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Rainbow Divider

THE FIGHT OF FAITH

by C. Parker Thomas

Rainbow Divider

Photo of  Bro. Thomas

You just as well to learn that you cannot live for God without a fight. I’m not trying to discourage you, or put a guilt trip on you, or in any wise make you think you can’t do it, because you can. Praise God, you can!

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“The Fight of Faith” is a slightly edited transcript of a message preached by Bro. Thomas on April 16, 1995.

I’m glad to have visitors today. You’re not visitors, you’re just one of us, but you are just geographically separated a little bit. Turn with me to 1 Timothy, chapter 6. I’m going to read several verses of scripture here, and though they don’t necessarily represent everything that I’m going to talk about, it’s a good jumping off place.

“But godliness” (that’s verse 6) “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” That’s what he recommends that we follow after.

Then in verse 12, this is the verse that I get my title from: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.” Our subject is “The Fight of Faith.”

Just a little bit of explanation: This epistle (epistle means letter) was written by the apostle Paul to Timothy, and though much of it is personal instruction to Timothy, it’s still good advice for all of God’s people. And he calls this a “fight of faith.” He says, “Fight the good fight of faith.” There is a fight of faith, if you live for God.

I’ll tell you what got me to thinking about this, and was more of less a catalyst that caused me to choose this subject and these related scriptures. I talked to a lady last Thursday night. She told us some of the things she went through, how that folks were trying to help her to get into an experience that they believe in that’s so important, at least in their eyes. They advised her to throw away, she can correct me on this, her shorts, (I think some of you would do well to throw away your shorts. Maybe I can agree with them on that.) her slacks, her rings, and they even recommended fasting, I believe. So she fasted, tried to go without water and food. She was trying to get the Holy Ghost.

Of course the absolute, at least in the eyes of those that were instructing her, the absolute proof that she had it was speaking in other tongues. She never could get it. She said she tried and tried and tried. I imagine some of you have tried. I never did try to get that kind. Anyway, I got to thinking about how people are instructed, and how they get the advice they get, and I thought this would be a good subject today to deal with.

Faith

I have some things that I want to share with you. First of all, I want us to go to Hebrews 11, and verse 1. It’s good to have different translations because you do get an insight into certain things that you may not get from the King James. And that, of course, is the most well known, popular version of the Bible that we have. We have this Twenty-six Translations here that is very good. The King James says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” You may not get very much from that, but let’s notice the American Standard Version, Weymouth, Moffatt, Beck, and a couple of more. Let’s see what it says in these versions of the Bible. “Now faith is assurance of things hoped for.” That makes a little difference than just substance — “assurance of things hoped for.” That’s the American Standard Version. Weymouth says, “Now faith is a confident assurance of that for which we hope.” Moffatt says, “Now faith means that we are confident of what we hope for.” It’s an inward thing. And of course that’s what it is talking about. It’s something that registers to you on the inside, and to your heart. Beck says, “Faith is being sure of the things we hope for.” And the last one here is, “Faith is the realization of things hoped for.” That assurance is something we need to dig into.

Faith: where does it come from? I believe saving faith has to come from God. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing.” This lady — she’s here this morning, and I believe she’s doing real good — she didn’t know who I was. She tuned into a radio station and was listening to our program. She was in that religious environment where they tried to get her through to this experience, so she would be all right. At least that’s what they thought.

I’m not doing away with genuine tongues. I speak in tongues. I did not get that as evidence that I had the Holy Ghost. I asked for it for one special reason. I knew that I wanted to instruct people. I needed to write on it occasionally, and I wanted to be able to outwit the devil when he came and said, “The reason you don’t believe in it is because you don’t have it.” He can’t say that now, because I can say, “You are wrong, devil. I do have it.” Praise God!

But I don’t impose it upon you because the Bible plainly tells us. It says this where it is speaking of the ministries and of the gifts. It’s says, “Are all workers of miracles? Are all apostles? Have all gifts of healing?” Then he comes down to tongues. It says, “Do all speak in tongues?” No! Every time it asks a question, it means they don’t. But they say we have two kinds of tongues. Now this is really stretching the truth. It stretches it so, until you don’t see it anymore. They say you have an evidence kind, and then you have the gift. That is a bunch of B.U.L.O.N.E.Y. Do you like my spelling? I knew you did! Anyway, there is a gift of tongues.

Complete in Him

They can’t get honest with the scriptures, those that still maintain that that is the initial evidence of having received the Holy Spirit. I can give you a couple of verses of scripture, if you’ll take what the scripture says. In Colossians, chapter 2, verses 8-10, it says, “Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy, and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of this world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in him.” If you have him, you are complete. Praise God! Praise God!

And I don’t mean just for today, if you hold out faithful to the end. You’re complete. You’re not there, but you are just as good as in heaven. Now somebody won’t like that, maybe somebody who hears this on TV. But you just stick around and listen to the Word of God.

God doesn’t give you a conditional salvation. He doesn’t say, “I’m going to give you this for a while: if you’ll measure up, you’ll keep it, but if you don’t, BOOM, it is gone.” I tell you, I’d be worried night and day. It wouldn’t be a rest. There wouldn’t be any peace. What I want to know is just where, and when, do you cross that line? I wouldn’t know how much to do, nor how much not to do of good things, or evil things. Praise God!

My salvation is not dependent upon what I do. Your salvation is not dependent upon what you do. “OOH, that’s terrible doctrine.” Let it be terrible! It’s the truth. My salvation, and your salvation, is dependent on what He did. Praise God. When he bowed his head on that cross and said, “It is finished,” it was finished, praise God!

What is the Word?

What is the Word? We’re going to Hebrews, chapter 4. You have to understand this because everything is ministered in churches, far and wide, and there’s about 2000 different ones. Everyone preaches the word. They preach their concept of the word. They preach a corrupted version of the word. They preach a dead letter of the word. They preach an intellectual something. They preach demon-inspired word. They twist the scriptures. They pervert the scriptures.

That’s why Paul wrote to the Galatians, and he said he marveled that they were so soon removed from the gospel of grace to another gospel. Then he says, “Yet there is not another.” There is not another. And he warned them. If they heard any other gospel, whether it be an angel, or anybody else, let him be accursed. And Paul goes on to tell you, “I certify you brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me was not after man, nor by man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Hallelujah! Praise God!

You know something? I think any preacher, I think every one of them, needs to check up, if what he is preaching is not by the revelation of Jesus Christ, if it’s out of the cesspool of his traditions, and their error, and everything else that he’s contaminated with, he just as well throw it over the fence and get some revelation from God. That’s where truth comes from.

