Whatever happened to the Father? Why is He seemingly so unimportant in the world of Christianity?
Well, good morning, everyone. I think it is still morning — yes. Thank you very much, Rebecca, we really appreciate that. I could just picture the Rocky Mountains and — with the music — so it was a very nice composition and one thing I know, when you create your songs — I used to play accordion and I used to sit around and I'd play certain songs, I'd come back to it — one thing nice about it — nobody knows when you make a mistake. Not that she made any, but nobody knows because you wrote it and you might have planned that particular departure; anyway, great job. We really appreciate it.
It's been a bad, a sad week, hasn't it, this past week, at least a number of deaths. Ed McMahon died, Farrah Fausset died, one of Charlie's Angels originally, and then Michael Jackson; so it's been kind of a sad week, in that sense, for those families of those individuals and then also when you had the horrible circumstance of the Governor of South Carolina and his moral decline; so it's really sad. It's been a rather sad week. Now, I'm not going to give anything sad to you today, but I just thought I would mention it.
My wife would have liked to have been here this morning. My mom is with us. My sister went to France to visit. She and her husband went to France to visit their son who is studying over there for the summer and they have never been there, so it was a great opportunity for them to go and visit all the sites of Paris and all the other areas around France and, maybe, Switzerland, and then they are going to be gone for two weeks.
They usually look after my Mom so, at least in the evening, so we brought her up here. Jan had her for a week and now we have her for about nine days; so, she's 95 and she can't get around very easily, so we pretty much stay with her 24/7. If she is in a strange location, she sometimes forgets where things are in the house, so we have to be there to help her through and feed her and take care of her; so it's an opportunity for this nine days to show her the love and respect. She always says I don't want to be a burden to anybody. So, Mom, I was a burden to you for 18 years before I Ieft so I think I could give you a few days, anyway, of being burdened, if that's the way you want to put it; so, it's a nice opportunity to be able to give something back to her.
Most Christians today promote the name of Jesus Christ and rightly so. I mean, Jesus Christ is awesome, wonderful. He is the Lord and Savior of mankind. They're committed to Christ. They sing about Him. They pray to Him and they love to talk about Him to others. Do you know the Lord? Do you have Jesus in your heart? Have you received Jesus?
But, I have a question for you: Whatever happened to the Father? Why is He seemingly so unimportant in the world of Christianity? Why is He kind of pushed aside or perhaps He is retired and turned the business over to His Son. Here, Son, I'm getting too old, you take over and do it. Let everybody ask you. Let them pray to you. You do the work. Is that the case? Let's see what the Bible and the Son have to say about whatever happened to the Father?
John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version× was already quoted so I won't quote it again, but remember "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." So the Father gave His Son. It was the Father who gave His beloved Son.
Matthew 24, verse 5 — I'm going to give you several Scriptures, but I'm only going to punctuate them and not take a lot of time to expound them because I think they tell a story — but, from Jesus Christ and from the Bible — about whatever happened to the Father? What about Him? Why has He been pushed aside? Why is He not paid much attention to and is that what the Bible wants us to do?
Vs. 5 — "For many shall come in my name," Jesus Christ said, "saying, 'I am the Christ'; and shall deceive many."
So, many people will be saying His name, but will they be doing what He said? Many will be touting His name. Many will be praising His name. Many will be praying to Him. I've heard many prayers on television for various special events and almost always they pray to Christ and very seldom do they even end it in Jesus name. They always pray to Christ; well, they usually pray to Christ, I won't say always, sometimes you'll get one praying to the Father.
II Corinthians 11, verse 4 — the Apostle Paul said that Jesus Christ's message and His image would be distorted.
II Corinthians 11:4
He talked about there's a simplicity in Christ, verse 4, He said:
Vs.4 — "For if he that comes preaches another Jesus" — so what have people been given? Is this what Jesus Christ wants? Does He want us to forget the Father?
You know the old One in the Old Testament, the God of the Old Testament — that Father —He made some commandments; they're kind of not so good, they are grievous, not really good for us. I've come to liberate you. I've come to free you from this. I've come to bring you grace and grace is interpreted as license to do as you please. Do as you please-ism because I've done it all for you.
And, that's how Jesus Christ has been marketed in many places. He kept the law for you. He was put to death, so what was nailed to the cross was Christ, who became the law; therefore, the law is nailed to the cross. You don't have to keep it anymore. He already did it for you. What are you doing this for?
