What better way to mark the glorious Easter Sunday (my most favourite day in the entire Christian calender!) than to preach on this wonderful subject. But think this is just another "classic" Resurrection Sunday sermon? Think again. This sermon involves YOU most definately in the Resurrection power of what happened that glorious day!
"Enjoying The Benefits Of The Resurrection Power Of Jesus" - Sunday 23rd March 2008.
"Grab your Bibles if you have your Bibles and open to them to Acts chapter 4. Boy did we have a time last Saturday night. It was probably the most phenomenal meeting I have experienced ever, here in Hong Kong.
I think 90% of people were under the power of God on the floor, encounters with God.
And it was such a follow through from last Thursday night when people came to our home and we prayed together and God was so there in a wonderful way. There was such a sense of joy and freedom and liberty. So this morning we are sharing the Word first and not trying to make this a formula. Last week we really felt God say, "Share the Word first" but this morning we are sharing the Word first but it has probably got more to do with logistics. We are going with a team straight up to China after the service and so I am trying to save time in a way. There are 5 congregations all coming together and all Mandarin speaking bringing unsaved friends to an Easter celebration and we get the privilidge of preaching there and pulling the net in.
I believe (and I am going to announce it ahead) that we are going to see numbers of gloriously wonderful Chinese people come to Christ. This morning! Today on this Easter day!
So we are looking forward to that. Do you remember last Saturday night what the message was? The prophetic word to us was;
"Please stop trying to impress Me and allow Me to impress you. Please stop trying to impress one another - stop trying to impress Me and allow Me - the living God - to impress YOU!".
Alright so this morning is "Invading the Impossible - Part 10" (note: it is actually Part 11!) - and it is a very exciting and very powerful subject today. I want to talk about "enjoying the benefits of the Resurrection power of the Lord Jesus Christ".
For any believer eager to invade the impossible, the resurrection of Jesus is far more than a historical fact, the fact of the matter is that Jesus is risen from the dead.
I have done much of the intellectual study for the case of the Resurrection of Jesus and ifyou read a man by the name of Frank Morison - ("Who Moved the Stone?") - he was a barrister, a high ranking barrister in the United Kingdom and he was against Christianity.
He knew that all of Christianity was based on the resurrection - that if Jesus didn't rise from the dead then Christianity is just another religion because you check the historical facts and Buddha's tomb is occupied - Mohammad's tomb is occupied - every other guru's grave is occupied or they have been cremated. But Jesus Christ rose from the dead and it gives us more than a memory and a historical sentimentality or philosophy. He is risen from the dead and it gives us a Presence full of power!
The man wrote the book to disprove Christianity and argued on the basis of a lawyer in a court of law on the basis of available evidence and in the process of investigating the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he became so convinced that the evidenced actually SUPPORTED the resurrection and became a Christian while writing the book AGAINST Christianity!
If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead then you and I are still in our sins and Christianity is a powerless religion of rituals and ceremonies. So if we want to invade the impossible then the resurrection is more than a historical factor - it is more than a doctrine - it has to be a DAILY LIFE EXPERIENCE.
Let me say this: when the Resurrection is preached not just as a historical fact, not just as a doctrine but when the Resurrection is preached with apostolic revelation of how the power of the Resurrection relates to daily living then you will see much grace come upon the Church and great power for the supernatural, great power for miracles will be manifested within the Church.
Folks, don't try and impress the visitors with how well behaved you are! Be live you've been for the last few months! Just go wild! Respond to the Word of God! We are talking about the most amazing event in the world - Jesus Christ is RISEN from the dead! Now I like to preach after the praise and worship because everyone gets warmed up and experiences the love of God and gets their feelings of badness about themselves over and then they are ready to receive the Word of God! But for City Church International - I expect better of you! You walked in here under the anointing - you know the righteousness of God is a gift and the blood has cleansed you and there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ so let's just go ballistic and enjoy Him!
Evangelical Christians - bless their hearts and I love them - only preach the Resurrection as though it was a historical fact (and it is a historical fact). But it is MORE than a historical fact! What is the point of getting sentimental if it is just a historical fact?
I have stood in the empty tomb in Jerusalemn - stood there. I heard a friend of mine preach a message at the empty tomb with a whole bunch of Jewish people around listening to us. His opening lines made our mouths dry up with fear because with a serious look on his face, he said; "Jesus Christ was a complete failure". Everyone thought he was going to blaspheme! "Yes" he said, "He is a complete failure ... at funerals. Because to have a successful funeral the corpse must stay dead! Jesus Christ ruined His own funeral by being raised from the dead! He is alive!".
