THIS WEEKS MESSAGE
THE MIND AND CHARACTER OF GOD Part One - A
Presented to you by
Pastor John S. Torell from his home church
Your responses and comments are always welcome.
11 January 1998
Praise the Lord! I've ministered for the past two weeks on insanity. Some of you may have been wondering where I am going with these messages. Praise God, we want to be well. TheLord has had me lay down the characteristics of the devil and also the relationship as to where we are with God. Now we're going to focus on The Mind And Character Of God.
Turn to Genesis, chapter 1 verse 26. Just like a child wants to know his father and mother, so each man should ask these questions: WHO IS GOD? WHAT DOES HE LOOK LIKE? WHERE DOES HE LIVE? HOW DOES HE THINK? Is He friendly or hostile toward his own creation? If someone would come up to you and ask you these questions, would you be able to say, this is what the Bible says?
We're going to begin to explore this. If you understand the mind and character God; we will be able to function in this world on a better scale. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
This is the first thing that God tells us in his word. That we are created in God's image. This does not make us gods. We're not divine. We are created beings. When God created us, He made us a copy of Himself. We are His image. We do know that God is triune. What does that mean? It means if you look into the Hebrew text, verse one it says, "In the beginning God." Hebrew word, is Elohim, which means gods. We know that when Jesus came to this earth, He talked about the Father in heaven. He said, "If you have seen me, you have seen Father. I and the Father are one." He talked about the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. When Jesus walked on this earth, the Father was in heaven, the Son was on earth and the Holy Spirit communicated between them and is the one that has the power. You and I cannot split ourselves up. We also are triune because when we were created, we were created with a physical body, a soul and when we are born again we receive a spirit. We are triune but we cannot divide ourselves. We can only be in one place at a time because we are not divine. We are created in His image. When God created Adam and Eve, they had a mind of God. They communicated with God and fellowshipped God. You'll find that Adam gave names to all the living things and everything else. He had a vast knowledge. God had given him wisdom. He lost it, when he sinned.
Let's understand one thing, WE CAN ONLY KNOW WHAT GOD HAS CHOSEN TO REVEAL TO US THROUGH HIS WRITTEN WORD, THE BIBLE!
I would say that we know just bits and pieces. If you would ask me, "What did God do before creation?" I don't know. I know the Bible says that God has always existed. Think about that for a few moments. That means for eternity, the other direction, He always existed. What did God do during that time of eternity? I do not known. He has not told us. We may find out someday. What is outside of the universe? The Bible does tell us that the city of God, His capital is outside the creation. If someone says that the universe is vast we know that, but what exists outside of the universe? I don't known. I know there's a city of God where he rules. We have no idea. There are so many unknown things. There's one thing that we need to know and that is this. Regardless of what we don't know, as long as we know that God loves us, it does not matter. If we know that God is love and that He loves as, then it does not matter if we do not know these other things. We know that He is our Father.
Turn to John, chapter 14 verse 5. If you take the rag tag in town, the Bee (Sacramento Bee news paper). You'll notice that they are always up to some mischief. Right now they're helping the Muslims celebrate the Ramadan. They had a big article Saturday about the converts to Islam. They say more and more people are converting to Islam. I thought that was bad news. The paper said they had four conversions per month. That is a lot. That is four too many. They had a story about an Iranian man who married a woman from Georgia. She was raised in church and had accepted Christ. Her background was Methodist. She had never missed Sunday school and was in church all of her life. She went to college and met this Iranian student there. She married him and he convinced her to convert to Islam. They had a picture of this man, his son and the woman. It was very interesting because the man and his son were kneeling down on some carpet. Behind them was a woman, because women in the Muslim faith are degraded and considered not to be worth very much. The men are. It was asked of this woman, "How did you convert? I had to give up Jesus Christ. I had to renounce His divinity and say, I no longer believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. I now believe that Mohammed is the prophet of God." What a tragedy, when someone comes from knowing God, to believing a lie! Embracing someone and rejecting the living God. It is a tragedy!
"Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake."
Turn to Hebrews chapter 1 verse 1. "God, who in sundry times [that means many times] and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and express image of his person, and
upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Many different religions are trying to fill in the gaps. We have to learn one thing. God has told us enough to be saved, to understand Him and to have the victory. The victory in Jesus Christ.
Once Adam and Eve sinned, they lost the Mind of God and received the nature of Satan, which is the reason that each person must be born again to be able to enter the kingdom of God.
