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Living by Faith (Vol 12) - Vessel of Honor

Sunday English Service - 30 SEP 18


Please turn with me to Hebrews chapter 11. Let me read verse 3. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. We have been studying about living by faith for the last several weeks, based on Hebrews chapter 11. Hebrews chapter 11 is a famous chapter on faith. It brings together all this wonderful truth concerning faith. The Bible teaches a lot about faith in the Old Testament as well as New Testament and kind of puts it together here. The first few verses define faith and talk about how faith works. And then it goes into various illustrations of faith. That is why this chapter is so famous, just like 1 Corinthians 13 is famous as a love chapter, Hebrews 11 is famous as a faith chapter.

Now we have now come to verse 3 and we're kind of spending some time in verse 3 because verse 3 is fully loaded with a lot of things. A lot of things are said here. A lot of things the author is keeping in mind as he says these words, by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Now, first, I explained to you what this verse means. Some people think it simply means that faith helps us to understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. I showed you how, if that's all it means, then this verse is not saying that much, especially because it begins with the phrase ‘by faith’ and thereafter, almost every verse in the chapter begins by the phrase by faith. And every time a verse begins with the phrase by faith is followed by a great achievement of faith, a great exploit of faith. So if by faith is always followed by a great achievement, or an exploit then how can we reduce this to nothing by saying that faith simply helps us to understand that the worlds were made by the word of God. They're simply saying, “We were not there. We didn’t see. We understand by faith.” That is reducing it to nothing, practically. So I told you, what it's really saying is this, that by faith, the worlds were made by the word of God, that's what it's saying. The whole world is a faith product. Now, when you take it like that, when you begin to understand it like that, that's the way a lot of scholars believe that it should be understood. That the world is a product of faith.

Now, if the world is a product of faith, then we can begin to understand faith even more from this verse. If you just look at the seen world, the creation, and understand how faith worked then that you can begin to understand a lot. So I told you that faith is the greatest power. We have some very fantastic powers in the earth, you can harness like the nuclear power, which has harnessed and used positively in so many ways, it can be used negatively also. Nuclear power is the greatest power that we know on this earth. But faith is a greater power than that. Simply by virtue of it being a spiritual power. The earthly powers are lesser than the spiritual powers because the earth came from the spiritual world, the earth and everything here that we see came after the spiritual world was already there. So that was there first that's why it's greater because that created this. The spiritual world created the natural world. Everything in the spiritual world is greater. Just like God, who’s a spirit is greater than any human being, or anything in this world, everything in the spiritual world is greater. Therefore, the faith which is a spiritual power, a spiritual force, is greater than any earthly force. It's a great fantastic force. It can do a lot.

Jesus said, “If you have like a mustard seed measure of faith,” this is the smallest seed he picked deliberately. He said, “If you just have faith like a mustard seed, you say to the mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ it will obey you.” He said, “If you speak to the mountain and say, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ you will have whatever you say.” This is faith. This is the power of faith that can even move mountains, do great things. You see all through the life of Jesus, the power of faith healed the sick, made the lame to walk, the blind to see, even the dead were raised by the power of faith. He always enquired and saw whether they had faith. He said, “Do you have faith? Do you believe that I can do it for you?”

So this faith is a spiritual power and because it is such a powerful force, it is such amazing power, it cannot be just use the any which way you like. That is why this verse is important. Because this verse talks about how God used it in the first place. We got to look at Him and how He uses it and learn to use it the way He uses it. How did He use it? He used it in creation to create the world. Why did He create the world? I showed you He created the world because of love. The thing that motivated God to make a world such as this, you read Genesis chapter 1 and 2, you will come to the conclusion that God has amazing love, He’s a Father of all creation. In the Old Testament the revelation of the Father is not there. The only time God is called a Father is because He's a Father of all creation, that's the way He's called, that's how they knew God. Not as a father of human beings like us, but all creation, in general way they said. He created everything. He sustains everything. So God is known as a Father because of the fact that He made the world. So God created the world. Love created the world. Love was the motivation for creation.

So when you see that you begin to understand Paul's words in Galatians 5:6 where he says, faith is exercised in love or faith is expressed in love. The older translation say faith works by love. It means faith is expressed in love. You cannot express faith without love. With love only, you can express faith. God has attached love and faith together. He’s put it as a safety valve, safety feature. When you have something so powerful as faith, you got to attach some kind of safety feature to it, because otherwise everything will be blown out of proportion. You'll see people cursing each other, saying, “Like the fig tree was withered away, you wither away.” We'll be making people wither away and cursing everybody that we don't like and moving everybody and throwing them into the ocean by this power of faith. It cannot be used like that. It has to be used out of a heart of love.

