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Gift of Grace
Part 1 General James Green
I WOULD LIKE to deliver a few messages on the “Gift of Grace;” and we want to look into that to see what that is. Now, when you’re ministering to the lost, the unsaved, the unchurched, the unbelievers...they have no concept of what we’re talking about.
Someone was telling me yesterday that people were reading the prophecies after certain articles, my wife would give a prophecy and then we’ll print it and they were saying: “I don’t understand this, it just goes on and on and on and repeats itself, I mean what is this?” Well, it’s because they don’t understand what it is. For number one, there’s not enough prophecy going around in the world for people to even know what it is, because it’s died away almost, and it’s almost becoming that way with salvation.
PEOPLE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT SALVATION IS, “Saved from what? What do you mean salvation? What do I need to be saved from?” Well, if the church had been doing its job all these centuries, and all these years, and all these decades, people, the sinners would know what salvation and damnation would be all about; they would know about that as much as they know who’s the latest rap star out there with the shaved head, and earrings, and a foul-mouth.
Do you understand that? They know all the rappers, and about who they are, but if you mention the gospel and the certain books in the Bible, or a certain person, or people of the Bible, or Scriptures, they don’t know what you’re talking about. Even church people don’t know what you’re talking about.
Now last week I was reading in here about certain segments of the body of Christ, that are contaminated with cancer of course. The bishop/overseer of this huge denomination that has millions of people under it, is telling us that it’s heresy and idolatry to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Where do they come up with such nonsense as that?!? THAT’S HERETICAL IN ITSELF. Where do they come up with this?—that having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is a form of idolatry, and it’s heresy, and it’s causing terrible problems in the body of Christ?
Well, of course, I let you know that that segment of the cankered body of Christ is a homosexual section where they all believe in homosexuality, lesbianism, and same sex marriage. No wonder they’re twisted, no wonder they’re crazy: they’re reprobate...they’re REPROBATE! Read Romans 1, friend, if you want to see how people that denied God, and God’s existence, and God’s Word, how they refused to obey it once they knew it, and they turned into perverts.
It says right there that they TURNED INTO HOMOSEXUALS AND LESBIANS BECAUSE THEY DENIED GOD. And so these ones that deny God have now come up with stuff like: ‘you don’t need to be saved, except in a group situation’ which means probably the group they’re talking about, a homo-oriented love-affair of some sort. It’s a twisted philosophy and I’m not going to repeat my message again, but you should get it.
And you think “Why is General always so hard? Why are they always harping? Why are they always screaming? Why are they always upset?” When you have people calling themselves Christians; and the cream of the Christian crop, as these people call themselves, and they are denying personal salvation, they have got ultimately damnation working.
And if you don’t cut cancers out of a body dear one, I have news for you sweetheart, you die! Cancer usually kills. So, you have got to tell people ‘no,’ and you have got to get rough on people a lot of times—you have got to let the devil know, especially, that you’re not taking this anymore.
And they have quit preaching the gospel, the true gospel of Jesus Christ, for years, and we wonder why the world is being engulfed in such hideous darkness, and we wonder why we’re going back into the dark ages? IT’S BECAUSE THE LIGHT HAS BEEN EXTINGUISHED? NO, THE WORLD DIDN’T BLOW IT OUT, YOU BLEW IT OUT. You blew the candle out of your own life when you quit spreading the light. And then the ones now that are carrying the torch, have to raise their voice and be a little emphatic that: “You’ve got to get back on track again, you’ve got to get back in the way!”
All right, so back to the gift of grace. Basically I’m teaching this to church people, they don’t have even the foggiest idea of what I’m talking about. They think they’re saved and on their way to heaven, when they’re on their way to hell.
In Colossians 1:29, in the Amplified version, I would really like to read verse 28 and 29. Paul the apostle is writing this to the church of the Colossians—to the Colossian Christians, and he is talking about Jesus Christ the Lord, and God the Father, and he’s saying in verse 20: “Him we preach and proclaim.”
