"THIS WEEKS MESSAGE"
The Mind and Character of God
March 1, 1998
This week's message is a continuation in the series "THE MIND AND CHARACTER OF GOD". I will focus today on "PEOPLE WHO GOD SELECTED IN TIMES PAST."
Five or six years ago there was a brutal murder in Sonoma County. A man on drugs and alcohol flew into a demonic rage. In his rage he murdered his wife, his mother-in-law and two of his children. He took the remaining two children with him in his automobile and dropped them off at a dumpsite. He then fled to Mexico. Someone passing by found the children. They were bleeding and only one of the two children survived. He was arrested in Mexico and transported back to the U.S. I use to travel by the dump where he left two of his children to die. Every time I went by there I thought of him. I thought if anyone deserved to die a horrible death, he did. To my surprise this man wrote me a letter. I received it this week. His name is Ramon. He is in San Quentin on death row. He wrote this letter upon his return to the U.S. Outside of his jail cell people were chanting, kill him, kill him. While waiting for his trial someone threw a Bible into his cell. He read the Bible and somehow a little girl visiting the jail, was able to talk to him and lead him to Christ. I will highlight his letter for you. Dear pastor, thank you for sending "The Dove" magazine to me. It is a blessing to many of us here on death row. I received Christ in April 1989 through an eight-year-old girl while I was awaiting my trial. Since then, I have dedicated my life to serve the Lord Jesus Christ here in prison. The Lord has blessed me by allowing me to produce a cassette with my testimony on it. Glory to God. God bless you, sincerely Ramon.
I believe that God is moving. You and I will never know whom we will reach, who God is speaking to and what is going to happen in these end times. Sometime ago there was also a lady from Texas who was executed she became a Christian before her death. Many people prayed for her. It was brought to my attention that in the Bible it says, when someone takes a life they have forfeited their own. It was then brought up what about the apostle Paul? The apostle Paul was a murderer before he was converted. He had murdered a number of people. As I was preparing for this mornings service and in prayer, this thought came to me. Paul, he was pardoned he was saved. God gave him grace to preach for some 30 years. In the end God brought him to Rome and Paul was beheaded with a sword. He gave his life. God spared it long enough for Paul to travel to establish the gospel. Ultimately he had to give his life. He was redeemed, saved and a tremendous blessing. I do not know what will happen to Ramon. He has been ministered to and I believe we should lift this man up. This man is condemned to death. He probably only has about four years before his execution. He wrote and asked is there anything that he can do for our church. That touched me. He does not know that we have been in a struggle for the past six months. The Holy Ghost does know. God works in mysterious ways.
We have learned in the past few weeks that God selects us before birth. God knows us by name. We're not an accident. We need to understand what God did in the past, to see what He is going to do today.
Turn to Genesis, chapter 12 verse 1. "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran."
Turn to Genesis, chapter 11 verse 31. "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. [God began to call Terah. He said take your sons and family with you. Go to the land of Canaan. Terah got up from the city of Ur but he got stuck in the city of Haran. What happened in Haran? He got stuck in business there.] And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran." You might not agree with me on what I have just said. I believe if you read the scriptures you'll find that God originally called the Father. Terah could have been known under the following name. We refer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It could have been the God of Terah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So many times when we're first called by God we get excited. We proclaim that we want to work for him. Then the devil comes in and says no you are not going to do that. Remember this, the moment that God calls you that is when the devil comes in and he wants to bless you. The devil can bless you. To bless you all he has to do is move out of the way. The blessings will come. Then the blessings will consume you. You get overtaken by your possessions and you do not have time to do God's work. You tell God that you are busy. You might just get stuck in Haran. God just might call someone else.
When Abraham left he took with him Lot his brothers son. Lot, is not mentioned in the saying, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Lot, got moved out of the way. Lot married, became very rich and liked Sodom and Gomorrah. He became lazy. God saved him. He lost his wife and incest came into the family. The family of Lot was moved out of God's mainstream. When God calls there is a window of opportunity. The opening will not be there forever. When we are disobedient the opening will close. Someone else will take your position.
Jacob the grandson of Abraham.