So that is what I showed you last week and I ended it with two particular references. One is the reference from 2nd Chronicles 16:9 and the other is 2nd Timothy 2 verse 20 and 21. I want to just quote that, you don't have to turn to it and then proceed from there. 2nd Chronicles 16:9 says, the eyes of the Lord are running to and fro throughout the whole earth. Why? Because He's looking for someone with the right kind of heart, it says. What is God going to do with that kind of a man when He finds him? If there is a man with a heart that trusts in God, God says, “I want to show Myself and My might through that person.” The way it is put in the older translations is that God wants to show Himself very strong through that person. God is looking for a perfect candidate. God is looking for a person with a good heart, trusting heart, somebody that is looking to God, trusting in God, hoping in God. God wants to use that person and through that person, reveal His power so that the world will know who God is. They will know not only His power, but also His love because of what things He will do through that kind of person. So God is looking for a person. That is very impressive. You know that verse has always stayed with me that God is looking for a person. I've always reached out to God and said, “Lord, let me be that person. Get my heart right so I can be the person. If You're looking for a person I'm there.” I think everybody should say that.

But then 2nd Timothy chapter 2, and I will just go ahead and read that because I want to read one additional verse with what I read last week. We read only verse 20 and 21, in chapter 2 verse 20 and 21 but I’ll read from verse 19, because it gives you some context. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Now remember that because that's the context. That everyone that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Now, this is what I told you last week, because I have always read this and understood it for some reason, because it was not explained properly. So I came under the impression that just like in all houses there are honorable vessels, and there are vessels of dishonor and the vessels sometimes made up just clay pots, and there are vessels that are made out of gold and silver. So if you are useless, and no good, and you're not great achiever or something, God has just made you as a clay pot and you just have to settle down with it because in a house, we need both the very expensive good ones that are used much and the least expensive ones that are not valued that much. Both kinds are needed for a house. That's the way I understood it.

But then I began to read verse 21 it opened my eyes. It says, therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, that is from all the iniquity, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Now, this tells me that every single person who's been saved, is destined to be a vessel of honor. God wants every one of us to be a useful person. Vessel of honor that God can use for His glory. There need not be any doubt about it. God wants every single person here to be a useful person. That we will be a vessel of honor, sanctified, useful for the Master. Remember those phrases. Prepared for every good work, sanctified, useful for the Master. Prepared for every good work. So every Christian must have it as his goal that he must become sanctified, useful for the Master’s use, useful for the Master, and prepared for every good work. That is what God saved us for.

So let me speak about the vessels of honor today. How that God wants us to be vessels of honor. Now, why is he saying things like this? Because what makes a vessel a vessel dishonor because it's useless, because nothing good can be stored in it, it has no value. Because vessel is something that contains something and you cannot put something, you cannot use it, you cannot bring it before people, you cannot place it in public view. You cannot use it in front of others. You always have to keep in the back of the kitchen so that nobody will see that kind of a vessel. You can't put anything valuable in it. It cannot be used. Now, many times, people's lives become like that, vessel of dishonor. Why it becomes like that? Because of certain things that are there in the heart. There is something that is wrong in the heart. I talked about love last week. When love is missing, when there is no compassion, when the heart does not have love, when the heart does not have compassion, when the heart is filled with bitterness, when the heart is filled with all the evil stuff, then that kind of heart becomes a vessel of dishonor because you cannot put this power of faith. The power of faith cannot be expressed from that bitterness. The power of faith cannot be expressed from that anger. The power of faith cannot be expressed from this heart which is lacking in love and compassion.

That is one thing. Another thing is there is iniquity, sin, things that are unacceptable before God. Because of that faith cannot work from such a heart. Because faith is such a big power, huge power greater than all earthly powers. God has safeguarded it. It can work only from a good heart. It has to have a heart which is fitting to release that faith so that it will be released and it will work only in the positive way. Alright, so that is why a vessel of dishonor comes about. That is how people become a vessel of dishonor because they cannot be used. God cannot use them. God cannot send them anywhere. God cannot use them to say some good things to others. God cannot bless others through them. God cannot speak to others through them. They’ve become like they're a vessel of dishonor because just when they see this person, they don't want to hear it. Just because this person is there in the family, going to church the rest of them don't go to church. They say, “We know what church is because we know this guy. If he's going to church, then I don't want that Christ. If this is what Christianity then I don't want,” it becomes a vessel of dishonor, of shame.

