Household of God Part 6
Questions and Answers
July 2, 2010 - West Texas - Camp Butman
The first question says, “Something Aileen said I would like addressed,” and it's a reference to the recent word put out by Aileen Alexander and the quote from that word is, “Prepare yourselves to peaceably adjust relationships with those who cannot or will not change, your fight is not with these brethren.” And the question is, “How do we adjust relationships with a spouse who cannot or will not change?” Now that brings it right into the house, quite literally. I'm not inclined to joke about that. The role of anyone is to represent the Lord, the role of anyone who is called in this season to present the truth, is to represent the Lord. And so it's more than words, it's by the reality of how we live in relationship to the truth. The truth is that a husband and a wife and the relationship of marriage is a type, we're living in a type that is meant to demonstrate the relationship between Christ and the church, Ephesians 5 tells us that, “Be bold,” he said, “I show you a mystery, but I'm speaking about Christ and the church” and the analogy to which he refers is the relationship of a husband and wife as that which is useful to explain the mystery of Christ and the church.
One of the things that we have not been used to is the fact that much of what is written in the Bible still needs to be revealed. We think when we use the term 'revelation', those unused to the term consider a reference to revelation as an idea about writing new scriptures. It's not that and it never has been that. We were given the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the substance of what has been written, otherwise we could just read The Book and go home, “We've read The Book, we understand what it says, we're done.” No, the Holy Spirit wrote The Book and He lives in us to accomplish at least two things, or two of the major things that the Holy Spirit wishes to accomplish by living in us is to give us revelation of what He himself wrote and the other thing is to empower us to live it, both. That is why the Holy Spirit is indispensible to the process and why what the answer to this is, is not possible without the seminal work of the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit must accomplish this or it cannot be accomplished.
Now that being said, what is it that the Holy Spirit will accomplish? He will accomplish presenting, within the context of marriage, the 'type' of Christ and the church. Normally, the marriage is that of two believers who are proceeding on a more or less normal, concurrent basis; they know where each one is and they're moving together, that's the norm. In that case, the marriage serves to show an outsider to the marriage how Christ and the church live and Christ is shown as the one who loves the Bride and the Bride is shown as the one who submits to the husband; an earthly picture of the heavenly reality, a natural presentation of the spiritual truth. Where one or the other is lagging in this process, the other needs to not change their role in the marriage. Whether your husband or your wife is coming along as he or she should so that they could walk together in it, does not change what you are to be and what you are to do, you simply continue in the model that your portion of this picture requires. So if you're the husband and your wife is not coming along, what should you do? Well not really anything different from what you would do if she were coming along; you would be in the marriage as Christ, a picture of Christ. If it happens to be that the church is particularly rebellious, how does Christ relate to the church? He washes her with water through the word. You know, Jesus said, “Unless a man is born again of water and of the Spirit, he cannot see the Kingdom, he cannot enter the Kingdom.” For the longest while, depending on your background, we try to angle it around to where Baptist that “born of water” was “baptism” because water is typically involved in baptism, unless we're talking about baptism of the Spirit, but nobody wants to go that way. But that's really not even what 'the washing' is about, because the scriptures actually answer the question, “What is this washing?” In Ephesians 5 it says, “…washing them with water through the word.” The washing, as with cleansing, the word of God has the effect of cleansing, because what does the word do? It works in you to change your mindset.
So the washing of the human body is analogous to the washing of the mind that cleanses it by the application of the truth to the tangled perspectives that have accumulated over time in the fallenness of man. That is like a stain, that is like a coating, and it has to be washed out, and just as water cleanses the body, so the word, acting as water cleansing the body, cleanses the spirit. In fact the word speaks of it in these terms, “Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,” as would happen in the event of a bath. If you are dirty, you take a bath and it puts away the filth of the flesh. King James was really talking to people who didn't take bathes, they gave them 'the order of the bath', so by the time they were washed, they were pretty filthy (laughing). Anyway, the point being that the word applied to the mind of the spirit cleanses the human in the same way that water cleanses the physical body.
