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The Man Behind the Armor

Sebastien Braxton

Presenter

Sebastien Braxton is the CEO for The New Life corporation.  He is also a member of the InVerse team, a young adult bible study program on Hope Channel.  He resides in North Carolina w/ his wife Candis and their four children.   His latest project is an online course on how to study and preach the Bible.

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Recorded

  • October 24, 2015
    10:00 AM
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Today. I bring you greetings from Fayetteville North Carolina where I currently reside with my one wife and three children. My wife and my children send their greetings I just had a baby girl September ninth my third child. So I look pretty good right for three kids and a new baby. I'm rested. And so. But the Lord is good. They sent me a message my baby girl was sleeping in. They were heading out. And so they wanted me to know that she was sleeping in my. My position in the bed since I was not there. Even though she takes a Most of the bed anyway. So anyway they wanted me to let you know that they are praying for you they're praying for me in that God would visit us through these meetings this weekend. And unfortunately couldn't be here to make some noise in the background into try to rush the stage. When I see papa is preaching. But nevertheless sometime in the future we definitely hope to make a family trip out west. We have family around and friends as well so it will be good to visit. I also know that it's going to be putting the website on the screen. So this is the our three website just so you know what it looks like so you don't go to the wrong place. Does a lot of organizations name are three I found when I filed for the organization. So we can scroll down. You'll notice that it has about the leadership the different projects on there is the link to our Cali. Blog. Gives you the point you can go down on tells you to different areas service media and technology. Keep rolling down and grow grow grow. And right there you go to different projects. And this tells you some of the upcoming ones we update this about every four months as projects get solidified Aso you'll notice that Dubai is coming in twenty sixteen India is in about two weeks Cali is an ongoing project. We also do a lot of journalism. And we're also working on a learning management system. For those who are software developers they'll know what that means. The. It also tells you are you ready to serve. And then you can go all the way to the bottom. And it gives you size just a little bit up. And it gives you that little contact us very simple box and an email me interested in this. And it goes straight to my sister and. We review those things on a daily basis every twenty four hours. So. We get a lot of invitations from non Adventist as well as Adventists. And so I want to kind of clue you in on something with our three. Is that one of the things that we look at our stories are trees not a typical organization we have a headquarters. When we were in Dubai Hala. That you saw in the video who was talking as executive director of senses. She's like You know I want to come to see the headquarters of our three. I'm like We don't have a headquarters. I don't have the big corner office overlooking the pier. You know in the NY skyline that's not what our three is about. But she was a shock because we had so many volunteers from so many different countries she just assume we're like this man myth of an organization. And somehow we figured out ways to pay for expenses for two months to serve in Dubai. But I told her that our three is a think think that's really the intention of our three. Is to sit down and to come up with ideas that are restoring that are rational and that are radical that is essentially the idea and. One of the things that continues to happen in our three. Is the reality that young people. You know we talk about training. It's hard for you to take four months off six months off nine months off to go get training. And so you'll notice that there's been a trend towards this online training element. And so this is something that we've been also working on as well. In are always recruiting new software developers. Coders as well as design. Front and back in. I don't want to get all the technical technical terms but those are always the kind of things that we're doing as well as the history Dench in concert on recruiting new people and local talent to get involved and show that they can and. Use their skills to be a blessing to every They go so definite of you're interested. This is the Web site. Very easy to contact us and we're very responsive as we'll as much as we can be of course because I'm here preaching to you so I won't be able to check those things and base a message last night I shouldn't be checking my e-mail into the sun goes the hook so anyway. As those of you were not here last night. You have no way of knowing that this weekend. I've decided to come and speak on the theme of the heart. The reality that the true place where we are really called to be Christians. Is in the inner life. The part of the life that is most likely to be neglected. And yet it is the most critical aspect of the Christian life. It is not enough to have behavioral modification. It is not enough to include a certain level of activities. In fact we are encouraged by the Spirit of Prophecy that we ought not to make a savior. Out of our activities. Because they are not our Saviour can you say min. So because of that concept if we don't we are not to make a savior of our activities and what are we to make a savior of. And she's talking about the context of come apart and rest awhile. So these messages this week in are designed to speak to the heart. I don't want to talk to you about behavior. I don't want to talk to you about. Are you listening to this music or that music. I want to talk about dress. Should women wear pants or dresses or whatever. I don't want to talk to you about diet. Oh yes the last time I came to preach it had been hope. After my second presentation is woman met me outside a ship brother Sebastian. Thank you