Now, how do you turn that around? Now, all of us have something or the other that is wrong with us but how do you become a vessel of honor? How do you change into a person that God can use, God can release His power of faith through you. It doesn't happen automatically. It is something for which you have to make an effort. That is why verse 21 is very important. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself. See, such a person has to work on himself, cleanse himself from all this iniquity, from all this unwanted stuff, then he will be a vessel of honor. So it is possible. A person can begin as a useless person, a person can begin with a lot of sin, a person can begin with bitterness and anger and all kinds of evil things in his heart but then he can cleanse himself from all of these things and then become a vessel of honor, sanctified, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. So there is something that he can do.

Look at Paul talking about it in another epistle. If you turn to 2nd Corinthians chapter 6, Paul talks about it in greater detail there. Chapter 6 verse 14. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? What communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? And what part has a believer with an unbeliever? In other words he's saying, “You're a believer, don't become like an unbeliever, don't live like an unbeliever, don't become one with the unbeliever in the thoughts, in the practices of life. And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? It's amazing. Paul calls us the temple of God. Paul calls the believer, Christ literally. Paul calls the believer, believer. Paul calls the believer light. Look at the terms he uses for us. He says, What communion has light with darkness, what accord has Christ with Belial. Christ is the believer, that's the way he is thinking about it. What part has a believer with unbelievers, and what agreement has the temple of God with idols. For you are the temple of the living God. If you have any doubt about what I said, here it is, you are the temple. He’s thinking of the people as a temple, he’s thinking of the believer as Christ because he's so identified with Christ. He's thinking of the believer as light. And then he says, As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them.” 

Now, we live in this world, we live with all kinds of people. When it says come out it doesn't mean go to some moon or something like that. It simply means, be separate in your mentality, in the way you do things, the way you live your life. “Be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” And, “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord God Almighty.” But don't let this chapter distract you. It’s the end of sixth chapter but remember this is an epistle, letter written. Letters don't come in chapters. When you write to your son or daughter, you don't say “Chapter one verse one.” Your children will wonder what has happened to you. They separated into chapters so that I can point to exactly where I want you to see. For that convenience, they've separated so don't disconnect it. Chapter 6 verse 18 is not the end of the thought.

So it continues. The next verse, 7:1. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves. What promises? Because God says, “Be separate. Don't touch what is unclean. I will receive you. I'll be a Father to you. You will be My sons and daughters.” Because God has said this, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. So Paul is writing to believers, this is Corinthian believers. It is possible it looks like then that believers were saved, washed by the blood of the Lamb, can defile themselves with filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit. It is possible for people who are saved to become unclean in a certain way; being associated with sin or sinful things, unwanted things; being associated with hate and all these kinds of things. It is possible for a believer to defile his heart. It is possible for a believer to defile his flesh and the spirit. You can have something go wrong in your heart, you can do something with your body actually, with your flesh, that's what it's saying. It's possible.

Now remember Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 9, in another passage he puts it beautifully about himself. Let's look at that also and let me read to you from verse 24. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. He’s talking about life as a race and you as a runner. “You're participating in it, run to win,” he says. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. The guy who's running the race who’s a competitor, gives up a lot, takes on new habit, leaves old habits that are harmful to him, that will destroy his physical health and stamina and all of those things. So he says, everyone who competes for the prize is temperate. He’s in control of his body and the way he eats, and the way he rests, the way he does things. Even his mind is very important. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore run thus: not with uncertainty. Therefore I run thus. He is talking about himself. Not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 

Paul says, “Yeah, I'm called, I’m anointed. I’m called an apostle. I'm a mighty man of God. But then I have to run this race very carefully. I discipline my body and bring it into subjection.” In other words, “I do not follow the instincts of my body and give it whatever it's asking, because it is a body of sin. It can ask for a lot of things that are not right.” He says, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection. My body does what I want done, I never do what my body wants. I don't just listen to the commands of my body and go about satisfying whatever the body requires. I tell the body how it should behave.” He says, “I live with that discipline.” Why? “Because when I have preached to others, I, myself should become disqualified.” In other words, what he's saying is, “I've preached to others, and other people have gotten saved, and they’ve become a useful vessel in this family of God, in the kingdom of God, and they’re mightily used of God. And while I have preached and raised them up, I should not become disqualified. I should not come to a place where God cannot use me. Where I cannot be a useful vessel, a vessel of honor. I want to continue to be a vessel, I want God to be able to operate through me, work through me, speak through me, heal through me, bless people through me. I do not want to be disqualified from that,” he says.

