The Following Message Has Been Transcribed For
Clarity, Continuity Of Thought, And Punctuation By
The LEM Transcribing & Editing Team.
Content Edited By Sheila R. Vitale. Pastor, Teacher & Founder
For six years I have been doing most of the talking, because Christ decided I am going to do most of the talking for six years. Probably the reason is that no one else was ready. The true body ministry is when Christ rises and falls from person to person. Something to say from you, something to say from you, something to say from you, and it manifests in whoever He wills. That is the true body ministry.
It is hard to decide by the ministry here because most of the time He is manifesting in me. Most of the time, and that is only because you guys are still being raised up. I believe the day has to come that He is going to be jumping around. I might even walk in one day and someone else will be preaching. It is possible. What body ministry means is that XXXX can come in and start to play, and if it is His will, a song from XXXX, and we have to be able to go with the spirit. That is what we are in training for.
If you cannot do it, it is nothing to be upset over. What you need to do is confess that you cannot do it, and then He will do it in you and through you. That is what we are striving for. That is the goal, to recognize Christ in a comforting word, to recognize Christ in prayer, to recognize Christ in a rebuke.
A lot of people particularly you, and you, particularly you, have trouble recognizing Christ in a rebuke. You know that you have to pray, "Lord help me to recognize Christ in a rebuke."
All He wants from you is your admission that, that is a weak area or in any weakness, He would be your strength. You too, I think a little bit.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes. "Why does she have to talk in that tone of voice?" Sometimes, that is the way it comes up. Maybe it is Christ mixing with my humanity. Maybe Christ talks sharply sometimes. I think it is Christ talking sharply, but I could be mistaken.
Even if it is Christ coming through my personality and being sharp, it is still Christ. Even that edge, that human edge is on it, but the Word is still Christ. You have to recognize it as Christ. You respond in a Godly manner to it and not resist it. You cannot resist the Word, because you do not like the tone of voice. That is a temptation of the carnal mind to resist the Word because of the tone of voice.
This is what you are all in training for. This is part of the ministry of the two-witness company. The church is under judgment. Remember, the judgments of God are merciful, and they are a test. This is a line in the plummet, and it is a test to determine whether or not the person can recognize Christ or not, or to determine how mature Christ is in you, because Christ recognizes Christ.
If Christ is mature in you, no matter what the member of the two-witness company looks like, if Christ is functioning in you, you are going to recognize the spirit. You are going to recognize Christ. That is the test.
God sends me in, I look like a young woman, they were looking for people for the school. I said, "My daughter is twenty-one." "Oh, really?" He said, "You do not look old enough to have a twenty-one year old daughter." Here I come with my sweet little voice saying "God bless you, pastor," and he is supposed to discern Christ in me.
I have not seen anyone do it yet, no one that God has sent me to in the ministry yet, in my six years of formal ministry. I was in a two-witness company for a couple of years before that. No one in the ministry has ever discerned that it was Christ in me. They all stumbled.
What does that say? It says that all of the ministries that I have been sent to so far are people who have the imputed anointing, because only Christ can recognize Christ.
Is this some terrible thing? No, it is not a terrible thing when it is proven that is not Christ in them, but that they are a natural man with gifts. That is the imputed anointing. It is the man with gifts when that is proven. How is that proven? When you cannot recognize Christ in a member of the two-witness company.
Then, God will begin to judge you. The judgments are not too pleasant, but the result of the judgment is that Christ should be formed in you. This is God's law. This is how He set it up. I did not set it up this way.
COMMENT: How would we recognize Christ. What would be His response? As you were saying, he did not recognize Christ in them. What would be his response if he did recognize Christ?
PASTOR VITALE: If I recognized Christ, the response would be to heed whatever word I had from him. Sometimes Christ speaks through me, and I am very, very aware that it is not me talking, that it is Christ. Sometimes He speaks through me, and it comes out so naturally that I may not even be aware of it myself.
XXXX had a word of knowledge. I am not saying yea or nay. I am saying it is possible, but when I met him in the restaurant it was obvious. I do not want to say anything about the man, but the truth is that it was obvious. The truth is the truth, but I knew he was looking for people to come to the church. You do not have to be a genius to see it, that there are financial problems in the school, looking for kids for the school.
I have been around on Long Island in the churches for fifteen years, and I want to tell you I have never, ever heard a pastor say to two women, that he did not even remember...."Come Wednesday night and be sure to see me after the service," and I never heard such a thing.
As a matter of fact, I have a testimony from someone who, at the time, was an ultimate reconciliation preacher she knows, and she called up to talk to this very man, and his wife would not put him on the phone. You could not get to this man, and most of the pastors on Long Island are like that. You cannot even talk to them.
We are two strangers sitting in the restaurant, and he is saying, "Be sure to see us, to see me after the meeting." You do not have to be a genius to figure it out.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes. You do not have to be a genius to figure that out. When I looked at him, and it probably was Christ because I did not stop to think. I just looked right at him, he saw me looking, and he came right over, because I had tears in my eyes. That was probably Christ. I just said, "God Bless you" about three times. It was probably the Lord, and he said, "I do not recognize you," and I said, "I know you from your basement meetings." It was Christ manifested in me.
When we drove from the restaurant, the word that was in XXXX's heart, we were talking, and I was telling her that he racked up big bills. He cannot pay those big bills, and I asked God to have mercy on him. I do not know him now, but there was a time that he was a sincere man. I have seen him have a lot of compassion, a real healing ministry, and a lot of compassion for the people.
I was asking God to help him and XXXX said, however it came out of her mouth, she said, "I must explain this whole thing that God has something to say to him, and she said, yes God said it. ..." I am sorry my thoughts are all boggled. Let me start again.
I said to her, "In my opinion, God is not moving in this big building anymore. He is not moving in these big buildings, a lot of these churches with these big buildings, they are in trouble. God is not honoring it anymore."
It is my understanding that his money trouble started before the building was completely up, that he made his plans to put this extension up, and he lost half his congregation. He was putting so much pressure on the people for money that he lost people that were with him for fifteen years, and that he has had financial troubles ever since.
I said to XXXX, "If that is true that he has financial troubles, God is not intending to bring in the people that are going to carry the bills." He has got to put his pride in his pocket and sell the building. That is what he has to do, and I know it was the wisdom of God coming forth. XXXX said, "I guess that was the Lord talking to him saying. ..."
"Yes," I said, "he must have been crying out all day long, Lord where are you, Lord where are you?" He came to me, and Christ said to him, "I knew you when you were in your basement."
COMMENT: "I was with you."
PASTOR VITALE: "I was with you in the basement." Do you hear what I am saying? I stumbled getting it out.
COMMENT: He thought it was her and he said, "I do not remember you," but I perceived it as Christ. Christ was there, and said, "I was there with you in the basement."
PASTOR VITALE: You can see the pressure is on the man. You could see the strain on him, and I had a word of knowledge that he had been crying out, "Jesus where are you, Jesus where are you," and Jesus came in a man and said to him, "I was with you in the basement."
PASTOR VITALE: He did not hear it.
COMMENT: God is not in that other one.
