Sermon Transcript — May 28, 2005
Being Spiritually Effective
by Mr. Richard Pinelli
I'd like to ask you a question. Can a man really change? Can a man really change? Is it possible
that a man can really, really, really change? I'd like to discuss that with you today in the sermon
which will lead to the day of fasting next Sabbath.
The President of the United Church of God has in concert with the Council of Elders has asked
the brethren to set aside a time of fasting and prayer either next Sabbath on June 4th or hopefully
in close proximity of that date.
In his sermon he said the following, he said, "Good is not good enough; great is where we are
going to need to go in doing the work of God." Great is where we are needing to go in order to
do the work of God. He went on to say that if we as a church are really stirred to capture
something perhaps we may never have had, then we can do a great work.
He quoted Nehemiah. He said there has to be passion; there has to be fire within the individual,
and he asked the question, "What will we do to instill this zeal and this fervency for doing the
work and finishing the work that Christ has given us to do." The purpose of the fast is to prepare
our hearts to do the work, to be a part of something that God is doing at the time of the end
during this age of the church.
He then turned to II Timothy , and you all know the scripture in II Timothy 1:6 & 7 where Paul
encouraged Timothy to stir up the gift of God that he said that is in you by the laying on of my
hands. And the Greek word simply indicates to us that it means to kindle afresh or to keep in full
flame. It is used metaphorically where the gift of God is regarded as a fire capable of dying out
So I ask the question again in the sermon this afternoon, "Can a man really change?"
Is it possible for us to do what the President is asking us to do? According to the scriptures, we
have a number of individuals that we have seen in the Bible that after they were worked with by
God, something unique happened. Miracles did occur in the lives of these people. In fact a man
that was used in the first split sermon, a man by the name of Saul, when he was anointed king
and a different heart was given to him, it says that the Spirit of Lord shall come upon you and
you shall prophesy unto them, and you shall be turned into another man. You shall be turned into
another man. Is it possible? Well, if it isn't possible, then why would God had said about a man
that had some pretty serious problems, that during the time when the Spirit of Christ in power
came upon him, he was literally turned into another man.
What I would like to do today is I'd like to take you through some scriptures that talk about being
what we need to be, what we need to be doing, how we need to go about doing that in being what
I describe as effective spiritually.
How can we become as members of the body of Christ become effective spiritually? What are
some basic principles that we can learn? What are some basic faith operations that we can go
through in this particular sermon that will help you understand where I would like to see you go?
Effectiveness, according to what the Bible shows, is learned. But effectiveness is also gifted, and
when you blend those two together in a perfect togetherness that God wants to have, we have a
wonderful change that can take place, because we learn, as the split sermon said, through time,
through grace, through God's involvement, but secondly we recognize that it's gifted. And there's
something about that giftedness that we have got to grab hold of as members of the body of
Christ today, tomorrow, next week, next year, whenever, in order to develop this particular
effectiveness. What can we learn? What can we learn this afternoon in using a couple of
principles in our preparation?
Well, first of all let's stop and look at the children of Israel over in Psalm 78 for just a moment.
Let's turn there. Psalm 78:35 we read about the children of Israel and the description that was
given of them from Asaph. Here in Psalm 78:35 it says concerning them:
Psalms 78:35 - " (And) they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God was their
Verse 36 - "Nevertheless they did flatter Him with their mouth, (s) and they lied unto Him with
Verse 37 - "For their heart was not right with Him, . . ." So we were talking again in the early
first split about the change of heart that has to take place . ". . . neither were they steadfast . . ."
Remember Psalm 51 which was quoted again - being steadfast ". . .in (His) this covenant .
Verse 38 - "But He, (being) full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not:
yet (yea) many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all of His wrath.
Verse 39 - "For He remembered that they were mere (but) flesh,. . ." We're mere flesh; we're
basic human beings; we're striving for the masteries, and we recognize how human we really are
at times. And He goes on to say, " . . . a wind that passes away, and comes not again .