**** 00:24:55 Amazing passage. So we were meant to be vessels that house and contain the most amazing things of God. God wants to use us as vessels to pour out His love and His power to meet the needs of those that are in the world that are hungry and starving for this kind of a thing. A lot depends on us, and how much God can use us, a lot depends on us. All right. Now, there are things that can easily defile us. You think about the world, talking about defilement of the flesh and the spirit. Your heart can become dirty, heart can become unacceptable and your flesh can also become like that. And you can imagine how it can happen. You don't have to go and do a great sin or anything, just listen to some things that are happening. Now, we all have our earphones and we're all listening to something. When you go walk in the morning you see everybody's plugged in. God knows what they're hearing. Hope it's something good. A lot of things are going in. Now, some people after they heard whatever they're hearing, you have to really wash your ears because it's all dirt, it's all filthy things. It's all no good, unproductive, unedifying, negative kind of thing. Then things come in view to our eyes. You don't have to go look for something, things are brought to us. This world is like that. It’s a world of sin where the god of this world is the devil, so he works through a lot of things. He brings things for our eyes to see and after you got through seeing it you just have to go and wash your eyes.

And if you don't believe in washing your eyes and ears and everything just read what Ephesians chapter 5 says. There, Paul is talking about the word of God washing people and making clean. In verse 25, it says, husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. He’s using Christ and His love for the church as an example for husband and wife. So how did Christ love the church? That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the water by the word. Because Christ loves the church, He keeps washing the church. Washing by what? Washing with the water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. One day, when Christ presents the bride before God the Father, He wants the bride to be without spot, without wrinkle, holy and without any blemish, wants to be absolutely perfect. Therefore, what He does today, He knows that we are in this world, it's a sinful world, the devil is the god of this world and therefore, just by going out and coming in you can get really dirty.

In our culture, we still have most places, when you go out and come back they wash their feet. You try to explain that in the Western world, they’ll look at you like you've fallen off from the moon. When you go out, you have to come back and wash your feet. For what? One fellow asked me. I said, “Brother, you can step on a whole bunch of things which I don't even want to mention. In our place, you can step on a lot of things. So you come back and you want your house to be clean so you wash your feet.” So I use the example like you take a bath every day. Sometimes one is not enough you want two because you get so stained with this dust in this world. So you feel like taking another bath. Now, that is the way it is. Washing is necessary. And Christ keeps the church washed, cleansed so that one day when He presents the bride before God, the bride will be without spot or blemish, without any wrinkle, without any problem, perfect.

So that is a real washing by the word. You know the word washes. I told this story many, many years ago here and it's worth saying it again. There was a lady back more than 100 years ago in America where she was just washing clothes for people. She'll bring clothes from people's houses and wash it before the washing machine days. And she was a person who could not read or write. Went to a church there and she really enjoyed the services. And after the service the preacher would stand at the door and greet people and she'll shake his hands and she's always say, “Oh, Pastor, it was so wonderful. You're preaching was so amazing, so wonderful.” But the pastor knew that she's very illiterate, didn't understand anything. So one day he asked her, “What did I preach on? Tell me the verse.” She didn't know the verse. She said, “No, I don't bring any Bible because I can't read.” He said, “Alright, I gave you three points. Tell me the three points.” She said, “No, I can't retain these three points.” “So how come you're saying every time it's so wonderful. In what way is it wonderful?” And she said, it seems, “Look, I wash clothes for people and I use soap and I know when I use soap and scrub it hard enough, doesn't matter how much dirt is there, in the end the dirt goes and it's absolutely clean. That's what the soap does. Whatever they put in soap, I don't know what they put in it but it cleans it so thoroughly. Then I come and sit in the church and you preach the word of God, when I get up and get ready to go home, I feel like completely washed and clean. That's what I mean when I say, it was very good. The washing was very good. The cleansing was very good.”

Now, that kind of job even today the Bible does. The word of God when it's preached it does. It cleanses your heart, clears your mind, and it removes all the stains of sin and so on. The water of the word of God washing is very real. Now, what happens when you don't wash? What happens when your heart is not purified? What happens when you allow sins’ stains to be there? What happens is this - that your heart will begin to condemn you, your heart has a voice in it. Your heart will say, “You are condemned.” Your heart will find fault with you. Now that's very bad thing. Now there is a difference between heart condemning you and the Holy Spirit convicting you. Two words are so different. Condemnation is a very negative word, a powerful negative word. Conviction is a powerful, positive word. When the Holy Spirit does the work in you He convicts you. He shows you where you're wrong, not condemn you. He convicts you that you are wrong and leads you to repentance so that you repent and turn around and come back to God and your life is restored and happiness returns and peace returns. That's the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit never condemns. Condemnation is totally negative.

