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How many of you know that when Jesus is present in a fellowship, there's war without ceasing. There is continuous warfare. I've had people tell me that they go to certain churches because it makes them feel good. Well if you want to feel good you can go to the Roman Catholic church, get communion, get your sins absolved and go home feeling real good amen, about yourself? But if you're in a church where the Spirit's really moving, it is continuous warfare. We're told in the Scripture that David ran from Saul, and that he waged war continuously, excuse me, and that the war was of long duration, the war to take the land for Israel, the land of Canaan, it was a war of long duration. And if you think that you're coming to Christ with all kinds of inherited and accumulated problems, and going to be well in one month, you might as well go visit Santa Claus, cause you're in la la land. And if you look around at people in the church, that look like everything is wonderful, well maybe everything is wonderful, maybe when they came to the Lord they had some itty bitty problem, and maybe it went in a month or a week or a year. But if you come with a whole bunch of problems, there's no way it's going in a week or a month or a year. If you have a problem that is going to take a psychiatrists to deal with you for ten years and you think you're coming to the church, and you're going to be okay in a month, you have a rapture mentality, and I apologize to anybody on behalf of the whole church for giving you a false hope, because it's a lie.
They mean well, they don't mean to hurt you, the world is filled with ignorance is filled with ignorance, very few people mean to hurt you, but if you've received a lie, you've been hurt, and by the grace of God you will rise up, you will forgive and you will go to the ministry, the spiritual ministry, whatever physical ministry it is appearing in, that Jesus sends you to, and Lord willing, you will labor long and suffer long, and become healed. It works for some people, that's the big mystery, this easy, this gospel of easy salvation, it works for some people, that's what confuses you.
I turned on the TV this morning, by the way, if anyone is interested in watching that minister that I told you about. I had told you he was on at 6 a.m. on station 41, and he's also on at 7, which is a more reasonable hour on channel 55, if you'd like to try him. But I missed this man and I watched someone else, a very well known preacher, a man of God, I don't deny it for a second, the anointing is on him, and he helps a lot of people, but he was up there saying, "If you're sick, you just speak to that infirmity and it's got to go." Well if it works for you it's fine, it works for some people, the whole problem is, that the people who it doesn't work for get condemned, because they can't figure out why it doesn't work for them. It didn't work for me, and God loves me just as much as he loves that man, and just as much as he loves everybody that came to the church, and was healed of every infirmity instantly, God loves me too, but it didn't work for me, and you need to know, you need to know that. That if you hear something preached up there and it's not working for you, it doesn't mean that God doesn't love you. It means that there are different categories of people in this world. Some people are sicker than others, some people are more troubled than others. I'm sorry if you don't like the word, some people are more cursed than others. And you have to get the treatment that is designed for your affliction, if you want to get well.
So get your eyes off of your brother, and the problem with the TV evangelist is that, they minister to the majority of people. And what they say, it may be true for the majority of people, but if you've been listening to this message on the TV, and it's not working for you, or if you're in a church where's there's light bread, you see, the Holy Spirit is present. I hope nobody misunderstands me. This is a ministry for people who need a stronger dose of medicine than is in Pentecost. And I say a lot of things designed to show you the difference, but I have never denied the presence of the Holy Ghost in Pentecost. I've never denied that people are helped in Pentecost. I've never denied it. The Holy Ghost is present in Pentecost, there are men of God in Pentecost. There are things that you can learn in Pentecost, there is good in Pentecost, but if it's not working for you, you've got to go where the ministry is going to work for you, instead of being enraged at God that you're having such a hard time, or your brother down the street, he just walks in and gets delivered of everything. Because if you're angry at God because of all of these people that get this easy deliverance, it's the sin of pride.
Now the upside of this whole thing brethren is this, the majority of the church, which is in Pentecost, seems to have a much easier walk than we do in a ministry like this, and for the moment, they do have an easier walk. Everything seems to be going their way. They're healed, they're delivered from drugs, they walk in and boop, someone lays hands on them, and they're delivered from alcoholism, they're delivered from every problem, six months later, they meet this wonderful woman, they get married, and they ride off into the sunset, and you hear all of their testimonies on the 700 Club, and they're all true, all the testimonies are true. Now listen to me, if it's not happening to you, it's not because God is a respecter of persons, it's because the sin, the inherited sin on your family line is greater than the power in Pentecost. God is righteous, you are filled with sin, and if you can't get this straight, you won't even get straightened out in five years. If it's taking your brother six months, it's going to take you five years or more, and you're shaking your fist at God for the whole five years, you're not even going to make it in five years! And what's hindering you is the sin of pride. You need to repent and humble yourself before God, and ask him to get you through as quickly as possible, get on with your life as quickly as possible.
This is a ministry where God sends heavily cursed people to. So you could look at this two ways. What do you mean I'm heavily cursed, you're a sick woman, you're a false prophet, and you're a liar. Or you could sit down and submit yourself to the ministry here, which is a blessing from God. Because in this hour, the majority of the move of the Spirit is Pentecost, and there's not enough power to help you in Pentecost. So there's a little oasis somewhere in the corner of the desert of this world, where God has raised up somebody, and I'm not saying I'm the only one, but whoever else is in this kind of ministry, there's very few of us, and we're scattered across the world, God has raised up somebody to pay an incredible price, the sacrifice of their whole life, and a continuous ongoing warfare against Satan, to establish and rule over, and maintain for your benefit, an oasis where the power that's pouring in here, is greater than the overall move of the Spirit in this hour. Does anybody not know what I'm talking about? Because if you don't understand, and if you're young, you don't understand, the price that is involved, for someone to maintain a ministry like this. Like what? A ministry that Satan would wipe out, stamp out, and crush out in a second if he could do it. The warfare never stops, there's no end to it. It's horrendous, it requires the sacrifice of your whole life. So you have two choices, you can be mad at God and never get delivered, filled with bitterness and resentment and anger, and arrogance and pride, and think that you've been mistreated and dealt a dirty deal, and spend the rest of this existence, right where you are, and never grow and never move, and never get out of it, or you can repent of pride and ask God how you can function in the mercy of God, in the ministry which is a mercy of God, that he has sent you to, and you can ask him what you can do to assist here, instead of doing all taking, and very little of any giving. And I remember when God taught me this, because the pastor that I was training up under, hurt me very badly, and he didn't hurt me for righteousness sake, his imperfections hurt me, very badly. He was a very imperfect man.
Brethren, it's time to grow up. No matter how bad someone's imperfections are, that does not nullify what Christ is doing through them. That doesn't make of no value and of no affect what Christ is doing through them. So if you condemn somebody because of their imperfections, and make a decision to reject their counsel or their ministry to you, you because of your pride, have cut yourself off from God's provision for you. And I remember when I went before the Lord, and I said, "Lord, this man has broken my heart." I said, "Give me your mind Lord, how should I look at him?" You see, I already was mature enough to have a revelation, that my hostility towards him was sin, and I cried out to Jesus, I said, "Please help me, get my head straight." And the Lord spoke to me and he said, "You pray for this man, and you thank God that he paid the price so that this church has been standing for five years of ministry which has saved your life, because he didn't minister under the anointing that he ministered for about seven years without paying an intense price. He paid with his own blood, so that church could stand, so that I could go there and get help." And that's how I learned this lesson, if you have ears to hear, you hear it, if you don't have ears to hear, you abide and ignorance and darkness.
What's more, it's time for everybody here to grow up. I suffer on a daily basis to maintain this ministry for you, why? Because we are a, what's the right word, we're like an outpost ministry, we're hanging on by a string, we're not part of the main move of God, we don't have a big building, we don't have a thousand people, we don't have unlimited funds, we don't have unlimited manpower, we're short of everything, because we're not fully developed yet. I pay an incredible price to run this ministry, but I don't run it for you, I run for my God, because he saved my life, and I said, "Lord, how could I ever pay you back, it's impossible, does anybody know what he said to me, from John 21? He said, "Feed my sheep." And that's why I'm here.
So it's time for you to get out of the crib. We have everything we need, I am not lacking anything, but I pay an incredible price everyday, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically, to run this ministry. I do it for Jesus, but you're the one who's benefitting from it. The Scripture says, "You have entered into another man's labor, you haven't done anything to deserve this ministry, and you haven't done anything to deserve what's here, and available to you. So you better start asking Jesus what you should do, or what you could do to thank him for his provision to you, because I don't owe you anything, I owe it to him, and you don't owe me anything, you owe it to him. And what you get here, because you owe it to him, of your mind, of your emotions, of your time, of your effort, of your tithes, I don't owe you anything for it, because you owe it to him.
