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Preach, Crying Out, REPENT!
Gen. Deborah Green
P RAISE GOD. What a privilege it is to be serving the Living God, and as we move into this Battle Cry Sounding broadcast, which is also Battle Cry Pounding. What do we find out? We find out that IT IS TIME TO REPENT.
And the name of today's message is, "Preach, Crying Out, Repent." Now, we're going to go over to Matthew the 4th chapter, but before we begin in the context of the Scripture, let us remind ourselves that Jesus wants us to preach the Gospel. He doesn't want us to preach prosperity—in the sense of material gain, He doesn't want us to preach a good life, and He doesn't want us to preach happily ever after.
He wants us to preach the Gospel—which is repentance—which is repentance and TURNING FROM YOUR OLD WAYS, turning from the wickedness, turning from the sins, and the darkness, and the evil of the same, and turning unto Jesus, and believing in Him as the Son of God.
Now, no one is going to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven if they do not repent. If you don't repent, you will never have a chance in God's Kingdom. It's the basic, it’s the entry-way, it's the door-way, and it says if anybody comes up by any other way, "they're a thief and a robber" (John 10:1).
So, there's the way prepared that Jesus has left to us, left to all human-kind, and that way is the way of repentance. When we refuse that way, we are refusing the way of the Lord. When we refuse that way, we are refusing the entry into the Kingdom of Heaven; and we're choosing instead to stay in the darkness of our own interpretation, our own understanding, and claiming we are right with God.
Now, you know, we're living in a time when literally tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, and even millions, are shunning the way of repentance. They're looking at it as “something we don't need anymore”; they're looking at it as “something that is just a rudiment of a former age—when people were dramatic about their religion; and we don't need to do those kinds of things. All we need to do is just praise, and get loose, and get sensual, and just get free, and worship God.”
But, you know, you're not worshipping God; you're worshipping a configuration of your imagination, or you're worshipping Baal, or you're worshipping some other invention of men. And God said He rejects those praises. Pretentious praises, the Lord rejects.
So, all of these things that men and women have put forth in modernism, in modern Christianity (?), with a question mark, are not Christian; they're pagan. And, people are satisfied to play pagan, and they are repulsed at repentance. It's true. They want to play pagan and they're totally repulsed at the basic foundational cornerstone tenet of repentance to gain entry into Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ok, so what are they doing? They're like people who are outside of a house, running around it, looking in the windows, waving, going "na-na-na-boo-boo" and seeing if anybody will pay attention to them. Maybe they even get so adamant they're throwing rocks at the house. But, they're not in the house. And, they're wondering, "What's going on with the ones in the house?" But they won't go through the door.
And, that's what it's like with Christianity today: the multitude has not entered into the house of God. And, you cannot enter the house of God unless you repent—unless you thoroughly amend and change your ways, turn from the darkness that you are in, through sin, and turn to the glorious light that is found in Jesus Christ, you cannot enter in, because there's only one way, and that way is repentance.
Now, we're going to go here to Matthew 4, I'm beginning here in verse 17. Here's what it says, "From that time" and it's talking about after Jesus had gone through His, shall we say, visitation by the devil, the temptation in the wilderness, when the devil tried all these things on Jesus—to get Him to succumb to the earthly, physical, carnal realms whereby Satan rules human beings. He tempted Jesus in all points. That is, that Jesus could be the overcomer that we are meant to pattern ourselves after.
You know, when I first entered into Pentecost, and my husband and I went to this little old time church in Kentucky where they believed in shoutin' and dancin' and praisin' and stompin' and all these things, but, the basic testimony that you heard every single service was, "The devil just been talking to me all day!"
And I used to think, "Well, why'd you listen? Why do you let the devil talk to you? Why don't you talk to God?" Of course, I was a baby so I didn't dare express my views. But, to me, it seemed stupid to listen to the devil all day. Of course, I had been in a lifestyle whereby I not only listened to the devil, but I acted out the devil's commands and lived for the devil.
So, when I heard about freedom through Jesus, I didn't want to talk to the devil, I didn't want to listen to the devil, and I didn't want to have the devil talking to me all day. But the point of what I'm saying is, when we are born-again into newness of life, then our focus should be Jesus, rather than the devil.
Now, you don't read in here that after Jesus went through this temptation, that time, and time, and time again, that He underwent all these days, nights, weeks on end where He heard nothing but the devil. HE COMMUNED WITH HIS FATHER. And, we are meant to, by going through Jesus Christ the Lord, commune with our Father, who is not the devil. But, it is our Father in Heaven.
So, once we get through whatever it is that God takes us through to purify our souls, then we should not lend our ear to the devil, we should not have the testimony that “the devil was talking to us all day.” We should just tell the lame-brain to "Get lost, we're not interested, shut-up, and we'd rather listen to God!"
