How God Deceives And Reveals? Part 1

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Mike Vinson
Mobile, AL November 2005

I want to show you how God goes about deceiving people. See, God deceives. God is not in the business of saving the world; he’s in the business of keeping the world from seeing the truth, because it’s right there in front of their eyes, and he’s got to keep it from them. And I want to show you how he does that, and then I want to show you how he opens eyes to see what’s in front of them. And then I want to talk about the practical application of this– the practical application of knowing this, of realizing that this is the truth, because you can’t go into a church anywhere in the world and say, “You know God’s deceiving people. That’s what God’s doing.”
You can’t do that. They’ll kick you out on your ear! “Christ spoke in parables to make the meaning clearer, didn’t you know that? Well why didn’t He just say what He had to say instead of using a parable?” But He used parables.
In Ezekiel 14:9– I’m just going to add a little weight to what I just said, one at a time, in Ezekiel 14:9 we have the scripture:

Ezekiel 14:9 If the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

I didn’t just make that up. There it is in Ezekiel 14:9. Now, on the other hand, how God reveals himself in 1Co 2:13…

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches–

“You know, context– get you a good Bible dictionary and just keep everything in context, and the natural man can understand the things of the spirit.” That’s what we’re told. We’re told that by every theological seminary in the world! Just get you a good Bible dictionary and pray to God and you keep everything in context. There are three rules of Bible study, they say: Context, context, context. Of course nothing could be further from the truth. The natural man can’t receive the things of the spirit.

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Since the natural man can’t receive the things of the spirit, it doesn’t matter how good a dictionary he has, or how much attention he pays to the context. He won’t see what’s right in front of him.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Now we all realize that these verses are in the scripture. We’re all aware that this is what the Bible says. I don’t know of anybody I’ve talked to that hasn’t been reading the web page for at least a few days, and that’s why you’re here. You’ve seen that there’s something out there. I start trying to think who it was that told me, but it’s virtually everyone here. You’ve all told me, “I was kind of seeing this before I ever got to the web page. And then I got there and there were some things confirmed there, there’s somebody who sees this stuff. It just makes more sense.” The truth really does make more sense than contradictions, which is what Christianity, orthodox Christianity is. Orthodox Christianity is contradiction.

Every single doctrine they have is a contradiction of the word of God. So when God does bring you to the point that you see what He’s saying, you’re ready to receive it because God has brought you to that point, and you don’t get to that point without the spirit of God working with you, dragging you to that point. It’s his work. Jesus Christ is the head of His church– He doesn’t need me and He certainly doesn’t need the pope to tell you what’s in the word of God. If you don’t get it from God, you don’t have it. Now we can be used to show it to you, saying, “Look at this, did you know the Bible says that ‘I create evil’?” We can be used that way, but if God doesn’t give you the eyes to see it, you’re going to say, “Ah, it should be ‘calamity.’ ” And then we’ve got to deal with that. But if God is dealing with you, you see that verse and you say, “Oh! That’s not in the Bible, is it?” But you look again and there it is.

I remember so clearly talking with a lady one time. I just opened my Bible right up to 1Co 15:22 and I said, “I know that we’ve been talking about hell and heaven and all this and I know that’s what everybody believes, but just listen to this.” I flipped over to there and I read it:

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

She watched me. I turned over and I read it but she thought I was making it up. She had never seen it. She said, “Oh yeah, but that’s just your opinion.” I read it out of the Bible. She thought it was my opinion. Now this is a lady who’s read the Bible all her life, I mean I’m not making fun of her. I’m talking about me. I remember when I first heard that, I thought, “Whoa, whoa wait a minute, let me see that again.” Because I knew I’d read that, I had to have if it was in the Bible, and then I go over and there’s Timothy,

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth.

I’d read that, I’d read it! I just can’t get over it, it’s just amazing how God keeps you from seeing the truth! He keeps you from it! He doesn’t allow it, until it’s time for you to see it. When it’s time for you to see it, then something happens. There’s just a change. All of a sudden your eyes are open.

