Kevin Wallace: Matthew chapter 4. Today, I finished a series that I began some time ago called Ancestry.God, and we have talked about being born of God. How many are glad you are sons and daughters of God?
Kevin Wallace: It does not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when we see him we shall be like him for we shall see him just as he is. I'm thankful today that I am becoming who I already am. I said I am becoming who I already am. I'm not going to be a son of God someday, I am a son of God right now. And I'm thankful that while I'm becoming a son of God I am a son of God. And so this is the wonder and the beauty of grace. God is willing to look at you as you are and call you now what you shall be in the future. I believe that if he's still working on you no matter how messed up you feel God ain't through yet and he's working in you to bring you into a more conformed image into the person of Jesus Christ. And so today we thank God for the work of Grace. Matthew chapter 4, I'm going to finish this sermon today, this series today and I want to preach a message called The Satanic If. The Satanic If. How many know the devil will try to come and challenge who you are in God? If you don't believe me I'm glad I got scripture to back me up this morning. Matthew chapter 4 verse 1 for a few minutes let's jump into the word. Somebody said a few minutes? No, no, no someone said that. I heard somebody say, “Yeah, right, a few minutes.” Few is a general term. We'll see what few means when we get through, amen?
Kevin Wallace: Matthew 4 verse 1, then… Somebody say then.
Kevin Wallace: Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights afterward he was hungry. Now, when the tempter came to him, he said, “If you are the son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But he answered and said, “It is written man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took him up into the holy city, set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the son of God, then throw yourself down for it is written he will give his angels charge over you and in their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against the stone.” And Jesus said to him, “It is written you shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Again, the devil took him upon an exceedingly high mountain and showed him the kingdoms, all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him, “All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said… Now the New King James says away with you, but I like what the old saints used to preach in the King James growing up that says, “Satan, get thee behind me for it is written you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” And the devil left him. How many know that's good news right there? You actually can get to such a place of obedience in your life that the devil don't want to hang out with you no more. The devil left him and angels came to him and served or ministered to him. The Satanic If. Help me Lord teach today. I thank you that you are removing the questions out of hearts today. That's the assignment on this house this morning to bring us into a place of believing that you really do love us and we really are your children. So bless us now we pray with this revelation in Jesus name, and everyone said amen, can be seated in the presence of the Lord. To some people this is one of the most perplexing passages of scripture in the entire New Testament we have been talking for the last several weeks about spiritual ancestry, spiritual DNA belonging to God, being born of God, coming from God, being identified as sons and daughters of God. And in this text before us today we see the son of God, Jesus Christ the only begotten of the Father who is standing in a place in a test battling something that I think you and I battle. At least if you haven't battled it you will and if you don't know what I'm talking about it's this test of sonship. It's this challenge against our claim that we belong to God. Te enemy understands the power that exists and is released into our life when we know we are sons and daughters of God. The Bible said to them who believed him to them Jesus gave power to become the sons of God. When you believe Jesus Christ is the Lord and that he is the sacrifice made from the foundation of the world to forgive the world of its sins when you trust his death on the cross and his resurrection for when you believe that a power is released into your life. According to John chapter one, a power is released into your life to become the sons and daughters of God. You cannot become the sons and daughters of God without the power of God. The sons and daughters of God did not become sons and daughters simply because they joined a membership role at a church. There are people whose names are on the membership role but not written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Kevin Wallace: It takes the power of God to become the sons and daughters of God and the enemy knows that when you know and you believe in Jesus that that power is released into your life and immediately the enemy becomes just inundated and totally committed to causing you and me to question if we really are the sons and daughters of God. It's one of the great tactics of the enemy to make you feel like you don't belong to God when you really do. And we read the scripture and we have all kinds of questions if we're really honest about ourselves. We have all kinds of questions because this is not, this is not a demonic setup. Read