I posted something on Facebook about getting ready to keep the Feast of Pentecost and one person came back, a former student years ago of mine, and said, well, I'm sure glad that I'm free from the law and Christ did it for me and I can just accept Christ; that was more than I could handle.
I don't get on Facebook. I'm not on there to try to promote religion per se. I'm on there to promote good relationships and hope that people might want to follow the religion, if they see good relationships, but not to promote religion. But, it was more than I could handle, so I wrote back and I just said — she said Christ is our rest — so I said, hmmm, have you ever read what the Apostle Paul wrote, how he had to fight himself and beat himself and keep himself in check, lest after he preached to others — it didn't sound like he was taking it easy.
I said and, also, have you read, you know, what it says in I John 5:3 John 5:3In these lay a great multitude of weak folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
American King James Version×, what is love, "this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments," and have you read, have you read, what the Bible says? Where does it say that Jesus Christ is our rest? I said I read that Jesus Christ gives us rest. What translation are you using?
So then she wrote back, well, I didn't mean that we don't have to do something. I don't mean we have…and then she said, check this link to this web site; check out what they have to say about the Sabbath, so I didn't carry on anymore. I could have said I'm not interested in links. I'm interested in the Bible.
What does the Bible have to say? But, Jesus Christ has been distorted. You've been given a false image and in II Corinthians 11, verse 3, he says, "But I fear, lest by any means…they corrupt you," verse 4, "For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him."
And he is saying this tongue-in-cheek, it's a sarcastic statement. You listen to those people, but you don't listen to me. Another Jesus — a distorted image of Jesus and a distorted image about what Jesus thought about the Father and what He came to do.
Mark 7, verses 7 and 8. These are all classic Scriptures, probably memory Scriptures for many of us.
Mark 7:7-8 Mark 7:7-8  However, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do.
American King James Version×
Vs. 7 — "Howbeit in vain do they worship Me." Jesus Christ said the world worships Him in vain. He didn't say they worship some world soul. He didn't say they worshipped Vishnu of the Hindus. He didn't say they worshipped Allah of the Muslims. He said, "...they worship Me in vain, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Vs. 8 — "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do." You pay attention to that, but you don't pay attention to Me.
Matthew 7, verse 21 — Jesus said that His name was not enough. Using His name was not enough. Following His Word was not enough, you see — Matthew 7 and verse21.
Vs. 21 — "Not every one that says to me, 'Lord, Lord' — now He didn't say they're saying, this lord Buddha, they're not saying this about the great sayings of Confucius — "not everyone that says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Just saying His name, just repeating His name, just praising His name, just asking about have you received Christ, do you have the Lord in your heart, oh, the Lord Jesus: just saying His name is not enough. Christ's words, "But he that does the will" — of whom? — "of My Father which is in heaven."
Jesus Christ pointed us to the Father. In fact, Jesus Christ came to reveal the Father because, if you check all the Scriptures and correlate them, you'll find that the God of the Old Testament, the One who appeared to the individuals was none other than the One that became Jesus Christ, so it was absolutely essential for Jesus Christ to come and reveal the Father because He said you don't even know Him. You've not seen Him.
You don't know what He's like and yet in the Old Testament God was seen in the flesh. God wrestled, wrestled, with Jacob, and Jacob said, "I have seen God," Peniel. He wrestled with God.
He sat and had dinner with Abraham. Who was this that was seen? What was this One? It was the One that became Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ said, you know what? You haven't known the Father. I've come to reveal Him.
Notice Luke 10, verses 21 and 22.
Luke 10:21-22 Luke 10:21-22  In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in your sight.
 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
American King James Version×
Did Jesus Christ come to push the Father off? Did Jesus Christ come to make the Father — put the Father back in His easy chair? In His retirement mode?
Vs. 21 — "In that hour, Jesus rejoiced in the spirit, and said, 'I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in your sight.'"
Now notice verse 22.
Vs. 22 — "'All things are delivered to me of my Father.'" Everything I'm doing, My Father gave Me to do for you. "'...of my Father: and no man knows who the Son is, but the Father: and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.'"
Jesus Christ came to reveal the Father, but He said I know the Father, the Father knows Me, I came out from the Father, the Father gave Me what He wanted Me to bring to you. We'll see it more clearly, but He said I came to reveal the Father.
John 17:25-26 John 17:25-26  O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.