I had a guy call me this week, just a couple days before we came down here. I’d been emailing him and he had sent us, just out of the blue sky, sent us a jar of molasses. He’s from North Carolina. I don’t know, they must have molasses up there, but he sent us a jar of molasses, and I sent him back a thank- you note. He had been asking me some questions about the Bible and I’d just answered them, but unless something like that happens, we answer so many emails, we just can’t keep up with who it is that we’re talking to. But when something like that happens it kind of sticks with you– this is the guy who gave me the molasses. Well, he emailed me and said, “I have got to talk with you, would you mind if I talked with you.” And his questions had all been very good questions; he wasn’t the kind of person who was just looking for an argument, and so I gave him a call. And he said, “Listen, Mike. There’s something that really bothers me.” And I just happened to know that it bothers all of us, because we all have to deal with what this man is dealing with. He says, “I’m up here in North Carolina and I sell cars for a living. I have a comfortable life. I would never even have gotten to your web site if my mother hadn’t died.”

He’s an only child and he was very close to his mother, and the pain that she went through and all that before she died– and he gave me the whole story– was just what it took for him to begin to look into why God would let this happen at all. And he was and is, even as we speak, a deacon in the Baptist church up there, but he says, “I can see that my days here are limited. I’m going to do what I’ve committed to and then I can see that I’m not– my heart and soul just simply isn’t with the church anymore.” He said, “But that’s not what bothers me so much. What bothers me is I’ve got a first cousin who sold– who had a house and was set up here in the United States. She sold everything she had and moved to Peru to minister to those people down there. Learned to speak Spanish and moved to Peru so she could minister to the people in Peru. She is a much better person than I am. And my minister, he’s a good man. And the people in the church are good people. And yet, they don’t know or believe what you’re saying. Now I believe what you’re saying,” he says, “I can see that what you’re saying is true, but I really am struggling with the idea that all these good people, great men of God down through the years are all of a sudden not going to be in the kingdom of God.”

And just two weeks before that I had another dear friend of many, many years say almost the exact same thing. She had read “After the Counsel of His Own Will” and she said, “Mike, if what you’re saying is true, that means that Martin Luther and Calvin and–” and she just named a litany of great men of God– Billy Graham, mentioned him. She says, “They’re all going to hell.” I said, “No, I never said that.” She says, “No no, I know you don’t believe in hell, but you’re saying that they’re wrong and you’re right. And Mike, you haven’t had nearly the effect on the world that they’ve had.” And she’s right, I haven’t. I haven’t had the effect on the world that Martin Luther had, that Calvin had, Wesley, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham and all these men who are on television today– reaching out and touching the lives of millions of people, they really are.

They’re touching the lives of millions of people, and they’re bringing them to Christ. That’s what I said and that’s what I meant. They are bringing these people to Christ– people who may never come to Christ any other way but through these ministers. But that’s the way we all got to where we are. We came through Babylon. But not a single one of these men– Martin Luther, Calvin, or anyone else– understood the most basic part of the gospel of the kingdom of God, and that is that many are called, but few are chosen. That is the most basic thing to the gospel of the kingdom of God, is that there is a group of people, very small in number, who are chosen of God.

The whole creation moans and groans and travails in pain together until now, waiting for this very small group of people to be made manifest. (Rom 8:22) But the doctrine of the church says that the many called are the few chosen, and the uncalled world is the world. But there’s one thing you need to learn at this conference. You need to prove this to yourself, but you need to know it. When you see the word “world” in the Bible, don’t think of India and China and the godless atheists around the world, think of the church, because that’s what’s being talked about.

When you see the word “world” think of the church! The church is the world. God’s wife is the world, and God’s wife is a harlot. And the devil who deceives the whole world hasn’t got China and India deceived– he doesn’t need to deceive them! He has come as an angel of light to the church! The many called– that is the world. That is the earth. You see the word “earth”? Don’t think of the sea– the sea is China and India and all flesh. But don’t think of the sea when the Bible is talking about the earth. The earth receives rain and brings forth, and some of it is briars and thistles. It’s God’s people, his church, who receive his word, the rain, the water and are nourished with it, but very often bring forth briars and thistles that are fit for nothing but to be burned.

Jesus Christ made the statement…

Joh 9:39 “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see.”

Well that’s fair, you know. The world pretty well sees that. But what’s the rest of this verse?

Joh 9:39 “That they which see might be made blind.”

Why did Jesus come into this world? To blind it. So that He could pick a few to see, and the only people that are going to see are the ones that can’t see. Why do you think Paul was struck blind for three days? Why? To tell us that that’s what we’ve got to do. But now you were never struck blind on the road to Damascus, were you? Were you? No. Not physically. But now here’s another thing I want you to get from what I’m saying today. Everything– let me say it again– everything you read in God’s word is a parable. Everything. Paul’s being struck on the road to Damascus is a parable that you will and have experienced.

