Behold the Lamb Presents

God Is In The Work

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Chris Shelton &, Kenny Shelton


Series Code: BTLP

Program Code: BTLP000018

00:40 Hello and welcome to "Behold The Lamb
00:42 Presents", I'm Chris Shelton your host and
00:45 I'm so very thankful that you have chosen
00:47 to join us. My husband pastor Kenny Shelton
00:50 has entitled his message today "God Is
00:54 in the Work," "God Is in the Work."
00:56 In fact God is the author and finisher of
01:00 the work. Just what is his work?
01:02 The work of our salvation. And since it is God's
01:06 work and if he is indeed in it and through it
01:09 does he ever give us evidence of his presence.
01:13 Are there ways in which we may have an
01:15 idea of what he will do, these answers made
01:19 only be ascertain from the study of scriptures.
01:22 And the daily application of our faith,
01:26 but indeed the answer to both questions is yes.
01:29 Yes, God gives evidence of His presence
01:32 through the presence of His Holy Spirit,
01:34 through our answers to prayers,
01:37 through supernatural miracles, his ways of
01:40 giving evidences endless and through diligent
01:43 study of prophecy we get a fairly clear
01:46 picture of what God would do to bring the
01:50 work, his work to completion. The Bible
01:54 assures us that God will do nothing except
01:57 he reveal it to his prophets first,
01:59 what a wonderful caring God that we serve?
02:03 He is doing all he can to keep us on the
02:06 straight and narrow without being confused
02:08 by every wind of doctrine that blows away.
02:11 I'm looking forward to delving into this
02:14 subject with greater clarity and detail as
02:17 we listen to today's message
02:19 "God Is in the Work." But first we're privileged
02:22 to go to 3ABN's worship center once again
02:24 and be blessed as we listen to a song entitled
02:28 "He Who Trusts," sung by Stephanie Dawn.
02:43 These are periled times we live
02:46 in, trouble everywhere
02:52 Weary hearts will often give
02:55 in to this world's despair
03:01 But high and over all,
03:04 our Father knows our every care
03:09 So in His Book, if you will look,
03:14 you'll find His promise there
03:21 He who trusts in the Lord
03:25 Mercy shall surround him
03:29 He who trusts in the Lord
03:34 Mercy shall surround him
03:38 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice
03:42 You upright in heart, lift up your voice
03:46 For great is His mercy toward
03:51 all who trust in the Lord
04:02 Soon will be the time when
04:05 we will see the Holy One
04:11 Oh how sweet to know that
04:14 He'll complete what He's begun
04:19 And blessed is the man who
04:23 stands forgiven in God's son
04:27 And blessed are they who in that
04:31 day will hear Him say, "Well done"
04:39 He who trusts in the Lord
04:43 Mercy shall surround him
04:47 He who trusts in the Lord
04:51 Mercy shall surround him
04:55 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice
05:00 You upright in heart, lift up your voice
05:03 For great is His mercy toward
05:08 all who trust in the Lord
05:15 Gracious is He and slow to anger
05:23 His loving kindness has no end
05:31 With love to embrace both friend and stranger
05:39 He's reaching out to one and all,
05:43 who upon His name will call
05:50 For He who trusts in the Lord
05:55 Mercy shall surround him
05:59 He who trusts in the Lord
06:03 Mercy shall surround him
06:07 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice
06:11 You upright in heart, lift up your voice
06:15 For great is His mercy toward
06:19 all who trust in the Lord
06:26 Mercy is His reward
06:29 For all who trust, for the pure and just
06:33 Who put their trust in the Lord
06:42 Mercy is His reward
06:50 Pray in his mercy toward,
06:55 all who put their trust in the Lord.
07:13 Thank you for joining us once again today,
07:15 we're very grateful and thankful we can
07:17 come in your home and be able to study
07:18 the word of God together. Now, we've
07:20 a very interesting subject,
07:22 because we think they're all interesting
07:23 and they are when you get into the work
07:24 of God and you might ask yourself the
07:27 question, is God in the work?
07:30 And our answer today in our sermon titled
07:32 "God is in the Work." And if he's in the work,
07:36 there is gonna be some manifestations of
07:39 Him in that work, so as usual before we
07:41 do anything, before we study,
07:43 we always kneel and have a prayer.
07:45 So, why don't you join right with me as
07:46 we ask for God's guidance here and for
07:49 the power of the Holy Spirit?
07:50 Let's pray together, shall we?
07:54 Merciful Father in Heaven, we thank you
07:55 for the privilege we have of prayer,
07:57 thank you that you, that we can be called
08:00 part of the family of God. Because of Jesus
08:02 Christ, thank you for that precious blood that
08:04 flood from Calvary. Now, we come to the
08:06 asking for the power of thy Holy Spirit to
08:09 consume each and every one of us.
08:11 Pray to illuminate my mind and the tongue,
08:13 may we hear directly from Heaven,
08:15 bless the ears, the hearing of each and
08:17 every one that they may hear the
08:19 beautiful truths that we will prepare them
08:21 to meet you when you shall come in the clouds
08:23 of glory, oh we thank you for this blessed
08:25 privilege. Now, join as we pray,
08:28 illuminate these truths in the precious name
08:31 of Jesus and we thank you for everyone
08:34 who will be listening and watching
08:35 around the world, in Jesus name, amen.
08:41 Once again as always we invite you to be
08:43 sure have a pen or pencil and take your
08:44 Bible where you can, jot these things down.
08:48 I always encourage you that we need to
08:50 study to show ourselves approved unto God.
08:54 We need to be writing things down and
08:56 we're just scratching the, the surface on
08:59 these beautiful subjects and I like to give
09:01 you food for thought and sometimes challenge
09:04 you with, with statements that will
09:05 say look I, I'm gonna get into the word to
09:07 see whether these things be so or not.
09:11 "God is in the Work," "God is in the Work,"
09:15 you know the gospel dispensation that we
09:17 live in right now, it's a last period of,
09:21 of earth history. This is the last thing
09:24 that God has, as He reaches out to humanity.
09:28 There is not going to be anything else,
09:29 he's reaching out this everlasting gospel,
09:32 presenting it to every nation, kindred,
09:33 tongue, and people and then he's going to
09:36 comeback. I thank God for that,
09:39 so if you're looking for something else,
09:40 we need to be hinging our belief upon the
09:43 good news and the gospel of salvation.
