SECRETS BEING REVEALED
by MARK JANTZI
Can we turn to Luke 12:2-3. I wrote these verses down before Burt or before Pete spoke, and it seems that this is the third time that you are hearing it; and one of the brethren said that in order to have it, we need to repeat it within twenty-four hours, so I think this is within twenty-four hours. I think we are going to have it!
And I am going to read it straight from the Word here; it says, "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore, whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear, in closets (the private rooms) shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."
Alleluiah! I believe that what God is saying is that we are coming to an hour of secrets being exposed, of darkness being brought to light, of hidden things being revealed. And, there are many aspects of what God is saying here, and many applications to our life tonight, but I believe the principal is being laid down here. The obvious aspect, of course, is: how does this apply to my life? How does this apply to what God is dealing with in my own life, and in my own soul. And what am I going to do about it.
But, before I get into that, there are perhaps some more universal applications in what the Word is saying in this. The Lord caused me to go to Revelation 9 in this same regard, and we are talking here about the sixth trumpet. So, before we get to the individual dealing here, I want to show you what the Lord is showing us here.
We will begin reading in Revelation 9, from the 13th verse; and, brethren, this is something you have heard Cess talking about in times past: we have been hearing this for a number of years, now. As far as I am concerned, it has been at least three or four years that this particular passage of the sixth trumpet has been heard.
And he says, "And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God." You notice that this voice came from within the four horns...from the very depths of this golden altar, which is before God. It is not an external thing, this is something that is right before God! Amen!
And it says, "Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men."
Notice that the place of the loosing of these angels is at the river Euphrates, and that there is a specific time...a specific plan...in God, when He plans to have this thing released; and there is also a specific purpose. And the specific purpose here is to slay the third part of man...or a third of the population, it would seem, of the world.
Somebody was telling me one time, that there was another interpretation to this...that man is made of three parts, and it is going to take away his spirit, or his soul, or something like that. But, I believe the Lord is saying something beyond that. I think He really means that this is a very clear definition of "carnage" that is going to come upon the entire earth.
And notice that the source of the release of these angels is at the river Euphrates. Now, brethren, you know this speaks of what was the location of ancient Babylon, going way back even beyond the Nebuchadnezzar thing; back to this Babylon which was the origin of the Tower of Babel...the old plain of Shinar. And God, of course, bound this plan that Nimrod had then for world dominion. It was bound in the confusion of language, and the scattering of the people abroad on the face of the earth.
So, this thing was confounded at that time, and there was a binding of this plan that Satan had for world government, for world dominion. And, I know that Cess has spoken, and I surely believe what he said, that one of the things is that this area where the Euphrates river flows through is the center of Islam, and one of the things released here is Islam. But, I got to thinking, as the Lord began to deal with me (and I do not have the full revelation here), that maybe this loosing of Islam is only one of these four angels. Okay? I wonder if maybe the loosing of this plan for world dominion is another one of these things; and a third thing that I see ...and I do not have the fourth here...if God is showing you...and I am not saying that I have the last word on these three, either, okay? So, let me make it clear. But, I have really been stirred, in the Spirit, by the goings on of what is right there in the Euphrates valley in this very hour and over these last few weeks; and the trouble that Saddam Hussein has been giving the world over this thing. And I am wondering if this is some of the release of one of these demonic powers?
This man wants badly to be released! Do you understand what I am saying? He wants badly to loose his arsenal of deadly weapons, which are capable of not just killing a third of mankind, but the all of mankind on the face of the earth! His problem is that he does not have the means of delivering it to the whole face of the earth. But, he wants badly to have the chance to do it.
And, as we go on and read more of what is happening, you say, what does any of this about this man have to do with "secrets being revealed"? Well, because I think that his secrets are being revealed. I think this is one of the things that God is allowing today; He is allowing the world to know that this man has this capability; and that he is hiding it, and that it is his secret.
While, there are other nations that also have this secret, there are none that seem as vocal about their intentions, and are as open about it as this one is. Okay, there are others that are hiding it, amidst their camels, and what have you, you know...in different desert places, and different undeveloped places; but, not with the vengeance with which this man is going about it.
So, let me read on here. In verse 16, it says, "And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred, thousand, thousand (two hundred million): and I heard the number of them..." Now Saddam Hussein does not have two hundred million. He does not have an army that big. I do not think he has a population that big. And, I remember hearing quite a number of years ago, that China was the only nation that could field a militia of two hundred million men. So, I am wondering, could this possibly be maybe a fourth thing that is being released. Because, it says very clearly, when you get over to the sixteenth chapter, that the drying up of the water of the Euphrates, was to make the way for the kings of the east to come. Okay? So, what is the drying up of the water? It is the drying up of the "life." Whatever life they have been feeding on, at some point gets dried up. And then this desperation is released.
Brother Burt was speaking very clearly, this morning, when he said, "Brethren, there will be tribulation." Okay? You have understood this theoretically, for a long time, that there will be tribulation. We have understood for a long time...we do not believe in being "caught away" in a cheap and easy grace type of rapture event. The thing that we are going to have to do, if we are going to come through this (and I say come "through," because this is precisely what the Word of God is saying), is that we are going to have to deal with those things in our inner man that God has been speaking to us about, that His Spirit might have total control of our life. This is what God is demanding of the saints in this hour; as we face, not just the possibility, but the probability of this that is coming.
Brethren, you know, recently the newspapers printed a list of fifteen or more other nations that are also producing germ warfare; and nerve gas, and botulism, and anthrax, and things like that. And one day, the means of delivery will come forth. You know, as the world gets easier and easier for the processing of computer business, and this type of thing; and as the world gets smaller and smaller; and as doors to this universalism (this global village thing) begin to open up more and more, the standards are relaxed more and more for people to come in. And these people are not all screened, that come in.
Furthermore, I do not know if any of you saw this in the newspapers...it was in Wednesday's USA Today...they wrote about this stuff that they called "poor man's nukes." Okay? Which means that, with Euphrates type direction, they could be producing this stuff in some little old basement room right here in America! You know, just like these guys (whoever they were) who did the Oklahoma City bombing. Now, I am not suggesting that I know who did it, in spite of all the trials and everything else..., but, in spite of the facts, somebody produced that brew right here! Okay? And they can produce this other brew stuff right here as well! Okay?
So, let me read the rest of this verse, and then we are going to move on. He says, "And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone...." By the way, that word jacinth seems to mean, something "blue"; it could be a [gem] stone of blue. The word brimstone may refer to "sulfur. "...and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and the smoke, and the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths."
It is interesting that when these three are named here, and named more specifically, it seems that the word smoke has taken the place of jacinth. I do not have the revelation as to why, but I am asking the question, is this some kind of "blue" smoke? ...that would appear that way. And, again, I am not saying that I have an answer to this, but I believe that God is going to reveal to the saints what this really means, and what to really expect as this sixth seal and this sixth trumpet are more fully revealed. But, I think that there is a little hint of revelation here: it says that by these three...by fire, by smoke, and by whatever is defined by brimstone...a third part of mankind is going to perish.
