The Process

Buddy Cobb at Bowens Mill Convention

July 2009


When the Lord says that he is dealing with us in the realm of meat, you can see that meat belongs to them that are of full age. God’s got several levels of feeding for us. He starts us off in the milk and brings us to the bread and finally to the meat. What is the meat? Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of God.” He said that to his disciples who had gone into the cities to find meat. I think those cities represent the cities of religion, because most people’s meat is to worship God in some form. Even in the form of godliness, they want to worship Him, so in the last days they will have a form. They will not be under the power of God doing what they are doing, so they will worship Him in ritual, ceremony and in form – ‘having a form of godliness, but denying the power’. In other words, the real meat of this has to do with the power of God; the authority of God; the right of God to that authority, so that all the kingdoms and power and glory belong to the Lord. That’s what we are praying for, “Thy Kingdom Come and Thy Will Be Done.”


Now, when you are doing the will of God, that’s the meat, and He said, “That’s what I want you to bring into My house.” Others thought it was the tithes and offerings. When they look at the tithe and offering aspect of things, they’re thinking about money; for gain to most people is a sign of godliness, but what is truly great gain, is godliness. What do you want money for, except to support your life style – or your style of life? And the Lord came that we might have a life that doesn’t need to be supported by money. You live in this life, not by natural bread, not by natural provision. Israel had natural provision in the wilderness, and that bread came from God – they thought Moses gave it to them. Jesus said, “No, Moses didn’t give it to you, but My father in heaven is the one that gave you that bread, and He gave it to you to teach you something – that you don’t live by bread alone; you’ve got to get all the way to the meat.


So the word of God is in the bread realm. But doing the will of God is in the meat realm, because you can eat bread and hunger and thirst again. You can take any provision that’s temporal and it only lasts just a short time. God wanted us to see that there is temporal provision that will support your life, but then there is an eternal provision that will take you out of your life into His life that doesn’t need to be supported – it’s a life in which you can’t die. As long as you are in your life, that is dependent upon support and you are pursuing that support to perpetuate your life, then your god is your belly. And you are always hungering and thirsting for what will satisfy your appetite and your desire so that your will is done – and your kingdom is come. So, you can see to succeed in this program, you can’t exalt yourself to a place of being in charge, because in God’s kingdom, in this program, there’s only one ruler.


And to live in this program, and to get the benefit of the life that’s available in this program, you’ve got to get the bread that doesn’t come to you from an external source; even if it’s coming from God. God wants you to understand, and wants me to understand, that if you’ve got a life that’s dependent upon an external source, you’ve only got a temporal life; for once that external source is withdrawn, you’re gone. You can see what the real meat is, in order to have life that isn’t temporal or dependant on an external source, is you’ve got to be on the meat that supports that life, where if you eat this meat, you will never die. So that salvation doesn’t become a doctrinal teaching; salvation doesn’t become a gift that’s temporal; it’s an eternal gift, and it’s the gift of God. It’s not a gift from God; it’s the gift of God.


So think about this, if you ever get eternal life, you’re going to get it as a gift, and if it comes to you at all, it’s got to come by grace – it’s a gift. But what God wants to know, if He gave you the gift, what would you do with it? So to find out, He doesn’t give you the gift of eternal life on a permanent basis, up front. He has to first see what kind of respect do you have for it. So what He does, He gives you the gift of God of eternal life on a temporary basis, a conditional basis. “You abide in Me; I’ll abide in you.” That’s conditional. And He invites you to come and ‘taste and see’ to see if you want to have that life and to have it more abundantly. Or would you taste that life and say, “No, I think mine is better?” That life comes by the Spirit of the Lord, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. You read the back of the book; when His kingdom comes, no gates are shut. Nobody is locked in. You are free to walk out at any time; the gates are never closed. I said to the Lord one time, “How come You don’t close your gates?” He said, “Well, there’s nobody outside that wants to be in and there’s nobody inside that wants to be out – why shut the gate?” This is something you have to be hungering and thirsting for, and not be satisfied until you get the full portion of it. Now, you can’t hunger and thirst for something unless you’ve tasted and seen that it is good. You’ve not only got to have tasted it and seen it is good, but you have to not had enough of it to satisfy you yet. Some people think a taste is good enough. ‘Take it or leave it.’ But no, He says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good, and see if you can be satisfied with anything else, because you can have everything else you want outside of Me, but you can’t have Me. I can let you gain everything you are after…..” (I just look at these celebrities, and you think, “Boy, they have everything going for them, and then their life turns out to be a tragedy.”)


So what God is doing, in the process of dealing with us as His people, is destroying something that needs to be destroyed, because it is already built in you. What He is out to destroy, is the perceived confidence that you have in yourself that ‘your way is right’. He made us this way, so that every man’s way is right in his own sight, and when that’s the case, you want to make sure that you’re in control, and that you’re the one that’s governing what’s happening, because unless it’s going your way, it’s not right. So God made sure that when He made us, that our ways are not His ways, and that by nature we are children of disobedience, because we all are self-willed and despise somebody else’s government; we’re okay as long as we’re the government. And everybody who wants to be the government, claims to be your benefactor—‘elect me and I’ll do it your way!’……right? Why? Because your way is right.


If you’ve noticed, we’ve vacillated between Democrat and Republican. When the Democrats are in, what they succeed in doing is showing that they are not going to do things all the time, my way. The Republican’s say, “Get me back in there and I’ll do it your way.” And we get the Republican’s in there and they show after a while, they aren’t going to do everything our way either, so we say, “Let’s go back to the Democrat’s and try them again.” Now, if God were actually up for election, nobody would ever elect Him, because He guarantees you up front, “I’m not going to do this your way – and it’s going to be My way or hit the highway.” – (which is your own way.) This is a God that is very self-willed, therefore He wants His will to be done, and He has made us as His creatures where His will is not our will, and His way is not our way. Would you ever elect Him? How much chance do you think God would have, if it was up to the people to elect Him as God?