So you better get your head together or what? You're going to have a car accident? No. You're going to miss out what he's offering to you here. What you've been crying out for for years. Jesus help me, Jesus help me, Jesus help me, Jesus help me, and what your own pride has risen up in your own heart to steal from you, because your own pride has made a judgment that it doesn't look like you think it should look, it doesn't act like you think it should act, it doesn't taste like you think it should taste, and it doesn't dress like you think it should dress. Well you don't want it, don't take it fool. Praise the Lord. That was right out of the realm of the Spirit, I had no intention of saying that this morning.
There is one thing that I did have in my heart that the Lord dropped in my heart to tell you that is about a multitude of counselors.
I've heard this from a lot of people here, that you are concerned about taking counsel from imperfect person, and that is a legitimate concern, that is a legitimate concern, and this is the Lord's provision for such a concern, a multitude of counselors. Now, you have to be careful that you don't take counsel out somebody's carnal mind. So what you need to be doing is praying for the ability to discern Christ when he speaks, because it's very rare for Christ to speak out of a crashing of symbols in the sky, it's very rare. Where does Christ speak from? He speaks through the mouth of a man, on occasion a donkey, amen? It's in the Bible, amen? He spoke through a donkey. But most of the time Christ speaks through man. You know, just like, you could read any psychology book on raising children, they'll tell at one year old, your kid is going to do this, at two years old, your kid is going to do that, at three years old, your kid is going to do that, and each child varies from this prophecy varies from child to child, but sure shootin', a little more or a little less, your kid reaches two, and this is what he does, your kid reaches three and this is what he does.
Well, you're all children growing up in Christ and it's the same thing. You think you're the first one telling me these words, I've heard them with every kid before you. I've heard it a million times. And what you need to be praying for is the ability to recognize when it's Christ coming out of somebody's mouth. You're not going to have this skill immediately. When this skill is finally perfected, you could recognize it coming out of one person's mouth, you probably won't even need a second or a third or a fourth witness, because you'll be able to know, the Lord spoke to you that this was Christ. But if you're not at that point, that's okay. The Lord will give you as many witnesses as you need, and then when you hear the words, you need to pray, after they come out of somebody's mouth, you need to pray, "Jesus, if that was not you, please give me the Spirit of Truth, give me the Spirit of Truth, I've got to hear the Spirit of Truth."
The younger you are, the less likely it is that the Lord is going to talk to you directly on the important issues in your life. He may give you a confirmation, he'll speak through you and through other people, but the more the personal the issue, the less likely you're hearing from God for yourself, why? Because the pride of your own mind which wants what you want, what you want, what you want, is too strong for a young believer. It crushes the voice of the Spirit. So you ask the Lord for many witnesses, and you look at person's life and you determine whether they're living for Christ or not, you ask God to show it to you, it can't come out of your own head, it can't be your own idea of what you think is right, or what you think is a person of God, and when you hear the same word coming out of two or three, and four mouths of two, three and four people that are living for Christ, you better shut down your mouth of rebellion or you're in danger, because rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and the judgment for witchcraft is death. Does that mean you're going to go out and get hit by a car? Not necessarily, but it could mean the death of your spiritual life.
There's a lot of wisdom here for you brethren, you want to take it, take it, you don't want to take it, you don't take it. Do you hear that same word coming out of four mouths, you better think twice, before you lift your head up against the word of God. And this is the account that we see in the Scripture about Balaam and the speaking ass. Balak came to Balaam, and said, "I'll pay you money to curse Israel", and Balaam said, "Oh no, I wouldn't curse Israel", and Balak said to him, "Oh, well, I don't believe that you have any wisdom in you, go check it out with the Lord, pray about it." Balaam prayed about it, and the Lord said, "No, you can't curse Israel." He went back and Balak said, "Ask him again." And Balaam fell prey to this, and each time he went back and asked the Lord was losing more and more patience with him. Why? Because the Lord looked right through to the motives and the intents of Balaam's heart, and he looked in there and he said, "The reason you keep coming back, is because you don't like my answer, and you think if you keep coming back, you're going to get me to change my answer." And what do you think God did? Balaam came back, it was the third or fourth time. The Lord said, "You want to do it? Do it." And then Balaam went running to Balak and he said, "I received counsel to do it, it's okay now", in darkness and in a fog of ignorance, not realizing that the Lord turned him over to his own reprobate mind, and wicked desires.
He said, "You're not taking my counsel that this is bad for you, go find out by experience." That's what the Lord said to him brethren, and that's what the fall of this creation is all about. God said to Adam at the beginning of time, "I will instruct you in righteousness, and in good and evil, I will instruct you about your spiritual reality." Let me put this on the board for you. "I will instruct you, that you are an intelligence abiding within the tree of life, in the garden of Eden with all of your needs met, but in the midst of you is a partial tree, which could be likened to a peach pit, there's something in the midst of you." It's just a part of your being, it's a part of the whole, and when it's joined to the whole, it's not dangerous, it's as if to say there's, pardon me, but there's excrement inside your body, does that make you unclean? Because you're a man who, who has waste, and has devoid from his body, does that make you unclean?
No, but there's unclean substance within you. He said, "As long as it's part of the whole you're safe, but if this unclean part of you separates out, and you choose to follow after the unclean part of you, you're going to die, and do you know what death is? The Lord said to him, the Lord said, "You're going to move, you're going to move positionally, from a position whereby you can receive instruction about righteousness, whereby you're eligible to receive godly counsel, that will protect you from intense pain and destruction in your life, you can move positionally to a position where you will learn the same lesson, by experience, painful, disastrous, destructive experience, that if you survive it, you'll wake up and say, "Wow, I don't want to ever do that again." That's what the fall is all about. And we have an element of the church, going around saying that God ordained sin, that God ordained all of these painful experiences, so that man could learn to tell the difference between good and evil. No brethren, God gave man a choice, he said learn about it on the blackboard, take my counsel, believe me when I tell you what the results of this action will be, and experience some pain, because you don't like what I'm telling you right now, well, go out and try it yourself and find out.
And Adam didn't take the Lord's counsel, and he's been down here, he fell down here into hell, he's now a many membered man, finding out that Jehovah's counsel at the very beginning was righteous, and true, and accurate, and a mercy. That doesn't mean God doesn't love him, God still loves us, but he said, "You chose to learn about good and evil through experience." And that's where you are, down in hell, experiencing sin, I'm down here with you, and as soon as your lesson is learned, I'm taking you back up, but who would of ever believed, it's taking thousands of years of pain and torment and disaster and destruction, down in this horrible place, learning what he could have learned by just obedience to Christ.
Now everything that happened at the beginning of time is something which is a part of man's nature, and for those of that are down here in hell, we are experiencing, well, not individuals, but all of humanity as a group, some individuals are experiencing one thing, other individuals are experiencing something else, but we are a many membered man, and all of Adam, this many membered man, at some place, in some group of human beings, is learning every lesson that man needs to know, to dwell safely with this uncleanness in the midst of him, and not to be overcome by that uncleanness. So if we look around us, and if we have spiritual eyes, if you don't have spiritual eyes, ask God to show you, he could do anything, he could give you spiritual eyes, you can have broad vision, or he could let you understand one small incident, pray without ceasing brethren, pray always for the things of his Spirit, pray for understanding, it's more important than wisdom, I don't know if it's more important, but the Scripture says, wisdom without understanding, that you cannot get the full value of the wisdom, without understanding. You need both.
So we see the Scripture playing out in the lives of fallen men today. People have the same option today that Adam refused, avoid pain and destruction in your life by taking godly counsel, or go find out. Now when you raise up your children, you don't give them a choice, you keep them under lock and key, younger and younger and younger, and they've got Satan's mind in them saying, "Who are you to tell your nine year old that she can't go out and fornicate, let her find out." We're falling under a Satanic pattern in this country. Of course you can tell your children what they could do. In some countries, it use, I don't know about now, it used to be up to twenty five years of age, you were under your father's dominion. So we see that we have the same choice today that Adam had in the garden. Learn about life, from the instruction of someone who has lived it, who is qualified to teach it to you, or go out and do it the hard way, your choice.
There is an intense price to pay for doing it the hard way. I was speaking to someone just the other day, who didn't have the ideal parent child relationship, they were raised up in a family with a father who was a very passive man, and didn't communicate with his children very well. The mother was a jezebel, which is very common in our society today. She was a jezebel, she was functioning in the male role, in many areas in the marriage, and she was not qualified to do so, she was making decisions that she was not qualified to do, and there was a lot of imbalance in the family. This person grew up in such a family, and had a very hard time in life. Why? Because they reached a physical adulthood, without being emotionally and spiritually equipped to deal with the problems of life. They were fed, they were clothed, they were academically educated, but they never received the emotional education, that equips us to cope with life.
