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Does anybody remember Red Buttons? All the old people remember Red Buttons. Right? Some strange things are happening around here. Well, I have some comments tonight.
First Samuel Chapter 28, starting at Verse 7. This is the account of Saul seeking a worker of witchcraft to conjure up the spirit of the prophet Samuel. He wanted information from the supernatural source, and several people have asked me about these few verses from time to time, because I preach here that the personality is not resurrected, that this flesh is just clay, the soul is just clay, and that when we die the spirit goes back to God. The flesh, the body, and the soul goes back into the lump of spiritual clay to be reformed.
The support of Scripture being, "The potter marred the clay and reformed it." I have been asked to comment on this and, for some reason, today the Lord let me study it a little. I would like to read the Scriptures to you and give you my opinion on it.
Verse 7. Then said Saul unto his servants "Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit that I may go to her and inquire of her." His servants said to him, "Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor." I guess I will comment as I go along. Let me point out to you that the way the Scripture describes a worker of witchcraft is as a woman with a familiar spirit. What that means is that the spirit by which this woman does spiritual feats is an inherited spirit, a familiar spirit. Or we might say a familiar family line spirit.
It is not likely that someone can be developed spiritually to the degree that they will be able to conjure up spirits in a lifetime. This thing is inherited, goes down on the family line. Sometimes we call it psychic heredity. It is inherited just like you inherit your features from your parents, your physical features, just like you inherit dark hair, or your light hair, or your blue eyes, or your brown eyes.
From your family line, you also inherit a spiritual heritage. That spiritual heritage can be strongly influenced in Christ, or that spiritual heritage can be strongly influenced by the god of this world whose name is Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind.
For you to be moving in any measure of ungodly spiritual power you have to start out with a spiritual heritage. Then you have to work with it, and practice and develop it just like any other gift that someone has. There is, however, an exception in Christ because my Bible says that all things are possible in Christ.
We see in this hour, the Lord raising up an army of spiritual giants who He is training to defeat Goliath, the spiritual Goliath, whose name is Leviathan or the carnal minds of men. We see Him working rapidly with people who have a spiritual heritage, who have inherited a measure of spiritual maturity, whereby they can be moved easily with the proper training into spiritual warfare in this lifetime.
We also see the Lord calling people without a highly developed spiritual heritage, and their development seems to be going a little slowly compared to the people with highly developed witchcraft backgrounds.
As the Lord had told us many times here, in Christ all things are possible. Christ can raise up a spiritual giant in one lifetime with very little or a minimum of spiritual development. It is as He chooses. Do not look at you neighbor, and do not look at your brother, and do not look at your sister because the Scripture says, "He who is last shall be first, and he who is first shall be last."
In this hour, I see the Scripture coming to pass before my eyes. I see the Lord going out to the highways and the byways, and He is largely passing over large numbers of the church world for this glorious honor. What glorious honor? To be raised up as a spiritual giant for Christ.
The Scriptural name of the spiritual giants of Christ is what? The Sons of God. The Sons of God.
Now, why would He be passing over large numbers of the members of the church? Largely because they do not want Him. They do not want Him. They do not want to be a spiritual giant. They do not want to go to war. They want to sit in church on Sundays, and listen to nice music, and hear a message, and go home feeling that their sins have been purged from them.
Brethren, this is not what Christianity is all about. Christianity is the opposition of God's enemy. God's enemy is the carnal mind whose God is Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, who has stolen this creation from the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is a strange thing. Some people might call it a paradox, a contradiction. You hear the church preaching that Jesus is a gentleman, and if you do not want salvation He will leave you to your own devices and let you burn in hell forever. If you are ignorant of His ways, if you are ignorant of His life, if you are ignorant of His truth, if you do not understand, if you have never been educated, and, spiritually speaking, you do not know your left hand from your right, the great God that created the universe will let you go into eternal torment. That is what they will teach you. I do not believe that.
The truth is that there is a category of people who He will let go their own way if they want to. It is not the uneducated, and it is not the spiritually ignorant. We see this account in the Book of Jonah. God said to Jonah, "Why are you upset Jonah, that I would save a nation of people who cannot tell their left hand from their right?" Spiritually speaking, "Why are you upset that I had mercy on them?"
The truth is that there is a church world full of people who have this book, the Bible, who have been listening to preaching and teaching from God's word for years, and those are the people He is going to let go their own way. People that He has a relationship with, people who hear His voice, people who recognize His spirit, but when it comes to going to war, they will not go. He is saying to those people, the ones who are preaching hell and damnation to the spiritually ignorant who do not know any better, He is saying to His own people, "You hear my voice, and you have my word. If you will not come, then I will raise up these rocks to praise me."
He is sending His servants out into the highways and the byways, and He is going to the people who fall into the category of the people that Jonah was sent to. They were utterly reprobate, heathens, idolaters, workers of witchcraft.
When Jonah finally went and did God's biding and preached to them, and they heard that what they were doing was sin, what did they do? They repented. The whole country repented. The king repented. He went on a fast, all of his subjects went on a fast, they put the animals on a fast, praying that God would change His mind about destroying their nation, and God changed His mind.
They were doing what they were doing out of spiritual ignorance, but when they heard the truth they repented, and God forgave them. His own people filled with pride, stiff necked, condemning, self-righteous church who hears His voice, He speaks in prophecy in every service, He speaks to them personally, and they will not hear what He is telling them. Why? Because in their heart of hearts they do not want to do what He is telling them to do.
They may act like they cannot hear Him, but the truth, as far as God is concerned, is that they made a choice. They have chosen to not hear Him, and to these people He is saying, "It is okay, do your thing, I am a gentleman, I will not force you." Does anyone not see the contradiction? Does anyone not see the difference of what is happening and the truth? Do you want me to repeat that? Everybody okay?
We see that this witch of Endor has a family-line spirit of witchcraft divination. Verse 8. "Saul disguised himself and put on other raiment, and he went and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night." Now why would Saul disguise himself? Anybody? Why did Saul disguise himself?
COMMENT: Something said from the congregation, inaudible.
PASTOR VITALE: Well that is true but, even more than that, Saul when he was king said that all of the witches were to be put out of the country.
Now here he is when God leaves him, doing what he has forbid all his subjects to do. His own pride, would that be pride? I guess it would be pride. Actually, I think he was a desperate man.
Now, we see this happening to a lot of people that move in high spiritual authority in the church. You know, moving in spiritual authority is very exciting to me. I do not know how you feel about it, but I find it very exciting, and I think that most people who start to move in it find it very exciting. If something goes wrong, and the Lord separates from them, and we are going to see as we go down this passageway that the Lord will separate from you. He will, under certain circumstances, and we will talk about them also. He very well can separate from you.
I am not going to help you by lying to you, because I am afraid I am going to cause you distress. Someone came to me after a meeting once. She said, "You are making me afraid, you should not say things like that." Well, God has not raised me up to tell you what you would like to hear. He has raised me up to tell you the truth. If you have fear, you should come up and get prayer. I will pray for you. You need deliverance.
What happened to Saul was that he was a desperate man. He had been ruling as king under the ordination of the Lord. The Lord was with him, the Lord spoke to him, the Lord counseled him, the Lord helped him. The Lord gave him wisdom, and then the Lord left him, and he did not know what to do. He did not know what to do.
You see, a big problem that the average human being has when the Lord comes to them in this hour is that the Lord is saying to them, "I want you to give up your own ways, and I want to be in every decision that you make." Do not misunderstand this, God does not want you to be a robot, but He wants you to seek Him on every decision that you make. He wants to be high up in your decision-making process.
We have a lot of people, especially the men, even more than the women, because women, are married, and they are used to their husband doing things. Especially the men, they have a problem turning this decision-making process over to God. This is just a fact. You can check this out in any church. Men have a much bigger problem with this than women. They are used to being decision makers. They have a real problem turning their life over to God. This is understandable, but this is the exact opposite of what was happening to Saul.
Saul was used to it. God had made him a great king, he was victorious in battle, and now, all of a sudden, the Lord was gone, and he had to make all of his decisions himself. I personally think he was frantic. He just did not know what to do. He sought a witch. He was so used to moving in supernatural power that when the spirit of God was not available to him, well he went to the substitute. He just did not know what to do. He was a desperate man, grasping at straws. That would be pride, I guess.
Saul disguised himself, and when he came to the woman by night...please notice that he came by night. These evil deeds are done in the darkness. They are not done in the light of day. He said to her, "I pray thee divine unto me by the familiar spirit..." By the witchcraft spirit you have inherited from your ancestors. "...And bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee." The woman said unto him "Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits and the wizards out of the land. Wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life and cause me to die."
