[Orig. Sermon posted January 18, 2004]
Let’s go to 2 John, 4th to 6th verses. “I rejoiced greatly that I found of they children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, that, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk.”I want us to go to the Father in a word of prayer before we get started this morning.
“Father, I ask You, by all of Your mercy and compassion and grace, that You would put a seal on my lips, that I would speak nothing but the things You would have me say. Father, that You would open hearts to receive what You have for them this morning. Father, that You would cause us to be tender and yielded before You in all that we say and do. We come here to glorify Your Name and to exalt it, Father. So we say, “Let the Name of Yahveh be exalted far above the heavens and the earth!” Let Your Name be exalted! Father, I thank You for your kindness to us, and I thank You for what You are about to do in the midst of us. Thank You, Father. Thank You, Father. So be it.”
We have heard from the beginning how we ought to conduct ourselves, and we have gone through some trying times with all the church doctrines, and all the church philosophies, but we heard from the beginning how we ought to conduct ourselves. Not one of us is going to be able to stand without the mercy of Almighty Yahveh, through the blood of Yahshua ha Mashiach. There’s not one of us who can be judged by the Law or by the Commandments and stand blameless before the Father. But what we have to ask in our heart is, how do we love the Father? We love the Father by being obedient to His Commandments. That is what the Word says. No matter how we define “love,” that’s how the Word defines it. We have to use the definition that the Father is going to use, not ours, because ours doesn’t count. It’s His definition that works. He says, “This is not a new thing that I am doing to you. This is not a new Commandment, but it’s the one that you heard from the beginning.” We’re not doing a new thing, it’s the same old thing. We have a new way of being cleansed before the Father, it’s not just a ceremonial cleansing that you do before you go into the temple. This is a cleansing that changes lives! This is the blood of Yahshua that touches you and changes lives!
Some have said, “You’re teaching a works doctrine, and none of us can be justified by works.” I’m not teaching a works doctrine, because once I come to Yahshua, it is no longer me that does the works, but He who lives in me. So how can I take credit for any of the works that are done? It is not by me at all, but by Him, and it’s by His bood that we have been cleansed. It’s by His Ruach ha Kadesh (or His Holy Spirit) that we have been able to do anything that we do. The Word says that we will have a change of heart, there will be a new heart put in us. He will take out that old hard stony heart, and He will put in us a heart of flesh. No longer, no longer will His Commandments be grievous to us. We will be in alignment with His Commandments because of the heart change. That doesn’t mean that your flesh is always going to love to do what His Commandments say to do, because it’s won’t! But the Spirit within you will desire, will lust, to follow His teachings and His Commandments and to follow the life that He gives you. That is the saving grace of it, the inside is changed. If the inside’s not changed, how are we going to ever comply with anything that He says. We must have the inside changed. You see that’s the difference! People compare the “Christianity” and other religions. The difference to me between the “Christian” religion and any other is that it is not just a sacrifice, but it’s the blood of Yahshua that changes the inside of a man and causes him to line up with the Word of Yahveh.
You see, it isn’t just something that we do, that we go out and do rituals–but it’s something that happens inside. And this is what the author of 2 John is saying. He saying, this isn’t any new thing I’m springing on you. I haven’t changed horses in the middle of the stream. It’s the same thing that you heard from the beginning. (The beginning of what?) The beginning of the Commandments! When the Commandments were given. It’s the same thing you heard then!”
Father Yahveh did not change His mind because the Commandments were too hard for us. He did not change His mind because He admitted failure. Come on. The Father is a stranger to defeat! He knows no failure, so He has done something in you that makes you able to agree with His Word! No longer does sin hold you in captivity and keep you contrary to the Word of Yahveh; to keep your heart condition contrary to the Word of Yahveh! Sin has no more dominion over you! It can’t make you have a sudden feeling unless you choose to have that feeling. The choice is yours. It can’t force you to go there; it cannot force you to go into hatred; it cannot force you to go into anger, it cannot force you to go into bitterness, it cannot force you to go into thievery.
Because you have an Advocate with the Father sin has no more dominion over you. When you find these things coming on you, you can go to the Father through Yahshua ha Mashiach, and the Father will cleanse you one more time.
Oh, that the ecclesia would learn how to pray and how to cry out to the Father! In our weakest moments is when He is strong; for the joy of Yahveh is our strength! And that being the case, the devil is constantly trying to get you down. He’s constantly trying to get you to be depressed over something. He’s constantly trying to get you to be bitter over something; he’s constantly trying to get you to be angry over something. That’s his goal! Listen to me, dear saints, the enemy of your soul cannot touch you when you are full of the joy of Yahveh; when you have a relationship with the Father, and are walking in that relationship; he cannot touch you!
