The title of this sermon is “Who is Your Master?” which is to get you thinking about who you serve. People spend a lot of money watching movies about superheroes, but the ONLY hero worth the price of admission is Jesus Christ because He paid it all.
We are reading Matthew 16:19-24 from the New Testament.
If you have a bible, find Matthew 16:19-24, and if you want, you can look ahead and find these additional verses which we will also be referring to. They are: Luke 16:13, 1 Kings 18:21, Galatians 1:10, James 4:4, Matthew 4:10, Joshua 24:15, 2 Kings 17:33, Ezekiel 20:39, Romans 6;16, 1 John 2:15, Colossians 3:5, John 14:6, Genesis 3:4. 1 John 5:17, Revelation 3:20, Hebrews 4:12, Isaiah 55:11, Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9, John 3:16, Colossians 1:17, Ephesians 1:11. Revelation 20:11, Colossians 2:9, 1 John 3:8, 1 Timothy 3:6, 1 Peter 5:8; Jude 1:9, Genesis 3:1, 2 Corinthians 11:3, Luke 4:12, John 10:10, John 8:44, John 13:2, John 13:27, Ephesians 6:11, James 1:17, Matthew 16:23, 1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 6;12-16, John 8:24, John 6:51, John 8:23, John 8:12, John 8:58, John 10:9, John 10:11, John 10:36,John 11;25, John 14:6, John 15:1, John 19:21, Hebrews 13:8, Acts 7:32, Acts 9:5
Joe is reading this chapter using the New American Standard Bible version. He also refers to the King James Version.
I would assume everyone’s got a bible, and if you don’t have one, but you know where to get one that would be good. Those hotel bibles are good, and it all works. If you have a cell phone, please silence it, put it on vibrate, stun, kill. Whatever you do with it.
When I was “planning” this teaching it was not going to be this teaching. When I was studying I realized that it was going to be too large. I was going to speak on God’s power. But I realized that I could not talk about God’s power in 5 hours. (ha ha) Where does it begin? And where does it end? From Genesis to Revelation? No. It started well before Genesis and goes well after Revelation. God’s power is ever existent. It was impossible to teach something I couldn’t get my arms around. It was really bothering me, so I asked the Holy Spirit, “What do you want me to teach? Because I’m obviously of my own thoughts oblivious to what I need to be teaching.”
Then my son texted me. “Hey Dad, want to see a movie?” Of course I want to spend time with our son. So he says, “Get 4 tickets to the Avengers: Infinity War.” I don’t remember if I have ever seen an Avenger movie before. I’ve heard about them from my son. I consider them ungodly with their superheroes, and all of that. But I said, “Sure. I’ll use my AMC app on my phone, and I’ll buy us the tickets.” He wanted to go on opening day, but we went the next day instead.
I’m not recommending that any of you see this movie. I’m going to tell you about it and the relevant parts. There is a villain named Thanos whom the good guys are trying to stop. Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt is known as Star Lord. His name alone should give you an idea as to why we don’t encourage you to see these movies. Chris Pratt was unknowingly fighting against another good guy named Dr. Strange. During the fight scene Dr Strange contemplates who he is fighting and asks Chris Pratt, “Who’s your master?” Chris Pratt looks puzzled and asks, “Is this the part where I’m supposed to say, Jesus.?” Chris Pratt is supposedly a Christian. That’s between him and God.
Jesus just got a pretty good billing in a major block buster movie that people have been waiting for years to see. I heard chuckles in the theater. My wife and I were sitting on our reclining chairs in this really nice theater. We looked at each other and both said, “YES!!!” We did not stand up and shout it. I don’t know why we did not. But I should have stood up and shouted it for all to hear, “YES!!! This is where you say that your master is Jesus!”
I started thinking about that question and about how this movie is about the world. These superheroes really aren’t super. They are missing a major element which is eternal life. They can’t offer that. They can just save other’s flesh.
The antagonist in the movie is called Lord Thanos. Isn’t it interesting that so many of these characters have the title Lord? Star-Lord, Lord Thanos… The name Lord Thanos means “god of death.” An interesting adversary name. “Antagonist” means adversary or hostile to someone. I believe this movie is hostile against God. Who is our adversary? It is the devil. He wants to seek, kill and destroy. All of these lords seek power to control the world and the universe. Just like Satan. All of them want to be like God.
In this movie the bad guy wanted to get 6 gems or stones on his glove. These infinity stones each have a unique property. One was a soul stone. Lord Thanos needed to get the soul stone. When he got to where it was, he spoke to a guy that looked like Death. The keeper of the soul stone said that everyone has died that tried to get this stone. Lord Thanos wants to know what is missing? What do I have to do to get this soul stone? Tell me or I’ll kill you. The keeper said, “There has to be a sacrifice.” Really?! So we have the Lord Thanos which means “god of death.” He is the adversary who wants to have the power to be able to get everyone’s soul in the universe. This is not just about the world but the entire universe.
In fact, when Chris Pratt was asked by Dr Strange, “Who is your master?” And he responds, “Is this the part where I’m supposed to say Jesus?” Then Dr Strange asks him, “Are you from Earth?” Our answers tell others where we are from, who we are and who is our master. Star Lord was from Earth. People can denote from our answers where we are from and who we serve.
The sacrifice however, was not his own sacrifice. He did not have to die on the cross. He did not have to shed his blood. But he did have a loved one, and he had to sacrifice her. This is not at all a Christophany, folks. Because he is not at all sacrificing himself. They make it appear like the trinity, but it is not. Maybe some theologians might think, “Hey, this is just like Jesus.” NO, it is not!. His adopted daughter did not want to die. She was not willing to die, but he killed her and threw her to her death anyways. This is not at all like God. It’s interesting how they move this stuff around and distort everything that is in the bible. You can see these parallels that are really screwed up.
When I went to see this movie, I wore this T-shirt to show people who my master is. It shows the superheroes with Jesus in the middle. (He is sitting on a steel beam during a lunch break like the classic 1932 picture of the New York construction workers) Jesus is saying to the superheroes, “And that’s how I saved the world.”
My son told me that everyone is getting dressed up for this movie. Like superman, spider man and such. He wasn’t dressed up. He’s not a believer, yet, but I know God will have His way with him someday. He saw my shirt and said, “Dad, that’s a very appropriate shirt.” Then he calls over Megan, his fiancé, and says, “Look at my dad’s shirt.” I was expecting him to be a little offended because he is a non-believer, but he wasn’t offended at all. He was excited to see that I was wearing an appropriate shirt. He didn’t mention the name of Jesus, but the Lord is working on him. I see Him softening up my son.
You see, the ONLY hero worth the price of admission is Jesus Christ because He paid it all, and He did it willingly. He didn’t drag His feet down the road. He didn’t have to be grabbed by His hair and thrown off a cliff. He walked, carrying his cross. He wasn’t dragged carrying His cross. He did it because He loves us. He did it to show us how we are to love others and what we are supposed to do in our lives. That is what He was doing. He wasn’t dragged like in this superhero movie.