The heart can condemn, because you have a conscience and the conscience knows. If you just turn the first epistle of John chapter 3. There is a beautiful passage regarding this there. Chapter 3 verse 20. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Did you understand that verse? If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. You know what it's saying? It's saying, if your heart, your conscience, your heart itself condemn you it knows so much. It knows what you did, it's condemning you. Isn't God greater than your heart who knows everything? So if your heart knows enough to condemn you, then be sure that God knows even more than what your heart knows. He knows it more thoroughly. And then it says, beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. Why condemnation is bad, if you don't deal with it, it ends up bringing very negative effects. Why? Because condemnation removes all confidence, you lose confidence. And then what happens? Verse 21, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence towards God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. So when we keep His commandments, do those things that are pleasing in His sight, we ask and what whatever we ask, we receive.

And then verse 23. And this is His commandment. Since He has said that if you keep His commandments, you will receive whatever you ask, now he wants to explain what the commandment is. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another. Put your faith on Jesus Christ, because you're not saved by your works. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Just one commandment. The New Testament has brought the Ten Commandments into one commandment. You know when God began, and He made the earth and put man there, He gave only one commandment. He said, “Eat of all the trees you can eat, but of this one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you may not eat. The day that you eat you will die.” Only one commandment, only one no. Everything is allowed. Only one thing. What is that one thing? He says, “Don't eat of this tree.” Why not eat of this tree? God is trying to establish His authority and His Lordship over Adam. He says, “When you refrain from eating from this tree, you are saying, I’m your Lord. ‘You are the Lord over all creation.’ You eat anything you want, enjoy everything that you want, but one thing you don't do, don't eat out of this tree.” As long as you keep from eating out of this tree you are proclaiming without even saying, you're saying, “He's my God, I answer to Him. He said, don't eat, therefore I don't eat of it.” That's all there is.

Only one commandment. Ten commandments came later. It's only an expansion of that one commandment. And now Jesus reduces it back to one commandment. He says, “Love one another.” Just believe in Jesus Christ and love one another. What will happen if you do that? Then your heart will not condemn you. You will have confidence with God. What is the result? Whatever you ask, you will receive. Amazing. Just one commandment, love. Just love one another. Just believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Love one another. Whatever you ask you will receive. You will have confidence even while you're asking. 1 John chapter 5 verse 14 and 15 says, this is the confidence. Again, that word is used there. This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us... and we know that we have the petition desired of Him. When we ask in prayer, even at the time of asking, we have the confidence that we have whatever we ask. Hello. Can you pray like that? That's the Christian prayer.

Most people are just proud to say, “I pray one hour, two hours, three hours, but they don't worry about this.” When you ask itself, you should know that whatever you ask, He hears you first of all, that He heard your prayers, and that you have the petition that you desired of Him. He not only heard you, He’s answered you. People say, “Well, how will He answer everything?” The Bible says, He will answer everything. Whatever you ask, you can receive. How can you ask anything and you receive? Well, that's what the Bible says. If you ask according to His will, whatever you ask, you will receive. Everything and anything that you ask, you will receive. So the heart condemnation is a confidence destroyer. When the heart condemns you, your life comes apart. You can’t pray and receive answers. Nothing that you put your hand to do works. Nothing that you try seems to come out well. Why? Because there is no confidence. When you get up and leave in the morning to go do your work there is no confidence that says, “I'm a child of God. God is going before me, opening doors for me, giving me favor from all sides, from everywhere. God is my helper. His wisdom, His knowledge is more than enough for me. He is more than enough for me.” That confidence is not there.

How do you get that confidence when you leave your house in the morning and go to work and live your life? How do you have that confidence? You have that confidence when your heart does not condemn you. When you're not living with hate and bitterness and all of those things. And when you are obeying the love command of God, and you truly love and only do things by love and not with any other motive. Then what happens? Condemnation is gone. Boldness, confidence comes. Get rid of the condemnation, get the confidence. That's what this passage is saying. Condemnation is bad, it makes you fail. Condemnation is bad because before you even start, you know you're going to fail when condemnation is there. That's the problem with it. Before you even start, you fail.

One fellow I remember came to me and said, “For nearly dozen times I started something nothing worked out. This time I'm going to start something I'm afraid I'm going to fail.” I'm talking about that kind of a very sad situation. Dozen times he started something, everything failed. And he says, “This time also I'm sure that's what is going to happen. But anyway, I'm starting.” I say, “Please don't start. Work on getting rid of the condemnation, getting confidence. Don't start until you get to know God. Don't start until you clear your heart of all these things and get the confidence that God is with you.” Confidence. It is so important and that's what is lost when sin enters in, when defilement enters in, that is what is lost. Now, that is a very bad thing. When that is lost, everything is lost. Victory is lost, success is lost.