But listen to me–when you step out of the relationship, when you step out of the Covenant, the Word says that the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He doesn’t want to devour lost people, they are already devoured. Who does he want? That’s right, those people who are trying to live for Yahveh.
We have to understand that we have been lied to. We’ve been lied to by the devil, we’ve been lied to by “religious the system” but the Father said, “Let every man be a liar, but Yah be true”. All right, we must have a mind change to successfully live for Yahveh. There has to be a change of mind! We can no longer be focused on the carnal things of this world and successfully live for Yahveh. We have to set our mind on heavenly things, because He causes us to be seated with Him in Heavenly places.
You know when your heart is converted, your desire is to please Yahveh. Peter was doing all these kingdom things–he was going out laying hands on the sick and they we were being healed; he was casting out demons and most of them were leaving–one time there was one that didn’t go; most of them were leaving. He was doing all these things, in the kingdom, and when Yahshua told him about all the things He must suffer, that he must die and be raised again, Peter said, “Oh, no! Far be it from You to do this!” The reason he said that was that he was approaching the Messiah, the Word in with a carnal attitude. He was looking for Yahshua to raise a great army to defeat the Roman Empire and kick them out of Israel. He had not focused on what Yahshua had told him. Why not? Because the carnal mind is at enmity with Yahveh, not subject to His Commandments, and neither can it be! It can not be! How did Yahshua respond to him? He said, “Get behind me Satan! You are an offense to Me!” Was He talking to Peter? No! He was talking to the spirit that was motivating Peter at that time. And He looked at Peter, and said, “The devil has desired to sift thee, but fear not, I’ve already prayed for you!”
What I want to tell you this morning is, “The devil has desired to sift you–but fear not! Yahshua has already prayed for you,” and you have the victory. You will need to hold onto the Word and do the Word and follow through in faith. If you will you’ve got the victory! The devil doesn’t want you to have it, and he’s going to try to take it away from you if you let him. Your victory doesn’t automatically happen when you walk the aisle, shake your preacher’s hand and say, “I want to be a member of your church.” You are not going to automatically walk in victory and success with Yashua. It requires your submitting yourself to the Word of Yahveh. Submitting yourself to Yahveh and following Him in His instructions.
So Yahshua even told Peter, “When you are converted.” Saying that, Peter, your heart and mind are not converted yet. You’re doing all these things because you have seen Me do them, and I’ve told you could do them, so you have done all these things, but, Peter, you are yet carnal-minded.
“When thou art converted,” meaning there was going to be a time when Peter would be converted. Peter sat outside the judgment hall and his old carnal mind kicked in when some one said, “This is one of them right here.” Peter says, “Not me! I don’t know Him!” Just a little while before he had told Yahshua, that though he died he would never deny Him. His spirit was willing, he wanted to do right, but something was wrong. He was yet carnally minded. He was yet minding the things of the flesh, rather than spiritual things. And then still a little bit later when someone else came and said, “Surely, you are one of them.” “Not me! I don’t know Him.” Peter’s not worried about the condition of his soul yet. You know why? Because he’s not in repentance yet. He’s still in control. It wasn’t long until someone else came along and said, “Oh, surely, you are one of them. I know you are one of them.” And Peter cursed and said, “I know Him not!” And when he did, he heard the most horrible sound that he had ever heard in his life. Do you know that the Father can use a rooster crowing to bring judgment and condemnation on you? The minute that cock crowed, Peter burst into tears, because he remembered what Yahshua had told him.
Yes, you want to do all these things you’re saying, but you can’t do it. What I’m telling you this morning, “It’s impossible for you to do it in the flesh.” You cannot do it. You have to have a regenerated mind. You cannot do the things that Yahveh has called you to do with a carnal mind! You must be converted. Conversion is not some spiritual thing that just happens to you. It is whenever the Spirit changes your mind from being carnal or earthly to a spiritual mind. It is where your mind is focused on spiritual things; where Yahshua causes you to sit in heavenly places with Him.
I’m talking about something that will make some changes in you. I’m talking about something that’s going to do something. I’m not talking about something we’re only going to talk about. I’m talking about something that’s going to do something. That doesn’t mean that the flesh won’t cringe. It doesn’t even mean that the flesh won’t have fears, or even dread. The perfect example of that is Yahshua when He was in the garden praying. Scripture says He prayed the more earnestly and sweated, and great drops of blood dropped from Him. His flesh did not want to go through with it. His flesh cried out and said, “Father! if it be possible, spare Me this cup!” But aren’t you so glad that His spirit man had control over the flesh! And He said, “Nevertheless, Thy will be done!” That is a spiritual mind. No matter how much the flesh dreads, we still say, “Thy will be done!” No matter how contrary it is to the fleshly desire, Thy will be done! That’s when the spirit man is in control.