Now men have stopped preaching and proclaiming Christ, they are preaching their own form of doctrine, they are preaching what they want to read into the Scriptures. They call it “eisegesis,” that’s the Greek word meaning that they read into the text what they want it to say: if you want to believe that you were created by God to be a homosexual, you will read into the text somewhere, that somehow you can find that.
That’s what they call eisegesis, in other words, reading into the text what you want that text to say. And that is a tragic thing that the church has picked up; it’s like a dirty habit that people have got a hold of: they’re reading into the Scripture something that’s not there, but they want it to be there because they do not want to change, do you hear that, Mr. Obama? They don’t want to change.
I’m not gonna accept something that God calls “Unclean” and an “Abomination” and “Perversion,”
Now exegesis, that’s the other Greek word which totally means the opposite, means what the Greek text, or whatever text you’re reading, really says. Now, back to this Scripture, what Paul is saying: “Him we preach and proclaim.” I’m not proclaiming a homosexual movement, a racist movement of any sort, an anti-homosexual movement, I’m not proclaiming any sort of movement except REVOLUTION AGAINST RELIGION, because religion is an enemy of God. “Well, how can you say that because Christianity is religion?” I’m not saying Christianity, I’m saying religion. Religion in my context—where it is man-centered, rather than Christ-centered—where a man, or a woman, or both, or whatever: it’s human-centered, humanist-centered rather than Christ-centered. That’s what religion is.
Then he says “Warning and admonishing” when you warn someone, you sometimes have to yell at them, you have to scream out “Watch out, The bridge is out! don’t cross! Watch out, there’s a train coming!”
Growing up as I did as a little kid by the railroad tracks, I lived in several places with railroad tracks, I’ve seen horrible train wrecks. I’ve seen two train wrecks as a little kid. I can still remember, one was running over a little boy, cutting him to shreds, a little friend of mine on a bike, just got a brand new bike that had these brakes up here on the handles, instead of down on the pedals. He was crossing the railroad track and he just obviously didn’t know how to put the brakes on because he wasn’t used to the handle up here and of course, he got ran over and cut to pieces.
And then another wreck, 8 people died instantly when they were cut to shreds crossing the tracks, I don’t know what happened there, but I do remember as a little kid walking up and down the railroad tracks because the police were out there, and seeing pieces of skull with hair still on it, pieces of body parts laying around, blood up and down the tracks, as a little kid I remember seeing all that—people cut to pieces in train wrecks.
So, there was nobody there to scream out a warning, and they didn’t get their lives spared. So, kicking into the spirit dimension, when people are headed the wrong way, whether be it sinners or some of you stupid Churchites that refuse to go God’s way, and you want to go your way, sometimes you have to get loud, and you have to get emphatic, and sometimes you even have to get somewhat pushy and shovey, and preachy…preachy.
Oh, they don’t want us to preach anymore, “OH, DON’T RAISE YOUR VOICE, YOU’RE GOING TO HURT SOMEBODY’S PSYCHE, YOU’RE GOING TO RUIN THEIR LIVES.” But dear one, when they want their way, it’s LOUD and CLEAR!, they’ll let everybody know, dear one, it’s got to be their way or no way.
But when it comes to preaching the Gospel, you’ve got to be nice, you’ve got to be respectable, you’ve got to be considerate. Says who? Says the devil. I don’t read anywhere in the Bible where it says we have to be nice. Find me the word in the New Testament that we are supposed to be nice, come on, give it to me!
WARNING is what I’m trying to tell you: warnings. And of course I’ve said many times about when we lived in the inner-city in California, my desk at our Fort Freedom faced a place one way where there wasn’t a building at one time, and there was a stop and go light a block away, and I couldn’t tell you how many times I was sitting at my desk and heard these screeching tires and this crushing metal. And then about 10 minutes later you’d hear the sirens. What’s the problem? Someone was not paying attention to the stop sign.