09:46 And then be challenged with this,
09:47 is God in the work that you're doing for Him,
09:51 is He in the work or is that of another Spirit,
09:54 because it's going to be one spirit or the
09:56 other. It's pretty simple, it's either God who
09:59 is leading or the enemy is leading,
10:01 oh yeah the enemy can do you know great
10:02 things, he can, he cause people to get a lot
10:05 of income and, and a lot of things happen,
10:07 big churches, and a lot of things that can
10:09 go on. But that's not what we're interested
10:11 in; we're interested in being pleasing to
10:13 God, how about the gospel? I think about
10:16 the gospel and what it can do for,
10:18 the gospel is our mission. The God giving the
10:22 gospel is our responsibility, giving the
10:25 gospel to the world, what? It contains God's
10:29 expressed will to mankind; we have an
10:33 obligation to God. It's the everlasting gospel;
10:38 it's to proclaim the, the judgment.
10:40 It's to proclaim messages that have been
10:42 covered up over the many years of tradition
10:46 of man. Included in this gospel we must
10:50 realize that as it goes to every nation,
10:54 kindred, tongue, and people. It's going to
10:57 uncover some of these truths that we were
10:58 talking about, such us that, the Seventh-day
11:01 Sabbath, the Three Angels message that
11:04 we need to really focus on right now for
11:07 the time in which we live giving the first,
11:09 second and third angels message.
11:12 But also the gospel brings us into this
11:14 thing beautiful thing called harmony;
11:17 oh how we need it in the church,
11:19 how we need it in the movement is harmony.
11:21 We have so much what I call it disharmony;
11:23 we're out of tune and God's going to bring
11:25 His people in line and tune us up.
11:29 He's going to prepare us to meet Jesus
11:30 when He shall come. I love Romans 8:31
11:34 and I know you do too, you've read it
11:35 many times before, this gives me
11:37 encouragement as we look around and
11:39 see it seems like the devil is winning the
11:41 battle. Does he seem like he's winning it
11:44 in your life? The things that you attempt
11:46 to do, maybe in your work that you're doing
11:49 for Him. Regardless of what it is,
11:51 you may call it, some kind of, of your ministry,
11:53 but you feel like sometimes you're
11:54 defeated more than you're gaining victory.
11:57 This passage is so good; it gives you such
11:59 an encouragement. The Bible says in Romans
12:01 8:31, you jot it down: If God be for us,
12:05 who can be what? Against us, If,
12:09 now remember that word if that's a big,
12:11 that's a big, it's almost like if but this is,
12:14 this is the statement that is true:
12:17 If God is for us, who can be against us?
12:21 This is the passage we need to read everyday
12:24 in our experience. Because it will encourage
12:26 us along the way, for those who are, are
12:28 giving this last message of warning to the world.
12:32 This is an encouragement, it's a message of,
12:36 of mercy, that God is reaching down one
12:39 more time and he's talking and speaking to
12:41 those who will hear His word.
12:44 And then respond to it, so this is encouraging,
12:48 this is a message going to the world before
12:51 Jesus comes. Regardless you know the
12:54 enemy always lays plans; he does a lot better
12:57 planning than many of us and shame on us
12:59 for that. But he lays plans, but I'm so
13:02 grateful and thankful that God knows the
13:04 enemy's plans, he knows, and the devil tries
13:07 to conceal them. If we know how he, he
13:09 makes plans but he, he tries to conceal his
13:12 plans. He tries to deceive, fabricate, blow
13:16 things out of proportion, but he's still,
13:18 he's, he's always laying plans, and he's always
13:21 trying to fool God's people. But I'm
13:23 thankful today that God is always ahead of
13:27 the enemy, He knows exactly what he's
13:29 going to be doing. And you know he knows
13:32 what unerring accuracy of what the enemy is
13:36 up to as he tries to persecute God's last day
13:39 people. And what will God do with Satan's
13:42 plans, listen very carefully He's going to
13:44 bring them to not. He's just going to just
13:49 destroy the plans of the enemy as we stay
13:51 close to Jesus Christ. You know one man
13:54 the Bible that I, I love and love to read about,
13:57 it just gives me some encouragement is
13:59 Nehemiah, what a man of God he made this
14:03 statement in Nehemiah chapter 4 verse 20
14:07 it says, it's very simple here but he said:
14:10 Our God shall fight for us. Our God shall what?
14:16 Shall fight for us, why would God be fighting
14:20 for us? Friend, because God is in the work,
14:25 because He's in the work, because he's
14:27 being challenged, His children are being
14:29 challenged. And today I say that God is in
14:34 the work, Nehemiah brings it out so clearly
14:37 that God is going to be working.
14:39 God will fight and notice this word fight
14:43 with me in the, in the Hebrew.
14:46 God will consume, so we think of fighting, we
14:49 think well just a little, maybe little scuffle,
14:51 little tussle and everybody separates and
14:53 goes their own way God saying when I fight
14:55 the battle I'm fighting against the enemy.
14:57 And the word here means I'm going to
14:59 consume the enemy, I'm going to fight,
15:01 I'm going to consuming, I'm going to devour
15:04 the enemy. I'm going to go to battle with him,
15:08 I'm going to, this word means listen I'm going
15:11 to overcome him and I like this and it's kind
15:14 of simple maybe some of you, you think oh
15:16 that's too simple. He says, He's going to eat
15:19 them up, oh that's positive,
15:22 our God shall fight, and our God shall win
15:25 the victory for us. And I said why, why would
15:29 God do this? Because He is in the work,
15:32 no power can prevent the success of God's
15:37 work, no what? No power, no power can
15:41 stop it. We must realize this that truth will
15:45 always be bitterly opposed, you know people
15:49 know, you say then we say tell me the truth,
15:51 tell me the truth. Most people do not really
15:54 want to know the truth. They're gonna
15:57 barely appose the truth of God's word,
16:00 but never will it lose it's vitality.
16:03 The truth will never lose it, now what does
16:05 it vitality then you say well I'm not sure
16:07 vitality it's not gonna lose it.
16:09 That means it's not going to ever lose it's
16:10 what? It's power, truth will never lose it's
16:14 power, truth will never loss it's energy,
16:18 truth will always be able to survive as what
16:21 this word vitality means. And truth will
16:24 always, when you get truth is,
16:25 it gives what? Life and light,
16:29 God says if he, he's for us then who can be
16:34 against us, encouragement that we
16:36 need in the hour in which we live.