But yet, it is up to you and me to ‘choose you this day’ whose God will you serve? Because, even in the natural, you are born into a country and circumstances where you are not god; you are not the government; the government is already in place when you come. So, to keep this simple, God only has two government’s going. It is not His and ours; it is His and Lucifer’s. The devil is the god of this world, and so when you were born, you were born in the kingdom of Lucifer; all of your thoughts, all of your mind, all of your education were programmed by him. There’s no way to be educated by God until you take His yoke upon you and learn of Him. Therefore, all your programming up front – like what’s on the hard drive (of a computer) – has come from Lucifer, and you can’t get something off the hard drive that is not on there. So it’s not on there, to be in us, to know the way we should go to live under God’s government. So you can’t pull it off your hard drive. It’s never entered into the heart or mind of man. You were born in darkness, not light. You were born under the government of another power, other than God’s. You were shapen in all your attitudes and all your thoughts; you were shapen in all your behavior by the power you were under. But you didn’t realize you were under another power, because you were born under a power that’s darkness, not light, and in darkness you don’t really see what’s going on. But you can always tell which power you are under, because the power of darkness is deceptive and it will make you believe that you are under your own authority, and that your own way is right, and nobody is going to tell you what to do, except you! Two can walk together if they can be agreed, but the one you’ve got to agree with is ‘me’, and if you don’t agree with me, you’re wrong.


Therefore, if you see that your way is right, then you see God’s way is wrong, because He said, “My way is not your way.” So where you have your confidence, is whose way? The one that seemeth right unto you and you don’t even suspect that you’re wrong; it’s just that everybody who doesn’t agree with you is wrong. Can you say, “Amen?” So ‘every man’s way is right’ – who taught you that? Lucifer. You see, Lucifer blinds you to the fact that your way is not really ‘your way’. You didn’t know anything when you came into this world. Where did you learn what you embrace to be your way? Where did you learn that? What made that your way?


When I was flying as a co-pilot, I knew that my real job in the cockpit was to do things the captain’s way. If I wanted to get along and be accepted, and not rejected, I knew that the one I had to please, was the one that was in authority, and I didn’t always agree with him. His ways were not always the way I would do it. Later, I became a check pilot, and of course a check pilot is there to see that things are done, not your way, but the company’s way. We have a manual that tells you exactly how it’s to be done, and when the FAA comes along – the Federal inspectors – they look at you and your behavior in that cockpit to see if it is ‘according to the pattern’ that’s set in the manual. So, pilots have always had a lot of confidence and self-sufficiency, or they wouldn’t be a good pilot. I mean, if he didn’t think he could do the job, he shouldn’t be in the cockpit; do you know what I mean? You need to have confidence in your ability, otherwise, how many of you would want to come to a doctor and he would say, “Well I’m not sure I know how to do this, but I’ll try”? Or how would you like to get him on the telephone and he would say, “Now you just get the knife in your hand, and I’ll tell you how to do it?” No, no, I want somebody who has done this, got the practice, got the skill and I’ll just submit to you and let you operate.


I’ll tell you, coming through what I did, just recently, - my appendix burst and my body was full of poison – and I just ‘got to the church on time’. The doctor said, “Another day and you would have been in very, very serious trouble; you are already in serious trouble, and you would have been in VERY serious trouble,” because you can die from peritonitis and it was all through my body. But there was one thing that I really came to appreciate. I have never been in an operation before; this was the first time I was opened up. And I really appreciated the skill and the dedication that person had made in their life to be prepared for this emergency. And they did a beautiful job; you should look at the seam—it’s neat! (Everyone laughed….and he added, “I’ll show you mine if you show me your scars!”) But I came out of that hospital with an appreciation of people who gave themselves, who dedicated themselves to a standard of excellence. And they related to you, not like you were – you know, a test case, or something to prove it – they related to me like they really had care for you.


When I go to get my pacemaker checked out there in the hospital in Atlanta at Emory University, they have a sign where the nurses all congregate to check pacemakers for they have the computers that do all that. It’s an amazing operation – but I am impressed with the sign. The sign was there for the nurses. Here’s what the sign says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I think that is a great statement, because this is what’s going to be manifested to convince the world, when they see a people and how they care for one another. They don’t just eliminate each other because they don’t agree with one another! So where’s there’s envy, strife, there will also be division, but where there’s the Spirit of the Lord, there’ll be love, peace, joy and no division – you’re in a bond of per-fect-ness – this is what perfection is; perfection is achieved in love.


It can also be achieved in hate. David said, “God, I hated those that hated You with a perfect hatred.” So there is something you need to hate with a perfect hatred, and there’s One you need to love with a perfect love. So, what is it that you need to hate with a perfect hatred? You need to hate – anybody ever read it in the Book? Guess what God hates? All workers of iniquity. So He keeps Himself separated from them; your iniquities separate you from Him. That’s how you know when you hate someone, you want to get rid of them; you can’t be in union with them; you can’t be in fellowship with them; you hate them!


What is it that brings you to unity? Love . Now love is a “many-splendored thing”, isn’t that the way it goes Brother Joe? Of course, love is not something you and I are capable of, unless we are just like God, because God is love. So love is not an emotional feeling; it is an entity; it is a person; it is a Spirit; God is a Spirit – so when you get His Spirit, you get a Spirit of power, love– there it is! And when you get that Spirit of power, love and a sound mind, you get transformed by the renewing of your mind where you now begin to see, ‘I don’t need to be in charge; I need to be under government by a right Spirit’, because there are two spirits ruling in the world. There’s only one spirit ruling the world; the other one is not ruling the world right now, so we’re praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” In order for His kingdom to come, in the world, where does it have to come? Well, it has to come in the people that are in the world. What good is a ruler if there is nothing to rule over? This is what we are all involved in. We are involved in the things that God has put before us, and He has put before us two forms of government.