What is the Word? “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We need to ponder that question. What is the Word? In the fourth chapter of the book of Hebrews, this is in the Twenty-six Translations, let’s notice what it says about the Word. “For the word of God is full of life and power.” We have electrical outlets around this building. Electricity is going to these lights, and they just about blind me. Nevertheless, just suppose the electricity was cut off, and you wanted to plug in to that outlet. What would you get? What kind of response would you get? Nothing.

Let me ask you this. If you had a bunch of chickens, a flock, maybe, and they laid eggs, but they had no rooster, and one of the old hens started setting..... How many of you know anything about chickens? You do? Well, good. They will set every now and then. But, if you took those eggs that haven’t been fertilized by the male species of chicken, called a rooster, they would not hatch. They would rot. And that’s exactly what some people’s religion has done for them. They have eggs that haven’t been fertilized, and they have rotted.

You have to walk in that light that shines more and more until the perfect day. And what man does, is build a fence around what he thinks is the truth. And it stays there. He can’t see beyond that fence. He may have a fence here called salvation, and one over here called sanctification, one over here called the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Or he may have what he calls salvation and then sanctification. Or he may have some other kind of experience. But it’s a fence that keeps him from seeing the truth.

What people need to do, and especially preachers, is take off their glasses. I’m talking about Methodist glasses, Baptist glasses, Pentecostal Holiness glasses, Catholic glasses, Presbyterian glasses, and a thousand and one other glasses, and look at it with your heart and eyes. Say, “God reveal your truth to me.” I’m going to tell you, that’s why God has given us some stuff. We are free to look at the word of God like it is. Praise God!

“The word of God is full of life and power.” “The word of God is living and effectual.” “For God’s message is alive and full of power and action.” “For the word that God speaks” Do you know that if God inspired the word, and if you are speaking under the inspiration of God’s Spirit, that it is not you; He’s just using you. He is using you, but it is God that is speaking. When the prophets of old spake the word of God sent down by the Holy Ghost from heaven, it was God speaking to those people; God in the prophet. Today we have preachers, I don’t know what is in them, but they represent everything else in the world other than God. They say they do. Hallelujah!

“For God’s message is alive and full of power in action.” “For the word that God speaks is alive and active.” “For whatever God says to us is full of living power.” Notice what this says. And yet God does not speak, Himself. Are you waiting on Him to say something and tell you what to do? You’ll wait a long time. “It pleases God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

He told them, “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you, but tarry ye in Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high.” He didn’t want them to go out and preach until they were ready. Amen? If your hen is laying eggs, and they are not fertilized, you just as well eat them because they ain’t going to hatch. There will never be another chicken if that’s the only kind of eggs you have. That’s the Word of God.

Let me give you an example. In John, chapter 6, Jesus said to the Pharisees and collection of religionists, everybody that was there, including his disciples, “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” Is that right? You don’t have any life in you. He had reference there to receiving the humanity that had his word. That’s what he had reference to. Hallelujah!

Then they said, “this is a hard saying, who can hear it.” They couldn’t understand how they could eat his flesh and drink his blood. They didn’t know what he meant. He used such terminology, and such things, to confuse them because he knew they didn’t want the truth. They wanted their tradition. Then he said, “The flesh profited nothing, but the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”

He said to the woman at the well, “you ask me, and I would have given you living water which would be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Hallelujah! This is living water. Praise God! You have around two thousand now, and every one of them uses the Bible, every single one of them. Yet, this Bible itself says, “The letter kills, but the spirit quickens.” “The words I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” That’s the difference.

Faith and Works

Let’s go to Ephesians 2:8-10. We need to separate works, also, from faith. “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, and not of works.” Why, Lord? “Lest any man should boast.” I didn’t say, ““Why, Paul?” I said, “Why, Lord?” because that came by the Lord through Paul. That’s the difference. “Lest any man should boast.” Do you know who made salvation?

First of all, let’s define grace. We need a definition of grace. What is it? It’s unearned, undeserved favor from God. It’s God’s love. It’s God’s love in action. It’s more than just a definition, though. There’s something to it besides just words. Grace, unmitigated, not corrupted, divine grace. It includes the divine influence upon the heart. You can quote all the scriptures you want to and it wouldn’t mean a hill of beans, if God doesn’t work with the heart of the person.

That’s what they are doing, they are getting decisions out of people, easy believism. They bring them to a place where they “get saved.” That’s like telling a woman that’s not even pregnant to have a baby tomorrow. There is a process you go through. And she’s going to have morning sickness for about nine months, and then she’ll feel something. She gets bigger and bigger.

Do you know that a sinner, many times, is like a pregnant women. I tell you he gets heavier and heavier until one day he falls on his face before God, and says, “Lord, I give up.” And the Lord says, “I’ll come in you then.” He’s not going to come in you until you do give up. He’ll never come into a sinner, or soul, until that person surrenders his life. You can go ahead and fool yourself, if you want to.

That’s exactly what happened to me. I said, “Yes, Lord.” I meant my life was not mine any more. I took all claims off of it. I said, “Here it is, God. Do with it as you please.” It wasn’t mine. Is that scriptural? “Ye are not your own; you’re bought with a price.” So, I wasn’t my own. I just gave myself to the rightful owner. Whenever I ran it like it belonged to me, He didn’t run it. But when He got my life, He began to run it. Even then, He had a pretty sorry spectacle to work with. Nevertheless, He has run it since then. Praise God!

That is a definition of grace: unmerited, undeserved favor, something you don’t ask for. You don’t even ask for it, but it is something that God sends your way. And God works in your heart. Grace is divine influence upon the heart, with an intellectual understanding of what God is doing, especially after He saves you. When He saves you, you should know it.

First of all you’ve got to be drawn. Jesus said in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the father which hath sent me draw him.” If God doesn’t draw him, you can get him to make all kinds of professions of faith; say, “Yes I believe in Jesus” all you want to, that doesn’t mean anything. If he is being drawn by the Lord, though, and he falls prostrate at His feet, and says, “Yes, God, I’m yours; I’m not mine anymore....” You’re just giving him what you can’t hold, what you can’t hold on to.

It’s good to know another thing. It’s good for us to know this. This is in John chapter 6, also. Remember; it’s still in John 6, where he said; “All that the Father gives to me shall come to me, and him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” I’ve heard preachers cut this verse right in two. And they would be telling somebody, “You need to come to the Lord.” It says, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” It also says before that, “All that the Father gives to me shall come to me, and him that cometh unto me I will in no wise” — under no circumstances, under no conditions — “cast out.” If you come to Him.