I don’t know how many wrecks I had seen there. Someone was not paying attention; or maybe someone was trying to beat the light. Invariably someone got hurt or killed, crunching, screeching metal, screeching tires, and here comes the sirens, and things like that.
“Warning and admonishing everyone and instruction” (v. 28). When you instruct, it’s like I was saying this morning about the drill instructors in the military, they’re the most uncouth, blabber-mouthed, chip on their shoulder, the worst people on the planet that they can scrape off the side walks and get to be a drill sergeant in any service in the military, usually in the army and the marines are the worst.
And I’ll tell you what the PROBLEM is, in case you’ve never been there, they have a problem with yelling and screaming and being angry all the time. They never smile, they never laugh, they’re always gritting their teeth in your face, cussing and screaming, and throwing things. And their favorite thing is to come into your bunk if it’s got one wrinkle, to tear your bunk to shreds and throw it on the floor, and you have to come back and do it again: messing up everything.
They used to smack people in the face, and hit them in the nose with their fist and things like that, but now you can’t do that too much anymore, they’d get their butts sued off. In my day they did things like that, besides the cursing and the yelling, they’d actually punch people.
I know you don’t want to hear this Mr. Military, ladies and gentlemen, but I’m telling you the truth, we can’t whip a few rag heads with the best men trained, and women trained, and the best equipment in the entire world, we can’t even beat a few rag heads with antiquated weapons, that have no tanks, have no airplanes, they have no fancy Jeeps, none of that, they’re on foot! And we still can’t win any war.
Well, he goes on here saying: “Preach, proclaim, warn, admonish, instruct;” that is a lot. It didn’t say anything about giving a watered-down seeker-friendly sermonette— where you apologize if you even raise your eye-brow, got it preachers? “Instructing everyone in all wisdom, in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God, that we may present every person mature.” Your King James version, or your Greek, actually says ‘mature’ means: “perfect, full grown in Christ, the anointed one for this I labor.”
Now here’s what Paul’s saying, “For this I labor unto weariness...” have you ever got tired in the Gospel work? I see some eyes rolling around out there. We all get tired in the gospel work. It ain’t just me and my wife, you out there too, some of you are out there in the mission field six days a week, dealing with those souls, you know what I’m talking about.
“Striving with all the super-human energy, which He so mightily enkindles and works within me” (v. 29). What I’m getting at is that we, as a body of people, need to pray for that super-human energy, we would call it super-saturation, supernatural anointing, supernatural energy: when you wane on the vine, you get tired, you get weary, and you just want to gripe and sit down—because you’re so tired of dealing with blockheads, and jerks, and rebels. We need that supersonic energy, Paul had it and he kept moving.
Ok, so let’s turn to our text here, James 4:6, and this is a basic boot-camp teaching, when you basically come into Christianity: “But He giveth more grace, wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud but giveth grace unto the humble.” Well, that tells me a couple things there, it tells me number one, if you are proud, and pride is connected with stubbornness, and stubbornness is connected with witchcraft, if you’re proud, and you’re stubborn, and you’re resistant, God is not going to give you the gift of salvation. He may want to give it to you, He may even call you, but if you are remaining in that stance of your proud heart, you won’t get it.
And let’s just say that if you have gotten, and you have become a Christian, and God wants to give you more grace, and you still retain some of that leftover pride, and leftover resistance—when God wants to give you more and you resist that, you won’t get it. But if you keep a humble heart, and a humble mind, that means surrendered to Him, then you will get more.
God’s not stingy, He’s not selfish. I’ll tell you one thing, if you have a heart to know God, and if you really go His way, He’ll give you so much you can’t even handle it. But if you’re always resisting growing and going, you’re going to have a hard time. And, of course, it’s the leader’s job to try to get you to go forward. Warning, if you don’t, you’re going to pay for it, admonishing: “Come on, you can make it;” instructing, “Look, do it this way;” you know, these things that you have to do constantly, tirelessly.