Verse 40 - "How (oft)) often did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the
Verse 41 - " Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and they limited the Holy One of Israel."
That is according to the Hebrew, they set a mark, or they set a limit on God, that they simply said
in their minds so far and no further. How about you? How about me? Can we really change? I've
had people tell me we can't. I've had people tell me that there's no way that you can go beyond a
certain point in the human being that is there. Once you have developed your programmings
there is no way to make the changes. Yet it's says here that these individuals limited the Holy
One of Israel. They put their hands up and said, "No, this is as far as you can go." But is there
something that a man by the name of Saul, who didn't have the same spirit of begettal that you
and I have when that Spirit of Christ came upon him he was turned into another man for that
period of time.
So we have to say that there is something here that we can learn, that we can understand what
can we seek? What can we perceive in developing what I describe simply as spiritual
effectiveness. Not just for this coming Sabbath in the sense of the time of fasting, but I'm talking
about just as a member of the body of Jesus Christ.
Let's begin with point number one. You and I have to go to Titus 1:1 for a moment and ask
ourselves the question, "Do I believe the scripture?" This is Titus 1:1. The apostle Paul is
speaking here in Titus 1:1 - Notice the statement that he makes:
Titus 1:1 - He said: "Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the
faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
Verse 2 - "In the hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world
began;" I want to take you through some scriptures today and ask you the question: "Do you
really believe them?" Because they're there; they're written; they're true; they're honest; they are
of good report, yet I ask the question: "Do we believe them?" Do we really believe them? Can a
man really change? Well Titus 1:1 & 2 says that one of the things about God is that when He
promised, He cannot lie. His very character, His very nature, His very being, one of the great
outstanding points about God is that He never lies, and you can have absolute faith in the fact
that He will never lie. If He says that's what He will do, He will do it.
The great example of Abraham was simply a man that was fully persuaded that what God had
promised, He was able to perform. When you get to that particular place, I believe you can
become a competent Christian, because it is that exercise of that particular faith in this statement
that it says, "God cannot lie because He's promised." And I ask the question of you today, "Do
we believe that?" Because our future depends on it. Our spiritual life depends upon that
Hebrews 6 . Let's go over to Hebrews 6:11 . Again we recognize we're talking about the man,
Abraham, and it says:
Hebrews 6:11 - "And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full
assurance of hope unto the end:"
Verse 12 - "That (ye) you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience
inherit the promises." So again remember we went back to Abraham several weeks ago, and we
saw that here was a man of faith and patience. How many years did he wait? Long time. Long
time. But the answers came, and he got what God promised, and God said He was going to do it,
and God said, "At this time I will come back and I will do this." And God did, right on time. But
it says here that we are: ". . .followers of them who through faith and patience. . ." That's
Abraham, I think, is the one we're talking about.
Verse 13 - "For when God made promise to Abraham, (because) He could swear by no greater,
He (sware) swore by Himself." Do you know why we can't go out and swear? The Bible says,
"Swear not at all." Do you know why we're not supposed to do that? The answer's very simple,
because as human beings we don't have the ability to carry things through all the time. We still
are human enough that we fail, and therefore only God is able, in that sense of the word, by
comparison to man even though in the Old Testament you saw a few people do that. That really
He is the only one that can swear by Himself because He can back it up. He's the Creator of the
universe, and that's what He says that He is able to do.
Verse 14 - "Saying, 'Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you .'
Verse 15 - "And so, after he had patiently endured," speaking of Abraham , "he obtained the
Verse 16 - "For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end
of all strife.
Verse 17 - "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of the promise the
immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
Verse 18 - "That by two immutable things," That is the promise and the oath. Notice what it says:
". . . it is (was) impossible for God to lie. . ." Okay, I'm going to show you something today that
God said He will do, and it has to do with spiritual effectiveness. It is there in the book, and
we're going to dig it out today and look at it, and ask ourselves the question, "Do we believe it?"
Because it says here it was impossible for God to lie. " That . . . we might have a strong
consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope that the set before us."
