Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Doug Batchelor

Humble and Proud Of It

Doug Batchelor
Audio Only

Presenter

Doug Batchelor

Speaker and Director of Amazing Facts

Sponsor

Conference

Recorded

  • September 5, 2015
    12:00 PM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Copyright ©2015 AudioVerse.

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.

SPONSORED

Video Downloads

Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

Our theme this week is Christ our righteousness. My effort this morning is going to be talking about Christ our humility, in my sermon title in particular would be Humble and Proud of It. The theme of pride and humility is a very important subject for us. Let me have one more prayer with you as we proceed.

Father in heaven we do thank you for this beautiful place and You’ve brought your people together here for this Sabbath morning. You promised that when we come together in your name to be in our midst, please be here Lord and especially as I delve on the subject dealing with the issues of both pride and humility, things that are polar opposites, things that we all struggle with. I pray that the vehicle through which you communicate will be lost today and Christ will be seen and that we will all be transformed through your Spirit to be more like Him, be ready for his return in Jesus name amen.

It is the big sin, prIde. It's what turned an angel into a devil, and it's the handle to which the devil can attach every other sin, prIde. The way you spell sin is  s-I-n. Right there in the middle, sin is all about I. Our theme is not I, but Christ, and the devil is all about I.  You can see where this problem first appeared if you look in

Isaiah 14:12. How you are fallen from heaven oh Lucifer son of the morning how you are cut down to the ground you who weaken the nations for you have said in your heart.

Notice: I will ascend into the heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will also sit on the Mount of the Congregation of the farthest sides in the north

you know you can't get to the end of the east and west, they go on forever but there is a place you can go towards the north pole and you get to the top, the zenith, the devil was looking for the zenith position.

I will also sit the farthest the highest part of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most high. Yet you'll be brought down the sheol, to the grave to the lowest parts of the pit.

The devil, someone said, had I problems. He’d been I’d. All of us have been I'd by pride. Jesus died because we've been I’d by pride. It was prIde that nailed Jesus to the cross and all of us struggle with it. You can see this theme entirely through the Scriptures, dealing with the devil and the issues of prIde.

Someone said that pride is the devil's drag net in which he catches the most fish. The spirit of the world is one of selfishness which manifests itself in prIde. The Spirit of heaven is love, the very opposite of that is the devil and it's a spirit of selfishness and pride. Pride is the epitome, it is a main manifestation of selfishness and it's one that I wrestle with all the time. What was it that brought down Nebuchadnezzar? Pride. You remember the story, he had that dream of great tree that filled the whole earth and fed the whole earth and all the earth and the creatures and the people found shade in its branches and food from its fruits and he wondered what it meant. When the wise men of Babylon couldn't tell him, finally Daniel was called. They always call Daniel and Joseph last to figure out what these dreams mean.

Daniel said

Daniel: You are that tree, oh king, God is giving you a great position of influence but you are taking the glory upon yourself and you are that tree that's going to be cut down. but after you've been humbled, after seven times passes over you you'll be restored.

The king didn't want that to happen and Daniel said, well I've got some advice for you, break off your sins by righteousness showing mercy to the poor, it might be a lengthening of your tranquility. You know the king actually did humble himself. It lasted for a little while but then after a year he was walking on the balcony, he was surveying all the glories of Babylon the sun was going down and it was gold, the glinting everywhere. He saw the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the aqueducts and the water and all this vast kingdom and all these other kingdoms were subdued under his kingdom and he couldn't resist the temptation to think it was because of him. He forgot that the Lord said I'm the one that gave it to you I can take it away. He said is this is not the great Babylon that I have built  

Daniel 4:30-31 is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power and for the honor of my majesty and while the word was still in the King's mouth they're fell a great voice from heaven saying, 0h Nebuchadnezzar,  to you is spoken the kingdom is departed from thee.

Right after he took the glory upon himself came the verdict the kingdom is departed from thee. Do you want to lose the kingdom? It was through pride and giving himself the credit that the kingdom was departed.

This is what happened to Saul. Saul was tested he was told to go and obey a command of the Lord, he was more interested with what the people thought of him than what God thought of him. Samuel the prophet came he said God sent you on a mission. And he told you to eradicate the Amalekites and you’ve kept the king and you’ve kept the spoil. He said oh yea but the people, Saul was much more concerned with what the people thought of him than what God thought of him.

You know that's what pride is all about, if it wasn't for competition, would pride be a problem? Think about it. The reason a person is not satisfied with their car, or their house, or their salary, or their dress is often because they're looking horizontally at someone who has got a better salary, and a better position, and a better house, and a better car, and a better dress. So often we become preoccupied with comparing ourselves among ourselves and by ourselves and that's what pride is all about. It's all about being a little better than others.

What would you be proud of if you were the only person in the world? You’d have nothing to compare it to, that's why we need to be very careful about this competition business. We live in a world that is built on competition and I think I'd rather live in a capitalistic society than a communistic society or a socialist society, but it has its dangers and it's all about pride.

Nebuchadnezzar took the glory upon himself. Saul more interested in what the people thought, you know what Samuel said to him? God was testing you but because of this your kingdom will not abide, you're going to lose your crown. Why did Saul get so upset and want to kill David? When Saul came marching back from a battle with his soldiers and David was his armor bearer he was right there by his side, he heard the women singing as they came out with their tambourines and their dance and they said Saul has slain his thousands and Saul sat a little straighter on his horse, and he took a chest full of air, he tilted up his chin and then he heard the second verse of the song. Up until he heard the second verse he was perfectly happy. You know the first verse was? Saul had slain his thousands, second verse David his ten thousands. His whole countenance changed because he was comparing himself with David and he was no longer satisfied; there was someone better than him and he couldn't be content and from that moment on he could not think peaceably about David.

Why did Joseph's brothers want to kill him? It wasn't just because he’d had a dream, it's because in his dram he said you're bowing down to me. It all came true and it wasn't until they were satisfied that God had exalted Joseph above them, that they could really have peace, they went through a lot of testing under Joseph before they became satisfied and they weren't worried about one being better than them.

