
his mouth went slowly closed. I moved and his mouth went open again.
So, I went right up to him and he was opening and closing his mouth.
Someone said to me, were you really that close. Uh-huh (yes). I
was also a little dumb back then—a little dumber. I figured he couldn’t
come any closer, but the poison sacks weren’t in that tail that
was wiggling around back there. The poison sacks are up in the head.
It was fascinating. It’s little beady eyes were on me and I would
just be real still and his mouth would be closed. I’d make any move
and his mouth would open as if to say, “Come on, come on.” His heat-seeking
infrared pits—that’s why they call them Pit Vipers—he knew where
I was there was no question about it. His little tongue was coming
out of a little hole at the bottom of his mouth. You could see his
dental work. The fangs opened up. It was fascinating. It was so
fascinating that I could have said, “Here, let me get my finger
in there. Don’t bite, yet; let me get my finger across both fangs.”
He would have obliged me with a squirt (of venom). I did get bit
once and I know that I don’t want to be bit twice. I don’t ever
want to be bit again. The difference between me going under the
barbwire and maybe sticking my finger in there was that instead
of him coming to me; I had gone to him.
the cutting the head off of that snake was what Paul was saying
6:14 ‘But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I
unto the world.’
if I have to do is stay in the realm of hearing and obeying. That
means that I get up in the morning and say what Brother Sam Fife
said. Brother Sam talked about rolling right out of bed on his knees
and saying, “God, if you don’t do something with me, I can’t walk
one more day in this move of God.” Brother Sam said that! You think
God will hear that cry? Yes!
6:16-17 ‘And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on
them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From henceforth let
no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.’
marks of the Lord Jesus—that’s the stigma and that’s the Greek word
for a “brand”. When you say that somebody is under a stigma, well,
that’s the same thing as saying they have been branded.
and I are called not to visit the cross. The cross was not
meant to enter into my life on July 23, 1963, back at the beginning
(for nothing). I am to bear the marks of the Crucified One. Forgive
me where I haven’t. This is what we want—to be crucified with Him—to
bear the marks.
in the ancient days, a slave was branded with his master’s name.
Soldiers often branded themselves with their commanders name. Like
the elite forces do today. But we’re branded with nailprints. That’s
what I’m called to do.
times you’ll hear this, “He was the godliest man I ever knew.” But
sometimes what we’re referring to is Christian character—not crucifixion.
I don’t want to go for a display of Christian character. That will
not bear the stigma and it will not be in reality. It will be trying
to produce something. Sure, it will get a real high off of being
the most “godly man ever”, but this isn’t reality! The reality is
to bear the marks! It’s not to know about it, preach about it, or
memorize it! It’s to find it out for myself! To get sick of the
mask! To get sick of the substitue! To get sick of the simulation!
And to go for the real thing!
is without respecter of persons and if I apply for the real thing,
God will show me the real thing! He wants me to know the real thing
and every single one of us the real thing.
said, don’t let any of the ones who want to formulate me to the
6:17 ‘…let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks
of the Lord Jesus.’
know the cowboys of the old west, they had a saying, “they rode
for the brand”. No one could purloin like a cowboy. In my case,
I was on a 7,000 acre ranch (in Texas). Often times I was gone all
day out there. I could have sat down under the salt cedars, pulled
off my boots, hung up my spurs. For cowboys, if they were going
to ride for the brand, it wasn’t (only) when the boss was around.
They were riding for the brand all the time. Sometimes riding for
the brand cost you your life because you got into all kinds of problems
out there. But the honest cowboy was the one who rode for the brand.
performance will just perform in your sight if I’m out to please
you. God help me to come out of the shadows of the unreal and the
unfulfilling. Either trying to be somebody that fits in or being
one of the cacophony of the ravens that like to cackle about it
on the side—both of them are an act. Both of them are an act. I
want the real thing! I want to bear in my body the marks of the
not going to put me on that cross. That’s my own decision. The cross
is a cross so why would I want to do this (put myself on the cross)?
For the life and for the reality. God help us to walk in it, in