How God Deceives And Reveals? Part 2

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Mike Vinson
Mobile, AL November 2005

I thought for many years that the church has a lot of truth in it, but it’s just that they have it kind of skewed a little bit here and there, but they’ve got a lot of truth, don’t they? No! No, they don’t have any truth. They don’t have any truth. No, no, they really don’t have any truth. I’m going to be consistent here. They really don’t have any truth, and here’s the scripture for it:

Isa 3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts does take away from Jerusalem and from Judah [ code words for God’s people] the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.

The whole stay– everything is gone. And when I saw that, I thought it must be true. I started thinking about it. Yeah, that’s right. They’re wrong there, and it just dawned on me: they don’t have anything right. Orthodox Christianity doesn’t have one thing right. Not one thing. This is just what I just pointed out in my next Bible study, my son here, he says, “Dad, you get carried away sometimes. They don’t have everything wrong.” I says, “Okay son, name one doctrine, just one doctrine, that orthodox Christianity has right.” He says, “Dad, we all believe Christ died for our sins, don’t we?” Is that true? No, they don’t believe Christ died; they don’t even believe you can die! How can Christ die? They believe in the immortality of the soul. Jesus wouldn’t preach to spirits in prison (1Pe 3:19). Christ didn’t die; He was incapable of dying. And so you’ve just got one more contradictions that is Christianity. Christ died for your sins, but He didn’t really die. You see? You’re going to die for your sin, but you can’t die. And so I wanted to throw that scripture in there.

Now, this second talk is about how God goes about reversing what he has to do first. He has to blind the whole world. That’s what the plan calls for. He’s the one who made the plan. He’s sticking with it very well. The vessel of clay that’s in the potter’s hand has to be marred first.

Jer 18:4 The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter.

Where was it marred? After it made its free- will decision to eat of the tree? No! It ate of the tree because it was marred in the potter’s hand. He formed it out of dust. He could have formed it out of spirit; he could have made it perfect to begin with, but he didn’t do it that way. He formed it out of dust. He didn’t even put any clothes on it. Now the dust and the clothes both tell us, if we have eyes to see, if we have ears to hear, that God made a corruptible, dying human being naked, of the dust. Dust cannot inherit the kingdom of God; dust is corruptible; dust is dying. Nakedness is sin. “In sin did my mother conceive me, I was shapen in iniquity” (Psa 51:5). Adam could say that just as well as David, and you and I can say the same thing, because the vessel of clay, Adam, was marred in the potter’s hand, before it drew its first breath of air.

It was marred after it drew its first breath of air. It was still marred when it drew its last breath of air. It was a marred vessel. And that vessel of clay that is marred eats of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That’s what the vessel of clay does.

So God has to first reveal to you that you’re blinded. Remember what I said earlier, if you can see that you can’t see, then you can begin to see, but as long as you say “We see” your sin remains (Joh 9:41). Until you can admit that you don’t know anything, you don’t know anything. When you can admit that you don’t know anything, then you will begin to see. It’s a process. It’s not something that happens on such and such a date, on a stump out in the woods or an altar call in the church. That’s not how it works. It begins in you, and it grows little by little by little. It takes a lot of time. Some people do grow a little faster than others, but it all has to be done step by step, and you’re not going to skip a step. You’re going to go through every single verse of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The revelation of Jesus Christ is something that you experience, and it’s not a book about eschatology. You all realize that. It’s a book that you do and keep, and it just is very explicit about that, and once you see it, how can anyone not see it? But it’s that way with everything. You and I didn’t see it yesterday. We were just as blind as Paul Crouch. We couldn’t see any more than he could, but by the grace of God, and maybe through the efforts of Paul Crouch in some of our cases, we were brought to Christ, called out of the world so that we could become a chosen, but you never become a chosen without first being a called. God does not call his elect out of the sea. He calls them out of the earth. He calls them out of the called. So if you’ve experience that second calling, that’s good. But you never get there without going through the first one, any more than you’ll ever be a second Adam without first being a first Adam (1Co 15:45). So the first step in God’s plan to bring you to see the things of the spirit is he has to bring you to see that you’re blinded. Who hath ears, let him hear (Mat 13:9). Why do you speak in parables? Because it’s not given to them to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but it is given to you. For whoever has will be given and he will have more abundance, and from him who has not shall be taken even that that he has (Mat 13:10-12). That’s the first step.

The second step is to understand that spiritual things are foolishness to the natural mind.

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

“… Given to us…” Not something that we somehow or other are able to just sit down and study and come to see. All of these big name ministers who are reaching out and effecting changes in the lives of so many people– just sit down sometime and listen to the people on TBN. Some of these people are sincere people. Not all of them are to the point that they’re just in it for the money. There are people by the hundreds of thousands who are sincere, truly sincere, in their desire to please God.