Why did the disciples argue among themselves, what were they arguing about? Which of them was the greatest. They had already conceded that Judas would be the best treasurer but they were arguing about the other issues; who should be the prime minister, and who would sit on the right hand, and the left hand, who would get these positions of honor? Jesus said, When you go to a feast, do not seek out the chief seats and shuffle and jostle and try to position yourself so you could be first in line. It’s always good to say that just before a mass of people are released for a potluck. But he said you take the lowest position it's much better to have the host come to you and say, no, no, no you don’t sit here, I've got a better chair for you, and for you to be brought to a better station than for you to go fight over the best seat and have the host come and say sorry that's not where you're supposed to sit, you are supposed to sit down there or in the nose bleed section.

So much of what Jesus taught was about the issues of pride trying to get ahead. You know why I say this is after the disciples finally learned that lesson He was able to pour out the Holy Spirit. Before you saw the former reign of the Holy Spirit, the disciples humbled themselves, they confessed their faults to one another, they were content with the position that Jesus had assigned them with,they were in the upper room praying together and then He could pour out the Spirit, when they humbled themselves.

You know before the rain came in the Days of Elijah, the people fell on their knees and they said the Lord He is God, the Lord He is God. They had to humble themselves and then the rain came. In the last days the church is going to have to be humble. We're going to have to get where we are really saying from our hearts, Christ is our humility, not I but Christ, that Jesus is all in all and Lord I’ll do whatever you want me to do I'll go wherever you want me to go. If people want to walk over me that's your business but if you want to see a church come apart of seams, have a nominating committee, where people who have been in certain positions for years, for whatever reason it might be a perfectly noble reason that the committee gets together and they feel impressed that maybe we need to train in some new leadership and let them be Sabbath School superintendent, let them be on this committee, let them the head deaconess or head elder and watch how these people who have held these positions of spiritual leadership when it's given to someone else, it's amazing how unspiritual they can suddenly become, in a spiritual way, they can become very unspiritual. I think your laugh is one of agreement that we all have those tendencies. Pride, that's not just pride of our accomplishments, you know Nebuchadnezzar saw the greatness of what he had accomplished.

Martin Luther used to tell this parable about a woodpecker that was out in the woods one dark day and he was wood pecking against a drying tree, and lightning flashed from the sky, hit the top of the tree and blew it to smithereens. The woodpecker was startled but uninjured and he flew away and he squawked to all the other birds, look what I did, look what I did. That's what Nebuchadnezzar was saying. He couldn't do anything without God. That's what Saul was saying, God had taken Saul when he was small in his own eyes, he was physically big but small in his own eyes and those first few years of his reign he was successful, but when he became big in his own eyes God couldn’t use him anymore.

It was Spurgeon that said we should never be proud of race, or place, or a face, and some are proud of their appearance.

How did Absalom get in trouble? He was a little bit spoiled probably, by his father. David was a little detached, he was so busy with building his kingdom that he forgot sometimes his family, he lost four boys, because he was so busy doing that work that he wasn't thinking about the work at home and always praising Absalom, you are the best looking kid in the kingdom and he came to believe it and everybody else praised him. You know it was true, he was good looking. The Bible says there was no one to be so much praised for their appearance as Absalom 2Samual 14 from the crown of his head to the soul of his foot there was no blemish in him. He had this massive mane of beautiful hair, like I do.  Ha, ha, ha.

While we're on the subject I have a theory, that to be perfectly sanctified and ready for translation, Men need to be bald. Ha, ha, ha. Now you know what they said after Elijah went to heaven? They said to Elisha, go up thou baldhead.

 What got Sampson in trouble? Hair. Absalom got caught by the hair. The truth, I’m getting ready translation, that’s all there is to it. Ha, ha, ha.

But he was proud of his appearance and it went to his head and you know what he wanted? He wanted the same thing Lucifer wanted, he was willing to kill his own father his own creator, you might say, that he might have his position. Absalom mirrored the very sentiments of the devil. the devil beautiful; we need to be careful about complimenting people, now we all appreciate being appreciated and I think it's entirely appropriate.

I’ve talked to someone before that said, that looks nice, that’s a beautiful tie or whatever. People like to be affirmed, people like to know that you’re pleased, and that's appropriate but when you begin to smother people with complements, the Bible actually says that that’s sinful. Flattery is where you are saying nice things for the purpose of trying to get in a better position yourself or manipulate people. Someone told me that compliments are like perfume. Sniff, do not swallow. if people say something nice, say thank you, but don't believe everything nice people say.

Several times after preaching, you’re at the door and people come up and they are very gracious, they say nice things, wonderful sermon; I remember it was John Knox I read one time where he was standing at church like that and afterward this lady came up to him and said, Brother Knox, you are the best preacher in all of Scotland and he said Ma'am, I know it, the devil tells me every day. I've had people come up and say nice things to me.

How many of you remember Harold Camping? He had Family Radio he predicted that the Lord was coming on three different occasions, I think. I like Family Radio, they're still on, they have some good music, one of the only Christian stations that still has good music. They will just read the Bible to you on the air and those things I appreciate. I think the Lord raised up that station because of the good features but sometimes a person’s strength is also their weakness. Dear brother Camping, we interviewed him before he died, I don't know if you know, that but his Bible studies were kind of goofy, in my opinion. Matter of fact his theology I thought, was just awful. But I’d listen to people call up when he had his open forum Bible answer program and they‘d say Brother Camping, you are just the best preacher, I so appreciate it. So when I stand at the door and people compliment me a little voice says Doug they also complement Harold Camping.

I've gotten letters and I'm telling you this, this is a truth friends, I hope you believe I'm not exaggerating, but I've gotten letters at Amazing Facts where people have written us and they say, Pastor Doug I want you to know that you and Benny Hinn are my favorite preachers. So don’t take those compliments too seriously.

Somebody said, Humility is the triumph of mind over flatter. That's what it means to have the Spirit of Christ.

Job 32:21 let me not I pray thee show partiality to anyone nor let me flatter any man.