PASTOR VITALE: He is not in it. What is coming to me right now is the experience that I had with that elderly lady. I am sure you heard the testimony. Several years ago, the Lord brought me to this elderly woman in the street. He brought me to an elderly woman, and I stood on the corner of Madison Ave and 44th street on my lunch hour. People zooming by, whizzing by, and my mind's eye just filled up with the memory that was at least a year or two old of this little old lady asking me to help her across the street. Did you hear this testimony?
PASTOR VITALE: At that time, I had a spiritual experience with that little old lady. Here I am standing on the street corner, and my mind is filled with this memory. Did you hear this testimony? Yes? I said, "Lord what does this mean? Am I going to meet this little old lady again?" I thought I was going to meet the same little old lady again.
As I was asking the question, this other little old lady comes up to me and says, "Would you help me across the street, please?" This was a different little old lady, so I knew it was ministry, and I walked with her, and I must have walked ten blocks. I only had an hour for lunch, and I am praying the whole time, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"
About six blocks down the way, the Lord says "Ask her what she needs." The woman was not poor. She was a Jewish woman, she was not poor, she had rings on her fingers. I said to her, "What do you need?" She was completely taken back that anyone would ask her what she needs.
The Lord said to me, "Ask her again." I said, "What do you need?" She was shocked, and she had two needs. She had broken her hand. She lived alone, and she had broken her hand. Her neighbors would not even help her by turning the key in the lock for her, and she was engaged in a lawsuit with the insurance company, if I remember correctly.
Somebody was trying to cheat her, she had a spirit of righteousness on her, and she would not give it up because they were trying to cheat her. She knew it, and that is what she told me, and I witnessed a little, but she was not too open. I did not say too much about Jesus.
The whole point I am getting to you right now is that I knew that I was Christ sent to her. He was in me, He walked my body to this woman, because she had been crying out to God, because she knew Him which was not Jesus, it was Jehovah. She was crying out, and Christ in me walked my body to this woman, and was using my mouth, and she was right in my eyes.
There were tears in her eyes and she said, "I just have one question to ask you. Why would God help you," because I had told her about my testimony. She said, "Why would He help you and not me?" Here He was looking her right in the eyes ready to give her a miracle when she told Him what she needed, and she could not recognize Him. All she saw was this young woman talking to her on the street.
This just popped into my mind as we talked about this pastor, and I really have it strong in my heart that he has been crying out, "Jesus where are you, Jesus where are you," and Jesus walked into the restaurant, and shook his hand and blessed him and said, "I was with you in the basement."
COMMENT: That is something.
PASTOR VITALE: He did not hear it.
COMMENT: He did not recognize it.
PASTOR VITALE: He did not hear it.
COMMENT: He was looking at her.
PASTOR VITALE: Thinking I was going to be a member of his church, and he was going to get my tithes.
COMMENT: Did he not know he was talking back to the Lord? Just trying to get your tithes?
PASTOR VITALE: He was trying to get my tithes. He wanted a tithing member of his church. Here was Christ telling him, answering his prayer, and all he could see was a human being that was a potential contributor to his church.
Just in case anyone is misunderstanding me, I am not condemning this man. This is the condition of fallen man. When someone says (Sheila speaking in tongues) "Thus sayeth the Lord. ..," or prophesy, the Lord is talking, and if you have a minister that has a ministry like XXXX had an outstanding ministry for a long time with a word of knowledge, and you say there is someone in here that is crying out to the Lord day and night, "Where are you Lord, where are you Lord." Wherever you are, the Lord says to you, "He knew you in your basement," you better turn around and go back to your basement because you took a misstep.
Listen to that, but in the New Covenant...that is all Old Covenant, Christ comes dressed like a man, and you are required to discern. He comes looking like a man, He talks like a man, He walks like a man, but His spirit is God.
COMMENT: It is in the heart.
PASTOR VITALE: You are required, and I am required to discern Christ. Anyone. I have to discern Christ in anyone of you, and in people, believers. No matter how sincere, believers that still have a lot of carnality in them, we have to pick that one word, or that one phrase, or that one message out from the midst of all the carnality, and that is not easy. That is the challenge He is giving us today.
If we cannot do it, judgment has to fall so that we can learn how to do it, and judgment that is going to chip away the carnality from our mind. It is very hard to do. Do not be discouraged anyone, this is very hard to do. If you confess that you cannot do it, and you ask the Lord to do it for you, He is able to do it for you.
I was very blessed this weekend in New Jersey. The Lord had something to say to our hostess, and I went to bed and the next morning she said to me, "After you went to bed, it took me about an hour. There was another person sitting there," she said "but I told that other person that was not counsel coming from you, that was the Lord telling us what to do."
She is probably the only person in my memory, and I know it was the Lord. Lots of times it is the Lord speaking out of me. There is no condemnation. I am just telling you the truth.
I know it is God, and you look right at me and say, "I will pray about it," and you cannot tell that it is not my personal counsel, but it is the Lord talking to you out of me, and this has probably happened to everyone of you here.
COMMENT: Does that come with experience with the Lord? He calls us more and more so the time will come that we will recognize it?
PASTOR VITALE: He has to increase in you. It is Christ in you that has to recognize Christ in another human being, because Christ in the individual, in every individual, is not equally mature. This is a great mystery. There is a false message in the church today, "I have Christ in me, why would He talk to me out of someone else's mouth when I have Christ in me?" Brethren, the answer is that Christ in you may not have had enough experience to give you the message that God wants you to have.
He will go to someone whose Christ is more mature. If you stop to think about it, this is not any different than you getting a prophesy in the church, than you beating on Heaven's door and going into church and having an anointed minister call you out a word of knowledge and giving you an answer to your problem. No one would hesitate with that. "Praise the Lord, I got a prophesy from a man of God today, and I have been praying about it, and praying about it, and God spoke to me through the man of God. Is that not wonderful?" No one has a problem with that.
When it is New Order, when the message comes out in a normal conversational tone, the believers that are moving into Christ are having a problem distinguishing between it being that person's opinion and it being God speaking right out from them. This is what we are up against.
We move into maturity in Christ, the challenges are great. The challenges are great. Our God is merciful, if your heart is sincere He will give you the witness as to whether or not it was Christ in the other person.
If I leave you with one piece of information this evening, let it be this, that even though you have Christ, each of us has Christ in our hearts, every manifestation of Christ is not equally mature. Remember, Christ is growing up from seed. He is having overcoming experiences, and the experiences of Christ are all tied into life experiences, all tied in together. Everyone is not equally mature in Christ, and if you have a problem that Christ in you has no experience to draw upon, the Lord will send you to someone who Christ is manifesting in that has had an experience that has become a part of Christ in him.
You may recall me telling you also about why I prophesy, why I exercise the gift of prophesy so infrequently. I know I have told it to you, but let me tell it to you again. When the Lord has a message that He wants to give to this group, for example, if that wisdom that He wants to share with you is something that could naturally come out of my experience in Christ, the Lord will choose to prophesy.
Remember the difference between the gift of prophesy and prophesy. Prophesy is the word of the Lord speaking through a man in the natural conversation, and that is the true prophesy, but you have to discern that it is the spirit of God or the natural man. What makes it prophesy is the word of the Lord. It is the spirit of God.
