Participants: Pr. John Lomacang
Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH000001A
00:33 If you have your Bibles with you this morning
00:35 which I believe many of you do.
00:39 Turn with me to the Book of Acts.
00:50 And we are going to read verse 6 and 7.
00:55 Title of the message is "Breaking the Chains",
00:59 "Breaking the Chains".
01:06 Now it is on the screen if you would like to join me
01:08 in reading the scripture,
01:10 I would like to welcome you to do so.
01:13 The Bible says,
01:15 "And when the Herod was about to bring him out,
01:18 that night Peter was sleeping,
01:23 bound with two chains between two soldiers,
01:27 and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.
01:33 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him,
01:37 and a light shone in the prison,
01:39 and he struck Peter on the side
01:44 and raised him up, saying..."
01:47 Together, ''Arise quickly!'
01:50 And his chains fell off his hands."
01:55 Bow with me.
01:57 Loving Father, speak to us today...
02:05 and guide us and teach us how the chains in our lives
02:11 can be broken in Jesus' name, amen.
02:21 When God got a hold of Peter's life,
02:23 Peter was enlisted in the war against sin.
02:27 When Peter was converted by God,
02:30 when Jesus found a place in Peter's life,
02:34 he joined Christ in freeing sinners.
02:39 But as you look at the life of Peter
02:40 and his life is one of the most chronicled one
02:42 in the early church.
02:44 We look at John the Revelator,
02:45 but Peter was the one
02:47 that the Lord took particular attention,
02:49 mitch to outline his life,
02:52 to help us see ourselves in Peter's life.
02:56 Look at Luke 22:31 and 32.
03:01 And what's true about Peter is true about many of us.
03:04 And the reason I didn't say true about all of us
03:08 is because until you enlist your life
03:11 in the service of God,
03:12 the devil doesn't really care about what you do.
03:16 Until you are enlisted heart, mind, soul, and prayer life
03:21 into the work of God,
03:22 the devil doesn't care what else you do
03:24 because you are no threat to his kingdom.
03:28 But the devil had been stalking Peter
03:30 ever since Peter accepted Jesus.
03:31 Notice the words of Christ.
03:35 Matthew 22:31, "And the Lord said..."
03:38 This is a chilling scripture in the Bible.
03:42 "And the Lord said, 'Simon Simon!
03:47 Indeed, Satan has asked for you..."
03:53 I don't know if that gets you how it gets me.
03:57 Did he emailed him, did he send him a text message
03:59 that they may meet on the corner
04:00 and somewhere and say,
04:02 "Hey, Jesus, I need Peter, I need Peter,
04:07 I need Louis, I need Will,
04:08 I need Gary, I need Mitch,
04:12 I need JD, I need Jeff.
04:15 Give me Bruce and see what I could do to Bruce.
04:19 I need Mike Babb, I need him, give him to me.
04:24 That's a chilling thought when the Bible says,
04:27 Simon, the devil, my enemy,
04:31 the one who I had a fight within heaven,
04:34 he came to me and he asked me for you.
04:37 I want to tell you something that I, when I read this text,
04:40 I rejoice in that that was not the only part of the verse.
04:45 Amen somebody?
04:46 He said he's asking for you,
04:48 "That he may sift you as wheat."
04:51 I don't know if you've ever been sifted.
04:53 Oh, I've been sifted.
04:55 I've been sifted.
04:56 And I have not been sifted once,
04:59 I'm starting to feel like a bag of flour,
05:01 I get sifted more times than I need to be sifted,
05:03 help me out somebody.
05:04 But the devil...
05:06 the Lord will only allow us to be sifted, hear me today.
05:10 The Lord will only allow us to be sifted,
05:13 if there are things in our lives
05:15 that are still needing to be removed.
05:19 When I was a young boy,
05:21 my mother would give me the flour,
05:23 when she would make homemade bread.
05:25 And because she did it with wheat flour,
05:28 the weevils were always in the wheat flour.
05:31 The weevils never liked bleached flour,
05:34 'cause there was nothing in it.
05:36 You see if there is wheat in your life,
05:37 if you are made of wheat, come on somebody say amen.
05:40 There is some tares and there is some wheat,
05:42 I want to suggest you today,
05:43 we are wheat that's why the devil comes in
05:45 and brings his spiritual weevils into our lives.
05:49 And the Lord says, I got some good wheat,
05:51 but there is some weevils in their lives,
05:52 they got the weevils that keep them from praying.
05:56 Weevils that keep them from prayer meeting.
05:59 Weevils that gives them enough to do at 3ABN,
06:02 they are so busy in production.
06:04 They can't pause to pray
06:06 with the other brothers and sisters of the church.
06:11 I'm preaching today.
06:17 The weevils of half heartedness,
06:22 the weevils of "I",
06:24 I am too tired, I am overworked.
06:28 Oh, brothers and sisters, let me tell you,
06:30 if you are overworked that's all the more reason
06:32 why you need to get together and pray
06:36 'cause you need strengths that does not come
06:39 from your own outline of comfortable Christianity,
06:43 you need prayer.
06:44 When you are overworked, you need to spend time
06:47 at the fountain that never stops flowing,
06:51 the feet of Jesus.
06:53 I like verse 32, the Lord said to Peter,
06:56 you are about to be in serious trouble.
07:00 "But I have prayed for you."
07:04 I'm so glad that I could feel the prayer of Jesus.
07:06 Come on somebody talk to me.
07:08 I am so glad that Jesus prays for us.
07:11 What a prayer life?
07:12 Do you know how many people
07:14 Jesus has to pray for on a weekly basis?
07:17 He said, "I prayed that your faith should not fail,
07:20 and when you are converted
07:22 or when you have returned to Me,
07:26 strengthen the brethren."
07:27 I got to break this down today.
07:29 You see some of us will never be any strength to anybody
07:33 because we ain't converted.
07:36 King James used the word converted,
07:38 New King James returned.
07:40 You've got to get back to where you were with God
07:42 before you can be any strength to anybody else.
07:46 Until you get back,
07:48 until you return to your first love,
07:51 you could never be a source of strength for anybody.
07:59 And then the Lord allowed Peter to be poured
08:02 into the sifting bowl
08:07 of personal aggrandizement.