Even with children we need to be careful, there’s a quote from the book. Child Guidance page 178 “Self-will and pride are evils that turned angels into demons and barred the gates of heaven from them”. Yet parents unconsciously are systematically training their children to be agents of Satan through unnecessary compliments and flattery.

We not only do it with our own we do it with others. Children should be encouraged but don't be unrealistic. They get to where they just want it and need it all the time. There's a balance, you all understand what I'm saying.

We can be proud of our position. everyone wants to get a promotion.

Remember Haman? In the Book of Esther 5 Haman was the kings friend, so the king promoted him, made him Prime Minister, so to speak, and he was wealthy, had a big family, successful in business, but he was extremely ambitious. When a person is ambitious, that's different than a person is eager to just do God's will, that means they're looking for the next promotion. Haman was like that, and then one day, after the king promoted him, he was so upset that Mordechai would not bow down to him. Everybody bowed down to him, the king commanded everybody to bow down to him, but whenever Haman came in to see the king and he went back out, he passed this Jew in the gate, named Mordechai who would not bow down, it wrecked his day. He was so full of himself but this one person that wouldn’t bow down was like a fly in the ointment, it just poisoned his life. He had to be better than everybody. He needed everybody to worship him. Why does the devil hate Christians so much? Most of the world consciously or unconsciously worships the devil. Why did the devil hate Job so much? Why did God say, Have you considered my servant Job? He's basically saying, no you don't have the whole world I've got someone down there that worships me. Mordechai the Jew representing God’s people would not bow down and it just made him so mad that he was ready to give everything he had and do everything he had even to his own destruction to bring down Mordechai. He goes in and sees the king and while he is seeing the king, the king says, hey I’ve got good news I don't know why she asked, he said, but you know Queen Esther, she came in and she said she wants to have a banquet. She even risked her life, she came in to me and I held out the scepter and I thought what in the world does she want? And she said I want to have a banquet for you and Haman. The king says, I don't know what she’s got in mind Haman, but you and I are invited to a special banquet of the Queen. Haman thinks, Wow I have arrived, I’m the king's friend, I'm the queens friend. He didn't know what was going up at that banquet. I've got the best real estate here in the kingdom where everybody can see my house and he walks back out, his chest is swelling with pride, but he's got to walk through the gate. So Haman went out the day joyful.

In Esther 5:9 Haman went out that day joyful with a glad heart.

Yea, even proud people that have the spirit of the devil can experience the pleasures of sin for a season.

but when he saw Mordechai  in the King's gate that he did not stand or tremble before him he was filled with indignation against Mordechai , nevertheless Haman refrained himself. He wanted to destroy him but instead he thought I’m going to plot. He went home and he called his friends and his wife Zeresh and Haman told them of his riches and the multitude of his children and everything the king and promoted him.

He is all about his promotions, his riches and his big family and how he had advanced him above all the officers and the servants of the king. I'm better than everyone.

it's all about comparison and competition.

Moreover Haman said, beside that even Queen Esther has invited no one except me and the king to come to this banquet that she's prepared. And tomorrow I'm invited again by her along with just the king, yet all of this avails me nothing so long as I see Mordechai the Jew standing in the King's gate.             Standing or sitting, whatever he won’t bow or tremble before me. Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him. Let gallows be made fifty cubits high and in the morning suggest to the king,

Just get this out of the way so you can enjoy everything, you don't even have to wait until the death decree, in advance of the death decree the devil's going to try to get rid of some.

Let Mordechai be hanged on these gallows then go merrily with the king to the banquet and this thing pleased Haman. So he ordered the gallows be built.

They must have worked fast, they built the gallows fifty feet high in about eight hours. You know the rest of the story, that night, the day before Haman was going to go to the king with his special, he wants him to just sign the death decree, just this one person, you need to get rid if this guy. The king thought, oh your my friend, yeah sure I'll do it for you, no problem. That night the king couldn't sleep, he tried everything. He didn't know why I couldn't sleep and he had the musicians playing for him and finally when he couldn't sleep the most boring thing in the world is he would bring the scribe in and he would say look, can you read the Chronicles of the kingdom, every now and then I've got to listen to you read the Chronicles and figure out the minutes from our last board meeting. Figure out what's been going on, what have I forgotten. This guy evidently, that read The Chronicles for the king, had a monotonous droning voice, he thought, if I get that guy to just read the minutes to me that will put me to sleep. Now friends, what I'm going to tell you is absolutely true. One of the most common things people tell me when they come up to me and they say Pastor Doug, we love your programs, in fact when we have trouble sleeping at night, they don't mean it as an insult, I don't think they realize what they're saying. They say we go to bed every night listening to your program. That's really what they say, I'm glad that I could be of service. So this scribe was brought in and he starts to read. The king is finally settling down, he’s realizing he’s just between consciousness and unconsciousness and the scribe is droning on he says “and there was a plot made to kill the king and to assassinate him.” The king opened one eye, oh yea, “and Mordechai the Jew revealed the plot to the king and it was determined to be true and the assassins were executed”, then he went on to read something else, wait, wait, wait read that again. He read it again and he said  

Start here @36.30 what did we for this guy Mordechai that saved my life? He said let me check the minutes, nothing your highness. The king sits up and thinks, wow, I’m not a very good king. That guy saved my life and I don't give him a coupon at Subway, I don't give him anything, no gift certificate, he doesn't get a card or a letter. Wow, saved my life. Now he’s thinking, I've got to do something special for this guy it will be late but I'll make it good. While he's thinking that, don't you love God's providence, the bell rings and the king thinks, who is at the gate at this early hour? He said it's Haman. Bring him in I’ve got a question for him. So Haman comes in and the king says I'm so glad to see you. I'm glad I've got a friend like you, you know I've got something on my mind and I’ve got a question I need to ask you. Haman what shall be done for the man that the king delights to honor? Now I’m doing this all quickly to save time, and so Haman thinks within himself, well who would the king delight to honor more than me? I, I, I, pride is like a compass that always points to self and we all struggle with it. Have you ever noticed that you'll be a conversation, someone tells you about a wonderful story and if your man and someone tells you an amazing story what do you do? I got a better story, right? Come on guys. Oh I caught a fish that was fifty pounds. Oh, really that's interesting, amazing. Let me tell you about my fish. That proves that the Gospel it can really transform people because Jesus picked fisherman and made them humble, and they told the truth. Who does the king want to delight to honor more than me?