If the Lord wants to say something to you that could naturally come out of my experience base or, if you will, my database, my spiritual database, He most likely will speak it in normal conversation like this, and you have to decide whether it is my opinion or whether it is the Lord talking to you.
If the Lord has something to say to you that is not in my experience base, I have never experienced it, I could not relate to it, I do not even understand it myself, He will bypass my consciousness and speak with the gift of prophesy. Thus sayeth the Lord, "dada, dada, dada." That will be something I have no understanding of myself. He bypasses my consciousness, and the reason I exercise the gift of prophesy so infrequently is that a lot of what the Lord is choosing to say to this group, I have experienced, and that is what makes me the leader.
You know when you go to jail, in every jail they have a captain of the cell block. Brethren, we are all prisoners down here in hell. I am just the captain of the cell block, but the reason I am the captain of the cell block is that I have had a lot of experience. I have had a lot of experiences and have confessed a lot of sin, and I had a lot of deliverance, and that combination has freed up my spirit so that I am in a spiritual condition where I hear from God, and He has been able to bring His wisdom, His doctrine, through me.
There is always a captain of the cell block. I am still the captain of the cell block. I am a prisoner like you are. I am in hell like you are, but I am still the captain of the cell block, and I have had experiences, and I have wisdom that you have not had.
Each of you may have had an experience or two but, over all, the reason I am captain is that God has made a judgment and I have had more experience than anyone here. That is all. I am just as much of a prisoner as you are.
COMMENT: I remember the night I was asking for that discernment in just conversation, being able to discern when it is Christ talking or just that person's mind, and what I am asking now is, can we ask Him for that and will He give it to us?
PASTOR VITALE: Sure, He wants you to have it. Yes.
COMMENT: Or do we have to earn it?
PASTOR VITALE: He wants you to have it. When you ask for it, if the Lord makes a judgment that you will need a certain experience or a certain deliverance to get it, He will move to bring it forth. Just ask, do not worry about it. He wants you to have it.
COMMENT: Because I really want to know the difference.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, He wants you to have it.
COMMENT: Even speaking, I know it is starting to happen with me, ever since that night.
PASTOR VITALE: Ever since what night?
COMMENT: Ever since that night that I spoke it openly, that I would like to have it, and it was on a tape and you said, "I pray that He blesses you," that it is beginning to happen.
PASTOR VITALE: I just remind everybody that XXXX's been in the ministry more than two or three years longer than anybody, so do not be discouraged, but be encouraged. Be encouraged, because she was not always like this, and this is what we are praying for. What we are asking for has to be built into us, and it does not come over night. It takes a couple of years.
COMMENT: I think part of the answer is now that I am thinking about that, is that He is giving me the hard experiences so that I can know. Experiences are coming with it that are painful and burning up my pride, because pride keeps me from hearing whether it is the Serpent or whether it is Christ.
PASTOR VITALE: Right.
COMMENT: I guess that is it. The experiences are coming as an answer.
PASTOR VITALE: Praise God. There is no doubt about it. The carnal mind has to be crushed for this ability. Your carnal mind must be crushed if you want to go on with God, and I think everybody here wants to go on with God. He is crushing your carnal mind.
Not necessarily doing it to everybody the same way, and the timing is not the same. Do not look at anybody else. Just look to the Lord, and He is going to do it. He is going to do it, but it does not happen over night. Please do not be discouraged. It just does not happen over night.
I remember XXXX screaming at me one day. She was all upset with me, telling me that she did not even understand anything that I was preaching. You were standing right over there. "I do not even understand this message, anyway I am getting out of here. I do not even know what you are talking about. I am getting out of here!"
COMMENT: That was a very long time ago, I remember that.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, that was almost three years ago that you did that and, at that point, you were starting to understand, and you could not even see it. I said to you "but XXXX understand."
PASTOR VITALE: At that point, you were starting to understand, and you could not even see it, and I said "but you are starting to understand it but. ..."
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, you were manifesting. It was a very difficult time for XXXX. We were just talking about it today, because the whole ministry was just XXXX and me, and she was thinking there was really something wrong with me, and the whole ministry was just her and me. It was very hard being the only one, so it was a very difficult time. It was right after I got out of the hospital. It was very difficult for her and very frustrating.
COMMENT: Very deep messages.
PASTOR VITALE: She was the only one sitting here, and I was preaching my head off, and she is looking around. I was just preaching into the realm of the spirit. A couple of times I took it personally. Those couple of messages in the 78 series were really powerful.
COMMENT: I will have to check it out, because I was not understanding.
PASTOR VITALE: You must have cut your heart out.
PASTOR VITALE: Brethren, as we go on in God, the groups just get smaller and smaller because they, the average Christian in the church today, could not bear this, and for those who can bear it, you cannot minister this kind of ministry to a couple of hundred people. It is personal, individual ministry, and you just cannot do it to a couple of hundred people.
God is moving. It looks like He is raising up a fellowship in New Jersey, home fellowships, and that is what happened in Nigeria. You know, XXXX will tell you. Yes, they are just all out of the church. Yes, they are all out of the formal church in Nigeria. All in home fellowships, and it looks like that is what God is doing here in the United States.
Small groups, small groups, because you just cannot teach this deep ministry. You have to have a question and answer from the people. They have to be able to ask questions in a message like this, and you have to have personal ministry, wisdom, and counsel. The whole thing and I have, ...
COMMENT: It has to be personal.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes. It has to be personalized. I know that there have been several people that XXXX has ministered to, and she has been under me. If she could not answer the question, she would come to me. It is God but, in my opinion, in these bigger churches, where they have several groups, I personally have never seen that the heads of the several groups were really appointed by God.
If it is out there, I have never seen it, but I believe that it is a spiritual reality. God raises the person up, and I have told you many times that I believe it, that is what He is doing. That He is raising you up. He is going to bring you to the point where you have disciples, and that if you have any questions that you cannot answer, or if you need any help, you will come to me.
It has to be of God, and just hang in there because you are at the breakthrough point. You know, you have been here over two years, you have been here two years, you have been here two years, and you are less than two years but at least a year. You two are ready to break through. I think XXXX was here. Everybody is not the same. XXXX was here about three years.
She had a word for me, an official word for me, and the Lord said to her, I said "Thus sayeth the Lord, your personal ministry is beginning," and that day she ministered to somebody. The message had come alive in her, and she was able to give it out.
She had been coming here close to three years, so you two are close to breaking through. Do not be discouraged here, because it is taking this long.
COMMENT: Three years? You are saying it takes that long?
PASTOR VITALE: Let us not have side conversations here, you could talk if you want to.
COMMENT: It would take three years just for Christ to minister?
PASTOR VITALE: Christ ministered for three years. I do not know if we could compare it to....His ministry in full stature was for three years. All I know is that I only have one disciple that is really manifesting. I have been laboring in this formal ministry for six years. We are in the seventh year now, and I have one disciple that is manifesting out of all the people that pass through here, and she was in the ministry at least three years when she started.
That does not mean it will take you three years. I am mostly concerned with you not becoming discouraged, because in carnal churches, usually you get raised up much faster than that.