You have had to be struck down while you were going about doing things contrary to the will of God, and you had to come to see your blindness before you could begin to see. Paul’s road to Damascus journey is not written just to let you know what God put Paul through; these things happened to him and they are written for our admonition (1Co 10:11). You say that’s talking about Israel. Listen, you don’t take part of the word of God and take it apart from the rest of it. Everything you read in God’s word– everything– is a parable. And it’s written in parable form for the purpose of “that they which see might be made blind” (Joh 9:39). I know that’s a hard pill to swallow. But I hope to be able to convince you of it.

Let me read just a little of Mat 13. Mat 13 is where this is just come out and said, Christ says, “I speak to them in parables so that they won’t see.”

Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said to Him, “Why do you speak in parables?”

Now verses 1-10 is where Christ got up and went out to speak and a great multitude followed Him and He got in a ship and He was looking out over, talking to them. He spoke to them, to the multitudes, it was a multitude of people, that’s the point.

Mat 13:10 The disciples said to Him, “Why do you speak in parables?”

Now this is right there in the Bible, it’s been there all along, it’s been there for 2,000 years, it’s in the Bible that’s in the Baptist church that we went by here somewhere, and in every other church in the world– and the world (that’s the word the Bible uses to talk about the whole Christian world), the world; they all have Mat 13 in them. It doesn’t matter what translation you read, you can read the New World translation by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, you can read the Catholic version or the King James version, or any other version you want to, and you’re basically going to get what it says in Mat 13 out of all of them.

Mat 13:11 He answered and said to them, “Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.”

It’s just not given. Verse 12, here’s the reason for it. Here’s the reason for why you have it and they don’t.

Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Now that principle right there is a principle that should make you shake in your boots and say, “God, please don’t take away from me what little I have. I want to build upon what you’ve given me. I want to do what I have heard. I want to live what I know so that what I have won’t be taken away from me.”

Mat 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the saying of Isaiah, which is, By hearing you will hear and not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive.
Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, their ears are dull of hearing, their eyes have closed, lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. Mat 13:17 For verily I say unto you, many prophets

— All the old testament prophets, that’s what He’s talking about when He says many, He means all of them. (1Co 15:22) “For as in Adam many are made sinners,” that’s everybody, “even so in Christ shall many be made righteous”– that’s everybody.

Mat 13:17 Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things which you hear, and have not heard them.

Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. They were all shadows.
Now look at verse 34 and 35. Now, my talk tomorrow is going to be on the practical application of what I’m telling you today. But if you don’t get verse 34 and 35 you are not going to get what I’m going to be saying tomorrow.

Mat 13:34 All these things spake Jesus to the multitude in parables, and without a parable spake He not unto them.

Do you think that’s changed? Do you think that the churches today are not being spoken to in parables? Do you? Well then you don’t know what’s being said in verse 34. And I’m just reading it out of the Bible. God doesn’t speak to the churches in anything but parables. The multitudes of Christians are being spoken to in parables right this very day. Tomorrow there are going to be billions of people around the world going to church on Sunday and everything that happens on TBN and in these churches all across the nation and around the world is all a parable to them. That’s what I said, and that’s what this says; I’m just reading it.

Mat 13:34 All these things spake Jesus to the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake He not unto them:
Mat 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.’ ”
And this is what parables are doing today. Today. God speaks to the multitudes of Christians in parables. This is not a statement about how Christ dealt with the multitudes that came to Him 2,000 years ago. That’s not what it’s talking about. No. I mean it is, of course it is, because the word is, was and will be, but we’re not there, we’re here. It is, primarily, always is, then was, and then last of all, will be. If you don’t get the is, you miss the other two completely, you don’t even need to worry with them. Christ is speaking to the multitudes in parables.

Joh 9:41, I read it before.

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.”
Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with Him heard these words, and said unto Him, “Are we blind also?”
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, “If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, ‘We see;’ therefore your sin remains.”

Now who in the world am I to stand up here and say that I understand what He meant by that and they don’t? Who am I? Who do I think I am? Well, I’ll tell you who I am. I’m a blind man. I’m somebody who finally came to see that he didn’t see. I was willing to admit my blindness. And I’ve learned something just recently, a friend of mine from Atlanta taught it to me just in the last month or so. Did you know that nobody ever gave anyone their sight in the Bible except Jesus Christ? None of the apostles are recorded as having healed anyone of blindness. Just Jesus Christ. Now there are three– at least I have three here that I found in getting this ready for today– three examples of Christ healing blind men. Now listen to it.