But being sincere does not mean that you’re chosen. The Bible says that Esau– and that’s just another word for sincere people, who aren’t chosen– Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage, and afterward, when he would have repented, he couldn’t achieve repentance, though he sought it bitterly, with tears (Gen 25:29-34, 27:34; Heb 12:16-17). What are we being told? The same thing. That God is the potter, and he chooses, just reaches down– Three Rivers, Michigan– and picks this little lady. Reaches down in Florida there– Clearwater, Saint Pete, wherever it is there– picks this man. And all across the nation– Dover, Delaware, little lady, got a family with kids, family and the kids aren’t picked, but she is. This is the way God is. We don’t know why– and it disturbs us, maybe– why he picks who he picks.

But read your Bible, just read your Bible if that disturbs you, just read your Bible. See what it says, and you’ll see that God has an elite. This is what really turns the world off. And you know what the world is; the world is the church. When Christ says that the world hates you, He’s not talking about the Romans; they didn’t hate Him. “I see no reason for death in this just man,” that’s what the Romans said. But the world said, “Crucify Him!” (Mat 27, Mar 15, Luk 23, Joh 19) The world is the people of God.

Maybe I’ll get into that later, sometime. I’d really like to sometime just give a talk on that one thing, what is the world in scripture, because I tend to sometimes gloss over things, and I don’t want to do that. I want to give you scripture for what I say. But I’ve given you a few scriptures and I hope you’ll bear with me, but the world is the church. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (Joh 15:18) It’s talking about God’s people, it’s not talking about Pilate. Pilate did not hate Christ. And the world, the people who don’t even know you, they don’t hate you, but I tell you what, the people that hate you are the people in God’s church and know you and know why you believe what you believe. You’ve probably talked with them. Those are the people who hate you.

But when you can come to see– I’ve already referred to it, the scripture in 1Co 2– that the things of the spirit are taught by the Holy Ghost, comparing spirit with spirit. I read that verse– that’s 1Co 2:13– I read that verse for years, and I thought, “What in the world is it talking about, comparing spirit with spirit?” Comparing spirit with spirit. It says things. The word things is in there. Spiritual things with spiritual. The word things is in there, and God’s word teaches, comparing God’s spirit– the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spirit with spirit. What does it mean to compare spirit with spirit? What it means is that everything you read in the Bible is a parable. A spiritual parable.

And when you read about a lamb being slain as a covering for your sin, and the offerings– there are five offerings: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering (Lev 1-7)– five offerings, and all the Jews can see to this day– I’ve got a Jewish friend, Maurice. I said, “Maurice, do you really believe that the blood of an animal can wash away your sins?” And he must’ve heard that before from some other Gentile, and realized what I was asking. He says, “Yes we do believe that.” I said, “Okay.” They really believe that. “Yes we do believe that.” It’s just like in the church. Do you believe that healing the sick means healing the sick? “Yes we do believe that.” No. That’s what they think it means, and they don’t see anything beyond that

. Now I would grant Maurice that under the Old Testament the thing to do is to kill an animal to cover your sins. I would have put the blood on the doorpost if I had been in Egypt. (Exo 12) But if all you see are the things of the letter, if all you can see are those words, “blood on the doorpost,” and you don’t know what the blood is and what the doorpost is, what the lamb that gave its blood for that doorpost, what all of those things mean, you’re going to be like Maurice. You’re going to think that your sins are covered, and in reality you’re as lost as a pagan. As lost as a pagan. Actually you’re more lost than the pagan, because to whom much is given, much is required (Luk 12:48).

And God gave those symbols and shadows to his people, and God has given his people today symbols and shadows in the New Testament. Those things in the New Testament were written for our admonition. They happened to them, they were healed of physical diseases, they were given physical sight, and given the ability to walk with their legs, and work with their hands again, for our admonition. And if that’s all we get out of it, we’re no better off than the people who thought that the lamb’s blood could cover their sins. If you think that all the stories of what Christ did in the New Testament are there just to let you know that He did those things, and that you can do those things, you don’t know what it’s all about.

“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh” (Rom 8:5). Physical healings. Physically casting out a demon. There are so many people that are so into exorcism, casting out demons. They want power over the enemy. Don’t worry about somebody over here who has a demon in them. When you are chock- full of false doctrines, you don’t have any power over the enemy. When you’re believing that God is going to burn people in hell forever, and you’re worried about this guy who has epilepsy or whatever it might be, that guy is probably closer to God than you are, and you’re wanting to cast demons out of him. When a demon is cast out of a man– this is Jesus Christ talking, I’m just repeating it– when a demon is cast out of a man, he wanders around in dry places, and he comes back to that very same man, and he finds it swept and garnished, but the Holy Spirit isn’t in there. And what does it say happens to that man? He brings seven more with him. (Mat 12:43-45) What does seven mean? Complete deception. This man is hopeless now. And you’ve been the instrument to get him that way. You cast out a demon and didn’t put anything in there. You said, “Yeah you need to get to know the Lord,” but now let’s stay right here,. Let’s not go on to completion. We’ve got the doctrine of– let’s just read that. Any of you who have read “Strong Delusion” are familiar with this verse here, Heb 6, which follows Heb 5.