@28.39 Listen to what he says, here's what I recommend your highness. Get the best robe in the kingdom, as a matter of fact one that the king wears and get the kings horse, the best royal horse and put the robe on this man and put the crown on his head, the kings crown and get the most prominent man in the kingdom, and have him with this procession of leaders and trumpets lead this man up the street and just with an exalting voice blow the trumpets and gather all the people together. There he’ll be on the kings horse, with the kings robe, and the kings crown, and he’ll say “thus shall it be done to the one the king delights to honor.” Now you realize what Haman is saying is what he really wants, because he thinks the king is going to say, this is what I want to do for you, which really divulges what did he want? He wanted to be the king. I would be like the Most High. Why do you think the devil said to Eve, Ah if you listen to me you'll be like God. The devil was superimposing his own corrupt ultimate desires in the hearts, he was planting that in the hearts of Adam and Eve. In those seeds a sin it took part in the human soul, in every son of Adam and Eve and every daughter, we all struggle with that same desire to be our own god. Why do you think these eastern religions are so popular? They basically say that you are god. At the foundation of righteousness by works.

Part of the reason I was going to talk this afternoon of the breakout session about what's happening with the Catholic Church and in the final movements is because; you know what the big debate is going to be in the last days? it's going to be about worship. Christ are righteousness, our man made righteousness. It’s all about wanting what the devil wanted, I want to be god. I want to be in control of my salvation. I did it.

You know when I get to heaven there are several videos I want to see, from the Bible times. I want to see the look on those eleven brothers faces when Joseph says to them at that banquet “I am Joseph”.

I want to see that video. I want to see the look on Haman's face when the king says to him “That's a great idea, I couldn't have thought of anything better. I want you to do everything that you just described” and Haman said, yes, yes. And in his back pocket he's got a death decree for Mordechai rolled up. And the king says I want you to do that for Mordechai, the Jew that sits in the gate. I want to see the video of that face.

 One other video I want to see is the video of Jacobs face in the morning when he says behold it was Leah. Am I the only one that has wondered about that?

Can you imagine the look on Haman’s face when the king said “Do everything you said, do not fail to do everything you said, it is a command, do it for Mordechai the Jew”. He had to do it right then. Can you imagine? I wonder also the look on Mordechai’s face when he saw Haman coming up. He must have thought, ah, this must be curtains; and Haman said “Look, put on the king the robe, put on the king's crown, get on the kings horse, follow me.” and Haman had to go up and down the street with trumpeters saying “Thus shall it be done to one”. This is the Jew who would not bow down to him. Does it say somewhere in the Bible, a haughty spirit goes before a fall? Does it say in the Bible, he that humbles himself will be exalted and he that exalts himself will be humbled?

Some of the most humiliating experiences that I've had; I remember one time I flew into St Louis actually, I was on my way to 3ABN to do some taping. I was going to speak at a church on the way for Sabbath. I landed in St Louis and I went to get my rental car from National Rental Car, and while I'm at the counter there, the gal looks at me and she goes, “Are you on T.V? This doesn't happen all the time, so it was exciting for me when it happens. So I said yes. I always have to be careful when I say that because I've actually had people say “Are you that car salesman, that annoying car salesman late at night?”  So you know, it’s like yes, I’m on TV.  

I said yes, so the gal behind the counter she said I watch your programs, you’re that guy with Amazing Facts. You know they watch it but they don’t always know who you are. And she said look, I'm going to give you an upgrade. I like upgrades, you know I'm happy, you know. I said that’s nice, I appreciate that, I was going to get an economy car and she said I’d get an upgrade. She’s looking and she’s looking, and she says, how would you like a convertible? I looked outside and I said, well you know it's snowing out there. She said, oh, I don't know what I was thinking. She really did that, she said ah, you know what? We have here in St Louis we have a super duper deluxe executive car, no one ever gets it, and she said we have this Cadillac XL something or other. She said it's our executive car for businessmen that come in, it’s very expensive. She says no one ever uses it, no one will ever know, she says I'm going to give you that car, it’s not reserved. I said OK. Now a little thing crossed my mind when she told me that, she pointed it out to me in the parking lot, it was a very nice black, you know, it was like a presidential Cadillac. I'm thinking to myself now here I am a pastor and you know we are supported at Amazing Facts entirely by donations, we get no subsidies from any organizations, notice how I slipped that in? And it’s not good to pull up to a church where they have invited you to speak and you are in the most expensive rental car. So I thought, I'll just park in the back down the street and walk into the church. No one will know. She said, you’ll like this it has a heated steering wheel it's got all this stuff. I'm going, oh what a buncha wimps, a heated steering wheel. It was very cold, so I got in the car and it was cold and I thought, I've got to try this out. So I turned on the heated steering wheel and I thought, wow this really is nice, you know. So I drove and I got to the church, I forgot what church it was, I'm not telling you. And so I got there and I thought wow, I got there early there's not too many people that come for Sabbath School and so I parked in the back of the parking lot. I thought I’ll just wait until there's nobody there, and the families were starting to come in, and I'll slip out and I'll get as far away from the car as I can before I hit the alarm, you know and so I got out and I got away from the car and bunch of people were getting out of their cars and going in. So I hit the alarm, but instead of hitting the alarm, I wasn’t used to the thing and I hit the panic button. And this black Cadillac there in the back of the parking lot started going whop, whop, whop and I'm looking around like... I’m thinking it will go off, and I’m pressing the button discretely and nothing is happening. Finally I had to walk over to it and everybody is looking. Now that is one of many experiences I could tell you. Some of them I will not tell you because the Lord knows how to humble us, just take my word for it. I pray just like everybody, when I share these things with you, and I pray before I even share it with you because, I'm not at all immune, as a matter of fact, pride, not because I'm a televangelist, but because I'm just me, is my biggest problem.