Mat 9:27 When Jesus departed from there two blind men followed Him, crying, saying, “You son of David, have mercy on us.”

This is down in Jericho.

Mat 9:28 And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus said to them, “Believe you that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes Lord.”
Mat 9:29 Then touched He their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it unto you.”
Mat 9:30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, “See that no man know it.”

And in Mat 12 there was brought to Him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb. Let me read that again.

Mat 12:22 Then was brought unto Him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and He healed him, insomuch that the blind and the dumb both spake and saw.

Did you get that? He was possessed with a devil, he was blind and dumb. Remember Eph 6:12, we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood? But you could go take an x- ray of maybe the man’s eyes and show where that something’s just not right, you can demonstrate it physically, that something’s just missing in the nerve between the eyeball and the brain or something, that’s not a devil, that’s what it is right there. Well, you’ve got to decide what you want to believe. You’ve got to just one day to decide, am I going to believe the Bible or am I going to believe what I see with my eyes?

God uses spirit to work with flesh. He uses the unseen to work with the things that you see. And if you can’t accept that, then that’s fine, that’s where God has you. But if you claim that you are accepting the word of God, you need to think about what I’ve just read, because it just adds to everything else that you’ve been hearing here. The invisible things of God deal with the things that you see. And you’re wrestling against things that you can’t see. Joseph’s brothers did not think for one minute that some spirit had manipulated them into deciding to sell Joseph into Egypt, but that was exactly what had happened. God had sent an evil spirit to Joseph’s brothers, and that evil spirit just whispered in their ear and said, “There he comes, see that coat of many colors? Don’t you just hate that? That guy thinks he’s going to rule over you. Why don’t you just show him. You know you could just show him who’s the real boss.” Just whispered in their ear, and they thought they had come up with that idea all by themselves. Because, like you were saying earlier, it’s hard to see that you don’t have a will that’s free.

Oh, you’ve got a will, but that will is being manipulated like a bowl of water. God can just pour it out or sop it up, whatever he wants to do with it. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, and like rivers of water, He turns it where He wants it to go” (Pro 21:1). And that’s what you’re dealing with every day. So get used to it. Accept it. Believe it. And you will have peace of mind like you have never had before, and nobody in the world will be able to take it away from you. God is working all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph 1:11). And you are the blessed recipient of that. And when I say that, I’m talking about the hard times you have more than the easy times, because it’s only through adversity that you will grow. When times are going real good, enjoy the blessings, but be aware, be well aware, that if you get too used to getting everything you want, there’s not going to be any growth in that. When you’re going to grow the most, is when you think you are at the very bottom of the barrel. And it’s only when you get to the bottom, to the very bottom, that God will reach down, pull you out of the prison of Egypt and put you on the throne of Egypt, so that the jailer and Potiphar will begin to do what you say.

The things that used to dominate your life will now be your servants and give you the service that it ought to give you. And his work, and to his glory, your flesh will become your servant instead of your master, and you’ll be able to call the shots to your flesh. And your flesh, the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
All right.

Mat 20:30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, you son of David.”
Mat 20:31 And the multitude rebuked them because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, you son of David.”
Mat 20:32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, “What will you that I should do unto you?”
Mat 20:33 They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”

Of course Jesus gave them their sight:

Mat 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.

If you read of all these stories of Jesus healing people, of giving them sight here in these three examples, giving other people the ability to walk who had never walked before, giving others the ability to be rid of a deadly disease, an incurable disease like leprosy, and all you see is blinded eyes and healed legs and arms– withered hand was one of the things, withered hand, couldn’t do anything, just withered away, you see these things happening and all you get out of it is a withered hand just being restored, a withered leg being restored, sight being given, physically, you have missed the whole point of the word of God. You’ve missed it.

