The Following Message Has Been Transcribed For
Clarity, Continuity Of Thought, And Punctuation By
The LEM Transcribing & Editing Team.
I see sin in you. And although the word is never spoken, I condemn you for it. Condemnation rises in the heart. How can you recognize condemnation? The person is put on the defensive. The person who perceives the sin loses confidence in the person in whom the sin is revealed. If the sin is revealed in you, you can feel condemned. But that condemnation can be coming from the person who reveals it.
But on the other hand, if the person who reveals it is really in Christ, there could be a spirit of condemnation in you that is condemning yourself, and you perceive it to be the person in Christ. So the fact that the person in whom the sin is being revealed feels condemned is not a good test to find out whether it is Christ or divination because the condemnation could be coming from either source.
But basically, the long-term fruit of having sin revealed will reveal what spirit did it. If Christ revealed that sin, the long-term result of that encounter, which most of the time will be unpleasant and sometimes can be an outright confrontation, is that the person is eventually convicted by the Spirit of Christ, confesses their sin and has spiritual growth as a result of it. That is the long-term fruit as to whether or not Christ or a spirit of divination revealed your sin.
A spirit of divination, the long-term fruit will be a loss of self-esteem, possibly even a desire to remove oneself from godly fellowship because of embarrassment or whatever. Christ never runs. He stands, and He overcomes, and we grow spiritually from every painful experience.
So the judgment that I heard about this morning happened to be from someone who is really living for Christ. I have known about this sin for a long time. And I look at people. I have an intense discernment. And I look at people, and it is just a matter of time. If you come into relationship with me, it is just a matter of time until your sins; or what is another word for sins? Your weaknesses begin to be revealed to me. Why? Because I have Christ. The Scripture clearly says, Nothing shall be hidden. Every hidden sin of the heart shall be made manifest to the man who is living out of, or dwelling in, Christ.
So I know a lot about a lot of people that; I do not talk about it. I look at the person. I pray about our relationship. And I make a judgment as to whether or not I want a relationship with this person, whether or not the Lord is calling me to have a relationship with this person.
And that decision is usually based on the answer to this question: Are they benefiting from having a relationship with me? This should be the first question. Is Christ being glorified in this relationship? How is Christ being glorified in it? Are we growing spiritually? And usually, I grow spiritually with you. But on a different level, I grow as a teacher. I grow as a minister of Christ. And usually, the person that I am ministering to is receiving help that they have probably been crying out for themselves.
So I will evaluate a relationship, and I make a list, negative aspects, positive aspects. Is fruit coming forth? Is Christ being glorified? Does the Lord want me in this relationship? And when I get the answer that it is yes, that it is glorifying Christ to be in this relationship, then I do not judge your sins. I do not judge your sins out of my carnal mind. I love you unconditionally.
That does not mean I let you crucify me because you have nothing to do that day. If you sin against me, you are going to hear from me, as you all know, which can be very painful for you, but it is done in righteousness. But if the Lord is witness to me that He is in this relationship, and there is good fruit coming out of it, I do not care what your sin is. I am in there with you, and I am in there with you till the bitter end. But that does not mean that I let you do anything that you want to me. You are going to have a problem with me if you are mistreating me. But that problem is going to come out of the righteousness of Christ, which will be telling you, This is not right. Stop. I will not agree with it.
So the call that came in this morning was from someone that I have known that their sin was present for a long time. And apparently conviction is coming down. A beautiful person of God just had a problem in this area. I prayed about it quite a few times because it is a problem that is affecting me directly. But I had a strong revelation it was nothing, that it was an old wound in the person that they had to mature out of, and that there was a lot of good in this relationship, and I was not about to give it up for this imperfection.
But on the occasion that this failure in the other person, or this weakness in the other person, or this sin in the other person; on the occasion that it has wounded me, and it has wounded me, I have dealt with it in Christ. What does that mean? I recognize that it is their infirmity, that it is where there at, that God has not yet convicted them.
You see, some people, God is convicting. And they will say to me, Well, that is where I am at. And I will say, Well, get some place else because God has told me that it is time for you to change. And someone who does not understand Christ would say, Well, you are saying that is where he is at. And when I tell you that is where I am at, you are telling me, Get some place else. You must surely like the other person better than me. No, that is not true. God is dealing with you on this issue now. And the Lord has told me, every time that this sin raises its head, to step on it. But this other person, the Lord said to me, Be at peace, and just do not say anything.
And I have been wounded several times, just prayed about, forgave their sins, declared unto the Lord, there is no way I am giving up this relationship over this imperfection in this person. And I have gone on. And apparently, conviction is on the horizon. And after conviction comes confession and repentance and, hopefully, correction of what God sees as a true wrong, from one brother to another.
Now, if you are truly wronging your brother, at some point, you have to stop doing it. But God knows you cannot change overnight. God only knows we cannot change overnight. And that is why I tolerate a lot of sin in a lot of people. Jesus tolerates all kinds of sin in His people. We are filthy, all of us. We are filthy. And if you think that, the minute you say, Jesus, you are my savior, that you are clean, as I teach you here all the time, you are just naive. You are young, and you need to be taught that that is not true.
When you say, Jesus, you are my Lord and Savior, and He agrees with you because you can say, Jesus, you are my Lord and Savior, and He may not take you, contrary to what is taught in the Church today, you can answer 100 altar calls, and He may not take you. All you haughty Christians running out there saying, I choose Christ today, well, that is fine. But He may not have chosen you. That is what my Bible says. Is that not what the Bible says? You have not chosen Me. I have chosen you. Is that not in the Bible? Why are these people preaching a lie out there? Why are they lying to these people out there? You really think you have the power to choose or reject God? I rebuke you all and your haughtiness and your pride.
So from the moment that Jesus receives you, you are holy by faith. We talked a lot about this in recent messages. You are holy by faith; you are saved by faith; you are reconciled by faith; you are sinless by faith. But you are not holy experientially. Your holiness is not a reality. You are holy by faith. The Lord has given you holiness. He has imputed holiness to you, and He has said, I will treat you as if you are holy because I have given you what you need. I have given you the mechanism to become holy.
It is the same principle as the Scripture saying, Ye are gods, but you shall die like men. What does that mean? It means that you have received that which is capable of making you into a god. You are gods by faith, but you shall die like men. The Lord says, I see you, and I see that I have given you the power to become gods. But you are not using that power properly, and therefore you have not become gods. You shall die like men. Well, what does that mean? Reverse inference: You have not become God.
The whole Scripture is a parable. So you are saying to yourself, Why does the Scripture not say that? Why do you not speak plainly? I have given you the power to become gods, but you have not used it, so you are reprobate silver. I have given you the power to become gods, but you have not used it, so you just flopped. Why does the Scripture not speak English? I do not know. Complain to God about it. What can I tell you, brethren? He wants you to seek him. He wants you to pray. He wants you to desire Him. Clearly told the disciples, To the people without, He speaks in parables. And to those who are within, He speaks plainly.