Now, brimstone probably speaks of some kind of a fiery explosion. Alright? If you are speaking of sulfur...it was probably their ancient precursor to gun powder. It was the most explosive thing that they knew in that day. It could speak of some kind of bombs, or some kind of bombing. Smoke is something that just drifts along. And these gases, you know, that are being produced in these little back room laboratories.... And by the way, they are actually being produced! There is no question about it! These fellows from the UN, kind of made a sudden right or left turn...one day, when they were doing their thing, and they burst into a room, and as they came in, they suddenly heard back doors slamming. And they went into one of these back rooms (or it was a back stairwell or a closet), and there were these guys in their lab coats, with their chemical kit in their hand...and it was specifically of the chemical kits that are used to test these particular products that I have been talking about. And there is no other reason that they would have had that stuff in their hand. But, somehow, they made a sudden disappearance of the stuff, and they bounced off into some back room and got rid of the evidence; but, they did not get rid of their tools. Okay?
So, I do not know, there is a smoke...there is something that kind of drifts along; there is fire; and there is brimstone involved in this thing. And he says, "For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt."
Now, here is an interesting little postscript to this whole thing, because you have to see what is now happening in the world. Just from what is being said in the newspapers (and we are not talking about underground newspapers, but we are talking about the main stream press), we can see that the world is convinced of, not only the possibility, but the probability of something like this happening. They are convinced of it! Okay? And so, you might ask, "Well, then what will be the response of the world? What will be the response of Egypt to this? What will be the response of Babylon?" The terrible thing is that they will not repent! They will not see this as the judgment of God. Even now, as God is beginning His judgments in the earth, as there is, shall we say, in the things that we have already seen, a prelude to what is coming. The extremes in the weather: the extremes in winter, the extremes in summer, the extremes of drought, the extremes of rain, the extremes of tornadoes, and this type of thing.
You can say, "Yes, we have always had this!" "Oh, it's back in history, the past two hundred years...we have always had such things," and all that. Yes, but not to the extremes [and frequency] that we are having in this day and hour! And, not with the loss of life and the loss of property that we have had in this hour.
In the northern part of the Czech Republic, up in the Moravia part, they have not had natural disasters for many, many years. I mean, they have had plenty of hard times-with the Germans, and the Russians, and all these conquering nations-but they have not had the natural disasters? But, this last summer they had extreme floods that wiped out bridges, and that wiped out homes. One of the young couples in the fellowship in Sumperk had water that inundated their whole first floor apartment where they lived. It destroyed all their belongings.
Roads were cut off. Railroads were washed out. And the response of our brethren, that we fellowship with there, was that they said, "You know, we had been watching things happening in America and in other parts of the world, and saying this is the judgment of God upon them"; but, they said, "Now, we realize that we too must be a partaker of the judgment of God. We too, have to say that the same thing that applies to you, applies to us as well."
So this is the way God's people are going to see this. But, it says here in verse 20, "And the rest of men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood; which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk."
Now, listen specifically here to what they would not repent of: there were specific sins that were known, and are known now in the world. It says, "Neither repented they of their murders...." What do you know about the statistics concerning the amount of murders taking place in our generation? Unprecedented! It is just unprecedented. I mean, grandchildren murdering their grandparents. Children murdering their parents. Parents murdering their children. And, it is not just drug dealers that are doing this. It is right in the family...spouses killing one another...you know? Unprecedented!
Alright, and it says, "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries...." Now, you say, "Aw, come one? We do not have sorceries!" Wait a minute, let me tell you what that word sorceries really means. Look up that word in your Strong's concordance. Do you know what word you come up with? "Pharmakeia!" So, it is, "neither repented they of their pharmakeia (of their drugs)...." And, I want to tell you something, brethren, the people that are getting involved in drugs are not repenting of it. There are drug rehab centers...they put them in jail for a zillion years, and do you know what? They are taking more drugs in prison that they are on the outside! The old pipeline just keeps flowing right in! I mean, some of you brethren are involved in the prison ministry...am I telling the truth? Isn't this stuff coming in? They are getting it in the prison! And, they are not repenting of it! I mean, you can send them up for ninety nine years, and they are not repenting of it.
It says, "nor of their fornication...." Which is saying that they repented not of their sexual perversions...their...their...what is the term I am looking for? From the sexual revolution? Yes! "Anything goes!" This type of attitude that says, "It is nobody's business what I do in my bedroom." And, this thing is very prominent today, not just concerning fornication, as is meant in the traditional use of this word, but, brethren, this is also prominent among the homosexuals as well!
Very virulent! "It is nobody's business what we do!" "...No! You can not legislate against this thing!" You know what I mean. And, the sad thing is that the Christian world has let the standard down on adultery, and fornication! We have gone right along with the world! Is it any surprise that these perversions are coming up and demanding their recognition!
And you are going to see other perversions come up and demand recognition. Child molesters are going to demand recognition! They have an organization. There was a teacher in New York City who was fired because he belonged to that organization. He got right up and demanded that he had not violated anything in that school, and therefore they could not touch him! I do not know that he won his case, but I am just telling you that this thing is going to come out of the closet too!
These are secrets! Do you see what I am saying? These are secret, dark, wicked things that are coming out into the light. This hatred, this seething bitterness and anger that is in the heart of man, is coming out in the form of murder. These sexual imaginations that have come into men's minds (into women's minds, as well), they are the result of this constant pornography that has been pumped into our living rooms. Amen? These secrets that are in the hearts of men are breaking out! Amen! And, it is not that somebody is coming and making a big proclamation, but it is people feeling freer to come out openly and do these things openly. I think it was Pete that said that the Lord had revealed that to him concerning this thing of "secrets being exposed," that it would be people feeling "free" to come out, and "Let it all hang out!" You know, that was one of the sayings of the sixties: "Let it all hang out!" Well, it is all hanging out, and it is awful dirty laundry, brethren!! It is filthy, filthy, filthy...what is hanging out! I wish they would have kept it in the closet. Amen!
I suppose I could say, "I wish I did not know what was going on in the Middle East. I wish I did not know the secret arsenal that Saddam Hussein is building up." And yet, God has chosen to reveal this thing. You know, brethren, we are going to have to understand, that if a third of mankind is wiped out in a plague...the world has got to understand the justice of God in allowing this to happen. Alleluiah!
You know, speaking of this fornication thing, you would think that some of these natural judgments.... And I did not say that it has to be the judgment of God...but, let us call it natural judgments. AIDS is a natural judgment. It comes about from nature. Sexually transmitted diseases (of which, AIDS is one of them), is also a natural judgment. When people wallow about in filth, there is a natural response to this thing. Okay?
The Lord was speaking to us several weeks ago about healing, and we did a two part message on that. And, first of all, one of the things that the Lord brought so forcefully to my attention, was the promise God made to His people [Exodus 15:26, Deuteronomy 7:15] that He would not put upon them the diseases of Egypt. He made it very clear, that He would not put on them the diseases of Egypt; but, did you notice that He had a provision in there? "Provided that you keep My ways...provided that you do thus, thus, and thus...." And, to some extent, the Church has wanted to live, partly with one foot in the world (Egypt) and one foot in the Church. And then we are surprised that the diseases of Egypt have come upon us, and we need to call upon the Name of the Lord for our deliverance. Amen! And, brethren, there was a time in my life that I had to fight off diseases of Egypt...and am to this day! You know? Creaks and croaks, and bones...pain here, pain there-I think it belongs to Egypt! And as we begin to rise up against these things, we are going to get deliverance from them. Amen! I believe the deliverance of God is available to us.
