There are no “volunteers” in the Kingdom. On every level, this is the commitment. It is morally wrong to subject any child in Sunday school to a teacher who thinks he is doing God a favor to teach. There is no such thing as “your work” and “His work.” You are either His 100 percent or you are not His, and it is all His. You have no family: you raise your family for His glory. You don’t have a business: you are a steward managing your business for Him. You don’t have a career or a future: you are His to command! There is no church that is mine or yours; it is His.
God will have nothing less than all of you. And that God would take such stuff on which to build His Kingdom as typified in the Adullamites and illustrated in the disciples tells me that it means a lot to Him to have 100 percent. He will start over with such as these, like the parable Jesus told of a certain man who made a great supper and sent invitations. And all those invited made excuses. One had a wife, another had a yoke of oxen to look at, another had a piece of ground. The man said to his servant, “Bring in the lame and the halt.” (Luke 14:16-24) When God calls, He wants all of you; that is a serious side of this message.
God has been wonderful to me. I’m so grateful that I can teach His Word.
The message I want to communicate is one you’ve heard many times; most of you. But because I look at this and I see myself on the Potter’s wheel just like the next person, it’s hard for me to accept that God is working a work on me. I finally have said, “There’s nothing that I can do. I’ve just got to – I trust you. You’re the one being potter. I commit myself to you” and my failures and my troubles, all of the things that I go through. He uses those circumstances, the stuff of life, to accomplish the process.
And I know without a doubt, there are times when I thought, “You know if I could be on this wheel, but if I could just control the speed or I could control how many people are looking in while I’m being spun out of control.”
Pastor Scott continued by mentioning: “Do you know how many times have I dropped my guard in the flesh and thought, “My life is spinning out of control”?
God’s got it under control. He’s got this whole picture, like He’s got the whole world in His hands. “Well, yeah, that’s great. It’s the world, but it doesn’t apply to me. God could not possibly know how badly my life is bent out of shape.” Oh, yeah?
In fact that’s the favorite type of clay that He likes. The type of clay that sits on the shelf that has this, “I’m pretty good already. Thanks.” I think He likes to leave those clay pieces there. He picks up the ones that have some mixed in ingredients, different color, different shape, different size. Some that thought they’d never get the opportunity to be shaped, He looks at those, puts you on that wheel and begins to do His work.
Now I’m sorry this appears so simplistic a message but I can’t help it. Sometimes simple is better. You go back and you read how the apostle Paul cataloged all this wonderful life of the believer and used the illustration of Christ: dead and that power that raised Him up. And then he turns around by parallel use and says, “Now you were dead.” You’re dead in another way. He that was dead was truly dead and knew no sin, but you, you were actually dead, spiritually dead and uses the same concept. If you look at this it’s like a kiosmus. He uses this same way to tell us to tell us at the end, “and hath raised us up together.”
If you’ll read that passage where it says, chapter 1 verse 20, “Which He” worked, “Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenlies, heavenly places.” Same thing. It’s a different way of saying, as he’ll say in Romans 6, buried with Christ, raised up with Christ. Your baptism, when I baptized the people we said, “Down with the old man, up with the new.”
Pastor Melissa Scott continues and tells us that same concept being said here in this, what I call a kiosmus, which is what started with Christ, will end with Christ. But we’re in the middle like a mirror looking back and forth. And he says that in the ages to come he might display, he might show or display, the super-abounding, surpassing wealth of His grace and His kindness to uswards through Christ Jesus.
We have some idea that if we take a little tidbit of something and we mold it into what we think because we read the text and it says, “unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Well I have yet to see somebody walk in good works. I’ve yet to see it. That will hit you a little later. It must look strange. All right? Never mind. “For,” I was just checking. Come on now.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus Unto Good Works.” Now, to convey this idea that it is nothing that we bring to the table I’m going to take you back to a passage that this church has heard at least thirty times. We’ve been there. If you listen on the network you’ve probably heard it a hundred plus times. And it is a place I’m hoping you will look at with fresh eyes today for explaining how we are His masterpiece creation.
Pastor Melissa Scott tells us that turn your Bibles to Jeremiah 18. “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear My words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold He wrought a work.” How many have that scratched out “a work”? Okay, there’s less than half of you. I’ll come back – let’s read through the text and I’ll come back to that. “He wrought a work on the wheels.