That is my concern, that you should not be discouraged, but you should hang in here and do everything that you are doing. What is happening here is Jesus' parable of the husband. He has planted a seed in you, and it just seems to average three years for that seed to sprout. Maybe for someone, it will take a little less, some it takes a little longer. I want you to know that, because I do not want you giving up, and XXXX, I am seeing definite signs of spiritual growth in XXXX.
Do not compare yourself to anybody is what I am saying, but be encouraged. I am just speaking in general, I am not speaking to anybody. If you perceive envy in yourself at all, just curse it and crush it, because there is no....first of all, every fallen man has envy. If it rises up in you, you have to deal with it, because God has plenty for everybody. There is so much work to be done that there is absolutely no reason to be envious.
Just ask God to raise you up. So much work to be done, incredible amounts of work to be done. If you perceive envy in yourself, go against it and try and kill it, and just ask God to raise you up. There is plenty of work for you as soon as you are ready.
COMMENT: I do not comprehend. What is this envy in ministry?
PASTOR VITALE: A lot of people are envious and want.... they see somebody ministering, they feel they would like to minister or to teach. They would like to have a disciple, they would like to travel. It is just human.
COMMENT: I have seen it in the church. They would be in the pulpit and get the attention they want.
PASTOR VITALE: Very common. Let me clarify that. There is nothing wrong with desiring it, that you want it too. There is nothing wrong with that, but envy is a malicious spirit that hurts, that wants to steal it. Hates the person because they have it and you do not, and that is why I say there is no reason to have evil thoughts towards the person that has it. God has plenty for you too.
COMMENT: Yes. In this particular ministry God.... every time I have seen someone in a high office in a son, they usually have someone that God has sent them to specifically to help raise them up, and it is a formal job in itself. Training that person, coming against the carnal mind, helping to crush their carnal mind, helping to raise up the seed in them.
It is a lot of work and that to each one He gives them a personal disciple and there is usually one that you work on, that you stick with. I have seen it in operation. Two different times now, in a very high office with him and with one other person, I saw not quite at the same level.
He gave me the idea. It is like He told me that personal. ...you call it personal tutoring or discipline. It is much more involved in them than tutoring. It is much more than teaching, but it is teaching too. I wanted to make a remark about that. She said something about it is kind of scary too because of the rejection, but it is not the same as when you first get the Holy Ghost and you want to witness to somebody.
I experienced that rejection like that, but it is not the same when you are sent to somebody, and you have Christ built in you, and that you have got a young one just sapping up that spiritual milk from you. It is very satisfying to give it out. It does not feel like rejection at all.
You can spend the day with them if you are called to do that. You spend a couple of hours, or just go out, or have them at your house, or whatever God has, but it is satisfying. I do not fell rejection in that at all. I feel very much like I am just exactly where God wants me to be, and it has not got that feeling. That.... various rejection to overcome, to overcome. I am just trying to say that it is not just the same, as it is satisfying too.
PASTOR VITALE: It is very satisfying, but everything XXXX said is true. I have to add something to it, another side of it. That other side to it is that person's carnal mind will attack you, and that is the truth. That is the truth. The person that you are sent to, if you know you are sent to them, and you know that you are sent to teach them, to counsel them, to share everything God has done for you with them, and they do not realize what you are doing, they have a carnal mind which is trying to kill you the whole time you are trying to build Christ in them. They do not even know that they are doing it.
It is a tremendous challenge to deal with these people's carnal minds in the love of Christ, because the tendency is to really get into a fight with them. It is a very hard thing. It can be learned because God taught me, and it requires some difficult experiences and some painful experiences, because your carnal mind is saying to you, "Look at this, I am spending hours with you, I am teaching you, I am pouring out of my substance to you, and you zing me with Jezebel? You put a knife in my back, and you call Christ in me a profane spirit? Who needs you?" God keeps sending you back.
It is a very difficult training for the teacher, extremely difficult, but you do reach a place where you learn to deal with it, with a minimum of pain. I have reached that place, and I deal with it with a minimum of pain, and have learned how to point out to people with kindness and to not. ... to keep the hurt to me at a minimum, but I have suffered greatly coming to this point. XXXX was going through that a lot now, until recently.
It is a painful training that raises you up as a son that you have to. ...if God sends you, it is worth it. If God sends you to somebody to give you a disciple, there is not anything they can do to you that can justify your rejecting them. If God has said, "I assign this person to you," no matter what they do to you, no matter how much they hurt you, you have to go back and, frequently, you have to be the one to humble yourself.
The disciples really do not know what is going on, and maybe they are offended by you because you are still learning. If you make a mistake and you lash out at them, and get them insulted, and they do not want to talk to you, and they are mad at you, and you, being the elder, you have to go back and raise that relationship from the dead because God said, "I have sent you to raise up that son."
You have to humble yourself. No, you are not going to let any ungodliness in them tread on you. You have to walk that fine line, humble yourself without letting them abuse you, but raise that relationship from the dead.
You have to keep it going, and it is a tremendous challenge. The first couple of years of this challenge is very painful because that carnal mind, when it attacks you, it really cuts you to ribbons.
COMMENT: I guess I wanted to say that when you first have the Holy Spirit, and you want to minister to somebody, it is a little bit different than when you have Christ, and you are ministering to somebody in the sense of rejection, because you do not always know what to do. Even in Christ, you do not always know what to do. You have a sustenance to give out, and you know it and there might be. ...the carnal mind to come up against. It is a much heavier battle than if it is just the holy Spirit using you at the moment, and that you are kind of just feeling your way through by the spirit.
When you have Christ, you have much to give them and that if you sit and wait for that time when God says, "Your personal ministry is going to happen," God is going to give you a disciple, that you can rest assured that it is time, and Christ is going to be coming out of you. They are going to ask you questions or whatever they need at that time.
You are going to be able to fulfill that need, and that is very encouraging. I think that too. Does not matter that you have to keep in mind, in the relationship, who you are in the relationship. Makes a big difference whether or not you are going to receive rejection or not. If you have it in your heart, I am the son in this relationship, you can stand strong against that rejection.
PASTOR VITALE: That is true, but there is another side to that. Almost without exception, the disciple that you are ministering to thinks that they have the authority over you. They always have it backwards. The carnal mind always has it backwards, and you will find that when God is raising you up as a son, that He sends you to someone who thinks they are more mature than you. These are all snares that you have to know.
As XXXX said, but you cannot go to the person and say, "Stop doing that. Do you not know that I am the son?" You cannot do that to them. You have to deal with people that think that they are wiser than you, that they are smarter than you. They think they are sent to you, they always do. They almost always have it backwards. They think they are sent to you, and you have to learn how to deal with that in Christ.
COMMENT: Usually, we do get knocked down in Christ.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes. Everyone that is being raised up, Scripturally speaking, is a biting Serpent. That is Scriptural. They are biting Serpents, and they are going to be converted into Seraphims so they come to you and they bite you.
COMMENT: Do you have anything about the Seraphims?
PASTOR VITALE: The Seraphim appears, I think, only once in the Scriptures. I think, in the book of Isaiah, and they are Serpents with wings that surround the throne of God and are not destroyed. That would indicated that they are converted Serpents, because the fire of God destroys sin.
Who are these Serpents who have sprouted wings? They have been redeemed to the point that they are surrounding or guarding the throne of God. They are man. Man is the Serpent. This whole realm, it is the Serpent.
