Wednesday, 31 October 2007

"You Can't Give What You Haven't Got" - CCI, Hong Kong

This is a very appropriate sermon of Rob's for the first sermon to type up since Hong Kong and the "Grace and Glory Conference!". I have to confess there is a marked difference between my preparation for this conference and "Together on a Mission" in July and it is thanks to Rob's teaching on grace that has changed it. Before Brighton I was desperate for the fullest anointing possible and even investigated fasting for 40 days to see the full tidal wave of glory come. Now God in His grace did bless dramatically but Rob has showed me from the Bible that we don't actually have to "do" anything to gain the blessing of God! So I've spent this last week listening to Rob's sermons and getting my head round the grace of God!

And this sermon sums up perfectly the mindset I want to rest in;

(1 Corinthians 2) - I want to talk on Principle No. 9 on how to increase in the anointing. Why is the anointing so important? Without the anointing so important? Without the anointing nothing can happen in the church world. When Jesus says the "Spirit of the Lord has anointed Me" - He says that anointing has enabled me to open prison doors and announce the acceptable year of the Lord.

When the anointing of God comes it is the free-flowing favour and advantages of God coming into our lives. The principle is this;

"You cannot give away what you haven't received".

The measure of the manifestation of the power of God to you is the measure that you can give away or manifest to others. The principle of increasing in the anointing is to receive a greater manifestation of the anointing into your life and not to be rushing out always to minister to others but to have times when you wait on God and let Him manifest His Presence and power to you and out of that place of overflow you can manifest God to others in supernatural ways.

But one of the biggest hindrances to you receiving manifestations of God's power to you is bad theology, dispensational theology believing that the Cross of Jesus Christ was more powerful 2,000 years ago but it is now fading and that somehow Jesus died more for the sins of His day than for us.

So today we are not totally under grace - we are a little bit under grace and a little bit under law and if we sin and make mistakes then God disapproves of us and withdraws from us and we have to grope around like slaves trying to earn God's favour back. The Cross of Jesus Christ has NEVER lost it's power - Jesus said "It is finished!". We don't live by the code of the law but by the Spirit of God - spirit of freedom, spirit of liberty.

It's not the Cross has faded in it's power - it's just that people don't really believe it is finished.

Everything that was required for us to please God, Jesus Christ fulfilled those requirements at the Cross and said; "It is finished!". He freed us from the curse of the law! He made a public spectacle of the principalities and powers at the Cross and we don't have to do one more thing to please God except believe the message of the Cross - it is FINISHED!

So what is the No. 1 hindrance for people entering into a greater demonstration of the power of the Spirit? It is that they let their heads stop them. It is not a heart problem but a head problem. We are trying to reach God with the rational part of our brain. How many know how arrogant that is to limit the God of mystery and wonder? Eternity dwells in God! He is immutable and transcendent yet available through faith! The mind is good for book-keeping and science and arithmatic and that's as far as it goes but the most brilliant mind can't even fathom out one little thing about the supernatural phenomena of God and so many people have the power of God swirling around them changing lives and yet block it out because their head is the problem.

They are saying; "If I can't work it out then I am not receiving anything". (1 Corinthians 2:14) - "Man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit". It is about spiritual discernment not understanding things with your head. Everything the Spirit of God does is foolishness to your head. It is foolishness to your mind and education and secular training. "God is for me" - how is that possible?! As from a child we were conditioned to only get things we deserve and earn and merit. We feel this pecking order that produces an orphan spirit.

So when God calls us co-heirs with Christ seating in heavenly places and ambassador of the highest government in the universe and ALL our sins past, present and future are forgiven then our spirits rise up and rejoice but our minds say "That is foolish - that is not possible".

Our heads talk us out of the miraculous. I am so tired of watching thousands of passive people watch a miracle worker and thinking "That will never work for me". Your mind talks you out of it but you are a spirit being made in the image of God Who is a Spirit. Your spirit communicates with God who is a Person! You are a Person but you have a mind. I have a dog but I am not a dog!

I have a mind but I am not a mind. If you treat your mind passively then your mind will steal your inheritance! Millions of Christians world-wide are not walking in the supernatural in signs and wonders and the authority of the Kingdom not because of the devil's opposition but because of their heads and minds.