So if you do not have access to teaching like this... teaching like what? Teaching which gives deep understanding of the spiritual truth of the Scripture. If you cannot hear it either yourself, which only a very few can, or through a teacher, which only a very few more can, if you cannot hear it, it means you are without. What does that mean? Outside of the inner circle.
What do you mean, an inner circle? Is God a respecter of persons? No, He is not. Humble yourself, and cry out to Him, and you too shall be drawn into the inner circle. The inner circle is not like when you were in high school, you see. It is for everybody. But there are requirements to get into that inner circle. And there are a lot of people in this world that are just not willing to pay the price. You want in; you can get in. But you must pay the price.
PASTOR VITALE: What is the price? I am going to tell you this till you cannot stand my voice anymore. What is the price? What is the price, somebody?
COMMENT: Deny yourself.
PASTOR VITALE: Deny yourself. Confess your sins. Confess your sins. Confess your sins. I hope you all have nightmares of my voice because this is your conscious speaking. Confess your sins. Confess your sins. Lay your pride down. Your pride is worth nothing but death. It will kill you. Confess your sins. Confess your sins. Confess your sins, and repentance will follow as surely as night follows day. Confession is harder than repentance. You will never repent if you cannot confess. Once you confess, the repentance will eventually come.
So ye are gods. Everybody here in this room is a god. What does that mean? We have the mechanism to ascend out of hell whereby, brethren, our state of being is the Devil. We are the Devil. Shocking, huh? We are the Devil. But we have received the power to become angels or gods.
Now, what are you going to do with it? Oh, Lord, let me be a god. Me, me, me. That was me. I was up in the front of the church, yelling, Take me, Lord; take me, Lord. And as soon as He lets Satan touch your flesh, we are all screaming, just like Job screamed (me too), screaming our heads off. Oh, no, that cannot possibly be God. I thought you were just going to lay hands on me, and I would get slain in the spirit and wake up in a condition of godhood. Oh, really? Surprise. You were wrong.
So judgment is falling, and it is grievous for the moment. It is painful. But if you ask the Lord, He will show you. He will show you the spiritual growth that is coming forth as a result of it. And that will get you through, a knowledge that you are not just turned over to some demonic force who is torturing you for his own glory, and the end of your pain will be some form of destruction that you fear. You have to believe that God is in control of your pain and that He is going to give you no more than you can bear, just as an anesthesiologist knows too much anesthesia and you can die from it. But if you get just the right amount, it makes your surgery tolerable, and the end of that surgery is that you shall live.
Just like a glazier goes to cut glass, He knows just how much pressure to put on the glass. He will take a short knife. He will score the glass, and you have to tap it correctly in the right places, or you will lose the whole pane of glass. But under the hand of the master, the glass will break, not only the exact place, but the exact place in accordance with the plan of the glazier. That glass will line up to the hand of the one who is forming it.
In the same manner, one more example, a diamond cutter. A whole diamond can be ruined. Diamonds that, when they come out of the mines, they are really not very valuable, and they are ugly. And I think, from what I am told, a lot of us would not even recognize that they were diamonds in the raw. But it takes a diamond cutter. You have to know exactly where to put that chisel. They take a chisel, and you have to put it exactly on the right spot and hit the head of that chisel with a hammer, or you shatter the whole diamond, which could be worth thousands of dollars. And you lose the whole thing if you cut it wrong. That diamond is facing outright disaster, destruction and annihilation. But under the hand of the master, it will become a glorious, shining, polished gem worth thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
So, brethren, either we place ourselves in the hands of the Master, or we do not. We have to believe, and if we do not... please, I tell you all the time, when I say something like that, you have to believe. The burden is not on you. I know you cannot believe. I cannot believe. When I talk like that, what I am saying to you is, if you recognize in yourself that you do not believe, that you do not have the faith, ask for the faith. And remember Jesus said to the man, You must believe. And what did the man say?
COMMENT: Help my unbelief.
PASTOR VITALE: I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief. In other words, listen, it is what we are teaching here. I believe in faith, Lord. I do not really believe, but I believe in faith. Help my unbelief. Bring my faith into an experiential belief. Make it a reality for me.
Some people call it faking it until you make it. And I was very offended when I heard that years ago, but I found out there is a truth in it. The faking it is the statement of belief, that you desire to believe, or you desire to do. It is the receiving of the commandment in faith. If I could do it, if I could only do it, Lord, I would, but I cannot make it a reality for me. My will is present. May Your power join with my desire and make it a reality for me. That is what it means. Fake it until you make it. Express your desire to line up with God's commandments, in the hope that He will supply the power to make it a reality for you. Fake it until you make it. I believe it is of God. You do not have to agree with me. I believe it is of God. Hallelujah.
Get a revelation of what the Lord requires of us. Get a revelation of what is right, and attempt on the smallest level, if it is just a voice inside of you saying, If I could only do it, I would. And He will come, and He will meet you where you are. You see, He knows, Jesus knows, what you are really capable of, and He will meet you where you are.
Now, if you think He is not meeting you, maybe it is because He does not agree with you as to what you are capable of. He may be requiring more of you than you think you could give. But I suggest to you that He has got you in He hand, that you are a diamond that has just come up out of the diamond mines, and He has got the chisel to your throat, and you can feel the blade, and you are shivering in your boots. Your knees are knocking together. And you are saying, If this diamond cutter gives one wrong hit with that hammer, I am destroyed.
But He is not going to hit it wrong. He is going to hit it perfectly, and you will be translated from a raw, unpolished diamond, which has a very small value, to a polished, properly-cut diamond whose value is beyond calculation.
And that is the story, brethren. This is what judgment is all about. It is the goodness of God, but it is painful. We are diamonds in the rough. And it is never pleasant, but the end of the whole process is the peaceable fruit of righteousness, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, becoming your overriding, primary personality. That is what this is all about.
PASTOR VITALE: Now, does anybody have any questions or comments on this exhortation?
When Xxxx was singing this morning, the Lord dropped two thoughts into my head. You have to go through the pain in order to reign (the diamond) and you have to go through the training before you are equipped for the reigning.
COMMENT: Amen. Amen.
COMMENT: That is a good verse for a song.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes.
COMMENT: Is it only questions on this right now?
PASTOR VITALE: Just wait one second, and see if there is anyone else, and then I will take anything. Does anyone else have a question or a comment on this issue? OK. I will take any question.
COMMENT: I was listening to the Christ series yesterday, and there must have been some things that I missed on it because I was manifesting at a few things.
PASTOR VITALE: Slightly.
COMMENT: How did you know that?