So we recognize that number one, we have to have faith in the character and in the promises of
Point number two. The promise of the Holy Spirit and what is found in that promise is absolutely
unbelievable when we begin to examine it. Let's go over to II Corinthians 1:19. Here the
apostle Paul is talking about how God was true.
II Corinthians 1:18 - He says: "But as God is true, (or trustworthy) our word toward you was
not yea and nay.
Verse 19 - "For the son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me
and Silvanus and Timothy (Timotheus,) was not yes and (nay) no , but in Him was (yea) yes. "
That is no vacillation, you know, you understand what I mean by that.
Verse 20 - "For all the promises of God in Him, ' (That is in Christ.) ". . . are yes, and in Him
Amen," (. . .so be it. . .) " unto the glory of God. . ."
Verse 21 - " Now He which establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God;
Verse 22 - "Who has also sealed us and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our heart." So we
see then that all the things of the promises and all the plan of God revolves around the fact that
you and I have been receiving the seal of the Holy Spirit and this earnest, or this down payment
on to eternal life. It is the promised seal of the Holy Spirit that is given to us.
Now the Bible says very simply that the same Spirit that was in Jesus Christ, if it is in us that
God by that same Spirit is going to raise us up. Very simple scripture, Romans 8:9. You know
scripture. You've read it probably hundreds of times in years gone by in our publications. But
notice Colossians 1:16:
Colossians 1:16 - I'm going to take you through a number of scriptures, and then we're going to
put them all together for our understanding. This is Colossians 1:16. We see the promise that
was given first of all of the Holy Spirit, we see secondly it's the same Spirit as was in Christ,
now: Colossians 1:16: "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and (that are) in
earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:
all things were created by Him and for Him:
Verse 17 - "And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." It means that He's
number one in what God wants to have done, and He is the example of it, and He secondly is the
one that's going to carry it out on behalf of the Father.
Verse 18 - And He said: "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the
firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.
Verse 19 - "For it pleased the Father that in Him . . ." That is in Christ, ". . . all fullness should
dwell." Now keep that in mind, because we're going to take you somewhere that maybe you've
never gone before in understanding these scriptures. It says that He is in this sense of the word
the sum total of divine perfection. He is the sum total of the divine power of God. He is the sum
total of the attributes of God. By what? By the fact that all fullness of the Holy Spirit dwelt in
Now let's go to John 1 . Let's look at John 1, and then we'll take one more scripture, and then
we'll put this all together. This is John 1:10 . You've probably read this scripture a number of
times; we're going to emphasize a little differently this particular section.
John 1:10 - "He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know
Verse 11 - "He came (to) unto His own, and His own did not receive Him.
Verse 12 - "But as many as received Him, to them gave He. . ." the authority, " the power, the
right," the privilege ..." That's something very special. ". . . to become the sons of God, even to
them that believe on His name:
Verse 13 - " Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
but of God.
Verse 14 - "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the
glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Verse 15 - "John bore witness of Him, and cried, (saying,) 'This was He of whom I (spake) spoke
, He who comes after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.
Verse 16 - "And of His fulness. . .'" What fullness? The same fullness over in Colossians 1 , the
same power, the very same what we call attributes, divine perfections, powers, and those things.
Those things are available; they are available to you and to me as members of the body of Christ
and as the Church of God, ". . . of His fulness we have all received." As a result of Christ being
our head, and the head of this church, we are able to receive what He has, what He has been
given. For God does not give the Spirit by measure. John 3:34 . ". . . God does not give the Spirit
by measure ," so therefore of His fullness we can receive, and it tells us simply that with that
relationship with Christ, something very unique happens. Let's go to Colossians 2. This the last
scripture in this particular regard, but we want to see the promise that has been made, and the
result of that promise is that it can be given to a man to change.
