Jesus On the Cross
JESUS DIED FOR YOU
Jesus died on the cross. He died body, soul, and Spirit. He died for you, for me, and for the entire world. He died, He was buried, and He rose again the third day. That is the gospel. That is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.
Jesus is our example. Therefore, it is important that you and I understand how He conducted Himself on the earth and on the cross. You and I must also understand that once we receive Jesus, we have His Spirit, and that we can walk as He walked.
Jesus Died Body, Soul, and Spirit
Turn to Isaiah 53:8-9. This is a prophecy given by the prophet Isaiah as the Holy Spirit gave him utterance, some 700-750 years before Jesus came to the earth:
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken (v. 8).
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth (v.9).
The word "death" in verse 9 is actually plural--"deaths"--in Hebrew. I believe, through studying scripture and through the lessons God has taught me, that Jesus died three deaths: a physical death, a soulish death, and a spiritual death.
In His physical death, His body died and was buried, or put in a tomb. In His soulish death, His soul became a sin offering for you and me. Finally, in His spiritual death, His Spirit was separated from God.
Jesus Was a Man
Jesus was a man while He was on the earth. He was God, but He emptied Himself of His Godly authority and became a man like you and me.
Hebrews 2:14 tells us that He had the same flesh and blood as we do. Romans 8:3 says that He was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh. Philippians 2:7 says that He was made in the likeness of men. He identified with the human race in every way.
Jesus walked as a man on the earth. When He was about 30 years of age, He was baptized in the Holy Spirit. After His baptism in the Holy Spirit, Jesus began to walk in the power of the Spirit of God.
Study How Jesus Lived
It is important that you and I know how Jesus lived on the earth, because He is our example. I John 2:6 says:
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
You and I are to walk as Jesus walked. Understand this: we will not obey God the way Jesus did by obeying the letter of the Bible. Instead, we will be led by the Spirit to obey God as we receive revelation of how Jesus walked on the earth.
You and I are not going to die and be raised again from the dead, but we will be confronted by evil spirits, as Jesus was before He died on the cross. We need to learn and receive revelation of how He walked on the earth. And one of the most important lessons we need to learn is that we have his Spirit.
You have His Spirit; do not forget that. I Corinthians 6:17 says:
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
We receive the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ when we receive Him. We can see how He conducted Himself on the earth and on the cross, and because you and I have His Spirit in us, we should expect to walk as Jesus walked.
His Spirit Never Failed
One night in 1986, I was walking in the country, where I walk and run and pray. I was meditating and speaking to God concerning some actions He was requiring of me. I was troubled with what God was telling me to do. I could not believe that it was God.
The Father said to me: "That Spirit in you has been tried every way that It can be tried, and It has never failed." He was talking about the Spirit of His Son. "That Spirit has been tried every way that you can try It, and It has never failed." That built a trust in my spirit.
That was a word of prophecy to my heart. It edified my spirit. Since that day, I have never been afraid that my spirit would fail, because it is the Spirit of Christ in me. If a person wants to follow God, there is absolutely no reason for that person to fall into any type of sin.
You can be on the very razor's edge of sinning and not sin. Do you know why? Jesus was tempted. Jesus was tempted with every type of sin, and He never sinned. Did you know it is not sin to be tempted? It is sin to sin.
Religious people amaze me. They think that if you come within nine yards of sin, you sin. Yet they sin all the time. They sin because they doubt.
Romans 14:23 says:
... for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
I John 3:4 says:
...for sin is the transgression of the law.
Sin is doubt. If you doubt, you sin. It is as simple as that. But we have the Spirit of Christ, and we can see how He lived and how He conducted himself on the earth and on the cross. His Spirit never failed. And our spirit does not have to fail, either.
I have been in some very precarious situations. I walked right through them and never committed sin. There was every opportunity to sin. I did not sin, however, because of the Spirit in me.
I do not trust in myself. You better know that I do not trust in myself, because if I did, I would fail. You would, too. But I know the Spirit in me.
I know how God has put faith inside me, and how He has perfected it to the degree that He has, and how He has caused me to walk the way I walk. I am able to minister to people according to the faith that I have.
You Received His Spirit
Romans 8:9 tells us that if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. Galatians 4:6 says that God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. You can see in scripture that you receive the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you receive Him, you have the authority to become a son of God.
It amazes me what people are taught in the United States of America, and, I presume, throughout the world. People are taught that they receive the Holy Spirit when they accept Jesus. Well, if that is true, when do we receive Jesus?
We have to receive Jesus, because it is He who saves. It is His Spirit that is joined with our spirit that becomes one Spirit. It is His Spirit within us that causes Christ to dwell in us by faith.
Not only that, but the Word and Jesus are the same. We find in the parable of the sower that we sow the Word. When we sow the Word, we sow Jesus in our hearts. The church is grossly confused about the Bible.
The Church is Confused
In 1985, as I was praying one day, God showed me a tower lifted up toward the heavens. It was a beautiful tower, well constructed, with each stone in its proper place. God asked me, "What do you see?" I said, "Well, it is a tower, obviously." Then He told me that it represented confusion.
He said, "That is my church." I said to him, "Lord, I cannot accept that your church is totally confused." I told Him that I would like some scripture for confirmation, and He said, "Read the book of Jonah."
So I did, and when I reached the end of the book, the last verse said that there were more than 120,000 people living in Nineveh who could not discern their left hand from their right hand. God asked me, "Do you think that is confusion?" I said, "I think so." He said, "Well, that is my church."
Jim Bakker and PTL
Everyone in America knows about Jim Bakker--how he received a prison sentence of more than 40 years for his participation in the PTL financial disaster. Immediately after Jim Bakker was sentenced, God told me that the people in the body of Christ who participated in PTL were partakers of Jim Bakker's evil deeds--the same as any other sin.
Look at II John 10-11:
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed (v. 10):
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds (v. 11).
The words "God speed" mean "greeting." The scripture says that if you greet someone who has the wrong doctrine, you are a partaker of his evil deeds. If you knew PTL was wrong--if you knew Jim Bakker was in error, and you participated in PTL anyway, then you were a partaker of the evil deeds, and you have sinned.
The body of Christ is guilty regarding these matters, and it is because the prophets and other ministers in the United States did not obey scripture.
Matthew 18:15-17 says that if a person sins against you, you are to go to him alone. If he will not receive you, you are to go to him with one or two witnesses. If he will receive them, fine. If he will not receive them, you are to tell the entire church.
The body of Christ should have taken a stand on this matter. If the church had obeyed scripture, Jim Bakker might not have gone to prison.
I have been asking God why He did not lead Jim Bakker to repentance. I do not have an answer yet, but I am still asking. Certainly, however, God is saying that people in the church are guilty because of their involvement with PTL.
