19 April 1998
THIS WEEKS MESSAGE
THE SPIRITUAL WEAPON OF CONFUSION
Presented to you by Pastor
John S. Torell from his home church
and comments are always welcome.
This is a topic that I have not spoken on before. I never thought about it until God gave it to me.
As the creator God has reserved the right to intervene in the lives of men, as he deems to be best. In punishing man for sins God can and will remove man's mental processing ability. This information may be new to you. I will try to illustrate it for you. In the computers that we have today, there are a number of different components. There is a hard drive. There is software or programming and a monitor, plus many other things to make it work. There is a key element in each computer that is called the processor. It is probably the most expensive part in the computer. That is the chip that processes all the incoming and outgoing signals and makes sense of them. This could be said, "A computer with a broken processor is mentally sick." To be mentally sick means that the processor inside your brain that can take data, and information, can process it and make sense of it. But when it is broken, taken out or destroyed, you are mentally sick. It is also called INSANITY. Just as a person can remove the processing chip out of a computer, God has reserved the right to do the same to us.
Turn to Daniel, chapter 4 verse 13. Nebuchadnezzar had a vision and he could not understand it. "I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and a holy one came down from heaven; He cried aload, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, 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 [mind] be changed from man's, and let a beast's [animals] heart be given unto him; and let seven times past 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 it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar [Daniel], declare the interpretation thereof, for as much as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee."
This was the most powerful king on the earth at the time, Nebuchadnezzar. His kingdom had no rivals. He was a total dictator. His word was law. With a flip of his finger a man could be executed. It does not matter how powerful a man or woman is, God is still in charge.
There are certain angels that are called watchers. They are in charge of rulers on this earth. By decree they had checked out God's word and Nebuchadnezzar had broken God's word. The decree was given that he was going to lose his mind.
Verse 19. "Then Daniel whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for one hour[for one-hour he did not speak, for how do you speak to a man that is a dictator and tell him that he is going to be an idiot, by the decree of God?], and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My Lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. The tree that thou saweth, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of heaven had their habitation: It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of earth. And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof 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 of the field, till seven times pass over him; This is the interpretation, 0 king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."
Verse 27. "Wherefore, O king, let my council be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity."
The king of Babylon was warned but the king did not pay attention to the warning from God. It did not phase him. He could have cared less.
Verse 28. "All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the Palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have build for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee."
Verse of 33. "The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did each grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws." [He became a lunatic.]
This is what I would like you to think about this morning. This is a weapon that God is using on men and women who are rebellious against God, particularly political leaders. After the fall of the Soviet Union information was released about Lenin. The last four years of his life, Lenin was a raving idiot. He was totally mentally sick. He was pushed about in a wheelchair. He had lost so much weight that he was almost skin and bones. His mind was totally gone. It was hid from the public for 70 years. Lenin did not die from natural causes he was murdered by Joseph Stalin. He was murdered by the order of Joseph Stalin. If you look upon Joseph Stalin, you will find in the last years of his life he also became mentally ill. He lost his mind. He was taken out by the chief of secret police. Look also at the life of Hitler, you'll find that in the last few months of his life that Hitler lost all of his mind and his mental capacity. He was a raving idiot. God simply took away his mind.
There was a man that died a few days ago, Pot Pol of Cambodia. He had 25 percent of his population murdered. In his last days he was a raving idiot. He lost his mind. He was mentally ill. His life was finally taken. God wants us to see this as we go into the end times. God is a God of love but also a God of justice. When God intervenes no one can help. There's no one that can cure the situation.
Something great happened to Nebuchadnezzar.
Verse 34. "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:" Look upon a man that converted. Nebuchadnezzar, suddenly one-day his mind was healed. He looked up into heaven and said, "There is a God and I want to praise him. I want to bless him with everything I have." There was a move in that kingdom.
Verse 35. "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doeth thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me." He was restored and became better. "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."
