Whom God Will Reward

by Brother Buddy Cobb

Montana Convention September 2009

 

I’m sure you are familiar with the fact that God is working all things according to the counsel and purpose of His own will. There is nothing that has happened unto you that was not according to the will of God. Therefore, there’s no room for murmuring or complaining; there’s only just a need to give God thanks because He is working it all together for everybody’s good.

Even the wounds of a friend are kinder than the kisses of an enemy. Jesus was wounded in the house of His friends; this is where God does the greatest work on us—in the house of our friends. If it were enemies that were coming after us, it would be different. But, it’s our own familiar friends—ones we’ve broken bread with and ate at the same table together that can do the most work in you.

The processing that God wants to bring us through, and intends to bring us through, can only be done in the cluster; therefore, the blessing is in the cluster. God has to put that cluster together. The scripture says you can associate yourselves together, but God says, “It’s not by Me.” Man can pick up the form of God’s plan and he can try to duplicate it, believing that the form will produce the end result. So in the last days, men will have a form of godliness. Why would they embrace the form? Because they believe the form will produce the result. But they will be denying the thing that does produce the result and that’s the power—they are denying the power (God’s authority over them).

The warfare that we’re in, by the way, is a very dangerous warfare. In this warfare, if you lose, you’re going to have both your body and your soul destroyed. If you win in this warfare, it’s going to be the salvation of your soul and you’ll get another body. I’m looking forward to that; the older this one gets, the more I realize I’m going to need another one down the line here shortly. But the soul and the spirit—you will not get another one of these.

The soul is subject to destruction. The body is subject to destruction, but the spirit always goes back to God, who gave it. This is what we’re all involved in. You didn’t choose to be here; God is the one who saw to that. He brought you on the scene at such a time as this; He even gathered you in such a place as this, to share with you and me, His intention; it’s called the Divine Intention.

There’s one thing that I’m absolutely certain about God, and that is, whatever He intends to do, He does. There’s nothing that can be put to it or taken from it; it’s going to work out just as He ordained. Therefore, nothing is done by accident; nothing is going to misfire here. Everything has a purpose. He doesn’t do anything without cause and without purpose.

One of the things that I think is very healthy to learn—the sooner you can learn it, the better—is that you never see yourself as a victim—ever—that the curse causeless never does come—and curses do come.

There’s something else that you need to know about that though; the only time a curse can come your way is if God, Himself, is doing it. It’s clear in the word, you cannot curse whom God has not cursed. This is what Balaam tried to do when he was to prophecy a curse over the children of God and he said, “How can I curse whom God has not cursed?”

All curses do not come from the devil. All curses come from God. Nobody can put a curse upon you; you bring it on yourself. It’s ‘Cursed is man who trusts in man.’

This is good to understand, because otherwise you can get involved in a warfare that you can’t win because you’re struggling against the purposes of God. His purposes are not going to be frustrated or defeated. The only way you’re going to come out “better” instead of “bitter” is if you understand that everything that comes to you is the will of God for you and He is working it all together for your good. He doesn’t do anything without cause or without purpose.

You can see the book of Job, I believe, is in the Bible for this very reason—to give us a picture of this, up front, where you can go in and see exactly how it works; for Job was the most righteous man of the east. If you were the most righteous man around and you were suffering all these great calamities that Job was suffering—what’s the reason for this?

Would you see that you had done anything to deserve what’s happening to you? No, and he didn’t either, because God was dealing with him in a particular fashion that was going to reveal to him a hidden fault that was in himself. It wasn’t anything he could see until God revealed it.

You just have to appreciate the way God does things. He never just comes and tells you the truth about yourself, because you wouldn’t believe it! You would not believe it if He came and told you the truth about yourself, so He has to catch you with your ‘hand in the cookie jar’ where you cannot deny it! This is a marvelous thing! It’s marvelous the way God works!

He has revealed things about me that I would have never guessed that I would have been guilty of. I even thought I could control or have power over it. He had to show me that I couldn’t do that.

I can tell you one of the things that God is out to do, from firsthand; knowledge—He’s out to destroy every perceived confidence that you have in your own ability. The truth is—He wants you to know the truth—and the truth is, you can do how much apart from Him? Nothing! How much is that? Nothing! Then how much confidence should you have in your ability? None!

How much confidence did Jesus have in His ability? None! He said the son of man could do how much? Nothing. This is what God is doing. You can see that if He is going to end up being all in all—all in all in people—then how much is going to be left for the people to be? Nothing!

Now, that’s what God created you as; He created you as nothing. The problem is, we who are nothing get to thinking that we are something. God has to deal with that because it’s a false view of ourself; it’s not the truth. The truth is, you are nothing!

How many people believe that? If you’re upset about that—if you take thought for what you’re going to eat and what you’re going to wear, why would you do that if you are nothing? You only do that if you think you’re something and you think you’ve got a need. Right? Then, of course, as soon as you begin to take thought about yourself and you begin to think, “Well, I’m something and I’m something worth surviving.” Right? “I’m something worth living.” Then the next thing I’m going to be thinking is, “Well, what am I going to eat and what am I going to wear?”

If you’ll examine your life, you’ll see that you spend an awful lot of time thinking about these two things, “What am I going to eat and what am I going to wear?”

And then another thing you get in your agenda or your program is, “What am I going to be? What’s my future?” How much thought does God tell you to take for all this? None! Why? Because you’re trying to make a provision for something that is nothing; you’re trying to make something out of nothing.