Turn to John, chapter 3 verse 3. [After the day of Pentecost the Apostle Peter went into Iraq and Iran. Other apostles went down into what is called today, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. From about the year 60 A. D. to 200 A. D. Christianity was the faith of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt. All these nations were strong Christian nations. Something happened. As new generations came in, they did not stay in the word and they became sloppy. Six hundred and twenty-five years after Christ. A rascal who was an adulterer, and a thief, his name is Mohammed. He was able to get a small following of disciples. They build up a small army. Satan gave them power and with the sword and deception they conquered. Today they are ruling over one billion people on this earth. These people are doing carpet time and facing Mecca. Today many Americans who are born here, are looking to Islam as something wonderful and are converting. This tells us that our churches are weak. We, as believers are weak. The power of the Holy Ghost is not working. It is a sad day. Do we care? Some do. Some don't. My heart is grieved when I see people turn from Christ and turn to a demon god and renounce Christ. Adam and Eve received the nature of Satan. "Jesus answers and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. [You have to be born again.] Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, you must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit." [Have you been born again? Have you accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Do you know Jesus as your master?]
One thing that struck me is this. People who are now Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, any other religion, they are very strict. They are proud of their discipline. Satan is proud of their discipline. Christians are among the most sloppiest people on this earth. We do not understand God's laws. We move around wherever we please. We say, "God will understand." God does not understand! We lose the power. We have to be born again and move into the kingdom of God.
Turn to Colossians, chapter 1 verse 12. "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." [We have been delivered from the power of darkness. We have been translated into the kingdom of his dear son. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.]
Here is the good news. When you accepted Christ, your spirit became alive and you were born again. He has given us the mind of Christ. He has now given us the ability to be able to think with God and to receive His wisdom. Isn't that good news? Let us take advantage of that. How does God think?
Turn to Isaiah, chapter 55 verse 8. [This is where we find God's mind.] "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
I want you to think with me here this morning. If we go back in history, what is the trademark of man? The worst trademark of man is probably violence. What was the first deed that Cain did? He killed his brother. If you look at every century that has gone by, you'll find that they have been filled with wars. Every century people are killing and training for wars. People are scheming and for what purpose? Greed! We want more property and more power. We want to control the seas and rivers. This is not God's way. Can I liken it to you this way? Let's say all of us are going to go on a little vacation. We get everything together to go. We travel to a beautiful little park where we're going to camp. We have one week to be there and have a good time. We use that week fighting over who is going to get the best site. To be able to have the largest territory. To be able to pick the most flowers. To be able to dominate everything. That is man! God has given us the most beautiful planet created in the universe. We have clean waters, beautiful oceans, rivers, mountains, meadows, plenty of food and then God said, "Be fruitful and replenish the earth." Instead of saying, "Thank you Lord. Praise God, let's have a good time." We have been fighting for 10,000 years plus. We continue to fight to this day. For what? Stupidity! God says my ways are not your ways. Peter went up to Jesus one day. He was upset with someone. He asked, "Lord, how many times do I have to forgive this person before I can hit him?" Then Peter said something very piest. "Lord, is it enough if I forgive him seven times before I hit him?" Jesus said, "Not seven times but seven times seventy." We are here to love, not to fight. We are here to build, not to destroy. We're here to rescue. You'll read in the gospel's where Jesus was walking one day with his disciples, someone did not get him lodging. James said, "Lord, let's call down fire from heaven and zap these people." Jesus said, "You do not know of what spirit you are. The Son of man did not come to destroy, but to save." The thoughts of God are so much higher than ours, that we have to come up to His level and not think that He will come down to our level.
What are the characteristics of God? The first characteristics is this. God is love.
Turn to Deuteronomy, chapter 7 verse 7. [Love is something we cannot resist because we are built to be loved and give love. I have been burned so many times in life, that when someone comes up with something, I always say, "What is the catch?" God's love has no catches.] "The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house bondman, from the hand of Pharaoh King of Egypt." Let's understand that this morning. It is not because we are great. God says, "I love you, as you are." With our temper, our anger, with diseases, rebellion, and all the different things that we have. God says, "I loved you!"
