I had the privilege this week of going to the LA area and being a part of the TV program called "Praise the Lord." And I was told when I got there that I would probably be on the early part of the program. But the Lord arranged it so that I was on the early part and the part that wasn't so early and the later part too. This program begins at eight o clock. I was on the program well over 3 hours. It seemed that the messages that the Lord has made so real to my heart found such a ready response with the people that were there viewing and also the people that were watching on the television. Brother Paul Crotch asked me if I would give a challenge to the people that were watching on the television and let them know just exactly what was going on and so I did. I let them know that the restlessness, that striving, the conflict within was undoubtedly God moving upon them. I let them know that if a member of their family knew God that God had a special place for them and that He was not angry with them but that they were highly favored with God. And I encouraged them to slip their hand in God's and take advantage of this display of God's love and this kindness towards them. People called in from everywhere.
Following the program Paul brought a stack of papers of people who had called in, most of them to turn their lives back to God, many of them backsliders that had come back to the Lord and many who had parents that wouldn't listen to anymore. He said that this stack of names represented according to polls that they had probably only 5% of the people that had really been moved on. But there were about 2500 that had called in during that time and said we want to get back with God. And if that was only 5% that would be conservatively speaking 25000 people dropping on their knees and calling out on God. Wasn't that worth while? Praise God.
When I got home on Friday the phone had been ringing before I got home. And the first call that I took was from a lady from Boston. She had been reading the book and she was reading the chapter where it says that the family members and their reservations were made but they need to confirm their reservation and that God was working on the families. So she called to tell me that she was really concerned about members of her family, her sister's and other members of her family. And I could tell the way she was talking, the Lord spoke to my heart that this lady didn't know the Lord either. And so I said, "well how is it with you?" And she said well I don't know Him either. I knew she was fishing for that. I could hear another voice besides the one that was on the phone. And so she turned her life over to God right there on the phone, just half way through the chapter about the families.
About 15 minutes later another lady called up, this time from Virginia and she said, "I just have to turn my life over to God." She had heard just a little announcement of it on the 700 club and so I prayed with her and she turned her life over to Jesus. Hallelujah. There had to have been at least 20 long distance calls, many of them turning their lives over to God, others that just wanted prayer that God would take the proper place in their lives and that they would be a blessing. God is doing what He said He would do. And I feel so excited about what He is doing and so confident and happy in the Lord knowing that when God makes a promise He lives to keeps His promise. I know that the angels of heaven are rejoicing over what's taking place. Things are happening.
This morning our hearts are filled with real expectancy. But I want to point you not to the experience but to what the experience is leading us to. The broad truths of the Word of God that may have been a little cloudy, they may have been unclear but God is bringing illumination to the Word of God and making the Word come alive, and making it real. The truths that are in that book are truths that are found in the Word of God. Not one of those experiences has come without taking me back to the Word of God, and strong support of the Bible.
Now there are two dangers that are present. The first danger is in turning God off and saying, "Well there's nothing to it, so what, what's so great about that." I've heard a few reports of people who said, "Well thank God we have the Word of God, we don't need anything else to quicken us or to show us, we have the word. We know what the blazed trail down through the middle of the word says and so we're content with that. And as a result honest hearted people have oftentimes closed their minds. Unbelief has cut them out of the broad pastures of the Word that God has opened up to them.
The second danger is for people to glory in that experience and use that experience as a dwelling place where they stop, not realizing that God has used and intended that experience to be a door way leading into new dimensions of truth and hope and life. It would be like the children of Israel standing on the brink of the Jordan river and seeing the great cloud of water on one side and enjoying the little trip across that river so much that they would say, "Joshua, why don't we change our plans here, and we know this is a path into the promise land but it's so much fun looking at that big wall of water and walking across the gravel. Here let's draw a line right here and just go back and forth and live in this great experience all the rest of our lives, what do you say?" Well there wasn't anyone who said that but Joshua let them know, "hey there are other great experiences as you move ahead, there's a lot of ground to conquer." So we need to keep in mind, never despise what God is doing. But in going ahead do not forget the gateway, do not forget the great experience, but don't live in the experience. This is very, never important.