I’ve seen a number of instances where people make a great deal out of nothing! I’ve been in counseling sessions with people at times; they were totally at war against each other—a husband and a wife—and I said, “Just hold it,” because they were both trying to explain to me why they were so mad at the other one and how mistreated they were by them. So I would say, “Just hold it a minute; I want to ask you one thing. I want to know one thing; do you love this guy and do you love this woman?” They would stop and think a minute and would say, “Well, yeah, I do.” I said then, “This is no way to treat somebody you love! Love doesn’t behave itself unseemly.” They think about that a little while and sometimes that’s helped to really realize.

I tell you, I have been totally at war with the one I love. They even came out with a song about it, “You Always Hurt the One You Love”. That’s kind of dumb, isn’t it, when you think about it? Why would you want to hurt the one you love? There would only be one reason, because you have a greater love affair going on with somebody else—yourself. In the last days, God is going to show this—men are going to be lovers of themselves. That’s what causes it.

When you love yourself more than you love anybody else, where is your focus? On yourself. So why would you take thought for what you’re going to eat? Why do we take thought for what we’re going to wear? Why do we take thought for where we’re going to go and what are we going to do to enjoy ourselves? Why do we do that? Well, there’s a reason for it; God showed me clearly: it’s that you are so much in love with yourself. Come on now, I might be stepping on a few toes here, but it’s the truth! Truth sometimes can hurt but it’s really the truth. Sometimes you have to endure the wounds of a friend, which can be kinder than the kisses of an enemy.

You can get in trouble for telling people the truth; the record’s in the Bible. They don’t just get upset about it; they want to kill you. On the other hand, the whole purpose of God is to bring us to a realization of the truth. That’s why He sent the Spirit of Truth back to us, so we can be led into all truth .

Where that Spirit is going to be dealing with us is in the thoughts of our mind. God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts.” So, whose thoughts are right? Your thoughts have a definite affect on what kind of person you are. ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’

Where do all these thoughts come from? When you come into the world as a babe, when you are first born into the world, how many thoughts did you have? None. You had to start collecting them; they had to start being formulated. Your thoughts are being formulated on the basis of where you’re getting your information from. Who told you, you were naked, Adam? Nobody had to tell him; he could see he was. Their eyes were open and they saw they were naked.

Now here’s a principal with God—how were they judging that they were naked? By the seeing of the eye. And if you’re going to judge righteous judgment, the scripture says you cannot judge by the seeing of the eye or the hearing of the ear. So when Jesus comes into the world, He will not be judging by the seeing of the eye nor the hearing of the ear; why not? It’s not righteous judgment.

When you’re walking by faith, faith is the evidence of things not seen, so if you’re judging by things which are seen, that’s not of faith. Whenever you get your eyes opened, how are you going to judge things? Why would anybody want their eyes open? Does anybody know why the people want their eyes open?

We had a pilot that didn’t get married. He flew on the airline that I was working for. We called him “Pappy” Pharrish; I don’t know why we called him “Pappy”; he retired at 60 and that’s pretty young now as far as I’m concerned. He was the older one, relative to my age at that time and the ages of the co-pilots that were flying with him. He had never been married. He fell in love with a stewardess and they got married. We all were really happy about that; everybody was always looking for a good wife for “Pappy” Pharrish. His wife got pregnant and he went to the hospital and saw the baby behind the glass; the baby was asleep. There was a nurse there with him and he turned to the nurse and said, “How old are they when they open their eyes?” (laughter) The only thing he had seen were little puppies and when they were born they didn’t open their eyes for a while, so he wanted to know, “How old are they before they open their eyes?” (laughter) We had a lot of fun with “Pappy” Pharrish.

This is so typical because ‘My people perish because of a lack of knowledge.’ And yet, the way that you become an enemy of God is by wicked works in your mind—your thoughts. Therefore, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God and what do they deal with? Thoughts and imaginations . Bringing every high thing that would exalt itself against the knowledge of God. When man judges by sight, he can see this and he can see that, but that’s not righteous judgment. You can’t judge things righteously by the seeing of the eye or the hearing of the ear.

In order to judge righteous judgment, how are you going to do that? You’re going to have to get the judgment from the One who knows and it’s going to be a challenge to you to believe what He is saying, versus how you see it.

So, what’s the truth? How would you ever know the truth? Until you do know the truth, you are not ever going to be free! There’s only one thing that can really make people free; that’s the truth. What it makes you free from is the thing that you need to be made free from and that’s deception—the error.

What God is doing with us, as a people, is calling us out from all other peoples that we might escape from those who are living in error. When are you living in error? When you’re living in a way that seemeth right unto you, because you’re judging it by your own understanding.

One of the things that God says is, “In all your getting, get understanding.” From where are you going to get it? You’re going to have to get it from some source beside yourself. You’re also going to have to get it from some other source beside angels. You’re also going to have to get it from another source beside women, and you’re also going to have to get it from another source beside men, if you’re going to know the truth. Can you say “Amen” to that?

If you don’t know the truth, how are you living? You’re living in error. The purpose of God is to have a people who will escape from those who are living in error.

So how are you going to do that? There’s only one way you can escape. That’s why it says, “How many ways are there?” How many ways are God’s ways? One way; that’s the way! There’s one thing for sure about that way; it’s not our way. So where did you get your way from? What formulated your way that in your eyes seems right? For ‘there’s a way that seemeth right unto a man.’ When does he find out that it’s not right? At the end; that’s the wrong time to be finding it out! You don’t find out until the end of it that it’s wrong!

How blessed are you, if God calls you out of that realm of darkness, where every man’s way is right in his own sight; where you look to any other source for knowledge or help except God Himself?

I can tell you this, that when God made His creation, He made it in a way that it is totally dependent on Him or it will not survive. Right now, we’re in the process of a deterioration of the present creation. So the whole creation—all of creation is groaning and travailing, why? It’s going to totally destruct if God doesn’t intervene. If He didn’t shorten the days, how much would be left? Nothing!