Now, we work at getting souls saved, we are a mission outreach, we work out in the streets, we work in the marketplaces, we are out there where the sinners are. We don’t hide in a church, we don’t come together and just do our little song and dance and live like hell all week, we are out there, all of us are.
But that’s only half of it, we work tirelessly to get people into the kingdom of God and then once you’ve got them, it’s our job to WORK TIRELESSLY TO GET THE DEVIL OUT OF THEM AND GET MORE CHRIST IN THEM. There’s where the challenge comes. We were talking to someone last week in the marketplace where we deal with Native Americans; thousands come through there. Yesterday was probably the largest day of the year, where they have their big tribal meeting, they have their big parades, and they just come flooding in that place; as you know, we were there yesterday, and they were all over.
We’re talking about Native Americans that most of them still do the Native American traditional thing, which is basically, without offending them, witchcraft. It’s not pleasing to God, it’s paganism, occultism, it’s mixed with some religion, but it’s not pleasing to God. But I’m just saying that we’re there and we have a lot of salvations, we have a lot of healings that take place, we cast devils out of people there and stuff like that, and they, for the most part, are very courteous and receptive: even though they’re pagan; I’m speaking mostly of the Navajo nation, of course you have others.
But, someone was complaining last week when they were there trying to work with them the way we do and said: “How do you do this? How DO you do this?” Well, it isn’t how we do it, it’s God has taught us how to do it, and it works for us. But, I was telling them: “Oh, getting them saved is the easy part,” because we do see thousands, over the years, saved, that’s no exaggeration now, you know that’s true. We’ve seen thousands saved over the years—with the teams we have working, ourselves included: thousands are saved, give their lives to Christ.
“But getting them discipled, there is where the problem is, and it isn’t just with the Natives, it’s with anybody; with discipling is where the problem lies.” Now, when you put a nice poster up, “Uncle Sam wants you for the Marines, or the Army” that appeals to a lot of men and women today, seeing them in their uniforms and they all look nice, and neat, and you know, they’re going to go off to fight for this country—fight for the politicians.
But anyway, besides all the rigamarole, and the trash behind it all, they all think: “Well, I’m gonna do all that” but when they get in there, they find out it’s kind of tough. And I was reading a statistic just the other day, and a lot of women think they can do a man’s job. It said a lot of women join, but half quit before they get done.
When I was in the army, you didn’t quit. If you did, that was called AWOL, and you went to prison. I don’t know what they do with them today. They may smack their hands and send them home with a paycheck, I don’t know. Maybe with a pink bow on their head, who knows what they do these days. In our days, it was a kick in the rear, a scolding, and it went on your record, “AWOL.” And boy, if any employer saw that, you was looked down upon like “Whoa! This guy was kicked out of the army or left or something: we don’t want him on our team!”
You know, now, the more criminal you are, the better you’re liked. If you’ve been in jail 10 times, you have 50 tattoos, and you’ve got piercings, and you curse every breath: “Wow man! What a person; we want him/we want her! Bring them in, they’ll make good people to work for us!” How things have changed.
And if you’re a raving pervert, dripping with AIDS, that’s even better because you are one of those persecuted species that the government’s trying to protect: like those little pollywogs under the mud that no one knows about except the government. They’ll protect you at all costs.
Ok, my point of this message today is: grace is not something you earn, grace is something that’s given to you. It’s like unmerited favor—you cannot work to get saved. That doesn’t mean you can’t seek, or you can’t pray, but what it means is that you cannot: work up a fervor, count beads, chant, go through the hardships, you cannot work up points and say: “Now I got 100 points, now I can be saved;” you don’t have to do that.