She is saying to Saul, "If I get caught, the judgment is death. Why are you coming to me to try to influence me to use my power when you know if I get caught I am going to die?" I would like to point out to you here that this kind of challenge to have been moving in deep spiritual authority and to find yourself without it, that kind of a challenge sometimes in your life will be put to everyone who has hopes of ascending into spiritual power in Christ.
It is a choice. What will you do when it looks like the chips are down, and you cannot find Jesus around anywhere. There is the test. Are you going to rise up in your own natural strength and save your life, or are you going to wait for the Lord to move? Everyone, at sometime in their walk with God, will be confronted at least once with that challenge. What are you going to do?
This is what happened to Saul, and he chose to go to a worker of witchcraft, which proved that he was a what? He was a carnal man, and it was not Christ in him. He was granted the authority of king as a gift. His heart was not righteous, he was a fallen natural man, and here he was breaking his own righteous law, because the prohibition against witchcraft is in accordance with the righteous law of God. When he lost the comfort of the power of God, he found himself doing what he had prohibited and the Law of God had outlawed.
There is another point here that you might find interesting. That the people who tend to seek after forbidden supernatural power are people who do not have the power of God in their life. If you have the power of God in you life, and you know your Savior, you do not go seeking after witchcraft power.
Although, we do see some people in the church...does anybody here not know that people in the church seek after witchcraft power? A certain element in the church, it is true. People in the Pentecostal church, a lot of them go get their cards read, they do their astrology. What does that mean? They have not yet entered into a relationship with the Lord, which is so intense that they are hearing from Him on an on-going basis that they can give that thing up. Because once you really start entering into a relationship where you know you are hearing from God, why would you take second best?
You see, everybody does not hear from God right away. You have to work at it. Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, gives you his ministry real easy. Go get your cards read, go get your tea leaves read. We used to have the egg lady around here. Anybody know about the egg lady? She used to scramble eggs and read your fortune in the eggs. Right up the road here on Route 112.
With Christ, it does not come that easy. You have to enter into Christ. You have to enter into a program that is going to develop you spiritually. You have to start reading the Word of God. You must enter into a relationship with Christ before He starts talking to you on any kind of regular, on-going basis. He can talk to anyone when He wants to.
We all know He spoke to Pharaoh, he speaks to the heathen, but to have a relationship with Him, to have Him a part of your decision-making process, have Him affecting the events of your life, it is no different than a human relationship. It has to be developed. This relationship with God must be developed. You have to tell Him how you feel. He has to help you to learn to recognize Him when He is communicating with you, because He is invisible. There are things to learn about having a relationship with God, and that is not so unusual.
We have a Scripture where Paul says the older women should teach the younger women how to love their husbands. We need to be taught things in this world. Young men need training to rule their families with love and righteousness. Well, you need to be taught how to have a relationship with the living God. You need to know a few things.
We do have people in the Church who either do not have the understanding or do not have the patience to develop a relationship with Christ. You have to wait on Him, you have to seek Him, you have to discern Him, you have to be alone with Him, and you have to have time to talk to Him. It helps to read His words so that you can get some idea of how His minds works, and that relationship will grow.
We have many people in the church that either have not been taught or do not understand that Jesus Christ is extremely powerful, and that all of His power is available on your behalf, but not necessarily to do what you would like Him to do with it. All of His power, once He turns His face towards you, is available to you in accordance with His mature righteous judgment of your needs. He does not think how we think. He said, "My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts." The only thing that matters is the end result of what He is doing for you. He knows what He is doing.
Verse 10. Saul swore to her by the Lord saying, "As the Lord liveth...," listen, he swears in the Lords name.... "As the Lord liveth there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing." He is breaking his own law. Now let me remind you that Christ breaks His own law. It is for what? It is for good, it is for righteousness sake. God breaks His own law. You see, we were talking about this in the exhortation today. God can change His law, God can have mercy, God can understand that there is a special circumstance in your life.
Now God will never honor sin. He will never give you permission to sin. Jesus said that, depending on the degree of your ignorance or your knowledge, some will have few stripes and some will have many stripes. If you knowingly, willfully know, that you are breaking God's law and not caring, you will have many stripes. If you are ignorant, you did not understand, you will have few stripes. The Lord will have mercy on you.
Saul is breaking his own law, and he is breaking God's law for selfish purposes. What is his selfish purpose? He was experiencing anxiety, He had not heard from God, he did not know which way to turn and to satisfy his own anxiety, he broke his own law, and he broke God's law. I spoke to you about this many times. This is one of the major tests to who your mind is. Christ or carnal or death? Because Christ does not do what will preserve His own soul. Christ in you does not do what will relieve your anxiety. Christ in you does what the Father tells Him to do. Christ in you does righteousness, even at the cost of His own self. Christ in you loves righteousness so much that He is willing to take the loss.
If you have anything that God's righteousness should be exhibited..., now that does not mean you make a fool out of yourself, or you let people in and empty out your house. It has to be an issue of righteousness. When it comes to conflict with another believer, we are all being trained up to come to a place which is not an easy place to be, where you lay down your pride, you lay down your self-preservation, and you lay down your embarrassment, and you do what is right.
You do what is right, even if you have to admit that you goofed, you made a mistake, or that some kind of sin, envy, whatever, was manifesting in you. When you cover your sin, almost invariably the only way you could cover your sin is to make someone else guilty.
If there is a sin showing in you, let us say envy arises in you, you now have two choices...it is exposed, it is out. There has been an incident, there have been words spoken, you have two choices. "Yes, I did it, I am sorry, and I am working on it." Or, "No I did not do it. It must have been you, it must have been you. It was not me." We know that is not Christ. It is pride, and God hates it. It is the sacrifice, especially if the other person was really trying to do good to you, it is the sacrifice of the innocent. God hates it.
To what purpose...to what purpose would you do this? To make yourself look righteous. To make yourself look righteous, you would make you brother or sister, who did not do anything, the guilty party so that you could appear righteous in your own eyes and in the eyes of everyone else. To God, this is the worst sin you can commit.
I have told this to many people, and they are shocked. They think something like murder is the worst sin you can commit. No, pride, sacrificing your brother, so that you could look righteous is the worst sin that you could commit. God absolutely hates it. Glory to God.
We are in Verse 10. "And Saul swore to her by the Lord saying, as the Lord liveth shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing." Double standard, double standard. We see people in the church today, a lot of people in great agony because they see their minister preaching something, but he is not practicing it. You know, that really hurts people.
Ministers, parents, preaching to their kids what they are not practicing. You will never get your kids to practice what you are not doing. Never. They are not fools, children are not fools. You have to live it. If you want to ask people to follow you, whether you are a minister, or whether you are a parent, or whether you are a teacher, whatever you are, if you want people to learn from you and follow you, you have to live what you re asking them to do.
Here we see Saul is breaking his own rule. That makes him a what? A hypocrite. He was a hypocrite. Then said the woman. Verse 11, "Whom shall I bring up onto thee?" "And he said, bring me up Samuel." Samuel is the famous prophet of God. We have two books of the Bible written after him, and Saul wants to talk to him.
Samuel was the prophet who ordained Saul. You might remember he went out under the Lord's instructions, he poured a cruse of oil over Saul's head and he said, "I appoint you king of Israel."
Samuel was a prophet who was there to counsel Saul through all of his hard times and through all of his good times. He wanted this counselor back, and he went to a witch. What an abomination, what an insult to the Lord. He went to a witch to ask her to conjure up this spirit of God's prophet. The most amazing thing happened. This passage is very confusing. Samuel came up, and I have had people come to me and say, "Well, was it really Samuel, or was it a demon?"
When I was in that deliverance church, I was taught that any communication with the dead has to be a demon, and Samuel was dead. Besides, how could a witch conjure up the spirit of God's prophet? Well, I want to tell you something, God is in control of everything. He can even override witchcraft, and I want to suggest to you that in the midst of this abomination, Jehovah decided to speak to Saul and, as you will find out as we read along, what Samuel had to say to him was the pronouncement of judgment.
Saul paid this witch to call up the spirit of Samuel because he wanted to be comforted. He wanted his anxiety released, and God spoke to him through this medium. He overrode it, overrode the witchcraft, spoke to him through this medium and pronounced judgment upon Saul.
You will find out as we go along the...whoever he was speaking to (and I will talk to you about that in a few minutes) told him that both Saul and his son were going to die in battle.
Let us follow this through. Verse 12, "When the woman saw Samuel she cried with a loud voice. The woman spoke to Saul, "Why has thou deceived me? For thou art Saul." You see, she really was a worker of witchcraft. She did have some form of demonic discernment, she recognized that he was Saul, and the Scripture says that when she saw Saul, she cried with a loud voice. She was frightened. She recognized it was Saul, and this was Saul who was speaking to her.