COMMENT: You are saying that this Serpent, that we are.... It is going to be transmuted?
PASTOR VITALE: I do not know. I do not know about transmuted.
COMMENT: The flesh of it is that it is cursed, and it is cursed on its belly, and that it is going to have wings. It means its flesh is going to change?
PASTOR VITALE: I would not use that word right now. I would have to think about it. Right now, I would not use that word that they are redeemed. Or they are redeemed.
COMMENT: What does that mean?
PASTOR VITALE: Maybe redeemed is not the right word, but they are saved.
COMMENT: It is not going to be destroyed? It is going to be gone?
PASTOR VITALE: It is going to be converted, but it is not going to be destroyed.
COMMENT: Converted into a Seraphim?
PASTOR VITALE: That was one of my biggest arguments. The word "destroying" means "changing into another form," and I would not say "transmuted." I would not say "gone," I would not say "redeemed." I would not say any of those words. Right now, I would say "converted." Converted from being evil to being acceptable to God, to being received by God.
COMMENT: That does not mean changed? That their form will be changed?
PASTOR VITALE: Their moral condition will be changed. I will leave it at that.
COMMENT: It is not even that their form will be changed?
PASTOR VITALE: No, because they are Serpents, former Serpents.
PASTOR VITALE: Their form is not changed.
COMMENT: They get wings?
PASTOR VITALE: They get wings. Yes, something is added to them.
COMMENT: I see, so it is added to them.
PASTOR VITALE: What is being added to them?
COMMENT: The mind of Christ. Christ is being added to it.
PASTOR VITALE: Christ is being added to them. Christ is being added to us. I have been preaching that here for a while now. We are saved by addition. We are not saved by deliverance. Deliverance is valid, but we are not saved by deliverance. We are saved by having something added to us, our righteousness, being added to us. We are saved through union with Christ.
COMMENT: The carnal mind is the Serpent, right?
PASTOR VITALE: No. Satan is the Serpent. The carnal mind is the offspring of Satan and the human spirit, and he is being dissolved. Satan is being converted, if that is the right word, from an evil presence to a presence that will serve man. Just like a wild, ravaging bull cannot serve man, but when they castrate that bull, he becomes an ox who can be trained to pull the plough and be of service to mankind. The Serpent is being castrated and is going to be converted into a form in which he will be of service to the Lord and to man.
COMMENT: This Seraphim looks like a man with wings? Is that what it is like?
PASTOR VITALE: Yes.
COMMENT: The Serpent is Satan, the unconscious mind and the unconscious mind is going to get wings? Am I right?
PASTOR VITALE: He is going to be joined to Christ.
COMMENT: The wings are Christ?
PASTOR VITALE: He is going to be joined to Christ. He is going to come near to God and surround the throne of God. Man will surround the throne of God, so that the spirit of God can be expressed through this living soul, which is man. That is what the Seraphim. ...and there is a Scripture, I think it is Mark 5:16 where the Lord says "And you shall take up Serpents." We have some cults in the world that believe that it physically means to actually lift up Serpents. If you look up that word "take up" in the Greek, It really means, "to ascend, to cause to ascend."
The Serpents, Satan himself, is going to ascend into the heavenlies with God through the union with Christ.
COMMENT: That is actually what it means by the wings. Right?
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, that they have ascended.
COMMENT: That they will ascend into Christ?
PASTOR VITALE: Through union with Christ, they have ascended to a condition where they are permitted to come near to the Lord without being destroyed.
COMMENT: It is true that these Serpents are right there with Christ, and it is not going into full stature by itself, but it has to go under Christ, and it will ascend with Christ?
PASTOR VITALE: The Serpent is not going into full stature. The Serpent is being bound up by the mind of Christ. Bound up through death. The Serpent will not be exalted. He has to die to everything he is in this world to go up with Christ. He has to be crucified.
COMMENT: How does that compare with Satan in the Book of Job, coming into the presence of God? Does that have any connection?
PASTOR VITALE: That is a good question. Does that have any connection? It is my opinion that Satan....it says Satan came with the sons of God to see the Lord, and I believe what that means, when the sons of God came, Satan in their mind was present with them. They came in the bodies of the sons. The Lord said to Satan "You can try them." It is Satan in our own mind that is trying them. Did I answer your question?
I know the tendency is to think "Five sons of God came, and Satan came with his horns and his tail into the meeting." No, Satan was in the mind of everyone of those sons that came before the Lord. That is what it means.
COMMENT: He appeared with the people.
PASTOR VITALE: Some people he talks through more than others, but that is okay. Even if he talks through you a lot, you can change, because you could be a vessel of dishonor today, and a month later you can be a vessel of honor.
COMMENT: You have to go through fires and trials.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes. Amen.
COMMENT: Before, you were saying about God preparing us, raising up people to start teaching a disciple. How do you know you are ready?
PASTOR VITALE: When the Lord sends you a disciple and, most of the time, you do not think you are ready and it is hard. I am not going to lie to you, to anybody here. Especially, your first disciple, is hard. Life experience counts, if you just happen to be here, you are a sophisticated person, you had a lot of experience with people in your lifetime. You know like XXXX over here, XXXX over here, like she has got the gift of love. I could just see a disciple being sent to her and trying to cut her heart out and doing that. She is a son and all, and I could see her just loving them out of it because that is her natural personality to do.
God will use what you have naturally to help you deal with those difficult situations. The younger you are, it is possible that you might have a little more trouble than someone like XXXX because she has got all these years, all these thirty some odd years of experience behind her. If God chooses to start you off in your twenties, you just have no choice. He will develop in you a few trials, everything that you do not have, whatever you need to minister to these people.
Whether it be love, or patience, or understanding, if you do not have it in the trials that will follow from having disciples, He will build it in you. These three ladies here, they have raised families, these three ladies here, they have lived with husbands, they have lived with husbands, which each should get a medal for that in the first place. All the years these ladies have been married, they should get a medal for that. It is not easy living with a man all these years.
COMMENT: It is hard.
PASTOR VITALE: They all have had children, and your children crucify you over and over. No matter how good your kids are, it is hard being a mother. You get hurt, you get wounded, you have to love when you are not being loved, and that is true of being a wife and a mother. These three ladies have something behind them that you do not have. If God says He is going to start. ...if God sends you a disciple, He will build in you whatever you need.
COMMENT: I, being a single woman, the last couple of years has been a struggle for me, but I have learned to deal with it and overcome any.... I just think I am the youngest one here and the most carnal one of all, but yet I feel that Christ is in me, sometimes He comes and goes. For example, one week I will be very spiritual, twenty-four hours, every minute, discerning. What you and XXXX have, this life daily, all the time, I experience maybe a couple of months out of the year, and the rest of the months I am just living my life.
I want Him to manifest and do some kind of work and it just does not. Sometimes I feel He is just letting me do whatever, enjoy the day, do what I have to do, enjoy my friends, and then it is not always ministering. It is just enjoying my youth. Anyway, I do not even know what I was talking about. I guess what I am trying to say is that, that is not what I am trying to say. I meant to talk about something else. That these last couple of weeks, I have been going to this church, and I have been going to this Bible study that deals with mostly the single people around my age. These last couple of weeks they have been incredible. I mean, I got there just to listen, but every now and then I feel to minister about the single and the Christ.