for preaching the word. She gave me a no and it said. Next sermon please it. Soda. Cheese and something else. I was shocked. If I had a fireplace I would have thrown it in there. And you think you people think all men disguise preaching so. Yes we need to use them to get these people off of cheese cheese is not the greatest threat to the human soul. Amen. The devil is not made of cheese. And here I am right thirteen years I've been vague and I'm not opposed to a vegan diet. My whole family is weak and my kids never tasted eerie. Never eat meat never even seen it cooked. So I'm not saying I'm not support of the health message. I believe in the health message. But what I'm saying is the fact that when we come to these places we worry about the behavioral modification. And yet I remember. You know years ago I was I was receiving a classroom pass risky when I was a new Christian and back then right I was one of those you know. Self righteousness by veganism. So Pastor ski came over we made breakfast and we said hey prosecute these are Vigen pancakes. You know. Magnifica. You're going to love these passes schizo brother suppression I have one question for you says with a beanie visions in hell. You're thinking here so why is he asking me this question. Like Pastor skeet you know we just heard about pain kids like. That's what I talk about right to sniff. But you understand his point. There will be vegans in hell. Unfortunately because they didn't have to be there because Christ died for them. But it raises the point that the true issue. The true battle of the Christian life is in the hearts. There is no way to get around this issue. And so I'm hoping that through these messages that I'm able to help draw your attention your focus back to where it ought to be not only where your attention and my attention ought to be. But the place where Jesus's attention is to cooperate with Christ is to know where Christ is working is so know what he's focusing on. And he's focusing on the heart. The inner life. Not the one that is seen because you know we can easily do things to be seen of men because we're in an Adventist campus. We know what is publicly. Acceptable. And we know what to keep in the dorm room. And what to keep on the front you know we have this theory and communication. And they call it the front stage and the back stage. So when you want to create a particular image of yourself or of your organization I do consulting for organizations. So say oh we want to have this kind of image. Then I have to enter lies all their messages their Facebook profiles. Their Twitter account to say look this message should be backstage. Even though you're an angel investor group. And your goal is to make all rich people richer. That is really your goal. As an angel investment firms you don't want that on your Facebook page. Are you rich do you want to make more money come to invest with us. People going to like want China and non annoyed to be associated with that. You look greedy. You look like you're selfish. Young people believe in especially millenniums. So as a result. You have to counter them say that needs to be backstage. But you know what should be front stage is you're creating jobs. You're helping entrepreneurs launch businesses that are going to affect the community. Right you're building up homes you're helping. That family. To have a Merry Christmas. That's an image that you're presenting listen this is all. Strategically thinking of how people go about things. But guess what we're no different in organizations we know how to do what we call impression management and manage our image on our grow you can't wear that on Sabbath not to have a hope. But when you go home to your mom's house in Minnesota then you can wear it because you know their standards are different and Ivanhoe So you want to maintain a certain image until you get caught by somebody who caught a picture on Facebook. Did you see such a such photo on Facebook. How many guys in on telling the truth. We know how to manage our image. And so I've been title my message. The man behind the armor. The man behind the armor pray with me. Father in heaven. It is only by your grace to the merits of Jesus that we can even come. What an amazing amazing gift that life is especially life with Christ. Lord as we go into this worship. Message. All we are praying is asking is that you would be with us or we don't care about the words of men. We don't care about the opinions of men. We come to this auditorium because we want to have personal contact with she says. We come to confess his worthiness. And so we pray that as we study your word. Just now that you would go from heart to heart and from mind to mind. Impressing upon the soul. The truth. And giving us the courage to change. To submit to yield to Christ and not to resist his love to call us higher. This is our prayer. And we offer this prayer from our hearts and Jesus's name Amen. Take your Bibles. Go to the book of Second Kings. Chapter five Second Kings. Chapter five. Are you there. Second Kings. Chapter five. The Bible says in verse one. Now Namen commander of the Army of the king of Syria. Was a great an honorable man in the eyes of his master. Because by him. The Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man. Of Valor. But a leper. And the Syrians had gone out on raids and had brought back captive. A young girl from the land of Israel and she served. NAME IS wife. Now. I want you to notice in this story that we are knowledge countering what Aristotle would call a tragedy. You see Everest auto believe that a tragedy. Because the Greeks were all into plays and musicals and all these different things. So in theatre they said a tragedy according to every startle is you have to have a hero what amazing abilities. He or she has to be extremely gifted. Extremely prominent extremely powerful extremely knowledgeable. But then you have to give them a fatal flaw. And now you have a tragedy on your hands. So in other words the. The story of a Killie's is a tragedy. Because Achilles. Was this. This man that his mother was so you know jealous over him said I want him to be one of the greatest warriors ever known in the Greek army and so she