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A King in the Gutter is Still a King

Randy Skeete

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Randy Skeete

Evangelist and revivalist from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Recorded

  • September 23, 2006
    7:00 PM
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Copyright ©2006 Freedom From Fear.

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00:00 Good evening everyone. How are you? Welcome to the Saturday evening presentation. This is I believe our sixteenth of a series that will be ending this time next week. Time is moving rather quickly. I’m so delighted for those of you who have been coming and for those of you who have made concentrated efforts to invite your friends. It is important that you bring someone to hear that which has been a blessing to you. Continue to do that and the way to do it is to pray first. Say, Lord, I want Sally or John to come to the meetings. Please touch their hearts that they may accept my invitation. Then, invite that person. You may be surprised. All of those who are with us for the first time, may I see your hand? Bless you. From my heart, God bless you. I am sure that God will bless you for your presence here tonight. Let us bow our heads and pray.

 

01:19 Our Father and our God, I come to You as Your son and Your servant and I ask You Father, because I have no one else to ask, take possession of my mouth, put Your Words literally in my tongue, give me the thoughts and the right order in which to express these thoughts. Open wide the minds of Your sons and daughters who have come that truth may be an unbroken chain from Your throne to our hearts. I offer this prayer from my heart. In Jesus’ name amen (amen).

 

02:07 Our subject for this evening: a king in the gutter is still a king. You’ve heard it said a pig in a palace is still a pig. And that’s true. Our subject is a king in the gutter is still a king. Who is your favorite Bible character? (Joseph, Daniel, Joshua, Jesus, Noah, Esther, Job, the little captive maid) It’s good to have Bible heroes whom we admire. It is good. We admire too many secular heroes. It’s good to admire heroes whose lives exert a transforming influence upon us.