08:14 Peter thought it was all about him,
08:17 until God had him sifted.
08:21 And then Jesus put before Peter a picture of the cross.
08:24 And Peter thinking that he knew it all,
08:28 said in John 13:37,
08:30 "Peter said to the Lord, to Jesus,
08:33 'Lord, why can't I follow you now?
08:39 I will lay down my life for Your sake."
08:42 Now I would tell you, if somebody said
08:44 they were willing to give their life for me, Gary,
08:46 I think that would be a good person to have around.
08:48 What do you say?
08:49 That's what you want from your secret service.
08:51 Folk that would take the bullet for you.
08:54 Lord, you don't have to go to the crucifixion,
08:56 I'll die for you.
08:57 I'll lay down my life for Your sake.
08:59 You can count on me
09:01 and the Lord looked at Peter and said, clueless.
09:06 You don't have a clue what that means.
09:11 He said, you can't follow me.
09:12 You see one of the reasons why Peter was not yet qualified
09:17 to Father Lord.
09:18 Peter was willing, are you listening?
09:20 Are you ready?
09:21 Peter was willing to die for Jesus
09:23 but Peter was not willing to live for Jesus.
09:29 Lord said, I don't need you to die for me,
09:31 I've already done that, I want you to live for me.
09:35 I want you to live for me.
09:37 People are getting ready for Jesus Christ.
09:40 Now, I've discovered the people that want Jesus to come
09:42 the quickest are people that are tired of waiting,
09:44 they ain't doing nothing.
09:46 Hurry up and get here Lord, I'm tired of waiting.
09:48 If you are so busy working for Jesus,
09:50 you don't have time to worry about when He's getting here,
09:54 but Peter was unwilling to live for Jesus.
09:58 And the fact is, the Lord knew that
10:03 Peter did not have an active prayer life.
10:07 You see, I'm talking about prayer this morning.
10:09 The Lord knew that Peter
10:10 did not have an active prayer life.
10:13 You may remember,
10:15 when Jesus invited Peter, James and John
10:17 to prayer meeting in the mountains.
10:20 Come on, Matthew 26:40 and 41.
10:24 The Bible says, "Then He came to the disciples
10:26 and found them..." what?
10:29 And he didn't say to John,
10:31 He didn't say to James, He said to who?
10:36 I like that. That's what, it's not what?
10:39 It's "What!"
10:43 "Peter, could you not watch with Me?"
10:46 How long was the prayer meeting?
10:47 Come on.
10:48 Oh, Lord, have mercy.
10:50 I don't feel bad if they could do that to Jesus.
10:56 I've been worrying about
10:58 people not coming to prayer meetings,
10:59 they did that to Jesus.
11:01 So the problem ain't me and the problem ain't Jesus,
11:04 the problem is you.
11:08 I'm gonna preach this sermon today.
11:12 Then He said to Peter, "Watch and pray, watch and..."
11:15 Do what?
11:17 Pray, lest you Peter enter into temptation."
11:21 This is Peter right here.
11:23 "Your spirit is indeed willing Peter,
11:26 but your flesh is in serious trouble.
11:29 It's weak."
11:31 You see one of my favorite writers outside of Ellen White
11:34 is a man by the name of Oswald Chambers.
11:38 Oswald Chambers is deep. Is he not Karen?
11:41 That man had a connection with God,
11:44 that man had a connection with spiritual inside.
11:46 You see Oswald Chambers described Peter
11:50 as a man with natural devotion.
11:53 What kind of devotion did I say?
11:55 Natural devotion.
11:57 He had a natural devotion.
11:59 It wasn't yet spiritual.
12:01 He was a disciple. He was a follower of Jesus.
12:04 He was among one of the chosen 12,
12:08 but he had natural devotion.
12:10 He was an Adventist by osmosis.
12:14 He was a Sabbath keeper.
12:16 He knew about the second coming of Jesus.
12:18 He had his doctrines straight from the master himself.
12:22 He spent time with Jesus.
12:24 Jesus saved him on many occasions
12:27 but one very personal, Jesus kept Peter from drowning.
12:33 Peter had a connection with God,
12:35 he had natural devotion.
12:37 Let me say something to you.
12:41 Very few things are more self defeating
12:43 the natural devotion.
12:45 Natural devotion is often sustained by natural excuses.
12:51 Natural devotion.
12:53 Natural devotion says,
12:54 I know what the Lord wants me to do but I have other plans.
12:59 Oswald Chambers puts it this way.
13:02 Natural devotion, this is January 4th
13:05 of its My Utmost for His Highest.
13:06 He says, natural devotion may be very well
13:10 to attract us to Jesus,
13:12 to make us feel his fascination,
13:14 but listen to this, but it will never make us disciples.
13:18 Natural devotion will always deny Jesus
13:22 somewhere or the other.
13:26 Natural devotion will lead us to deny Jesus.
13:28 You see the problem with
13:30 and Oswald Chambers brought this out.
13:31 The problem that Peter faced was Peter did not know
13:36 where the test was going to come from.
13:39 He thought the test would come in going to the cross.
13:42 The Lord said, Peter that's not where the test is coming from,
13:44 you're ready for that,
13:45 but the devil is going to hit you with a left foot
13:47 that will bring you down.
13:51 Peter did not know the direction
13:53 the test was coming from,
13:54 so he had this natural devotion.
13:56 Natural devotion, can I spend some time on natural devotion?
13:59 You see natural devotion takes time
14:02 to look at everybody else's weakness but our own.
14:05 Natural devotion says...
14:11 and it often begins with the letter I.
14:14 You see when we die to "I"
14:18 then Jesus can live inside of us.
14:21 It is no longer "I" who live but Christ who lives in me.
14:27 When natural devotion is put in the dust,
14:30 we now are no longer in charge of where we go.
14:33 Jesus said to Peter, remember Peter and John
14:36 at the end of the Book of John.
14:38 John was there, Peter was there,
14:40 and the Lord said to Peter, "Follow me."
14:43 And Peter said, "What about him?"
14:45 That's natural devotion.
14:47 What about everybody else?
14:48 The Lord said, "It's none of your business."
14:52 If I have John stand here, remember that Louis,
14:55 it's none of your business.
14:56 If I tell him to stand here till I come back,
14:59 you follow me.