Heb 5:12 For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13 For everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat–

Now listen. You’re here today receiving strong meat. This is strong meat.

Heb 5:14 Strong meat belongs to those that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Have your senses been exercised to discern good and evil? If you have, then you’re not the older son who says, “I never did anything, Dad, to cause you to hate me.” You don’t know what good and evil are. All you know is good. “I’ve never lost my first love.” This is the doctrine of the church. “I’ve never lost my first love. No!” They don’t believe in losing your first love. They believe you ought to just come to Christ and stay right there. Come to Christ, stay right there. Listen, I’m not urging you to go out and sin; I don’t need to. You’ve all been there. But I’m telling you this: if you haven’t come to Christ and then left Him, you will. That’s part of the journey. You cannot avoid it. You will come to Christ and then you will leave Him, if you’re going to be God’s elect. If you’re not, then you can just be a Christian all your life and not need repentance, you see. You can be the ninety and nine, never leave the sheepfold. Stay right there.

But if you’re willing to accept the simple, straight, plain forward word of God, you’re going to have to admit that there aren’t ninety and nine who don’t need repentance. There’s nobody who doesn’t need repentance. And therefore there’s more rejoicing in heaven over one sheep that is lost and returns, than over all the older brothers in the world who never leave and just cannot understand why Dad’s throwing this party for this ne’er- do- well.

Heb 5:14 Who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.

They’ve been down the road. Therefore– because of that, that’s what “therefore” means– leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ– did I say don’t believe that Christ died for your sins? No! I just said, go on, leave that, go on beyond it, let’s grow a little. Do what they don’t do.

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection.

Now that word perfection is the same word that’s translated “of full age” in the verse before. “Of full age” and “perfection” are the same word. Maturity, you know, going on, completion.

Heb 6:1 Not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Aionian judgment. I just named to you all the doctrines of orthodox Christianity. What they consider to be the meat of the word of God. Christ and Him crucified (1Co 2:2). That’s it. Laying on of hands for healings. I don’t know how much clearer God can make it. His word is clear. If you’re looking for these things, and you don’t go beyond these things, into the things of the spirit, and start valuing the things of the spirit and putting less value on the fact that you cast out demons and healed the sick, and don’t start rejoicing in the things of the spirit, if the things of the spirit don’t become valuable to you, so that you sell you everything you have and go buy the whole field just so you can dig up the treasure in the field (Mat 13:44), if these things don’t become real to you, then you don’t have to ever worry about someone saying, “Oh, so everything’s just spiritual to you.” You’ll fit right in, and you’ll be of some earthly good, because the earth likes earthly people. They have no use for these heavenly minded people.

Heb 6:3 And this we will do, if God permit.

We will go on beyond these things. For– now you see that word for? That word is based upon what is said before. Because of what we just said. What did we just say? We said that if you remain a babe in Christ, and don’t go beyond these basic oracles of Christ– now let’s read the verse.

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift

Enlightened means they came to know Christ. Christ is the light. Tasted the heavenly gift– Christ is the heavenly gift; He came down from heaven.

Heb 6:4 and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit–

“All the Father has is mine, therefore I said, he will take of mine and give to you, the Holy Spirit” (Joh 16:15). That’s what he’s talking about.

Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God [ Jesus Christ] and the powers of the world to come [ Jesus Christ]
Heb 6:6 If they should fall away–

Listen. These people don’t think, “Oh, I just fell away.” No! They believe all these basic things that they don’t want to go beyond. They don’t want to hear what I’m saying to you today, that you need to get beyond physical healings and things of that nature. You need to get into the things of the spirit. They don’t want to hear that.

Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance

They’re ninety- nine sheep that don’t need repentance. They’ve never left the sheepfold. This is what they talk about as the unpardonable sin, and they look at you and me as if we’ve committed it, and they believe that you and I have committed the unpardonable sin.

Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame.

Everything they say blasphemes His name. They crucify the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame, all the while telling you that that’s what you’re doing.

Rom 8:5 For they that are of the flesh mind the things of the flesh, but they that are of the spirit, the things of the spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

And there’s nothing that will give you peace like accepting the sovereignty of God in all things.

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind [ that doesn’t believe that God is sovereign, that you have something to do with your salvation] is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are of the flesh [ who believe these things, who don’t believe in the sovereignty of God, who don’t think that the things of the spirit have any value to them] cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be the spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

You can’t have part of the truth and settle for that. You can’t say, “I’m willing to stop right here.” You just can’t do that. You don’t stop in your growth in the word. You don’t become complacent. You remain every day of the days that you’re carrying this tabernacle around with you, this temporary tabernacle, you remain vigilant against this temporary tabernacle because this is what will bring you down quicker than anything else in the world.