What I have learned from here and I seem to....when I will be talking about these last couple of weeks, men and women, they seem to really appreciate and enjoy what I am saying. I do not know if this is God or not, but I feel the last couple of nights, I felt, I do not know if this is the Lord or not. I have a heart for the single people, to talk to them, to share with them. I do not know if that is God.
PASTOR VITALE: The Lord will use you. He is not likely to send you to a fifty-five year old married woman who needs ministry. He is not likely to do that. He is most likely to send one of these ladies here. Even XXXX, she has had several disciples, to young people.
COMMENT: Even these past weeks, you know, they are probably carnal, but some of them have their basics and their little dips and the carnal church, and they seem to have this hunger for this spiritual, what you call spiritual growth, like one of the two leaders. The two leaders are in their twenties. Right now they are reading a book on singles and relationships, and they seem to ask questions. Then one of the leaders says, "Does anyone want to share?" Sometimes my fear manifests and warns me to keep shut up and all that. Sometimes after I speak, people are saying, "What is she talking about?"
I know it is my pride or whatever, but I feel to share, you know. It is these last couple of weeks I have just, you know I enjoy sharing. More to share with the young people and the singles more so. I know I have this lady, who is a friend of mine, and she is married, and she always calls me once in a while. I love her, and she is always talking to me about her marital problems. She is married to a man who is not a Christian, and it is hard. I do not know what to say to her. I do not know what it is like being married to a man who is always abusing you, whatever her problem is. He is not a Christian, and you have a kid, and going through life struggling with your child. I do not know what to say.
She would call me and share with me. I mean I share with her what I feel, but other times I do not. Mostly whatever is in my heart, it is either with the children. Not so much the children, the younger people, the babes in the Lord or anything that I went through in my life that I overcame somewhat. What I am struggling with right now, I feel to share with these people, do you know what I mean? How do I know if I started?
PASTOR VITALE: It sounds to me like you have started.
COMMENT: I think it is, I think it is but you as my minister.
PASTOR VITALE: It sounds to me like the Lord is starting you out. He is starting you out slowly.
COMMENT: It is exciting, very exciting, and the thing is when I was taking about before that I was scared. Because I belong to this ministry, I do not believe in a lot of things. I do not believe what the carnal church teaches. I get scared, I am afraid to say what I believe and they are like "Get out of here, you are occult." I guess I am afraid of that when that happens.
PASTOR VITALE: You are afraid of the persecution. Look, the Lord knows where you are. He knows your true nature. He will take you slowly, because we have to be persecuted, because the disciple is not better than his master. They hated Him, and they are going to hate you, they persecuted Him and they are going to persecute you.
He would not give you more that you can bear.
He is going to take you a step at a time, a little bit at a time, and He will build up your tolerance.
COMMENT1: This reminds me where I was, what you are saying now reminds me what I went through which was....I was not scared. I did not even know what was coming on me. I just shared with these young people what I thought this verse meant, and I remember they got all together and went straight to the head. I got kicked off the ministry, but I was terribly rejected. As a matter of fact, I cried and cried, but I was in a position where the door was open for that. The Lord allowed me to go through that whole thing, and it was of God.
There was something up in me that I wanted to be accepted by these young people. I wanted to be "in" with them, and I am sure the Lord understood it, but at the same time it was just my time. It does not really matter, God is not looking at my age. He is not looking at anybody's age. He is looking to appear in somebody.
What I went through just had to be burned out of me, that it was my time to go through that. I am not saying that is going to happen to you. It definitely happened to me. I got kicked off the team and everything because.... yes, the ministry team. Got kicked out and totally rejected. They found out pretty quickly who I was. Sharing these verses, it did not take long.
COMMENT2: I know that is to come, and I am expecting that, and anywhere I go I know it might be for a season. If I stay in this group, I do not know how long God is going....I do not know how long I am going to be here. He may move me out and put me somewhere else. I find that everywhere I go it is probably just for a season. I am expecting all of that, and I do not expect so much to be a part of a group, because I feel this is where I belong. It is like I am being taught here, and I am being sent out, and I think I got....
PASTOR VITALE: Praise God.
COMMENT1: You feel that, after a certain time.
COMMENT2: I do not know if I can talk about this, but I think I got an interpretation of that dream the one that...
PASTOR VITALE: The one with the black things coming out?
COMMENT: The one about me being the milk lady. I do not know if this is God. I feel that means I am going to be giving out the milk to the babies. That is what I think, me being a milk woman and all that. I do not think I am qualified to minister to anyone in this group. Come on, I am the youngest one and you guys are way ahead of me, but I, sometimes I feel that I have it....I am able to teach the younger ones, the babes. That is what I think.
PASTOR VITALE: You do whatever you could do.
COMMENT1: You could do it, you have the spirit. There is no level, you have the spirit.
COMMENT2: No, I mean the deep....
COMMENT1: Just as much as anybody else has . That is not true, Christ could be flowing through her at the time. I mean she certainly is moving.
PASTOR VITALE: This is the whole difference between the imputed and imparted anointing. The imputed anointing is the same in everybody. It does not matter how much experience you have or how old you are. The imputed anointing prophesies, speaks in tongues etc, etc, but Christ is not the same in everybody. Christ is growing up from seed, and she does not have the experience that the rest of us have. She does not.
COMMENT: I hope she is not putting herself down because....
PASTOR VITALE: She does not have the life experience. Yes. She does not have the life experience. She does not have the maturity and what she knows about the message, I am not really sure, because she does not talk to me that much. I know she does not have the life experience that anybody here has. It is true. That is why she is being sent to other young people to share on her own level. It is not the same in everybody.
COMMENT1: "We are all on the same level, because we all have the spirit," that is what the church world says.
COMMENT2: I do not mean on the same level. I mean when Christ, when Christ is ministering through her, it is the same as if He was ministering through us. Maybe at a given time He ministers through her and does not minister through us at any given time.
PASTOR VITALE: Listen I just explained it. Listen XXXX, listen to me. Christ is growing up from seed, and He is not the same age in everybody. He is different and different levels of maturity in each individual, and it is the spirit of God that is overcoming experiences. Plus life experiences, also overcoming experiences in Christ. Christ experiences, life experiences all woven together. That is what Christ is and everybody is different. That is how this whole message started out this morning.
It is an ungodly teaching that is going through the Church today that you have Christ in you, and you do not need anybody else, because He talks to everybody equally. God does not talk to everybody equally. He talks to each individual according to their overcoming experiences, according to their spiritual maturity.
PASTOR VITALE: Right, right. That is how there can be spiritual elders in the church. Everybody is not....I do not even know what to call that. That is a really strong error. You really have to pray about that. It is a real strong error in your mind. I am not sure what it is, because I just explained it to you and you went back and said the same thing. Do you understand it now? Do you see what I am saying?