If you gave money to PTL, or if you were a speaker or used the facilities, you are guilty. Furthermore, you need to repent. You are a partaker of his evil deeds. Only the grace of God kept me from being a partaker in PTL.
Let me say one more thing: When Jim Bakker was in trouble, the church of Jesus Christ deserted him. They did not stay with him as a brother. When Lot was kidnapped out of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham took his trained servants and rescued him. The church, however, deserted Jim Bakker and committed him to the courts.
Abraham Was Blessed
Abraham killed the kings who had taken Lot captive. Genesis 14:17 says that they were slaughtered. After Abraham returned, Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God, blessed him, and said:
Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth (v. 19):
And blessed be the most high God which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand (v. 20).
God blessed Abraham, even though Abraham had killed his enemies. According to verse 20, God delivered Abraham's enemies into his hand. Christians who preach a weak God do not understand the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They do not know the Spirit of Christ that is in us when we receive Him.
JESUS WAS BETRAYED
Let us continue to look at the way Jesus conducted Himself on the earth and on the cross. Jesus' behavior on the earth and on the cross is important, because you and I have His Spirit. We have His Spirit in us--remember, "he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." If we have that Spirit within us, then we can certainly obey God as Jesus did.
Turn to Luke 22:47-53, and you will see the strength of Jesus' Spirit:
And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him (v. 47).
But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss (v. 48)?
When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword (v. 49)?
And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear (v. 50).
And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him (v. 51).
Could you heal the ear of a person who had come to arrest you?
Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves (v. 52)?
When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness (v. 53).
Jesus was betrayed by Judas--one of His closest associates, one of the twelve disciples. Jesus chose Judas in obedience to the Father. Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. How would you feel if someone whom you had anointed to cast out devils, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and heal the sick kissed you as a sign that you were the one to be taken?
Jesus did not become offended when Judas betrayed Him. You have that same Spirit in you. At some time, you will be betrayed. You might as well be ready for it. If you walk in the Spirit of Christ, however, and if you walk in love and obey Jesus, the betrayal will not harm you, because He has already been betrayed, and it did not harm Him.
The only way the devil can harm you is through your soul. He cannot harm your spirit. The Spirit of Christ that is in you has been tried and tested in every way. If you will walk in that Spirit, and pray in tongues, read the Word aloud, fast, and obey God, your spirit will not be harmed. And know this, to walk in the Spirit, you will have to walk by faith.
Cleanse Your Spirit of Filthiness
If you do not walk in His Spirit, your spirit will be offended. II Corinthians 7:1 tells us that our spirit can become filthy:
... let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.
You can open your spirit to all filthiness, and let anything come inside it.
I Corinthians 14:32 says that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. The spirit of a man is subject to the man. Jesus inside of you--the Spirit of Christ in you--will not operate in you unless you rule your spirit.
You must walk in humility. If you walk in pride, anything can happen to your spirit, even though you have received Jesus. It can be oppressed, and it can be filthy.
Religious people amaze me. They say that the spirit is like a new car--only the outside can become dirty. They will do anything to protect their doctrinal teachings.
James 3:14 says that you can have bitter envying and strife in your heart. If you walk in humility, however, when you are betrayed, the betrayal will not touch you.
Religious people say, "Why would God let me be betrayed? I am Mister Important." Let me tell you, never think that you are so important to God that He can not do without you. He got along very well before He ever had us.
RESPECTERS OF PERSONS
If the Holy Spirit is convincing you of sin after the last chapter, let me tell you something else: Anyone who is a respecter of persons commits sin.
Turn to James 2:9:
But if you have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
If you are a respecter of persons, you commit sin, and you transgress the law.
Pressure in the Spirit
Here is a story that might help you. In 1987, my father was scheduled to undergo surgery in Missouri, where he lives. The doctors were going to use a balloon technique to clear some blockage in his coronary arteries.
Although I knew in my spirit that the operation was not serious, there was a tremendous pressure in the spirit for me to go to Missouri. My father was nearly 80 years old, and the doctors had told him that he might die during the procedure.
The spirits in the doctors and in my family tried to frighten me into going to Missouri. The Father of spirits, the One in heaven who directs my steps, said to stay in Texas. I told my family, "When God tells me to come, I'll be there."
While they were running tests on his heart, the doctors discovered a tumor in my father's kidney and said the kidney would have to be removed surgically. God said, "Go," and I went.
A close friend of mine, a man I consider a brother in the Lord--and I do not consider everyone who calls himself one a brother--volunteered to fly me to Missouri in his plane, and we decided that it was the will of God for him to do so.
We left McKinney, Texas, flying north, and about the time we crossed the Red River, we ran into a series of thunderstorms. I am not a pilot, but I have been in a lot of airplanes, and I had never seen anything like it.
Thunderstorms would form directly in front of us. We tried to go over them and around them, but every time we headed for an opening in the clouds, another storm would form in front of us.
You Will Arrive Where You Are Sent
After about 30 minutes, I began to pray. I knew that I had been resisting evil spirits and obeying God by not going to Missouri sooner, but I also knew that God had sent me when I finally went.
As I sat there, God said to me, "Have I ever sent you anywhere that you did not arrive? I said, "No, Lord," then I relaxed and watched my friend try to fly around those clouds.
A moment later, God said, "He'll have to go under those thunderstorms to get through." I sat quietly, because I was not flying the airplane, and I have enough sense to be quiet when someone is operating something I know nothing about.
After 15-20 minutes, my friend looked at me and said, "I believe I am going to have to go under these clouds." I said, "You have the mind of God, because that's what He told me about 15 minutes ago."
We went under the storms, found some clear flying, and headed north. In the process of avoiding the storms, we had drifted much farther east than either of us had realized. We arrived over a city and looked at it. I saw the interstate highway and a river, and I thought it was Tulsa.
We flew above the interstate for a few minutes, but I did not recognize any of the towns below us. That was strange to me, because I knew that highway like the palm of my hand.
My friend looked at the map and said, "These towns are not on the right side of the interstate." I said, "This is not the right interstate." As it turned out, instead of Tulsa, the city we had flown over was Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Out of Fuel
After we realized that, the plane ran out of fuel. In the process of avoiding the thunderstorms, my friend had forgotten to switch the fuel tanks. We were flying along smoothly, and suddenly the plane coughed once, then died. That was the first time I had ever been in an airplane that began sinking, but that one did.
My friend handed me the microphone and said, "Take this." I did not know what he was preparing to do, but I knew that I was going to look for a field to help him direct the plane down, because I knew God had told me that I was going to arrive where He sent me.
I was not afraid. I had no fear at all, whether anyone believes that or not. I thought that, at the worst, we might be detained a short time in one of the fields below us, because the engine was not running, and I knew that plane was not going to stay in the air very much longer.