To the Uttermost!

Let’s remember this scripture, also from Hebrews. “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Praise God! I’m glad! When He gets a baby, He stands by him. He stands by him and says, “I’m here at the right hand, and I’m watching him. I brought him into the kingdom of God, and I’m going to see he makes it.”

Wouldn’t that be something if He saved us and then put us down here and said, “Root, hog, or die poor.” I’d die poor, wouldn’t you? Praise God, He doesn’t put us down here. What do those angels have to do, the ones that He has ordered to minister to the heirs of salvation? Don’t you think that God knows that we are heirs of salvation before we get saved? All those angels would be out of a job.

Do you think that whenever the Lord taught Jeremiah and sent him out, that He just did it on the spur of the moment? I tell you what He said: “Before I formed thee in the belly” — Before I formed you in the belly — “I knew you, and I sanctified you, and I made you a prophet unto the nations.” Do you think it was just Jeremiah? I think it was every one of us.

God knows the end with the beginning. “He calls those things that be not as though they were.” You mean he has known me? He’s known me since eternity. He didn’t just find out who you are. He knew you before you were born. Oh, I don’t like that kind of preaching, I don’t care whether you do, or not. That’s still the truth. Praise God!

I started to tell you about this lady. She was all flustered up, you know, trying to get the Holy Ghost, and she never could get it. She said when she brushed her teeth she was very careful not swallow a drop of water. That’s the kind of bondage people are in. Then she heard this country preacher over the radio. She didn’t know who he was. A couple she knew were telling her to come to church with them. She said, “I don’t want to. I done gone to all the churches I want to go to. I listen to this preacher on the radio. I like him.” One day, somehow or another, they found out. “That’s the one we want you to come hear!” I began to wonder if she just wanted to hear me long distance. But I think she wants to hear me in person, too. Praise God! Hallelujah!

Don’t forget this, “All that the Father gives me shall come to me, and him that cometh unto to me, I will in no wise cast out.” So God is going to save every one of those who are His. They’re His before they come. They just don’t know it. That’s the difference. They were chosen in Him from the foundation of the world. That’s back there before they ever made the world.

What was here? Just space. You couldn’t even look to see a star, or the moon, certainly no earth you could walk on. But God existed. He was alive and doing well back then. You ask, “What about all these prehistoric things? What about science?” The scientist tells me how all this came into existence. They said there was a big bang back yonder, somewhere.

I wonder what the bang was. Who made the bang? I don’t know how God made the world. All I know is that it is here, and I have to be on it. I know this. He made every star. He calls them all by name. He made every solar system. He made every galaxy. He made the universe.

And I’ve said this several times: if you could get on a beam of light, and live to be as old as Methuselah, you would never reach the edge of the universe. That’s 969 years. And how fast does light travel? 186,000 miles a second — that’s traveling. That’s traveling! That’s traveling faster than hot rod drivers. That’s traveling faster than the rockets they shoot off down here at Cape Canaveral. Praise God! 186,000 a second. 969 years times how many seconds? You figure it up; I don’t want to. My brain just ran out of inspiration. My brain is limited. Hallelujah.! Praise God!

The Secret of the Lord

Now, I want to give you some more scriptures. These are all things that happen to you. The Bible says in Psalms 25, verse 14, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant.” It’s when you see the covenant that you pass from death unto life. You come to a knowledge of who you are. Until you see the covenant, you won’t know. Praise God, I’ve seen the covenant!

I believe the covenant that God made with Abraham applies to me. You say, “Why?” Because in Galatians, I think it’s three, verse 29, it says, “And, if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” God made him an heir way back there. God had His heirs way back at the beginning, whenever that was, before the beginning, from the foundation of the world, before there ever was a world. That’s good, ain’t it? I’m glad God has got things under control, aren’t you? Praise God!

I don’t know why, but I know this. When I was a little boy, I had a fear of God in me. What I want to know is where did that come from? Was I just naturally afraid? That fear of God, when I look at this great universe, I know what this Bible says.

This, of course, is the only kind of faith you can have at that time, before you come to saving faith. “The heavens declare the glory of God. The firmament showeth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech. Night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” God speaks to people before they ever come to a saving knowledge, if you’ll just look up and behold all that. It didn’t just accidentally come into being. There wasn’t any big bang. If there was, God controlled the bang.

It doesn’t make any difference to me how He made it. He made it, and it’s here. That’s the proof of it. Every star that twinkles says there is a God, and every time you see the moon over the horizon. We used to call the sun coming up, the sun. But, I don’t know, they say it’s the earth moving on it’s axis. All I know is we know that God made all that.

How does this world stay out here in space? It doesn’t have anything under it to hold it up, not a thing. It doesn’t have a string that He dangles it from the sky. It’s just out here, and somebody with greater power than I’ve got holds it here. Not only that, but he holds every other one. They all have their relationship to each other. He puts them right where He wants them; one over here, one over there, the sun in the middle. God made it all. That speaks to me and says there is a great God, because He made it all.

And that great God wanted a family. He started with His Son, Jesus Christ. He said, I’m going to start with a Son, and I’ll let him become flesh and dwell down here among these people I have created. And He did. And he lived 33 years and he went to a cross. He died for your sins and for mine. Praise God!

And God was pleased. He was so pleased that after 3 days in the tomb, He raised him from the dead — so we can believe. He said there won’t be any sign given but the sign of the prophet Jonas. As he was three days in the belly of the fish, He said Christ will be three days in the belly of the earth. And he did. What more proof do you want? What more? If God does not exist, I don’t exist! Amen! I exist because He exists. Hallelujah!

Let’s take Hebrews chapter 11. We’re talking about faith, now. Did you know that in this chapter, verse 6 says, “But without faith it’s impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them diligently seek him”? Do you believe He is going to reward us? Do you fully believe He is going to give us what He has promised to give us? I believe it, praise God!

The scripture says in Heb. 10:10, “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Set apart. Then he says; “Whereof the Holy Ghost is also a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

Has He put His law in your heart? Is there something in you that wants to serve God? Is there something in you that knows you are going to waste your life if you try to live for the world? I wonder about some of you. Listen to me girls. Listen. Don’t come into church where I’m at and keep your mind somewhere else because I’m trying to get to your heart, by the grace of God. But when God saves you, he puts something in here.

You’ll never be the same, never, as long as you live, because you have eternal life, and it’s dwelling in you. You have Christ in you, and He’s eternal. He doesn’t just move in, then move out the next day, the next month, nor the next year. He lives there. “Christ in you the hope of glory.” Praise God!