Verse 13, "The king said unto her, be not afraid for what sawest thou. And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth." Now my Bible, in the margin, said that the word "gods" means spirits. Does anybody have that in their Bible? Well, you look it up in the Interlinear, and the word means "Elohim." I saw Elohim. I saw God ascending up out of the earth.
Some of you might have been here for our series on Genesis 1, and we found out that Jehovah is the God who created all of the world and all of the universe, and Elohim is the son who is present in the earth. Elohim came up. I want to tell you God can do anything. Look at your faces. The witch made a chant trying to raise the dead and a pre-incarnate manifestation of Christ came up.
I want to tell you how I could say that. Samuel was a great prophet of God. We are told that Samuel spoke, and not one of his words fell to the ground. That means everything he prophesied came to pass. Everything that he prophesied that was good came to pass. Every judgment that he renounced on somebody was executed. If he said, "You are going to die," you died. If he said "You are going to live," you lived. Why? What would give this man this kind of power? What gave this man this kind of power was that his carnal mind was completely crushed down, and it was God speaking through him.
That is what a prophet is. A prophet is a man through whom God speaks. This prophet, Samuel, was such a prophet of high degree that every word he said was honored by God. Why? Because it was the Word of God.
Saul went in a criminal maneuver to call up the prophet Samuel for his ungodly purpose and guess what? Who answered his call? The Christ, who was manifesting through Samuel throughout his ministry. Now the Scripture says Samuel. I studied in the Interlinear this afternoon, Saul asked that Samuel be raised up. The witch called him Samuel, the Bible says Samuel, but, nevertheless, she cried out because she saw Elohim. I want to suggest to you, for God's purposes, Samuel and Elohim were one and the same.
We know that King David was a manifestation of the pre-incarnated Christ in the earth in the days before Christ was manifested in the flesh of the man Jesus. We have appearances of Christ that we call the pre-incarnate appearance of Christ. The man Jesus could have lived forever. The pre-incarnate Christ which is temporary and Jesus is, in fact, living forever. He was raised from the dead in a glorified form.
I cannot go into that whole teaching tonight, but there were brief appearances of Christ in the earth continuously. Continuously, there was always an appearance of Christ. The angels appeared to Samuel's mother before she conceived him. For all intents and purposes, and for the purposes of this Scripture, God is saying Christ and Samuel are one and the same.
We see him being called by the name of Samuel, but the witch of Endor, she saw Elohim come up, and she cried out in fear. This witch, who was a spiritual woman, recognized that the one who came up was the Living God. I want to tell you that witches everywhere can recognize Christ when they see Him. Witch doctors in Africa recognize Christ when they see Him.
It is the person who is not spiritual that is at a great disadvantage. They cannot recognize Christ when they see Him, and they cannot recognize any other spirit when they see them.
People who are spiritual recognize Christ when they see Him. There is going to be a mass conversion among workers of witchcraft in the hour that Christ begins to reveal Himself openly to the public. People that recognize spirits are going to fall down and worship Him before the average person in the street. Does anyone not know what I am talking about? Everybody okay?
Verse 13, "The woman said unto Saul, I saw Elohim ascending out of the earth." I remind you that John said in Chapter 9 in the Book of Revelation, "And I saw locusts ascending up from under the earth." Now some people might get confused because we have been taught to think that God comes down from Heaven or from the physical sky, but the truth is that all spiritual life lies within. Spiritual life dwells within.
This is a great mystery. There is no time or space in the realm of the spirit. Our physical bodies, and this world that we live in are outer darkness. We are the external realm, we are the extremity of spiritual life, we are the exterior. Spiritual life is within. Spiritual life does not need time and space. I do not understand it myself, but I believe it. God said it, and I believe it, that spiritual life, as vast as it is, dwells in the hearts of men.
Therefore, for a spirit to come into this world of appearance, he would have to ascend. Why? Because He is dwelling underneath the earth of our souls, and He is dwelling underneath the earth of our bodies. He ascends to the surface. He does not descend.
Now let me just clarify this for you. The soul of a man descends into the bottomless pit. There is no depth to the degree that the soul of man can fall when he separates from God, but spirit ascends. Spirit and soul are exact opposites from each other. Spirit ascends from underneath the earth of our souls, but the soul can descend into the bottomless pit. Spirit and soul are contrary one to the other.
We are still in Verse 13. "And the woman said, I saw Elohim ascending out of the earth." "He said unto her, What form is he of?" Saul said to the witch, "What does he look like?" The witch said, "He looks like an old man coming up, and he is covered with a mantel." Saul perceived it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed himself. This Hebrew word translated "old man," is referring to an elder, a spiritual elder that is receiving great respect. This is the form He took. Why? Because Elohim is invisible.
Now look, the witch had spiritual discernment. She recognized it was Elohim. This Elohim, He came up in a form, and He came up in the form of a spiritual elder wrapped in a robe. I believe I looked up the word "robe" and it is the Hebrew word used to describe the robe that the Levite priests used to wear. It is the form Elohim took. Elohim decided to answer Saul's request.
Does that shock you that God can come through a witch's summoning? You know God does not have any pride. He just does whatever He wants to do. He does not have any pride.
Verse 15. "Samuel said to Saul, Why has thou disquieted to me, to bring me up?" That Hebrew word "disquieted" is a very interesting word. It means, "to disturb me." It is also translated in the Hebrew prophets, "to tremble." We did a tape, I think it is Ephraim, Man of the Earth. It was one of the first tapes we did.
If you are hearing from God on a regular basis and then silence...it happened to me once when I decided not to do what He told me to do. I thought I was going to do what I wanted to do, and He turned me around. He did not talk to me for two weeks. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I understand. I am very blessed that it only lasted two weeks. It was when I was working, and He sent me to work for that other preacher over there, and I said, "Not me. Not going to treat me that way, no way. I am going to get a job."
God departed from me for two weeks. I worked under that abuse for a whole year. Hallelujah.
Verse 15. "I am sore distressed for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me and anwereth me no more. Neither by the prophets, nor by dreams. Therefore, I have called thee that thou mayest make known to me what I shall do." Now there is something very interesting here for Saul to think that God has rejected him, that God is not speaking by the living prophet. Neither is God speaking in dreams anymore.
To go to a witch to call up Samuel is not only taking matters in your own hand, but it is refusing to submit to God's judgment on you. He needed to do what? What should he have done?
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, Saul. He needed to repent and say, "Dear God, this is terrible that you have left me. I do not know what I have done, or I do know what I have done, but I am sorry. Please come back into my life." He did not do that, he took matters into his own hands and he said, "I will get my answers from the dead."
Verse 16. "Then said Samuel, Wherefore, then does thou ask of me? Seeing that the Lord departed from you and become thine enemy." Please note that when the Lord departs from you, He does not just go away, He becomes your enemy. Jesus said, "Either you are for me or you are against me." Now just because the Lord is not reigning down judgment on your head right now, it does not necessarily mean that He is your friend.
Does anybody remember the signs of Jesus being your friend? He tells you all about what He is doing and what His plans for the future are. He confides in you, and gives you information in knowledge and wisdom. The fact that you see some people in the world who are not under judgment, but neither are they hearing from God, do not assume He is their friend. He is their enemy. He just has not executed judgment. For the Lord has all the time in the world.
Of course, when He executes judgment, the result of that is He brings you nearer to Him. Amen.
Verse 17. "And the Lord hath done to him as he spake by me. For the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand and given it to thy neighbor. Even to David and the Lord hath done to him. Then said Samuel, Wherefore then does thou ask of me being the Lord has departed from you and is become thine enemy. the Lord had done to him." I guess to Saul, "as he spake by me," Samuel is saying, "I prophesied that the Lord would depart from you for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand and given it to thy neighbor, even David."
Brethren, there is no way to win a war or to gain a kingdom, except God gives it to you. Every person that has gained a kingdom has gained it, at the very least, because God has not moved to do otherwise. Or, at the very most, because God has given it to them.
If you are trying to build your own kingdom, you are wasting your time. You may succeed or you may fail. It is a greater blessing if you fail, because if you succeed, and you have done it in your own strength, God is either not in it, or only in it minimally. Wait on God. Do not build your own kingdom because, at some point, it will come crashing down.
It is only the kingdom, the life, the ministry, the marriage, the career, it is only that institution which is found because the will of God has given it to you that will abide any and every storm that can come tearing against it. You will not stand if your institution, your ministry, your family, whatever your marriage, is built on...sand...it is either built on the rock, or it is built on sand.
The rock is Jesus, and the sand which is a rock that has been ground to many pieces is this fallen living soul whose God is Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind. It will not stand on that foundation at the time of the testing.