Nebuchadnezzar was restored. He repented. You and I are going to meet Nebuchadnezzar one day in eternity. There may not be a whole lot of Kings from that time. I am sure he is going to be praising God because he did not have to go to hell. God, in His mercy, gave him back his mind, so that he could repent. Before you and I were saved we were mentally sick. A person who is not saved is actually mentally sick. I will explain this to you. We are missing a component and that is our spirit. An unsaved person does not have all the processing power that we need. How many dumb decisions did you make before you were saved? You thought you were smart. You made decisions that cost you dearly. You accepted Christ and you were born again. Your spirit was born. Suddenly your mind cleared and you began to understand spiritual things.
Satan cannot remove man's processing ability, but he can cloud it, so that man rejects the truth of God by his own will. This is a truth that God gave me and I stand on it. Pray about it! Satan cannot take your mind, only God can. But Satan can cloud your mind. Here is how he does this.
It is illegal in this country to sell real sea salt. If you want to sell real sea salt you can go to prison for doing so. A hundred years ago it used to be that when you bought salt, you got real salt from the ocean. It contains 100 components. They are chemically bonded in such a way that your body can absorb it. Scientists have discovered that the development of the brain in a baby is very dependent upon real sea salt. If you deprive a baby of these components, it will have a low IQ. Do you get the picture? The salt you buy today consist of only two components, sodium and chloride. If the baby receives real sea salt while developing in its mothers womb during pregnancy and after, the babies IQ will shoot sky high and develop. Children that are malnourished, their brains, do, not develop. These children develop into people that have a less-thinking capacity. We have given them a smaller processing chip. Satan does not want people to have this capacity. What does he do to you after you grow up? First he deprived you of the salt, then when you are old enough he says, "Put a cigarette in your mouth and smoke this." When you get a little bit older he says, "Now drink this."
Which one of you will go down to the computer store and buy yourself a beautiful little PC of the latest model and take it home. Saturday night comes and you say to your computer, "We are going to have a party. I'm going to drink and then I'm going to hit you with a two by four until you cannot function anymore." Would you do that to your computer? Of course not! Anyone touches your computer, you become defensive. It will break. I paid good money for it. Would you like a computer that when you turned it on it would do whatever it pleased. You want your computer to be sharp and to function as it is programmed. God has given us our own personal computer that sets on our shoulders. We damage it to the extreme and it is done by the devil, so that you cannot make a good decision. Have you ever seen a drunk make an outstanding decision? Have your ever seen someone that is stoned out of their skull make fantastic discoveries? Satan wants to destroy our minds.
Turned to Genesis, Chapter 11 verse 1. [I want you to see how powerful God is.] "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us the city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all earth; and from thence did the lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."
Supernaturally God went down and instantly created Chinese, Russian, Swedish, English, German, and every language that is on the earth. Suddenly they could not work together. Their minds, their brains, their computer had been changed. They were divided and moved to all the different places on the earth. This was beginning of the world government by Satan and God stopped it.
Understand what I am about to say. The computer is the key for man to pick up where Babylon ended. We have the Internet today, known as the World Wide Web. There are programs today that will translate any language into whatever language you want. We now have a global worldwide communication system. God stopped it for many years. Isn't it amazing where He said in verse 6, "Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."
Turn to Genesis, chapter 19 verse 4. "But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him. And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known men; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof." [Lot is going to sacrifice his own two daughters to be raped all night.] "And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he well needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came in near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, [these are angels] and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
God instantly blinded the men of Sodom and Gomorrah. They could not see the door.
Turned to Judges, chapter 7 verse 15. "And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord had delivered into your hand the host of Midian. And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall you do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow You the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the three hundred blew trumpets, and the Lord set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath."
In verse 22 we read, "The Lord set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host." God simply used the weapon of confusion and the soldiers killed themselves. They turned onto themselves.