This is the marvel about the Jesus Christ thing: Jesus will accept anybody in any condition, I don’t care if you’re pink, and you have AIDS, or are a president of the United States, with degrees behind your name: it doesn’t matter. JESUS IS THE MAN THAT WILL FORGIVE OUR SINS, WE DON’T WORK FOR IT, IT’S A FREE GIFT, IT’S SALVATION; WE CAN’T MERIT IT, IT’S A GIFT TO US. All we have to do is accept that, and apply that in our life, and we get eternal life—because the gift is eternal life.
But, once you get saved and accept that, then there are conditions to growth. So, that word ‘gift’ in Greek, means ‘eternal life.’ And I want us now to turn to Romans 6:23. I know this is not something like your pastor Jelly-Belly would deliver, and your pastor Seeker-Friendly, and your pastor Nice—where he gives you ABCs, and smiles, and cracks a few jokes, and tells you how great you are; isn’t this fun? And he’s going to give you a reward after the message, he’s going to give you a lollipop, and a balloon, and: “You come back next week and we’ll continue on with this nice little study!”
Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin death.” WE LIVE IN A DEATH CULTURE!, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AT THE YOUTH TODAY—it’s an especially magnified and amplified transmogrifying spirit that’s out there today—especially among the youth today: all in black, all with skulls, blood, guts, gore on their clothing: pictures, not even limited to the youth anymore, it gets on into the middle-agers. Hair/no hair/any old thing/tattoos/piercings, it’s all there, it’s the death culture.
They want to look like they’re dead. Some of them come out to the market place looking like they just crawled right out of the casket: their hair’s all up in the back: I think they even style it that way to make it look like they’ve been laying 40 years in a casket, they’re all white and pasty because they never get out and face the sun, and they’re out there all skinny like they’re all drawn up.
The girls are so lazy, they’ll have their hair, if they have long hair, hanging totally in front of their face, they can’t even see, once in a while they’ll pull it over just to peek so they don’t bump into anything; I watch them. And they’ll just walk around like they just got out of the casket, you know, the death culture.
The death culture: it’s the music they listen to, it’s the junk food they eat, it’s a lot of things; but it’s the culture of America, the death culture. So, the wages of sin is death. You work for something, YOU GET PAID FOR IT, you work at death, guess what you’re going to get paid with? More death.
But, it says: “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ the Lord.” I’m trying to tell you what that gift is—what we’re talking about: grace, the grace of God is the gift of God, the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE. We got that cleared up, so when we talk about the gift of God, the gift of grace, the unmerited favor, it’s something that God gives us, you don’t earn. But, it’s because of who Jesus is, and what He did for us, every human being can get this free of charge—it’s a free gift.
But then He’s expecting us, as we get into this movement called Christianity, to go and grow. GO AND GROW. He doesn’t expect you to remain cute little children sucking lollipops, blowing up balloons.
Ok, Ephesians 2, in verse 8 it says: “For by grace are you saved,” for by grace you are saved, for BY GOD’S GIFT WE’RE SAVED. If you don’t receive the gift of salvation, you don’t get eternal life. Now I’m speaking to you Christians that should be soul winners: all Christians should be soul winners; not just preachers, not just evangelists, not just missionaries: ALL CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE SOUL WINNERS, we should learn how to win souls for Jesus Christ the Lord, we should direct people into the kingdom, get them out of the jaws of death, talk them out of it
A lot of times, my wife will be out there and she’ll try to pass tracts to some of these people, and they say “I’m ok...” I’m ok? “I’m ok,” when they look like the devil, EVERY TRAPPING THAT LOOKS LIKE EVIL, THEY GOT IT ALL OVER THEM AND: “I’M OK.”
And the worst is those religious bigots that say: “I just read the Bible, I don’t need to be saved, what are you people doing out here anyway, tsk!” and they’ll interrogate us on what we’re doing there: these are church people. “What church are you with? What denomination do you belong to? What are you doing out here? What do you mean FREE PRAYERS?”