I started with the question, "Can a man really change?" And I showed you that a man by the
name of Saul, who was not even begotten, but the Spirit of Christ that came upon him, we saw
what could happen. He was given a different heart, and they didn't even recognize him. Instead
of being the bumbling dolt that he was most of the time, and the rebellious individual that he
was, he for a short period of time reflected what God was able to do in him during that short
period. This is Colossians 2:9 . Notice what is promised:
Colossians 2:9 - "For in Him . . ." That is in Christ. ". . . dwells all the fullness of the Godhead
bodily." Stop for just a moment when you understand that you were baptized into the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We are talking about all of the qualities of God that
are found in the Godhead that is the Father and the Son and to the power of the Holy Spirit being
begotten by that spirit that all of the fullness of this Godhead can dwell bodily, dwelt in Christ,
and notice in verse 10:
Verse 10 - "And you are complete in Him . . ." You are complete in Him. So we recognize
something very important that when we were baptized according to Matthew 28:19 and 20, the
very fullness of God can dwell in this human being, and it should, and it will, and it can. And I'm
simply encouraging all of you to take hold of something that we have never talked about and see
where it takes us as a group of people.
Now what are we to become? What are we to become? We've got these first two things that have
to do with first of all, the promise of the Holy Spirit and the faith that we should have in the
character and qualities of God, but let's ask the question - What are we then to become? Let's
draw an analogy here from the Scriptures.
Now we are told in Ephesians 2:21 that the church is called the temple of God. We are told also
in I Corinthians 6:19 that our body is also called the temple of God. Now both of those have to
do with a spiritual temple; they have to do with a spirit that comes to unite with the spirit in man
that produces the ability for change. We see in the Old Testament a physical temple. We see in
the new testament for us a spiritual temple and that our body then secondarily as a part of that
particular temple is also a part of that, and our body is called the temple of the Holy Spirit. So we
recognize to understand in a finer discussion of our personal responsibility in the greater body
that you have the physical temple; you have the spiritual temple, and then you have your own
human body that is a part of that, not outside of it, but is a part of it.
Now let's go to John 7 , and let's notice what John says in John 7:37 . This the last day of the
feast, remember? Jesus said something profound, and when we begin to understand the
profoundness of this, then we understand what we can do as a part of the greater body and as a
part of the greater church of God and what it is to be doing at the time of the end. This is over in
John 7:37 - "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, ' If any
man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.'" So He's talking about spiritual salvation. He's
talking about simply the fact that there would be a relationship with God and with Christ and that
there would come the ability for the Holy Spirit of God to begin to change the life of an
individual. but notice what it says
Verse 38 - "and He that believes on Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly . . ." old King
James version, it says, ". . .out of His innermost being," other translations, ". . . out of His
innermost being would flow rivers of living water." Where did Jesus get this? What was Jesus
When we begin to understand that if you take the physical temple that we're going to look at in a
moment, then you see the spiritual analogy that comes forth. That He says that spiritually that
what would happen to an individual who believed on Him, that out of his innermost being would
follow these rivers of living water.
Verse 39 - "(But) this (spake) He spoke of as the Holy Spirit, . . .which was not yet given because
Jesus was not yet glorified ." So we see something most interesting that in a finer discussion of
the analogy, we begin to understand that Christ is talking about a particular event from the past
or in the future that represents what's going to happen spiritually to a Christian.
Now what should we understand from this? What should this mean for you as a member of the
church? Okay, let's go and notice I Chronicles 4:9, 10 for just a moment. I have talked about
this before but I want to go back to it because it is a profound principle that if we understand it,
and we use it properly, it has spiritual implications for the body. It has spiritual implications for
the church. It has spiritual implications for you as an individual as well. I Chronicles 4:9. Notice
what its says:
I Chronicles 4:9 - We talked about this man named Jabez. We talked about him from a little
different perspective then I'm going to talk about him today, but notice what it says about him: ".
. . (Jabez) he was more honorable than his brothers. . ." Okay, so we see a positive thing about
this man. When you first look at this particular man's prayer to God, it looks pretty selfish, ladies
and gentlemen. It looks like he's trying to get for himself. But when you begin to look at what
happens to this individual, you begin to see that what he is doing is he's trying to get outside of
hurting another human being. He's trying to get outside of himself; he's trying to show us by his
attitude that this is one of giving; it's one of caring; it's one of sharing. Notice what it says: ". . .