There was a fourth and final thing that they would not repent of: it says, "Neither repented they...of their thefts." It seems that everybody wants to steal something today! Everybody that has an opportunity is looking to carry off some kind of a heist. And it is not morals that is restraining people today, that they say, "No! It is wrong. I will not do it!"; but, it is because so many controls have been set up today. This is part of the reason why things cost as much as they do-it is because in the whole industry, there are so many balances, and checks, and controls. So that, what people are saying is, "Well, if I could get away with it, I would do it."
And, isn't it interesting, that in the book of Revelation, it says these are the big four that they will not repent of! In other words, this whole thing is set in their heart-they will not change! Amen!
Now, let us go to Hebrews 12:1, and we are going to see what God is saying now to His people. "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses...." Including Burt's mother, including my mother, my father...they are looking at us. Those who have gone on before. Those that maybe did not overcome in all things, but, God is giving them an opportunity to overcome in this overcoming generation...in this day of overcoming. Amen! In this day...this generation that is facing so much in the earth today. So much of a challenge that God is giving us; and yet, so much power of God that is going to be poured out for us. We, who will apprehend! Amen! We, who will stand in this hour, and will not back away. Amen!
"Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...."
Brethren, there are some things that we need to do to prepare for this time. One of the things is to "...lay aside every weight." You can take that literally, or you can take that spiritually. I understand, literally, one of the translations says, "...Lay aside the fatty bulges." Well, I think that would make sense if Paul is truly talking about an athlete, and I think he is making an analogy here to an athlete running a race. If you are going to be a marathon runner, and you are fifty pounds overweight, you are probably not going to be the first place runner. So, we are striving to win the prize, and we can use that as a comparison. Can we not? Okay.
He said, "...lay aside every weight." Now, if you want the spiritual thing here, what is the weight? What is the thing that would keep me back from winning the prize? In the natural it would be because I am out of shape: I am a little heavier than I need to be; I have not been exercising the way I ought to be; I have not been eating right...and you can go on, adding to the list those things in the natural that will put you out of shape? Okay, that is a pretty good list, isn't it?
Spiritually, we can say the same thing. Are we eating right? Are we exercising in our faith? Or are we just letting someone else do it? Brethren, watching some exercise video is not going to get you exercised! Watching brethren up front here, bringing the word of God, is not going to bring you into a place of exercise of the spiritual gifts that God wants us to exercise. It is not going to do it, is it? So, God is saying to you and to me, we too need to exercise!
We need to know how to do our spiritual warfare. A soldier who has been laying around camp for months and months, overeating and overdrinking, is not in shape for the battle. These soldiers have to be out in the field. They have to be slumping it along with packs on their backs...doing "do da, do da," or whatever it is that they sing when they run, you know, they have to be working with one another in teamwork. Working with...the rest of the body. I hate to call the military a body, but it is an organism of some sort, and that is the way that they are designed to function. Are we going to let the military make fools out of the body of Christ? They are "one." They take orders from one head! I mean, it works its way on down. And they are just an organization! And yet, in the body of Christ, every man wants to do his own thing. Nobody wants to hear anything about what God is saying in this hour. "Oh, he is not telling me that...." Alleluiah!
He said also, "...the sin that doth so easily beset us...." Now, what is God revealing in this hour? Secrets. You know, there was one other thing that I saw in this, and the Lord was speaking this to me when we were singing, so I turned to Amos and I want to show you what it says here. It is in Amos 3:6, "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city and the Lord hath not done it? Surely the Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
Did you notice that it said that He "revealeth his secret"...that God is revealing His secret to His servants the prophets. Now, when we go and take this in context and see what God actually said to Amos, it is kind of terrifying what God said His secret was. Let me go on and read verse 8 here, "The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy." In other words, if God has really said this, and if you are really a prophet, you have no choice! You have to prophesy; you have to say what God is telling you to say. Okay? "Publish in the palaces of Ashdad, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves...."
Ashdad was one of the principal cities of the Philistines. And by the way, I believe that the word "Philistine" and the word "Palestine" is the same word. It has just changed ever so slightly, today. "Egypt," speaks of the world. Even if Philistines speaks of natural Palestinians...look at the uprising. The point is, these are people that hate God's people. Alright...that is what I am saying. Egyptians hate God's people. Philistines hate God's people. Okay? But, God is saying to them, "Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst of thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof. For they know not to do right, saith the lord...." It says, they do not know what is right! I mean, isn't this a description of Saddam Hussein? "For they know not what to do right...who store up violence and robbery in their palaces." Isn't this amazing? This is where the guy is believed to be storing up his violence...in his palaces! And saying, "These are my palaces. They are off limits." But he said the other day, "Oh, you can search two or three of them now." He has his stuff all moved to the other ones. Okay?
Verse 11, "Therefore, thus saith the Lord God; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled." He is speaking to whom? He is not speaking to Egypt, is he? Is he speaking to the church system? It could be!
Verse 12, "Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch."
What are they doing on a bed; and on a couch? They were taking "their ease in Zion!"
Verses 13-14, "Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord God, the God of hosts, That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground." People used to run to the altar and lay hold of those horns and expect to be saved. He says there will be no more horns to get a hold of. He is talking about tribulation, isn't he? And then he says, and this is interesting, "And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord."
How many of you know anything about the great houses? The great houses are prospering yet, aren't they. But, the Lord says that the great houses are coming to an end. The greatness of God's people...with one foot in Babylon...it is coming to an end, and will be no more.
How are we to get ready for this? How are we to be prepared for this hour. And, I do not know when this hour, this day, this year is going to be. I cannot believe these so called brethren who say twenty or thirty years. I cannot believe it! I cannot buy it. I do not think that the world press is buying it, anymore, when they are talking about what they see going on in the land of the Euphrates. And yet, for political reasons, they would not remove the man...when they had a chance.
I believe that God is saying to us, that there is a "besetting sin" in some of our lives. I believe some of us have that weight, that holds us back. That besetting sin. Do you know what a besetting sin is? It is a thing that we have a tendency toward weakness in. Are there any of you that have no weaknesses? Are there any of you that have no tendencies? Are there any of you that have nothing that God has been trying to put His finger on? And say, "Son, you are really going to have to get the better of this thing...this thing that you are hiding." It is a secret. Nobody knows it, but, do you know what is going to happen in this day? Secrets are coming out! And so, the question that might be asked is this, "Do you want that secret shouted from the housetop?" Do you really want to go through that embarrassment, or will you really let the finger of God take care of it now?
And the Lord began to show me a list of things, which I am going to share with you, that.... I am talking to the Church now, I am not talking to the world. So, I am not going to add murder to the list. Okay? But, I am going to add some other things that may very well be on the world's list too.
There is a reason that these unclean spirits have places of attachment to our soul. The reason we have these things, is because we like them. And they are attached! There are cords that have attachment, that go straight to our hearts. Brother Campbell has been revealing this to us, hasn't he?
I am going to start off with the first one on my list: There are sexual sins that have soul ties. You say, "Well brother, how do you relate the two?" Go back to Genesis 34, and verse 3. I realize this only applies directly to this one situation here, but I believe it applies to all situations. It was the case of Dinah, the daughter of Lea and Jacob, and I will read from verse 1, "And Dinah the daughter of Lea, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land." Do you see where she made her first mistake? Are there young sisters here who are listening? Her problem is, she went out to see the daughters of the land. Had she stayed in the tents of Jacob, there would have been no problem. By the way, she would have ended up with a husband. She would have ended up with children. She would have ended up with a good life. But, she heard there was a nice mall down in the village there, or whatever it was that they had in those days? A nice market place? I don't know. She wanted to see what was over the next hill, down there in Shechem.
