The Following Message Has Been Transcribed For
Clarity, Continuity Of Thought, And Punctuation By
The LEM Transcribing & Editing Team.
Teach them how to wage war, how to deal with wickedness in other people without falling into sin themselves. Look, brethren, you cannot fight with the weapons of the carnal mind because, when you fight with the weapons of the carnal mind, you are in sin yourself. You cannot fight sin with sin. You have to fight with what?
PASTOR VITALE: Righteousness. You have to fight sin with righteousness, and there is a way to do it. You have to be taught how to do it. You have to be taught how to do it intellectually, and your heart has to be turned so that you are capable of doing it. The average man is not capable of fighting wickedness with righteousness, You cannot fight with righteousness if you do not have righteousness.
PASTOR VITALE: Well, that is true.
You cannot fight with righteousness if you do not have it.
That is why most people, everybody I have ever met, including me, has this tremendous problem when God calls then to train to fight with righteousness, because all of their life they are fighting with their carnal mind. Of course, if you are fighting with your carnal mind, you are not born with Christ. If you do not have Christ, you have to fight with something, or this world will kill you. This world is a jungle.
You fight with the weapon you have, your carnal mind, unrighteousness, wickedness, violence, and hatred. Then Christ comes to you and says, "Look, I want to give you a new weapon because the way you are fighting now is killing you. I understand it was the only weapon you had when you were born." You need to understand, when you fight with the weapons of the natural man that you are under the judgment from God because those weapons are sin.
"Now, I was winking at you for ten, twenty, and thirty years. I was looking away from it. I know that was the only weapon you had. So I was forgiving you and looking away and having mercy on you, but look now, look at your hand, I just gave you another weapon. Now, you have a choice between two weapons. What is the weapon of your choice, pistols or swords? Now, you have a choice."
When men used to duel years ago, they used to have their weapon of choice. What is the weapon of your choice? Well, if you choose Christ, you have power to defeat your enemies without the judgments of God falling on you. If you continue to choose your carnal mind, the judgments of God will fall on you. Plus, the Lord will move to help you to change your mind, and the weapons you have that come out of your carnal mind that used to win for you will start to lose for you.
Now, the average person does not have what it takes by their own willpower to stop fighting with their own carnal mind and pick up the sword of Christ. I never met anybody that has that....I do not think anybody ever had that, that strength within them. We just do not. It is our nature. It is the way we are made.
The Lord starts to strip our power from us. Things that worked for us do not work anymore. The methods that we used to get our needs met in this world system do not work anymore. Our strength starts to go, our mind starts to get confused, and our emotions get all mixed up. We cannot figure out what is happening to us.
What is happening to you, brethren, is that the weapon, which is not the weapon of your choice, is killing the weapon of your choice, because the weapon that is not the weapon of your choice, which is Christ, wants to be the weapon of your choice. Then we have to destroy the other weapon which is the weapon of your choice. He has to destroy that weapon which is the carnal mind to get you to use Christ. He is going to destroy the weapon of your choice.
It is understandable. I will give you a natural example. When I got this computer, it came with a mouse. A mouse is a little plastic thing that fits in your hand that has a wire coming out of it that looks like a tail. They call it a mouse. You thought I meant a real mouse, just like the Flintstones, and I would have a mouse in my hand moving it around. This little piece of plastic, when you move it there is an arrow that comes up on the screen, and it is a whole different technique of using the computer than typing on the typewriter.
When I first looked at that mouse, I said, " I am not using that mouse. It has me all confused, it slowed me down. I am using my old ways." Then just somewhere along the lines, about a week ago, the Lord just started me using the mouse. Oh, is that great, it is so fast. Then something happened, and I tried to go back to the typing way, and I could not remember how to do it, and I was. ... my situation was completely reversed.
When I first started using the mouse I was really fast with the typing, and with the mouse I was really slow. Now I am really fast with the mouse, and I went back to the way I used to use this. I have been using a computer for years, and I was just looking at the keyboard, and I could not figure out what to do.
You see, the weapon of my choice changed. It is just a matter of getting used to it. If we have a way of getting through life, and we have been using that method, that technique of getting through life twenty, thirty years, some of us forty, fifty, sixty, seventy years whatever, we are comfortable with it. We do not even have to think how to use it because it is automatic. It just comes up, this is how you cope with problems in life, the carnal way. It is automatic.