15:01 Natural devotion understands our personal responsibility
15:05 to follow Jesus personally.
15:10 And he said to Peter, you know,
15:12 Peter, the problem is you're old man now
15:14 but when you were young, when you were young...
15:19 I'm gonna just read it right here,
15:21 and I'm going to read John 21:18.
15:25 He said, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
15:27 when you were younger, you girded yourself,
15:30 walked where you wished, but when you are older,
15:34 you will stretch out your hands,
15:37 and another will gird you and carry you
15:41 where you do not wish."
15:44 And so a lot of us are naturally devoted.
15:47 That's why when certain suggestions come up for prayer
15:49 and study in time in the Bible, we are naturally devoted.
15:53 We don't want to go because we go where we wish,
15:58 when we wish, how we wish on our own schedule.
16:02 But when self is put to death,
16:05 we become a part of God's schedule.
16:10 And we say, are they going to pray?
16:12 I want to be there.
16:14 Are they going to study? I need to be there.
16:16 If you only get 10 seconds, 10 minutes,
16:19 30 seconds, 30 minutes studying as a church together,
16:23 do you not know that the strength of the church
16:25 on the day of Pentecost was they got together,
16:28 they were in one accord in one place.
16:31 They prayed together,
16:33 they put aside their differences.
16:34 How can you put aside your differences
16:37 when you are maintaining your differences
16:39 by natural devotion?
16:46 But somewhere along the way, God got a hold of Peter.
16:50 You see, natural devotion made Peter follow Jesus,
16:55 but Mark 14:54, you don't have to turn there,
16:57 you can go there quickly.
16:59 But Mark 14:54,
17:00 his natural devotion the Bible says,
17:03 "But Peter followed Jesus at a distance."
17:08 At a what? At a what?
17:10 Come on say, distance.
17:12 He followed Jesus but he was never close enough
17:15 for Jesus to make an impact in his life.
17:17 He followed Him at a distance.
17:19 He watched Jesus as he entered the judgment hall.
17:21 Matthew Mark and Luke all cite the fact
17:24 that Peter followed Jesus at a distance.
17:27 And some of us are followers of Jesus
17:29 but we follow Him at a distance.
17:32 We haven't gotten close enough
17:34 for the beautiful flames of Christ
17:37 to consume our natural devotion.
17:43 And then Peter eventually denied the Lord,
17:46 and he heard those words ringing in his ear.
17:50 The rooster will not crow until you have denied Me three times.
17:57 He denied Him even with profanity.
18:00 He denied any connection with God.
18:02 How are you willing to die for Me
18:04 when you can't even profess Me?
18:08 And we don't profess God just by our lips,
18:10 we profess Him by our lives.
18:13 Does your life profess the Jesus?
18:17 That's a question God brought to me.
18:18 Does your life John profess me?
18:21 I know your sermons do, but does your life profess me?
18:26 I know your songs do, but does your life profess me?
18:33 You got to ask yourself that question.
18:36 Does my life profess Jesus?
18:38 Or is my life under my direction?
18:40 I want to tell you something,
18:42 God got a hold of Peter and Peter was converted.
18:44 You see, when the resurrection day came,
18:47 Peter and John ran to the tomb.
18:51 You know why?
18:53 Because the Lord broke him,
18:54 when he realized that his denial of Christ
18:56 resulted not only in the crucifixion of Christ
18:59 but the broken relationship.
19:01 When the Lord Jesus died,
19:04 He died with a broken relationship
19:07 between Him and Peter,
19:08 and nothing brought more joy to his heart
19:11 than to get the news for Mary,
19:13 I want to tell you that he's risen.
19:16 Come on, amen. He's risen.
19:18 And so when Peter and John got that news,
19:20 Peter got to the tomb before
19:21 John broken and said, "Where is He?"
19:23 Where is He?
19:24 I need to ask Him to forgive me.
19:28 And Mary said, "He will meet you.
19:30 He will meet you with the other disciples.
19:32 We'll find Him.
19:33 And he found forgiveness in the presence of Jesus,
19:36 amen somebody?
19:37 The Lord forgave Peter.
19:39 And Peter this time, you see,
19:40 I am convinced that those of us who are like me,
19:44 whose mouths are in fifth gear
19:46 and whose lives are in first gear,
19:48 help me out somebody.
19:50 You didn't get that.
19:51 Meaning our mouths are moving so fast,
19:53 our lives can't catch up with it.
19:55 We know what everybody else ought to do
19:57 but we don't know what we ought to do,
19:58 we don't know what we ought to do.
20:00 God said, John, you tell everybody what to do.
20:03 Now I'm going to tell you what you need to do.
20:05 Amen. There you go.
20:12 God got a hold of Peter,
20:14 and the same devil that beat Peter up,
20:18 Peter said, okay, Lord, now you can count on me.
20:21 You can count on me now, I am converted.
20:24 You can count on me now, Lord, I understand my weakness,
20:27 I see where I fell, I know how flesh...
20:35 and spirit are in controversy with each other.
20:39 And now that you have changed my life,
20:42 now that I'm filled with Your spirit,
20:44 You can rely on me.
20:45 And after Peter's conversion, he threw his heart and soul
20:49 into the work of saving others and leading them to Christ.
20:52 Look at Acts 2:38, "Peter said to them, 'Repent...'"
20:55 Do what church?
20:57 "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized
21:01 in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
21:05 and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
21:10 When you're converted, when your sins are forgiven,
21:13 the Lord will fill you with a spirit
21:14 like He just filled me and Peter got together,
21:17 Peter became a soldier of the cross.
21:20 He finally embraced the power of God,
21:22 where all he had before was the vocabulary of God.
21:28 There is a difference,
21:30 between the vocabulary of God and the power of God.
21:35 Peter finally embraced the power of God
21:38 and then Peter did not care who resisted the gospel.
21:41 You know why Because heaven's agenda
21:44 finally became Peter's mission.
21:47 What you want me to do, Lord?
21:48 I messed up so bad.
21:50 I'll do anything You ask me to do.
21:52 And I want to tell you today, nothing angers Satan more
21:54 than those that offer freedom in Jesus' name.
21:57 Nothing gets the devil more upset
22:00 than when your life is lived fully dedicated to God's cause,
22:05 because your cause has been obliterated.