Love is walking according to His Commandments. You can leave here and get every definition of “love” that you want to find, but there’s only one definition of “love” that makes a difference. I believe with all my heart, that Father Yahveh gave us the perfect definition of love. He said that He would not hold guiltless those who hate Him, but He would have mercy on the thousands who love Him and keep His Commandments! There’s an “and” in there, a conjunction. Meaning you have to do both of them. Right?
So we talk about love and the Father defines it for us. We can get mushy feelings, and goose bumps, but that’s not going to last. It’s that commitment to Him, to the Commandments, to follow the instructions that He has given us. John said he didn’t speak to the whole ecclesia; he said, “Part of you are keeping the Commandments; some of you are walking according to the Commandments the way the Father told you to walk.” (John 14:15 & 23; 15:10; Romans 2:13; 1 John 2:3; 5:3)
Now there are people today who tell you can’t keep the Commandments. You’re probably not going to go from the cradle to the grave and not have a mistakes in there somewhere, I’ll be honest with you. But I am going to tell you something: Once you come to Yashua, you’re supposed to have a STRONG desire to keep those Commandments. This verse is proof. When some one tells you “You can’t keep the Commandments,” this verse is proof that that’s not true, because John says, “Some of you are walking in the Commandments…” Some of you are doing it, but not all of you. I look at this ecclesia this morning, and I say, “Some of you are, not all of you, but some of you are keeping the commandments.” I think you are going to find that in every ecclesia. because I believe with all my heart that the Father has spoken to hearts all over the world. In every ecclesia there is there are people who have had the heart of holiness placed in them. They know that they are required to walk as He commanded them to walk.
2 John, 7th verse: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Yahshua ha Maschiah is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-Messiah. Look to yourselves we lose not those things we have wrought, but that we receive full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Mashiach, hath not Yahveh. He that abideth in the doctrine of Yahshua, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you. amd bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Yah speed.” This is most serious.
Some people say it doesn’t matter what doctrine you have. It does matter! That is what He said, right here: If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house! No! do not even greet him when you see him on the street, for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. Now people, this is just as serious as a heart attack. In a liberal world that says accept everything. It’s as serious as cancer, it’s as serious as death. We need to come to a place and draw a line. The Father told me about five years ago that there was a price that is too great to pay for unity. I was trying to get every church in town to come together, to get on the same page, to forget about our differences, and work together. The Father spoke to me clearly in my spirit that there are some prices too great to pay for unity. “Do not compromise My Word!” That was a turning point of this ecclesia.
I hear people say, “You’re going to make it because you believe in God.” I don’t know what gospel this is coming from, but I’m going to tell you, mine says there is only one Name under heaven by which you must be saved! Understand we are living in a liberal world that says you can do anything you want to and you’re still all right, nobody cares. Listen, let me tell you, “Yahshua cares, Father Yahveh cares!” He’s not going to accept just anything. He said, “Because you have rejected my prophets and you have forgotten my Commandments.” Listen to me: people are talking about how bad the youth in this country are. Well listen, here’s the answer to it right here! “Because you have forgotten my Commandments, I will forget your children!”
Now that ought to make every mother and daddy, every grandmother and grandfather, make every great grandmother and grandfather, that ought to make them serious about hearing the Word of Yahveh and keeping His Commandments! “Because you have forgotten my Commandments, I will forget your children.”
So what is the answer? The answer is that we are told not to worry. “Don’t worry, be happy–any old thing will work.” “Don’t worry, be happy, that what the blood of Yahshua is for.” The blood of Yahshua was never for a rebel. It was never for someone who lived in rebellion. The blood was applied once you submitted yourself to the Word of Yahveh, and you submitted yourself to the Father then the blood was applied! Then you were cleansed, not while you were still “doing your own thing.”
I love the word “witness” in the Word. We don’t understand what that word means. That word comes from the Greek word “marteus” meaning “a testifier to the truth unto death.” Now is that what we are thinking when we say “witness” today? No, we think about going up and talking to somebody on the street. The Greek word for “witness” and the Greek word for “martyr” are the exact same word–no difference–exactly the same–“marteus”. So when Peter and Paul spoke about being a witness, they meant being a witness irregardless of a threat upon your life. Irregardless of what it cost you, but that the utmost thing in your whole life, was to be a witness for Yahshua. MY! What has happened to our ecclesia today? I wonder how many people understand today that their witness is more important than their life. I’m talking about understanding that and knowing it!