PASTOR VITALE: Well, you were manifesting badly through that whole series.
COMMENT: Yeah. Well, I was listening to...
PASTOR VITALE: It is to your credit that you did overcome, and you are listening to it again and waiting for the Lord to witness to you. It is definitely to your credit.
PASTOR VITALE: You manifested severely.
PASTOR VITALE: Yeah.
COMMENT: Well, it was incredible. I put the message on, and I was listening to it at work, and I was ready to bite people's head off.
PASTOR VITALE: Yeah, it is powerful.
COMMENT: I was like, oh, this is terrible. I wanted to get alone and hear it, actually, and really concentrate on it. And I guess I felt irritated when people would ask me questions. I thought, this is ridiculous. I am at work; I have to do this. So I was trying. I was splitting it, you know. I was, like, listening and yet waiting on people. But I was manifesting over some of the things you said.
PASTOR VITALE: Yeah.
COMMENT: You really came against this thing. There was a teaching you came out of there about taking communion, you know.
PASTOR VITALE: The cracker and grape juice.
COMMENT: The grape juice and the cracker.
PASTOR VITALE: Yeah.
COMMENT: And you were saying that Paul was saying that the whole thing is Gentiles. You really came against it like it is pagan.
PASTOR VITALE: It is.
COMMENT: And I never heard it like that. I never heard it that strong like what was coming off the message last night. And I always felt, yeah, you know, when I go to visit my mom, and we go to her church, then I just flow with it and take it because everybody is taking it.
And you were saying, Well, do not think you are becoming all things to all men. Partaking of that it is pagan. Paul calls it pagan. I was like, oh, my God. I said, I am really manifesting at this because I thought it was all right, you know. I thought, how could she say that? I am like, this is crazy. I could take that (this is ridiculous) if I want to.
So I am just, you know, I am willing to get prayer, if there is anything, because you were saying that it is religious, and you are not supposed to not take it. And for me to do that in front of them would mean, like, instead of looking righteous, I would look like, well, hey, there is something wrong with you. You have got some sin. You cannot take that. That is what it looks like. It is like, if you have got a sin in your heart, or unforgiveness, you are not supposed to take it. That is what they taught us in the Church. So then you look like the one that has got the sin and everything. So I would really have to humble myself and just say, No, I am not taking it, and look like the sinner.
Anyway, if I have got some pride in that area or...
PASTOR VITALE: How about fear? Ahab.
COMMENT: ...fear, yeah, OK, and religiousness or anything, then, you know, if any false doctrine is still working, I would like it prayed out of me.
PASTOR VITALE: OK.
COMMENT: I just submit for prayer today. And the other stuff that you said, I really heard it. I am going to study it some more, and I think it is true what you said. That one particular Scripture that I brought up, it happened to be that message I was listening to. So I have to really study that out, right?
PASTOR VITALE: Romans 5.
PASTOR VITALE: Yeah.
COMMENT: I am understanding it a little bit better, yeah, the one about Christ rising on the third day and seeing the 12 apostles, that one.
PASTOR VITALE: Yeah. Oh, 1 Corinthians 15. That is the one you really flipped out on.
PASTOR VITALE: Yeah.
COMMENT: But when you explained it again, I understood it more.
PASTOR VITALE: Well, praise the Lord. All the Lord requires of us, brethren, is that we tell Him honestly that we cannot receive something that is preached, but if by some strange, way-out possibility, Pastor Sheila just may know what she is talking about, and the Lord is willing to witness it to us, that we are open to that. That is all He requires of you.
COMMENT: So, I still have this thought in my head that that is a little far out, what you preached about that, that we cannot take the grape juice and stuff, or it is pagan. So I am confessing that, I am open for prayer for that. And I would like prayer.
PASTOR VITALE: OK. I will pray for you now. And then, if you want hands later on you at the end of the service, we will do that too. OK.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I bless this woman for her search for the truth, and I pray that You do not leave her ashamed, Lord. You said in Your word, If we ask for bread, which is the word, Lord, that You would not give us a stone, which is the lie, Lord, and then, if we asked for a fish, that You would not give us a scorpion.
And as I understand Your purposes in the earth, You raise up a prophet to preach the truth, and then You witness it, the truth, to the inquiring mind as a second witness by Your Spirit. The Scripture says there are two witnesses, the Father and the Son, or we could say the Word and the Spirit. She has heard the Word, Father, and I pray, if it is true, that You give her the witness of the Spirit and give her a peace in her soul about this revelation. If it is not true, for Your mercy's sake, correct me. But let us all walk in the truth, Lord, that we might live and not die.
And I rebuke every spirit of Phariseeism and pride and fear or persecution in her mind. I curse it down to the pits of hell, everything in her that would not pay the price. I utterly wound you and defeat you in the power of Christ. And I pray that the Spirit of Truth should arise in her, whatever that might be, and that she be set free and translated into the liberty which is in Christ in this area. In the name of Jesus, amen.
PASTOR VITALE: See, most of us do not want the persecution. So one thing that the Pharisees or the pharisaical mind does is find up a Scripture, like you said, that Paul became all things to all men. Well, Paul did become all things to all men, but he never compromised the righteousness of Christ. So that is, as you are confessing here, a perversion of the Scripture.
COMMENT: There is another fear on me that is coming. There is another fear that is coming from the teaching that I had. There is some kind of fear working there that I am deceived, maybe, and that we should be doing that. And so I do not know what that is.
PASTOR VITALE: Well, what it is...
COMMENT: It is not of God, I guess.
PASTOR VITALE: Well...
COMMENT: It is like, what if I am deceived, and I am supposed to partake of that because it brings healing? Yeah, that is what they tell you.
PASTOR VITALE: Well, you have to pray through. If you could figure out how a piece of matzah can bring you healing, I would really like to know about it, you know.
PASTOR VITALE: I know, when I was in Nigeria, the Lord used something like that. The whole church was set free. I did not even know it, but there was a whole conflict going on over whether or not a woman should cover her head with a piece of cloth. And I had no idea that this controversy was raging through the church. Someone asked me the question, and I was under a very heavy anointing. And I knew they were one of the few carnal churches in Nigeria that I went to, so I was walking very softly. And I said, Brethren, let me ask you a question. How could a piece of cloth keep a demon away from you?
And the whole church came down. They were all jumping up and down, and, I mean, I was shocked. That one word, it was under the anointing. It set the whole congregation free. How can a piece of cloth protect you from the angels? How could a piece of cracker protect you from anything? So everyone has to pray it through.
And I just pray that you should all be delivered from religious bondages because we are all intelligent people. The whole world knows that that is ridiculous. The whole world knows a piece of cracker cannot heal your body. It is just the Church believes it. Right? The whole world knows that. The church I came to, if they did not have a cloth, they would put a paper towel on their head. I am now protected from the angels. And you wonder why they laugh at us.
