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It's a Set Up

Randy Skeete

Presenter

Randy Skeete

Evangelist and revivalist from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Conference

Recorded

  • February 27, 2013
    7:15 PM
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00:01 Loving Father in Heaven, we bow in Your presence to thank You for the gift of life. We thank You, dear God, that still in this country is the privilege of worship without persecution. And as we bow in Your holy presence, dear God, I ask You first to forgive me for where I have offended You, my shortcomings, cleanse me thoroughly, dear God, grant me Your Spirit. Father, I humble myself before You. I seek only to lift You up. I seek no glory for myself. So give me the words, dear God, because I do not know what is in the hearts of those who’ve come, but You do. Bless every man, woman, boy and girl, and in a particular way bless our visitors who’ve come. Speak to all of us, Father, that when we leave this place we may leave with the blessing specific to our needs. I offer this prayer from my heart, in Jesus’ name, amen.

01:00 Our subject for this evening: It's a set up. Matthew 11:28, we shall read the words of Jesus Christ Himself. If you do not have a Bible and someone next to you has one I believe, in this setting, it is safe to read along with the person because we are all nice people. Am I right? (yes) Yes, we are. So if the person next to you has no Bible just move over and allow the person to read with you. Matthew 11:28, the words of Jesus Christ Himself who declares Himself to be the Truth, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

02:26 Come unto Me. We are familiar with the invitation to come. We are bombarded with that invitation every day from advertisers. Costco says come to us our prices are lower than Sam’s Club. The Toyota dealer says come to us and buy your car.  We have better mechanics than the Honda dealer. Loma Linda says come to us for your medical training. The University of California, Irvine, says no, come to us we give you more financial aid. One church says come to us we have better entertainment than that church down the road. There is always a call to come for some reason or another. Jesus says come to Me—now, He specifies for whom the call is intended—all ye that labor and are heavy laden.

03:44 Now, despite the pleasant appearances on your faces tonight—and I thank you for them—somebody is laboring and is heavy laden. You are laboring because of a child who has left God. You are laboring because a spouse has mistreated you. You are laboring because your boss abuses you and misuses you and will not promote you. Someone is laboring under one load or another. You are laboring because you cannot break an addiction whether it is to lying, food, pornography, sex, Facebook, basketball, video games; someone is laboring under the burden of an addiction. Someone would love to stop smoking. Some young child is laboring under the burden of the stress and the constant fighting between mother and father. We all have burdens and Jesus says come to Me!—not some of you that labor—all ye that labor and are heavy laden I will give you rest. Are you following me? Come to Me. But our subject is It’s a Set Up.

05:36 John 6:44—go there with me. This is Jesus speaking again and He says “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him...” What Christ is saying: of yourself and of myself we cannot come to Christ. It is not within the capacity, the capability, the skill set of the carnal mind to just get up and go to Christ. It is impossible. No human being can just decide of his or her own self to go to God. It is absolutely impossible and so Jesus says no man, no person can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him. He repeats that sentiment in verse 65, “And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father.” Yet Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, Come unto Me. Is He asking for an impossibility? Is this a set up? Well if it is, it’s a set up for salvation. [Amen!] Come unto Me. When you come to Christ, to whom are you coming? You have every right to ask who are you? People knock on our doors all the time to sell one thing or another—who are you?  What are you promoting? What are you pushing? And so when someone says come to me and by implication and to no one else, the implication is no one else can help you with your burden. Christ is not being self-centered and egotistic. He is being realistic. The burden of sin, the burdens that afflict the carnal heart, can only be dealt with by Christ. Now the pain can be deadened by alcohol, it can be deadened by drugs, by entertainment, by always being in a party, watching a movie, trying to get away from yourself but to take care of the problem, to lift that burden, only Jesus—and so when He says come to Me our question is who are you?