16:39 Jesus gave up, a real simple commission but
16:44 yet so complex, so challenging, that it would
16:48 challenge the very roots of our faith.
16:53 What was that that he asks?
16:55 What that that he commission?
16:56 Oh you know it, well it found in Mark 16
16:58 verse 15 when he simply said to us:
17:00 Go ye into all the world, and do what?
17:03 Yeah, preach the gospel to every creature.
17:07 This is what Jesus said, and people some
17:10 time well why you interest in going over here,
17:13 why you interest in doing this, why you?
17:14 Because Jesus commissioned us to what?
17:17 We're in the world, every person on the face
17:20 of the planet to give them the gospel and the
17:22 good news of salvation and the soon return of Jesus.
17:27 Now we must always remember that Jesus
17:30 is coming very, very soon. I talked to man
17:34 this week and it's kind of off and on,
17:36 he kind of we're doing a little work,
17:38 he comes over and just stops by for a few
17:40 minutes and, wants to talk about Jesus a
17:43 little bit, but what he, he said was kind of
17:45 startling, because he used to go to church,
17:48 he used to study his Bible. And we talk a
17:52 little bit about the end time and the coming
17:53 of Jesus and he made a startling statement
17:56 just a few days ago. He said, I used to care
17:58 about Bible prophecy, I used to care about
18:01 the end times, but I'm not worried about it
18:04 anymore. Why? What's happened?
18:09 When we used to study and we used to
18:11 think about Jesus his coming and what may
18:13 happen in this individual's life to say I don't
18:16 care about it anymore. What has happen to us?
18:21 Have we lost maybe our, our first love,
18:24 have we lost love for souls when Jesus said
18:27 you go and you preach that, give the good
18:29 news of gospel to the world.
18:31 How can this be accomplished?
18:34 If God is in the work, it's going to be
18:36 accomplished, it seems impossible to my
18:39 poor old mind and maybe to yours.
18:42 How will the world, all the world every
18:44 individual have the opportunity to make an
18:46 intelligent decision about this last day
18:49 message, the three angels message going
18:51 to all the world, everybody having,
18:53 God said this going to happen so I believe
18:55 this going to happen. But who's going to go,
18:58 oh I, I don't wanna be in convenience with it.
19:02 Well, it's gonna cost the money,
19:04 well I don't have any money, I can't really
19:05 give money for that, I can't sacrifice my time,
19:08 I can't quit my job. We have all kind of
19:11 excuses in the church, with church members.
19:15 Always too busy to work for God,
19:19 but oh they'll find time to do everything else.
19:23 But when he's commissioned us go and
19:25 when the gospel's been preached to every
19:27 nation, kindred, tongue and people he will
19:29 comeback. So, who's going to go and
19:34 someone say yeah what is it gonna cost?
19:37 It's going to cost, it's going to cost.
19:41 And we could say the list many of the cost,
19:43 but let's just say it's going to cost in so
19:45 many ways and we're not just talking
19:47 about money. But boy would that be,
19:50 will it be worth it. In our, my poor old mind
19:54 this it's like seems impossible for all this
19:57 work, but scripture says this, couple of
20:00 passages. Probably the most familiar to
20:03 most people, now again if you have your
20:06 Bible or you wanna jot it down please do
20:09 this Philippians 4:13, how about people
20:11 have memorized that, it says: I can do
20:13 all things through who? Christ, good which
20:18 strengthens me. I can do what?
20:21 All things through Christ, that just eliminates
20:24 all you people who make excuses all the
20:26 time that you can't do anything.
20:29 He said that you can do all things,
20:31 that does mean all, that means everything
20:34 that needs to be done, to get the gospel
20:36 to the world. And then the good news that
20:39 follows right up it says in Philippians 4:19:
20:42 But my God shall supply what? All your need
20:47 according to what? His riches in Christ Jesus.
20:51 So, he commission us to go and says then
20:53 what you can do all things and then I'm
20:56 going to supply what? All that you need
20:58 to get this job done. Oh, I'm without excuse,
21:03 it sound like an expense paid alright.
21:06 He ask you to go to another country,
21:08 he ask you go next door, he ask you do
21:09 this, that; he says I will quit before and I
21:12 will give you what you need.
21:14 Oh, we're without excuse, getting this gospel,
21:16 Jesus wants to comeback, he wants to take
21:18 us home. And so as God calls us,
21:23 he also what? Good, good, somebody is ahead
21:25 on me good I want you; I want you to be
21:27 thinking he enables us to do what he asks
21:30 us to do. I've often said this and I mean
21:33 if God ask you to dig a ditch,
21:35 he will make sure there is a shovel available.
21:39 If God what? He ask you dig a ditch he's
21:41 gonna give you the tools to dig that ditch
21:45 until we were what? We were without excuse,
21:48 because this going to, he asks you do it;
21:49 he's going to fulfill his plan so he makes it
21:52 possible. Is God in the work, I believe that
21:57 he is in the work, but there is going to be a
22:00 battle, there is going to be a fight.
22:02 And I don't know why that surprises us so
22:04 many of us as God's people do you?
22:06 Why does it surprise us when we go to
22:09 work for Jesus that there is one battle
22:12 after another, there is one fight,
22:13 and there is just one thing confusion after
22:16 the other. Everything seems to be going
22:18 against, why does that surprise you?
22:20 Why does that surprise me?
22:23 Well, you know the devil is not gonna give
22:24 you one inch of the ground when you're doing
22:26 the right thing for Jesus. He's gonna fight
22:30 you, as we say tooth & nail, anytime you
22:34 wanna hold on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
22:36 The devil says I'm going to prevent,
22:39 remember that the devil cannot prevent
22:40 you from giving the gospel; he can't prevent
22:42 you from following Jesus Christ.
22:45 But he can just give those smokes screens
22:46 up and sometime that's all it takes,
22:49 to discourage us and you know like oh well
22:52 I tell you I wished I never had started,
22:53 oh we wanna give up. Aren't you glad that,
22:57 that God takes a responsibility for the
23:00 battles that we're involved with here,
23:02 but we said it's not ours anyway he fights
23:04 it, but it seem like will you there in the middle
23:06 of it. We can't win it but God can through us,
23:10 he takes the responsibility for that
23:12 battle. The outcome belongs to God,
23:16 now Second Chronicles when you read that
23:18 another familiar passage in verse,
23:21 chapter 20 verse 15 it just simply says
23:24 here. For the battle is not what?
