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Six Keys to Answered Prayer
Tonight I want to speak to you on a subject that I
never get tired of speaking about, a subject that you
need to always hear about and something that I need to
learn continually about and that is the matter of
prayer. Now, one of the greatest privileges that we
have is the privilege of prayer. One of the greatest
failures that we have, however, is in the area of
prayer. I want to say, dear friend, that prayer is so
powerful because prayer can do anything that God can
do and God can do anything because prayer brings God
into action. I don't have a failure in my life but
what somehow it's a prayer failure. There's not a sin
in my life but what somehow proper prayer would have
helped me to avoid it. There's not a need in my life
but what if I learned how to pray and knew how to pray
that need would be met.
Tonight I want to talk to you about what I'm going to
call six keys to answered prayer. Now, I just feel in
my heart that if you pray this way, according to the
scripture, that God is going to hear your prayer and
when God hears your prayer, your life is going to be
Take your Bible now and turn to John chapter 14 and
let's look in verse 6. John chapter 14 and verse 6.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the
life, no man cometh unto the father, but by me." Now,
many times we assume he's talking about salvation and
I'm certain that salvation is included, but when we
come to God in prayer, we're coming to the father and
the only way we can come to the father in prayer is
through the Lord Jesus Christ. He makes that plain.
Look in verse 13 of this same chapter. "And
whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do that
the father may be glorified in the son. If ye ask
anything in my name I will do it." Turn to chapter 16
and look in verse 23. Jesus said, "And in that day
ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto
you, whatsoever ye shall ask the father in my name he
will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in
my name, ask, and ye shall receive that your joy may
Alright, the first key to answered prayer is to ask in
Jesus' name, to ask in Jesus' name. Clearly, plainly
it is the father that we need to reach in prayer and
the only way we can come to the father is through the
son. Jesus said, I'm the way, the truth and the life,
no one comes to the father but by me. Jesus Christ
brings us to the father.
Now if you're lost and you ask someone directions and
they'll say, Go down here three blocks and turn left
until you come to a red light. Go through that,
you'll come to a caution light, veer to your right, go
several more blocks. You'll see a white picket fence
on the left hand side, turn left there and you'll see
a circle, swing around to the right and go seven more
blocks and through an intersection. About that time
you say, Hold it, give me that again, and then maybe
they'll say, Well, listen, just follow me, I'm going
that direction anyway, just stay with me, I'll take
you there. The Lord Jesus doesn't just tell us how to
get to the father, the Lord Jesus is the way to the
Now it's very clear and very plain the reason that
many people, very frankly, don't have their prayer
answered is they have never been born again and if
they're not born again, they cannot pray in Jesus'
name because if they're not born again they don't have
Christ in their heart and if they don't have Christ in
their heart, they do not have the Savior to bring them
to the father. A wonderful verse that you might put
by these verses in John 16 is Ephesians 2:18,
Ephesians 2 and verse 18. It speaks of the Lord
Jesus and it says, "For through him we both have
access by one spirit unto the father." That tells us
what prayer is all about. "Through Jesus we have
access by the spirit unto the father." By the spirit,
through Jesus, unto the father. So, to pray in
Jesus' name is not a little phrase that you tack on at
the end of the prayer, and it may surprise you to know
that I don't know of a prayer in the Bible that ends
with this statement, in Jesus' name, Amen. Do you?
Can anybody think of one? I don't know of a one.
That's not what he meant therefore when he said to
pray in Jesus' name.
To pray in his name means three things primarily.
First of all, name means authority. When a man says
to stop in the name of the law, what does he mean?
Stop in the authority of the law. Jesus has given me
the power of attorney. I can act on his behalf and I
can request of the father those things that he wants,
but for me to use his authority, the second thing name
means is approval. When you send out a purchase
order, whoever the purchasing agent is, he signs that
at the bottom and he says, I approve this purchase.
So when we pray in Jesus' name, what we're saying is
that we're praying with his authority and because we
have his authority, we also must have his approval.
Now, he is not going to give his authority for
anything he doesn't approve. But name means something
else. Name means also a claim, a claim.
For example, my Jewish friends wrote me a while back
and said, Dr. Rogers, we want you to know that we
have planted a grove of trees in Israel in your name.
So, some where, I've never seen them, I'd like to go
see if they lived or died, but they planted a grove of
trees in my name. What did they mean by "we did that
in your name?" Well, we did that for your honor.
We're trying to honor you, We're trying to give
acclaim to your name.
So you see, when I pray in Jesus' name, I say, Lord
Jesus, I'm doing this with your authority, I'm doing
this with your approval, I'm doing this for your
honor. Do you pray that way? You cannot pray for
Jesus' honor and you cannot pray with his authority
and with his approval unless you are born again. So
the very first key to answered prayer is that you must
learn to pray in the name of Jesus. That's the first
key to answered prayer - to pray in the name of Jesus.
And to pray in the name of Jesus you have to have
Christ in your heart as your Lord and Savior.
Second thing, not only pray in the name of Jesus, but
the second is that you must pray in the spirit, in the
spirit. This time turn if you will please to
Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 18. Ephesians 6 and
verse 18. Here the apostle Paul is giving us a
marvelous lesson on prayer, and he says, "Praying
always with all prayer and supplication in the
spirit," in the spirit. First of all we pray in the
name, and now we pray in the spirit. You see, the
Holy Spirit is called in the Bible the spirit of
prayer. Did you know that? In Zechariah chapter 12
and verse 10 the holy spirit is called the spirit of
grace and of supplications. So, it is so important,
therefore, that you not only be saved, but that you be
Now, a person can be saved and still not be praying in
the spirit. If you just automatically pray in the
spirit when you're saved, then the Bible would not
command us to pray in the spirit. So, when the Bible
commands us to pray in the spirit of course we have to
admit the possibility that we could be a Christian and
yet not be praying in the spirit. And in the book of
Jude, there's just one chapter so I'm not going to
give you a chapter, just the verse, in Jude verse 20
the Bible says this, "But ye beloved building up
yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the
holy ghost." So the Bible tells us to pray in the
Why is it so important to pray in the spirit, that is,
to be yielded to the holy spirit? Well, Paul makes it
clear. In Romans chapter 8 and verse 26, Paul
explains why we must pray in the spirit and this is
what he says: "Likewise the spirit also helpeth our
infirmities." Anybody here weak, anybody here infirm?
Well hallelujah, you have a helper. The spirit
helpeth our infirmities. 'For we know not what we
should pray for as we ought, but the spirit himself
maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot
be uttered." Now this verse is very interesting
because the word help has a double prefix in front of
it or in conjunction with it and it means instead of
and together with. It almost sounds contradictory,
that the holy spirit prays instead of us and then the
holy spirit prays together with us.
What does that mean? Well, it's very beautiful when
you think about it. It means that we cannot do it
without him, and it means that he will not do it
without us. It is the holy spirit that so fills us
when we pray - when we're surrendered to him, when
we're in the spirit - that he molds our prayers and
makes our prayers acceptable to the father. To help
means that he inspires our prayers, he guides our
prayers, he energizes our prayers, he sustains our
praying. We're so weak that without his help we would
not get it done.
And as a matter of fact, the Bible says that he does
it with groanings - that speaks of sounds that are
uttered at child birth, the pains of child birth is
literally what that word means, when he makes
intercession for us with groanings. Hallelujah for
the helper! I tell you dear friend, prayer is hard
work. The devil will attack you when you pray, your
mind will get clouded when you pray, and hallelujah
for the helper. Have you ever tried to pray without
the spirit? If you have you'll understand how
important it is to pray in the spirit of God.
Pray in the name, pray in the spirit. Not only
because of our weakness, but because of our ignorance.
Folks, listen, we don't know what we should pray for
as we ought. Listen to Romans 8:26 again. "Likewise
the spirit also helpeth our infirmities, for we know
not what we should pray for as we ought." We can't
pray for every possibility. Just a few moments ago,
Paul handed me a slip of paper and someone said,
Pastor, pray for this particular situation. Well,
during the song service, I bowed my head and prayed
for that particular situation, lest I forget it, but I
tell you, I cannot pray for everything. You cannot
pray for everything and I believe that the holy spirit
of God makes prayer assignments to us and I've said
before and I want to say again - for your prayer to be
effective, your prayer must be selective. You can
pray in general, God bless the world, but dear friend,
when you get down to specific praying, the Holy Spirit
of God gives you that prayer assignment and not only
does he tell you who to pray for, but he tells you how
to pray for whom you pray. Or if he doesn't tell you,
then he'll just make groanings for you, words that you
For example, there's a sick saint. Let's suppose that
your grandmother is eighty years of age and she's sick
and you're starting to pray. Well, what are you going
to pray? Lord God, heal her. Or Lord God, bring her
to heaven. Huh? That's kind of hard, isn't it, to
know what to pray? Well, God knows what to pray and
you know, many times it's God's will to take her to
heaven. As a matter of fact, that's the more
wonderful thing, if God takes her to heaven. Have you
ever noticed that we get in prayer meetings on
Wednesday night and so many times we spend so much
time praying for the saved who are sick than the
unsaved who are lost. We spend more time trying to
keep the saints out of heaven than the lost out of
hell. Do you ever think about it, because we are just
not burdened for the unsaved many times as much as we
are burdened for the saved.
But how do we pray? Suppose there's a troublemaker in
the church. I mean, let's just suppose that in this
church, that somebody just made up his or her mind
they were going to cause trouble in the church and we
begin to pray about it. Well, how would we pray? Many
of us might be praying Lord, remove him. As a matter
of fact, some of us might be saying, Lord, fix his
wagon. But I think about the apostle Paul when the
apostle Paul brought havoc on the church. Those early
saints prayed, I suppose some of them might have been
saying, Lord, strike him dead, but the Lord struck him
alive. The Lord just saved him and made a mighty
apostle out of old Saul who later became Paul.
Many times we don't know what to pray for, but here's
the wonderful thing about the Holy Spirit. The Holy
Spirit takes our prayers and even sometimes when we
ask for the wrong things with the right heart, then he
takes the right thing and applies it to the right
heart. He is like a transformer. That electrical
energy goes into the transformer on one side and one
cycle, one voltage, it comes out on the other side, in
another form so it can be used. If you were to drop
that power off those high tension wires into your
toaster, you'd toast more than the bread. But what
happens is this. It goes through the transformer - it
is the same power, but it is made acceptable, it is
made adaptable, it is made usable. And many times our
prayer-power, our energy, because it comes from a
heart that is right with God, the Holy Spirit says to
the Father, Now Father, this is what he thinks he
wants but this is what he needs. Have you ever
thanked God he didn't answer he prayers exactly, that
he didn't give you want you wanted? He always gave
you something better than you wanted.
Rule number one, pray in the name. Rule number two,
pray in the Spirit. Rule number three, pray in
obedience, in obedience. By the way, you learn that
all of these things were in something. First of all,
in the name, secondly, in the Spirit, thirdly, in
obedience. It is foolish to pray and to ask God to
answer your prayer if you are not obeying. Trust and
obey, for there's no other way. David knew better
than to try to pray when he was disobeying the Lord.
He says in Psalms 66 verse 18, "If I regard iniquity
in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Now if I'm
cherishing sin in my heart, suppose I have some
unconfessed, unrepented-of sin.
Let my Bible that tells me about sin represent sin and
I've got that sin right down here in my heart and I
have regard to it. Now, the Bible doesn't say if I
have sinned the Lord will not hear me, the Bible says
if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not
hear me. Now, there's my sin right there. We
Baptists say, Well, nobody is sinlessly perfect,
everybody has his vice, this one is mine and so, we've
got some little sin down here in our heart. We have
regard for it, we love it, sweet little fellow, nice
sin, and we just have regard for that particular sin.
And then we have the audacity, the nerve to come to
God and we say now, God, here's what I want you to do
for me, precious sin, now God, here's what I want you
to do for me. Do you think God is going to hear that
prayer? If God were to hear that prayer what would God
be doing? God would be encouraging us to sin. How can
I pray to God and ask God to do something for me when
I harbor in my heart that which nailed his darling son
to the tree?
David said if I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord
will not hear me. The Bible says, "If we confess our
sins, he's faithful and just to forgive us our sin and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." David knew
better. Isaiah l knew better. Open your Bibles to
the book of Isaiah. Let me show you here. Look in
chapter 1 and begin to read with me in verse 13.
These verses are worth turning to, they are worth
marking. Isaiah is speaking to the people of his day,
he's speaking for God and God says, "Bring no more
vain oblations," that is, your foolish offerings.
"Incense is an abomination unto me." They were
burning incense in the temple. God says it stinks,
it's a abominable. "The new moons and the Sabbaths,
the calling of assemblies, I cannot, away with, it is
iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and
your appointed peace my soul hateth. They are a
trouble unto me. I am weary of them," and listen to
this, "and when you spread forth your hand, I will
hide mine eyes from you. Yea, when ye make many
prayers I will not hear. Your hands are full of
blood. Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of
your doings. From before mine eyes, cease to do evil,
cease to do evil." God says there's coming a time
when you'll spread forth your hands, you'll come to
church, you'll give your offerings, you'll go through
your programs and God says they are repugnant to me,
away with them. I don't want it. Dear friend, how we
insult Deity when we pray without obeying the dear
Turn to the book of Isaiah, the same book rather,
chapter 59 and look with me in verses 1 and 2.
"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened that it
cannot save, neither is his ear heavy that he cannot
hear." That means God is not palsied and God is not
deaf, "but your iniquities have separated between you
and your God and your sins have hid his face from you
that he will not hear."
As you ask God to answer your prayers, number one, you
must ask, am I in the name? Number two, am I in the
spirit? Number three, am I in obedience, am I obeying
the Lord? Ezra knew better than to try to pray
without being in obedience. He said in Ezra chapter 9
and verse 6, "Oh my God, I'm ashamed and blush to lift
up my face to thee. My God, for our iniquities are
increased over our head and our trespass is grown up
into the heavens." Ezra said, Oh God, how can I look
at you, how can I pray to you, dear God, for anything
except repentance and humiliation, dear God? I dare
not ask you anything until we get our hearts right
James knew better. James said in James chapter 5 and
verse 16, "Confess your faults one to another and pray
one for another that you may be healed. The
effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth
much." The question is if David knew better and
Isaiah knew better and Ezra knew better and James knew
better and John knows better--the apostle John says in
the book of First John chapter 3 verse 22, "Whatsoever
we ask we receive of him because we keep his
commandments and do those things which are pleasing in
his sight. I'm not saying, dear friend, that when you
obey God, you earn the answer to your prayers. It is
grace all the way, but I'm saying to you that you
cannot harbor unconfessed, unrepented-of sin in your
life and expect to have power with God in prayer.
You must pray in the name. You must pray in the
spirit. You must pray in obedience if you want your
prayers answered. Sin will keep you from praying.
Prayer, however, will keep you from sinning. Number
one, in the name. Number two, in the spirit. Number
three, in obedience. Number four, in the will of God.
Your prayer must be in the will of God. First John
chapter 5 and verse 14. Turn to it, it's worth
turning to , it is certainly worth marking if you've
not already marked it in your Bible. First John is
back near the end of the scriptures, almost to the
book of the Revelation. First John, chapter 5 and
verse 14. "And this is the confidence that we have in
him, if we ask anything according to his will he
heareth us, and if we know that he hearest whatsoever
we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we
desire of him."
Now, we must ask in the will of God. Well, how are we
going to know the will of God? Well, in order to know
the will of God, we must want the will of God. You
see, to know what God wants me to do, I must want to
do what God wants me to do. If I were to walk up to
you right now, I mean, point blank, face to face look
you right in the face and say, There's something God
wants you to do I'm absolutely certain that God wants
you to do it and you knew that I knew what God wanted
you to do and I would ask you, Will you do it. What
would you say? Well, you'd say, well, I sure would
like to hear what it is first. Huh? Now, not that
you're doubting me. Let's just suppose that you know
that I know. Now, grant it, I may not know God's
will, but this is by supposition. In this case you
know that I know and I walk up to you as God's
appointed authority and I say to you, There is
something God wants you to do. Will you do it? And I
dare say if I know a lot about Baptists, they'd say
well, tell me what it is, I'd like to hear first. Do
you know what the answer should be if you know that
God wants you to do it? Yes, I'll do it. Tell me what
it is. Amen. Yes, I'll do it. Tell me what it is.