08:33 It’s a legitimate question and it deserves an authoritative answer. Who is this person with the audacity to say come to him and go to no one else? The Bible says in Hebrews 12:29 “For our God is a consuming fire.” Let me combine that with this Jesus is as much God as the Father. I’ll say that again for those of you whose religious background may not accommodate what I just said let me say it again Christ is as divine as the Father. Christ is as much God as the Father. They have different functions but they are substantially, essentially, organically the same in power, in divinity, in eternality—if there is such a word—They’ve always been there. There is no lessening of divinity when you move from the Father to the Son—as some people would have you to believe because only God and no one less can save us from the power of sin. So when Jesus says come to Me He is saying come to God. Not the Father but to Me—of course He takes us to the Father. But you cannot go to God because God is a consuming fire. When Moses said show me Thy glory [Exodus 33:18] the Father said there shall no man see Me and live. Exodus 33:20. You cannot see God, enter His presence, and live. In the book Conflict and Courage [CC, 14:20.7], “To Adam in his innocence was granted communion, direct, free, and happy, with his Maker. After his transgression, God would communicate to man only through Christ and angels.” You can’t just come to the Divine One and Jesus is God; but Jesus is something else. The Father is only divine; Jesus is divine and human. When Jesus says come to Me you’re coming to a man who is also God. As a man He understands every burden you carry as a man. As a man Jesus needed help to carry His burdens. Let me say that differently, Christ lived His life on this earth, He met temptations, He met insults, He met disgrace, He met humiliation, He met hunger, He met depravation, He met homelessness—and He was—He met all the things that afflict humanity, He met as a man not as God. He met as a man trusting God even though He was God. And so when He says to you come unto Me, He is inviting you to come to someone—as the young people say— who can feel you. Do you still say that in California? Can you feel me? (yes) Jesus can feel you because He's just like we are except in sinful behavior of thinking. He became human and so the invitation come unto Me is an invitation to come to a God who is man; what you see is a man! He has to come to us as a man because if He comes as God we are consumed. So He comes to us, we come to someone with whom we can identify—a man. And we know that man is also God because He does not help us as a man, He helps us as God. Let me reword what I just said: Jesus Christ is God and man. When we come to Him in response to the invitation come unto Me we are going to God and man but what we see by faith is a man; but that man is also God but He deliberately clothed His divinity in humanity that He might come close to us. You see because of sin we lost the face to face contact. The Bible says in Isaiah 59:1, “The Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear: 2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” Because of sin no one can go right to God. Because of sin we can only come to Christ through His humanity. The human Jesus says I understand the burden you carry, come. I understand your struggle with alcohol you want to give it up you hate what it is doing to your family. You had a job as an executive. You lost it because of alcohol or addiction to gambling—Jesus says—l understand, but you have to come. But it’s a setup—for salvation. In order for us to come to Jesus He first had to come to us. Let me express that by going to Genesis 3:6, the woman has listened to the serpent. The serpent is an agent of the devil. Let’s read Genesis 2:16, 17 words of God, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it”—that’s what God said—“for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” God’s language is plain do not eat of it for if you do you die. Listen to the serpent Genesis 3:4, “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” What God said was precisely the opposite of what the devil said. Here’s what happens when we listen to error too long “6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food”—was it good for food according to God’s prohibition? No, it was good but not good for food—“and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day”—they heard, no excuse, no guess work, no rumor, they heard—how many times have you heard the voice of God, one way or another, and you run? “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” Now, here is why God has to come to us, the carnal nature, the sinful nature, which is the condition of every human being since Adam sinned is to run from God, not to God; and so when God says come—and God is not a comedian, He doesn’t joke—for Him to say come, He must first come and not come at a distance. He must come right to us. So His come is really hold me; take what I have extended to you; it is right in front of your face. The come of Jesus is really accept. Jesus had to come because sinners do not naturally go to Him. So out of a fountain of love, an endless reservoir of deep affection for His creation Jesus came in our condition—by that I mean human form—and in that condition Jesus says, I look like you. I have lived like you. I have experienced trials you will never experience. I have carried burdens of which yours cannot compare. Now, if I have done that successfully I will show you come to Me. And so He says come because He has already come to us. “All ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  