And many of you have heard my testimony. Some man, a very well-meaning Pharisee, actually forced a paper towel on my head while I was praying for somebody, while I was praying deliverance for somebody once. And without thinking, the Christ in me, because I was in a high anointing, turned around and rebuked him. And the whole church, including the pastor, utterly condemned me because I rebuked a physical male who had interfered with a powerful deliverance to put a paper towel on my head. God help us.
PASTOR VITALE: I just wanted to let you know that you will have persecution when you do it.
PASTOR VITALE: Without question, 100 percent guaranteed.
COMMENT: Because it happened to me already over the same issue. When I had gone to church with my mother back a couple of years ago, I did not partake of the communion. And she looked at me with these daggers. And she said to me, What? Why? You know, later on, Why did you not go up and take that communion? And I was, like, dumbfounded. I did not know how to explain it. And so she said, Do you not believe in Jesus? You know, it was like...
PASTOR VITALE: Pure condemnation.
COMMENT: It was really very heavy. And I did not have the words to explain it. You know, I just was, like, dumbfounded as to what to say. So just, like, when it happens...
PASTOR VITALE: Like, traditions.
COMMENT: You know, it is going to happen. It is so powerful.
PASTOR VITALE: OK. You do not want the persecution, Xxxx.
COMMENT: If I explain it to her...
PASTOR VITALE: she will not accept it.
COMMENT: No, she will not accept it. And she will say, Oh, but... I just know. And probably the Lord is going to set me up. I would not doubt it. Probably, the very Sunday that I am there or something, He will set me up.
PASTOR VITALE: But He will not do it...
COMMENT: I will walk out. I will just say no and walk out.
PASTOR VITALE: He will not do it before you are ready to deal with it.
Listen to this now, every one of you. This is a school of ministry here. Everybody here is being raised up as a Son. Persecution is a sign of spiritual maturity. Now listen to me before you shut your mind down. And I rebuke all your carnal minds. I shut you down. OK. I know, everybody that has closed their mind, I open your mind. Just listen to what I am saying.
Any one person does not mature in every area at the same time. Sometimes we have people that are growing up in an imbalanced way. But they are supposed to be maturing in every area simultaneously. They mature physically; they mature emotionally; they mature intellectually. Your body is growing, you are learning how to go on the toilet bowl, and you are getting ready to learn to read and write all at the same time. But in Christ, it does not work that way. It can work that way, yet it very frequently does not.
So, like, we have one very beloved person who comes here sometimes who says all the time, Oh, I am not where you are. I am not as mature. How do you know how mature you are? It has nothing to do with your age. It has nothing to do with how long you are in the Church. It has to do with your spiritual development. And Jesus is not bound by your pharisaical notions. He can raise you up any way He wants. He can work in someone who is brand new in the Church. He can work in someone who is very young or chronologically very old. You cannot put Jesus in a box.
And your spiritual maturity has nothing whatsoever to do with how much sin is in you, with how old you are, with how long you have been in the Church or any other carnal reason you can conjure up in your mind. Your spiritual maturity is dependent on one factor, that which Jesus is purposing to do in your life at this moment. And He can raise you up spiritually first while the other areas of your life remain immature.
And in fact, that was my experience. What He did to me was backwards, according to the carnal mind. I had tremendous spiritual growth. My body was still dying. I still had a lot of immaturity in my emotions. My life was a disaster in many ways. And I was catapulting forward spiritually. When I reached a certain point, spiritually, He started healing my body, started maturing my emotions. The spirit took the lead in me.
He does not have to do that with you. The point is He can do anything that He wants. He is not limited. So the fact that you are young, or that you are new in the Church, or that you are all messed up, or whatever other thing your carnal mind wants to use, is not an indication that Christ cannot be moving in you powerfully, spiritually.
But one of the signs that you are spiritually mature is that you are being persecuted because anti-Christ does not persecute anti-Christ. Anti-Christ persecutes Christ. Now, if you are being persecuted, that is a sign that Christ is in you.
Now, do not, anybody, come over here and tell me that they have been a very wicked person, and they got punched in the face because of some terrible (when I talk like that, I mean spiritually; you do not have to physically get punched in the face) because of some terrible thing that they did to somebody, and they reap what they sowed, do not come to me. If you sowed wickedness, you will surely reap wickedness. If you sowed hurtfulness, as sure as the sun rises in the morning and sets at night, you will reap hurtfulness. You will be hurt if you hurt. If you murder, you will be murdered. If you sacrifice others for your own self-righteousness, you will be sacrificed.
But if you are truly innocent, and your reputation is being slandered, or in any other way you are being sacrificed, the chances are, like, 99 percent; if you are living for God in other areas. I am not talking about someone walking down the street. If you have made a commitment to the Lord and you find yourself being persecuted and accused falsely, and you are really innocent, that is an overriding indication that Christ is appearing in you.
And conversely, if you are in the Church for 25 years, and you are still dancing and singing, and you can honestly say Jesus has given me everything I have ever asked for and everything is perfect in my life, well, God bless you, brother, but Christ is not likely to be appearing in you. That means you are still in preschool; you have not even started yet. I do not care if you have been speaking in tongues for 25 years. You are missing the whole point of what it means to be a Christian.
So persecution is a sign of spiritual maturity. And usually, the persecution begins before we have the skills to deal with the persecution. So typically speaking, when we begin to be persecuted, we completely mess up insofar as our response to the persecution. We mess up. Ninety-nine to 100 percent, our response is absolutely wrong. And then the Lord, He does not stop the persecution. There is no place you can run from it. If it is the true persecution which comes against a developing Christ in you, there is no place in this earth that you can run to get away from it because it is a spiritual persecution. But then the Lord will begin to teach you.
And I will tell you this. There is no way you will take the victory over your persecutor without confessing your own sins because the only victory over the true persecution is righteousness arising in you to overcome it. And if you try to fight it with your pride or with any other aspect of your carnal mind, you will surely be defeated. Why? Because the Lord is permitting it with the specific purpose of building Christ in you.
And I did have a second witness in my mind, which has gone out of my mind, a second witness that Christ is maturing in you. It went out of my mind. Hallelujah. Jesus.
Well, whatever that second witness was, it is gone from me. The word in my heart is that there is no way to avoid persecution. The only answer is to put your shoulder into the correction of your own sin, which will enable you to rise above it and be victorious in Christ. And, brethren, that overcoming always takes the form of a godly correction to the person persecuting you. It always takes the form of a laying down of your own life in the form of not taking it personally, refusing to take it personally, and rising up in Christ to say the words that will be the seeds which will fall on the people's minds, which will eventually sprout into the truth for that person.