So, Jesus had gone through this period of time whereby the devil exercised his efforts in getting Jesus to bow down to carnality—to the things that thrill men, as human beings, or thrill women as human beings—that appeal to the realm of the flesh. AND JESUS REJECTED THOSE APPEALS, HE REJECTED THOSE TEMPTATIONS, AND HE CAME FORTH VICTORIOUS.
Ok, that pattern is laid down for us—that we are meant to come forth victorious. We are not meant to be whining, and sniveling, and crying, and saying, "Well, I had to smoke three packs of cigarettes because the devil was talking to me all day!" Why didn't you get a cigarette and burn his face with it? Seriously, we need to FIGHT BACK when the tempter comes along. We don't need to just succumb, and shrivel up, and bow down to the devil, because we are in a WAR.
Now that's settled. T`his is after Jesus got through all that, and it says, I'll start here, we're actually going to get into the text in verse 17, but we'll start in verse 12, and it says, "Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested and put in prison, He withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the country of Zebulun and Naphtali— That what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be brought to pass: The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, in the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles [of the peoples who are not of Israel]—The people who sat (dwelt enveloped) in darkness have seen a great Light, and for those who sat in the land and shadow of death Light has dawned."
Then it says here in verse 17, "From that time Jesus began to preach, crying out, Repent, Repent, Repent! (change your mind for the better, heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." So, that is our foundation, that is the narrative, the depiction, the evaluation, of the ministry, of the message, of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Ok, the very essence of it, the very heartbeat of it is, "REPENT." He doesn't come saying, "Join my church." He doesn't come saying, "Bless me and God will prosper you." He doesn't come saying, "Dance like a crazy, demonized, sensualized fool and God will be pleased." He doesn't say, "Shout it out, shout it out, shout until your head rolls off and you don't even know who you are, but you haven't repented," Pentecostalism—old Pentecostalism; now Pentecostals don't shout anymore, they just pout—because they want the biggest, the best, and the most, from the host.
But, aside from all that, the message, the heart of the very message that Jesus Christ came declaring, was, is, and always will be, "Repent. Repent. Repent! REPENT!" How many in this generation are not even found in Christ because they have failed to repent?
Now, I looked up this word "repent" in the Strong's, and it means, according to that Scriptural reference, "To think differently. To reconsider." Ok, so in the Greek, that's what it means is that you're going to think differently, and you're going to reconsider. What are you going to reconsider? You're going to reconsider the way that you've been living, you're going to reconsider the way that you've been thinking, and you're going to reconsider the way that you've been acting and what you have done against God. You're going to THINK DIFFERENTLY.
Now, I know when I got saved, it was like light moving in to gross darkness. And I was steeped in rebellion, had given myself to a false revolution—a revolution of damnation—had given myself to be a 'good' revolutionary in that cause, and it was light infused into me that began to penetrate that darkness and expose it for what it was, that began to RAM the wall of stubbornness that was inside of me, and the pride that kept me from humbling myself to God years before, and that kept me bound in sins.
And, it was like a GIANT cataclysmic event that took place. But, the after-effect was thinking differently, reconsidering. In other words, what? Changing my mind for the better, heartily amending my ways with abhorrence for my past sins.
So, true repentance is that. When you are truly repentant, you will get more, and more, and more light into your life, and you will see more, and more, and more how you have grieved God in the ways that you have lived prior to coming to God. And, you will get such an abhorrence, a hatred, for your past way that you will not return to that way.
Now, you see, in today's modern Churchianity, there is no differentiation between the precious and the vile. In other words, you can continue in sin, and you are all right with God. But, that completely violates what the foundation is that Jesus put for us to gain entry, and that is repent, that is change, that is SEPARATE, die out to the old nature, the old way of life, and come forth in the newness of life that is found in Him.
Now, if you do not repent, and all you do is say, "Oh, I believe Jesus is the Son of God," you're a liar. Did you hear me? I said you're a liar. You're a LIAR. BECAUSE, IF YOU TRULY BELIEVE JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, THEN YOU MUST REPENT. Because, in order to believe upon Him, you must repent of your sin, and be found acceptable in the eyes of God. See, if I just say, "Well, I think Jesus is an OK dude. He's cool. He's cool. You know, did good things, helped little old ladies. You know, gave sight to the blind, opened deaf ears. Hey, He's a cool dude." But, if I don't repent of my sins, then I'm going to be a hot dude in Hell, or, in my case, I'd be a hot chick in Hell, burning alive, or burning in death.
