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Spiritual Warfare 3

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Spiritual Warfare 3

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

Lord Jesus, we trust you to lead us this morning. Savior, all these words that we share are just knowledge unless you, by your Holy Spirit, give us revelation concerning them and apply them individually to our lives. So Holy Spirit, we would trust you now in this world that is run by the prince of the air, we would trust you to guard us now and to provide a shell around us here in this room through the blood of Jesus, that we may be covered by his blood and we may be protected from the evil one. And then Holy Spirit, we would trust you to shed abroad absolute light and absolute life among us so that we will begin to take part in this warfare and to become aggressive Christians, people who move against Satan in our situations. No longer people who lay back and wait for him to come to us, but people who move forward and retake the ground that has been lost to him in our homes, in our schools, and in our jobs. So we commit ourselves to you Holy Spirit, for this purpose and for Jesus’ glory. Amen.

We’ve been using this book by Michael Harper and its called Spiritual Warfare. Harper was an Anglican minister who was educated in Cambridge and assisted John Stott in All Souls Church, Langham Place, London and then began to deal with the Holy Spirit in his own life, and the Holy Spirit began to deal deeply with him. He is now secretary of what they call the Fountain Trust and the Fountain Trust’s purpose is to share with churches all over the world the ministry of the Holy Spirit, especially regarding the gifts of the Spirit. Harper has written this book, which I think is very balanced, about spiritual warfare.

He said one thing early on that we’ve already mentioned at times and maybe it would be good to touch on again; that many people when they get hold of a book like this want to see demons under every stone and in every manifestation that occurs in any person. And I think we have to be very wise about that; just because we’re dealing with a subject this morning it’s important not then to be looking for demons everywhere. It’s important too, don’t you think, not to be preoccupied with Satan. It’s a very dangerous thing, I think, to have a seminar on spiritual warfare where you talk about Satan because Satan loves to obsess people’s minds with himself and I think many of us have already had experience of spending the whole morning of a Sunday in a kind of depth or darkness because we kept on thinking about Satan.

Now our job is not to think of Satan, but to think of Jesus. We just talk about Satan because he uses tricks and wiles that we need to know about, but we need then to turn our eyes from him and look to Jesus. So it’s good to see that. We believe that any warfare against Satan is useless unless Jesus did something about Satan when he died on Calvary. We believe we’re in no better a position than the Old Testament people if Jesus did not deal with Satan in some way on Calvary. And we believe that Jesus did deal very definitely and clearly with Satan on Calvary and if you’d like to look at the verse it’s Colossians 2:14-15 and the two ways that Jesus, by his death dealt with Satan are stated there, “having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” I explained last Sunday what that meant. There was a legal bond which stood against us with legal demands, it was this, God said, “All the sinful souls shall die, and all the righteous souls shall live.” Satan came up to God and said, “On the basis of your own word, I have the right to these people; they are sinful souls so I have the right to destroy them. You have said it yourself, that’s a legal statement, I’m backing you on your own word.” So Satan came to God and said that.

By this death on Calvary, Jesus enabled God to say, “No, that legal demand of mine has been paid already. My Son has died for these people. They no longer are under my legal demand that they die because they’re sinful. He has died for them; they have every right to live.” In that way, Jesus released us from the legal demand that Satan had against us. “Having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” So any power that Satan now has is the power of deception; he tries constantly to deceive us into thinking that he has every right to our lives. It is all lies; he is the father of lies. That’s what we mean “pleading the blood of Jesus.” We answer Satan and say, “No, we belong to God. We have every right to be free from you because of Jesus’ blood.” And so we plead Jesus’ blood before the Father and we use, and declare, and proclaim Jesus’ blood to Satan. But you need to do that because he’s a tricky person and he likes to try to get you into the idea that maybe, maybe, you belong to him. And isn’t that the approach he takes? He says, “Look what you’ve just done. Look what you’ve just done. You’re not a child of God at all.” His job is to accuse the brethren.