There is nothing without a man that defiles a man (Mar 7:15). I mean, I knew that verse was there, but it was two or three years ago that it was brought out in a conference here in Mobile. Nothing, nothing outside of you is going to hurt you. Don’t worry about the number 666 being put on you ‘out there’; worry about it [ being] in your heart. Christ says nothing without a man can defile him. Nothing. But that which comes from the heart, from within, from the heart, this defiles the man. That’s where the 6 is, and that’s where the 666 is. It’s the number of mankind. What you were born with. Every day when you get up and look in the mirror, that’s your beast, that’s your problem, that’s all you’ve got to worry about right there. Whatever happens ‘out there’ on the road is not going to defile you, because that guy cutting you off didn’t hurt you at all. Somebody rear- ending you, that didn’t hurt you. You might have whiplash, but whiplash isn’t going to hurt you [ spiritually]. Nothing that happens to your flesh is going to hurt you. But if you succumb to your flesh, and the flesh is your boss, you are defiled. Because your defiling comes from within. It doesn’t come from anything that happens outside of you. Nothing. Nothing out there is going to defile you and nothing out there is going to cleanse you. The defiling will come from in here and the cleansing will come from Jesus Christ coming in there and cleaning you up. Clean the bowl on the inside, those are Christ’s words. The cup, I think he said. (Mat 23:25) So are the words of God carnal words to you, or are they spiritual words? Are all these things that you read about Christ and His apostles doing, what do those things mean to you? Are they just interesting stories about physical healings? What do they mean to you?

Every talk I’m giving here today revolves around this verse that I’m about to read to you, because this verse demonstrates what I’m saying for you to me clearer than anything in the Bible. It’s in Joh 6, verse 30.

Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto Him,…

These are the people whom He had fed with the bread and the fishes. They followed Him across the sea because they wanted this free meal thing to keep going, and He just told them, He said all you want is the physical. You just want the physical. That’s the only reason you’re here. You just want physical things.

Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto Him, “What sign show you then that we may see, and believe you?”

Because Christ had cut it off; He said no more, no more. It’s not stretching the word of God at all to say that when you have a healing, or you have a prayer answered, you’re fed with fishes and loaves, it’s a miracle, and all these things are miracles, and all the sudden God says, “Well that’s going to do it for a while, let’s have a little trying of your faith now and see how you’re going to do when your prayers aren’t answered. Let’s see how you do under those circumstances.” That is what we’re talking about right here. Job had everything given to him. He had a hedge about him. Nobody could get to him.

And where was Job under those conditions? He was like a baby in a cradle, with a hedge around him. Milk was brought to him. Everything was given to him. Never knew what it was to be tried and tested. Just like Adam and Eve in the garden. No serpent there yet. They hadn’t seen the serpent to begin with. It was just a garden and everything was there; all they needed was right there. But that’s not what God’s after. It’s not your faith that is so valuable to God, it’s the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perishes (1Pe 1:7). If that faith isn’t tried, you are what the Bible calls a bastard (Heb 12:8). Yeah, you’re a Christian, but you’re born of the harlot.

Joh 6:30 They said therefore to Him, “What sign show You then, that we may see and believe You? What do you work?
Joh 6:31 “Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

And in Exo 16:4, this is what it says.

Exo 16:4 Then said the Lord [ this is Jesus Christ] unto Moses [ Jesus Christ Himself], “I will rain bread from heaven for you, and the people will go forth and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or no.”

So they hadn’t twisted the scripture; there it is, “I will rain bread from heaven for you.” So what does Christ say at having His own words thrown back in His face?

Joh 6:32 Then said Jesus unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven.”

What! I just read it out of Exo 16:4: Then said the Lord, “I will rain bread from heaven for you.” Jesus said to them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven.”

I’m not trying to shake your faith; I’m trying to increase your faith. And all you can get from this, if you believe God’s word is the word of God, is that one is a shadow, and one is the reality. And the reality will always seem to contradict the shadow. Because the shadow is not the real thing; it’s just a shadow. Use the example of a brand- new Porsche car, and I just have never come up with anything better, or I’d give my own, but I think that’s as good as anything. Brand new sports car of some kind, cherry red, and your father’s going to give it to you. But all you want is the shadow; there’s a shadow of this car right there, that’s what you want. You want the shadow. You think I’m exaggerating, but that’s the truth. When you want physical healings, you want a mansion, a big nice house, you want a brand new car, you just want these physical things.

And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with owning these things; I’m just saying that if that’s what you think Christ is talking about, which is what most Christians do– they think this is it, I want to plant a seed so that I can– seed is money, of course– so that I can get more of what I planted. Now that’s what God will do to you, if that’s what you’re thinking, that’s what he will do to you– he’ll bless you physically to keep you blinded, to keep you from seeing the truth.