Pastor Melissa Scott tells us that we’ll read it first: Ee- vasmyertvuikly po pryestooplyeneeyam ee grekham vasheem, which translated is not to far off from English, either, by the way. “And you dead” – there the same thing – “in” – here they say “transgressions” or, I like this or “treason” is the other. It’s the way it’s translated, I don’t know. “In treason and sins of you.” Same thing without the English italics added.
And I have a new language for you today, because I’m going to start using the Armenian language, which is very helpful for our studies. A new language I introduce to you, today, which says very much the same things except you’ll see what happens, what they do. We’ll phonetically translate it for you, douk merats; let’s pray that I don’t butcher this too badly; éeek; this is a very unique language, let me tell you that, very unique. So many squiggly lines and things, it makes, to me the Ethopic is more understandable than the Armenian.
I mean no offense by that, but it’s quite a language. Han- and we have here a- n- k- n- this is e- r- rou- this sounds like yen and n- and m-e-g-h-k-e-r-o-u. This is mech but it sounds like mege ba- bayts- e-n-k- this is tsek with the ‘k’ sound at the end and There we go. So here’s the translation for you and it’s saying, “You dead” – we’ll have to write upside down a little bit – “You dead” and “in” – we have here, they’re calling it “faults and sins in” or “among but He” or “Himself made you alive.” They took the English portion and you can see it here, “You dead in your faults and sins and/among but He Himself made you alive.” They took that English version. This language, it’s extremely valuable when we study the scripture. They do a lot of things that are very, very helpful for us to understand what’s being said. These will give us a direction to go in.
This is the King’s house too by the way. Anywhere where people gather or where you dedicate yourselves to God’s program is dedicated to the Lord. But there’s not other attachments. We’re not going to have people calling you to try to get you to do something crazy like shave your head or paint your hair red or something. I don’t know. Simply a number you can call in and say, “I’m watching the program” because a King’s House agrees to watch the program a couple of times a week and most of the people out there are already doing that. They’re already watching a couple of times a week. Some of them don’t know that they can just call in and say, “This is great. I’m calling in to thank you for the teaching and I’m calling for a prayer request.”
And at the same time call in and get a King’s Tither’s number and say, “I want to help in this ministry. My way of helping is to show I understand where the value of the teaching is. Worth-ship. The reasons why I give.” And if you don’t know the reasons yet why you should give, get the teaching tapes on giving. Learn to give God’s way. Learn why you give. The church is not a charitable trust. We try to educate people to put dignity back into giving. Giving should be at the forefront. The problem is the world and some of the church world has so corrupted giving it’s become something disgusting and despicable. But if you have a heart towards God you become a hilarious giver and there has to be a governor put on your hilarious giving. So you become a tither. So I say it loudly and joyfully if you want to participate, that’s how you participate.
According to Pastor Melissa Scott these words are not used of human strength. These are, the dunameos think of the magnitude of dynamite, this massive force, beyond human. Kratos likewise, not human, when we get to the latter passages we’ll read the kosmokrataros the world rulers. But it’s forces that are not human. And iskous: strength, not human. these three things are already deposited in us and they are not human power.
They are the power; here we go; the power that raised up Christ from the dead, because that is what the next verse is talking about and that’s what texts on the board are. I might get to them. The power; you never know; the power that raised Christ from the dead, that same power that darkened the sky, that same power that shook the ground, that same power that let Him go through that stone, the same power that let Him appear and disappear to the many different times. That same power when He ascended, those two witnesses “ye men of Galilee what are you standing there looking up in the heavens for? This same Jesus, the way He went, He’ll come back again, the same power. That same power is not a human power. Okay, I get that. When Christ moved into a tent of human flesh and inhabited something like what we have. And the process of Him inhabiting that flesh, then laying it down and raising up again. We’re just little Christs. The power of the Spirit comes and takes up abode in us, just like Jesus moving into a tent of human flesh, the Holy Spirit moves into this tent of human flesh and begins to bring forth for His purpose this. That circle that is just going to keep going and keep going.
Pastor Melissa Scott tells us that we tend to separate things into compartments and say that one thing in this compartment, temporal, and another thing is in that compartment, eternal. But the common thread shows why the Gospel is not popular: people do not want to be forced to look at the cross. It has been said many times: everybody wants resurrection without the pain of the cross. Everybody wants that new life without the shame. But Jesus hung there in shame and disgrace, belittled and ridiculed.