the text. It does not say the devil drove him into the wilderness, it says the Holy Spirit did. You all can't handle this one. What if I told you the Spirit was not interested in your comfort, he was interested in your development? And one reason we have people getting bitter and offended with God as we preach a God who wants to make us happy rather than holy. And sometimes the Spirit of God is not interested in leading us into a [inaudible 00:07:53] patch with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sometimes the spirit is about us being put into situations not so that we fall but so to reveal to our enemy they really are who I call them and they really are who I declared them to be. What if I told you the Spirit was setting you up, not to show you how weak you are but to show your enemy how bad you are, and how awesome you are in Christ Jesus? The wilderness is not about causing you to fall, the wilderness is about a test. Not a test to make you turn but a test to reveal who you really are. You don't know what you have until you get told you don't have it. You don't know what you have down in you until you get under a little bit of pressure. I want to tell you right now some of you are going through a wilderness and your theology doesn't help you understand that the wilderness you are in has nothing to do with God not liking you or God being displeased with you. The wilderness we go through sometimes is a reminder to the enemy and even a revelation to us that we really do belong to God, and no weapon formed against us really will ever prosper. Why does the son of God Jesus Christ go into the wilderness? If God loved him why would he let him go there? Why would the Spirit take him there? I'll tell you why because Jesus wanted us to see that the test in his wilderness was not just about him and his sonship, it was actually about him demonstrating to us that you can make it through the tests. Do you understand that we serve at Jesus? Listen to me carefully, we serve a Jesus who knows what it's like to be alone, who knows what it's like to fill abandoned. He knows what it's like to feel empty and tired. He knows what it's like to feel stressed out. He went through this wilderness so that he could feel what you're feeling on a Sunday morning like this. When your mind is racked with questions, your life is filled with all sorts of uncertainty, it even looks like there is a bit of chaos occurring in your life. You feel pain in your body, you have grief in your mind. You have more bills than you have money, you can't get them to call you back, you can't get them to leave you alone, you got kids running away from God, and you're sitting in this church and we're praising to God who we say sits on the whole thing, and he's big and strong and can do anything, and yes we believe that. But I don't just serve a God who can do something about it, I serve a God who knows what I feel like when I'm having a bad day, and when I feel like I can't make it. We have a high priest who has been touched with the feeling of our infirmity. Glory to God. He knows what it's like to go through some things. And if you don't preach that about Jesus no wonder people don't want to serve Him. He's not some aloof God sitting on a stool in some far removed corner of the universe. He has been there too. That's why I praise him because he didn't just expect something of me that he didn't show me how to do. He said, “I'm going to show you that life on this planet can be hard. Life on this planet can be challenging. Some days are better than others but I want to show you that in spite of every demonic attack you have been promised victory.” Glory to God I feel like preaching. In spite of every bad day, in spite of every bad report, in spite of every bad diagnosis from a good meaning doctor, I'm still God. I'm still on the throne. I'm still in control and I still got you. Somebody needs to praise him right now, that he's not just the God of the mountain, he's the God of the valley, hallelujah. That's what he's showing us today that he's been through the wilderness and he's feeling the pressure. This is crazy because it comes after one of the most defining moments of Jesus entire life. If you flip back to Matthew chapter 3 you find him coming out of the city into the region of Jordan to be baptized to John. Oh, I wish I had time to preach. I was studying Matthew 3 this weekend. There's a word from the Lord, there's a powerful word from the Lord. Jesus prayed. And when he prayed three things happened: Heaven opened, the dove descended, and the voice came. Lord, have mercy. I don't know about you, but I'll be alright if Heaven opens, the dove descends, and the voice comes. I need some helping here right now. I don't know if you'll ever get a new car. I don't know if you'll ever get a bigger house. I'm praying you do. I don't know if you'll get another promotion or a bigger bonus, but I know one thing, if Heaven opens, and the dove descends, and the voice of the Father comes, I've got to promise everything else is going to be alright. Some of you need today, you just need to thank God that if and when you pray Heaven will open, the dove will descend, and the voice will come. Hell may break loose, it may reel the whole nation, may go to hell in a hand basket, but if I pray Heaven will open, the dove will descend, and the voice of God will come. I may not be able to make it another day in my flesh but if I call the name of the Lord, Heaven will open, the dove will descend, and the