Now there are some who, and here's the danger in living in the experience. The posts of this gate can become wearisome after awhile because it's not leading you anywhere, you're standing in the gate. The reason I feel that this is very important is because we're living in a time when God is going to be revealing Himself in new ways. This is a time when there will be many, many more angelic appearances. There will be visions, there will be dreams, and there will be times when it seems that the earth will almost shake with the moving of God's Holy Spirit. But people will become involved in a variety of experiences so that they may each one be in a different doorway, none of them with a definite commitment to God.
Now the experiences can grow old if you just stand in the door of experience. But the word of God never grows old and the experiences that He brings to us, and I am thankful to God that the experiences that I have presented to you have come from God's heart. And God in knowing that the Word lives and abides forever has wrapped these experiences in the Word of God to the point that the Word of God means more to me right now than it has ever meant in my whole life. I can quote from the Word truths and references by the hundreds. God is honoring His Word and He's making His word real to us.
I've had some say, "well why remember the experience if it's the Word that He wants to make real?" Do you know that in every experience when God moved supernaturally that's recorded in the Word they recorded not only the truth that was made real and was opened up, they also recorded the way that God opened up the area of truth? It's there, the Jordan experience was recorded in detail. The great experiences of defeating the gods of Egypt before they left were recorded in detail. The breaking of the bread that Christ did and it was such an experience that those people could tell their grandkids and great grandkids. As he took five loaves and two fish and fed such a great multitude and still had more left over then where he started. It was a tremendous experience but it's recorded in detail. What God does is never a light thing. And it's never a thing to be spoken of derogatorily; it's never a thing to take lightly as far as our minds are concerned. But by the same token it isn't the end of what He came to do, but it's a station along the way as God leads His people. I don't know for sure what God intends with the way that He has ministered. I do know the messages that He has brought have been pointing to Himself in a way that He wants to be known. He wants to be known as a God who cares. He wants to be known as a God that has made people His business. And he wants us to make people our business; He's let us know that. He's let us know that worship is the most important thing in all the world. And in worship we're brought to a level of the highest angels.
One of the ladies who was here in the early service this morning told me of a letter she'd gotten from a friend whose life had been turned around. She read it to me over the phone and talked to her this morning. This is going to be happening, you're going to be hearing about it. There's no way in the world that we could keep track but God is keeping track. Hallelujah. When He said to Bavrield, "Bavrield take that host of special forces angels out into the world and turn them loose on people who have loved ones who know the Lord. He did it. And He hasn't withdrawn them. They're still working. Praise the name of the Lord. Praise God.
But I wanted you to know in the experiences that you may have, never stop at that experience. If that experience has made God more real than take the word of God and when you talk about the richness of God and the truths that have been made real to you. Don't relate them, don't forget your experience, but don't relate your truths to the gate, relate them to the Word of God. And as you read the Word, you will discover wonderful passages of truth that remind you of how good God is.
I mentioned to the people at the Montana camp that if they kept talking about me for the next six months to their friends they we're going to get all of those people to start hating my name and they would rule the day that they ever invited me to be their camping speaker. The reason I said this, there were several of the pastors that we're wanting to do this in their churches, they were going to start quoting me. I said, "You can't do that." So I brought it right into them in the last sermon. I don't want them to be quoting me; I'd rather have them quote the Bible because all of those truths are bible. And I want to encourage you when you see what God is doing, it's good to remember the way that God introduced the truth and it's good to thank God for the sun that's shining down and making the truth light. But let us remember this that it is God; it is God's Word that lives and abides forever that's going to get the job done. And He cares for you.