Now the life that we have as Christians, we are to live abundantly, reaching in to what God affords for us to have. In the humanistic realm, that has become license to say, “God wants people to possess earthly things,” and that becomes your focus. So I am not misunderstood, I’m not against earthly things, but I believe the words were, “Seek ye the kingdom of God first.” But there is a paradox. Jesus says that if you’re not willing to forsake everything, which means your mother, your father, your sister, your wife, your brother, “and your own life also, you cannot be my disciple.” Once God knows that you are willing to do that, He doesn’t want everything. It is a strange universe we live in, in the spiritual realm. Once God knows what is in your heart, and He sees and grabs hold of that spirit person, He doesn’t want everything of you. I use the reference point of Abraham sacrificing Isaac: the angel stayed his hand saying, “Now I know you’ll trust me. Now I know you’ll be obedient,” and the Lord provided another sacrifice. So when I speak of these things, those people who are not familiar with the passages might say, “Well, that’s very harsh,” but not if you understand the paradox. And at the same time, we don’t do something in expectancy to receive. The things we do are done without calculation, as the Bible tells us.
Now you have to ask the question, did the Jewish people become everything that was promised? Did they become as numerous as the sands of the sea or stars of heaven? No. You have to go back and say there is a division in the road. We’ll follow the division, but I say all this to show you something. Every prophet of God talks about it. Even Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 3, describes God’s people as two sisters, Judah and Israel. And He says, “I want a divorce from Israel because of her idolatrous behavior. I can’t stand her infidelity. I can’t stand her ways anymore. And Judah, this is a warning to you.” But He never divorced Judah. So you have this picture of two different groups woven throughout Scripture.
Now Jeremiah prophesies that the people will be carried away in captivity and they will be captive for seventy years. And the beautiful thing is everything begins to confirm itself as you begin to reach into the Bible. Every part of the Scripture is either one great conspiracy to mess with your mind, or it’s one great tapestry that God has laid out for anybody who has the eyes to see to say, “Wow, this is really amazing!” Isaiah prophesies and says that the deliverer of the people, the one who will deliver them out of the bondage of the seventy years captivity, would be Cyrus. Cyrus was not yet born when Isaiah penned this prophecy. You read in at least three different places in the Bible where it says that in the first year of the reign of king Cyrus, an edict was issued allowing God’s people to return to Jerusalem. There were six hundred and fifty thousand people who had been carried away into captivity in Babylon. Less than ten percent answered the call to come back to Jerusalem.
Pastor Melissa Scott tells us that before this edict is issued, Daniel is praying in Daniel 9. And he’s praying earnestly that God will honor His word and the time limit of seventy years. Daniel had read what Jeremiah had written. While Daniel is praying, God says, “It will only be seventy years and I’m going to give you a word.” That is the background for this message.
Some make the mistake of trying to define Faith by Hebrews 11:1. You read Hebrews 11:1, what does it say? “Faith is,” what? “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” but it does not define Faith. And, paradoxically, if you’re going to grab a promise, Faith transubstantiates the promise.
I’m going to use an analogy of something and then I’m going to get to my message. Jesus said ‘Except ye become like children,’ you’ll read the passage in Mark 10:15. Then you read Paul in Ephesians 4:14 saying ‘Be no more like children, tossed with the doctrine to and fro.’ They’re not contradicting each other. Jesus says ‘Except you be like children,’ ‘hear the voice of your Father, listen and obey.’ Paul is saying ‘once you come to know that voice, quit running around for some other doctrine.’ That is like a child looking for different toys to play with. Once you know where you’re going, quit looking for something else. Listen to the voice of the Sayer, grab hold of it, that’s that! That’s what Ephesians 4:14 is saying.
Now I came up with an analogy because I see people wrestle with this all the time. We are like children on a playground. You climb up the monkey bars and you go across and you go back down. You watch kids play on the playground—there are some kids that will get up on those monkey bars and they really are like monkeys. They just swing right across, they skip a couple of the rungs, right? They’re to the other side and zip they’re down.
Pastor Melissa Scott tells us that other kids will climb up there and they have to grasp rung by rung right across—grasp each one of them with a tight grip. Then you’ve got kids, and I could tell you I was one of them, that couldn’t make it half way across and had to fall down in the middle. We think there are levels of Faith. It is true, you can have levels of Faith, but Faith fixed in the right place begins to grow like a seed planted in good soil that takes root.