There should be full and instantaneous obedience to
the will of God even before the will of God is known
so that when God reveals it, we will do it. You see,
we don't have to worry about his will. His will is
best. Romans chapter 12 and verse 2 says that it is
good, it is acceptable, it is perfect. Prayer is not
bending God's will to fit our will, it's not talking
God into doing something that God ordinarily doesn't
want to do. All prayer is is finding the will of God
and getting in on it. The reason that many people
pray and their prayers are not answered is they're not
praying in the will of God.
In James chapter 4 and verse 3 the Bible says, "Ye ask
and receive not because you ask amiss, that you might
consume it upon your lust." The word amiss means that
you're asking with the wrong intent. Now, that
doesn't mean that you cannot ask for personal needs.
God's honor is fulfilled when your personal needs are
met. But you cannot ask for selfish needs. So many
people have misunderstood the Bible when the Bible
says in Psalm 37 verse 7, "Delight yourself also in
the Lord and he will give you the desires of your
heart." Does that mean you can have anything you
want? Well, yes and no. Look at it carefully. I'm
not trying to say there's fine print, but his promise
is not made to anyone except to the person who
delights himself in the Lord. And your delights
determine your desires and therefore God is safe to
make this promise. "Delight yourself in the Lord and
he will give you the desires of your heart" - not the
frivil6us things, he will give you your heart's need,
the thing that your heart desires and longs for.
That's not a pink Cadillac and a swimming pool. What
your heart desires, what your heart needs, a heart
that is in love with God is going to have its needs
So many times people say, "Well, the Bible's promises
are not true." They take a promise like Matthew
chapter 7 and verse 7 where Jesus says, "Ask and ye
shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it
shall be opened unto you." They say, Well, I asked
and I didn't get it. I sought, I didn't find it. I
knocked, it wasn't open to me. So the Bible therefore
is untrue. Well, friend, any text without a context
is a pretext and if you will read Matthew chapter 7
I'm going to tell you something here that's going to
be astounding. It follows Matthew chapter 6. See,
isn't that profound? Now listen, Matthew chapter 6
is a part of this whole thing. And Jesus says in
Matthew chapter 6 and verse 33, "But seek ye first the
kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these
things shall be added unto you." And then he says,
"Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find,
knock and it shall be opened to you."
Who? That person who is seeking God first with all of
his heart. But seek ye first the kingdom of God. God
is not your heavenly bellboy, a glorified Santa Claus
to wait upon you hand and foot. But when you say to
him, Oh, God, with every inch, every ounce, every
nerve, every fiber, as much as in me is, oh God, I
want your will. I seek first your kingdom. God says,
I'm going to take care of you child. I'm going to
take care of you. God says, You put my business first
and I'm going to make it my business to take care of
you and you can come to me and ask and I'll hear you.
You can come to me and seek and you'll be found. You
can come to me and knock and I am going to open the
doors to you.
Listen to me dear friend, we must pray in the will of
God. And the way to pray in the will of God is to be
surrendered to that will, to want that will, to listen
to that will, to get in the word of God. Jesus said,
"If you abide in me and my word abides in you, then
you can ask what you will and it'll be done unto you."
Why? Because now what you will and what he wills is
the same because you are in him and he is in you and
his word is in your heart and you delight yourself in
him and you seek him first, his kingdom. And you find
yourself not talking God into doing things that he
ordinarily would not want to do, but you find yourself
receiving those blessings that God has foreordained
and planned for you to have.
So, you must pray in the will of God, that's the
fourth thing. Number one, in the name, number two, in
the spirit, number three, in obedience, number four,
in the will of God. Number five, you must pray in
fellowship, in fellowship. Take the word of God
please and turn to Mark chapter 11 with me, the gospel
of Mark chapter 11 and look if you will in verse 25.
And I am well aware that when I say in the name, in
the spirit, in obedience, many of these things overlap
and I have somewhat artificially separated them out
but I do that for a purpose so I can make individual
and singular points. Mark chapter 11 and I begin to
read now in verse 25. Alright, listen to what our
Lord has to say here about prayer. "And when ye stand
praying, forgive if ye have ought against any, that
your father also which is in heaven may forgive you
your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither
will your father which is in heaven forgive your
trespasses." Now, if you're out of fellowship with
somebody else, you're out of fellowship with the
father. That is, if you have an unforgiving spirit in
your heart. You see, you have to pray in fellowship.
You have to be in tune and so many people are
As we prayed this morning, so many people have
bitterness in their heart and an unforgiving spirit
and they wonder why their life is so barren and their
prayers are so unfruitful. Do you and your husband
argue? You and your wife argue? You're not in harmony,
you're not in not oneness, you're not in fellowship.
Let me give you a scripture. First Peter chapter 3
verse 7. "Likewise, ye husbands dwell with them,"
that is, with your wife, "according to knowledge,
giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel
and as being heirs together of the grace of life that
your prayers be not hindered." Husbands and wives
whose lives are filled with bitterness and rancor and
arguing and all of these things, they stop their
prayers from being answered. We must pray in
fellowship, we must be in harmony with our brothers
and sisters in Christ. How important it is that we be
in harmony with one another.
Now the last thing I want to say and the very sixth of
these things, not only must we pray in fellowship - is
that going to make six? If not, I'll go back and get
another one. Alright, now listen, pray in faith, in
faith, in faith. And by the way, praying in faith is
the sum total of all of these other things. When
you're in the name, when you're in the spirit, when
you're in obedience, dear friend, when you're in the
will and when you're in harmony, you're going to find
ipso facto, faith, it's going to be there. You see,
faith is not something you muster up, faith is the by-
product of placing yourself where that faith can be
there in your heart.
Now listen to Matthew chapter 21 verse 22. "And all
things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing,
ye shall receive." Pray, believe, and you'll receive;
pray in doubt, you do without. Listen, in all things,
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing ye shall
receive. Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 6. "But
without faith it is impossible to please him, for he
that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." No
prayer has ever been answered that was not a prayer of
faith. No prayer of faith has ever been unanswered.
Don't ever tell me that you pray in faith and God
didn't hear your prayer. I won't believe it, because,
friend, when God gives faith that's a sign he intends
to answer that prayer. And that's the reason the
Bible says, "Whatsoever things ye desire when you
pray, believe that you receive them and ye shall have
them." You must pray in faith.
Sometimes if you want an exercise that will help you
to grow in faith, read books like the biography of
George Mueller of Bristol, just read the answers to
prayer in this dear man's life. He kept a prayer log
and I was astounded to learn that he recorded over
twenty-five thousand definite answers to prayer. Many
of us will say, Yes, I remember when God answered my
prayer. When I was a little boy one time, haha,
something happened and God answered my prayer. George
Mueller of Bristol, who had a orphanage and raised
literally millions of dollars when a million, you
know, was a million dollars. And it's not a big
compliment today to say, You look like a million,
haha. When a million dollars was a million dollars,
he raised literally millions of dollars without asking
anybody. Now, it's not wrong to ask, but God just led
him a different way and God would not even let George
Mueller let his needs known as he was feeding these
little orphans. Raised millions and millions of
Of course, who would not want to know what the secret
of prayer is in this man, this great man of faith? He
was asked to explain the secret of answered prayer.
Do you want it, are you ready for it, here it is.
George Mueller's answer, have faith in God. Oh, you
say, I was expecting something wonderful. Friend,
that's wonderful. I was expecting something
significant. That is significant. Have faith in God.
We must pray in faith.
So many times I find myself when I'm praying, begging
God, pleading with God, agonizing with God and then
finally, it comes to me, Oh God, you're waiting for me
to believe you, and I just say, Thank you Lord, and I
feel the burden gone, I feel the joy come and I feel
that if I don't have the answer in my hand, l already
have the answer in my heart. And I'm sure when George
Mueller said to have faith in God he did not put the
emphasis upon the word faith, but he put the emphasis
upon the word God. Have it in God. What's he.
saying? Oh, it is not so much a great faith in God as
it is faith in a great God. He knew how great God
was. Have faith in God.
Think about God as the one who answers, who calls upon
us to pray. Oh, dear friend, there's no sense in
praying without confidence. We must pray in
confidence to pray in faith. Abraham was the father
of the faithful. God heard his prayer and let me show
you why. Romans chapter 4, verses 19 and 20. And
this is what describes father Abraham. The Bible
says, "And being not weak in faith, he considered not
his own body now dead. When he was about an hundred
years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb,"
listen to this now, "he staggered not at the promise
of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith,
giving glory to God." Did you know that faith above
all things gives glory to God. Faith honors God and
therefore God honors faith. Faith is not trying to
psyche yourself up into a positive feeling. Faith is
not working yourself into a frenzy. Faith is just
letting your heart be open to God and letting God just
dump that lump of faith there.
When you come these other five steps, and if you're
dealing in these other matters, these other keys - if
you pray in the name, if you pray in the spirit, if
you pray in obedience, if you pray in the will of God,
if you pray in fellowship with the other saints, you
will find yourself praying in faith in God. God will
answer your prayer.
Let's bow together.
DISCOVERING YOUR TREASURE
Would you take God's precious holy word and open to the book of Colossians chapter one tonight. We're going to have a good time in the word tonight because we're just going to brag on Jesus a little tonight Colossians chapter one, I begin in verse nine. "For this cause we also since the day we heard of it do not cease to pray for you and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to his glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible god, the firstborn of every creature, for by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities of powers, all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the father that in him should all fullness dwell and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself by him I say whether they be things in earth or things in heaven. "And then chapter two, and verse three. "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Tonight I want to help you to discover the treasure that you have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many many years ago the Spanish armada was sailing off the coast of Florida. A hurricane struck and those ships laden with millions of dollars in gold and silver trinkets went to the bottom in shallow water. People knew the treasure had been lost, but they didn't know where the ships had gone down. One ship went down near Vero Beach in Fort Pierce there in Florida. Many times I've been in that water there by the Sabastian Inlet and other places. Many times I've been in that water swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, spear fishing, right around that area but I didn't come up with any millions. I didn't come up with any silver, any gold. The ships were there in shallow water, fisherman, doubtless fished over that spot sometimes would hang a hook perhaps on a lump of gold and curse their luck, haha, because they had hung a hook down beneath the water on something they could not see.
Then one day some explorers said the ship must be here. They went out and they made the surveyed, they tested, they went under and there it was in shallow water so shallow that any of us who could swim just normally could have gone to the bottom and brought up millions of dollars. There it was but they didn't know it was there. I believe tonight that many of us are yet to discover the full treasure we have in Jesus Christ. Oh, dear friend, in him, in Jesus Christ, are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Think of that, all and all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge and it's all in Jesus. Now, how can those treasures be yours? Well, there's a key verse and I want you to see that key verse, it's chapter one and verse eighteen. Look at it. And he, that is, Jesus is the head of the body. The church who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead_ now here's the key phrase, watch it, that in all things he might have the preeminence. I want to talk to you tonight about DISCOVERING YOUR TREASURE by recognizing God's eternal plan that in all things Jesus may have.
Now, the very first thing I want you to see is what I'm going to call the sovereign determination of his preeminence. I read verse eighteen. Look if you will in verse nineteen. For it pleased the father that in him, in his son, should all fullness dwell. What does that mean, if please the father, that in all things, verse eighteen, that Jesus should have preeminence, that it pleased the father that in him, in his son, should all fullness dwell.
Dear friend, when you understand that, listen, when you understand that you are going to unlock the key to the mystery of history and to all eternity. God has but one eternal plan, just one and it is that his son, the Lord Jesus will have the preeminence. Understand that. It pleased the father that in him should all fullness dwell and Paul is going to tell us in Colossians that this is a part of the vast eternal plan of God. It is the purpose of history. Why did God send the Holy Spirit? That Jesus might have the preeminence. Jesus said when he is come he will not speak of himself, he will glorify me. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ. And incidentally folks, you beware of any so called Christian movement that has the Holy Spirit for a figurehead. The Holy Spirit, very God of very God, has as his office work to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. Why the final judgment, even the final judgment is that in all things Jesus will the preeminence. Why listen, God is going to judge the world. Why? That every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the father.
Now, listen, if you want to get in on what God is doing, if you want to understand what God is up to, if you want to bring your life in line with almighty God, then make it the purpose of your heart, of your life, that God's purpose will be your purpose, that Jesus will have the preeminence.
Now, my dear friend, you can never, ever know the fullness of God in your life until the one single aim of your life is that Christ and Christ alone will be exalted.
S. B. Gordon was a great preacher. He said in every heart there is the throne. He said when self in on that throne Christ is on the cross. But he said when self is on the cross Christ is on the throne. Now, I want to ask you a question. In your heart right now more than anything else is Jesus Christ preeminent? I want to tell you something and I want you to hear it and hear it well. Jesus Christ is not looking for a place in your life. He doesn't want a place in your life. Jesus Christ is not looking for prominence in your life. He does not want prominence in your life. Jesus Christ deserves and demands preeminence in your life. Jesus Christ is not someone that you can tack on to your life. Jesus Christ doesn't want to be the spare tire dear friend, he's the steering wheel. Jesus Christ is to be Lord of your life. It pleased the father, it pleased the father that in him should all fullness dwell.
And so, the very first thing that I want you to understand, if you would discover your treasure is the sovereign, the sovereign determination of his preeminent. This is the mystery of history, all that God is doing is that his son might have the preeminence. Now, the second thing I want you to understand is what I am going to call the sweeping dimension of his preeminence. What should he be preeminent in? Well, look again if you will in verse eighteen, look at it. That in all things he might have the preeminence, in all things. He is to be preeminent in the revelation of the father.
For example, see in verse fifteen. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He is preeminent in revelation. Dear friend, God is unseeable, God is unknowable, God is unapproachable apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. You will never know God apart from the preeminence of Christ. You cannot know God through reason. You cannot know God through religion. You cannot know God through ritual. The only way that you can know God is through Jesus Christ, the preeminent Christ has a monopoly on the revelation of God. I want you to listen to this marvelous verse in Matthew chapter eleven and verse twenty seven. Jesus Christ said all things are delivered unto me of my father and no man knoweth the son but the father. Neither knoweth any man the father except the son and he to whomsoever the son will reveal him. The oily way, the only way you can know God is for the son to reveal him to you. If you worship God any other way apart than through Jesus Christ, you're worshipping an unknown God. Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes unto the father but by me. He has cornered the market on revelation dear friend. He is preeminent in the revelation of the father.
Now, secondly, not only is he preeminent in the revelation of the father, verse fifteen, but he is preeminent in the regulation of the universe, verse sixteen. For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created by him. Jesus Christ is preeminent dear friend, in the regulation of the universe. Jesus is the power of creation. It was all done by him. Who created this vast, mighty world? Who was it that flung out the stars? Who was it that scooped out the seas? Who was it that heaped up the mountains? Who is it that paints the rainbow? Who is it dear friend, that sculptors the mountains?! Who is it? It is Jesus Christ. And I want to tell you that little baby of Matthew one is the mighty God of Genesis one. There was not one blade of grass made, not one grain of sand created without the Lord Jesus Christ. And when Jesus Christ came into this world as a little baby on the breast of his mother he was the one had already created his mother. And when he was born he was older than his mother and as old as his father. Jesus Christ spoke and it stood fast. There's some today who try to tell us that they believe in evolution. I spoke to a seminary president the other day who told me that he did not believe in Adam and Eve as literal persons. He did not believe that this world came about as a direct creation of God. He believed rather that uh, that it all came about by some evolutionary process. Well, dear friend, if that is true you've got three problems. Number one, you've got a problem with the bible, with the scriptures, for the bible tells us that God created the heavens an the earth and that God formed man out of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. And if this book is not sufficient to tell me where I came from it's not sufficient to tell me where I'm going dear friend. It's wrong about the origin of the species. It's wrong about the destiny also. And I thank God for the bible that tells me, whence I came and where I go.
I'll tell you something else dear friend. If I don't understand that Jesus made it all, not only am I going to have problem with the scripture, but I'm going to have a problem with salvation. You see, if man just simply evolved, if there was no Garden of Eden, if there was no fall in the Garden of Eden, if we are not by nature sinners, if we're just evolving onward and upward, then we don't need to be saved. WE don't need to be born again. But the bible says as in Adam, all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. And if Genesis three is a myth, John three is a farce. WE don't need to be born again.