 And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.
American King James Version×
John 17 — in this final prayer of Jesus Christ notice what He said. John 17:25 John 17:25O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.
American King James Version×.
Vs. 25 — "O righteous Father, the world has not known you," they have not known you,"but I have known you, and these," the people of God, Christians, "these have known that you have sent me."
And verse 26 he said:
Vs. 26 — "And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Jesus Christ promoted the Father. He didn't promote Himself. Now, He didn't denigrate Himself. He didn't put Himself down, but He did promote the Father. He said I came to reveal Him. He said everything that I've come to give to you, you'll see that later on, came from the Father.
People say, well, now you have Christ's commandments and you have God the Father. God the Father's commands are a little tough, a little hard. You have Christ's commandments over here. Just love, nice feelings, and you'll see what Jesus Christ said. Were they His commandments or did He bring what the Father told Him to bring?
Our Heavenly Father is absolutely essential to our lives. We need His presence and we need His attention and we need to give Him the honor and respect and sacrifice and service that He deserves. After all, He created the world (Ephesians 3:9 Ephesians 3:9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×). He gave His Son for us (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×). He draws us to His way. "No one can come to Me except the Father draws them"(John 6:44 John 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
American King James Version×). "He it is that has life to give" — life inherent in Himself (John 5:26 John 5:26For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;
American King James Version×). He it is who gives the spirit more willing than a father is to give his hungry son food (Luke 11:11-13 Luke 11:11-13  If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
American King James Version×).
I just wanted to go through those, rapid fire. I am not giving you those Scriptures to read. You can check them out yourself.
Matthew 19, though, verses 16 and 17, Jesus Christ acknowledged that the Father was greater He.
Matthew 19:16-17 Matthew 19:16-17  And, behold, one came and said to him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
 And he said to him, Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.
American King James Version×
Vs. 16 — Jesus Christ acknowledged the Father was greater than He because, "behold, one came and said to him, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?'" You're a good Man. You're a good Master. What good thing may I do and Jesus Christ would not let the "good" settle on Him long.
You can check the Bible. The Bible does talk about good men. Good in the sense of human goodness, but nobody is good as God and that's what Jesus Christ was explaining. Nobody is good — God was in the spirit. Jesus Christ still had flesh. He was still God in the flesh and He said, no, don't call Me good.
Vs. 17 — "And he said to him, 'Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, that is—ultimately good — that is, God — who would have been His Father, because Christ was here on the earth — but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.'"
So Jesus Christ showed quite clearly that the Father was greater than He. He acknowledged it.
John 14:28 John 14:28You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
American King James Version×
And, again, we see in this particular text that Jesus Christ again promotes the Father. John 14, verse 28.
Vs. 28 — "You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come again to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, 'I go to the Father:' for my Father is greater than I." Jesus Christ acknowledged, but again, Jesus Christ promoted the Father. Jesus Christ loved the Father.
Now, should we go to the other ditch and never say anything about Jesus Christ? No. Jesus Christ is awesome. He's wonderful. I'm not knocking, saying don't say things, but what happened to the Father? Why do we have to promote the one and put down the other or neglect the other? Why do we have to do that in order to make one look better because God the Father loves the Son and He loves it when you praise the Son and appreciate the Son; but Jesus Christ gave a certain instruction and so does the Bible about the Father, that we ought not neglect because we need Him. We need God our Father in our lives.
John 5:30 John 5:30I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me.
American King James Version×
You know what Jesus Christ said?
Vs. 30 — "I can of mine own self do nothing" — John 5 and verse 30 — "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I don't seek my will, but the will of the Father which sent me."
I'm here to do what My Father wants me to do. I'm here for Him. I'm not here for me. I'm here for Him. What did Jesus Christ say? "I can do nothing by Myself." I need the Father. And, if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, could do nothing by Himself, how much more do we need the Father in our lives to give us the strength and help that we need.
In Matthew 6, verses 6 to 8, Jesus had a golden opportunity to tell us to pray to Him. After all, He was teaching people how to pray.
Matthew 6:6-9 Matthew 6:6-9  But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.
 But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
 Be not you therefore like to them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him.
 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name.
American King James Version×
Vs. 6 — He said, "When you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to" — Me? — no — "pray to your Father which is in secret and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly."
Vs. 7 — "But when you pray, don't use vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."
Vs. 8 — "Don't be therefore like them:" — notice what He says — "for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you even ask Him."