There are a great number of deceivers who have gone out. They’re out there teaching lies and not truth. Some one may say, “It makes no difference.” That’s not what Scripture says. Scripture says, if you greet him, you are a partaker in his evil. Whoever transgresses, and does not keep the doctrine of Yahshua, does not have Yahveh. Now that is a serious statement. That’s serious.
Brother, we have known one another for quite a while. Would you trust me to tell you what you could get away with God? No? Well, why not? People are doing it all the time. Preachers are telling them it’s all right! And the Word says it’s not. Now which one are we going to live by? We’ve got to go by the Word–that’s the only thing we can be sure of! The Word says if I break the Commandments and teach others to break the Commandments that I will be called “Pastor Least” in the kingdom. I am not going to teach it! I’m not going to do it! I’m going to tell you what the Word says. The Word says that if you go about violating His Commandments and His Word frivolously, unconcerned your walk is wrong. I’m not saying that one will never violate His Word again that’s not what I’m saying. I am saying you’re not going to plan to violate it. You’re not going to plan your sin and your repentance at the same time. It does make a difference. The Word says whoever transgresses and does not keep the doctrine of Messiah (Christ) does not, (does not, does not) have Yahveh. Isn’t that serious? Do you think it makes a difference, how you live? Oh, I think it does! Do you think it makes a difference how you think? Oh, I think so! Do you think it makes a difference how you talk? Oh, I believe absolutely it does. Then the Word goes further! Now this is where the serious part is–if anyone does not bring this doctrine, don’t even greet him on the street, because if you do, you are a partaker in his evil! What am I saying? I’m saying there is no way that you can live good enough to make heaven your home without the blood of Yahshua!
But once the blood of Yahshua is applied to you, and you have been converted, now your goal must be to please the Father in everything you do and say. It doesn’t mean you are never going to mess up again! But it means you are never going to plan to or intentionally mess up again. Now, that’s a big difference! When you plan to mess up, when you intentionally sin, that’s no longer ignorance but out right rebellion! That is “in your face” to Father Yahveh! He’s not going to take that lightly,not at all!
The Word says, do not receive him into your house; do not greet him, because if you do these things you are going to be a partaker in his evil! And that’s strong; that is strong! Whenever we say, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not notin the doctrine of Messiah (Christ),” what doctrine is that? Is that the doctrine that we have today? You walk up, and you shake the preacher’s hand, and you join the church, and all of a sudden Yahshua pours his blood over you, and you’ve been cleansed from all sin. No matter what you do from then on, all Yahveh sees is the blood. Hogwash! You cannot find that doctrine any place in the Bible. The Word says you will be converted; it makes a change in you. If you don’t walk according to Yahshua’s teaching — what did He teach? the Torah, the Commandments! That’s what He taught! If you don’t walk according to His teaching, let me tell you something, if you don’t walk according to His teaching, you don’t have relationship. You don’t have Yahveh! If you leave this earth without Him and Father Yahveh, you’ve had a bad day!
I like what Brother Tom told me a while ago about Brother Fletch, and I hope you don’t mind my sharing it, Brother. For about an hour before he died, there was a perfect peace. They say he looked over at his daughter and said, “Well, it’s time for me to go home,” and he passed on. Now that’s the way to go to be with The Father! I didn’t know Fletch that well, but that leads me to believe that Yahshua was right there, holding his hand when he left this earth. I’m going to tell you, people, that’s what I want! I don’t want to leave this earth on my own. I want Yahshua holding my hand, I want Him to usher me in.
All right, please go to 1st John, chapter 2, 3rd verse: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” We know that we know Him if” (how do we know we know Him?) “if.” Now I’m a Louisiana boy, and I’m not too sharp on the English language (or any other one) but everywhere I ever saw “if,” that meant there was a condition. He said, by this we know that we know Him. How do we know that we know Him? Because we prayed to Him. How do we know that we know Him? Because we went down and shook the preacher’s hand. No! That’s not how the Word says that you know Him! But by this we know that we know Him; if we keep His Commandments. I wasn’t taught that all my life, and I haven’t taught that all my life. I’ve always taught holiness, but I’m telling you, it’s important–it’s important–that we take what The Word has to say about it.
“He that saith , I know him, and keepeth not his commandments,is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4 Strong! Those are not R. C. Sandifer’s words. They are not out of The Old Testament, that’s in the New Covenant. I’m telling you this morning, it’s impossible for you to live kadosh (holy) life in the flesh!”