But not only will you have a problem with the scriptures and not only will you have a problem with salvation, you're going to have a problem with society. I've said it before and I'll say it again. You teach people that they came from animals and before long they're going to be living like animals and that is what is wrong with us today, right where we are. Jesus Christ is the power of creation, but not only is he the power of creation, he is the preserver of creation.
Look in verse seventeen. He is before all things and by him all things consist. Jesus Christ holds it together. Jesus is the glue of the galaxies. Jesus Christ is the one who regulates the universe. Jesus Christ is the one who fuels the sun so that it can burn. Jesus Christ is the one who veils the moon with beauty. Jesus Christ is the one who guides the stars and the planets in their mighty orbits. The scientist talk about natural law. There is no natural law, it is the law of God. Jesus is the one who regulates the universe. He is preeminent in the revelation of the father. He is preeminent in the regulation of the universe.
Not only is he the power of creation, not only is he the preserve of creation; but dear friend, he is the purpose of creation. Look again in the last part of verse sixteen. All things were created by him and for him. You want me to tell you why this mighty universe? Because of Jesus. Did you think it was made for you? Dear friend, it was made by him, it was made for him and that word for is a preposition e and it means, uh, it means movement toward an object, it means that this universe is coming to him, it was made for him, it is coming to him. People say what's the world coming to. I'll tell you my dear friend, it is coming to Jesus, it is coming to Jesus, it is all for him and life would be meaningless if you don't understand the purpose for creation. Why it's all here. Jesus is preeminent. He is preeminent in the revelation of the father. You cannot know God unless you know him who is the image of the invisible God. Jesus is preeminent in the regulation of the universe. He is the power, he is the preserver, he is the purpose of creation.
I'll tell you thirdly, dear friend, he is preeminent of the reconciliation of the world. Continue to read in verse eighteen. And he is the head of the body, the church who is the beginning, the first- born from the dead that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the father that in him should all fullness dwell and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by to reconcile all things unto himself, by him I say whether they be things in earth or things in heaven. Jesus made peace through the blood of his cross.
I want to say with all of the emphasis of my soul, I want to underscore it, I want to put an exclamation point behind it and I want you to hear me dear friend, there is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ. He is preeminent in salvation. He made peace with the blood of his cross. And my dear friend, if you tell me there's some other way to get to heaven apart from Jesus Christ I will tell you that you are a heretic. There is no way apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, if there is some other way other than Jesus Christ then Jesus Christ is none of the ways at all. If there's some other way apart from Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ is a fake, a fraud, a liar and a deceit, for Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life and no man cometh unto the father but by me. If there's another way other than Jesus the apostles are false witnesses. For the bible says neither is there salvation in other, for there's none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
And I'll tell you something else dear friend, if there's another way other than Jesus Christ I lose my respect for the one who is called God and I'll tell you why. If God allowed his darling son to die in agony and blood upon that cross and there was some other way, God should have taken it. I mean, dear friend, if God allowed his son to die that agonizing, excruciating, death and there was some other way I'd hate to meet that God in a dark alley. I'm telling you something dear friend, that Jesus Christ is preeminent, he is preeminent in the revelation of the father. He is preeminent in the regulation of the universe, he is preeminent in the reconciliation of the sinner, he made peace by the blood of his cross. What a savior we have, there's none like the Lord Jesus Christ, thank God for the Lord Jesus.
Now, I've talked about the sovereign determination of his preeminence. It pleased the father. I have talked about the sweeping dimensions of his preeminence, that in, all things he might have preeminence. Now, thirdly, I want to talk to you about the sacred demands of his preeminence. What does this mean to me? What does it mean to you? Well, it means dear friend, that in my heart and in my life, he must have the preeminence. There are two things that that demand that Jesus have first place in my life. Number one, his deity, verse eighteen says. That he is the head of the body, the church.
Now, Jesus Christ is God and he is head. He is king and therefore he has a right to demand of me his preeminence. Because of his deity, he is God. This is not some Baptist preacher, it is God who speaks. There can be no rival, there can be no refusal. There can be no rebuttal. Christ is God and because of that, because of his deity, he demands preeminence. But not only because of his deity, but because of his death, verse twenty. And having made peace through the blood of his cross. When you put, verse eighteen and verse. uh, verses eighteen through twenty together then you understand why I must bow the knee to Jesus Christ. Number one, he is God and he died for me. Number two, because of his deity and because of his death, love so amazing so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all. Paul was talking to the carnal Corinthians, they had forgotten the preeminence of Christ. And Paul told them in First Corinthians chapter six, verse nineteen, what? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the holy ghost which is in you which ye have of God and you are not your own. Oh friend, he bought you, he bought me, I have no right to my life. I must turn it over to him completely. This is the sacred demand of his preeminence.
Now, how is that going to work out in my life? If Jesus Christ is Lord and he is, if he died for me and he did, if God has determined that in all things Jesus Christ should have the preeminence, what does that mean to me? May I suggest several things that it means to me and God help us that it ought to mean to all of us? Number one, if Christ is on the throne of my life, if Christ is to have preeminence what does that mean? Well, that means he comes first. That means I must give him the first thought of the day. Psalm chapter five and verse three, my voice shalt thou hear in the morning oh Lord, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee and will look up. Is the first thought in the morning of the Lord? It ought to be. So many times I like to open my eyes and just greet the Lord. Every morning lean thine arms awhile upon the window sill of heaven and gaze upon thy Lord, then with a vision in thine heart turn strong to meet the day. Give him the first thought in the morning. Give him the first day of the week.
I told you this morning it is not the week it is the Lord's Day. It belongs to him. Acts chapter twenty and verse seven, upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread Paul preached unto them. First Corinthians sixteen, verse two, upon the first day of the week, let everyone of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him. Oh, friend, give him the Lord's day, not just Sunday morning, Sunday evening and all day Sunday. What should a Christian do on Sunday? What kind of recreation, what kind of sports, what kind of visiting, what kind of business should a Christian do? The New Testament does not lay down rules, it is not the Old Testament's Sabbath, it is the Lord's Day, but dear friend, it is the Lord's Day. I'm not going to make any rules for you, but I tell you what you must do, you must bow and give this day to Jesus Christ, give him the first thoughts in the morning, give him the first day of the week, give him the first- fruits of your income.
Proverbs chapter three, verse nine and ten, honor the Lord with thy substance and with the first fruit of all thine increase and so shall thy barns be filled with plenty and thy presses burst out with new wine. You don't pay all of the rest of your bills and the mortgage and all of the rest of it and then see what you have left for God. My dear friend, are you listening to me? You take God's tithe off the top and give it to God. No, I take it back pay it to God. The tithe is the Lord's. It belongs to God. If you keep it you rob God, you steal from God. Honor the Lord with the first fruits of all thine increase. You say well, if I did that I couldn't pay my bills. Bless God, if you do that you can pay your bills. That's what he's saying. And so shall thy barns be filled with plenty and thy presses will burst out with new wine. That's the reason he said in Matthew chapter six, verse thirty three, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Give him the first thought in the morning, give him the first day of the week, give him the first fruit of your income, give him dear Lord, or dear friend, give him the first consideration in any decision. Second Corinthians chapter eight and verse five, they first gave their own selves unto the Lord, just give him all, ALL, give it all to Jesus.
A man who loved Jesus with all of his heart was getting ready to propose to his girlfriend and this is what he said to her. He said I love you deeply and I want to ask you a question. Are you willing to take second place in my heart? She said yes, I am. And they were married. I want to tell any woman here that the best thing you could ever do would be to marry a man who loves Jesus more than he loves you because he'll love you in a way that he could never have loved you before. I say it and I mean it, that Jesus Christ deserves, demands preeminence and when you begin to give him preeminence then you're going to find the treasure that is hid in the Lord Jesus. I want every head bowed, every eye closed and I want to ask you this question, solemnly ask this question, Is Jesus Christ preeminent in your life? I'm not asking does he have a place. I'm not asking do you intellectually believe in him. I am asking is he totally, completely, Lord in your life? Are you willing to first give yourself to him, to give him the first thought in the day, to give him the first day of the week, to give him the first fruit of your income, to give him the first consideration in any decision to say he is Lord, Lord, no refusal, no rebuttal, he is Lord.
Victory In Jesus
Thank you Joyce and thank all of you who had a part in our praise worship tonight. It's been wonderful and exciting an we look forward to the next time that we meet together as the body of Christ here at Bellevue and in Memphis, Tennessee to praise the dear Savior. open your Bibles please tonight to Ephesians chapter 1. And we're going to begin reading in verse 15. Ephesians chapter one. Now you will remember, perhaps, that Ephesians was written while Paul was in prison. But when you open the book of Ephesians, my dear friend, you don't smell the musty air of a prison. The breezes of Calvary come up and blow in your face as you open the book to the, to Ephesians. It is a book of victory all the way. And all through the night in our songs we've been talking about the victory that we have in Jesus. And that is the title of our message tonight, Victory In Jesus. That has been, dear friend, the theme of our bold breakthrough, as we are going out, marching into Canaan, is victory in Jesus. For "Of Him and through Him and to Him are all things." It's all wrapped up in Jesus Christ. Now tonight if you would be victorious and if you would know the victorious life, you must learn the Scripture, the truth that is here delineated beginning in Ephesians chapter one and verse 15. The Apostle Paul is talking about the church at Ephesus and he says, "Wherefore, I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and love unto all the saints cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in our prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Now it is very important that you understand that these people were great saints already. They loved God. They were saved. They were on their way to heaven. And yet the great apostle is praying for them, "Oh, God, open their eyes and give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him." My friend, if you think you know it all, you don't. There is so much more to learn. And so Paul goes on to pray, "That the eyes of your understanding be enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling." By the way, remember the word hope means "certain glad assurance of his calling. "And what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe according to the working of His mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised Him from the dead and set Him at his own right hand in the heavenly places far above all principality and mighty and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave Him to be the head over all things, to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all." Now folks, Paul said a lot of things in His life. But here I believe he said a mouthful. If you can just understand all that he has packed in to these verses. Now let me tell you something, friend. God designed you for dominion. You were made for mastery. God created you to rule and to reign. And if you're not ruling, if you're not reigning, if you don't have mastery, if you don't have dominion, if you don't know victory, then you are not living according as God has designed for you to live. In the Book of Genesis, chapter one and verse 26, God said, "And let us make man in our image and after our likeness and let them have dominion." Now that's why God created you. So that you could rule and have dominion. God did not make you to fail. God did not make you to be intimidated. God did not make you to be stepped on and misused. God made you to have dominion. God gave man rule and control over this earth. He was to be the master of this earth. "Let him have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle and over all of the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth over all of the earth." Man was given rule to control and master this world and it's resources. He was to have dominion. Again the same thing is taught in Psalm 8 and verse 6, "Thou madest Him to have dominion over the works of thy hand. Thou hast put all things under his feet." Talking about man, God made man and woman to have dominion. But you read in the newspaper and look around you and ask if man has dominion. Read about the death and disease and hate and war and crime and lust and sorrow and disappointment and despair and tell me if man has dominion. He doesn't have dominion. He is not an overcomer. He is over come. He does not have dominion, he has, uh, he is dominated. Now what has gone wrong? Well, I want us to learn three things and they all deal with man. It's all wrapped up in man. First of all, man's dominion was lost by the first man. Man's dominion was lost, legally lost, by the first man. Now look if you will please, in Ephesians chapter 2 and look at verses one through three. "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." Well how did we get dead in trespasses and sins? Well continue to read. "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Underscore that phrase. "Among whom also we all had our conversation, or behavior, in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Well now how did we get to be the children of wrath. How did we get to be the children of disobedience? Where did we get this nature? How is now the devil called the prince of the power of the air? How did the devil get to be the prince? I thought man was to have dominion. What happened? Well you will remember, if you know your Bible history, that Satan rebelled against God. Satan said, "I will be like the most high." But no sooner had Satan unsheathed the sword of rebellion than the thunders of God's wrath rolled down the corridors of heaven and Satan was vanished from heaven. He was kicked out of heaven. And now Satan has turned his attention to man. Now evil people have always known that if you can't harm someone harm someone that that some, harm someone that that someone loves and you've harmed that someone anyway. Satan could not get to God. He could not get at God. And so now he turned his attention to man. And he uh, tempted Eve and he tempted Adam to disobey and they did. How did he tempt Adam to disobey. How did he tempt Eve to disobey? He tempted them to achieve for themselves on earth what he himself had failed to do in heaven. Adam and Eve were tempted to be gods. Remember Satan had said, "I will be like the most high." It didn't work up there. And so he came down to earth and he said, "Adam and Eve, eat and you will be like God." It was the same temptation. He tempted them to try to be on earth what he himself had failed to do in heaven. And so what happened is that Adam believe this lie. Adam took this temptation and he dethroned God and tried to enthrone himself. Adam did not enthrone himself. Adam did not become God. Adam became a servant. And when Adam dethroned God, Adam enthroned Satan. And Satan who failed to achieve a throne in heaven, now has a throne in the heart of man. Satan lost the war in heaven, but he gained a victory on earth. And what Satan, while Satan had no throne in heaven, Satan now has a throne in the heart and mind of mankind. Now here's a truth I want you to learn. And if you will learn this it will unlock so much of the Bible to you. The entire universe is ruled by divine law. And what Adam lost in the garden of Eden, he lost legally. He turned it over to the devil. The dominion and the authority that Adam had were a legal gift from God. God gave Adam dominion. And when God gave it to Adam, he gave it to Adam with no strings attached, as it were. It was Adam's and God gave Adam that dominion. Since it belonged to Adam, Adam could legally give it to someone else if he chose to. It was legally his and he willfully gave it away. He gave it to the devil. It was legally given, it was legally lost. The dominion that Adam had from God was a legal gift. And when Adam chose to obey Satan he became Satan's slave. Romans chapter 6, verse 16 says this, "Know ye not that whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness." Now Adam in the Garden of Eden delivered the dominion over to the devil. You say, "Brother Rogers, was it really given to him?" Absolutely. Do you remember there when the devil tempted the Lord Jesus Christ? The Bible says there in Luke chapter 4 and verse 46, "And the devil said unto him, the Lord Jesus, all the power will I give unto thee and the glory of them for that is delivered unto me." See it was delivered by Adam, uh, delivered to the devil. Who delivered it to the devil? God? Of course not. Adam delivered it to the devil. Jesus would not say to the devil, "That's not yours to give." Jesus never disputed the devils a matter of fact, Jesus called the devil, the prince of this world. And Paul called the devil, the prince of the power of the air. Paul called him in I Corinthians 4, 4, "The god of this age." He has a dominion that was delivered to him. Now get this in your mind. The universe was lost legally. God gave Adam dominion. Adam chose to be a servant of Satan. He enthroned Satan in his heart and Adam willingly turned that dominion over to the devil. And the devil now has dominion. And because of what Adam did the devil had dominion. That's the reason the Apostle Paul goes over to say in Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Now listen dear friend, the first Adam lost it legally. It was legally lost, The universe is run by divine law. If dominion is to be regained it must be legally regained. It was legally lost by the first Adam. It is going to be righteously recovered by the second Adam. God's mighty plan in the universe, the battle of the ages is that God is rightfully and legally going to reestablish and recover Adam's lost estate. Please get it in your mind, it was legally lost, it is going to be legally recovered. Suppose God had just stopped, uh, just stepped in and God said, "Now Adam, you gave it all to the devil, but Adam, I'm God and I'm going to take it all away from the devil by force and I'm going to give it back to you. I'm going to destroy the devil. I'm just going to overlook your sin and I'm just going to give it all back to you." If God had done that, God would not have been righteous. It would have made a farce of divine justice. I want to make some- thing very clear. God owes the devil nothing. But if God is going to be true to His own righteousness andGod is going to be true to His own principles of justice, He must recover man's fallen estate and He must do it legally. It was legally given, it was legally lost, it will be legally recovered. If God did not do it legally, the devil would always be able to point a finger at the face of God and say, "God you are not a God of justice, you are not a God of righteousness." Now listen, man's dominion was lost by man and therefore it must be recovered by a man. It cannot be recovered by God acting as God alone. You see, the dominion was given to a man, it was lost by a man, and it will be legally recovered by a man. A member of Adam's race must be found upon whom Satan has no claim in order to recover this dominion. Now all of us are by nature children of wrath. Look if you will in Ephesians 2, verse 3, the last part, "We are by nature children of wrath." The last part of verse 2, "We are the children of disobedience." And the first part of verse 2, "We walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air that now worketh in the children of disobedience." That is, we are now Satan's slaves before we are redeemed. I'm talking about our pre-salvation experience. Now God must find a man who can go and recover what Adam lost. He must be of Adam's race. But he must be a member of Adam's race over whom Satan has no legal claim. But since Adam was a slave, all of the sons of Adam are legally slaves. All of the children of Adam are legally slaves. So God has a problem. God must have a man, but that man cannot be a son of Adam. If he's not a man it cannot be legally recovered, but if he is a son of