Let’s go to chapter 11 of Hebrews. I want you to see this. It tells you about other people, what they did by faith. “Through faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God.” Who is the Word of God? Christ. He’s the living Word of God. He was the incarnate Word when he became flesh. He lived in a human body, but he was still the Word of God.

And the Bible says, “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. He sent a man before him whose name was John. He was not that light, but he came to bear witness of that light. He was the one sent before his face to prepare the way of the Lord.” — to get people ready. Most of you are not ready to be saved. God has to work with you and get you ready, then He’ll resurrect you one day. Praise God!

Do you want to be resurrected? I do. You don’t receive resurrection life when you die. That’s just your body. You have the life already in you. Praise God! Which is the greatest, everlasting life, or healing your body? Everlasting life! I’m glad I have a body coming too, but I’d rather have this life I have in me, because it’s eternal. Praise God!

A New Creation

Let’s notice this also in Twenty-six Translations. This is 2 Corinthians 5:17. If I can find this right quick. I think I have. I think I will. I think I did. Amen, Praise God! I’ll have it here in a second, folks. It just shows I’m human. Someone says, “I’m glad to hear that.” I have a bad enough time with one Bible.

This here says, (I want you to listen to this now) “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” Now I want you to listen to something. Do you know Jesus, the Word of God says, “Behold I make all things new.” Well he’s done started in us that have him in us. We’re part of the new creation. We don’t belong to this world. You may have this old man here that loves it and wants to relish it. But, I’m going to tell you, you have a new man inside of you. And he’s going to live forever. “Greater is he that’s in you, than he that’s in the world.” This new man is going to live forever.

“Therefore, if any man be in a Christ, he is a new creature.” Notice this, now. “Whosoever, then, is in Christ is a new creation.” “Therefore, if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new being.” Different translations. “There is a new creation whenever a man comes to be with Christ.” A new creation: you are not part of the old creation.

What’s wrong with the old creation? Who can tell me? It’s cursed. The curse is removed. He deals with us as with children, not somebody who is cursed. Then he says, “When anyone is united with Christ, there is a new world.” He’s going to make a new heaven and a new earth to go along with these new people. Do you understand? He’s going to make new heavens and a new earth. Why would he make them? Because he has a bunch of people he wants to put on them, amen, and enjoy them. Praise God!

Then he says, “Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” Different translations say, “the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.” “The old being has passed away; behold, all has become new.” “This old life is passed away. A new life has begun.” I tell you, I remember it. It was a different world. Are you living in the same old world, same old tastes, same old desires, controlled by the same old things? You don’t know what I am talking about then, because this is gone. The old life has disappeared and everything has become new about it.

“The old has passed away; behold, a new is come.” “The past is finished and gone.” These are different translations of this scripture. 2 Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 17: “... has become new about him.” “The old is passed away, behold, the new is come.” “The past is finished and gone. Everything is fresh and new.”

I remember we cast a devil out of a lady right here in Jacksonville, and she came to our house. The lady that brought her heard us preaching on the devil, over the radio. So she was brought here from a Full Gospel Church where they are supposed to have the power, and where they are supposed to do all these things. They call it Full Gospel. I don’t even think some of them have the Gospel.

Nevertheless, she brought her here and I talked to the lady. I asked her a few questions, and she told me. I said, “You have spirits all right.” She told me how at night, sometimes, she gets so mad with her husband that she wants to take a butcher knife. She thought about going in there and pinning him to the bed. I was pinned up every now and then when I was a baby, but I don’t want to be pinned to a bed!

I just commanded that devil to come out of her. He came out of her. She walked over to the window and she looked at our yard and she said, “Oh, everything is so beautiful.” It was just like a film had been taken off her. And there was a film taken off of her. I tell you, you don’t even see through the same eyes when God saves you and he comes in here. This new man looks at things a different way.

Do you look at things a different way? What about it, you girls? Do you look at things a different way, or do you see them like you always did? You’re supposed to be a Christian. You need to reflect His glory. You need to cooperate with him. Hallelujah!

I said something yesterday and I wasn’t trying to get on them. I love our young people. I hope they know I do. But I told them, I think it would be better if you didn’t go around with these little shorts on like you are; exposing yourself too much. I’m a little bit on the legalistic side. Forgive me if I’m too legalistic, but I think I give you quite a bit of latitude. But, anything that draws attention to the opposite sex, makes you look desirable, that’s what the world is after.

That’s what they are doing, fashion designers, everybody. That’s why they got these clubs where they wear G-strings. That’s why they have these topless clubs; they want somebody to come in there and gawk. I don’t like the world gawking at you. I think too much of you. I think too much of the Lord. Some of you are beautiful, but let’s put a little covering over it. I’m just telling you the truth. If you come to hear me preach, this is why I get in trouble. I interfere with the way people live and they want to live. But I’m going to continue to interfere until God says it’s enough.

New creature! Praise God, you’re a new person! Has that happened to you? Or are you just the same? You don’t see anything any different. You still look exactly like you were. Maybe you need to go back, find out what happened to you. Did you join the church, or were you born again? When you’re born the first time, you come into the world. When you’re born of the Spirit, you come into the kingdom of God. You’re in God’s kingdom. Praise God! We have a King, a Lord of Lords: His name is Jesus. You’re a new creature.

This is what Paul is talking about in Galatians, when he said, “Know ye not....” Listen to this now. He said, “received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” You can’t muster up anything to get the Spirit of God. Do you get it by faith? That’s what he says. Then he goes on to say, in chapter 4 of Hebrews, “Let us therefore fear lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” This is checking up on some of you. That’s why I’m quoting this scripture.

There is a part that you play, and that you cooperate with what God’s doing. God ain’t going to come and get you and baptize you in water; you’re going to have to have somebody down here to baptize you in water. God ain’t going to make you come to church. You are supposed to have something in you that will cause you to want to come to church. God ain’t going to take up a collection and get your tithe, and everything else you’re supposed to give; you’re supposed to want to.

You’re not supposed to hate the world because the Bible says so. It just says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. All that’s in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but it’s of the world. And the world passes away, and the lusts thereof, but he that does the will of God abides forever.” What about it now? That says you’ll abide forever. Is your heart still in the world? There’s something wrong, something wrong.

Here’s what we find in the scriptures again. This is in verse 15 of Hebrews 11. Let’s go here first, though, I want to give you some other scriptures. As I said, faith is mentioned, and we’re talking about the fight of faith. You’ll fight every day of your life, if you’re serving God. But the biggest enemy you have, the one you fight the worst, is this old man right here. It’s yourself; he is always wanting you to go astray. He hates what has happened to you.