And persecution is just a way of life for mature Christians. Better learn to walk in it because there is no place you can get away from it. Learn to walk in it with righteousness. And then, when you take the victory, and you see that the other person has benefited from your pain, that your pain has been an opening for you to teach them a truth that is going to set them free, then that is the joy; that is the true joy in the midst of your trial.
I just want to pray. Somebody is manifesting here. Father, in the name of Jesus, I just rebuke every manifestation of fear, Jezebel, pride, rebellion and every form of wickedness. I absolutely curse you, Jezebel. I rebuke every resistance to that which is the truth and the Spirit of God which is coming forth here. I rebuke your uprising. I rebuke your rebellion. I rebuke your cursing. I rebuke your fear. I rebuke your carnal mind.
And I forgive your sins. And I pray that God has much mercy on you and help you through this difficult time, whoever you are. That you should adjust to the truth, wherever it is, that your life should be as painless as possible. That Christ should appear in you, that this birth should take place, and that you should yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness in due season. Thank you, Lord.
PASTOR VITALE: You ready? OK.
COMMENT: Yeah. I just wanted to know if the best way to deal with that, when being passed communions, passed around, is it OK to get up and walk out? Or do you just sit there and refuse it?
PASTOR VITALE: Oh. You mean when it is being passed around?
PASTOR VITALE: Oh, no. You are supposed to be visible. I thought you meant something else. They are all supposed to be looking at you and wondering all these evil things about you, that surely you must be in sin for not having taken it. And you can pray, Lord, bring it to a confrontation as quickly as possible so that your pain is as short because it is more painful when they are talking behind your back. The confrontation is the easy one. And then, once it comes to words, you can deal with it. Now, you are supposed to sit there, and you are supposed to be a gazing stock. We are sacrificed. You see, they are to stumble over us. This is the way they are taught because you cannot teach people who are not listening to you.
And this is true in the natural. We have a big problem in our schools today. We need fully armed guards in our schools. The United States is 17th in the quality of education around the world. We cannot teach students that are not willing to be taught. And this also is the purpose of judgment. You have to sit in your seat and open your mind to me, or I cannot teach you.
And on occasion, almost everybody here, possibly everybody here has heard me say to them, Would you please sit down? I was just in the middle of teaching you something, and you are making coffee and putting the food away and wiping off the table. And what is your problem? Your problem is you do not want to hear what I have to say. And you do not have the guts to look me in the eye and say, Pastor Sheila, I do not want to hear it.
And, depending on my relationship with you, and depending on how severely you are manifesting, I will either say to you, Please sit down; I realize that you do not realize that you are manifesting, or I might say to you, Do you not want to hear this? If you do not, it is all right, but just be honest because it is very rude to jump up in the middle of a conversation and start doing the Irish jig or whatever it is that you are doing that is trying to break the communication. That is very rude. OK. You tell me you would rather not hear it, and then it is my turn. And depending on what Christ in me is saying to me, I will either tell you, All right, I will not tell you right now, or if the anointing is on me strongly enough, I might rebuke you and say, Sit down; you are going to hear this.
But the bottom line is, for me to say, Sit down, you are going to hear this, it is a fruitless thing for me to say if the Christ in you is not going to bring you into submission to me. So if Christ in me has a revelation that the Lord is not backing me up to make you sit down; because I cannot make you sit down. And even if I could make you sit down, I cannot open your mind to me. So I have to hear from God as to whether or not, at that moment, He is going to bring you into submission to me. And if I perceive that there is no chance, at that moment, that you are going to open your mind to me, I will say, OK, you can leave. But do not be rude. Do not start dancing around in front of me. Tell me you would rather not hear it. I may rebuke you, but I may not. You know, it could go either way.
So to answer your question, no, you do not get up and walk out. That is the coward's way out. That is the coward's way out.
COMMENT: [INAUDIBLE] sitting there, especially when the preacher is [INAUDIBLE] You know, the preacher says everybody is invited to this communion.
COMMENT: Except you sinners.
PASTOR VITALE: And you do not get up.
COMMENT: All you sinners.
COMMENT: And everybody is getting up in your aisle. There she goes, a sinner. There she goes. They are going up there, and you are sitting there. And you are saying, oh, everybody sees me sitting here. I am the only one sitting. Everybody else is getting up. You know. I wonder what her sin is. What did she do this week? Does she not believe in this? Does she not believe in this communion?
PASTOR VITALE: Or what terrible sin did she do? So praise the Lord. Brethren, the true communion is the partaking of the true bread, not a cracker. Who is the true bread?
COMMENT: Christ Jesus.
PASTOR VITALE: Christ is the true bread. We are having communion this morning. This is communion right here. Jesus said, If you do not eat my flesh and drink my blood, you shall have no part in me. What does that mean? He is speaking about a union. Communion is a union of minds.
When we eat a piece of steak, that steak becomes blood in our veins and flesh on our bones. It is a joining of the flesh of the beast that we are eating with our personal flesh. Well, when we eat Jesus, we are supposed to be becoming one flesh. And how could a cracker do that for you? If you want to believe that junk, you believe it. If you want to stay weak, you believe it. Paul says, Many are sick and dying, both physically and spiritually, because they cannot discern the true body of Christ. Brethren, it is not the cracker. The true body of Christ is spiritual.
You must be able to discern Christ in another human being. And that is difficult in this hour because, in this hour, Christ is not perfected in any human being. He is present in man in an imperfect state. Therefore, to partake of the true communion in this hour, you must be able to recognize the true Christ in an imperfect human being who may be manifesting Christ now but may not be manifesting him an hour from now.
So this is a big challenge. How do you discern Christ in an imperfect vessel, who may be speaking by the man Christ Jesus in one moment and may be speaking by the Devil in another moment? How do you do it? You ask the Lord Jesus in you to help you, and then you go forward, and you do the best you can to discern Christ, believing. You make your covenant with Jesus in you.
You do not wait until someone says something. You do not wait until I say something that causes a deep anger to rise up in you. Why? Because, once that deep anger rises up in you, it is a sign that your carnal mind is fully manifested. And when your carnal mind is fully manifested, you will surely think that Christ, or that individual whom is truly speaking by Christ, is not speaking by Christ because your carnal mind has just been wounded by what that man has said.
You see, this kind of preaching is an ongoing warfare. The weapon, which is spiritual, is words. The spiritual weapon is mind. And mind is expressed sometimes without words but frequently through words.
So when you submit yourself to a ministry like this, like what? Where Christ is truly in the preacher. For all intents and purposes, I am machine-gunning your carnal mind for this whole meeting. Sometimes, you are sitting there, and you feel all kinds of ungodly feelings towards me. Do not go getting religious and saying, Oh, my God, I cannot believe I just hated Pastor Sheila. Recognize that you are manifesting, that I must have hit something in you that was real. I must have touched sin in you. Christ in me must have touched you. The mind of Christ in me had a right-on-target hit, and your carnal mind had a reaction. You hate me; you are mad at me; you are cursing me out.