So he was talking about it within the analogy of being born again. When you talk about being born again, you're talking about the most fundamental thing that happens to the body of a person and we know that Nicodemus had a problem with that because he was still thinking Jesus meant a grown man re-entering his mother's womb and being born, and that was problematic for him, as indeed it would be for any woman. But He was saying, “I'm not talking about that which is born of flesh, I'm talking about that which is born of spirit; that which is born of flesh, is flesh; that which is born of spirit, is spirit.” What is being born again is of the spirit. So how does water apply to “birth of the spirit”? And He's talking about how in natural circumstances one is cleansed, washed, by water; in the spirit, one is cleansed, or washed, with the word. Now the word answers the question. This isn't a Sam Soleyn invention; this is the cleansing of them by the washing with water through the word, that is very specific. The only problem is that because we have in our heads that because logically water implies an activity in water like baptism, it's hard to overcome that mindset because we are already vested in it and not even the scriptures can upset the traditions of men.
So the husband applies the word, I'm getting into the specific of “how do you live if you're the one representing Christ, how do you live with a wife whose not 'going on'”? You don't contend with her, you don't beat her up with the word, for heaven's sake you never threaten her, that's the point at which they will say, “Well I was looking for the excuse not to go on anyway. So you just 'go to head on'” as they would say. No, you apply what the truth is and you stand in the truth and the truth will wash her. When you are actively presenting what the word of the Lord is and you yourself are peacefully inhabiting the relationship, that event, that is like the soap and water that cleanses, they get it. When your actions are consistent with what God is saying, a godly woman will get it, you have to trust that God knows what He's doing and He will allow you to penetrate that barrier and she will get it.
So what you shouldn't do is use the word as club, what you shouldn't do is use the revelation to come up with a superior attitude because neither of those is consistent with the character of Christ. So you inhabit the character of Christ in both your actions and the word of the Lord in the day, and God is going to accomplish it. I've lived with this thing, with this understanding of how things work long enough to know these things work because there is a Living God. If I seem like a boy scout in my naivety, I'm not; I actually know that these things work because they are the true words of God. There is a Living God and He will authenticate what He has initiated. Now if you're a wife and your husband isn't going on, in the same way, yours is the role of the Bride. There's nothing more powerful than someone who is made vulnerable by obeying Christ. Paul speaks of it in this way, he says, “I glory in my weakness, for when I'm weak, then I'm strong.” Now there was probably no stronger character in history than Paul. Here was a guy who could actually sit and gather up the clothing of those who were murdering a man who disagreed with him; this boy, as they would say in West Texas, “This boy was strong as mustard gas.” He could withstand pressure and he's the one who comes to the place of saying, “So I glory in my weakness, for when I am weak, He is strong.”
Now he didn't just arrive at weakness, he had a lot of help from God, “There was given to me,” he said, “a thorn in my flesh, a minister of Satan,” and he said, “Three times I asked God to remove this tormenter from following me. And God answered me and told me He wasn't going to.” So much for confessing it and it becoming what you confess. If three times after you confess it, it's still with you; it's put there to work something in you that you don't think you need working on.
When Paul saw the woman in Philippi, the woman who was possessed with a demon, he knew that that spirit was sent to trap him, so endured the spirit in the woman for three days. Finally, he couldn't stand it anymore, cast it out. What happened to Paul? That was where the story of the Philippian jailer took place, he landed in prison. You have to know, God told Paul, at the outset God told Paul he was going to be the apostle to the Gentiles. And if Paul, like Peter, harbored any sense of superiority to the Gentiles because you know, the Jews thought the Gentiles were dogs. God had a way of bringing Paul to his senses and it was to have this demon cause him to end up in a Philippian jail in stocks. Many of the things Paul suffered were the very ways by which he was made weak, the very form in which he was broken for a man who could sit there and orchestrate the murder of another, a strong individual. But he came to see, by all God's help and grace, including permitting a demon to torment him, landing him in prison, putting him in physical discomfort, harassing him as he went along the way. It was like breaking a thoroughbred horse to the bit and bridle but Paul finally understood this was not ritualistic abuse by God, it's just that no matter how strong you are as a human being, you're not strong enough to overcome the prince of Persia if it's “mano e demono”, if it's “man to demon” you've lost, you've taken a knife to a gunfight and you will not win. If it's a man to a demonic spirit, the demon enjoys superior advantages to anything you bring. So it has to be Christ in you that wages war against the demon and the process is one in which God makes you weak so that you will not be tempted to utilize your strength against a demon because as strong as you are, the demon is better equipped to beat you, to win the battle, if it's your strength against the demon.