Adam he is already a slave. And no slave can redeem a slave. That is the reason, ladies and gentlemen, for the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mark these Scriptures down. I Corinthians 15, verses 21 and 22. Now listen, "For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam, all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." And then jot this Scripture down. Hebrews chapter 2, verse 14, "For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood," that is the children of disobedience, "He also Himself likewise took part of the same." That is, Jesus came in flesh and blood. "That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil." Paul says the same thing in Galatians chapter 4, verses 3 and 4 and 5. "Even so when we were children we were in bondage unto the elements of the world." That is, we were slaves. "But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that what believe the adoption of sons. What are all of these verses telling us? That he became a man. Jesus had to be a man. The dominion was given to man. It was legally man's. Man turned it over to the devil. It was legally given, legally lost. It must be legally regained and reclaimed by a man. But that man cannot be a son of Adam. If he is a son of Adam he is the son of a slave. And all sons of slaves are slaves themselves. He must be a member of Adam's race without being a descendant of Adam. And that is the reason that Jesus Christ was conceive in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit. Remember when I preached to you, I believe it was last Sunday on the power of the blood. into a high mountain, or, taking him up into a high mountain showed him all of the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee and glory of them for that is delivered unto me." You see, Satan delivered it to him. "And to whomsoever I will give it." Adam gave it to Satan and Satan said, "It's mine now to give it to whomever I will give it." "If thou therefore will worship me, all will be thine." Oh, he's trying to get Jesus to sin. One worship of Satan on the part of Jesus and the whole plan would come apart, uh, the plan of redemption. One sin on the part of Jesus would give Satan the victory. Satan knew he must seduce the last Adam as he did the first one. So now he's aiming all of the artillery of hell at the son of God. What he s saying to Jesus Christ is this, "You worship me and I will give all of this." But had he he worshipped the devil, the devil knew he wouldn't lose it. Had Jesus worshipped the devil then, uh, when Jesus, when the devil gave it to him, uh, the devil would have it right back. Because again Jesus would have been a Satan worshipper and he would have delivered it right back to the devil. And so the Lord Jesus answers the devil here in verse 8 and "He answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me Satan, for it is written Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve." And three times the temptation came. Three times there in that wilderness Jesus over. Now I want point out that the first Adam failed in a beautiful garden. The last Adam, the Lord Jesus overcame in a wilderness. Jesus did not challenge Satan's claim. Now listen, I imagine that Jesus might have said and could have said, "Satan I want you to know that I am God in human flesh. And as God if I wish to, if I wanted to, by the right and the prerogatives that are mine as God, T could speak a word and obliterate you right now. But I'm not going to overcome you as God, I am going to overcome you as a man." " And as a man there in the garden, Jesus Christ used the same two weapons that were available to Adam in the garden of Eden. And he used the same two weapons that were available to Adrian in Memphis, Tennessee. And the same two weapons that are available to anyone. Look if you will in chapter 4 and verse 1. He used the Spirit of God. Notice, "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and being 40 days tempted of the devil." He used the spirit of God. And notice in verse 8, he used the word of God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Get me behind me Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve." And I want to say dear friend, that the same Holy Spirit that was available to Jesus Christ as a man is the Holy Spirit that is available to me as a man. And the same word of God that Jesus used as a man is the same word of God that I have in my Bible on this pulpit tonight as a man. Now dear friend, I want to tell you something, Jesus did not overcome the devil with anything that is not available to you tonight. The word of God and the Spirit of God. Again, the devil met him in the garden of Gethsemane and Jesus fought another battle there. It seemed as though Jesus would die of agony and of a broken heart, but the Lord Jesus again overcame the devil in Gethsemane. The final battle was bloody Calvary. And the devil pushed Jesus to Calvary thinking that Jesus would resist and rebel against the will of God. But that was the devil's greatest blunder. The hounds of hell were baying at the feet of Jesus Christ for His blood, but Jesus willingly submitted. Jesus bowed his head, and Jesus being innocent died and he paid the full sin debt. He recovered the lost estate. He bought back the redemption. He payed it in full. As I told you this when his head upon the cross he said, "Tetelisti" which means it is finished. It is paid in full. Satan's legal claim upon the human race were cancelled and Satan's kingdom was ruined-, This is what the Bible means when it says in Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 14, "For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death that is the devil." He destroyed the devil. The word "destroy" here means to render powerless. He rendered the devil powerless. But now the battle is not over yet. Jesus Christ is in the grave. The devil says, "Well perhaps I can keep him in the grave. If I can keep then I can win the victory. Turn to Acts chapter 2 and let me show you show that goes. Acts chapter 2 and begin in verse 22. Peter is preaching, "Ye men of Israel, here these words words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders." Notice what he says, "A man, a man approved of God among you by miracles and signs which God did by him in the midst of you." Not that he did, but that God by Him. You see, God worked through Jesus as man in the midst of you "as ye yourselves know. Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain whom God hath raised up, having loosed the chains of death, for it was not possible that he should be holden of it." Now the devil did the very best he could to hold the Lord Jesus. All of the resources of the underworld were marshaled against the Lord Jesus. But Jesus overcame death by the power of God. He was raised from the dead and he said in Revelation chapter one and verse 18, "I am he that liveth and was dead and behold I am alive forevermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death." Jesus was victorious. Now that brings us back to where we are in the book of Ephesians. Jesus now has come to this earth. He has lived a sinless life. He was born of a virgin. He died. He paid the ransom in full. He bought back the lost estate. He paid with his own blood, for the wages of sin is death. That is what Jesus paid. He was put in the grave. The devil tried to keep him in the grave. He was raised by the power of God. And the Bible says in Colossians, chapter 2, verse 15, "And having spoiled principalities and powers he made a show of them openly triumphing over them in it." When Jesus Christ was raised from the dead he spoiled principalities and powers. The word spoiled means to strip as you strip the hide from an animal. Or to disarm a defeated foe. And when Jesus Christ came out of that grave, the kingdom of evil and darkness was thrown into complete bankruptcy and Satan's dominion has dissolved. Now I have said that it was legally lost. I have said that it was righteously recovered. It was lost by a man. It has been recovered by a man. And now it is available to every man and woman on earth. Not only was it legally lost. Not only has it been righteously recovered. But it has also been gloriously given. Go back now to Ephesians chapter 2 with me a moment. Now look in Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 6. Well, let's begin in verse 4. "But God, who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins hath quickened us together with Christ. By grace we are saved, and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." You see, dear friend, he took our sins that we might be innocent. He became guilty that we might by acquitted. He took our despair that we might be filled with joy. He took our shame that we might have his glory. He took the flames of hell the we might have the blessings of heaven. And his death had my name on it. His resurrection had my name on it. And so he "hath quickened us together with Christ, for by grace are we saved." And so he has been raised up and we are raised up with him. Look in Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 8, "Wherefore he saith when he ascended up on high he led captivity captive." Who was captivity? The devil. The one who led us captive is now taken captive. And when Jesus ascended he led captivity captive and gave gifts to men. Now dear friend, turn to Ephesians chapter 5 and look in verse 30. Look at it. Oh, what a blessing. I pray God that you'll understand it. "For we are members of his body and of his flesh and of his bone." Now we are a part of the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to me friend, the church is not nearly an organization with Jesus Christ as the president. The church is an organism with Jesus Christ as the head. We are members of His body, of his flesh, and of His bones. That's what I was trying to say this morning when I said if you-'re in- Adam all that belongs to Adam belongs to you=- And what belonged to Adam? Defeat, and failure and death. But if you are in Christ, all that belongs to Christ belongs to you We are members of His body, of his bones, of his flesh. And where is Jesus? He is ascended. He is on high. All things are beneath his feet. He is lifted up far above all dominion and power. That's why Paul said, "I want you to understand this." Go back to Ephesians chapter one and verse 19. He says, "I want you to know what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is name, not only in this world, but in the world to come. And hath put all things under his feet." man, the God man. It is glorious given to the sons of men. If you let the devil take authority over you. If you let the devil boss you it is because be has blinded That's the reason the apostle Paul prayed for these Ephesians and he said, "Oh God, I pray that the eyes of their understanding might be opened that they might see, that the lost might have a revelation of the knowledge of God." And I want to tell you dear friend that we have victory in Jesus and Brother Tommy, let's stand together and sing, Oh Victory in Jesus. Would you stand together as we sing it, Oh victory in Jesus.
Victory Over The Flesh
Take your bibles and turn please to Ephesians, excuse me, to Galatians chapter five, Galatians chapter five and then be prepared to turn to Exodus chapter seventeen, but first of all, the Galatians passage. I'm beginning to read Galatians chapter five, and verse sixteen. "This I say then, walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other so that ye cannot do the things that ye willeth but if ye be led of the spirit ye are not under the law. Now, the works of the flesh are manifest which are these." He's going to tell us what the works of the flesh are and these, and the flesh is easily discerned if it is not described here when we look at the works of the flesh. Now, the works of the flesh, he, he categorizes them in certain categories. For example, he speaks first of all, of sexual sin are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, those are primarily sexual sins. He, he uh, speaks of these kind of terrible sins and then he mentions spiritual sins, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, and then he goes on and mentions social sin. Envying, murders, drunkenness, revelings, now, you say, he didn't get me and then he says and such like. That includes you. Alright, so, whether or not you're talking about sexual sins, whether you're talking social sins or spiritual sins or such like sins, all of these are what the bible calls the, the sins or the works of the flesh. Now, these are works as compared to the fruit of the spirit. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such there's no law. Men never have had to make a law against the works of the spirit, uh, excuse me, the fruit of the spirit, only law has to be made against the works of the flesh. Now, the works of the flesh, you do that by your self, but the fruit of the spirit, he does that through you and therefore there's a contrast between works and fruit. We produce the work, that is, it's an inside job, we only bear the fruit. You see, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit. We produce the work. And so, Paul is very exacting here in this scripture that he uses. Now, he goes on to say, and they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affection and lusts. If we live in the spirit let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. The Christian has three major enemies over to which he is to have victory, the world, the flesh and the devil. The world is the cosmos, that is, a system that is organized against our Lord and his Christ. He's not talking about the material physical world, he's talking about a philosophy of thought, a system, an organization headed up by the devil himself who is the prince of the power of this age: and the bible calls that the world. And uh, that's one of our enemies. That world would squeeze us into it's mold and try to fashion us and make us to be a worldly Christian. Billy Sunday said that's a contradiction in terms, it's like talking of a heavenly devil. But there are some who are worldly Christians. Now, that's the, the world, we call the world the external foe. And then there is the devil, he is the infernal foe., He is real, he's not a figment of imagination, he's very real, very powerful, he goes about as a roaring seeking whom he may devour and we're told to be vigilant for our adversary the devil is going about like that roaring lion. But then, we call the devil the infernal foe. And then the flesh is what I want to call the internal foe, the internal foe. That is, there is a principle within you that the bible calls the flesh. Now, when Paul speaks of the flesh here he's not talking about skin and bones, hide and hair, blood and corpuscle, all, the bible calls that the flesh also, but the word flesh is used in several senses. Here he means a left over, free disposition to sin that we have from our father Adam. It is in us all. It is a, the carnal desire of the lower part of your nature and the bible calls that the flesh And I told you this morning that if, if, if the world were to evaporate and the devil disappear, you still have the potentiality to sin. Amen. There's enough in you that the bible calls the flesh that if you don't learn how to give victory over the flesh you are not going to have victory because you see, you are your enemy. Remember what Pogo said. We have met the enemy and he is us. Well, just don't just look around, go stand in front of the mirror if you want to know who the enemy is. Now, the apostle Paul here tells us in the New Testament that we are to have victory over the flesh but there's a wonderful, wonderful illustration of that in the Old Testament.. So, I want you just simply to put a book mark there in Galatians chapter five and I want you to turn with me if you will please to Exodus chapter seventeen. We're going to find an episode of the children of Israel and the bible says these things happen to them for examples to us. So, don't think that I'm taking liberty with the word of God when I'm finding a wonderful example for us as to how to live the Christian life. Now, I'm going to begin reading here in Exodus chapter seventeen, and verse eight. "Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, choose us out men and go out and fight with Amalek tomorrow. will stand on top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses said to him and fought with Amalek, and Moses, and Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass that when Moses held up his hand that Israel prevailed, and when he let down his hands Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy and they took a stone and put it under him and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, one on the one side and the other on the other side and his hands were seady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomforted Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the Lord said unto Moses, write this for a memorial in a book," now by the way, God says this is so important, I don't want anybody to forget what happened here. There's a tremendous lesson, let's make a memorial out of this, let's put it in a book for the folks that live in Memphis, Tennessee can learn about this, "write this for a memorial " well, he didn't say that part, that's what he meant. Write this for a memorial in a book and rehearse it in the years of Joshua, for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven and Moses built an alter and called the name of it, Jehovahnissi. For he said because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." Now, let's put it in perspective. The children of Israel represent the Christian. When they were in the land of bondage, the land of Egypt, they represent the man whose yet to be saved. He is under the bondage of Pharaoh who represents the devil. He took that land of slavery and darkness and idolatry is a picture of the unsaved man in captivity of the devil. When they came out of Egypt , they came out under the blood of the Passover lamb through the Red Sea. That's the picture of our salvation, our deliverance. But they went out of Egypt and into the wilderness. Now, if, if Egypt uh, is, is a picture of the lost man, the wilderness is a picture of the carnal man, but they were headed right on in uh, to Canaan which is a picture of the spirit filled life. Now, there was an enemy that came to withstand them. They have come out of Egypt but they've not yet entered into Canaan which is a picture of the believer's rest and the spirit filled life. There was an enemy who came to stop them from going into Canaan and the name of that enemy was Amalek. Now, listen to me. If Egypt represents the world and Pharaoh represents the devil, what or whom does Amalek represent? The flesh. The same flesh that I read to you about over in Galatians chapter five. As a matter of fact, I feel quite certain. that Amalek represents the flesh. Let me tell you who Amalek was. You take your bible and study you'll find out that Amalek was the grandson of a man named Esau. And the bible says that Esau was one that God hated; "While don't you just put your book mark therein Exodus uh, eighteen, now you've got two book marks and turn with me to Malachi for a moment and look in Malachi chapter one. Now, Malachi is easy to find because it's the last book in the old testament. Turn to Malachi chapter one and let's begin reading in verse one. "The burden of the word of Lord to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you saith the Lord. Yet ye say wh6n hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? Saith the Lord, yet I love Jacob and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste fro the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, we are impoverished but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of host, they shall build, but I will throw down and they shall call them the border of wickedness," now watch this and put a star in your bible by it, "the people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever." Who is that? Esau. Esau's descendants, the Edomites. The bible says that God has indignation against them forever. Jacob have I love, Esau have I hated., Well, who was Esau? Esau was a man who was completely given over to the flesh. T he bible speaks of him as a profane person. He had no appetite for spiritual things. He was carnal, he was fleshly, he sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, if you remember the story. The flesh as represented in Esau was interested in the present, not the future. He wanted that bowl full of red stew rather than having the birthright and the spiritual blessings of God. The flesh was interested in the present, not the future. The flesh is interested in the material and not the eternal. The, Esau was interested in the things of the flesh, not the things of the spirit and God said Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated. Jacob and Esau were brothers, twin brothers, but God loved Jacob because Jacob had a desire for spiritual things. Esau God hated because he was a man of the flesh. Now, the bible says that God had a perpetual warfare with Esau and his kinfolks. Now, go back if you will to Exodus chapter uh, seventeen and look again in chapter seventeen, and verse sixteen. For he hath said because the Lord has sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. That is, God says I, I'm not forgetting this thing. Here is the grandson of Esau. He represents the flesh. He represents that which God hates. Now, it is not without significance that when these uh, Hebrew people, these Jews came out of the land of Egypt, under the blood, that they met face to face, the flesh, Amalek, the grandson of Esau against whom God hath eternal, perpetual indignation and warfare. For the bible says the flesh is what? Warfare with God. The flesh is enmity which means warfare with God there is an enemy of God that the bible calls the flesh. There is a perpetual war between the things of the spirit and the things of the flesh and that's the reason the apostle Paul says the flesh lust against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, Jacob against Esau, Esau against Jacob. Amalek against Israel. There is that war. Now, you see the stage is set. Now, I'm going to give you an illustration of this warfare and how victory is won over the flesh. There are three things I want you to see. Number one, I want you to see what I'm going to call the certainty of our fight. Notice if you will in chapter seventeen, verse eight. Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim. Now, all Christians taste the flesh. There's not a one of us that does not have the same battle today in another category that Israel had so long ago. I want you to notice when it was that Amalek appeared. He was right on time and notice when he appeared. Well, go back if you will and let's look in, in chapter seventeen, verses five through seven. "And the Lord said unto Moses, go before the people and take with thee of the elders of Israel and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb and thou shalt smite the rock and there shall come water out of it that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel." Now, there was not water in the wilderness and uh, they were thirsty. And God said to Moses, Moses, take that rod, that supernatural rod that you have. There's a rock there. Moses, strike the r6ck. When Moses struck the rock out of the ribbon side of that rock, there came forth water and the people drank. Now, what does that represent? Well, I don't have to guess about it. Put a bookmark there and turn to First Corinthians chapter ten and verse four and let's see what that rock represents. Somebody's gonna excuse me perhaps of seeing too much here, but let's just see what the scripture says. The bible says in First Corinthians chapter ten, verse four, and they did all drink, that same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, that rock was Christ. Do you see that? Now, that rock is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ who is smitten, abused, beaten, uh, uh, crucified for us. But out of his ribbon side as come forth rivers of revival, rivers of renewal, rivers of repression. That water that came forth out of that rock is a picture of the dear Holy Spirit of God. We told you this morning that one of the, water represents the word of God and indeed it does, but another thing that water symbolizes and is an emblem of throughout the scripture is the Holy Spirit of God. And the Spirit of God here is speaking like a, a river of refreshment, a river revival came out of that rock. Now, notice, it was after this uh, issuance of water, after this satisfaction, after they had drunk of that spiritual drink that then Amalek comes to them. Notice in verse six the bible says the people did drink. Then in verse eight, then came Amalek, then came Amalek. Now, listen, you're going to find out that when God blesses you and when God uh, uh, fills you with his spirit and when you uh, meet God and have a spiritual blessing, that the flesh is going to rise up to uh counteract that. The flesh lusts against the spirit. When the water came then came Amalek. It, it's a perfect parallel. The, the story is there and it is , listen friend, a never ending battle. Look if you will here in chapter seventeen, and verse twelve. "But Moses hands were heavy and they took a stone and put it under him and he sat thereon and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the side and the other on the other side and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun." Do you think that ole Amalek just rolled over and played dead? No sir. All day long it was a day long battle. But not only was it a day long battle, it was an age long battle. Look in verse sixteen. "For God has said because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.,," Now, what does that mean? They won the victory over Amalek that day but that doesn't mean that there was not a victory to be won later. From generation to generation God has war with Amalek What I'm trying to say is this, dear friend, that thing called the flesh will arise again and again. Can you say Amen to that? Brother, if you can't I don't think you, haha, are wired like I am. Now, I want to tell you something. You can gain victory and it'll be a wonderful victory. And, and, and yet, again from generation to generation. Now, dear friend, you will not eradicate the flesh. You're going to have the flesh with you until you meet the Lord face to face, this flesh principle is going to be in you. There's going to be a perpetual war from generation to generation as the flesh lust against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. You cannot eradicate it, but you can always have victory over it. Always have victory. There is the certainty of our fight. Just as surely as Israel came out under the blood and drank of that rock, just as surely when you're saved and receive God's blessed spirit, you're going to enter in to this kind of warfare. That's the first thing I want you to see. There is a perpetual fight with a perpetual foe called the flesh that would keep you and withstand you if he could from entering into that land of fullness and fruitfulness and satisfaction called Canaan. Now, the second tiling I want you to notice. Not only the certainty of our fight, but I want you to notice the strategy of our foe, the strategy of our foe. I want you to see how Amalek did what he did. And then you're going to understand how the flesh works against you. Now, the very first thing that Amalek did is that he attacked unexpectedly. I mean, there you see it, there not expecting anything. They've come out of, out of Egypt and it, it's really not even time for war. These are not Canaanite's that they're trying to drive out of the land of Canaan. Here he is right there at Rephidim. Now, the word Rephidim means rest. Ha, I mean, they are, they're at a place where they say well, now, we just had a long cool drink of the spirit, ha, we, we are, we're satisfied and, and now we are at ease, (claps) then came Amalek just like that. He'll find out something folks, you're going to have some of your most ferocious battles with the flesh after some of your highest spiritual victories. It's a. principle, it is a principle that when you have a victory and you seem to be at rest, then you're enemy, the flesh is going to come upon you and he's going to come upon you unexpectedly. He came upon them after the victory through the red sea, after they'd been fed with manna, after they'd drunk from that rock. You're biggest battles, many times, come after your biggest blessing. You think of Elijah there that called down from heaven in First Kings chapter eighteen and had a wonderful victory on the mountaintop, the next chapter you find him down in the valley with his head between his knees wishing to die under attack from the world of flesh and the devil. Why the devil even attacked Jesus the same way. Jesus, after his baptism and when he uh, was anointed with the Holy Spirit of God, when the Spirit like a dove descended upon him, the bible says that it was then that he met the devil right after that face to face in the wilderness and the devil tempted him and made this appeal to his flesh to turn the stones into bread. Now, what I'm trying to say, dear friend, is there's a principle that you could almost call the devil after the dove. The dove descended, then came the devil. Here it is, here is the flesh now. Right after these victories, right after they come through the Red Sea and don't you think that we'd better uh, remember that. For Jesus said watch and pray, for the spirit is willing, but watch, the flesh is weak. He is going to come, the flesh comes like Amalek, unexpectedly. I'm going to tell you something else. The flesh attacks us in directly, indirectly. Look if you will in Deuteronomy chapter twenty five, put another bookmark in, that's five, ha, and turn with me to Deuteronomy for a moment. Forget the bookmark if you want, chapter twenty five and let's look inverse seventeen. And you're going to find that, that uh, Amalek was quite a warrior and very sly Exodus chapter twenty five, verse seventeen, God reminds them, "Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; how he met thee by the way," now watch this, "and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou was faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given me rest from all thine enemies round about in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven and thou shalt not forget it." I'll tell you God doesn't think much of this fellow Amalek, you can tell that right away. Now, he, what he did according to the Deuteronomy passage is he, he came with a sneak attack, actually it wasn't a funnel attack, he came unexpectedly, but he came indirectly. He sneaked up from behind. Now, what does that mean? Have you ever been in a situation where somebody just jostled you, maybe you were tired, irritable, a little confused, and you opened your mouth and said something terrible. Oh, you look so holy, just nod your head a little bit, OK, you, you, you just said something and then after you said it, after you did it, you were as surprised as the person. And you said to your self, you know, I'm really surprised at myself. Or you said, hey, what made me do that? And, and you did not even realize that there was in you that propensity, what the devil did was a sneak attack on you, he used the flesh, but he came from behind and he bush whacked you when you were weak. He comes, dear friend, unexpectedly, he comes indirectly, he comes viciously. Notice what he did. Look again in the passage of scripture. The bible says he smote hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary. What the flesh does is to attack us in our weakest place. Now, when God test us, God tests us .in our strongest place. God tested Abraham's faith because that was his strongest place. But the devil attacks us in the weakest place. Now, these people were wounded, they were weak, they were weary, and the flesh took advantage. Now, I tell you friend, when you had a great spiritual experience, at the same time, so many times you're going to find your self weary. Jesus fasted forty days and was weak, then the devil tempted. A pastor who can be praying and fasting coming out of a great revival crusade can come home and have a tremendous argument with his wife if he's not careful. A church that can have a great spiritual campaign of claiming our Canaan, a chest of Joash or something like that or a victory in Jesus campaign where they're working and praying and fasting and organizing and God will bless, but they're all so tired, they've been to so many meetings. Don't you think the enemy knows that? You see, he's very vicious, he comes unexpectedly, with a sneak attack, he comes dear friend, indirectly, from behind, he comes viciously to take advantage of the fact that many times were tired and disoriented, all be it that we're walking with God. Then I want to say something is dear friend, he comes arrogantly. Notice again in this passage of scripture, the last part of verse eighteen. And he feared not God. He feared not God. Now, I want to say dear friend, that the flesh has no fear of God. The bible says the flesh is warfare with God. There is something in me that hates God. You say, pastor! There's something in you that hates God to. It's called the flesh. Now, be honest. Do you find it hard to pray sometimes? Huh? Sure. Do you find it hard to read the bible. I said today, I said today, if you're born again they'll be a desire to pray, they'll be a desire to love God, a desire to witness, a desire for the things of God, and indeed there is, but I'm going to tell you something else, you're going to find something in you that doesn't desire it at all and will fight you and keep you from doing the things that you ought to do. And that is that principle of the flesh. God want s you to have victory over it. It's very real. Then came Amalek and he attacked these people. So, what we're talking dear friend, about right here number one, is the certainty of our fight. You're going to face the flesh. Number two, the strategy of our foe. He attacks us unexpectedly, indirectly, viciously, and arrogantly, he has no respect for the things of God, third thing I want you to notice, the victory of our faith. How are we going to over come the flesh?' Go back to Exodus chapter seventeen and let's pick up the story there again. I want you to see that the victory over Amalek was God given. Look if you will now in chapter seventeen, verse nine. "And Moses said unto Joshua, choose us out men and go out and fight with Amalek tomorrow. I will stand n the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him and fought with Amalek and Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill." Now notice this. "And it came to pass that when Moses held up his hand that Israel prevailed, and when he let down his hand that Amalek prevailed." Now, what was going on up there on the mountaintop? Well, now remember Moses has this rod of God in his hand. When Moses is holding up his hand, he's got the rod of God in his hand. What is that rod of God? Well, it use to be the rod of Moses. Moses had that, it was his shepherd's rod that he used to fight with and he used to lean on and he used to steady himself with and you remember there in Exodus chapter four, don't turn, to it right now because you don't have that many bookmarks, but in Exodus chapter four that God said to Moses, Moses, what is that in your hand? He said a rod. And God said, Moses, throw it on the ground. And he did. And it became a serpent. Do you remember that Well, you're order than I thought you were, you remember reading that anyway. Alright, and then, God said Moses, pick it up. And he said pick it up by the tail. Now, any country boy knows that's not the way you pick up a venomous serpent., That leaves the business end loose. But he said uh, Moses, pick it up by the tail. And Moses said uh, what's that Lord. Now, Moses was speaking from his heart because his heart was in his throat about that time.1 And he said what's that Lord. He said Moses pick it up and it became a rod again in Moses hand and no longer now is it called a rod of Moses, it is called the rod of God. And what God was showing Moses was this. Moses, there is a flesh principle in you, there's a serpent in your so called ability and you need to throw them on the ground. And every musician needs to do that and ever preacher needs to do that and every deacon need to do that and everybody needs to take there so called gift and ability and cast them at God's feet and let him take a serpent out of it and then give it back to you. No longer does your ability, no longer is it your strength. Now, it's God's and God will use that gift and God will use that ability when he takes the serpent out of it and gives it back to you. You may not know, Moses didn't know there was a serpent in that rod but God knew there was in there and he took the serpent out, gave it back to Moses and no longer now is the rod of Moses. Now, it is the rod of God. Brother Tommy, I've seen singers have great ability but God never used them. One day they took that rod and through it on the ground and picked it back up and God anointed that voice and used it for God. There's a difference when a person sings not in the flesh, but in the spirit, when they minister in the spirit and serve in the spirit, that, that Moses had in his hand was the same rod that led them out of bondage. For it opened the Red Sea. It was t he same rod that led them out of barrenness for a ? drink out of that rock. It was the same rod that would now lead them into battle, that same rod, the rod for bondage, the rod for barrenness, the rod for battle, the rod of God. Now, here is Moses, he is now upon the mountain top. There's a battle down in the Valley, but Moses is up there with Aaron and Hur and Moses is holding up his hand and the bible says that when Moses held up his hand, with that rod in his hand, that Israel prevailed and Moses lead his hands go down that Amalek prevailed. Now, do you think that's just an interesting story or do you believe that God is trying to teach us something? I mean, when God said write this in a book for a memorial. When the bible says that all of these things happen unto them, for examples unto us. What was God showing us? He was showing us how God's power over the flesh is made available. There were two that held up Moses hands up there on the mountain top, one on either side of him, one was Aaron. Who was Aaron? Well, Aaron was a priest of God. What is the purpose of a priest? To intercede. Aaron represents intercession. The other who held up the other hand was Bur. The name Hur means whiteness, purity. He, when he appears he is associated with the holiness of God Let me tell you, dear friend, what it takes, what it takes to gain victory, to gain victory over the flesh. It takes the power of God, that's the rod, that's the rod. But how is the power of God applied? Through prayer and purity, through prayer and purity, through prayer and purity. This is what displays the power of God and when prayer on the one side and purity on the other side crawl up that rod of God and when they did Amalek goes back and he's defeated. But when prayer and purity let the arms of power sag then Amalek moves forward. Now, friend, listen, victory over the flesh is God given, but it comes through purity and prayer. The battle that day, had you been there and been careless, you would have said the battle was won in the valley, but if you read carefully and saw carefully, you would know that the battle was won on the mountain top. Amen. You'll go out into the valley tomorrow and if you're not careful Amalek will prevail, You know why? Because you haven't been on the mountain top. You're not in the mountain top. And purity and prayer are missing in your life. It was won on the mountain. It was only witnessed in the valley. We wonder why the flesh is able to bushwhack us and sneak attack us and gain the victory and why we fail and why that old enemy, the flesh seems to prevail, even when we've been saved and come out of the, out of Egypt, and under the blood, and drunk of that rock and all of that and yet still Amalek seems to prevail. No purity, no prayer. Can you imagine Sam Donaldson being there that day and giving a report on the evening news and he's looking there, he's trying to figure this thing out and uh, he says you know, he says, we're here covering this battle and the strange. things, a war seems to eb back and forth. NOW, one of our men on the field has just sent us a report. There's an old man on a mountain and it's a very coincidental thing when he holds up his hand, the Israelites prevail. Meanwhile, and he goes to talk about another news. He never would figure it out, never would know what was happening. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him and he will show them His covenant Now, listen, let's go all the way back now to the book of Galatians and turn to Galatians chapter five and I'll be finished in just a moment. Now, I think the Galatians passage now will have even more meaning for us. Galatians chapter five and look again if you will at verse sixteen. "This I say then, walk in the spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Now, how do you overcome the flesh? By walking in the Spirit, by walking in the spirit, by purity, by prayer, by being on a mountain top with the power of God There's where the battle is going to be won The victory over the flesh is always won on the mountain top. The victory over the flesh is God given. Now, don't fight a battle that's already lost down in the valley when you can enjoy a victory that's already won upon the mountain top. Now, if you're losing to the flesh, I'll tell you that the problem is not in the valley of your life, it's on the mountain top of your life because you've not spent that time with God alone on the mountain top, that is, that time of intercession, that time of confession, purity and prayer hold up the power of God, display the power of God. When that power of God is displayed, there's victory over the flesh. Listen again, walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Now, let me make it real personal and I'm going to be finished. Do you know what the Lord is telling me? The Lord is saying Adrian, the people called Bellevue are going to have a tremendous battle, not only with the devil, and not only with the world, but primarily with the flesh. And if we're not careful, listen, as a church now, if we're not careful, do you know what we're going to lose? The area of the flesh. When we're trying to do what were about to do and they're going to be so many chances for feelings to be hurt, so many opportunities for misunderstandings, so many people will say well, I wanted the pews to be purple rather than chartreuse like they're going to be. And uh, and a person will say I want this and I want that and I think this and I think that and the flesh, the flesh will get us to what the bible says bitings and devouring one another. Notice in chapter five of Galatians verse fifteen, but if you bite and devour one another take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. Huh? Christian cannibalism, biting and devouring when there's so much to do and they'll be so many committees and so much visitation and so much work, and so much fasting and so much prayer and so much victory and then the old devil, thorough the flesh, indirectly, subtlety, cruelly will attack the people of God. Now, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Amen. Beloved, we must not let it happen. This church must stay on the mountain top with the rod of God and purity and prayer as we lift holy hands to God in prayer. As we lift holy hands to God in prayer. Down in Cape Kennedy an astronaut was looking at one of those huge mighty missiles. It had an engine so big that where the flame came out of the mouth of that engine you could just walk up in almost. The astronaut it was there knowing that before long he was going to ride that missile. It was going to hurl him literally in to space. And there was man dressed in a white suit, that man was up inside that missile and he was making adjustments, he was a highly trained, highly skilled engineer, dressed in white with gloves so no spark, no matter of dust or impurity or whatever would get in that engine. The astronaut just stood and looked over his shoulder a while, then he asked him, he said what are you doing? He said well, I'm checking this and doing thus and so. The astronaut said uh, kind of kiddingly, but kind of seriously also, he said, well do a good job, don't make any mistakes, said you know, I'm, I'm going to take a ride on this thing and with that the engineer stepped back and stood up, fully realizing the importance of what he had to do and he looked at that astronaut straight in the face and he said sir, if it fails it won't be because of me I'd like for everyone of you to say to your pastor, pastor, if we fail in what we're going to do, it won't be because of me. I'm going to walk in the Spirit, I'm going to fast, I'm going to pray and I am not going to let the devil Let an advantage in any way to the world, the flesh, or the devil. And we will not fail. Say Amen. Let's pray.