But when he does open your eyes, you’ll find out that that physical blessing had nothing to do with your salvation. It was a decoy to keep you from realizing that God wants your whole life. He wants you to present your body a living sacrifice to him, holy and acceptable unto God (Rom 12:1). He doesn’t want 10% of your money; He wants your whole life, every breath you draw, to be in His service. That’s what He wants. And that’s all that tithe shadows. It shadows the true gift to God of your whole life, and the ten commandments shadow the true law of God, which is for a righteous man who has a change of heart and who doesn’t have to worry about not committing adultery because he doesn’t even look on a woman to lust after her (Mat 5:27-28). He sees Jesus Christ in a woman. Jesus Christ. How could he do or think such a stupid thing? And yet that’s impossible for the flesh. It’s impossible. It’s not possible.

But if Jesus Christ is in you, all these impossible things become reality. It just happens. You don’t work at it. You’ve already worked at it and you’ve found out you couldn’t do it. And it’s only after you’ve worked at it and found out you couldn’t do it that this will occur in your life. I don’t care how old you are or how young you are. When it happens, it happens, and you had nothing to do with it. God worked a miracle in you and healed you of being a dead person, gave you back your legs, got rid of the leprosy, gave you sight, and now you can serve him with every breath you draw, because he’s not interested in this 10%. He wants it all.

The story of Joseph (Gen 37-51) is just so full of types and shadows. Joseph bought the people’s land. Then he bought their cattle. And what did he do then? He bought the people themselves. He owned it all. And the Bible says that he laid a 20% tax on the people, and it says “and so it is to this day” to remind those people that the pharaoh owned everything. The pharaoh typifies the father who gave the kingdom to the son and made the son king in everything but the throne, just like it says in 1Co 15. When the ages are consumed and they’ve accomplished everything that they’re supposed to accomplish, which is the salvation of all mankind, which is what Joseph saving all of Canaan and Egypt accomplished, then the son turns the kingdom over to the father because the father never gave him the throne (1Co 15:28). He gave him the kingdom to rule, and that’s we’re called to do. We’re called to rule in the kingdom. That’s the gospel of the kingdom of God. If you didn’t get what was said this morning, you don’t know what the gospel of the kingdom of God is. The gospel of the kingdom of God, the good news of the kingdom of God, is that the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain (Rom 8:22) until it’s revealed to the whole world that these people right here, this little group of people– I’m not talking about just us, there are people all around the world, God is dealing with people all around the world– but they are going to come to see the things that you see, or they’re not going to be in this little group.

But it’s a little group. It’s so little, you don’t even want to consider how little it is. But God is going to use that little group, that little pond, little puddle, little lake of fire, to burn out the wood, hay and stubble in the whole world. Then in Rom 11– powerful, powerful chapter in the word of God. It is through your mercy that they will receive mercy (Rom 11:31). I didn’t write it, I’m just reading it. Okay.

Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.”

You see there? That was bread from heaven, yes, in shadow, in type, it was bread. It was bread.

“I know you’re Abraham’s seed,” Christ said to the Jews that believed on Him, “I know you’re Abraham’s seed, but you seek to kill Me. Abraham didn’t do this” (Joh 8:37, 40). Then the very next words out of His mouth after saying I know you’re Abraham’s seed are “You are of your father the devil” (Joh 8:44). So said Jesus Christ in Joh 8, verse 31 through about 37 there. He said to those Jews which believed on Him, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” If you continue in My word (Joh 8:31-32). They say to Him, “We’re Abraham’s seed; we’ve never been in bondage.” Never been in bondage. Christ says, “The servant remains not in the house forever, but the son remains in the house forever” (Joh 8:35).

If you’re a servant of sin, you will be kicked out of the house of God. Ishmael is not going to be made heir with Isaac. “Cast out the bondwoman and her son” (Gen 21:10). So Christ tells them, “The servant abides not in the house forever, but the son abides forever.” Then He says, “I know you’re Abraham’s seed. I know it; I know you’re physically descended from Abraham, but you seek to kill Me. Abraham would never have done that. He saw my day and rejoiced in it.” So they are Abraham’s seed, but they’re not Abraham’s seed. A contradiction, just a blatant contradiction. And yet the truth, because it’s not a contradiction when you can think spiritually. But if you can’t think spiritually, if you can’t see the things of the spirit, you’re going to have all kinds of contradictions. Your whole theology will be contradiction after contradiction after contradiction.

I was talking to Josh here, there it is in Rev 17, the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, and there’s a contradiction if I’ve ever heard one. The beast was, and is not, and yet is (Rev 17:8). How can you explain that if you don’t see the things of the spirit? You are a beast. You receive a deadly wound and you’re no longer a beast, but that deadly wound gets healed (Rev 13:3). So here you are, right back as a beast. Was, is not, yet is. And only the things of the spirit will clarify these hard sayings in the word of God. Because that deadly wound is healed in all of God’s elect. But, there is an eighth beast (Rev 17:11), same old beast, we’re talking about one beast, one beast. This one beast, Mike Vinson, has seven heads and ten horns (Rev 17:3). And the seven heads are seven kings, seven mountains, seven dominions that just lord it over me that I just cannot win the victory over (Rev 17:9). Who can make war with the beast (Rev 13:4)?