And verse 9.
Vs. 9 — "After this manner therefore pray: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name." May people always honor You. Respect You. Adore You. Praise You. Appreciate You. That's what He said. That's Jesus Christ's teaching, that we are to look to Him, taught us to pray to Him.
I looked up on the internet trying to find how many people prayed to Jesus. I looked up to try to see if I could get something, but here's one quote about a study done in December 5, 2008. "Americans pray just to get through the day. Politicians come and go and fashions evolve and the culture shifts in it with alarming frequency. One thing remains constant though. Americans pray a lot. Ninety percent of them have a spiritual interlude with God everyday," whatever that spiritual interlude means. According to a study released Thursday by Brandeis University, half of those ninety percent pray several times a day in fact. "Most prayer writers imagine a God who is accessible, listening and a source of emotional and psychological support who, at least sometimes, answers back," said Wendy Cage, a sociologist who directed the research. "The experience is intensely personal with eight out of ten beginning their prayers with a familiar greeting like: Dear Lord" — (not dear Father) — "Dear Lord, or Hello Jesus." Eighty percent: Dear Lord or Hello Jesus according to her research findings.
I thought that's rather interesting. The other one, similarly, you find very little about pray to the Father, yet that's what Jesus Christ said.
In John 16 it's made even more emphatic: how important is the Father? He's the One to whom we are to direct our prayers.
John 16:22-23 John 16:22-23  And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.
 And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
American King James Version×, 26-29
And, certainly, nothing wrong with saying, thank you Jesus for what you did, but your prayers are to God the Father. That's what Jesus Christ said to do. Notice John 16 — very clear — verses 22 and 23.
Vs. 22 — "And you now therefore have sorrow:" — He said — "but I will see you again," — He was telling them about all that He is going to go through and He won't be with them anymore — "but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man can take from you."
Vs. 23 — "And in that day you shall ask me nothing." When I'm gone, don't ask Me. When He walked the earth, what did the disciples do? Well, we can't heal this person, Jesus help us. Jesus did. Uh, we've got all these people to feed, what do we do? Jesus fed them. Uh, we can't cast out this demon. Jesus cast out the demon.
So they came to Him, when they had needs on the earth, He was right there with them, but He said you know what? I'm going away. I'm not going to be with you anymore in person. I will be with you in spirit because I'm going to send you another Comforter — another Comforter — Jesus was a Comforter when He walked the earth. He was the One that comforted them. He was the One that aided and abetted them when they needed help. So He said in verse 23, "In that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say to you, whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Pray to the Father, not to Me.
Vs. 26 — He says, "At that day you shall ask in my name: and I will say to you, that I will pray the Father for you:"
Vs. 27 — "For the Father himself loves you," — turn them to the Father, no, don't ask Me, you go to the Father directly, I've given you permission — "For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from Him" — from God.
Vs. 28 — "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."
Vs. 29 — "His disciples said…now you are speaking plainly."
But Jesus Christ turned the people to the Father. The Bible enjoins us to pray to the Father, to look to the Father.
Now, did Jesus Christ bring any new doctrines? Did He bring His own set of rules? Did He come to trump the Father? Did He come to make better — you know, the Father has some old ideas and Christ came to bring us new ideas and Christ being younger and being in the flesh, he just brought new ideas and He could revamp what the Father… you know, the Father made a few mistakes over here with the Ten Commandments because they are grievous. Did He come to redo them? What did He come to do?
John 7, verse 16. Did He come to revamp and redo and remake? Were these His own ideas?
Vs. 16 — "Jesus answered and said" — breaking into a thought — "'My doctrine is not mine,'" — My teaching is not mine — "'but his that sent me.'"
Who sent it? — God the Father. "My teaching isn't mine." I didn't come up with these things. I didn't bring some new set of doctrines.
John 12, verses 49 and 50, and I've heard these arguments...well, you know, it says keep Christ's commandments, Christ's commandments are what are important, He came to trump the Father, He came to do away with the Father's law, commandments, teachings, and substituted His own, more liberal, more at ease commandments.
Notice verse 49.
John 12:49-50 John 12:49-50  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatever I speak therefore, even as the Father said to me, so I speak.
American King James Version×
Vs. 49 — "For I have not spoken of myself" — John 12:49 John 12:49For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
American King James Version×— "I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak."