23:26 The battle is not yours, but God's.
23:30 So many time you're battling and you're
23:31 fighting and you just oh I don't know what
23:33 I'm going to, it's not your battle.
23:37 God's just using you to go about, you know
23:39 and do what he ask you to do and realize
23:42 the enemy is greater and stronger.
23:44 But then he's in us, we're stronger then the
23:45 enemy and so what he says it's not your
23:47 battle just do what I ask you to do and
23:51 don't question. I will fight the battle,
23:54 when the enemy loss up before you,
23:55 I'll eat them up, this what we read a while ago,
23:58 I will destroy him. I will get rid of him,
24:01 when the children of Israel, when they
24:03 marched to remember till the red sea,
24:04 boy they had to get away, when they got
24:06 into put their foot in the water what happened?
24:08 It parted and they went on through,
24:10 God said I will fight the battle,
24:12 I will part the ocean if I have to,
24:14 I will defeat the enemy, I will defeat the,
24:15 the armies that may come against to,
24:18 the individuals who come against you,
24:20 the gossipers and backbiters. I will fight
24:23 the battle for you just don't worry about
24:28 it, just do what I ask you to do and think,
24:29 that sound simple enough can we do that?
24:32 Yes, why because God is in the work,
24:37 he's in the work, he's take a responsibility
24:39 for, he's given us all that we need.
24:41 So, if God is in your work, if God is in this
24:44 movement, if God is in your home,
24:47 if God is in your, your marriage,
24:49 if God is in your job. Something good is
24:54 going to happen, he's going to fight the
24:57 battles for us, think of a station that you're
25:02 watching now, the 3ABN. You think the
25:06 devil has not come against this station with
25:09 everything that he has to throw against it.
25:12 Using individuals, using people,
25:14 using people, they don't know what they're
25:17 doing possibly, they just might be against it,
25:20 and they have no idea. Those people who was
25:22 purposing in their heart, to tare it down for
25:25 gain the gospel and you know what?
25:26 Sometime they claim to be one of us,
25:30 doing all what they can to help the enemy.
25:33 Because maybe they have some little
25:34 personal thing that they don't like or
25:36 whatever, they're not caring about the
25:38 countless millions that have the opportunity
25:40 to hear the gospel of Jesus. Oh, you
25:42 selfish individual, put yourself on the
25:46 backburner and think about the good that
25:48 the station is doing. They've taken a lot
25:52 of hits, ministries have taken a lot of
25:55 hits, we've taken a lot of hits.
25:58 God said I'll fight those battles for you out
26:00 faith will be tested to the, to the up most.
26:04 It's going to be tested to the very point
26:06 that we think that we're just about to fall,
26:08 we've been hit, we're dazed,
26:10 we're are going down. But God says you will
26:13 not go down, you have a love for the souls,
26:19 God said I'm going to, I'm going to sustain
26:21 you, I'm going to revive you and he said
26:23 the last days the people will be revived.
26:27 The gospel is going to revived, it's like God's
26:29 in the work, we need a revival or true
26:33 godliness among us as a people.
26:39 Do, you feel like you need a little
26:40 reformation, little change in your life,
26:41 the things are just kind a going to same
26:43 you know all of the time and. You want
26:46 something to happened, you maybe
26:48 staggering around the blows that the,
26:50 oh enemy is throwing against you right
26:52 now. And our human reasoning is saying,
26:55 oh boy I've got headed I don't know if
26:58 I can keep going. But God has promised,
27:03 he said I will not, I will not let this happen,
27:09 I will fight the battle for you.
27:12 Contrary to what, some may want or some
27:15 maybe trying to do against you,
27:18 God said his work will prevail.
27:20 In fact he says this, this is real promise in
27:22 Acts chapter 5 you jotting it down I hope,
27:26 Acts chapter 5 verse 39: If it be of God,
27:32 ye cannot overthrow it; if it be of God,
27:38 ye cannot overthrow it. Now, he's, he's
27:43 not just saying this little group,
27:44 he's talking about anything, anybody,
27:46 any power, any things thrown against it.
27:48 Doesn't matter what it is, he says if God be
27:51 in it, here's the word if God is in it,
27:54 you cannot overthrow it. A lot of times
27:56 people say, well we're gonna try to overthrow
27:58 this, you know you don't need to be doing
27:59 this, you should not be doing this.
28:01 If let it just run it's course God let
28:04 you know the enemy in Heaven.
28:05 When he chose to go the wrong way,
28:08 he let them play out for a while so others
28:10 may see. But eventually what happened
28:13 was he's cast out of Heaven,
28:15 if God's not in it, it's gonna fall apart,
28:19 if God is in nobody can over, overthrow why?
28:23 It continues on why you said well why then?
28:26 Why, it says: Ye be found even when you
28:29 fight, that you're fighting against God.
28:33 That's why you cannot win, for those who are
28:35 trying they shut down the gospel,
28:37 trying to shut down getting the gospel
28:39 preaching to the world, doing your little thing,
28:41 wherever you're at, to needle and to talk
28:43 and to gossip and try to criticize and get
28:45 people not to support. You fighting against
28:49 God and you will lose the battle,
28:52 there is no doubt about it, no one has ever
28:54 won against God, no one ever will,
28:57 no power. Again in Acts chapter 5 verse 39,
29:04 Acts chapter 23 verse 9 I'm sorry,
29:06 just checking out, right now I want to you
29:07 to make sure you read it, the last part it
29:10 said: Let us not fight against God.
29:14 So, many times in the book of Acts as his
29:17 spirits being poured out, people are moving
29:19 forward, winning souls for Jesus Christ.
29:22 They realized there was a, there was a
29:25 battle and but you always had the enemy
29:27 going against and there will always being
29:28 reminded here. Let us not fight against God,
29:32 because if he's for it good, who can be against
29:35 it. So, that commission to go into,
29:38 to all the world and preach the gospel,
29:40 the good news, the power of salvation.
29:43 Do you know where that was first given, that
29:46 commission was first given to the disciples
29:49 to, the 12 and then it was expanded in the
29:53 upper room but now it's been expanded to
29:55 a larger number in fact to the whole world,
29:57 to all of us, every person that claims to
30:00 be a child of God. That we are to go in to
30:03 the world and tell them about a savior,
30:06 a crucified, risen savior, that offers
30:09 forgiveness of sins and new a life in Him.