(Jabez) He was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez. . ."
which simply means he will cause pain, and apparently in some way he did.
Verse 10 - "And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that you would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory. . ." Now if you stop for just a moment and look at that, the evangelists
of the Protestant world use this scripture to talk about evangelizing. But he's talking about simply
the physical territory that he was looking to be blessed with as a part of his inheritance. But he's
talking here, if you think about it spiritually that You would bless me indeed. He's asking for a
blessing, and that You would enlarge me; that You will allow me to have an outward movement
away from what I have here, to change it around for you and me that we're asking God to bless
us and allow us to become effective, allow us to reach out to other human beings because he said
in the last part of verse 10 : ". . . that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me
from evil, that I may not cause pain!'"
So you see it was not as much a selfish thing of a lot of people would like to put handle on it as.
But you begin to realize that if you take this spiritually as a part of a prayer that many people
have prayed, you begin to realize that there's a positive aspect of outreach to other human beings
because it says in the last part of verse 10 : ". . . So God granted him what he requested." Why?
Because I believe that we see something most unique that God is willing to do
Several years ago, I talked about the law of multiplication in the Bible . Everywhere we see the
law of multiplication. We see that God is the multiplier, and He takes something, and He
multiplies it. Let's take the example He had forty years of manna for the children of Israel. Every
day for forty years, He gave them manna. He gave them quail for forty years. He give them
water every day for forty years.
That cloud by day kept that sun away, and it also told them when they were supposed to move.
That pillar of fire by night was for light. That pillar of fire was also for heat when you came to
the desert cold of the winter. The point was that God was the giver of these things, the realization
was that God multiplied these wonderful blessings day after day. Elijah and the widow, if you
remember the story, for one year the barrel of meal and the cruise of oil did not fail for all three
of them. Why? Because there was a supernatural multiplication. A supernatural multiplication.
Now Jesus fed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish on one occasion, five thousand men,
it says. It didn't talk about women and children. You add them to that in a very conservative
manner and that's twenty thousand people that were fed. Jesus also fed another multitude where
there was seven loaves and a few fish, four thousand men were fed. Then you add the women
and the children. That's sixteen thousand. Jesus fed thirty-six thousand people. I haven't had that
many people in the fifty or forty years I've been in the church at my house, or fed and sat down
with that many people to eat because it's an awesome realization that this is the law of
Okay, how do we apply that? How do we apply that to this whole thing that we're talking about
today? Well let's go to Ezekiel 47.
Let's go to Ezekiel 47:1 . I've talked about this before; I'll talk about again, and as long as I'm
your pastor, I'll make you sick talking about it some more, because I want you to get it. It's so
important. It is so important to what we're talking about as a church, and what we need to be
doing as a body.
Ezekiel 47:1 - "Afterward he brought me again to the door of the house; and, behold, waters
issued out from under the threshold of the temple the house eastward; for the (forefront) forward
of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of
the house, and (at) on the south side of the altar," Etc. etc. In verse 2 it talks a little bit about
that. This was a temple. Remember the physical temple that would be in the millennium, and
there was water that was flowing out of this particular temple. Remember the example that I
gave you that the church is the temple. Remember the example I gave you that we are the temple
of God, and that Jesus said that out of your innermost being would flow rivers of living water.
Remember that? Okay, keep that in mind now, because we're going to look at when Jabez asked
to be blessed and his territory enlarged. Watch how spiritually it can be done.