So who was He speaking for? Himself? Was He bringing His own or was He bringing what the Father wanted?
Vs. 50 — "And I know that his commandment" — His commandment — "is life everlasting: whatever I speak therefore, even as the Father said to me, so I speak."
So did Jesus Christ come to trump His Father's commandments? Did He come to bring us something new that He created? No. Contrary to His Father? No. In addition to His Father? No. He brought the doctrine and the teachings — He said, hey, My teachings aren't Mine, they come from the Father.
John 14:10 John 14:10Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.
American King James Version×, 24
Vs. 10 — He said, "Do you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? That the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself:" — the words I bring to you, they're not from Me — "but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works."
And, notice over in verse 24, John 14, verse 24.
Vs. 24 — "He that loves me not keeps not my sayings" — oh, He has these new sayings —"and the word which you hear is not mine," — it's not Mine — "but the Father's which sent me."
How important is the Father? The Father is the One that sent us the new teachings. The new teachings that magnify, not do away with, but magnified the Old Testament teachings, that explain and expound them for Christians today who, in the spirit, can follow and walk with God.
Now, when we live the teachings, whom do we glorify? Jesus or the Father? Whom do we glorify? Let's take a look. John 15, verse 8.
Vs. 8 — "Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit: so shall you be my disciples."
And verse 10.
Vs. 10 — "If you keep my commandments," — whose commandments? — He brought them — who gave them to Him to bring? — the Father — "you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments" — one and the same — "and abide in his love."
So Jesus Christ said, hey, you know what? My commandments are what the Father told Me to bring and "I have kept His commandments," just like I am asking you to do the same thing.
Matthew 5. We find God is glorified when we bear much fruit, but Matthew 5 tells us when we walk in God's ways and when we let the light of God shine out of lives, whom do we glorify?
Matthew 5:14-16 Matthew 5:14-16  You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house.
 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
American King James Version×, 48
How important is the Father? Why has He been pushed aside? Why has He been neglected so in our world and in our society; our Christian world and, by the way, secularism must have dropped both of them. They want you to forget both of them. They want you to follow the highest intellects. Whatever the most intellectual people, the gathering of the intellects, say you should do, that should be your law; that should be what you follow, the intelligentsia, whoever they are. If they say this is good, do it; if they say this is bad, don't do it. They will prescribe for you the best way to live. Forget about divine revelation. Forget about God the Father and God the Son but, when He walked this earth, Jesus Christ pointed people to God the Father, not to Himself.
Vs. 14 — He says, "You are the light of the world."
You are the light of the world and, brethren, I tell students all the time, like I told the class, you don't realize how special you are. You don't realize how different you are. You don't realize how refreshing you are in the midst of a "crooked and perverse" world. To find people that are honest, hardworking, genuine, loving, kind, thoughtful — you don't realize what a difference you make in this world. It is like light shining in darkness.
As a therapist, I experience working with people in the Church and out of the Church and I can tell you there's a world of difference between people who have the spirit of God and want to change and people who don't want to change. There's a world of difference. Your background, what you do, what you want, what motivates you, what leads you, what propels you, what guides you: God's way, God's teaching. And, who did that teaching come from: God the Father — God the Father. Who gives you the spirit: God the Father through Jesus Christ.
What makes us different? It was amazing in Big Sandy, Texas, when I was out trying to make connections with some psychologists and psychiatrists in case I needed to send students there for any particular reason, it was amazing, I just sat there and I let this secretary of this psychiatrist, she sold the whole thing, she said you ought to see those students. They're awesome. They're wonderful. We can spot them and tell them, like they stand out like lights as they walk through the mall. We know who they are. You should see those students. And another one, when I went to Longview, Texas (that was in Longview when I went to Tyler), same thing. Oh, you should go to their concerts. You should see those students. They just shine. They're wonderful and they were, as long as the spirit of God and His way guided them.
Unfortunately, many did not stick when their church told them it was okay not to keep it. That's why our noses have to be in the Bible and we receive guidance from the Church but what is our main source of truth is the Bible and we hope and always plan on and count on, the Church giving us the truth, but if the Church doesn't the Bible prevails. And when the church said, no, it is okay, you don't have to do this anymore, the students ran, because the church told them it was okay.