Kids dream and pretend they are superheroes. During Halloween they set out costumes and the kids dress like them. We really need to tell our kids that these are not superheroes, but Jesus is! Not me, not Dad, not Joe. The superhero is Jesus – right here in the middle. And He should be here in the middle, right? In the middle of our hearts. (Joe points to his shirt)
Our kids are learning these false things in the Avengers movies. I was talking to a friend of mine in California about this movie. He said that in the theater he heard people crying out while the superheroes were disintegrating, “No! Not him!” The people who they worshiped were disappearing. After the show came out Chris Pratt had on his tweets and his Facebook, hate talk. His fans were asking, “Why’d you do that?” You almost had the glove off. Why did you try to save this person?” They were blaming the actor for what happened at the end of the movie. It was amazing. They don’t even realize it’s a movie. I think they live these things out. The deadly flaw of all the superheroes, besides all being a lie from hell is that they have souls that need to be saved, and they can’t save souls. They can only save dying flesh and only until it dies permanently from age or disease or whatever. Whatever the things are of the world.
Bad guys never offer eternal life. Good guys never offer eternal lives. They only demand that you follow them. The superheroes demand that you call upon them. There is this endless supply of 600 plus Hindu gods that all want us to call on them. Just like in the bible there was the “unknown god.” You always got to have the “unknown god.” How can you worship 600 gods and then have one with no name just in case you missed one? How is that even close to faith in anything tangible that’s worth anything.
The devil gives us all these bad guys and all this evil, so that we focus on them. We focus on Freddy Krueger, we focus on the Joker because he doesn’t want us to focus on him, who is the real adversary. He wants us to focus on the other adversaries which are our fears and all those things ready to get us – even gets us in our dreams.
I had a caller this morning (Joe leads a 24 hour marriage hotline) which texted me. Luckily, I was up already. He says in the text, “I had a dream where everyone was coming after me.” I’m like, listen, here’s three scriptures. Go read them now because this is not of God. The devil gets in our dreams just like Freddy. It’s all an attack from different angles using our sin nature to fear the enemy so that we can stay in bondage with them.
So we need fake superheroes to save us from the fake villains that are in the movie¬s. That’s the way it always is. We always got to have someone save us. We always got to have Superman to save us from whoever he saves us from. We got to have Batman to save us from the Joker and Scarface or whatever his name is. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen those shows. However, they never give us in the movies the true Savior, the King of kings, Lord of Lords, maker of heaven and Earth, the one who is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. They never give us that guy. They will probably come up with the Alpha and Omega Man pretty soon.
So, right now we can turn to our bibles to Matthew 6:19, which will be our main scripture that we’re going to be going to today. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where neither thieves do not break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be. The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.
Well, God doesn’t say you MAYBE can’t. He says you CANNOT serve both God and mammon.
Let us pray… Lord, we just thank you for your Word. We thank you for Matthew, who penned these things for us. These that are important scriptures for us to know. We pray that you would bring us to the saving truth and knowledge of Your saving grace of your Son, Jesus Christ. As we follow Him we pray that our sin nature does not have dominion over our lives. Lord, we just thank you for this time. We pray our ears would hear and our eyes, would see the light, and that our eyes would be open to the light and not closed and locked away in darkness. Lord, we thank you and praise you in your name. Amen.
All right. Let’s break down the scriptures and look at the word “masters.” The bible reaffirms Matthew in Luke 16:13. It says, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one or love the other….” This is the same thing. You cannot serve God and mammon. Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word. Wow!
They’re just dead ears; dead eyes. Dark. But it’s true. If the Lord is God, follow him. You’ve got to choose a master. Follow Him. You can’t stay in the middle of the road. Not making a choice today, is really making a choice. It is a choice to not choose God. Because you’ll either follow Him or you’ll follow the devil. So you have to choose. In Galatians 1:10, ….if I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. That’s just an excerpt from that scripture, not the whole thing. So, if I’m trying to be a servant of men, I’m not a servant of Christ because men are filled with earthly, demonic wisdom. Unless they’re godly men, and then you will still have to subject them to the word of God to make sure that what they’re telling you is correct. In James 4:4, …for whomsoever chooses to be a friend of the world, renders himself an enemy of God.
How many of us are friends of the world? You may think that you’ve already chosen your decision, but every day the devil is trying to derail us. Who is he talking to? Who is this verse in Matthew talking to? The believer, which I call the “flesher.” So we’ve got the believer / flesher. We always think that He’s talking to some unbeliever or the “other guy,” but he’s really talking to us. As we read the word of God, remember who He is talking to. When I’m reading it, He’s actually talking to me. As you’re reading the bible, he’s talking to you. He’s not talking about your wife or your husband or your friends. He’s talking to YOU! That’s who He’s talking to because He’s trying to have a relationship with you. He wants to have fellowship with you. He wants to be your master. And if you have a master, you listen to your master.
If President Trump has an ambassador, the ambassador would speak of the things that Trump wants him to say. He doesn’t say, “I hate America.” He doesn’t say things contrary to what his boss says to do. An ambassador speaks what his boss says.
So what else can be our master? A lot of people just think of mammon as a job or money. But it is more than just that. So what about hate? What about resentment? What about fear? You see fear all the time. We have fear. When we have a bad dream, we have fear. When something goes wrong, we have fear. But you know, I’ve got news for you. It doesn’t matter what you fear.
Do you know who’s on the throne? Christ is on the throne, and He’s always going to be on the throne, and you can’t knock him off His throne. If you don’t believe in Him, He’s still on the throne. If you swear at Him, He’s still on the throne. If you turn your back on Him, He’s still on the throne. You can’t put Him off the throne. Thor can’t put them off the throne! Lord whatever can’t put them off the throne! Nobody can knock Him off the throne because He’s there to stay.
What about unforgiveness? We all have to struggle with unforgiveness. We’ve got to forgive. “Oh, should I forgive? They didn’t ask me for forgiveness.” God didn’t say, “Forgive 70 times seven IF they ask you to forgive them.” He doesn’t say that. Hard heartedness. How many heart hearts are in heaven? (People raise their hands. Each one making a big zero with their hands) Yeah, your right. You don’t even need the calculator to figure that answer because you just turn on the calculator, and it says the right number. Zero! There are zero hard hearts in heaven. Can you imagine being in heaven and there are hard hearts? “You know Jesus. You know my mother in law, she’s just really horrible, and you know, my brother and my sister, they are really bad people, and you know, so and so said something about my new angel gown or something and didn’t like what I was dressed in up here in heaven. ” Really!? Do we want to hear it? Does Jesus want to hear it? No, he already had to hear it. He has to hear it all the time. That’s why he probably goes, “Na, na , na, na.” (Joe covers his ears and closes his eyes). He probably doesn’t want to hear us. How about selfishness? Anyone ever selfish? Probably. I’m probably selfish. Pride. Pride is a killer. Pride is a big deal. I think that pride is probably the #1 thing the devil uses to kill us and drive us away from God.