"And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her." I mean, it is just a simple statement like that, and that was the end result. This cocky little prince, that thought he could take anything that he wanted...his daddy owned the town...he could take it. And he did! And it says, "And his soul clave to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel." I am not going to read the rest of it; what I am going to say is that because of this act, there was a soul tie. And it clung to this man, as well. I believe it clung to her. Brethren, I am not suggesting that in the house of God we are all participating in adultery. What I am saying is that there are things in our soul that are still attracted to the old ways of Egypt.
The imaginations.... You remember what Ezekiel saw in Ezekiel 8, when he dug into the wall, and he was seeing into even the soul and the heart of the elders in the house of Israel. God was not saying, "Oh, well the elders have overcome this, but the others have not." No! God was showing him a video tape of the imaginations of the mind.
How would you like to have a video of what has been going on in your mind the last month, shown up here. You know something, I would not either. And when I see these things come, I say, "My God. This is a shock to me! How are we going to deal with this thing, God?" And these things keep coming back, and they keep coming back; and God is saying we are going to have to get deliverance over this.
And it is not just sex...I am going to list other things too. But, there are things of Egypt going on in Christian homes today. Need I be more specific? There are the perversions and the ways of Egypt...because of this philosophy, that, "It is nobody's business what goes on in my house, behind my doors." Yes it is! Because of the attraction of these spirits that these things bring into our house. Amen! And it corrupts! Brethren, it corrupts our faith when we participate in these things. Alleluiah!
We are talking about besetting sins. The second thing on my list, is "substances." The obvious things, are alcohol, drugs, and nicotine. I wish I could say that the whole house of God is free of these things, but the whole house of God is not free of these things. And you know, brethren, I see brethren who have been coming for years, and every time there is a move of God for people to get baptized with the Holy Ghost, there are brethren that are still hooked by these natural things. And they are not getting baptized in the Holy Ghost, and they are not getting a liberty, and they are not getting a freedom. And in the natural, I can be very sympathetic, you know. I understand what you are going through, but hey, listen, you are going to have to cut the tie; you are going to have to bear the pain! Whether it is nicotine or whatever it is, you are going to have to cut it off, or you are never going to walk in the Spirit. There is a "smoke" spirit in this thing (a "jacinth" spirit if you want), that is destroying our flesh! It is destroying our soul; it is destroying our mind!
And, what if we have, say, given up these things, but we still have these "cravings." We yearn and we crave these things every time we come around them...every time we smell them, or every time we pass by a shop that displays these things. You know, brethren, if the craving is still there, the spirit is still there! And God wants us to be released from these things. Alleluiah!
It could be food. Oh, that is on my list too. You know, there are brethren who are not a hundred pounds overweight, but they still have a problem. God is putting His finger in little places here, and little places there, and He is saying, "Look! You are hooked on this thing!" And, you are hooked on this thing. Something has gotten control of you. This thing that raises up its demand. This thing, you know, that raises up at seven o'clock every morning, and you have to fulfill it's demand! "Oh, but it's just caffeine!" Well, no matter what it is, if it raises up a demand that you have to jump when this thing yells, ask yourself the question, "Does this thing have command over me?"
I am not going to make a law. I am not making laws. I am not capable of making laws. I am just giving a word for you to ask in your heart before God, "Does something have command of me?"
You know, if you live in a church where a man has command over you, you know very well that this is a church that can not be one that is directed by the Holy Spirit. So, let us bring this thing right down to your home life-your kitchen, your bedroom, or wherever it happens to be. If something else has command on your life, so that whenever it raises its finger you have to dance to its tune, then ask yourself, "Does the Holy Spirit really have the total command of my life?" Because, you see, this is what is going to be demanded of us, for us to be overcomers in the face of these horrible things that I was reading of in Revelation and in Amos. We are not going to make it unless God is our total boss and control!
Some of us are bound by sickness. You know, it is not nice to make fun of any kind of handicap in this day and hour, and I am not making fun of it. I am not making light of it, but what I am saying is that I too have been bound, in the past, with things that perhaps I should not have ever been an overcomer of. It was several years ago that I was told that I had Raynaud's disease. I do not know whether any of you even know what that is, but it means that your hands freeze up every time you go out in the cold, and this type of thing. In the face of that, I heard the call of God to go to Alaska. Now, that is not the place a man is supposed to be if he has a problem with circulation in his hands and feet. But, you know what? I got along better in Alaska than I ever did in New York! I must have been where God wanted me to be!
You see, I am just telling you that, in Christ, we have the power to overcome these things! Amen! Whether a doctor will ever write you a history that says you never have to worry about that or not-it does not matter-you can overcome them! You can overcome allergies. You can overcome asthma. You can overcome all these hereditary things. Amen! They are just as much of a legitimate thing to overcome as are hereditary spirits of lust, and pornography, or harlotry, or whatever else it is that you have inherited from your parents. Amen! You can overcome these other fallen traits, as well. Amen.
And, I am not making light of these things. I am saying, "Rise up, and overcome in the midst of it!" And, you are going to be surprised, brethren, what God is going to be able to do with you! Amen! You may still go with that diagnosis, but you are going to live above it! Alleluiah! Amen!
Number five: Mental. "Oh brother, why do you have to open that one up?" Yes, because that is part of it! A lot of God's people need to overcome in the emotional realm. I have a little list that goes with that. "Melancholic" spirits. Are there any saints who are troubled by melancholic spirits? Who have a tendency to be melancholic? "Well, I am just a moody person, you know. That is just the way I am. My father was that way..., my grandmother was that way. You know, we are just a pensive type of people, you know? We just kind of hole up...and we go into a hole, you know...every...once a month...for a week or two...," or whatever it is. You know?
[Someone here just said], "But, we are new creatures in Christ." Yes! Amen! Listen, I will tell you what, God wants us to overcome despondency, depression, moodiness, and all the other things that create stress in our life.
I would like to ask a question. How many of you brethren are totally free from the effects of stress in your life?... I do not see anybody's hands going up. Do you know something? Jesus was, and I dare say He had more pressure on Him than any one of us is ever going to have to endure in three or four lifetimes! And we are not going to get three or four to do it, by the way. We are only getting one.
He had the pressure. He had it constantly! How would you like to live with twelve guys, day in and day out, for three and one half years? Twelve proud, arrogant, striving..., one upmanship playing..., jockeying for positions..., traitorous..., deniers.... How would you like to live with that bunch? Always, someone demanding that you go to Jerusalem and demonstrate your greatness before the Pharisees...and call down fire here...and go there, and do this, and do not do that.... And not only the stress from the twelve, but from the crowds, as well! And you know, the secret service...they tried, but they were not able to protect Him from all the jostling. Oh dear, He had the pressure! He gets into the town and the politicians are after Him. The religious leaders are after Him. They are breathing out that they want to kill Him! He hears rumors that Herod wants Him...you know?
Jesus overcame it! And, brethren, I believe if we are going to walk in the ways of Christ, we are going to walk in overcoming that as well. I am serious, brethren! We are going to overcome these "mental" things. We are going to overcome in the emotional realm.
You know, brethren, the emotions are just as much a part of the soul as is the mind. It is just as important to be overcoming in our emotions, as it is to be overcoming our opinions, and the old ideas that we were brought up with. Just as well as overcoming in our will and in our desires, we are going to overcome in our emotions to the point where we are not moved by these things! Amen! Alleluiah!