Submission to God is absolutely imperative for the whole church, not just women. Can you hear what I'm saying? The whole church should submit “Now as the church submits to Christ…” men and women. You can never avail yourself of the power that is over you if you're going to assert your own power, this is a fundamental rule of the Kingdom. Jesus once said – and it has been true from then on – “All power has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” There's no lack of power in the Kingdom of God, our King has all power, He has both power and authority. Why then are we sometimes defeated by little more than ordinary circumstances? The answer is: when we are, it is because we are going up against these circumstances that challenge us in our own strength because we don't think we need to trust the Spirit of God to show us – especially when what we're dealing with is familiar to us, we think, “Been there, done that, know how to do this,” and you go up to cleanup and those are the circumstances that put you to route, they run you off and the enemy likes for that to happen because when he runs you off with a relatively small set of circumstances, it discourages you to think that you have any strength at all, when what God wants you to see is that not even in the small circumstances should you rely on yourself, the small circumstances usually contain an ambush, they do. So don't ever think, “I can take this on myself.”
One of the things I have learned in the years is how inadequate I am. I have been in so many situations where if I stopped to think what I was doing there, I would think, “Boy are you nuts? Go on back to the house, you're not one of the big dogs, you stay under the porch.” You know that shirt, it's a 'big dog' shirt, it says, “If you can't run with the big dogs, stay under the porch.” Many times I felt like maybe I ought to have been under the porch, that I didn't have what it took to go out, that happens to me all the time. One time we were in Serbia and that spirit just came on us like a cloud and if I had a way of going home, I would have gone home. Sometimes God in His grace doesn't let me have a retreat, so I just say, “Since I'm here, mind as well take a swing or two at it.” But I will go back to my room at nights and just think to myself, “Man, who do you think you are being here?” But somehow I've always seen the grace come through. So now I accept as normal for my assignments, “I can't do this.” I mean its normal, when God says to me, “Go to Zimbabwe,” I've been recently asked to be part of the national committee in Zimbabwe to reconcile the nation and on the website I'm actually listed. And my thinking was when I was asked, “Well guys, I just came here three years ago and gave a speech, I was just preaching. I mean this is real life, you boys are talking about genocide, I mean where I live we don't practice that every weekend in our neighborhood. I'm not from around here, I may look like I am, but I'm not. Leave me alone.” Next thing I know, I'm on this committee to help reconcile the nation. But what I know about it is that I am not able.
I'm not being nice to you, I'm not trying to be humble, I know that I'm not able. Most of the things you hear me talk about when I come back, that I do, I was as surprised as anybody that God showed up. Like I told you last night, when we were in South Africa and I was just preaching and telling them what I thought and then I was about to leave the subject and the Holy Spirit said, “What about the relationship with his sons?” His father, his wife and his sons. And then He opened the whole thing about genocide, they thought I came prepared to say that to them and orchestrated the whole thing of how genocide would be driven out of the continent of Africa. And part of the reason is, I think my courage would fail if God told me too much ahead of time. I end up saying things, that when they come out of my mouth, are as shocking to me as they are to the people. So we were all shocked together. Somebody said, “Look at that thing coming in,” and we would all go, “Ahhhh!” (laughing) we all were in panic, just that I have been in panic more than most, so I don't panic outwardly. You just kind of learn that it doesn't help if you're all panic because then there's no help for anybody.
I am telling you a fact, that we should all submit to Christ, is our only way off this thing. Now I've learned more about submitting to Christ from Lucy than I've thought up on my own. I have seen what happens when she submits to me; I've seen what that releases in me. And I think if she will submit to me and it releases in me all this protectiveness toward her, then what happens when I submit to Christ? Unbelievable, as far is it goes, you are the only man in the world and all of heaven is hovering over you, legions of angels are ready to come to your aid if necessary. Jesus was not kidding when He said, “Don't you suppose that I could call down legions of angels to defend Me but I won't because this is My Father's will.”
So what does the wife do? She submits to the husband out of reverence for Christ. Now, submitting doesn't mean you agree with him, let's understand that. Submitting means you continue to recognize he's the head. You continue to act out of the freedom that you have in Christ but you ask his input in your decision, so if you have to go to meetings and he doesn't want to go. You submit that you're going to the meetings, “I'm going to the meetings, I recognize that you are the head and if you forbid me to go, I won't.” You don't say, “Do I have your permission to go?” Because that gives him an authority that he may not want to have, you tell him what your desire is, don't let your desire be formed by his objection. Are you with me? Do not let your desire be formed by his objection. This is where I think submission has gotten a bad name because people have not understood what submission is. When you go to the Lord to pray, are you free to tell Him what you want? Let me put it differently - when Jesus was being called to submit to the Father, was He free to tell the Father what He wanted and did He in fact tell the Father what He wanted? Certainly. “If it is possible,” He said, “This is what I want: 'Let this cup pass from Me.'” So do not fail to state what it is that you have a conviction about.