Not the Bible, but I was amazed to hear those people say — I just sat there, I mean I was aglow in my heart and mind that they saw this in the students. You know that all around the area they would never even question a check from our students, some 1,200 students. They would never question if they wrote a check, all the local people in Big Sandy, they accepted their checks; and, if one, perhaps one bounced because of insufficient funds, they didn't call that student into question, they would just call us and say, you know what, one of your students brought and gave us a check and it bounced and perhaps you want to call them in and talk to the student and say, hey, you know what, can you make good on this? Yeah, sure, I'm sorry. I thought those funds would already be in there and they weren't. They made up for it, but it wasn't that way after the changes; they wouldn't accept our students' credit after they saw what was going on, after God and His laws and His ways were pushed aside in the few years that Ambassador remained.
Now, that tells you something. God's spirit, God's law, God's way really do make a difference in who we are and because you live and are around it every day, we don't even begin to realize that. I mean I think what a blessing when I worked for Ambassador College — a little digression here — when I worked for Ambassador College and I worked for the Church, what a blessing. You know what, I never hear anybody yelling in line. I never hear anybody cursing and, most of the time, we would say would you mind doing this? They do it — it's not a matter of, do this, there's an order, call them in, you chew them out, you know, do it this way — they do it.
What a joy. What a pleasure to work in that kind of environment. It is awesome that I don't hear dirty words. I don't hear dirty jokes. What a joy and it's a blessing that we have — and why is it? Because it's the collection of God's people all together. That's what it's like and, oftentimes, we don't realize how special we are because we're out there by ourselves, here, there, and everywhere, but we do make a difference in the world.
He says, "Let your light so shine." You're the light of the world. "The city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden" — it "cannot be hid." You know, if it is bright lights — I remember coming into Dallas on Route 20 going west and just as you come over this one hill, just as you get really close, as soon as you come over this one hill, and it's like a vista of lights opens up to you. It's so beautiful. You are like that light "on a hill that cannot be hidden."
Vs. 15 — "Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; that it might give light to all that are in the house."
Vs. 16 — "Let your light so shine before men"—go out there, be there, be among them —"that they may see your good works, and glorify" — whom?—"your Father which is in heaven."
Jesus Christ was constantly turning people and pointing them to the Father, "glorify the Father" by your actions.
And, verse 48, He says:
Vs. 48 — "Be you therefore perfect" — or more mature, grow in maturity as a Christian —"even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
He's already complete. He didn't say become perfect like Me, even though Christ is "the measure of the stature" that we're supposed to measure up to, but who are we ultimately to become like? Our Father, which is in heaven.
I John 1 and verse 3 — Whom our fellowship is with and what makes possible our fellowship with one another is our fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Vs. 3 — "That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
Our fellowship isn't just with Jesus Christ. Our fellowship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ. We have a relationship with both of them, but not to mitigate the relationship with the Father in order to promote the Son. God says we have a relationship with both.
We know that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth. We've looked for the return of Christ. Revelation 19, verse 13 — we know when He comes back He's going to come back as a conquering King. We know when He came the first time He came and wouldn't even bruise a reed. He wouldn't even bend a reed when He walked by. He didn't come to fight the first time.
He told Pilate, He said you know what, "If My kingdom were of this world My servants would fight" you. They would never let you take Me, but My Kingdom is not here — I didn't come to fight — I came to die — I came to be the ultimate sacrifice so that all human beings could have a chance to be in God's Kingdom, to be called to be in His Kingdom — but in Revelation 19 and verse 13 we read, breaking into a thought:
Vs. 13 — "He was clothed" — this One who is on this white horse — "He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."
Notice verse 16.
Vs. 16 — "He has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
And, that makes it look like He's going to be the One in charge of everything, but Jesus Christ didn't say that. When He comes back, initially, He will be. He will be the King over all the earth. He's coming back and His feet are going to land on the Mount of Olives, but I Corinthians 15 and verse 28 tells us something different than Him retaining that leadership and that rulership for all time. Jesus Christ is coming back, initially, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He's the One that's going to usher in the Day of the Lord. He's the One that's going to usher in the Kingdom of God. He's the One that's going to be the initial King of Kings, but notice I Corinthians 15:28 in this resurrection chapter.
I Corinthians 15:28
Vs. 28 — "And when all things shall be subdued to him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
So when Jesus Christ has subjugated the nations of this world, then He's going to return it all to the Father. Why? Because He already said the "Father is greater than I." He's going to return it to Him.
Notice whose pleasure it is to give us a part in the Kingdom: Luke, chapter 12 and verse 32. Whose pleasure is it? Who wants to give us the Kingdom?
