SALVATION & FAITH
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First Thessalonians, Chapter 1. "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, writing unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, Brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in Word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the Word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for His Son from heaven, (Catch that word waiting, we wait for His Son from heaven) whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." Glory to God.
Verse 1."Paul and Silvanus and Timothy writing unto the church of Thessalonia which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ." I want to comment on that expression, the Church at Thessalonia was in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ. We had a little talk earlier (it is not on the tape) about being baptized into the body of Christ. We must be baptized into the body of Christ. There is only one way that you could be baptized into the body of Christ, brethren, and that is to be baptized into the Spirit of God. I declare to you that we are not speaking here about the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
The baptism with the Holy Spirit, as a result of which you speak in tongues, is the vehicle that will baptize you into the body of Christ. The baptism into the body of Christ is the conception of Jesus Christ in your heart. Remember, things that are spiritual are within, and things that are natural are without. The natural baptism with water is without. The spiritual baptism is within, and it will rise up from within you like a flood when Jesus Christ is conceived in your heart. He will grow and grow like that mustard seed until He utterly immerses your entire spiritual being and your body in the water of His Life.
When Paul says that the church of Thessalonia was in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ, what he is saying is that there is an active move of the Spirit of God from within the people dwelling in the church at Thessalonia. Christ has been conceived in this ministry, and He is flowing forth in power. I call your attention to the fact that He separates God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now most of us have heard it taught that Jesus Christ is God. Yes, Jesus Christ is God. Why then throughout the Scriptures do we hear God the Father separated from the Lord Jesus Christ? Because the Lord Jesus Christ exists or lives in the soul realm. God the Father is the Spirit. The two are one. Jesus Christ is God because the two are one. You are one with your lungs, and your heart, and your brain. You are one person, but there are many parts to you. The Lord Jesus Christ has another part to Him. It is called the Father. His name is called the Father, the Spirit, and Jesus Christ is the soul life of what? He is the soul life of the new kingdom that is in the earth of the new mind that is available to men. When you inherit this mind, you inherit the Father as your God and the Lord Jesus Christ as your soul.
If you are a natural man, your god is Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, and your soul is the fallen adam. There is a new kingdom in the earth, a new mind, a new spiritual life. Because of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have been invited to transfer out of a life where Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, is our god and the fallen adam is our soul, and enter into a life where God the Father is our God and Jesus Christ, the righteous, is our soul. We have been offered an opportunity to pass from death unto life. Glory to God.
We are still in Verse 1. "Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Verse 2. "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers." It cannot hurt to take a little advice from Paul. We should be thanking God for every member of the body of Christ. Brethren, I never used to understand why we should thank God for members of the body of Christ. Now I have a revelation of how important to me the members of the body of Christ are.
I want to tell you something, brethren. The Lord is really teaching me that little things that annoy us, little idiosyncrasies that people have in the natural, things that they do that annoy you, things that you think are not right (and maybe they are not right), they just melt away when you are in need, and these people rise up from a true heart in Christ, offer to pray for you, and bring deliverance, healing and peace unto your troubled soul.
I thank God for the body of Christ. I thank God for everyone that God has brought me to that is a member of the body of Christ. I am not perfect, and I am not telling you I am perfect. I get annoyed at people. I am human just like you, but I am waging war with my own soul. I am waging war with my own mind. When somebody annoys me, when somebody hurts me, I wage war against that hurt and that annoyance in my own mind. I ask God to help me, I bless those people, and I remember the good things they have done for me. I remind myself that these little things are not worth breaking off a relationship with a believer that will be available to minister to me in my hour of need.
We have to get the mind of Christ, brethren, because our carnal mind will separate us from everyone that is our true friend. That does not mean, if you are at the other end, that you could just go around doing all your little annoying things and not do anything about trying to stop. If it has been called to your attention that you are doing something that is wrong, that you are hurting somebody, that your behavior is upsetting somebody, God expects you to stop doing it or at least to make an effort to stop doing it.
At the very least, to say you are sorry for doing it. It is not very "in," in this world today to say you are sorry. I declare to you that God expects you to say you are sorry. When somebody comes to you and says that they are sorry, usually what the Lord will bring forth is repentance in the other person too.