I never was doing any good at it. I lost every battle I ever had with him. He won them all. But the day came when the jailer and Potiphar bowed before me, and it just happened, it was just a miracle, it was resurrection from the dead, I can’t explain it any other way, it was to be resurrected from the dead because I could not see how I was ever going to overcome this beast. But I did. That beast no longer tells me what to do. There is an eighth. Eight is the new man, and he is of the seven; he wouldn’t be there if he wasn’t already experiencing those seven, already had his senses exercised to know good and evil.

If you don’t go through the evil and the good– you know everything the Lord created he said was very good. Very good. You know what that included? Have you ever thought about that? What does that include? Satan! Thank you. The serpent was right there when he said that; he had already created him. What else? The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was all very good. Now, if you get that, if you can understand that, then you ought to have some sort of an adjusted attitude toward the harlot.

She is part of the revelation of Jesus Christ. She has done you a great service in deceiving you, because if you had not been deceived, and brought to know Christ through this harlot, and then held back so that you couldn’t go on to the kingdom– Christ told them, and when you read these things with your carnal mind, you seem to think that Christ is telling these people, “Boy I just hate your guts, these people want to get into the kingdom of God and you won’t let them in, you’re holding them back, you bunch of hypocrites.” And they are a bunch of hypocrites. Everything that Christ says, that’s what they are. But is He saying it out of hatred, or is He saying it because He loves them? What’s His purpose for saying that? It’s because He loved those people.

The lake of fire is not hatred, and I want to rub this in. “You guys did me wrong, my turn now.” That’s not what the lake of fire is all about. I have spanked my kids. Sometimes I did it the wrong way, when I just flew off the handle (because I’m carnal) but the times that I did it the right way, out of love, I did not enjoy doing it. But I did it anyway because they needed it. And I’ve done the best that I can. They’re pretty good kids, and the reason they’re pretty good kids is because they got those spankings back when they were younger. And you and I have got to go through that harlot and be corrected by God, chastened and scourged by God, to bring us through that and out of it, because you’re not going to come out of it willingly. You’re not going to say, “You know, I’m a harlot and I’m deceived and I sure wish I could get out of this.”

That’s not how you feel when you’re in the harlot. You think, “I am rich and increased with goods (Rev 3:17), and I’m just going to send in my tithe again so I can get another thousand dollars, send them my $10 so I can get–” what was it, I don’t know, they’re really coming up with some wild ones now, like one said to me yesterday, “They’re not asking for $10 or $100; they’re not even asking for thousands. They want tens of thousands of millions.” I mean, if it weren’t so sad, it would be comical to watch those guys. Just comical.

Anyway, we should have a better, more Christ- like understanding of who the harlot is, who her daughters are, what it’s all about, and be able to love these people who so hate us because of the function that they’re serving in bringing us out of the harlot. If you’re not in her, you can’t come out of her. If you can’t come out of her, you’re not going to be the elect. If you are the elect, you need to appreciate the revelation of Jesus Christ, which includes a beast, a Nicolaitan, a woman Jezebel, a harlot, and seven heads and ten horns on this beast, and all of the whole book. Keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book (Rev 22:7). If you don’t, I’ll take your part out of it (Rev 22:19). In other words, it’ll happen later, because the great white throne judgment is still a judgment; it’s just a later judgment. And when we are judged– doesn’t matter when it is–

1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged we are chastened of the Lord.

So the white throne judgment is just as much a chastening as the fiery trial that you and I are going through now. God loves those people. We ought to love those people. We ought to appreciate what God is doing through them for us. And I know it’s impossible in the flesh to do that. Who is able to say, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing” when you’re being nailed to a cross? (Luk 23:34) Who is able to do that?

There’s a movie out there– you ought to all get it and watch it sometime– that’s called To End All Wars, it’s a true story, happened in the jungles of Burma, and they got that man that was involved in it, he’s– in the movie, he’s right there, an old white- headed man now. But these people were slaves for the Japanese during the war. This is world war. And all they had was a Bible, that’s all they had. Somehow they had gotten a Bible into that slave camp. And in those dire, dire conditions, they came to see a little bit of what we’re talking about here today. We have been given so much. We’ve been given so much, and we need to be thankful for every bit of it. We need to be thankful for even that harlot and all that she is being used of God to do.

So far as Christ was concerned, the word “bread” was just a spiritual code word for the word of God. And who is the word of God? What is the word of God? It’s Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the bread. I’m the true bread. And the words that I speak to you”– this is right here in Joh 6; Ray quoted it, right here in Joh 6, all about this bread, this is the scripture that you’re going to have to turn to and point to and say, the things of the shadow are not the reality. “The words that I speak to you”–Joh 6:63, same chapter, same thought–“The words that I speak to you”– this bread of life is spiritual. “The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.”