took her son and supposedly she dipped him in this. Supernatural river the river Styx. Dip I'm in. Then you'll come out and his whole body anything that touch the water would be impenetrable. By spear by sword by Arrow by anything. But guess what in order to pull put him in and to make sure she can pull him out she had to hold him by his ankles. And so therefore this is where we get the term. The Achilles heel. Because the only thing that didn't touch the water was a seal. And this was his downfall. Once you realize this. You know how to beat Achilles. There was a weakness. So when you saw Killie's. You saw the armor. You saw the fact that he would take hits. He could be ten men at a time he could take a beating and nothing would stop acutely in a battle. But you didn't realize that the true story of Achilles was the man behind the armor. That really why he was dipping in this river was because he was mortal. Because he was vulnerable. He was trying to find a way to say guess what I want to be able to beat the system but in reality. There was still a part of his life. That was vulnerable to attack. That made him. Just like every other men. It was his seal. But you see what I have to go back to ancient Greece. To learn about individuals who are amazing ability to have amazing abilities. But have weaknesses about the man behind the armor. I remember when Tiger Woods. His whole situation came out. Years ago and everyone said you know on the black community we're so excited. This. The greatest golfer ever. And Tiger Woods was like the upstanding person you know kids role models. Getting more African-Americans and minorities into golf. Even women inspiring them because of what he has achieved only to discover this man's traveling the world. Paying thousands of dollars to women to sleep with him. No longer the picture perfect. Rich successful golfer with a beautiful wife and kids no no no no that's not Tiger Woods. Anymore because the true story of Tiger Woods was the man behind the armor. Eventually as we talked about last night his private life. Could not sustain the pressure of his public life. He did not have a moral compass. He did not have a center. But to go even forward you can look at someone. Not so tragic right as. Tiger Woods but Mother Teresa. One of the sad part about her life is that when she died. Never once Amanda world is mourning we lost a great soul. This is such a tragedy. And yet they only discovered in her journals. And in her letters to a friend that she was confessing to him that she felt that God had abandoned her that she felt like she was lost. That she had no peace and here's this woman serving the lowest of the low. Mother Teresa is synonymous with oh you know that girl that you're sitting in school and you're in high school in a psych a you know you don't. You don't sleep with boys and. She always follows the rules who are you Mother Teresa. That is to be an insult when I was a Q So you look at his growth at all this girl's Mother Theresa's she doesn't do anything she just follows the rules and she's a saint and only to that discovered that oh. There was a time when every mother. In the world one of their daughter to be like Mother Teresa. So compassionate so loving so giving. So ministering only to realize who would ever want their daughter to be like Mother Teresa. And there is no difference in the story of name and. Here is name in the Bible says that naming was the commander of the Syrian army. This man is a general. But he was a leper. And what this tells you is that his leprosy. Did not stop him from achieving amazing things publicly. While he was a leper. He still learn to fight he still learned military strategy. He was still guiding his army. To victory not only that. Even though he was a leopard The Bible says. In Second Kings Chapter five in verse one that he was a great and he was an honorable man in the Marine Corps. When I was in. They say that the tenets of the Marine Corps are honor courage and commitment. Honor courage and commitment. And the whole point of boot camp is to teach you these values. Now this is how they seek to teach us. These values so whenever you do any activity in boot camp in the Marine Corps. They never ever tell you you did something. Even if they saw you do it. I watched you do it. So one time I was going to the. The rifle range were practicing shooting these weapons. And as we're shooting the weapons. You have to hit the target a certain number of times. If you don't you fail. If you fail you have to go back again. So as we're marching back to the barracks and. They say everybody get online see sending in front your bed you're at attention. And he walks in the see your drill instructor and he says. Who failed the rifle range today. Stepped out. He already has the records in his office. He knows who failed. But what is he trying to teach us. He's trying to teach us how the honor. And the courage and the commitment to excellence. To ignore your failures. Step out. And so there you are online. In this complete wall of young men and one step forward. You already know was coming for you when you step on. He's not going to be like Hey guys. Good luck next time know he can secure like you going to push into your harbors. I'm like Oh so I feel the referential Let's turn my arms into jelly that's going to be helpful. Slick. But it's all point is look. You need to be so committed to an honorable true success. That you are willing to pay the price for failure. And if you don't step out. It's because you have no honor. And he says. That is worse than the punishment I will give to you for stepping out that you would actually go to bed tonight and tell people you're a Marine but you have no honor. Because you know you failed. You know this is not who you are now. You stepped out to Christians right now when I was in Germany. Doing and eventually succes. And after I preached on this particular message in the afternoon the young people said we want to talk about relationships can you talk about relationships I said fine. So I did a seminar relationship and at the end of it I made an appeal. If you're in a relationship with a non-believer. Come to the altar. To end it today. They're all