Turn to Genesis, chapter 35 verse 9. "And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. 10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. [The name Israel means ruling with God. God, said you are no longer Jacob. You are going to be called a prince. You are going to rule with God. You are going to have power. The nation of Israel is one that rules with God. We have been grafted in. The Bible says that the Gentiles have been grafted into the tree. Our name today is Israel. We are ruling with God. We have authority over the devil and the demonic forces. We have power to preach the gospel.] 11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; 12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. 13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him. 14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. 15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel."
It is beautiful to see how God is working. God started with Terah, Abraham, Isaac and then moved in to the great grandson of Terah. At this time what did Jacob or Israel have? They lived in tents. He had 12 sons, two wives and two cocubines. That was his downfall. He had lots of cattle. He lived on this planet Earth over 4,000 years ago. The Bible gives the number of seventy people that came with Jacob to Israel. Out of Jacob would come Kings and kingdoms. Did Jacob see it? Not with his physical, eye but he saw it with his spiritual eyes. 4,000 years later, every time a person is born again another king has been born in the lineage of Israel. Did Jacob stay with his calling? YES he did. He lived a hard life. Once he had spoken face-to-face with God he changed.
Turn to Exodus, chapter 3 verse 1. [500 years later one of Jacobs offspring met the Lord in the desert.] "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." [A little background on Moses. A decree had gone out to kill all the male children. His mother got pregnant and gave birth to Moses. She would not kill the baby. Of all the children that God could have selected, He selected this one. We all know the story of him being put in the water. Pharaoh's daughter found him. He was raised in her house in Egypt. At the age of 40 he was to become the king of Egypt. He went to visit his birth family and he killed an Egyptian. At the age of 40 he lost everything. He ran for his life into the desert. He married and became a shepherd. He wondered around the desert for another 40 years. Can you imagine being 80 years old? At the age of 80 he did not think he was going to do anything spectacular with his life. When God calls he doesn't look upon us as we do. He does not see what men see. God sees what is in the heart. He has selected people throughout generations. You may have been born out of wedlock. You may think you were an accident. There are no accidents. God has designed us to be men and women of God. He will shape us to make an impact on this world. We are not here on this earth for comfort. We are here to serve a living God. It does not matter if you are a man or woman. Most of us are always looking for something better, we are not here for that. Those are side things that God gives us. There is a calling. Let's read how Moses was called] 2 "And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." [While I was in the seminary it was explained to me that the reason the bush burned was because of natural gas leaking out of the ground and it spontaneously ignited. For some reason it didn't consume the bush. It takes more faith to believe that. I feel sad for those people when they have to stand before living God and explain it to Him.] 4 "And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. 11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" [If you think about who Moses was, he was educated, he was trained as a leader. God could not use him as an educated trained leader because he would have been arrogant. So God put him into the desert for 40 years. In the desert he learned that he was nothing. At the age of 80 Moses had no longer had any earthly ambition. His ambitions had died in the desert. He had accepted the rule that he had. The desert had conditioned him to be hard. He could take the heat. He could take the pressure. He was now a leader with no ambition. He had learned how to live without food, water and hardship. When you lead people you are going to cry a lot because people are cruel. If you are going to be a leader you need to have a heart that is soft but also hard. There will be lots of heartaches. Moses was selected. God had planted him a longtime ago. He was not an accident. When God was ready he called him.] 12 "And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. 13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:"
There was a prophetic word given this morning that God is pounding on our hearts with a hammer. This is not to break us or destroy us, but to soften us.
Turn to John, chapter 10 verse 9. "I am the door: by me if any man enter the in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
When you read the gospel of John you will find that Jesus finished the name that he gave prior to Moses where he said that I AM, that I am. I am the door. I AM abundant life. I am the Son of God. I AM He, Jesus Christ. Jesus said I will be with you. Today Jesus Christ is with us. Jesus Christ is the one that is calling you and I.