We will never lay down that way of coping with problems unless we are forced to do it. Why? Because for a short time, until we learn how to really get practiced with our new weapon, which is Christ, we will be clumsy, we will stumble with it, we will not use it effectively, and we will be embarrassed . No one is going to give up a weapon that they are accomplished in and pick up something they are clumsy with.
On top of everything else, it is frightening because during that transition period that you have given up your carnal ways and learning to use your new weapon, you do not feel safe. You feel out of control, scared out of your mind, because you just found yourself weaponless. Your old ways are not working, and the new ways are foreign to you. You are filled with anxiety.
The Lord steps on your hands, and you find yourself hanging from the edge of that cliff, holding on with your fingers. The Lord Jesus Christ is on the top of the cliff stepping on your fingers saying, "Let go, let go." The more stubborn you are, the harder He has to stomp on your fingers.
My Bible says He touched Jacob's thigh, He crippled the guy. Is that what your Bible says? Does your Bible say that? Crippled?
Natural, fallen man, we are a stubborn bunch, stiff-necked, high minded, arrogant, proud. We are a tough bunch. That is why He has to beat us so hard. How doe s He beat you? He takes everything away from you that makes you feel strong. Strips you, almost to the point of death, but not to the point of death. Then when He changes your heart, He convinces you to start using or to start choosing a new weapon of choice. When He gets you to start using it, then He starts giving everything back. It is not forever. Your powerlessness is not forever, it is just for a season. It is just until you repent and start using Christ instead of your old carnal ways. Then He starts giving everything back to you in a new way. It is a crushing, it is a total crushing. Some people need to be crushed more than others.
Once the Lord has a hold of you, there is no place to run. Jonah tried to run. God said to him, "Go preach." Where did he go to preach? Samaria, was it? No, it was not Samaria, Nineveh. "Go preach to the heathens at Nineveh," and Jonah said, "Not me Lord, no way." He got on a ship going in the exact opposite direction. He said, " I am not going Lord," hiding in the bottom of the ship, hoping that no one would see him, but, you see, God has eyes. He has eyes that travel to and fro all over the earth. The Lord saw him hiding with his head in the corner like an ostrich. He stirred up a big storm, and the winds came, and the rain came, and the ship started to rock and to roll, and everybody on the ship got very nervous.
All of us educated Americans think that they were superstitious in those days, but those superstitious people knew that it would take God to do that to their ship. In this country today, we have a whole bunch of educated fools that do not believe that God can be doing all this stuff that is going on in this country and across the world today. They do not think it is God. All those men on the ship knew that God was cursing that ship, and they were afraid that the ship was going to be wrecked. They started looking around to find out why God would be cursing that ship, and there was Jonah hiding down in the bottom.
Then he confessed to himself. He said, "Yes, it is my God, and He is after me because He told me to go north and I went south. He told me to go preach, and I sealed up my mouth. He told me to have mercy, and I had no mercy." They threw Jonah over board. They sacrificed him to the sea. They said, "We are not going to all die because of you."
They threw him off the ship. They said, "Why did you go south when the Lord told you to go north?" They threw him into the water. What happened to him? A big fish swallowed him up.
We are told that he was in the belly of the fish for three days and for three nights. The Lord caught him and put him in jail in the middle of the ocean. When the Lord was ready to deal with him, He commanded the fish to spit Jonah out. If you look at it closely in the Hebrew, actually he died, and the fish spit him out. The Lord raised him from the dead. Now look at everything.... could you imagine being on a ship rocking and rolling and all these men threatening to kill you, and throwing you overboard, and a big fish swallowing you. Then, finally, God raises you from the dead, and you are right back where you started from, and He says, "Jonah, go to Nineveh and preach."
Now, why do we have to go through all of this? Why do we not just do what He tells us to do. It is because all of us are filled with pride, rebellion, and arrogance. It is amazing that God loves us, but He does. Jonah obeyed God, he was not happy about it, he was not smiling, he was not singing glory hallelujah, but he went north. If it is north that is just a....I am just being humorous.
He went to Nineveh, and he preached to the heathens, and he argued with the Lord. He said, "Why are you sending me to preach to these heathens? They are not worth very much," but my Bible says these heathens repented. The king repented. He put everybody on a fast. The whole country fasted. The King, the common people, and the animals all went on a fast, they repented, and God had mercy on them.