Why I Believe the Bible to Be the Word of God
Dr. Adrian Rogers
II Timothy 3
I want you to take your Bibles please and turn with me
to II Timothy chapter 3 and we'll begin our reading in
verse 14. Paul is talking to young Timothy and he
says, "But continue thou in the things which thou hast
learned and has been assured of knowing of whom thou
hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast
known the holy Scriptures which are able to make thee
wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ
Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the
man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto
all good works."
Why I believe the Bible, and I want to tell you,
friend, it is absolutely essential that you believe
the Word of God if you're to know anything spiritually
and if you're to have victory in your spiritual life.
The thing that keeps me going is not primarily what I
feel. Now, I thank God for feelings, but I'm a fellow
who operates in a moderately narrowed band. I don't
get all that high and I don't get all that low, but
the thing that keeps me going is not what I feel but
what I know. It is the truth of God's Word, the
principles, and the promises, and the power of God's
Word that sustain me and keep me going. If you do not
know God's Word and, beyond knowing God's Word, have
that firm assurance that the Bible is indeed the
inspired Word of God, you're going to be floundering
around in your Christian life. These hath God married
and no man shall part, dust on the Bible and drought
in the heart.
Now, Paul here is talking to Timothy about the Bible
and he tells him several things about the Bible. First
of all, he says that all Scripture is given by
inspiration of God in verse 16. That literally means
that all Scripture is the breath of God. You see, as
I'm speaking to you right now what you're hearing is
my breath. My diaphragm is forcing my breath up
through my throat and over my larynx and the voice box
and my tongue and my teeth and my lips are taking the
breath and making sounds and noises out of that breath
and what you're hearing right now is what I am
breathing out. I'm breathing out these words. Now,
that's the word that Bible uses to describe itself.
All Scripture is God breathed. When the Bible speaks
God speaks. That's what inspiration means. When the
Bible speaks God speaks.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, but not
only are the Scriptures inspired, they're instructed.
Verse 16 says they're profitable for doctrine. What is
doctrine? That's to tell you what's right. Ask a
little boy what doctrine is, he says, That's what you
need when you're sick. If you're sick that is good
medicine but actually the word doctrine means
teaching. The Scriptures are there to tell you what's
Then it goes on to say for doctrine and for reproof.
Not only does the Bible tell you what's right, it also
tells you what's wrong. You see, God doesn't want us
to make a mistake. He doesn't want us to go astray. So
on one side he tells us what's right, on the other
side he tells us what's wrong so we can walk the
straight and narrow.
But he also says in verse 16 that it is necessary for
correction--that is, when we get wrong, how to get
back right. He shows us what's right. He shows us
what's wrong and if we're wrong he tells us how to get
And then he says it's profitable for instruction in
righteousness. What's right, what's wrong, how to get
right, and then how to stay right. How just to be
instructed day by day. How am I supposed to live? What
am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to feel? What
shall I do with my sins? Where does power come from?
Everything that I need to know, that instruction and
righteousness is there from the Word of God.
So, the Scriptures are inspired, the Scriptures are
informative, and then the Scriptures are instrumental.
That is, they work powerfully in our lives. For
example, look in verse 15. Paul told Timothy, "From a
child you've known the holy Scriptures that are able
to make you wise unto salvation." You're saved by the
Word of God. It is the message of the Bible, the
gospel that saves us, that makes us wise unto
salvation. That's the reason that every preacher must
always preach the Word of God because the word is the
seed. We're born again, not of corruptible seed, but
of incorruptible by the Word of God. And so, the
Scriptures are instrumental in salvation.
The Scriptures are instrumental in sanctification.
Look in verse 17, "That the man of God may be
perfect." Now, that word perfect means complete. It
means mature. It means full grown. Do you want to be a
little baby Christian or do you want to grow? "As
newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word that
you may grow thereby." You're going to be a pygmy
Christian, you're going to be baby Christian, you're
going to be a weak emaciated Christian if you don't
grow with the Word of God. "That the man of God may be
Not only are they necessary for salvation and
sanctification but necessary for service.
"Thoroughly furnished," he says in verse 17, "unto all
good works." Everything God wants you to do he
furnished through his word. So, you're completely,
thoroughly through and through, furnished of the
Bible. All that I need to know, all that I need to
have is revealed to me in God's word.
How important is the Bible? But friend, the Bible may
be inspired and the Bible may be informative and the
Bible may be instrumental, but if I don't believe it,
what good is that going to do me? It's the devil's job
to make people doubt the Word of God. The very first
thing the devil did in the Garden of Eden was to say,
"Yea, hath God said..." and to put a question mark on
the Word of God. Well, you need to have a rock-ribbed,
iron-clad assurance that the Bible is the Word of God.
Let me tell you why I believe the Bible to be the Word
of God. Let me give you three things about faith and
these are the foundations for our faith. Number one,
faith is rooted in evidence. Have you got that? It's
worth writing down. Faith is rooted in evidence.
Number two, faith goes beyond evidence. Number three,
faith becomes its own best evidence. Let me develop
that and you'll have a blessing.
First of all, I want to say that faith is rooted in
evidence. People sometimes accuse us Christians of
practicing blind faith. Now, friend, blind faith is
not faith at all. Don't ever think that I'm asking you
just to blindly believe something. If somebody tells
me to believe something, first thing I want to know is
why should I believe it. Amen. I mean, why? The
Christians faith is not blind faith. The Christian's
faith is not a leap in the dark, it is a step in the
light. You see, the Christian's faith is rooted in
revelation. The Christian's faith is rooted in facts.
The Christian's faith is rooted in evidence. God gives
us evidence for believing what we believe. Notice I
said evidence and not proof, there's a difference.
Sometimes somebody might come and say to you, Prove
there's a God. Don't let that intimidate you. If you
were to say to me, Adrian, prove there's a God, do you
know what I'd say to you? I can't. Does that shock
you? I can't prove there's a God. Oh, I know there's a
God, not that I have any doubt about it. I have no
doubt whatever, but to prove it doesn't lie in the
realm of proof.
For example, if anybody ever comes to you and says
prove there's a God. You just say, Prove there is no
God. Just prove there is no God. He can't prove
there's no God anymore than you can prove there is a
God. How can the finite prove the infinite? How can
the finite disprove the infinite? It doesn't lie in
that realm you see. Well, he says, you just believe
there's a God, and I say that's right. And you just
believe there is no God, isn't that right? Sure. You
see, all people are believers. He believes there is no
God. I believe there is a God. I'm a positive
believer, he's a negative believe. I by faith believe
in God. He by faith believes there is no God. He says,
I don't think there's a God, I don't believe there's a
God. At least now he's being honest. He hasn't proven
there's no God.
But what's the difference between the negative be1iver
and the positive believer? Here's the difference: the
positive believer has the evidence. You see, God has
not just told us to believe without giving us evidence
and so God has given us some evidence and that
evidence is rooted in God's word. Now, if you're going
to know the God of the Word, you've got to know the
Word of that God. And so, God has given us his Word
and God has given us some evidences that the Bible is
indeed the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word from a
God who cannot lie.
What are some evidences? Not proofs, but evidences,
that the Bible is the Word of God? (Because I've said
that faith is rooted in evidence.) Well, for example,
there is the historical evidence that the Bible is the
Word of God. The Bible is a history book. It tells
stories. Now, are these stories true or are they not
true? Did the things recorded in the Bible literally
happen or did they not happen? Is this actual history
or is this the figment of someone's imagination? Well,
dear friend, the Bible is so historically accurate.
That's one of the great evidences of its inspiration.
There was a man who lived a few years ago, Sir William
Ramsey, one of the world's most brilliant intellects,
and he was a noted scholar. He lived in Aberdeen
Scotland and he was a great historian and a great
scholar of the history and geography of Asia Minor and
the Middle East. And when this Middle East historian,
this wizened, world-renowned man with more degrees
than a thermometer studied the book of Acts, which is
the history of the early church, he more or less
ridiculed the book of Acts. He more or less laughed at
the book of Acts. Here's what Sir William Ramsey said
of the book of Acts and I want to describe it or at
least I want to give it to you in his own words. He
described the book of Acts as a highly imaginative and
carefully colored account of primitive Christianity.
Highly imaginative, that is, it's not rooted in facts,
it is rooted in imagination, that's what he was saying
about the book of Acts. Carefully colored. That is,
Luke just shaded his facts, he didn't tell you the
truth, he just kind of shaped things and colored
things to make it come out the way he wanted it to
come out and so he said the book of Acts was not
historically correct, you can't trust the history of
the book of Acts.
Now, remember this man was brilliant, a professor in
Aberdeen, Scotland. But do you know what he did? He
made a mistake and it was a happy mistake and good
mistake. He decided he would go to Asia minor and
there carefully investigate and study the book of Acts
and do you know what happened? He had a
transformation, one hundred and eighty degrees he was
turned around. He wrote a book entitled, THE BELOVED
PHYSICIAN. And that book was about Dr. Luke who wrote
the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts.
And now, let me tell you what he said. After he
studied minutely the works of the great historian Dr.
Luke, who gave us the gospel of Luke and the book of
Acts, and I'm quoting now, this Dr. Ramsey said, and I
want you to listen to him: "I take the view that Luke's
history is unsurpassed in regard to its
trustworthiness." Did you hear that? "I now take the
view that Luke's history is unsurpassed in regard to
its trustworthiness. You may press the words of Luke
in a degree beyond any other historian and they will
stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment."
Amazing! Here was a man who studied the facts and when
he studied the facts he said you can trust the history
of God's word.
You know historians--they love to study what they call
profane or secular history and then to turn around and
ridicule the Word of God. One thing they used to do a
few years back, they ridiculed the book of Daniel
because of the supposed errors in the book of Daniel.
The book of Daniel tells of the Babylonian empire and
it tells that the last king in Babylon was a king
named Beltshazzar. And do you remember Beltshazzar was
the one who saw the handwriting on the wall? Do you
remember that? So the historians said, "Well, that's
obviously a fabrication. Obviously this is not real
history because we have the records of the ancient
Babylonians and we know that the last king of Babylon
was not a man named Beltshazzar at all, it was a man
named Nabanitus. We have the archives, we have the
records and we have all of the artifacts. Beltshazzar
was no king, there was no king named Beltshazzar.
Obviously the Bible is a fake, obviously a fraud, the
book of Daniel is not history."
But the spade of the archeologists continued to do its
work and one day they turned up a clay tablet, a
cylinder, and guess whose name was on it? Give you
three guesses, first two don't count. Beltshazzar. And
you know what it said about Beltshazzar and other
things that they uncovered? They found out that
Beltshazzar was indeed the last king of Babylon, but
so was Nabinitus. The truth of the matter is they were
co-regents. There were two kings at the same time.
Nabinitus was the father, Beltshazzar was the son, but
Nabinitus didn't stay home. He loved to travel and he
was a big game hunter and was often gone and so the
kingdom was in the charge of Beltshazzar.
Now, the secular, profane historian was quite correct
when he said that Nabinitus was the last king of
Babylon, but he was quite wrong when he said
Beltshazzar wasn't the last king of Babylon. And you
see, there are little minute confirmations of the Word
of God. So in the fifth chapter of the book of Daniel,
we understand a passage now that we might not have
understood before that because Beltshazzar said to
Daniel, "If you can read the handwriting on the wall,"
I'll make you what? "The third ruler in the kingdom."
You see, there were already two, Beltshazzar and
Nabinitus. Now, suppose we'd not found that clay
cylinder with Beltshazzar's name on it. Would have
that have meant the Bible was wrong? No, it would have
just meant we didn't have enough evidence, isn't that
right? See, friend, be careful before you let some
historian or someone tell you that the history of the
Bible is not correct.
Our faith is rooted in evidence. There's the
historical evidence that the Bible is the Word of God.
There's the scientific evidence that the Bible is the
Word of God and I wish I had time to deal with all of
the scientific evidence that the Bible is the Word of
God, so let me just quickly narrow and get into one
little area there.
If you've not read the little book called "None Of
These Diseases," I hope you'll read it. It's written
by a medical doctor, Dr. S. I. McMillan. Dr. McMillan
has recorded a wonderful story in there that I'm going
to try to share a little bit with you. He talks about
the ancient Egyptians and the medical knowledge that
the ancient Egyptians had about fifteen hundred years
before Christ was born in the time when Moses was a
lad and was growing up. The Egyptians had the dominant
position in world medicine at that time.
The Egyptians were no fools. When you see the things
that the Egyptians were able to do and accomplish
you're just overwhelmed at the intelligence of the
ancient Egyptians, but they had their medical
knowledge put in a book and we have that book. The
Papyrus Ebers, Dr. McMillan tells about it. In the
Papyrus Ebers you have there the medical knowledge of
the ancient Egyptians and it's almost ludicrous,
friends, it's really kind of funny when you read some
of the medicine that they recommended. Now, you might
be interested in some of these prescriptions.
For example, if your hair is turning gray, pay
attention, to prevent the hair from turning gray,
anoint it with the blood of a black cat which has been
boiled in oil or with the fat of a rattlesnake. Now,
you be careful gathering that rattlesnake fat,
alright? For people who are losing hair, when it falls
out, apply a mixture of six fats, namely those of the
snake and the ibex. I haven't seen an ibex in a long
time but you get some snake fat and ibex fat and then
to strengthen it you anoint it with the tooth of a
donkey crushed in honey. That's to keep your hair from
falling out. If you had a splinter or a puncture, they
recommended lizard's blood, worm's blood and donkey's
dung. Can you imagine the spores, the tetanus spores
and the microbes and the filth in donkey dung? As a
matter of fact, they often used excreta for medicine--
of human beings and donkeys and antelopes and dogs and
cats and even flies--that was a part of their
medicine. Another medicine they recommended was
moisture from pig's ears, good medicine, haha. Well,
we laugh at that.
Now, the interesting thing is do you know where Moses
got his education? Moses was educated in the
University of Egypt. You see, Moses was the adopted
son of Pharaoh and Pharaoh gave to Moses the best
education that money could buy and the Bible says that
Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.
He had the equivalency of a Ph.D. from the University
of Egypt and if he was learned in all the wisdom of
Egyptians, surely he studied this kind of knowledge.