But, the point I'm getting to is that if we don't repent, we don't truly believe. We do not truly believe. Because, believe means you BE and LIVE in Him; you should be living in Him. We can't live in Him if we don't repent. Ok, so it says in verse 17, let's get back to the Scripture, "From that time, Jesus began to preach, crying out, Join my church." No, "Come to our night club." Did you know they pass out flyers in Gallup for a Christian night-club? They don't even say it's Christian though. It's probably not. Well, it obviously is not.
"Crying out, Repent (change your mind for the better, heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." So, He's saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is here. Ok, here is the Kingdom of Heaven, and here, dear folks, is the way into that Kingdom. And that way is repentance." You will not be in the Kingdom if you do not take the way that He's providing.
So, He's not saying, "Ok, here's the Kingdom of Heaven, enter in.” He's, first of all, giving the call, to repent, then He's declaring the Kingdom of Heaven. Ok, so He's got it the way that it ought to be. And, what is the way that it ought to be? That we should ALWAYS be willing to repent.
Now, there's some people that say, "Well, that's ridiculous, we don't have to do the first works over again. We don't have to repent. If we repented, I don't care if it's been 40, 50 years ago, that's good enough!" Proud! Arrogant! Conceited! Imagining you always do everything right!
Did you know we make mistakes? Did you know sometimes we hit a banana-peel and slip? Did you know we can be tripped along the way? Did you know that the devil can deceive us, and we can be led away from God rather than into God? Did you know that we can listen to a STRANGE doctrine and get taken up with that?
Did you know that we can get greedy and lustful for the things of this world, and we can invent our own way—the way of prosperity, with the grease drippin' down the side of our chin—because we had to eat all the fried chicken in the baskets before we took up the offering.
I mean come on! TO SAY WE DON'T NEED TO REPENT IS LIKE TO SAY, "I NEVER NEED TO TAKE A BATH!" Well, if you don't take a bath, and I don't take a bath, then I don't want to be nowhere near you, and you sure wouldn't want to be near me.
Why? Because we need cleansing, repentance is cleansing! And, when we think we don't need it, what are we saying? "My stink smells good. My stench is acceptable to God. My putrid, vile, nasty odors are well-pleasing to God." No, God wants us to be able to continually repent.
Now, what does it take to continually repent? HUMILITY—to not see ourselves as better than we are, but, to see ourselves to the degree that yes, if God sees sin in me, then I need to ask God what it is that I can repent over. Say, "Well, you don't give me any assurance of my salvation when you talk like that." Listen, if your salvation is so shaky that you can't humble yourself to God, then I doubt if you've got it anyway.
If we have true salvation, then we should be able to humble ourselves to God every single day and not be offended in it. The only thing that's offended in any of us at the thought of repentance, at the thought of humbling our self to God is pride, and rebellion, and stubbornness against God. And, if you find yourself miffed at the thought of repentance, guess what pride-ball, you've got a lot of it, and you need to do a lot of repenting, and a lot of changing, and a lot of altering your thinking. And, to reconsider, WHO ARE YOU SERVING? Are you serving your own self-image, or are you serving the Living God?
Look, if God allowed, not only allowed, but directed, instructed, and guided His own Son to the complete and utter humiliation, not only of His walk among human-kind as a man, but to the utter humiliation, the culmination of it all which was the cross, if God chose that, directed that, and purposed that for His only begotten Son in whom He was, and is well-pleased, if God took His own Son through that degree of humiliation, through that degree of public shame, through that degree of the degradation through human kind, then are we better than the Master?
Are we better than the Lord; are we better than the One that God has given to be the propitiation for all of our sins? Are we so good that God cannot take us through humiliation, are we so great that we cannot practice repentance? Are we so wonderful and religiously arrived, and so full of our own conceit that we can't be told we're wrong by God?
WHEN YOU WALL-UP THROUGH STUBBORNNESS AGAINST REPENTANCE, YOU ARE REFUSING THE ENTRY-WAY INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. And, basically you're saying, "This is where I'm getting off. This is where I'm getting off because I'm not going to let God do that to me again."
You know, years ago we had this woman, she was visiting here, and she and her husband had gone through a little financial crisis, and had a few hard times, and she acted as if it was the end of the world, blah, blah, blah. But, of course, you know, with American Christians, they never really trust God because they've always got the government there; they've got the government to give them a check—because they're "psychologically mal-adjusted to the current culture, and this idol dictates that they can't work, and so therefore they can't work, and therefore they need a check."
Did you know there are thousands, tens of thousands of young people in America that get social security checks because they "can't adjust to the culture"? So, you've got to pay their way while they lay up on drugs.
But, back to the other story. So, we have this lady, and her husband, and we won't get into their personal lives, but she told me point-blank, she "had already told God, and it was true, that she would NEVER suffer like that again. EVER!"