How did Jonah feel about it? He was mad as a hornet that God had entered into a relationship with these worthless heathens.
How did I get on that tonight? I was talking about what we have to go through to get there. Brethren, God loves everybody. It is His ultimate intention to save the whole world, the whole planet, all of humanity, but His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. It is not our job to tell Him how to run the show. It is our job to find out what our part is and do it. To do everything we can to get along with all men, to live in peace, and submit to one another. Except, of course, you do not submit to unrighteousness. Work things out, humble yourself, suffer the loss, if necessary. You do not let people abuse you, but if it is some little thing, give it up. Give it up for the sake of peace. Give it up.
Well, that is all I have tonight. Does anyone have any questions?
I think, starting in the next message, we are going to be doing First Corinthians Fifteen. I will give you a little preview on that. It is very interesting that he mentioned the Corinthian church today. Rev. XXXX mentioned the Corinthian's church today, and they were a very reprobate church. They were a very carnal church. They were engaged in all kinds of sin. I believe, all kinds of sexual sin. If you thumb through that whole book, First Corinthians Fifteen, you will find that the message is pretty carnal.
He is talking to them, how to behave themselves, how to conduct themselves. It is.... maybe carnal is not the right word. He is dealing with human problems, with the problems of the physical carnal person in the church. He is talking about communion, coming to church, and not behaving properly in church. Chapter Fifteen of the book of First Corinthians, if you want to check it out before the next meeting, is the only chapter in that book that is speaking about spiritual things.
True to Paul's style, and we pointed this out before, he frequently speaks about carnal everyday things, and right in the midst of it, he will slip in something spiritual. We found it....well, in this case we are saying one chapter in a whole book. We found it within one chapter, that the whole chapter can be carnal, and there will be one verse stuck in there that is spiritual. That is a parable. That is a secret message.
We just found that, although it was not written by Paul, we just found that when we did the book of Amos, we did Amos, Chapter Three, and two verses out of the whole chapter were a parable revealing deep spiritual truth. Chapter Fifteen of the first book of Corinthians is the message of the Christ, the death and the resurrection of Christ, and the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the death and the resurrection of all of humanity, and how this is going to be done.
It is a long chapter, we will be on it for a while. If you want to review, we did touch on several of those passages when we did The Christ series. If you want to review, you might want to review Parts Eight and Nine of The Christ series because there are two passages in that chapter that are very deep. I spent a lot of time on them, getting that revelation across. What we will do when we come to those verses, we will just take the Alternate Translation that we worked up, and I will comment on it.
If you want to go over it in depth, it is #186 Part Eight and Nine. If you want the tapes before you leave, just ask. Primarily, we found out in that Christ series that there is a difference between the Lord Jesus Christ and Christ. We found out that when the Scripture is speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ, it says in the Greek, "the Christ." The article is there. When the Scripture is speaking about Christ there is no article, it just says Christ. Who can tell us what is the difference between the Lord Jesus Christ and Christ? Can anyone tell us what the difference is?
COMMENT: I think the Lord Jesus Christ represents the Father, and Christ represents the son.
PASTOR VITALE: Well, that is true, but it is really much deeper than that. Anyone else want to try?
COMMENT: The Christ is the mind of the Father, while the Lord Jesus Christ is Jesus of Nazareth?
PASTOR VITALE: The Lord Jesus Christ is the man Jesus of Nazareth who was glorified. It is a whole personality which is now one with the Father that was in the man Jesus before He was glorified. Christ is the mind that is being formed in us. See, the Lord Jesus Christ is not being formed in us. He is in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. He is reproducing His son in us. The Holy Spirit, which is the glorified Lord Jesus Christ in spirit form, He is in us, and He has a job to do. He has a specific function and that is to bring forth the mind of Christ in us.
We are being given a new mind. Paul tells us that our life is to change by the renewing of our mind. Now I always thought that, that meant the mind we had was going to get washed or something or other, but the renewing of our mind is the impartation of the mind of Christ to us. When the mind of Christ appears, what does He do? Now let us get this straight. We get the Lord Jesus Christ, He comes into our heart in the form of who? The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gets in our heart, and He what?