If I do not have a daily encounter with the miraculous power of the resurrection then how do I deal with the troubles and and demands of life? A historical fact; "Go away devil - Jesus is risen. Go away cancer - Jesus is risen"?? No if it is just a historical fact that has no benefit for people on the earth. But if we get apostolic revelation to what the true relevance of the Resurrection, when we preach the power of the Resurrection much power breaks out and there is great grace manifested over the entire Church.
If you release your faith as I am speaking to you - as you open your heart on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, great power will be made manifest here and much grace will be upon every single one in this room and to the 30, 000 that will download and listen on the website.
(Acts 4:33) - "With great power the apostles continued to testify to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and much grace was upon them all" - Through the preaching of the Resurrection.
There is a power available to us who believe equal to the power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
Now just because you haven't seen that power often in operation - or some never have seen it - doesn't mean to say it doesn't exist. You may not believe the sun will rise tomorrow and if every person on the planet went blind and could not see the sun rise tomorrow - it would still rise tomorrow because the rising of the sun isn't dependent on your small little world and your little limited experiences!
The power of God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is literally available to everyone who believed on a daily basis - and it is people that believe it who see it and experience it. Don't believe it? You don't experience it. You don't see it. You don't enjoy it.
Let's look at the extent of that power. (Ephesians 1:17) - "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know Him better". Look at (v19) - "And His incomparably great power for us". For us. For City Church International. "For us who believe that power is like the working of His mighty strength which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realm". Now the question I want to ask is a practical one. How do I walk in this resurrection power? This is a question I want to ask and answer from the Scriptures. How do I have the life and power that raised Jesus from the dead daily giving life to my mortal body? I am not talking about the day you and I are raised. That is being given an immortal body when we are raised permanently from the dead never to die again.
There is a power of the resurrection towards us that can daily give life to our mortal body and renew your youth and actually your health and your mind and your moods and your attitudes. There is a power of resurrection that can come on your body on a daily basis to renew life in your body. What is the access? How do you get into resurrection life? How do you experience it? It is through the revelation of righteousness. It is through the revelation that God has made us righteous as a gift. That I am righteous all day - all the time irrespective of my behaviour but it is based on the behaviour and obedience of Jesus Christ on my behalf! I am righteous!
That doesn't mean to say I want to run out and sin and do stupid things. I love Him - the motivation to serve and obey Him is not condemnation or fear of rejection or divine disapproval. My motivation for serving Him is that there is no condemnation and I am the righteousness of God.
The more your faith rises in the revelation that you are righteous, the more power of the resurrection will be made manifest in your physical body.
People say why do you keep on preaching the gift of righteousness? Because the level in the gift of righteousness is far too low in the Body of Christ. When it is too low in the Body of Christ, the power of the resurrection is too low in the Body of Christ. You see resurrection power brings dead things back to life, it brings dead marriages back to life, it brings dead financial balances back to life, it brings dead heads back to life. The power of the resurrection removes cancer and opens blind eyes - it brings people out of wheelchairs and I have seen those miracles with my own eyes. No one can tell me they don't happen! I was there! I know what the key is!
Revelation of righteousness raises the power of resurrection power in your life and through your physical body.
Now faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and the more you hear; "You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus", the more you will encounter Christ and the power of the resurrection at a higher level. Do not settle for a low level! The day is coming when the hospitals will not be able to cater for the patients. The diseases and viruses coming on this planet, medical science will not be able to cope with it. I thank God for medical science and I thank God for hospitals - use them.
But I tell you something - the Church needs to position itself with resurrection power flowing through our bodies so that in the midst of the plagues we can walk in with life from God and raise the dead and we do not get the diseases of the people we are praying for.
You see Christians are sitting on the planet now with access to doctors and medical science and all kinds of social securities and don't understand the shaking with which God is going to shake the nations. The nations will be shaken but there will also be glory of God coming in the earth and covering the earth as the waters cover the sea. The people who are ready and positioned and know their God will do mighty exploits in the last days. Some Christians are waiting for the shaking and the glory to come and then they will say; "Okay count me in Lord". He will say; "Too late - I have given years of opportunity and windows of opportunity to get equipped to breakthough out of condemnation and into revelation that you are the righteousness of God. You are not equipped now and it is an army who is equipped and ready that will take advantage of this great visitation coming to the planet".
There are going to be billions of people saved in the days ahead! China will be saved! Africa will be saved! Nations will be saved - some in a day! There will be believers walking through hospitals and emptying hospitals going into insane asylums and delivering insane asylums because when you are walking in resurrection power even your shadow will heal the sick.
Some people are settling for a kind of Christianity that is cerebral and doctrine and historical and that is not going to do it!