God showed me what love really is. In 1969, when I was in seminary, we were going down to Los Angeles. There were about six or seven of us students that were going to attend a Billy Graham crusade as counselors. We were to attend the crusade school. One of the students had a friend whose family took us in. I felt like an appendix in this home because we did not know these people. I thought we were extra luggage for them. I was surprised that the lady of the house had such a love for each one of us. I said to my wife, "How can she love us? She does not know us. We are nothing to her." That is what I felt. This woman would get up at 5:00 in the morning, and fix us the best breakfast anyone could have. Then she would talk to us about the Holy Spirit. We would come home at night around 11:00. She would have another meal prepared and waiting for us students. She would talk to us more about the Holy Spirit. She fed us and loved us for a solid week. This woman had one desire, to love us with the love of God because she had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. She wanted to see these five or six Southern Baptist preachers be filled with the Holy Ghost. She loved Him into us. I never forgot the experience. It is hard to receive love because we always think there's a catch to it. With God there are no catches. He loves us unconditionally.
Turn to John, chapter 3 verse 16. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." He loved us people so much that He sent his only begotten Son to save us, to heal us and to give us eternal life. What have we done to deserve this? NOT A THING! Can we work for it? NO! All we can do is to accept it. We surrendered to Him and say, "God really loves me."
Think about this. Most of us do not think very highly of ourselves. Most of us know ourselves so well. We know our shortcomings. We know exactly who we are and how petty we can be. We might advertise, but if we believe our own advertisements we are in trouble. We know who we are. We need to understand that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He knows who we are. He loves us.
Turn to Romans, chapter 5 verse 1. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into his grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commandeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now receive the atonement."
Yes, Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. What is love? Love is divine.
I believe it was in 1970. My wife and I were in the seminary. At that time we lived in a studio apartment. One of the conditions, while in the seminary, is we could not have any pets. One evening while my wife and I were out walking in the neighborhood park near the waterfront, a dog came upon us. It was a German shepherd. He was looking very meek and timid. Someone had abandoned this dog who was about six months old. The dog came straight to my wife and she pet it. From that moment on the dog did not leave her. We began to talk and ask ourselves what do we do with this dog? We're not allowed to have any animals. We looked into the eyes of the dog and they seemed to say, "I have no one. I found you. Would you love me?" We said, "The dog looks very hungry. We will take it home and feed it." After we fed the dog, we opened the door to let it out, but it did not want to leave. It seemed to be saying I want to stay. So he kept the animal overnight. The following day I contacted my brother to see if he would take the dog. The dog has been with his family for about 10 or 11 years. She never did forget my wife and I. The dog had an unconditional love for us. If an animal could have this kind of love, how much more should we understand the love of God? God says, "I want to take you in my arms. I want to heal you. I want to love you. I want to nurture you. I want to help in this life. I want to make your path easier for you." God is love! Will you receive that love today? For years we have thought of God as being someone sitting in heaven with a huge club waiting for us to make a mistake so that He can hit us. That is not our heavenly Father. He sent His Son to die for us. God wants to save us, heal us, minister to us and help us to grow in His love. God is a God of love.
God is a God of law. The love of God is the foundation for all other attributes. God is love. Because God is love, God is also a God of law. Think about that. If someone loves you, shouldn't there be laws? Without laws, you cannot love.
Turn to Exodus, chapter 20 verse 1. "And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other God before me. Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that he is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God. Visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children onto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy onto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."
I want to talk to you about commitment today. I was young when I got married. I was in my early 20's. Like so many others I had girlfriends before I married. I saved some of the letters and pictures. We all save things. As long as I was dating, the subject never came up about these letters and pictures. These women that I dated were objects, I did not love them. I was in love with the lady that I was engaged to. The conditions or law was that I had to give up these letters and pictures because I was to be totally devoted to my wife. Because of love I got rid of these things. I made a commitment to one woman, my wife. I said, "I will forsake all others. I will be committed to us for the rest of my life on this planet." It has been 37 years and we are doing very well. Relate this now to what is written in the book of Exodus. Here's what God is saying, "I love you. I do not want to share you with anyone else. I do not want to share you with any other person. You either love me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people or else you have to go to your other god. This is the law God. What it does is, ministers to us. Who needs demons? Why can we not be faithful to God, when we can be faithful to our spouse? Why do we have to commit idolatry against God and not be faithful to Him, when He loves so much? God says, "I am a God of laws."
Turn to Job, chapter 38 verse 1. "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth council by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?" If you understand what is being said here, you will realize that God has laid down laws for everything. Everything is developed upon law. Is that love? Yes! When there is law, there is no chaos. We can function. We know that electricity will work the same today as it will tomorrow. Gravity will be here every day. We know the mathematical laws be the same today and tomorrow, whether it be in chemistry or physics. We can depend upon them. The laws make it so we can function.