And as this person overcame through severely painful experiences, by the grace of God, they learned a lot of things. They learned a lot of things, they learned a lot of good lessons, and they pulled their life together, because of Jesus, and they started functioning, they got right thinking in their mind, and their life straightened out, and they made an attempt to have a relationship with their father, this man who was very incommunicative, and as they drew him out, they found out this man had great wisdom, that what they had made great sacrifices to learn, what they had experienced tremendously painful experiences, to learn about life, that what's going to be good for you, and what's going to be bad for you, and what's going to destroy you and what's going preserve you, that this man, their father knew this all the time. This is a true story, someone gave me this testimony, and they said to their father, "Dad, I feel like I've been robbed of my inheritance, that you had this wisdom all the years that I was growing up, and you never talked to me, and I had to go out and fall down and bounce around, and get bruised and knocked and bumped and hurt, and by the grace of God, I'm alive and not dead, I didn't get an overdose on drugs, or whatever else, and you had all this wisdom of life all of this time, I feel like I've been robbed." And it wasn't said with malice, it was just said with honesty and amazement. They realized that they were robbed.
So what am I saying, I'm saying two things, I'm saying we all have choices in this life, we have an overall choice for our life, and we have a choice in every aspect of life, and we have a choice in every specific incident of life, to receive wisdom and go the easy way, or reject wisdom or rebel against wisdom, and go the hard way, but either you learn your lesson one way or the other or you'll die. That's number one, your choice, number two, I'm saying once again, that families largely, many families in this country are out of order, and I'm encouraging anyone and everyone that hears this tape, especially the women, if you're a woman of God, to ask the Lord to put your family in right order, because you may have no idea the extent to which you are damaging your children. Now in this particular family, we had a bad combination, we had a Jezebelic woman with a weak passive man, and the children were turned over to destruction.
See, husbands, and I've been telling you this here for years, husband is a spiritual office, no matter how Jezebelic that woman is, no matter how out of order she is, if that man is standing in right relationship to Christ, if that man has been taught by his family, how to be a man, how to love his wife, how to raise his kids, if he's standing, the kids will be okay. All you woman libbers, you don't like this, but I'm telling you the truth, that woman could be an outright witch, but if that man is standing in righteousness, under Christ, doing the job, those kids are going to be okay, and on the other hand, if the most sincere woman of God and her husband is not in right standing, and he's passive, and he's running from his kids and he's not fulfilling his responsibility, it's possible that the kids could turn out okay, but there's a large chance that they won't. And you know, there are secular, there are worldly psychologists that know this, and they're beginning to speak out, the woman's libbers are crazy, but we do not just have gender difference, it's not just a question of what your body is, we are a spiritual people, and God has set us up in a spiritual pattern for survival, and men are necessary, and your body does not make you a man, your mind makes you a man.
So where there is a man in a household, the children prosper, and they live, and there may be a male body in the household, but if there is no male person, if there is no man in thought in mind and in relationship to the children, it doesn't matter that your body is there, those kids stand a small chance of being raised up okay. And this is a statistical truth that you don't hear much about, because the woman's libbers don't like it. Someone wrote a book about the feminization of America, I saw him on Montel, and everyone was booing him, including Montel, and I like Montel.
I'm not saying everything that the guy said was correct, but he's really got a spiritual truth there. Manhood is a spiritual office, ladies, you can not wipe it out. I don't care how hurt you've been men, I don't care how bad they've treated you, I don't care how abused you've been over the generations, you cry out to Jesus to give you victory in your individual situation, but you cannot wipe out manhood, because God has established it as an institution. And men are different than women and children need their fathers and wives need their husbands, and families, extended families need a headship, that's the way God set it up. We're very out of order in this nation today, and our kids are being sacrificed everyday.
So, that is the exhortation, it was intention today, to review at least one or more of the resent revelations that have come down here, as I told you not to long ago, the Lord has poured out a lot of revelation here recently, and I would like to try and reinforce it. A lot has come down at once, I'm having to work at grasping it myself, so that means I know for sure that you're having work at grasping it. So I have a list here, I'll read it off to you, of what I perceive to be some of the recent issues that the Lord has given us. I'll give anyone here an opportunity to either ask questions, or select the topic that I go into right now, and if nobody has any requests, I'll just pick one.
These are some of the new issues of spiritual truth the Lord has dealt with. The issue of the old versus the new covenant, and more specifically, that the church is not yet under the new covenant, but that the old covenant is extended to mankind, in two different expressions, one expression to the Jew, and another expression to the Gentile. So therefore the church is still under the old covenant, but in a different expression of it then that which was extended to the Jew, that's number one on my list, and number two is the revelation that the crucifixion of Christ is really the, now we're not speaking about the crucifixion of the Jesus of Nazareth, but we're speaking about the crucifixion of Christ, such as is meant in the Scripture where Paul says, "I am crucified, yet I live, but not I, Christ liveth in me, I am crucified to the world, so we see some Scriptures with which indicate, that crucifixion results in life. So I would like to reconcile that teaching with the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth hanging on the cross, which killed his soul life, that's another potential for discussion.
Three, the first and second generation of Satan, what we were pretty much speaking about, we're in the middle of the series on it, "The Serpent, The Dragon, The Devil, And You." I'd be willing to discuss that if someone here would like that. Number four, the kingdom of God versus the kingdom of heaven. What the difference is, and how we transfer into everlasting life, what I call the missing link, how we get from having righteousness developed in us, to being holy, to being completely righteous, and holy. Number five, speaking about the blood of Jesus' cross, about his blood, that he is the bloodless sacrifice, and that in fact, the sacrifice, the blood that we need to enter into the kingdom is actually the blood of our carnal mind.
Number six, is the teaching that Jesus is not a substitute for the Levitical sacrifice of bulls and goats, but that this is the blood sacrifice, the bulls and goats are a blood sacrifice, the substitute for the blood sacrifice is our own carnal mind, which is clearly indicated by the Levitical law. There's more than one sacrifice, the sacrifice is of wheat and grain, and wine, there are blood sacrifices and bloodless sacrifices. And the last one, number seven, is Jesus saying, "Go and sin no more", what he meant by that when he says to some fallen man, "Go and sin no more." And I'll also include on this list this issue.
COMMENT: I have a question on the meaning of conversion. You said when Jesus was ascending to the father, he was converted from flesh to spirit, well what does it mean when Jesus said to Peter, "You'll be converted?" Does that mean, going from the carnal mind to the mind of Christ or, really what does the word conversion mean?
PASTOR VITALE: First of all, conversion is a process that has different stages to it, conversion means going from or a transition from a carnal man to a spiritual man, transition from being fallen, from being an expression of fallen dead Adam, and we are converted into an expression of the living righteousness of Christ. You see, our true reality is spirit, this body that we live in, this soul that we live in, this personality that we have is an expression of the male spirit, which has joined himself to our human spirit, therefore we can be either an expression of a fallen dead unrighteous male spirit, who's name is, the devil, or we can be, who our, we are spirit, we can be an expression of the living righteousness of Christ, when the male spirit we're joined to is the Lord Jesus Christ.
So just as the woman in the natural, cause we have natural examples of our spiritual life, the same woman as in the case of Mary Magdalene, there was a mention of Mary Magdalene in the service earlier, a woman can be a godly woman, or that very same woman can be a harlot. Jesus said he had the power to take a harlot off the street and clean her up and make her a woman of God, we see that happening. So, it's true spiritually, that we who are truly spirit, and actually the spiritual harlot of revelation, can either be married to the devil, or married to Christ, and that which we are in this world, will reveal who our husband is. So true conversion at it's ultimate accomplishment, is transition from death unto life, because when we're married to the devil, no matter how godly we appear to be in this life, in this existence, just the fact that we die indicates that we are an expression of the devil. The devil being, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So we see that the devil who is a many membered man, he's fallen Adam, has some people or some cells, we're each a cell in his supernatural body, which are good, and some cells which are evil.
We see people who spend their whole life going to church praying for people doing good works, they do good things in their lifetime, they raise healthy families, they help the poor, they help the widow and the orphan, and they still die, why? Because unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Okay, so it's a good thing to do these good works, because your only alternative, so long as we're down here in hell, is to not do good works, and to be an evil expression of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that brings pain with it, because we reap what we sow down here, so it's a good thing to do good works, but it's not enough to raise us from the dead. To raise us from the dead, we must be converted. What does that mean. Another way to say it, we must be renewed, or remade in the spirit of our mind. This personality even though it's a good part of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, must be stripped from us like a garment, and our true spiritual being must be renewed through union with the Lord Jesus Christ, we must receive a new garment, which is made in the image of the father, and when we receive that newness, and when we are converted to the very end of the process, we shall be translated into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the ultimate sign that we have been truly converted, is that we will stop dying.