voice will come. Let the sinners sin, let the wrong righteous continue their evil ways, but let the saints open up their mouth and call on the name of the Lord. If we pray Heaven will open, the dove will descend and the voice will come. But I didn't come to preach about that. When Heaven opened, when the Dove descended, and when the voice came, the Father said from Heaven, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” Now, can I tell you something? It is one thing when somebody walks up and says, “Thus saith the Lord, you pleasing God.” And you think, “Oh, praise the Lord. Thank you, God.” It's another thing when daddy… Yeah, I'm thankful for every prophetic word ever given to me and I needed some prophetic words in my life but the most memorable and unforgettable moments in my spirit did not come when I got a prophecy, it came when I was in a place of prayer, and Heaven opened, and the dove descended, and the voice came. And the voice didn't talk about my performance. This is why some people don't understand the revelation of rest because you're always trying to do something to earn something and God said, “If I can just get you to go to sleep, Adam, I'll take some out of you while you're sleeping, and while you're sleeping and resting I'll create the greatest gift that you've ever been given. It's the gift of Eve.” Come on in here somebody. In order for me to give you what you need, I'm going to have to put you to sleep and take the fight out of you. Oh, who am I talking to? I want you to know today that some of you can't get what God has because you're too busy trying to do it in your strength, and the danger with God letting you do something in your strength is that if you do it in your strength you won't know who to give glory to when it happens. But when God lets every door slam, and when God lets every phone not ring, and when God drives up all of your connections, and when all your resources come to naught, and you don't have anywhere else to turn, and you say like Adam, “I don't have to go to bed and put a sleep on this,” God said, “That's what I've been waiting on. I wanted you to get in a position of rest because if I can get you in a place of rest, I'll do something in your rest, in your stressless rest that you could never do in your own strength, and when you wake up you're seeing something you never saw. While you are awake, I did it. While you were resting, I'm the only one who can take the glory for it is God.” I feel God is getting ready to do that for some of you in this room. God is getting ready for some business men in this room, some business ladies in this room. You've been trying to figure out a strategy for getting more. God said stop working for more and rest in me, and let me do something in grace that you could never do in your flesh. Tell somebody, tell them chill out.
Audience: Chill out.
Kevin Wallace: You are stressing us out. You are wearing us out. I mean every time we see you, you and the chaotic mess going to trying to do something else. God is saying, “Chill. Let me show you what I can do when you trust me.” It comes to this wilderness. The Father is not talking to him about his performance. In fact, if I could just give you this revelation, Jesus has not preached the sermon yet.
Kevin Wallace: He's not healed the blind man yet. He's not raised Lazarus yet. He hasn't done anything yet that would merit the pleasing of the father, but the father wants the son Jesus to know that I am pleased with you not because of your performance.
Kevin Wallace: This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. But what did he do for that? What did he do to make the Father happy? You're ready for this? He was just a son.
Audience: Amen. Praise Jesus.
Kevin Wallace: Some people don't like Christianity because we show them a treadmill. And all we are concerned with is how much we do for God. Our entire identity, oh God, is tied up in what we do rather than who we are. The father says from Heaven, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” The revelation for some of us in this room today is that God is not impressed with your preaching or your singing. He gave you that gift. God wants you to know that just like you are, bad breath in the morning. Every little idiosyncrasy about you, just like you are because you are in Christ, you please the Father. It was one of the most defining moments in the life of Jesus and he's standing in the River Jordan, and the Heavens open, and the Dove descends, and the voice comes, and the father said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” And it was like wow. That was like a defining moment. And then you flip the page. And this pleasing son who loves the father and who is known by the father and adored by the father, and pleasing the father, this same Jesus goes from this defining moment of knowing who he is, and the Spirit leads him into the wilderness and this is what I came to talk about just for a moment right here. Satan challenges his identity. And he comes to Jesus and he says to him if. It's a two-letter word. It's two letters, two letters that set your mind and your thinking in a course of defeat if not careful. Because all Satan attempts to do to us in our life is cause us to question our identity in God, and it doesn't take him much to convince us that we're not who God said we are. In fact, sometimes it takes one failure. Have you ever been in a worship service? You all don't have to say amen, you don't have to wave your hand, don't wag your head, just