In 1905 in South Africa John G Lake - a man who raised the dead, God used him to heal cripples - started a revival and planted 500 churches in 5 years. The bubonic plague hit South Africa. 20, 000 dead here and 20, 000 dead there. A disease so contageous that if you touched the spittle or got near people who had it, you would catch it. They were burying people in mass graves. And John G Lake went into the areas where no one would go because the corpses were stinking. He and his friends would bury the dead and finally the vaccine came from the United Kingdom down to South Africa in 1905. It took a while.
They came in and said; "You should be dead sir. You have been handling the dead here - this bubonic plague. How come you are still alive and your friends also?". He said; "Take some spittle from that dead man over there and put it under a microscope". They saw it was seething with bacteria or virus. He said; "Okay - bring it here and put it on my hand". He held it on his hand for just a little while and he said; "Okay now - put it back". ALL the disease was dead! They said; "WHAT is this!?!?".
He said; "This is Romans chapter 8 verse 11 - the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you - He will make alive and give life to your mortal body!". He said; "Sir, my mortal body is vibrating with resurrection life and power and disease can't penetrate this!".
Now THAT should be the testimony of the Church! But the trouble is a few men and women have stepped into the benefits of the New Covenant - just a few on the planet and they are upheld as special kinds of people when actually it is an inheritance of every pew-sitter! We don't want pew-warmers and pew-sitters - we want people who live and walk in resurrection POWER!! Paul is speaking and expressing his extreme frustration at legalistic religious people. He was calling them "dogs"! He was saying that the Church needs to be safe-guarded from law and those who preach sin conciousness to the New Testament church. He says they are dangerous and evil workers and they try to impress everyone with their religious pedigrees and he is saying if anyone should have confidence in the flesh - then "I am a Hebrew of Hebrews, circumcised on the 8th day and concerning legalistic righteousness - faultless".
He says I count that all rubbish and dung that I may receive a gift of righteousness that is by faith and that I may know Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection. Paul was saying that he was legalistically perfect in righteousness. In other words if you looked at Paul year after you you wouldn't see him do anything wrong. But Romans 7 towards the end of that chapter, Paul says he was full of guilt, confusion and full of perplexity. So you have got moral people in the church who don't raise the dead, don't see signs and wonders and don't lead others to Christ - they are morally good people but inside are full of dead men's bones, full of death, fear, insecurity and condemnation and they are powerless.
The Gospel has been falsely preached as right living when actually the Gospel is right believing. Right believing will lead to right living - but it is primarily right believing. "I am the righteousness of God for the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for in the gospel a righteousness that is by faith from first to last for the righteous will live by faith".
Every day I have to live by this faith - "I am the righteousness of God if I want to see the power of the resurrection operating in my life". Even when I have messed up or made a mistake, instead of endlessly confessing my sin I need to get up and say; "I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus" and when you do that, you will feel resurrection power coming over your body".
But if you allow condemnation and guilt as if you were under Old Covenant then you will not feel resurrection life for the law (Paul says) is a ministry of death.
The law kills, the law curses and the law makes you concious of sin. Anyone living even a little bit under law never manifests resurrection power to raise the dead.
Now we are not called to raise everyone from the dead. And everyone we do raise the dead will die again when their body gets old but at the end of the age every Christian will be raised again with immortal bodies never to die again.
But in the meantime according to Matthew 10:7 Jesus says to ordinary disciples, go out, preach the Kingdom and tell the people that the Kingdom of heaven is not coming - the Kingdom of heaven is here now! It is touchable, it is tangible and then He says heal the sick, cast out demons, cleanse the lepers and RAISE THE DEAD. So Jesus expected His Church to live and move in resurrection power. The fact that that most Christians have never seen a dead person raised, never seen a person raised out of a wheelchair, don't see blind eyes opened is absolutely UNBELIEVABLE! It is a statement of horror - something has gone WRONG! Because the early Church moved in these signs and wonders! Something is wrong! Someone should be bothered about it - someone should be troubled about it!
Why? Because we have allowed evil workers and not safe-guarded the Church from those who have put the law and sin-conciousness and are offended and Pharisaical. We have got to see the Church released in revelation that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! Philippians chapter 3 - after Paul says he considers all that stuff rubbish.
Look what he says in (v9); "I want to be found in Him not having a righteousness of my own".
If you have a righteousness of your own, you will not move in resurrection power. If you have a righteousness of your own that is of your holiness and your performance and your efforts then every time you fail that standard of your righteousness, you will feel guilty, you will feel condemned and you will be sin conscious. But if you get a revelation of righteousness that is God's gift to you that has got nothing to do with your performance whatsoever then you will have a revelation of something that will stop you from that day ever suffering guilt or condemnation again and you will come into a knowledge of God that is experiential and you will move in the power of His resurrection!