Whatever my friend did, the engine started after two or three attempts. The engine would start, and the plane would lift up a little, then the engine would die--start, lift up, and die.
On about the third try, the engine began to run. Once we were settled, I asked him, "What happened?" He said that he had forgotten to switch the fuel tanks. Then we landed and found out where we were.
We flew on to Missouri without any more problems, but I could not understand all the confusion we had been through. I attended my father's surgery, which went fine, and the day after the surgery, my friend and another pilot returned for me.
Landing in McKinney
They flew up from McKinney, and they were going to pick me up at a small airstrip near my sister's house, where I grew up. It would have been very convenient. The weather stopped them, however, and they had to land about 60-70 miles away.
They rented a car and came to pick me up. We drove to the airport, boarded the plane, and started back to McKinney.
The flight back was totally by instruments. Much of the time, we could not see anything but clouds.
I sat in the plane praying, and the pilot radioed for instructions about landing in McKinney. The air traffic controller told him that the cloud cover was too heavy for us to land in McKinney, and that we would have to land in Addison, Texas.
I kept praying as we continued toward Addison. We had to fly over McKinney on the way to Addison, and as we passed over McKinney, the clouds suddenly broke open, and we could see the sun shine through.
The pilot said, "I'm going in right here," and we landed in McKinney. Actually, we needed to land in McKinney, because I had to be at church for a service.
There Is No Important Cargo
I was puzzled why the trip had gone the way it had--why there had been so much confusion, even though each time I had needed something to happen, it had happened. I began to pray, but I could not hear any answer from God. In fact, I did not hear His answer for a day or two.
The entire trip was set up by Him, however, and He finally showed me why. The next day or so, I was talking with my friend. We were talking about the trip, and he said, "I consider you important cargo."
Immediately, James 2:9 came to me, and I said, "And that is sin." To consider someone "important cargo" is to be a respecter of persons, and that is sin.
The body of Christ is full of people who are respecters of persons. No person is important to God, unless he or she is obeying Him. There are no important people. There is no one higher than another. If we obey God, we are important to Him. If we do not obey God, we commit sin.
Respecters of Persons Transgress the Law
God taught me a valuable lesson on that trip. James 2:9 says that a respecter of persons transgresses the law. The penalty for transgressing the law is death. That is frightening, whether you know it or not.
You say, "Doyle, we are not under the law." I agree, but if we are respecters of persons, we put ourselves under the law. The Holy Spirit will not lead us to be respecters of persons.
The problem with the church is that religious people cannot read. They do not want to read. They want to glorify someone in the flesh and not glorify the Father in heaven.
You might as well know now that if you are going to walk with God, you will have to lay your flesh aside. You are not going with God in the flesh, because He will not go with you.
Respecters of Persons Commit Sin
You do not want to be a respecter of persons. The day you become a respecter of persons is the day you commit sin. And that is the day you become separated from God. You are open prey for the devil.
The church does not know that being a respecter of persons is sin. The church thinks that drinking is sin, that dancing is sin, and that smoking is sin. The church does not know that it is sin to give a man in a $1000 suit a front row seat, and to give someone with long hair, dirty blue jeans, and sandals a seat in the back. They do not know that is sin.
Sin is sin. It does not matter what sin it is, sin separates you from God. Never think that I or anyone else is important to God. I am a servant of God, and that is the only importance I have.
If, when I humble myself and obey God and let the Spirit of God flow through me, that is important, fine. But do not ever think that you are so important that God could not do without you. He did without an entire generation of Jews.
This has become a lesson about humility, but the church needs to hear this. Religious people think they are important to God. They will tell you they are.
I am telling you that you are only important to God if you believe Him and obey Him and serve Him. If you will do that, He will honor you. But if you disobey Him, you are not any more important to God than any other sinner. You will simply be cut off from Him.
GOD GIVES THE POWER
Turn now to John 19:10, and I will show you another example of the strength of Jesus and the unimportance of man.
In John 19:10, Pilate said to Jesus:
...Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
Jesus would not answer him. I marvel at that. I thank God for the strength in that man. He did not answer the Roman governor.
God has shown me that I do not have to answer any man, unless God tells me to. That is a blessing to know, because authorities in the United States think they can force you to speak. No one can make you speak if God does not want you to.
Look at verse 10 again:
...Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
Then, Jesus spoke. Jesus only spoke what he heard the Father say. And in verse 11, He said:
...Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Jesus said to Pilate, the Roman governor in Judaea, "You could have no power over me, unless it were given to you from above." We have the same Spirit in us that Jesus had in Him. We saw in our earlier book, "Jesus Did the Father's Will," that we are to walk as Jesus walked. We saw how He walked in the earth as He was led to the cross.
We saw that He only did what He saw the Father do, and He only said what He heard the Father say. He said that the Father always heard Him as He spoke. That is marvelous. We can have the same confidence--the same faith.
Pilate was the Roman governor, and Jesus said to him:
...Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin (v. 11).
God Grants Our Authority
Recently, I heard a United States congressman say on television, "God does not give you the opportunity to deduct your money when you give it to a tax-free organization--Congress does." That congressman is going to learn who gives him the authority, because any time God decides we should not have that deduction, He will change it, whether you want Him to or not.
I saw the pride in that man, and I saw the blindness of this nation. A nationally known religious leader sat next to that congressman and did not tell him that he was wrong.
I wish I had been sitting there. I would have said, "Wait a minute, Congressman. The man Jesus just heard what you said, and He has a word for you. Any moment you do not appreciate Him, He can remove you and put someone in your place who will honor Him."
They Daub With Untempered Morter
One of the leading religious leaders in the United States sat there silently, because he did not want to offend the congressman, or because he did not have the word of God in his mouth. The prophets in this country need to hear the words God spoke to Ezekiel in Ezekiel 22:2:
Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations.
God instructed Ezekiel to judge Israel--to "shew her all her abominations"--not to sit silently in order not to offend someone.
In Ezekiel 22:27-28, the word of the Lord came unto Ezekiel and told him to say:
Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain (v. 27).
And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken (v. 28).
"Untempered morter" is not the words of God. "Untempered morter" is vanity and divining lies. The prophets of America--the religious leaders of this country--have daubed the "princes" in this land--the congressmen, senators, and other legislators--with "untempered morter."
America Must Repent
The United States of America must repent. It must believe God. There is no authority in the earth unless God gives it--not even the Congress of the United States. It would shock some of those people to read Romans 13:4 and find out that they are merely instruments, or ministers, of God for you and me to do good if we obey Him.
In Luke chapter 11, Jesus was at dinner with one of the Pharisees, and He said, in verse 42:
But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
One of the lawyers answered, and said to him:
Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also (v. 45).
This lawyer was offended. Then Jesus said,
Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers (v. 46).
Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them (v. 47).
Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres (v. 48).
Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute (v. 49):
God has sent prophets and apostles to America, too.
Jesus continued, in verse 50:
That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
God will require the "lawyers" of this generation--the congressmen and senators and legislators--to give account for their actions.
Jesus concluded, in verse 52:
Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
Any congressman who would say that Congress and not God has the authority to make laws has taken away the key of knowledge.
God Will Rule in America
It is time for the prophets and apostles who have the word of God in their mouths to speak both to the "princes" of America and to the prophets who daub them with "untempered morter," and tell them God will require them to give account.
This nation is not ready for God, but it is going to become ready. This is the most glorious hour in the history of the earth. Can you imagine God correcting the four billion people on the earth and ruling in the midst of them?
Is that power? Glory be to God, that is power. That is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Jesus said to Pilate, a Roman governor, "You could not have any power unless it were given to you from above." That is what He is saying to the United States today.
What can we as Christians do about this nation? Sometimes God tells me what to do, and other times He is silent. I will ask Him, "God what do you want me to do?" He tells me, "Simply pray. Simply thank Me." I ask, "What are You going to do?" His answer will be, "Thank Me."
With respect to the United States, all I know to do is thank Him. I do not know what will happen. But when it is over, the United States will know that "God is on His throne," as religious people would say.
When President Bush was elected in 1988, he promised that the United States would be a "kinder, gentler nation." That bothered my spirit. I had thought for years that the economic policies of this nation were irresponsible, and I was not sure that America needed to be a "gentler" nation.
The Lord knew I was troubled, and one night as I was praying, God spoke to me clearly: "Fear not; I am with President Bush." Let me tell you, that comforted me, and it should comfort you.
FALSE WITNESSES CAME
If you are serving God, you need to be aware that religious people will bring false witnesses to testify against you. How do I know? They brought false witnesses to testify against Jesus.
The strength of His Spirit prevailed against them. You have His Spirit in you, and the strength of that Spirit will make you stand, as well.
Turn to Matthew 26:57-68:
And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled (v. 57).
But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end (v. 58).
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death (v. 59);
They sought false witness. They did not even want the truth. It is amazing that a council of chief priests, elders, and religious people sought false witness against Jesus. Do you see the deceit? It is the same deceit that I see today in the body of Christ among the religious leaders. It is false witness.
In the 1970's, I heard a denominational leader say about those of us who speak in other tongues that we were babbling gibberish, and that it was merely unintelligible speaking. He is a mistaken man, and he needs to repent.
God has told me that everyone who has said that needs to repent. The people who make false accusations about charismatic Christians have the same spirit as those who brought false witness against Jesus to put Him to death.
Intercession for God's People
I have been praying to God about the accusations that are brought against the charismatic Christians in America. I have been praying for the elders and religious leaders who have laughed at charismatic Christians and have called us cults.
I was not raised as a charismatic Christian, but my prayer to God is as Moses prayed to the Father when He wanted to destroy the Jewish people. My prayer--my intercession--began when I heard about the sentence that was given to Jim Bakker.
I said, "God, I will not let you go any farther. As Moses said, You are angry, and Your judgment has begun in the house of God. But You are only giving opportunity for denominational people to say, _That proves that these people are not of God; that proves that these people are involved in a cult._"
I began to pray and intercede and stand before God, and I said, "That is enough. I will be as Moses. You can blot me from the book if You want to, but judgment has gone far enough with the charismatics. As far as I am concerned, You need to have mercy on them."
I believe that God heard my prayer. You can think what you want, but my message to the elders, and the chief priests, and the religious leaders in this land is this:
Our God reigns. And He will come back, and you will know that He is God. He is God in this earth, and you will find out that those of us who are not joined to your organizations, but have become independents, will not bow to your religious organizations and your religious traditions. But we will go forth in the power of God and demonstrate that power in this earth. And you will have to see then that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob indwells this people that are called charismatics and cults, as you have said. But, in fact, God would say unto you: it is you that need to look within yourself and see what kind of an organization you are, see what kind of a people you are, and see if you have sought to follow Me and to obey My commandments and to do them and to hearken to My voice. Or will you find that you are joined to your idols, and that you are prideful and lifted up with your intellect, and, in fact, that you have not taken time to humble yourself and pray and seek My face and pray for these that are out there that you think are not being led by Me? But, instead, you have criticized and condemned and brought judgment upon them. But I would say to you that My judgment will certainly come forth in the earth, and no man shall escape. But My judgment will begin in the house of God, and it shall spread throughout the land. And the world shall know that I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who sent His son to die for the entire human race, and that everyone who will believe in Him--which means to rely on, to adhere to, and to trust in Him--will see His salvation.
Thank you, Lord Jesus. I did not know that the Spirit of God would have me say that, but He obviously did.
They Sought False Witness
Look again at Matthew 26:59:
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death (v. 59);
But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses (v. 60),
And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days (v. 61).
The only witness they could find against Jesus was based on what He said in John 2:19. Even then, Mark 14:58 tells us that their witness did not agree together.
Matthew 26:62 continues:
And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee (v. 62)?
But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God (v. 63).
Jesus saith unto him, Thou has said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (v. 64).
Jesus prophesied His resurrection and His second coming.
Continue with verse 65:
Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy (v. 65).
What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death (v. 66).
He had not done anything, but He was guilty of death.
Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands (v. 67),
Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee (v. 68)?
Isaiah 50:6 prophesied that Jesus would give His back to the smiters, and that they would pluck off the hair from His beard. Jesus had read the book of Isaiah prior to going to the cross, and He knew what was going to happen to Him, yet He did not complain. I always marvel at the strength of the Lord Jesus.
Peter Denied Jesus
Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of the twelve disciples, and false witness was brought against Him. Peter, another of the twelve, denied Him.
Look at Matthew 26:69-75:
Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee (v. 69) .
But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest (v. 70).
And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth (v. 71).
And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man (v. 72).
And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee (v. 73).
Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew (v. 74).
And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly (v. 75).
Peter denied Him. Judas betrayed Him. Two out of twelve. They were His closest associates--yet they denied Him and betrayed Him.
Do not condemn them, however. After Jesus died, Peter became one of the greatest apostles ever, if you can use those words. He obeyed Jesus.
Peter said in II Peter 1:14 that Jesus told him when to die. Jesus must have been pleased with him. Jesus kept him alive until he completed what he was called to do, and then He told him it was time to "put off the tabernacle."
Jesus knew that Judas had a devil when He chose him. Yet He walked with him, and He loved him, and He anointed him to preach the gospel. That is the Spirit that is in you and me--one that will love people even though they are not easy to love.
Wheat and Tares
Jesus said in Matthew 13:30 that the wheat and the tares would grow up together. Can you love a tare? Are you so self-righteous that you cannot be around a tare?