wink at me if I'm telling the truth. I don't want to incriminate nobody. But if you've ever been in a worship service and God opened the Heavens, the dove descends, the voice comes and you feel like God's mighty man or God's mighty woman of faith and power, like you feel invincible. And then you get home. You know what, it don't even take that long. You get in the car. I saw some people go… You get in the car, before you get to the restaurant, you do something or say something stupid. I'll go over here real quick. I'm going to let you all work that out. I'm going to over here. Let me let you all work that out. And immediately a voice comes and it sounds something like this, if that was real you wouldn't have done that. If that prophetic word you got was really true, you wouldn't have fallen into that. If you really was a man of God, if you really was a woman of God, you wouldn't have done that. And in one moment, Devin, one moment all that you had faith and confidence in immediately evaporates and you were thrown into the throw of if I am a son or a daughter of God. Now, I recognize most people and many people in this room perhaps may not have that struggle because you're rooted and grounded in faith, but it would blow your mind. How many people come to worship on Sunday and really question their identity in God throughout the week? And the reason Satan does that to you and I is because he understands if he causes us to question our identity and lose our faith then we lose the power. And we walk around and our failure speaks louder than his righteousness. Rewind. Our failure speaks louder than his righteousness. One last time, our failure speaks louder than his righteousness. What do we do when we fall? Do we allow our failure to define our future or his righteousness to declare our future? Because if my failure defines my future I have no future because I have been at times a person who failed God. Now, you all can look at me so holy and sit out there an act like you don't know what I'm talking about, but every single person with warm blood flowing through their veins has at some point in your journey failed God. I know you don't want nobody who's sitting on your row to know it. And I know you don't want your wife to even have an inkling that I'm talking about you, sir, but I'm talking to you, sir. Everybody in this room has failed God at some point in your life. The reason you're not a failure however is because his righteousness speaks louder than your failure does. This is not permission to fail, this is encouragement to get up when you fall and not fail in the same way again. What he did on the cross for me is greater than what I have done to myself. If I trust him and keep believing God's going to make sure. Now Satan comes with a two-letter word if, if you are the son of God. The first thing he says is, “If you are the son of God…” I want you to see this. This is after a 40-day fast. How many of you have ever fasted a day? I'm not talking about like you fasted Facebook. I guess I'll tickle with these [inaudible 00:24:59] Christians. It's like, “I'm going to suffer for the Lord.” “What are you going to give up?” “Instagram.” Boy, you getting a real breakthrough on that when I tell you right now God is going to do something deep in your life, right?
Kevin Wallace: Give up that foolishness that ought to bless you. That ain't even a sacrifice. It's like deliverance, right?
Kevin Wallace: How many have ever fasted food for a whole 24-hour period, lift your hand? How many have ever fasted food for three days? Seven days? Anybody here ever fasted 21 days? 40 days? How many would agree with me that it don't take long to get hungry. Not hungry, hungry. It don't take long. It don't take long. In fact about lunchtime. You walk into Walmart at lunchtime and you see a 12-foot steak hanging on the meat section, and your lips start puckering and your mouth starts watering, and you hear a voice, “Go to the meat section.” And I don't know what it is about when I fast but every time I fast they're giving away free samples. You want those sams. I'm trying to serve the Lord and honor God with a fast and this woman has got an oatmeal cream pie on a stick. And I don't want one, I want one and then I'm going to take my jacket off and come back and look like somebody else and get another one. You all are not being real in here. You know you've gotten more than one. Stole it, stole it and didn't even repent over it. What are these people doing here, man? My God, you all got stuff and I'm trying to preach them. You all worried about me, “GQ, come on leave me alone.” Lord have mercy. People fluffing. I'm not a bride, I'm a preacher my God. This ain't no dress, it's a jacket, hallelujah. So Jesus was hungry, 40 days of nothing to eat and what does Satan do? Watch the strategy of Satan. He comes into the wilderness and says if you are the son of God… He questions the identity of Jesus and attaches it to a temptation to fulfill his flesh in his own power. In other words, what he's saying to Jesus is, “You're hungry, you have power, make these stones bread. And if you don't you're not the son of God.” Look at it. If you are the son of God make these stones turn into bread. It's a double whammy. If he doesn't turn the stones into bread Satan is going to say, “You're not the son of God.” If he turns the stones into bread then Satan has successfully lured him into getting him to use his power for selfish gain.
Kevin Wallace: How did you win that battle? Only one way. It is written.