You fall in some way, you disobey God and Satan comes right in and says, “I’ve a legal demand. I have a legal bond to you because you’re not God’s child. You don’t act like God’s child.” Our answer always is that the blood of Jesus is what justifies us. Romans 5:9 says we are justified by the blood of Jesus, not by the fact that we’ve walked perfectly and flawlessly this day, but because of the blood of Jesus the legal demand has been paid for by Jesus’ blood and we need to answer Satan strongly.

Brothers and sisters, you can’t war against Satan if you yourself are allowing him to have some claim on you, or if you are a little uncertain or doubtful whether you’re a child of God or not. You have to stand firmly on that. There’s no point in saying, “I did a terrible thing, you see, so maybe Satan does own me.” The only way you can ever be in doubt about that is if you’re not willing to repent of the thing. Then there comes a real doubt in your mind and you really do feel that you’re not a child of God because your heart is not penitent. But it isn’t the sin itself that steals you from God’s fellowship; it’s the lack of a penitent heart. There is no reason why you shouldn’t make a quick adjustment and say immediately, “I repent Lord, and I trust the blood of Jesus now, and I trust you to accept me because of that blood.” That immediately gets rid of Satan’s accusation.

But you need to deal with Satan’s accusation in a summary way. You need to deal with him briefly and in a business like fashion, and have done with him. Don’t let it settle down in you.

[Question inaudible 8:13]

It seems to me, that Paul says at the end of Romans 7:25, “Who shall deliver me from this body of death? Verse 26, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” And then the final verse is summarizing what his situation was while he was under the law and before he was really, I think, a child of God. I don’t know that he’s talking about himself even as a defeated Christian but it does fit that. But really, even before he was a Christian, the good that he would he could not do and he’s saying to himself, “So, I when I was left to myself, what I did was serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I served the law of Satan.” He’s summarizing past experience.

[Question inaudible 9:06]

After experiencing that death to myself then it’s no longer I of myself, but it’s Christ who lives within me and the mind and the body come into a unit and a oneness in obedience. And that’s what we

were sharing at the beginning; that it’s vital to have entered into that. Now the other thing Jesus did in verse 15, and it was actually as a result of Colossians 2:14 that he was able to do this, but in verse 15, “He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him.” Well, how did he do that? Maybe it’s good to look at it in 1 Corinthians 15:20, this was really how he disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them triumphing over them in him. 1 Corinthians 15:20, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Jesus destroyed Satan’s final weapon which was death, and therefore all the intermediary weapons in between. So he destroyed cancer, so he destroyed weakness in the heart, so he destroyed problems with blood circulation, so he destroyed difficulties with our emotions, so he destroyed hostility between people. In other words, when he destroyed the final weapon that Satan had, he destroyed all the other weapons too and so Jesus has really disarmed the principalities and powers and Satan has no power where Jesus is concerned.

Now, Satan has power where you’re concerned, but he has no power where Jesus is concerned and when you are in Jesus, you’re in a Noah’s ark that keeps you safe from the flood tides around you. When you’re in Christ, there is safety and a protection from Satan that is absolute and that’s why, when you abide in Jesus and keep your position by faith, you are absolutely safe from Satan. But not only that, you can move forward with this shell of Christ around you — you can move against Satan and Satan has to move back, and back, and back. And that’s what happened with the early church, they just kept moving forward with the shell of Jesus around them and Satan moved back and back.

Now, do you see our job is to retake that ground here in our world by simply moving forward with the shield of Jesus in front and keep moving? The vital thing is you keep moving. If you ever stand still Satan will begin to attack and batter down that shield, but the way is always moving forward, always taking more ground. That’s why you can never stop, that’s why a missionary movement can never stop. A missionary movement can never say, “We go to Africa and stop there.” No, you go throughout the world, you keep going, keep moving, that’s the nature of God’s Spirit.

[Question inaudible 12:39] so my question would be this, when we’re dealing with the enemy in this type of situation, assuredly [inaudible 13:22] to a certain situation. So how does the Lord work through a person that’s either ministering or the person even being ministered to on this very principle?