“But whosoever keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of Yah perfected: hereby know we are in him. He thatsaith he abideth in him ought himself salso to walk, even as he walked.” How did He walk? He kept the Commandments. People say, “Well He walked that walk for us.” That’s not what it says here. We ought to walk just as Yahshua walked. We all know we are falling short, but we ought to have that goal in front of us. We ought not accept our short comings. If we’re falling short, we ought to be making arrangements to do something different, don’t you think?
By this we know that we know Him: if we keep His Commandments we know that we know Him, because it is impossible to do without Him. Listen to me–it is impossible for you to keep His Commandments! You can’t do it! You must have that conversion. You must have that change of mind-set where the Commandments are no longer grievous to you. You cannot do that on your own it takes the blood of Yahshua cleansing you, transforming you, bringing you into a conversion where you choose to change your mind from carnal things to spiritual things. I tell you, you have to put effort into it. It’s not your works, but His works. What you have to put effort into is not in doing the command, but you have to put effort into is submitting yourself to His Word, so you can do the Commandments and the Law. The old mind that you were born with is at enmity with them; it hates His Commandments. But if He gives you a new mind, old things are past. “If any man says ‘I know Him’ and doesn’t keep His Commandments, he is a liar,” It is not what I’m saying but it is what the Word stated ago 2,000 years before I repeated it. His Word has been around 2,000 years or better and it’s still good! It’s not spoiled, it’s not worn out yet, it’s still good! I can come to you now and say, “You’ve been washed in the blood of Yahshua–you don’t need to keep His Commandments? You can break His Commandments and that’s not a sin to Him? You go on and live your life to please yourself and when you come before Him in judgment you say, “Well, pastor told me I didn’t have to do that.” But look at what the apostle John told you. He said you were a liar. This is what the Word says, “Let every man be a liar and Yahveh be true.” It doesn’t matter what some one tells you. What matters is what the Word says about it. The only thing you can stand on is the Word.
Man will try to build a congregation. He will do all kinds of things to soften the Word to make it palatable to people. I want to tell you the Gospel has never been palatable to the carnal flesh, and it won’t ever be. It will appeal to the spiritual man. It will appeal to your spirit, but it will never appeal to your flesh. Until you come out of the flesh, you are not going to understand what is there in the Word for us.
If any man says, “I know Him,” and doesn’t keep His Commandments, he is a liar.” I’m not judging, I’m saying what the Word says. Let me ask you a question. What does the Word say about all liars? It says that if you say that you love Him and don’t keep His Commandments, you lie. Let’s put two and two together. What happens to liars? “All liars shall have their part in the lake of fire.” You see, the Word leaves you without excuse. It just does not give you with an excuse to violate the Word! Shouldn’t that get your attention?! Shouldn’t that make it a lot more serious than our ecclesias are making it today? I think so, oh, I think so. Here is the clincher, He who abides in Him (Yahshua) ought to what? “…they ought to walk even as He walked.” How did He walk? He kept the Commandments. “I always do the will of the Father.” He didn’t say most of the time nor He didn’t say, “I always did the will of the Father, except that one time;” He said, “I always do the will of the Father.” Hold onto that and let’s meditate on it. “I always do the will of the Father.” Meditate on what that entails. Then understand in 1 John2:6, the Word says we are to walk as He walked. That means that before we transgress we ought to think about what the will of the Father is. Is that not right?
It ought to be a serious reproach to us, people. The devil, the enemy of our souls, is trying to make obedience nonchalant and light to the church. It’s not light and is not nonchalant. It is no small thing to be a child of the Most High King. That’s not a small thing. And listen to me, you can never find a child of a king, even here on earth, who is not trained and living that training to be a ruler. I ask you, how can we be a child of the Most High King and not be trained to rule with Him? It’s important. It’s important that we hear Him this morning! It’s important that we give Him first place in our lives, not number two, not number three, not number four, but NUMBER ONE! We must let His Word and His desires rule our lives! That’s what The Word says! That’s what brings people to Yahshua. All the words in the world won’t do it. It takes the anointing of the Most High to cause people to come into Yahshua. You can get people to come to and join into the church with all kinds of philosophy; you can teach them how to go to hell and feel good about it; but you cannot bring people into Yahshua without the anointing of Almighty Yahveh. The Word says, “Nobody can come to Me except the Spirit draw him.” That’s what we’re about this morning. We’re not about making “church members,” we are about making disciples. We are about having people follow Him and walk as He walked. You can’t do that without the anointing of the Ruach ha Kadesh. You can’t do it with the carnal mind. You’ve got to have the anointing of Almighty Yahveh to be able to do it because it is no longer us, but He Who lives in us Who does these works.