Look at (v9) again; "And be found in Him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings and becoming like Him in His death". Now sharing in His sufferings and becoming like Him in His death is something I am going to share about in a few Sundays time. It is not morbid, it is not sad, it is one of the most powerful truths you will ever hear in your entire life! It is mainly in the book of Romans chapter 6. To share in His sufferings and becoming like Him in His death is to come into a whole new state of righteousness conciousness and I can't wait to preach that. I want to preach that today but I can't! It is not having a righteousness of our own but righteousness as a gift from God that enables you to know Him and the power of His resurrection!
Go quickly to 2 Corinthians chapter 5. I do believe we will be ready to worship after this! Let's read 2 Corinthians 5:19; "God was reconciling the world to Himself". The world. He wasn't just reconciling the Church friends. "God so loved the world". Some Christians think that God only loves the Church. God so loved the world. The Church doesn't seem to love the lost. They don't care that the lost are going to hell as long as they are getting their needs met! They complain and winge and whine and pastors become some sort of political diplomats trying to keep everyone happy.
I say blow that - let the prophets and apostles rise up and let the fire of God shake the Church and awaken the Church to the hour that we are living in! There are multiple millions that are ready to get saved today if revival would hit the Church and it will when we preach the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!
"That God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself in Christ not counting men's sins against them". Not counting men's sins against them. This is God Almighty - Creator of Heaven and Earth - not counting men's sins against them! Why is He not counting men's sins against them? Because in Christ He was reconciling the entire world to Himself in Christ - not counting men's sins against them! And He is committed to US the message of reconciliation! So what is our message - the message of believers to the lost? God was in Christ reconciling you to Himself and He is NOT CURRENTLY YOUR SINS AGAINST YOU!
At that Cross Jesus Christ obliterated every single sin that every human being would have done from the beginning of time to the end of time. Do you understand that God is not counting men's sins against them and never will? Because the law of double jeopardy says you cannot punish the same crime twice! He has already punished Jesus on behalf of the entire world! He is not counting the world's sins against them!
You say why should people go to hell then? Sadly millions do go to hell. But why? God is not counting men's sins against them! There is only one sin that Jesus couldn't die for! Only one. That is the sin of unbelief. All of His glory - no one sin is going to be judged! He is not counting your sins against you - China! He loves you! He has reconciled you already 2, 000 years ago! He is not going to do it one day! He has already done it! Communist government - He loves you! But there is one sin that He has to count because it is the only sin that locks you out of wonderful benefit of the Gospel - that is the sin of unbelief in Jesus Christ. I want to come back to John 16:8. It doesn't say the Holy Spirit convicts the world of "sins". He has no sins to convict the world of because they are not being counted against them!
He says "sin" singular! "The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin". Sin because (v9) says "they do not believe on Me and righteousness because I go to the Father". In other words when He goes to the Father as our Mediator and our intercessor saying "All their sins are no longer counted" and so the Holy Spirit will convince you that you are the righteousness of God and the Bible says in terms of judgement, He will convict of judgement because the Prince of this world - Satan - has been judged. Where? At the Cross! So the Holy Spirit is convicting the world and us every time we don't believe the message of grace. Every time we don't believe we are the righteousness of God, the Holy Spirit is saying; "Believe on Jesus - believe you are the righteousness of God - I go to the Father, I am praying for you - don't listen to the voice of the devil who is accusing you".
The Holy Spirit is not accusing you - the devil is accusing you! But the devil has been condemned at the Cross and is being judged - the powers of principalities have been taken away! I have taken away the written code and the regulations that stood opposed to you - I cancelled them at the Cross and you are righteous! You are righteous! You are righteous! I believe it Lord! Resurrection power!
You see why I have to preach like this? Because we are preaching against centuries of brainwashing and corruption. If you tell a lie often enough then people will believe it. The Church has had so many lies about what the Gospel is that, that we don't see resurrection power in the Church because God's people are not convinced that they are the righteousness of God permamently, irreversibly and all the time that God is not counting their sins against them.