You might as well know that tares will sit on your right and left. You ask, "In my church?" Certainly. You ask, "Am I a tare?" I do not know. If you do not know whether you are wheat or a tare, you need to pray and seek God.
The wheat and tares will grow up together. Jesus said not to bother the tares and not to root them out. He also said that the devil planted the tares. I am simply telling you what Jesus said. You say, "I do not want to hear this." I do not blame you.
These words frightened me badly. I would say to Jesus, "What if I am a tare? What if I am a false prophet? I want to quit right now. Why don't I quit now and go my own way?" I heard Him say, "If you quit now, you will never find out."
You do not know what you are. Do not be so high-minded. Do not judge yourself. Paul said he did not judge himself. The Christian walk is a walk of grace, and nothing else. A walk of mercy. Never be sure that you might not have something wrong with you.
If I even think there is something wrong with me, or if I think I am missing God, I fall on my face immediately in front of God. I did so today. I started praying, "God, grant me the grace to hear Your voice, to obey You, and to walk humbly before You." He will, too. That is what keeps me going.
You will never come to the place with God where you think you have it made. All you can do is pray to God that you are here 15 minutes from now. Take no thought for tomorrow.
I do not have any confidence in people who have their preaching calendar booked two years in advance. People with an appointment book full of reservations to preach ought to lose their book in a lake. God spare them.
JESUS BEFORE THE AUTHORITIES
The elders of the people, the chief priests, and the scribes assembled, led Jesus into their council, and began questioning Him. They asked Him if He were the Christ. He said that if He told them, they would not believe, nor would they let Him go. Furthermore, He said that soon He would sit on the right hand of the power of God.
They continued questioning Him, asking if He were the Son of God. Jesus responded in Luke 22:70, "...Ye say that I am." They distorted His words, giving the impression that He said He was the Son of God.
Jesus Before Pilate
Now, continue with Luke 23:1-7:
And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate (v. 1).
And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King (v. 2).
See how the devil perverts the truth.
And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it (v. 3).
Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man (v. 4).
And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place (v. 5).
When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean (v. 6).
And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time (v. 7).
After listening to the false accusations of the people, Pilate found no fault in Jesus. The people protested vehemently. Pilate, looking for an excuse to remove Jesus from his court, sent Him to Herod, who had jurisdiction in Galilee, where the purported false teachings took place.
Jesus Before Herod
Jesus was sent to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at the time. Luke 23:8-12, describes Jesus before Herod:
And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him (v. 8).
Herod was not glad because Jesus was the Messiah. Rather, he was glad to see Jesus because he wanted to see Him perform a miracle.
Come to Jesus--Not Miracles
Did you know that people go to meetings simply to see a miracle? They hear about a miracle, and they run to see it. That is what Herod wanted.
There is nothing wrong with miracles. But you do not want to go to Jesus simply to see a miracle. You want to go to Jesus to know Him and obey Him and serve Him--not to become ecstatic over His miracles.
People absolutely "Oooh" and "Ahhh" when they see a miracle. Fifteen minutes later, when they have a stomachache, they call the doctor. Why? Because of the hardness of their heart. They are afraid.
He Answered No Questions
Continue with Luke 23:9:
Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
Jesus answered Herod nothing. He would not even answer the man's questions. That would be a nice position to be in--to stand before the chief interrogator and not answer a single question. Look at Jesus; He is your example. You do not have to answer their questions.
Verse 10 says:
And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him (v. 10).
Notice how angry people become when you will not answer their questions. This is the way Jesus walked. You do not have to answer everyone's questions. Ask them one, instead.
People come up to me and say, "Tell me, is this so?" I say, "Why do you ask? Why do you want to know?" I do not answer. It makes them angry. I say, "I do not have to tell you everything. I do not have to answer every question. My Lord did not, and I do not."
The Spirit in me gives me that strength. It is funny when religious people ask you questions, and you look at them and say, "What are you talking about? Do you have a problem? Why do you ask?" I ask them all sorts of questions in return.
Preacher--A Dirty Word
Verse 11 continues:
And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
Would you like to be mocked by a king and his warriors?
Once, I was involved in a court case in McKinney, Texas. I was involved in a juvenile case at the same time. The juvenile court was on the fifth floor of the court house, and the other court was on the fourth floor.
I was on the fifth floor, and when it was time for me to appear in the other court, the judge sent word that he wanted me. I said, "Tell him I will be there as soon as I finish here." I was nice about it.
The judge began to laugh at me and mock me openly in the court. He said, "We have a preacher up on the fifth floor who cannot find his way to the fourth."
I am not intimidated by that sort of statement. I have the same Jesus in me who appeared before Herod--the same Spirit. I simply laughed, and I pray that God will forgive the judge for those statements.
Most judges and other people in religious America think "preacher" is nothing more than a dirty word. That is the truth. You do not hold any minister in high esteem. You use them, and you know it. That has been the situation in America all my life.
Enemies Made Friends
A Christian will even find two enemies together against him. That is what happened in Luke 23:12:
And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
These two, Herod and Pilate, had been enemies. They had been opposed to each other, yet they came together on that day. When you are brought, as Jesus was, before people who want to harm you any way they can, they will even become friends. They will join forces against you.
Their Spirit Is Offended
If there is any subject on which denominational people will agree, it is that those of us who are charismatic Christians--who preach the gospel, cast out devils, and heal the sick--are not of God. That is the only thing I have ever heard them agree on.
Arch enemies will agree that I am not of God. I know what they say. I have had them tell me to my face. It does not offend me at all. I merely smile and laugh at them.
What is worse, denominational people will not even admit they are that way. They cannot see their hypocrisy because of the dishonesty of their hearts.
In 1970, when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I told my father and my mother, both of whom attend a Baptist church, that I spoke in tongues. When I told my mother, she said, "Doyle, I told you to stay away from those people." I told her, "Mother, I never heard you."
I visited them after that, and we went to their church. Their Baptist minister preached a sermon angrily criticizing people who speak in other tongues. My mother was upset about it.
After we got home, she said to me, "I can't understand why he went on like that. I never told him you speak in tongues." I told her, "It was the spirits in that man that were offended by my presence, not him."
It is difficult to offend me now. Most of the things religious people say do not bother me. I have almost come to the place where nothing bothers me. No person, no spirit, nothing.
You say, "How can you be so sure?" Because that is the way Jesus was. And His Spirit is in us. If He is revealed to us, and our souls are saved and washed and cleansed, we can walk in the earth the same way Jesus walked. They did not upset Him, did they?
"WHAT EVIL HATH HE DONE?"
After Herod and his men had mocked Jesus, they sent Him back to Pilate. Pilate assembled the chief priests, the rulers, and the people. He told them that both Herod and he had examined Jesus and found no fault in Him worthy of death.