But there are steps along the way. For example, Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, she's not a prostitute anymore. Okay, so there is conversion from an evil expression of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, to a good a expression of the tree of the knowledge good and evil, and there could be many steps along the way, but the ultimate conversion, is into the righteousness of Jesus Christ whereby we shall never die. So probably, on the Scripture that you're quoting, I can't recall the whole Scripture, but I know it's there, Jesus said, "When you are converted, you'll find more strength or some such thing." What he's saying is, is that when Christ comes into your life, and begins to exert a strong influence over and above your carnal mind, when a significant part of your decisions, and a significant part of your personality becomes an expression of Christ, you'll find strength that you didn't have before, you'll think differently than you did before, that's what Jesus was saying.
And also another Scripture for that, we read in the book of Acts, where it says, "these are the men who turned the world upside down", and most of us, I know for years, I said, "Well how did they turn the world upside down?" It must mean that they made such a hullabaloo, and they got so many stressed out, that the Scripture says, they turned the world upside, but that's not what the Scripture is talking about. They turned the world of their own personal cosmos upside down. What does that mean? First of all, they received a new mind, and that new mind, do you know that name of the new mind, somebody? The mind of Christ, okay, but it's more common in the Scripture to say the kingdom of God, but the mind of Christ is correct. They got a new mind, and that new mind waged war against their existing mind, and prevailed over it, to a large enough degree, that the mind of Christ became the primary mind of that person, and their world turned upside down, they went to being evil to being good. Does that answer your question?
COMMENT: Was there any specific moment in Scripture where Peter was converted?
PASTOR VITALE: Well, I can't tell you this 100% for sure, but it seems to me at this time, that it happened on the day of Pentecost. That's my revelation at this moment, because the Scripture, Jesus said, "You shall receive power", when?
COMMENT: When the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
PASTOR VITALE: When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, now, everybody thinks that when you start speaking in tongues that I remind you, that the experience of people in the church today who receive the Holy Ghost, we're not filled with the Holy Ghost, but we receive the Holy Ghost, they're not the same thing. This is not the same experience that the Apostles had on the day of Pentecost, when they were filled with the Holy Ghost. It's not the same experience. Although, we do receive power when we receive the Holy Ghost, it's just on a lesser level. Okay, I don't know everything there is to know, but to the best of my knowledge, I don't personally know of any man in this hour who is permanently filled with the Holy Ghost. To be filled with the Holy Ghost is a position of great power. I believe that the Lord fills men with the Holy Ghost on specific occasions, in order to equip him to do specific spiritual works. It's happened to me, I've experienced it. But as soon as the ministry that the Lord has assigned to me is accomplished, that anointing wanes, it's imputed. I do not abide daily and consistently in this high spiritual place, I wish I could. I wish I could, it's a great place to be in. It's a place where there's an absolute minimum of pain.
Brethren, all of our pain is in this fallen condition. If you can hear it, all the pain that we suffer, it's in our fallen condition. Now listen, let me tie this in to the beginning exhortation, where we experience pain, because we fell down out of heaven, and where we were learning lessons about our spiritual being, and our existence through instruction, we fell out of that condition down into a spiritual condition where we are learning about our spiritual condition, and how to live with it, and in it, and how to survive it, how to survive, that partial tree in the midst of us, when in a condition of separation it has the power to kill us, we're learning how to rule over it, how to control it, how to not let it control us, we're learning all of these lessons, not through instruction, but through experience. So therefore, when we experience emotional pain, it's a result of learning these spiritual lessons, which are necessary to grow up to be a spiritual man, not from instruction, but from experience, if you can hear it.
So all every pain that we experience is because that we have fallen down into this low spiritual realm, and to the fullest degree that the Lord enables us to ascend up, and it is available today, not in my experience, not easily, but it's available, I'm experiencing it on some levels, it is, the power, what is available to us? The power to ascend although I'm not in perfection, God only knows I'm not in perfection, and I don't know anybody who is, but the power is available to ascend in certain areas, back up to a high place in the Spirit, to be restored, to have our virginity restored, in certain areas, where the Lord will teach us by instruction, and it's not necessary to experience this pain. We're ascending an area at a time. When we experience pain as a result of life, or experiences, it is because we have had that experience in this low spiritual realm, and I encourage everybody that has ears to hear what I'm saying, to ask the Lord to grant us permission to ascend back up into a high place, where he will...
"I repent, Lord, of rebellion that would not receive by instruction. If you want pray it with me, I repent of not receiving instruction, and being cast down to this painful place, where I'm learning by experience, and I pray that to the fullest extent you're willing to do it now, to raise me back up, let me learn by instruction Lord, that I might not have to experience this pain, which can be excruciating." And I'm in both places, I'm more in the realm where I learn by pain than where I learn by instruction, but I do have my pinky toe in that place, where I'm learning by instruction, and I want to tell you I have a fear of sin. I have a healthy fear of the pain that I will experience when I'm called to task for that sin. I would much rather, by the grace of God exercise discipline, and if I don't have that discipline, cry out to God, to give me the strength to exercise discipline, because I've been instructed that if I engage in a certain behavior, there will be fruit of my error. I have that revelation and I'm fighting as hard as I can to act and live upon godly and holy instruction, so that there is a minimum of pain in my life. Did I answer your question?
COMMENT: It's my understanding that Paul was the only one who had Christ formed in him, that the other apostles did not, am I right?
PASTOR VITALE: I don't know about that, but my personal opinion is, that John, who wrote the book of the revelation of Jesus Christ, may have ascended to full stature, and I base that on one Scripture, whereby Jesus said to him, at the beginning of that book, "Behold I come quickly, I come quickly." I wondered about that Scripture for many years. How could John have written two thousand years ago, I come quickly, it's two thousand years later, where are you. Well I believe he must have said it to John, "Behold I come quickly", and further along that line, let me take this, opportunity to say to whoever needs to hear this, that if you are finding yourself, or have found yourself in a very lonely place, if you have found yourself in the Isle of Patmos, if you have found yourself with a minimum of fellowship, with the hardship that must have been associated with John being abandoned to a jail house island, he couldn't have any conveniences there whatsoever, and you're living your life in every way you know how for Christ, I suggest to you to ask the Lord if you could not be in this condition for the, does anybody know what the Scripture was, why was John cast into this condition of hardship for the word of God?
COMMENT: For the witness of Jesus.
PASTOR VITALE: For the witness of Jesus, which is the formation of the word of God in you, it's talking about ascending in full stature, that's what it's talking about.
COMMENT: John may have ascended to full stature you feel?
PASTOR VITALE: I think it's a real possibility, based on those two witnesses, that he was cast into this extreme stressful life for the witness of Christ, and that Jesus said to him, "Behold I come quickly", on those two witnesses I think it's a real good possibility, although we don't hear very much of the ministry of John beyond that, so we don't know.
COMMENT: So you feel that Paul and John are the two people in the Bible that ascended into full stature?
PASTOR VITALE: It looks that way to me, but however, I do believe that the other apostles were caught up, I think that they were much higher than we are, than I am right now. Peter, I believe Peter was caught up pretty high, he raised the dead, he did all kinds of miracles, the Scripture says that he had a shadow, that when he walked down the street, people were healed, you know. And I tell you why I don't think that Peter was in full stature. I have a Scriptural reason for believing that, and that is that the Scripture records that Peter got into arguments with Paul, he got into a big confrontation with Paul, and the Scripture also records that when Paul came into Galatia, he found Peter, more or less cow towing to the Jews. What does that mean? It means that he wasn't standing for righteousness, it means that he was buckling under the Jezebelic or the religious spirit that was operating in the Jewish community, which was doing what? Which was trying to enforce the law upon Christians, and that Peter was yielding to it. He was yielding to all of the traditions of the Jews why? So that they wouldn't persecute him, and I'm the last one to condemn Peter, it's no fun being persecuted by the Pharisees, either in Peter's day, or in our day, those Pharisees are something else.
You try being persecuted by a bunch of people with religious spirit, what did they do to Elijah, anybody? What did those sons of Israel do to Elijah? They killed him, they killed Christ in him, he had to be raised from the dead. And that same spirit that was in that religious crowd, that killed Elijah, they're in the church today, and what does that mean? They're executing their righteousness upon you, over and above the righteousness of Christ, they're executing their judgment upon you, they're guilty of the sin of pride brethren. And the Bible says, "Don't judge, because you'll be judged, and judgment is already at the door.
COMMENT: So you can be filled with the power of God, perform miracles, and still not have Christ being formed in you.