Do not be deceived because you see all kinds of marriages, careers, ministries, etc., standing and prospering financially and having many people go there. Do not be deceived, because you do not know whether someone or something is standing until the what? We are quiet tonight. The test. Until the test.
You do not know what kind of relationship you have until your first fight. You do not know what kind of relationship you have until the first conflict, until your first problem. You do not know what somebody is like until you see them under fire.
You do not know if God is honoring your ministry until Satan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, comes against you, and you see what the result is. After the skirmish is over, when the smoke blows away, are you still standing? Or is everybody scattered? You do not know until the test. You do not know. There is no way to tell. You cannot tell by what something looks like.
Verse 18. This is why God has taken the kingdom from Saul. Verse 18. "Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord nor executed His fierce wrath upon Amalek. Therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto this day." There are two reasons that Samuel gives Saul as to why he lost the kingdom, why God has departed from him, and it is because he did not do what God told him to do. General statement, "you do not do what God told you to do. You did what your carnal mind wanted you to do."
The second statement is, this is really important, "he does not execute God's wrath on God's enemy, on Amalek."
Now let me review that for you right now, just for the people who are not familiar with the Scripture. At the time that Saul was condemned, it occurred when he returned from a battle with an enemy called Amalek. God had given Saul instructions through the prophet.
Samuel had said to Saul, "Go to fight this war, go to fight this battle. This man Amalek and these people, who you are king over, are wicked people. I have decided to wipe them out, and you are to kill every man, woman, and child, and beast in this country. There is spiritual contamination."
Some people get very upset when they hear this aspect of the Scripture. I just ask you to understand that when God makes a judgment such as that, that the wickedness of the nation has to be so completed and so extensive that God has made a judgment that to let them live would just contaminate that which was righteous in the area. That is the only reason God did these things, to preserve the righteous seed of Israel whose primary, and actually only, function was to what?
Does anybody remember? What was Israel's primary and only legitimate function? Why was Israel in existence? For what purpose? To bring forth the seed. To bring forth the seed. His name is Christ. To bring forth the seed to give birth to the provision that would make salvation available to the entire world.
Israel was given the law. They were a nation that was given Holiness for the specific purpose of bringing forth Messiah who was the man who would be crucified and whose death would result in the whole world receiving salvation. God's primary purpose was to keep Israel Holy until Christ could appear.
When He told them to wipe out these nations, these nations where a spiritual force capable of contaminating Israel, and, if Israel was contaminated, Christ would have not come forth. If Christ did not come forth, God's plan to save the whole world would not have come forth.
God is a righteous God, and if you do not understand what I am saying, or if you are still distressed by it, I just encourage you to understand this, that God is a righteous God, and if you do not understand, that is alright. If you are judging, this is wrong. You have condemned God, and that not a smart thing to do.
Every time the Lord does something I do not understand, I will tell him. I have a good relationship with the Lord, I could tell Him anything I want, anything that I feel, and I will tell Him, "Lord I do not understand that, I do not understand what happened to the Jews in Hitler's Germany. I do not understand it, but I know that you are righteous so I must be the one whose brain is a little inferior because I cannot see it." I express myself to Him, and I let it go with that.
I just encourage you to be careful about judging God's behavior. Do not judge until you have been in that person's shoes. Unless you have experienced being God, you are in no position to be judging Him. We are fallen. He is not fallen.
Saul did not do what God said to do to Amalek, and for those of you who do not know the story, he took valuables out of the country. He took sheep, and he took goats, and he took spoil from that warfare. Now there were other battles that Israel went into where God permitted them to take spoil. In this instance, God said to kill everything that moves, and do not touch the gold or the silver.
Not only did Saul not obey God, for some reason it is not appearing in this Scripture, but he went even a step further. When he came back with the spoil, does anybody remember what happened? He manifested the sin of pride that we were just talking about. He said to Samuel, the prophet, "I did it to honor God. I disobeyed what He told me. I took all this cattle so that I could make sacrifice to the Lord."
He completely denied that his motive was what? Selfishness, greed. He wanted it. He wanted it, and he denied it, and said he was doing a good thing for the Lord. God hates it.
If you are going to sin, at least own up to what you are doing. Do not tell me you are doing it for my good. God hates it. I tell you the truth. It is the worst sin you can commit.
We are in Verse 18. We found out why God has departed from Saul. Look, brethren, if God raises you up, and you do not obey Him, and you do not execute judgment when He tells you to do it, what good are you? What good are you?
We just saw the movie "Ben Hur" today. The slaves who are rowing the ships were told, "We let you live so that you can row this ship. Row well and live." Well, that was a horrible thing because it was man enslaving man. I want to tell you, God is saying the same thing to you. If He has picked you out, if He has delivered you, if He has saved your life, if He has taken you out of drugs, any kind of sin, and you are not doing what He wants you to do, what good are you?
Jesus clearly said, "You are the salt of the earth." Salt is a preservative. You are here to preserve the righteousness of God in the earth to work against sin. Why? Because sin is killing the earth. You are here to preserve lives. If you are not thinking, and doing, and speaking righteousness that will build life into people, if you have the spirit of Christ in you, and you are living out of your carnal mind, you are speaking, and building, and living death in other people. What does He need you for?
Now, you probably never heard many people talk about God this way, but I am telling you the truth. He loves you. He loves you, and He will take care of you, but you better do what you are supposed to do. Once He calls you, and once He cleans you up, and once you know the score, you are a servant that is not doing Him any good. What does He need you for?
If He saved you and cleaned you up, He wants to be manifesting through you. He wants you to be a vessel of honor. He wants you to be doing the works of Christ, He wants you to be helping people, healing the sick, delivering them out of their torment, having mercy and compassion.
Jesus said, "I healed ten lepers. (Was is ten?) Only one has turned and given Glory to God." I think it was ten. "Where are the other nine? What are you doing with the good I have done to you."
Saul was an unfaithful servant, his carnal mind was ruling in the vessel, Christ was being crushed in the vessel, so God took him down, and He raised up another king. If you think God does not do that, you are mistaken. He does it, because as much as He loves you, the most important thing to the Lord is the salvation of this entire planet and the reconciliation of this entire creation.
If you serve Him, He will serve you. He will give you life and every good thing, but if you take His gifts and do not serve Him, He will go to someone else. When I used to be a very carnal person, I used to look at this and say, "Well my goodness, I would expect God to execute wrath upon these people, look at that, they are not obeying Him." He does not execute wrath upon them, He goes away.
Verse 19. "Moreover, Samuel says to Saul, the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines." Under the Old Covenant, not only did God leave Saul, but He let him die. "And tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me." That is the verse that gets a lot of people. How could Saul and his sons be with Samuel, if what I am preaching is correct, that only the spirit returns to the Father? Well, my answer to that, brethren, is that Samuel said, "You and your sons will be with me." Well, Saul and his sons, in reality, are their spirits.
Jesus said to the thief on the cross, "This day you will be with me in paradise." What He meant was that the spirit goes back to the Father. That is what He meant. This was Elohim speaking to Saul. This was a pre-incarnate Christ, Himself, saying, "You are going to die and your spirit is coming back to me." Moreover, the Lord would deliver Israel. Not only did the king go down, the whole nation went down. The king went down, his sons went down. The whole nation goes down.
I want to tell you when a husband goes down, his wife goes down, and all the kids go down. If you do not think that is true, you do not know what you are talking about. It is true. Even in warfare, even when we used to fight the Indians, as soon as the leader was smitten, the troops scattered. The troops scatter. The minister goes down, the ministry breaks up.
That ministry on the other side over there, the guy was convicted of some federal charge. The whole ministry went down. No one took over the ministry, the people scattered. In the other place, the other county down there, that guy got involved in adultery, the whole ministry scattered. The place is now a ghost town. They just sold the building a couple of years later.
Then that other place over there, it used to be hopping. Hopping with the Holy Ghost, and that guy got into adultery and the place died. If you could discern the Holy Ghost at all, it absolutely died.
The leader goes down, the people go down. Or the ministry does down, and those people who are clinging to the Lord will get moved to another ministry. The people who are clinging to the minister, go down with the minister. That is idolatry. Do not cling to the minister. Cling to Jesus. Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ." The minute you discern I am not following Christ, get out." You better make sure you are just not manifesting rebellion.
If a minister stops following Christ, if you know he is in adultery, if you know he is robbing the church's funds, you better ask the Lord which church He wants you to go to. Because if your faith is in that minister, you will be so devastated. I know when that happened, hundreds of people left that church and fell out of Christianity.
They could not believe that, that happened to that minister. Well why not? He is just a man, he is not God. Just pick yourself up and find out where the Lord wants you to go.