22:09 Acts 4:13, look at this.
22:12 This is a new Peter.
22:14 Not the timid Peter walking at a distance,
22:16 not the timid Peter hiding behind trees,
22:19 but the Bible says in verse 13 of Acts 4.
22:21 "Now when they saw the..."
22:24 "Boldness of Peter and John,
22:27 and perceive that they were uneducated
22:30 and untrained, they marveled.
22:33 And they realized..."
22:34 The most important thing,
22:36 "They realize that they had been with Jesus."
22:39 Let me tell you something, brothers and sisters,
22:40 it's good to be an Adventist Christian,
22:42 but above and beyond having good doctrines,
22:45 we need to have a connection with Jesus.
22:49 If you don't have a connection with Jesus,
22:51 you could have the cleanest colon,
22:54 but the most corrupt heart.
22:59 Some Adventists all they know is what we don't do,
23:02 rather than what we need to do.
23:04 We need to be connected with Jesus,
23:05 somebody ought to say amen.
23:08 We need to be connected with Jesus.
23:11 Only as we spend time in His presence,
23:13 will we realize and see our utter deficiencies.
23:18 It is not until we're in the presence of Jesus
23:21 that we see our deficiencies, we see our weaknesses,
23:24 we understand that our lives are not where they ought to be,
23:28 oh, I want to spend time with Jesus.
23:29 What about you?
23:34 When Peter got with Jesus,
23:35 there was only one thing more than being educated.
23:39 Peter wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
23:42 And I want to tell you today,
23:44 nothing causes greater concern to hell
23:46 than a spirit filled Christian.
23:52 Peter had become so spirit filled
23:54 that he could discern Satan's agents.
23:57 Look at the chronicle of Peter Acts 5:13.
24:01 When the church began,
24:03 Satan tried to get some counterfeit Christians
24:04 to join the church.
24:06 Tried to get some people that were counterfeit,
24:08 didn't have a relationship, they try to join the church
24:11 and pollute the early Christian church.
24:13 And Peter, God used Peter to call them out.
24:16 Acts 5:3 notice this.
24:19 "And Peter said, 'Ananias,
24:21 why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit
24:27 and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?'"
24:31 Peter was saying to Ananias,
24:33 half hearted Christianity is not acceptable to God.
24:37 If you give your heart to God,
24:38 you've got to pay the whole price.
24:42 That's what he said to him.
24:43 You've only given half of the price.
24:44 God doesn't want half of the price,
24:46 He wants all of us.
24:48 Didn't want a half hearted Christianity,
24:49 He doesn't want Sabbath keeping Adventists,
24:51 He want people that want to be Christians
24:52 everyday of the week.
24:55 Devotionally, prayerfully taking time,
24:58 inconveniencing your natural self
25:01 to have some spiritual activity with your brothers and sisters.
25:04 Peter was so filled with the spirit,
25:06 he called out the adversary by name, Satan did that to you.
25:10 I know what that's like Ananias,
25:12 he did the same thing to me.
25:16 All of a sudden Satan started noticing
25:18 how God was using Peter.
25:23 He said wait a minute.
25:26 that's why I need to be concerned about Peter.
25:28 His mouth is still big but now he's messing with me.
25:33 Peter, write his name down, Legion.
25:37 What's his name, Satan?
25:39 Write down Peter.
25:40 Let's put a new plan together for Peter.
25:43 Let's find out how we can trip him up,
25:46 shut him up, cut him up, hang him up.
25:50 Get five more evil angels
25:52 and let's study Peter, follow his path.
25:56 And Peter got so bold when he was warned
25:58 not to preach in Jesus' name in Acts 5:29,
26:01 Peter said and the other disciples said,
26:03 we ought to obey God rather than men.
26:06 That's Peter.
26:08 He did not care,
26:09 he knew what the devil had done to him, Karen.
26:11 He says, I'm going to give everything I can
26:13 for the cause of God, and when my mouth opens,
26:16 people will know that it's not just by mouth,
26:18 it's my life, that's standing in behalf of Jesus.
26:25 Peter even called out a man
26:26 that was trying to buy the Holy Spirit with money.
26:30 Do you remember that?
26:31 They saw the power
26:33 of the Spirit of God in the apostle's life.
26:35 In Acts 8:20,
26:36 "But Peter said that this man,
26:37 that tried to buy the spirit of God with money.
26:40 Peter said to him, 'Your money perish with you,
26:43 because you thought that the gift of God
26:45 could be purchased with money!"
26:46 Oh, how sad it is that today,
26:49 there are so many preachers that are selling out for money.
26:53 They're selling Jesus for money.
26:55 Oh, brothers and sisters, He paid everything for us.
26:58 Let us never put Jesus up for purchase.
27:01 Never allow financial gain to be the motive
27:05 why you serve the Lord.
27:09 The Lord was so on Peter, that Peter was so powerful
27:13 by the spirit working in his life,
27:14 that there were sometimes that Peter would pass through
27:17 a particular town.
27:18 And when you read the story,
27:21 the streets were lined with people
27:24 that were waiting for the shadow of Peter
27:27 to fall on them so that they might be healed.
27:31 That's how God was using that man.
27:32 If his shadow could but just fall on us,
27:35 we think we could be healed.
27:36 Well, a man in God's work.
27:39 And the devil said,
27:41 we gotta find a way to shut him up.
27:45 And now the sermon begins.
27:48 Acts 12:1.
27:52 "Now about that time
27:55 Herod the king stretched out his hand
27:56 to harass some from the church."
28:00 You notice I said that James and John
28:02 are going to come into view.
28:03 What did he do?
28:05 "Then he killed James
28:07 the brother of John with the sword."
28:10 I got one of them.
28:11 See God had a plan for John
28:13 'cause Revelation wasn't yet written.
28:17 So God said, I got him covered but I got a plan for Peter.
28:21 So John you're all right,
28:23 'cause you gonna be the last one.
28:27 And the reality is until we are a threat to Satan's kingdom,
28:31 Satan doesn't care about us.
28:32 That's why the Lord says in Matthew 5:10, His words are,
28:36 "Blessed are those who are persecuted
28:37 for righteousness' sake,
28:40 For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
28:42 I rather be prosecuted by man,
28:47 persecuted by man than be out of the world of God.