Now if you are oriented in a natural way—as natural man—here’s your view of these two governments – mine or His. Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, and what’s perfect for me is if I can have the ability to go “whose way?” Now, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, so though you can start in the spirit, you can use the liberty as an occasion to the flesh, because you see, the flesh is the only other thing the soul has as an option to walk after, beside the Spirit. Now why would you choose to walk after the flesh? Because in the way of the flesh, whose will is done? That’s the soul exercising its will to go its way to find the pleasure they perceive is in the flesh. Because sin happens to be exceedingly deceitful, you don’t see that your way is wrong in any respect, but there’s something in scripture that you really need to get a hold of, and it’s where God says this, “You can determine where you go, but I am going to determine what you find when you go that way.” So people end up in things they said, “Why did this happen to me? This wasn’t in my agenda!” Well, who orchestrated it? Because God is actually always in control. Even Lucifer can’t do anything God doesn’t permit; he gets his power from God. He’s there as a key player in the plan of God to give us the ability to be exercised in two ways – God’s and the devil’s. And when you are going Lucifer’s way – of course the devil has a certain connotation in our minds; you know you should never make any imagery; he’s not in the image that you have seen in pictures – like a red devil with a forked tail, and he is just waiting with his pitchfork to take you and throw you in hell – no, that’s all false concept; that’s all false imagery. The devil is the most beautiful thing around; you would be very impressed. If God, who is without form or comeliness, was standing before you and the devil was standing before you, because of your imagery , you would choose that the devil was God every time. That’s how he can deceive you and he relates to you as though he is your friend. He’s the one who comes and says, “You ought to have it your way, and I’m here to help you to have just what you’re lusting and thirsting for.” So he’s got the world; did he offer it all to Jesus? Was it a temptation? Was it? Was it real? So, you can see he can offer you all the world has to offer, provided you conform to the way of the world. Why is he there to do that? Well, he is known in the Bible ---- get a hold of this ----- he’s known in the Bible as a ‘sifter’. Now, when you are dealing with wheat, is sifting a necessary process? So you can see that Jesus tells Peter, “The devil desires to – what – sift you as wheat, and I’ve prayed that he won’t be able to do that.” No, no; No, no; No, no…….He’s there to sift us as wheat and he’s going to be the sifter, even to the most righteous man in the east. Because when you ‘sift things’ you are getting down to separating the chaff from the wheat, and the wheat He’s going to keep, but the chaff He’s going to blow away – He’ll put it in the oven and burn it.


(Brother Bill Grier adds that Jesus said to Peter, “WHEN, when thou art converted”…………that’s a ‘fairly positive’ signpost. …… and Brother Buddy picks up and says,) Yes, after being His disciple, he knew he wasn’t converted yet because he was going to deny Jesus three times. Of course, he wouldn’t have had to do that, if he hadn’t gotten puffed up in himself. This is where we make a mistake; when we suddenly shift our confidence to be in ourselves. “Others may deny you Lord, but not me!” And God says, “Oh, yeah? Watch this!” Because He’s got to destroy something that’s already built up in you; that is the confidence that you have in yourself.


Like I was just saying, I’m thankful that those that just operated on me had some confidence and that it wasn’t just based on vain imagination! They were able to actually do the job. So, you need to have confidence if you are going to do anything right, you have to have some confidence that you can do it. Confidence in itself is not wrong. It’s just where do you have it placed? I tell you, I didn’t place my confidence in myself when I went to the hospital, and as I spoke to the person I gained a lot of confidence in them because they said, “I’m a Christian too,” and before they went into the operation, they said to Brother Wayne Gentry who was with me, “Let’s pray.” Three and one half hours later they came out of the operation – it took that long to clean me up on the inside – and I was ‘getting the picture’ that God wanted me clean on the inside as well as the outside. I am glad He had somebody on the job that knew how to do that – it was out of my hands.


This is what we are involved in, saints. And you can tell when you are in the right way with God, because you never insist on your will being done. You are insisting on God’s will being done, which you know ‘up front’ that His ways are not yours. Now, nobody can wake you up to this, and nobody can convince you of this, except God. Until then, you are going to stick with what you’ve already got – that is, your way is right . You’re not going to be praying, “God, your will be done,” – you’ll be praying, “Help me that my will gets done.” You’re not going to be praying for God to take you in a way you wouldn’t go, you’re going to be praying for God to help you accomplish your will, for your way is right. This is what God is out to do – this is why He’s given us so much time. How many years has He given man? Six thousand years, and in six thousand years has man ever proven to be right? Has he brought peace on earth and good will toward men?


Now, when you first start the learning process, there’s two ways you learn. One is by observation and the other is by participation—hands-on. When I went to school, they said, “You’ll learn by doing.” But they also learn by textbooks, and I never did it. If you think you can fly an airplane because you read a textbook, you have a rude awakening coming on how to fly. You have to get in there and get with it, right? You are also going to make some mistakes, that if you can live through them, you can become a pilot after awhile that won’t be a dangerous one to fly with.


So this is where we are, folks. We are in the most dangerous operation we could ever be in. The stakes here are very high. We’re talking about eternal implications. So this has eternal rewards, and the reward goes two ways. There is the reward of the wicked, and there’s the reward of the righteous, and both are eternal. One is eternal damnation from the presence of God, and the other is eternal life with God—in God. Because with God, it is not something He can give you from Himself, it is the gift of Himself. So, if you are going to live forever, guess where you are going to live forever? In Him -- and you are not going to live forever in something that you got ‘ from ’ Him; you are going to have to live together ‘ in ’ Him. He said, “In that day, you shall know I am in you and you are in Me.”