These things are shadows of good things to come. Greater things than these, much greater things than these. And when I say things like that, you know what people say to me? “Oh, so everything to you is just spiritual.” Or, “You’re so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.” Oh, earthly good? You want to be earthly good? Well, you got it. That’s what you got. And you just go out there and have healing revivals. But let me tell you what, I don’t know one single healing revival minster who understands the mind of God. Do you think, do you really believe, that the people who say to Christ on the day that He talks about where He says He’s separating the sheep from the goats, do you think those people that say, “Lord, haven’t we cast out demons in your name and healed the sick and done many wonderful works in your name?” (Mat 7:22). Do you think that they’ve just come up with this in desperation because they can see the fires of hell? Is that what they’re doing? No! These people are telling the truth! They cast out demons, healed the sick, and did many wonderful works in the name of Jesus Christ. Listen, He’s talking about the goats.

Why don’t we have healing campaigns here? Why do you think that is? Do you think that we don’t believe that God can heal? Of course God can heal. But what is it that we’re concerned with? We’re concerned with true healing. We’re not here to talk about or convince you that you need a physical healing. I want you to experience the real thing, not something that’s going to last for a few days and then be gone. I want you to have the real thing. That’s what Christ said before He ever healed anybody physically. He took care of the necessary things first, and He would say, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” And then He healed them of their physical ailments.

But He took care of business first. He healed them really first. And you’re saying, “Oh no, no, Mike, you’re missing the point.” No, you‘re missing the point. When they came back and said, “Lord, we can heal the sick.” The seventy come back: “We can heal the sick, we can cast out demons.” (Luk 10:17) Christ said, “Don’t rejoice over that.” Why did He say that? He tells us why. He says rejoice because your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Luk 10:20) That’s what we should be rejoicing over. Now who said that? Did I say that? No, I didn’t say that, I’m just telling you what it says.

These physical healings distract you from the truth of the word of God. And so you’ve got a world full of people who all they can see is these signs will follow them that believe: in my name they will cast out demons and heal the sick. But what did that verse say? These signs will follow them that believe. (Mar 16:17-18)
Now, what we know about the people who believe on Christ. You notice Joh 8. I’m not even going to take the time to turn there, but I’m going to tell you about it.

Joh 8:31 Then said He to those Jews which believed on Him, If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.

Now the Jews who believed on Him had witnessed physical healings, that’s the only reason they believed on Him. They’d been fed with bread and fishes miraculously. They saw that miracle. That’s the truth. They saw what happened. They knew that He had turned five loaves and three fishes into enough to feed 5,000 people. They just kept breaking that fish off, it just kept being there. And He did this for thousands of people. And the bread– he just broke the bread, and it just kept being there. (Mat 14:15-21, Mar 6:35-44, Luk 9:12-17, Joh 6:1-14). Like the widow pouring the oil in Elisha’s day, she’d pour and the bowl was still full, and she’d pour another and it just stayed there. (2Ki 4:1-7). And that’s what we want, we want physical things. We want our physical arm restored.

But can’t you see what Christ means when He says don’t rejoice over those things, don’t rejoice over those things. Rejoice that your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. Now it’s just like “he is not a Jew that is one outwardly” (Rom. 2:28). If you don’t see what I’m telling you, you’re going to miss it. I don’t want you to miss it, so that’s why I’m carrying on like this. I want you to see. He said don’t rejoice over those things. Rejoice that your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. These things and greater shall you do. Not these things shall you do. These things and greater. (Joh 14:12). So there are healings.

I remember, several years ago, I don’t know maybe eight years ago or so, a friend of my son’s, who became my friend too, I got to know him. He was a member of a band, they would play at the American Legion up around north Atlanta up there, and all over in that area, and he was just a bar- hopping carouser who could play the guitar and write songs. He was real good at it, but he came down with cancer. And of course that kind of makes any of us think about things when we’ve got cancer and it’s an incurable type, and his was. And he was a heavy fellow, and he just wasted away to nearly nothing. And he asked everybody, he asked all of his friends, he says, “I wish you’d all just pray for me.” He started going to the Baptist church that he was raised in and the Baptist church prayed for him.

We all prayed for him. And I mean he had gone from, oh, way over 200 pounds down to just a little over 100 pounds. He wasted down to skin and bone. And he went to the doctor for one of his last check- ups and they said, “Set your house in order because you’re not going to be here much longer.” But we all prayed for him and he just came back. I mean it surprised me, I just want to be honest with you. I was praying for him, but when it happened I was shocked. He was healed. God healed him. So don’t go out of here saying that I don’t believe God heals and that I don’t think we should pray for each other. That’s not what I said, that’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that if you confuse the gifts of the spirit with the fruit of the spirit, your name is not in the Lamb’s book of life. I don’t care how many healings you have, because all of this happened before the disciples were even converted. Before they were converted, they were healing the sick and casting out demons, and Peter wasn’t converted. It was after all that was done that Christ said to Peter, “When you’re converted, feed my sheep.” (Joh 21:15-18) Peter had already cast out demons and healed the sick. This was written for you and me to learn and grow from.