Kevin Wallace: Man, does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. Now, I got a revelation this week that bless my soul. Jesus did not say it will be written, he said it is written, and the blessing for that in me is that in spite of every temptation that will come to us in our future, our answer is not going to be written, it's already written. There is no temptation that will come to you in your future that God hadn't written something about it already. All you've got to do is know the word in such a way that when the temptation comes you don't have to go scrambling for chicken soup in the Christian soul. You say, “No, devil it is written man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” What if I told you your answer was not coming, your answer has already been written. Oh my god, I am getting ready to bless myself in this sanctified church this morning. God is not coming up with my healing, he already wrote about my healing. He said it was wounded for my transgressions, bruised for my iniquity to chastise whether my peace was upon him and he wrote down these words by his stripes I am healed. He's not going to give me a promise about joy, he already wrote my promise about joy. He said weeping only endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Slap three people in your area and tell your neighbor it is written. I'm thankful that Heaven and Earth may pass away, but the Word of God are bound forever. If you know the Bible it'll bless you in the season when it looks like hell is breaking loose. How do I know it? Because the Bible said the word of the Lord shall not come back void. If God ever wrote it down he meant what he said, he said what he meant and Heaven and Earth are established on the word of God. It's written. It's not suggested, it's written. It's not being talked about, it's written. Well, how am I going to pay my bills? Open the Bible and God shall supply. Oh, [inaudible 00:31:27]. This is to elementary. That's where we've lost victory in the church. We lost the ability to open up our mouth and say to the enemy that is vexing our soul, devil I know what the book says. I don't even know where this voice I'm struggling in is coming from. I don't know who's talking in my ear but I know what Abba says. I know what Yahweh has declared. This is how big his word is. God said I put my word above my name. Oh, did you hear what I said? God put his word above his name. His name is holy, his name is a strong power, his name is a righteous name but God said I put my word above my name. In other words he said, I want you to know it's not just about who I am, but what I say is who I am and what I say is what I'll do. It's written. Now, you can sit and parse things theologically and we should do that sometimes, but there are some times when that white page full of those black letters becomes more than words on a page, they become Rhema to my soul and when God starts talking to us and God shows us what is written, what is written is greater than what is being said. I feel like running to City Hall right now. What is written is greater than what is being said. When the doctor said, "Elder Lamar, that we got a concern about your body. And we was all troubled for a little bit my mama went to prayer."
Audience: That's right.
Kevin Wallace: And then they come back and said, "Well, it ain't what we thought it was."
Audience: Amen. Hallelujah.
Kevin Wallace: "We told you we thought it was cancer, but the C word can't be found."
Audience: Amen. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Kevin Wallace: Somebody said why? Because we believe it is written. If the Lord said this affliction shall not rise against me a second time, we're going to stand on the word of the Lord. Now, I'm going to say something, it's going to help everybody, but listen to me. I'm going to preach healing if we all died of cancer. You say we ain't all going to die of cancer. I know we ain't all going to die of cancer, but I believe no matter what happens in this body that book said it is written, he's a healer and that's what I'm going to believe and that's what I'm going to preach. Don't allow your circumstance to change what is written. It is written. It's greater than what's being said. When the doctor comes in and says, "We can't treat it," well, that's what you said, but what is written is greater than what you said. When the banker walks in and said, "Your credit score ain't good enough to get this house." Well, thank you for what you said, I don't deny the facts but the truth is already written down. That house I'm trying to buy don't even belong to the person trying to sell it to me. The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness therefore my daddy owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I'm going to stand on the word. It is written. College students, how am I going to pay school bill? Same way we pay our electric bills, by faith. We work hard, save some, do right with God, pay our tax. I didn't get no help on that. Put God first in our giving.
Kevin Wallace: I didn't start tabbing when I became a pastor. I started tabbing when I was 17 years old. I didn't start tabbing when I started making money preaching, and I started tabbing when I couldn't find two dimes to rub together. Why? Because the principle of the kingdom is if you're faithful with the little, he'll trust you with more. I'm not getting no help in this house right now. God wants to bless some of us, God wants to show us what's written. God wants to show us how to walk in the manifestation of the promise but sometimes we want to walk in our own way and then claim the promises of God's word. It's written. So Satan comes to him and says, "If you're the son of God turn the stones into bread." Jesus said, "It's written. Man, shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Then Satan takes him, look at this next thing. Satan takes him to the temple, and he says to him in verse number 5. He takes him to the temple in the holy city which is Jerusalem, and he puts him on top of the temple 450 feet up in the air. How many of you agree with me that's a little bit of a climb?
