THEME: STRENGTH THROUGH KNOWING GOD. Part 1

PART 1: THE SOURCE OF STRENGTH

Let’s turn to our theme for this evening.

I saw the title for these two seminar series was faith and spiritual power. I tried to be obedient and I really sought the Lord on what I could say about faith and spiritual power.

One of the scriptures that came to me, you may not be familiar with; it’s found in the book of Daniel 11:32. It describes a time prophetically when evil is going to be tremendously powerful and is going to sweep almost everything before it. I n that passage; one kind of person who will not be overwhelmed by the flood of evil, will be triumphant and active and successful in the midst of evil.

From my point of observation which is as you have heard is nearly 70 years of very active involvement in the work of God, the people of God, travelling in many nations, having a certain background experience of situations which probably are not known to many of you; I find that the tide of evil in the world is rising with amazing rapidity.

I have to keep bearing in mind that I’m older than most of you but when I think of what England was like when I grew up there between World war I and World war II; the security, the stability, the sense of expected values; I can hardly believe the changes that have taken place.

I’ve lived for now more than 20 years most of the time in the United States. In those 20 years, the changes that have taken place; I can only describe them as capitalistic. The changes in morality, in relationships, family life; surge of divorce rate, the open walking of wickedness, the form of homosexuality, violence, perverted lifestyles; It really…, when I look back; I have to say to myself,” did all that happen in just 20 years?”

Then I think of the countries I’ve been close to over the years; that country is Sweden. I first went to Sweden as a young minister in 1947, it was the most God-fearing nation that I had ever visited. The people lined up on the streets for the church services on Sunday morning and you could go out on Saturday night and feel the sense of God’s presence in the streets somehow.

I don’t know if any nation has ever declined morally, so rapidly as Sweden. I talked to a young Swedish journalist a couple of years ago who interviewed me; he was probably 30 years old. When I told him my first impressions of his land when I first visited before he was born; he couldn’t believe me, he didn’t question me but he said, “I cannot believe that my nation was ever really like that.”

And then; when I think of what has happened to the British Empire; I come from a family of empire builders. Every male member of the family that I have ever known was an empire builder. The only problem today is; there’s no empire to build.

When I think of the disintegration of the British Empire; I am not suggesting that was a historical disaster; believe me; but I am just simply saying, the amazing, the rapid change; without defeat in war between 1948 and today in Britain.

Whoever imagined that you would arrive at London Airport and be greeted by signs in Arabic. I mean it was so remote from the Britain I knew after World war II. I am not suggesting that these changes are necessarily harmful but we live in a period of incessant, violent and I think uncontrollable change.

And I personally believe that the scene depicted at the close of the book of Daniel; could be the description of the world before the end of this present century. I want to suggest to you that the words I’m going to read are very brief and are very relevant.

Daniel 11:32- Those who do wickedly against the covenant; she (that is the Anti -Christ) shall corrupt with flattery, but those that know their God shall be strong. New International Version says, “…., shall firmly resist him.”; the Hebrews version says, “the people who know their God, shall do,” that’s like a blank sac; you can write in anything. There’s nothing that the people who know their God will not be able to do. I believe ultimately that, that’s the only secure source of strength and power that is available to any of us, is the knowledge of God.

And as I travel around, and I travel really widely, and I have encountered Christians from almost every background; right from the Roman Catholic through the other extreme, whatever that may be- you may to call it, the Pentecostal although that’s just a circle repeating itself again.

But anyhow; my observation is that most of God’s people are interested in things and have relatively little time for God.

Now; there are always outstanding exceptions to that statement but basically; you talk about power, people’s ears open; you talk about healing and they will come almost endlessly. You can talk about other dramatic aspects of Christian ministry and people are ready to listen; but I get that there’s very little that’s really being taught about God himself. I wanted to say to you this evening that, anything that is not rooted in God, is going to be swept away by the floods of evil.

When I read power in the title for this seminar, I thought to myself, “the mere desire for power can be extraordinarily dangerous.” Psychiatrist Yang Yongxin who says that the quest for power, is the main motivation of human beings.” I am not saying that this is actually true but there’s something in almost every person and it starts in early childhood that wants power. I believe that is placed in man by the creator because man was created to rule. The problem with angry regenerate fallen man is, he wants the power, he wants to rule without reading the conditions.

Tonight, I want to speak about the knowledge of God. It’s a vast subject; I have to say I feel inadequate even to begin with it but on the other hand; if I don’t begin, I’ll never get further.

I would like to turn now to Exodus 19, we’ll read the first 6 verses; these were a message that God gave to Moses for the children of Israel after he had redeemed them from slavery in Egypt, brought them out by tremendous miracles and brought them to the foot of Mt. Sinai where he proposed to enter a covenant with them; and here, God stated the purpose of Israel’s redemption.

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