Verse 3 - "Then when the man (with) that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he
measured a thousand cubits, he brought me through the waters; and the waters were up to the
ankles." About three inches high. Now if you stop and look at the threshold and how small that
was, and then you walk out, you know, about a thousand cubits, and the water is that deep. Water
normally just flattens out and becomes very shallow, but when they stepped in the water, it was
up to the ankles. This was supernatural. This was something that God was doing in a very special
way. Notice verse 4:
Verse 4 - "(Again) he measured a thousand more , (and brought me through the waters; the
waters) they walked down the river or down the water , a little bit more , and they were up to the
knees." What would that be about eighteen inches to two feet ? C'mon now, you know better than
for that to be coming out of that threshold, and getting that deep. Then he goes on in Verse 4:
Verse 4 - ". . .he measured a thousand, and (he) brought me through the waters; and they were
up to the loins." Probably a good maybe three to three and a half, maybe four feet in some cases
Verse 5 - ". . . and afterwards he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass
over: the waters were risen, the waters to swim in, (a) the river that could not be passed over."
This is water that multiplied on itself. It came out of the temple of God. Who did it? The temple?
No, God did. God in a supernatural way did this. Now look what it did. It said in verse 8 :
Verse 8 - "And then he said unto me, 'These waters issue out toward the east country, (and) they
go down into the desert, (and) they go into the sea: which is brought forth into the sea, and the
waters shall be healed.'" The waters went toward the Mediterranean; the waters went toward the
Dead Sea. Wherever they went they healed the other waters. You see where I'm going? You see
the spiritual analogy? Do you see the concept? Think about it now. Notice what it says:
Verse 9 - " And it shall come to pass, that every thing that lives, which moves, whithersoever the
rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these
waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every living thing (shall) live (wherever)
whithersoever the river goes ." If you want to read a little bit more about it, you can check verse
12, and you'll see that other things happen as a result of the healing power of this river. It looks
physical; it is physical, but the point is the out of the temple's intermost being would flow those
rivers of living water. And they healed wherever they go.
Now let's stop for a moment, and with the analogy evaluate the collective job of the church.
What is the collective job of the church? What is the collective job of the body of Christ? And
then add to that what is the individual job when these rivers of living water are to flow out of us,
the two combined? There's a scripture that talks about that.
Let's go over to Isaiah 61 . Notice in Isaiah 61 a scripture that was quoted in the book of Luke .
It was quoted by Jesus Christ after the temptation that he went through, Christ in the fullness of
the Spirit went then into the synagogue in Galilee, and He began to read this scripture in Isaiah.
And so it referred to him. It referred to Him beginning His ministry; it referred to Him in starting
the three and a half years that He would preach the gospel. He was full of the Holy Spirit of God.
Now remember the statement - the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Jesus Christ.
remember that now.
Isaiah 61:1 - "The Spirit of the Lord ( or the spirit of the sovereign Lord as some translate it ) is
upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preached good tidings or the good news unto the
meek; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the
opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Verse 2 - "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." He closed the book, and He handed it
back to the attendant, and He said to everybody, "This day these words are fulfilled in your ears.
He stopped at that place. Why? Noticed last part of that verse. ". . . and the day of vengeance of
our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Verse 3 - "To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, (the) oil of
joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees
of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified." Jesus Christ finished what
God gave Him to do, and at the end of that three and a half years He died for the sins of
mankind, and during that three and a half years, you saw Him binding up the broken hearted.
You saw him proclaiming liberty to the captives. He was removing the demons from people. He
did all kinds of healing wonders that did occur, and it said the opening of the prison to those that
were bound spiritually. And began to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
Now He said that in the year of jubilee, in case you didn't know. That's the 50th year when
everything was to be set free. But you'll notice that the rest of the scripture was not fulfilled by
Him because that is a scripture that has to do with the work of the church. It has to do with what
has to be done between the time of Christ's first coming and His return. It is a responsibility of
the church to proclaim the day of vengeance. It is the responsibility of the church to help human
beings. It becomes a healing institution. It becomes a place of refuge from all of the craziness
that we have in our society. And it is that group of people that are called to fulfill that as we look
forward to, as it says, this day of vengeance that has to occur.