Luke 12:31-32 Luke 12:31-32  But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you.
 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
American King James Version×
Vs. 31 — Jesus Christ said, "Rather seek the kingdom of God:" — verse 31 — "and all these things shall be added to you."
Vs. 32 — Fear not, little flock; for it is" — not His good pleasure — "for it is My Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
It is the Father who wants us to be in His Kingdom. It is the Father who wants to give us a part in His Kingdom. It's the Father who wants to make us a ruler in His Kingdom and it is the Father in whose hands we are, to protect us and keep us and preserve us so that we may be in that Kingdom. Remember John 10 and verse 29? Like the big giant with you standing in His hand?
Vs. 29 — And He said, nobody "can pluck you out of my Father's hand."
God wants to preserve us to be in His Kingdom, but the one thing God will never do is squeeze you so tight that you can't jump. He will protect you from everybody else, but you can jump if you don't want to be in His Kingdom. If you don't want to be with Him, you can jump; otherwise, He's like the big giant to protect and keep us because He wants us in His Kingdom, but He doesn't want us, if we don't want to be there. He'll be there to protect and keep us, John 10 and verse 29.
Notice I Corinthians 2:9. What does God have for us? I Corinthians 2:9. Mr. Lovelady referred to this Scripture in the sense of what God has for us and eternal life and the sacrifice.
I Corinthians 2:9
Vs. 9 — "But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him."
I try to think of the happiest moment I've ever had in life and I've had a lot of happy moments and, say, being in God's Kingdom, nothing would be compared to that, to being in God's Kingdom. Nothing. I can't think of anything that could be compared.
The happiest moment, the most beautiful scene, and I've seen some beautiful scenes in Switzerland, coming around the mountain and all of a sudden, driving on the highway, coming around, and you see this open up and this vista of a beautiful lake and Swiss houses with their boxes in the front with their flowers growing and a big beautiful mountain behind it. All compacted in that one little country. It is beautiful. The Alps going up to the Jungfrau and seeing all the snow and ice; beautiful, being able to see some of the awesome scenes in Germany and England and the beauty there is in this world; the Grand Canyon and all the beauty that is there, Zion National Park, all the places.
God says you know what? Your "eye has not seen" yet what I've got for you. God the Father, not Jesus Christ, but God the Father — the things that I have for you, "eye hasn't seen." He has a wonderful future for us.
Matthew 24 and verse 36 — and the Father is the only One who really knows when this is going to come to pass.
Vs. 36 — The Father is the only who really knows when this is going to happen. "But that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." My Father is the only One.
Now, He does say to keep our eyes open. He says, "As the days of Noah were, so will the coming of the Son of Man be." And our world is getting pretty corrupt.
You know, now the polygamists say, well, if you give same-sex marriage a pass in some states, why don't you let polygamy flourish? After all, if you allow two people of the same sex to marry, legitimately, why don't you let one in three marry, one in four, one in two, one in eight? What's the difference? Our world is becoming so corrupt and, you know what, the decline is so slow they don't realize how far they've slipped, because they don't have the moral guide of the Bible and of the God of heaven to help them see and it is astonishing and you find people trying to walk this line, this fine line. Yeah, we don't want to go out there and ruffle people by making outlandish statements, but when you read the Bible, the Bible doesn't make outlandish statements; it makes very plain statements of where we ought to be.
I did a GN Commentary on Miss California who stood up for marriage between a husband a wife, a man and a woman, and I got this email that came from somebody and they said, well, I go to your Church in this one place and you — I'm surprised — that you would even stand up for somebody. I said you totally missed my point, because of your judgmental attitude toward this girl you totally missed my point of the topic. It was something about — well, did you see some of the pictures of her? I said I don't know what pictures you're looking at, but I'm not looking at those pictures, I'm looking at what this woman said, and this woman stood up for something that was good and right and decent and Biblical, and I supported that. I don't support her lifestyle. I supported what she said and I said don't pick on her because of what she said. You totally missed my point because of your judgmental attitude, and it was judgmental about her.
Well, if she poses, she wears bikinis. Hey, folks. I've been to some Feast sites. I've seen people sunbathing with bikinis in the Church. Am I going to condemn all of them? I'm not going to condemn them. They were sunbathing in a bikini somewhere, they thought it was private, but it was right on the beach, it wasn't too private, and you're going to condemn every one of them?