What we try to do though, is find our life outside of God in the form that we perceive, that if it could be like that, it would be the ultimate way to live. But all that is a strong delusion, that you could never be satisfied in a life outside of God, with God just blessing it, because any life outside of God has a beginning and an end. Only the life, which He is, has no beginning and no end.


Now here’s the thing about salvation; there are three levels to salvation; three dimensions to salvation. But the church makes a mistake when they reduce it to one dimension; just be born again. You see that when you are born again, you are not saved by faith; you are saved by grace. You don’t have to do a thing to be born again; you don’t even have to be seeking God. He comes to seek and to save you. All that up front, initial contact with you – like, when God make Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into him– how did that come to him? That came to him by grace. Adam did nothing to deserve that.


(Brother Bill Grier inserts) “We’re not just sittin’ around in a pool somewhere and hey now I let Jesus come into my heart; there’s a transaction, there’s something; you respond to the presence of the Spirit – that’s something!” (Brother Buddy) “Well, when He breathes the breath of life into you, you have no control of that; you had no control when you were born in this life and came out crying.” Brother Bill says, “O.K., if you are talking about me being in charge, I agree. But I have to say, hmmm, was my will anywhere there, or was I just swept away?” Brother Buddy, “Could you be born dead?” Brother Bill, “Yes, yes.” Brother Buddy, “Look where we were, born dead in trespasses and sins.” Brother Grier, “Yes, but when He quickened us, there was some kind of transaction going on in our mind.” Brother Buddy, “I’m not saying there was no action; I am just saying it came by grace. It did not come through faith. You weren’t calling on the Lord when He quickened you. So by grace you are saved out of death.”


Now, once you are saved out of death, since you’ve already proven you can die; you were born dead. Then the next thing you have to do is be saved from death, until death is swallowed up in life. Now, when Jesus came into the world, He didn’t come in dead. He was born of the Spirit of God. Adam had his beginning in the Spirit of God; therefore he was a son of God. The Bible says, “As many as are led of the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God,” but that’s a level of being a son; as many as are led of the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God, and look at what great love the Father has toward us, in that right now He has given us that category as a son of God, as long as you are led of the Spirit because it does not yet appear what we shall be. So if you are going to go on to perfection,----- this is what the scripture says, “Now that we are born again we have the Holy Spirit, now let us go on to perfection”----- then, what is that perfection we are going on to? It’s a perfection, that if you get into it, you can never die. Now, when Jesus was here, was He filled with the Spirit of God? Was He walking by the Spirit of God? Could He die? ( the answer came back, “yes” ) So in that case, He didn’t have eternal life in Himself. So knowing that He did not have eternal life in Himself, He made it His business to always do only what the Father taught Him, because He knew that eternal life was conditional; that He could only live in it by every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God and that is when you’re walking by faith.


So, what does the walk by faith do? This is the trial of your faith; if you are saved up front, there is no trial of your faith – it’s irrelevant. So you’ve got a salvation that’s saved by grace alone, and that’s what Luther came up with. It’s out of balance, and God hates a false balance. So you not only have to be saved out of death, what do you have to be saved from now? Now, once the soul is saved out of death, ‘the soul that sinneth it shall surely die.’ Could Jesus have died from sin? ( Yes ) Could Jesus, therefore, have sinned? ( Yes ) Can He which is holy sin? No. So was Jesus sown in strength or was He sown in weakness? ( Weakness ) How much could He do of Himself? ( Nothing ) ….good. Could He have done evil? ( Yes ) Could He have done evil? ( Yes ) What would have been evil? Well, there is nothing evil of itself. So what is it that makes something good or evil? It’s not what you do; it’s who told you to do it. Therefore, the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. That’s walking by faith. So, were His (Jesus’) steps ordered by God; did He do anything other than what the Father taught Him to do? No. Now, that’s walking by faith.


When He came into the world alive already born of the Spirit, did He merit that, or was it an act of grace? No, He hadn’t merited it yet. He was going to go through the trial of His faith because when God initially breathes the breath of life into you – when you were born in this world alive, did you do something to merit that? ( No ) Life is always a gift – life is always a gift -- and there’s two ways you can have a gift. One is where you can lose it; you can sell it; and one, where you cannot lose it. So, when Jesus came into this world He came in already alive, therefore grace was there – grace and truth came by Him – and then He started walking by faith and He never deviated to the left or to the right – this is why I see the great thing that Jesus did when He’s sown in the same weakness that I am in, and He was tempted in all points like me, and never even once sinned! There’s no other man that has that track record. So He wasn’t brought here as a great superman, He was brought here in the same weakness that we’re in. Apart from the Father, how much could He do right? ( Nothing ). Neither can we do anything right apart from God. And there is nothing good or evil of itself.


And what determines if something is good or evil? What God says about it. So He says, “Don’t you call evil what I call good, and don’t you call good what I call evil.” So who’s going to call it? ( God ) So the truth is where? With Him; and the very thing He tells you is evil today, He can tell you is good tomorrow, because there’s nothing evil of itself. What makes it evil, is what He says about it. So He tells you on one hand, “Don’t kill.” Then He tells you on the other hand, “Kill every man, woman and child!” Because what’s right, is what He said. That makes Him God! He doesn’t take suggestions; Bill reminds me of this and I remind Bill of this every so often, “Too bad Bill, He finished all the plan before the foundation of the world; He’s not taking any more input – He’s missing out on all these good ideas we keep coming up with.” We all perceive that God needs help, until you find out you’re the one that needs help, and that your help comes from Him only. Until you see how much you need help, you will not seek Him with your whole heart, and you’re not going to find Him until you do. You weren’t seeking Him when He found you, so when do you start seeking Him? Well, as He starts taking you down this walk by faith; faith is the evidence of things you never saw before.