In the book of Ezekiel it talks about the tribulation that we are coming into. It talks about the great time that we are going to have, the Russian Federation coming into Israel. There will be such a confusion that the soldiers will kill each other. God does send confusion. This could be seen a few weeks ago in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia during their religious ceremonies there were more than a million people lined up in a field where they have a pillar that is called the devil. These people were told that in order to have a religious experience they needed to take some small pebbles and throw them at this pillar. In doing this you are stoning the devil. The crowd became insane and they stampeded. More than one hundred and eighty people were killed. These were men and women that were trampled to death by people that lost their sanity. This was done in the name of Mohammed. The Saudi Arabian government said, "It was the fate of these people to be killed and it was an honor. Anyone that dies during these circumstances goes straight to heaven without any interruption." The sad thing is they all went straight to hell because anyone that does not know Jesus goes straight to hell. CONFUSION!
Turned to Second Kings, chapter 7 verse 1. "Then Elisha said, Hear you the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria." [This was the capital of Israel. There was a big army outside of it.]
Verse 6. "For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life." There is the weapon of confusion, blindness and fear. God has reserved the right to use these weapons to rule as He sees fit. You and I need to show God a whole lot of respect. I'm going to show you what happens when we reject the love of God. We receive a reprobate mind.
When Lucifer decided to rebel against God, he used the weapon of confusion on all of God's holy angels.
Turned to Revelation, chapter 12 verse 3. "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as he was born."
Verse 7. "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found anymore in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, in straighth, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."
Think about this. Satan is a powerful angel. He is very powerful. God's holy angels living in the universe with civilizations, commerce and business have seen the glory of God. They know the power of God. Here comes Lucifer confusing them. Thinking that if they line up with Lucifer they can go up into the very throne room of God, dethrone God, take Him out and take over the universe. One-third of the Angels believed it.
Last week, a 13 year old boy died in the Sacramento area. He was bright, intelligent and doing well in school. He was bored, so he decided that he and his friends were going to play with his dad's revolver. As they were sitting by themselves alone he put one bullet into the chamber. He spun it several times. He put it to his head and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Russian rulet. He laughed, spun it one more time, put the gun to his head again, pulled the trigger and blew his brains out, instantly. He was 13 years old. He probably blew himself straight to hell. I do not think he was saved. What would cause such insanity? I'm sure the boy had many hours of television viewing. Lots out training from ungodly people in school. He had gone through the teaching of evolution and was told he was nothing more than an oversized monkey. What could his dad and mom say? They lost their son!
If I was going to fleece you this morning, this is what I would tell you. Before you leave the ushers are going to bring out a big box. We want you to put in this box all your cash, your jewelry and watches, your credit cards everything that is of value that you have. We want it all put in this big box so we can multiply and use it. In return we are going to give you play money. During the week as you use the play money you tell people that you have invested your varluables and you'll receive 1,000 times in return. How many of you will come and drop everything into the box? You would not do this, would you? You would say, "I do not believe in that." Why were we so dumb to believe in our adolescents. That taking drugs, a cigarette or a bottle of beer would not hurt us? We took the most precious thing that God had given us, our physical body and we soiled it. What did the devil give us in return? Dirt! Heartache! Pain! How many of you could kick yourself for the way you behaved during your high school days? Most of us thought it was party time. Do you remember your dad telling you that you could not live on minimum wage? You cannot raise a family on minimum wage and you laughed and said, "Dad you are old fashioned. You do not know what you are talking about. We are the "in", generation." The "in", generation today lives on minimum wage. They stand in line at the welfare offices with their children. They say, "How could we have been so stupid?" Satan is very clever. He can actually sell you a dirty rat that is totally rotten, molded and tell you that it is the finest hamburger you'll ever find.
LIES + DECEPTION SOAKED IN FLATTERY = CONFUSION
Have you ever noticed that when someone comes up to you and tries to sell you something or drag you down they always try to flatter first? They may say, "Aren't you handsome. You are such a bright person. Do I have a deal just for you. There has to be someone with your intelligence that I can sell this to." When someone comes up and flatters you like this, that is the time to say, "No, I am not going to buy it. I am not interested. I do not want to hear anything from you." Have you ever received a phone call where the person calling says, "Is this the man of the house?" You know what is coming next. If you have the mind of milk toast you may say, "I have never been called the man of the house before. This is the man house." She says, "I am so glad to talk to a real man." You are being flattered. She will use this to her advantage to sell you something. When the conversation is done and you have bought what was being sold, you'll wonder how it happened and how are you going to explain it to your wife. The sad thing is you just spent four thousand dollars. That is how the devil works! The same thing goes for the ladies. The same type of flattery is presented, to seduce you into buying. Satan cannot take your sanity but he can cloud it.