If someone has hurt you, they come to you, and they say they are sorry, and you are involved in a relationship, the chances are pretty good that you have hurt them also. God is expecting you, too, to say, "I accept your apology, and I am sorry if I have ever hurt you," and you will find yourself in each others arms sobbing. It cannot be one-sided. You have to apology too. If you cannot or if you will not, you are probably suffering from pride. You have to rise up in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and start rebuking that pride in your own mind. If you are not doing your part, you cannot expect everybody to apologize to you when you never apologize.
If you really believe that you are always the victim, and you have never done anything to hurt these other people that are always hurting you, I declare to you, you are deceived by the pride of your mind because everybody hurts somebody sometimes. Even Jesus hurts people, except that when He hurts you, He does it for your correction. Glory to God.
Verse 3. "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of God the Father." What is Paul saying? He is saying to the members of the church at Thessalonia that he knows that they did a work of faith without ceasing, a work of faith and a labor of love. I declare to you that the difference between these two is that the work of faith is good works that we see in the church today. You help your brother that is in need, you give him a meal, you loan him money, you give him clothing if he needs it, you get him a job if you can. That is the work of faith. That is works that come forth from your soul because you believe that you want to live as the Lord Jesus Christ because you have faith in the gospel of God, and you want to live that way.
I declare to you that it is very possible to do all these things and have a heart of stone. Paul is saying, "I see your work of faith and that is good, but I also see a labor of love." I declare to you that Greek word "love" is the "agape" love. He is saying, "I also see the love of Jesus Christ coming forth from your heart." You are not saved by good works, although God requires us to perform good works. You are not saved by it, you are saved by the Life of Jesus Christ appearing in your soul.
Paul says, "I see that your labor out of love, that the agape love of the Lord Jesus Christ is appearing in your heart," and you are most likely ministering healing and even more than that, because we know that healing and deliverance can come forth from the soul realm. There has to be compassion in your heart. It is the compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ that does more than rebuking any demon.
I know some people in deliverance make a claim that they will sit up with you all night until that demon comes out. Well, if that is the realm that you are in, praise God, but I declare to you there is something better. If the Life and the love of Jesus Christ is appearing in your heart, all you have to do is have a true compassion. Now understand me, this compassion must come forth from the love of Jesus in you, and Jesus Christ does the work. Does anybody not understand that? If you do not have that compassion of Jesus yet, and you want to sit up all night with somebody, praise God.
Brethren, there is another step. It is the appearance of Jesus Christ in your own soul. In His compassion for people, is healing, deliverance, life, and victory from every problem that could beset them. Do not stop because you cast out demons and you pray healing for the sick. If you stop there, you are likely to be one of those that are locked out at the "catching up" and banging on the door saying, "Lord, Lord, why did you not take me?" You have to get the love of Jesus in your heart. He has to be born in you. Glory to God.
Still on Verse 3. Paul is saying that he remembers your work of faith and your labor of love, and he also remembers your patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. These believers at Thessalonia did good works. They had the compassion of Jesus Christ, and they also had patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. What does that mean? Brethren, we are waiting for the appearing of our great God, the only Potentate, the Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ. His appearing is going to be in the hearts of men. We touched on this earlier in the exhortation.
There is no way that we could rush this, brethren. We serve Him, we do good works, we do labors of love, we attend spiritual services, we study, and we are faithful to the best of our ability. There is no way that we can cause Jesus Christ to appear in our minds. He is coming at His rate of speed, and sometimes, brethren, it is very frustrating. It is very frustrating because it is a painful situation to be in, waiting for Him to appear and save out souls. Paul says to the believers at Thessalonia that they have patience of the hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Some people that do not understand will try to force His appearing with their soul, and all they do is interfere with the work that He is doing in their life by not waiting. If you want the Fruits of the Spirit, you are going to have to suffer to get them. Patience in one of the Fruits of the Spirit. We must wait for His appearing and for the fulfillment of the promise to us, which is the appearing of Jesus Christ in our souls.