Everything of the supernatural is foolishness to him who has not the Spirit for those things are spiritually discerned not intellectually worked out. When he says; "Who has not the Spirit" - he is not talking about someone who is not baptised in the Spirit - there are millions of Spirit-baptised believers to whom the things of the Spirit are foolishness.

They got baptised years ago and spoke in tongues years ago but all they have got is cerebral Bible information in their heads and the things of the Spirit are foolishness. All they can do is vomit out Bible information from their head, vomit out on you - it is regurgitated stuff that is not revelation, stuff coming out that is not the Word of God written on their hearts but on their heads. Head knowledge learnt at a Bible school not revelation!

Your head will mess you up and the devil will then tell you; "Your problem is that you didn't get healed because God doesn't love you and that's why He didn't touch you and the guy praying for you didn't like you". The mind must come under the power of God to demolish arguments that are in our heads so that we can move in the power of God. You deal with your head like I do with my dog; "Shut up head - my spirit receives this Word!".

(John 14:12) "I tell you the truth - anyone" ... not just apostles or prophets or evangelists but ANYONE! " ... who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing and he will do even greater things". Your heads are going to go hysterical at this! Jesus Christ raised the dead! Jesus Christ walked on water! But greater works! In the last 2000 years how many Christians have done the works of Jesus Christ?

Signs and wonders aren't just people getting out of the grave or being healed of cancer by miracle power - signs and wonders are miracle breakthroughs in finances! In getting a house! In seeing children saved! (Acts 10:38) - Jesus Christ did not do His miracles as God. His miracles were restrained within His humanity. "How God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power". Why would He need to be anointed?

Our humanity can receive the same anointing He did and do the same works He did.

A foul mouthed fisherman (not a Pope) walked on the water until his mind saw the waves and thought ... then he sank! I would rather drown trying to walk on water than die of boredom sitting in a church boat that's so dead and self-concious because everyone is trying not to make mistakes. You will never do anything if you don't make mistakes! How much fun the church misses out on because our minds talk us out of the supernatural. We have got doctrines of demons the Church thinks are doctrines of the Bible. We have got doctrines of faith but no spirit of faith. God wants a church of the blueprint church - the first church!

I am so angry with what holds God's people back so they resign themselves to professional priests when they're meant to be doing the works of Jesus Christ and frighten the living daylights by doing adventures of faith.

(Acts 1:8) - "You will receive power" - not just for charismatic tongues on Sunday - this is power to impact nations and get the attention of nations and so they did. (Acts 2:1) - "A sound from heaven". The day is coming in church where everyone will get healed and get filled and get blessed because no one's head will get in the way. 3000 got saved that day not because of great preaching but because of great demonstrations of the Spirit's power.

(Acts 3) - You cannot give away what you don't have. When you have something you can do it - and not even try! You are gripped by something bigger than yourself! Jesus Christ didn't heal everyone - He couldn't heal anyone in His home town. When God is on you - you will know what to do and when to do it.

I was praying for a woman healed of cancer who got up and walked - but on leaving passed her husband and said; "That son you have been crying out for will be saved". I didn't even know he had a son but 3 days later the son was healed of heroin addiction and saved! There is no formula! If you haven't got it - it is pure religion and most of church haven't got it because it because they let their minds treat them like a dog!

Hong Kong needs a church like this church - Hong Kong needs the power of God!

We can get programmes, organise and advertise with money and all we have got is a religious show with no power. Hong Kong needs the power! (Acts 3) - Jesus Christ walked past the cripple every day. "Look at us" - this contradicts the thing in the church today - "Don't look at me, look at Jesus". When you know you have got something you can say "Look at me! What I have I give to you". There it is! "Filled with wonder and awe". (v12) - "Men of Israel why does this surprise you?". This is clear - it isn't by their power or holiness but by their faith.

Saved in 1977 and 2 years after planted a church after being saved. I had to make a transition that all can make. I was part of a church that was charismatic Calvinist. Que sera sera! You cannot reconcile God's sovereignity with our responsibility to have faith - you can't put them together. God is sovereign but He only works through faith. "If it is His will it will be done, if it isn't then it won't". Common argument heard so that if we pray and someone doesn't get healed then it wasn't His will! That is a total lie! It is God's absolute sovereign will that all be saved. Are all saved? Does that prove it is not God's will to save them? No. Because people die does that prove it's not God's will to heal them?