28:50 Come on somebody? Amen.
28:51 Because that persecution is temporary
28:53 because the Lord says,
28:54 if you are persecuted for the right reason,
28:56 heaven is yours.
28:58 Not because you bought it
28:59 but because I've given it to you for standing with me.
29:02 If we suffer with Christ, we will also reign with Christ.
29:07 But so many people want to avoid suffering,
29:09 I don't want to say that they might be offended.
29:23 Offended because I tell you the truth.
29:27 In Christ's Triumphant, page 219,
29:32 we are given a council,
29:33 "It is not safe to lose sight of Christ for one moment."
29:36 It is not safe to lose sight of Christ for what?
29:39 One moment.
29:42 "His followers must pray and believe
29:44 and love Him fervently."
29:51 But know this,
29:54 and when you start loving God fervently,
29:56 and start serving Him fervently,
29:57 and start making time for Him in your life,
29:59 Satan is going to put you on his hit list.
30:03 Look at the next verse, verse 3 and 4 of Acts 12.
30:06 "And because he..."
30:07 That is Herod was "Saw that it pleased the Jews,
30:12 he proceeded further to seize Peter also.
30:18 Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
30:21 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison,
30:24 and delivered him
30:26 to four squads of soldiers to keep him,
30:29 intending to bring him before the people after the Passover."
30:34 Now this is powerful.
30:36 He put him in prison, he locked him in prison,
30:38 he locked him to the soldiers, who are locked to the walls,
30:40 who Peter then was locked to the walls,
30:42 he was lock, lock, locked up.
30:46 He was not just in prison ministry,
30:47 he was in prison, prison, prison ministry.
30:50 He was locked up to everybody.
30:53 And it was so serious that these soldiers,
30:55 their responsibility was,
30:56 we're not just putting him behind these two gates
30:59 and plus an iron gate,
31:02 we're going to put you in jail with Peter.
31:04 We're going to lock you to the walls, lock him to you,
31:07 and lock him to the walls.
31:08 And it was their personal responsibility
31:10 that if Peter ever got away,
31:12 they would have to give their lives for Peter.
31:17 So they were diligent
31:19 but this is where intercessory prayer comes in.
31:20 You know why?
31:21 Because there are some people that cannot pray for themselves
31:23 when they are bound.
31:28 Verse 5, "Peter was therefore kept in prison, but..."
31:32 What kind of prayer, church? Constant.
31:34 "Constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church."
31:40 The church that prays together,
31:43 I am believing more and more
31:45 that there are people that cannot be set free
31:47 until we believe it is our responsibility,
31:51 as a united body to pray
31:53 for the deliverance of our family,
31:55 our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers,
31:57 come on somebody say amen.
31:59 God's got to get us to the place
32:01 where somebody else's freedom is our highest priority.
32:08 And sometimes it will never be accomplished
32:10 other than fasting and prayer.
32:17 In the very book about prayer, page 247,
32:19 we are told,
32:22 Peter was preaching his heart out,
32:24 preaching everywhere he went.
32:26 And I love what Ellen White says here.
32:28 She says, "Among God's people there should be,
32:31 at this time, frequent seasons of sincere,
32:35 earnest prayer."
32:36 Did you hear that, Karen? Frequent seasons.
32:38 Not just once in a while.
32:40 "The mind should be constantly in a prayerful attitude."
32:45 We talked about that this week.
32:47 "In the home and in the church,
32:50 let earnest prayer be offered..."
32:52 And listen to this very carefully.
32:54 "In behalf of those who have given themselves
32:58 to the preaching of the Word."
33:02 I am so encouraged, when I walk pass somebody,
33:05 and they say Pastor, we're praying for you.
33:08 You don't know how that makes me feel.
33:12 So I drops an email or maybe a voice message on my phone.
33:15 Pray for you this morning,
33:19 because the life of a pastor is one where,
33:21 we are not allowed to be sinners.
33:25 We're supposed to be perfect.
33:36 Constant rain softens the ground,
33:40 constant prayer softens the heart.
33:46 When we press into the presence of God,
33:50 we find relief it is thrown
33:52 but when we fail to present to God's presence,
33:55 we fall short of getting to the place
33:56 where living faith is activated
33:58 and where we get strength for the trial
34:00 that is ahead of us.
34:03 We got to press into God's presence through prayer,
34:05 not just study.
34:06 We got to press into God's presence through prayer.
34:12 I remember being on a plane once,
34:14 I tried my best to explain this to my wife
34:17 when I arrived in Miami.
34:19 I was sitting next to a young lady on the plane
34:21 and we struck up a conversation
34:24 and then I open my Bible to begin to pray.
34:26 And I like to sit by the window
34:29 and I was so glad I was at the window that day.
34:34 At 32,000 feet I got so drawn into the presence of God
34:38 and I began to weep.
34:39 I didn't shed a tear, I began to weep.
34:43 And I intentionally turned my body
34:45 and I tried to stretch my head as much as I could
34:47 to the window, so that this young lady
34:49 who I spoke to maybe just a little hour ago
34:52 wouldn't see me weeping.
34:54 I was so in the presence of God,
34:56 I didn't want the plane to land yet.
35:01 It was the announcement of the flight attendant that said,
35:06 we're preparing to land,
35:07 put your tray tables
35:08 in the upright and lock position,
35:10 and bring your seat backs straight up.
35:15 And I got to Miami
35:16 and I tried to explain to my wife
35:18 what happened on the plane, I said,
35:19 she was what was that like and my brother-in-law
35:21 and my sister-in-law
35:22 and my wife was sitting there say,
35:23 tell me what was it like?
35:25 I said honey,
35:27 it was like being in the warm presence of one who,
35:30 I said He sat there and he looked at me.
35:35 And he said John, "Can we talk?"
35:38 And when He said those words,
35:40 I was in that plane but I was in a different place
35:42 altogether spiritually.
35:45 My eyes began to be filled with water.
35:47 You know,
35:49 I've never had that experience like that before.
35:54 And ever since then many more had come after that,
35:56 I'll tell you at a different time.
35:59 But when you're pressing into the presence of God
36:01 something happens there
36:05 that you can't fake.