First, I think it is very important on the basis of Katherine Kuhlman, to say that after you have said that, someone’s faith is necessary for healing, either the faith of the person or the faith of their friends, such as the friends who brought the man and let him go through the roof to Jesus, after you’ve said that, people like Katherine Kuhlman testify that there are cases they just do not understand where there seems to be little or no faith on the part of the person and yet that person seemed to be healed.

It could be, as you say, that the healing is only a lasting experience if the person begins to exercise faith themselves, but it seems to be a fact, that healing seems to bewilder and baffle all our calculations and all our principles. And I would agree with you, that it seems to me that the faith of the person, or the faith of friends are necessary in order to be healed, and yet one has to accept that the wind bloweth where it will and nobody knows the sound or where it comes nor where it

goes. And the Holy Spirit seems to work the same way and we have to accept that the Holy Spirit is God’s free agent and knows more deeply than we how to apply this.

I think what is very important in this is that we see that God will only back us where he has directed us. And I think here’s the weakness; we go into a hospital ward and say, “Ah, that person has cancer? Okay, we’ll pray for healing.” And we never ask Jesus at all. We forget completely that Jesus very often left a crowd of people who wanted to be healed and went into a mountain to pray, or went off on his own and that he did not in fact heal everybody that came, and he works the same way today.

In other words, the Holy Spirit is the one who knows how to apply the redemption that has been won on Calvary. Every disease is under the power of Jesus. Every disease can be cured immediately by the power of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit knows whether the healing of a certain person’s sickness will further the cause of God’s kingdom or in fact, will set that cause back. And we ourselves know of situations where a healing actually would encourage a person to go on in a purely superficial faith. Whereas, in another situation, it would seem that a healing would bring glory to Jesus immediately.

But do you see; only the Holy Spirit knows? He has a beautiful order of events that have to follow. You think of your family, and bit-by-bit your sister coming to Jesus, you coming to Jesus, your mom coming to Jesus; there is an order in God’s plan of redemption and the Holy Spirit knows that order. Our job is to be alert in the intuition of our spirits to listen, “Lord Jesus, what do you want done at this time?” And it seems to me, that’s very important; otherwise we vary into great naivety as far as healing goes and indeed, as far as the gifts of the spirit go. And from my experience it seems that the Holy Spirit directs you when he directs you most unconsciously, when you’re most unconscious and you just have a sense that this is the thing to do. But again, there you have to be dead to human love and human empathy, otherwise you can see a person in pain on the bed and the spontaneity can come from human empathy rather from the intuition of the Spirit.

[Question inaudible 17:15] human compassion in that instance and if it happened to him it can happen to us.

And you can see how the sisters were filled with that human sympathy to perform sooner. So do you see spiritual warfare is not a thing that you just go into with your own mind and start wielding the sword of the Spirit all around you, or start pleading the blood of Jesus everywhere? It is a directed, guided ministry and it only comes when you’re satisfied with Jesus alone. When you’re really satisfied, “Lord Jesus if you are the only one I have, then I’m glad of that.” Then it’s out of that place of rest and a quiet spirit that spiritual warfare and ministry comes, you see.

Spiritual warfare is always a secondary result of sitting at Jesus’ feet and hearing his word. It’s always an incidental byproduct of a quiet place with Christ. One of the side benefits this has is it prevents you getting into spiritual warfare that Jesus doesn’t want you in. I think a lot of us are little babies and we go forward to fight Goliath and Jesus doesn’t want us fighting Goliath, he wants us to get strong by tackling little dwarfs like ourselves for a while and the Holy Spirit will direct us that way if we listen to him. But too many of us want to go out and destroy the giants right away. Then we get mixed up with all kinds of black magic, all kinds of the occult, and all kinds of problem people that aren’t Jesus’ will for us at that time.

It seems to me the Holy Spirit, if we listen to him, will direct us gradually forward strengthening

us bit-by-bit so that we can tackle more and more enemies. So it is important — that whole area of when do you engage in spiritual warfare — not when you think you ought, but when the Spirit of Jesus plainly directs you.