Now, how will you know how to purge yourself from these things? 2nd Timothy chapter 2 verse 21 says, if a man will purge himself from this iniquity, from these things, he can become a useful vessel. How will we know what to purge ourselves from? We’ll know because the Holy Spirit is there to guide us. He lives in us and He helps us. Remember in the book of Acts there's a passage where Paul went and preached in a town and those people believed in magic and magicians and they had bought a lot of books worth a lot of money, and they were studying them to do magic and so on? But after hearing the preaching of Paul and coming to Christ, they had a burning ceremony where they brought everything and threw it and burnt everything. Remember that? That's true repentance. What is true repentance? They decided, “I'm not going to live that way. I'm not going to believe in magic. I'm not going to go after magicians. I have believed in Christ, I'm going to live a different kind of life. They're purging themselves from their wrongdoing. What they're doing is they're bringing it out and burning everything. Burning all their books of magic. The thing that they depended upon.

Now, nowadays who reads books? Everybody is in this cell phone only. I think we need to have a cell phone burning session. WhatsApp burning, Facebook burning, internet burning, but that doesn't help really. All these things are good. You see a lot of people condemn these things. We use all of those things. Today, I'm preaching it's going all over the world and people are hearing for free everything. All they have to do is just have some internet connection, they're able to hear. What a blessing it is for people to get this service everywhere. So a lot of good things can be given through that and it is being done. A lot of good things are being served through the internet, and so on. So we're not condemning that, we're not telling you to burn that. But we are speaking about getting rid of the wrong things. The things that affect our mind in a negative way. The things that put negativity in our mind. The thing that makes our mind think the wrong things and defiles our mind with all kinds of filth and so on. That must be cut out. That must be rid of because when the mind and the heart is given to those things... Now, some people think that's not going to affect them since it didn't destroy anybody, it didn't affect anybody, they're doing something it’s not going to touch anybody in any way. It's personal. So it doesn't affect anybody. But the problem is, it affects you. That's the thing. It affects the person using it in the wrong way.

What happens to the person? The person no matter how much he goes to church, how much the hears the mountain-moving faith sermon... like the fellow came to me before when I was preaching on faith in the early days he said, “Wonderful brother, you’re preaching about mountain-moving faith, I'm going to get it. I like that. I like this kind of Christian preaching, because I want to show some people. Payback time. I want to get this power and show them what I can do.” He's got the same spirit that the disciples had, “Bring fire down on Samaria, destroy them.” And I said, “Look, it won't work because you got to first get saved. Give your heart to Jesus. He must come and live in there. Then His word must go in there, then you must be motivated by love. Every time you use faith, you must move mountains only because you are motivated by love. Only out of a pure heart, out of love to do good, that is how you use faith. You can't just abuse people with this.”

You know, when Jesus came out of the waters of baptism, you remember He came out and the dove descended upon Him, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. The Bible says, He was given spirit without measure. What God was doing was, He was anointing Him for the work that He has called them to do. He’s going to enter into ministry. He’s taking baptism from John the Baptist, comes out of the water, Holy Spirit descends on Him. God gave Him spirit without measure. Immediately after that, you notice 40 days of battle with Satan. Satan is after Him, tempting Him. First he said, “Make these stones into bread.” Now, that kind of temptation for us is no problem because we know we can’t make stones into bread. So we're going to say, “Get out.” But the problem is, He can make stones into bread, and He's not eating, and He's hungry. So he says, “Make these stones into bread.” Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,” and got out of that, got out of that temptation. And then he takes Him to the pinnacle of the temple. He says, “Jump from here, angels will come and hold You.” Psalm 91 says it. He actually quotes Psalm 91.

He’s a well Bible read devil. That's why Christians must read more. Jesus has read it enough. He said, “It also says that you shall not tempt the Lord your God.” He was able to counter it with another verse. See, Bible is not just to throw some verses here and there as little as we know, it is to be very clear about our understanding of what something means and compare this with that, and understand its meaning. So Jesus said, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” And then finally he takes Him to a high mountain and shows the kingdoms of this world and shows the riches and the wealth of these kingdoms. Just imagine, and he says, “I'll give it all to You. It's mine, because Adam gave it to me, you gave the earth to Adam, Adam has given it to me, and look at the economy, look at all the stuff. Not just one state, not just one country, all the kingdoms of this world I will give to You. You be the god of this world. One condition, just fall down and worship me.” Now, today, many people will be very ready. Falling down there’s nothing wrong with that, they think. They'll say, “How many times should I do that? Just in case, I make sure that I've done it enough. I'll do a few extra ones also.” Falling down and worshiping somebody, nobody thinks anything of this. They just fall down and worship anything that the kingdom so the world is given, and the wealth of the world comes to you, people will be ready to do anything. But Jesus said, “No, no, I worship only God. Nothing else.”