If there was no integrity, things would fly apart. Let's say God would play a joke upon us. He would turn the integrity of steel into that of paper. Our buildings would crumble. Our automobiles would not function anymore because the integrity of steel had been changed. God's laws are unchanged. They are here for our protection. Praise God for that! God, is a God of law.
Turn to Deuteronomy, chapter 28 verse 1. "And it shall come to pass, if thou shall hearken [listen] diligently [carefully] unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearkened unto the voice of the Lord thy God."
I want to ask you this. If we did not have banking laws and property laws in this country, do you understand that you would not be able to own any property? You could work and try to save money but your money might be worthless. The only reason that you have a job or a business is because we have law and order in this land, to a degree. When law and order breaks down, we cannot function. The reason you have a car to drive home in after attending this service is because we have a law. People respect it enough that they don't steal your car. You have a home to go to for the same reason. Law is love. Law creates order so that we can function properly within it. Satan is chaos. He is lawless and his people are lawless. If you look at the discussion that is going on now about Ted Casinski. Should he be put to death or not be put to death? They're talking about his insanity. Yet this man has maimed or killed 18 people over the last 25 years. Is it right to keep a person who has disregard for the law and say that he is mentally ill and then we are to take care of him? The law has broken down. This man, regardless of his mental condition, made a choice. This is about as bad as a drug addict who is fried out and kills someone. His response is, "I cannot help it because I am a drug addict." You can help it because you took the drugs to begin with. You are held responsible. If we do not hold this man to the law he destroys others. Have you seen some of his victims? They are maimed. Some have blown off hands, disfigured faces that will never be the same because a man broke the law of God. My rights end at the tip of your nose. We must learn to respect each other, and treat each other in the image of God. If we do not preach that and teach it, there will be a breakdown.
Deuteronomy, chapter 28 verse 3. "Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep." Verse 14. And thou shall not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments any statutes which I command thee in this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:" The list of curses, that follows in that chapter, are terrible.
If you want to see two horror stories of curses, look upon the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany lasted 12 years. The Soviet Union lasted about 70 years. That is when insanity ruled. Lawlessness was the order of the day. Nothing mattered except with the dictator decreed by his troops. It was a terrible time, lawless without the love of God. God, is a God of love and law.
Turn to Daniel, chapter 4 verse 13. [Daniel is speaking here.] " I saw in visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cutoff his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under, and the fowls from his branches: Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
God spoke to a prophet who lived in Sweden. The prophecy was given somewhere in the late '60s to the early '70s. Everyone laughed at it because the prophecy was; "God said I'm going to destroy communism. I'm going to tear down the Berlin wall. I'm going to destroy communism, put it out of business, it is going to crumble." No one knowing the iron hand that Satan had in the '60s and '70s, would believe this. It did happen. Some of the men are now dead. The system is changing. There is a window open now for the gospel to be preached. Eventually in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union there will come a new dictatorship. It will not be a Communist dictatorship this time, it will be a military dictatorship. God smashed Karl Marx and his teachings. He said, "Enough, is enough." God has His angels that rule the earth.
Daniel, chapter 4 verse 17. "This matter is by the decree of the watchers [These are special, powerful, high angels, who rule the politicians.] and the demand of the word of the holy ones [This is the work of God]: to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and giveth to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
Turn to Hebrews, chapter 6 verse 13. "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise immutability of his council, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hopes set before us:" [God has given us to immutable things. That means unchangeable. He cannot lie.] "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whether the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec." God's laws shall not change. They are therefore eternal. That is why we can trust God.
Social Security, you do not know whether it will be there when you need it. When God says that we will be with Him for eternity, that means no changes. Think about it this. When you have been in heaven for 10,000 years, God will not announce that He is tired you, that He wants do something else. This is what men do. For 10,000 years, His love will be as strong as it is now. When we have been there for 50 million years, God will not say, "We have been here long enough. I am getting tired of you. I want something else." No! His love will still endure forever. Understand this, it will be forever and ever. His law stands. That is security. That is eternal security. That is our God.
God is faithful.
Turn to Deuteronomy, chapter 7 verse 9. "Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;" He is faithful.
I can say that I have walked with Him as Lord for 33 years. I have known Him as my savior, since the age of three. God has been faithful, but I have not been faithful. He is always faithful. He has fed, protected, cared for, handled, never rejecting me, when I have rejected him. God is faithful. Let that sink into your soul. If you understand it, you will be healed of your emotions. Knowing that we have a faithful God, who will never abandoned us.
We abandon one another. Friendships come and friendships go, depending on how we feel that particular day. God is faithful.
