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1This morning we have the dedication of Little Levi John Roeper and as I have always asked the parents to come up here and for the purpose of dedication, it is not so much that the child itself is dedicated, we do pray for this child and commit him into God’s care, but the real purpose of the dedication is for the parents to make a public stand that they will raise this young child up in the admonition of God.
After all the scripture tells us in Proverbs 22:6“Train up a child in the way it shall go and when it is old it will not depart”. So you see, discipline is used to produce in the child a pre-ordained outcome. And without discipline that child will never come to that pre-ordained outcome. Now, Proverbs 22:6 is a promise from God and God keeps all of his promises. But if you don’t do your part as a parent then your child has no direction in which to go. It say, Train up a child in the way it shall go... And so if you have a way which means a course of life, that you wish for your child to go, then you must use discipline to get your child to that goal. Then if the child does not get their whose fault is it?
If you will open your Bibles with me to Deuteronomy chapter 6 we will begin reading from verse :1 Now these [are] the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do [them] in the land whither ye go to possess it: 2That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do [it]; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently (incisively, that means to make them clear and unambiguoua) unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way( derek, during your course of life), and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign (or token) upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
The problem we have today is that the word needs to be first in your heart before it can enter the heart of your children. The Amplified version says, "And these words which I am commanding you this day, shall be first and foremost in your own minds and hearts, then you shall whet and sharpen them, so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the minds and hearts of your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the door posts of your home and on your gates…
Now, when Samuel was born we find in the Scriptures that his Mother Hannah brought him to the Priest and left him with the priest to be raised in the service of God. Now, I am not expecting you to leave little Levi John with me this morning, but I am expecting both of you to live such a life before Little Levi John that he will know for certain that he is being raised by God fearing, God loving parents who have both surrendered their wills to God’s will, and as Jesus said, “For this purpose have I come into this world, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
This morning I would like to continue in our study of Christ is the Mystery of God revealed, and this is number 30 in our series, and we will be examining paragraph number 65 this morning where brother Branham said, 65 “Now, here He says, "Search the Scriptures; they testify of Me. In them you think you have Eternal Life (and that's true), and they are the one that bear record of Me, and I'm bearing record of them. And if I do not the works that's promised that I would do, then don't hear Me. But if I do the works and you can't believe Me, believe the works," because they testify that He is the Word. Oh, it looks like it couldn't be any plainer. See? All right. Now, search the Scriptures. He said Moses and all the laws and so forth, and the prophets, and Psalms spoke of Him, and again He said the Scriptures testify of Him.
Now, brother Branham is talking about Jesus here but we could also say that since God is the Word and he changes not, then anything in the Word that God speaks of it must come to pass. Because that is what Jesus is saying here.
And in John 10:37 he quotes Jesus saying, If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
Now, we are living in the hour that we are to be conformed to the image of the first born son. Some people put that off to the Millennium, but I do not believe that is to be put off until then. Because Brother Branham said it is to be now.
In his message TheToken 63-1128E P:95 brother Branham said, “Now, tonight, why don't you accept, not that natural life which has to go back with the dead substance to the earth, but why don't you accept the Eternal Life, where He gave something, raised it up, His Own Son, that you could be conformed unto His Own image by the renewing of your spirit, to take away yours and to receive His, which is the Token that you have Life. And He'll pass over you and will raise you up at the day of the resurrection.
Now notice what brother Branham tells us here that this being conformed to the image of the first born son is now, it comes by the renewing of the mind which is (your spirit). And he calls this the Token, and this is what the Token is all about. And notice it is to raise you up. Now, if we have to wait until the other side to have this we will miss the rapture and the change of the body.
And the NIV translation says, “this is your spiritual act of worship”. Now, notice verse two. And how do we perform this holy and acceptable sacrifice to God? Paul tells us in verse two. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
The Wuest translation says, "I therefore beg of you, please brethren, through the instrumentality of the aforementioned Mercies of God, by a once for all presentation to place your bodies at the disposal of God, a sacrifice, a living one, a holy one, well pleasing, your rational sacred service, [rational in that this service is performed by the exercise of the mind]. And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of the mind, resulting to your putting to the test what is the will of God, the good and well pleasing and complete will, and having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it."