Overcomes the devil all three times. And then when He comes out of the temptation, the Bible says, He came out with the power of the Spirit and began to go heal the sick, chase the devils and do mighty works. Why was the devil tempting Him right then? He could have tempted Him when He was 10 years old, He was still the Son of God. If he was tempting Him because He was the son of God, he could have done it when He was 15 years old, 20 years old, or just a one month before He took baptism, he could have tempted Him. Why as soon as He took baptism? Why as soon as the Holy Spirit descended upon Him? Because the devil realized that something is happening. Here is a God called man, God sent man, He’s here for a purpose. That is why the Holy Spirit has descended upon Him. A voice has come from heaven, saying, “This is my Son, in whom I'm well pleased. “The devil recognizes that God has marked Him and sent Him, and anointed Him with unlimited anointing to do a mighty work. So how to stop it. See, when you're called and anointed for some work, that is not enough. You need to act by faith on it. If I was called and anointed to preach the gospel...

You know what happened when I was called and anointed to preach the gospel? I was 21 years old, and I went to a house merely, I thought, accidentally, I was there and the lady said to me, “You preach today.” And I had never preached before. But God had called me and anointed me for it. And I was very hesitant. I tried to tell her but she won't listen. She won't even stop a minute. So she said, “Okay, Sam is going to preach,” and I got up and I just preached. And that led me to preaching in 40 different places that summer. I preached in so many places because a guy that was there booked me in all these places to preach. He thought I was a preacher and that was the first time I was preaching. God opened the doors. If I did not step out by faith, it's like telling Peter to step out in the water. If he waited, and said, “Lord, let's see, you make it hard floor first, then I will step out.” He would have never done it. It's never going to happen. The miracle happened as he stepped out in the water. His feet touched the water, then the miracle of walking on water happened. He's got to step out by faith.

It's like having two different chemicals in a chemistry lab. Now, these two things are potent, but they don't do anything until they are mixed. If you bring the two together, there could be big explosion, God knows what. As long as they're separate, they’re quiet. All their potency is kept in place but once they are mixed then there is power. And the calling and the anointing on the one hand and faith of the man who’s called and anointed on the other hand, are two different things. A person who’s called and anointed when he steps out in faith and begins to embark in faith and do things and act by faith that is when the big explosion happens. So Jesus was called and anointed. He’s ready to do the ministry. Equipped by God, empowered by God to do the ministry. Now He's got to exercise His faith. Now what the devil is doing by temptation is to put Him in a place where He will not be confidently be able to use His faith, where His faith will not work. That is why he’s tempting. Once He falls down and worships the devil, He is finished. If he falls down from the pinnacle of the temple He’ll probably be dead. Once He makes stones into bread, that's it. Heart condemnation, failure will disable faith. Even though God has called, God has anointed, nothing great will happen. That is why what it says in the end is so important. After this temptation was over Jesus came up from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit. And read after that the chapters, it's full of miracles, and wonders and signs, doing great things, because here He was confidently going about doing the work of God.

So that is the advantage of having a heart that is filled with faith and filled with love and doing the will of God. So condemnation is a confidence destroyer. Once you have confidence, your prayers are successful. Once you have confidence your life becomes successful. Once you're confident, everything begins to work. Once you're confident that God is with you, then you will step out boldly and expect God to do great things. Confidence is very important. If confidence is not there, my friend, then we can do something to get that confidence back. There are two things you have to do to get free from condemnation. One thing is that you must recognize what Jesus has done for you. He has made you righteous by what He has done on the cross. You are not righteous because you are righteous or you have done enough righteous deeds. You are righteous because God made you righteous through what Jesus did on the cross. The Bible puts it this way. 2nd Corinthians 5:21 says, For God made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin. So the one who knew no sin, Jesus, who never sinned, He knew no sin. Sin has no connection with Him. He had no sin, no exposure to sin. God made Him to be sin. Do you agree with that? Did Jesus become sin on the cross? See, everybody readily agrees, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

How can you agree so easily? He never sinned but He became sin. We believe it because we believe God made Him to be sin. It's an act of God by which sinless Jesus became sin. And the same God who made Him to be sin, turned around and took us who were basically sin embodied, full of sin, and no righteousness, He took us and made us righteousness. The same way He made sinless Jesus sin, He made righteousness-less me and you righteous. Both are the acts of God. That was the act of God this also is an act of God. Jesus becoming sin is an act of God, you and I becoming righteousness is an act of God. You must recognize that, you must stand on that ground. I am the righteousness of God in Christ. That must be clear.