Do not approach him by saying, “Whatever you want is what I'll do, so just tell me what to do,” because he cannot give you advice about the proper thing if he himself is lagging. So you tell him, “This is the will of God, I'm convinced this is the will of God concerning me, however, I recognize that you are the head and the Lord would have me be subject to you, to your authority, not to your vision because your vision is opposed to the things of God, but to your authority. If you forbid me from going, I will, because I'm submitted to your authority but I want you to understand with clarity what my conviction is. Because a woman is not a doormat, she's the bride, she's part of a whole and as we come up to this place of maturity, we will increasingly speak to our Husband, the Lord, as if we belong with Him in His house. There's a point at which we are small children and there's a point at which we become mature.
So if you're the husband, yours is to wash her with the word, tell her what is true, provide proper leadership but let her come along at her own pace, the same way as Christ deals with us. If you're the wife, make the counsel of the Lord known to him but submit to his decision in the matter. Now in both cases, you're giving the Lord opportunity to show what the truth is and in the case of the wife, submission and weakness do not mean the loss of power and strength, it means the loss of your power but the clothing of yourself with His power and His strength.
The next question was: “I would like a clear understanding on the idea of households being named after men in the New Covenant. I see it used for physical lineage like the jailer and his household (Acts 16:31-34) and as a location for the church to meet (Romans 16:3-5). I rather see the Body of Christ is the building of God in I Corinthians 3:9-16. 'We are lively stones in a spiritual house of which Jesus himself is a living stone, being the Chief Cornerstone. Moses was faithful in all of God's house but the builder has greater glory than Moses because Jesus as the Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast to Him.' A quote from Hebrews chapter 6. I also never see the term 'patriarch' used of anyone in the New Testament and of very few in the Old Testament. Can you clarify your understanding of these things as well?” Excellent question, and in some ways we've landed all around it in going in the different directions that we've been going.
First, let's address two things that I believe will bring greater measures of clarity and understanding to this subject. In Matthew 24 Jesus said, “Call no man upon the earth your father, for one is your Father who is in heaven.” In I Corinthians chapter 4 verse 6 or so, Paul says to the Corinthians, “Though you have ten thousand instructors, you have not many fathers,” and “I became your father by this gospel,” and “I'm sending to you Timothy, my beloved son who is familiar with my way of life in Christ Jesus which is consistent with what I teach in all the churches,” and then he goes on and talks to them about the disciplining of a father exercised over them with such terms as, “Shall I come to you with a whip or in love and with a gentle spirit?”
Now did Paul miss something? Did he not understand? He said in I Corinthians, he said, “When I'm speaking to you, I'm speaking by revelation from Jesus Christ,” and there were a number of opportunities for this revelation that Paul got, not from men but from Christ himself, there are a number of occasions upon which we could see where he was given that revelation. So what revelation would have allowed Paul, what revelation would Paul have received from Jesus that would have allowed him in the same letter to the Corinthians in which he says, “The things I'm telling you, I did not receive from men but I received from the Lord and furthermore, what I received from the Lord I am passing on to you.” The same I Corinthians, he's not talking in different books, at different stages, in different times; in that same book, he says that, that he received things from the Lord. One other thing, in the same book of I Corinthians, he begins it by saying that, “some of you in Corinth are saying, 'I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Cephas, I am the Church of Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
So how on one hand would Jesus say, “Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father who is in heaven,” Paul is a man on the earth, saying to the Corinthians, “I became your father.” And he's also saying to the Corinthians that, “I'm telling you the things that I am saying to you because I've been given them by revelation from Jesus.” Is he contradicting Jesus, and furthermore, is he contradicting himself when he says, “None of you should say, 'I am of Paul, I am of Apollos'” because Christ is not divided? And the answer is: of course not. Quite often, what we have is the lack of understanding of terms. When Jesus says, “Call no man upon the earth your father,” and when Paul says, “I became your father,” and refers to Timothy as the son whom he loves, one must understand that there are nine different meanings to the word “father”, the word “ab” or “abba”. There are nine different meanings, nine separate meanings of it.