like whoa whoa whoa. I don't understand German but understand will. So all the sudden you just see people. Shifting into seated. This is crazy to spread doesn't he notices Munich. We're developed respectable country. All the sudden a young person got up and came to the front. Then three other came to the front. It was about six of them total. Afterwards the young people came to me said brother Sebastian. I want to thank you for making that appeal because I didn't have the courage to do it myself. They said no one preaches this in Germany. No one will ask you. But then as I leave that young group of young people I go to the side and there is the. The German elder brothers fashion I don't understand why you make these appeals. Why should you come forward no one needs to know everyone knows you're dating or not Adventists. So why can't you step out and indeed. I said it's so interesting to me that when you're in the world you think I cared. That you like to part music or not I could care less. There I am on the bus. Bump in my Jay Z.. Super loud you can't even focus and concentrate. And all this lady is thinking if I hear another cuss word to this man's head phones. How did I end up sitting next to this young man on the bus yes I was that a noxious hip hop head. You think I cared and now you become a Christian you on the bus and you can't even home Amazing Grace. That's OUR it just sing it in my mind. Because I'm afraid I might offend someone. I'm afraid that people are going to look at all she's a Christian you know. And then some angry a thing is going to come after me like a hungry shark. But you realize that we as Christians. Many times we have no honor. If you bold enough to go out there from this church. And do what you want to do then you're both enough to come up to the altar. Have some honor and dignity and say look I am not living the way I ought to be living. And the men's appeal is for me. Why am I going to sit here and pretend. Listen brothers. Just because people in aus and hope say hey she's a good Christian doesn't give us entrance. It's when Jesus says. That's a good Christian. That gets us entrance. Your name will be reviewed as my name will be reviewed and he's not looking at your name as your reputation. Your character is joining. And your character or the principles that constrain what you do. Whether you're watch or not. And so you realize naman. Was an honorable man. That's much more than you can say for a lot of us in here. He was a great. And an honorable man. But he was a leper. To even go forward the Bible says in Second Kings Chapter five in verse one that naman. Was great in the eyes of his master. The king is one thing for other people to affirm us another thing for the king to respect you. When the king says you are great an honorable man in my eyes. You would think the king might feel a little bit threatened. In his life in his mind. I mean of name in his getting all this respect and all these accolades would have this guy took my position as the king. You know that song went through that with David right. Because the girl started singing got a watch on ladies. It's the truth. Oh David has his ten thousand this all has to start here I got a start I gotta kill this guy. I mean the girls are singing about him was next the throne of my please explain the logic to me. Just jealousy just insecurity. Just because you know who is the man behind the armor saw. That's why you're worried. But naman. He was great in the eyes of his master. The person that he served. He was honorable in the Bible tells you why. In verse one the Bible says that it was because by Him the Lord had given victory to Syria. That means that God had used Nieman and the very fact that he was a leper did not prevent God from using him. How do you. The very fact that he's a leper it says. By him. God used him to give victory to the nation. So here is God working in some other nation. And he decides to use name and I'm not surprised because naman is a great and honorable men. Not a Christian yet. Doesn't know the truth yet. Hasn't fully embraced the Gospel yet because he's still a leper. But yet the very fact that we have leprosy. Does not take away. God's ability to use us. The should be a lot more immense to that because God is using your leprous behind all the time. Is the truth. We know who we are at home. We know who we are in our in Mosul. We know who we are. When no one is there and we find ourselves. Battling the fight of fate we know who we are. And we know the battles that we lost. And we know the ones that we're ashamed of and we know the ones that haunt us. Every time someone is calling us to a higher level. I want you to preach. I want you to lead out in this. I want you to stop school. I want you to run this thing. I want you to become the next president of X. Y. and Z. organization. All of a sudden in those moments guess what comes to your mind. Not that you're able. But the mistakes you made. You immediately remember. Man you know. I have these struggles. In my life. When I first sense the call that God was calling me to preach. I hid in my room. Never came out for three days to get in these e-mails brother Subash want you to come preacher. Want you to come preacher. Want you to come preacher. Want you to come preaching I said lord. I'm not ready. Because I know who I am. I know my struggles. So people are saying they were calling the secretary. Where Sebastian has responded to our e-mails. Is he alive. Was going on because I was sitting here running from the sting is so I remember I started reading. Early writings. I love the book early writings. So as I was reading this. And I came to the point where along I was dealing with her own struggle to accept God's call for her life as a prophet. And she came in the angel took a there and said you know. Here's Christ and Christ is frowning and other white as the angel How can I get there from an off of his face. And he says do with Jesus has called you to do. And she said OK. If it will remove the frown from Jesus's faced and I will do it but she says Lord I have some conditions. It's in the go shooting with Jesus right. She said lord. I will go. And I will say whatever you tell me to say I