I have a preacher friend who tells me every time I meet him, "God is faithful." This use to irritate me. I would say to him, "I've heard that many times. I know that. Give another phrase." Every time I see him he says, "God is faithful." I thought about him as I prepared this message. That is a good statement. God is faithful. This is something that we need to stand upon. God is love. God, is a God of law and order. God is faithful.
Turn to Isaiah, chapter 49 verse 7. So many of you when you first came here had many needs and your life was in ruin. I told you that God would heal you and restore you. You have learned that God is faithful. He met your needs and healed you. I can say this with confidence. God will take care of you. "Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee." God is faithful. This is the reason why I don't have pity parties anymore. God is faithful. I do not have to have pity parties anymore. God is faithful. God will see me through while I am on this earth. When I finish my job on this earth, he will have fed, clothed and handled me. Then he will say, "We are finished here. I have a couple of angels waiting to escort you home to heaven." God is faithful. There's no need to be depressed. There's no need to be in a panic. God is faithful.
Turn to First Corinthians, chapter 1 verse 9. "God is faithful, by whom you are called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." God is faithful.
He knew me when I was a young man with almost no money and had just moved here to this country with my wife. I had no job and no welfare. He even knew that I would go to stay with my uncle's family who was Mormon, and that I would be kicked out, because I would not join the Mormon faith. I had to make a living, and God was faithful even though I did not walk with Him then. God has stationed through out my life people, places and things to sustain me. God was before me. He has supplies with my name on it. He has people that He has said will work with and help me. God is faithful. God has the same thing for you. God has people that will love, care for, and take care of you in your time of need. God is faithful. Relax. Begin to say, "I am going to believe and trust in God. I'm going to doubt the devil from now on."
Turn to First Corinthians, chapter 10 verse 13. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it." God is faithful. It does not matter in what you are tempted. God will give you a way out. He is there to meet you. He is faithful. There's no temptation, problem that can overtake you, as long as you lean upon God. God is faithful.
I have an illustration. One year ago when one of our brothers had a little downfall, I receive a phone call from his wife. She was in tears. She said, "Pastor John, my husband is in the county jail." I said, "What!" She told me what happened. She said, "I do not know what is going on in his mind." We prayed for him and loved him. We needed to get a message to him, to let him know that we were praying for him. There was another brother in the ministry here that had access to him. He went and met him, letting him know that we were praying for him and that he was not abandoned. It was God was sending this message to him. This is what God is doing with each one of us. When we are at our lowest point in our life, at the darkest hour, God will send a messenger. If there's no one else, He will send the Holy Ghost. Telling us that we're not alone. "I have not abandoned you. I am faithful. I will get you out of your situation. I'm here to help you. I will restore you." God is faithful. Put that deep into your spirit today. The devil will never be able to shake you again. Never!
Turn to Second Thessalonians, chapter 3 verse 3. [I will never forget when I received word sometime back from one of our sisters who had fallen and was in the hospital. We were far from the hospital, so it took a while to get into town to see her. We got into the hospital and there she lay, all scraped up and bruised. Before we got there, one of the Brothers was able to be by her side and comfort her, telling her that everything would be okay. God is faithful. God has His people. God is going to take care of us. It is wonderful to have a faithful God. I could give you many other examples where God has taken care of His people. God is faithful.] "But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil." God will keep you and I forever. God is faithful.
We have learned three things here today about God. He is a God of love. He is a God of law and God is faithful.
Turn to Isaiah, chapter 1 verse 10. "Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of your God, you people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When you come to appear before me, who hath required this had to your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain of oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to hear them. And when you spread force your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full blood. Wash you, make you clean; put way the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, Judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land: But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
God says to let us come and reason. If you are not saved and have not made Christ your Lord and Saviour, you can make Christ your Lord and Saviour right now. It is so simple. All you have to say is, "God I am surrendering my life to you. I am bankrupt. I have tried everything. Nothing has worked in my life. I surrender. I now file for bankruptcy. I asked you, God, to forgive me. If you are a God of love, love me. If you are a God of forgiveness, forgive me. Jesus, I do not know much about you. Come into my life and be my Lord and savior now. I ask you to forgive me. I will trust that you are faithful."
Dear God, I asked you to forgive me of my sins. Dear Jesus, come into my heart and be my Lord and Saviour right now. I surrender my life. Jesus, I need you. I made a mess of my life. I need you, save me. Save me! In the name of Jesus.
May the Lord richly bless you is my prayer.