COMMENT: Causes conception.
PASTOR VITALE: He causes the conception of Christ in the individual. Once Christ is conceived in your heart, what does He do?
COMMENT: Grows and becomes the new mind.
PASTOR VITALE: He is a new mind, and He grows, and when He is all grown up, what does He do?
COMMENT: He appears.
PASTOR VITALE: Well, what does He have to do to appear? He has to kill somebody.
COMMENT: Penetrate the carnal mind.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, He has to kill your carnal mind. Now, before He kills your carnal mind, what does He do to it? He paralyzes it. Amen. He does not just kill it, He stings it first.
COMMENT: That is full stature, right?
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, that is full stature. He paralyzes your carnal mind, but it is still alive, it still can talk, it does not paralyze his mouth, only his ability to sin. See, Christ is a warrior. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Captain of the host. You are in the army. You may not know it. You may not feel like it. You are in the army now.
See, you cannot look at our society today as an example. Look at past societies too.... Indian societies, for example. American Indian society, you are not considered a man until you take your first scalp. See, our society today considers all of that barbarous. I guess in the physical, it is barbarous, but it is not barbarous in the spiritual, and it is happening in the spiritual.
If you are going to be a man, you have to kill somebody. Now do not hear this tape and go out and kill somebody. You have to kill your own carnal mind. It has to die. He is your enemy. How do you do that? You do it by.... first of all, you have to learn to tell the difference between the carnal mind and Christ when it is manifesting in your mind.
Until you can do that, you cannot go any further. You must learn to distinguish between the thoughts of your carnal mind and the thoughts of Christ. How do you do that? You pray and you ask God to show it to you. Possibly, you will be sitting here. Should you say something carnal, I can tell you.
Basically, you have to tell the Lord that you are ready to do this battle. You want to be able to distinguish between Christ and your carnal mind. He will show you real fast because He wants you to learn how to do it more than you want to learn to do it.
Once you learn how to distinguish between the two, this is the true sanctification, the separation of the carnal mind from the mind of Christ, you kill it, you deny it, you refuse to obey it, and you wage warfare against it. You know how to wage spiritual warfare. Kill it, tell it to die. Do not do what it tells you.
It has hate for somebody, and it is raging in your mind, and your carnal mind wants you to say, "I hate your guts." Say, "God bless you. I forgive you." Pray feverishly that the Lord makes it a reality in your heart, that He takes the hate and replaces it with love. What it does is that it tears down your carnal mind, it wounds it. It is a battle and Christ is exalted.
You just take more and more ground until that thing is under your feet. Do not worry about killing it right now, but worry about getting it under your feet. It is a wild, raging beast, and he is powerful. Then after you get your own carnal mind under control, He will let the carnal minds of other people come against you, and it is all to God's glory. As you practice waging the war, Christ in you is increasing and getting stronger, and stronger, and stronger.
I want to tell you, that is the primary revelation that keeps me going, because sometimes my life is very difficult. I know that every battle I fight is killing my carnal mind and exalting Christ in me, and I fully expect to stand in full stature. I am fighting the war, I am better every day. I look at my life last year, I am doing much better, and I fully expect to get that monster under my feet. I am becoming more competent in how I wage that warfare.
I have more knowledge, I have more information, I have more skills, I have more ability, and I fully expect to get that thing under my feet permanently.
We are going to be doing First Corinthians, Fifteenth Chapter. First Corinthians Fifteen, Lord willing, unless He changes my mind. Starting with Thursday and at the very beginning, I think it is verse two or three, maybe three or four. We did that on #186 Part Eight. I think it starts on tape two. That was a very difficult study. We all struggled with it. I struggled with it, painfully. I know a couple of people here had a problem with it for a while.
I just want to tell you all, I listened to the tape last night, and it was like candy to me. It was like candy to me, no pain, no gain. You have to stretch yourself, you have to strain yourself beyond your present ability. It happens to me time and time again. I know how hard it is for me to get a particular revelation. I will not give up, and I plug through and I plug through. Then a few months or a year later, I listen to the tape and I say, "What was so hard about that?"