We can go into the world and say; "You know God isn't counting your sins against you?". That isn't your opening line by the way. They will say; "What do you think I am a sinner?". No you make friends with them and they ask you questions why you are so happy and then you say; "Because God isn't counting my sins against me!". They say; "Well I didn't even know there were sins to be counted. I am not so bad". Then you give them a bit of the Law of God and where they have fallen short of the Law and then they say; "Oh yes I think I have sinned a few times". Then you can say; "Okay but you know what? God isn't counting your sins against you!". "Well am I going to go to heaven?". "Well sadly no". "What?!". "How come you are going to heaven?". As you say that the power of the Holy Spirit will come on that unbeliever and convict them of the singular sin - their unbelief in Jesus Christ. And when that conviction comes - and listen conviction is to convince. Not only will He convince that they don't believe on Jesus but He will convince them of how easy it is to believe on Jesus and He will empower them to believe! You have the 3rd Person of the Trinity testifying that you are righteous and you are in the place of righteousness. That God has condemned the devil - He is not condemning you. You have the power of the Spirit of God when you speak to the unsaved and you tell them they need to believe on Jesus and the Spirit will convince them that is true - they need to believe on Jesus! Something in them will agree! Let's preach the Gospel in 2008!
Look at (v21) - "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God". I want to read that to you again. No sin whatsover FOR US - so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God. When it says "we might" that doesn't mean if we are lucky we may become - he is saying that when Christ died on the Cross everything from that moment into the future was done so that the doors were open so that all who believe will become the righteousness of God.
Three questions quickly;
1. How was Jesus made sin? Was He made sin by doing sin? No.
2. How then did He get made sin? How was He declared sin? How did He get into a state of sin? He receieved from the Father the free gift of our sin - sin was imputed or given to Him. He was made sin by our sin being given to Him as a free gift. He didn't do anything sinful but He was made sin.
3. Once He received that free gift of sin from the Father - our sin - did He have to beg the Father to bring the wrath and judgement of the Father on Him? No. The negative blessing came instantly and automatically and with fullness and without reservation from heaven because He was now in the standing of sin. He was made sin and in that state of sin He attracted judgement and curse. It attracted sickness, disease and poverty onto Jesus Christ. He did not have to pray for it or beg.
Now let me ask you this;
1. How did you become the righteousness of God? By doing righteous deeds? No. By a free gift. Jesus free gift of righteousness was given to you. So you are righteous by a free gift.
2. Do you have to do anything to keep that gift? Did Jesus have to sin a little bit more to keep the gift?
3. Now you are the righteousness of God, do you have to beg God to bring resurrection power on you? Do you have to beg God to bless you or heal you or to provide for you or to preserve and protect you? No! That's why Jesus said stop running after things the pagans run after! Clothes, food and provision - He said seek first the Kingdom and all His righteousness - not your righteousness! - His righteousness and all these things will come on you. The revelation that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and you can leave that and declare that out of your own mouth.
Romans 10 is clear that under the law we had to do things and under the New Covenant with the gift of righteousness we have to say things. You read Romans 10 and it says several times say so - I am the righteousness of God, I am the righteousness of God. Say it if you believe it! If you believe in your heart and say with your mouth then you will be saved for with the mouth confession is made unto righteousness. Say I am righteous!
Let me say this to you - this is the tragedy and that is why I had to shout and scream two Sundays ago - the fact is that God has imputed a gift of righteousness to you that He will never take away because He is never going to count your sins against you. Do you know how glorious that is? But do you know that has no effect on most Christians lives? They are the righteousness of God in God's eyes but in their own eyes they have a sin conciousness because they have been taught that way year after year. If you have been declared righteousness by God but you impute sin to yourself then you live as if you are not even saved. You are saved and you are going to heaven. If you owed a debt to someone and I came and paid that debt for you but in the company of that person you owed a debt you looked at them with fear and had no confidence, I would be insulted. Because you are acting as though my payment of your debt wasn't enough or that I had some ulterior motive.
If the Bible is clearly teaching throughout the New Testament that God is not counting your sins against you as a believer and that you are righteous in Christ Jesus through a gift - but you impute to yourself sin conciousness then you are in disagreement with heaven and you are insulting the gift of grace and you are agreeing with the devil and disagreeing with the Holy Spirit who is convicting you that you are righteous and you agree with the Accuser of the brethren who accuses the brethren day and night. Now put the Holy Spirit and the devil in the same class to accuse you of sin is bordering on blasphemy.
If Jesus Christ - the Father through Jesus Christ - imputed righteousness to you but you choose to impute sin consciousness to yourself then you will live a lifestyle just as if you are not the righteousness of God. Let me tell you what follows sin consciousness - guilt and condemnation. Chronic fatigue, nervous breakdowns, condemnation, sickness because the immune system breaks down. I am not saying all sickness is because of that but you know what I am saying. What follows sin consciousness is many of the modern diseases of our day.