Now let me give you a couple of examples. Would it be possible for a child – Shea is here, and Randy, so we'll use them – would it be possible for Shea to say, or for it to be said, “Randy is the father of Shea”? Sure. Would it also be possible to say, “Henry Ford is the father of the automobile”? Do we say that? Sure. Are we talking about the same thing when we speak of Randy and Shea and Henry Ford and the automobile? No. Why? Because you're employing the term in a different way. But there is a similarity of meaning associated with all the different meanings; “father” means “progenitor”. Now we as beings, have different components to us. For example, within this complex being there is a spirit and the external of this complex being, is flesh. Do we have a Father of our spirits? Yes. Who might that be? God. Do we have a father of our flesh? We better have, we're here, unless you've been reading the tabloids again or watching Men in Black, the National Enquirer, “Alien baby born out of gaseous cloud.” (laughing) Not quite, because the Bible is very specific says, “That which is born of flesh, is flesh; that which is born of spirit, is spirit.” Our circumstances lend us to a variety of 'fatherings' and no two of the fathers are alike. That's simple enough. Anything for which you are the progenitor, to that thing you are the father. So Henry Ford is the father of a non-living thing; he's the first person to commercially produce automobiles, so to call him “the father of the automotive age” or of the automobile is not inappropriate because he's the progenitor of a non-living thing.
By now we really shouldn't be having these kinds of discussions in the church. By now we should be so comfortable with the complexity of things that these aren't problems for us anymore. It's like the question: Which is true, John said, “Do not love the world because if you love the world the love of the Father is not in you,” and the same John says, “For God so loved the world,” and it's the same word, “kosmos”. Well which is true; God so loved the world or 'You shouldn't love the world because God doesn't love it because if you do the love of God, who loves the world, is not in you'?
These are games for children. When we're young, these are important things to walk through and I do not say this by any means to rebuke anyone. There is a level of maturity that is ongoing and as you come from 'napios' to 'huios', these are exactly the sorts of things that distinguish the one stage from another.
So, was Paul the father of the Gentiles in Corinth? Certainly, he was the one God appointed to bring them into the truth. Their faith was born out of Paul's teachings, he fathered them. Was he their physical father? No. Was he the one from whom their spirits were born again? No. What was he? He was the father of their faith; he was the father, one who introduced them to Christ. Now is that an inert concept; you come into Christ and then that's the end of it? No, it carries with it the responsibility for ongoing instruction and discipline because the process is not accomplished simply because someone believes; the process is an ongoing one that requires somebody to tend you through all the stages of it. Now is that beneficial to you? Sure. What if someone says, “God alone is my Father and if anybody is going to teach me, the Holy Spirit will teach me and if anyone is going to discipline me, God will discipline me.” Do you know what my answer to that person is? “You are so naïve that I hope God doesn't hear you because if what you are deciding is the only discipline you will receive from God is the way He disciplines, then you're in serious trouble because the way God disciplines us is to allow the thing that needs to be changed to run its full course and then He convicts you of it publicly.” When no one else will discipline you, God will discipline you, but the manner of God's discipline takes into account the fairness of God, the righteousness of God, for if He disciplines you and you do not believe you're entitled to that discipline because you won't change because no one is steadily instructing you in righteousness, the only discipline that God can apply to you is that discipline that is a judgment on you for the thing that needs to be corrected, having coming to such total and complete depravity that no one could say God was unfair when He disciplined you for it.
That's what happened to Jimmy Swaggart. That's all these folks who have to be disciplined by God who refuse to be disciplined by anyone else. When God disciplines them, there is no choice but to allow the sin to become so egregious as to imperil others, and God - as much to save the person as to save others - will arrest it. When He does, usually He has to dismantle the whole thing you've built in the process but I promise you, that's not God's first choice for you. If you refuse to be disciplined by the hand of one God gives you for the purpose of correcting you as you go, then sure God will discipline you, you're a child of God. But that's not the discipline you ever want or the alternative is to understand that there are fathers of your faith, not many of them and they're different from instructors, so for heaven's sake, never call these people on television your father. Over the years I've run into people who say, “Oh, 'so and so' is my father,” some famous television name. No, that's just a teacher, you may have ten thousand of those but don't confuse the fact that you learned stuff from them with the thought that they're set in your life to discipline you. A father is especially put to discipline you.