will write whatever you tell me to write. As long as you promise to do two things for me. She says one. Protect me from self exultation. And promise to be with me wherever I go. And I will do it I got on my knees. In that room. In Boston. And I said Lord Al preach. I'll go wherever you want me to go. But you got a promise to do two things for me. Protect me from so visitation and promise that you'll be with me wherever I go. So guess what. When the difficulties of life Rolen. I'm thankful to God. He's protecting me from self exultation. One of the first things a preacher needs to learn is God doesn't need to God doesn't need you but you know you have these preachers who can't say no to an appointment. They cannot not make or you know understand brother Sebastian. I got a call one time from a European country I'm not going to say to name the suburban gradually country church. It was right around Christmas right before G Y C When I was serving in G Y C and I said look I can't come. It's too close is too much. I said can you move the weekend. One weekend earlier to said No brother session this is the only weekend. In the whole year that we actually your present truth being preached. So if you can come to it we have to find another speaker so please you have to reconsider I said Brother. Jesus was leading his church before I was born. When I die. He will continue to lead his church. Amen. You don't need Sebastian Brasi even God doesn't need Sebastian Braxton. If anything. I need God. I need the ministry. But the ministry doesn't need me otherwise says a great controversy God could accomplish the work of the Gospel by speaking one word. Don't need us. But we start thinking we have to get busy busy here and there. I gotta go to outreach I gotta do this. I gotta do this but you spend five minutes in the Bible. Five minutes in prayer. But two hours in outreach and you feel like you were super christian. When it's not about. That is not Christianity. The heart of Christianity. The power of your outreach is what happened before outreach. It's about the man behind the armor. So naman. Was used by God and the Bible ends in verse one by saying he was also a mighty man of valor. This was a courageous soldier. Now I come to this point simply to say this. Here is naman. As an honorable man. As a general as a man who is used by God to deliver a nation. And of all the stories in his life to put him in the Bible God says. This is the story that I want to put about naming. Why don't you tell us how you use naman to give Syria victory. Why don't you tell us how he was a leper and how he gained in the ranks. Even though he was a leper. Knowing that if naman was wounded he will not heal like every other soldier. How did you survive that long. That would be an interesting story. But God says No I don't see naman. Based on all his little decorated medals on his armor. I don't see naman. Based upon. Although this is what he accomplished or the King thinks he's a great man or because the little kids in Syria have little name in action figures at home. That is not how I see naman. God says. I see you for who you are behind the armor. The story that is relevant to God is the story that is also relevant to us which is what happened to the man behind the armor. Because you can accomplish. All these things. But it doesn't do a lick for your leprosy. You still going to be a leper. And all your honor and all your greatness. You know you are counting down the days where one day. You won't be able to put on the armor another White says. Commenting on Abraham. She says in the eyes of God. A man is exactly what he is in his own home. You have think about down. Some seminary students were at Andrews discussing with their professor because he was going to the qualifications of an elder and of a pastor. They said if we apply these qualifications none of us will qualify. My response was a man. Step down. But what are we supposed to do I mean. Have your house in order. Do this do this I said listen this is when are we supposed to lead our families and rule our house look at the expectations of conferences. I said listen. People get away with whatever you let them. You make up your mind as a pastor. What it just it was say. You can think it's evil to serve the Lord. That's fine but as for me and my house. We will serve the Lord. When you say the phrase. As for me. That means I know what is in my control and I know how God views me. My spiritual mother told me early on in my preaching ministry Sebastian. Don't believe your public persona. Some people think Subash Abraxas walk around preaching all the time. Does Now I talk to my kids. Every head is about every eyes closed. That's not family worship. I understand that I'm coming here to preach the Word of God. And that's what I do just what I'm called to do. But at the end of the day I know who the man is behind the armor. I'm not walking around preaching but it is a point to say as Francis of Assissi said no sense preaching anywhere if you're not preaching everywhere. If you're just a performer you're not a preacher. You're an actor. So this whole concept of oh yeah I put on my stage presence and. I just be a no no no to me any to come out of your personality who you actually are. Because it's about the man behind the armor. That is the story of life. So here's the question for the morning. I don't want to know what you did for the church I don't want to hear about oh yeah you're the present of X. Y. Z. club you were the pastor of your class. Back in academy. You're the spiritual leader of this. You are the outreach coordinator. I used to organize this for G Y C I used to organize this for the church I used to be this. That's all well and good but who's the man behind the armor. That's the real story. That is your story that is my story. That behind all this are not all this Adventist garb. All these extra know things. There's a leprous person back there. And the reason why we like the armor is because we like to cover it up. We don't want to be vulnerable. If there's one thing. We struggle with as a church is vulnerability. We don't have any concern for that young teenage girl too she gets pregnant. Now when the board meeting telling