Turned to Romans, chapter 1 verse 18. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifested in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, in their foolish heart was darkened."
Understand what is being said here. This is what happened to us when we were younger. Our hearts were darkened. We did not understand!
I will never forget when I was about 16 1/2 years old. I had never drank any hard liquor before. I had been raised in a Christian home and had accepted Christ. My heart had been darkened. It started with the movies. I left the church and Sunday school and started going to movies. From the movies came the ladies and from the ladies came the booze. I would never forget the day that Satan tried to take my life. We had purchased some potato whiskey. It is called vodka here in the states. It is terrible raw stuff. We purchased about a leader and a half. This stuff could kill a horse. There were three of us. One guy chickened out and did not show up. The two of us drank it in about 20 minutes. Then we decided we were going to take a bus and go dancing. I got on the bus and sat next to a lady who was about 80 years old and I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had seen in my life. I made an idiot out of myself. By the time I arrived at the dance hall my legs would not carry me. I had to go behind a house and relieve myself. By the time I had finished I was drifting in and out. I was blessed that the police were there. They picked me up and put me into a cab. They took me to the police station. In the cab I remember telling the officer that I was getting sick. He said, "Oh, you are just making it up." He rolled down the window and said, "Stick your head out the window." I said, "I have to stand up." He said, "Sit down." I threw up all over him. By the time I got to the station I could not walk. I could not speak. The alcohol was now surging into my bloodstream faster and faster. I remember two cops holding me up and I was just like a sack of potatoes. I could hear, see and think but I could not speak or move. I heard the station commander say, "Where did you pick this guy up?" "Out here. We have never seen him before. He may not make it." One of the policeman said, "Throw him in the tank and let him die." Another policeman said, "We have never seen him before let's give him a chance." I know inside my brain I could not say, "Please help me!" Satan had me bound. I stood there hearing them bargain for my life. Then I lost consciousness. The next thing I remember is that I woke up in a hospital with a tube coming out of my mouth. They were pumping my stomach. Satan knew that day that God had an anointing upon me. He knew that I belonged to Jesus. He took my mind and clouded it so badly that I became mentally insane and then he tried to kill me. It was God's intervention that saved my life. Each one of us have made great mistakes over the years. Praise God you would not be here today unless God Himself intervened. He moved upon you, saved you and moved you in the direction so that you could receive Christ. It is by the grace of God that we are here today. We have nothing to boast about.
Here is what God said He will do. He will give them up.
We put in space the space ship Columbia. As they were transmitting communications and broadcasting it on the news the other day, I heard in the background this comment, "We have all these lower species and us higher species." Evolution! He may be a scientist and be able to command the space shuttle but he is a moron when it comes to spiritual things.
Romans, chapter 1 Verse 26. "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is on seemingly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;"
Satan will confuse us and cloud us. We will make a decision and then receive a reprobate mind. Once people are infected with Satan's confusion, the demons will saturate the mind of the person.
Turn to Second Timothy, chapter 3 verse 1. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
Once we are infected with Satan's confusion the demons will saturate the mind of the person and all these fruits will begin to show up.
Turn to James, chapter 3 verse 14. "But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."
I spoke upon this last Wednesday. In the churches of America and the whole world of today there is bitterness, confusion and fighting. There is a destruction that is going on in families and between relatives. It is a weapon of Satan. He is sending out the spirit of confusion, followed by the spirit of offense.
When a person rebels against intrusive God, God will reject those who will reject his love!
Turn to First Samuel, chapter 15 versus 22. "And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearkened than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as this sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected thee from being king."