If Christ has come into your heart, he (the old man) hates it. He don’t like it. I’ll tell you what he’ll do: he’ll cause you to fall out with everybody that would help you because he hates them. This man here is no good, not one bit good. The seventh chapter of Romans says, Paul says, “I know that in me, that is my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.” There is nothing good about your flesh. Thank God, we’re going to get rid of it one day. I’m glad of that, aren’t you?

By Faith

Let’s just take this chapter here. Verse 7 of Hebrews 11 says, “By faith, Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house. By the which he condemned the world and became the heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” He moved with fear.

I’d rather believe we need to move with fear. I believe we have a job. I don’t believe we’re in this world, and we’re just run-of-the-mill, just hooked up to some man-made program. I believe that God has called us. I believe that God has called you. I believe you’ve come to the kingdom for such a time as this. I believe that you are serving the living God, not a dead creed, not a dead doctrine, not a dead church. I believe God’s called you to serve a living God. Amen?

You know, the Lord has warned us as a church. He sent vision after vision, after vision, after vision, after vision, — and I could add more, but I won’t — warning us that we are living in the last days. He even showed us how He is going to destroy this world. You say, “I don’t believe that.” I don’t care whether you do, or not. Noah was warned. Was he, or not? “By faith, Noah, being warned....” He believed what God showed him, what God warned him of. He said, “Noah, I’m going to destroy this world with water.”

It also said God’s Spirit would not always strive with man. I’m telling you, God is not always going to strive with this world. I believe it’s on its last legs. He’s warned us. He’s shown us by vision, after vision, after vision. The great day of the Lord is at hand. He also said, concerning this house that thou art in building, that if we do what He says do, that He’ll build us a house like an ark. It’s one that would save us. It’s one that would protect us.

You may not know it, but what you are getting here will protect you and save you from the wrath to come. It will bless you, and it will bless your children. They have to believe too, but bless God, they can believe. They are in good place where God can work with them.

I want to go on here a little bit further. “By faith, Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which afterward he should receive for an inheritance, obeyed. And he went out. By faith, he sojourned....” Now listen to this. Have you heard much about the promised land, the promised land tour. They are going over there and showing them where Jacob’s well was, and where the tomb was, and all that junk.

Well here’s what it says: “By faith, when Abraham was called to go out,” ... “by faith, he sojourned in the promised land as in a strange country.” Why? Why did he call it a strange country? Listen, I had beefsteak to eat thirty years ago. I don’t have that same beefsteak. God gave them a close inheritance. That was just a temporary thing for this world. But the real promised land is after this life.

See, I’ll show you here. It says here, “... dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.” Tabernacles means tents. Do you know why? We don’t need too much here; we are not going to be here very long. Then it says, “For he looked for a city, which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” That’s the city he’s looking for. That’s the ninth verse ... tenth verse.

“Sarah, also herself received strength to conceive and was delivered of a child when she was past age.” She was ninety years old. And when the Lord told her that next year she was going to conceive a child, she went, “Hah! Hah! Hah! That’s a big joke. Don’t He know That I’ve gone through menopause.” God doesn’t know it. He doesn’t keep up with all those things. He doesn’t have to. But if He says you’re going to have a baby, you are going to have a baby.

I don’t think He is going to tell any of you that. And those of you who are young enough to have one, I think I would be careful. This day we are living in, I wouldn’t want to them to go out in these streets. That’s a little child. This is the day Jesus had reference to when he said, “Woe unto them that give suck, and those that are with child in those days.” This is some kind of world to bring children into. That’s something you can agree with, if you know what’s going on. Hallelujah!

I can see Sarah, can’t you? In that tent, on that day she laughed, the Lord talked to Abraham and said, “I’m going to visit you next year.” She’s in there, and just before she said, “Abraham, Abraham would you help me a little bit here honey? I want to fix a bite of grub.” And now she’s been told she’s going to have a baby. Praise God. And she didn’t even have a face lift. She said, “That’s a joke.”

But I want to show you something that is wonderful about God. When God refers to people in the Old Testament, He doesn’t tell about anything they did, or their unbelief. Show me any place where He says anything about their unbelief. I’ll show you some more about that, later on. Let’s go on here.

Verse 13 of Hebrews 11 said, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off.” I believe most of us are going to be alive when He comes. I believe we are that close. Now I’m no date setter. “No man knoweth the day or the hour,” and I certainly don’t. But I believe that it is close. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them and embraced them, and confessed” — Listen to this, now — “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

Does that sound like that promised land that they were supposed to be yoked up to? They knew they were just traveling through. They knew they were just pilgrims. We’re just pilgrims. Don’t get your heart in this world. Don’t get your heart in this world; get your heart straightened out. Begin looking for that city, whose builder and maker is God, because it’s coming. It won’t be long before you see it.

Verse 15 of Hebrews 11 says, “And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out,” (Hear this, now. That’s more than just something on your mind.) “They might have had opportunity to return.” That’s talking about those who came out of Egypt. And some of them did. They grumbled out there. They mumbled. They griped. They said, “Back there we had onions, leeks, garlic, and all that good stuff. Out here, we are dying. This Moses brought us out here to let us and our children die.”

Do you ever murmur, or complain about your lot in life? God doesn’t like murmuring or complaining. He wants a thankful heart. If you only have a piece of bread, thank him for it. I want you to see this, now.

“And truly, if they had been mindful of ....” Now these are different translations. This is Williams: “Had been cherishing the memory of.” Cherishing the memory. “Had been thinking with homesick remembrance,” Amplified: “If their hearts had been in.” Amplified further says, “they would have found constant opportunity to return to it.” That’s Amplified. Phillips: “They had ample opportunity to return.”

Now what that is saying is this: their heart was still out there. Just because you are in a church, and you have made a profession of faith.... Where is your heart? Do you know why some have departed and have gone back to the world? That’s where their heart was. That’s it. That’s the reason they had opportunity to return. Their heart was still there. Praise God!

I’m glad I got heaven in my heart. I may have a little hell every now and then, but I got heaven too. Praise God! Hallelujah! He said, “Now they desire a better country.” That’s talking about us, today. “That is an heavenly, whereof God is not ashamed to be called their God. For he hath prepared for them a city.”

Let’s take Moses. This chapter has the word “faith” 22 times. “By faith, Moses, when he was born,” (This talking about his physical birth.) “was hid three months by his parents because they saw that he was a beautiful child.” It says “proper.” “They were not afraid of the king’s commandment.” He done told them that he was going to kill the little children. They were getting too many of them. Let’s not have no more.