30:13 That was exciting news for a day,
30:16 one of my favorite books that I like to
30:19 read in it's called Desire of Ages.
30:22 Well, if you don't have that book,
30:23 you ought to, you ought to get one.
30:25 I'm think it's one of the best books I've
30:26 ever read on the life of Christ.
30:29 And in this book there's a little paragraph
30:30 and I wanna read that to you and,
30:32 I want to make sense to you.
30:34 Desire of Ages page 822 it says:
30:38 Christ gave His disciples their commission.
30:41 Do we agree with that, that's what the Bible
30:42 says? Yes: He made full provision for the
30:46 prosecution of the work. Now, if we've
30:49 read that, we've talked about that building
30:51 up to this point. So, God calls right,
30:54 he commissions us to go, he gives us
30:56 what we need to fulfill the work.
31:00 And then he took upon himself the
31:02 responsibility for its success.
31:05 Do you think God's work, work is gonna be
31:06 a success? Yes it is. He said will succeed,
31:10 you try to fight against him, your fighting
31:11 against God's losing battle. But here is
31:14 the key, people love to read the first part,
31:17 we love to read the promises of God,
31:19 but we do not like maybe the last line
31:22 or two. He takes responsibility for success
31:25 of the work and reading on it says:
31:27 So long as they obey His word,
31:33 and work in connection with Him,
31:36 they cannot fail. As long as we what?
31:41 Obey his word, as long as we work in
31:44 connection with him, divinity and humanity,
31:47 working together they cannot fail.
31:51 Wow, that's good, we just read those in
31:53 the Bible, these are Bible promises.
31:55 Desire of Ages 822 God calls us to ministry,
32:02 maybe God's called you to ministry,
32:04 maybe some said you do on a, we call on
32:06 the side a little bit or something just for
32:07 the working of salvation or soul.
32:10 But I every time I hear people say well God's
32:12 called me into ministry, God, God's called me,
32:14 God's called me to preach, God's called me
32:16 to preach. You realize there is much more
32:18 in ministry when you say ministry it's more
32:20 than preaching. There's good preachers
32:23 everywhere, preaching, it consist more than
32:29 just that, it's talking about you must deal
32:31 with the sick, you've got to deal with suffering,
32:34 you have to deal with the needy,
32:36 that those who are depressed,
32:38 those who out of source. Everyday problems
32:41 and attacks of the enemy, you have to deal
32:46 with people, sometime of just little faith.
32:50 I'm talking about a little bit of faith and it
32:52 seems so simple what God has said in his work,
32:54 but to them it's a mountain they're trying
32:56 to climb and it seems impossible to them.
32:59 More than just preaching and you have
33:02 to deal, when called to the ministry,
33:05 you've got to deal with those who are,
33:07 are crushed by guilt. So, you maybe,
33:12 you maybe one of those but you've not just
33:15 been knocked down but you, you've been
33:17 crushed and when you talk about being
33:19 crushed that means the pressure is so heavy
33:21 upon your chest. It's very hard to believe
33:24 that's, that's how real this pressure of guilt
33:27 that can be and shame, you're too ashamed
33:31 to get out of the house, you're too shamed
33:32 to go to church for what has happen.
33:37 Guilt, wrong doing, it just brings unrest to
33:45 the soul and we find that we live in a world
33:47 of unrest, unrest, people that are so
33:52 unhappy. It seem to be happy when it go
33:55 down to street and they wave me smile,
33:56 but if you sat down and talked to them,
33:58 they're unhappy. They're being crushed,
34:01 the very life has being crushed out of them,
34:03 and they're dissatisfied. You ever meet
34:06 somebody is dissatisfied, it's unhappy.
34:10 Everything that you talk about they're
34:12 unhappy with, they're not satisfied with,
34:16 it never pleases them, they can't find
34:18 anything to be happy about. We have to
34:21 really pray because I've tell you they're
34:22 gonna get you down if you're not careful,
34:25 you're not connected with the source of
34:26 power. They'll drag you down, we need to
34:29 be able to lift them up by the grace of God
34:33 and when these people are dissatisfied and
34:34 they're unhappy, remember it's not just
34:36 with you. It's what their self,
34:40 they're very unhappy with their self,
34:43 just probably nothing more maybe misery that
34:46 can be man can suffer as part of his unhappy
34:49 with yourself, everything that you do,
34:51 everything that you stand for,
34:52 you just don't like it. The weight it just
34:57 too much for them, the pain is just,
34:59 is just too keen everyday of their life.
35:03 So, every person, everyone that's called
35:06 into, to ministry is called to minister to sin
35:10 sick souls. Oh, that's difficult yes,
35:15 very difficult because very few will listen
35:18 to call. And you keep giving the call,
35:21 yeah people come, they visit the church.
35:24 Oh, we're gonna get in, we're gonna
35:25 takes studies, we're gonna come every week,
35:27 you don't see him for a month.
35:28 You can't find him, they moved off,
35:30 they've lost all hope, one minute they're
35:32 hot and the next minute they're cold.
35:35 So, the devil likes that, we've got to work
35:38 for these sin sick souls. And let us do the
35:43 work faithfully, see God's looking for faithful
35:49 men and women today, trust God in your
35:53 work for him. You see, it appears that
35:57 sometime we're restricted do you ever
35:58 feel like you're restricted even in the
35:59 calls of Christ. We restricted in ministry,
36:02 restricted the harmony, restricted in your job,
36:04 every time you turn around there is,
36:06 there is new restriction going on.
36:09 Some time in the work, we will just,
36:10 we're restricted because you had,
36:13 you've got to line up with certain things.
36:17 The cuffs put on, in order to do something
36:20 else, you know the enemy is good about put
36:23 restrictions on things to hamper the calls of
36:26 Christ. Put us in a chock-hole,
36:31 what about these restrictions you may,
36:35 you say well I'm restricted by
36:36 circumstances. Don't let circumstances
36:40 control you, you control circumstances by
36:42 the grace of God. Then we say well
36:45 circumstances prohibits me from doing it.
36:48 Get about, get on your knees and ask God
36:50 to change those circumstances and then
36:52 get up and do something about it.
36:54 Well I don't know where to go, just get up
36:56 and just do something. Or said so much,
37:00 get up and do something if it's wrong,
37:01 if you have a honest heart just get up
37:03 and do something and God will direct your
37:05 steps if you true of heart.