That day many years ago when I got drunk. I remember my dad in the afternoon speaking to my mom. He said this, "The boy has something up his sleeve. He is going to do something." My mother said, "Oh, no." My dad said, "I want us to keep him home tonight." I heard him say that. The demonic forces in me flattered my mother. I swept her off her feet. I divided them. I remember when I walked away my dad saying, "He should not go." My mother said, "You have to let him go. He is to old now." It was the love of my dad that looked upon his son knowing his son was going to do something bad. He tried everything that he had in his power, but he lost. I wish I would have turned around and said, "Dad you are right. I am a liar. I am bad. I want to talk to you." At that time I was confused. I had a reprobate mind. God had to supernaturally intervene. Our heavenly Father loves us with everything He has. He wrote a love book called the Bible. He wrote all the things in the Bible, not to give us a bad time but to give us a good time. To tell us how to live and how to have life abundantly. Satan is standing on the sidelines saying, "Do not listen to daddy. Come over to me."
I cannot help but think about the billboards that are advertising gambling in Reno. It is of a woman holding a platter with fancy drinks on it enticing fun. Let's use our brains here. If you're going to be dumb enough to gamble you do not want to be lubricated so that you will become more stupid. The strategy at the casinos is to keep you intoxicated with cheap drinks so that you cannot think. So that you think you're having fun while they are taking your money. It is insanity!
Turn to Second Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 8. [We are coming into a time of dilution that the world cannot even understand.] "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivablesness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
You saw it last year where 40 people of a sect committed suicide. Their leaders said, "There is a space ship coming to take us. Let us all buy the same tennis shoes, the same color pants and shirts. Let us all go in and drink this potion of poison and lay in our beds and die. So that we can be picked up by this space ship. These people were not dummies. They were computer programmers. They were teachers. They were highly educated. They said, "Yes!" We saw their corpses on television. Confusion, delusion, and insanity.
I want this message today to be a wake up sermon! Wake up to the knowledge that unless we are focused on Jesus Christ, we might be swept away by a tidal wave of deception.
Turn to Matthew, chapter 24 verse 10. [I have found that most people that listen to me on the radio do not go to church. They have been offended sometime, somewhere, some place and they will never enter a church again. What a tragedy!] "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false profits shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity [lawlessness] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
Confused people are an easy prey for the spirit of offense. I have worked with people from teen challenge and other organizations. It does not take a whole lot to offend someone. It is as easy as snapping your fingers.
We talked about the problem now, here is the solution.
Turn to Matthew Chapter 11 verse 28. "Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
This is where you and I have to start. We have to repent. I learned this over my life. I started out with certain things but every mistake I made was mine. Take responsibility for your own mistakes. Say, "Father, God, forgive me for having been a spiritual moron. Forgive me for the stupid mistake I made. I want to come to You and kneel before Jesus, declaring my bankruptcy." When we are bankrupt we have nothing. We are wiped out. That is how restoration is done in bankruptcies. So many times we want to repent only partially. We do not want to give it all up. The thing to do is to go to Jesus and say, "I am spiritually, morally, totally bankrupt. I have no righteousness. It is your righteousness. I surrender today. Every decision that I made might not have been a good one. I want you to make my decisions from now on." That is step No. 1. It works beautifully. Because Jesus is there. He will give you rest.
Step No. 2. Turn to John, chapter 14 verse 15. "If you love me, keep my commandments."
I remember as a young man being saved in my 20s surrendering to the Lord. I went to the pastor and I did not say, "There are some conditions. I want to keep this that and the other thing. These are sacred things in my life." Instead I said, "I love Jesus. Teach me His word." I went over to the pastor, showed him the Bible and said, "Amen I believe it. I accepted." I never argued with him over what is for today and what isn't. I did not argue. I said, "Yes Sir. I can see it. I accept it. I will obey."
I made a vow years ago to never taste another drop of alcohol. In our family there are alcoholics on both sides. It destroyed their family life. I made a vow years ago, that no alcohol will ever come over my lips again. I'm finished with the devil. I do not need it. There's too much good water to drink. I do not need garbage. "If you love me, keep my commandments." Obey Jesus. That is all we have to do. At that time I did not have anyone to take me through deliverance. We did not even know what deliverance was. We had no other option. We were having all other types of problems, so all we could do was to hang onto Jesus. We cried out to Him and He led us step by step. Today you have the option of learning from someone and going through deliverance to be freed in a few moments. The one thing that we have to do, that is to be obedient.