You say why are you so intense about this? Well, you know, we had an example, right, here in Mobile, just the last time, wasn’t it? The last time we were in Mobile that we had that lady stand up and say, “Why aren’t you praying for that lady back there with the oxygen?” Well, that lady with the oxygen had been prayed for many times, and God hadn’t seen fit to heal her. We’re not here to heal you physically. That’s not what we’re called for any more than we’re called to baptize you. We’re called to give sight to the blind, to heal the leprosy and to raise the dead. Things that Christ never did. Christ never raised the dead like we raise the dead, because nothing that we do is going to be seen. It’s all going to be within. If I have an effect on you, it’ll be something you won’t see. But it will do you more good than being raised from the dead physically to have to die again. If you get the message that I’m giving to you, you’ll be getting the words of life.

Does anybody know the scriptural definition of life eternal? And I want Pat and Bob to be quiet too. The rest of you, somebody tell me. What is the scriptural definition of life eternal? … Thank you Josh. This is life eternal. To know God, to have his mind, to think like he thinks, to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. If you can get that and understand that, then you can almost understand what Christ meant when He said he that is born of the spirit is like the wind. You see what it does, you hear it, but you don’t know where it came from or where it’s going. So is everyone that is born of the spirit (Joh 3:8).

And the flesh says, “Well, if that’s all there is to it, then I don’t want it!” Well, okay, you don’t have it! But if you value that, if that means something to you, you’re going to live like that means something to you, you’re going to make the sacrifices necessary to become part of that wind. Because the same word that’s translated wind is the word that’s translated spirit. It’s pneuma. And it may not be right there in John, but the point is that all through the Old Testament when you see the word ruach, it is the word spirit. Breath, wind and spirit are all the same word. He breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul. It’s the spirit of life, it’s not the blood that gives life, it’s the spirit. The nephesh is in the blood– don’t let anyone kid you or fool you or deceive you with that verse. It’s not the life that’s in the blood. It’s the nephesh, the soul, that’s in the blood. It’s the spirit that gives life. And what is the spirit? “The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life” (Joh 6:63). So if you are able to see that you need to be blind in order to see the truth, if you can accept that, you will begin to see the things of the spirit. If you can’t accept that, then you are indeed blinded.

Now the last example in the New Testament of someone being healed of blindness is a very important person. His name is Saul of Tarsus.

Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven.
Act 9:4 And he fell to earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why persecute you me?”

Now I said that only Jesus had given sight to anyone, and of course that’s true in the final analysis, that none of the apostles had done that because it’s not recorded that any of the apostles did. But we have a story right here of a man who you hear very little about. His name is Ananias, who prayed for this chief sinner here, and he received his sight. So let’s listen to this.

Act 9:5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you persecute: it is hard for you to kick against the pricks.”
Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, “Lord, what will You have me to do?” And the Lord said unto him, “Arise, go into the city, and it will be told you what you must do.”

So Paul got up off of the ground with blood on his mind moments before and just determined to– it says he was breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the church, and just like that, he had an attitude adjustment. All of a sudden he went from “I’m going to kill just as many of these people as I can” to “Lord, what will you have me to do?” Now was Paul looking for an opportunity to be converted to Christianity? I don’t think so. I don’t think he had just heard a tear- jerking sermon about you’re going to burn in hell if you don’t accept the precious blood of Jesus. Saul was going down there to kill people who believed in Jesus Christ.

Act 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
Act 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.
Act 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

And what I’m trying to tell you, what I hope you’ve gotten from what I’ve said, is that if you don’t come to the point, if you haven’t come to the point, that you realize you’re completely blind, that you can’t see anything, if you don’t have your three days without sight, you will not ever see. You’ll be just like the Pharisees. You say you see; therefore your sin remains.

I hope that you can see– and I’m not talking about with your eyes, I’m talking about with the spirit that is within you– the things of the spirit. I want you to see the things of the spirit. Because the things of the spirit are invisible. Our God is an invisible God. And yet we’re told, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mat 5:8). And I want you to do that. I want you to see God. I want you to know what eternal life is.

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