What kills us? A separation from the father kills us. Maybe it’s not immediate, but it can be gradual. We start to be separated. Maybe we start to say bad things that are foul. Bad language starts coming back. Our bad thoughts start coming back. The farther we get from the Savior, the worse it starts to get for us. Then He says, oh, how about your pride? “Did you hear what she just said? Did you hear just what he said? I need to tell him he’s wrong. I need to tell her she’s wrong. I just can’t believe this. I just do so much. I worked so hard, and I just get no appreciation. I deserve a raise.” Pride, covetousness. Looking at what other people have.
“Man, he’s got a nice new mower. Love that guitar. You know that guitar. If I had a guitar like that, I could probably sing like an angel.” Probably not, but maybe I can play like an angel? Covetousness. Whatever you think you possess that stands between you and God, you need to really think about eliminating it. And I think about that a lot because, as every day passes, I just wonder, “What am I doing this for, other than the godly things. What am I working for? Why am I wanting to go out and do this? What is the purpose?” Unless it can be for God, it’s really going to burn up. So it really doesn’t have much value to me, and so I’m always thinking if it is taking away from God’s time.
I work pretty long hours. I’m always talking to people on the phone. I’m always working on people’s credit. (Joe owns a credit repair company) I try to get their credit files back in shape. It takes a lot of time, and I’m thinking about, wow, this really possesses a lot of my time. Sometimes it overlaps my bible reading time. I mean, if I start out the day, and I forget to post the daily bible readings first thing in the morning on the Marriage Hotline Facebook page and on Harvest Tri County’s site, if I do one thing before I do that, I miss it. It’s like I’m completely out of order. My wife always says, “Hey! Don’t forget to do such and such. I know I just gave you 20 things to do when you just opened your eyes this morning. But you have to do what you usually do.” Thanks. I have 20 things on my list now, and now I’m going to do this extra thing. But I have to be reminded to do the things I’m supposed to be doing.
Why do we need a master? “Why can’t we be our own master? I can be a good master. I’ll treat myself good. I’ll buy myself nice clothes, you know, get myself a steak every day. Yummy. So that’s what I would do for myself. I would just pamper myself.” Why do we need a master? Because we’re sinners!
Because when I popped out on my mommy, I was certified and toe tagged, just like in the morgue, for hell! Sentenced to gnashing my teeth. So why do we need a master? Because we’re born slaves to sin. Because we have a sin nature. We’re fleshers! Fleshers! We’re going to copyright that. Just like “fake news”. It’s going to be copyrighted. Get my lawyers on the phone. He also says that we cannot serve two masters. So what does “serve” mean? Well, the bible says in Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM …. sometimes? Every once in a while? Every other day? Just on Sunday? No, no. What does it say? ONLY!!! Always. In Joshua, it says, if it is disagreeable in your site to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…. He said, today, didn’t he? We need to examine ourselves to see if we’re in the faith today and tomorrow and when we leave this building. We have to decide. We will serve Darth Vader? No. The LORD!
but for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord. That’s what he says.
At least Joshua had it right. Although Joshua, you know, he had his hard times. He was doing really well, and then he just started to crack up at the end. I forget which chapter it was, but they had gone into battle. They won. God had brought them through lots of battle. God threw large hailstones from heaven and killed his enemies. God stopped the sun for going down for about a full day. And he did all this for His people. God had them kill who knows how many tens of thousands of people. But then they had lost a battle.Joshua throws himself on the ground and he says, “Lord, why have you done this? Why did you take us out of Egypt if you were just going to have us lose these 30 something guys?” Did he really have to go back to Egypt? Did he really have to bring up Egypt? That is just crazy.
So he brings up Egypt, and he’s complaining to God about losing these guys. And what does God say? And this is what God tells us when we’re having a pity party and we think things are really bad. When the world is coming down, this is what He says, “Get Thee Up.” Get thee up! It’s really simple. That’s what we have to do. Stop your belly aching!
God explains it to them. You weren’t following Me. You didn’t consult Me before going into this battle. I wasn’t Your master. You guys went off and decided to go take this land that I didn’t tell you to. You tried to take it on your own time, with your own efforts, and now you see you can do nothing without Me. We also can do nothing without God. In 2 Kings 17:33 They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. So they feared the Lord, but then they served their own gods anyways. Maybe we fear going to hell. Maybe a little. We think we’re going to be with God, but yet we serve other gods. We serve our small “g” gods. We have to examine ourselves. Are we serving God today?
Ezekiel 20:39, “As for you, O house of Israel,” thus says the Lord GOD, “Go, serve everyone his idols; but later you will surely listen to Me, and My holy name you will profane no longer with your gifts and with your idols. God doesn’t have a gray area here. In Romans 6:16… you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? We all want the latter. We all want the righteousness, but are we all willing to be obedient? in 1 John 2:15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Let’s look at the word “mammon.” The NASB describes it as wealth, but, if you look at the King James version then you will see mammon is actually in Aramaic a term for “wealth, property, or anything of value. It also refers to any or all of which some people serve instead of God.” So it’s not just about wealth. So this NASB description is not accurate. Probably many other versions are trying to have us concentrate us on wealth. Wealth is not our only problem. We have all sorts of problems. We have the Indiana Colts. In Florida we have the Gators. I’m not speaking of the ones in the water, because you have to watch out for those. So anything that we serve other than God is the mammon that they’re talking about. The bible says in Colossians 3:5 put to death. Put to death! Not put to sleep, but put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature. Well earthly nature would be your sin nature. Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. God wants us to put this to death, not just put it in a headlock and make it sleep for five years or a month or two years until we pop out of that and then our sin nature has dominion over us again. Our sin nature doesn’t have to have dominion over us if we understand the finished work of the cross that Christ died to cover up our sins. THE FINAL COVERING upon us should we choose to follow Him. God’s word says we cannot serve two masters.
So you can get out your calculators, like Pastor Greg says. Count how many masters you can serve. Count them out. ONE. OK, you can stop. So that was it. That was an easy class.
So I have to ask you, “Who is your master?’ And he’s asking me daily, “Who’s your master? ” And I asked the Holy Spirit which Jesus said, would teach me everything, and you too. And The Holy Spirit woke me up preaching this question to you, “Who’s your master?” And to me, of course, because I fall away too. Do not let your flesh be master over you. Do not let your feelings be master over. We will all die. Do not let death be master over you. Have any of these things gotten the best of you lately? You might want to ask yourself, who is my master? And I want you to ask yourself that every day. Who’s my master today? Do we want the world? We say, “No.”