Do you know how many times I wanted to get up and run out of a service? Some people, I have heard this as an open testimony, went right up to the offering and took his offering out and walked out of the church, or someone went out and stopped a payment on his check. Now, none of this is godly. There has to be a reason why you are reacting this way. And the reason is that Christ in me has pushed your button. This is warfare. That is why so many people cannot sit in a ministry or in a meeting where Christ is truly manifesting. It is being under the gun. It is submitting yourself to surgery.
The man who taught me used to say all the time (we had four or five services a week, sometimes seven). And especially, he would say this to the Sunday night group. When we were in church all Sunday morning and we came back Sunday night, there was usually only about half the amount of people who came back on Sunday night. We had a really great group, in those days, of very committed believers. And he would come into the pulpit and look around, and he would say, I do not know how you people take all this surgery. You remember him saying that?
I cannot believe you are back for more of this stuff. I am cutting your heart out, and you are back for more of this stuff. You must really have Christ in you. That is what he used to say. I am cutting your hearts out, all of you, but it is your carnal heart that is supposed to be cut out. And if you were not submitting to this, someway, somewhere, somehow, your carnal mind, or somebody's carnal mind, would be cutting your Christ heart out because there is no standing still. There is a continuous sacrifice going on in the lives of people. Either Christ is sacrificing your carnal mind unto the Lord Jesus, or the carnal mind is sacrificing your Christ mind unto the Devil. There is continuous sacrifice going on from second to second, from thought to thought.
And that is why, the Scripture says, in this hour that you are trying to do righteousness, I have received you as righteous by faith because I recognize that you are training. Therefore, when you mess up, I declare unto you; we are told in Romans 8, There is now no more condemnation in Christ Jesus to those who are called according to his purposes. If you are walking the walk, if you are fighting the fight, when you mess up, all you have to do is confess the sin, and you are instantly forgiven, no wormwood judgment. This is the instant forgiveness of the Holy Ghost. And you stand up, and you brush yourself off, and you go on to overcome your carnal mind. Instant forgiveness. That is what it is all about.
So the true communion is the joining of our spirit to the mind of Christ and, actually, to the flesh of the whole man, Christ Jesus. He said, You must eat of my flesh. And the result, as I just told you, if you eat beef, it turns up as flesh in your own body. So if we are truly eating of the Christ (and, you see, you cannot deceive anybody because that which you are eating of will be made manifest in your life in the form of your nature). If you are truly eating the flesh of Jesus, it must begin to show in the way you think. And the way you think will reflect in the way you behave. It will start with just little glimmers of change, and maybe you will not even be able to see it yourself. But people who have been around Christ for a long time will see it. That flesh is coming up on your bones.
The Lord said to the prophet Ezekiel, Will these bones live again?, bones typifying the dead Christ, typifying carnal men in whom righteousness is dead because the only true righteousness is in Christ. So if Christ has not been raised from the dead in you, you are a bone that is dead. And the Lord said to the prophet Ezekiel, Will these bones live again? And He said, Ezekiel, prophesy to the bones. Say, 'O bones, live again.' And the prophet Ezekiel said, O ye bones, live again. And in the subsequent verses, we see, And the bones came together, bone unto bone. That is speaking about the spirit ties which we are experiencing here in this ministry.
And then after the bones came together, the Scripture says, And the flesh was laid on the bones. What flesh? When you commune with the Christ that is being raised from the dead, the flesh begins to take form. The whole man must appear in you, the whole righteous man, Christ Jesus. So the true communion produces the righteousness of Christ. There is a new man being born in you who is in the righteous image of the Father. Now, you show me a piece of matzah and a cup of grape juice that can do that, and I will follow you anywhere.
The true communion is the joining of your mind to Christ. And the only way your mind will be joined to Christ is if you open yourself. If you are worried that it is false doctrine, well, up and to a certain point, that is legitimate. Worrying can become ungodly, but a godly concern, that is legitimate. Make your fleece with the Lord not when you are upset, not when you are raging, not when you are mad, not when you are charging and doing some ungodly deed. But when you are in your right mind, make your fleece with the Lord.
Father, keep me from deception. Let me abide in the truth. Save me from false doctrine. Save me from false prophets. Break every ungodly soul tie in my life. I pray that almost daily. Separate me from everyone you do not want me involved with. Break all ungodly soul ties. Establish and strengthen all godly soul ties. Let me enjoy every spirit tie you would permit me to have in Christ. I pray that way all the time for a continuous cleansing of my relationships.
And then come into a meeting like this with peace in your heart, believing that the Lord Jesus is full well able to exercise a godly control over your life that will benefit you and keep you safe and teach you and establish you in righteousness and guide you that you might live and not die because, to the fullest extent that you are determined to take care of yourself, especially in spiritual matters, that is the extent to which you will mess up because you nor I have the ability to take care of ourselves in spiritual matters. We are not qualified. We are not qualified.
We need the eyes of Christ to truly see into the depths of a man's heart. We need to know, because everybody has evil in them, you see. We need to know whether the evil in this man is just, for lack of a better way to say it, just, like, a normal kind of evil that you just have to forgive people for. Is there something in that heart, in that person's heart, that is truly trying to bring me down and destroy me? And even if you find someone that fits that category, you have to pray and ask the Lord, what does He require? Does He want the relationship broken? Can you handle it? Are you mature in Christ enough to not be hurt by this relationship but help the person who has that infirmity? Or should you run for your life?
Brethren, David ran for his life, did he not? Did David not run from Saul, ran for his life for years? Saul said to David, Come here, and play your instrument for me. I love to hear you play and sing psalms. And the Scripture says, as David was ministering, the spirit of murder appeared and tried to kill the one in whom the Christ was truly manifesting.
And, brethren, sometimes, we do not know in whom the Christ is truly manifesting. And it could flip-flop back and forth. One day, it could be one person; another day, it could be another person. But David knew that he was no match for King Saul. He knew that King Saul was the king and had the power to have him executed. King Saul was powerful enough to take David's life. David, the anointed of God, the one who was truly called to manifest Christ, was sitting right in the presence of a man who had the power to kill him and hated him. And David did what? He fled for his life. And David fled for his life.
And he followed the instruction of God, and he grew, and he matured. And he grew in wisdom and in physical strength. He grew up physically. He grew older in years. He grew wiser in the Scripture. He had experiences in God. He was out in the wilderness for years as an outcast. And in due season, David became strong enough to kill Saul, did he not? Is that not true? And in fact, David had the opportunity to kill Saul at a time in his life when Saul was still king. Saul had all the authority of the king of Israel, but he was an evil king.