It says, “By faith, Moses, when he was come to years....” You have to come to years. You have to make up your mind. It is talking about when you are old enough to know better. You have to make up your mind. “When he was come to years, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, but choosing, rather, to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”

You may say, “I’m having a good time.” It’s just a little season. It will be over. It won’t be long. If God spares, and He doesn’t come, you are going to get old and wrinkled and ugly. You’re ugly already. You’re going to be so ugly that they won’t call you ugly; they’ll call you oogly. Oh me! Praise God!

Abraham’s Seed

I want to give you something else a little more basic in the way of faith, and I’m going to take Abraham again. This is in Romans chapter 4. You hear more about Abraham in the New Testament than any other character. That’s why it says, “If you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Everybody looked upon him as father Abraham. I guess the Jews call him father Abraham today. But I’m a spiritual Jew because I’ve been made a new creature in Christ Jesus. Abraham is my father, praise God, spiritual father.

When He told him to take Isaac out, He wanted to see if he would sacrifice is only son. He said, “Take Isaac, thine only son.” How many of you knew that? He had a lot of physical sons, but he only had one real son.

I have a couple of physical sons left, but I know I have some real sons. I hope they are. I’m not saying they’re not; I’m just saying the relationship won’t mean anything up there, not that relationship. It’s the ones that’s been begotten by the gospel, by the incorruptible seed, as Peter says. That’s the ones that are born in the Kingdom. That’s why Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” Praise God!

You only have one physical birth, and you only have one spiritual birth, just one. That’s all. You can’t lose it and be born again, and again, and again; it’s one time. And we can do like the Apostle said: “Being confident that he which hath begun a good work in you, shall perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ.” He ain’t going to stop what He started. If He brought you to the kingdom, and you’ve been born again into His kingdom, you’ll be a citizen of the kingdom right on. Praise God!

Paul asks this question, “What shall we say then, that Abraham, our father as pertaining to the flesh hath found.” Then it says, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God.” That sounds like Ephesians 2:8-10. I don’t believe I quoted all that scripture, so I’m going back to it.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It’s the gift of God and not of works, lest any man should boast.” But then he says this: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

I believe in those good works. That’s not to be saved. That’s not to be saved. That’s not to hold on to your salvation. That’s because you have a new life. You’re a new man, a new woman, a new boy, a new girl. You have a new emphasis, praise God! “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

You can lie. You can steal. You can do a lot of other things, but you can’t be happy about it. That’s why he says in Ephesians chapter 4, verse 30, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Did you ever do anything and immediately it is called to your attention? You’re sorry you did it, or sorry you said it. That’s the Holy Spirit. He’s letting you know. God’s Spirit is very sensitive. I don’t see how some people can do the things they do, and not realize they did it. That what he means by, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby you’re sealed unto the day of redemption.” Do you understand what I am talking about? He’ll never agree with sin.

That’s what it means when it says; “He that is born of God sinneth not because his seed remaineth in him.” That seed doesn’t come out, either. It’s there, and that seed is Christ. Not seeds in the plural, but singular. That seed is Christ. Praise God, we have him inside of us. He doesn’t agree with sin.

Let’s come on back to Romans chapter 4. He says, “If he is justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God.” You don’t glory. You don’t work because you are trying to keep yourself, or trying to be good, you work because..... Now you men that love your family, your children, do you work to try to be good, or do you work because you’re a father, and you have a wife and children? Which is it? You don’t think anything about it, do you? I don’t either. Praise God! I don’t think anything about laboring in the word and in doctrine, trying to help you. It just comes naturally, except supernaturally would be better than naturally.

“Abraham believed God.” It says, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” What? He believed God? Yes, that was counted for righteousness. Then he says, “Now to him worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but debt.”

If you’re working to be saved, then you feel like God owes you something. And you’ll be like the old fellow that used to sing the song, “Lord, I’ve prayed; Lord, I’ve done this; I’ve done that; and surely if anybody makes it, I will.” I’d like to have a copy of that song, “Surely, I will.” If I make it, I’ll be ashamed that I even made it. God has been so good, and I’ve been so sorry. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace.” That means if you’re trusting in your works. That’s what it is talking about. If you think you’re something because of your works, you’re nothing.

You may say, “Bless God, I think I’ll have a good time then.” Listen. If that’s your spirit, go ahead and have it. You ain’t going to be any better whether you do, or don’t. What you need is to be a new creature, a new creature, having old things passed away, and all things becoming new.

Then he says, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Do you hear that? That means he doesn’t trust in his works. Your works are not worth one cent. The only thing God is going to accept is your faith in his Son crucified. And when you receive his Son, that’s the greatest honor you have. God is going to bless you if you do, and you’re going to be cursed if you don’t.

Righteousness Without Works

Then he says in verse six, — listen to this now — “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man in whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” He puts it to your account. David said something about that. I believe it’s in Psalm 32 and verse 2. You can read it, if you want to, later.

Now, I want you to see this. He says again in verse 7, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven.” That’s past sins. But what about those now? “And whose sins are covered.” That’s present. This last blessed is verse 8. “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

What about that fellow? God says, “I know you don’t deserve it, but I love you so much, I’ll never charge you with sin anymore.” He could take you to the woodshed, and treat you like a son. “For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. For what son is he, whom the father chasteneth not. But, if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.” You’re just claiming God as your Father.

To the Corinthians, he said; “For this cause, many are weak and sickly among you, and some sleep.” Then he says, “For if we judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord that we should not be condemned with the world.”

That’s the difference, you see, in a Christian and a non-Christian. God does not take away your salvation. He does not take away what you are from His standpoint. But He may take you out of this world early, if He has to. And that will probably happen before God gets through with us. There will be somebody among us that God will have to kill. I’d be afraid if I sinned, just rolling around on my tongue like a sweet morsel. Praise God!

There is something else that I want to give you here. It’s talking about Abraham and some of the things he did. Verse 13 says, “For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” The law, works, or anything you do, it includes all of it. “For, if they which are of the law be heirs, then faith is made void. And the promise is made of none effect, because the law worketh wrath.”

Do you understand what I am saying? Do you want to be saved by the law? Then you have to keep every bit of it. You can’t deviate from one jot, or tittle. If you offend in one point, you’re guilty of all. If you have a mirror up here, and it’s broke just in half, it’s broke. Or if you grind it up into dust, it’s still broke. You don’t have to transgress every law there is to break the law. That’s why you better be saved by grace. If you are going to be saved by the law, you’re in a bad fix. Praise God that He saves us; He has plans for us. We’ll reign with Him! Praise God!