While we are talking about this, let me just show you John 14:30. It says, "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." Jesus is saying here that "There is nothing of the prince of this world that attaches to Me."
...There is an analogy here. How many of you know how "Velcro" works? You know, that stuff on the new jackets? Yes, you have a little woolly piece on one side, and you have a little thing with little hooks on the other side. Okay? Now, you take those little hooks against the smooth part of your jacket, and it will not attach. It is because there is no "ground." There is no "place." It has to have that little woolly thing for the little hooks to attach to. Okay? And so where that little woolly thing is, there is "place." And so, when these little hooks come from the enemy, if it finds a place to attach to you, it means that you have a vulnerability...you have a place in your soul, that you want this thing. You really enjoy this little temptation! You know? You really enjoy it.
You know, there are people that actually enjoy sickness! Are you surprised at that? There is something we learned way back in school that they called the "sick" role. A sick man was expected to act in a certain way, you know. There is a certain role he is supposed to play: he is supposed to be dependent; he is supposed to let people minister to him. And, you know, people can get into this...really enjoying getting a lot of attention.
I remember when the enemy was getting ready to give me a good case of the flu...and there have been a number of times...it usually happens at about three or four AM that you discover that the enemy is fixing to give you a good "knock out." It starts out, you know, with a real bad bellyache, and maybe a headache, or something (whatever your usual symptoms are), and the first thing that comes into your mind is that you begin to see yourself sick the next morning. And you imagine yourself calling in and saying, "I am not going to be able to work today. I am real sick, you know...," and of course your boss will be real convinced because of the way you sound; and of course, you will go through all the details telling him how sick you are, you know....
And then you begin to convince yourself, and say, "Boy, I need a few days at home, anyway." Have you ever done that? Yes, well that is why you are laughing. Come on? That is not the way-that you need a few days at home! "But, I have all that sick leave; what am I going to do with it?" Forget it! It is for people that are sick! It is not for sons of God that have overcome! Amen? And, you see, the whole problem is that there is an image that you build up in your mind.
That is the problem also with these other things...these sexual things. You build up an image in your mind. You begin to imagine yourself in a certain situation. And the same thing with these sicknesses, you imagine something, and this thing begins to hold on to you, and you begin to enjoy this thing. And there is a place in you. And that is why the thing can come with its little hooks, and it finds the little woolly spot on you, and "ZOW," its hooked! And you really have to go through some serious deliverance to rip this thing out!
Brethren, there is a pain that we have to endure when we get delivered from these things. For people who are getting free of nicotine, there is a pain! You can go and study this thing, chemically. You can study how in an alcoholic they have observed all these little extra receptor cells...and are built up...and all of a sudden they chemically have this expectation that they have to be fed at certain intervals. And, when they are not fed, there is pain!
It is real. Oh, yes! It is real. An alcoholic that is coming off of alcohol, his pain is real! But, there is no other way! He has to get delivered of it! And, once in a while, you hear of the grace of God coming in, and totally delivering somebody, and there is no pain or anything else.
And, I have seen more people that have been delivered miraculously. I remember, we walked through a deliverance with a man one time. Oh, he was horribly hooked. He had a personality that was a "substance" personality. Really! He did! Every time there was stress in his life, his way of relieving stress was to get something. You know what I am saying. I am talking about people who always have to run for an aspirin. You had better ask yourself a question, do you have a tendency in your personality, that you think you can always get a fix from a little bottle? One of these days, you are going to get a headache, and you are going to say, "No! I am not going to run for the aspirin! I am going to run for the Lord this time." And, there is going to be pain, until you get delivered.
Now, I am not trying to make a medical prescription here. I am just telling you, I have been delivered of some of these things...by God! And I am not making light of those that suffer from these things. I am not making light of it, but the point that I am trying to make is that we have still have realms and areas where we still have need of deliverance yet. Amen!
Okay? Number six: The love of money. You know, this can be a real problem, in some people. And, brethren, you do not have to be rich to have a spirit of covetousness, to have a spirit of avarice, and to have a spirit of greed.
You do not have to be rich to be proud. Some of the proudest, greediest people I know, are poor people that have almost nothing. But, it also applies to people who want to be rich. I am talking about the love of this thing.
And we know that the scriptures say that the love of money is the root of all evil. You know, back in Revelation 9, when we looked into this list of the four big sins that they would not repent of, how many of those four do you think money had something to do with? Do you think it has anything to do with murder? Has it anything to do with fornication? Oh yes! Thefts? Pharmakeia (Drugs)? Oh, Yes! A lot! And, in fact, they are all tied together in one great big ugly network, in the world...in Egypt.
The love of money! You know, this thing can consume us so badly..., and please, I am not suggesting that we need to drop out, quit work, live in a tent...become hippies. I am not. I am not saying that. What I am saying is that God is saying that if you have a problem with this, you need to do something about it. You see, you know if you have a problem. You had better be honest with God.
If this is a realm of your life that is really giving you a problem, do you know what Jesus' cure for that problem was? Do you know how to get deliverance from this one? You had better start giving! Recklessly! Aboundingly! In fact, Jesus said to this man who had a real problem with this, He said, "Get rid of it all!" (Luke 18:22). Notice that He did not tell that to everybody. He did not tell that to the woman at the well. That was not what her problem was; but this one fellow came to Jesus, and said, "I would really like to follow You, but, my whole life...." Now, I am going to say what he did not say. If he had been honest, he would have said, "I would really like to follow You, but my whole life is consumed with the pursuit of my income...." Now, you say, "Well, that does not sound too bad! The poor guy needs to make an income, doesn't he?" No! It was the pursuit of money....
This man was not satisfied. How many millionaires do you know that are satisfied when they get their million dollars? And they say, "That's it. I have really lived a stressful life the last twenty years. I have got my million now. I am worth a million...all my apartments, and my stocks, and my bank account...and my business is really doing great. I have my million. Whew! Thank God! I have my million! I have made my goal!" "Now, I am just going to relax. I am giving it all away. I just wanted to see if I could do it." You know? [Laughter] "I am giving it all to the Body of Christ now. I am going back to my $10,000 a year income, and I am just going to live on modest means from now on...for the rest of my life."
What a joke, huh? It does not happen, does it? Why? Because, they need to be delivered from the "love" of money. And do you believe it, that this thing is in the Church? Oh, yes it is! I think that we would see "reckless" giving when people really begin to get delivered from it. And, I do not want it, by the way. I am just saying that you need to get rid of it. And the best place to get rid of it is somewhere in the house of God, where it is needed. Okay?
Again, we are speaking about the problem of "besetting" sin. There is a seventh one on my list. There are many more that should be on the list, but I will not torment you with any more than just these seven that God gave me. The seventh one is "religious" spirits. I think that this is a big one, and I think it still lingers among God's people. And, when I say God's people, I mean us. I think it still lingers. I think there are still some real soft spots that we have for the "City of Religion." I will again use Clayt Sonmore's term, "The City of Religion," as compared to "The City of the Living God": "Mount Zion."
What are you really most sympathetic to? What do you really want most to prosper? What do you really consider exclusively legitimate before God?
Judas had a problem, you know. He kind of had half his foot over in this other thing, and he was making deals with them. He did this because he wanted Jesus to be the head of "The City of Religion." But, Jesus said, "No! It is the Kingdom of God...and it is not of this world!"
