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Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Power of His Resurrection # 2

The Power of His Resurrection # 2

Paul made it clear in the twenty-fourth chapter of Acts. He said: "Because Jesus rose everybody will rise." One day a man lifted a latch as it were ... (you know, like sometimes you've opened a door and everything in the cupboard falls out and you try to get it back and somehow it wouldn't, and you thought, "Oh, I'll let it go." We've all done it!) One day a man lifted a latch and he let iniquity come into the world. And by one man's sin he polluted the whole human race. To pollute one life is bad, but to pollute millions and billions of people since creation ...! Then Newman says in his hymn, which isn't quite right, Oh loving wisdom of our God, when all was sin and shame a second Adam ..." No, not a second. If thee is a second there might be a third. He was the LAST Adam. "Loving wisdom of our God when all was sin and shame a last Adam to the fight and to the rescue came. Oh, wisest love that flesh and blood which did in Adam fail." I can't prove this, but I'm sure that one day Jesus said in Eternity to His Father, who was heart broken over the sin in the universe, "Father will you let me go to earth and show them you can live in flesh and blood and be a perfect example of Your Holiness? I can live there and obey You even if the gates of hell came upon me."  And He wants us to think as He did, like the word of God says, "As He was, so are we in this world." God expects me to have the world of flesh and the devil under my feet. I'll get bruished. My emotions will raise or fall. My days will be dark or light. It has to be that way. It is the way the Master went ...

I was reading today where Paul says, "Sorrow came upon me." I was reading of Jesus when He went into the garden and it says, "As He went into the garden He was in great heaviness of spirit." Don't let the devil trick you on your emotions. Your standing with God does not change because your feelings change. I get up one morning, I could conquer the world with two fingers; I get up the next morning and I feel if somebody blew on me I'd nearly fall over. Emotions are so uncertain. They are so unpredictable. You can't chart a course for them. Jesus says I am the resurrection and the Life.

Oh, I love,k I love, I love to think of old Parker, maybe not the greatest preacher, but sure a great preacher of England. Visualizing that resurrection morning when the stone was put over the grave ... and those precious women ... (Remember this: they were the last at the Cross they were the first at the sepulchre). And that one precious woman, can you imagine that one? She was going to carry the body of Jesus, and you know what? If it'd been there she'd have done it too. Because there are times that with your zeal and human love you can do things you could never have ... she would have taken that  body if she could. But no. She got there and the stone was there - just before she got there, anyhow - and then over the stone the wax and over the wax the seal. And then the soldiers and then finally ... I can see satan saying: "I'm not sure if I can manage this," and then some demon says: "Your majesty, supposing every demon puts his shoulder against that stone we've got Him now." When I hear the Cape Canaveral countdown I always think: Friend, you are two thousand years too late, because the countdown was the resurrection morning. Old lucifer says: "We've got Him now, hold Him. We've got the stone, the wax, the seal, the soldiers, the sin of the world, every demon. HOLD IT. HOLD IT, HOLD IT, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five ..." He was just going to say two ... and the Holy Spirit slipped in and RAISED UP JESUS FROM THE DEAD. How do I know, because Romans eight says that. "The Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead."

His resurrection is wonderful, but He raised me from the dead! God perpetuated that miracle in me: "You hath He quickened who were dead on trespasses and sins." ... not you will die, but you were dead. Some of us would even admit more than that, we stank as well. We smelled, we made other people feel the rottenness of our lives. When Jesus says, "I am the resurrection" I like that. I happen to know at the end of the Revelation Jesus says: "Listen, I am He that liveth and was dead and behold I am alive and I have the keys of death and of hell." And friend, you won't die one minute before God wants you to if you are in His will. I don't care if you rot in a concentration camp or what. He has the time of your death, He has the time of my death. He has the keys, nobody will destroy us. HE HAS THE KEYS!

"All power is given unto Me," Jesus says. Well, I say, there were other resurrections. YES, but they were all different. You know, Jesus was quite comfortable in the presence of death, it didn't trouble Him. Who did He raise from the dead? He raised Jairus' daughter, He raised the son of the widow of Nain, and Lazarus. Three people He raised from the dead. What is the difference between their resurrection and His? Oh, a lot. First, theirs had no vicarious power to it. Second, they were all called forth from the tomb, He wasn't. Third, when they came froth from the tomb they were all bound with cloths, headbands, and their feet. And we know Jesus walked out of it. He slipped out of those cloths like a caterpillar slips out of a cocoon. He did not need anybody to call Him forth.