That’s what it means: “The law works wrath.” All the law does is show you what a sinner you are — no saving grace in the law. They brought this woman to Jesus. They threw her down before him and said, “Master, now the law of Moses says this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. What do you say?” They say she ought to be stoned. What do you say?

He stooped over and wrote on the ground. After a while, he raised up and said, “Let him that’s without sin cast the first stone.” They began with the eldest and walked out. I imagine some of them gave that girl some business. I wouldn’t be surprised. And Jesus said, “Woman who is it the condemns thee?” She said, “No man, Lord.” He said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” That means quit this kind of life. You don’t have to live this kind of life.

Like the woman at the well, Jesus said, “Call your husband.” She said, “I don’t have a husband.” He said, “No, you’ve had five, and the one you have now is not your husband.” And she knew. She looked at him sort of suspicious like. She said, “I perceive thou art a prophet.” (I’ll find out something now.) “Now our fathers worshipped in this mountain. But the Jews say Jerusalem is the place to worship.”

Some people say it’s the First Church here, or the Second, or the Third, or the Fourth. Some say it’s the First So-and-So church. Another says, no, it’s the Poodinky Church. It’s the First Church, anyway. Jesus didn’t say come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I’ll give you rest — He didn’t say, “Take the Baptist yoke upon you.” He didn’t say, “Take the Pentecostal Holiness Church.” He didn’t say, “Take the Charismatic Gospel.” He didn’t say, “Take the Presbyterian yoke.” He said, “my yoke.” There is a difference in Jesus’ yoke. Man has a lot of yokes, just like he has a lot of glasses to read this Bible. Praise God!

Strong in Faith

Now, here’s some good things about Abraham. God promised him, and he said this way before he had any children. Hagar had Ishmael, of course, and he didn’t even count him a son. Do you know why? I don’t know how many we have here this morning, I ain’t going to count you, but let’s just say we have 25 here that know the Lord. I’ll see you. The rest of you I’ll never see.

I believe out of that 25 most of you are my children, by the grace of God. You don’t have many fathers. One translation says, “You only have one father.” I don’t know who fathered you, but I’ll tell you they are following a lot of stuff out here in this world, and will never make it through the portals of glory. They’ll never make it.

Abraham went through a big fight of faith. Verse 18, no, verse 17 says, “ I have made thee a father of many nations before him who he believed. Even God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things that be not as though they were.” God said that way before Abraham had a son. He said, “I have made thee.”

What’s he saying? It’s what God has made you, even though you haven’t come to it. I don’t know how long we have, but He made us what we are. We’re already glorified in God’s thinking because He can call those things that be not as though they were. Romans, chapter 8 — read it. “I have made thee a father of many nations.”

Then he says, “Who against hope believed in hope that he might become the father of many nations.” See, “become.” Why? He was a hundred years old. If you went according to nature, he’d have said, “Shucks, God must have made a mistake, or I just misread things.”

Then he said this, “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body.” That’s faith. Do you consider circumstances? Do you look at it and say it’s this way because it looks that way? You don’t know what faith is. See. “He staggered not at the promises of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.”

You know, if you ever fight devils, you’ll learn what a fight of faith is. I think sometimes we try to deliver some that God is not trying to, and we get out of the will of God. I realize that. At best, our faith, our understanding, our discernment, is not too good. We don’t operate from the plateau of perfection that Jesus Christ did. But, praise God, we are going there!

“He staggered not at the promise” — see — “of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” Sometimes we give glory to God now for that body we don’t have yet, but we know we are going to get it. Why? Because God said it. He said it, and He’s going to do it. Praise God!

You Have to Fight

The devil will fight you whenever you try to serve God, and you have to fight him back. I’m going to give you an example or two, if I can. I was praying, one time, for a lady. She was in a terrible mental state. In fact, she was that way a long time before I ever realized it. My mind was on so many other things until I didn’t know. But I discovered it, and we began to come against it.

I’d take my Bible, and I’d use it to show this lady what God said. Then I would pray. I’d walk back and forth in my house, and I’d pray. And I fought the devil. He’d walk along beside me and say that she is not getting any better. I’d say, Devil, you are a liar, and the father of it.

You just as well to learn that you cannot live for God without a fight. I’m not trying to discourage you, or put a guilt trip on you, or in any wise make you think you can’t do it, because you can. Praise God, you can! “The devil trembles when the least saint goes to their knees.” I don’t know that, but I know this: in varying degrees, when you come to the Lord, you get into a fight.

I prayed one time, “Lord, mold me and make me into what you would have me to be.” Boy, the second church I went to all hell broke loose. I’ll tell you another one. He hates it, if you say, “I’m going to live for God.” He hates you right off the bat. He calls his demons, his master spirits, and says, “Get on that fellow. Get on that girl. Get on that boy. Let’s show him he can’t do it.”

You have to say, “Thank you, God, I can do it.” “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” He said, “Behold, I give you power over all the power of the enemy.” I believe it, don’t you? That devil fought me day in and day out.

I remember another case. I’ll tell you this. I’ll try not to keep you too long. This was thrust upon me. I don’t think you ought to go out and try to find cases where you can fight the devil. You’ll have enough in just the natural course of events without finding trouble; you’ll find enough.

Old Brother Walter Hughes came to me, up there in North Carolina. And people had told him, Brother Hughes, you better go see a doctor. He had a cancer on his ear. It came down here, I don’t know, about a fourth of the way before he finally came to me. He said, “Brother Thomas, I want you to pray for this thing.” I said, “Well, you are going to have to believe with me now because this is no light thing.”

I prayed for him. I cursed that thing. I commanded it to leave. It didn’t just fly away; it stayed there. Every time he walked in that church I looked at his ear. It was coming down a little further all the time. The next time he came in the church I looked. The devil was sure I looked at it. And every time I looked at it, the devil would say, “You better tell him to go to a doctor.” I’d say, “Devil, God’s going to move it.”

The greatest faith is the kind where you have to fight the devil over not something just instantly done, where you have to fight him day after day. It’s a fight, faith is. “Fight the good fight of faith.” He didn’t say coach a good fight, but fight the good fight of faith.