Pilate told the multitude that he would chastise and release Jesus. But the crowd cried out that they wanted Barabbas released, and they urged Pilate to crucify Jesus.
Pilate continued debating with the crowd and would have released Jesus. Now, read Luke 23:22-25:
And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go (v. 22).
Pilate told the people that he had found no cause of death in Jesus. Jesus had done nothing.
And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed (v. 23).
And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required (v. 24).
And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will (v. 25).
I marvel how Pilate yielded to the demand of the people. Even more amazing is the strength of Jesus as He was exchanged for Barabbas--One who knew no sin for one who was guilty of sedition and murder. That was some exchange, wasn't it?
Jesus Was Scourged
Now, turn back to Matthew 27:26. We are going back and forth because I want you to see the order in which these events occurred. I spent almost a year studying Jesus' death. God taught me and showed me how these events took place:
Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified (v. 26).
Jesus was scourged with the Roman scourge.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers (v. 27).
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe (v. 28).
I want to remind you again that the purpose of this book is to show you what happened to Jesus. Even more important, however, is that you and I understand that we have His Spirit in us. The strength that Jesus has is incredible.
Jesus Was Not Offended
After Pilate scourged Jesus, he took Him into the common hall, or governor's house, and brought in the whole band of soldiers. The soldiers stripped Jesus and clothed him with a scarlet robe. Now, read Matthew 27:29:
And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
Jesus did not become angry. He did not become resentful. He did not become bitter. He did not take His power and use it against them. He humbled Himself to the death of the cross.
You Do Not Need to Become Offended
The Spirit of Christ in me does not become offended, either. I am not telling you that Satan could not place me in a situation where I would be offended. I am telling you that it has been a while since he has done so.
The Spirit of Christ inside me has brought me to the point that I simply ignore what people say. They do not offend me. It is hard to offend me.
It is not me, however; it is the Spirit of Christ in me. You cannot offend Him. As long as I keep my soul out of a situation, I am not offended. If you want to be self-righteous, you will be offended. But Jesus was not offended, and if you walk as He walked, you will not be, either.
Jesus Will Lead You
Matthew 27:30 continues:
And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
There is something about spitting on people that infuriates them. Well, be ready, because it could happen. It happened to our Lord--to your Lord.
Know this, however--Jesus will never let you face a difficult situation until you are ready. He knows where He can lead you. You do not have to be afraid that God will let someone put a crown of thorns on your head or bow their knee and mock you.
He will not let them spit on you, slap you, pluck out your beard, or smite you on the back. You do not have to be afraid of those things, because if you obey Jesus, they will never happen to you until you are ready.
I have learned that Jesus will not lead you into a situation that you cannot handle. That is reassuring, isn't it? You will be able to handle it so easily, you will think, "Isn't this nice?"
Righteousness, Not Self-Righteousness
I feel sorry for Christians who think they are being persecuted for righteousness' sake, when in fact they are being persecuted for self-righteousness' sake. There is a lot of difference between the two.
When you are led by the Spirit, He will not lead you into a situation over your head. He will never lead you into defeat. He will always lead you to victory.
If something happens to you, and you are walking in the Spirit, do all that is within you not to be offended. Do not allow yourself to be offended. Humble yourself. Say, "God, I humble myself. I refuse to let this offend me."
God will take the offense out of you. You will not become offended. You will become more and more conformed to the image of Jesus. I thank God for that.
I am not afraid to say this--I thank God how difficult it is to offend me. It is the grace of God. It is Jesus in me. It is not me. I have simply learned how to listen to Him.
They Led Him Away
Continue with Matthew 27:31:
And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him (v. 31).
And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross (v. 32).
And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull (v. 33),...
Jesus was stripped. Then He was dressed in a scarlet robe, crowned with a crown of thorns, and had a reed placed in His hand. The soldiers bowed before Him and mocked Him. Jesus was in a difficult situation. Yet He never became offended. Then, He was led away to Golgotha to be crucified.
He Would Not Drink
Now, look in Matthew 27:34. This is a remarkable event:
They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
Do you know why He would not drink? Because the scripture--Psalm 69:21--said He would drink vinegar, not vinegar with gall. That is the strength of His Spirit. That is the Spirit that is in you and me.
If you and I were given a drink that we were not to drink, would we have the strength of spirit to refuse to drink it? Yes, because you and I have the Spirit of Jesus.
I want you to see that Jesus walked upright. He did not make any mistakes. He did not disobey the scripture. Without His Spirit in us, most of us would have grabbed the vinegar and drunk it simply to have our death over with. Jesus had the strength to obey the Father, however, and because we have His Spirit, we do, too.
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was prophesied in the law of Moses, in the prophets, and in the psalms. The precision with which these prophesies were fulfilled is truly amazing.
JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS
The strength of Jesus' Spirit as He endured His death, burial, and resurrection is remarkable. That Spirit and that strength are in us, if we have received Jesus. We need to examine and understand how He conducted Himself, if He is to be our example.
Begin with Matthew 27:35-37:
And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots (v. 35).
And sitting down they watched him there (v. 36);
And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS (v. 37).
The soldiers put this inscription above His head. That is exactly who He was. I marvel at how foolish those people looked in their own eyes. God made fools out of them. If we believe Him, as Jesus did, He will always confound our enemies, and the word of God will always be performed in our lives.
He Shewed Them His Hands and Side
After Jesus ascended to heaven, He came to His disciples and showed them His hands and His side. You say, "What does this have to do with my following God?" This is essential to your walk with God, and you will understand why in the next pages.
Jesus appeared to the disciples after He had been crucified and was raised from the dead. Look at John 20:19-20:
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you (v. 19).
And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord (v. 20).
Jesus showed them His hands and His side. The disciples were glad, because they knew then that this was Jesus their Lord. The disciples knew it was Jesus, because they saw His hands and His side.
Thomas Saw His Hands and Side
Thomas, who was also one of the twelve disciples, was not with the others when Jesus appeared. In John 20:25, the other disciples told Thomas they had seen Jesus:
The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Thomas said that he would not believe unless he saw the print of the nails, put his finger in the nail print, and thrust his hand into Jesus' side. The scars are the evidence that you are actually seeing Jesus. In the church in America, however, you will hear people say that Jesus has no scars in His hands.
I have actually heard an internationally known preacher say that Jesus has appeared to him on several occasions, and that Jesus had no scars in His hands. Did this preacher see Jesus? Decide for yourself.
"Behold My Hands"
The Jesus of Nazareth who rose again the third day and appeared to the disciples had scars in His hands and in His side. He told Thomas to put his finger into the print of the nails and thrust his hand into His side, so Thomas would believe. Look at John 20:27:
Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
After Jesus taught me this, I said, "Lord, I pray that the day You appear to me, You will grant me the grace to ask to see Your hands." I do not know if I will ask Him, but I say now, "Jesus, grant me the grace to ask You."