But there is a danger of treating the Bible characters as pieces of art hanging on the walls of a museum. In other words, we go through the Bible and we see Daniel hanging on one page and we say Oh, my! What a faithful man! He was willing to face lions rather than compromise his faith. Nice man! Nice man! We walk away. We turn. We see Jonah. We say, Oh, my! Oh, my! I wonder what it was like to be in the belly of a whale. Why did he have to go through all of that? He could have obeyed God in the first place. Then we see John the Baptist. Ahh, we admire him but I wouldn't dress like him (laughter) or eat as he did. And we look at these characters. We look at Paul—what a mighty preacher raising up all those churches, all the afflictions he endured. And we stroll through the museum of the Bible. We admire these characters. Noah preaching for 120 years and the only people left alive were his family members. And then we close the book. We exit the museum. And we leave. Tonight I want you to understand that this is not a museum with works of art to be admired. This is filled with examples to be copied. James 5:17. Who was James' brother? (Jesus) This is not James and John. This is the brother of Jesus. What other brother of Jesus wrote a book in the Bible? Jude. Where is Jude found? Just before Revelation. There is one bright youngster giving me all the right answers to my left upfront here. All right. Blessings on you. James 5: 17. I told you, sometime last week, some Bible scholars refer to James as the Proverbs of the New Testament. The Bible says—this is James writing—“Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are”—what does that mean?—Elijah had the nature you and I have. Elijah had the natural weaknesses of the flesh that you and I possess as we sit right now. Elijah was susceptible to temptations. He had his weaknesses. He needed to depend upon God. James says, “Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain.” James is saying, here’s a man with a fleshly nature, a carnal nature, born in sin and this man prays earnestly. He doesn’t just pray. He prays earnestly. Let me digress as I normally do—we must learn to pray earnestly; too many of our prayers are like we are in a chat room with God. And we abbreviate everything: TTYL which is talk to you later and LOL which is whatever the abbreviations are [laughing out loud]. But that’s not praying. We must learn to pray so earnestly we lose all consciousness of where we are. When we open our eyes we must be surprised. Is this where I knelt from the beginning? Earnestly! The Bible says this man, with a fallen nature, prayed earnestly that it might not rain and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months; and he prayed again and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit. What was James saying? James was simply saying this: what God did through Elijah was not exclusive to Elijah. The power of God does not discriminate! It is exercised. It is showered. It is poured out upon those who come to God in faith and who pray earnestly. When was the last time you prayed and cried? When was the last time you confessed a sin you committed and you just cried? God is tired of these casual prayers. He wants earnest prayers as if our very lives depend upon His answer. I was in Bangladesh in February at one of our schools and this lady came on to the campus to the principal. She wanted her child admitted because we run a very nice school in that part of the country. The community knows, the school is well-recognized, so they try to get their children in. I was sitting at the home of the principle having a nice breakfast when the woman came. The culture is such that you don’t have to make an appointment you just come. So she showed up. I was shocked. I said to the principle people just walk into your house like that? He said yes. She walked into his house and started asking him please admit my child! He was trying to explain it’s not—and she got down on her knees. I’m sitting right there at the breakfast table. She’s pleading and she’s crying. She takes the part that goes over here and she wipes her eyes and holds his feet. And he’s trying to explain to her. What I’m saying is that she was in earnest! We must learn to grab the feet of God and pray! And like Jacob, do not let go until God blesses you. And so James says this man Elijah had a nature just like you and I possess. This is what God did for him. Shut up the heavens that it did not rain. Reopen the heavens that it did rain. James is saying, Look, you pray and God may do for you or exercise the same power He exercised on behalf of Elijah. Turn to Genesis 39. We shall look at the life of a young man—and there are young men all over this place and young women. When I talk about young men I want the older men to listen and the older women to listen—a young man—some young people think religion is for old people. No, because heaven is not just for old people nor is hell just for young people. Heaven is for everyone who wants to go there! Hell is for everyone who wants to go there! Let me digress again and then I’ll come back to Genesis 39. Do you know when God made hell He did not have you in mind? The Bible says in Matthew 25:41 “hell was prepared for the devil and his angels.” And then that was it. Period. How come so many will go there? You know God is good? (All the time!) When He came up with hell as punishment for sin He prepared it for the devil and his angels. Not you. Not me. It will be sad when God looks at so many human beings in hell with the devil and his angels. What that will mean—as I close my digression—those who end up in hell—since they will receive essentially the same punishment—it will mean that in their lives they were no different than devils because they receive the punishment originally intended for devils. Genesis 39:1. Let’s look at the life of a young man. His name is Joseph, a fine young man. His family had thirteen children; twelve boys, one girl, Dinah. Joseph was number twelve in the list. The last boy was Benjamin. Genesis 39:1 the Bible says “And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. 2And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put in to his hand. 5And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. 