They were very faithful at this church at Thessalonia. They had good works, they had the love of Jesus Christ, and they had patience in waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that there is a parable that says the evil servant got tired of waiting for His appearing and went out and went back into the world. This is a faithful Church. Glory to God. They did good works, they had the compassion of Jesus, and they patiently waited for the hope that is Christ in you, the hope of glory, hope in our Lord Jesus Christ appearing in our minds. They had all of these three things in the sight of God and our Father. They were not doing all of this stuff under a wrong spirit.
Brethren, these are the last days. If it were possible the very elect could be deceived. I have heard this Scripture interpreted that it is not possible. Brethren, I am telling you it is possible for the very elect to be deceived. It is possible for someone to be doing good works (of course they cannot have the true agape love), but it could appear to be the agape love of the Lord Jesus Christ. They could appear to be patiently waiting for the fulfillment of the hope of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they could be laboring under another spirit.
We are living in dangerous times, brethren. I got a word last night and it was a spiritual instruction, and I did not think that it could be God. God has told me to do things that I never expected Him to tell me and it was God. I prayed, and I said, "Lord, is this you telling me to do this?" You want to know something, an anointing fell, and I started getting deliverance. There was a time in my life that I would have said that the anointing fell, and that is the witness that this Word was from God. It was too dangerous a Word and I said, "Lord, I heard the Word and the anointing fell, but you told me that Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, performs lying wonders, and that he could bring forth deliverance. I want a definite confirmation from you that you want me to do this and I do not want it now. I want it tomorrow. I do not want it at this moment."
I woke up this morning, brethren, and I declare to you I do not believe it was God. Do you hear this? Another spirit fell and brought forth deliverance in me, trying to convince me that I should do the act.
You have to use your brain in this hour. God does not want blind puppets. He does not want a church filled with people that discern a spirit or discern a spiritual anointing and go running out and doing foolish things like getting divorced and committing adultery. God does not tell you to commit adultery, brethren. He does not tell you to be a prostitute for God. There is a woman that comes on television and says that the Virgin Mary appeared to her and told her it is alright to be a prostitute. She gets up on television, and she will fight you to the death saying she is serving God.
Brethren, you have to put everything together. You have to know what His Word says. You have to know what is right and what is wrong. You have to be able to discern His Spirit. You have to have wisdom. Everything works together to keep you from being deceived. There is nothing wrong with saying, "Lord, I will not do that until you really witness to me that it is you." There is nothing wrong with saying to the Lord, "I want a witness from another prophet." There is nothing wrong with saying, "I want two witnesses." If God really wants you to do it, He will send you the witness.
Before God raised up this ministry, I was attending a local church. One day the Lord said to me, "I want you to lay hands on this man across the aisle, and I want you to anoint him to be an apostle." It was a Sunday morning service, and I said, "Lord, this really sounds like your voice, but I cannot do that. This is another man's church. It is almost unheard of in Pentecostal circles for anyone other then the pastor to lay hands, prophesy and anoint the ministry. I just cannot do this. If this is you, Jesus Christ, telling me to do this, you just anoint the pastor to say something to me that would permit me to do it, that I would not be out of order and I will do it. If you do not get me the okay from the pastor, I am not doing it because it is wrong. I am in his house and this is wrong."
Well, brethren, it was not sixty seconds before the pastor stood up there on the pulpit and he said, "You know, this is not just my show. This is the show for anybody that has the Holy Ghost, and if you have any ministry when you come in here, all you have to do is just wave your hands at me, and I will call on you and let you perform your ministry." By the time he finished what he was saying, I was on my feet. He looked up, and he was shocked, but he nodded at me, which meant "go ahead" and I did it. He never expected me to do anything like that, and he did not like it, but I had his permission.
What is my point? My point is that God is not going to get mad at you for saying to Him, "Lord, I know it is possible to be deceived, and I want another witness that this is you." God is not going to get mad at you. He is going to give you your witness, and He is going to bring you to a place where you can obey Him with a clear conscience. God is not looking for a puppet. Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, is looking for a puppet. Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, wants you to do whatever he wants you to do. He does not want you to think, he does not want you to talk, he does not want you to reason, but just do what he drives you to do.
Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, drives you and he compels you. God does not do that to you. God wants you to be in agreement with Him. He will honor your exercise of your conscience, and He will give you everything that you need to do what He wants you to do in righteousness. Glory to God.