her what she should and should have done. You know. She should have been dating a guy in the first place Where were you when she started dating him. How come she to feel comfortable enough to come to you about the relationship. How come you weren't involved in her like to know. As an elder of the church. But we be the first person to tell Somalia you know this is a need to get disfellowshipped say no you need to get disfellowshipped for your neglect. And you have nerve. Just like the woman who called the woman in adultery. You have nerve to bring this person before Crisis a lawyer what should we do with her. She was caught in the very act. When you're the one who should have been ministering to her teaching her to gospel. Teaching her salvation. Teaching are about the Lamb of God to deliver her from this. You neglect or. You let her sleep around and now you want to condemn or. That is not how God functions. God is not like most of the people who function key is for us. But we are not all the time for each other that's why we gossip. That's why we talk about all other people's business. Because we are not for each other and God is not against people because God died for people. But you see we can fake. And we can feign and we can pretend. And we can continue to play to the crowd. For you and I both know who you really are. The man behind the armor. And you know one name is problem once when he comes in he can answer this young girl and she comes him and she says Hey. I notice that my master has left prosy is so interesting that the person who sees his leprosy. It's the little girl he kidnapped from her parents. You would think this little girl going to be like good riddance should be kidnapping young Israelite girls. That's what you get is the true. Listen. You're going to day's news and some men kidnap some fifteen year old girl and lock her in some cottage. And she finds out his dues dying of AIDS you can be like. That's what you get should be kidnapping young girls. It's a truth. But this girl that's not her response. She looks and she says you know what I wish he was with the prophet is like. I wish he was with the prophet Elijah. So that he could recover him of his leprosy. You're talking about the man behind the armor who is this little girl's name and is great. The little girl doesn't even have an ng. Name and is a general. This girl is the most helpless thing you can find in the plains of Syria like she was going to fight those Syrian soldiers get off I'm being. No there's no Hebrew Kung-Fu this like what are you doing. You're going to get arrested you're going to Syria. So through this whole experience here's this girl and the contrast between naman and the little girl. She's not a general. She has no armor. She has no defenses. But look at who she was behind this little girl body. She was the true great person in the story. She was the true general. She was the true mighty men of valour because it takes courage to love someone that hated you to wish someone well. When they're the ones that took you from your own family. To look at someone and say listen she could have said naman. Architect you to the prophet that's the condition. You take me back home. Outtake you to Alicia to recover your leprosy. Fair is fair. You want to get healed. Then free me. She didn't even go with naman. She stayed home. As a slave. Hoping that he would see a large analyzer would recover in. So then the question becomes if this is the true great person of the story. Who she was behind her arm or in her in a most soul. You look at this girl in all you see is Christ. All you see is this person that you have harmed. That you have abused. And yet even though you wronged them. The person looks at you just as Christ looks at us and says Look. While you were still sinners. I died for you. Some people come all the time we say brother Sebastian you know. I'm struggling with my sins are. I keep falling even after I gave myself to baptism I said Jesus died for you while you were still a sinner. You think he's not going to continue to plead for you while you still a sinner. He didn't die for you because you were good lesson brother says. I need to make this point very clear because I know I have to wrap up soon. The first sentence. The first sentence of patriarchs and prophets of the conflict of the ages that we so revere that if you read the conflict the ages then you're really Adventists. Yes. I wish it was that easy. The very first sentence of patriarchs and prophet says. God is love. Do you know the next sentences. He says his law. His nature is love. I read that sentence so many times. Never hit me as I go his law his nature is love your year your year brushed aside you know how we do. Because we know we're serious advertise the love of God we're past that. Tell me about Revelation nine. Only to realize when you know who you are behind your armor the love of God is a whole different issue. To determine whether that little made girl that you kidnapped. That you harmed. That you took for your own selfish ends. That that girl would actually have compassion. So now you go to this girl who she was the religion of her home. That the formation of her parents and this is the young girl that they produced. But now you. Magnify that to God and. And the prophet is saying he's lost his nature. Do you understand the word nature. You see when you look at nature you're talking about that which comes of its own self. Listen. It is in the nature of a lion to hunt. Can you same and it is in the nature of a child to lie when they're in trouble is in their nature you gotta teach them. I've got three kids to prove it. Did you touch that not interested. I saw you touch it. I didn't touch it papa. Who taught you to lie. There was no I went on Ed X. and Khan Academy and I learned OK. Little kid how to get out of getting a spanking. There was no class. But here's this three year old girl looking me in my eyes. I did not. I spot you touch Who taught you to lie it's in her nature. You know not the teacher to lie you don't the prompter the lies. You don't have to encourage around to coerce. Hey I'll give you candy if you lie and you don't have to do that she does it. Of her own