But do we want to do more of the world than we want to do more God? Because when we choose God, we will have struggles. Struggles against our flesh, because our flesh wants us to do its bidding. It has an itch, we go to scratch it. Our flesh is always draped on us, always working on us, is always trying to drag us down. The world wants to give us fears. What kind of fears? Anyone hear of global warming? Anyone worried about getting old? I got some age spots here and there. I’m getting old, and my son sees that. He said, “You should do something about that, Dad.” I say, “I’m getting old. I’m going to die. Do you understand that I’m going to die? And I’m going to go to heaven because I follow Jesus. Do you want to go to heaven too?”
So we search “anti aging.” I see billboards in Florida. “Seventy is the new 40” Really?! Wow. That’s some really strange age math right there. But they’re playing to everybody’s insecurities. “Oh, I want to be able to box like when I was young and play sports like when I was young.” Like you could do anything at 40 anyways. It should be the new 20, right? Maybe next year, or in five years it’ll be “70 or 80 will be the new 20.” But if I was 70 then how do I get to be the new 40? Do we donate to find a cure for cancer? Donate for all these things?
You’re going to die. That’s actually the good news. You get to go to heaven. But not for the people who don’t know or aren’t sure if they are going to heaven or are not planning on going to heaven or don’t want to go to heaven. They just want to be their own lord. They are the ones that have a lot of fears. We are given fake answers to satisfy our fears. “You want to overcome that fear? You need more money. You know, your boss isn’t nice to you. So you need to get a better job. He needs to pay you more money.” How about if we’re in school? We need better grades, a bigger house. We need to work out more, right? We need to eat right.
My kids are always saying, “Hey Dad, you just like to eat gas station food.” I said, “Yeah, well, they got me hooked on the gas station food. I want to have that stuff. “ I used to be into eating right and working out and stuff like that. But after I got to know Jesus, it just didn’t matter. I don’t like scarf down big bags of cookies. Well I want to, but I’m only allowed one cookie.
Oh, and I did buy that bag of gummy candy, the ones that they always have hanging at the end of the aisle at the grocery store. It looks like orange slices and they come in many colors. They always get stuck in your teeth. Every time I would go to the grocery store with Kim, I would walk by the gummy candies and want them. She said, “Oh, you really like those? You should get them.” But I would say, No.” Then after the 10th time I looked at those candies, she said, “You really want them.” I said, “YOU really want them, don’t you?” She said, “Yes! Every time you walk by those things I see them, and I want them.” So we bought them. But she said that I can only have two a day. What’s the point of rationing my treat? She’s like taking my joy which was stolen from me the minute she said that we can buy it. And then when we get home she says, “Here’s your two.” That’s like what you do with my vitamins! You ration it. That’s not what I wanted. I wanted the whole thing. There was not going to be anything for you. You should have bought your own. But that’s me. I guess that’s selfish, isn’t it?
So I digress. I asked the Holy Spirit, and God told me to tell you this message. So more money, better grades, vitamins. How about, “I’m depressed.” They got something for that too. The world’s got an answer for that, and it ain’t Jesus. Not by the world’s standards. Antidepressants, yes. PROZAC. Abilify. We’ve got schizophrenia, bipolar, split personalities, anxiety. We got everything under the sun. But none of these doctors ask, “Do you read your bible? Do you know Jesus? Do you know the Prince of Peace? Do you have a Savior?” No, they don’t ask you that. That’s not even one of their questions. It’s “How are you feeling? How’s that drug doing for you?”
Years and years ago, my wife was diagnosed as bipolar, split personalities, and was depressed. She wanted to kill herself every day, She would say, (sweetly) “Oh, you know, Honey, you know that knife in the drawer? Every morning when I make your breakfast, (angrily and crazy) I want to stab myself with it! I’m thinking that this is not logical. This is really not good. I just don’t even know what to dobut to hide the knives. I didn’t know Jesus at the time. It’s amazing. They gave her all these drug mixtures. These drug cocktails. Then the cocktails made things worse. I’m telling you this because the answers from the world are fake. Just like these superheroes, they’re fake. They’re frauds, they’re scams. They want you to be a slave to them.
They said, “You can never get off the PROZAC. Never get off of it. Don’t stop it. Don’t ever stop. You’re going to be on it the rest of your life.” Wow. Sounds really like a treat, doesn’t it? But it didn’t make things better. It made things worse because then there were no feelings anymore. God couldn’t penetrate the Prozac because the choice was PROZAC. The choice was the world. When we choose the world, God can’t get through because we haven’t chosen God. We chose the world’s answer. We chose the doctor’s answer. The earthly demonic wisdom. That’s what happened.
One day she says, “I’m not taking these stupid pills anymore.” Then I got fearful. I’m like, oh my God, what could happen? Because you know in the Avengers there’s such a thing called the Hulk, which is what we use to call Kimberly. Because if you made her mad, she would not turn green, but we felt like it, and me and the kids would run for our lives. But anyways, once I found Jesus, I found out that I was not God, and I could not save myself or anyone else or my wife or my kids, I had needed Jesus. Once I realized I needed Jesus, I was able to speak things of God, wash my wife with words of the Lord and wow, she wasn’t bipolar anymore. She didn’t want to die every day. She didn’t want to run away. She didn’t want to hide. She wasn’t scared all the time of all the demons that were harassing her anymore. The answer is Jesus, not these fake answers.
The world wants to give us anything to make our flesh look better. Look at the commercials on TV. You don’t see as many cologne and perfume commercials as there used to be. I guess because we’re all just happy stinking. But there’s plenty of other things. There’s plenty of makeup commercials and things like that. You know what? There’s a predominance of meds for stopping smoking, which is just a vice that Jesus can cure, but the commercial say that you need chantix. The side effects are you may kill everyone in your house. To me, I would think that Jesus is a better choice because Jesus won’t have me kill everyone in my house. They have that cartoon of the woman. You ever feel like this? (Joe acts like the cartoon woman who walks slouched over and slowly) “Oh, my life is so hard.” The announcer says, “Try this.” Some sort of antidepressant. Look how happy she is now! (Joe walks faster around the padium) Now she can go to work at her three jobs, cook dinner, raise her family, take care of her husband. What a great woman she is. This is all like programming.
We are looking at the world through the world’s goggles. They put these glasses on us so we can focus on the things of this world. We see the billboards, we see the commercials, we see all the signs. That’s kind of like the signs on the 65 freeway. There’s all these detours and they have signs like “Lanes shifting,” “lane uneven.” And you’re trying to follow those signs. The world is always trying to follow those things. Move us around the lanes and to keep control of us. To keep our focus on the world. So as long as we have our worldly goggles on, we can’t put our godly goggles on it. We’re locked onto the world, changing lanes, shifting on us every single day, making us happy, making us sad, listening to music that makes us happier, sad, controlling us until it’s too late to change your master because we run off the road and die. Some say that you can’t see the forest through the trees. It might be said that you can’t see heaven through the world as long as you’re wearing the world vision goggles.