When Jesus appears, I may be so awestruck that I will not know what to do. I pray this prayer now, however, so that when He appears, He will have to say, "Well, Doyle has asked Me. I will have to show him."
Jesus will have to say, "Doyle, you asked to see My hands. You asked it publicly. It is on your tapes and in your books in America and all over the world. I have to show you My hands and My side. I want you to know this is Me."
The reason I say, "I want to know, Lord," is that I do not want a deceiver to talk to me. That is why it is essential that you understand how you will know that Jesus is the One speaking to you.
Although I have never seen Jesus, I believe Him. I walk with Him. Some preachers claim to have been to heaven, to have seen Jesus, talked to Him, had Him lay His hands in their hands, and other such things.
Jesus has never done any of that to me. I asked Him once, "When are You going to visit me?" He said, "You believe Me without seeing Me." That makes me a very simple person, doesn't it? Praise God, I am going to remain a simple person.
Crucified Between Two Thieves
When Jesus was crucified, His cross was situated between two thieves who were being crucified with Him. Look at Matthew 27:38:
Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
Jesus had been mocked, scourged, falsely accused, spat upon, and had the hairs plucked out of His beard. Now, He had to contend with the two thieves. Look at Luke 23:39-43:
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us (v. 39).
Was Jesus in a position to be offended? He was on a cross, spread out, nails in His hands and in His feet. A thief railed on him, "...If thou be Christ, save thyself and us." Would you have been offended?
Luke 23:40 continues:
But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God,...
I want you to see that railers do not fear God.
...seeing thou art in the same condemnation (v. 40)?
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss (v. 41).
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom (v. 42).
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise (v. 43).
We are to walk as Jesus walked. He was in much adversity, and the thief compounded this by railing on Him. What would you have done? Jesus, the man you say you imitate, forgave the thieves.
Could you have done this? Would you have made a place for them in paradise? Yes, you could, but only because His Spirit is joined to your spirit. That Spirit is your strength.
JESUS ON THE CROSS
Now, turn to Matthew 27:39-46. These are the events that took place when Jesus was on the cross:
And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads (v. 39),
And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross (v. 40).
Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said (v. 41),
He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him (v. 42).
He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God (v. 43).
The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in His teeth (v. 44).
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour (v. 45).
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me (v. 46)?
Jesus Was Mocked
Verse 39 begins:
And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
The passers-by mocked Him, reviling Him and speaking evil against Him. In Psalm 11:2, the psalmist says that the wicked shoot at the upright in heart. Psalm 64:3 says that the workers of iniquity shoot their arrows, even with bitter words, in secret at the perfect. Here, the passers-by reviled Jesus openly.
Come Down From the Cross
Verse 40 continues:
And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
I want you to see the temptation that Jesus went through, and the Spirit that the man has. He put His Spirit in us. He that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.
The people said, "...If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." He could have come down from the cross if He had wanted to. He was the Son of God, exactly as they said.
When Peter took out His sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant, Jesus told him that he who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword. He told Peter and the rest of the disciples that He could pray to the Father for twelve legions of angels, and the Father would send them. He had that authority. He had that ability, but He did not use it.
If Jesus had not wanted to, He would never have gone to the cross. But He chose to do the Father's will. In Matthew 26:39, He prayed, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
Jesus Had a Commandment
Why wouldn't Jesus use His authority and ability? Because He had a commandment from God, the Father.
In John 10:17-18, Jesus told the Pharisees that He had a commandment from the Father--that He lay His life down, that He might take it again. No man could take His life from Him.
Jesus said that He would lay His life down, and that He would take it up. In John 2:19, He told the religious people, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
Jesus had that much faith. He knew that He would be raised from the dead. He did not go to the cross expecting to remain dead and stay in hell. He went to the cross knowing that He would rise again.
Religious Leaders Will Mock You
Look at Matthew 27:41:
Likewise also the chief priests mocking him,...
Religious leaders will mock you. They will mock anyone who walks in the Spirit, and they need to repent. The religious leaders in the United States need to repent of what they have said concerning charismatic Christians.
They need to humble themselves, bow down before God, and ask Him to forgive them for speaking against charismatic Christians. God is raising an army in this country that will be strong. All of you will have an opportunity to repent of the evil words that you have spoken concerning those of us who speak in other tongues.
My mother was raised a Baptist, and my father was raised a Methodist. When I told them I spoke in tongues, my mother said what most Baptist people would say: "I told you to stay away from those people."
She does not know what she is saying. She has been indoctrinated by Baptist doctrine against charismatics--against people who have the gifts of the Spirit. It has been planted in her heart from the time she was a little girl. She cannot help herself.
Ignore Religious Spirits
Thank God, some of us paid no attention to religious leaders. They mock us now, but that is all right. God will have His day.
The chief priests, the scribes and the elders mocked Jesus, and said in Matthew 27:42:
He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
"If he be the King of Israel..." "If..." This is the way Satan talks. You say, "Those are people talking." Yes, but Satan is using their tongues. This is what they say: "If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross."
Jesus Trusted the Father
In Matthew 27:43, they continued:
He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him:...
What they did not know is that the Father did have Jesus--Jesus was doing the Father's will, and the religious leaders crucified Him. Today, in the United States, religious leaders do as Hebrews 6:6 says: they crucify the Son of God afresh. They crucify Jesus afresh daily when they deny the power of His resurrection.
Raise Up a People
Look at verse 43 again:
...Let him deliver him now, if he will have him:...
The Father had Jesus. He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand. He is seated there today making intercession for you and me.
Pilate and the Jewish people, the chief priests, the religious people, and the elders said the man was guilty. God said that He is not guilty. God raised Him from the dead.
That is what I desire for people in America. I desire for God to raise them up, for Him to be strong on their behalf, and for Him to show Himself strong, as He stated in II Chronicles 16:9.
He will let the world know that God--the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--has a people on whom He will show His glory. God alone will be glorified through those people.
Darkness Over All the Land
Matthew 27:44 says:
The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in His teeth.
The thieves joined the people in mocking and railing on Jesus.
Finally, darkness came over all the land, and Jesus cried with a loud voice in verse 46, "...My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" With the sin of the world on Jesus, the Father had to turn His back.
"THOU ART OF PURER EYES"
The Father forsook Jesus when my sins, your sins, and the sins of the entire world were laid on His body. Habakkuk 1:13 says of God:
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:...
There Is None Righteous
Let me tell you now, there is none righteous; there never has been. Romans 3:11-12 says:
"There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God (v. 11).
They are all gone out of the way (v. 12),...
Isaiah 53:6 says:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;...
None of us was looking for God. You cannot be born in church and say you know God. Being born in church has nothing to do with knowing God.