How can you tell if you are walking by faith? What most people perceive faith to be is, where I can control God by what I say. If I have enough faith, He’d have to do it. You can see that is not faith; faith doesn’t come by you presuming. That is what is called a presumptuous sin. David said, “God save me from presumptuous sins, as though I can dictate to You and tell You what to do and You’d answer it.” Well, there’s a problem here -------- He will! And if He answers you, He’s conditioning you – to be deceived. And you’ll get the impression and that deceived, that you can actually order God, and that you don’t really need to be ordered by Him; that he needs to be ordered by you, so you tell Him what to do. But the way of the wicked is always upside down, and if you get in that mode, God will send strong delusion that you will believe the lie.


So, is it the devil you have got to worry about deceiving you? Oh, no. I’ll tell you who you’ve got to worry about deceiving you; you . You’re the one that will deceive you! Would you listen to the devil, if you knew it was the devil coming? Would you listen to God, if you knew it was God coming? Not necessarily. It’s according to what He’s telling you to do, if you would do it or not.


So you can see, every man’s way is right in his own eyes, and God’s way is not our way. Why would you ever walk that way? The only way you can walk that way is by walking by faith. An act of the grace of God is that He shows you His way. Then faith is our part. Grace is His part. So, what’s the manifestation of my faith toward God? When He tells me, “This is the way, walk ye in it”, what do I do? So, faith comes by hearing and then what has to happen after I hear? I have to hear to obey . So obedience becomes better than sacrifice, because it was by sacrifice that you were reconciled to God; that He came along and quickened you that were dead in trespasses and sins, that He washes you by the blood of Jesus, and cleanses you from all that sin to set you back upright again in His Spirit, so He can lead you in the right way; where you go and sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee.


Well, what’s a worse thing than being dead in sin? Being twice dead being plucked up by the roots with no hope of recovery. And any initial salvation that’s complete by beginning – you don’t have to endure to the end – you’ve got a false concept of what salvation is. You’ve been saved from sins that are past, but you haven’t been saved from sinning – obviously! How many of you know you can still sin? Yeah, okay. Well if you can still sin you’re not eternally saved yet, for what are the wages of sin? Death of the soul. What’s the end of your faith? The salvation of your soul. So this is why salvation comes by grace. You were dead and when God comes along and quickens you, you have done nothing to deserve that. It’s an act of grace.


But if you are going to inherit eternal life as your own life, you’ve got to be found worthy. What makes you worthy? Now, this is the truth that people will turn their ears away from in the last days, because now this brings you into accountability and responsibility before God and teaches you that you can’t work out this with anybody else but Him. You didn’t want that; you wanted something that was brought to you free! And that’s the way it comes in the beginning; it’s a down payment. He’ll only give you a foretaste, so you can taste and see if you really agree that God is good. And if you read the scripture, you can see it says this; there are some that when they are given the new wine, they say the old is better, and so if you have a mind to go back to what you came out of, will there be opportunity? ( Oh yes! ) Well, if you were saved up front and you couldn’t get out, there would be no opportunity. Where would be the trial of your faith? And it is the end of your faith that is the salvation of your soul – not the beginning of it because faith comes by hearing. But before faith came, God had the people under two masters. Do you know what the two masters were? Sin and the law. And what He was showing is that the law could not get you out of sin. It could make you guilty, but it couldn’t get you out of sin; it couldn’t give you life. There had never been a law given that could give life. So to bring people under law puts them in a form, but no life, and people would rather be in the form of godliness than to be in a life of godliness, because in the form of godliness, it’s done by ‘will worship’. And God wanted to show you He didn’t want you worshipping Him in ‘will worship’. What do I mean by ‘will worship’? It means I can become strong enough in my own will that I don’t smoke, I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls that do. But that only cleanses me from the filth of the flesh, so outside I look good, but it doesn’t give me life. There’s no law that ever gives me life. Life is not in law, although it operates by law. It’s called the law of the Spirit of life, but the letter of the word -- if you would read the Bible and embrace and do what it tells, you’ll be in the form but you’ll be dead. You’ll be whitewashed tombs. Outwardly you look good, but inwardly you’ll be dead. Why? Because you don’t have His life in you. Life and death is something you’re always in; you’ll never be without it. It’s just a question of what you are dead to and what you are alive to. In order to be alive to God, you have to be dead to sin. In order to be dead to God, you’ve got to be alive to sin.


Can you live, living in sin? Hear that and answer that. Can you live, living in sin? No, see, you cannot live in God’s life living in sin because in Him there is no sin. But can you be alive in sin? Yeah! But what are you dead to? God. Now if you come alive to God, that requires you to be dead to sin. Now, when you are dead to something you no longer live in it. Can you die to God? Yes, you no longer live in Him. Can you go in and out? Yes. Now, sin doesn’t execute its sentence instantly. That’s why you can find a man on the side of the road, half dead. Can a man that’s half dead be revived? Yes; you’ve got to get out of it (sin) before it finishes its work. Where are you when you are half dead? Well, you are in sin; the clock is ticking; the time is running out, because there is a time lapse between when you sin and when it finishes its work. What’s the finished work of sin? Death. Death of what? God’s life. And because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, you don’t see the urgency of getting out of the sin – because there’s a time lapse there. How long suffering is God, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance? I’ll tell you, He’s been very long suffering . But if you are taking advantage of that long suffering, then you are despising, really, the goodness of God. That long suffering is the goodness of God executed toward you to lead you to repentance; to give you a chance to wake up before it’s too late – before sin finishes its work.