My wife and I have been in this city for over twenty years. We never intended to stay that long. There were times when we thought it was time to leave. We have worked hard. We have prayed. We have wept with many people. We have tried to do God's work here. It has been very difficult. The work hangs on by a thread. In the mail this week we received a newsletter from David Wilkerson. It was titled, ARE YOU MAD AT GOD? I sat down and read it. He had an article about a Swedish preacher who went to the Congo in the early 20s. His wife had died there. He abandoned his only daughter and returned to Sweden. He made a statement that he was going to go into business and stop preaching the word. He said, "Do not ever mentioned God's name to me again or I will explode." He became a hardened man. While he was in the Congo for the two or three years he, had only one convert. It was a little boy who was about five years old. The Swedish preacher would set and curse God because he had only reached one boy. The price I had to pay for that was to lose my wife to the disease of malaria. What this preacher did not know was that even though he gave up what he loved, the seed that died produced much fruit. His wife had led this little boy to Christ and he became a mighty evangelist when he got older. Hundreds of thousands of people came to Christ through his ministry. There are thousands of churches established.
God spoke to me this week. God is speaking to you today. Our life is not our own. We have plans as to how we want our ministry or life to go. God says, "Know this is what I am doing with you." If this is what God wants me to do, to preach to the walls in North Highland. I will do so until Jesus takes me home. I am no longer going to worry about projects. God will make things happen. God has a plan for us.
I did not know that our writings and materials would get into the prisons and touch people on death row. We are changing lives. When God calls, He calls.
Turn to Joshua, chapter 1 verse 1. "Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, [even] to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. 5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." [It is not easy to take over the job of a giant. Moses was a giant. He was a mighty man of God. Who could ever fill his shoes? God had a Joshua. He was a young man that He had prepared.] 6 "Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest." [There was a prophecy given today. It said, "Obey God's commandments and you will prosper." I do not prompt anyone how to prophecy. It is the Holy Ghost. Prophecy comes as God gives it through the Holy Ghost. We have a calling and it is in God's book, the law , His Holy book the Bible.] 8 "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest."
I like Hebrews, chapter 13 verse 8. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever." Whatever Jesus did in times past He is doing it today and what He does today He will do tomorrow. God is calling men and women into service. It does not make any difference what type of service it is. God is calling us.
I did not know that I would be on the Internet. I had wanted to, for a longtime, but did not have the resources. I did not know that God would rise up a man in the Midwest that would help us to go on the Internet. I did not know that there was a lady that would help us in the correction of the transcribed sermons. Our sermons are placed on the website and can be read anywhere on this planet. This is a work of God. It is a team effort. It is not one person doing it but the participation of all. We thank God for the work that is being done.
When God called Joshua, He said, "I will be with you and you shall not fail."
Turn to Judges chapter 6 verse 11. "And there came an angel of the LORD, [When we read, Angel of Lord, that is Jesus himself.] and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that [pertained] unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. 13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites." [Gideon is similar to us. As a nation we are in a mess. It is even worldwide. It is said, "Where is God?" He says, "I have not gone anywhere. You are the one that has gone." God said, "Gideon, I am calling you. I am calling you.] 14 "And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?" [Look at yourself today. It does not matter who you are. Where He is, His power is in you. It is called Holy Ghost power. It has nothing to do with your age or size. It has to do with the Holy Ghost. Jesus looked upon Gideon and said, "Go in your might." Gideon argued that he was the least of the tribes in Israel. He said, "What type of might do I have?" The might of God.] 15 "And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family [is] poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. 16 And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man." [There is a common denominator here. It is that every person that God has called, except Jesus Christ, were obscure people. God has never called famous people. He has never called powerful people. For some reason God goes into the scrap heap and picks out something that seems to be useless and makes something out of it. The reason being is if you take someone who is something there is pride in the way. It is power that corrupts. When someone comes from the scrap pile they usually remember where they came from. The only one they can brag about is Jesus Christ and give Him the glory. It is exciting to be on the scrap heap. Because that is where God is working.] 17 "And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me." [He said, "I don't believe this. I have no weapons. I am the least in the family. Show me a sign." How many times have you and I said show me a sign God. We have to see the moving of God before we move out. What did Paul tell us? He said, "We walk by faith not by sight."] 18 "Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set i] before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. 19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, [kid means goat] and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. [Gideon cooked a nice meal.] 20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh the and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. 22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. 23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace [be] unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. 24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: [God's peace is what he called it.] unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. [When God called Gideon he did not say here's the plan. We're going to get a war machine together and train in the desert. After a few miracles he said call the people in. Then God said weed them out. The numbers went from 30,000 soldiers down to 300. The 300 were not given weapons but they were given pitchers, which were actually oil lamps with covers on them. These were pathfinders that were used in the Army at that time. God had Gideon to divide them up into three groups. When I tell you to hold up the light, blow the trumpet and cry the sword of Gideon to the Lord. In the flesh that is suicide. Because the enemy was great. The pathfinders were few with no one to back them up. If the enemy had been smart they would have said, who are these guys and cut them down. Here he is the miracle of God. God put fear into the heart of the enemy. When faced with 300 flares around them and 300 trumpet they figured there were a million soldiers behind them. Then God sent confusion onto the enemy. God gave Gideon a victory. Gideon could not say that the Israelites were good because God gave the victory. God delivered him. This is how God wants you and I to live today when we move in the power of the Holy Ghost.] 25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: 26 And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. 27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night."