[Question inaudible 29:26] spiritual warfare and how dangerous it really is. [Inaudible 19:43] share along the lines of [inaudible 19:47] construction worker [inaudible 19:55], he was really strong in the Spirit, he was baptized in the Spirit and some personal tragedy, I believe, came into his family and right away he just reacted in a really strange way [inaudible 20:10]. I mean, as silly as it sounds, this was what he was going to do so they went into this construction [inaudible 20:22] said that that’s what they were going to do and they went into this house that they were building to do battle with Satan and it’s just lucky they came out alive. I mean, they were scarred up and bleeding, I mean, there was a physical battle that ensued and it was just [inaudible 20:41] they weren’t killed from it. But then again it goes back to the idea [inaudible 20:50] this is something that we’ve got to talk about every day I mean, in our own personal lives because you never [inaudible 21:00]. It’s like starting a car, you have to put the key in the ignition every time and it’s a discipline and I don’t think that can be stressed enough. How our eyes have to be on God.

I myself have been in – just relating what’s happened to me, I’ve been out of the will of God in some things that I’ve done in spiritual warfare and I’ll tell you it’s by the grace of him that I’m sitting right here now. We just do not – you know, we can’t realize what kind of a battle that ensues. The Lord, if he ever pulls the spiritual blinds on you it’s frightening. It’s like the fear of God, you know, you can sit there and imagine it but until he pulls back [inaudible 21:47] and boy you know it, then you say, “I know the fear of God’s light, you know, is really heavy.” And I think that this is something that I just don’t think the Lord – he wants us each individually to come into that walk with him.

And we can walk safely. We can walk safely. I think that it’s just the naivety of walking independently, that’s where we get into that kind of trouble. But when we walk under his guidance, it seems to me, we walk in absolute safety and there is a real sense in which a 1,000 can fall at your right hand and yet they will not come near you. There is a real sense in which you can walk as a lamb and in fact, with the simplicity of a child, and yet if you’re walking under the intuition of Jesus’ Spirit then I think it is.

Dear ones, the early church had this kind of attitude and it might be good to look at it, Acts 13:38-39, “Let it be known to you therefore, brethren, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him every one that believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” And you see that’s it; that Jesus, when he came, freed us from the power of Satan from which we could not be freed by the law of Moses and that’s why you get such a great deal of paganism and idolatry and worshiping demons in the Old Testament; because there was only freedom from those things when Jesus came and we ourselves can be freed from all those things. We’ll talk tonight again of that being freed from the lies of Satan, the Holy Spirit is able to free us from things that we don’t even know we’re bound by, and he’s able to free other people. And this is the attitude of the church, dear ones.

Michael Harper says this, “But in Ephesians Paul takes the triumph a stage further from the cross by linking it also,” and this is our position in Christ, “with the resurrection and the ascension of our Lord and expressing what these events mean in terms of victory over Satan. Speaking of Christ’s new position, he writes of it,” and maybe you’ll look at Ephesians and this is the verse that Dave was referring to, and we need to memorize, and repeat to ourselves each day and take our position in

a fresh way. Ephesians 1:21-23, and this is Jesus’ position, “Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

We often think, “Well that’s great. That must be a beautiful place up there right above everything –above the power of Satan and above everything that can destroy God’s peace and it will be great when we get there. That will be glory for me, glory for me.” And then we look at Ephesians 2:6, and see that we’re there, “And raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” And that’s our position brothers and sisters, it isn’t a question of getting there when you die; you’re there now. We have been raised with Christ and we sit with him in the heavenly places and it’s from that position that you war against Satan.

And loved ones, if you get down here and scrabble with Satan in the gutter you will have trouble. If you stay down here and say, “This is my situation, these exams are pressing in on me, my parents are pushing me this way and my boss is pushing me that way, and my girlfriend is pushing me that way,” if you get down there and struggle and say, “I’m right under it and I’m pushing it back,” you’ll just have defeat upon defeat. But if you say, “Lord God, I thank you that you’ve raised me up with you and made me sit with you in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus and I thank you that I’m right there,” then brothers and sisters you can have a vacation right in the middle of the examination. Really. I mean, it’s really good; I have done it in the most miserable and depressing circumstances.