Verse 3. "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father." Two parts to the kingdom of God once again, God and our Father.
Verse 4. "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election is of God." Paul has made a judgement that these believers of Thessalonia have been elected of God. Elected for what? Elected to manifest His Spirit, elected for the privilege of Jesus Christ appearing in them. How did Paul know that they were elected of God? He knew because they did works of faith. They had the compassion of Jesus. They were patiently waiting for the fulfillment of their hope in Jesus Christ without backsliding into the world. He saw all these things on them, and he drew the conclusion that they were elected of God.
Verse 5. "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost." Our gospel, that is the doctrine, that is the message, and that is the story of about what Jesus wants to do for you. He does not just want you slain in the Spirit. That is nice, but He does not just want you dancing and speaking in tongues. He wants you to understand doctrine, and that is one of the promises of one of the prophesies in the book of Isaiah, that those that rebelled shall understand doctrine. The implication is that if you understand doctrine, you will not rebel. Those that are in rebellion have darkness in their mind. They do not understand. Glory to God.
"For our gospel, the story of what God is doing in your life, came not unto you in word only." It was not just a story. I am not just sitting up here telling you a story. This Word, these words that I am delivering to you, they have power. Paul said that he delivered this Word in power and in the Holy Ghost.
The word power means ability. What kind of ability? The ability to demonstrate to you how this Word can help you, how this Word can turn around curses in your life, how curses operate in your mind in wrong thinking, and how the wisdom of this Word can turn your thinking around so that you can make changes in your behavior, and your whole life could change around. He came, and He told you the story of a new kingdom being in the earth and how it is possible for you to transfer into it.
Then he gave you an example of the power to do this. What kind of an example? He must have prayed for them, with healing, deliverance, and a Word of the Lord that came to pass. We had a man here last week, and he got a prophesy that he would get a job. He was back this week and he has a job. Well, this Word is not only in Word, it is in ability, it is in power. What I said came to pass. Why? Because I did not say it of myself. I said it of the Holy Ghost that dwells within me.
What is Paul saying? This is not just a fairy story. Someone said to me a few months ago, "This is for weak people. People that have a need in their life turn to God." Well, you had better watch what you are saying, lady, because you are about to have one really big need in your life. That is true, that people that have a need turn to God. What she was saying to me was that this thing is not real, that it is something that weak people latch hold of so that they do not drown and that is a lie. The truth of the situation is that if you have a need in your life, God has been dealing with you for years to bring you to your knees so that you will have a need that will make you start serving God.
The Scripture talks about the mystery of the wicked witch. The Lord said, "Do not be deceived by the rich people in the world. Do not be deceived by those people that have everything or appear to have everything. They have the blessings of this world, but they do not have the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not be deceived." Jesus said, "It is a mystery."
I met a few people last week out in South Hampton. I stopped at a deli to get a sandwich and I sat at a little table outside. This family sat down next to me. Oh, they were so prosperous. The man looked like he was a professional. I personally thought he was a lawyer. They were very nice. They were not snobs, and they were very kind to me. I was not feeling well that day, and I wanted to sit in the shade, and the only shady spot was on a bench next to their little girl. You really should not be sitting next to somebody when there is a whole seat that is empty. That is not good manners.
I said to the woman, "Do you mind if I sit next to your daughter? I need the shade." She said, "yes" out of real kindness. She was kind to me. She could have said "no," and I would not have been able to sit there. Then her husband came out, and he looked shocked that I was sitting with his family, but he said hello to me. He was kind to me. They were prosperous and had money. The two little girls were wearing day camp outfits. You do not have to be rich to go to day camp, but I am sure they were in a very expensive day camp. There was nothing wrong with these people. They were not wicked. They were not evil. So how come they are rich and you are not? How come you are suffering, and they are not?
Because God is drawing you to Himself, and their hour has not come yet. That is the mystery of the rich. They appear to you to have everything, brethren, but they do not have Jesus. The Scripture says, "He who trusts in the things of this world shall be ashamed because they shall fall and the things of this world that they are leaning on shall fall down with them." I know it is hard to believe if you are hurting, but it is the truth. God will weaken you in the flesh. He will break your heart. He will bring you to the depths of despair and failure so that you will turn to Him.