What is most sad to me is that the Christian population is no different to the unsaved population - you know why? Because although they live in Christ with all the benefits that brings they have been trained and conditioned by spirits of witchcraft and have been bewitched to disagree with the Holy Spirit and to agree with the Accuser - the devil. They push light away and embrace darkness. God imputed your sin to Jesus and imputed Jesus righteousness to you but if you impute your sin to yourself when God has already imputed it to Jesus then you are in direct disagreement with God and thinking yourself to be wholly morbid about your sin and beating yourself up with your sin, then you are actually in disagreement with the God of truth who imputed your sin permamently and everlastingly to Jesus and imputed eternal and everlasting and unconditional right-standing before the Father to you.
Now I have preached this again and again and see lights constantly coming on! You can go out there and fast 40 days for revival and you go and fast for signs and wonders but until the Church gets a revelation that we are the righteousness of God then we will not know the power of the resurrection because the power of the resurrection is knowing that I am the righteousness of God. I have seen Unity movements and intercession movements and spiritual warfare movements bombard the heavenlies for decades for revival and you go to those places and there is no revival there. But beaten up Christians who think about devils and powers of darkness keep bust up. Good news! The devil has been disarmed at the Cross and the powers and authorities were disarmed!
Preach the Gospel because in the Gospel there is a power of "solterio" - provision, protection, wholeness, health and the Gospel is a demonstration to those who believe they are the righteousness of God - the power of resurrection will come into whole communities and whole cities! Paul went into a city and preached this message with no months of fasting, no territorial mapping and simply preached this message and there was a riot and a revival at the same time! The powers that were disarmed by the Cross were shaken and there was nothing they could do about it. Now what we are in thousands of years after that and a mixture of Old Covenant and New Covenant teaching and conditioning we are contending to get the Church back to the Book of Acts and the apostle's teaching in the 1st Century Church. Who is trying to stop that? The demonic powers! They know that if this Gospel takes root in City Church International and through our website then he knows that we are going to put a whole lot of people out of their jobs!
People who have been praying for revival for decades when the Gospel preaching has been recovered that we are the righteousness of God and the Holy Spirit is not condemning us, the Holy Spirit is for us and if God be for us who can be against us?! If you turn around and do the opposite to what I have just said and say; "Father today I feel like imputing sin to myself because I have just sinned and messed up but I am going to agree with My Word - you imputed this sin to Jesus past present and future and Father I thank You that my sin was imputed to Jesus and His righteousness and His perfect obedience was imputed to me! Father I thank You that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! I am righteous Lord! I am righteous! I am righteous! Heaven did you hear that? I am righteous!". The Holy Spirit says; "Yes I have been trying to tell you that for years - you are righteous!". "I agree with your Word - I am righteous!".
You know what will start happening? Strength on your body. Life quickening your mortal body. Do you know that 430 years before the Law arrived to convict people of sin, the Law only came 430 years after Abraham not to save anyone but to show us how much we need saving. So before the law came God came and showed up to a pagan man who was an Iraqi - a pagn worshipper of demons who was old and in his 70's. His wife was aged too. Without warning God turned up to a pagan man living in absolute sin and manifested Himself as "El Shaddi" - "I am the God Who is enough". It even includes the heart of a nursing mother with a robust, masculine anointing - a tender hearted love. He turned up to a pagan who was disobeying and yet said; "Abraham I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great and I will make you a blessing and you will be a blessing to all nations".
Abraham didn't argue with God! He hadn't been in Church! He hadn't sat under a denominational spirit of control - he wasn't under the constipation ... I mean constitution! He hadn't been to a cemetary ... I mean seminary!
I am serious - it would be better for some people if they had never been to Church - controlling churches. Churches where the pastor smiles and is flattering but is political and controlling. He controls people with stuff, other agendas. It is seriously wrong.
He did not say; "God how can you bless me - I have done nothing righteous!? God how can you want to bless me with such abundant blessing - I have still got stuff in my life that is not sorted out! How can You want to bless me Lord, I have not done one obedient thing!". Abraham had not been programmed by religion - Christian religion - thank God!
It says he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. His faith - as righteousness! Doesn't that question come into your mind - God didn't promise Abraham righteousness! He promised him blessing! But because Abraham believed that this living God desires to bless us - the fact that a man said; "I believe you are a good God and You want to bless me despite the fact that I am a pagan!". Because he believed God is a God who wants to bless, God says I will credit that faith as righteousness.
Today throughout the Church blessing is conditional on your performance. We see a few nice gifts here and there but we don't see the power that the apostles saw - signs and wonders, the dead being raised, and nations being shaken and the lost being saved by the millions! But we will see that and in the not-too distant future!