We need to take those world vision goggles off. The world should not be the focus for a Christian believer, but we should be focused on the things of heaven and bring in the lost to God to be saved through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which dwells among us so that way we can minister to other people. Pastor Greg talks about that a lot. He says that we are to minister to people. We are reconcilers as Christ has reconciled us with the Father though we were sinners deserving of hell. We have to be focused on things of God. How do we focus on God? We read the bible every day, we go to bible studies, we go to church, we fellowship with other believers, we pray together. We have a prayer meeting on Wednesdays, we have bible studies on Fridays. These are all important things in our walk.
So when we were in school and we didn’t follow the teacher’s instructions or their teachings, which I did this a lot, especially through high school. I did not follow the instructions, so what did I get? I failed. The world gives us the grades A, B, C, D, E,- oh not E, and F as deceptions to make us think that we have some gray area. We think that we can be good enough to go to heaven. I think that the Jews suffer from that. They think they can follow all these rules, but they don’t understand. They have a toe tag. Hell! That’s where they’re going without Jesus. He says that there is no way to the father except through the son, that the scriptures are really obvious. People say that nothing in this world is black and white. It’s all relative. It’s all feelings. It’s all opinions. The world teaches us that we can get a B and still graduate, a C and still graduate, a D and still graduate. It’s pass or fail, folks. That’s what God says, “Follow Me.”
It’s not an A or an F. It’s a believer or a non-believer, a follower of Christ or non-follower of Christ. Jesus said, “Follow Me.” Do you think he just said it to a couple of people? A few people? He says it to us. He said it to you. He said it to me. That’s why I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior because he was calling me. He says, “Follow me, ” and we say, “Yeah, I think that’d be cool. I think I’ll follow you.” And then it gets rough. We have to stop focusing on our world. Stop doing the things that we used to think we enjoyed It’s amazing how little I miss my old, glamorous life. It was glamorous to me. That life was without Christ and now I’m with Christ and don’t focus on those type of things anymore. We have to answer the question all day long. ” Who do we listen to?” Do we always try to seek God’s wisdom? Do we always try to think,, “Hey, is that something Jesus would do.?
So Satan said to Eve, You surely will not die! What a lie, because surely she DID die, and she killed everybody else too. But the devil is so wiley that he actually can twist that. He can say to her, “Look at that. You ate from that tree and look, you’re still alive. You’re still breathing. You’re still walking. God is a liar. You’re not dead. Look at you. Now go feed your husband. Yeah, go hang out.” But the devil twists things. When we have the worldly goggles on, we actually think we’re still alive. I thought I was alive before I knew Christ, but I was dead. The devil told me that I was alive before I knew Christ, but I was dead. Toe tag. Hell. He didn’t tell me that. So even though you get away with something, some sin, some strong hold, some hard hardheartedness, selfishness, pride, whatever sin it is, understand that it is written All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death. God does not lie. And you need to clean your house of your sin Ask forgiveness and accept it and change. Do the 180. Turn away from who you were serving that moment when you did that thing, and turn and face Christ who wants you to follow him. The devil hides our spiritual death from us until it’s too late and we become physically dead.
So when we go out of these doors, after we have had 20 minutes of praise, five hours of teaching, (ha ha) then we will go to our vehicles. They are out there right now waiting for you. So as we drive, the cars will come this way and that way, and then we’ll start focusing on the other cars. This sermon will start to get more distant. “What was that sermon about anyways? Something about service? I don’t know.” Then we will forget more and then our stomachs will start growling and saying, “Feed me, feed me.”
Our houses will need cleaning our laundry will need to be washed. Our lawns will be need to be moved. But I did that yesterday. So I’m good today. So it didn’t take long to get the worldly goggles back on our faces. Once we walk out that door, I want you to be thinking of what Joe said. He asked, “Where’s my focus? Did I just strap on the worldly glasses? Oh man, where did God go? Oh my God, I forgot I have this fear. I got this problem. I got all this stuff. Oh, yeah! Jesus is on the throne! What do you want for me to do today?”
So when we go out the doors let’s start looking for souls because that’s our job. To save the lost, and feed the hungry. But they’re really hungry for is the Word. So be watching to see how you can represent Christ so that way your answers, just like in the beginning of the sermon, will show people who your master is. So when you answer, you won’t be saying, “Is this the part where I’m supposed to be saying, Jesus?” Or “Is this the time I was supposed to be asking for forgiveness? Is this the time I’m not supposed to be smoking my cigarette? Is this the time I’m not supposed to be doing this or doing that? Looking at the pretty girls?” I know none of us guys do that. Those are for the guys in Texas, right? That’s what Greg always says. We’re not like that in Indiana. Thank God! I really do thank God. We are to feed the hungry. Not bread for their bellies, but for the Word for their souls. Feed them the bread of life. But in order to feed them the bread of life, we have to actually have the bread of life in us.
We have to be in our word, prayer and fellowship. So no, we’re not supposed to be hiding in the building like some churches. I think in Kansas City has a 24 hour church. They just throw themselves on the ground and act weird for 24 hours, but they’re young so they can do it. So they keep themselves inside the church, but that’s not what we are supposed to be doing. We are not supposed to be hiding in the church. So we’re supposed to keep our heavenly goggles on. And here, this is how we keep our heavenly goggles on. (Joe raised his Bible) We stay in the Word. We take it to work. You must have taken it to work because you left your Bible when the car, right? (Joe points to a man who left his bible in the car). Good. Good job. So let him to be an example. Anyone that wants to know how to take a bible to work and get away with it, just see Mike afterwards. He’ll counsel us on how to sneak into your bible into work.
Keep this book with us like we do our phones. We all carry our phones. Let’s do everything to this bible that we do to our phones. Browse it, search it, listen to it, talk to it. “Help me Lord, be more like you and to worship this book like we do our phones.” Because when we forget our phones, we turn around and go back and get it. But when we forget our bibles, we don’t turn around. When our phone rings, we answer it.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Answer it! It’s Christ. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. We need to answer the call to the Living Word. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It will help us to stand back up in imputed righteousness. It will never return void.
“Never returns void” is an interesting term I used to think it never returns void to me. But it never returns void to God. Because He sends it out. Like a boomerang, and it comes back. He’s throwing out the book. “I got Joe. I got Mike.. I got all of these guys.” it never returns void. He sends it out, and it returns to Him. That what we’re talking about here. So put down the phone. Pick up the living and active word. OK? By the ending of this teaching, you’ll get to choose.