When you turn to Him, brethren, you are richer than the richest man in the world. You might be having trouble believing it, but I am telling you it is the truth. What is more, their time will come. Their time to face their God will come. Glory to God.
We are in verse 5. "For our gospel came not only in word, but in the power that came forth because the Word was being spoken by the Holy Ghost in me and not some figment of my imagination. In much assurance, as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake." Now this is a very controversial statement here, brethren. "For our gospel came not unto you in Word only, but also in power and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance." Why? "Because you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake."
Now we have a problem in the church world today, brethren, with very few exceptions. The people in the pulpit are women. They are spiritual women. They are irresponsible. They are not qualified to lead. They are not qualified to counsel you. They are not qualified to teach you. They are not qualified to help you. There are many believers in the church world in this hour that have found this out, and they are coming out of the churches in droves, and they are falling off the other side of the cliff.
They are saying, "There is no true leader in God's church, and I will not submit myself to any man. I hear only directly from God, I do not need any man to teach me, and I could pray for myself." They are jumping out of the frying pan, and they are going into the fire. Paul spoke to the Thessalonians, the faithful church that was receiving the fullness of the ministry that was available to them in that hour. Paul said to them that our gospel came in much assurance because, in other words, you were assured because you were able to discern what manner of men we were among you for your sake. The Thessalonians could discern that Paul and Silvanus and Timothy were manifesting Christ. They knew that the one who counseled them, the one who preached to them, the one who talked to them, the one who ministered to them was the Spirit of Christ rising up in these men. They were assured that it was Christ rising up in these men, and they were partaking and benefitting of the fullness of the ministry that was available to them.
These men were still natural men, brethren, but if the ministry is raised up by Christ, and it is Christ flowing through them, you must believe that any error, any human error that can filter through will be dealt with by Almighty God. You have to believe it, or your disbelief is going to block you from receiving the ministry that Almighty God has for you. This is a real crisis point in this hour. There are Christians all over the church world that do not go to church. I declare to you that if your heart is right with God, and you are looking for a ministry with an elder that is serving God, where it is Christ manifesting in that ministry, God will send you to one.
If you are praying hard enough, in an area where there is not one, God will raise it up. He will raise up an elder in your area, or He will move you to another state, but you have to get a revelation that you cannot do everything yourself. Unless He has called you to that place where very few people are and if He has called you to that place, you are probably ministering yourself.
If the Lord has not put you in a ministry, the chances are He wants you in a church. I do believe that God calls people out into the wilderness for a season, but it is not forever. It is for a season. It is up to every believer to seek God and find out what He wants them to do and where He wants them to go. If you get a Word from God, it does not mean it is forever. If the Lord says, "I want you out of church," it does not mean it is for the next forty years. You have to continue to seek Him. It could be for a month, six months, for a year, and then maybe He has a place for you to go.
I know two woman who have been out of church for years. It never occurred to them that the Lord might now have a church for them to go to. They are remembering that four years ago He called them out of church. I heard somebody say to me a few months ago, this man is the prophet that God sent to Long Island. Well, I agree with you. Ten years ago he was the prophet that God sent to Long Island. He is not the prophet God sent to Long Island today. What they were saying was, he cannot leave Long Island because he is the prophet God sent to Long Island. God help us. God sends you to Long Island today, and He will send you to Illinois tomorrow. You are not trapped in Long Island for the rest of your life. Give me a break. Help us, Lord. Help us and deliver us from our carnal minds. Glory to God.
Verse 6. "And ye became followers of us and of the Lord." Paul said, "Follow me as I follow the Lord, having received the word in much affliction with joy of the Holy Ghost." These believers at Thessalonia became followers of Paul and Silvanus and Timothy. Why? Because they were seeking God with all their hearts and they realized that God was ministering to them through these men. Paul says, "You became followers of us and of the Lord."
Brethren, if God sends you to somebody like this, in the second that the Lord tells you that they are no longer following God, that is the second that you stop following them. God has not called you to loyalty to a man. He has not called you to loyalty to a carnal ministry. He has called you to loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ, to the elders that He places you under, and to the ministry that He places you in. In the second that the Lord Jesus Christ leaves that man or leaves that ministry, you have no obligation to them whatsoever. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, they are lying to you, and you probably need deliverance from an ungodly soul tie.