#5- which is your reasonable service. Therefore if it is a reasonable thing, then it is most certainly attainable, or God would not require it. and if reasonable it comes by reason or the mind that produces it. As I taught you years ago, your mind is like a garden, and it is full of seeds which are thoughts, and if the wrong seeds are manifesting themselves then you must cut off the water supply. Brother Branham asked an Indian Chief who was baptized with the Holy Ghost how things were going since He was born again, and he said, "Two dogs war within me since I was born again." And brother Branham said, who is winning chief, and the chief responded, "the one I feed the most."
So we see that God calls us to bring forth in our bodies a holy sacrifice. In Romans 12:1-2 Paul is telling us how we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice and it is by the renewing of our minds. And then he tells us in verse 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed.
Now, for the next few minutes I would like to focus our attention on Paul's view of how we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. And we will look at what it means to be Holy. He said this living sacrifice is one that is Holy, and so we want to know what it means to be a living sacrifice that is holy.
40Now, Paul told us our living sacrifice is to be Holy, and the word he used here is the Greek word, hagios pronounced, (hag'-ee-os) and it is made up from two root words, hagnos which means pure, chaste, clear, sacred, pure from carnality, modest, immaculate and clean. The other root word is Thaipo and it means, to cherish with tender love. Or tender care.
So we see that bringing these two words together we have a purity that comes as a result of tender love and care. Therefore, we have purity out from the motive of true tender care, and we see modesty that comes from tender love, and we see sacredness out from and in response to pure love. As brother Branham preached the message "Convinced and Concerned", our being convinced brings about a true concern, and we have a life pure from carnality one that is modest, immaculate and clean, not from a fear of retribution, nor from a fear of penalty, but as a result of an inner motive of Tender Love and Tender Care for our Savior. This holiness Paul is speaking of is not the result of a rigid and disciplined life style, but a result of true caring and tender love for God.
How contrary this is to the disciplined and rigid life of the legalist. Those are people who through fear of retribution from a Holy God live in fear and walk in fear and tremble at the thought of eternal separation from God and Heaven. These are people who do right not because it is the right thing to do, but they do right because of fear of penalty for doing wrong.
But Paul said this sacrifice is a Holy one, and it comes from a different kind of motive. A motive that is stimulated by tender Love and tender care for the One Who gave them new birth. Oh, how different the two motives are. One binds you while the other sets you free, and yet they both will produce the same works, and the same outward acts. But Paul began with the thoughts of how we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, and so he is setting our minds on the importance of the presentation.
The man who comes home after a hard days work to the aroma of an apple pie baking in the oven, and fresh baked bread sitting out on the counter and the aroma of a nice cooked meal, has a much better presentation that the man who comes home to a note on the refrigerator that “says there is a frozen TV dinner in the freezer, put it in the oven at 325 and I'll see you in an hour after I get home from shopping."
The presentation of the one tells the man that he is loved, and his wife has a tenderness towards him, while the letter tells the man a totally different motive from his wife. The one shows love and warmth while the other shows coldness, and calculation.
So we see in the one instance, the atmosphere has been set to give a wonderful presentation of this gift of supper to him, while on the other hand we see the man who came home and his wife has a note taped to the refrigerator with instructions how he should prepare his own meal.
In both instances, both men receive a gift of a supper from their wife, but what a difference in the presentation of that gift. And that is the same way God looks upon what we do. Your Holiness ads nothing to God, but if you present your gift with tender love and care to Him, He looks upon your motive, He looks to the very recesses of your heart, and He knows your presentation, if it is motivated by Love or by fear.
