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Description: Who do you really treat as your Father? Have you died to all the world knew you as? Are you walking in the glorious liberated presence of your Father?
Who is Your Father?
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Who is your Father? The answer is of course in that piece that we all know from Handel’s “Messiah”.
It’s Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon
his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.’” It startled me when I first read “Everlasting Father”. This piece is obviously
the prophecy of Jesus’ birth, the Messiah, and you’re used to Jesus being called the Prince of
Peace, or even Wonderful Counselor, or even Mighty God — but you’re not used to him being called
It struck me that there was some kind of misunderstanding here because God surely is the Everlasting
Father and Jesus is the Son. But in fact, because Jesus is God and wherever God is Jesus is, and
whatever God is Jesus is, all that God is Jesus is also. He is certainly our Everlasting Father in
a special way too, because he is really the one who begot each one of us. I don’t want to bore you
with it, but I did this little diagram to remind you of it: I’ve used the mathematical sign for
infinity here, but this [pointing to diagram] is eternity and this is eternity, and in between is
this little piece of time.
You remember the way we’ve often talked about it — we’ve said that wherever we cannot talk about
the beginning when God was, we don’t know about that, but in eternity somewhere God IS and He
conceived of creating the world. he conceived of people like himself in that world. Of course
Colossians 1:15 states that Jesus was actually the first born of all the creation. God actually
took his only begotten son whom he had begotten in eternity and he asked him to become the first
born of all creation.
Jesus therefore became the first one to be born in that creation and God conceived of that. This
presumably we think of as a millisecond in God’s mind. He conceived of it, he did it and he
completed it all in a millisecond. We just talk about it in terms of “stages” because of our finite
minds, but God conceived of a creation and of people like himself whom he could love, and he
conceived of his only begotten son becoming the first born of that creation, becoming the first man.
Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for the good.” And “the good” is we might be conformed
to the image of his son in order that HE might be the first born among many brethren. So God
conceived of his own son becoming the first born of creation so that HE would be the first born
among many brethren. I think often we go a little astray because we think, “Oh yes, he did it for
us, he did it for us.” Well, in that he loves us, yes, but first and foremost, he did it for his
son — that his son might be the first born of all creation. For that reason he created us.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which he has
prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God conceived of creating us in Jesus that we
might do many mighty works that he had prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. He
conceived of that taking place and then realized of course, that we would be free to do what we
wanted to do.
We would be free to dwell in Jesus and to be what he wants us to be — or we would be free to refuse
him, and reject him and to oppose him. At that moment God knew that he would have to change all
that he had made –for as many of us that wanted to change he would have to change us — and he
would have to crucify us and begin to make us all over again. That is what happened according to
Revelation 13:8, “That the Lamb was slain from before the foundation of the world.”
God conceived of all of that in a millisecond. Presumably, he didn’t have to speak to his son, but
in our human terms it was like him saying to his son, “My son, this is what will take place. Are
you willing for that to take place in you? Because, the only way these dear brethren that I am
going to make inside you will ever be able to be like us is if you are prepared to bare the
destruction of what they become and their recreation again in what I want them to be.” Of course,
the Savior lovingly said, “Yes.” Then in the beginning, God made the heaven and the earth. Then
God began to play that all out in time. Of course the part that he has allowed to play out that we
can see so clearly is this downward path. This is what we see around us: we see what our life would
be if we had NOT been crucified in Jesus and the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the earth
and made again anew in him and recreated in him. If we hadn’t done that this is the kind of life we
would live — and this is the kind of life that the world would live until there is a new heaven and
the new earth.
Of course, when we are born of God, what happens is we do what Jesus said: we repent and believe the
gospel. We change our mind about the way we think of our past life. We stop thinking, “I am my
father’s son. I am my mother’s son.” “I am my father’s daughter. I am my mother’s daughter.” We
begin thinking, “I am Jesus’ son.” “I am Jesus’ daughter. Jesus is my Father. I was created in
him. The reason I was created was so that he would be the first born among many brethren. I belong
to him. My father and mother were only the means by which God brought me into physical birth, but I
belong to Jesus. I am part of him.” We change our way of thinking — and at that moment what
happens is all of eternity here, by the Holy Spirit, is brought into our lives and we are born of
God. Has each of us here accepted that?