36:09 That's why the church continued to pray for Peter.
36:13 You see when the Bible said to bring Peter out,
36:16 look at verse 6.
36:18 And when Herod was about to bring him out that night,
36:23 "Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains
36:28 between two soldiers,
36:30 and the guards before the door were keeping the prison."
36:37 Bring him out did not mean set him free.
36:39 Bring him out meant, I am going to humiliate Peter
36:42 as best as I could.
36:44 All the souls he snatched
36:47 from my kingdom.
36:52 Don't fool yourself, the devil takes pleasure
36:55 in humiliating God's children.
36:59 He loves to accuse us.
37:02 And the sad reality is sometimes
37:03 what he says about us is true.
37:05 But I want to say today
37:07 and I praise God for this, only God,
37:09 only Jesus can prevent the devil
37:14 from publicly humiliating us.
37:21 That's why I love verse 7.
37:23 "An angel of the Lord stood by him,
37:25 and light shone in the prison,
37:29 and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up..."
37:33 And he said, what did he say?
37:35 "Arise quickly!'
37:36 'And his chains fell off of his hands."
37:42 You see, can I say this?
37:44 Unless we move at the command of God,
37:48 our chains would never fall off of our hands.
37:54 He didn't say arise, when you feel like it.
37:56 He didn't say, when you get time arise.
37:58 He didn't say think about it arise.
38:00 He said Peter, do it now.
38:03 This is the more arise quickly.
38:06 And when he got up at the command of God,
38:09 when he got up his chains fell.
38:11 I'm so glad that the angels of God
38:13 have never been on an unemployment line.
38:17 "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about those
38:20 that fear him and delivers them."
38:22 But there is something that's very powerful about this verse.
38:24 Very, very powerful and potent in the story and it is this.
38:32 When we are bound and we cannot get to the light,
38:37 the Lord brings the light to us.
38:41 There are lot of people in prison,
38:44 that they find the light of God in prison
38:47 because they can't come to the light.
38:48 I want to say to you in God's mercy,
38:51 He sends His light to us
38:53 even in the dark places
38:55 of our own personal experiences.
39:01 When we find ourselves bound by circumstances,
39:03 bound by a hesitating heart,
39:05 bound by our own traditional Christianity,
39:08 bound by the things we refused to do differently,
39:12 the Lord still allows His light to shine on us,
39:14 hoping that somewhere along the way this light
39:17 will ignite our hearts
39:18 and come from our darkness into His marvelous light.
39:23 I would suggest to you that that angel
39:25 when he lit that prison up,
39:26 it wasn't a dim light, there is no dim light
39:29 that comes from God, it's always marvelous light.
39:34 That's what being in bondage and being in darkness
39:37 is not always the same thing.
39:39 And there is no prison that Satan can bind us in,
39:43 that can keep the light of God from shining on us.
39:46 Now this is very important.
39:51 Peter rose and the chains fell off.
40:01 Peter could not say that he was free,
40:03 if he was still bound in the chains.
40:08 Peter could not say that he was free,
40:12 if he was still bound in the chains.
40:15 You see, the evidence of our freedom in Jesus
40:18 is that we are no longer bound by the chains.
40:23 Addictions fall away, tempers calm down,
40:27 immorality is abandon,
40:29 people begin to smile and love one another,
40:32 but Peter could not say that he was free
40:34 as long as he was still bound by the chains.
40:38 But notice the further obligation,
40:40 and this is huge in light about all I said this morning.
40:43 Acts 12:8, "Then the angel said to him..."
40:46 What did he say?
40:48 Read it together.
40:49 "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals'',
40:52 and so he did.
40:54 Put on your garments and..." What?
40:55 "Follow me."
40:57 Remember, Peter had an argument with Jesus
41:00 not too long before that, why can't I follow you?
41:03 But now he's willing to follow Him.
41:05 You see when self is put to death,
41:08 instead of arguing about how and when to follow Jesus,
41:11 all of a sudden Jesus says follow me,
41:14 and Peter has no rebuttal, I am going to follow you, Lord.
41:18 But here is something that's very powerfully important.
41:21 When the Lord breaks our chains,
41:23 He instantly frees us from the things that bind us.
41:27 Hear me carefully.
41:28 Look up here, you got to get this,
41:29 this is powerful.
41:34 When the Lord breaks our chains,
41:36 He instantly...
41:37 what word did I just use?
41:39 He immediately frees us
41:43 from the thing that bound us.
41:50 But He methodically frees us
41:52 from the circumstances that bind us.
41:58 When God breaks our chains,
42:00 He now asks us to join him in our journey of freedom.
42:07 You see, freedom is not just an immediate act,
42:09 freedom is a continual process.
42:12 That's why Jesus said to the disciples,
42:14 "Follow Me and I will make you."
42:19 Now this is vitally important you see,
42:21 when delivered and Peter didn't,
42:23 for the first time in his life,
42:24 Peter didn't ask God where are we going?
42:26 What are we doing? Where we're going to end up?
42:28 For the first time in his life
42:29 he did not care where he ended up.
42:31 What was more important to him was whom he was following.
42:38 But Jesus wanted to do something else.
42:40 He didn't want to just break his chains.
42:42 Hear me carefully.
42:44 He wanted to change, He wanted to change the place
42:48 where Peter had been bound.
42:53 Look at verse 9.
42:57 "So he went out and followed him,
42:59 and did not know that
43:00 what was done by the angel was real,
43:02 but thought he was seeing a..."
43:04 What? "Vision."
43:06 You know, when God begins to transform our life,
43:09 I have to say this.
43:11 When God begins to transform our lives,
43:16 the reason why we can't believe what we're seeing
43:22 is because God transforms us
43:25 into a vision that only He has of us.
43:31 So when we see what we become in Jesus,
43:36 we say that can't be that, that can't be.
43:41 Am I really seeing Garland.
43:44 That's not the Garland I know.
43:46 Even Garland will say, that's not the Garland I know.
43:51 Because God has a vision for us,
43:53 better than the vision we have for ourselves.
43:57 He says it has not yet been revealed what you shall be,
44:01 but we do know that when He is revealed,
44:03 we shall be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.
44:08 God's vision for everyone of us which is hard to believe,
44:12 I want to tell you today, it's hard to believe
44:15 that one day I will be like Jesus.