And we say: “Well, what are you doing?” and they walk away pretty quick. That’s the first thing you say when you start getting interrogated: “What are you doing about all these souls?” Do you know what will happen? They’ll run like a jack rabbit with a coyote after them, they’ll be gone, they’ll be out of there. And their criticism just falls to the ground because we are doing something about it, we’re trying to get souls into the kingdom of God.
It says: “It is the gift of God;” so eternal life, grace, is a gift. You don’t have to do like the poor Buddhists who chant. I’ll tell you friend, you don’t know some of the rig-a-ma-roll some people go through who try to earn their salvation: the Muslims go through rig-a-ma-rolls, the Buddhists go through rig-a-ma-rolls, and so do the Hindus.
We were in Nepal, we went in this monastery, which was forbidden to take cameras in, but we did it, and we got it on film. We got thrown out of there, but we got film of it. And on that filming, you can see some of these little kids that were given by their parents, they couldn’t have been over five and six years old, sitting there with their shaved heads, their little robes on in one section, and on the other side were the old people doing their chants, beating their drums. This went on 24 hours a day, but not with the same people because they had chains of it. But these little kids learning how to be a Buddhist monks: endless chantings, beatings on drums, endless hummings, and drummings, and singing songs, and rig-a-ma-roll-ings,
I thought “All that is doing nothing for their soul, they’re not even getting the gift of salvation;” they are as dead as if they were in a casket. THAT’S RELIGION DEAR ONE. And I’ll never forget when I went into that place and saw those little kids there donated to that monastery to live in that thing the rest of their life, away from their family life to become one of those poor monks.
And we’ve met some of those monks, and we’ve met some of those people, and seen all the things they do. And then those holy men of India, we’ve been there and we’ve seen that, and talked to some of those guys. They are some of the most spaced out people on the planet, and they call them “holy men” from India. They are a disgrace, poor people, they’re half-starved, most of them are just like skeletons walking around, they’re unkept, they’re dirty, and they are bare-foot, and they hardly wear any clothes. Some don’t even have clothes because they’re so poor, and they go from place to place begging, they walk hundreds of miles a year in circles doing the same thing.
All that is to find something of eternal life, but it’s already available for them. And when you try to tell them about Jesus, they can’t even comprehend that something’s a gift! They think that they have to work endlessly in their lives, with endless lives in reincarnation: dying and coming back, dying and coming back until they finally, maybe in 15 lives, reach this place of nirvana, and finally have their place, then they can become saved.
Dear one, it is a shame to see that; and I have seen that so many times when we’ve been to those countries. And they are so pathetic, most of them live on drugs just for existence because they can’t even face life, they live on heroin or they live on opium, they live on hashish or something like that, and they’re so screwed up and just pathetic. SOME STARVE LITERALLY TO DEATH IN THE STREETS TRYING TO FIND THAT PLACE OF SALVATION.
I tell you, if you can’t get something moving in your heart for the lost, there’s something wrong with your salvation! There’s something wrong with you Christians who won’t get out and get people saved, or even work at it. You don’t have to go to India, you don’t have to go to Nepal, you don’t have to go to the Philippines, you don’t have to go all over Africa as we’ve been, we’ve been to the South seas, we’ve been all around this world, we’ve been up north where it’s frozen—50 below zero, you don’t need to go to the Eskimos and the Indians who live way up in the north woods, you can go right next door to your neighbor; guess what? You can go to your own daughters and your own sons in your own house.
Dad, mom, have you even got your kids saved? It’s a shame, actually, that we lead some children to Christ from parents that are ministers of the gospel; they’ve never even accepted Jesus, and they have parents who are minister, and we lead their children into salvation. It’s incredibly sick. So there’s not enough of this going on, that’s why I wanted to take time to encourage all of us again: get it yourself, share it with others. GET IT YOURSELF; SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!! Amen.