And when you take that position in Jesus, there comes a gift of faith from the Father that releases the Holy Spirit into the situation, and that’s just true, it’s just true. I know Satan tries it all kinds of ways, he says, “Don’t be a stupid dreamer; you have to deal with this situation. You’ve got to get your mind to work on it, get your body to work on it. Don’t be a silly dreamer going way up there imaging all sorts of stupid heavenly mystical experiences.” No, you say, “I’m going up there and I’m going to dwell there by faith.” And brothers and sisters, that’s how it works. Moses did not work out how to dam up this part of the sea, and dam up this part, put concrete walls down and then get the crowd moving and then decide they’d put dynamite under each wall and dynamite it when Pharaoh comes through. He didn’t because he hadn’t the ability, and he hadn’t the engineering skill.

He got into that position miraculously. There were odd men, called by God in the old days, who were able to live in the fullness of the Spirit that we have today. But there were always servants, or kings, or prophets, and he was in that position and he abided in that position and he warred against the thing by faith from his position in Jesus and Jesus’ power opened the sea. And that’s always the way it works; it’s from that position, you war from that position.

This is what Harper says, “And he is still there, far above all. What confidence it should give us in our warfare against Satan. Now the church can penetrate the dark jungles of the world, protected from danger and able to tame them in the power of Jesus’ name. Here we are dealing with the bedrock of any successful ministry in the field of spiritual warfare. We dare not enter into battle without a firm confidence in the efficacy of the death of Christ and a firm trust in the power of his new position in the heavenlies.” And really, that’s the spot. And it is confirming that men are all lead to the same truths. The Father showed me this truth two years ago for the first time in experience, and I never read anybody else saying it, but it is true that God leads us on into the same confirmation and that Ephesians 2:6 is a perfect verse you see.

[Question inaudible 28:40]

In Revelation 12:10 dear ones, “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

[Question inaudible 29:21]

It’s believing that word of God. I know it’s corny, I used to think, “Boy this is stupid, this isn’t a question of just believing.” But it is; everything follows what you believe, you know. If you believe you’re hungry, then you get something to eat. It’s true, you act on your belief whether you like it or not and maybe that’s the problem, a lot of us like to think that we don’t act on our belief because our actions proclaim some terrible beliefs, but really you act what you believe and the struggle is one of belief. Satan would say, “No, no don’t believe that. That isn’t true. That’s true maybe when you get to heaven but it’s not true now.” But it is true now, and you believe that and you destroy him by that belief. It’s God’s word against Satan’s.

Maybe we should pause, just for a minute brothers and sisters, before we go on to talk a little about evil spirits, really some of the information that God gives us. I’m thinking particularly of those who are maybe here for the first couple of Sundays or first Sunday. Any questions? I’d illustrate that where you would be engaged in spiritual warfare is where you’re in a class in the U, or in your college that has an antagonistic spirit towards the Spirit of Jesus. It could be even in a Christian class, but they have an antagonistic spirit towards what you have begun to see as true in Jesus.

Now, you can either get down and struggle with them and argue about evolution, if it’s in the U, or you can get down and struggle with them about whether you can live above sin, if it’s in some other college, or you can war against Satan and stand against that spirit in your class, and stand against it in your own spirit. Or think of the house; in a house where there is not a right spirit you can either start picking them apart bit-by-bit, saying, “Your attitude is wrong. Now, what’s wrong about it? Let’s have a sensitivity session” or you can stand against this and war against this in Christ.

In that case, once you begin to war against it, take your position in Christ over this and believe it into what God wants it to be. See, that’s what you do; you ignore the wrong and the evil in it, you put that under the cross and you believe positively the right. And you thank the Father, “I thank you Father that you have destroyed all the powers that are making these people act like this. I thank you that you have taken the real iron out of their souls and that what’s happening now is just deception of Satan and I’d thank you for that and I trust you to reveal that deception to them.” That’s the approach you see, the Holy Spirit reveals the deception.