37:09 So, sit back waiting for God to do something,
37:12 you get up and you start to move,
37:13 be faithful, keep moving forward is what God
37:16 says today. And I've notice this God often
37:20 uses the simplest means to accomplish the
37:24 greatest results. Have you, have you ever
37:27 seen that maybe in a ministry or in home or
37:30 some connection with God in work.
37:33 Many times we're thinking what's got be
37:35 this way or it's got to be that way,
37:37 it's gonna take a great manifestation;
37:38 he uses the simplest means sometime to
37:41 accomplish the greatest results, why?
37:44 Because God is in the work, see this
37:47 encouragement to me I can't say it enough.
37:49 I like standing here about 15 minutes say
37:51 God's in the work, God's in the work,
37:53 God's in the work and you know how
37:54 encouragement that is, I can say that over
37:56 and over and over and you say it over and
37:59 over and over and you know what you're
38:00 gonna believe it. It's about time God's people
38:03 stood up and said, God's in the work,
38:05 God's in the ministry, God's in the movement.
38:09 And he's gonna work, oh what a
38:12 encouragement that will give you,
38:14 then you have one stand up here say well
38:15 I don't believe God's in the work.
38:17 Put him outside and go out and for him till
38:19 they have a change of heart and bring him
38:20 back in and let him chant it along with you
38:22 God's in the work. Satan assaults it always
38:31 been directed for those who sought to advance
38:35 to the truth. You know this but just keep it in
38:39 your mind when you purpose in your heart,
38:41 you want to advance the truth of God's word.
38:44 The assaults are going to come, he's gonna
38:48 work on you, gonna work on your family,
38:50 he's gonna work on your friends,
38:51 he's gonna work on the church where you go,
38:52 he's gonna, he just wherever he can,
38:54 he's going to work to try to cause these
38:55 confusion. Now, Satan use this,
38:58 I'm just gonna oh, oh thousands and
38:59 thousands of methods, let me just use two.
39:03 Oh, you probably know them,
39:05 but let me just allow me to do this,
39:07 and I may get on the soap box little bit
39:08 here, when I do, I'll just, I'm gonna stay on
39:10 for while you know maybe I'll get off,
39:14 two methods that the devil uses you know
39:15 why because it's so real and I've seen it
39:18 in operation I've seen the devil work,
39:23 I've been involved. You say well it must be
39:26 something big, no it's real simple here but we
39:29 don't really sometime we just,
39:30 we don't discern it, you have number 1,
39:33 you have what we called the open opposers
39:36 to the truth, have you ever met those?
39:40 Now, open oppossers and number 2,
39:43 we're gonna talk about a little bit, number 2,
39:45 you have the secret opposers.
39:49 So, you have one group here that's open a
39:51 about it, you have the little sneaks,
39:54 little snake in the grass, the little secret
39:57 opposers to the work of Christ,
39:59 they can't stop us, because we have
40:01 read the scripture you can't stop it.
40:03 But boy they'll try to slow it down.
40:08 Now, let me ask you a question, you say oh
40:10 boy here we go that's right.
40:11 Let me ask you a question, who's the most
40:13 dangerous? Who's the most dangerous
40:19 the open opposer, or the secret opposer?
40:24 See the, the open opposer just says what
40:27 he has on his mind. He doesn't really care,
40:31 this is the way I see it, this is the way that
40:34 it is, he doesn't try to hide it.
40:38 It maybe hurtful he doesn't rest too bad
40:40 he says it may even be untrue he doesn't
40:43 care. This is what he has on his mind
40:46 you know where he stands, you know what
40:48 he's up to, at least you know where he's
40:51 coming from. And then you can deal with that
40:55 but how about that secret opposer to the
40:57 gospel and the truth, they maybe,
41:01 they maybe sitting beside you in the church.
41:05 And you don't even know it, do you realize
41:08 people they, they carry around hurt feelings,
41:12 hard feelings, evil surmising, hatred all kind
41:18 of things of the enemy. And when they see
41:23 you look at that, when they see you they
41:26 might even put their arms around you and
41:27 hug you and as Judas might give a little kiss
41:31 on cheek. That kind of hard to discern,
41:37 but boy behind the scenes they're just
41:40 planning little seeds of doubt and what if
41:42 and it seems like and I heard and I.
41:46 But they're, they're supposed to be Christian.
41:50 That secret opposer, he usually pretends to
41:53 be your, your friend that way he can get
41:56 information about you. Maybe it's not really
41:59 on purpose but they've been heard about
42:01 something and they figure it's their job
42:03 to even things up. A Christian will not act
42:05 that way, you call yourself a Christian and
42:08 you act that, you will not a Christian
42:10 because that's not Christ like.
42:13 Too many in the church get away with it,
42:14 well I know I shouldn't but I did it,
42:16 that's not Christ like you wanna go to
42:18 Heaven that's got to go God can give you
42:20 a victory over that. And as they pretend
42:24 to be your friend, maybe working in the
42:26 ministry, they had the privilege of learning
42:30 things about you maybe. Things about the
42:33 ministry and they interpret them the way
42:35 they want to, something happens they live a
42:38 little bit later on, they have their own little
42:40 tongue of how those things happened and
42:43 they think that this went on and they think
42:44 that. Haven't you got something better to do?
42:48 We should be able to distinguish that secret
42:50 opposer of the gospel and getting the message
42:53 to the world. Actually they're opposing much
42:56 more than you, they're opposing Jesus Christ.
42:59 And the devil is working through them.
43:06 Now why don't you just think with me,
43:11 we need to be spreading the good news
43:13 of Jesus Christ. We need to be busy doing
43:15 something positive for Jesus.
43:18 Every minute that you spend tearing
43:19 somebody down or tearing the movement
43:21 down or tearing this person or that person
43:23 down. You're doing the work of the devil,
43:25 how can the devil operate in you sometime
43:27 and you say God operates in you another time.
43:29 Can bitter and sweet water come forth in the
43:31 same, no he was not with me is against me,
43:35 it's either one spirit or the other,
43:38 it's never combination. When Jesus Christ
43:40 comes into the body, the enemy cannot stay
43:45 he has, somebody say he has to flee.