COMMENT: You and XXXX were talking before and were bringing something to mind. A few weeks back I was talking to a sister, and I do not know how it came back, but we were talking about, it is so hard to go back to a ministry that does not have a strong.... what is the word? A deeper teaching, and I could see pride rise up, and she said....and God kept me so calm, I could not believe it. She said, "What makes you think that garbage you talk about is secret things." I do not want to say the person's name. I said, "You forget what it says in the Word. It says we build hidden manna," and I said, "This is the hidden manna I was talking about and anything else God gave me. It was not me...," She was able to receive it, and there was no debate.
When she first started to say it, she said "We were both saved around the same time." I could feel it as you were both discussing, they want to put you down, but they got it and you do not. I saw that before, and it came to my mind as you were talking back and forth. When it was finished, she was really understanding what I was saying. It was not that we were thinking that we are better than anybody.
PASTOR VITALE: If you are more mature, you are more mature.
COMMENT1: What God is trying to do is deep in me, and it is hidden and I said, "The Bible is a jewel box. A jewelry box, and hidden inside of that is all this knowledge and wisdom that He is choosing who He is giving it to."
COMMENT2: It makes me think of the time.... it is like you are sent as the manifestation of God to that person, and really what they are saying without saying it is, "No, you are not God, I am God." It is the same thing Jesus went through when He dared to call Himself the Son of God, which He did not go around announcing it. XXXXXX they crucified Him for that very thing.
Yet the Pharisees, it was the Pharisees because the Pharisees were saying "You are telling us we are the seed of Abraham." They are saying, "We are the sons of God." Right? They are the ones who are saying that, but Jesus, who was the Son of God, how dare He say that?
PASTOR VITALE: There is an order in the church. Everybody is not equally mature, even in the imputed church where the anointing is not brought up by seed. There are some people that are more anointed, more mature than other people. It is really important that we know. Because we have the spirit we are not all equal in Christ, and we have to discern who has what. If you need a healing and you go ask someone to pray for you, and he has no maturity with the gift of healing, you are wasting your time.
Paul said that the church cannot discern the body of Christ, and that is why they are sick and dying. What does that mean? It means that you cannot tell who has the authority to pray healing over you. You cannot discern where Christ is. You are going to the lawyer in the church. You are going to the big businessman in the church, and you are asking him to pray for you. You are dying, that is what it means.
COMMENT: Does it mean that the church world is so ignorant, they used to teach us that, that means if you drink the grape juice and eat the bread with unforgiveness in your heart, it could kill you. That is what they said. It is a wonderful understanding because you cannot discern the levels of Christ or the gifts, where they are, and that is why you die. It makes much more sense. That is real, that is the real body of Christ.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes. Who do you go to, to ask to pray for them.
COMMENT: Like I was saying earlier before about me, I feel that I am the least mature one in this ministry. This ministry that is so, so deep. I know you and XXXX and everybody else, this is an everyday thing for you, that Christ has.... it seems Christ has you guys always doing something all the time. He puts it in your heart to open the Bible, to want to go out and minister. Your whole life is involved in this.
Whereas with me, I have these experiences a couple of months a year and the rest of the year I would want it. In other words, I would be that way for a couple of months and then the next couple of months I would be like just living my normal life, like if I was not a Christian. Not that I am going out dancing one weekend and then the next weekend I am in church.
I mean that I would not open the Bible, I would be just watching TV, going out, being with my family, going to work, doing just regular carnal things, what you would say carnal. I do not do this all the time, and I do not understand why that happens with me.
PASTOR VITALE: Because you are growing into the ministry, and your conversion from a carnal person to a spiritual person is gradual. You take a few steps forward, you take a step backward. God is moving you in. A year ago you were not this strong. I remember when I prayed for you on the telephone. I told you I saw the (word unclear) and you were going to start ministering.
COMMENT: That was a year and a half ago.
PASTOR VITALE: A year and a half ago, and it took almost a year to start manifesting in your life from what you are telling me.
COMMENT: It is coming up by the seed.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes. Yes. It is coming up by seed.
COMMENT: It is the real thing.
PASTOR VITALE: That is what Paul says that you should not. ... This is talking about carnal elders, that no one should be appointed an elder under thirty years of age because they will be tempted by Satan. You need natural maturity to minister, and you are very young. God is starting you very young. He will give you what He knows. The human experience and the human maturity is very important, and it all works together.
COMMENT: I do not want to put it on the tape can we put it on pause?
PASTOR VITALE: If you really stop to analyze it.... these people that...
PASTOR VITALE: These people that you are talking about, that really have a rebellious personality. That means their strong personalities are directed in a negative way.
COMMENT: He turns it around.
PASTOR VITALE: He takes them and cleans them up, and now they have a strong personality for Christ because....
PASTOR VITALE: You have to have a strong personality to be in this ministry. This is hard.
COMMENT: I had not got the understanding clearly until the spirit is upon me, that truly I am a rebel, but I feel Him taking that personality and turning it around.
PASTOR VITALE: He is taking the rebels and the criminals, and He is using that raw strength. He is cleaning them up and using their raw strength for the Kingdom, because you cannot be a soft person and be in this ministry. It would kill you. You have to be a warrior. You need that basic personality of a warrior. You have got to have it.
COMMENT: Turning you around in an opposite track. He is taking that and turning it around. He is taking that part of yourself that is lusting for something in this life or experience through the body and turning it around towards what we are getting, but that would not be enough for us. That experience would not be enough for us. We are so highly that way, that we have to have the real and lasting thing. That communion that is far beyond that puny experience that takes us in the high realm. We have it forever, and that is what we end up lusting for.
Because we are so highly.... anyway, you know what I mean. He is taking it and turning it towards Himself. I have great hope in that. Because if we are fasting our whole life, then it is just a matter of time. No matter how far the wilderness. I know that you said before, the moment is a lifetime. Even if it takes a lifetime. The flesh and personality pass way, but this experience in Christ that I am having in this lifetime is never going to pass away. That is all that matters, because my personality and flesh are just clay.
PASTOR VITALE: Amen. This is a blessing of a New Order ministry. In a carnal church. I would have, or whoever was in charge would have stopped this move of the spirit, because the musician has to play first, and then we would have lost this move of the spirit, and the move of the spirit is what Christ had to say to everybody here. This is what the Lord had to say to you.
This is a manifestation of body ministry, in that the Lord changed the order of the meeting, and He brought forth a group discussion that I had no idea He was going to bring forth. Of course, everybody participated, but the most important thing I want to point out to you is the ability for whoever takes the lead to be able to yield to the spirit and recognize when you started talking.
Even a few of you here said, "Should we start the tape going?" You discerned that it was Christ, you discerned that I was not just chattering, that the Lord was moving. Praise God. In the future....
PASTOR VITALE: Yes. Yes. She did not even have to ask me. She just put it on, but the point is that you heard it. You heard it, you all heard it.
COMMENT: I felt it was very important.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, but you do not have to ask me to put that machine on. You do not have to ask me to do that. Yes, just go on and put it on. Does anybody have anything else to say?
COMMENT: Is there anything wrong.... if someone was called to Sonship or anything, and they have material things. For example if they have a big home, a 1994 Cadillac, or nice clothes or maybe jewelry and who is a Son of God, is there anything wrong with having that? I always used to think that if God was to bless a person with that and they are a Christian, they cannot be a Christian.
I used to think a Christian is humble, not poor but humble, and they do not have many things. I do not think that is true, that it does not matter, that the material things are just material things, and if you are a Son of God and you have things, not to condemn yourself.