But if you treat it as more than deception, if you treat it as a real strength and power of Satan, then that will continue. But in fact you believe God’s word that Jesus has disarmed the principalities and powers and that there is no reason why they should any longer behave like this and that they’re behaving like this because of deception of Satan and now you’re trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal that deception. One of the beauties of this is that it takes away completely your

own antagonism and hostility to them because you see that they’re under deception. It’s not that they’re tremendously strong enemies to what they believe is right, but they’re just deceived, they’ve accepted Satan’s lies and they’re somebody to be loved, and to be ministered to, and to be built up, and to be believed into the right place. So it’s good because it takes away that whole personality conflict business where it’s you and them confronting one another.

That’s why where we’re in a situation that is theologically not sympathetic or empathetic to what God has begun to show us, it’s vital that we get into that position, otherwise you can destroy the whole thing by making it a confrontation. There were old days, you remember when someone would quote Campus Church and now I think we’re beginning to learn that Campus Church is nothing and it’s not worth quoting because it’s just us. It’s only a version of ourselves that we’re defending if we’re defending Campus Church. But in the old days we didn’t have that wisdom and in certain schools there’d be a complete reaction against it and then we’d be stupid because we’d get in and start fighting it out and we’d start defending everybody. Defending the pastor, defending the church, and before we know it we were in those long endless discussions and arguments.

Now do you see that is not the approach? The approach is, “Okay, praise God that God is showing you that.” And then you stand against any lying that there is in Satan, not assuming that you’re right, but just standing against whatever deception in Satan is breaking the unity between you and your brothers and sisters. It’s never a case of, “Oh Lord, you vindicate us, you vindicate the church, you vindicate,” – no, the church isn’t worth vindicating, you’re not worth vindicating, I’m not worth vindicating. But what is worth preserving is the unity of Jesus, not through compromise but through really zeroing in on the important truth of life rather than a doctrine — life, not doctrine.

Maybe it’s good to take instances like the family where the mum and dad aren’t empathetic or can’t see things the way you see it. You talk about the Holy Spirit and they think, “Boy, they’re way off in that Pentecostal emotional stuff. I want you to steady up and I want you to get good solid doctrine under you.” Do you see the way is not to start bombarding them with masses and masses of books? Maybe one little book an odd time, or a recorded sermon once in a while. But what is needed is a standing against Satan who is trying to use misunderstandings to separate you from your mum and dad.

Brothers and sisters if you had Luther, and Wesley, and Calvin together, as they are now with Jesus, you’d find that they were just like that (indicating entwined fingers.) But we silly little people take the emphasis that they made and at those points we’re battling against each other. And it’s the same with this business of the Holy Spirit, if you get Stott, and Moody, and Finney and you find them eventually in heaven, they’ll be like that (again indicating entwined fingers.) But here we are and we take our little emphasis and say, “Oh no, that isn’t right, it must be this way or it must be that way,” and it’s so silly.

Do you see that we’re all the time warring against the deception of Satan? In fact, if a person is really a child of God, there’s real unity between all children of God, but it’s Satan that deceives us to look at unimportant issues to destroy that unity. So it’s always warring against the deception of Satan and that’s really it all the time.

Now, I’m with you, it is different where a person has submitted themselves willingly to Satan, then you’re warring against a person who is cooperating with Satan. In those old days God told his servants to destroy the person themselves. Now that doesn’t need to be done since Jesus came,

because he has bought those people back from Satan, but nevertheless it is not just deception; you’re warring there against a human will that has been given to Satan, and that is a stronger battle.