So, if you are looking for that old organization to prosper-if you are sympathetic to that thing-you are going to be disappointed. Because, it is not the Kingdom of God! And, I am not saying that God's people are not found there in these organizations. I am not saying that. There are God's people there. However, I cannot change what God said, when He said, "Come out of her, My people..." (Revelation 18:4). And, I am not going to apologize for saying it. I will have to say it at the right time. I will have to say it in the right place, but I will have to say it: "Come out of her, my people."
But, "Get her out of you, my people, that 'ye receive not of her plagues.'" Do you want to be immune from the plagues? "Come out of her, my people." "Get her out of you, My people." Get "Egypt" out of you. You see, most of what I gave you that was on my list was "Egypt," but, Babylon is on the list too.
I told you how Jesus said, "For the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me." There was no soul tie that Jesus had with anything of darkness. There was nothing that could hook Him. Money did not hook Him. The allurement of the women did not hook Him. There was no substance...food did not hook Him. There was no yearning for power. There was nothing that hooked Him. He was totally moved, exclusively, by the Father! If we have any other loyalty-any other sympathy-then we are in danger of something else having ground. We are in danger of having vulnerability...having an area of weakness. Brethren, we have these areas of weakness, because in our fallen Adam past, we have been there and we have tasted of these things.
The Lord showed me three ways that these things attach to us. Okay? One is the area of comfort. These things are a comfort to us. I spoke of how sometimes sickness is a comfort to people. Certain mental problems are a comfort to some people, because of the way that they can manipulate other people...because of the attention they get. They get what they want. They get what they desire. You understand what I am saying, don't you?
Substances are a comfort to people. When somebody's nerves get fired up, and they relieve that a little bit with a little nicotine, or a little this, or a little that...it is a comfort to them. It relieves certain pain. It relieves certain pressure. Do you understand?
And so, there are certain comforts associated with certain unclean things. I found a rather unusual one in the Word here. Look in Luke 15:16. This is the prodigal son, and where he had really come a long ways down. In fact, this was really the bottom of where he came to, where he discovered that he was comforted by the presence of swine. He had come to the place where he wanted to join himself to swine. It says here in verse 15, "And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country...." In other words, he is now really into Egypt. He is, in a spiritual sense, working for an Egyptian. Okay? "...and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would feign have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him." He was now ready to go the final step and join himself to the unclean swine, and become a partaker with them in their meal! And you know, brethren, of all the unclean things, swine really speak of demonic beings. He was ready to join with them, and partake of their meat and their food. And, he was so deceived that he believed that, somehow, it would satisfy him to be a partaker with these demonic, dark things...swine! How many of you have witnessed real swine eating? Can you imagine the desperate condition that this man had to be in, to be wanting to be down and joining himself with them? Horrors!
But, yet, he felt that there would be some kind of comfort that he could get from this. Do you see? And this list that I gave, people imagine and get some kind of comfort from these dark activities! From these holds of darkness on us. We get some kind of comfort from it.
So, the first thing as to why these things can attach to us is "comfort." The second thing I see, is "pleasure," or, I will call it "spice." Okay? I am going to take you to Hebrews 11, and you know very well what I am going to say; it is verse 25. And, it is about Moses. We will go to verse 24, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years...." You see, Moses came to a place of maturity...He came "to years." He did not come to months, he came to years. He came to the place where he was going to be called a son of God! When he came to that realization, he "...refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter." Isn't it interesting that the Word says, "son of Pharaoh's daughter." It does not say, "son of Pharaoh," it says, "son of Pharaoh's daughter". It is the feminine thing, the woman here speaks of a church...a church with ties to Pharaoh! So, Moses said, "I am not going to be in that church." He said, "I will not be a son of that organization." "...when he was come to years." (When he came to a maturity. When he came to himself.)
So, what is the option? "...Choosing rather to suffer affliction...." You see, in other words, he had to bite the bullet...so to speak...endure the pain; get his deliverance from Egypt; go through the affliction, the persecution, the tribulation, whatever it was that God had to do to finish him.
Coming "to years" meant coming to about forty years of age. He came to a place where he made a decision, "I can no longer partake of Egypt any more. I do not want anything more to do with Egypt. I do not want the diseases of Egypt. I do not want the pleasures of Egypt, either." Okay? It said that Moses chose rather "to suffer affliction with the people of God...." You see, there was a "with." No matter whether he was going to be in the wilderness or not, he was still suffering "with" the people of God. God was still working him over in a distant place, as well as He was working over the people of God who were still back there in Egypt.
Rather than to "...enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Sin has pleasure, brethren! I am not going to deny it! That is what gets people into it in the first place. It is the comfort and it is the pleasure. And even after it begins to bite and devour like a serpent, it still carries a certain measure of comfort. A thing comforts you and then it slams you over the head the next morning, and gives you a horrible headache. But, they go back at it, don't they? They will endure the headache, because of the pleasure and the comfort that it gives them. And the saints of God won't endure a little affliction? And look how Satan treats his!
You know, brethren, we like "spice." No, I do not just mean with our tongue. We like "spiritual" spice! And, sometimes we choose our friends-and some people even choose their spouses-on the basis of the kind of spice that is in the soul of this other person. Have you ever known a young man that liked a rebellious woman? I knew a girl...this is going years back...I have no idea where she is now. She was brought up in a Christian home. She went to a Christian college. I think she went to a Christian high school...a very fundamental Christian high school! And, in college there were very, very, straight rules about what you could and what you could not do, so she really could not carry on very far. But, boy, when she got out of school and got a job in a big city, she used to write to our family because there was somebody in the family that knew her. And she began telling about these horrible boyfriends that she had. And these guys would all beat her up, and abuse her; and finally I said to this family member, I said, "Why don't you write her back and tell her, 'What is wrong with your head, that you keep picking these kinds of guys!'"
And, eventually, I saw her. And she goes on, telling all these tales...these horrible things that were happening to her...including these horrible diseases she was getting. And I looked at her, and I said, "What ails you? Why don't you go for a good Christian boy?" I mean, she was a tremendously good looking girl! I mean, the world would have noticed that too...and she really let her hair down...so to speak. I said, "Why don't you go for a good, quiet, decent, Christian guy?" I said, "You could attract anybody you wanted." She said, "You're kidding! Those guys are all square! They're dullsville!"
[Laughter] ...I mean...I really learned some things from having friends like this. And I began to realize that there was something in her, that she liked the kind of "spice" that these rotten guys were providing! And these rotten guys, they did not mind abusing and using her; and she did not mind being abused and being used-because they had the kind of rebellion and the kind of spice that was compatible with the rebellion in her own soul!
I will tell you a postscript to this. She ended up marrying a guy about twenty years older, and about a year after she married the guy, he went blind; and she ended up being his nurse maid. I do not know if she ever stayed with him or not? I lost track of her about a year after that.
I am talking about spice! I am talking about soulish things in people that are attracted to other people with compatible rebellions and spices, and this type of thing. For instance, a girl who grows up in a home of an alcoholic father, and alcoholic brothers: who gets beat up...kicked around...who weeps and cries all her life. Why in the world does she go and marry an alcoholic...Who does the same thing to her? And she ends up getting beat up, kicked around, and thrown out of the house; and having three or four kids...and the guy is off on the lamb with somebody else. She ends up doing the same thing her mother did...doing the same thing grandmother did. Why in the world? Do you understand? There is a deliverance needed from this ground in her. Amen? And there is a pleasure that goes with it, as well. Satan deceives us by putting this thing...and making it a pleasure.