@37.36 It is not that I’ve got anything to be proud of. I could rehearse for you all my problems and weaknesses and any allusions you've got of me being something would evaporate pretty quick but it's selfishness, at the heart of all pride is just selfishness. Just as soon as you think that you arrived with humility is the moment to you've lost it. Pride is one of the things we also hate the most in others and we’re last or recognize in ourselves. You cannot only have pride of position, like Haman and the disciples, which of them was the greatest.

One of the most dangerous forms of pride is the baptized pride. The pride in the church. First thing that Jesus preached, He said “they pray to be seen of men, they fast to be seen of men, they give to be seen of men. It's good to fast, it's good to pray, it's good to give and if you are a converted Christian you know the Bible doesn't say that where not supposed to fast in the last days. Jesus didn’t say don’t fast, he said “while the bridegroom is with you friends of the bridegroom don’t fast but the day will be when the bridegroom will be taken away and the friends of the bridegroom will fast.

You hear very few sermons on fasting but as we enter the last days, and we all have things to fast and pray about, we need to know how to fast and if man fell because he couldn’t control, and she couldn't control what they ate, we need to have victory over appetites because it's going to be a test at the last days as well. So fasting is good, I've noticed that when I am fasting, I have a hard time not telling anybody because you know you sort of get spiritual credit when you're fasting, there's some kind of sanctified points we all keep coupons for and we want everyone to give us credit for, you know, I’m fasting today and I can't join you for lunch. We may not disfigure our faces as Jesus said, and tussle our hair but sometimes we want to let people know, well I'm fasting, Or we give to be seen. Do you ever wonder why they pass plates? Have you ever given, I won’t ask you to raise your hands, they're passing a plate and you know other people are watching you’re thinking, I didn't come prepared, I don't really want to give, I don't have much to give but people are watching and what will they think? Come on fess up, don’t raise your hands, just confess it to the Lord. Sometimes we give to be seen, blow a trumpet, people would come to the temple, they would sound a trumpet, they would make their offerings. Who did Jesus praise? The widow who gave everything she had and didn't want any attention at all. God exalted that the highest. He was not impressed with the millionaire who gives a little bit because they go home and it required no sacrifice they're going to eat the same, sleep in the same bed, wear the same clothes, there's no change in their life from their gift, but the widow who gave everything is the one that Christ exalted, he said what she's done will be seen. Called attention to her. We pray to be seen. By the way the Pharisees love to wear the broad phylacteries to be seen and they pray long prayers. Private prayers should be long, public prayers are the ones that should be short. The longest prayer in the Bible is actually the prayer of Jesus in John 17. The prayer that brought fire down from heaven in the days of Elijah. How would you like to be able to pray like Elijah? You ever time that prayer? It was under thirty seconds. Fire came down. When we sing Sweet Hour of Prayer, we ought to be spending time with God in our closets, and our public prayers ought to be to the point. We shouldn’t be trying to impress somebody with our prayers.

Spiritual pride. Jesus said in Matthew 6 Take heed you do not do your charitable deeds to be seen before man, make a donation, have them name of room, a pew, a window, a brick after you. I got struggles with that. I'm sorry if you've done it before but let not your left hand know what your right hand does when you give, because what could be at the core of that? Pride. Beware Christ said of the scribes who desire to go around in long robes, and they love the greetings in the marketplace, the best seats in the synagogue, the best places that the feasts, and they devour widows houses, they’ve got great greed and selfishness but for a pretense they made long prayers, they’ve got to compensate. These will receive the greater condemnation. Spiritual pride, King Aziah was a good king, amen, but when you think about the different kings, he's listed among the good kings, it says the Lord was with him. By the way he had the second longest the reign of any king. The longest reign was king Manasseh, 55 years, king Aziah 52 years. Can you imagine having the same president for 52 years? Four years is enough for most of them, sorry bad time to get political right? But he was a good king for most of the time. It says that after God blessed him and he became very strong he became self-sufficient and his heart was lifted up to his destruction. That's pretty dangerous when that happens because then he thought I should be able to do what the priests do. He had accomplished everything he set out to do. He said, but you know these pagan kings get to go into their temples and they get to offer in their temples on their altars and they get to go through all of this, but only the priests are allowed into the temple. I never even get to go into the Holy Place. I’m the king, I should be able to do everything. I’m the king.

Mohammed Ali, when he was the heavyweight champion of the world, I think everyone that knows, will say he wasn't humble enough. He used to say I’m the king of the world.

And the story goes, one time he got on an airplane using the first class section and a lot of @44.20 photographers that were following along. He was getting ready for a big flight, he got on the plane and before they took off the flight attendant came by and said Mr Ali you need to put on your seat belt. He said “I don't need no seat belt” he wanted to make sure everyone heard him, he said “I’m superman, I don’t need no seat belt.” and she said “Superman doesn't need a plane either, you need to put on your seatbelt.” Now I’m sure a lot of that was just fanfare that they all go through to try and build things up. I don't think he feels the same way today. He was greatly humbled with his disease that was connected with boxing, king of the world.

Talking about king Aziah, he took the sensor and put incense in it. Only the priests were supposed to bring that into the Sanctuary and he walked in where only the priests were supposed to go. He took upon himself something that God's word clearly said was reserved for the sons of Aaron and when they met him they said, “Your Highness this will not be for your glory, this is not good. You're going against the Word of God.” All the other kings do it, I'm just as capable as you guys are. He had all those arguments and they said “Aziah turn back, this is not good for you” and Adia, the priest withstood him, and he became enraged, while he launched into a fury.

You know pride will do that some people when you offend their pride they become very angry and then they start to retaliate, sometimes they resort to insult. You know how many arguments have happened in families and marriages because of pride? As a matter of fact most divorces you could probably boil it down and somebody is just being proud. It's really sad, in doing counseling, a lot of marital problems could be resolved and marriages could be reconciled if one or both of the partners would humble themselves and apologize. They can't bring themselves to do that. That’s how they wreck a marriage, because of pride. I’ve just found it is always a good idea to tell Karen, “you’re right”, whether I believe it or not. You know, if you're smart, you know how to apologize honestly, without totally conceding, that it doesn't mean I think all of your points were correct, but you can still apologize, you can mean I am sorry that we argue. That's what reconciliation is all about, pride.