I would to take you back to a very real experience that I’ve had over the past couple of days — and
that everyone in London will understand because we spent so much time on computers. For two years,
believe it or not, I’ve been trying to get a program that would do what we call in computer
language, “multitasking”. It would mean that people like my dear wife would be putting in a sales
order in the computer and someone would call and say, “How much do I owe you? What is my debt to
Crown Jewelry?” And she would be able to hit one key and it would immediately replace that sales
order module on the screen with the customer file and would show her immediately the credit.
Or, if she thought in the middle of entering the sales order she wanted to do a fax to Dan in
Thailand to order some more of a certain item, she would hit a key and it would flip over
immediately into the fax program. Now, believe it or not, that’s very difficult to do with
computers. The way we do it now is that we have to withdraw from the sales order module and have to
go back to the main menu. From there we go into the Windows program and into WinFax and we write
the fax. You actually have to come out of one program, go into another program — and it all takes
Multitasking is the ability to switch from one thing to the other. They call it multitasking
because for that to happen, the computer has to keep all of them up at one time. It has to keep all
the programs open. That’s very difficult for a computer. For two years I’ve been working with a
complicated IBM program called OS2 because it will be able to do that — but, it’s not able to do it
On my little computer I have had 50 megabytes set aside for that program and I’ve been playing along
with it all the time. I’ve been trying to make the DOS programs work for all of you and for London
when they need it. I’ve always had in my mind, “OS2 is the answer. OS2 is the answer. I have to
somehow wait till all the systems get refined enough so that it will work.” That was the situation.
Then they came out just a month ago with the new “DOS 7” program. It arrived and so it was
wonderful. I thought, “Great! I can put it onto my computer and I can once and for all ‘leave my
earthly father behind’. I can go with a whole heart into what now is a workable situation with this
DOS 7.” So I have to make changes to my computer but I thought, “Yeah, but shouldn’t I try to keep
this old OS2 up just in case this doesn’t work? Maybe I’ll go back to the original idea.”
So yesterday, I started to work on it. In the course of it all, something went wrong in the
computer. I have in my portable computer all kinds of things: all the work I was doing with Mary in
London, the International Secretary of CCI stuff, all the projects that we have in Thailand, all
kinds of faxes, the cash flow — which fortunately I’ve copied off onto another computer — but I
had everything up. Then, something started to eat away at all the stuff on my computer!
It was dreadful. It was like being driven back into a corner. I would try one program and another.
We have a program that doubles the disk and I had to unstack it — I had to make it not double. Of
course when you have twice the stuff on it the disk, you have to put it somewhere, so I tried to put
it onto another part of the disk. I kept working and working, and the thing kept eating up more of
my information, and more programs failed and more programs failed!
Before I started the whole thing, God had spoken to me and said, “Have you absolutely burned your
boats? Are you no longer your father’s son? Are you only my Son’s son? Is He your real father?
Do you see your life only as HIS and not in any way as outside Him? Are you ready in this computer
business to leave aside what you’ve been fiddling along with for two years?” He said that before I
ever started all this, and it was as if He started to eat the stuff away.
I couldn’t believe it because I was losing precious stuff – and it took me hours — it will still
take me hours to put a lot of it back. I couldn’t believe and I couldn’t understand why it was
happening because I’m not dumb as far as computers are concerned, and it shouldn’t have happened.
More and more of my 240 megabyte disk started to be eaten away and more programs disappeared. My
dear program, “Sidekick”, that I have all kinds of appointments and phone numbers on disappeared. I
couldn’t get into it!