We have the capability to destroy ourselves! How many have the capability of perfecting themselves? Can you, by taking thought, add one cubit to your stature? No. This is the helplessness that God has to bring us to the realization of. All our life, until God gets a hold of us, we are always trying to improve ourselves. We’re always in competition, really, trying to show that at least I might be better than some others; I mean, I might not be as good as this one, but I’m not as bad as that one. It’s a comparison; we compare ourselves with others. Those that compare themselves among themselves are unwise, why? Whose wisdom are you using? Your own. Your wisdom is not God’s. God is the One who has it right.

This is the very thing that we’re involved in, here. When would you get really serious about calling on God? When would you get desperate about calling on God? I can tell you this, I never really got desperate about calling on God until I perceived I was in a desperate situation.

I was just in a desperate situation on the Northern tour and I didn’t even know it. I think that most of you probably heard about it, but I had a ruptured appendix and I thought it was just a virus giving me a stomach problem. I was in Haines, Alaska, and that’s the end of the road. The nearest hospital would be in Juneau, and that’s down the Lynn Canal a ways, which you can only get there by boat or airplane; no roads leading in there. It was at night whenever the pain got so bad I had to stop a question and answer session I was in with the Saints there in Haines. I told them I was going to have to sit down; I wasn’t going to stop, but it just got to hurting so bad, I was going to have to sit down.

One of the brothers there, John Jeffreys, came up and said, “Don’t you think we better just call this thing off because we have a couple more days and we can handle the questions later? Maybe we just ought to call a halt to it.” This was 8 o’clock at night; a snowstorm outside and he said to me, “Don’t you think you ought to go to the clinic and get this checked out?” Well that seemed like a pretty good idea by then, with what I was feeling in my stomach. God was getting my attention that, “Yes, you better go get this checked out.” You know, you like to be an overcomer. How much can you endure? You can endure all things through Christ who strengthens you, unless He’s really trying to get across a point to you—He’s out to destroy that perceived confidence that you have in yourself.

I spent my lifetime trying to develop that confidence! (laughter) You can see how that works; “God just tell me what You want me to do and I’ll do it.” That’s the confidence. Isn’t that what the Jews said at Mt. Sinai? “Moses, you go just find out what God wants us to do; bring it back to us and whatever He says, we’ll do.”

God went along with this; He said, “That’s a good idea; I’ll go along with that program because I want to use this for a few years.” How long did he use it? 1,500 years to show man the error of believing he has any sufficiency in himself. This is why He put the Jews under law for 1,500 years while He went along with it. He was going to use them as an example—think about this— for us , ‘upon whom the ends of the age has now come’; that we wouldn’t make that same mistake—that we’d have to understand that what has to be done cannot be done by might; it cannot be done by power; it can only be done by the Spirit of God. But that is a source of power.

The Spirit can enable to you to do something that’s beyond your capability of doing; beyond anything that you would think or imagine. God is going to show the whole of creation this. In order to show the whole creation this, in the way where every eye will see it and every ear will hear and understand it, He’s going to have a visible display of it.

There’s two ways that God is going to convince people of it:

•  He’s going to have a people up front that will believe without seeing.
•  And then He’s going to have a people that will see and believe.

In order to have the example to show the people that will see and believe, He’s first got to bring a people into a relationship with Him that will believe without seeing. This is why you, actually, are blind.

What you need to see, you have no natural capability to see; it has to be revealed to you and it has to be revealed on the inside. This is why Brother Sam—picking this up early—said, “I don’t want you to ever believe anything I’m saying, unless the Lord makes it real to you.” Otherwise, all you have is faith in the wisdom of man, but you have no operation of the power of God within you to give you the ability to really see. The truth happens to be invisible. This is why God—in the beginning when He made man—made him with his eyes closed.

Of course, my condition up there in Alaska, was invisible to me; I didn’t see it. It was the furthest thing from my mind that I had a ruptured appendix. I went to the Clinic; the lady doctor there, I guess she was like a PA (Physician’s Assistant); she said after examining me a little bit, “We’re not going to know what’s really going on inside of you until we open you up.” I said, “Open me up? Lady, I don’t have time to be opened up; I’m on a trip here!” She said, “Sir, you need to be opened up and we need to see what’s going on, on the inside .” She said, “I’m going to call the Coast Guard to see if they’ll come get you.” There was no other mode of transportation. Not only that, it just so happened that both of the ferries that service Haines down to Juneau were broke down and would not be operating for 24 hours. This was in the middle of the night; no airplanes fly in the middle of the night unless it’s a commercial flight coming in there when the conditions permit it. The conditions that night wouldn’t have permitted it; nobody could fly—except the Coast Guard because they have night vision goggles.

They arrived and picked me up; they had agreed to come. They were 3 ½ hours away; it was going to be a 7 hour round trip for them.

Dottie had to be air flighted like that from over in Canby. We were up there a couple years ago. She had a problem with diverticulitis and they thought it might be her appendix or something, so they called in this air ambulance. It was only a 30 minute flight and it cost $10,000, so how much would a 7 hour flight cost with a much bigger helicopter? The one I was in could just barely hold us; we were very cramped.

They came and got me; took me to the hospital; the doctor was right there as soon as I got there—a lady doctor. She did a beautiful job of sewing me back up. The women do better at sewing things up than men do. (laughter)

In fact, I fell on the sidewalk a few years ago on ice and split my head open; I have 17 stitches on my head and it was a woman doctor again at the hospital there in Canada, and she said, “I’m a good seamstress; you’ll never see the scar.” Do you see any scar there now? Seventeen stitches and not a single sign of them.