I tell you the truth, it happens all the time. Ministers go down all the time. If your God is your minister, you are going down with him.
We are in Verse 19. I will start at the beginning. "Moreover the Lord will deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines and tomorrow shall thou and thy sons be with me. The Lord shall also deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines." The whole nation went.
Verse 20. "Then Saul fell straight away all along on the earth and was sore afraid because of the word of Samuel, and there was no strength in him. For he had eaten no bread all the day nor all the night, and the woman came unto Saul and saw that he was sore troubled." Well, I guess we really do not have to go any further. She just fed him.
Chapter 29, Verse 1. "Now the Philistines gather together all their armies and the Israelites in Jezereel." I just want to look for the spot where he gets killed. I will just tell you about it. Well, I guess we will just stop here. Saul gets killed as the prophet prophesied, his sons got killed and Israel was defeated, and David was the new King over Israel.
Just wait with me a minute, I think the Lord has something else to say. It is just not coming out right now. Jesus.
We see that obedience is the name of the game. It is not your dove pins. It does not matter if you prophesy. It does not matter if you give money to the church. It is nice to do all these things, but obedience to God is the name of the game. He has a purpose for you.
If you have been taught that you are here because God was lonely, and He wants your fellowship, you have received a lie. God is not lonely, and God does not need your fellowship. God is self-sustained. He does not need anybody. He does not need anything from anybody, but He does want to appear. The way He is appearing is by entering in a manifestation through human beings, and that is what He wants from you, and that is what He wants from the whole human race. He wants to appear in us.
Right now we are being inhabited by another being. We are being inhabited by a squatter, it is the carnal mind, and the carnal mind is being revealed through our words, and through our thoughts, and through deeds. How do I know that? We are all dying. That is how I know it.
In John 8, he clearly says, "That the servant..." Who is the servant? The servant is the man whose mind is the carnal mind. "...does not abide in the house forever." This body is the house. The Son, when Christ is your mind, He abides in the house forever. When your mind is Christ, He will keep your body and soul alive forever.
The war of the ages has begun. Jesus is about to take the kingdom of this world back. There is only one problem. When He starts dropping the bombs, you are in there. When France was occupied in World War Two and the Allies came to liberate France, they dropped their bombs not only on the Germans who were in France, they dropped their bombs on the French people, on French businesses, on French farms, on French children. Hallelujah.
Any questions on this message? Any questions on anything? First on this message. Any questions on this message? Anybody? Everybody is so quiet tonight. Any questions on anything? Give that man a microphone.
COMMENT: Who is Samuel? What was he, and was he a prophet, and was he anointed?
PASTOR VITALE: Yes. Yes, Samuel was a great prophet of God. Yes, he was very anointed. He was the prophet who ordained Saul, king. He was prophet to King Saul.
COMMENT: He cast out the witches and demons?
PASTOR VITALE: Did he cast out demons? I do not know of any record of that being done in the Old Testament. I do not know of any Scripture that says that. I do not believe they were doing that in the Old Covenant. Jesus was the first one documented who did that in the New Testament. Anybody else?
PASTOR VITALE: Well, XXXX you asked me to comment on Samson's hair. Just what it symbolizes? Samson's hair or Samson in general? Well, hair in the Scripture is a type of the spirit. It grows out of the hair follicle, which is underneath the skin. It starts underneath the skin and then it appears on top of the skin.
That is what spirit does. It starts underneath us and it appears in front of us. Spirit appears through our words. It is also an energy force that will vibrate from us and appears in front of us.
Excuse me. When we are in full statue it will be a shield in front of us. I could just hear somebody saying, "I got her. She is saying Jesus is not our shield." Yes, Jesus is our shield, but our shield has a few holes in it. Well, maybe we could say our shield is being built on us as we exist. It is still not impenetrable, and that is just the truth, because if it was impenetrable, nothing could touch you.
Nothing could touch your physical body. You would not be sick, nothing could touch your mind. You would never be depressed. Every decision you made would be perfectly righteous, and nobody is in that condition.
It is time to get off of your Pharisaical soapbox. What you are saying is ridiculous. It is just the truth, it is ridiculous.
I was talking about hair. Hair is a type of spirit in the Scripture, and when we studied Daniel 7, we found out that the Scripture in that place describes the creation as a sheep. We are just one creation. God made one living soul, and we were described in Daniel 7 as a sheep, and each hair on the sheep indicating an individual human spirit.
Hair typifies spirit. Therefore, when Samson had his hair cut it typified his being stripped of his spiritual strength. Now in the Old Covenant, it was a reality simply because God said to Samson's parents "Do not ever cut his hair. Do not cut his hair" Though it was an act of disobedience, there is no strength in your physical hair. God said, "Do not cut his hair." God said, "Do not do it," and they did it.
He did it. Samson did it. he did it in some unhappy circumstances. He was seduced by a woman, and he gave up everything that God had promised him, because of this weakness.
Now in this hour, remember when we talk about spiritual things, we are not talking about male and female bodies. We are talking about spiritual manhood. One who is a man in Christ is the one whose mind is Christ. Spirit has nothing to do with body. If you are a woman and Christ is appearing in your mind, you are entering into spiritual manhood.
There is going to be seduction coming towards you from female minds. Female minds, minds that are not righteous. Minds that are operating on a level to try to cause you to turn away from righteousness, to try to cause you to turn away from God, to try to bring your thinking down from Mount Zion into a carnal place.
Usually that mind is coming from someone you are in a relationship with, your mother, your father, maybe your husband, maybe your children. When you are thinking with the righteousness of Christ, and another mind comes to seduce you to lower your standards or to lower your righteousness, it is a female mind coming towards you.
In the Old Testament, we see a type and a shadow of Samson, who first of all, not only was he seduced by this woman, he should have never been with this woman because he was a priest. Samson was a priest, and what was he doing hanging out with a pagan woman anyway? Was she a Philistine? She was a Philistine. Anybody know if she was a Philistine?
COMMENT: She was a Canaanite.
PASTOR VITALE: She was a Canaanite? Whatever she was, she was not a Holy woman. What was he doing with an unholy woman? Now what was his father doing getting him this woman? I do not know, I do not remember if his father got him Delilah or not, but his father agreed to get him a heathen wife. What was he doing fooling around playing games? He got snared by it. If you remember the end of the story, at his very last, he became a slave.
We see, in this hour, people that have moved in high places in God, and they have done exploits in God, and they have been cast down. They lost their spiritual power because they were...now you know this does not happen because you make one mistake. You have to understand that God does not strip His power from you because you make one mistake.
There has to be a habitual, continuous, on-going series of mistakes which are resulting from a wrong condition of your heart. God will come to you, and He will give you the opportunity to repent. When there is no repentance, on occasion, He does take His authority from you.
Why would there be no repentance? Does anybody know? Why does repentance not come forth? Because the person loves their sin more than they love the obedience of God. They do not want to give it up. I tell you the truth.
PASTOR VITALE: Please use a microphone. I will repeat it for you now. Is repentance a gift as well? Yes repentance is a gift as well. God knows if the reason you cannot repent is that God has not granted you repentance, well, then how can God fault you for that? He is looking at your heart, He is looking at your heart. If He has not granted you repentance because there is something wrong in your heart, you cannot make God the heavy.
You see, that teaching is filtering through the whole church. Very subtle. "Man is innocent, it is really God's fault." You have to really watch out for that. It is a very subtle spirit of pride, and it is hurting a lot of people. It is an epidemic through the church. We have situations where we love our sin, we do not want to give it up, and God will make a judgment to take your anointing away from you. It does not make any sense that He would do that because He has granted you repentance. There has to be something wrong with your heart for Him to do that.
I cannot answer you more than that, because it is true that He grants you repentance, but there are other factors. He is looking at your heart. He is looking at your attitude. Did I answer you question? Is that what you wanted to know about Samson and his hair? Yes? Praise God.
Samson, mighty man of God. in his last days when he became a slave, that is what I was talking about here. He became a slave, he was grinding at the millstone, this great man of God. Physically powerful, spiritually powerful, and he was seduced by his own weakness.
You see, nobody outside of you can bring you down. The only way someone can bring you down is when they find your weakness, and if you yield to your weakness, you will go down. Nothing outside of you can hurt you. Every problem you have is within you.
The Scripture clearly says, for an example, if you want to have friends you must show yourself friendly. If you do not have friends, maybe you are not showing yourself friendly. Every problem you have is within you. You have to get before God and find out what He requires of you for you to get help. You cannot go around blaming the world for the rest of your life.
Every problem you have is severely and sharply defined by how you deal with that problem. How are you dealing with that problem and refusing to forgive that person? Is this thing going on for 20 years because of a spirit of vengeance?