Aren't you glad that he didn't write any of this in
the Bible? I mean, you would have expected what he
learned in school to bleed over in what he wrote in
the Bible, wouldn't you? Of course you would. Moses
wrote the first five books of the Bible. Genesis,
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. I'm so
glad we don't read anything about using moisture from
pig's ears for medicine.
As a matter of fact, when you read the Bible and you
read about the medicine of the Bible and you read the
sanitary code of the Bible and you read the dietary
code of the Bible you're going to find out that modern
medicine is just now catching up. You want to be
healthy? You practice the dietary code of the Bible.
Not because you're under legalism, just because you
want to have a good strong body. As a matter of fact,
do you know what they're telling us now? Science is
just making a discovery. They used to talk down the
health food faddists and all of that and now the
scientists are begrudgingly coming along and the
medical doctors are begrudgingly coming along, and
saying, Hey, you need to cut all that fat out of your
diet, it might cause cancer, cut all that fat all of
your diet, it might cause high cholesterol and it
might cause heart attacks. Friend, just go back and
see what Moses had to say about cutting all that fat
out of your diet. You just go read it right there in
the Word of God. Find out what the Bible has to say.
Did you know in the fourteenth century Europe they had
a plague called the black plague? It was terrible, it
was horrible. Now, I know you've seen on television
the horrible things that are happening in Ethiopia and
that breaks your heart, it's so hard to even watch.
But I want to tell you something worse than that
happened in Europe in the fourteenth century--the
black plague, where one out of every four people died.
Can you imagine that? One out of every four. One two,
three, dead. One two, three, dead. One two three,
dead. One two, three, dead. One, two three, dead. They
died and the physicians and the doctors were not able
to stop it and they didn't know what to do. They
didn't understand germs. They'd never seen a germ.
They didn't know what a microbe was. They didn't know
anything about a communicable disease. Well, you say,
everybody ought to know that. Why do you know it.
Somebody taught you, you didn't figure it out. We
stand on the shoulders of other people. They didn't
know that, they didn't understand that and they
thought it was bad air, this thing or that thing, they
were trying, building fires and everything else to try
to stop the plague. Imagine trying to stop the plague
by building a fire.
And do you know it was not the doctors, it was the
church and the church leaders that finally stemmed the
tide of the plague by going back to God's Word.
Leviticus chapter 13 and verse 46. "All the days
wherein the plague shall be upon his, he shall be
defiled, he is unclean, he shall dwell alone outside
the camp shall his habitation be." What did the Bible
say to the man who was the leper, a man who had the
plague of leprosy? They said, "Put him outside the
camp, put him in isolation. Quarantine him, quarantine
him." And when they begin to apply the knowledge that
Moses had given, then and only then was the plague
brought under control. One historian said the laws
against leprosy in Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the
first model of a sanitary legislation.
I've just talked in one little area. We could talk in
many, many areas about the wonderful medical and
scientific and evidences that the Bible is the Word of
God. Let me give you another evidence that the Bible
is the Word of God and that is the indestructibility
of this book. You see, this book is not just the book
of the month, friend, it's the book of the ages. For
isn't it an amazing thing? Here you are, an
intelligent erudite, educated people listening to a
halfway intelligent preacher, we're here in the
twentieth century by television with electric lights
and we're studying this old book. Isn't that amazing?
You tell me what other book is as up to date. Why,
listen, it's more up to date than tomorrow's newspaper
and a whole lot more accurate. Amen.
Wasn't that an amazing thing when they were
questioning the President of the United States the
other day and the news reporter said to him, "Mr.
President, we'd like your views on Armageddon."
Amazing, Armageddon--that's a Bible fact and here
they're talking to the President of the most powerful
nation on the face of the earth in the most
enlightened educated time and after all of these years
people are still wanting to know what your view of
this book is. This Bible is such a living, powerful
William Tyndale wanted to get the Bible printed so the
people could have it. Print it and put into the hands
of the English-speaking people and they hounded him
and they ran him out of England and William Tyndale
went to Germany and there he began to set up the type
to print the Bible so he'd get the Bible into the
hands of the people. Laboriously, day after day, week
after week, month after month, year after year,
setting that type, setting that type, not the way we
set it today, not with that ease, but painstakingly,
heartbreakingly so long to get the type set so people
could have the Bible in their mother tongue. He
finally finished the job and went to bed and that very
night vandals came in and wrecked the printing press
and destroyed the type and ruined the whole thing. He
had to start again from the bottom and to build it and
to set the type again and he finally got it done. He
printed those Bibles and in order to get them into
England, he put them in barrels of flour and shipped
them into England and the Word of God came to England.
They hated William Tyndale, some of the clerics and
the leaders, they hated him so much that they
strangled him to death. And then, not happy that they
strangled him, that wasn't enough, they burned him
because he wanted a Bible for the people. And as they
were strangling Tyndale, he prayed, Oh God, Oh God,
open the eyes of the king of England, God, open his
eyes. They killed him in 1536. In 1611, we received
the King James Version of the Word of God. Amen.
William Tyndale, a man who loved God's Word, a man who
died for God's Word because the Word of God lives and
abides forever. "The grass withers, the flower thereof
falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever."
Friend, men have laughed at the Bible, men have
scorned the Bible, men have made laws against the
Bible, men have ridiculed the Bible. There was a time
in Scottish history when to own a Bible was a crime
worthy of death, but the Word of God lives on and it
is bright and vibrant and relevant today. That's an
evidence that it is the Word of God.
Let me give you another evidence. I'm just telling you
that faith is rooted in evidence. What about fulfilled
prophesy? If we were to start today and talk about
fulfilled prophesy, just the prophesy of the nations,
what is happening in the nations of this world, what
is happening on the world map, the last days, what we
call the signs of the times, why, we could take a
Bible conference for several months and just talk on
that one thing. But let me just narrow the prophesies
and let's just talk about the prophesies concerning
the Lord Jesus Christ. Did you know that there are
more than three hundred exact, minute prophesies
concerning the life, death, burial, resurrection,
ascension, enthronement and second coming of Jesus
Christ in the Old Testament? I'm not talking about the
New Testament. I'm not talking about small prophesies
or vague prophesies. I'm talking about hard, fast,
substantial, clear prophesies concerning the Lord
Jesus Christ. That these prophesies could have been
fulfilled by chance is astronomically, listen to me
now, astronomically impossible. Billions to one would
be the chance that they would have been fulfilled by
Do you know what the enemies of the Lord Jesus say
about this? Here's the way they answer that. They say,
Well, he just arranged to have the prophesies
fulfilled. He just rigged it so the prophesies would
be fulfilled. Well, brother Rogers, do you think he
just arranged it for the prophesies to be fulfilled?
Yes, I do, before it ever happened, not afterward, but
before. Before he ever came to this earth. Now,
listen, I was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, but I
didn't arrange it. Jesus arranged to be born in
Bethlehem. Amen. Because the Bible says in Micah
chapter 5 that our Lord would be born in Bethlehem and
so he arranged it. But I want to tell you, he
supernaturally arranged it.
I'll tell you something else, he arranged for Isaiah
seven hundred years before he was born to give a
biography of his life in Isaiah chapter 53. You go
home and get that Old Testament chapter of the Bible
and read Isaiah chapter 53. You're going to find the
amazing story, the entire biography of the Lord Jesus
Christ before he was born, not after he was born,
before he was born.
Go home today and read the twenty-second Psalm, an
amazing Psalm, the twenty second Psalm is a Messianic
Psalm. It is written about the crucifixion of the Lord
Jesus Christ and the twenty-second Psalm is written as
a graphic description of the crucifixion of the Lord
Jesus Christ. It was written centuries before Jesus
was born. And let me tell you something else. In Psalm
22 the words that Jesus would say from the cross are
prophesied. The words that his enemies would say when
they ridiculed him were prophesied. The very fact that
they would gamble for his garments was prophesied.
But here's one of the most amazing prophesies of all.
In Psalm 22 it says they "pierced my hands and my
feet." That's what happens when you crucify; there are
nails through your hands and nails that go through
your feet. But this was written hundreds and hundreds
of years before the Roman Empire. Crucifixion was the
Roman way of capital punishment. The Jews at that time
knew nothing of death by crucifixion. Do you know how
the Jews executed people? Do you know what the method
of Jewish capital punishment was? It wasn't the
electric chair, it wasn't the gas chamber, it wasn't
crucifixion, it was stoning. They stoned people to
death. If you've ever been there, you know they've got
enough stones. They stone people to death. But
crucifixion was a Roman form of execution and the
Romans were very clever. There's no death as horrible,
as painful, as ignominious as crucifixion and you want
to keep people in line, you show them a cross. But I
want to remind you that was a Roman form of execution
and hundreds of years before the Roman Empire comes on
the scene you read there in Psalm 22, "they pierced m
my hands and my feet."
Now, you explain that. Do you think Jesus arranged all
of that? Do you think Jesus arranged the Roman Empire?
Do you think Jesus arranged the cross? I do, but he
arranged it before the fact, he arranged it while he
was still in glory. Yes, he arranged it all, he
arranged that he would be sold for thirty pieces of
silver as Zechariah the prophet said. He arranged that
he would be betrayed by Judas as the Bible says. He
arranged that he would be buried in rich man's tomb.
He arranged that he would be raised from the dead the
third day and seen by five hundred people who were so
convinced that they sat out to convince others that he
was raised from the dead.
And I want to tell you something, friend, these people
with no hope of material gain became followers of the
Lord Jesus Christ, so convinced were they that Jesus
Christ came out of that grave. Many of them paid with
their life's blood for their conviction that Jesus
Christ was alive. Now, you're reasonable people. A man
may live for a lie but he will not knowingly die for
one. These people died, sealed their testimony with
their blood, so convinced were they that that grave
was empty and that Jesus Christ came out of that
grave. Over three hundred exact, precise prophesies in
the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New Testament.
Matthew chapter 26 verse 56, "But all this was done
that the Scriptures of the prophets might be
Time has gone from me so let me just make the other
two points very very quickly. Listen to me. Faith is
rooted in evidence. Faith goes beyond evidence, it has
to or it wouldn't be faith. Now, God is not going to
prove himself to you, but what God will do for you is
this--God will reveal himself to you. God will give
you facts. God will give you evidence and then God
will give you faith to believe those facts. It must be
by faith because faith is a moral response to the
character of God and the Bible says in John chapter 17
verse 7, "If any man wills to do the will of God he
shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God." Now,
what does that mean? That means if you want to know
whether these facts are true, if you want to know this
evidence, then you can know it. God on the one hand
gives you the facts and then God on the other hand
gives you the faith to believe those facts. It is not
blind faith, it is rooted in evidence, but nonetheless
it is faith. God does not prove it to you, God shows
it to you and then from the inside God gives you his
You see, there is that objective revelation of God,
but then there is that subjective inclination to
believe the revelation. That's the reason Jesus said,
"My sheep hear my voice." I don't know about you, but
there's something in me that when I read this Bible it
tells me it's the Word of God. Not just because of
these facts that I've been giving you, but there is
just the voice of God. God speaks in his book. Do you
know what I'm talking about? Jesus said, "He that is
of the truth heareth my word and so the words I speak
unto you, they're spirit and they're life." This Bible
is not like other books. You read other books but this
book reads you. And so, faith is rooted in evidence,
but faith goes beyond evidence.
Then I want to say the last thing and I'm hurrying.
Faith then becomes its own best evidence. I believe
because I believe. Let me give you a wonderful
Scripture. Psalm 34 verse 8. "0 taste and see that the
Lord is good." I want to find out about you people,
find out how educated you are. How many of you have
ever tasted a mango, let me see your hand? Oh, I pity
the rest of you poor, denied people. You never had any
mango. You don't know what mango is. Listen, folks, if
you can't go to heaven, at least you ought to have a
mango. I mean, that's nectar, that's indescribably
luscious fruit from Florida. I was weaned on mangos,
wonderful. Now suppose you've never had a mango and
somebody comes with a mango and says, That's a mango.
It looks good and it's beautiful and it smells good.
You ought to have some. Thus far it's just evidence.
He says it's a mango, he says it's good, it smells
good, it looks good, all of the rest of it, other
people seem to be enjoying it, other people testify--
that is all evidence.
But there's something in you that impels you, you just
feel drawn toward it, you go beyond that evidence and
then you do something, you take a bite and now, folks,
you've got the evidence on the inside. Amen. That's
what the Scripture means when it says, "Taste and see
that the Lord is good," taste and see that the Lord is
good. Now, you see, that the reason that a Christian
with an experience is never at the mercy of an infidel
with an argument, because he's got the evidence within
him. And one of the ways that I know that the Bible is
God's Word is because the bright, living reality, the
truth of the God of that Bible lives within my heart.
Faith is rooted in evidence, faith goes beyond
evidence, faith becomes its own best evidence.