What distinguishes a father from a teacher, is the teacher has no responsibility to discipline you but a father absolutely does and must give an account to God because He's the one who set him in your life so that God could discipline you through that one as an alternative to having to discipline you Himself. It's a grant of mercy to be given a spiritual father because God would choose to bring timely discipline and not come at waste but in a timely and seasonable way, move you forward.
So when Jesus said, “Call no man upon the earth your father for one is your Father who is in heaven,” He's using one of the nine different meanings of the term, just like when John says, “For God so loved the world,” he's using one of the six different meanings of the word for “world”, “kosmos”. And when he says, “Do not love the world,” he's using another of the six different meanings, just like when Paul says, “and I became your father,” he's using a different one of the nine different meanings of the word for “father”.
So there is no conflict, by now you should know that there are no conflicts in the scriptures and what the uninitiated does, is he or she barely uses knowledge and understanding of language. In English, I could say, “I've been traveling in the world,” and you would understand that I've been moving about in the geography, or I could say, “I know this guy who wakes up in his own world every day,” and you would know that I would never venture into his world, not even on a Russian plane, which I did recently. That's another thing; you don't want to ride in a Russian plane, even for a joyride. When the vapor starts coming up through the floor, you don't know what to think, you find yourself thinking things like, “But I know these pilots don't want to die today,” (laughing) so maybe they know something I don't know.
But anyway, you know you're not traveling in the world of the person who lives in his own world every day. But are these appropriate usages of the word “world”? “Traveling in the world,” what do you understand I mean by that? Geography, I've been moving about in the geography. That somebody wakes up in his own world every day, what do you understand about that world? It's in his head and you don't want into that world. Are these legitimate uses of the same term? Absolutely. Is it the same exact term? Yes, “world”, “world”. How do you know the difference in the meaning? Well the context determines the difference in the meaning. That's normal semantics, nothing complicated about that, the Bible is like that, “Do not love the world,” he describes that world that you shouldn't love. These things he says are in it: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. So you don't want into that world. Is it a world? Yes. May you call it a world? Is it to be defined by the term “world”? Yes. “For God so loved the world,” is that the same world full of lust and pride and hubris? No, that's humans. One is a set of ideas that war for dominance in the human being, the other is a person and the whole arrangement of persons. We understand these things.
In the same way, “Call no man upon the earth your father,” there is a Father to your spirit from whom you are born again and no man can ever take that place simply because to be born of the spirit is to be born with an endowment from God who is Spirit. He doesn't have to contend for the place, it simply is His, no one else can take that place, no one else can take that place, even if they try, it's not available to them to be taken because God is the Father of that. Whoever is born again of the spirit is born of God and knows God and the holy seed remains in him, it's why he is different and the fact that someone might even think he can take that place doesn't change the fact that he cannot. If you cannot give life in the spirit to another person, then you can't take the place of God, that is God's place, exclusively. Don't worry about the thought “Well he's trying to take that place,” you can't, it's impossible. Just like if you love the world, comprised of the lust of the flesh and so on, you cannot simultaneously love God. You don't have to worry if you're trying to live in both worlds, no you're not, you're living in one. You don't live in both worlds at the same time, you live in one of them, it's determined by what your affections are.
We come up with all these made up conflicts that are in fact not conflicts; they're only conflicts in our minds because we lack clarity. That which is born of flesh comes out of your mother's womb; that which is born of spirit, is issued from the womb of God. So God alone is the Father in that regard but when you come to know about God and you come to be disciplined in the ways of God, so you transition from an infant to a mature son, there's another fathering of that in you and that is actually a subset that is derived out of the authority of God the Father that permits this thing to happen called 'fathering', for your benefit. Now the question is: why would God even call it 'father', why would God even allow the term 'father' to be used in connection with all of this? And you have to ask yourselves these small questions because they are more than just points of dialog. You see, what God intended when He created man was to create a son. So He put Adam in the earth, Adam was the son of God. So between heaven and earth was The House of God; Father in heaven, son in the earth. You know the story: Adam sinned and separated himself from God, so God sends another Son into the earth from the same house, to redeem the house that was lost under the rule of the first son.