44:20 Oh, but I'm so glad that the Lord sees it.
44:24 Because He sees it, Louis,
44:25 He can work on me and he said,
44:29 thank you Jesus.
44:30 He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.
44:42 I'm preaching to myself.
44:46 Hope you enjoy my sermon to myself.
44:52 God's got a vision for us,
44:53 that's hard for us to even understand.
44:57 But complete deliverance, hear me church as I wind up.
45:01 Complete deliverance is a process.
45:05 Can I say that again?
45:06 Complete deliverance is a, what?
45:09 Go to the very next verse, verse 10.
45:12 "When they were past the first and second gate posts,
45:15 they came to the iron gate..."
45:17 Look at all the places,
45:18 look at all the things that locked Peter in.
45:20 Now I want you to get this.
45:21 Peter was free, the chains were broken,
45:24 the chains were broken, Mike...
45:27 But there were gates holding him in.
45:28 And what many of us have to come to the realization of is
45:32 there are gates in our lives,
45:34 there are gates in our lives holding us in,
45:38 even though we say we are free,
45:39 there are gates still ahead of us,
45:41 that we've not gotten through iron gates,
45:44 first gates, second gates, it goes on.
45:48 "Which opened to them of its own accord,
45:51 and they went out and went down one street,
45:54 and immediately the angel departed from him."
46:00 Bondage sin has gates.
46:03 If you've ever been bound by a tenacious sin, you know
46:06 that freedom comes in stages.
46:08 Can I get an amen somebody?
46:09 Yeah, amen.
46:10 You may say, oh, the Lord forgave me,
46:13 but it's going to take me sometime
46:15 to get pass those gates.
46:18 When you get pass the first gate, you say,
46:20 oh, feel better than I did last week.
46:24 And you get pass the next gate,
46:26 feel better than I did week before last.
46:29 And you get pass the iron gate,
46:33 I'm so glad I'm completely out of that situation.
46:37 And when you're out of the situation,
46:39 hear me this morning.
46:40 It is not until you're out of the situation
46:43 that the angel said,
46:44 now I can leave you by yourself,
46:46 you gonna be all right, you're going to be okay.
46:50 The angel had something else to do.
46:52 He delivered Peter from his own circumstances,
46:55 not just from his chains.
46:59 Verse 11,
47:01 "And when Peter had come to himself, he said..."
47:04 Oh, I like this, God does not stop leading
47:06 until we know that we are free.
47:08 God does not stop leading until we know that we are free.
47:11 Peter said to himself, what did he say?
47:13 Together, "Now I know for certain
47:17 that the Lord has sent His angel,
47:19 and has delivered me from the hand of a Herod
47:22 and from all the expectation of the Jewish people."
47:26 The only thing more powerful
47:28 than being bound is being delivered.
47:32 Here the devil had different expectations.
47:35 But now this is where the sermon ends.
47:38 The church is praying, I got to close my Bible now.
47:42 The church is praying.
47:44 Man, I just hope our church is not talked about in this text.
47:48 They are praying in verse 12 to 14.
47:52 "So when he had considered this,
47:53 he came to the house of Mary,
47:55 the mother of John whose surname was Mark,
47:57 where many were gathered together..."
47:58 Doing what? "Praying.
48:00 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate,
48:04 a girl named Rhoda came to answer.
48:06 And when she recognized Peter's voice,
48:08 because of her gladness she did not open the gate,
48:11 but ran in and announced
48:12 that Peter stood before the gate.
48:14 But they said to her, "You are beside yourself!'
48:16 "Another translation says, you're mad.
48:19 "Yet she kept insisting that it was so.
48:22 So they said ''it is an angel.'
48:24 'So now Peter continued knocking,
48:27 and when they open the door and saw him..."
48:28 They were what? "Astonished."
48:31 Why would God answer the prayers of a church
48:34 that did not believe in prayer?
48:37 I had to wrestle with that, Joe.
48:39 I had to wrestle with that.
48:40 I had to find an answer.
48:42 Why would God answer the prayer
48:43 of a bunch of folk that are praying
48:44 and don't even believe that God can answer prayers?
48:47 Why would He do it, Rosemary?
48:48 Why would He do it?
48:50 And God gave me the answer this morning.
48:51 See I sent Mike Babb my sermon yesterday.
48:54 But I said to Mike, this morning,
48:56 I got a new version.
48:57 Get part two.
48:59 Get the newer version,
49:00 because God gave me some answers this morning.
49:02 This is a part of my devotions this morning.
49:08 And this is divine.
49:09 Our prayers are answered not because of our great faith,
49:12 they are answered because of our great God.
49:15 Praise the Lord.
49:17 Hallelujah, He answers our prayers
49:19 not because we're great but because He's great.
49:26 But this is the close. Listen to this.
49:29 "But motioning to them with his hands to keep silent,
49:35 he declared to them
49:37 how the Lord had brought him out..."
49:57 How the Lord had brought him out?
50:07 "And he said, 'Go, tell these things to James
50:10 and he departed to another place."
50:13 'It's the last point but it's probably the most powerful.
50:17 God not only delivered Peter from his chains,
50:20 God delivered Peter from the places
50:23 he had become familiar with.
50:30 You see, I've learned this week
50:31 that the Lord wants to do things in our lives
50:33 that will astound us.
50:36 When they saw Peter, they were astounded.
50:45 This is not selfish Father...
50:50 but I want my life to be astounding to God.
50:54 I don't want a mediocre life anymore.
50:57 I want my life to be astounding to God,
51:03 so that the next time that the conversation comes up
51:06 between Jesus and Satan...
51:11 and the devil brings up my name,
51:13 the Lord will say,
51:14 you don't want to mess with him this time.
51:16 Amen somebody?
51:19 You forgot the last time.
51:22 We've had trials in our ministry,
51:24 we've had tests all along the way.
51:26 And the test have continued to come,
51:28 sometimes through the frailty of our own self absorption
51:32 and our lack of faithfulness to God.
51:39 And so here it is 2017,
51:41 and I believe one of the reasons
51:43 why so many of us
51:45 keep telling the same old stories is that,
51:48 we're chained to the same places.
51:52 Our chains are broken but we're in the same place.