Just to show you how God works in marvelous ways—beyond anything you ever thought or imagined. This was nowhere in my agenda of what I thought I was going to be doing.

Anyway, I got to the hospital and the doctor ran me through a CT Scan. She said, “You’ve got a ruptured appendix and it’s critical. This has gone on for awhile; your body is full of peritonitis and I’ve just called my team in and we’re going to have to operate on you immediately.”

While we were waiting on the team to get there—it took them all about an hour to get there—this was 2 to 4 o’clock in the morning, somewhere around that time—In the meantime, Juneau was having the heaviest snowstorm on record. It was kind of interesting to me because when the pilot called in and was ready to land at the airport, he said, “Would you guys turn off the lights down there, so we can see how to land?” All my life, I always said, “Could you turn the lights on , so I can see how to land?” They had this night vision and lights interfere with it, so they had to turn the lights off so we could see how to land.

So, we had about an hour to wait and she said to me and Brother Wayne Gentry (By the way, he went with me and stayed with me and they let him fly in the helicopter. You should have seen him; he looked like a space cadet when he was all suited up with a helmet and everything.) He and I were there, and she said, “What are you guys doing up here in Alaska anyway?” So we told her and she said, “Well, I’m a strong Christian and I really appreciate hearing that.” She said, “I really believe in the Lord and I believe in prayer.” We said, “Yes, we do, too.”

I found out later, as they were taking me in and getting me ready and putting me to sleep and all, she came back to Wayne and said, “Wayne, will you pray with me before I go into this operation?”

Now look who God’s got on duty! They prayed together and 3 ½ hours later she came back out of the operating room and said, “Boy! Did I need that prayer!” She told me that she had to massage puss pockets out of my intestines because the poison was all through my body and she said, “You probably wouldn’t have lasted another week.”

Did God “get me to the church on time”? Did He call in special help to do it? See, that’s beyond anything I would have ever thought or imagined. He’s able to do exceedingly above all that you think or imagine.

Not only that, it turned out that the time in Juneau was definitely a God-appointed time with the people there. If I ever saw the love of the Saints come through, it was there. I said, “Hey, we might not all be on the same page, but there’s one thing for sure, we’re all in the same family.” At a time when it’s needed, you really see that love of God come right through. They could not have looked after me any better up there and we could not have had any greater time of fellowship. It was better than anything I had contemplated even if I would have continued the trip.

You can see the special thing about it. That wasn’t even all; I could go on and on about it all. I mean, just every detail taken care of—including the flight home. The guys didn’t want me have to just fly coach; they paid for a first class ticket for me to fly down to Seattle. My daughter was there and she had a pass and we went home on the pass. Every detail taken care of.

I just share that with you to let you know how good God is. He knows ahead of time, things we don’t even know about. He says, “It never has entered into the mind of man the things that God has prepared for a people that love Him.” It goes on to say this, “However, God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit.”

We all have some testimonies; I know there’s plenty of you out there who have testimonies of how God has just been right there for you at a time when that was the only help that could have helped! Isn’t that right? You just see His provision.

So, it says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me! Bless the Lord and forget not all of His benefits!” Because He not only forgives all my iniquities, He even tends to my diseases! This is a tremendous thing that you can’t appreciate the value of it until you experience it! So God says, “I want you to taste and see!” So that you don’t know just by the hearing of the ear; you don’t know just by somebody giving you a testimony, but that you actually experience it yourself!

You see His greatest power demonstrated in your moment of greatest weakness. This is our God! This is what He’s called us to be—a peculiar people ! Why would we be peculiar? Because nobody else loves God more than they love themselves. So we become a peculiar people if we actually end up loving God more than we love ourselves.

Now think about this folks: if you don’t love God more than you love yourself, do you think you love your wife more than you love yourself? Or do you think she loves you more than she loves herself, if she doesn’t love God more than she loves herself? No; that would never happen.

The kind of love that ‘never seeks its own’ is not anything we naturally possess. It’s what God Himself is. Whenever you get in the Spirit of God, your whole countenance changes; also your habits change, also your manner changes; the way you see others changes, because as long as you’re still in love with yourself, you always see yourself better than others. You’re going to be doing what comes naturally; all is going to be seeking their own, not the others’ good.

Whenever you become the partaker of the divine nature, which you can only do if you escape the corruption that’s in the world through lust—the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life—you have to escape all that. How are you going to escape it? By denying yourself and taking His yoke upon you and learning of Him.

You are not learning of Him sitting here; you’re only learning about Him. God wants you to have a firsthand experience of all the peoples of the earth right now. Everybody’s going to get a firsthand experience before He’s through. Every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess and every eye is going to see. Right now, He’s calling us out to be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

I think it’s interesting to realize, if you make your calling and election sure at this time, you’ll be the only people that are saved at this time—the only ones out of all creation. Whenever Jesus came into the world, how many got saved? How many went onto perfection? He did; that was it. He was the first of the firstfruits. Now come the firstfruits—the rest of the brethren. Afterwards, comes the creation.

So the whole creation is groaning and travailing—what are they waiting for? The manifestation of the sons of God! What are they groaning and travailing about? Well, they’re in the bondage of corruption. Can you see it all around?

You look at the United States government and you’ll see a whole team of politicians that are totally in the bondage of corruption. There’s no escaping that bondage except you get the deliverance from God. You can see that you can’t serve God while you’re in the bondage of corruption. God has to keep Himself separate from that. If you’re ever going to know Him, you have to be brought out of all that and be purified as a people unto God.

What’s the purifying process that God uses to purify a people unto Himself? Well, Jesus is the example. He walked down the path of the process of being purified and gave us an example that we should follow in His steps.