The problem is within you. Nobody can reject you, but you have to receive that rejection. It has to be something in you that is receiving that rejection. No one can reject you.
You know, I have known people who spent their whole lifetime feeling sorry for themselves because they never were part of the "in" crowd. They were always lusting to be a part of the "in" crowd, and they were continuously rejected by the "in" crowd. Continuously depressed, continuously alone, continually feeling sorry for yourself.
Brethren, if the "in" crowd does not want you, start your own crowd. Start your own crowd. How come you are spending your whole life wanting people who do not want you? How come? Find someone who wants you and then guess what? The "in" crowd will want you.
See, this is the typical problem of the average Christian....carnal, and we see everything outside of us. We see every problem outside of us, and we see every answer outside of us. It not outside of us, it is inside of us, and it is our inside that needs to be adjusted.
Our legs have been set wrong, and we are crippled. That leg has got to be broken and reset. Our attitudes have to change, our way of thinking has to change, our way of responding to what other people say and do, we have to change.
It is time to stop looking at our brother and start looking at ourselves. Jesus is here to do the work. You have been moaning and groaning and crying for years, "Jesus help me." When He comes to help you, you do not like the way He is helping you. You wanted Him to change your husband, you wanted Him to change your mother, you wanted Him to change the other guy.
You should know that when you cry out to Jesus because you have a problem in your relationship that He is coming right to you, and He is showing you where you are wrong. When you straighten out, then He deals with the other person. I tell you the truth.
You know how many people I know that have cried out "Jesus, help me, Jesus, help me," and when He comes to help them, they say, "Go away, I do not like the way you are helping me." There is only one problem, Jesus is not fickle. Once He gets the message, and He starts helping you, there is nothing you could do about it no matter how much you scream.
I honestly have to tell you, that if I had any idea what it would be like, Jesus helping me, I really do not know that I would...I cried out for years for Him to help me. I cried out for years for God to help me before I actually heard from Him. I thought He was just going to.... Remember XXXX? I heard XXXX say, "I thought God was going to come and turn a screw in me and I would be okay."
Remember him saying that? "I thought He was going to take a screwdriver and turn a screw in me and I would be okay." He had a heart attack, he went through a lot, XXXX.
No, Jesus comes, and He breaks your legs because it is set wrong. He cracks it wide open. The leg is in your head, and He cracks your head wide open, and He starts putting it in the right order. Now, there are going to be problems in your life, problem relationships in your life until you overcome.
Do you know how many pastors have this testimony? That there is some person in their congregation that is just driving them absolutely crazy, and no matter how much they pray, God will not take that person out of the church, and the second they learn to deal with that person in love and righteousness they are gone.
Brethren, we are supposed to be over comers. We are not supposed to be little babies. We are not children, and God does not take our problems away. He will give us strength, He will give us wisdom, He will give us knowledge, and He will say, "overcome." He does not take anything out of your way. You have to go through.
I sat on my bed in the hospital and I said, "Lord, I do not want this surgery." He had not spoken to me in a long time because I was so fallen down, I was so carnal, but He spoke to me then. He said to me, "You have got to go through." Stop looking at the other guy, and let us get ourselves straightened up here. God has great things for us. Great things. Anybody else? Quiet night. We have a question.
COMMENT: God broke His own rule by bringing....by manifesting Samuel?
PASTOR VITALE: Yes, if He came through a witch. He responded to the witch's call. Amazing huh? I find that quite amazing. God never ceases to amaze me. Now remember, God would not speak to Saul through the prophets nor would he speak to Saul through dreams. Saul was alive, but when Saul went to a witch his death was pronounced upon him.
I do not know for sure, but I think it is a possibility that God would have let him live if Saul just went on and lived his natural life after God departed from him. The Lord might have let him lead a natural life, but Saul went to a witch, God responded and pronounced death upon him, upon his sons and upon Israel. Anybody else? Praise the Lord. You have a question?
We have a trouble-shooting section at the end that says, "If this is not functioning, try one of these four things. Hit the pause button."
It is important for us to be able to discern the difference between the spirit of liberty and the spirit of bondage, and the problem is that sometimes the spirit of liberty looks a lot like the spirit of bondage. One of the things we saw in this move tonight was a manifestation of Cain from Jesus, even though this was a Hollywood movie.
Everybody that was here at the time got a witness in their spirit that this was a genuine portrayal of Christ. He was interceding on behalf of an abused man, and you might say in the world, He "stared down" the abuser. He stared him down, but He really did more than stare him down. He utterly over took the abusers mind.
For those of you who did not see that section of the movie, there was a Roman guard denying water to "Ben Hur" and Jesus came and gave "Ben Hur" the water. The praetorian guard came over and was about to whip Jesus and was demanding that (of course he did not know who He was) He withdraw from the man, "Ben Hur", because "Ben Hur" had been denied water.
The man Jesus just stood up, and there was eye contact between Jesus and the Roman Soldier. The Roman Soldier did not just change his mind if you watched his facial expressions; he was just utterly defeated.
Does anyone have a better way of describing it? He was just utterly defeated. He comes towards Jesus with a spirit of fierceness to stop Him, the spirit of ungodly authority, which was expressed in fierceness to stop Jesus from having mercy on this man. Jesus just looked at this man, and the spirit of Christ went out from Him and just utterly crunched the aggressiveness in this Roman guard.
It was not that he just changed his mind, because you could change your mind and still be aggressive. You can be ready to be violent, and you could get a thought in your head saying "Well, this is really stupid, I could get in trouble if I do this." Right, but that does not mean that your fierceness is gone from you. It just means that you intelligence said that this is not a smart thing to do, to act out this fierceness.
This guard, this is not what happened to him. His fierceness was utterly defeated, and a few of us that were watching the movie recalled seeing a science fiction movie not too long ago. God forgives us for watching science fiction movies, and sometimes He teaches us something through it.
The name of this movie was "The Scanners," and it was all about people who were not moving in the spirit of God, that had spiritual power. I like to watch these movies because God teaches me through them. When I was a disciple, I was persecuted for doing that. A lot of people...I gave them something to talk about for a few months.
They were all excited over what Pastor Vitale was doing, how she was getting into trouble watching these movies, but God taught me from them. He is still teaching me from them.
In the movie, "The Scanners," we saw a woman in this movie. It was not the spirit of God, but, as far as the world goes, she was doing the right thing. She was on the good side, and this solider or this guard came and tried to threatened her with a gun, and he tried to restrain her. Just with her mind being expressed through her eyes, she utterly crushed the man's mind. We saw in the movie "The Scanners" that he perceived the woman whose mind was stronger than his to be his mother.
That is what happened, she utterly over took his mind. He lost all of his aggressiveness that you would expect to find in a security guard. He was filled with condemnation and guilt, because when he looked at this woman, he saw his mother, and he felt he was attacking his mother. It was an excellent example of mind control, and illusion working with mind control.
Now, in the movie ""Ben Hur"," Jesus looked at this Roman guard. There was no indication that the Roman guard saw any kind of an illusion, but his fierceness was utterly taken from him. It was a total spiritual defeat. Now when you look at a natural army, and you see some soldiers being overtaken by the other side, you know, enemy soldiers come up with their machine guns, and they say "drop your arms." You see in many instances, most instances, the soldiers are still very much soldiers. Their minds are still very much aggressive, but they know they have to drop the guns, or they are going to be killed.
That is their orders. They are not told to die a heroes' death, they are told to drop their guns. Their minds are still soldier's minds, and they take them to the POW camp and they say, "All I have to give you is my name and dog tag number," or whatever they do these days. Their minds are still soldier's minds, and they have been instructed on how to act if they are taken into captivity. Anyone not know why I am talking about?
Then we see some cases of men who have been tortured, and there is a totally different mind set on them. You can see that their minds have been crushed and overtaken. Does anyone not know what I am talking about?
This is what we saw in the movie tonight. Jesus did not defeat this man to the extent that he stopped.... that He made him change his mind, and said, "Alright, Ben Hur can have water." He crushed his mind. He crushed his mind, at least in that instant.
What am I saying? I am saying that the results that you see, which is a result from the spirit of God, and that which you see which results from a worldly, or the spirit of this world using mind control, appears to be the same.
When Christ does it, it is not sin. When someone who is moving in another spirit uses this kind of mind control, it is sin. Now, how do you know it is sin or whether it is not sin when the results of what these two people are doing look exactly the same? Some of us know that there are people who are not moving in the spirit of God who produce healing in people's bodies.
I saw a movie once called the....I cannot remember the name. It was about a healer, a woman who knew nothing at all of Christ, but because some meteorite fell on her or something like that, she got these healing powers, and the movie made her look to be very good, and she went around and she healed people. She also had sin in her life, unconfessed and unrepented sin in her life.