Turn to Romans chapter 4. Let's read (v13) - "It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring" - we are the offspring of Abraham by the way because we are in Christ. "Received the promise that he would be the heir of the world but through a righteousness that comes by faith". So you will have global influence by righteousness that is a gift. "For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless". You want to live under law then your faith will have no value and the promise of being an heir of the world and all the other promises are worthless". (v15) - "And where there is no law, there is no transgression". Now I can take you through all the Scriptures which say the Christian has died to the Law and we are redeemed from the law. We are not under the law. That means no wrath and no transgression. God is not counting our sins against us. We are the righteousness of God! We can approach God with boldness.
You say well what happens if we sin? We are the righteousness of God. This message when it gets into people's hearts, makes them sin less and less.
When I see a Christian who is sinning a lot, I don't have any judgement any more. I say that they do not have very much faith that they are the righteousness of God. The more you realise who you are, the more you start living out who you are. But if you have got to be forced into holy behaviour by threats of hell and disapproval from God or the Church then the holiness that you go into is false and is based on control and dark demons, demons of witchcraft that will lock you into a formal setting so you can sit in Church - the frozen chosen - and you cannot celebrate because you are frozen with demonic powers.
With sin conciousness and guilt and envy and jealousy and the works of the flesh! But those who walk in the Spirit and know they are the righteousness of God will get more and more victory over sin and when you do sin you do not go into sin conciousness. When someone is in this revelation and make a mistake - and let me say again I am not preaching this message to give you or I license to sin. It is stupid that I have to say that! Just check my life out! I am married 33 years to the same wife, no adultery, no affairs, haven't split a church, haven't stolen money, haven't lied or deceived or controlled the body of Christ and loved Jesus with a passion. That doesn't mean I am a perfect man - of course not. I have made my mistakes and been stupid. You cannot fellowship with someone who believes the Holy Spirit is condemning you and you are under the law and you get condemned. It is unreality! You must believe we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!
We don't need ministry to be important or to be doing things to be worth something! We are righteous! We are important! We have identity! And the more secure we become in our identity in our righteousness, the more ministry He will give you! Everyone in this room wants to be used by God and do you know why? Because in this coming wave of the glory God will use every Christian who deals with the control spirit and gets it off their life and stops controlling others and deals with condemnation and gets it off their life. Those who get equipped will be ready for this next move! Those who do not open to the message of righteousness will not be ready for the next move!
This is not a pastor speaking today - this is a prophet speaking today by the Spirit of God. Let me say this - when you find yourself weeping and become irritable (because condemnation and guilt makes you irritable) and God finally comes and says; "What are you doing?". "I am confessing my sin!". "Well why don't you put sackcloth and ashes on?". "No sackcloth and ashes is what they put on under the Old Covenant".
"Exactly! You are acting like you are under the Old Covenant! You are acting like I am counting your sins against you! You are acting like I am beating you up and telling you how sinful you are - you are under the Old Covenant and you are listening to the devil but I want to tell you that he has been defeated at the Cross and disarmed and the laws and rules were taken away at the Cross and I gave you My righteousness and you are not under law and there is no transgression and no wrath! I am happy with you! I love you!".
Holy Spirit - go back and convince him! He is the righteousness of God! No son or daughter Rob has been speaking out of My Bible - I am telling you that! When Abraham and Sarah believed that they were the righteousness of God without any works - their bodies began to rejuvinate and at 90 they conceived a child. Sarah was so beautiful that the Pharoah wanted to kill Abraham and take Sarah as his wife! Now was he a perverted man?! When resurrection power begins to operate in your life - when you believe you are the righteousness of God - something begins to change!
(v22) - Did you know that Abraham had revelation of resurrection power? Did you know that anyone who comes into revelation of righteousness automatically goes into revelation that you can carry resurrection power!?!? The Bible says in Hebrews 11:19 that Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead. In other words Abraham reasoned that if his son Isaac was sacrificed then God could raise him. Abraham knew that he was carrying divine resurrection power. Why? Because Abraham had a revelation of righteousness far greater than most Christians have. Because God cut a covenant with Abraham that Christ redeemed at the Cross. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law that the blessing given to Abraham may come to the Gentiles by the promise of the Spirit.
We see resurrection power coming on the body and giving mortal life so that youth is renewed by the eagles. (Romans 4:22+). I am getting actually drunk in the Spirit here!