Turn to First Samuel, chapter 3 verse 1. "And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; [there was] no open vision. 2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all [things] which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. 15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. 18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good. 19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. 21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD."
This little boy Samuel who was a miracle birth. His mother could not conceive and she was getting old. His mother went to the temple and prayed. Eli the priest thought she was drunk and wanted to throw her out of the temple. She said, "Sir, I am not drunk. I am grieving. I want a child." God gave her a child, Samuel. In turn the woman said I will give him back to you God. You think that it was easy for Samuel's mother to give him up. She made him a little coat and brought him to Eli in Jerusalem. This was not easy for her to do. She must have cried. God blessed her and she had other children. The Samuel grew up in the temple. God raised him there. Then Samuel became a link between Terah, Abraham, Jacob and the others of the men that God had called. Then Samuel was the man of God that was used to spot King
Saul and to find King David. From century to century, God is called men and women in every century to keep His work going. He is calling you and I today to continue His work. He will use us to call another generation.
Turn to Isaiah, chapter 6 verse 1. [It is a blessing to be called of God but it is also a lonely road. The reason is people do not understand you. They will criticize you.] "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me."
The voice of God has echoed through the ages. Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? Here am I; send me. God has been speaking to you as you have been reading this. Maybe God has told you to write a book, a song or certain things and you have procrastinated. Most people today live from crisis to crisis, from one disaster to another disaster, from paycheck to paycheck. We have no eyes to see the eternal calling. We are called but the things of God get lost every day because there is a crisis.
Satan has a demolition team of demons. They specialize in crisis. They will create sickness and strife. They will get you fired from your job. They will create all kinds of mischief. They will keep your life in turmoil and they will say it will never end. There is more on the way. What did Jesus tell us? He said if there is a mountain in front of you, speak to it and say, get yourself up and out of the way. The mountain will move. If you are going to be a man or woman of God you are going to have to learn that you are not going to have continual crisis. Every morning before you get up you are going to have to defeat the demons before they defeat you. There will be a group of them waiting for you as you get up. You'll try to bring doom and gloom to you. If you listen to them you will never go anywhere. That is the time when you take control and say, "In the name of Jesus get out of here. This is the day that the Lord has made." If there are sins that tormenting you, renounce them and get rid of them.
If you do not take time to pray and read the word in the morning before your day starts, the demolition team will make sure that you never see the Bible that day. You'll not have a chance to pray because the enemy will keep you so busy. They will make all kinds of destruction for you. We have to learn to take control when we wake up in the morning. Put on some praise music and tell the devil where to go. We need to be prepared for what the enemy sets in front of us each day.
Turn to Jeremiah, chapter 1 verse 1. "The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: 2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. 4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth."
God called Jeremiah. Did Jeremiah have a nice time? No! In the middle of Jeremiah ministry he said, "Father, God, you deceived me. You put your word in me and nothing happened. I want to die. I wish my mother would have died in childbirth." He was hurting. God carried him through. God needed a man in Jerusalem when Jerusalem fell. God needed a man, who would stand and say, "Thus saith the Lord." As we enter into the next century God is going to need men and women that will stand and be a rock say, "It is okay. Jesus is in control."