18:46 God cannot lie. Numbers 23:19 the Bible says, “God is not a man that He should lie.” What’s the implication about mankind in that verse? (we lie) Now, God cannot trust our word but we can trust the Word of God. Let me ask you a question. Give me a reasonable answer. Reading Genesis 1:3 “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” That’s all the Bible says God said. By the power of that Word exactly what He said is exactly what happened. Can you trust someone whose word has that power? Yes! This means the message of Genesis 1 is not so much what was made on what day—although that is helpful—it is that God’s Word is absolutely reliable. The same Person that said Let there be light—and there was light— is the same Person that says I will give you rest. And as the Word that said Let there be light brought light the Word of I will give you rest has the rest in it if you accept that Word—not so much with your head but with your heart. Too many people suffer needlessly. We have all these self inflicted wounds but there's a panacea, there is a cure, there is a balm in Gilead—as the Bible says—and if God can have laryngitis He probably has it as He calls and He calls and He calls come, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I—no one else, nothing else, other things—as I said earlier—may dull the pain until the pain returns then you need another dose so you get high, you’re excited, it wears off, and you need to get high again. That’s the way it is. It does not remove anything. Jesus says I will give you rest. Now consider this, God only does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. If you’re following me you know what I am about to say. If Jesus says I will give you rest it is simply because we cannot give ourselves rest, not the rest that God recognizes. The Bible says, Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you not as the world giveth. There is a peace you can get from the world. Jesus says that’s not the peace I give. So you may think you are experiencing rest. There is no rest except the rest that is found in Jesus. And He said there is no real peace except the peace that I give. So peace I leave with you. My peace I give. Not the peace of an angel; the peace of God Himself. So when Jesus says I will give you rest it is the rest that He alone can give. It is given merely upon the surrender of the suffering soul to the unchanging Word of God. Come, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. There is an exchange. When we accept Christ, Christ takes something from us and puts something on us. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me. Brothers and sisters, learn about Jesus. If you and I will study the life of this Man who was also God, our lives will change. The Bible says in John 17:3 “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God”—salvation is knowledge accepted and applied. Most Christians know about Jesus they don't know Jesus. I know about Barack Obama. I know about John Boehner. I know about Michael Jordan. I don’t know them. And so Jesus says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly of heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” And that rest has nothing to do with money—rich people commit suicide. Now, God is the originator of riches—don’t get me wrong—it’s not the money, it’s the heart of the person who has it. Poverty is not a virtue. So please, understand me clearly—because human beings tend to think if you are rich you are fine—no. Rich people need to go to the psychiatrist like poor people. Rich people commit suicide like poor people; the poor always trying to get something and the rich always trying to get more. We all have our problems. Learn of Me; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. I’ve met many Christians who find following Christ a hardship. If following Christ is a hardship there is a problem and the problem lies either in Christ or in the person. It cannot lie in Christ. No life 100 % surrendered to Christ will view following Christ as a hardship. It becomes a joy even in the midst of trials and tribulations. So when John and Peter were beaten for preaching Christ the Bible says they left rejoicing that they had been accounted worthy to suffer for Jesus. That’s at the end of Acts 5. Someone beats you with a cat o’nine tails, or whatever people beat you with, and you rejoice? People will want to know what’s wrong with this person. You are supposed to go get your glove and shoot that man. Why are you rejoicing?—because connection with Christ gives you the mind of Christ. So while He was being crucified He prayed Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. When Stephen was being stoned, Stephen had the mind of Christ. Acts 7:60, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge”—while he was being stoned. He did not need time for closure. Everyone needs closure. Who invented that word? Everybody needs closure. My boyfriend left me for another woman twice so I need closure—fifteen years no closure. Someone did something—I need closure. And everyone hides behind closure. On the cross how much time did Jesus have for closure? Forgive them!!! That’s closure. Stephen—lay not this sin to their charge—that is closure. If a relationship with Christ is hard, if it’s a burden something is wrong with my surrender, it is not 100 %. When Christ said come unto Me. He meant all of you, all of me, come. When I said He takes something—He takes the burdens. And we only have burdens because of sin. In the New World there will be no burdens, there will be no stresses, there were none before sin. Our burdens are the result of sin. It may not be the result of my personal sin but it is the result of sin. If I’m at home and the telephone rings and someone says listen your wife was struck by a car she broke both legs. She didn’t commit a sin but these things happen in a sinful world. Our burdens are the result of sin. Jesus is a sin-bearer. Come, says Jesus. And He will do one of two things; maybe three, but at least one of two. He takes the burden; gives us His life. Not a life similar to His. He gives us His life by giving to us His mind. There are some things when you say them they are so difficult to believe that people just deliberately mishear, misunderstand. The Bible says let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Not one similar to it. The same mind Jesus had we must have. There are not two standards to please God, there is one. And that standard is the life Jesus lived and to live that life you must have that mind. Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me”—if Christ is living in me the life He lives in me is His life. And so Christ takes our sins on Him, that’s His job description, and He gives us His life. When we receive that life one of two things can happen. His life gives us so much power that the burden that we use to carry no longer feels like a burden; or the burden is removed completely. Either way our experience is relief. Let me say it again differently. Christ can deliver you from the furnace or get into the furnace with you. Either way it’s up to Him, let Him do it. But He does it for those who have given themselves entirely to Him. If you remember when Darius came to the lion’s den he said to Daniel O Daniel, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?—Does thy God, whom thou servest, require surrender?