"Ye Must Be Born Again"
I grew up in a family that was "born again." Both my mother and father received Christ before I was born. That did not give me any access to God.
Your Christian family does not give you access to God. You can go to church every day and not have access to God. Yet, going to church is what religious people talk about when they talk about access to God.
One night, I watched a woman give her testimony on television. She said that she had always known God, because she had grown up in church. I sat there in disbelief.
I thought, "Lord Jesus, don't they know any better than this? Don't they know that You said, _Ye must be born again_?"
For the most part, religious leaders in this country do not wish to offend anyone. They will let people give their testimonies, no matter how wrong they are.
Jesus did not mind whom He offended, did you know that? Do you know what Jesus said to the religious leaders? He said, "...You vipers, you hypocrites, you blind guides, you strain at a gnat and swallow a camel..." That is the man of love.
God Has Plenty of Money
You do not hear preachers in the United States speak that way. The truth of God will not bring in much money. A servant of God does not need your money, however. A servant of God always has plenty of money.
I would never have taken this job if God had not proven to me that He could supply my needs. I worked for some of the richest men in America. God would have me preach the gospel to them, and they would become angry and not call me back.
This happened over and over for about 12 years. God always brought another client. He always had someone there to give me money. He taught me as a professional veterinarian for 12 years.
God Makes His Servant Stand
I preached the gospel to a friend in Dallas, one of the best friends I ever had before I became a Christian. The next day, his wife called and said, "We are taking our animals to someone else." They did not want anything to do with me because I knew Jesus.
That did not bother me or offend me. I did not need their money. God taught me before I entered the ministry: "I am the One who makes My servants stand. I am the One who supplies your needs."
So, when God started Water of Life Church--when God sent me to speak to the people of Plano, I already knew that God had people ready to supply the finances. I knew that He would make them give money to do whatever He wanted through this ministry.
I have never been afraid to say what God tells me to say for fear that the money will be cut off. That does not bother me. God makes His servants stand.
STRENGTH OF HIS SPIRIT
Jesus made several statements while He was on the cross. These statements demonstrate the strength of the Spirit in that man, Jesus. Proverbs 18:14 says:
The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
Jesus did not have a wounded Spirit.
Christians With Wounded Spirits
Someone said American preachers are always "majoring in minors and minoring in majors." Preachers do not know what they are talking about when they tell you what a Christian can or cannot have.
I was listening to one the other night. He was talking about the spirit of a man who is joined to the Lord. This preacher said that nothing could happen to a Christian's spirit. He quoted I Corinthians 6:17: "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."
I have a question for those of you who say that nothing can happen to a person's spirit: Have you ever met a Christian with a wounded spirit? I have--many of them. God heals them, though.
II Corinthians 7:1 says:
...let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,...
According to this verse, your spirit can be made filthy.
I Thessalonians 5:23 says:
...I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless...
Your spirit has to be kept blameless. It is unscriptural to say that nothing can happen to the spirit of a Christian.
God is speaking to preachers: You need to know the Bible before you start preaching. You need to study the Bible and not make statements like that. You and I both know that Christians can have wounded spirits. I have seen entire congregations wounded by the evil works done by evil spirits.
"Father, Forgive Them"
In Luke 23:34, Jesus made intercession for the transgressors who were crucifying Him. He said,
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
"Father, these people who are crucifying me do not know what they are doing." That is forgiveness. That is how His Spirit will work in you. People do not know what they are doing--forgive them. Those are strong words.
Jesus was on the cross, between two thieves, and He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
"Thou Shalt Be with Me in Paradise"
The second statement Jesus made is recorded in Luke 23:43. He said to one of the thieves:
Verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
The thieves had railed on Him while He was hanging on the cross. Yet, He was not offended.
"Behold Thy Son"; "Behold Thy Mother"
In John 19:26, Jesus said, "...Woman, behold thy son!" In John 19:27, He said to one of His disciples, "...Behold thy mother!" Mary was given another son, and the disciple received another mother. Jesus appointed this. He saw to it that His mother and His friend were taken care of.
"Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?"
Now, turn to Matthew 27:46. Here is where Jesus was made sin for you, me, and the entire world:
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Jesus was made sin. In Psalm 22:1, the psalmist begins:
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?...
That is Jesus--a prophecy of Jesus dying on the cross. He was made sin and was separated from God.
Psalm 22 clearly shows us Jesus in hell. In Psalm 22:22, describing Jesus raised again from the dead, He said to the Father:
I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
In verse 1, however, He said, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?..." He was forsaken on the cross. Jesus was forsaken from the time He was made sin on the cross until He was raised from the dead again. He was forsaken; He was cut off from the Father.
His Spirit Was Not Wounded
The strength of the Spirit of Jesus is the only thing that could have sustained His infirmities. His Spirit was strong, however. Remember Proverbs 18:14: "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
His Spirit was not wounded. It sustained him. You and I have that same Spirit in us.
God is bringing forth a people that will walk as Paul and others walked. They walked like Jesus because they had His Spirit in them, and Christ dwelled in them richly by faith through His word.
God is raising His people up, and they will walk in the earth as Jesus walked. The Spirit of Jesus in them will sustain their attacks.
In John 19:28, Jesus said, "...I thirst." Then He received the vinegar. Remember, earlier He refused the vinegar that contained the gall. Now, He said, "...I thirst," and He received the vinegar.
Why? It was prophesied that they would give Him vinegar to drink. He refused to drink the wrong drink. I marvel at the way Jesus conducted Himself on the cross.
"It Is Finished"
In John 19:30, Jesus said, "It is finished." What was finished? I used to read that and think, "What do you mean, _It is finished_?"
The answer is that everything on the cross that was done for the human race, or is ever going to be done for the human race, was finished. Isn't that amazing? Jesus had fulfilled scripture perfectly, and He had done a complete work for you and me.
"Into Thy Hands I Commend My Spirit"
The last statement Jesus made is in Luke 23:46:
... Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."
He commended His Spirit to the Father, and He died.
In John 19:32-37, the soldiers came. They did not break His legs, because He was already dead. A spear was pushed through His side, however. The prophet Zechariah prophesied that they would look on the one whom they had pierced.
The house of Israel is going to see the Lord Jesus. They will see the One whom they pierced, and they will turn to Him and believe on Him, and they will be saved.
Jesus Finished the Work
So, on the cross, Jesus made these eight statements. He had the strength of Spirit to fulfill the plan of God perfectly. He said to the Father, "...It is finished." After it was finished, He said, "...Into thy hands, I commend my spirit," and He gave up the ghost." But He did not die until He finished the work.
That is the Spirit in you and me. The Spirit in us will enable us to walk as Jesus walked. We can always be led by the Spirit, and we can always obey God. And we do not have to die until God says, "It is finished."