We are still on verse 6, "And you became followers of us and of the Lord having received the word in much affliction." How? "In much affliction." What does that mean, brethren? It means that if you are being exposed to the true Word of God, if you are being exposed to the true gospel of God, everything in you that is carnal is rising up to destroy your receiving that Word. It is laughing at it. It is telling you that it is a lie. It is telling you to run in the other direction. It is telling you to go to another church. It is telling you, I do not believe this and I do not believe that.
You are in a battle, especially if God has decided that you are going to be rooted in this church. You are in one battle, brethren, and when you receive this Word, you are going to receive it in much affliction. You are also going to receive it with the joy of the Holy Ghost. Spiritual blessings shall fall upon you, brethren, as you receive the Word that God has ordained for you to receive. Your soul will wage war against you, but you will be a recipient of spiritual blessings and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Verse 7. "So that you are examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia." Brethren, this thing has got to spread out. There are thousands and millions of believers that are sorely without teaching and without understanding. If you have come into submission to a Godly teacher, it is only a matter of time, if it is not happening already, that God will show you as an example to somebody who needs what you have. They are going to look at you, and they are going to say, "What is it about you, why is your life in order? Why is this happening to you? Why is that happening to you?" Then you shall minister to them the truth of this understanding that we are preaching on here. Glory to God.
Verse 8. "For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread." Not only were these people examples in their life being blessed, in their families being blessed, and in their finances being blessed, but they also came to a place where they started spreading the Word. Brethren, I do not really know what this means here, but you do not have to be preaching with a microphone like this.
From the second this Word starts to root in your heart, God will send you to people in the streets. He will send believers to you that you have not heard from in years. He will send you to people that need to hear this Word, that for whatever their reason will not come to this meeting, or cannot come to this meeting, or do not know about this meeting. He is going to send you to people everywhere, and you are going to be spreading this Word in a very simple basic way, in a very unofficial way, but nevertheless very powerful. Whatever God sends you to is very important. Do not think that only people with microphones are important because that is not true.
Any place that God sends you, any ministry He has for you is very important. We used to hear a phrase in the church, there are no superstars in the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Things that we are doing, that we must give up, no matter what domination we come out of, no matter what family, what race, what religion, everybody is doing something that is not glorifying God. We have to give them up. If it is praying to statues, God requires us to stop doing it. I declare to you that the true idols are in our hearts. The true idols are in our hearts. You can be worshiping money, and that is just as much an idol as a statue. God says, "Stop worshiping the idols and serve the true and living God." Stop looking for your deliverance from this natural realm. Stop waiting for a blast of luck. Stop waiting for your horse to come in. Stop waiting for your number to come in. Stop waiting for faith to give you a chance. Your hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ, brethren. He is above and beyond anything and everything that your idols can do for you.
The Scripture talks about statues that are made of wood and stone that cannot hear what you say. They cannot see what is here, and they cannot answer your prayers. Your hopes of making a lot of money through some big scheme, brethren, it is not heard, it is not seen, and there is no one in the atmosphere that is able to satisfy your need. You are worshiping an idol. If you are waiting for your ship to come in, whatever form that ship takes, if you are waiting for that great job to come in, if you are waiting for that promotion, brethren, you could lose it in a second. Your hope must be in the Lord Jesus Christ.
You cannot depend on anything. Do not think you have it made because you own a house. Do not think you have it made because you have a civil service job that you cannot get fired from. Today they are firing civil servants, brethren. Even if they could not fire you, you could get hit by a car and be crippled for life. Your hope must be in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do not think you have it made because you have a husband or wife, and you have your emotional needs meet. Anything could happen, brethren, and what you idolize, you lose. What you idolize, God will take it from you. If you idolize your husband, if you idolize your wife, if you idolize a dream of a husband, if you are in emotional pain, and you think the answer for you is a husband, that is an idolatry. You may never get it until you stop believing that your salvation is in a husband, or that your salvation is in a job. Now there is nothing wrong with saying, "Lord, I need a job because I have to support my family."