PASTOR VITALE: Oh yes, that's the imputed anointing. The gifts and the calling of God are without repentance, oh absolutely.
COMMENT: So why doesn't it follow, how is it that we can have Christ being formed in us when we don't even have this infilling of the Holy Spirit, no power, when we don't even have the fullness of the Holy Spirit?
PASTOR VITALE: Oh, okay, that's a real good question. I think that the answer to it, and again, this is me, I've asked the Lord that question, and I can't tell you outright that he's spoken to me, but this is what I think at this time, I might change my mind, don't anybody panic if I change my mind, this is my opinion, okay, that God does not have to do everything in the same order every time. When the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the apostles and they were filled with the Holy Ghost, the Lord was doing one thing at that time, and he's doing something else at this time. What was he doing at that time?
At that time he was beginning to form the church. Nobody else on the face of the earth had the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost, I remind you is the seed, which when it falls on the hearts of men, joins with their human spirit, and Christ begins to be formed, so let me give you, this is a natural example, when a spaceship tries to take off, or when a car, when we start up a car, you need that much more energy to get the car moving, once it's moving, you use less and less energy, okay. So the Holy Ghost came rushing into the world system, and that's the word that's used, and there was a great rush, a sound of rushing wind, and the Holy Ghost descended in tongues of flaming fire. The Holy Ghost came forcefully penetrating into this world system and arose in the apostles, infilling them with power to go forth and start scattering that seed, as rapidly and as powerfully as possible, so that Christ could begin to be formed in the people. That was the beginning rush of strength.
And then for whatever reason, I don't have all the details, but Jesus program in the church worked itself out, and continued, and somewhere along the line, the apostles died, and I don't really have all the facts, I do know history says we went into the dark ages, and the Roman Catholic church swallowed up the true Christian church, and for whatever reason, that intense anointing seemed to have faded away, but the light never went out completely. I believe there was somebody in the earth that had the Spirit of God, somewhere, even during the dark ages.
The Lord in this hour is bringing us back, and he's restoring that intense outpouring in a new form. You see, when the Lord restores, he almost never restores in the same form. We saw that Job, Job experienced all the losses that he experienced, and I feel the Lord is going to give me a revelation on his wife, I acknowledge that there's no Scripture that says he has a new wife, I feel in my spirit that it's coming, that in any event, he received new children, new goats, new cattle, new houses, he didn't get the old houses rebuilt, the old children weren't dug up out of their graves, he got new children, new houses, new animals. And I know when I was struggling with this ministry at the beginning, I didn't fully understand what God was doing here, all I knew was that it wasn't lining up with all of the other ministries on Long Island, and I couldn't figure out what was going on, because I knew that I had done everything I could to be faithful to the Lord, and I almost died raising up this ministry. As a matter of fact, if God didn't raise me from the dead, I surely would have died from it. I had so many enemies, and as I saw the numbers getting smaller and smaller, I cried out to the Lord and I said, "I don't understand what's going on here, we're going to go down to nothing, and then what do you want me to do?" And a prophecy came forth when we were still meeting in Smithtown, and the prophecy was, you will rise again in another form.
At the time I had no idea what he meant, but I found out, we went down to rock bottom, I only had a couple of people here, I almost died, the last message I preached in #82, I preached it lying down on the couch, I couldn't even stand up, at which point I completely collapsed, almost died, went into the hospital, came out, and somewhere about six months later, he raised up the ministry again in a new form. And we are very much in a new form, I'm still here, the people are new, we just have one person that came over from the old group, the people are new, the spiritual ministry that's here is greatly matured beyond that which was ever attained in that first group. Every aspect of the ministry is matured beyond the first group. I'm way matured beyond the first group, I'm not even the same preacher that was there in the same group. How could I say that? In the first group I was just a teacher, that was all I did. I taught, I had a secular job in Manhattan.
But in this ministry now, I am functioning in the full five fold ministry. Well I was a prophet, I'm sorry, I was a teacher and I was a prophet in the first ministry. Here I'm also a pastor, I'm also an evangelist, and I'm also an apostle, and the whole five fold ministry operating in me, because the whole five fold ministry is in Christ. So since Christ has matured in me, I have the whole five fold ministry operating in me.
The last office to be imparted to me was that of an evangelist, which I received three years ago. So God never restores the same thing, he makes a new product, he whips and tears down, and he just leaves a seed remaining, there are many Scriptures that say in Isaiah, "If the Lord hadn't left a seed, we would have been wiped out completely. There's another Scripture that says, "If the Lord didn't leave us a tenth, we would have been wiped out completely. What does that mean? Brethren, if you come to God crying out to fix your life, you better get ready, because he tears you down before he builds you up, he strips the flesh right off your bones, and he leaves just a seed, he leaves the kernel of your life, which is your spirit, and then he builds you up in the right way. There is no restoration without a tearing down and a stripping and tearing, it's impossible.
So I hope that answers your question, it's the best I could give you, let me just say it again. For people who are listening to this tape, let me say it simply, when the Lord poured out the Holy Ghost in Pentecost, that was the way he first entered into the world in his glorified form as the seed, with the potential to form Christ in the hearts of men. Then there was an oppression, we went into the dark ages, the apostles died, and the Holy Ghost arose in a new form after the dark ages.
So he's operating in the earth today in a different strategy. And of course he's also reaching many more people in this hour, see, it was an intensified infilling, for the apostles, because there was just a few of them. In this hour he has people all over the world, spreading the Holy Ghost, and it's just the ministry of forming Christ in men is in a different form then it was two thousand years ago. And I know that's not a complete answer, but that's all I have for you. Did I answer your question. So in this hour I see only temporary infilling of the Holy Ghost. Even with Peter in the book of Acts, was it Peter, or Paul, I think the Lord told me it was Paul. The apostle that pronounced blindness on Simon the sorcerer, the Scripture says, and this apostle, filled up with the Holy Ghost and righteousness, pronounced judgment upon Simon the sorcerer. What it means was that as the Holy Ghost prepared to execute judgment upon this man, who was engaged in an ungodly activity, the Holy Ghost arose in the apostle to its fullest potential. Because you really have to be under a spirit of righteousness, to execute a judgment that will result in a man's becoming blind, you have to be in high place to do that.
So we're told that the Holy Ghost filled him up to the top, I believe that was even almost a temporary condition of full stature, you have to be pretty high to execute a judgment like that upon a man, and I don't know about you, but I don't see anywhere in the Scripture that this blindness was ever taken off of Simon the sorcerer. I see Simon, and let me call to your attention, when that judgment was pronounced on Simon, he never repented, all that he said was, "Please pray to your God that this judgment doesn't fall upon me." So he never repented. He didn't want the judgment, but he never repented, and the judgment fell on him and he became blind. And I looked for it, maybe you could find it, I can't, I can't find anywhere in the Scripture where his sight was restored unto him, Simon the sorcerer, Simon the sorcerer.
COMMENT: If it is true that when the Lord was saying, "I come quickly", to John and he was talking about full stature in himself, well, why did he write it down in the book for everybody?
PASTOR VITALE: I'm sorry, I don't understand your question.
COMMENT: Okay, you were saying, that two thousand years ago, he told John, "I come quickly", and if he was talking to specifically to John, saying John, I come quickly in full stature in you, then why is he telling the whole world that I come quickly? Because it's written in the book telling everybody, "I come quickly."
PASTOR VITALE: Well I don't know what he said to the whole world. That's the King James version, I really don't know what it says in the Greek. I do have an alternate translation on that if you'd like to check it, but if in fact it turns out that he did say it to the whole world, two thousand years is quickly compared to all of time. You've wetted my curiosity, I'll probably wind up looking that up myself, just to find out what did he really do. As far as I'm concerned, either explanation would be valid, if he was saying directly to John, for himself, or it was a promise, he's coming two thousand years later, and the Lord was operating with the natural Jew for over five thousand years, and he didn't come in full stature. So to come in two thousand years, it's pretty quick, if in fact that is what the Lord was saying. Praise the Lord. Anybody else.
COMMENT: I was thinking that thing with Simon, it must have Peter, because Paul hadn't come on the scene at that time, right?
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, I thought it was Peter. I thought it was Peter. Simon the sorcerer, what was his great, okay, I won't change the subject. Okay what was his great crime, what was he doing?
COMMENT: He wanted the power of God, not to serve God, but to serve himself.