43:49 Now, I think the enemy has to flee when God
43:51 comes in, when the spirit of God comes inside
43:53 the enemy has to leave, you see then you're
43:55 walking in the newness of life,
43:57 you're walking with God, you're walking in power,
43:59 you're walking in strength, all of those
44:01 promises that God gives us are therefore us if
44:05 we what? If we're be obedient and if we
44:07 have close communion with him.
44:08 We shall not fail, but there is too much failing
44:12 going on because we do not have that connection,
44:14 where a good, lot of good talkers.
44:18 People, I see a lot of people get sidetracked,
44:21 these secret opposers try to sick track you
44:24 from doing what we need to be doing.
44:27 Sidetracking our issues, in the movement
44:31 today in Christianity there is so many people
44:35 that are always introducing side issue;
44:37 you had nothing to do with salvation.
44:40 But they understand that, so they turn around
44:41 said, now this is the salvation issue.
44:45 God has presenting clearly in his word those
44:47 things that pertain, pertaining to my salvation,
44:52 they're clear about what it takes to repopulate
44:55 Heaven. It doesn't have to be some kind of a
44:57 side issue that you have to twist and turn and
45:00 make it seen that you, you've got to accept
45:02 this, you've got to do, the Bible said do you
45:03 accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
45:06 You confess your sins, he's faithful and just
45:08 to forgive us our sins and cleans us from
45:10 all unrighteousness. God is in the work dear
45:13 friends, is he in your heart today,
45:16 is he in your life? I heard people say sometime
45:20 well we need to, we need to slow down,
45:21 we're moving a little bit too fast here.
45:22 We need to have a, we need have another
45:24 meeting and, and some will say,
45:26 well let's make sure now we're not going
45:27 to offend someone. Wow, that's impossible
45:33 if you're doing the right thing people are going
45:35 to be offended by and by. People what,
45:39 you say no listen when Jesus walked this earth,
45:43 there were many people that were offended
45:46 because of him. Now, did he do offensive things?
45:48 No, but they took offense because he exposed
45:51 some things in their life. Some people might
45:55 say something like these secret opposers,
45:58 now look if you wanna, if you wanna do some
46:00 work in the future. We need to kind of line
46:03 up over here a little bit. You need to slow
46:05 down a little bit, if you wanna work in the
46:07 future. Do you wanna work for God?
46:11 I'm not working for man, you not working for
46:14 man, you're working for God, you're
46:15 accountable to God. Some will say you need
46:18 to consider the, the issues I'm considering
46:21 the issues, I'm considering eternal life,
46:23 I'm considering what I'm commissioned to do,
46:25 going into the world and encouraging people
46:27 to take a stand on the side of Christ.
46:29 Regardless of their life, regardless of what's
46:31 happened in their life, that God can forgive
46:33 and bring them into the family of God.
46:35 And can repopulate heaven. Jesus made a
46:38 very strong point on this issue and talking about
46:42 you know those who are not doing what he's
46:46 already commissioned us to do. And, and
46:51 some are not gonna like it, because
46:52 they've been offended. In Matthew 13:21
46:57 the Bible says this: Yet hath he not root in
47:00 himself, but dureth for a while: for when
47:05 tribulation or persecution ariseth because of
47:09 the what? Tribulation and persecution
47:12 ariseth because of the word, by and by he
47:17 is offended. Offended mean here by and by
47:21 he's going to have cause for displeasure.
47:23 Have you ever made a Christian,
47:26 well we have calls we're unhappy.
47:29 But it says because of the word,
47:31 otherwise when they have to take a stand
47:33 to certain time in their life and maybe it's
47:35 going to cost them a little bit to follow Jesus
47:37 Christ. They became unhappy with that,
47:39 they're just displeased with that.
47:42 Offended that means they're, they get,
47:45 they get tripped up. Are you one of those
47:48 who's maybe got offended, you got tripped
47:50 up you, you're in apostasy, you're in
47:52 enticing sin here, that's what it means,
47:54 one who stumbles. Jesus said concerning
47:58 the last days Matthew 24:10 he said this:
48:02 And then shall many be offended,
48:05 and shall betray one another, and shall what?
48:08 And shall hate one another. Jesus said many
48:11 people is going to be what? Offended why?
48:15 Because of the truth, the straight testimony
48:18 that we are to be giving in the church,
48:20 in the last day movement, a straight testimony
48:24 lifting up a standard and people become
48:26 offended by when you start talking about
48:28 things that we put in our body,
48:30 things that we put on our body.
48:32 How do we need to gain victory over sin in
48:33 our life, people become offended with that,
48:36 why? It's the truth, straight testimony.
48:42 The world becomes offended by it,
48:47 we must endeavor to defeat the enemy by
48:54 God's grace, and we need to do it with
48:57 where we can with, with tact and good and
48:59 good conduct and through what?
49:02 Power of prayer. But the enemy can and will
49:05 be defeated the battle is what,
49:07 it's not ours but it's what? Its God's battle
49:10 why? Because God is in the work,
49:13 I'm assured he is in, the battle ranges on
49:16 between good and evil. And, and I've heard
49:20 said, and I'm sure that you've probably heard,
49:24 have heard it said forth, the battle seems
49:26 to indicate that there is a warfare,
49:29 I talked to myself and I say there is a
49:30 battle and he said that's warfare you mean
49:33 there is real struggle that's going on.
49:35 I wanna make this point I don't want you to
49:37 miss it, you may have missed some
49:38 other things, please don't miss this.
49:44 When you're talking about a battle and God
49:45 said I'm gonna fight the battle for you,
49:47 I want you to listen how real that battle is?
49:52 It might melt your heart today,
49:55 to think that God is fighting for us,
50:00 who are so unworthy. And it's not,
50:04 it's not a make believe battle.
50:07 It's a real battle that's going on between
50:10 good and evil and evil is determined not to
50:14 lose any ground and they will do anything
50:16 and everything within their power to maintain
50:19 and God only can push them back.