Did He experience any trouble along the way? Yes, a lot of trouble. Did He experience rejection? Did He experience people hating Him? People mocking Him? What was all that about? The people observing all of this said God must not love Him. Isn’t it written in the law that ‘cursed is every man that hangs on a tree’? And there He was, hanging on a tree.

You can see how God, however, working in one that was hanging on a tree beside Him, gave him some sight that—you talk about believing things that are not seen! Here’s Jesus dying on the cross next to him, he’s right there, too, and he looks over and says, “Lord, when you come into Your kingdom, remember me!” And Jesus said, “My God! You’ll be there today with Me!” That’s what you call ‘evidence of things not seen’.

This is what God is bringing us through. Jesus didn’t go through that so you don’t have to. He went through that to show you the way, so that you and I can now follow His steps and end up where He is. He’s prayed that ‘where I am, Father, there they may be, also’. How are you going to get there? The same way He did. He was made perfect by the things which He suffered.

How about Job? Job was made perfect by the things which he suffered, but in the process of the suffering, because he didn’t see where he deserved it (the suffering), he kept saying, “If I could find God, He’d tell you that I don’t deserve what is happening to me.” All of his counselors told him, “Job, you must be doing something terrible or you wouldn’t be suffering all these things.” But they couldn’t put their finger on what was terrible—what was the fault.

Somebody asked me one time, “What’s the difference between foot-washing and finding fault?” Well, I said, “In foot-washing, you have the answer. In finding fault, you have the accusation, but no answer.”

We can be one another’s helpers in the faith when we see one that’s caught in a particular situation, like Job was caught in, and there was an Elihu on board. Elihu happened to be one who was filled with the Spirit of God. He said, “There’s a spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty (that’s getting God-breathed)—the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” He said, “Job, I see what your fault is; here’s your problem.”

If there’s ever a lesson to be learned, this is certainly it because so many people fall into this pit of self-pity; suffering something unjustly. I believe this is why this is in the Bible because this is going to be a common thing that all are going to go through. We need to learn what God is teaching us by that book of Job.

Job, all through the process, did maintain his integrity of his relationship with God; he never cursed God with his lips. He said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

He certainly was protesting to his counselors because all those guys who were counseling kept saying, “Job, you’ve done something terrible or all this wouldn’t be happening. Now, why don’t you admit your guilt?” And Job said, “No, no! I haven’t…” because every man’s way is right in his own eyes. He didn’t see his fault.

I want to tell you today, this is one of the things that you really should pray for; anybody with understanding would do this. King David had this understanding; he said, “God, search me! If there be any wicked way in me, bring it up and if there be any secret faults in me, Lord, bring it up!”

Well, if you really look at the ways of Job, he had done nothing in his ways that was wrong, but there was a hidden fault in him. I think this is a great lesson that you could learn—if you pick this up, you will learn a great lesson because that’s what the whole story is about; that’s why it’s in the book; to teach us this truth: ‘ the curse causeless does not come’ .

Nobody can lay it on you. Nobody can curse whom God hasn’t cursed. So, if you’re under a curse, where is it coming from? God! Does it ever come causeless? No!

Would you go to the extent that God did with Job? Destroy his home; destroy his family, his children; destroy his health; destroy his wealth? Would you go to that extent to correct ‘ a little thought

Well, it’s according to what the program calls for. The program actually calls for every thought to be brought into captivity, so that you have truth on the inward parts as well as on the outside. Now this is the extravagance of God. He doesn’t mind destroying all that because He can give it back to you—double; once He gets you with your mind straight.

Bill has a great movie that he likes to watch because he (the actor) says, “I got my mind straight, Boss!” What he meant by that is “I understand I’m not the boss, you are!”

This is what God is doing. He’s working on us to get our mind straight, so every thought has to be brought into captivity—lined up with God’s thoughts, because He said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts!” Now, who’s out of line? We are. So, you’re going to become transformed by the renewing of your mind, where God brings every thought in alignment with His thoughts. This is what the process calls for and we’re in the process of it.

In this process, He’s going to destroy every perceived confidence that you have in yourself. Because the truth is, again, how much can you do apart from Him? Nothing. Well, you know that textually, but now you have to know it experientially. God doesn’t just believe in textbook knowledge; He wants you to have practical application.

Even when I was going to school, they taught me, “You learn by doing, not by reading.” This is what God is working on—it’s what you do. A child is known by his doings . Not by what’s in his head, but by what he actually does.

When you get judged, guess what you’re going to be judged by—what you know or what you do? You’re going to be judged by your works. ‘A child is known by his doings; whether his work be right or whether it be pure.’

You can hold the truth in unrighteousness. You can have the truth in your head; you can know to do it and still not do it. It’s not what you know ; it’s what you do . That is what you are going to be judged by.

The Lord gives us an example of two sons. He told them to do “such and such”. One said, “I’ll do it!” The other said, “I’m not going to do it!” The one that said, “I’ll do it!” went out and didn’t do it. The other one went out and changed his mind and did it. Jesus said, “Of the two, which one did the will of the Father?” He said, “The one who did it.”

This is the way God will judge us; not by what we say , but by what we do . He said, “Many draw nigh to me with their lips, but in their works they deny me.” So what are you going to be judged by; what’s on your lips or your works? It’s not what you say , but what you do that counts.

Many will say to Him, “Lord! Lord! Look at the many mighty works we have done in Your name.” And He’ll say, “Depart from Me.” When He looks at the works, He’s going to look at one thing; who did it ? Who was the author and finisher? Whose work was it?

Jesus said, “If you don’t believe Me because of My words , at least believe Me because of My works .” It was evident that nobody could do these works unless God be with him.

This is where “the rubber meets the road”. This is the place where we’re all going to be judged. You’re going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ; you can read this in Revelation chapter 21, and you’re going to see that every man is going to be judged according to his works.