So you can see there’s a three dimensional thing here. That’s why God has us in a three dimensional world. Everything, God has is in three’s; have you noticed that?


So – you need to be saved out of sin; OUT of the death you were in, in sin; then you need to be saved from going BACK INTO death, until you’ve CONQUERED death.


Now, what is the way that we actually CONQUER death? Is it by being born again? No. What is the way that we actually conquer death? Only through death; only through death. What does that mean? Well, I’ve got to die the right kind of death to conquer sin, and the right kind of death to conquer sin, is when I am dead to sin – not dead in sin. Whenever you’re conformed to Jesus’ death, what you are conformed to is a death to sin. He didn’t die in sin. What caught the devil off guard was that Jesus actually died; His soul died. And the soul can only die as a result of sin. The wages of death is sin – the death of what? The soul. So, when Jesus was offered as a sacrifice for sin, in order to actually pay the wages, what had to happen? His soul had to die. Until the moment that His soul was ready to be offered as a sacrifice for sin, the Father was with Him. But in order for Him to die, the Father had to forsake Him, and at that moment of being ‘God forsaken’ – He cried, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” He had never known that separation from the Father. That was a real shock to His system! It’s a shock to anybody’s system that had never sinned – but nobody’s been there except Him.


I think the agony that He did not want to have to go through was not so much the physical agony of the beating and the cross; I think it was the agony of the separation. Because there is nothing that’s worse—that can happen to you—that is worse than to be separated from God whom you love. Everything else is a light affliction.


(Brother Bill Grier interjects this J We get that with each other, because we are connected (Brother Buddy adds: Only in the Spirit )…..right, but what I’m saying is the shame, when we are cut off, and the kind of love we are talking about; and this is when people are cut off, the importance of saying, “Look, there’s a way back – there’s a way back here!” And that’s the greatness.


Brother Buddy continues……………..and that’s something He (Jesus) didn’t have! We’ve got a way back – if you sin and you get out of it in time, it can’t hold you, because you are not under law; you are under grace. When you are under grace, there’s something to understand about that. When you are under grace, God will not impute sin to you. Now, that’s phenomenal! That’s the goodness of God that’s designed to lead you to repentance, not to make you self confident in your own way. He’ll give you a time and a space to get out before it’s too late and it’s the goodness of God that leads you to repentance.


So, until you hate your own life; till you fall out of love with yourself and love somebody more than you love yourself; which you don’t really have the capacity to do. You don’t have that capacity in you to love somebody more than yourself. It’s not there! So the only thing God requires is to “love your neighbor as yourself” but He requires you to love Him more . Now what He requires of you, with man is impossible. So how are you going to meet His requirement? It’s by the provision which He gives you to do it. What’s the provision? The Spirit; His Spirit which is a Spirit of power – that you don’t have – and a sound mind. How can you really tell when you are moving in that? You stop being self-willed; you stop wanting to govern over everybody, and you just want to work to bring things under God’s government. You become a co-laborer with Him and you want to keep your hands off of things and not try to control, but just be a helper of people who see their need to come under the government of God.


Every move of God down the pike, from the beginning, has started in the Spirit and ended in the flesh. What does that mean? Human government has been substituted for divine government over God’s people, and therefore they end up in the form of godliness but they are denying the power. Because, by the law you can exercise human government – and if they won’t hear Moses, ( that’s what Brother John likes to say ) – ‘if they won’t hear Moses’ -- that’s your beginning – then you won’t hear one that’s raised from the dead. But don’t think Moses will bring anything to perfection. Moses never made it into the Promised Land. So, you can’t under a Moses ministry, make it into the Promised Land. There’s got to be one here greater than Moses. All Moses can do for you is to get you to live a life of circumcision in the flesh, where you don’t smoke, you don’t drink and you don’t chew, and when you get there, you get puffed up in your own righteousness, right? Which is, before God as filthy rags; it won’t cut it for the wedding garment, so this is where we are, saints.


Now why do you think God is waking up such a small remnant of people? Why isn’t this place as full as it used to be? Where did all the people go? Well, they are doing what God said they’d be doing in the last days. In the last days, people will be turning their ears away from the truth and saying that’s a ‘hard saying – who can hear it’. Why is it so ‘hard’? Because it takes ‘you out of control’; where you are trying to manipulate God and everybody else and where you are still confident that your way is still right, because every man’s way is right in his own eyes, so God hasn’t yet destroyed the perceived confidence you have in yourself, so that you would see that you really need help; not that you are all secure and safe – but that you really need help – that you are in the most dangerous place that you could ever possibly be in a relationship with God, when you are walking with Him on this side of resurrection, because what’s at stake now is eternal.


Did Jesus perceive that He was in security when He was walking under God? Or, did He see He was standing in jeopardy? Did Paul see that he was in security now that he had a relationship with God? God supernaturally revealing Himself to him; supernaturally setting him as an apostle over the church? Did he see he was in great security? What did he see he was in? Great jeopardy! So, all the time the way of the wicked is upside down. Well, what’s the jeopardy you are in now? You cannot only end up dead, but you can end up twice dead – this time because of YOUR sin, not Adam’s. Now you are going to reap – not on the basis of how Adam sowed, nor on the basis of how Jesus sowed. How are you going to reap now? I want you to hear this, folks --------- How are you going to reap now? Are you going to reap on the basis of how Jesus sowed? Well you reaped on the basis of how Adam sowed. When the father’s ate sour grapes, what happened to you as the children? Your teeth were set on edge. When Jesus did the redemptive work, what happened to you as the children? Well, you got reconciled to God! Right? You see we got as a result of our father – of what our father did, but how are you going to make out in the end of this program? On the basis of what Adam did or on the basis of what Jesus did or on the basis of what you do? Come on – how are you going to reap? How you sow!