You have to strain yourself, you have to do more than you are able to do. You have to push yourself, and your mind is going to grow. It is the same thing as body building, you have to push yourself beyond your ability. I am telling you, I looked at those first few verses, and we had a hard... remember that XXXX, you had a hard time with that. Do you recall it? Yes. All of us really had a hard time with it, including me, but you just keep on going. God is just opening everything up to you.
Now, your salvation is not in doctrine, but this exercise strengthens the Christ in you. Christ is the weapon that is going to kill your carnal mind. Your salvation is not in doctrine, but your purpose in attending meetings like this, and listening to tapes, and trying to understand is that Christ in you should grow strong. Why? Christ should grow so that He can be strong enough to subdue or subject your carnal mind under His feet. Keep that in mind, it is very important.
Your salvation is not in doctrine. You have a lot of people in the church today getting all lifted up in pride over what they know. Your salvation is not in doctrine. Doctrine is food and exercise for your weapon that is going to kill your strong enemy. Flesh and blood shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Your pride will never enter into the Kingdom. As soon as Christ gets strong in you, He is going to crush your pride.
My friends, I have a couple of little things I keep forgetting to tell you. I did want to share this with you. I got very excited last week. I watched a science show on TV, and I see that the scientists and I are in agreement in one more point. It got me very excited. You know how I teach you that our physical immortality is in your children. You pass your physical genes to your children, and you pass your soul on to your children, and when your body dies, your soul dies also, but you still live on in your children.
Jesus demonstrates this principle when He rebuked the Pharisees, and He said to them, "I can see you are the children of those who killed the prophet." How do I know it? Jesus said, "You are doing the same thing." Our physical immortality is in our offspring. We are literally passing a seed of our self on because we know that these bodies wear out.
Does anyone not know what I am talking about? Did you follow me? I turned on the TV the other day and guess what? The scientists are saying the same thing. Those very same words. You give your genes to your children, and your immortality is in your children. That really blessed me to know that the scientists and I are in agreement.
I am convinced that at the end of all things, there must be a reconciliation between the scientist and the true word of God. The scientists are going to have to acknowledge that God is the creative force. The church is going to have to get spiritual and give up whatever false doctrine they have.
I get the latest newsletter.....I do not know how many of you are taking advantage of that library out there, but I get some very interesting newsletters. This newsletter is coming twice a month from Israel. It is a Christian organization in Israel. I just read the latest one today. The author was saying that everyone was writing to them about this new peace treaty in Israel, asking him what they think about it. Some Jews and some Christians think this is a wonderful move towards peace that Israel has signed a peace treaty with Arafat. Other Jews and other Christians say this is a total disaster that will result in Israel losing all of their land.
The author of this newsletter said he would not make a prediction. All he had to say was that the God of Israel, who was capable of holding on to Jews for all these 2000 years, scattered without their homeland, still kept His hand on them for 2000 years. He is the same God that is fully able to take care of them, no matter what is happening in the middle east.
He went on to say that a lot of people may find it necessary to admit that they had some errors in their end-time doctrine. He said they are just going to have to wait and watch, he says, with faith in God and prayer. Some people are going to have to be giving up their pet doctrines. That blessed me, and the genes blessed me.
I wanted to share this with you. Has anyone seen a TV program called The Highlander? I just turned it on, I usually do not watch TV at four o'clock on Saturday, but I did this Saturday. I saw this program, and it is about a man who was supposed to have attained to immortality. It showed flash backs of all his past lives, and, obviously, it was about reincarnation. It just struck me that it is so close to what we are teaching here, except we say that it is Christ, Christ who is experiencing. We do not believe in reincarnation here. Reincarnation is the perversion, but we are saying it is Christ having these many experiences in many human beings. Then, that last generation in which He becomes perfected, those human beings will never die.
It just struck me that perversion with the reincarnation is that the last man who becomes immortal, he is not a glorious spiritual man in Christ. He is just an individual man like you and me. They have a lot of truth. They are just like a hair off. I wanted to share that with you. There is just a heavy blanket of occult spirituality hanging over this whole country today.
Does everybody know that the coffee shop XXXXX closed? Yes, they closed, and I could not help thinking that none of the witchcraft places closed. There are still two witchcraft book shops down there. They still have the physic fairs, and there is the tarot card reader, and the palm reader down there. How come it is the Christian ministry that closed out? There has to be something to it. They have to grow up. The church has to grow up. The church is very naive. Does anybody have a question?