The works are going to be based on:

who told you to do it;

whose works was it;

under whose government were you when you did the works?

This is where we are, Saints, and this is where God is bringing us now. ‘Anybody that has this hope in him, purifies himself.’ What does that mean? He ceases from his own works. He only locks on to what God Himself is ordering. He knows that the ‘ steps of a good man are ordered by God’ and the works of a good man are ordered by God and the thoughts of a good man are ordered by God. You know that apart from God, this would be impossible. God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. In other words, He holds out on you until you get really desperate. He says that when you seek Me with your whole heart, you will find Me.

This is why in the end of the matter, He’s not coming now to save you out of sin; if you’re in sin when He comes now, you’re going to know His wrath and His judgment. He’s coming now to take a people in, who are already out of sin, to a marriage with Himself. This will be the firstfruits unto God and unto the Lamb. It will be the company of saints that will be able to sit on the same throne with Jesus and rule over the Millennial reign with Christ. Christ is not one member, but many. When this body of Christ is completed—this house of God—that’s the only company that’s saved up to that point because all the rest of creation is groaning and travailing and waiting for the saviors to come.

You can read it in the Bible; saviors will come upon Mt. Zion and the first group they’re going to turn from their iniquity back to righteousness is going to be Esau; they’re going to judge the Mount of Esau. These are the ones who had the call, but ‘sold out the birthright for a morsel of meat to satisfy their soul.’ They’re going to be the first that’s going to get redeemed now back into the house of God. Then, of course, it will go from there to the whole creation who is going to be set free—every knee is going to bow; every tongue is going to confess and every eye is going to see as God uses the firstfruit company to be a visible display.

Now, the reason it will become visible is because He’ll take the covering veil off of all nations and the veil spread over all people and then every eye will see. This is going to be a spiritual company—just like right now; ‘all that seeth the Lord and believeth on Him, shall be saved.’

In order to see Him, you have to see that which is not seen. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. That operation takes place by the power of God.

This is where we are, Saints; we’re right in the time of this now where God is completing a company of a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. It will not be the last fruit; it’s just the first fruit unto God and the Lamb. Jesus was the first of the firstfruits coming into the House. Now come the firstfruits.

How blessed are we to be given this call and then equipped to make the calling and election sure. You can see what happened in the processing of Job because Job, I believe, is right there as an example unto us. As God was taking him through the judgment that must come to the house of God before perfection can come, you can see that there was a flaw in him. What was the flaw? He believed that you could actually suffer something that you didn’t deserve; that you were not at fault; that actually, you could suffer something, unjustly.

If anybody has ever suffered anything unjustly and if you judge by the seeing of your eye, boy, does it ever look like people suffer things unjustly. They have evidence—I mean, little children suffer. It really looks like things are not just. Where’s God?

You know, if you don’t explain this correctly to people, they’ll hate God. Anybody that’s a victim—suffering something unjustly—where was God? So you have to be able to explain how ‘God is just; never to lay upon man more than right’ and what you’re seeing is a result of ‘evil having its day.’ God purposed that evil would have its day and this is how evil behaves itself.

This is God ‘exercising our senses to discern the difference between good and evil’ so that we would end up hating evil. Unless you hate evil, you’ll never depart from it. You’ll actually call evil “good” and good “evil”. We have to be educated by God to get this straight—to get it right; this is the only way in the world you’ll ever know the truth. So, ‘less the Lord build the house, they that labor, labor in vain.’

Nobody can impart truth to you. Jesus could not impart truth to His own disciples. He said to them, “It’s expedient for you that I go away because if I don’t go away, you’ll never know the truth! So what I’m going to do is go back to the Father and I’m going to send what’s necessary for you to know the truth and that is, I’m going to send back the Spirit of Truth.”

I use to say, “Boy, I’d like to have been back there in those days when I could have been a disciple along side of Jesus and be taught personally by Him, wouldn’t that be great?” No, they didn’t get it. They were taught by Him and He said, “Are you still without understanding?” They were. Why? Because the natural facility of man has no capability to know or understand the things of God because they are spiritually discerned. You got to have the Spirit of God to teach you.

The devil is a teacher; he really believes he can make you one, too; that you can become a teacher. He’s wise. In fact, what God has on the stage, which is the world, is a demonstration of angels who have professed themselves to be wise and then people who have professed themselves to be wise. So you can see what happened; ‘man, professing himself to be wise, became a fool and changed the image of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man.’

You can hear preachers say it all the time, “You know I love my children when they’re out there in disobedience; I still love my children and God is like me; surely He still loves you when you’re out there in disobedience.” But God says, “I’ll destroy you.”

In fact, here’s why you have to work it out. This is why Jesus feared the Father; He said ‘the soul that sinneth shall surely die’ and He’s not kidding! That’s no joke! That’s not an empty threat! That’s a fact! The serpent knows that; he’s counting on that so that if he can get you out in transgression, God’s word will execute and eliminate you because ‘God is no respecter of persons’. His word—He magnifies even above His name. ‘Everything else will pass away, but His word will not pass away.’

That word always accomplishes the objective for which He sent it. He has already said, “The soul that sinneth shall surely die.” Then if you’re not going to “surely die”, what are you going to have to stop doing? Sinning!

Now, He can recover you out of sin, but when He does, He says, “Now you better go and sin no more lest a worse thing come unto you.” God’s word will execute on an eternal basis and you will not only be damned from the presence of God, but you will be eternally damned from the presence of God.

All of our fulfillment is found in the presence of God. ‘In His presence is fullness of joy.’ ‘Peace like a river; joy like a fountain.’ All the fulfillment—all that is good—is in God.