So God is still in the business of establishing His house in the earth, that's why He sends the next Son. The first son messes it up, how is God going to redeem it? Send the Last Son. So they're both called “Adam”; the first Adam, the Last Adam. The first Adam brings death; the Last Adam restores the Father's house. He's deliberately using the metaphor of father and son to connect us to the Father, what was lost is the relationship to the Father, what is to be regained is a relationship to the Father. But in the earth, when men are lost from their father, they lose the understanding of how to relate to their own sons. Critical that you understand this because all these terms speak of something more than just terminologies, they're meant to carry forth something. You remember me saying to you about the thing that happened in South Africa, by the time Adam was separated from his Father, by the time he had sons – Cain and Abel – those boys had no concept of God the Father being to their father, like a father. The only father they understood was their father Adam who had separated himself from his Father. So what's their legacy, what do they understand? They understand that “it's all about me” and we know that because Cain says to God, “Why are you asking me about my brother, am I his keeper?” In other words, “what do I know about him, what do I care about him?”
Now genocide could come in among human beings, the spirit of genocide could come in among human beings because not only was there a loss between the father Adam and God the Father, but now that loss is multiplied between Cain and Abel. It's a fact that if you do not have a father or if you have a father who doesn't know how to raise you as a father, you do not know how to raise your sons. Do you know what the number one problem in the world today is? All over the world, the world is groaning under the weight of fatherlessness. The scourge of the present earth is the loss of fathers. In South Africa, a house burglary escalates in an instant to a brutal murder, a carjacking becomes an occasion of rage and they're mostly acts committed by young men and they're mostly young black men. Now I can say that because nobody can accuse me of racial profiling - for the tape, I would look like these fellas I'm describing.
Now what exactly is missing, why is this nation that recently became free, on the verge of falling into the abyss, collapsing as a nation? Because it is a place where there are stunning levels of fatherlessness, created by an adult population, 40 percent of which is afflicted by the AIDS/HIV. The fathers are gone! Being an orphan in South Africa is the norm in a whole nation, but this is not just South Africa - Doug, Nancy and I have spent a lot of time in Northern Europe, in Scandinavia. More than 60 percent of the children born in Scandinavia are fatherless. Do you want to know something else? In the African American community, in the United States, 67 percent - official numbers – 67 percent of children are born to single parents. This is not an economic problem, this is not a political problem, these are manifestations; the problem is spiritual, it's the loss of fathers because these young men cannot give to their children what they themselves did not have. You start at a different threshold, you basically say, your default setting is, “How am I going to father somebody when I have no clue about what fathering is?” Now hear me, hear me on this thing, I'm not making a political case, I'm not making a social case; I'm not making a case, I'm declaring the truth. How are you going to remedy the problem of fatherlessness in the world if that problem threatens to engulf nations? How is it to be solved? Governments have tried to solve it by throwing money at it, television has tried to solve it by telling us it's 'normal' but whether you pay to try to solve it or you say that it's normal, the effects continue unabated.
This nation, like so many other nations in the earth, is drowning in this. Is there an answer? Did God ever think up an answer? Has this just sort of come about and God is just trying to play catch up? If you look at the present church you will know that there is no answer in it because it's not even aware of the problem, it's not even cognoscente that this is the threat of nations. God has provided for fatherless people to be given a spiritual father who will love them more than their natural fathers because they're not compelled to be their spiritual fathers, they are by choice their spiritual fathers who will love them, receive them into spiritual households, receive them into spiritual families, acquaint them with brothers of the same spirit and raise them to the place where their gifts and their calling adorn The House of God.
That's an answer above all other answers and in this we shall see the glory of God cover the nation that is holy. Who will think that with all these throw away kids that anybody who is not their natural father will receive them into their own house, their own spiritual house? Will develop them using resources of these families, bringing forth their gifts and calling, providing them with a platform and an identity to become who God says they are? That is God's answer you know. We have people packing the churches and we tell the people, “Look, God's got a really good plan for your life,” and that's as far as we get. We don't know what the plan is, we make no investment in them, we don't even know how to invest in them. You look at preachers in the black community today – this is unplugged, not off the record – you cannot make it as a black preacher in the African American community today without your principle message being one of financial empowerment. Why? Because when you're talking to a generation of orphans, they want to know how to get in on the ground floor and they don't have resources and if your message is not about how to get resources, you're not speaking a message that they have any interest in hearing. But if you are speaking to general orphans today in the church, which is full of them - the general condition of orphans today is they lack even such fundamentals as social graces and behavior, they don't even know that much. You know who the biggest hits in Christian television preaching today are? People who teach social graces and manners. Name the biggest of the names, and what is his message? I call it the gospel according to Rodney King, teaching people how they can 'all get along'.