PASTOR VITALE: There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. You should never condemn yourself, but it is my opinion that if you want to move into Christ, you can have all these things, but to have all these riches with a spiritual life, you would have to be brought to a place where it does not matter whether you have it or not.
COMMENT: I see. I see what you mean.
PASTOR VITALE: God gives it to you when it does not matter whether you have it or not. As long as it is important to you, it is going to interfere with your spiritual development. You do not have to give these things up of yourself if God lets you have them. You take them and you enjoy them.
COMMENT: I used to think you would be a terrible Christian for having these things. A terrible Christian or a spiritual, or a Son of God, whatever.
PASTOR VITALE: That is not true, but from what I have seen of the church world, it is a very rare Christian that has material wealth as a result of chastening of the Lord. It does not matter to them if they have it or not. Very rare. I only know of one man off hand, to tell you the truth. I do not think he is a Son, but he lost everything. He was in the Mafia. He lost all his money, and he stayed with the Lord, and the Lord gave it back to him, but he was still a carnal man.
COMMENT: I found the same thing with King David and Solomon. They were very, very rich, but yet were they considered Sons of God?
PASTOR VITALE: No, because that was the Old covenant. Even so Solomon.....
COMMENT: Even Abraham, too, had a lot.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes but, even so, Solomon's heart was right. The reason he got all that wealth was that what he asked for was wisdom and righteousness, if I am not mistaken. Understanding heart, wisdom and righteousness, he asked for. God gave him wealth also. That is pretty much what I am saying if it does not... when you reach a point where it does not matter whether you have it or not, then God may give it to you, or He may not give it to you.
COMMENT: I noticed just now that in the Old Testament that all these men of God, they were carnal men, but in God's eyes they were very important to God. I noticed Abraham and Job, they seemed like they had a lot.
PASTOR VITALE: This is how this prosperity message got into the church. Because it is true, what you just said is true, but the Old covenant was just asking the faithful of....God said, "Abraham believed God and it was counted for him to righteousness." Then they just had to perform the law, it was counted for them to righteousness.
When they fulfilled the law, God gave them the wealth. Under the New Covenant, the law has to be written in our heart, and God is not going to give us wealth if it is going to hinder the development of Christ in us.
This has been in my mind a lot lately, and that is my....I would not say it is the Lord, but it is my very strong opinion, and as Paul says in the Book of Corinthians, "I believe I have the spirit of God," and what I am saying to you or anybody, if material things are important to you, the chances are that as your walk with the Lord progresses, somewhere along the line you are either going to lose it or come to a trial where God knows without a shadow of a doubt that you are willing to lose it.
Sometimes God gives you a dry run. I have experienced that. He puts a trial up against you, and you take the victory in your heart and in your emotions, and then it never comes to pass. If God knows you would have done it. If you had to do it, you know what I am saying? I know someone said to me, a young woman, she has a young family, and she said to me not long ago "I believe you can have all these things in God." I perceived a spirit there, that she really wants all these things.
God may let her have all these things for the next twenty years. She is a young woman with a young family. God may say, "Let her have it." I do not know, but I have lost a lot of material things, compared to what my life used to be, and all that I could tell you is that it is really true, that the more you are developed spiritually the less these things matter to you. I am telling you it is the truth, and if you have your eyes on these things, for them to be important to you, your eyes have to be on them. That means that you are developed less, spiritually.
You cannot have both. Either you go to the left, or you go to the right. You cannot.... Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, that is where your heart is." Your heart cannot be on material things and spiritual things at the same time, because they are the exact opposite.
COMMENT: Set your affections on things above not on things of the earth.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, so He winks at a lot of these things, but the truth is when you get whatever Jesus' judge is, when you get to that point spiritually, you cannot go on lusting for material things. Then He is going to start taking them away from you, because your spiritual growth is more important than the material things. I tell you, I really have all I need, and I do not believe that God would take that away from me.
I need a roof over my head. I am very grateful that the furnishings are pleasant to my eye. I need transportation. I do not really care what the car looks like, as long as it goes. I need transportation. I need clothes for my back. I would prefer if they were a little stylish. I admit that, so maybe that is a breaking that has to come in me. I do not know, but I need clothes for my back. I do not care if I have a lot, and I really do not care.
People have asked me questions where I have answered, "It really does not matter to me," and they did not believe me. They think that I am lying or whatever their carnal mind thinks about me. These little things, they really do not make a difference to me at all. I cannot live without an intense relationship with Christ. I cannot survive and none of these things mean anything to me. I am certainly not there, I am entering in, but I am not there.
I drive along, and there are some beautiful houses on Long Island. Big beautiful houses, and I look at them and a lot of people do not believe me, but I am telling you the truth. I look at these houses and all that comes to my mind is if your relationships are not Godly, if you do not have strong intimate relationships in which you have peace and contentment, what good is this big beautiful house and I said, "Lord if you ever want to give me something like that. If you put my personal life in order, that is fine, but if you were to offer it to me today I do not even want it, because my personal life is first being brought into order." It is still not in order.
When you have strong personal ties based in love and respect, you have honor, peace and contentment in your life, and God wants to give you a big fancy house to put it in, that is really nice. I am telling you, you are a young woman, none of this stuff means anything without healthy, intimate relationships and peace and contentment.
People, you have to have people in your life. Young people today have all their eyes on material things. They are not having children, because they want to work and buy all these things. They will never be happy. It is better to have love and have a beautiful family. Our society is off today and the same thing with working mothers. If you need the money, if there is not enough money in the household, and you want to go to work, you go to work, but I know women that leave their children with babysitters to go to work to buy XXXXX China and XXXX XXXX furniture.
I want to tell you, there is something wrong with their spirit because that is not where their contentment is. It is not in material things. Just one more thing, material things are the dessert. They are the dessert of life. You have to get what is most important first, Godly, intimate relationships based on love, honor, and respect. Then if God gives you these things, well you are blessed. You can live without dessert, you cannot live without the main course.
COMMENT: I know that without Christ all these things you have, natural or whatever it is. I know that. I was just wondering if your life was in the right order that God after He puts everything in right perspective, you would desire natural things, but for whatever reason it just came to you. Would the Son of God be rejected because of material things?
PASTOR VITALE: That is just religious work. If God gives it to you, you take it and enjoy it. If God gives it to you.
COMMENT: You do not reject these things. You are thinking "My God, I must be a sinner."
PASTOR VITALE: Unless it is being given to you as a bribe or for some ungodly reason, but if by the grace of God, you have a good job, or you marry a wealthy man, then you just take it.
COMMENT: Would that hinder your spiritual life a little though?
PASTOR VITALE: With God, all things are possible.
COMMENT: They are just material things anyway.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, it is a funny thing, even the world knows that people that are involved in spiritual things, this other stuff does not bother them. The man, I do not want to put his name on the tape, he went to Washington. He had a job just fighting for the rights of the little people, and when ever you saw a picture of him, you saw that the shirt was not pressed, his tie was crooked, he just did not care about these things. They tend not to care about these things. When you get caught up in spiritual things, the less you care about these things. Sometimes to a point, some people get so caught up with spiritual association....