He came in again. Two weeks went by, the same. In fact, it was coming on down. Three weeks — it was coming on down — four weeks. I had to tell that devil over and over again, “Devil, it has to go and you can’t stop it.” Now, that’s getting brave. I don’t like to think of myself as brave. I was either brave or foolish. I’ve been both, I think. He came in there after about six weeks, I believe it was, and I looked at that ear. It had stopped. It was about half way down. I said, “Devil, what do you think about that now? How do you like them apples?” I praised God!

That’s another thing. When you are fighting the devil, you need to praise God. That’s why some of you are depressed. That’s why you don’t have the victory, because victory is something in your soul, bless God. You need to praise God. Hallelujah! “God dwells in the midst of the praises of Israel.” And when you fight the devil, you fight him with praise.

Let me finish this story and I’ll tell you another one. I just thought of another one. Maybe the Lord wants it. Anyway, I said, “Thank you Lord. I think it has stopped.” I saw him a week later, and it began to inch up. I said, “See devil.” Praise God! He came back again, about another week, and it had gone up a little further. And it just slowly went back up. The ear was clean, and there was just one little spot the size of a pea right on top of his ear. One day he put his glasses on and it came off. It had healed.

The Devil Hates Praise

I can tell you why I know the devil hates praise. I used to fight those devils in Judy Clevenger. I could tell when I saw her, if the devil had come back into her. I was working with her. That devil could come up and take her mind and control it, or he could go down, release it, and let her control it. That may sound strange to you, but he could.

I’d say, “Judy, you don’t mind praising God, do you?” She’d say, “No.” Here’s another example. I’d say, when the devil was in control of her, “Who am I?” She’d say, “Reverend Thomas.” When Judy was in control, she’d say, “Brother Thomas.”

Then, one day, I said, “Judy, you don’t mind praising God.” If you could ever get her to praise God, that devil flew. You all know that; you’ve seen that happen many times, Ruth, and my wife there. We worked one night, me and John did, about three or four hours, and we were just fagged out.

That’s another thing, too. You can start out in the Spirit, and you just drift down. It seems like you get out of the Spirit, and you’re fighting in yourself. You can’t fight this battle in yourself. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Our weapons are mighty!

I said, whenever she was in control of her mind, “You don’t mind praising God, do you?” That’s something. You may not know that, but some people are not in control of their mind. The devil is. There is a rationality when you, as a human being, any moral human being at all, about your mind, whenever you are in control of it. And there is an irrationality about it whenever the devil has control of it.

I’d say, “Judy, you don’t mind praising the Lord, do you?” She’d say, “No,” and she meant it. I said, “Let’s praise the Lord then.” I’d lift my hands and start praising Him.

That devil would take control of her and say, “No, No.” He’d turn his head away from me like that. I’d say, “You foul devil, you won’t let her praise the Lord, will you?” I said, “Why do you make her turn her head?” Listen to this, now. You may wonder why I speak to people when I catch them looking off. He said, “She draws virtue from you. She does.” And he breaks that connection just as soon as he can by getting her to look somewhere else.

I remember a lady came down from Detroit, Michigan. They stayed down here two or three years. Then one of her lady preacher friends came down and said, “Oh, your poor children; it’s terrible what’s happened to you.” The devil didn’t like what happened to them. That lady couldn’t even look at you, when she first came. When she left, she could look at us.

We Are in a Warfare

We are in a warfare. We’re in a fight. And you need to overcome evil with good. That’s not easy. When somebody does something to you that you don’t like, you don’t want to do the right thing. Your flesh doesn’t like that.

I remember, I told a lady living next to us.... Her son was shooting in our yard, cutting down the pine needles. I went over. We bought milk and eggs and butter from this lady. I went over there, and I said, “Sister So and So,” (They were Baptist; this is no reflection on the Baptists; there are some people who love the Lord who are Baptist, some few, and there are some few of ours who love the Lord), “I’d appreciate it if you ask, (I called her son by name), “if you ask him not to shoot so close to our house. I’ve got children over there. I don’t want to see them blinded.” Here’s what she said. She said, “If you don’t want nobody shooting around your house, you shouldn’t have moved out here.”

That was a good answer, wasn’t it? I went ahead and got my milk and eggs and started back. You have the devil, and he talks to you. Then the Lord talks to you. The first fellow that talked to me was the devil. Here’s what he said. He said, “Just don’t go back there anymore.” Then the Lord said to me, “Do you think that would be right?” He said, “You go back like nothing happened, and be just as Christian and good as you can be. When you want more eggs and butter, milk, you go on back. Let her see you ain’t got nothing in your heart.” I went back.

They had a little triangle of land in front of them. They didn’t need it. They had about 150 acres. I had about 18. But that was right in front of my yard. I really didn’t need it because my driveway just cut right across it. One day I came in there and he was putting up a fence, cutting off my driveway.

That’s amazing! Everywhere I move the devil stirs people up. And I know it’s the devil too. I hardly remember a place. Somehow, the devil don’t like me. You know something? I don’t like him either. It’s a mutual hatred. It’s mutual.

One day, this fellow, because I told her I didn’t like him shooting out in our yard, he got drunk and stood out in that yard. He was as drunk as a coot. Do you know how drunk a coot gets? Well, you know more than I do; I don’t! I know how drunk hogs will get around a moonshine still, and how drunk chickens will get, if you throw the mash out in the yard. They’ll eat it and get drunk where they can’t even walk.

This fellow was out there and he cussed me for everything you can think of: “You mealy mouthed so-and-so, son of a so-and-so.” I just paid it no attention. He didn’t know it, but he wasn’t just coming against me, he was coming against Somebody else Who said, “Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

I don’t know how long it was, but it wasn’t very long, that they found him dead in his car out in the woods, at the steering wheel, dead. I went over there to that lady, at that house. I felt sorry for her. I had prayer with them. They told somebody, they said, “You know, of all the people, that fellow, his prayer done us more good than anybody else.”

Then her husband died. She asked me to have part in the funeral, which I did. My wife, my children, and I, we used to go over there and play the accordion and sing. One of them would play the piano. She told us, she said, “When I die, I want you all to play those instruments at my funeral.”

Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” That’s what God’s word says. I have tried to do the right thing whenever I had people I know that didn’t like me. It’s natural for them not to like you because, “He that does evil hates the light.” Don’t feel as though that’s some odd thing; it’s natural. When you dislike people, it’s a devil in you, the devil working on you.

It’s not easy to do what the Lord says to do: “Turn the other cheek.” But it’s a good thing to do, because He’s on your side. Hallelujah! Overcome evil with good. It’s a fight, but praise God, we’re on the winning side! That is all folks. It’s ten minutes after twelve. God bless you. It’s a fight of faith, but you have it won. You have it won.

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