PASTOR VITALE: And that's true, but personalizing that a little more, why did he want the power of God, what did he want to do with it, why would anyone want the power of God? What did he want to do with it. He wanted to exercise rulership over God's people. He wanted to be king. Carnal men want to exercise authority over people that they don't have authority over. God hates it. God hates it. Why? Because if you exercise authority over people that God has not given authority over, the fruit of that activity will be their destruction, it will be destruction. God loves his people. He loves this whole human race. Don't be deceived because it's taking so long to get righteous judgment into this world, or because it's taking righteous judgment to get into your life. Don't be deceived, God loves people, and he is absolutely against anybody and everybody exercising authority which arises out of pride and arrogance, because to be exercising authority over someone that you don't have authority over is almost invariably done by people who don't know what they're doing, they don't know what they're doing and they don't know what they're talking about, and that's why the authority that they exercise is unto the person's destruction.
COMMENT: Isn't that what's happening in our government right now?
PASTOR VITALE: Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, that's what's happening right now.
COMMENT: I was listening to the tape, The Serpent, The Devil, The Dragon, and You, and all of sudden something off the tape really blessed me and I was like what?!? It's like a light went off my head and it was like, the devil is trying to seduce you into soulish relationships with the carnal mind, yeah, that's really true!! That's exactly what he's trying to do EVERYDAY, EVERYDAY!!
PASTOR VITALE: Every minute of every day.
COMMENT: That's what he's trying to do, to get us out of these spirit relationships into something soulish, that's the whole seduction coming forth trying to pull you down. I really want these spirit relationships, I believe that intimacy and true things from Jesus can be found in spirit relationships, it's just a matter of knowing how to express the true spirit of Jesus to somebody, it's not always in just preaching the gospel to them, I'm sure, but what exactly is it?
PASTOR VITALE: It's not the same for everybody. I know that if I find myself in a carnal fellowship, and we will find ourself in carnal fellowship, because we cannot withhold ourself from everybody who is less spiritual than we are. The more spiritual we are, and God takes us on whatever level we're at, if we have this much spirituality, and we're open to the Lord, he will send us to someone who has less spirituality than we have, and he will have us, enable us to teach them, or to help them become spiritual, if it's just one word that you say to them, the Lord will use you wherever you're at, because it's his will that this whole world be saved, and it's his will, even for people who are not at this time being reconciled unto Christ. If someone is praying for you, or if just because the way you were raised, let's say you come under a heavy problem, and you just because you were a little kid, you remember that your mother took you to church, and you just say, "Oh Jesus help me."
I believe and I have experienced it, that he is sending a son to you to give you the answer to your problem, and that doesn't necessarily called to be reconciled to God at that moment, I give you as an example, the Gadarene demoniac, he came running out of the tombs, the man was totally non-functioning in society, he was running naked in the tombs, slicing his wrists, screeching like a maniac, people were afraid of him,
What did he do when he saw Jesus? He worshiped him. The Bible says, he came screaming out of the cemetery, a maniac, and this insane man recognized Christ. Now the Pharisees didn't recognize him brethren, you see. The church people, they have trouble recognizing Christ, but the guy who's locked up in an insane asylum, he knows Christ, and he fell down at Christ's feet, and the Scripture says, this mad man worshiped Jesus, and I want to tell you that if you could recognize Jesus, and humble yourself before him, and tell him you are powerless over this thing, whatever it is, that it's killing you, he will help you, whether it's your time to be reconciled to him or not. Because he is the great God, he is the creator of the universe, he is rich in mercy, he is not a man that lies, or respects persons. We have many witnesses of it, the heathen woman who begged him, and he said, "Deliverance is the children's bread". And what did she answer him? I'll take the crumbs, just help me. What about the soldier who came begging for the life of his servant, it wasn't their time to enter into a deep relationship with Christ, but he helped them when they acknowledged his deity, when they humbled themselves, acknowledged that he was God and asked for help, I don't believe that he will refuse any man.
And the Gadarene demoniac, after he was set in his right mind, asked Jesus for permission to be a follower of his, he asked for permission to be reconciled unto Christ, and the Lord said, "No, I gave you a miracle, I turned whole life around, you were in hell, and now you have a chance at a normal life", and Jesus said, "you can't follow me?" In that hour, everyone is not being called, and if it's not your time, unless the Lord grants you special dispensation, which he's not doing for everybody obviously, you can't come. Even the adulterous woman, he said, "Go and sin no more." Is there any indication at all that she became one of his followers, I don't think so. The blind man who was blind from birth, is there any indication that he became one of his followers? I don't think so.
But to get spiritual favor from God, one must first believe that God is. You must believe that there is a God, and you must believe that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. He's not a rewarder of those who are reconciled unto him, he's not a rewarder of those who speak in tongues, he's not a rewarder of those in whom he's being formed, he's not a rewarder of those who follow any form of religious ritual whatsoever, he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. He's not a rewarder of those who pray for healing, or cast out demons, go around the church, making sure it's purged of every sin, doing his job for him, he's quite capable of purging his people from sin, he doesn't need you to do it. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him brethren. Praise the Lord.
So people that have received miracles and healing from the Lord, that doesn't necessarily mean the Lord is calling them onward to have Christ formed in them. And we see that happen right in this ministry, a couple of us were talking about it the other day. Everybody that winds up here, isn't necessarily called to make a commitment here. Do not think there has been any kind of failure with regard to those who come and stay for a season and move on. Some people are just called here long enough to get a shot in the arm, and there's one person that I have in mind right now, who really didn't stay very long, that news has gotten back to me, that there has been a tremendous redirection in his life. The person was utterly undirected, just wallowing in a spiritual death, came here for a season, couldn't really ...
You see, the fruit which determines whether or not the person left the ministry with God's blessings is not so much as to whether or not disaster comes in their life, we have a lot of people looking for disaster in people's lives, to indicate whether or not God took them out of this ministry. You're looking in the wrong place, look for blessings in their life. Look to see if they're going forward, look to see if there has been a radical change, and I'm not just talking about money, because Satan will bless you financially, I'm talking about money. Don't tell me somebody left your ministry, and they hit the lottery, and they have a million dollars, I'm not interested in that. Show me their life, show me their mind, show me their emotions, show me their spiritual problems, show me their relationships, and I will draw an educated conclusion as to whether or not God took them out of this ministry, or any other ministry that he had originally sent them to. And I got some good news, that someone passed through here briefly, and their whole life took a tremendous turn for the better, and I have peace that they got whatever they came here for, amen. You don't have to spend the rest of your life here, but stay as long as God wants you here.
COMMENT: How do you know how long he wants you here?
PASTOR VITALE: You have to pray. And the way you pray is, Father, don't let me leave until you're taking me out, don't let the devil get me out, don't let my pride get me out, don't let my rebellion get me out.
COMMENT: So if it's any of those things, then chances are it's not a move of God that's moving you out.
PASTOR VITALE: See, everybody doesn't have the same call on their life at the same time, you know, so that's the prayer that you pray, I pray it, chain me down, and you be the only one with the key to padlock, don't let anyone move me out of anywhere, unless it's you Lord. I won't go. I'll tell you the last six months in the church that I was raised up in was hell, I was persecuted severely, I had to do some deep breathing out in the parking lot before I could even walk into the church at night. They couldn't have bombed me out of there with ten tons of dynamite, only Jesus could have gotten me out. I didn't care what was going on there. They were talking about me, they were hating me, they were praying against me, they were persecuting me, they were ostracizing me, I just put my shoulders back and my head up and I marched in I sat down, and I you couldn't budge me, til one day the Lord said, that's enough, you can go. And then I didn't believe it was God, I thought was the devil, I said you're not getting me out of here devil, I've never been a quitter in my life. Then the Lord had to convince me that it was him for me to leave.
COMMENT: What's one of the things you can look for when you feel, personally I'm having a hard time with this ministry as you know, and I want to know whether or not I should be here, and be going through certain things that I go through that I can't cope with or should I just move on and just go to another church. Spiritually I'm not mature enough to even go anywhere, I know that, but I don't want to be under too much pressure.
PASTOR VITALE: Well you need to give it to Jesus, I don't think the Lord's moving you out. The answer is you don't go unless God moves you out, and your prayer should be, that you being a very young Christian, would have a lot of trouble hearing the voice of the Lord in this situation, and your prayer should be that the Lord keep you where he wants you, and that if this is your passions and your pride, trying to move you out, that the Lord save you from yourself, that should be your prayer. Anybody else?
COMMENT: How do you, what does it mean if I was in this ministry and I'm growing spiritually and I'm enjoying this ministry and I love the fellowship, I love the people and I know God has called me to be a part of this ministry, and if God, and I know in my heart that if I had to move to another state and you confirmed it saying that you knew it was God moving me to another state away from this ministry, what would that mean?
PASTOR VITALE: It could mean a lot things, you know, and you have to be...
COMMENT: I would want to go on and continue on with this ministry.