But then second thing is very important because a lot of people think that is enough. That if you feel condemned, don't mind that or keep confessing that you're righteous. I believe in confession and all that but in this case, it just won't work. Because if you have sinned, if you've done something wrong, and your heart condemns you, just ignoring that and trying to confess your way out of it won't work. You have to do the right thing. You have to repent. That is the second thing. You got to repent and leave that and begin to do the right thing. You have to repent. Repentance means to change, to turn around, and then begin to walk in the light of what you know to be right. And can’t act like you don't know what's happening. Only when you do these two things: recognize and acknowledge the righteousness God has given to you through Christ and repent and turn around and walk in the right way, begin a new walk, only then you begin to be free from condemnation. Only then you begin to see success. Only then you begin to see things work out. Only then the power of faith can work through you. Only then the word which goes into your heart can do something.

A lot of people misunderstand what Romans 8:1 says. Remember Romans 8:1? Therefore there is now no condemnation. A lot of people stop with that. Therefore there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ. They stop with that. So if you're in Christ, there is no condemnation. Yeah, that's one way true. But read the full verse it’s helpful. Therefore, there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. That means who are not continuing to live the old way that they lived or not continuing to live according to the flesh, but living according to the Spirit. Living a spiritual life, living in obedience to God. “There is no condemnation for those people,” he says. Amazing truth. Therefore there is no condemnation. You know what it feels like to have no condemnation? When you have no condemnation, you become a useful vessel in the hands of God. You'll begin to see that God can now speak through you, God can minister through you, God can help people through you. God can make you a useful vessel in His hands. And that is the meaning of 2nd Timothy 2:21 that verse.

2nd Timothy 2:21 says, therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel of honor. I'll tell you God's eyes are running to and fro throughout the whole earth. Why? Because he's looking for a vessel of honor, vessel that He can use. He'll be a vessel of honor it says. If you're not a useful vessel today you can become a vessel of honor, that's the good news here. A person who cleanses himself from all these things can become a vessel of honor, sanctified, now can contain the power of God, now can be a useful vessel in God's hand, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Now, that is what you call real success. That is what a life of faith is all about. That is when things begin to work out. That is when you begin to see the power of faith that work in your life in a mighty way, changing things.

Let's all stand together. I want you to take just one minute to just lift up your hands before God. All of us, all of us need continuous cleansing. All of us need to continually make sure that we are prepared for every good work, that we are useful to the Master. All of us have to make sure that we are vessels of honor, that there is nothing coming in defiling us and making us powerless. All of us have to do that constantly, constantly we have to do that. So let us lift up our hearts and begin to pray just for a minute. Begin to say, “Lord, I want to be a vessel of honor in Your hands. I want to live a useful life, a successful life, fulfill what You have purposed and planned for me. Cleanse me, wash me, clean me Lord, sanctify me, purify me. May my motivations be pure and holy. May love be my motivation.” Begin to say that. Begin to speak it out to God. Begin to express yourself to God. Cleanse me, Lord. Sanctify me for Your use. Make me a vessel of honor so that Your power, Your words, Your love can be expressed through me. So that I may be a useful vessel in Your kingdom oh God. So that I can live a meaningful life, a purposeful life for You. Thank you, Jesus.

Now lift up your hands and give thanks to God. Thanks to God for cleansing and making you whole. Decide today to live in a different way. Decide to get rid of the things that are wrong. Decide to get away from things that are not good. Decide that you will follow another course of life, that you will walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Decide today. That is when the blessing starts. That is when there is a flow of God's power. Praise You Jesus. Father, God, in the name of Jesus, we come. Father, we thank you for this day for speaking to our hearts. We thank you for this amazing power of faith that can work from our hearts, to move mountains, to do great things. And I pray that You will prepare our hearts as a heart from which that power can work and express itself for the benefit of others, to bless others, to be a useful vessel in God's kingdom. I pray that Your mighty work would be done in each and every heart, oh God. That when we step out of this place, that each and every person will go with confidence in their hearts. That confidence will be the thing that they received today. That as a result of this prayer that we all prayed that confidence will increase, even more confidence will come, that God hears our prayers. That God is on our side, that God will be our helper in all things that we try to do on this earth, because it is all done out of love. All done because of God's motivations. It’s all done because of God's will. And I pray today that Your blessing will rest and abide upon people. May they walk with confidence, walk spiritually and have no condemnation but have the peace of God resting on them, helping them and aiding them in everything that they put their hands to do. May they be blessed every which way they turn. May doors be opened. May things begin to happen in their lives like never before as they submit themselves to You. We give you all the glory in Jesus name we pray.

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