6And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.” Let’s review that. Joseph entered Egypt as a slave. If anyone had an excuse to lie down and die, it was Joseph. Human beings love excuses. I have a miserable life because my brothers treated me badly. I have not been successful in life because there was racial discrimination on the job. I can’t get this done because my cousin hit me over the head with a baseball bat. All kinds of reasons we have but when a man or a woman walks with God, all reasons must evaporate because if God has a position for you no one can keep you out of it! And if God does not want you in a position no power can put you there. Joseph was brought down to Egypt. Notice who bought him: Potiphar, a very high-ranking, influential member of the Army, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guards. Pharaoh’s personal guard bought him from off the hands of the Ishmeelites—first line of verse 2 gives us the clue of Joseph’s success: “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man”—is the Lord with us? as you sit where you sit and I stand where I stand—is the Lord right now with you and with me? we must be able to say yes because there are no natures in vacuums. If the Lord is not with you then someone else is with you. That's the way it works. “2And the Lord was with Joseph, and he”—that slave—“was a prosperous man”—why was he prosperous? The Lord was with him. Notice what the Lord did for Joseph: and the Lord made all that he did prosperous “and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did”—not some—“to prosper in his hand.” Do you know God’s plan for us includes no failure whatsoever? (amen) How many of you have ever failed an exam? I’ll put up both of mine. We’ve all experienced failure of some kind—including God. God has failed to attract people to His Son. Jesus failed to bring many people to His message. That’s why He said most people will go to hell. Few will go to heaven. I’m paraphrasing. But His failure is not because He has not tried. His failure is the result of people’s determination to destroy themselves. Genesis 39:3 “And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” Let’s go back to the beginning of verse 3 notice a very significant statement “3And his master saw”—Potiphar, an Egyptian. Egyptians were not worshippers of Joseph’s God. They were worshippers of the crocodile, the hyena, the hippopotamus, the hawk, the dog, the cat, the cobra. This pagan, this heathen man looked at the life of one of his many slaves and he was impressed. There is a god with that young man and it’s none of my gods because my gods have never done that for me. There is another god with that young man. And Joseph’s master saw. It is fine when church members say what a nice young man you are. When church members say what a fine young lady you are. When an unbeliever sees Christ in you and acknowledges it then you know God is using your life to impact other people. (Amen!) The unbeliever must see Christ in you even though the unbeliever may not know who Christ is. When Christ lives in His people the influence is so powerful that people must confess there is something in you—whether they call it Christ they must recognize—there is something in you I do not see in other people. Joseph’s master saw that the Lord was in him. Your colleagues on the job who don’t go to church, what do they see in you? People, wherever I go to preach, what do they see in me? Your husband what does he see in you? Your wife what does she see in you? What do your professors see in your study habits? What does your employer see in your work habits? Our friends what do they see in us? His master, I say according to scripture, “saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” Genesis 39:4, the Bible says, that when the master saw that “Joseph found grace in his sight”—that grace came from God. That passage simply means that God touched the heart of Pharaoh for Joseph’s sake. When the Egyptians finally released the Israelites from slavery because God forced them after 10 plagues, the Egyptians gave money to the Israelites, gave them money and precious metals and possessions. No slave master gives riches to escaping slaves. How did that happen? God touched the hearts of the Egyptians and told them give money to the Israelites. When God does that you have no choice. The Egyptians said okay and they just gave them money. Exodus 3:21, God speaking to Moses, “And it shall come to pass that I will give this people favor”—the Israelites—“in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty”—I will touch their heart and they will give you money. If you're having a difficult time with your employer, with anyone, you are faithful to God you say God, touch that person’s heart in my favor—you may be surprised to everyone’s delight. God will touch that person's heart; the person will act in your favor without even noticing. So Genesis 39:4 “And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand”—why? Because he had seen the track record of Joseph's performance. God does not bless laziness. God does not like sloppiness. No Christian has any right to be lazy or sloppy or careless. (Amen) It’s a disgrace to God and God will not bless that. Christianity is more than halleluyah, God is good. Christianity is let me do my duty faithfully. (Amen!) If your job is to sweep this stage, after you sweep it and someone comes by, they may have to say who swept this stage? Who swept this place? Booker T. Washington wanted to go to school very badly. He ran off, hitched rides, walked almost 400 miles to Hampton Institute. When he arrived at the school he had no money. So he stood outside the classroom looking through the window. Perhaps raggedy, hungry, maybe 16, 17, he’s looking at students learning and he wants to go to school. How many young people want to go to school so badly they’ll walk 400 miles to go to school? There are buses and they won’t catch one. (laughter) Booker T. is standing outside the classroom and the teacher, a white lady, sees him. She comes to him what do you want?I want to go to school—really?—yes—do you have money?