So everybody else that was raised from the dead: Number one: somebody else called them ... nobody called Jesus. Number two: they were bound with cloths ... He was not bound with cloths. Number three: they all went back and died again. Didn't they? ... at least I have not seen them around. So I kind of figure they must be dead. But what does the scripture say about the Lord Jesus? Well, let me read it to you. Romans chapter 6 verse 8 it says: (Oh man, this puts the clincher on the whole thing.) "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him." Man, that's worth a thousand Halleluiahs; if you say one I'll forgive you. Death hath no more dominion over Him. Yes sir! The other men died twice. It's appointed unto men to die. Some of them, poor souls, had to die twice, that's pretty rough isn't it. You say, Enoch and Elijah did not die, did they? Hey you wait. Get to the end of Revelation see what happened. Who lies in the streets of Jerusalem? So God is going to fulfill ... you see we live under a moral law. God said, "Whatsoever a man shall sow, that also shall he  reap." And if God says in Adam all die, they are going to die. But He says, "Jesus came ..." knowing that Christ bring raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him."

Now lets back a minute. I say that the Spirit raised up Jesus from the dead is the Spirit that quickens us, because man is dead in trespasses and in sin. That's why sometimes you can't drive home to people how bad they are. Sometimes we say, "They sit and reject the gospel" ... they never heard it. They never heard it. With these ears yes ... When Moody came to England he upset a lot of the preachers. He thought they were so, you know, nice English, stuffy Englishmen with their academic degrees and everything. Moody was a murderer, well, I mean he murdered the English language anyhow. Man, he could not say Jerusalem in three syllables, he said Jusum. He called Daniel, Daneel. It took the English about a week to figure out what he was talking about. He murdered the king's English. He was not even a good looking man, he'd never gotten away with it in our day, he didn't have a nice toothpaste smile, and a nice personality. But brother I'll tell you, God was on that little shoe salesman from Chicago. There's no man swept England since the old Moody did. Alexander McLaren, the king of the pulpit in the North England, was in the meetings, on the platform and he listened with amazement. One day in one of the services at a big auditorium a man came down the aisle weeping and he collapsed at the altar. Alexander McLaren saw his main deacon come down to the altar. The main deacon of the First Baptist Church of Manchester, now at the altar listening to an illiterate American? He said, "I went down to him and put my arm a round his shoulder and said, "brother Smith , what are you doing here? You are a deacon." He said, "Yes sir, I'm a deacon in your church." "But I don't understand," said McLaren, "as a matter of fact brother look, uh, I'm considered a great preacher and I preached on this text about three weeks ago and you listened to every word." The poor deacon said straight back to him, "But I never heard a thing you said."  He heard it, but the inward ear was not open, he was dead, he was unresponsive in that sense. No man comes unto the Father, except the Father draw him. "You hath He quickened."  Now listen, if He quickens, I don't believe that necessarily everybody gets saved in the first meeting that they hear the gospel in, and I don't, for sure. I think there are times that, just like a worm eating in somebody's heart, the Spirit of conviction comes until people get sleepless and troubled and worried and anxious and then finally you don't have to coach or beg or threaten, the Spirit of God has done His work. But we don't like it in these days. I'm making no excuses. I'm just saying this: people didn't used to get saved like they get saved now. You know, even the Pentecostals that I know don't have any tarrying meetings anymore; they used to when we were kids. They used to say to a deacon going out, "You know, I believe that I know there's something wrong in my life and I'd like to come to a tarrying meeting. I want to tarry." And they used to have "tarrying" meetings. They had a select company of deacons who stayed in that meeting 'till people met God. They wanted to be endued with power from on high. I don't care which way its done, that's not the point. But I'm saying, there no longer seems to be that raw deep conviction of the Spirit of God where men and women say, "Foul I to thy fountain fly, wash me Saviour or I die!" Again, we offer people heaven. We offer them peace of mind. We offer them forgiveness. I never heard Graham clearer than when about a month ago he said, "Look, I've come to this conclusion, that salvation means this: Is your heart occupied by God?" Isn't that what it really is? Christ in you the hope of glory?

~Leonard Ravenhill~

(continued with # 3)

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