He became angry and while he launched into this fit, leprosy sprang out on his forehead. Why did Mariam and get leprosy? She was offended, here she was the one who had delivered Moses as a little baby, when she went to pharaohs’ daughter and got him adopted. She was the older sister, she was the one who led Israel in prophecy, she was a prophetess.  But she wasn't consulting Moses anymore, she was talking to Moses’ wife who was not even a Jew. It really began to bother Mariam that she wasn’t being brought into the inner council of what Moses was doing and she stirred up Aaron. I just read this last week in Patriarchs and Prophets. It was pride, she got leprosy.

What does leprosy represent in the Bible? How did Naaman get leprosy? God used it to save him actually, but it was because of his sin, his pride. Naaman thought his problem was leprosy. His problem was he was rich, he was strong, he was famous, he was courageous, and the problem was he was proud of it too. When he humbled himself, he had to take off his clothes and bathe in a dirty river. When he humbled himself he was cleansed. When Mariam humbled herself she was cleansed. King Aziah was humbled, and that’s what we need. Humble ourselves before the Lord.

It was spiritual pride the nailed Jesus the cross. Have you ever read in Mark 15:9. Pilot said to the accusing Jewish leaders “Do you want me to release your king of the Jews?” for he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. Why did they want to get rid of Jesus? Pride, because the people were following Him instead of them. They had the temple, they had the degrees, they have the prestige, and here all of the rabble were following Jesus and it just ate them up. Even Joshua didn't totally understand this when the Holy Spirit fell on the people of Israel and two men who were in the camp.@49.27  Eldad and Medad didn't feel like they were worthy to come with the other seventy elders and Joshua when said, “Moses all of the people are prophesying, and even Medad and Eldad are in the camp and they are prophesying and you’re the prophet, they’re not supposed to prophesying. You know what Moses said? “Well Joshua, are you jealous for me? Would God that all of these people were prophets.” God wants to fill all of us with His Spirit and sometimes we're so concerned that somebody might get something that we don't get and we become jealous. We become angry, even King Hezekiah struggled with this. You can just go through the king's. King Hezekiah, was a good king. I think if he was in your church, you’d want him to be a member of your church. Hezekiah had been blessed on every side. He had great possessions. The story of what happened with he and Isaiah is found in 

2Kings 20:12 at that time there …on that ballot in the sun a valid in King of Babel and sent letters and a present to Hezekiah free or heard that the king is been sick”

Now this is one of the great lost opportunities of history. Hezekiah was sick, he had a boil or something and he had a fever, it looked like it was spreading. He cried and he prayed and Isaiah came to him and Isaiah the prophet was given a word from the Lord and the Lord told Hezekiah through Isaiah “set your house in order for you will die and not live.” Get your estate all written up. Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and he cried, and he prayed, and he wept, and he said “Lord, I have served you faithfully, I've done what other kings have not done, I’ve put you first and I’ve trusted you” and he cried, God couldn't take it anymore. Before Isaiah even got out of the premises of the palace he was told to turn back to go tell Hezekiah, “Captain of my people, I have seen your tears, I have heard your prayer, I'm going to add fifteen years to your life and you'll have a son during that time and he'll be king. That turned out not to be so good. What sign do you want, Isaiah said, that God is going to do this thing and heal you? Do you want the sun to go down ten degrees or do you want to go backwards ten degrees? Hezekiah thought like I probably would have thought, well it's not a big deal for the sun to go down, it does that every day, but I'd really be impressed, I know it stopped in the time of Joshua but if you not only stopped it but you put it in reverse and so Isaiah prayed to the Lord and God did for a man something that he had never done before in that the sun not only stopped it began to go backwards. Off in Mesopotamia where they were great students of the heavens and they were watching the sundial one day and it stopped moving and then they noticed it began to go backwards and they took chalk and they marked on the sundial and they said “are we seeing things?” They saw that it went backwards and they inquired around the world, “what had happened, what caused this wonder, what does that mean, is it some harbinger, some terrible calamity? Finally word reached them, no this is because of Jehovah, the God of Israel. Hezekiah was sick and as a sign he would be healed, God made the sun go backwards. What a God, we need to find out about that God and they sent messengers to Jerusalem to find out about Jehovah which is what God intended to happen, but what did Hezekiah do with this opportunity?

He had heard Hezekiah had been sick, he sent a present in a letter and said tell us about your God.

2Kings 20.13 Hezekiah was attentive to them and he showed them all of the house of his treasures, the silver, the gold, the spices, the ointments, and all his armory, @53.14 his treasures. All that was found among his treasures there is nothing at all in his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.

You notice that when I talked about Satan it said I, I, I, I, I five times. There's five Hezekiah his, his, his, his, his, the king’s not God. It was all about me. He lost one of the greatest missionary opportunities.

Do you know that they say about people in mental institutions use the words I, me, my, mine and myself ten times more than sane people. Selfishness is a form of insanity. Think about it, doesn’t the devil have to be crazy to think that you could overthrow your creator? Isn’t that a crazy thought, that you could somehow dethrone the Eternal One?