Then at one point the computer asked, “So that I can rescue the rest of the disk will you let me
delete those files?” I said “yes” because I couldn’t do anything else. I deleted 1,700 files! I
just got back and back into a corner. I thought, “Lord, am I willing?” It was parallel with,
“Who’s Your Father? “Am I willing to let this go and start anew — to put all my eggs into this DOS
7 basket and go with it– and go with that life?” “Am I willing to forget all the past, to forget
all the things — even the nice things that I think about my father and my mother, even the
enjoyable things about the past — am I willing to forget about it all, the good and the bad, and to
go ONLY with Jesus? ”
Of course, while this computer thing went on until about five o’clock, it was dying. The whole
thing was just dying. Finally I said, “Yes, Lord, yes I am. I’ll put this DOS 7 on now.” I
couldn’t get the DOS 7 on until I had all the rest prepared but I thought, “I’ve nothing left. I’ll
put the DOS 7 on.” So, I put the DOS 7 on. I don’t have every program back, but I have a lot of
programs back like Sidekick and Manage Your Money. I’ve lost a fair bit of stuff, but I’ve got a
I do not know why. I don’t think it’s an angel. I don’t know why, but I do know what God said to
me very, very clearly, “Who is your Father? Are you willing to forget all – just to leave aside all
the make do’s and the self-help things that you’re holding onto — all the little bits of
self-effort, all the virtues that you think you might have brought from the past — are you willing
to leave all those make-do’s aside and let them be buried and destroyed for ever and go only as a
son of my Son?” I just got it very clearly.
I’d feel this way even if I hadn’t the programs back. It’s just a mystery as I don’t know how the
programs got back, I don’t know how they came back. Obviously, it’s something that is very clear
and probably very simple to some other person who knows better and certainly very simple to God.
The message I got very clear in my own heart, and that’s what I want to say to you, “Who’s your
Are you still kind of saying, “Well, I mean the heavenly Father is my Father, but my father is my
father and my mother is my mother and I owe a lot to them. I’m them. I’m part of them and I like
them.” Well are you or are you not? Has that life died and has it been crucified and destroyed?
Is it no longer reality? It was never reality. Are you no longer treating it as reality? Are you
in Jesus ONLY and is he everything to you?
I can see that it takes a VERY definite step into that. To be translated from the kingdom of
darkness into the kingdom of his beloved Son is a very deliberate step from a life that WAS into a
NEW life. It’s very much connected with what we are thinking this moment and what our attitude is.
So I’d ask you, “Who’s your Father?” Have you really died to all that the world knew you as, and
even your parents knew you as? Have you really seen that all that is a life that was planned from
the very beginning to be replaced by the real life — you as the part of the body of Jesus himself
— that you are nothing but a part of Jesus? You’re just a little bit of Jesus.
You’re not a little bit of Mr. Blomfield, or not a little bit of Mrs. Livingstone. You’re a little
bit of Jesus and that is all you are — but that is EVERYTHING you are. Are you living like that?
Have you really accepted that? Have you burned your bridges? Have you let go of all the past or
are you still trying to hold on to a little bit of something that you might be outside Jesus because
you’re hanging on to something that will disappear as quickly as my old programs disappeared on my
computer? Jesus is in fact, our Everlasting Father.
Let us pray. Dear Lord, we see Lord Jesus, that there is nothing outside you and that we do not
exist outside you. What the world sees of us, of our face, and our hands, what the world hears of
our voice is like a cinder, a burned out cinder that will collapse the moment someone touches it.
It is something that has been, that has been crucified with Christ, that no longer has any real
existence. The real existence that we DO have is that we have been created by you in Christ Jesus
for good works which you have prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. That’s our only
purpose here in this life, to walk in those works with clear hearts, free minds, and with joyful
Lord, we would embrace that with all our hearts. We would walk forward into that with our whole
heart Lord and say, “Lord Jesus, you are our Everlasting Father. We are members of you, limbs in
your body. Let’s go, Lord. Let us go. Take us forward. Walk into the good works through us that
you’ve prepared beforehand. We cast away all that is past and we walk now in a glorious liberated
present for your glory, and the love of God.” Amen.