self. It's her nature. When you look at a our honey bee. You think the honey bee went to a class. Once you get your bachelor's in honey making OK. I got my masters. I'm actually starting the properties of honey. Know the bees make Ani because it's their nature. Are you following what I'm saying. Now you apply that to God and the end she saying. His nature is love. That means you don't have to teach God to love as natural as birds fly. As peacemaker knee as children live as lions hunt. As cheaters one. God loves. It's his nature. So you're going to say Oh God I thought fallen a hundred thousand times. I'm still dealing with my leprosy. Do you think I loved you because you convinced me it's my nature. You're not following what I'm saying. If you understood this principle. The profundity of that statement. His nature is love one must sit in your questioning. God can do nothing else but his nature. To put it in a different vein. When you look at something in its nature. What you're saying is this is what you're going to get. If you don't take any measures to stop it from him if you say look I don't do anything to stop this thing. This is what's going to happen. Are you following. That's the nature of the thing you have to teach a dog to go outside. You have to teach a dog don't climb on the furniture because it's not in his nature are you following. When you look at God You say look. God is love God will love. It's his nature. Unless you take measures to stop his love. Only to discover that God is the most powerful being in the universe. What measures could you take to stop his love. There's nothing you can do. Because not only is it his nature. He's more powerful thing. He's wiser. He's more powerful. He's only president. What could you pause you can't deceive God into hating you. Because this is nature. And now you're looking at this girl who's just giving us a very ounce of the fact. What did naman do to earn her loss. And she was concerned about the men behind the armor we know that when it came time for naman. To deal with his leprosy. He got to the prophet. The prophecy Go wash in the River Jordan. Naman. Was like I'm not washing and dirty river. Now here's a man who realizes that in order to be cleansed. He's got to take off his armor in front of his associates. He has to stand in this river. Full leprosy exposed and asked to dip in self. Seven times. Because God recognizes that what is the problem with Why are leprosy persists. Our leprosy doesn't persist because there's no solution. Because the man looked at name and he said Master. With all due respect. If the prophet had said. Climb the mountain. Would you not a condom. If the man had said swim to the very depths of the. Would you not have done it to because you know why because it would have been honorable to you. And this is how we get caught up in works. Because we think oh man you know if I pray this hard if I go on this crazy mission trip where you. You're sleeping on a bed of roaches. And as you cook your food and his arm a hardcore missionary Now I know I'm saved. It's the truth. Maybe if I pray all night. Maybe if I keep my devotion consistent every single day. Maybe if I just decided I'm not going to fall into this Pranab graphy trap. Maybe of me or my boyfriend or faithful until we get married then. I know I will be accepted by God for getting all of them. It's his nature. Pay and be. Those things are not going to change or leprosy. So finally naman realize how can something so simple. Be so resistant to the human being the leprous men. Just go to the river and wash. Because your real problem name is not really your leprosy is Shoprite. You don't want to be exposed for who you really ARE YOU want to maintain the armour. You want to maintain the respect and B.C.. That's what we want. I want to look good. I want to be respected. I want to be liked. I want to be popular. I want to have this and that and the third and be safed. Well I'm news for you Sister White says. What is justification by faith. She says. It is laying into the dust. The glory of men. Point number one right she sniffs pond face is laying into the dust. The glory of men and. Jesus doing for him. That which it is not in his own power to do for himself. We like to focus on. Jesus doing for us. What it is not in our power to do for ourselves we like that aspect of righteousness by faith. Don't we all he will that he will combine his enduring might with your weakness. We like that just come as you are he'll throw back to his robe of righteousness and his arms of love we like that but we don't like the lane your glory into the dust. Don't like that. We want to be saved in such a way that we are still respected. We want to be saved in such a way that we don't have to humble ourselves. Would have to be exposed for the sinners we are we go and spend our Sabbath after Sabbath convincing people were not sinners. When we are. I just want to be like this at a guy come to me is like Sebastian I'm not racist you know I have four black friends. Really I'm not I know it seems like I'm like listen. I believe this man straight in the eyes and like listen to me a racist is a sinner like anyone else. And Jesus saves. I've heard a joyful so. Jesus saves. So you don't have to go here pretending you're not a sinner. That you're not a race is convinced because it's so terrible to be a races. Look brother you're worried about being a racist I'm worried about being a sinner. That's the heart of your problem. The worst thing you can be. Is a sinner. If you can't get lower than that. So just accept because you deceiving yourself. And eventually the lie will be exposed. And what is behind the armor. Will come out. This plenty of people listen to me right now who are praying what I just said never happens to them because they know. You know you don't want your parents to find out. You don't want your friends to find out. You want your fellow church members to find out your children or it is all the shin. Dads we've been at the altar He's an elder. Praying. We don't want the whole sham. To come tumbling down. About who's the man behind the armor. Today. All I'm simply asking. And calling for is no more pretence. Let's stop pretending. We