I believe this is the wake-up call – I believe this is why, at the end of the age it says all the virgins will be asleep. Now when you are asleep, you are asleep to something that you ought to be awake to. It says, “Just a little folding of the hands, just a little closing of the eyes and poverty will come soon enough.” What is it that God is going to wake some virgins up to here at the end of the age? They need to have their lamps burning, right? What’s the lamp? Well, if you’ve read the scriptures, the spirit of man is the lamp. What’s the light? Jesus said, “I am the light that lights every man.” So what does that mean – your lamp is burning? It means you are living in the light that has to be tended daily or the light will go out. So what does it have to have daily? A supply of oil. You can see that the man who was half dead, what did it take to revive him? Oil and wine. What’s the oil? It says, “Let the righteous smite me; let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil.” (Psalm 141:5)


What’s the wine? That’s what He’s currently speaking, and you can’t put this new wine in old wineskins. They will say the old is better. What is the old? That’s where He does it all for us and I don’t have to work it out and I’m going to reap as to how He sowed. Oh no – God shall not be mocked.


I think this is a wake-up call for people who are going to be ready when He comes. Everybody’s going to get woken up before He’s finished with His program. How many of you know that as God continues with His program, every eye is going to see? How many of you know that? So He’s waking up a people right now, as a kind of first fruits of His creatures, so that you will be ready when He comes; for when He comes, He’s coming to be glorified IN you! How many of you know that? How many know that He’s coming to be glorified in you? What is your hope of glory? He’s coming to be glorified in you. If Christ is the life; Jesus is called the Christ, because the life He lived in was the Christ life. Christ life is God life.


You can see this is where we are today, folks, and God is giving us this wake-up call. How many of you realize we are in a wake-up call? Now, how many of the virgins that wake up succeed in having their lamps burning when He gets here? Five – five is the number of ‘grace’. But if that is as far as you go – just grace alone – are you saved by ‘grace alone’? No. They all wake up. The wake-up is by grace, okay? Now, once you wake up, what have you got to tend to? YOUR LAMP – that the light don’t go out! What’s the light? In Him was life, and the life is the light! So when He comes, you’ve got to be found living in whose life? Whose government do you have to be under to live in His life? His; you’re the woman and He’s the man – you submit! So obedience becomes better than sacrifice; sacrifice can make it available, obedience is where you get to keep it. So He’s come that you might have that life, and have it more abundantly – when do you get the more abundant provision of it? In resurrection.


You go to any denominational churches – I don’t believe that any of them are teaching on resurrection, because to be resurrected you’ve got to be planted in the likeness of His death, and before you can be planted in the likeness of His death, up front you have to have a fellowship with His sufferings. Now if you embrace that fellowship with His sufferings and you’re conformed to His death, then you’ll be counted worthy for the resurrection. And this only comes to a people who are worthy.


Were you worthy when you were born again? Did you have to be worthy to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? No. Do you have to be found worthy to attain to that resurrection? Yes, you do. Because now it’s required of stewards that they be found faithful – you’ve been given a down payment and a foretaste of eternal life in the Spirit realm and now that you’ve tasted, how do you think it tastes? Is it good or do you think the old is better? Well it’s one thing what you say with your lips, cause with your lips, people draw nigh to God; but how about with their deeds? Are you still walking in your own ways, are you still finding your own pleasures, are you still in the control of your own life? Are you still trying to dictate to God? Or are you calling on Him with your whole heart to bring you under His yoke? It’s according to how you perceive things. If you see the jeopardy in which you stand and there’s nobody else that can help you except God, guess what you’d be doing?


Whenever they were in the boat; these were men that were very capable as seamen; they were fishermen and they had been out there many times in storms, but never one like this. So God makes sure that the circumstances get overwhelming. Why? So you see your desperate need for Somebody to help you, that if He doesn’t, you’re going to perish. That’s the opposite of security. Now you’re seeing the jeopardy in which you stand. Did Paul see that jeopardy? Yes . Did Jesus see that jeopardy? Yes. So, what did they do about it? They cried unto the Father with strong crying and tears; not to save them out of death, but to save them from death, until death was swallowed up in life.


And whenever you get that portion of life that’s eternal, it will come as a gift – but not a gift from God, it’ll be the gift of God, where He will be your God, and you will be His people. So what you are out to do is to win Him. You’re out to win Him . The concept of winning souls by a man is very false. Now Paul said, “I’ve become all things to all men that by any means I might save some.” But what he is talking about saving them from, is not speaking of saving them in the sense that he is capable of getting them into eternal life; what he is talking about is saving them from perishing, because if you can convert a sinner from the error of his ways, you will save that soul from perishing; die of death. So you have to be careful what you hear in scripture and how you hear it. Did that make Paul now a savior? Were men’s souls dependent upon Paul or is every soul dependent on how they sow? And ‘the soul that sinneth, it shall surely die’. What you can do to be a help to people in this matter is to help them see what we are talking about now. That it has to become ‘your burden’ to work out your own salvation – you can’t work anybody else’s out. It has to become your burden to work out your own salvation, and therefore God says, “Before you try to help the rest of creation, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”, is that right?


And if you make the mark – you press toward this prize and you hit the mark - you’re going to be used of God to deliver the whole creation. But you will never deliver the creation as a living soul. You’ve got to get there as a life-giving Spirit and that requires resurrection. You can’t be involved in the delivery of creation from the bondage of corruption and be a part of a government that will bring all into the glorious liberty of the children of God, until you are a life-giving Spirit. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. When you get life, you get a down payment and a foretaste that gives you enough to live in, but you can’t give that life to anybody else. But once you get up into the life-giving Spirit realm, now Jesus is in a place where He can give life to whom-so-ever He will.