[Question inaudible 37:16]

Satan is always interested in us whether we’re actively and aggressively warring against him in other’s lives or not. He’s always actively interested in us and using temptation and deception to take us out of our position in Christ, so he’ll be on the attack all the time. And of course the whole teaching of spiritual warfare is that you move forward. At times you have to stand, “and having done all to stand”, but you move forward and you stand, and you retain what you have in Christ. You move forward, but you’re never in a position where you’re not actively standing against him and resisting him. And we have our troubles because we haven’t seen that. We’ve thought, “Boy it’s enough to just hold onto the little we’ve got” and that way we’re driven back.

[Question inaudible 38:46].

Brother, Jesus just spoke to me recently because as any kind of leader in the body, it’s very difficult to know when do I speak to a person? When is it right for me to be interested in where another person is falling down or where they’re not? And brother, Jesus has just told me you verge well onto the side of leading them to me. You verge well onto that side. Love is always eager to believe the best.

Brother again and again, if some of my brothers have been in the wrong place with Jesus, again and again, I’ve found that the best ministry was loving, and building up, and praying, and standing against Satan in them, and not too often directly reproving. Great wisdom is required and Jesus has spoken to me about going very gently on the whole deal of speaking to another brother, or even of sharing with other brothers and sisters weaknesses of a certain brother not in regard to God but in regard to doing a job. It’s very tricky. I think I’d verge well on the side of believing love is eager to believe the best and the Holy Spirit, when he comes, will convict the world of sin. Bruce when he comes will convict? Jim when he comes will convict? Ernest O’Neill? No, the Holy Spirit will, and I think maybe it’s better to leave him to his own task and his own job.

Well it seems to me the only instruction is if a brother has sinned against. In other words if a brother has sinned against you then you should get victory over the resentment that you feel first, and you should come into a position that God has come into with us; he has been reconciled to us. Even though the whole unchristian world is not reconciled to him, he is reconciled to them; he is ready to accept them.

Now, they will never come into heaven unless they receive the Spirit and are regenerated, but he is reconciled to them. Our position is always in that situation to pray into a position of reconciliation to our brother where we love him without a flaw. Then, what do we share? Do we share, “Brother, you sinned against me and you put me in a rough position spiritually?” No, you say, “Brother I had some resentment against you and I just want to tell you that I’m through now and into victory. I just wanted you to know that things are right with me and you.” And leave it to the Holy Spirit.

Regarding open sin; if a couple here are living in immorality, it seems to me where it’s something plain enough yes, then the apostolic representative in the body, which would be presumably in this

little body I suppose me or the elders, then they have a responsibility to go to that person, after praying together, and doing it in the name of the authority of the body. But brother, from the point of view of us all moving around putting everybody right, I’ve just seen it work death, so if you say, “How you deal with a brother who is claiming the baptism of the Holy Spirit and living an impure life?” It seems to me all one can do is pray and share the scriptures that show that the plan of God is for us to be baptized into Christ’s death and as we rise with him then receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit for purity and for power. And to share that if you have only power then you share your own life, and you share death, and you share manifestations, and you draw people’s attention to that. But you need purity in order to transmit the life of Jesus.

I just see it so plainly and in such a young body as ours that we’re all like eager hounds; we’ll put everybody right but ourselves. And it seems to me the deeper you go in Jesus, the more you realize how wrong you yourself are and the more you realize that it’s the Holy Spirit’s responsibility. I remember in the arcade someone was saying to Jane and Connie who I don’t think are here this morning — they’re just a blessing in that place, and they work hard — but somebody said to them, “You do nothing – why are you doing so little? And they were cut to the heart. I shared with the arcade people, “Boy, if you want to boss other people go somewhere else.”

But don’t brothers and sisters; the Holy Spirit will let any church get on without him that can get on without him. That’s it. If the Holy Spirit finds a church that can get on without him, and can convict its own people of sin, and direct its own people, he’ll back out of it. He’s not pushy, you see, he has plenty to do. So it seems to me that that’s it; if we trust the Holy Spirit, and honor him, and commit more and more responsibility to him then we’ll find the Holy Spirit increasing and intensifying his influence among us. But if we take over his functions we’ll find that he’ll back off, back off and back off and we’ll be left with just another humanly organized and directed church.

Tape ends.