—no—follow me. She took him to an unused classroom and said dust and clean this classroom. And she left. He has this in his autobiography. Booker T. cleaned that room. He knew not why she said so. The woman came back with a white handkerchief and she couldn’t find dust and admitted him to school. That’s how you work. That’s the kind of work that impresses people suddenly they don’t see your color, your height, your ethnicity, your religion, your geographic location, your religious faith; they see a quality that they want. “4And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and ALL THAT HE HAD he put in to his hand”a Hebrew slave! Not even an Egyptian slave, and the Egyptians did not like the Hebrews. That’s why when Joseph’s brothers came into Egypt, Joseph told them don’t tell them that you keep sheep. Sheep-herders were Hebrew. The Egyptians did not like the Hebrews. This Hebrew slave, now, is in charge of the household of the captain of Pharaohs personal body guard because Joseph was faithful and the Lord was with him. How much trust did Potiphar have in this boy? Genesis 39:5 “And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had”Potiphar’s house now comes under Joseph’s control“that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.” Why? For Joseph’s sake. The Bible never says Potiphar accepted Joseph’s God. When you’re righteous and God blesses you, those standing beside you get blessed as welleven if they are no good. Because God blesses righteous people so abundantly it’s like the monsoons of South East Asia, it covers everything. And the Bible says that the blessing of the Lord was upon all that Potiphar had in the house, and in the field.” When Potiphar saw this he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand. “And he”Potiphar“knew not what he had.”  He trusted Joseph so completely he did not even know his own wealth. The Bible says “and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat”Potiphar only knew what he had when he was served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Everything else, the person who knew was Joseph. Potiphar, what are you worth?—I don’t know—who knows?—ask Joseph—you mean that Hebrew slave?—yes. That’s how you and I must be trusted. The most trustworthy person on the job must be you. The most trustworthy student in the classroom must be you. Can anyone trust us that way? Potiphar did not care about checking the books; he never did because Joseph was in charge. That is Christian living. We are not told anywhere in the record that Joseph preached to Potiphar by words but he certainly preached by the quality of his life. You know the story. The wife tried to seduce Joseph. What did Joseph say? In one word (no!)don’t preach. When people bring you temptations—no! That’s the longest sentence you need—no! When they bring you Christ—yes! You need to be baptized—yes! You need to keep the sabbath—yes! Forget the arguments. Let’s sin—no! Very often when Jesus preached He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus come forth. Let’s cry with a loud voice in our conscience—no! Let all of heaven hear it ring—no! He told that woman, no! Of course she did not like that but he said no and ran. Some people say noooooo, but you can’t do that. Say no and take off! (amen)—No and run!  When he did that he insulted a man’s wife. Now the husband is upset. He believes the wife. And men should, generally and vice-a-versa.  Now the husband puts him in prison innocently. As a genuine Christian prepare yourselves and I will prepare myself to suffer innocently. Jesus felt it. We must feel it because how we respond is a revelation of the degree to which Jesus has been formed in us. There was no retaliation in Jesus Christ. Retaliation is not a Christ-like quality. Vengeance belongs to God because He alone can read a heart. You can’t and I can’t. The Bible says in Genesis 39:20 “And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.” Verse 21 sounds like the beginning of verse 2 and verse 4 “But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Joseph is no longer in charge of Potiphar’s house. Joseph is in prison. God does not change. The god that was with him when he was high and mighty is with him in the prison. We’re about to see that the character Joseph had when he was high and mighty is the same character he preserves when he’s low and abased. Genesis 39:21 “But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.” Does this sound similar to verse 4? Genesis 39:4 “And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.” That is exactly what the keeper of the prison did. When he saw what a faithful prisoner Joseph washe kept the curfew, kept his cell clean, didn’t use curse words, respected the other prisoners, obeyed all commands without discussionwhen he saw the kind of prisoner Joseph was, the keeper of the prison did something that is not suppose to happen: he put a prisoner in charge of the prison because God touched his heart and when God touches someone’s heart in your favor that person will do things that look unreasonable but God is controlling that person—a prisoner in charge of Rikers Island or Alcatraz or San Bernardino High Security Facility, why? because the Lord was with Joseph. Now he’s in prison, Joseph remains faithful, he remains hard-working, he remains disciplined, he remains prayerful, he retains all the qualities he had when he was high because who he was when he was high remains unchanged when he was low (amen)a king in the palace, a king in the gutteryour kingliness must not change. Christ in heaven was God. Christ on the cross was God. When things go wrong with us do we change? It’s easy to be a Christian when you have no problems. I love Jesusmy rent is paid, my school fees for the children is all covered, my 401(k) is producing, turning over, my house is fine it’s not on a fault line, my car I pay a dollar a gallon—everything is fine, I love Jesus. Then you get fired, why did God do that to me? Why did he pick me after all the tithe I paid? Children are not admitted to architecture school, medical school, dental school, manicure school and you’re upset with God. Then people begin to see a side of you they had never seen but had always been there. Joseph remained constant. God was with him when he was high. God was with him