Joh 6:58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eats this bread shall live forever.

I used to read that and think, everybody that’s ever heard the word of Christ died. I was so carnally minded and some of you may still be. Pray that you can get beyond that.

Joh 6:58 Your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats this bread will live forever.

Well, James, Peter and John are all dead, aren’t they? What is He saying? He’s saying that without a resurrection, they that are asleep in Christ have perished (1Co 15:18). But, if Jesus Christ is a reality, there’s a resurrection, and we’ll be raised from out of the dead. Not from out of an immortal soul that can’t die, but out of the dead. Out from the dead. Life comes through death. It doesn’t come any other way. Except a corn of wheat fall to the ground and die, it cannot bring forth fruit, but if it die, it will bring forth much fruit (Joh 12:24). That’s the only way that it’ll bring forth fruit: if it dies. So appreciate the function of death, because it’s only if you die that you will live. He that seeks to save his life will lose it (Joh 12:25).

I got a minister friend who is in his nineties, and he actually was preaching and teaching that he was going to live forever. He believed that he’d live until Christ came, he’d be changed in a moment, twinkle of an eye, and he’d have this body, he’d never die, because Paul says we’ll not all die, we’ll be changed (1Co 15:51-52). When Paul says we will not all die, he’s just saying there will be some people who are standing on the earth when Christ comes back. He’s not saying that they don’t have to give up the flesh; that’s not what he said at all. He said we will be changed. This flesh will die even in those who don’t die. The only reason they don’t die is because it happens so fast, but let me tell you something. What he’s saying about those people who happen to be standing here at the time Christ does return, is just as true for you and me because when we do die, the very next thing we’re going to know is the presence of Christ. It doesn’t matter when it happens. It doesn’t matter who it happens to. The next thing you know is being resurrected in the presence of Christ. It’s instantaneous. Adam is going to wake up and not know that 6,000 years have passed. He won’t know it. He’s unconscious. He’s going to think he just lay down– and here’s Christ, here’s all of mankind, all of his descendants of all time, will be there with him in the great white throne judgment, to be dealt with just as He’s dealing with this world today, to be judged as you and I are being judged today. Yes. As we are being judged, they will be judged. They’ll be in the spirit instead of the flesh– it’s sown a natural body, it’s raised a spiritual body (1Co 15:44)– but spirits need cleansing just as much as our spirit needs cleansing while we’re in this flesh.

And I don’t know how else to do it; he did his best to impress on you the enormity of your calling, the enormity of what the kingdom of God is, and I’m doing my best to do the same thing, just to impress on you– not to get you puffed up, because if you get puffed up, you’re just setting yourself up for a fall– but to be humbled by the enormity of your calling, to be awed by the privilege you have of coming to see the things of the spirit. Be awed by it. Be humbled by it. And be like this friend of mine up in North Carolina: say, “Why me, Lord? Why me? What is it that I’ve ever done that’s worthy of being given the understanding of the things of the spirit that I’ve been given? What is it that You’re doing with me that is so– I mean why am I worthy of this?” And what you’ll come to see is that you’re not, of yourself, worthy of anything. It’s not of you; it’s not about you. You have nothing to do with it. It’s His sovereign work.

I got an email here that I want to take the time to share with you. I think I’ve got enough time to do this. This guy says to me, “I saw at the bottom of the home page that you also have a home Bible study, but in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Seeing that you are from Atlanta, allow me to expound just a wee bit as to why I’m writing you. I just recently had an exchange of four or five emails with Steve Atkerson.” I don’t know who Steve Atkerson is, but he’s in the Atlanta area. “Perhaps you know him or have heard of him. He, too, is from the Atlanta, Georgia area, and he’s a major player in the house- church movement. Perhaps you’ve heard of his web site, the New Testament Restoration Foundation. I emailed him article two in the Lake of Fire series and asked for his comments. He wrote back telling me to stay away from it, it’s a doctrine of demons, etc. etc.”

I’ll guarantee you that man didn’t– because it’s never been done yet– he didn’t take one single scripture that was quoted and said, “Look how this guy twisted this.” He never did that. He said what the guy said here. If he had done that, the guy would tell me that. This is what the guy said. He says, “It’s a doctrine of demons; stay away from it.” Oh, well, okay, you said that, I guess I better do what you say. I hope you think for yourself a little more than that.
To try to make it short, he went on to tell me, “When the church of history has studied a matter and reached consensus on it, that becomes authoritative for us as well.” Gospel now, Nicea said so. Church of history– how did D. James Kennedy put that? “It’s obvious that [ he] does not believe in historical, orthodox Christianity.” And all I can say to that is, praise God. Now listen to this guy, because this is something you will contend with. You will contend with this.

“The church of history has passed on to us various creeds and confessions, plus they have given us the right books that are supposed to be in our Bibles. The church of history several hundred years after the New Testament was written decided to form the books that ought to be in the New Testament. It was done in a series of ecumenical councils, just like the basic creeds were. How can we trust the church of history to give us the right books that are supposed to be in the Bible and yet not also trust her to give us the right theology about what that same Bible teaches?”