I want you to take your Bibles today and turn to the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 21, and look at one verse. Now, we've been in the Book of Proverbs for quite some time, and the difficulty and the joy of studying the Book of Proverbs is that there is so much compacted in one verse! You're going to see that as we study this verse today. And the more I looked at this verse, the more remarkable it became in my eyes. When I first looked at it, I said, "Well, that's an ordinary verse." Then, you know, the more I dwelt on it, I discovered that there are no ordinary verses. Everyone is extraordinary. Listen to this. Proverbs, Chapter 21, Verse 28: "A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly." "A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly." Art Linkletter had a tragedy in his life, and it literally drove him to his knees. And Art Linkletter told that after this tragedy, he was with some young people in the lobby of a hotel in San Francisco, a dozen or so young people. And he said they got down on their knees to pray, and he got down on his knees with them to pray. And he said, "I looked around and I hoped no one would recognize me down on my knees." But he said, "I was not down on my knees but just a second when I did no longer care what anyone else thought." Because Art Linkletter said in this discussion of his life, he said, "Up until that time, I was very self-sufficient. I didn't feel that I needed anybody." Here's a man that for forty years on television and screen and stage had entertained millions. He said, "I didn't think I needed anybody." And he said, "I thought of myself as being a good person." But he said, "I was," -- and I want you to listen to this phrase -- "a cardboard Christian." - That's the title of my message [this morning "Cardboard Christians." He says, "I was a cardboard Christian." That is, "I was all facade." There was nothing real on the inside. And then he said, "I found reality." I want to speak to you today about reality because if there's anything this world is hungering for, it is reality. Now, I want to tell you something. This church or any church will reach people if they can come to that church and sense reality They're tired of hypocrisy. They're tired of games. But they are seeking reality, and the great hunger of every man's heart, every woman's heart, every boy, every girl, is to know Jesus Christ; not know about Him, but to know Him and to have reality. Right? Not only that, but the need of reaching people. Not only is it the hunger, but it is the basic need of the church. In order to evangelize, we must have this bright, shining, living reality, and no longer "Cardboard Christians." Now, our text today speaks of that subject. And, actually, it just breaks right down the middle. It deals with a false witness, and it deals with a faithful witness. It deals with the fatality of a false witness. It deals with the reality of a faithful witness. Now, look at the fatality of a false witness. The fatality of a false witness. "A false witness shall perish." That is, it's fatal not to have reality, to be false, to be a phony, to be a "Cardboard Christian." "A false witness shall perish." Now, put your bookmark there in Proverbs, Chapter 21, and go with me to Matthew, Chapter 7, and I want to show you a very sobering passage of Scripture, and I want every church member to pay strict attention because one of the devil's favority ploys is to have you to be a member of a church; you had to be a false witness, not to be saved, not to be born again. Matthew, Chapter 7, in Verse 21. These are the Words of the Savior: "Not every one that saith unto me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven." That is, everybody talking about Heaven is not going there, as the ole' song says. Not everybody who says, "Lord, Lord" is saved. Not everybody is born again. "Not everyone that saith unto Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven." And then notice these amazing verses: "Many will say unto Me in that day" -- He's talking about the Judgment Day -- "Many will say unto Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?' And then will I profess unto them, depart from Me, ye that work iniquity. I never knew you." Now, look at this. There's false praying. "Many will say unto Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord.'" These are people who knew to pray! They didn't know how to pray, but they knew to pray. And they are seemingly orthodox in their praying because they call Him Lord. "Many will say unto me in that day, 'Lord, Lord.'" But not only false praying, it's compounded false preaching. "Many will say unto me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name?'" Now, the word "prophesied" means to stand up and preach with authority. Did you know that many people who stand behind the pulpit are lost? They don't know Christ as their personal Savior. I'm not trying to hold myself up to some grand example and think that I'm the only one who does. I thank God across America that many preachers who do know the Lord Jesus Christ. But the tragedy in our day and in our land is that many are standing behind the sacred desk who have never been born again. Judas was a preacher. "We prophesied in Thy name." But Judas was lost. But not only false praying, and not only false preaching, but false power. This verse goes on to say, "And in Thy name cast out devils." Now, every time in the Bible when you see the word "devils" plural, it means "demons." There's one devil, many demons. And this may be translated "demons." "In Thy name we have exorcised demons. We have cast out demons in Your name." Well, did they cast out demons? No. They said they did. They said they did. They thought they did. Do you know demons are clever, demons are so diabolical, demons are so scheming that they will allow you to think that you have cast them out when you've not? Do you remember reading in the Bible the story of a man who had an unclean house, and the Bible says that he swept and cleaned and garnished his house, and -- and -- and there was a demon, an unclean spirit, and -- and that unclean spirit went out of the house. The house, of course, was the -- the temple of the body. And this demon, this man was demonized, and the -- and the demon went out. And then the Bible says that that demon went out and got seven more other deadly demons than himself and came back in, and Jesus said, "The last state of that man was - worse than the former state." Now, many times a demon will appear to cooperate. Many times he will let someone have some semblance of false power that he might get a false following and deceive many! How many people are deceived by false power! Not everything you see coming through television, and not everything you see that seems to be miraculous is miraculous. And pay attention to that. Not everyone who seems to have power over the devil, has power over the devil! "Many will say unto Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord,"' false praying. "Have we not prophesied in Thy name," false preaching. "And in Thy name cast out demons," false power. "And in Thy name done many wonderful works," false performance! They sang in the choir. They were in the orchestra. They took up the offering. They worked in the nursery. They ran the television. They were on the church staff. "Lord, we did all of these things! We tithed! We did it all! We were there every time the church doors were open! "But a false witness shall perish." Jesus said, "And then will I profess unto them, depart from Me ye that work iniquity, I never knew you."' Now, not that I knew you, and then you lost it, they never had it! They were never saved. And notice what Jesus said, "Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." Not, that's very important that you understand that, because they were saying, "Lord, look at all of these things we've done." Do you know what Jesus called all of those things? Iniquity. Iniquity. They didn't say, "We robbed banks. We raped. We abused little children." No, they said, "We were preaching, praying, working." Jesus said, "Iniquity." You see, the Bible teaches that even your righteousness is "as filthy rags in His sight." I've said it before and I want to say it again. You pay attention. The worst form of human badness is human goodness, when that human goodness becomes a substitute for the new birth. Jesus called it iniquity! "Ye that work iniquity." "A false witness shall perish. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity. I never knew you. I never knew you. I never knew you." No reality. A Cardboard Christian. A Cardboard Christian! The fatality of a false witness! Now, let's look at the other side of that text. Go back again, if you will, and look at our text. Proverbs 21:28: "A false witness shall perish, but the man that heareth speaketh constantly." The reality of a faithful witness. What are the three marks of a faithful witness? What are the three marks of reality in this thing called "religion" to know it's real? First of all, there must be a listening worship. A listening worship. "He that heareth." No man knows God, no man is real, no man is prepared to serve the Lord until he's first heard the Lord. One of the marks of all true Christians, all reality in spiritual matters, is that you have heard the Lord. "He that heareth, he that heareth, he that heareth." Now, notice He's putting "he that heareth" in opposition to the ones who are false witnesses. Now, what did Jesus say in Matthew, Chapter 10? Jesus said, there -- excuse me, in John, Chapter 10, the Lord Jesus said, in John 10, Verse 27, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them." The Lord doesn't know anyone unless they've heard His voice. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them." You cannot be a Christian without hearing the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ. I don't mean audibly, but you must hear God. And I'll tell you how to hear God in just a moment, but you must hear Him. Jesus stood before that rascal Pilot, and Pilot tried to engage Jesus in a conversation and in a banter, in an argument. He wanted Jesus Christ to defend Himself, but Jesus Christ would not defend Himself to Pilot. But here's what Jesus said to Pilot. It's very interesting in John, Chapter 18, Verse 37: "Pilot therefore said unto Him, 'Art thou a king then?' Jesus answered, 'Thou saiest that I'm a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,' -- now listen. Pay attention -- 'that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth My voice.'" That's one of the greatest statements in all of the Bible. "Everyone that is of the truth, heareth My voice." A faithful witness hears! And what is it that you hear? His voice! And what is His voice? His Word! These are the Words of the Lord Jesus Christ! This whole Book from Genesis to Revelation is the voice of the Son of God, and you must hear Him. You must hear Him! "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." You wan to hear God? You want to hear God? "Faith comes by hearing! Hearing by the Word of God!" This is the way you're going to hear God! This Book! This Book is the way you're going to hear God! Beth sang, and she said in effect in that song, "When the Lord spake, universes sprang into existence." He upholds everything by the Word of His power. There's power in His Word; power for conversion, being born again, "not by corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God." Power for completion, "as newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow thereby." Power for cleansing, "wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word." Power for claiming, "if you abide in Me and My Word abides in you, then you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you." Power for conquest, "Take the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God." Power in this Book. Power for counseling, "It is profitable for doctrine, for rebuke, for repute, for correction." You want to know what's right, what's wrong, how to get right and how to stay right, there's power in the Word of God, counsel in the Word of God! Power for communion, "If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, then you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you." You see, the mark of reality is that you're hearing God, that you're hearing God! You cannot be a real Christian until you hear from God! You must hear God speak. Now, He may speak through a preacher, but it will not be the preacher speaking. It's God speaking. That's the reason the Apostle Paul said, "We are witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost that God has given to them that obey Him." If all you hear is me this morning, you've not heard. I want to be so full of the Spirit that when I preach, you'll hear God. You'll hear God. I want to stand behind this Book so that when I open this Book, you're hearing God speak! Because, Dear Friend, that is reality! You must hear! A faithful witness hears. There is listening worship. And because there is listening worship, there is living wit- ness. Now, listen. Look at the verse again. "He that heareth speaketh"! Did you hear that? "He that heareth speaketh." Now, we dare not speak for God until we've heard God. But if we've heard God, we dare not be silent. We dare not speak for God until we've heard God, but if we've heard God, we dare not be silent. "He that heareth speaketh"! We are to speak for the Lord because we've heard the Lord, but we're not to speak for the Lord until we've heard the Lord. And, again, that's what's wrong with Sa many preachers today. They are speaking when they've not been listening. And so what you have is, that they're -- they're getting things out of their own heart, rather than what the Holy Spirit has said. And, again, I'm not trying to hold myself up as some grand example, but I do not want to stand before you and simply be dredging from my own well! Do you know what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 3? Tremendous statement: "For I have delivered unto you that which first of all I received." Hm? I'm just passing it through. I'm not the generator, I'm the conduit. "I have delivered unto you that which first of all I have received." The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the example of this. Listen to what Jesus said in John, Chapter 8, and Verse 26: "I have many things to say and to judge of you, but He that sent Me is true, and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him." Jesus said, "What I hear, I speak." Paul said, "What I hear, I speak." You see, this is the difference between a lawyer and a witness. Jesus didn't say, "You shall be my lawyers." Jesus said, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me." Do you know what a lawyer does? A lawyer argues a case. Do you know what a witness does? He tells what he's seen and heard. Isn't that right? How can you be a witness if you haven't seen anything, if you haven't heard anything? God has not called you to be a lawyer! He's called you to be a witness! And you can't be a witness unless you've heard! "He that heareth speaketh"! Now, we're talking about reality. Let me tell you why I know that so many people are phony Christians because they never speak. They never speak. You will never convince me that you have reality if you keep it silent j If Dale Evans Rogers stood in this pulpit, and she' talked about Hollywood and she talked about, uh, uh, life on the road, and she talked about movies, and she talked about all of those things, but if she did not ring true about Jesus Christ, I'd think she's a phony. A phony. I don't care how much fame she has. She'd be a phony if she doesn't talk about Jesus Christ! But here's someone who's heard Christ, and because she's heard Christ, she cannot be silent. Do you know what R.A. Tory had to say? Listen to this. He said, "I would like to know what right any man has to call himself a follower of Jesus Christ if he is not a soul winner." Did you hear that? "I would like to know what right anybody has to call himself a follower of Jesus Christ if he is not a soul winner." How can we claim to follow if His purpose is not our purpose? Hm? Jesus said, "Follow me, and I'll make you to become fishers of men." If you're not fishing, you're not following, or else I don't know how to read. "Follow Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men." How can any man claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ, if the purpose of Christ is not his purpose? Friend,"a false witness shall perish, but he that heareth speaketh." To hear is to speak; to know Him is to say, "I cannot be silent." Lee Scarborouh, who was one time President of Southwestern Seminary, said, "To refuse to witness the saving Gospel to a lost world day by day, is nothing short of high treason." High treason! It's not just simply that you're missing a blessing, it's a clenched fist in the face of God. It is rebellion against Heaven's Commander and Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ Who told us to go into all the world and bear witness to Him. "A false witness shall perish, but he that heareth speaketh." "He that heareth speaketh." "He that heareth speaketh." You cannot speak until you hear! You cannot be silent when you hear! You must speak! You must share the Lord Jesus Christ. It's the hallmark of a born again person. Years ago in the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, uh, Doctor W. A. Truit was pastor before the illustrious Doctor Chris Well came. There was a little girl who came forward in the services, a tender little girl, just very young, wanting to be a Christian, wanting to be baptized and be a part of that church. And the counselors dealt with her. And, uh, because she was so young, they really felt that the little girl was sincere, but they recommended she not be baptized right away, that they wait a little while because they wanted to be certain. And so they explained to her, "Now, honey, we're glad that you've come to give your heart to Jesus. But we want you to wait a little while before you're baptized." And they watched her, and her little chin began to quiver, and tears were coming down her cheeks. And they said, "Now, darling, don't cry. It's all right. After awhile, you can be baptized and be a member of the church." She said, "That's not why I'm crying, not because I can't be baptized." She said, "I was thinking about my brother. I want him to be saved, too." Well, the deacon said, "I believe we better receive her today." Amen. That's the mark! That's the mark of a Christian! That's the mark of reality! Not how well you sing, but that you have a burden for souls! "What right does anybody have to call himself a follower of Jesus Christ if he's not a soul winner?" What right? "A false witness shall perish, but he that heareth speaketh." "He that heareth speaketh." "He that heareth speaketh." You must hear Him! And when you hear Him, you cannot keep silent. From the very time I knew I was saved till this time, there's been a burning desire in my heart to share Jesus Christ. One of the ways that I know that it's real to me, because I want you to know what's in my heart. Third thing, not only a listening worship, that's one mark of reality. Not only a living witness, that's another mark of reality. But a lasting walk. A lasting walk. "He that heareth speaketh constantly"! Constantly! That is, he stays with it! He doesn't start and give it up! There's a consistency. That's the hallmark of reality. We have people who join our churches. They stay with us for awhile and then they're gone. What's wrong? No reality. They may have joined the church, but no reality. They may have had head knowledge, but no reality. And they qo away from us, and some people say, "Well, they lost their salvation." They did not lose their salvation. You look in I John, Chapter 2, Verse 9, and here's the answer. The Bible says, "They went out from us because they were not of us. For had they been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us. But they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." Well, what does that mean? Why do people start and fall away? "They went out from us because they were not of us. Had they been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us." Somebody says, "Well, I know some- body who was once a Christian and lost his salvation." No, you don't. No, you don't. You don't know anybody who ever -- was once a Christian and lost his salvation. You can't show me that. Dear Friend, if you've got reality, it's going to last. And these people that go away never were saved. We have a little saying around here, I don't know who was the original with it, "The faith that fizzles before the finish had a flaw from the first." "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for had they been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us, but they went out that it might be made manifest that they were not of us." Do you remember when I was talking to you about hearing His voice? John, Chapter 10, Verses 27, 28, 29? Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and I give unto them" -- what kind of life? --"eternal, eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them Me is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one." And, Dear Friend, you don't have afpiece of the rock. You're in the rock. I mean, you are in Him! And He is in you. And there's no power in Heaven above, Hell beneath, or earth present that can take you out of the hand of Jesus Christ. "I know them, They follow Me, I give unto them eternal life." That is the mark of reality. It's going to last. It's real. God will keep you. He'll keep you. I'm not saying that you can't be saved and stray away, but I'm saying if you are saved, the love of God is like a strong rubber band. He puts it around you, and you stray away, He just brings you right back. Isn't that right? That's the way it is! Because He loves you! He keeps you by His grace, and by His power. And what is the mark of a faithful witness? There's a listening worship. There's a living witness. There is a lasting walk. "He that heareth speaketh constantly." "A false witness shall perish." There was a man named Cox. He was a church member, but he was like some today. He did not have the assurance of his salvation. And he got tired of playing church, and he got saved. I mean, sure enough saved, born again. And he wrote a song, Brother Jim, the Gospel song heard you and others sing. "Oh, how well do I remember how I doubted day by day. For I did not know for certain that my sins were washed away. When the Spirit tried to tell me, I would not the truth receive. I endeavored to be happy, and to make myself believe. Then I prayed to God in earnest, not caring what folks said" -- and by the way, folks, you'd better stop worrying about what people think. "Then I prayed to God in earnest, not caring what folks said. I was hungry for the blessing. My poor soul, it must be fed! Then at last by faith I touched Him, and like sparks from smitten steel, just so quick, salvation reached me. Oh, bless God, I know it's real." It's real! It's real! I know it's real! Praise God! The doubts are settled, and I know, I know it's real! Do you know it's real? Is it that reality? Are you an exclamation point or a question mark? Which? Are you a Cardboard Christian? Then you're going to perish. I don't care if you're a member of this church. You're going to perish! "A false witness shall perish! And Jesus will say, "Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity, I never knew you." Have you heard Him? Have you heard Him enough that you want to share Him? Is that -- that constancy in your life? Is y there? I say, 'Is there?" Is there? Are you saved? --Let's pray. Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. No one looking around. No one disturbing the service by moving. If you don't know Jesus Christ as your personal I want you to know Him, and you need to know Him. And I want you to know reality, not religion, reality, to know Christ. Not ritual, reality. Not reaffirmation, reality. To know Jesus Christ. I invite you to pray this way. If you're not certain that you're saved and you may be a member of this church. If you may be a Sunday School teacher. You may be a deacon, staff member, minister. Dear God, just talk to Him this way -- Dear God, I know You love me, and You want to save me, and I need to be saved, and I want to be saved. Jesus, You died to save me, and You promised to save me if I would only trust You. I do trust You, Jesus. Tell Him that right now. I do trust You, Jesus. I do trust You, Jesus. Tell Him right now in your heart. I do trust You, right now. I repent of my sin. I open my heart. I receive You, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart, Jesus. Save me, Jesus. Just ask Him. Save me, Jesus! Just say it from -- in your spirit. You don't have to say it out loud. Just quietly, save me, Jesus. Did you ask Him? Were you sincere? Then thank Him. Say, Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me. I receive it now by faith like a little child. And that settles it, Jesus. Praise Your Holy Name! Now, I want you to pray one more thing. Pray like this: Lord Jesus, help me never to be ashamed of You. Art Linkletter said, "I didn't care what folks thought when I kneeled in that place. I was tired of being a Cardboard Christian." And, Friend, when you give your heart to Jesus he that hears speaks. You're not going to be ashamed to confess the Lord Jesus. For the bible says, "Whosoever be- liveeth in Him shall not be ashamed."| And I'm going to ask you in just a moment that you'll make a public stand for Christ. So it's important that you pray right now. And Jesus, help me not to be ashamed of You. Lord Jesus, give me that grace. Help me not to be ashamed of You. Help me not to be ashamed of You Who died for me. "He that heareth speaketh." "He that heareth speaketh." I'm not going to be ashamed of You, Jesus, because You died for me. Give me that courage, Lord. In Your name, I pray. Amen.