when he was low because he did not change. Genesis 39:23 “The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him”—Genesis 39:6 “And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat.” Potiphar never checked on Joseph. Joseph goes to prison. He remains faithful. The keeper of the prison puts him in charge and never checks. How do you not check on a prisoner? Character exerts power! This is a young man. Who said young people don’t know how to do right? We don't expect them to live right and so they don’t. God expects young people to be upright and faithful as Joseph was and as Jesus was when He was seventeen—people in prison never checked on him. Genesis 39:23 ends and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper. He prospered in Potiphar’s house, he prospered in prison. To learn about Joseph let’s go to Acts 7 to see how consistent God is and how consistent Joseph was. Our circumstances should not change us (amen). Things work out, you love God. Things don’t work out; all of a sudden you hate God and everybody else. That’s not the way we should live. There should be a consistency in our character that remains unchanged by surrounding circumstances. Circumstances will pass. Acts 7:9 Stephen preaching full of the Holy Ghost “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, 10And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.” Let’s go back to Potiphar’s house. How much did Potiphar put in Joseph’s hand? (all his house) How much did the keeper of the prison put in Joseph’s hand? (all) How much did Pharaoh put in Joseph’s hand? (all) Consistency because Joseph was consistent! God gave him favor in the sight of Potiphar then Joseph was in prison and God gave him favor in the sight of the people in prison then Joseph went all the way up and God gave him favor in the sight of Pharaoh. God is consistent that is why we can depend on God; a beautiful picture of cooperation with heaven and earth. God didn’t change. Joseph didn't change. A beautiful picture; God consistent, Joseph consistent. Why are we so wishy-washy? We must be consistent in our standards not only when we think people are watching or when we think the camera is on but when it’s turned off. Do you know why hidden camera reports work so well? because people do one thing in public and something else in private. No hidden camera could work on Jesus because who He was in public, He was in private. That is the point to where the power of God can bring a man or a woman: that the consistency of their upright life is public, private, high and low. This is the life God desires for you and me. If we would allow God to be with us as He was with Joseph. The Lord was with him. Let’s look at another man to see how God was with him. Daniel 6:1 the Bible says “It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 2And over these 3 presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.” Here is the organizational flow chart for the Persian kingdom: Darius up here; 3 presidents under him; 120 princes; and all the minor officials. The 120 princes would report to the 3 presidents who would shield Darius of any damage, any political intrigue. Daniel 6:3 “Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes”—how did Daniel come to Babylon? (as a slave) a captive. His country was invaded by the Babylonians led by Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was taken against his will. He’s a captive. He has remained faithful. Now he is one of 3 presidents, high position under king Darius. The Bible says “Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes”—why?—“because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.”  People prefer a right attitude with moderate ability than great ability with a nasty attitude (amen) because the person with the right attitude can be taught. The Bible says “Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes because an excellent spirit was in him”—not because he was black, white, green, blue!—“and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.” What did Potiphar do for Joseph? What did the keeper of the prison do for Joseph? What did Pharaoh do for Joseph? Now Darius wants to do the same thing for Daniel. Daniel 6:4 “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.” What’s going on? (jealousy, envy) These are high officials. The Bible says “Then the presidents and princes sought”—they sought, they looked, they searched, they had access to all the classified files, using their own system of downloading that worked back then, they sought “to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom”—meaning his work, his professional life “but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful”—you must think, use your prodigious intellect, think. We are talking about officials that are at the third and second level of power. Darius, 3 presidents—all of them combined 122 men because there were 120 princes and 3 presidents; take out Daniel, so 122 high officials combine their talents, their resources to bring down one man but that one man was a man of God. (Amen!) This goes on in corporations all over the world. People bringing down people. Politicians try to bring down politicians. They tried to bring Daniel down and so they sought to find occasion—Daniel 6:4—against Daniel concerning the kingdom. They checked his work record. They checked his time card to see when he punched in, when he punched out. They checked his reports. Were they nicely double spaced and typed? Looked at everything, called those whom Persia had business. What kind of an ambassador was Daniel? Are you satisfied? Everyone sent in an A+ report. Now these men are getting frustrated because nothing they do turns up one professional fault. The Bible says “they could find none occasion nor fault.” If your employer checked you, what would that person find? Not one fault in his profession; forasmuch as he was faithful—what does faithful mean? If Daniel had to be there at 8, he was there at 8. If he had an assignment it was turned in on time and done at a level far higher than that which was required. He would come early and leave late. He was willing to work on Sunday. The Bible says work 6 days. He was willing to work on Sunday for no pay. No need