Now my point to you is this. If Jesus had all the fullness of the Godhead dwelling bodily in Him,
and if Jesus Christ then read the scripture when He was full of the Holy Spirit, you can go back
to read that in Luke 4 , and He only stopped there, then it tells us that a group of people with that
same Spirit with the fullness of that Spirit have a responsibility to carry that out. That's what it
Now, let's go over to Ephesians 3:14 . This is again the words of the apostle Paul, but I think we
begin to recognize that as Jesus has intended, the apostle Paul carried it out in the early New
Testament church, but he also talks about the responsibility of all Christians and what is possible
through those rivers of living water. This is over in Ephesians 3:14:
Ephesians 3:14 - "For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ,
Verse 15 - "Of whom the whole family of (in) heaven and earth is named." That's you and me,
part of the body.
Verse 16 - "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened
with might by His Spirit in the inner man." Again we're talking about the fact that the fullness of
the Godhead can dwell bodily in a man. That's what we're talking about.
Verse 17 - "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded
Verse 18 - "May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and
depth, and height;
Verse 19 - "And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled
with all the fullness of God." No difference. Same Spirit. It was in Christ. The same spirit is
supposed to be in us. What's the problem? We limit God. That's the problem. We limit God, and
we don't recognize that we do that. Notice verse 20.
Verse 20 - "Now unto Him and that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or
think, according to the power that works (in) with us.
Verse 21 - " Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without
end. (Amen.)" Okay, let's summarize. Let's evaluate what we've talked about today. We've seen
the character God. We have seen that God can't lie. We've seen the promises of God, that He can
not lie. We see the example of the faith of men like Abraham, and the promises of what can be
done and the promises of what will be done. They're all there. Nothing has changed. I didn't
corrupt any text. I didn't try to deceive you in any manner, shape or form. I read with you the
scriptures, and I expounded them as clearly as I could.
Now what is the conclusion of the matter? It's found to begin with in Genesis 32 . Let's go to
Genesis 32:24 . Notice in Genesis 32:24 an interesting example. This is the story of a man
whose name is Jacob, Jacob, the supplanter, Jacob, the con artist, Jacob's the guy that did all
kinds of things to finagle, and God had to test him. God had to find out what was in his heart,
and what he was going to do. So what did He do? He set up a wrestling match with Jacob.
Now, stop and think about this for a moment. This is really, really crazy, if you think about it.
Here is the God of the universe, who is the Creator of all things, coming down and appearing as
a man. This what Jesus did many times. He did that to Abraham; He did that to a number of other
people that he dealt with in person in that sense of the word. He came, and He appeared as a
man. And it says here in verse 24, He decided, and Jacob decided - how that all happens I don't
know, but it happened. They decided to have a wrestling match.
How would you like to think that I'm wrestling with somebody here that's a whole lot more
powerful, what have I got ahold of? This'll scare you. But I'm not sure Jacob was that smart at
that time to recognize all of that, but he decided to wrestle with Him.
Genesis 32: 24 - "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the
breaking of the day." And He, that is, you know, just put His name in, Jesus Christ, the God of
the Old Testament:
Verse 25 - "(And when he) saw that he prevailed not against Him. . ." Operating as a human
being, you know, using just simply the bodily functions of a human being, you know where two
men wrestle, and they're pretty well equal. And so what did He do? He supernaturally touched
the hollow of Jacob's thigh, and He let the boy know he was dealing with somebody bigger,
smarter, faster. He was dealing with God. And notice what it says: "... and the hollow of Jacob's
thigh was out of joint, as He wrestled with him.
Verse 26 - "And He said. . ." This is Christ now, "'Let Me go. . ." Now what is this, a test? I don't
know. It must be some kind of test. ". . . let me go. . . . And he said, 'I will not let you go unless
you bless me.'" You want to talk about somebody being arrogant and hanging on and stubborn?
Maybe that's why so many of the wonderful people from Ephraim are so stubborn, because of the
fact that maybe part of that got dumped on them. I don't know if you know about some of the
stubbornness that is there, but I laugh and I kid with them about it. But nevertheless it's true. He
then said, "Let me go, for the day breaks. And he said I (will not) won't let You go unless You
Verse 27 - "And He said. . . 'What is your name?' And he said, 'Jacob' .