So this is where we are, folks; we’re in this program and now God purposes to bring many sons to glory. He’s already got a pretty good number of sons that have died in faith and they are all waiting for this end-time event of the last class to come through, that God is taking through the trial of their faith to see if they can be proven worthy of eternal life. Because the only ones that are going to get it is the ones that show themselves worthy by showing proper respect for this birthright; where you no longer live, but Christ lives in you.


So this is where we are today, and God is giving the opportunity to those who have ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to understand. And you can’t bring anybody into this program. The only one that you can do anything about is you. And until you and I have our own obedience fulfilled, we really don’t have a readiness to help anybody else. The husbandmen that labor must be first partakers of the fruit. So I want to conclude with this:


Notice that salvation is three dimensional: The first thing that had to happen since you were born dead in sin – the first thing that had to happen; you had to be quickened out of that. And you that were dead in trespasses and sin, what has He done now? He’s quickened you. Now that you are quickened, what have you got to be saved FROM – now that was what you were saved out of, now what must you be saved FROM? Going back in – if you go back into sin again and you die from it, how many times will you have been in sin, dead? That’s the second death. You won’t hear that preached in other churches either, because the devil is out to blind your mind of this truth so you can rest in the finished work of Jesus, rather than finishing it yourself. So he can make you believe you can reap on how Jesus sowed rather than how you sow.


Now, if God is going to bring a company in, He’s not going to bring everybody to it at this time, He’s just calling many to come into this, but the many are really few compared to the many that are out there. That’s what He’s been doing down through time, beginning with all those who walked by faith.


Who was the first person to walk by faith in God’s creation? Abel, and he died in faith and now is reserved for him the crown of life. Who was the second one to walk by faith? Enoch. Who was the third one to walk by faith? Noah. So God has shown from the beginning, for any of them to walk by faith, what did they have to find in the sight of God? Grace. So grace is unmerited favor, but when you walk by faith, now you gain some merit – you’re found worthy. Why? Because God entrusted you with a down payment and a foretaste of His life, to see what you’d do with it. If you sin, what will happen? You’ll lose it. If you preserve that life; if you have a proper respect for the birthright, what will you do? You’ll lay down your own life that His life might live in you. When I no longer live, Christ can live in me. NOW I can show God how much I love Him.


Love, you see, is not some emotional feeling. I was thinking about this when we were talking about the arranged marriages. There is no erotic feeling going on between those marriages – that is not what love is. Love is not an erotic feeling. Erotic feeling is a pretty good feeling, but it’s not love; it’s lust. So, what’s love? What’s the proof of love? The proof of love is that you’ll lay down for the one whom you love. How do you know that Jesus loved you? He laid down His life for you. You never had an erotic feeling toward Him, or Him toward you. You have never even seen Him physically, and though you’ve never seen Him, you love Him – not out of your own capacity, but by the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind that God has given you. Now, when you really see the truth about it, you’re going to know Jesus did that to show how much He loved the Father, but the Father was doing that with the Son to show the world how much He loved the Son.


I’ve never had an emotional relationship with God at all – physical – but I have certainly sensed it and I’ve been in His presence, and I love being there, and I’m grieved every time I do something to get separated from it. As soon as I get separated from it, I’m hungering and thirsting for it again. You don’t hunger and thirst for something you’ve got plenty of. So how many of you are satisfied with your relationship with God now? I’m not satisfied with mine, I mean I love what I’ve got, but there’s more. There’s more! There’s a lot more – there’s a greater grace that’s yet to come to you when you get the full inheritance; not just a down payment and a foretaste. I love how it tastes now – oh, I’ve tasted and see that the Lord is good – I want more – I want more!! God says, “You want more? Follow Me, follow Me.”


Where’s He going to lead you? He’s going to lead you into death and you’re going to be doing this voluntarily to show how much you love Him. There’s no greater love than this; that I lay my life down daily, that Your life might be what I manifest in my mortal body. Now if that life is coming through, you’re not only going to love the saints – you’re going to love your enemies because God is love.


We can see how Jesus demonstrated that love toward us while we were yet enemies, He laid down His life in obedience to His father. He says it’s one thing when you would lay down your life for a friend but while you were enemies, Christ did this for you, that He might win you from being an enemy to being a friend and He says this, “You’re my friends if you do what I tell you.” We love to sing the song, ‘Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus’. But let me tell you, that’s not the issue. The issue is, what kind of a friend does He have with me? The word says, “A friend will stick closer to you than a brother.” If you look at the household of God, brothers were at enmity. But if you are a friend and not an enemy, a friend is higher than just being a brother and Jesus said, “You are my friend if you do what I say.” Can you say, “Amen?”


So friends, this is where it is. We need to be a society of friends. And it’s required of friends that they show themselves friendly. Can you say, “Amen?” Well, that’s what I recommend!


And I will tell you, face answers unto face and heart unto heart and if you show yourself friendly to God, guess what He will show Himself to you? He will show himself friendly, “This is My friend in whom I am well pleased.” But on the other hand, I’ve noticed it is not really good to be His enemy – I mean He seems to win every one of those contests. So, does God have a friend in you? How would you know you’re His friend? He will stick closer to you than a brother. You can have brethren that want to kill you, is that right or wrong? (…. an answer returns – “right”) ……and the truth is you will lay your life down for them, but you won’t give your life to them.


Ladies and gentlemen, the decision is in your hands. Choose you – when? (This day) ……..don’t think you’ve got it done; you’ve got to do it every day. It’s called the ‘daily sacrifice’ and if that stops, your temple is left desolate because His life will no longer be in it. So when the ‘daily sacrifice’ is no longer offered it produces the desolation of the temple of God, which temple ye are. Can you say, “Amen?”

Copyright 2004 International Ministerial Association. All Right Reserved.