for time and a half I’ll just come says Daniel. The welfare of the kingdom is in my heart. They couldn’t find fault, Genesis 6:4, “neither was there any error or fault found in him.” The Bible is saying professionally and personally 122 government figures of a nation searched a man’s life professionally and personally and came up with nothing. Daniel was a man subject to like passions as we are. Let’s not admire Daniel in a museum. They put Daniel in prison as they put Joseph for no good reason. He’s in the lion’s den. 122 princes and presidents schemed up a plot and they said King, why don't you for thirty days say that no one can pray to anyone but you. He said Fine, since it flattered his ego and he signed it. They had seen Daniel pray to his god because Daniel prayed with his windows open. When Daniel heard of the decree he shut the window? No, sir! Never shut out your witness. He left the window open. He is not about to change how he relates to God. No decree from pagans will determine his behaviour. So he knelt down—he didn’t open the door he just left the same window open—and prayed three times a day and they saw him. When the king realized he was trapped, he was broken hearted because he loved Daniel as a person and his work but he had to obey the law. So Daniel is in the lion’s den and the Bible says Daniel 6:17 “And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.” That is what a sealing does. What is sealed cannot be changed. By the way Revelation speaks of a sealing. When that seal is applied what it authorizes or validates cannot change. We can talk about that if I think you can understand it and I can explain it. Daniel 6:18 “Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him”—he’s thinking of Daniel—“19Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy god, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? 21Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever”—live how long? (forever) was Daniel serious? (yes) what did he mean by forever? As long as you live. So when the Bible says the wicked shall burn forever it simply means for as long as they burn. Daniel 6:22 “My god hath sent His angel”—God will send angels on your behalf—“and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” Daniel is saying I am innocent before God and before the earth. (Amen!) This man is innocent in the sight of heaven and earth. This is the condition God desires for us: innocent before God, innocent before the earth; without fault before the throne of God. If you are without fault before God, you are without fault before the earth. They tried. They couldn’t find fault in his profession or in his life. Now heaven can’t find fault with his life. It’s one thing for humans to check. Daniel can say forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Daniel says I am innocent before the universe, heaven and earth. My brothers, my sisters, you and I must spend more time thinking of the life God desires that we should live. I suspect that too many of us are satisfied with a decent life. But it’s not decency that saves us. It is the very life of Christ. Christ was innocent before heaven and earth even though He suffered as a sinner. He suffered god’s wrath but not for what He did but for what He took on. That’s why He was a lamb without blemish, without spot. As God brought Joseph to the place where he lived an upright life, impressed Potiphar, impressed the keeper of the prison, impressed Pharaoh, God can bring you to the place, if you and I remain submitted, that our lives will have a crushing impact on the helmet of the hard headedness of those who will not believe. And as Daniel could say I was innocent before God that was not pride. And before you, through Christ, you and I can be innocent without fault before the throne of grace. “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” [Jude 1:24]—present you faultless, this is God’s wish for us. And the power to live that life is available at no charge other than the giving up of our sins. And so God says to you and to me My son, my daughter, whether you are high or low or in between be consistent in your life. The theme of our lives must be the theme of Joseph’s: “the Lord was with Joseph,” Genesis 39:2. “The Lord was with him,” Genesis 39:23, Acts 7:10 [“And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.”] Let us be a child of God regardless of circumstances. A prince, which is what every son of God is, a princess, which is what every daughter of Christ is, must be a prince and a princess even if conditions take us to the economic gutter, never the moral gutter. The economic gutter? Fine. The gutter of illness? Fine. Never the moral gutter. We don’t belong there. Morally we must always be among the stars. How many of you will say, Lord, if Elijah was a man subject to like passions, you moved mightily in his life; Joseph was subject to like passions, you moved mightily in his life; Daniel was subject to like passions, you moved mightily in his life; please God as I recommit my life to You move in my life and keep me faithful and constant and consistent? If you will say that let me see your hand. How many of you are serious? Stand up. Bless you for the speed with which you stood. Let me pray that God will keep us faithful, consistent. Every head bowed. Every eye closed.

 

 56:25 Righteous Father, we thank You for the lives of Joseph and Daniel but above all the life of Jesus Christ. Lord, in the name of Jesus, we ask You to forgive our sin, forgive us for our inconsistency, our up and down quality of Christian living. Father, from this day forward we want to be consistent, we want the theme and the refrain of our lives to be the Lord is with me. Please help us to so live that before heaven and earth we may be presented to You faultless. Fill us with Your Spirit, grant us grace and give us the mind that loves right and hates wrong, loves righteousness, despises sin. Bless every man, woman, boy and girl, every family under the sound of your manservant’s voice [and everyone that is reading this]. I offer this prayer from my heart in Jesus’ name and for His sake. Let all God’s people say amen and amen. God bless you.

 

 

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