Turn to Luke, chapter 1 verse 26. [There have been a many things said about Mary the mother of Jesus. Who was she? As we understand it she was not a sophisticated woman. She was a teenage girl. She was probably about 16 years old when she got married to Joseph. She was purchased as a bride when she was a child. There was a law in Israel at this time that stated that any woman who had been lawfully wed as a child and she becomes pregnant. The only thing to do with her was to take her out of town and stone her. It was a death sentence. She was about 16 years old, engaged, married legally and one night God's Angel comes in and says hello. You are going to become pregnant. Can you imagine? How would she explain it. "Mom and dad, I have not been with anyone. The Holy Ghost did this. God had to give Joseph a dream telling him not to put her away. She is pregnant by the Holy Ghost. If the Angel hadn't told Joseph this she would have been stoned and killed.] "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. [The name Jesus is from the Greek. The Hebrew word is Joshua, which means savior.] 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her."
What was Mary's job? Mary's calling was to be a virgin, to give her body to carry Jesus. The blood is from the Father or the Holy Ghost. Mary gave the bones and the flesh. She was to raise the child Jesus and to release him. That was the end of the ministry of Mary. She is not a goddess. She is not someone that you can talk to that will go to the Son. Her job was to give birth to Jesus, raise him and help him grow up and to release him. That was her job. She had other children. Some of them became apostles and walked with Jesus.
Turn to Matthew, chapter 3 verse 13. "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Turn to Acts, chapter 9 verse 1. "And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. 10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake."
Turn to Acts, chapter 9 verse 17. " And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God."
Paul was called and he had to suffer many things through the years. We pray for revival. We ask for an awakening. A revival and awakening comes before a disaster. Every revival and move of God has come prior to a major war, a famine, an upheaval, a total destruction. The reason God gives a revival is to bring in the harvest. We know that the Bible talks about the rise of the anti-Christ and the upheaval in the last days. Jesus told us that there would be wars and rumors of wars. We are coming into an upheaval. We want a revival and yes God is going to move. Behind the revival is suffering. Even in the suffering we can glory in the Lord Jesus Christ.
What about you and I?
Turn to Acts, chapter 10 verse 34. "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."
Turn to Romans, chapter 2 verse 11. "For there is no respect of persons with God."
These two versus witness to each other.
When I was in the church in Salt Lake City back, in the 1960s, I heard a preacher preach fire and the call of God on my life. God has been speaking to many of you. You may ask yourself, "How do I get started?" The number one thing is to surrender. I will come right to the point. Some of you are bound by pornography. Some of you ladies are bound by soap operas. Some of you may have other vices. It could be anything. Some of you are in a backsliden position. Some of you are hiding these things. You put on a very nice face when you go to church. Some of you may not even go to church. God is calling you. Upon hearing my message to you today you know that God is calling you. But! Here's how you get rid of the garbage. It is similar to when you take a flight somewhere. You put baggage on and you take baggage off. It follows you. There's only one place that you can leave your suitcase so that it will not come back and that is at the altar of God. The blood of God will destroy it and wash it away. The first thing is to say, "Father, God, I am going to come clean. I'm going to surrender everything that I have that is not of you." That is the number one. Then like Mary said, "Do whatever you want to do with me. So be it, I am willing." When God called me into the ministry I did not know where I would be headed. All I knew was that He called me. I trusted Him and He has led me over the years. He will do the same for you.
Turn to Romans, chapter 10 verse 11. "For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
How shall people know about God unless we tell them about God. The Lord is calling.
Turn to Luke, chapter 10 verse 1. "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."
Today you and I have the opportunity to either serve God or to walk away from God. God has given us a ministry together. We can either lose it or use it. God has given you a personal ministry. You can either use it or lose it. As we pray today, will you surrender? Will you surrender today?
Father, God, in the name of Jesus I thank you for touching the people who hear this message. Dear Jesus, forgive me, cleanse me, heal me, send me, use me and let your Holy Ghost hit me right now. I ask it, in Jesus name.
May God richly bless you, is my prayer