So about our masters, we have two choices. I’m not going to choose Joe because Joe’s of the world, he is of the flesh. He’s dying. But we have another option. We have God. He is truth and life. My breakdown is what is His basic elements of existence? He gave us heaven, justice, all knowing truth, plans for good. All things good come from Him. God has all authority. He’s infinite in comparable, unchanging, exists everywhere, knows everything. He has all power. He gives grace. He appeared to Moses in a burning bush but he did not get consumed in the fire. Jesus walks through the fire with you. The fire that is burning in you today, know that Christ is with you. He’s with you IN the fire. You don’t need to yell, “Help me, help me, help me!” Because God’s with you in the fire. He already knew you were going to be in this fire and he already planned your way out of the fire. He’s already got the escape route with exit signs. You don’t even need to see the signs because he’s going to take you right through the door. He’s already got it all planned out.
When you’re on an airplane, they always point out the exits. they explain how to work your life jacket. But you know, Jesus takes us out of our fires. He takes us out of our plane wrecks and train wrecks. But the word of God tells us that God is intangible. The word also says that He exists as three. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is infinite, and I have scriptures to back up these facts, but I don’t want to go through them all or we will be here six hours instead of five. (ha ha) He’s incomparable. He’s unchanging. God exists everywhere. He knows everything. He has all power and authority. That was Joe’s list. Now I’m on the bible’s list. He is sufficient. We really need to remember this one, folks. Really,
El Shaddai is one of God’s names. It’s Hebrew for the almighty, all sufficient God. He’s all sufficient. It’s in his name. You know, if you looked up what Joe meant, you will find that it is probably mud or dirt. I’ll have to look that up later. El Shaddai is His name. You know, in the bible, they name everybody what they’re supposed to be. It’s just so amazing how everyone’s got a name, and it all means something. What I’ve really learned through Pastor Greg’s teachings is a deeper understanding of how amazing this bible is. I am amazed how every single word, every single name, and every single thing is important. And it is all leading us to the cross for salvation. In Philippians it says, …I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. There was another benefit. In 2 Corinthians it says…My grace is sufficient for you. For power is perfected in weakness.
What about God’s character? There is no comparison to our character. Let’s see…Joe’s character? No, I got none of these, but let’s go through them. God is just. Joe’s not just God is loving, truthful, holy. He shows compassion. He gives mercy. He gives grace. He judges sin. He also offers forgiveness. There is no comparison. For God so loved the world. He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will have everlasting life. What about judging him by his fruit? So let’s, let’s look at God’s fruit. Well, Genesis 1:1 speaks about God creating the world. Wow. OK. So that’s pretty good work, right? I have never created a world myself and I will never do it. So He actively sustains the world. They talk about it in Colossians 1:17, God sustains the world actively. He’s active, he’s not sleeping. He’s not like a conductor on a train that falls asleep and the train derails and people get hurt. He’s executing His eternal plan. Ephesians 1:11 talks about that. Wow. You know, that’s something to think about. He’s not only actively sustaining the world, but he’s executing his eternal perfect plan, which involves the redemption of man from the curse of sin. And the toe tag at death, I added that last part. He draws people to Christ. He disciples His children. That’s what he wants. That’s why we’re in church today to disciple, to put our God glasses on. Our holy glasses on.
In Revelation 20:11 he talks about judging the world. That’s something we don’t want to be here for. So what about God as far as his relationship with us? God became incarnate. He dwelt among us to show us the relationship he wants with us. So through his son, he showed us how he wants us to be. He showed us a love that was immense. The son of God became the son of man, the Messiah because “the son of man as a Jewish term” and is therefore the bridge between God and man. So imagine a castle with Jesus in it and then they’re all these millions and millions of angels more than the sands in the castle. But there is a moat keeping me and you from getting over there, keeping you from getting over there. And there’s alligators and maybe a loch ness monster. I don’t know what is in there, but there’s something in there that I can’t swim through. But God actually sent his son to be a bridge. We can walk over now. We can walk over Jesus’ back. Hey Jesus! I’m walking into the castle. It’s that simple. Jesus is the bridge between God and man. He sent an intermediary, an all mighty counselor to us. Who is the counselor? It is the Holy Spirit, sent through His Son, so we can be forgiven for our sins. This is a good relationship. It really seems kind of one sided, although the atheist would say it’s one-sided towards God because he just wants us to be His slaves. But look at all He’s done for us. He gave us a bridge. He sent his Son so we can have forgiveness for our sins.
Our sins were forgiven through his Son’s blood, Christ on the cross, and it wasn’t our blood. That’s a pretty awesome gift because, you know, in that movie I saw, the bad guy’s adopted daughter had to die and was thrown off of a cliff. Don’t go see it. He’s reconciled us with God and given us eternal salvation. Wow. It was all good and it was even made better with eternal salvation. So we have forgiveness and eternal salvation. So we should be reconciled to God and away from this dying world. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. Christ said, if you have seen Him you have seen the Father. It’s important that we see Christ to know who God is. All we have to do is look at Jesus to know God.
So we have the adversary which also called the antagonist. He antagonized me for a long time, and antagonized you for a long time. Now let’s look at the devil. My elements are the description of sin and death. That’s how I describe him. His name was first used in 1 Chronicles and chronologically in Job 1 and 2. Satan literally means “adversary”. It’s a Hebrew word. So he’s named well. The elements of Satan are that his followers spend eternity in hell. That doesn’t sound like a good deal. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil. His fall must have happened somewhere after the time angels were created by God, because he created them, and before he attempted Adam and Eve in the garden. Whether he was created an hour or a day or years before he tempted Adam and Eve in the garden, scriptures do not say, but Satan fell because he had pride. He desired to be God, not to be a servant of God, but just like in the in the movies. They always want to be God. They always want to be the master of the universe.
So isn’t our fleshly and sinful nature much like the description of Satan? We want to blaze our own path, make our own trail, do our own thing, make our own decisions, have our own will. Do we say things like, “Well, I know God wouldn’t want me to do that, but you know, surely I won’t die. You know, it could just be a simple thing. I want to do my own will.” Well, if you do your own will then you’re outside of God’s will. So this describes Satan’s character: he is proud. Satan’s proud. He’s described in the bible as being proud, not a novice, lest being puffed up. He may fall into condemnation of the devil. Fierce and cruel. Really, who would ever choose this guy as their master? He is described as a lion who walks about looking for someone to devour. Us! Us is who he wants to devour. So be sober and watch for your adversary, the devil.
Powerful. The devil is powerful. Even Michael, the archangel would not rebuke him without calling upon the name of Jesus. Now, this is something. You see a lot of this stuff in the false doctrine of Christianity where you have people saying to the devil, “Get out! I rebuke you. Get out of my house.” I saw that in the War Room. A lady was kicking the devil out of her house. She had no authority. Jesus has the authority! When Michael the Archangel contended with the devil and disputed about the body of Moses. He did not dare to bring condemnation or slandered to him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” The angels know who to call upon and the power of Jesus. The devil is a deceiver and deceitful. Satan’s method consists of deception. Genesis 3, Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast in the field, which the Lord God had made.