We will cover the third thing I put down, and then I am going to talk about being loosed from these things. The third thing, as to how these things can attach to us, is "fear." We are simple afraid to rise up. I am going to give you two verses, and you know what they are. Let us go to 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear...." Notice that it said, "spirit of fear." And, by the way, the literal meaning here is "timidity"...but it also means "fear." God has not given you a spirit of timidity...shyness...to be withdrawn. And it is defined as a "spirit."
What does God give? "The righteous are bold as a lion...the wicked flee when no man pursueth..." (Proverbs 28:1). The "wicked" are supposed to be the ones that fear. They are the ones that are supposed to run, even when no man pursues. They hear a little rattle. They hear a little noise, "Oooh, let's run!" You know? It is supposed to be the wicked who do that! The righteous are supposed to be bold as a lion, and not have a spirit of fear. But, God has given us....what? "...but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Why don't you underline those three: power, love, sound mind! Amen! God has not given us psychosis, and neurosis, and things like that. They do not come from God, and if they do not come from God, then they come from the other thing.
Alright, one other verse: 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love...." That is why He gave us love...there is no fear in love. Do you realize that? When you really walk in His love, you cannot walk in fear. And the reverse is also true: If you walk in fear, you cannot walk in His perfect love...because the one fights against the other.
"...but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment." You can write "torment" or you can write the word "punishment" in there. At any rate, it does not feel good. Fear torments you. "...He that feareth is not made perfect (complete) in love." If we are going to be sons of God, we are going to be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.... (James 1:4)
Okay. How do we get loosed. There is a great verse in Luke 11. Verse 20, "If I with the finger of God cast out demons, no doubt the Kingdom of God is come upon you." The finger of God does the job! How many of you want the finger of God on you?
Did I ever tell you about the man I used to know? He used to come to our fellowship for a while, but he has moved off to a distant state now, and I do not think he is even walking with the Lord. But, at the time, he was submitting to the dealing of God, and I believe God has not forgotten, and that He is still going to get a hold of this fellow. But, he really came up a hard way. He came up through the hippie movement. He really got hooked by it-all the excesses and the substances and everything else that went along with it.
And I was visiting him one day, and he still had not gotten victory over the nicotine thing. But, he was telling me how he got victory over the alcohol. And he was a Christian, now. He said, "I was a Christian and I was still drinking.... I said, "You were still smoking?" and he said, "Oh, Yes! And I still am." I said, "So, what are you going to tell me?" "Well," he said, I am going to tell you how I got victory over the alcohol." I said, "So, what happened?" He said, "Well, I was laying in bed one day, and God put His thumb on Me." Now, that is kind of an unusual "finger of God," I would expect...to do this! But, he said that God came down with His thumb. I said, "What? The thumb of God? How big was this thumb of God?" He said, "Oh, it was as big as...as me!" [Laughter] And I said, "What did it do?" He said, "It pinned me right to the ground!" I said, "That's unusual! God put His thumb right on you, like...." I mean, imagine this huge thumb...the thumb of God...whatever it was.... He said it was the thumb of God, I have to take him at his word.
And I said, "Is that all He did?" He said, "Oh, He said something." I said, "What did He say?" He said just one word." And I said, "What was that word?" He said, "The word was, 'Enough!'" And I said, "And you knew what that word meant?" He says, "Oh, indeed! I knew what it meant."
I said, "So, why would God say that to you?" He said, "Well, here is the point. I was a born again believer and I was beginning to understand what God expected of me, but I believed, in my pride, that I could keep a six pack in the refrigerator. And I believed that I could be in control of this thing. I could be, you know, a "good old boy"...and go and have one if I felt like it...it was not going to do anything. And every now and then, I would go and have one just to prove that I had the liberty to have it!"
And God caught him at it...see? (one of these little secrets...in his refrigerator). God caught him one day, put the old thumb on him, and said, "Enough!"
And I said, "And you understood?" He said, "Yes! I clearly understood that He was talking about the old six pack in the refrigerator." And I said to him, "And what did you think would happen if you did not listen?" He said, "Oh, I had a terrible fear in me of what could happen, and I got rid of it!" I said, "You got rid of it, instantly...just like that?" He said, "Just like that! I threw it out. I went right to the refrigerator...as soon as I could get up...you know...[laughter]...when the thumb was lifted; and I threw it out!"
And I am thinking, and finally, I said to him, "If you could get delivered from that, then why didn't you throw the cigarettes out too? Why have you struggled to this day with that problem? You could have gotten deliverance from everything right then and there! You could have understood enough to mean all the things that were giving you a problem." He said, "I do not know. I just took the one. That was the one that bothered me the most, and I threw it out."
Jesus said, "But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you." Do you understand the power of the finger of God? When I heard the story about the thumb of God, I began to understand. This put a fear of God in this man, to have this thumb come down on him. Jesus said, "By the finger of God, I point at the demon, and I say, 'Get out!' And he is gone!" Now, that is the power, and that is the authority of God. Do you know that Jesus gave His disciples that power and that authority to use the finger of God to put demons out. Isn't that amazing? He gave us that power of deliverance!
Alright, so how does it happen? How do we get loosed from these things? The first thing I have written here is, "Fasting and prayer." I am going to read you a couple of verses. I am coming to an end, brethren. I am not going to go much longer. Go to Matthew 17:21, I want you to have a scripture here. We begin reading from verse 20, "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove: and nothing shall be impossible to you."
The disciples had asked, "What was our problem? Why couldn't we get rid of that demon?" And the first thing that He said to them was, "It is because of your unbelief...your first problem is your unbelief. Your unbelief is hindering your faith, in this thing."
Brethren, Jesus is hard on His little disciples! He did not couch it in a nice way, and say, "Well, you know, some day you will...." No! He said, "Because of your unbelief!" Oh, I mean, that was what school was like! "You guys got an "F" today!" And then, He went on and He said, "Howbeit, this kind..., you were dealing with a rough one, I understand it...this kind goeth not out except by prayer and fasting." And what Jesus was saying was, "I am prayed up. I am fasted up. I have been going off into the hills. What have you guys been doing while I was gone? You are not ready, are you? You came up against a tough one, and you found out you could not take it." So, God is expecting His disciples to be ready for the big ones too; and that is why He told them what was wrong.
Just so you get a second witness, I have one more verse on this one. It is over in Mark 9, and we will read verses 28 and 29. And, I think that this was a different situation, because this was a deaf and dumb spirit (the first one was an epileptic spirit). "And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." He said, "You ran into another tough one-there needs to be prayer and fasting."
Alright? Let us bring it into focus here. We are talking about the besetting sin in our life, not out there in someone else, but you saying to God, "I recognize that the Spirit has been speaking to me about something that is in my life...why can't I deal with it?" And the Lord would ask the first question here, "Has there been prayer and fasting?" Is it that you have just been hoping that some day, somebody would come along and point the finger of God at you and just make it easy. Snap the finger, and you would be free?
There is a second thing...and this is the last thing that I am going to talk about concerning getting loosed from these things. You know, brethren, we have had much teaching on deliverance. I am just going to bring in some things that maybe we have not talked about. And that is, that sometimes we need to get rid of the accessories, the accouterments, the paraphernalia, that goes with these things. People that do marijuana, they have certain paraphernalia that go with it.... By the way, they have even outlawed some of these things. Do you realize that? If they find some of this paraphernalia now in your house, you can be arrested. You can say, "Why, I don't do it!" Yes, but you have the thing that does it. It is against the law. If you have the thing, it means you do it.