Step No. 3
Turn to Matthew, chapter 5 verse 1. "And seeing the multitude, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." [What does it mean to be poor in spirit? It means you are not proud. You're saying, "Christ is everything. I am nothing."] "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." [When was the last time you mourned over sinners? Those that were destroying themselves?] "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit earth." [You might be meek in all areas except when you drive your car. I've seen some Christians that I would say are not very meek. When you get into your car your personality changes. Woe unto the person that cuts in front you. Woe unto the person that is sightseeing when you need to go someplace. You are laying on the horn and you are cursing them. You are getting angry and your blood pressure is going up. You know what Jesus said? Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.]
I used to be very tough when I was in my car. Now when I see someone cutting in front of me I say, "Praise the Lord! I just lost a thousandth of a second. So what? Praise the Lord!" I do not have to be the first at the light. I do not have to do all these different things. Did you know that your digestion works much better when you are calm? Use the time to pray instead.
Verse 6. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." [This is how you live. "Father, God, I want righteousness. I am hungry." Can you imagine Jesus sitting in a casino? Playing the games there, with a drink in one hand and a half-naked woman on his lap. With a cigarette hanging out of His mouth. Can you imagine Jesus doing that? NO! SO WHY SHOULD YOU?] "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." [Are you a peacemaker? Do you always have to be right in every conversation? Can you say, "oh, well. I can be a peacemaker."] "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
JESUS HAS GIVEN US A SOLUTION.
No. 1 Repent of your sins and come to Jesus. Come to Jesus. Hang everything on Him. Then walk in obedience to His word. Ask every day, "Father, is this pleasing to You, Father, God?" If it is not pleasing to Him, then don't do it. Ask yourself this question. If you were going to have a party, a birthday party, would you invite yourself? You may say, "I will invite myself. I am cheerful. I am happy. I am easy going. I am a happy person. I am joyous to be around." Would you invite yourself? Or would you say, "I am pretty nasty." Why not change so when people see you they can see something different? You may stand in line at a service station. How do you act when you walk through the door? Do you respond to the clerk with a nasty voice? Do the people respond with, "There goes a Christian? I can see it in their eyes, they have the joy of the Lord." In everyday life it seems that we are saving the joy of the Lord for heaven. We need to have the joy of the Lord now. We need to have the fruits now. If someone sees you will they say, "You must know Jesus." "How can you tell?" "The grin, the eyes, the sparkle, the peace and the joy. You seem to be happy standing in line." "Yes, I'm happy standing in line because I'm going to heaven. My sins are forgiven." In our everyday life you and I are like cucumbers that have been laying for months in vinegar. We are so sour that we are beyond repair. Put on a face to represent your salvation.
As we come to our invitation today you have learned what God can do. What the devil does. The solution is what you and I must do. I want to give you a strong warning as we close. I am going to be visiting a man in prison in the coming weeks. This man use to be in a church. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. The day that he got flipped by the devil he woke up in the morning, took his guitar out and God gave him a worship song. He wrote down the melody and the words. He called me at 10:00 in the morning to tell me about it. I said, "Praise God. We would like to hear that song next Sunday." That afternoon someone offended him. He was so offended that he went to the nearest drug dealer, got himself a fix and was in heavy crime. Twenty-four hours later he was under arrest, locked up. He is now doing about 18 years in state prison. He was in every prayer meeting that we had. He was also in our Bible studies. He would prophesy in the congregation. He had not taken into account the power of the devil. One offense, an unfriendly word from a brother on the phone made him so angry that he became clouded. He went out and bought some drugs. The devil took him out. He has been incarcerated now for eight years. The devil can take any one of us out in two seconds. Do you understand that most murderers on death row are not criminals?
I received a letter this week from a gentleman in prison and he wrote this, "Before I murdered my wife, mother-in-law, and children, I had never committed a crime.
As we pray seek your heart, make a commitment today and say, "Father, God, guard my mind."
May God richly bless you is my prayer.