After he shows them  all this stuff, you know Hezekiah was so impressed they came to see me, muaw, well, Babylon you say, it’s the center of education and wow, how am I going to impress them? I just better show them what God’s done for me. Look let me show you the armaments we've got, let me show you the treasures we got, let me show you the temple and all of the clothes and all the beautiful things in our city and the ointments and spices and you know we're on the intersection of caravans and we've got so many resources here. They were taking careful notes, well, it’s not what we came to hear about but it's impressive, yeah. You know people are going to want your treasure, whatever your treasure is, people will want. People will be jealous for your treasure, that's why some of you upgrade, you want people to be jealous of your treasure. That’s why sometimes we move into better houses and wear better clothes and drive better cars. Let's face it, do you know people that kind of a dress up their cars and their homes and themselves for others to look at? So others may envy or covet it? People will want your treasure, and they're going to come back for it. That's what happened and after they left Isaiah the prophet sent to Hezekiah, he said to him what did these men say and where did they come from to you? Hezekiah said, oh they came from a far country, from Babylon. He said “what have they seen in your house?” Now, that's a good thing to underline in your Bible, do you underline in your Bibles? What have they seen in your house? This is a question that God has for us, what have they seen in your house? Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, what have they seen in your house? Do you show them God or do you show them you? Hezekiah still doesn't get it, he thinks well, this is normal, isn’t this what we're supposed to do, impress them and show them all that we've got? Hezekiah says, they’ve seen all that’s in my house, there's nothing among my treasures I've not shown them. Isaiah says to Hezekiah, hear the word of the Lord, “Behold the days are coming when all that is in your house that your fathers have accumulated until this day shall be carried to Babylon and nothing will be left says the Lord. You wanted to impress them with your treasure? They were going to take your treasure home. God said, “I thought I was your treasure”. Children of Israel said make us a king like the nations, God said, “I thought I was your King”. What is our reward? The Lord is your reward, the Lord is your treasure, the Lord is your King. Is He your all in all? Is it all about Christ? He said they’ll take away some of your sons who will descend from you and they will be eunuchs in the palace of Babylon. Some of those princes were called Daniel and Hananiah and Michele and Azaria. This prophecy was perfectly fulfilled, they did come and they completely took away everything that Hezekiah showed them. He showed them all the treasure. Where is your treasure? Is it here in this world? Where you are storing up your treasure? Is it all about a name for yourself? Do  you know all of that stuff is going to pass away, all of this is going to be worth nothing. The only thing that is going to last forever, is heaven. All of the stuff that you've got is going to burn up when Jesus comes. Every now and then I travel and I talk to pastors.  I say you’ve got the most important job in the world. I said I appreciate carpenters, I'm glad I've got a well-built house. But it's going to burn when Jesus comes. I'm thankful for mechanics that know how to make the car run well and engineers that design good machines, I appreciate those things but you know all those cars are going to melt when Jesus comes. I'm thankful for doctors they can heal our bodies and make us feel better when we're sick. But you know that body, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It's not going to heaven. There's nothing you can look around and see right now that's going to make it to the kingdom, it’s what's on the inside that you can't see. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. I tell these pastors, you've got the most important job in the world because you'll be working with something that will really last. Most people work through their lives on things that really don't matter. We store, we work, we save, we strive, we try to get the highest position and none of that's going to matter. The high positions in this world are not going to be the high positions in heaven. I think we're all going to be very surprised how God metes out rewards; even James and John wanted to sit on the right and left. Jesus says that's for my Father to give.

Who was it, Oswald Chambers that said, when I was young I used to think the best gifts were on shelves one on top of the other and the best gifts when the highest shelves. He says as I've grown I've learned that in the Christian life the best gifts are on the lower shelves and you get them by kneeling, by humbling ourselves.

What have they seen in your house? You know people sometimes ask us about country living and I'm somewhat of a paradox if you don't mind my saying because I probably forgotten more about country living than a lot of people have learned. I can just about guarantee that not too many people have lived this country as I did, run around naked up in the mountains, it doesn't get much more country than that. Karen and I have a place up in the hills that we’ve had for thirty nine years, off the grid, solar we've got hydro, it’s not working but we got it. Water you can grow stuff

 starthere @1.00.00 I know how to fix things and drive bulldozers, put in ponds and the whole thing and we're living in the city, but we appreciate that. Praise God we've got a place we can go to, everyone knows about our place in Colville. I've got a place I'm going to, I’m not telling anybody about. No it's not the cave. But one day when I was up at the cabin, we don't get to go there very often because of our work. A few years ago I was up there at the cabin and we have to order propane because we have a gas refrigerator and we have a gas stove in the summer you can heat with wood but the house gets too hot doing that so we are glad they deliver propane. We ordered some propane, the propane delivery truck came up and the guy jumped out I mean we’re way out in the hills. Nearest neighbor is a mile away and as soon as he jumped out, I look at him and I thought he looks strangely familiar. He said, Hi brother Doug. I called his name, I recognized him, he was a young man that I had taught in Juniors in Sabbath School, I used to teach Juniors and as he grew up with many young people he stopped going to church and got his own family and became disconnected with the church and as soon as I saw him I thought Praise the Lord. The Lord brought him here so I could talk to him about his soul, except the story doesn't have a pretty ending. He said Doug, I haven’t been to this place before. You’ve got a really nice place up here, oh, that was all he needed to say. He let the genie out of the bottle. He said, is this solar electric? I said, Why yes, as a matter of fact I put in the electric system myself. Let me show you the electric room that I wired, come on in here and see. I’m not an electrician, but I had to wire all this and I designed the house, see how the eves stick out a little bit, it's because the solar in the winter it gets sun coming in; in the summer it keeps it so it doesn't get too hot and I’ve got the water gravity flow spring going through the filter, just look at this, turn it on, you want a drink? I started showing him the house, he delivered the fuel and I was talking all about how I built this and how I built that. Then he looked at his watch he said, hey I've got to make another delivery. He hopped in his truck and he drove away and I saw the dust building behind his truck and it suddenly occurred to me I'd become so preoccupied with showing him everything in my house I had said nothing about his soul or where he was in his relationship with Jesus or prayed with him or anything like that and I heard this voice, I used to think how could Hezekiah be so stupid?

You know it's really easy for me to see your pride, if any of you want me to tell you about it, I’ll tell you. Sometimes it’s very hard to see mine. I heard that voice say what did he see in thy house? You had this opportunity to talk to him about Jesus but I was so full of myself that if you just give me a second, like that compass needle, you give me an opportunity to tell you something about me and it's hard to pass up. It said I didn't talk about Jesus and I wish I could tell you that I saw him again since then but I never did. It doesn’t mean he’s committed the unpardonable sin, I hope the Lord reaches him, but I missed my opportunity and makes you wonder how many opportunities that we miss to talk to people about Jesus because of our pride. Now this message I don't want to just talk about pride I want to talk about humility.