PASTOR VITALE: Well you just keep on praying, you just keep on praying that it's God moving you and not the devil, you don't stop praying, because even if I say to you at one point, "Well, it sounds like God to me", you know, you can't take that as gospel. You have to, you never know what God is doing in your life, you have to keep on praying. Sometimes I just don't have any word, or sometimes I'll say to you, "Well it sounds good, and then a couple of weeks later, some more information comes in, I say, "Well, it looked like it was God last week, but now I've got this additional information, and I'll change my opinion. So we all have to watch out for idolatry for Sheila. I am not God, and because at any particular given moment I'll say to you, "Well it sounds okay to me, the next week, the Lord might correct me on it. So you pray and I'll pray and we'll all pray that the devil can't get you out of here. Okay, you really have to watch out for that idolatry. You have to try the spirit, especially when it comes to something as important as a change of state or a change of job, or leaving the ministry. You really have to pray carefully because Satan is very tricky and very sneaky.
And I would say, I would think that if God was really moving you out, it's my understanding that he would tell the pastor, a clear word, I'm moving her and she's going. It wouldn't be me saying, "Well it sounds okay, I don't, it makes sense to me, I don't feel any hindrance in the spirit. That's not the same thing as me telling you, "The Lord spoke to me and told me that he's moving you someplace else. It's not the same thing, okay. You just have to be very careful. I just encourage all of you to not overreact to my opinions. I try as hard as I can, I watch, frequently I watch every word that I say when I talk to you. I try as hard as I can to tell you, this is not God, I am not prophesying to you, this is myself, my opinions are valuable, they're more valuable than the man on the street, they're what I call educated opinions, but it's not God. You have to be very careful to not take one thing that I say and run with it, and make it the unadulterated word of God. And even if I do get a word in my heart that the Lord may be moving you out, the question is when.
It's common in the church, those of us that have been around the church for quite a few years, everybody has heard at least one story of somebody who got a prophecy, Thus saith the Lord, I'm moving you to Maryland, and they sell their house and pack up and move to Maryland, and find out that they moved twenty years to early and they lose everything. It happens all over the church. You cannot live your life by prophecy. That's workers of witchcraft do. You go to a card reader or a palm reader, and she makes a prophecy and you go out and you take it as the gospel and you go out and you live your life by the information given to you by some kind of star gazer. God doesn't do that. I got a prophecy I'd be traveling around the world over ten years ago. Did I run out and start buying a ticket to Mexico? You don't do that. What do you do? What did Mary do when the angel appeared to her and said, "You shall conceive and bring forth a son?" Some of the people of the church today would run out and use it as an excuse to fornicate. God told me I was going to have a son. I'm telling you there are people foolish enough in the church to do that. God said I'm going to have a son, that means it's okay to sleep with my boyfriend. Isn't that true Mary?
COMMENT: Yes, that's true.
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, why? Because in the their heart of hearts they wanted to do it the whole time, and this was just an excuse. Brethren, you hear the word of God, and then you wait, you wait for him to bring it to pass in your life. You put the word on the shelf. The Scripture says, "Mary put the word in her heart." She didn't forget it, but neither did she move on her own power to bring it to pass. You take the word and you put it in your heart, and you live your life, and you wait for God to bring it to pass, okay. And while you're waiting for God to bring it to pass, you might find out that you completely misunderstood that prophecy. And when it does come to pass, and when God brings it to pass, you might find out you had it all backwards in you head, what he was saying to you. You say, "Oh that was what that prophecy meant." And if you would have tried to bring it to pass yourself, it would have been absolute disaster, because your carnal mind completely misinterpreted what the Lord said to you. Did you have another question?
COMMENT: The same question I had if the Lord was to move me out to another state, what does that mean, that I'm not a son of God or...
PASTOR VITALE: Oh, it doesn't mean that you're not a son of God. It could mean anything, it could mean that you're moving out for a season and he's bringing you back, it could mean that he has an assignment for you down there, it could mean that he wants to mature you in particular area, where you need particular experiences. It could mean anything. It's good to have understanding brethren, but some of us, especially some of us in this ministry, are looking too much for understanding. What does that mean, Sheila, shouldn't I have understanding? Sometimes you're not mature enough to understand. So what you really need to secure in your heart, is that it's the will of God. You need to pray fervently and ardently that you will not deviate from the path that the Lord has for you, and that he will not allow you to be deceived by the pride of your own mind. Because when it comes to personal decisions pride gets in there. We want what we want what we want, so we convince ourselves that God said we could have it. God said you can have it alright, only it's not the god you think it is, it's the god of your carnal mind, the devil herself.
God told me, God told me, God told me, the devil told you, he's the god of this world. God told you alright. Which God? Your biggest enemy is your own mind, and your own pride, and your own desire to lead your own life. It's your biggest enemy that will destroy your spiritual life. So pray always brethren for the will of God in your life and let the Lord destroy your pride and your rebellion that you should walk a straight path of righteousness, and prosper and live and not die. It's just youthful over-enthusiasm, and it will kill you. With youthful over-enthusiasm there is a line, you cross over that line, it becomes rebellion, and every one that moves in rebellion, I don't mean to insult you, it's what the Bible says, "You are foolish, you're the foolish son, you're either a wise son, or a foolish son, and the foolish son just goes charging ahead without looking at all of the potential consequences, when you're not sure, stand still, don't move, don't go to the left, and don't go the right, and don't make a move without serious praying over an extended period of time.
I was listening to a financial counselor on the 700 Club last week, and I was pretty much in agreement with everything he was saying. I've told certain people the same counsel. If you are considering making a purchase, never buy on an impulse, never. If you see something that you want, tell the Lord that you would like it, and make a fleece that you're going to wait a day, two days, a week, and find out whether or not it's a wise purchase, and the chances are like 90% if it wasn't of God from the beginning, by the time the week is up, the Lord will have taken it out of your heart. Never buy on an impulse. Never do on an impulse. Impulse is almost never God, unless you are a very mature believer, and that impulse is coming out of Christ. But if you're a young believer, the possibility of that impulse coming out Christ is very slim.
Spiritual children are just like natural children. I look at, I get so blessed by observing natural children is this world. I look at them and I relate them to spiritual children, I look at how innocent they are. I look at how naive they are, that if they didn't have an adult with them taking them by the hand, they'd run out in front the car, they'd eat poisonous food. I see how they have trouble disciplining themselves, they need a loving adult to discipline, saying, "No, you don't go this way, you go that way." I see how trusting they are when they shouldn't be trusting. Spiritual children are just like natural children with regard to spiritual things. Now some people come to the Lord and they're matured in their natural lives, they know how to deal with finances, they know how to deal with relationships. They learned all of this from their natural father. But some believers come to Christ without having a completely life education, they come without knowing these things, they come without knowledge about how to function in relationships, they come without knowledge about their finances, they come without knowledge about a lot of things that they should have been taught by their natural family, but for whatever reason they didn't learn. Believers that fit in this category have an education to experience that the believer who has learned this doesn't have.
And if the Lord has really received you as a son, he's going to attach you to a strong believer who can train you up in every area that you need to be trained. Brethren, you can not be a son of God and be a super spiritual person who doesn't know how to handle their finances. You cannot be out there feeding the five thousand, and doing all kinds of spiritual miracles when you cannot control your urges. You have to be a well rounded son of God on every level. You have to be mature emotionally, spiritually and physically, and you have to be mature in every aspect of your life, before you can receive authority in Christ that comes directly from Christ, which makes you a what? When the only authority over you is Christ himself, what does that make you? A spiritual man. You can have some authority in Christ, but you'll be under another ministry, where there is a human headship, unless the Lord has made a judgment that you are mature on every life level, including spiritually.
You cannot be a spiritual man, and not be living within your budget, you cannot be a spiritual man and be overcome with emotional problems, you cannot be a spiritual man and beating your wife. You can't, God will put you under another human being for loving instruction, and strengthening. And even people who are spiritual men, have areas and moments of weakness. The difference between a spiritual man and a spiritual woman, is that the spiritual man will be able to recognize his limits. What does that mean? He knows when he enters into an area where he is vulnerable. What does that mean? A spiritual man knows when he's playing with something that's too strong for him, he knows when he needs deliverance, he knows when Goliath is too big for him, he knows when he needs prayer, he knows when he needs the support of other believers, he knows when he is in trouble, and he doesn't go rushing in like the fool does. He is wise in his adulthood. He does not need a human authority, because he recognizes his limitations, at which point he submits himself to the Lord, and says, "Who do I go to for help?"