This is what He’s waking a people up to. Who has to bear the responsibility for this? ‘Every man must bear his own burden.’ Nobody can do this for you. You have to ‘take His yoke upon you and learn of Him.’

When you really see the truth here, would you get desperate about it? Would you really get desperate about it? Well, the Lord becomes a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He said, “You’ll find Me when you seek Me with your whole heart.”

What’s going to cause you to seek Him with your whole heart if you’re sitting there thinking, “Hallelujah, I’m saved! He’s already blessing me!” Did you know that blessings can be a very deceptive thing? He gives gifts to all harlots. A gift can pervert judgment because you got your prayer answered and you think you’re OK with God.

It takes God to wake us up to what the truth really is. Here at the end of the age, where are all the virgins? Asleep. I believe we are definitely in a wakeup call. The Lord is showing me clearly, what is the world waiting for? The second coming of the Lord. What is the Lord waiting for? The second coming of His people. The Day of Christ wouldn’t come until there first comes a falling away so all we, like sheep, have gone astray.

And now, whose turn is it to return? It’s ours! He says, “If you return unto Me, then I will return unto you.” It’s our move! Folks, we’re sitting right there! We’re sitting right there at that point! Believe me, today, we are right there at that point! If you’ll start seeking Him with your whole heart, you have His word that when you do that, you will find Him .

Is He playing “hard to get” right now? You bet! He’s playing “hard to get” right now and you’re not going to win Him unless you go after Him with your whole heart . He says, “When you seek Me with your whole heart, you’ll find Me.” Why? Because He wants a people that love Him more than they love themselves . And we have the word right there in the scriptures that ‘in the last days men shall be lovers of themselves more than lovers of God.’

All of us have some experience about love affairs, whether it was a little petty love affair or something more serious, but there is no love affair like this love affair. This is the most serious love affair that will ever be. If you’re waiting for Him to come, you’re going to miss Him—you’re not going to be ready when He gets here—if you’re waiting for Him to come. What He is doing right now is waiting for you to come.

Hosea chapter 6 and I will close here. I believe a place like this and a congregation like you sitting here—this is something very special God is doing. He’s not just doing it here; He’s doing it in places all over the world. He’s gathering a remnant out of all nations for His name’s sake.

This is a very special operation. What I see it as, is a briefing room. You come in to get briefed on how to go out and win the war; what the war is all about and how you’re going to win it. If you’re going to win the war, you’re going to have to have God for your help. If you’re out there trying to win the warfare on your own, you’re not going to make it. The one that you’re in warfare with, is greater than you are and mightier than you are. When your enemy is stronger than you are, you don’t stand a chance of winning the war unless you’re allied with another power that’s greater than your enemy.

What you have to do now is get God on your side. For you to get God on your side, you have to be at His side. You have to come under His authority. If you can get God involved in your warfare—there’s no discharge in the warfare—if you can get God involved in the warfare that you’re in, then you’re going to win! When you have God for your help, there is no power or principality above Him. You’re going to win the war if you have Him as an ally. However, who is He going to be an ally to? Well, not those who are against Him. This is what the war is all about.

In any war, the thing they taught me in gunnery school was to make sure you identify your target before you shoot, because you could be shooting one of the troops! If somebody comes along and tells you the truth, you could count them as an enemy and you’ll want to shoot him! You want to make sure you identify the enemy correctly!

If I ask you today—let’s see where you are, class. You are in the warfare—you need to know who the enemy is—let me ask you, who’s the enemy? When Jesus died for you, were you His friends or His enemy? His enemy! What made you His enemy? ‘Wicked works in your mind.’

Did you see them as wicked works? No! You were calling evil “good”. You can see that the first thing that has to happen is God has to get you in and transform you by the renewing of your mind so that you can properly identify the enemy. Whenever you properly identify the enemy, who is the enemy?

How much of the church believes that the devil is the enemy? Or the demon spirits are the enemy? No, they’re not the enemy. They’ll be around when the enemy is dead. Angels don’t die; demons spirits are angels. God will take care of them down the line, but if you’ll notice who He says He’s going to destroy in Genesis, He’s going to destroy man who He has created.

What else is He going to destroy? Did you notice it in Genesis? All the beasts; He’s going to destroy the beast. What else is He going to destroy? All the fowls of the air; those are the demon spirits. Now, when God destroys something, He doesn’t obliterate it; He just eliminates it out of His kingdom and assigns it to a realm of darkness—His kingdom is light—so He isolates it.

Couldn’t He isolate it already? Couldn’t He have done it already? Why didn’t He do it? Because you haven’t yet passed the test.

Where is the enemy? What do I have to kill in order to kill the enemy? Well, you can’t kill a spirit and they can’t kill you. Nobody can take your life from you, but you can die. The soul that sinneth shall surely die. That’s God doing it.

In this warfare—I want you to get this if I don’t leave anything else with you—because the moment you get up and walk out of here, you’re in the warfare. In this warfare, who is the enemy? Who have you got to put to death in order to destroy the enemy before it destroys you? Not yourself. No, not yourself. It’s your flesh. He’s trying to save your “self” (your soul).

Who is going to pay the price and who is going to get killed is your “self” by the enemy. “Self” is going to die if the enemy wins. Jesus came that you—your “self”—‘might have life and have it more abundantly’.

If you’re going to win this warfare, who are you going to have to put to death? The one you love! No man has ever yet hated his own flesh. But those who are Christ’s have crucified their flesh—they have lost that love affair.

There’s the enemy! The devil is not the enemy! The flesh is the enemy ! So what did Jesus take to the cross? The ‘flesh with its lusts and affections’. Now, in order to win this, what do you and I have to put to death? The flesh.