31:00 God is good to everybody. He is particularly good to those who give their lives to Him. Let me say that again. God is good to everybody. He is particularly good to those who surrender their lives to Him. Reading from The Desire of Ages, p. 524, para 1 “The Saviour blessed all who sought His help; He loves all the human family, but to some He is bound by peculiarly tender associations. His heart was knit by a strong bond of affection to the family at Bethany, and for one of them His most wonderful work was wrought.” [DA, 57:524.1] The author is saying that Christ was closer to Mary and Martha and Lazarus than He was to most other people and because of that closeness He reserved His most spectacular miracle for them. I said earlier He loves everybody, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world”—but there is a level of closeness that is only enjoyed by those who answer the invitation come and give themselves to Christ. He maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good—that’s for everybody; those are general blessings. God has some high-end blessings—that’s what the people say—for those who give themselves to Him. Do you not understand when you resist this invitation you deprive yourselves of the finest blessings God desires to pour upon you as a rainstorm? We hurt ourselves by keeping ourselves from God. He cannot give us His finest blessings until we accept the invitation to come. Tonight Jesus knows exactly what is in your heart—John 2:24, 25. I have offered you a god who is also a human being. He understands you and He understands God, the Father.

33:30 I have a friend in a certain country. I won’t mention the country—these recordings go all over the world. She was illegally detained by some person with whom she did not get along. The person had some connections, burst into her hotel room with four policemen, grabbed her, threw her in the car, drove her to another town to stand trial on a charge of which she had already been cleared. She sent me a text. She said please, I am between a rock and a hard place. I have another friend in that same country that has connections in the other country where my friend was abducted. I sent her a text call my friend—she called—found out—called her friend—the friend jumped in the car, drove hundreds of miles, and went to where my friend was imprisoned. That friend—you probably are confused by now—knows the president of the country personally, called him and said there is a lady wrongly imprisoned. The president ordered her release immediately! She e-mailed me I’m home. I’m free—a long email thanking God. What am I saying? There was someone who could get between her and the president. She could do nothing but this person with contacts could take her hand and take the hand of the president of that country—the moment he called—because they’re friends—the president issued: let that lady go immediately! She was released immediately—because the president ordered it! Jesus Christ takes your hand connects you to the Father and the Father orders your release from satan’s grasp and he has to let go. That’s the only way he let’s go because Isaiah 14:17 says, he opens not the house of his prisoners—satan has to be forced to let you go. That’s why there’s freedom only in Christ. When you serve God you can leave Him anytime you like, anytime you like—that’s freedom. When you serve satan you can desire to leave but you can’t leave. Christ has to come and get you. You cannot leave. You can desire to leave but there’s nothing in you that can break you free from sin’s grasp; he opens not the house of his prisoners—there's no freedom when we serve satan. We may desire to leave but we cannot leave. But when you serve Christ you can leave any time you like. Now, He cries but you can leave because you must serve Him out of love. And so I’m saying to you, my brothers and sisters, answer the invitation Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you restI will and I cannot lie.