If you think your salvation is in the job that you have, if you think that your salvation is in your brains, if you think your salvation is in the fact that you are knowledgeable or that you are skillful, you run a very definite risk of losing it. Your hope must be in the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything else can collapse within a matter of minutes. Glory to God.
Do not put your faith in your money that is in the bank. Do not put it in your investments. Do not put it in your CD's. In 1929, men were jumping out of windows because they were millionaires, and they lost everything. Brethren, your hope must be in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the 1930's, the Jews in Germany thought they had it made, and Hitler arrived on the scene. They lost all their property. They lost all their possessions. They lost all of their homes. They lost their jobs, and they were put in death camps. Your hope must be in the Lord Jesus Christ, brethren, and none other. You could lose it in a second.
There is nothing in this world that you cannot lose. There is only one thing that is unshakable in this world, and His name is the Lord Jesus Christ. He will never leave you, He will never fail you, and He will never deny you. He is the only one, brethren, and any faith in anything other than that is idolatry.
You people that worship statues, God wants you to stop. You people that worship idols in your hearts, you better stop criticizing people that worship statues because you are just as bad as they are. I condemn none of you. I just declare to you, stop it. Put your faith in the Spirit of Almighty God and not in a form made of wood that looks like Him. God is Spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Glory to God. Alleluia!!!
Verse 9. "For they themselves (the people of Thessalonia) show they reveal to the world the effect that Paul and Silvanus and Timothy have had upon them." They turn to God, and they left their idols, both natural and both in their heart, to serve the living and true God. They also turned to wait for His Son from heaven whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus. They turned away from their false hopes in statues, money, riches, possessions and in other human beings and they put their hope in the Son from heaven, to wait for the Son from heaven.
To wait for what? For Him to appear in our minds, to change our thinking so that we no longer think with thoughts of death, but think with thoughts of life, whom He raised from the dead, whom the Father raised from the dead." Jesus Christ is not dead, brethren. He is alive.
Neither is He an infant. He is a grown glorified, powerful, heroic man, who is our Savior, who has the power to deliver you from death unto life. There is no problem He cannot deliver you out of, and if it is taking longer than you think it should take, and if you are suffering more than you think you should be suffering, it is not that He cannot do it. It is that you have to change, and it is taking Him sometime to change your thinking.
He is powerful. There is nothing that He cannot do. His arm is not short that He cannot deliver. Any failure or weakness is in you, and again I condemn you not. He is bringing you to a place where He can bless you, but you must change in accordance with His instructions.
This is the sign that believers have been ministered to by teachers and ministers that are truly manifesting Christ. They are giving up their idols, and they are serving the true and living God, and they are waiting for the Son from heaven. If you are waiting for the rapture, brethren, that lets you out. If you think your salvation is in the rapture, you are listening to a false teacher. Because if you are listening to a teacher manifesting Christ, you are going to be waiting for the Son from heaven to appear in your heart, brethren, whom He raised from the dead, and if you are learning from teachers that are manifesting Christ, you are not going to believe He is dead, brethren. You are going to believe that God, His Father, raised Him from the dead.
He was seen by at least five hundred witnesses, the last of which was Paul. He is not dead, brethren, and if you are celebrating His death, you are making an error. He is alive. Glory to God.
"Even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come." The whole church world gets messed up on this one. They run around saying we are delivered, and they are dying like flies from their sins. Brethren, in the realm of the spirit, this is an accomplished fact. Jesus Christ of Nazareth slew His own soul as He hung on the cross, and of the twain He made one New Man and because He lives, because He was resurrected from the dead, we too shall live. It is in the future for us, brethren. It is a reality in the realm of the spirit, but until you are made incorruptible, it is not a reality for you.
I have not studied this Scripture, and I am just expounding on it, but the chances are if I looked that up in the Greek, it is not even the past tense, although it might be. Glory to God. Serve God, brethren. He is a Spirit. He must be worshiped in spirit and in truth. Get a revelation that God has true ministers in the earth. The Sons of God are about to appear, brethren, and there is going to be no way to reach God except by the man Christ Jesus, the only mediator between God and man.
If you have it in your head that you do not need ministry through a man, you need deliverance. You have an error in your mind, and your pride is cutting you off from the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Glory to God. Any questions on this message tonight?