50:26 I say today the battle is real and if our,
50:31 our spiritual vision somehow could be opened
50:34 up today, I would relax, I mean we could take
50:37 it, we'd open up our eyes and we could see
50:40 this battle that's going on, we would see angels
50:43 by the millions flying around in our,
50:46 our behalf. Quickly to help those who are in
50:49 need and those who are being tempted and
50:51 those who are being tried, the sky would be
50:55 full of them. They're coming to our ad,
50:59 to the tempted ones are coming and say
51:01 oh I'm going to help you gain the victory do
51:03 you want that victory? Because these people
51:07 are ready to give up they are grief stricken,
51:12 they've been opposed and they, they've been
51:16 burdened with the weight of sin and even
51:20 by brothers and sisters as they were in the,
51:22 in the movement they about crushed the life
51:24 out of them. Now, but God said there is,
51:29 there is gonna, there is relief that's on the
51:31 way. I'm in the work, there's relief that's
51:35 on the way. And if you cry out to God,
51:39 you know what God said, this is found in
51:41 Prophets and Kings, what a book if you don't
51:43 have that, you need to be reading the book.
51:47 Prophets and Kings 176 said this:
51:50 The battles raging between the two armies
51:54 are as real as those fought by the armies of
51:59 this world, somebody didn't get it.
52:03 The battles that are raging on and the battles
52:05 are everyday, they do not stop.
52:09 The battles are being fought between good
52:11 and evil, between Christ and Satan,
52:14 are as real as those fought in the armies of
52:17 this world, and they're on the issue of
52:20 spiritual conflict eternal destinies depend.
52:27 The battles that are being fought,
52:28 that I'm talking about here deals with out
52:32 destiny, whether we go to heaven or not
52:35 and God's put forth every energy that he can,
52:38 but he can't do it unless you ask.
52:41 He can't do it unless you cry out God's is in
52:43 the work, he's fighting for us and when I think
52:48 about those battles are real that are raging
52:53 around the world, they're real and he's doing
52:57 it for you and he's doing it for me.
53:00 Do you remember quickly the vision of the
53:02 Ezekiel our time is about gone.
53:05 The appearance of a, there is a real and
53:07 beneath you know the winds and all things are
53:09 all going and turning and it seem to be all out
53:11 of whack and couldn't tell what it was all about,
53:14 the wings of the cherub, that's Ezekiel 10 just
53:16 read that it when you have the opportunity.
53:18 He saw a number of wheels and they all
53:20 intersecting with, with one another their
53:22 and they were move by the four living
53:24 creatures high above and lightness was the
53:26 throne of God, do you remember and the
53:28 lightness of the son of man sat up on it.
53:31 The everything is moving it seem like to
53:32 mankind it was just so out of whack wheels
53:35 moving and here complicated things that
53:37 were going on, confusing at first and at the next
53:40 glance. He saw they were moving in perfect
53:43 harmony, Heaven was being powered by,
53:48 impaled by these wheels and when Ezekiel
53:52 notice that God sees the intercede things of
53:55 life, he knows you like there is no one else
53:57 on the face of the earth. He knows everything
53:59 about you and everything seems to be
54:01 in confusion but it's not. Ezekiel was so
54:04 impressed and so he say oh how great God
54:07 is, he said, Bible said he fall on his face wow.
54:12 God made it plan to him, the world seems my
54:16 friend to be in a chaotic state, everything
54:18 moving in different direction. But God is in
54:20 the work, God's going to bring what?
54:22 He's gathered all this confusion,
54:23 he's going to bring it all together,
54:26 he's going to bring good to God's people why?
54:28 Because God's in the work, friend, do you
54:31 believe God's in the work today, we need to
54:32 pray about it. Do you believe that you're
54:35 gonna be more in the conference through
54:36 Jesus Christ. Do you believe that, that you
54:39 shall not fail if we just simply obey God we
54:43 have Humanity and divinity working together,
54:45 we're plugged into the power source.
54:47 We shall not fail, isn't God great,
54:53 he's done so much for you what you're gonna
54:54 do for him today, let's pray about it right
54:56 now it's always we close with, with the
54:57 prayer of dedication, let's pray together.
55:01 Merciful Father in Heaven, we thank you for
55:02 your love today, we thank you for your word,
55:04 what an encouragement to realize this world
55:07 so darken by sin, we see through it glass darkly,
55:12 sometime it's almost like why go on,
55:13 why continue to do what we're doing but
55:15 I'm thankful that you're, you're in the work.
55:18 And you're gonna finish this work,
55:20 it's gonna bring it to completion.
55:22 You're gonna make sense out of all these
55:23 things that we can't make sense out of,
55:25 you're gonna bring it together I gave you
55:26 praise honor and glory for those who have
55:27 chosen now to be on your side in Jesus name amen.
55:34 It's always a pleasure to be able to spend
55:36 some time with you, we encourage you if you
55:38 have question be sure and write into us,
55:40 write that question down give us a phone call.
55:42 We do appreciate your prayers and your
55:44 support to continue these programs coming to
55:47 you, don't forget 3ABN, send them a love gift
55:49 too, we love you, I appreciate talking
55:51 to you and we'll see you next time.
55:55 Welcome back, I hope you are more excited
55:59 than ever to be a part of God special work
56:02 that he has for each of us after having
56:05 listened to that message. You know,
56:07 my brother-in-law Danny Shelton he's often
56:09 been heard on this station saying the blessing
56:12 is on the go, the blessing is on the go.
56:15 And I must agree we are so blessed when
56:18 we take action and became a part of this
56:20 work. We are to be doers of the word and
56:23 not here is only and what is work began right
56:27 where you are right now. First it begins in
56:31 your heart and as the love of God begins to
56:34 feel and motivate you to action your first
56:37 missionary work is in home. The rest is
56:40 endless as you praying as God to open doors
56:44 for you to witness for him and do a work for
56:46 him, as you do this we pray that you will
56:49 partner up with us here at Behold The Lamb
56:51 Ministries, partner up with us and doing and
56:54 finishing this work. These messages are only
56:57 made possible by our supporters like yourself
57:00 they'll want to see the work finish.
57:02 And give prayerfully of your time and
57:04 financially to make it happen one way you
57:07 may do this is just by ordering this message
57:10 on DVD, you're offering for the DVD blesses us
57:14 as well as you and whomever you chose to
57:16 share with. So, please contact us today won't
57:19 you and consider sending a love gift of just 8$
57:24 or more for you very own DVD you may write
57:27 us at Behold the Lamb Ministries, Po Box 2030
57:32 Herrin, IL 62948 or call us at central standard
57:38 time here in the United States at 618-942-5044.
57:44 And always you can email us at
57:46 BeholdTheLamb
57:49 and visit us on the web won't you at
57:51 www.BeholdThe
57:55 Until next time may our Lord
57:56 richly bless you and yours.


Revised 2014-12-17