You know, when I first started reading this Bible, I thought that everybody that was in that Bible was good. I remember the first time I started getting the revelation that this Bible is all about life, and life is filled with evil people. And this Bible is filled with the accounts of evil people. I had no idea.
I remember the first time I started questioning it was when I was reading in the Book of Judges about a Levi priest that was stealing somebody's idol. And I read that, and I scratched my head, and I said, A Levi priest stealing? And not only that, but a Levi priest stealing somebody's idol? What would a Levi priest want with an idol? Idolatry is forbidden.
I went into total confusion until the Lord taught me that this Book teaches us about fallen man, whose heart is filled with sin, and every potential for evil which is common to fallen man can be found in this book, and that a lot of the heroes of the Bible were very evil at some time in their life.
So we see that Saul was the king of Israel, and that he was an evil king who tried to kill the heir to the throne, David, the young David, the psalmist. David fled for his life, knowing he did not stand a chance on any level of defeating Saul.
Many years later, David matured into a man. He became a warrior, and he had the physical strength to kill this king. And in fact, he was given the opportunity, I believe, on more than one occasion, at least one occasion, probably more, to kill this king. David had become physically strong enough to do it. He had a whole army behind him. He had everything that he needed to kill this king and escape with his life. And he made an active choice to do it, or to not do it.
And what does that mean? Let us put it in more understandable English. That is true; let us put it in more understandable English. God raised this man, Saul, up, put him on the throne of Israel.
And, brethren, do not be the one to take him down. Do not judge another man's servant. God put him up there, and God will take him down. And you try to take him down because you think God does not know what he is doing, or you think God is sleeping, or you think God is out having a party somewhere; you are suffering from a manifestation of pride, and you are in great danger of coming under judgment from the Lord.
You mind your business. You do what David did. Hide yourself. God put them up, and God will take them down. And if God does not take them down, what business is it of yours? Go live your life, and serve God, and stop worrying about another man's servant. This day has enough evil for you in it to worry about, and God has enough for you to do without you deciding that God's judgment is not quick enough to satisfy your carnal mind.
So take a lesson from young David before he was crowned king. First, he did not stand a chance of killing King Saul; he ran for his life. Next stage of his life, he was strong enough to kill him and get away with it. And he did not do it, out of a spirit of righteousness, a revelation that he had no right to judge another man's servant. God put him up, and God will take him down.
And what does that mean? David had to exercise self-control and patience. You see, David knew that he was called to be king of Israel. How did David know he was called to be king of Israel? Samuel the prophet had anointed him when he was a mere slip of a boy. Does anyone know how old he was? Was he 10 or 11? Does anybody know?
PASTOR VITALE: Oh, was he 15? I mean, that is too young to be king. Very, very young man.
PASTOR VITALE: Yeah. I thought he was younger, but I thought he was closer to 12. He may have been 15 when he took Goliath, but I thought he was around 11 or 12 when he was anointed king, but I could be wrong. Any Pharisee reading this message, I am wrong sometimes. OK. If you want to write to me and tell me about it, that is fine. He was very young.
So he ran for his life. Then he had the opportunity to kill him, and he made a choice. He would not do unrighteousness. Even though David's refusal to do unrighteousness dictated that he would be a fugitive for several more years because, if David had to wait for the Lord to take Saul down, that means that David was out in the wilderness living like a criminal, waiting for God to take this man, this king Saul, down off the throne so that David could sit on the throne.
We have to exercise patience. That is very hard. That is very hard. I have been through that. I have witnessed great unrighteousness in a preacher that disappointed me severely. And me, just being like everybody else that is carnal when they are first coming up, when God first revealed this, I said, Oh, God is going to close that church for sure. Well, it is years later, and the church is not closed.
And after a couple of years, I had to repent of that. And I said, The Lord knows what he is doing. I do not want any part of it. I bless this person. If God is going to give him another chance, that is fine with me, and I do not even want to look at it. I mean, if it was me, I would have shut him down. Well, that shows you what mind I was coming out of because God did not do it. What does that mean? I could not possibly have been thinking with my Christ mind. What does that mean? The Lord knows something that I do not know. Maybe there is somebody in that church. Maybe there is just something there that is good enough, or there is one person that needs what is there.
You see, we do not have all the factors. And sometimes God lets sin reign for a very long season. And every time the Lord does it, it is always for righteousness's sake. There could be one person in that church that needs that ministry, and the Lord will let that sin reign for years because one person is going to get help. So for you to make a judgment, brethren, when you do not know all the factors, and none of us know all the factors unless it is actual mind of Christ manifesting in us, telling us, because the Lord has anointed us to pray a prayer that will execute judgment. Short of that, we do not have all the factors. Therefore, we are not qualified to make a judgment.
That is why the Scripture calls it judging before the time. Judging before what time? Judging before the time that you have all the factors. Making a judgment before all the evidence is before you. And it is sin because Christ does not do that. Only your carnal mind does that, so it is sin.
PASTOR VITALE: See, so David waited. How long was he in the wilderness? Do you know, 15 or 20 years?
PASTOR VITALE: Fifteen or 20 years, he was a fugitive, running for his life, knowing that, if Saul found him, Saul would kill him. Why would Saul kill him? Saul knew he was the true heir to the throne, and that he had at least one, if not two opportunities to kill Saul. Knowing the man was seeking his life, Saul was fast asleep with his sword off, hanging on some rock somewhere. He was just a sitting target. He would have been dead in a second. And David turned around and walked away. He said, No, the Lord raised him up, and the Lord will take him down. And the Lord anointed me king of Israel when I was, whatever, 10, 11 years old. And at the timing, the perfect timing of the Lord, I will sit on that throne, and not one day or one hour or one second sooner.
And we talked about this in a recent message when we talked about prophecy. We said, Do you receive the prophecy? You hear the prophetic word, and you wait for God to bring it to pass. So many Christians receive a word of prophecy, and they go forward to bring it to pass in their own power. And there is only disaster, brethren. When you try to bring it to pass in your own power, there cannot be anything but disaster.
And do not think for a second that I believe what I am telling you is easy. It is very hard. It was horrendous for me when I was working two full-time jobs, running this ministry, a full-time ministry, because it was not as formed as it is now, but I was doing a full hourly speaking; I was putting in a full week's work in this ministry while traveling into Manhattan to put in a full week's work. And I was not a well person. I cried many a night for deliverance. I could not believe that God had not manifested an income for me yet.
And I was so frustrated, at one point, I said, I am not doing it no more, bad English and all. And what do you think He said to me? He said, OK. I shut down the ministry, and I was out there working in Manhattan for a few weeks. And I said, Gee, Lord, I miss this preaching. It is spiritual life to me. I miss it.