This is not to get out of cradle roll. You could feed generation after generation this diet and they will never be, on the earth, a people capable of standing up to the real problems of this world. That's why we look for political solutions, that's why we have to have political solutions because how are you going to put the weight of a glorious Kingdom upon the backs of people who cannot even crawl? Do we think that this is all just talk? God is blowing a new breath of the Spirit through the earth today and it's gathering up a remnant and forming them into His house and to this house He will bring the fatherless. It is God's intention to put the fatherless into families and raise them up but it's not natural families, it is too late for natural families, we don't have the 30 years turnaround time, the world would be consumed by the spirit of the orphan if we were to wait for natural families to be regenerated, assuming we could; assuming we could, it is too late, for example, for the African American community to regenerate itself around the centrality of a father. We simply don't have 30 years; it's too late for the general community. Listen, one of the reasons why when you make a clear sound is that we could dispense with alternatives that will not work, OK. We won't be foolish and waste time that we don't have, chasing illusions that will not work. We do not have – I'll say it again - among nations of the earth today we do not have the time that it would take left to us, that much time is not on the clock to regenerate natural families to restore this order, we do not, it's not one of our options. The option is for The House of God to provide the fathers, that's the option. God always intended the natural to show the spiritual.
Now as to the word patriarch, the word “patriarch” is one of the words for fathers and it typically comes with two concepts: a father and land. In the Old Testament, land was the inheritance that passed from the father to the son. In fact, you remember that God permitted the year of jubilee for the specific purpose of restoring the land to the families to whom it was originally given because God gives an inheritance to go with being a son. So that's why we use the term “patriarchal” and the term “patriotic”, they come out of the Latin word “pater” or the Greek word “patar” which means “father”. So “patriarchal” is being “fatherly”.
You know, the word “millennium” is not in the Bible but the words “thousand” and “years”, those words are in the Bible. If you are saying those words in Latin, as the Bible was once written in, like Jeromes Latin vulgate, what you would find is the word “milanum”; “mil” is “thousand” in Latin, “anous anum” is “year”, so “milanum” would be “thousand year” and the word for a period of a thousand years, Anglicized, would be the term “millennium”. Again, discussions we shouldn't have to have but we do have them. So the term “patriarch” is one of the nine meanings of the word “father”, it means “fatherlike” and it means specifically “one from whom an inheritance is given to.
So do we have patriarchs? Of course. From whom you receive what inheritance? From whom you receive both the example of Christ to attend your spirit and the estate of wisdom and understanding and counsel and care, that's part of the estate that comes with the father. So one who acts fatherly is acting like God and provides you with an identity in God, together with an estate to supply you because to function as a son, you will need to have an estate. These are not terms designed to take ownership or control over anyone, these are terms designed to show a relationship between humans that is a model of the way God relates to us. Ultimately, we're speaking about only one house and only one Father; the whole House of God is in heaven and on earth, we're born of that one Father, it's a spiritual house. But because of what was lost to mankind, his Father, God shows Himself to man as Father through natural men, men who are like God the Father, functioning as His surrogates to bring the sons of God to maturity, to discipline and train them up and provide inheritances in God for them.
The contrast is to be fatherless. When you are a son, when you have the culture of a son, you think in terms of the greater picture of representing your Father, your Father in heaven, and the culture of the house to which God has joined you, to which you are associated because you're not alone and it matters what you do, it matters to all the others in the house. And just as your conduct matters to them, their conduct matters to you; just as your acts enable and empower them, their acts enable and empower you. So you're not trying to survive, you're growing up to take your place, you don't have to compete with anyone to have your place, it is yours because it's yours. If you're an orphan, you will identify yourself by your ministry because you have no other identity. Listen, you may be born again, be a son of God, going to heaven, but you still have the culture of an orphan. I'm telling you how to identify someone who is born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, is a son of God and going to heaven but behaves with the culture of an orphan, they will justify themselves and identify themselves by their ministry because that's what you have, that's what you built, it's yours, it's what speaks about who you are. One of the reasons why no one could discipline Jimmy Swaggart was his ministry defined him and he was afraid – some of the insiders tell me – he was afraid that they'd ask him to step down from his vast television work for a period of time and he didn't have a clue as to who he would be if he were not a speaker on television, so he refused. A fatherless man that God ultimately had to discipline and the only way that was left was to arrest him and bring him to a point of judgment from which he has never recovered.
So yes, there is a lot to be processed and the questions were excellent questions and I hope that my responses to them have been enlightening. Amen.