Now, what’s wrong with what I just read? It’s a lie! Nicea didn’t decide what was to be scripture; Peter said to those that he wrote to, the things that Paul writes are a little hard to be understood by those who wrest the word of God and twist it like they do the other scriptures (2Pe 3:16). You see, God had already decided at that time, while the apostles were still alive, what went in the Bible as scripture and what didn’t, and the epistles of Paul were already accepted as scripture. So don’t let them lay that lie upon you.

The church of history is God’s whore wife, bringing forth the man child, yes, but she doesn’t get caught up to the throne; she goes into the wilderness. And what happens in the wilderness? She rebels ten times, and then goes into the lake of fire. Now that’s what the church of history does. If that’s what you want, go for it.

But there’s another thing that you can’t go for, and that is the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. When you look at the word of God for yourself, not you, it’s going to be a work of God in you, but still, you’ve got to go along with what Paul says, “I live, yet nevertheless not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life that I now live, I live by the faith of the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). So it’s Christ in you, but you’re going to have to decide these things for yourself. Can you trust the church of history?

The church of history is the implement and the instrument for deceiving the whole world. That’s what her job is, that’s what she’s doing and she’s very good at it. But there are a lot of good works going on out there by a lot of good people, but just for your information, Martin Luther was a murderer who killed Catholics by the thousands, and Calvin had a man named Michael Servetus burned at the stake, and slit his throat so that he couldn’t speak while he was dying. And this is the way the minds of these people work. Like one of the queens of the church of England; she’s the head of the church, she said, “Well, we’re just doing to do to them now in the flesh what’s going to be happening to them in hell for all eternity. Nothing wrong with burning people at the stake.” Never entered into God’s mind (Jer 7:31, 19:5, 32:35), but it sure enters into the mind of his harlot wife.

So I just hope that I’ve given you something to think about when it comes to this struggle that we all have with, “How can you be right and the whole world be wrong?” I hope you can see how that’s possible, because God’s not going to reveal these things to just anybody. He uses the very things, the parables, that he uses to deceive people with, that is what he uses to open your eyes. You say, “How can that be? How can he use it to deceive people and use it to reveal himself at the same time?” Blessed are your eyes for they see. It’s given to you to see (Mat 13:11, 16).

And the best example in all the Bible that we’ve got of this very thing is right at the Red Sea, when here you have a cloud (Exo 13:21). This cloud is Jesus Christ. It stands between Egypt and it stands between Israel, and at this point in the story Israel is the people of God. Israel is God’s only son, as he says in Hos 11:1. My firstborn, my only son. And on this side of this cloud, one cloud, the Egyptian side, it is total darkness, so thick that you can’t see your hand in front of your face.

On the other side, in the middle of the night, the same cloud, it’s daylight. And that’s what the word of God is. That’s how God does it right there. It’s lying in every home in the country. It’s in the pulpits of every church in the country, and it’s sealed with seven seals (Rev 5). It’s completely sealed. And the reason it’s that way is because that lamb that could and does open the seven seals (Rev 5-6) is unknown–“I never knew you” (Mat 7:23)– to the people who have this Bible on their desks and in their pulpits. It’s unknown to them. They cannot stand it, they absolutely despise it, and when push comes to shove, they would much rather go over and kill their enemies than to love them. But that’s the way it’s ordained to be. Don’t expect President Bush to have a conversion; he thinks he is converted. Don’t expect Billy Graham to repent; he thinks he’s a great man of God. But don’t be taken in by the fact that everyone is going in that direction. Don’t let that faze you. Look at the word of God. Just believe what you see. And give God the credit for knowing what he’s doing, because he does. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

And tomorrow we’ll just go a little deeper into what we’ve gone into today. I’ve used a little more than my time, so I guess we’ll just take a break and go to dinner.

Speaking like a dragon is the woman of Rev 12 that brings forth the man child and goes into the wilderness. Say that again? … Yeah, that’s the woman. That’s the lies that she speaks. It’s all saying the same thing, but only those who are willing to go back in the word of God and look at where all of these symbols come from and see what they mean, they’ll see these things and those who don’t, won’t, because God is not going to give very many people the hunger to know the things of the spirit. It just isn’t there. Pray that you have that you hunger. Ask God to give you a hunger and a thirst, an insatiable hunger and thirst for his word. Just beg him for it. And if you do, he’ll do it. “He that lacks wisdom, let him ask of God” (Jas 1:5). That word “ask” doesn’t mean just ask, “Maybe you’d like to give”– no, begging for it! Beg him for it. “Who gives to all men liberally and upbraideth not.” He will give it to you if you have your heart in it. But if you think that you can know God and just be laissez- faire and casual about it, you don’t know how God operates, because God only gives to those who hunger and thirst after his word.

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