So, if we are struggling with these areas of unrighteousness in our life, then we had better get rid of the thing that supports the comfort to us. We had better get rid of the stimulus. We had better get rid of the thing that is attractive to these spirits.
You can take that into religious spirits. You had better get rid of those things that you brought in from Babylon...from great Babylon. These religious symbols on your wall; or hanging around your neck; or bumper stickers on your car; or whatever they happen to be...that are attracting those spirits.
For some, it is pornography! We have to get rid of it! Whatever the accouterment is that supports and sustains that thing! You understand what I am saying? The things that sponsor and support and sustain the activity...Get rid of it!
I am going to give two examples and I am going to close with that. Turn to Acts 19:19. One of the greatest acts of getting rid of the supporting things, happened in the days of Paul. Starting in verse 18, "And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds." See, they were not waiting for their secrets to be blown out of the closet. They came and they confessed, and they showed their deeds. They said, "Look, we are a people given to this kind of sin." "And we are going to get rid of it!" Okay? And, "Many of those who used magical arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men, and they counted the price of them, and found it 50,000 pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."
Do you understand how the Spirit and the Word of God prevailed in that community? Because, they not only confessed, but they repented! You know, when I pray for somebody for deliverance of cigarettes, do you know what the first thing is that we do when we finish a deliverance for cigarettes? I reach for the guy's pocket, and I say, "You will not be needing this anymore! Right? You got delivered. You had your last one. Now, if you go home with that thing in your pocket, you are going to say, 'Well, I have only got three more left,' and you know what? You are going to be hooked!" And this is why these people, who were delivered [here in Acts 19] from this magic business, had to bring their books. 50,000 pieces of silver is not $50,000; it is more! Pieces of silver are worth more than that today. This was big money that was going into this thing.
And the final thing that I am going to show you is back in Judges, the sixth chapter. And, I am sorry that I am running over ground that Burt and Pete have already talked about, but this is what God is saying. We are going back here to the beginning of Gideon. You know, brethren, we are not just going to Gideon's battle with the Midianites, we are going to the making of Gideon; and to what it was that made Gideon the man who was able to go down into the camp of the Midianites, and see God do what He did. Why was Gideon able to do that? What was it that made Gideon the man to be chosen by God to lead and hear from God, and to go down and lead this people of 300 down into the valley and bring the victory? It was because Gideon was a man who obeyed God in this issue.
Judges 6:25, "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 [the image] that is by it." Amen!
So, the first thing he had to do was cast down the image and the altar. And, by the way, in reading this, you understand that he also cut down a grove. So, there were the same three things that were spoken of in the 34th Chapter of Exodus. There was the altar, there were the images, and there was the grove. Okay? And the altar speaks of the place where you give and sacrifice. If you are driven, and the only thing that you want in life is to pursue making money, you sacrifice almost the totality of your life for that goal. This spirit is as demanding as alcohol! It demands the entirety of your life! You will have no spare time. Even if you want to sit down and watch TV, you have to watch the financial news. You are demanded of! Okay? It is an altar. It is a sacrifice of an altar. He said, "Tear down the altar!" Okay?
The second thing is the "image," and the image is the picture that is burned into your mind. Okay? Image and imagination are of the same root word. Imagination comes from the image of the mind. Okay? And that was basically what Ezekiel saw in Ezekiel 8. It was the imagery of the mind; the imagery of the soul. And you know, brethren, there are images that we need to cast down!
Young people are being impressed today with images. Do you know what the big controversy over "Joe Camel" is? It is image! Because it puts an image of a certain type of lifestyle, a certain type of comfort, a certain kind of pleasure, a certain kind of rebellion, into the minds and hearts and souls of young people. This...from the picture of this cool, Joe Camel.... The tobacco companies are spending millions of dollars on this image making. And then, there's the Marlboro Man, who has an image that is slightly different than Joe Camel. It is the same product, but he has the big cowboy boots, the big hat, the big square chin...you know. He does not have smooth features.... He's tough! He's hard! Can you imagine this guy weeping and repenting before God? No! He is too proud! He is too hard! How does he handle the things that come to him in life? By hardening himself up more! And, God trying to deal with the "Marlboro Man" image in a young man's soul...he is going to spend years trying to be delivered from this "imagery!"
This is the guy that works out on the construction job. He's tough! He is mean, you know. He does not hurt! He has no pain. It is that image! I know young men that have that image, and I believe they want to be free of that image. You know, the only substitute for that image is the image of Christ! We have to have the image of Christ before us, because Egypt is pressing, pressing, pressing with these other imageries!
Oh, and there are many others, you know. There is the Steve McQueen type, you know...the reckless rebel type. ...And girls! I do not want to leave you out. Give me a couple of examples of images that are pressed out there for girls to take hold of? The Barbie! Yes, that is a great one. The Barbie! I am probably a little behind time, but Jane Mansfield...that type of thing. It was an image! An image thing. A sex idol type of image.
And strange as it may seem, they are making dolls of these things for little girls-three and four years old-to begin and press this thing in their minds: "Yes! This is what I have to be!" So, when they get to be teenagers, and their waist is not ten inches, like Barbie's probably would be, they go on a bulimic binge, you know. And anorexia and all these other horrible things come to girls, because they feel that, "If I am not, you know, a Barbie looking model, I won't be loved. Nobody will want me." Oh horrors! Amen!
So, lets finish with Gideon here...and after he smashed these things, God said, "And build an altar unto the Lord, thy God upon the top of this rock." So, God is not just saying to destroy all of that, but that you have to replace it with something! Your human soul needs something; it cannot have a vacuum in it. You have gotten rid of all the world's images, but to live, you have to have something in it. So, you have to have the image of Christ. You have to have an altar unto God, and you have to sacrifice yourself as a living sacrifice unto God. If you really want deliverance, brethren...if you really want to walk through these end times that are coming upon the earth...this is what God requires!
I am just going to read the rest, "And take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove [image] which thou shalt cut down." He is saying, "Take what used to be your weakness and use it to fuel your sacrifice!" Amen? That thing that used to be a weakness to you, is going to make your sacrifice. Alleluiah! "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, but he did it by night."
The point is, he did it! Let us not be too hard on Gideon, he did it! There probably would have been open war, which he was not prepared for, nor his father, had he done it out in the open. "And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove [image] was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son that he may die, because, he hath cut down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove [image] that was by it.
Brethren, they took this thing seriously. Egypt is not going to take it lightly when you want to cast these things down. The cries of these demons may well call for your death! They will make you think that you are going to die, but you are not going to die! I have told many people that want to get off of nicotine, "You are not going to die, no matter what you feel like...for several weeks. You will not die! You will endure the pain, but you will not die!" Amen?
...And, you will see then in verse 34, "...the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon." Brethren, do you want the Spirit of God? Do you want the baptism of the Holy Ghost? Do you want the power of God? Here are the steps! Okay? The altars are going to be cast down. The images are going to have to be put out. The grove is going to have to be cut down. The hold, the ties, the comfort, the pleasure; even the fear that holds it there...it is going to have to be put out! Amen! And God is going to have a people, in our midst, that are totally and completely free of any place of Satan in our lives. God bless you!
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