We have got so much fatalism in the church because of so much passivity in church and all because we make excuses on God's sovereignity. Sometimes you must smash a door down because it may be God's will but there is a door in the way. Sometimes there may be a Red Sea in the way of the people of God going into the Land and you have to slap the Red Sea out of the way! Moses could have said; "Oh there's a sea in the way - can't be God's will so back to slavery we go!".

I planted a church in that theology and it was totally boring. Not one miracle - no supernatural. We went 10 months without any signs, wonders or miracles. I heard the inward audible voice of God one day praying; "Rob - I want to ask you, do you believe it is My will to save people? Do you believe I want to save people every week in this Church? Do you believe it's My will to heal people of diabolic diseases every week in this Church? Do you believe I want to fill up this building until people are sitting in the windows and the aisles?". Then there was a pause and He let me hang in torment for a while and then said;

"Do you believe that is My will?". I said "Yes Lord". Then He said; "Well why isn't it happening then?". I said "Beats me!".

The way He was asking the question made me realise that part of the reason why these things weren't happening was to do with myself and my theology and my thinking that had allowed my head to talk me out of the supernatural. I had been brainwashed by religion! (Hebrews 3). It was His perfect will to lead Israel into the land but a whole generation fell short of this inheritance because of unbelief. He told me to go to another city and hear a man of integrity and humility who died last year - "Papa Hagin".

I didn't want to go because of the religious spirit - it is always so critical! Always looking for an excuse not to believe - an excuse to leave. Don't get offended by the instruments that God uses. Some of them are weird packages! Kenneth Hagin preached on faith and how the anointing flows - it is as easy as how electricity flows. On the 3rd session I tried to get onto the front row where the pastors sat. Watched Hagin lay hands on people and get healed. This stuff is real!

80% Christians lay hands on are trying to pull from their head not their heart. "Pull from your spirit not your head". I said "Lord I want to live in Hagin's pocket and go live with him and ask how he does it!". God said "Son you don't have to do that. All you have done is obey me by coming here - you have got turned on by faith now lift your hands". Then He said "Son you can do that again and again - you can do what Hagin is doing". And as He said that, this Calvinist had never experienced power like that! I got the plane and flew back home and my elders were waiting for me. We had been so dry and so full of head knowledge that in that first service people started jumping up and shouting "I can see!" and "I can hear!".

Once you have got it - you can give it away! So the Lord said, "Pray a blessing over them". As I did they all fell back row by row by row right to the back of the church! God said "This is church son!". Once you have tasted honey you will never be satisfied with syrup again! It ruins you to dead boring church! And I was dangerous from then on because you can't accept anything less! Many many times I have been in church meetings and have started crying saying "God I want you - you aren't here!".

We saw cripples getting up and blind eyes opening and deaf hearing - we exploded in growth when the power of God was there and the lost started coming!

It wasn't just me - I trained my church to believe that if you won't let your head talk you out of anything then anything is possible! After 18 months God said "I am lifting the anointing off you son". I said "Oh no! What did I do? I'll repent!". He said;

"You didn't get it because you were holy and you aren't losing it because you are unholy".

God went on - "I am going to train you on your marriage, how to love your wife, being faithful with money and being accountable and being an apprentice". Then about a year ago He said, "Son get ready - you are going to fly again! I am going to bring that strong anointing back!". Prophecy after prophecy - Hong Kong here we come!

Now hope deferred makes the heart sick so I don't want to excite our vision beyond reality but we need our vision excited folks! It won't take us long to fill up our building if God turns up - we are witnesses! We are witnessing miracles - you cannot help but witness! My job here is to put foundations down and then to fade into the background because believers are no longer talking themselves out of miracles. Don't ever apologise for being an instrument. "I will put the anointing on you by faith" - but can't come against unbelief! If I hadn't gone to that meeting where Kenneth Hagin was I guarantee I would have still been operating out of the same anointing as I was 20 years ago. I have met Christians who are still operating out of the same anointing as they were years ago. But there is a greater level of anointing ready!

Freely we have received - freely we give!

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