How many more people would we reach if we really meant and lived by Not I But Christ? If we had the mind of Christ, the humility of Christ. It says in Testimonies Volume 9 page 189 If we would humble ourselves before God and be kind and courteous and tender hearted, this statement says there would be 100 conversions to the truth where now there is only one.  How many conversions would there be? 100, If we would humble ourselves before the Lord.

They say one of the great evangelistic opportunities that was lost was when Mateo Polo and his father Nicolo Polo when they were before the great Kubelikon in China they were Christians from the Roman Catholic ilk but that was so vastly superior, the teachings of Jesus, they did know some of the teachings of the Bible, and compared to what was there and when the great Mongo king saw their religion he thought these teachings of your Jesus are wonderful. He said here's what I want you to do when you go back to your country of Italy, I want you to tell your big priest, the pope, to send a hundred of your priests to our country and tell our whole country about your religion. Well they eventually did go back and they came, they tried to get an audience to the pope and they were having a hard time because at that very time in Rome there were actually two popes at war with each other. Did you know there was a time and Roman history when the two popes were at war with each other? Which of them was the real pope, and they were denouncing all the others with anathema and running them down. Finally after several appeals they went to the one pope that was still in Rome, I think one was in France and they said you've got to give us 100 priests. This is the biggest country in the world and they will all convert to Christianity. This is an opportunity like you'll never have again. They said we don't have time for that, and so he said look we'll send you two priests if you’ll leave us alone. Two missionaries, and one of them died on the way and the other one got discouraged and turned back and they never went. Historians say history would be so very different today if those priests had been able to make it and teach that incredible empire Christianity. How different the history of the world would be if Hezekiah that one moment instead of talking about himself had talked about God and they had taken Jehovah back to Babylon. I told you my story just makes me wonder what would God do if we humbled ourselves. You know there's hope for everybody if we humbled ourselves.

You can read where it says that even King Ahab as wicked as he was when he humbled himself, God said he showed him mercy. When Hezekiah humbled Himself the Lord showed him mercy.  The Bible says that when Israel humbled themselves the Word of the Lord came, said because they've humble themselves I will not destroy the city. So what's the answer? Whoever exults himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exulted. You know the Bible doesn't say that God humbles us, oh he knows how, when he brought them out of Israel it says He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and thirst that you might know that man doesn't live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, but most of the time in the Bible it says, we must choose to humble ourselves. He who exulted himself the most is who? The devil, what is his reward going to be? He is going to lose everything. Who has humbled himself the most?

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, now what's the key? Let it be in you, God wants it to be in you he won't force himself on you. You need to invite the Spirit of God to be in you. We can’t have the humility of Christ just by making up our minds, we need to humble ourselves and invite him in. It's only through having His Spirit that He can choke out the natural pride. Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God. You have the Son, you’ve got the Creator of the world who did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. The Devil wanted to be equal with God. Christ had a right to be equal with God but he laid that aside. He made himself of no reputation, he took his whole station away, no prestige no possessions taking the form of a bondservant coming in the likeness of man. The only thing he had that he left behind was a blood stained robe, that he had for you and me, being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled himself. A Christian is a follower of Christ, and if Jesus humbled himself, and he had reason to boast. I mean who's got more cause to boast than Christ? If you’re God do you have a right to boast? Even God says to Job, “do you know who you're talking to? I made the mountains, I made everything, these guys are telling me about me, let me tell you about me.

It's like this actress that was at a cocktail party in Hollywood and she was just so full of herself. She found that she was talking about all of her accomplishments and all the people she knew and she finally caught herself, realized what she was doing and she said, I'm so sorry, we’ve been doing nothing but talking about me, let’s talk about you. What do you think of me?

God is the one who has the right to talk about himself, but he laid that aside, we have no right, we’re dust. He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of even the death of the cross. I'll be talking about that tonight, I am crucified with Christ. Therefore because he humbled himself the most God has exulted him and given him a name that is about their every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, yes even the devil and his minions, they will all bow. Just as Haman had to humble himself before Mordechai, that the name of Jesus every knee would bow, those in heaven and those on the earth and those under the earth and every tongue would confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. You have before you this day two great motives. Christ and the devil. I, Him. Selfishness, Love. They are the two polar opposites, we are all infected with the disease of selfishness. IT is all in that lower carnal nature, and unless a miracle of grace comes in our hearts through humbling IN ourselves and presenting in ourselves, God will not force you, you must choose. Jesus might wash your feet like he did Peter and he did Judas but Peter humbled himself and Judas hardened his heart. You've got to decide and say, Lord I want to go completely, all the way with you. Confess to him you're scared.

I'd like to make an appeal as we close with prayer and we've got a large group here it may not be practical for us to stand and come forward because really I'm going to ask everybody to respond. But if you just bow your heads. In your hearts I'm quite confident from what I read in the Word that all of us struggle with sin and selfishness, we all have I problems. it happens in our work, happens in our marriages, happens in our churches and if God would pour out His Spirit on his people we need to do what the Apostles did we need to humble ourselves and he will lift you up and be willing to say not I but Christ. We can only do this as a miracle of grace when God comes into our hearts and if as I close with prayer you would like to join me in say “Lord forgive us for our sins are selfishness, we're so thankful that Jesus came and gave us an example of humbling himself and Laying himself aside. Help us to have that experience”. If that’s your desire would you like to stand in his presence and we'll pray together as we close.

Father in heaven we see as we look at the litany of examples in your Word, even these kings, some that humbled themselves like Solomon, in the beginning said I am just a child and you gave him great wisdom and later when he became proud he acted as a fool. We see the example of Nebuchadnezzar and Aziah and Hezekiah and David and Saul and so many others that when they humbled themselves you lifted them up. Lord I pray that we can follow the greatest King of all, Jesus, who made all things, and yet he laid aside his crown and His throne, the glories of heaven and he came to this world; He didn’t just come to this world, He humbled Himself in this world. Giving us an example that those who follow him, must realize we can never be proud of race, or place, or face. Lord I pray that you will cleanse us from our pride and give us your Spirit and help us to experience Christ our humility. Thank you and we pray this and Jesus name, amen.

This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons please visit www.audioverse.org.

Share

Embed Code

Short URL

http://audiover.se/1VpCJqh