*At this point Rob becomes consumed with laughter! (1:01)*
Sometimes when you believe this message your own heart can condemn you and you have to reassure your own heart because you must not assume that what you feel in your heart is from God because of your mistakes or sins. There is an Accuser who accuses us night and day and who is defeated at the Cross and has no authority to do what he is doing but if you know truth then he cannot confuse you and the truth sets you free. Any time you have condemnation in your heart, John says; "But God is greater than your heart". You have to take responsibility for your heart and if you feel condemnation in your heart then you have to take revelation and reassure your own heart until you are convinced again that you are the righteousness of God because Jesus has gone to the Father.
(v22) - "This is why it was credited to him as righteousness ...". Notice (v25) - Justification means to be given righteousness. When God justifies you, He declares you righteous. So Jesus went into the grave with a body that was saturated with our sin. Once heaven was satisfied that the price had been paid, Jesus was raised from the dead without any of our sin left. That means your and my sin - present, future and past - was totally obliterated and does not exist anywhere in the universe anymore.
But if we continue to impute sin to ourselves then it still exists in our own conciousness and will have the same effect. There is strong medical science in the world today that when you believe something strong enough, every cell in your body will talk to the other. Scientists have found that cells talk to each other and when you believe in something strong enough and you believe God is imputed sin and disapproval to you then every cell will say; "We had better give him what he deserves - burnout, chronic disease, chronic fatigue, exhaustion, sickness". But when you say you believe you are the righteousness of God then every cell will say; "This guy believes he is the righteousness of God! Let's give him what he deserves and then the Holy Spirit agrees and says yes let's give him solterio - youth, energy, power through his mortal body!".
Now one more Scripture and then we are going to worship. Romans 8 and this is just a warm up for the good stuff. Glenda, I and Bonnie are flying out to Sydney and are going to do a whole week of meetings there at the "Glory and Grace Conference". Registration has gone right through the roof and they had to knock out a back wall to get us all in. People coming from all over the world but mainly from Australia. We are going to have an Aussie riot. I have already seen things happening in my spirit that I wish you could be all there to see. I wish I could take you all to watch and see. All the hundreds of people that are coming all want the power of God. They are not religious - they are not reserved - they are not putting the breaks on. It is the easiest thing to move in the power in those contexts.
City Church International is going to get there! Amen? The visitors that are going to come won't be able to hinder anything because we will all be so released in power that the visitors will be released and healings will just take place. Then I am preaching in Sydney and will be under Bill Johnson for a few days. Then I am cutting my ministry trip short. Glenda and Bonnie are going down to see my eldest son in Adelaide for a few days but I am coming back directly because I feel God says come back and I will be here the following Sunday and we will have a riot. I want to teach the good stuff! This is just the fairly good stuff but we are going to the good stuff! Then the next week Joshua Mills will be here and I will be preaching Sunday morning and then Sunday evening - Joshua Mills! How many of you know that we are going through the window?! God is opening doors!
I want to leave you with something practical now. How do I acquire this? I want to go deeper and deeper - many of you in this room are changing rapidly now. There has been an accelaration in the revelation factor! People are rapidly getting this revelation factor. Three verses. (Romans 8:1) "Now". Not when we get to heaven! Now. (v6) - The mind of sinful man. The Greek is saying there that it is talking about the mindset of the flesh. The Greek word for flesh means "human effort". The mindset on the flesh or human effort or legalism through law. "For the mindset on the flesh is death". How many of you know that the opposite to death is resurrection? The mind of a man set on the flesh is death but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. If your mind is controlled by the Spirit of revelation that testifies that you are righteous then the devil is judged and your mind is at peace and there is no condemnation and total peace!
(v10) - "If Christ is in you then your body is dead because of sin yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness". It is primarily Adam's sin he discussed in Romans 5, it is Adam's sin that brought death to the whole human race. From the time Adam sinned, every human being was born dying from the moment they arrived. You were aging the moment you arrived. Then at some point you got born again and your spirit became the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and your spirit is no longer dead but alive and knows God and can hear God but your body is still suffering the effects of fatigue, sickness and aging. That's not a good place to leave me!
(v10-11) "But if Christ is in you then your body is dead because of sin yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness and if but if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you".
Now some people want to put that off till the resurrection! Read the chapter in it's context! "As many as are led by the Spirit are the sons of God!". He is talking about living and moving in the Spirit and having a mind controlled by the Spirit that has got life and peace and now is talking about a physical body that has the Spirit come upon it and life will be given to your mortal body! Elijah under that anointing outran the king's chariot with the best horses leading it! Samson pulled up the city gates and destroyed an army with the jawbone of his mother-in-law ... sorry an ass! You may say oh well that's because he was a big, strong man! No if he was they would have known that was the secret of his strength! He was a small man and they didn't know that the secret was the power of God coming on his mortal body.
We are going to come into signs and wonders and into a day that is so miraculous!