Verse 28 - "And He said, 'Your name will be no more called Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince
have you power with God and with men and have prevailed.'" So we see that Christ was giving
him an the inclination of what was going on, and Jacob was blessed. But the point was that Jacob
wouldn't let go, and I simply say to you that we have to come to the place that you believe this.
You have to come to the place that you buy the promise. You have to have faith in that promise.
You won't get anywhere without wrestling with God. It won't happen.
And let me show you how you go about doing it. Watch where we go with this. Luke 11:9. Let's
conclude with this particular scripture, because it puts together for us the reality of what we need
to do as members of the body.
Jacob wrestled with Christ. He did not win, but he found out he was wrestling with someone that
was far greater than he, and as a result of that he was proven, and he came to prove that what he
was dealing with was something to grab hold of and not let go of. This is Luke 11:9. Jesus
Christ was talking about the importunate individual who was seeking to have food for a friend
that came that he wasn't expecting to be there.
Luke 11:8 - ". . . though he rise not and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his
importunity. . ." Or his persistence. Remember Jacob? Jacob was persistent, and while you may
look at him at that time as one who was being converted and being changed and all of that, and
he had some things to deal with, nevertheless he grabbed hold of Christ, and he said, " I won't let
you go. I won't let you go." ". . . he will rise and give him as many as he needs."
Now Jesus begins to explain to us the present progressive approach to this whole thing of being
filled with the fullness of God, because if you drop down to verse 13 , you will see that giving
good gifts has to do with the Holy Spirit being given by our heavenly Father. Notice what it says:
Verse 13 - "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much
more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" Now let's open it up
to show you what was said in the first split, what's been said for years and years by the ministry
of Jesus Christ. This is where you've got to go. This is where the fast day should go. This is
where day-by-day, it should go, when you ask to be capable of being used like the rivers of
living water, like the example of the temple, like the example of Isaiah 61 of being a healer and
a carer and a helper of human beings who are going to need that kind of help. Notice what it says
in Verse 9 :
Verse 9 - "And I say unto you, 'Ask. . .'" and both the amplified version and the Williams
translation put it this way, ask and keep on asking. ". . . and it shall be given you, seek . . . " And
keep on seeking ". . .and ye shall find; knock. . ." And keep on knocking ". . .and it shall be
opened unto you."
Verse 10 - "For every one that asks . . ." And keeps on asking. ". . .receives; and he that seeks
. . ." A nd keeps on seeking. ". . .finds, and him that knocks. . ." A nd keeps on knocking.
". . .it shall be opened.
Verse 11 - "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone ? If he
asks for a fish will he give him a serpent?
Verse 12 - "(Or) if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?" Meaning you have to ask.
You've got to ask to be spiritually effective. You've got to ask for the Spirit of God to flow like
the supply of the Spirit of Christ to renew your mind and then to flow out of you in the good
works and the service and the ability to be spiritually effective. Notice what it says:
Verse 13 - "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much
more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them asking Him?"
You have in your hands the scriptures today. I went through simply the principles of the
promises, the character of God. I went through the principles that have to do with simply the
question of effectiveness and how one can become effective. I've talked to you about the analogy
of the temple. I talked to you about how your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I showed you
how Christ has the fullness of God, and how you can have the fullness of God dwelling in you.
Has nothing to do with the office of the ministry; it has to do with spiritual effectiveness. And I
showed you that we are to ask that our territory be enlarged. We are to ask that like rivers of
living water that Spirit would flow out of us to be a help to other human beings.
I showed you what the collective body of Jesus Christ would do, and I showed you what the
individual group of people had to do as an example by Jesus Christ in Isaiah 61 . We have that
opportunity to do that. It's simply as I told you in the conclusion, it's a matter of whether you will
wrestle with God. It's a matter of whether you will set yourself on a course of action to do that.
The key is you. The key is me. And the statement is made, "They limited the Holy one of Israel."
Will you do the same?