36:43 Take My yoke. Serve Me. That’s the yoke obey Me. My yoke is easy. 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” My yoke is easy. Obeying God, if the life is fully surrendered to Him, is easy because the most powerful force is Love and when you act by Love it’s easy. Read the experience of Jacob. He was promised Rachel if he worked seven years, he worked seven years, he was deceived. He worked seven more, a total of twenty. The Bible says the years flew by as nothing. You know why?—Jacob loved Rachael. And so for thousands of years Christ has been calling come. Why call so long? He loves the world He created. He loves you. Let me say it again. Christ and the Father love you. That’s why they persist. That’s why they bug you and bug is a good word. They bug you. That’s why they send friends to invite you to meetings. That’s why each time you turn on your radio there is a religious program. That’s why you walk down the side walk and there is a Bible laying there. That’s why you just can’t get away. It is Christ. Come! Come! Come! But if you keep saying no one day the invitations will cease and once they cease they are never issued again. That's why before the wicked are destroyed every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that God was right; but confess that now, don’t wait until then. And so I recommit my life to Christ right now. I give Him my life all over. It has to be constant. And I ask Him only to use me for His glory for the advancement of the gospel to be a blessing to His people. That's my commitment. I lay my burdens at His feet. I leave them. I won't pick them up. I just leave them at His feet. You may have a burden. It makes no difference to God the size of your burden. Come. Take Him at His Word. Put that burden in the hands of Jesus who understands human burden and who wheels divine power. Whatever it is—an impending divorce, cancer operation, children off into drugs, whatever it is, put it in the hands of Jesus before you leave this building and leave it there. But putting a burden in His hands means putting you in His hands! How many of you have burdens tonight? May I see your right hand? You genuinely have burdens tonight. Hands down. Which of you will trust the Word of a God who cannot lie and says, I will give you rest if you come? Come if you are accepting His Word. It is not enough to believe, there must be trust. Belief is what the devils do. James 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” They believe but they don’t trust. Faith is a combination of belief and trust. I believe Jesus loves me. I trust Him enough now to act on that belief. You believe Jesus is calling you. You believe this Man of God. Now will you exercise trust by accepting Him at His power to save you? Those of you who will say Father, I take the invitation. I accept it and I place my burdens at the feet of Jesus. May I see your right hand? Stand up with me. We pray. We go home. You may not understand everything but Jesus understands your heart. That’s the most important thing. He understands your heart. Let me say again before I pray. No one needs to carry a burden unnecessarily because Jesus is the great burden-bearer. Heads bowed. Eyes closed.

41:07 Loving Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for the invitation to come but Father, in order for us to come Christ came first; as we say in the title sort of a set up for salvation. He has promised I will give you rest. Father, He cannot lie and You cannot lie. To doubt you is to insult You because Your Word is unbreakable. Now dear God, we’ve stood to say we place our burdens at Your feet by accepting the invitation and the acceptance of that invitation means surrender to Christ 100 %. It’s not surrender to a church or a doctrine, it is surrender to a Person who is both flesh and blood and God. That Person is Jesus alive right now. Please, dear God, accept our commitment to this Christ. Whomever Christ accepts You accept and so You’ve accepted us because He has. As we leave, dear God, let us leave with the words ringing in our ears I will give you rest and the rest begins when we accept that Word. Now, Father, bring us back tomorrow to hear Your Word again. Watch over us as we sleep. Protect us from harm and danger. Dear Father, save us when You come. In Jesus’ name and for His sake let all God’s people say amen and amen. God bless you, my dear friends. God bless you.

 

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