So I went before the Lord; I tried to twist His arm. I said, Lord, I cannot do it. I simply cannot do it. I think I jumped ahead of myself. I said, I simply cannot do both, and I will not. And I thought that He would manifest the income. He did not. He shut down the ministry. You cannot strongarm God. And then I got the revelation that it was feeding my soul, that this walk in Christ is true life unto me. And the Lord gave me a compromise. I started preaching once a week on a Saturday night. And it was shortly after that that I collapsed.
And when I came out of the hospital, I was so sure that He just, for whatever His reason, was not going to do this thing for me. When I gave it up, and I started putting in my applications to go back to work, the money came in. You cannot strongarm God. You cannot. He is going to do it in His timing.
And I am here to tell you today; and this is a strong word for somebody here. If you are trying to bring it to pass yourself, whatever it is that you want. Whatever; I do not know what this is all about. This is a word of knowledge. I do not know what this is all about. But there is somebody here today that has a strong drive to bring something to pass in your life. If you run ahead and charge ahead to do it yourself, God may, whoever you are, God may very well have spoken to you and promised you this thing, whatever it is.
If you are charging ahead to do it yourself, ahead of God's timing, you have made yourself God's enemy because you cannot twist His arm, you see. And if He has planned to bring it to pass three years from now and you are trying to force it now in this hour, you are opposing the will of God. And in this matter (He still loves you; you are still His Son), you have made yourself His enemy.
What does that mean? It means He is against you. You cannot twist His arm. He is against you in this issue. And there will be consequences for what you are trying to bring to pass. Is He going to kill you? No. Is He going to wreck your car? I would not be very surprised if He did that. But, brethren, if you drive your motorcycle into a stone wall, you can get hurt. And the Lord Jesus, He is an immovable force. So when you set yourself up in opposition to His will and his purposes and his timing, you are coming up against this stone wall. There must be consequences that will be hurtful to you.
So whoever you are, whoever this word is for, please reconsider. And if you are being driven by anything, please ask for prayer. We will pray for you. You do not have to get prayer if you do not want. Just confess it as sin. The Lord is faithful. He will help you. I do not know if it is someone that wants a husband or someone that wants money. Whatever it is, you cannot force this thing any more than I could. You know, you just cannot force it. You have to wait. You must learn to wait.
And eventually, God killed Saul. How did he kill Saul? Saul died on the field of battle. To people without spiritual eyes, they are saying, What are you talking about? He went to war, and he got shot with an arrow. Brethren, God directs every arrow. He directs every bullet. He directs every disease germ. There is no luck; there is no chance; there is no such thing. He directs every tornado. He is in full control of every life.
And if something has touched you, it is because the Lord has permitted it. It is because legal ground was found in you, legal ground being sin. You cannot get sick without having sin in you. Your leg cannot be broken without sin having been found in you. You cannot lose your job without sin having been found in you. Your business cannot go bottom-up without sin having been found in you.
The sign that the Lord is with you, the sign that you are holy by faith; if you were truly holy by experience, none of these things could happen to you. You could not get sick, could not have a car accident, could not lose your business. None of this could happen to you if you were truly holy in reality, by experience. OK. But none of us is there yet. We are holy by faith.
Now, we are half in, and we are half out. The areas in which we have been convicted of our sin, or the degree to which we have been convicted of our sin and are truly repentant, every judgment that falls upon us: sickness, financial disaster, you name it, anything that is negative,, the Lord does not stop it from falling. Why? Because He is a righteous judge, and we deserve it. It is a just recompense for sin. But if you have truly confessed it as sin, He lets it happen to you, and He teaches you from it, and He brings you up out of it, and you are a stronger person. And then He restores.
So therefore, brethren: Now, listen carefully. The sign that you are reconciled to God, or saved by faith, has not happened to you experientially yet. You are saved, but death and destruction are still upon you because you are only saved by faith. The sign of it is that, no matter what happens to you, when the smoke clears, you are still standing, and you are going forward. By this, I know that my God loveth me. Can anyone finish the verse? My enemies have not prevailed over me.
That is the acid test. When the smoke clears, what kind of condition are you in? This is how I know that the Lord favors me. My enemies cannot prevail over me. A righteous man will be cast down seven times, but he shall never be destroyed. You come back, and you come back, and you come back. If you are destroyed, if you keep going down, down, down, you had better get on your face before God because you are not right with him.
Now, you have got to get spiritual eyes, brethren. Listen, this is very important. When I say, Look at what you have got after the dust clears, after the smoke clears, you have to look with your spiritual eyes.
Some people, especially people who are heavily cursed, and I know this was true in my case. And there is someone else that I know of right now whose testimony is that these last seven or so years from when they were first reconciled to God was the have been the worst seven years of their life. Someone who is associated with this ministry right now has that testimony, and that was my testimony too.
And what is happening is that, if the family line curses are going back 10 generations, and they are very strong, and you have really been marked for destruction, it is very, very common that the destruction continues on the visible part of your natural life. But while you are going down, like I continued to die after I came to the Lord. My body continued to die. A lot of the problems in my life continued.
But if you had spiritual eyes to see, and this is true of this other person too, there was a new man being formed that was arising like a shooting star. With great strength and with great speed, Christ was being formed in this person. So if you looked at their spiritual life, and that was true of me in almost from the beginning, and true of this person too. You can see Christ all over this person. You can see every sign of Christ, not just of the imputed anointing when they prophesy, but you can see the righteousness coming forth. You can see the holiness being built in them. You can see the right spirit on them, if you have eyes to see.
So to the carnal eyes, they are still going down. And all the Pharisees are saying, My goodness, look at that person, seven years in God, and their life is still falling apart. Surely, they must be in terrible sin. But the people with spiritual eyes are saying, Would you look at the anointing on that person? Would you look at what God is doing; God is raising that person up.
Naturally, you are descending, and spiritually, you are ascending. And to the carnal eye, it looks like you are really doing bad. But at some point, you have to pass each other, and your physical descension has to stop. You have to hit bottom and start coming back up. And then you are ascending both spiritually and in your natural life. That is the way it goes.
And all the Pharisees out there, they are real quick to condemn the people who cannot get off of drugs, or they cannot stop drinking right away. Whatever their problem is, they still have financial problems, or they are still sick. They tell them, You do not have any faith, or all this junk that these Pharisees are condemning those who Christ died for with. If you look with your natural eye, you are going to kill the person. You cannot look with your natural eyes, brethren.
Why? Not only do you kill the person (well, that is bad, to kill the person), but for your own sake, since we are all selfish in this hour, in our immaturity; children are always selfish. Let me give it to you from your own point of view. If you are looking with your carnal eyes, you are judging before the time, and you are sowing judgment, and you are going to reap judgment upon yourself. So it is to your advantage to at least seek God about all of these things. Praise the Lord.
Transcribed by VerbalFusion, 8/4/21
1st Edit, 8/11/21, rh