I think of what it means to behold the beauty of the Lord. Every person that the Word speaks of that saw the Lord suddenly had a change in themselves, in their own lives. I think of Isaiah, if you want to turn to Isaiah the 6th chapter and the last verse of chapter 5. Isaiah was talking about the bleakness of the old world. One of the blessings of this experience that God has given has been showing us the Word and how we're supposed to look at things. He said there's nothing but blackness everywhere. But he said one certain time the Lord revealed Himself to him. He said, "I saw Him high and lifted up." Oh what a beautiful experience this was. But he said, "when I saw the Lord, then I looked down and I saw the same earth that I was looking at before and instead of looking so black and so bleak and everything was lost and ruined and destroyed" just like the world today, he said, "I looked down and I said can this be the same place?" After seeing God as He was and then beholding the earth as it was seen under the glory of God. He said, "The whole earth is filled with His glory."
Now in this world today things look pretty black. Things are discouraging. If we started looking around our hearts would be filled with perplexity. But God says, "Look up," and as we look up and let the Word reveal and show us what God is like. We can look at this whole world and say, "hey is that the same place I was looking at?" The whole earth is filled with His glory and God is still in control. I think of Balaam when he saw the Lord, he looked up and he said now this is the way it looks to the man whose caught a vision of the Almighty. It looked pretty bad, everybody looked bad to him. But when he caught a vision of the Almighty he said, "Oh everything looks so beautiful." I'm reminded of Phillip when he cried out to Jesus he said if you would show us the Father Jesus it would be sufficient. There was a cry in his heart to see the Father. Oh I want to see Him.
Moses had a chance, didn't get to see His face, but He cried out, "Oh God let me see what you're like, let me see what you're like. And when God came by and told him what He was like, he said, "I want to tell you what I am like. You've had an idea of what I am like but you had it mixed up. I'm a God of wrath, I'm a God of mercy, and I'm a God of love. But you had it upside down. You had me as a God of wrath. Now I'm going to tell you what I'm really like. I'm a God first of Love." You read it in Exodus 34 verses 6 and 7. I'm a God of love, a God of mercy, of loving-kindness, a God that's filled with compassion and righteousness. But He said this doesn't mean that I'm going to accept sinners without them repenting or turning their lives over to God. He said this will no means clear the guilty but it will let them know that I love them. And then he said for those who refuse then they experience my wrath. So God is letting us know. I'm giving you some of the truths that have been made real to me through this experience. God letting us know what He is really like. But you see when we have it upside down, and this is one reason why He used these extraordinary means to let us know what God is like was because the world as a whole had the truth upside down. They were looking at His wrath and somehow in trying to dig down through his wrath to his love, their lives became so conditioned in fear, it was very hard to accept His love. But if you roll it over, God said if you get bathed in His love you'll very likely as you live in the light of His love, you will never have to get down to find out what that other side is like, for it's reserved for those who refuse God.
I'm glad the Lord didn't worry about what people were going to say if He sent an angel down since they couldn't see it themselves. And sent the angel down to say hey roll that orb of truth over, the way God wants to be seen. And for those who may not have this particular reference that he gave to me in Jeremiah 9:23-24 where He said, "I delight to be known as the God of loving-kindness, of mercy, of justice. I delight to be known in this way." He wasn't doing away with the other but this is how I want to be known.
Then he sent this special messenger because the world wasn't seeing it to remind us that the word gospel means good news. And when Jesus said to take the good news to all the world, he meant to take the good news that Jesus saves, that He has made it possible for us to move into fellowship with God. That's good news. It's true there are messages of wrath and of judgment but they are not part of the good news. They are for people who refuse the good news. Aren't you glad for this news?
You see for centuries people have been looking in the Word of God but somehow it's been hidden from their eyes. But God said time is getting short and man is going to have to have a little bit of help here in seeing what I really want them to know. And it's the Word that's being made real. There are going to be things happening that people may anchor their hope to an experience but God says no. Love the experience, revel in it, enjoy it, but go on out into the truth that the experience is leading you to. I want you to take that book "Angels on Assignment" and get those truths into your heart. Tie them to the scripture and as you talk to people say this is what the Bible says because that's what it says.
I believe that there are people here this morning that have come with their hearts hungry for God. You have come because you have heard what God is doing and the move of God's mighty angels in the world today is not just an experience through which people pass. It is going to be a continuing thing until Jesus comes. And we have been made a part of what God is doing.