‘Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its lusts and affections.’ Now when you do that, you’re going to hear the flesh say, “What are you doing to me? Don’t you remember me? I’m your old familiar friend. We’ve been out partying together!” No man has ever, yet, hated his own flesh.

But see, you have to love God more than you love, not only your flesh, but even your “self”. If you put the flesh to death, you’re putting to death the avenue that you’ve had available to you to satisfy the lust of your flesh, the lust of your eyes, and the pride of your life. By ‘wicked works in your mind’, you were enemies of God.

Can you do anything about straightening your thinking out? No, only God can. Only He can bring every thought into captivity and when will He do that? When you seek Him with your whole heart.

You’re going to have to see something totally differently than what people see that claim they’re saved. You’re going to have to see that you are not yet saved and that you’re not just not saved, but you are standing in tremendous jeopardy that others are not even standing in. Why? Because to him who has been given much, much is required. ‘The time of your ignorance, God will wink at’, but once He gives you the light, He will hold us accountable for the light we have received. Now it’s better that you didn’t know, than you know and you didn’t do. Not the hearers of the word are just before God, but the doers. Because ‘a child is known by his doings; whether his work be right or whether it be pure.’

Now we are involved in this warfare, so you want to make sure you identify the enemy. Who does the church see to be their enemy? The devil. He’s not your enemy; you can’t even destroy him. You can’t kill an angel. He doesn’t even have any access to you unless you’re in his territory.

‘The angels that kept not their first estate…’ Let me read Hosea 6 and then I’ll give you one more scripture over in Peter and then I’ll be through.

Hosea 6:1 ‘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.’

Who has been working us over? It’s been the Lord working us over! He has done this! Now what? ‘Come, and let us return unto the Lord:’ Where have we been? He came and He quickened us and then what did we do? We went our own way. ‘All we, like sheep, have gone astray.’

That’s ordained of God that there would come a falling away so that the man of sin could be revealed in the temple because until we get him out of there—until the man of sin is destroyed out of the temple, how could Christ could come in the temple? And we’re custodians of the body, which is the temple.

Our reasonable service to God is to offer our bodies in a holy state as a living sacrifice, so that His life can be made manifest in our body. That makes you the temple of the Lord. That enables God then to be alive, living in a people. He says, “I will live in them and I will dwell in them and I will walk in them.” If we’re going to go for a walk with Him, guess whose way we’re going to be walking in. He’s going to be the one that’s directing our steps, our thoughts, and our works.

Who is the enemy you have got to get rid of or it will get rid of you? Who is the enemy? Our flesh . No man has yet ever hated his own flesh, so we have to break the love affair we have with our flesh. Those that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh. That’s when you know you’ve got it done; so you don’t go there anymore.

We’re going to have to do this in order to be ready when He comes.

Hosea 6:1 ‘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.’

Who do most people see—who do most Christians see—that’s tearing them and bruising them? The devil. But, who is it really? God.

Who was it that wounded Jesus? God did. Do you think the devil could have had his way with Jesus if God had not permitted it? No. No, that was all God. Do you think Jesus would have ever submitted to it if He thought it was the devil doing it and not the Father? No, He did this to show the world how much He loved the Father.

Right now, to succeed in this program, it’s not God’s requirement to show how much He loves you; it’s our requirement to show how much we love Him .

It’s not His job to come and seek and save us now; He’s already done that. Now it’s our turn to seek Him with our whole heart and He says that when you do that, you will find Him.

How interested are you in finding Him? You know that by how much diligence you give in seeking Him. You know one thing for sure; you haven’t found Him, yet. You haven’t found Him, yet, have you? I guarantee you, you haven’t found Him, yet. He’s found you, but you haven’t found Him, yet, and you’re not going to ever find Him unless you seek Him with your whole heart. The Lord is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Now you get in your classwork and then you’ll have your homework.

I want to give you one scripture over in 2 Peter.

So what is the whole church realm waiting for? The second coming of Jesus. What’s Jesus waiting for? The second coming of the people! Guess who’s going to have to come first? You’re not going to find Him until you seek Him with your whole heart. The ball is in our court.

2 Peter 2:4-5 ‘For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;’

Now, is that going to happen again here at the end of this age; ‘As it was in the days of Noah?’

2 Peter 2:6 ‘And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;’

You can see this is a matter of, how are you living? For ‘the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ What is it to live ungodly? Living your way.

What is it to live godly? Living His way. So ‘the steps of a good man are ordered by God.’ The thoughts of a good man are ordered by God.

When is He going to do that for you? When is He going to do that for me? When you seek Him with your whole heart.

So, I always like to say, “Ladies and gentleman, the decision is in your hand. ‘All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Don’t sit like the rest of Christendom out there just waiting for Jesus to return. You better rise up from wherever you are and ‘come and let us return unto the Lord’ because it is true, that though ‘He has smitten us, He will bind us up and the third day we shall live in His sight.’

We’re in the third day, folks. This is when He is now ready to raise a people up and they’re going to live in His sight . That means that you are going to have to be holy as He is holy; pure as He is pure because He cannot look upon that which is impure and unholy.

You’re sitting here at this time, in a moment of the greatest opportunity that has ever been given a people; that you could actually be physically alive and remain until Jesus gets here. He’s not coming alone; He’s bringing the Father; the Father is coming with Him. He says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments and I’ll love you and My Father will love you and We will come and make Our abode in you.”

Now if the Father and the Son move in; you’ve got the Holy Spirit already; you’re going to be a people who are filled with all the fullness of God and then you’re going to hear Him say, “Rise and shine because the glory of the Lord has come upon you!”

Saints, I believe we are right there , right now ! Today is the day of salvation if you will hear His voice! Amen!

 

   
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