Our Holiness is a result of a cleansing act which can only come from God's Word. It is not an act in our flesh, produced by our disciplines life, but it is an expression which begins in our mind, and is conveyed outwardly through the actions of our bodies.
Then how can a young man cleanse himself if he doesn't take heed to the Word of God? So we see that it is the taking heed to the Word that brings cleansing in our Life. So your attitude and the motive behind your sacrifice is more important to God than the sacrifice itself. Jesus told a story about the two different ways of approaching God in Luke 18:10
Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
53It's the approach that counts. One man approached God with a broken and contrite heart and God openly accepted his prayer while the other man had lived no doubt a much more disciplined life, but look at his approach. He wasn't looking for forgiveness! He was proud, and gloating how much better he was than the sinner next to him. And look at Jesus words concerning that man. Jesus said he was not even justified, whereas the man who approached God in contrition went away justified, cleansed, and free from all guilt and stain in the eyes of God.
We are told by the Apostle Paul that we should examine ourselves I Corinthians 11:28 and we have read it perhaps hundreds of times before taking communion and yet has it really sank into our hearts that every day we should begin with this same self examination, and each night before we go to bed, we should as David said, Psalms 63:6 “When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.”
Now, the Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. And how do you judge yourself? John said try the spirit to see whether it be of God. And so you give yourself the Word test.
Luke 7:40 ¶ And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that [he], to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
58Notice then that forgiveness produces much more love in the individual than all the doing will ever produce. Jesus is letting us know that when we have a willing heart, ready to forgive, we will be loved more. And in the same illustration he tells us that if we are perfect in our actions but have a rigid and stony attitude toward others we can love only little.
Notice how the Word of God shows us that our cleansing brings forth two things, holiness and Love. And it is these two things together that merit with God. We are not clean and therefore holy. We are cleansed by the Love of God and the tender mercy of God and therefore, have become holy unto to. Set aside for service because we have a right heart, and our heart first has become holy. Our heart first has been cleansed, and because we can see our own condition is as filthy rags, and we have been made clean by the blood of the lamb, we then have a tender heart for others and a forgiving heart for others and as we love, and tenderly care we are made holy.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Notice Paul is saying Love that you may sanctify. Love that you might cleanse. Love that you might make holy. Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
It seems we so overlook the simple things, and yet that is where God hides, is in simplicity. Everyone wants the challenge to do the big things, and yet it is in those simple acts of love that cleansing and therefore holiness are born.
Psalms 51:7 ¶ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Holiness and cleansing is born out of Love. JOHN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
And our Love comes from being loved first. I John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
Now, brother Branham said in his message wasn’t so from the beginning 54 “He Sent His Holy Spirit down here to come into our flesh, which He has sanctified with His own blood... You believe in sanctification? "Be ye holy, for I am holy." Now, you cannot be holy. I'm not depending on my holiness. I have none. But I'm depending on His holiness. It's His holiness that I'm looking at. Not what... Well, not what I was, but what He is. That's it. Go back to the beginning. There it is: Jesus Christ the same yesterday”...
Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. The cleansing comes first and then Holiness follows. But it all begins because of Love, for He first Loved us, and then gave of Himself, a part of Himself to us to live through us.
I Thessalonians 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. 9 ¶ But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
Notice how you cannot separate Holiness in the scripture from Love for that is what it is. It is Hagios, it is a Tender Loving Care. That's what Holiness is. And that is what is expressed through holiness.
I Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And then in verse 22 we read Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Philippians 2:1 ¶ If [there be] therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Let us pray. Dear Gracious Father we are so thankful that you first loved us and have shown us the way, and expressed your love to us through the death of your only begotten so, that the very Life that you placed in Him might come back into us, and that through that act of love, we have been freed from our own self righteousness and have become Holy, by a Holy God, whose Holy Spirit has come through Your Holy Word to live your Holy Life full of Love and compassion and Loving tender care through our own vessels, that we might become the very Holiness of God. And we thank you Father for what you are continuing to do through your Word in this hour. Amen.