will truly be a powerful congregation. When we learn to be where we are and accept the dust where I am. I don't have to be where you are. And I'm to be where she is. Because there is no standard in this room. Except for Jesus himself. Got nothing to prove to anyone else. On campus. And when we learned that that's when church gets enjoy Bill. That's when Fellowship is a blessing. Stop pretending. Every head is about every eyes closed. I need to finish. There's anyone here. Under the sound of my voice that says Lord. You. And I know who is this man who is this woman behind the army and father I'm tired of pretending. I'm tired of trying to keep up a front that I know is not really myself because I don't think the church members are going to accept me for who I am. And so today's the day where the curtains go down. And I'm no longer afraid I'm willing to swallow my pride. I'm willing to swallow my pride today. And I'm coming to Jesus. Just as I am. And I know that he will accept me. Because it is nature. That's not the question. The question is for me to stop trying to be great in the eyes of men and start trying to be great in the eyes of caught. The lowest saint. That casts its soul. Helplessly on she says is more powerful than all the demons of health. The weakest that there's anyone here to saying I'm ready to take off the armor I'm ready to wash. In the River Jordan. I'm ready to come to the prophet illusion. I'm ready to be cleansed of my inner leprosy. My private life. I want you to come. Slip out. Come right down to this altar. Because I'm asking somebody to step out and have the honor to say look. No one's going to heaven on a pretense. We're going to heaven because we're the real do you come. Because all I'm inviting you to do is you have to keep pretending. You've got nothing to prove every night is about every I is close. If you're not coming you better be praying. No sense looking around who else is coming is just another way to look at who else is coming come in make room make room. Don't block the stairs come all the way close. We're all family I'm not afraid to you come wherever you are wherever you are. You can come closer. Come closer. So came a growing. There's plenty of space. Come come all the way around I don't mind. This is a serious prayer. Come let these people off the steps. Gotta spend their come all the way down. Let make way. No music no piano. Nor motional this is just you. In the spirit talking to your mind. You and your heart. Can you sing Lord I'm not I'm not doing that anymore. I need to be right with my God. And I want to have a real Christian experience. Not consciously looking at what are people going to say if I do this but willing to embrace my condition. To let my glory go into the dust. And let Jesus do for me. What I cannot do for myself. And you have to worry about whether Jesus will accept you. Because his love. It's his nature. No matter how you wronged him. It's his nature. Anyone else before pre that's ready to step out and has the honor that needs to come. Those of you have come as much as possible we can kneel together to pray. I want to pray with you. It's trying to make space for these people in the steps to come down. Come come come. So OK. This is a serious prayer of. That's the beginning S. a center of the Christian life. It's because I know the Lord and God knows me. And when I struggle. I know that I must tell Jesus and Jesus will help me. Because he's my friend. Let us pray together Father in heaven. What a friend. We have in Jesus. All our sins and Greeks to bear. Father we are here in your presence because we want to bring our altar. We want to bring our armor. To this altar. Lord we don't want to depend upon the extra no props of our lives. To determine our standing with you. The Bible says that if you pray in secret. Your Father who sees in secret rewards you open me. Father were not down here to be seen of men were down here to acknowledge that we have the honor to admit that our private lives are not as Christian as we want them to be. We here to admit the fact Lord that we're tired of the routine. We're tired of just going through the motions of not having a heart behind our worship and to come back to that place where we accept that God who has begun. A good work in us He will complete. We don't have to pretend like we're already there. We can emit look the Lord is going to finish his work in our lives. And so we're no longer going to pretend to be what we are not. We're not going to act like we agreed. Because it just seems popular and acceptable to agree. We're not just going to submit because that's what everyone else is doing. Lord we're just going to seek to walk with Jesus. We want to yoke up with him. Lord we want to find rest. We want to lay down the burdens of trying to maintain our reputation. Our image. Trying to manage how people perceive us. And we want to focus on living. An authentic. Christian life. Father I pray that these who have come there as day knew. I pray that they would rise from their knees. Being able to shed the skins that they've put on that they would rise from their knees being able to accept the fact that God loves them where they are. And that same love is going to transform them from the inside out that you're going to teach them to your word are you going to speak to them through prayer. The Lord are going to use. Everything in creation. To minister to their souls because now their hearts are open. And as they hunger and thirst for righteousness. Fulfill your promise to them that they shall be filled. Lord I don't know the leprosy. That exists in these hearts but all I present you will cleanse them that they would wash. And that they shall be clean and they will be through this experience that they would know the Lord. Thank you so much. For hearing and answering this point. Help us to be a Christian. Behind the bizarre true Jesus. In this media was brought to you by audio person. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free. Sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio version. Or you would like to listen to more sermon. Leave the W.W.W. done. Audio person. Dot org.

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