51:55 You see it's 2017, I'm praying that,
52:01 that God will break your chains
52:05 and give you a better study life.
52:07 He'll take you from the same place
52:09 of a humdrum prayer life
52:11 and turn that prayer life into the power of God.
52:15 That He will take you from the place
52:17 where your spiritual life
52:18 seems to be okay with you,
52:23 but it will become a power in the hand of God.
52:27 So this morning, as this chorus has sung by us.
52:30 If you just put the words up there,
52:32 I don't even need to turn to it.
52:33 I think we need to pray today.
52:35 I think we need to pray today.
52:39 But if you want to pray with me,
52:40 if you want to come up and pray with me.
52:43 We had this song last week.
52:44 I remember, somebody said, Pastor,
52:46 this was the closing song last Sabbath.
52:49 I said, it's going to be the closing song this Sabbath
52:51 because we still need to pray.
52:54 The year just began, we can't just make one Sabbath,
52:57 the Sabbath of prayer, we need to pray.
52:59 And today, what I want you to come forward to do and pray
53:02 in your prayer, if you come forward today
53:03 to pray at the altar with me.
53:06 If God is talking to you today
53:08 and you want to come forward to pray.
53:13 You're praying that the Lord
53:14 will break the chains that bind you,
53:16 whatever they may be, you're too busy,
53:20 you don't feel the need of fellowship,
53:23 you've got other things to do...
53:28 I can be a Christian by myself,
53:32 you want the Lord to break those chains today.
53:36 You don't want to be in the same place in 2017,
53:38 that you were in '16 and '15, and maybe '14.
53:42 I don't know how far back it goes...
53:47 but you cannot enter 2017 with your study life
53:51 chained to the same place,
53:53 your prayer life chained to the same place,
53:55 your spiritual life chained to the same place,
53:58 your devotional life chained to the same place,
54:01 you will never be astounding to God
54:03 with your life chained to the same place.
54:07 See in that same book on prayer, it is said,
54:10 and hear me, before we pray.
54:13 It is a part of God's plan to grant to us,
54:16 and answer to the prayer of faith
54:19 that which He would not bestow,
54:23 did we not thus ask.
54:26 So this morning, I want you in your own prayer circle to pray.
54:31 There is a chain in your life,
54:32 there's a chain and there's a prison in your life,
54:34 there're some gates you've got to get passed.
54:37 There's an iron gate in your way,
54:40 but you've got to arise and follow Jesus.
54:42 You can't ask for directions, you can't ask Father,
54:44 where are we going, you just got to get up and go.
54:48 You've got to submit your life to the guiding angel
54:50 that God has sent to be by your side.
54:53 You've got to pray like you've never prayed before,
54:55 become devoted like you've never been devoted before,
54:58 you've got to change your schedule
55:00 if it's too busy for Jesus, it's not of Him.
55:04 If Jesus is not in it,
55:05 if corporate prayer is not in it,
55:07 if time with your brothers and sisters is not there,
55:10 then it ain't God's schedule.
55:12 Busyness is sometimes Satan's greatest tool,
55:15 and so Father,
55:17 I thank You that You delivered us,
55:20 You delivered us, You delivered me
55:23 from my self absorbed life of activity,
55:27 for my self definition of righteousness,
55:30 for my own definition of
55:32 personal stumblings and bumblings
55:36 and all the chains that Satan had bound me
55:39 with you broke them.
55:41 Thank you Jesus.
55:42 You broke them,
55:45 and my life is in a different place now.
55:48 For Your glory, let us pray.
55:50 Pray independently, I'm going to just pray audibly,
55:54 you pray in your heart that God will speak to you.
55:57 Loving Father, Your people are standing here today.
56:01 You want to breathe into them
56:03 and cause them to be a mighty army.
56:05 You want to take these dry bones
56:07 and cover them what's anew,
56:08 put Your spirit within them
56:10 that we here in Thompsonville
56:14 might stand up a great
56:15 and mighty army unified,
56:19 transformed, spirit filled
56:24 and delivered.
56:27 You don't want us to go forward from this place today
56:30 with the same attitude we brought here,
56:33 with the same agenda we brought here,
56:36 with our beautifully organized calendars
56:38 where Jesus is hardly even seen in it.
56:42 Lord reorder our steps, for You said,
56:44 the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.
56:50 Father, we've been going all these different ways
56:52 but there's a way that seems right
56:53 but in the end we'll realize
56:55 it's just been the way of death.
56:57 We want to go the way of life.
57:00 Some of us are just as impetuous as Peter.
57:03 Our mouths are in fifth gear, and our minds are in first,
57:06 but Lord today...
57:08 the devil's asking for us that he might sift us,
57:11 but Lord today we now know you're praying for us.
57:16 Help us to pray for one another.
57:20 Sometimes You walk through the doors of this church
57:22 and we put our eyes on another brother or sister
57:24 that we just don't like
57:26 and the devil glorifies in that.
57:31 Give us a Pentecostal experience
57:32 on the day of Pentecost pour into us,
57:35 only as we are on our knees praying for unity,
57:39 for our lives to be burnt up,
57:45 for ourselves to be consumed,
57:49 for us to be broken before you
57:52 that we could be whole the way that you see.
57:57 And then finally Father, You can give us a vision
57:59 of who You always saw us to be,
58:02 and when people see us they will be astounded,
58:05 is that who I think it is.
58:09 Oh, Lord, Jesus, thank You for such deep love.
58:12 And so we submit ourselves to you today Father,
58:15 this is not the end all that ends all
58:16 but Lord I pray that this is a humble beginning.
58:20 And this year will be the soul spirit filled
58:21 that this church will be shoulder to shoulder in lives
58:26 that have been set free by our prayers in our work.
58:31 Family members that have been delivered,
58:33 the community that has been delivered,
58:34 our neighbors and friends that have been delivered,
58:37 because we brought them to you in prayer.
58:39 And then we went and labored for their salvation
58:42 because we have been put to death.
58:44 And so, Father, hear our prayers today.
58:46 Now our dear Lord as we pray,
58:50 take our hearts and minds far away
58:53 and may You alone receive all the glory,
58:56 and we pray this in the precious
58:59 and worthy name of Jesus, our savior.
59:02 Amen and amen.