I want to tell you, brethren, anyone who is producing healing in someone's body, who is actively engaged in a life style the Scripture calls sinful, is not healing by the power of God. She healed people, miracles everywhere she went. I remember before I came to the Lord, I was so desperate to be healed, no doctor could help me. I know that at that point, and just before I came to the Lord, I went through a period where I was seeking the occult.
I had heard about it. I said, "Well, let me try it." I met this woman, and she said that she thought she could help me. I went, and I let her pray for me. It did not turn out too well.
Some people get healed by spiritual authority that is not Christ and, brethren, a healing is a healing. Christ can heal, and the spirit of this world can heal.
Why am I telling you all this? I am telling you all this to say that we must be very careful when we try behavior. You cannot try behavior, you have to try the spirit, and if you do not know how to try the spirit, then I encourage you to be very careful before you make a judgment. If you cannot try the spirit, hold your tongue. Pray to the Lord, and I hope that He answers you.
Spiritual is spiritual. The spirit of God is not a "namby pamby." He is a military commander. It is hard to believe when you look at His troops that He is a military commander, and even though we are still a mess, and everybody is going in a different direction. Did you ever see one of those movies with the new recruits, and they are all trying to make a left face, and they all go in different directions? That is what we look like.
Now everybody is going in a different direction. Whatever they want, they are having trouble hearing the commands, but He is still God, and He is still on His throne. He is a warrior, and we are engaged in a spiritual warfare in this hour.
That is the beginning of the last battle that this world system will ever see. I do not even know how I got on to that, but I want you to know this is the word. Be very careful about trying behavior, because God does everything that the spirit of this world does. Everything God controls, He most certainly does control.
I was watching XXXX the other day and he was talking about that....He was talking about controlling his children. Brethren, if you are given the authority, control is acceptable within God's given perimeters. To say that God never controls, you are making a big mistake. If that is what you believe, I ask you to pray about it, because you are making a big mistake. God controls, and it was XXXX's testimony just last week probably.
He said his three-year-old son got the revelation. His three-year-old son turned around and said "Daddy I got it. You control me and God controls you." XXXX said, "That is true," and that is a healthy thing and a Godly thing.
Children growing up today in our malfunctioning families, seeing parents that have no authority over them, and they just do whatever they want. A lot of the children are growing up rebellious and with their emotions and thoughts out of order. Your children need to know that there is an authority over their head. They need to know that, because if they do not know it, the tendency is for them to idolize you.
Some parents have problems, they are a little too hard on their children. The children grow up feeling that they will never make it in this world. They grow up with an inferior complex, thinking that they never could overcome. Their parent was abusive towards them, and their mind did not develop properly, their emotions did not develop properly. It is very important that your children know that you are submitted to God.
In the same way in a ministry, you should know that if you think the minister is not of God, you should not be in the ministry at all. if you believe the minister is of God, it is important that you know that the minister is submitted to Christ.
If you are in a ministry, and you believe the minister is submitted to Christ and you are making rash judgments, judgments on the spot, and you are trying the behavior, I want to tell you that somewhere along the line God is going to have to deal with you, because this is not the thing to do.
You try the spirit. You do not try the behavior, because maybe there is something you do not understand at the moment. Maybe you do not understand what is going on. Now, of course, I am not talking about mass suicide, you have to get your priorities straight. I am not talking about mass suicide. If someone tells you to swallow a pill, you leave quickly. If someone is telling you to commit adultery, you leave quickly, as fast as your little feet can carry you.
I am not talking about things like that. I just encourage you to pray about these things because we are coming into a new phase of the church, and we are going to have to know these things.
Now everybody knows it is in the Bible at the time that the apostles were ruling in the church, we know what happened to Ananias and Sapphira. We know that the apostle Peter passed a judgment upon them and they died. Now I want to make it clear to you, it was not the apostle Peter that killed them. It was the apostle Peter speaking the judgment of the Lord through his mouth.
I want to tell you that as God raises up authority in His church, as He raises up ministry that is moving in more and more degrees of righteousness. His judgments we see falling on the church are going to increase.
I have talked to you about this many times. There is very little judgment in the church today. Why is there very little judgment in the church today? Does anybody remember why there is very little judgment in the church today? Because God will never send a man to judge a sin in another man that the man who is doing the judging has not taken the victory over. He is not going to do it. He is not going to do it.
Neither is He likely to send a man, for example, if there is someone who has a problem with stealing, the guy just cannot overcome stealing. He has been in jail a hundred times, and he keeps going in, cannot stop stealing. It is not likely that God will send a man who has never stolen to minister to this man. Now God could do whatever He wants, I hope you all understand that. It is not likely, it is not likely. Does anyone know what is likely? Who is He going to send to minister to the habitual thief? What kind of thief?
COMMENT: Another there that used to steal.
PASTOR VITALE: Another thief that what? That has overcome this problem, who has confessed it as sin, who has repented, and who has been granted grace by God to cease and leave off this activity. A man who is victorious over this sin, that is who He sends.
There is very little judgment in the church today because most of the people...every one in the pulpit is imperfect. We all know that everyone is imperfect in this hour. What most of the people in the pulpit today, and this is not to be saying anything against them, I am telling you the truth. Why do you have to know the truth? Because it is about to change, and you have to be able to recognize the change when it comes. That is why I am telling you this. Most of the people in the church today have overcome very little.
The Scripture says that the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. God has just picked a bunch of men. He said, "I need some leadership in my church." They have overcome somewhat. We have a lot of ex-drug addicts in the pulpit here on Long Island, and I do not mean that in any bad way.
They are doing a great job. God took them out of drugs, cleaned them up, stood them up on their feet in their ministry, and a lot of them minister to other drug addicts and alcoholics and people with problems like that. There has been a lot of help in that area.
There has been ministry to behavior, but with regard to ministry towards personality problems, there has been very little that I have seen in the church. Why? Because there have been very few ministers that God has dealt with in regard to personality problems, with regard to anger, with regard to communication, and with regard to how people relate to one another.
As you go into the average church, you do not see that kind of teaching, and you do not see that kind of correction. Why? Because the minister is bad? No. Because, in times past, God was not ministering in that area, but we are moving into it.
Now they are doing a great job, most of them are doing a great job for what God gave them to do. We see them with large congregations. It would be impossible to minister a personality correction to even one hundred people in your congregation. To do that kind of thing, you have to have a personal relationship with the disciple. You have to have a personal relationship, with them and when the Lord reveals a problem, you talk to them about it.
The average church today, you would never even get to talk to the pastor, and again I am not criticizing anybody. This is the way it is because God's purpose in the church, up until this point, was different than what I am talking about. There was a purpose to bring in the largest amount or number that was possible to get the people off the streets, to stop them from killing themselves, to get them off drugs, to get them off alcohol, to get away from the fornication and the adultery, so that they do not catch some disease and die.
There was very little in any ministry to the personality problem which gave rise to the drug addiction, and alcoholism, and the promiscuity, and anything else that is going on that is destructive to humanity today.
We see God choosing ministers based on their ability to administer to large amounts of money. If you look at the TV ministries, no matter how spiritual you are, no matter how great a teacher you are, if you are not also a businessman, God could never make you, excuse me, a televangelist, if you would lose all the money. You have to know how to administer money and be a businessman and even in the smaller churches.
God chooses people into the ministry, and He chooses them based on a series of required factors, and not every one of those requirements is spiritual.
I have met some very spiritual people whose lives were all messed up. They were great. I would let them pray for me anytime. I would let them pray deliverance for me anytime, but did not let them give me counsel because their lives were not in order. We are moving into a new era right now.
Well, let me finish my point. My point is that there has been very little judgment in the church because the ministry has not been moving in a spirit of righteousness, and I just want to make this very clear, I am not knocking them at all. Most of them are doing a great job for what God called them to do. We are now entering into the age...it is called the Judgment Seat of Christ where the Lord is working with people to help them to change personality qualities that are bringing destruction into their life.
If you were here for the message of the last meeting, we were working out of one of XXXX's books, and we find that a lot of what we are teaching here lines up, right up there with the psychiatrists. XXXX said that people that have reoccurring problems in their lives, have an essential quality that is directly contributing to this problem of all the people who pass through your life.
This is what XXXX said. If you have a series of relationships that end or involves the same problem, and you are saying to yourself, "Well, it is a different person. On time it is a man, one time it is a woman, one time it is an old person, one time it is a young person, one time it is an American, one time it is a Puerto Rican, and one time it is a black person. It is all different people, it cannot be a pattern in my life."