Kevin Wallace: I saw a picture yesterday of Elder Basham on internet jumping out of a plane. And Vicki you know how much she loves her husband. She said, "Oh my sweet and brave husband jumped out of a plane, and he looks like he's having the time of his life." And I said sweet and brave, sweet and brave Jesus. And he's got this look on his face, his cheeks are back near his ears. His eyes look like a fly like they're bulging out of his skull, and he's got this big smile. And I'm thinking God, thank you for letting him live. Thank you God for letting him live. Jesus is put on top of a temple, 450 feet in the air and Satan says, "Why don't you display your power because if you'll throw yourself down, watch, angels will come and catch you. And everyone will see that you're the Messiah by this great display of power?" And what's the problem with that, pastor? The problem with that is Satan wanted to tempt Jesus to display his power and God never invites us to use his power in a way that becomes our own ministry launching pad.
Kevin Wallace: The power of God being demonstrated through our life can never be used for self-aggrandizing purposes. Jesus would never violate the love of the Father's heart by using the power the Father gave him to demonstrate his Messiahship and say, "Here I am. Watch me jump and angels come to rescue me." This is the failure of the modern-day church. We think God gave us a pulpit to produce a sense of self-importance for us, and if we just show everybody how loved we are and how powerful we are then we somehow heap upon ourselves the adoration and acclamation and approval of men, and Jesus understood the power of humility. He said, "I will not use the power of God for self-exalting purposes. You shall not tempt the Lord your God. May I suggest to every preacher in this room if God gives you the power to preach don't ever use that power for your own glory."
Kevin Wallace: If God ever blesses you with blessing don't ever use it for your own glory. Don't even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Jesus is a perfect picture of how to handle power. And the final thing that Satan does, Ron, I'm closing, he takes him on a high mountain and in one moment of time he shows him the kingdoms of the world. And Satan says to Jesus, "These are all mine." You know when I found out about Satan and all these scriptures I'm teaching you, Satan knows the word.
Kevin Wallace: He actually quoted the Bible to Jesus several times.
Kevin Wallace: That's why I'm not impressed with people who know the word.
Audience: Oh, yeah. Right.
Kevin Wallace: Well, I know the Bible. Knowledge puffs up. You better be careful. There are people who know the Bible but not the God who wrote it. I don't just want to read the words, I want to know the heart of the one who put the words on the pages there. Listen to me church, we've got to make sure we don't just have a love for the Bible, love the word, but love the God of the word. The letter alone killeth. It is the Spirit that gives life. There are some people who can take this sword, I call them terrorist Christians. They take this sword and kill people with it. This sword was never meant to kill anybody. If you're going to use it to cut something open you better let it stick around long enough to heal the wound.
Kevin Wallace: We just swing it around and we say all kinds of things that make a religious crowd shout and go ecstatic. Sometimes in our shouting over the truth we forgot there are people in this room that don't just need to be sliced they need to be healed. I mean, some of the most hateful people I've ever seen in my life have a Bible in their left hand. You say, "Pastor, that's not true. The church is a bunch of loving people." You ain't been to some churches I've been to. There's some mean people. I'm not talking about the whole church, I'm talking about the ones I'm talking about. There's good people in churches. There's godly people in churches. I was raised with holiness people. They would cry with you, they'd sit in an altar and pat you on the shoulder for an hour and a half while you're crying under the power of God. There's good people in churches but there's also some people who say, you know what, this word, this Bible is about hurting people. It's about showing people the evil ways. Listen, I want to tell you if you're going to preach this book and tell people about hell you ought to make sure you give them a chance to make a U-turn before you end the service and give them an opportunity to say yes to the Lord. I'm through with this. He says to Jesus, "All these kingdoms that you see, they're mine and if you worship me I'll give you all these kingdoms." Now, I actually do believe those kingdoms at that point in time belong to Satan. How? Because Adam had fallen, and because man had fallen the tempter and the one who took it from Adam could rightfully claim possession to it. The problem for the devil is the one he was talking to in Matthew 4 is the one who come to turn that around. He said, "All this stuff belongs to me." And Jesus in his mind knew standing right there you might have it right now, you better enjoy it for a few more months because I'm getting ready to do something on a hill called Calvary that's getting ready to turn every bit of this.Now, watch this. He said, "All these kingdoms, I'll give it all to you right now. All you got to do is worship me." Do you understand Jesus was tempted to be a Satan worshiper? What's the real temptation here? The real temptation here is for promotion without process.