So, in other words, she shook her finger at God and told Him, "Look here bud, I'm not going to suffer again, and don't even try it. Don't even try to make me suffer for your name's sake, or even suffer because I'm so stupid I can't manage my own financial affairs. Don't you ever do that to me again."
Ok, fine, great, that's wonderful. So, you know what happened? Endless years of suffering, endless years of unemployment, endless years of sickness, surgeries, emotional and psychological breakdowns, pills, doctor visits, hospitalizations, no jobs. Crushing. Why? Because she was telling God how He was going to direct her life. And you know what she did? SHE GOT THE VERY CUP SHE THOUGHT SHE COULD REFUSE.
So, what am I saying? I'm saying if God shows us that we've done wrong, we need to repent; we don't need to shake our finger in God's face and tell Him, "No sir, you can't do that to me!" We need to accept the way of the Lord, and the way of the Lord is what? R-E-P-E-N-T, repent.
You got trouble in your life? REPENT. You got sorrow in your life? REPENT. You got financial problems in your life? REPENT. You know, there are so many people that want prayer for their finances. But, they never stop to tell you, "I've been an extravagant spender. I didn't want to pay my bills because I didn't like those envelopes they sent them in." You know, on and on and on it goes.
We don't want to see our own inadequacy that brings, invites, and directs our problems to us. We don't want to see that we were the big-mouthed, stubborn, j. a. that wouldn't take correction. We want to blame the other guy, we want to blame God, when really what we need is a good dose of REPENTANCE.
My grandmother always used to say when we children would get sick, she'd tell my mother, "Those kids need a good laxative. That's all that's wrong with them." In other words, to get the you-know-what out of us, that was poisoning us. Did you know, as Christians, we can have a big build up of you-know-what?—of bad, nasty, smelly stuff that needs to be flushed away by repentance, that needs to be washed away by repentance, that needs to be gotten out of the way by repentance.
You know, today it's common among Americans in a cross-section, to have these big old tires around here *motioning around belly*; and they're not Firestones. They're just these big old tires that are filled with old you-know-what. They say, "Well, that's just my love-handle." No, that's just your flab that's going to end you up on a slab.
But, anyway, so they have these BIG TIRES around here, and actually, they've proven that those tires are full of feces. It's true. They're full of old decaying waste matter that has not found its way down the clogged pipes to the exit. That's it. So, they pack it around. Ok, they keep having to buy bigger and bigger clothes, then some day, the day comes when they can't even hold it up by their own weight, they've got to get a wheelchair, they've got to get, you know, some kind of a lift.
They were telling me the other day they have these lift things up in the ceiling; you've got to have your whole house redone to stabilize your ceiling so when you weigh 580, or 690, or whatever, all you have to do is get a hold of these bars and they'll just move you by this, like a tram, on your ceiling. It's true. Fat. But anyway, it's all old you-know-what.
And, how much better it would be if some kind of a repentance could come to keep your big ol' craw shut so you couldn't put anymore in there, and these tires could disappear and BE FLUSHED AWAY, and you wouldn't have to have all this equipment, and all these tools to carry it around.
Did you know what the church is full of right now? Endless tires—in the spirit, things to carry around the old feces that needs to be FLUSHED AWAY by repentance revolution, that NEEDS TO BE GOTTEN RID OF BY THOROUGH AND COMPLETE AMENDING AND CHANGING THE WAYS whereby we look at Christ as obligated to us, as Santa Claus who trails along behind, and we get rides in his sleigh, and we dictate to him the new toys we want every single day.
We need to return to the crucified Christ, the Christ of Calvary, the Christ who gave His life, the Christ who bled for us, the Christ who was beaten in our behalf, and we need to cry out once again in repentance unto Him, in thankfulness unto Him, in gladness that, indeed, He gives us the privilege to be redeemed, and live a life that is worthy of His name—instead of all this c-r-a-p that passes itself off as Christianity.
The whole body of Christ is full of tire substance. In other words, old feces. And what did Jesus tell the Jews? Come on—who were "God's chosen people, who were the apple of His eye, who were His only ones that God ever cared about." What did He come, what did He do, and what did He declare? It says, "From that time Jesus began to preach, crying out, Repent, Repent! REPENT! Get the feces out of here. Get the feces out of you. Get out of it and come clean with God."
There's only one way you can do it. There's only one way you can be right with God, and that is to repent. Not just once, but it's many times in the day, in the year, in the lifetime that God dictates by the power of His Spirit. NEVER GIVE UP ON REPENTING, BUT CONTINUE IN THE REPENTANCE REVOLUTION UNTO THE LORD. AMEN.