He’s also a subtle. He’s sneaky. I get callers all of the time, “Oh, you know, it was innocent. I didn’t mean to.” But I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and purity that is towards Christ. So as long as you set your mind on Christ, you can’t be beguiled like Adam and Eve. He has a temper. He’s angry. One of the names given to the devil in the bible was the tempter. He tempts us. Satan works in conjunction with the world system and the sin nature of man to constantly bring temptation into people’s life. See how it works in conjunction with the world?
He’s the prince of the air. All this stuff is what he uses. Everything in the flesh is what he uses. He uses all the doctors. He uses all the TV. He wants to have people in rebellion against God instead of agreeing with God. We see it all the time. “God changed. He doesn’t mind gay marriage. It’s OK. Marry two guys and two gals. It doesn’t matter if men are showering with little girls. It doesn’t matter. Walk around naked in the mall if you want. It’s OK. It’s just like Adam and Eve.” Even Jesus was tempted by the devil. Temptation is inevitable in this world, so don’t be taken off guard when it happens to you like it happened to Jesus. We should be prepared to stand against the temptation of the world. So in the bible, when Jesus was tempted, he just quoted bible scriptures. It’s not good to tempt God. We too can throw the word out and use the word to keep ourselves on track. The devil is a thief. In John 10:10, Jesus referred to the devil as the thief. Satan loves to steal from people.
That’s what he’s good at doing. The devil was a murderer. Jesus said He was a murderer from the beginning in John 8:44. Whether it’s murder, suicide, drug overdoses, abortion, sickness or otherwise, Satan will be involved. Satan is a destroyer. He kills people. He also kills families. He kills churches. He is the distorter. The devil is not a creator. Instead, he takes what God created and perverts it. We know where perverts come from. They come from the devil. Sexuality. He perverted that. It is to be enjoyed by a husband and a wife in context with marriage. Satan perverted it through promiscuity, adultery, homosexuality, pornography, and other distortions. Distortion is his counterfeiting of the power of God. He distorts even the power of God. And he distorts the gifts, the genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gift of prophecy is used in occult divination. psychics, fortune tellers, astrologers. False prophets are operating in demonic spirits that mimics true gifts of prophesy.
Who is Satan by his work? Well, in the garden of Eden was probably his first work. He came to Eve with a question. Raising doubts about the goodness of God. He implied that God was a liar saying, “Surely you won’t die.” God said, you WILL die, so surely you WILL die, but he implied God was a liar. Satan by his works indirectly opposed Jesus through demonic helpers, through human instruments. Spiritual leaders in Israel such as the pharisees and sadducees.
It says in John 13:2 during the supper, the devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him….After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” Satan is really fast. He enters into your heart, and then he completely enters into YOU. Then he’s your master. So how do you defeat Satan? Well, Satan has already been defeated by the blood of Jesus. If you understand and believe that your sin nature will not have dominion over your life and you put on the full armor of God. So Ephesians 6:11, Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. So how’s your armor doing? (Joe refers to the handout which he provided at the beginning of the sermon). You guys can use this later to remind yourself who Jesus Christ is and who Satan is. We have to make choices. You may think, “Well, I’ve already accepted him as my Lord and Savior. I was baptized, I was sprinkled, I did this, I did that.” But it’s not about just accepting him, it’s about following him.
You know, in college or grade school we can pick a class. But if we don’t go, what good is it? How are we doing on our sanctification? We accepted Him and daily check ourselves to see if we’re in the faith and make that decision every single day. And so people should be able to tell, as we talked about earlier, by every word from our mouth and every decision which we make, who our master is. We have to choose one.
God is. The devil is. They both exist. There are the only two choices. You don’t get to add more. So why do we struggle? Because God gave us the choice. We may say, “Well, that’s not fair. Why did He give us choice? Doesn’t He love us?” Well, love IS giving a choice. You don’t go, “Hey, to some girl on the street or guy on the street and say, “Your hot! You’re going to be my husband. Or you’re going to be my wife.” Right? We don’t just say that. That’s not love. “You’re having my baby. (Joe sings it) You’re having my baby.” No, that’s not love. We don’t do that to someone we don’t even know. No, we have to know them. There’s got to be a relationship. There’s got to be a choice. We get to choose. We’re not robots. God is fair. We get to choose to be with him. We get to choose who we spend eternity with. Either it’s with the guy with the goodies or the guy with the good things. I want to be with the guy with the good things. All good things come from above, right?
The goodies are all around here. You know those storage units across the street? They are all filled with things that were once goodies. Now they’re just a monthly payment on a storage unit filled with stuff that no one has seen in a year. My mom has a storage unit in Hawaii. She’s had it for at least 5 years. She’s had it for as long as she has lived with us. She pays that every month for all of those years and every year they raise that storage fee up. I don’t know what’s in that thing, but she’s paying $117 each month. She might have had that for 6 years or 10 years.. How much money is all that stuff worth? It’s not like a new car is hiding in the storage unit. Instead there’s an old computer or an old printer in there. You can’t even plug it in to a computer anymore because the old cords don’t fit into new computers. Are we storing up our treasures on earth? The goodies down here are no good. The good things up there are good.
So we have to choose. Why do we have to choose? Because we’re toe tagged. Born sentenced to death. If we choose God, It’s the ending for the devil in our lives. Who doesn’t want that? We want to say, “Bye bye Devily. You’re out! ” That’s the ending for the devil in our lives. It doesn’t end it for everybody else’s life, but we can help bring others to the saving knowledge of Christ. It happens when we follow God and his only provision. So how many provisions did God give us to get us into heaven? There is one provision for forgiveness of sins. He only had one provision for us since the beginning of the bible to the end of the bible. One. Jesus Christ who came to die for us. The blood of His son.
The Bible says in Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. That’s what He wants to do when we follow Him. Here’s what God says to those who do not want to follow Him. “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns. He said that to Peter, and we know later Peter did well. Peter was bestowed with the Holy Spirit. So this is really good news for us.
At first we think that’s kind of mean of Jesus to say that to Peter. He has been following Him around for a while, and then He says, “Get behind me Satan!” And He tells Peter basically that he’s going to hell. We stumble. We get back on track like Peter did, even though he denied him three times when he said that he wouldn’t. Isn’t that funny how we always tell God, “No, I’m not going to do that. Don’t worry about it. I’m never going to do that again.” Our daily concerns, human concerns. So we need to make sure that we’re checking ourselves. There’s a warning in the bible on how to remain faithful to Christ so that way we can do the things of God. It says, Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Not just something to devour like we talked about earlier, but someone.