So it's a sad case when our world keeps slipping downward because it does not realize what God has for us, but God is going to bring upon this world His Kingdom when He gets ready and only the Father knows.
Take a look, in conclusion — I have three more Scriptures — in conclusion, the Father desires a personal relationship with us. God the Father desires a personal relationship with us.
Romans 8:14-17 Romans 8:14-17  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
American King James Version×
He's the One who gives the Son on our behalf. He's the One that we say forgive me that I may walk with you. He's the One that allows us to call Him, "Abba, Father". Notice Romans 8 and verse 14.
Vs. 14 — "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the" — children — "sons of God." In this case, it is "huios" — "sons of God."
Vs. 15 — "For we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption," — or sonship — "whereby we cry, Abba, Father."
"Abba" is kind of like Daddy; now, I don't call Him Daddy, but it's a much more affectionate term — Dad, Dadda — He's my Father. I don't know if you've seen the movie, Twins, where Danny DeVito finally sees his real mom and he says, momma, momma. He never had a mom in his life. He was always raised in an orphanage. But people come to see Daddy; they come to see my Father. He wants a relationship with us and in verse 16 —
Vs. 16 — "The Spirit itself" — this is Old King James, it doesn't recognize that Spirit was neuter — "The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." The "teknon," "we are the children of God."
Vs. 17 — "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
God the Father wants a relationship with us like a father and son, like a father and daughter, like a father and children. He wants that relationship with us to be built. How can that be built if we push Him off to the side, if we — oh, He's old, He's lying in the hammock somewhere. Jesus is the One who is active. The "Father works hitherto" and so does Jesus Christ. The Father hasn't retired. The Father hasn't gone away somewhere.
Ephesians 4 — it is the Father who also helps us bring about unity. It's kind of the capstone on this unifying section of Scripture in Ephesians 4, verses 1 to 6.
Ephesians 4:1-6 Ephesians 4:1-6  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called,
 With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love;
 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling;
 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
American King James Version×
Vs. 1 — He says, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called."
You see, our job is one hundred percent of the time being Christian. It's not something we do as a hobby. You've heard about religious hobbyists. You hear about those who go to church on Sunday. Okay, I'll give God His one hour, maybe one and a half hours of time this week. Okay. Now, leave me alone and I can go do my thing. Being a Christian is something we are 24/7. Being a Christian is a 24/7 vocation. It's our job. Our job is being a Christian. Our avocation is our work. Our job is being a Christian no matter where we are, no matter what happens.
Sometimes it chagrins me that I see when they really get upset, they let fly with words that I never heard them say in their life. Why, when I get angry, am I allowed to forget my Christianity? Why, when I get upset, am I allowed to forget that I am a Christian? I'm not. Plain and simple. We're Christians 24 hours a day. It's our job. He said, "walk worthy" of it. Verse 2.
Vs. 2 — "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love"— being willing to excuse people's mistakes, being willing to look over them.
Vs. 3 — "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." It takes effort to be unified. It takes effort to be unified.
Vs. 4 — "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling;"
Vs. 5 — "One Lord, one faith, one baptism,"
Vs. 6 — "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and is in you all."That's for people in Texas — in y'all — that's what they would say down there — in y'all — okay? But, He's in you all.
God the Father is a capstone on that unity section. It takes Him. Unity is through God the Father. How many times in a family do you think siblings arguing with each other — who does it take to bring? — okay, come here kids, sit down, let's get through this. The Father has to achieve the unity. The Father has to give the strength, give the sense.
Romans 15 — my final Scripture — verses 5 and 6.
Romans 15:5-6 Romans 15:5-6  Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
 That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
American King James Version×
Vs. 5 — "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:"
Vs. 6 — "That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
So we have seen today, we have seen that the Father is important in our lives. He is the One who gave us so many beautiful, wonderful things in life. We've seen that the teachings that Jesus Christ brought were not His own doctrines, were not His own teachings. They came from the Father. We've seen that when we live in a godly way, when we live a godly life, that we glorify God the Father. We find that Jesus Christ constantly pointed us to the Father, not to Himself. We derive our strength and our life from the Father.
So the Father wants us to have that personal relationship. He wants us to have unity through Him and He wants us to remember the importance of the Father in our lives and to glorify Him and His Son Jesus Christ, just as Jesus Christ, our Savior, taught us to do and did.