XXXX is saying the factor that is going to join all these people together is not in their color, it is not the race, it is not in their sex, but it is in the personality trait that you have that is resulting in your having a similar experience with everyone that comes into your life. It is something in you, it is not something....well, yes those people have to have a corresponding character trait to bring off the same result in your life. You have to ask yourself, how you find these people? How did they get into your life?
We found out in our last meeting that it is something in the person that it is happening to, and if you want to stop this pattern in your life, you do not concentrate on screening the people out there. The thing to so is concentrate on exposing the factor in your heart, in your mind, that is drawing you to these people and drawing these people to you.
We do not see very much of this kind of deliverance. I was in a deliverance church for five years. I saw people get delivered from a lot of things but very few personalities or destructive personality traits. We are about to start...we have already started, but the church at large is about to see this begin to happen full scale, and I still do not think I made my point. Let me try again.
We saw this kind of judgment when the apostles were still alive. We saw God expose a lie in Ananias' heart, and the judgment of God that was executed through one of the apostles was that he would die. We do not see this today. Why? Because we do not see apostles in the ministry. That is why it is not happening today.
What am I saying to you? You are about to see apostles in the ministry again, we are about to see righteousness in the pulpit again. the higher measure of righteousness that is in the minister that is in the pulpit, the larger measure there is a proportionate measure of judgment falling on the congregation, and you have to know this, because it is happening, and it is going to be spreading throughout the entire church world.
The motive and intents of your heart shall come unto the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is promised in the Bible, so it has to happen sometime. It is beginning in small little pockets, in small groups, because you cannot do this kind of ministry with large congregations. I encourage you to try the spirit and not try the behavior.
If you are distressed about something you see, pray carefully before you make a judgment, because you cannot tell by looking at the behavior. Glory to God. Would anybody like to add anything to that? We are moving into apostolic ministry again.
COMMENT: I would just like to ask a question about that. Are you talking about, even when you see.... Are you talking about any manifestation? Do not judge the behavior of the manifestation but try the spirit?
PASTOR VITALE: All behavior of judgment. Well, you really should be trying the spirit, even if you see somebody kill someone.
You know, this is one of the big perversions that is happening in this nation. Let me give you an example. It is happening all over this nation. Outside of the church, that motives are not a factor. You will hear on the news, for example, and this was in the news, that a woman was being killed, and a man came out of the shadows and he defended her. He put his life on the line. He knew that he had an illegal gun, but he set his own self-preservation aside, and he did what he had to do. He saved this woman's life, and he went to jail for like twenty years for having an illegal gun.
You see, what is happening in this nation today is that it is judgment by the letter. There is no mercy, there is no comparison, there is no compassion. There is no room for circumstance, and this judgment by the letter without having any personal understanding of what happened is the dehumanization, dehumanization of the human race.
It is also happening in our business world today. I have spoken to a lot of people about this recently how we are being dehumanized. If you have a problem with the telephone company or with XXXX, all you can get is a customer service representative, and they are very limited on how they can help you. I have heard all kinds of stories.
I just heard a story in Florida of a man who lost his job. His company went out of business and he was living as a lot of people live in this society today. He had several thousand dollars owed out on credit cards, but he had an excellent job, and he was making his payments every month. He was fine, he was living a good life, and his company went out of business, and he owed about $10,000, and he could not make his payment.
He wrote letters to every one of his credit card companies, certified mail, and he said to them, "Look I lost my job, I want to pay you, I cannot make the payments I was paying. I will pay you something every month. Work with me, and I will work with you." They just ignored his letters. He called them, he tried to talk to them. All he got was the clerks on the phone.
I am not in anyway putting down clerks, but to make a decision that will bend the rule you need somebody in a supervisory position. A clerk cannot do that. A clerk is told if someone says this, you say that, and if someone says that, you say this. that is their job.
If you have an unusual circumstance that would require a bending of the rule, you have to get a supervisor. There are no supervisors, there is nobody to talk to. What was the end of this story? They dunned him, they called him at home, they harassed him, they sent him letters, they threatened by telephone, and they threatened him by mail. There was nothing more he now could do.
Finally, after many tries to reason with computers, among other things, he just gave up. He said, "Alright, you want to sue me, sue me." These credit cards, these major banks that own the credit cards, they now have a lien against him. The man has no money. They are going to lose, the banks are going to lose. It costs money to sue. You have to pay the lawyer for the whole procedure. They have a lien against him. They slapped it on him. He has no bank account. He has nothing, and they lost everything that he was willing to give them because why? Why did this happen?
This is my major point. Why did this happen? Because there was no mentality, no function, in this big corporation to bend the rules and say, "I am going to investigate this man to see if he is for real, he really has nothing, he is an honest decent man, his company went out of business and he wants to pay."
There was nobody to make that decision. There was just a computer that said June 1993 came, and John Smith did not make his payment. No possible extenuating circumstances. They dunned him for six months, and then they went after him and got a lien against him. They bit their nose off to spite there own face.
This is what is happening in our society today. Our society today, the human factor is being plucked out of our society, out of our business practices and, frequently, out of our medical institutions. You cannot get to talk to anybody. Frequently, this happens that you cannot get to talk to somebody who can make an exception, because sometimes exceptions need to be made.
Not too long ago my neighbor downstairs had an accident. She was in a wheelchair for six months. They had been living in this complex for fourteen years, and they were good citizens, well liked, cooperative, and the woman's husband went to the maintenance supervisor, and said, "I want to put a little...I do not know what you call it, a slope that my wife's wheelchair can go down because she cannot so down the step...." A ramp. That is what it is.
Just build a little ramp, a piece of plywood, and the construction maintenance supervisor said, "Well, that would cost you $100." The man got very upset, and he went over the maintenance supervisor's head and, because the man or the group of men who own this development are multi-millionaires, they own many, many of these developments, and he went right to the head, but he knew what to do and he said, "You know, I am living here for fourteen years, I have never been late with my rent. My wife just had a tragic accident, and he said I will build it myself. I will get the ply wood for $10 or less, I will build it myself, I just wanted permission. I was not asking them to build it for me. I just wanted permission to put it down. Why are you treating me like this?"
Now the millionaire owner said to him, "How long have you lived here? Fourteen years?" He said, "Yes." He said, "I will have my man do it for you, no charge." You try to get to the boss, this guy just happened to get through. Most people would not know how to do that, and amongst the people that know how to do that, many of them try and cannot get through.
We are living in a society which is becoming rapidly mechanized and dehumanized. If you do not fit into the mold, you are just washed away. There is no recourse. People are being forced to bend and change their minds and compromise their values just to survive in this society, and it is crushing our individuality. It is crushing us individually. It is crushing us as a society.
God has intended for His society to be creative, for the individual to work and fulfil his greatest potential. This is God's plan for us. Satan's plan, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, for us is to put men in a mold, to put them on an assembly line and to make them slaves. Where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, and we have to try every factor, and pray very carefully before we make judgments.
In this hour, again my point is what I believe the Lord is trying to say to you tonight, is that a change is coming in the church. A radical change is coming in the church. There was a measure of authority that was present in the church when the apostles were alive that is not in the church today. Why? Just by way of review.
The apostles had a measure of righteousness. I personally do not believe that they were all in full stature. I believe Paul was in full stature, possibly John. You are free to disagree with me, but I do not think the other apostles were in full stature. I believe they were up there, were up there pretty high, but not in full stature.
The one example that I will give you to support that is the account in the Scripture of Peter having a....Peter, first of all, how does the Scripture put it? That he was compromising when he was with the Jews, he was living as a Jew, and he was hiding from the Jews, that he believed he was released from the law and not living under it. He was around the Christians and denying that to the Jews.
He was afraid to confront his own people and say, "Look the dietary laws are over, as we are told in the Book of Acts. All we have to abstain from is blood, and from idolatry and from fornication, and the law has been replaced," and he could not confront his brethren, and face them, and face their disapproval, and face their wrath.
When Paul came into town, Paul had a big argument with him over this. Now that does not happen when you are in full stature. You do not compromise like that when you are in full stature. That is one of the...my basis upon which I draw this conclusion. I do not believe the other apostles were in full stature. Yet, they were spiritually much higher than we are today. That is my opinion. You do not have to believe it.
We see God raising up ministers of righteousness today, and as they ascend in righteousness, judgment will be pouring out of them wherever they go. Sometimes it will be a natural occurrence, and sometimes they will be confronting people like Peter said, and if you cannot try the spirit on the spot, what you look for is the results of their behavior. What you look for is the results of their behavior. Are the people growing? Are the people being helped? Are the people being blessed?
Be very careful in this hour. Be very careful in this hour. We are in the midst of a change of the guard. It is already happening. Those that have spiritual eyes can see it, we are in the midst of a change of the guard. Hallelujah. Did I answer your question? Anybody else have a question about this? I guess that was the exhortation.