Resist him. Does that mean, “Devil get away from me? Get away!” (Joe is holding back the devil. You see him pushing the podium) No! Standing firm in your… feet? No, your FAITH! Because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. All the believers are like us. They are suffering just like us. There’s no difference. We think we’re something special.” Wow, the devil was really mad, he threw that curve ball at me. No one else lives like this.” I get marriage calls all the time saying, “Things aren’t going so well.” This is nothing new. This is everybody’s problem. Everyone has the same problem because the devil has got no new tricks. Faith in what? Standing firm in the faith of Jesus, his blood on the cross. Put on the full armor of God. So let’s turn in our bibles to Ephesians 6:12-16 I know I tricked you. You thought you were going to get to put your bibles away. So starting in Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; read the Bible, folks! in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Judas Iscariot traded God for some coins. He traded heaven for coins and in the end he was so tricked – beguiled. I’ll use “beguiled” because it’s in the bible, beguiled by the devil after he did it. That’s just like the devil. When we sin, the devil rubs our faces in it. He doesn’t say, “Hey, good job.” When he’s done with us, he’s done with us. He was done with Judas. Judas doesn’t even get to enjoy the money because there was no enjoyment in the sin because it led to his death. In closing, so here on Earth there are many gods, but they do not rule over our God. In the end God will judge, and He is honest and fair. Satan is just a faker.
Those who choose Satan will be with Satan. Those who choose God will be with God. Those who choose God follow God. Those who choose Satan follow Satan. It seems pretty cut and dry. God is good. Satan is bad. All good things come from God. So if you have your calculator still out you can count “all.” Bad things come from Satan. Eternal death is one of them. God is love. Satan is hate. God is truth. Satan is lies. God is counseling us with what our choice should be. It is the time to commit even though we are already saved, recommit daily to our walk. Who is our master? Who is the truth? Who is the way? Who is the life? Who is the beginning and the end, the Alpha, the Omega, and knows everything? Who is your true God?
We know who the true God is. It shouldn’t be work, school, kids, husband, wife, doctors, medicines, shrink money., whatever you’re a slave to, you name it, you get to fill in the blanks, no matter how you choose or when you’re in a battle with your stronghold or your fears or your disability, your slave master, your illness, those are the things that are master over you. Your choice for God does not change God. It changes you. It changed me, and it should be changing us daily. It should be changing how we walk, how we talk, how we act. It should be a complete change in us. He needs to be your master or you will perish. So who’s your master? God doesn’t just say, “Hey, you know what, you have a choice to make. I’m not going to tell you what it is, and I’m not even going to tell you the answer. You just figure it out yourself.”
Like nowadays, “Is that baby that just popped out of you a boy or a girl. It looks like a boy, but maybe it wants to be a girl. So let’s just put ‘other,’ “ The world wants us to have the “other” choice. God’s not like that. He says it all throughout the bible. God supplies us with the information to make a decision. And you may be thinking, “how do we know God is God? How do we know if we should be following Him? He tells us throughout the whole bible, I’m not sure if you’re listening. Let’s see. It says, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
In that movie, that adversary said the words “I am.” That really twerked me off, but it’s so much like the devil to implant his things in us. Just like Stan Lee, the writer of the marvel comic strips, He always puts himself in the movie. In this one he’s a bus driver. What’s funny is that the devil always puts himself in everything too. He puts himself everywhere. Stan Lee thought that he put himself in the movie. But really the devil put himself in the movie by listing the bad guy as the “I am.” So in John 6:51, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; …” And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” I want the light of life. “Jesus said, most assuredly. I say to you before Abraham was, I AM.” He said this because everyone was stuck on the flesh. The pharisees said, “What about Abraham?” He was a man. Before Abraham was, I AM is what Jesus said.
John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for his sheep.” He certainly does. Are you one of His sheep? Did you choose Him? Did you still choose Him? Will you continue choosing Him tomorrow? Will you continue choosing Him when you go out into the parking lot? It’s a daily choice because you can walk away from that choice. You can give it all up if you want to live in self-will John 10:36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God ‘? The father sanctified Jesus, and He wants to sanctify us, you and me, John 11:25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me though he may die, he shall live. That’s good news for us. He wants to resurrect you and me, but there was a choice. We just don’t die and get resurrected. We get judged, but He wants to resurrect us to heaven. So that’s our choice. John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. He can’t lie folks. “I am the true vine. And my father is the vine dresser.”
He notes here is that there is one true vine. So when we are walking in the world it’s like were walking through a winery with vineyards and branches. And we’re looking for the best. We’re looking for the right vine and He is the one true vine. We have to choose the right vine, not the one for convenience. Maybe we have to go all the way to the end of the vineyard. Maybe in the middle. Maybe it’s hiding somewhere. It’s going to take a little work. We’ve found the truth, folks, and we should be sharing it with other people. “So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to pilates. Oh, I almost said pilates. Oh, I just did. Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.'”
He is the king of the Jews. He told the truth right until the last breath, and today He still tells the truth. He didn’t change to be a liar because we’re liars. He didn’t change. He doesn’t change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. So in Acts 7 this is an amazing scripture! Steven is speaking of Moses’ encounter at the burning bush saying, “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and Moses trembled and dare not look.” Steven said this before his death. He didn’t say, “Don’t kill me.” He just told them the facts and told them about the lies and deceptions, but they killed them anyways because they were serving someone else.
You look at these people that followed Christ and they have this peace about them even when they were getting stoned in the head with rocks, I don’t think I could even do that. I’d probably be crying and blubbering like a baby. I don’t even know. I would just try to punch myself in the face so I could die quicker or something. The faith of these people is amazing. Sometimes I wonder what’s it going to be like when I’m about to die? Am I going to go out kicking and screaming. But you know what I know about God? He always prepares us. Just like He prepared us for the choice of choosing Jesus, or God or the devil. He always prepares us and he’s going to prepare us for death.
In Acts 9 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” The conspiracy to kill Stephen is now being used to reconcile others to God. God is always working. God will blind us and then open our eyes like He did with Paul, so that way we don’t have to go to hell. God told you, “Choose and walk every step with the great I AM.”
Lord. We just thank you that you give us protection from the enemy. The liar, deceiver, the murderer since the beginning. I pray protection over ea¬ch and every one of the people here and the children in the back where you would be protecting them from the evil one and that you would send your warring angels to pre fight every battle that’s coming. Lord, we pray that You would give us peace so that way we would know rightly to give You the glory. I pray that we always give You the glory in everything because all good things come from You and nothing comes good from us, Lord. We only have a bunch of dying stuff. We pray for safe travels for people driving home that You’d be with them and be with the other cars around them. Lord we thank You that You could be here with us, that You would actually come to be with us and gather with us and that You would seek us, that You would leave the 99 for the one. We just praise Your holy name. – Amen
– You are sent. Joe