The spiritual female does usually have the ability to do that. They cannot see when they cross over that line. What line? The line where they're functioning successfully. They walk over the line, they cannot see where they come out from under their authority and they're now in their carnal mind. They need a human head to tell them, "Hey, you were doing great, but that last five minutes, you walked into your carnality. Let me show you how it happened to you." That's the difference. Everybody has problems, no one is perfect. That's the difference, you know it, and the spiritual female doesn't know it, when they cross over the line, and they're in danger, they just keep on walking.
I know when I became ill, the Lord told me, that I was not functioning, my body being in the condition that it was in, I couldn't function spiritually, in my spiritual manhood, and that I had to put myself under another minister, until I got well. I had that word in heart, I just didn't know who, I got a phone call from someone who had the same word for me, only she thought she knew who, and I thanked her for the confirmation and I told her, that the Lord had told me I was going, well the ministry was shut down at that point, but I was going to have to submit to another man, I just didn't know who, and then I would pray about her recommendation. She became very angry at me that I didn't take what she said at her word. I was half dead at the other end of the phone and she was screaming and yelling at me like a lunatic, and turned out that she was wrong. She had the wrong man.
So brethren, the Lord loves us all very much, but in this hour, he's giving us a choice, take my counsel and go the easy way, or go out and learn from your own rebellious experience, the painful way. It's the same choice that was given to Adam before the fall. We're a rebellious lot. The less rebellious a believer is, in my opinion, the more they've been beaten, why? The whole human race is in rebellion, some a little more than others, we're all born with rebellion and pride and every evil work. Why? Because we're fallen, and that rebellion has to be broken, either it's broken by your parents when you're a child, or it's broken by painful experiences in the world. But the people who you see walking orderly in the church, are people who have had some very painful experiences from which they learned obedience. Even Jesus learned obedience we're told. How did he learn obedience? I think it's in the book of Hebrews, how did he learn obedience? Through suffering. Jesus learned obedience through suffering.
COMMENT: I thought we had to learn obedience because we are in rebellion. Why would Jesus have to learn obedience?
PASTOR VITALE: Well, that's one of the Scriptures that proves he wasn't perfect at birth. What that means is, that his carnality, his humanity suffered as his Christ brought that humanity into submission to the Spirit of holiness, we are told in Romans 1.
COMMENT: So you mean his humanity could have been screaming to do something else, and yet he still did the right thing.
PASTOR VITALE: Absolutely. I experience it all of the time, and I've told you here, I've shared it here with you, how my carnal mind is screaming, how my emotions are screaming, how my body is screaming, but I do righteousness. It doesn't matter what you're feeling. There was a time in my life where I believe that if, well if you're feeling it, how could you not do it? Easy, somewhere along the line, you'll get a revelation that it could be more painful being chastened from the Lord, to yield to your flesh, than to resist. Either Satan is giving you pain because he wants you to do something, and it's painful not to do it, or the Lord is giving you pain because you did it. You have to decide what's more painful? And we see this, we see this in the everyday raising of children. I've heard this from a lot of people, especially young men, who grow up with a little weakness, fear of being hit by the other boys, or whatever, and their father comes out and says, "You're not going to be a coward, you either fight him or you fight me, I've heard this from a lot of boys, that if he runs to his father, he gets one bad whipping, the guy goes out and he fights.
You give the kid some, well we don't believe it in the church, I know one man I have in mind, he gave his kid Karate lessons. Now he's not running from the neighborhood tough. I just said we don't believe in it here. What is not of God, Karate, yeah, Karate is not of God.
COMMENT: If he wouldn't go out in the street and fight that kid in the street, his father would beat him, that's not of God.
PASTOR VITALE: Oh, no?
COMMENT: Do you think it's of God?
PASTOR VITALE: I think it could be. We can't be raising cowards. That's like saying that Israel shouldn't fight, when the Arabs storm their borders, you think they should just stand there and be killed? Do you think if this country was invaded that we should just stand here and be killed? Do you think if you're walking down the street and the neighborhood tough demands your lunch money, you're suppose to stand there and hand it over? We're living in a real world. If you're attacked, well this is a matter of conscience, but I never had a son, so I don't really know what I would do, but I am not about to put on this tape, that I would raise my son to stand there and have his head crushed. As the incident arose I would have to pray it through, but there is no way I would put that religious, I'm sorry, that religious concept on this tape, that I would tell some little kid, who is not particularly anointed, that they're suppose to stand there and have their head crushed. Boys get into fist fights, they just do. I'm not talking about picking up a gun and killing somebody.
COMMENT: If someone was to take Karate lessons, is that, doesn't that bring in an evil spirit or something?
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, I believe that. I'm not saying I agree with what he did, what I'm saying is that, whether it's natural or spiritual, you can't be a coward in this world, because you get crushed.
COMMENT: That means Karate is not okay, it's not acceptable?
PASTOR VITALE: I don't believe Karate is acceptable for believers, I believe it brings in evil spirits.
COMMENT: What kind of evil spirits?
PASTOR VITALE: When you learn Karate, you get your physical power from worshiping of other gods.
COMMENT: It brings in the curse of death?
PASTOR VITALE: It could, I really don't know, it could. Well it's idolatry, so probably there is a curse of death, yes.
COMMENT: As far as what you said, maybe you thought I meant that he didn't have a right to defend himself out there, and that's not what I meant.
PASTOR VITALE: What did you mean?
COMMENT: I was thinking of in the sense that, if a child went out and had a problem with it, and fear within the child's heart, that for the father to punish that child, and beat on that child, because it didn't have the ability to stand up to that, that's what I was saying.
PASTOR VITALE: Oh, well, I guess that's an interesting example of how you look at it, because I don't perceive that as a punishment, I believe that, as teaching that child to deal with life. What do you do, say, Come here son, hide under my arm pit, until you're twenty five years old, hiding under my arm pit?
COMMENT: Yeah, I don't know, it have to be taught somehow, that's true, I guess you have to go by the Spirit as you go.
PASTOR VITALE: Yeah, but that's interesting, and I suggest that you pray about that, that you saw that as a punishment. I find that, that's something that you should pray about, because the thought never entered into my mind that it was a punishment.
COMMENT: But that's why I knew you were coming from a different perspective, you thought I thought something totally different.
PASTOR VITALE: Well I'm glad you put that on this tape. Did anybody else here take it that way, that I was saying that the child was being punished? Because what I was saying was the father was saying, Learn how to be a man, and if you're scared, if for whatever reason, you're not a particularly powerful young man, for whatever reason, so this particular man gave his son Karate lessons, and he's a really great guy, some distant relative of mine. He's a really great guy, and now he teaches in a really tough neighborhood, and he never gets into fights as far as I know, he didn't turn into any kind of a monster. See, it's all in your mind, if you know that you can take care of yourself, it pretty much comes out in waves and everyone stays away from you, it's when you're a victim in your mind that everyone jumps all over you. He's a really great guy, he teaches some really tough kids, they absolutely love him, and he helps them. And his father had the same kind of job, always taught in really tough neighborhoods, and helped a lot of young people.
COMMENT: I guess it's about if you teach them in the right spirit, if you teach them in the right spirit, then definitely it's got to be of God. But somehow you teach them to be strong in their spirit that the fear leaves them. Because if the child did have a problem and he was trying to handle it and he came in crying and his father just said, What!! Whack!! There's no way, you can't force your child and say, You gotta get strong, whack!!, and abuse the child, you know.
PASTOR VITALE: No, that's not what I was saying, no, not at all, but some children just need to be strengthened, and you have to tell them, "You can't hide under the table for the rest of your life, go out and what happens, happens." Now of course, if you see the other kid has a gun, you don't send your kid out to be killed, if it looks like it's going to be a fair fight, you tell them, "Well, you just got to start living life, that's what it's all about." You don't send him out if the guy is six foot ten, and he's two feet, you don't do that, but if it's a realistic match and the kid's not acting appropriately for his age, if he's showing more fear than he should be showing for his age, you tell him to right back out and do what he has to do. It's the same principle if your child comes home, and says, "I just don't think I could pass that test, I just don't believe it, I don't even want to try." I'd never accept that, I don't care if you get a zero, get out there and try, what do you mean you're not going to try? Get out there and face life, don't run, stand and do that best you can, and if you fail, you try again." Never run, because being cowardly is nothing but death, and being cowardly comes on every level, physical, spiritual, and emotional. And if you're a coward, you'll be running for the rest of your life. If there's anything in this world that you're running from, you will be running for the rest of your life. No matter what your challenge is, turn and face it, run towards it, run towards it. If you run away from it, no matter what it is, you'll be on roller skates for the rest of your life. Run towards your enemy, with Christ behind you and overcome. Be an overcomer, don't be a coward. Praise the Lord, God bless you.