Kevin Wallace: Success without struggle. The real temptation here is authority without accountability. "If you just fall down and worship me now, you don't have to go to Calvary. You don't have to suffer on a cross. You won't have to die. All you got to do is fall down and worship me now." Satan understood something, "If I can't get him by twisting the word, I'll get him by stealing his worship." And Jesus understood something. There is no one who is worthy to be worshiped. No matter what it means I will worship nobody but God.
Kevin Wallace: Now, let me tell you something, family. You can give your time to your boss, you can give your heart to your spouse, you can give your shouts and excitement to your football team, but there is to be no one in your life but God who gets your worship. I cannot surrender my heart to anything or anyone for whatever purpose. Do you understand that? When Satan said to Jesus, "Worship me, and I'll give you the kingdoms of this world." That was going to happen anyway. Jesus was actually going to become the king of kings. Satan was trying to provide a shortcut to get the promotion without the process. It's a curse of the modern day church. Come and get the promotion without the process. This is why we have people writing songs that millions of people sing and then one day out of nowhere they write an article about how their apostatizing from the faith. We're singing their songs, they're writing about a king they do not know. Don't get me started. I'm so mad right now in my spirit. We have made legends out of people who turn their back on the Lord and no longer know him. My heroes are not people who wrote songs and they stand up and release an article about their public renouncing of Jesus. What a coward. My heroes are mothers and fathers in the faith that no one on this side of eternity will ever know their name and they didn't have a lot of money in the bank, and they didn't drive a Cadillac, and they walk to church and step in mud puddles to get there but when they got to church Heaven heard their prayer. Hell was never [inaudible 00:46:58] about their arrival because they knew God. Whose applause are we living for? So why you keep talking about this? Stand with me. It bothers me. All these people nervous about it. Oh, there's been two apostates apostatizing the last few weeks. They were great leaders in the church, hogwash. They were in Porton, they were famous, but they were not leaders in the church of our Lord. Leaders in the church of our Lord don't serve him when everything makes sense and when everything is right and when they get everything they want someone who leads the church is someone that says if none go with me still I'll follow. I've come too far to turn back now. My God, I feel like preaching. I don't want to turn, I want to serve. I don't want my legacy on this Earth to be I preach good sermons and one day turn. I want my legacy to be until the very end. I fought a good fight, I finished my course, I kept the faith, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord shall give me and not to me only but to all those who look for his appearing.
Kevin Wallace: Some of us in this room didn't need to make up our mind if we're going to serve him when it's right and good. And if we're going to serve him when hell is breaking loose.
Kevin Wallace: I can't promise you serving Jesus means you'll never have a problem, but I can tell you this, it gets sweeter as the days go by. Have I ever been tempted to turn around and walk away from it all? You better believe it. How many else have ever been tempted just to throw in the towel and say, "I can't do this anymore." Yeah, why are we still here? I'll tell you why. We made up our mind. I'm going to hold on to see what the end might be. It's like the little guy playing left field, little chubby left fielder reminds me of myself growing up. His team was in the field, top of the first inning. They're getting beaten. Top of the first inning, it's 14 to nothing. The little left fielder got a big wad of chewing gum in his mouth. His daddy comes out to left field leans over the fence says, "Son, don't you want to go home? You're getting beat. Don't you feel like just quitting it? Let's just go to the house." Little chubby guy in left field takes one more chew of the chewing gum, spits it out, looks over at dad and said, "Dad, we hadn't batted yet. Just hold on. You may feel outnumbered and outscored and you may feel like you're not going to be able to get up, but we ain't batted yet. It's Friday but Sunday's coming." Keep the faith, keep the faith, keep the faith. Don't let the devil talk you out. I started thinking about all this apostasy talk this weekend, the stats that come in, just give me a minute. I'm pastoring right now. All the stats that come in about college students who go to college and never come back to church. Why? Because they lose their identity and they listen to some reprobate professor schooled in the doctrine of political correctness fill their mind with gutter mess and sewage that causes them to wonder if, and then they go to come back from school and the God we preach is no longer the God they remember. You better protect your mind. I have nothing wrong with stretching our mind or challenging our thinking, but the moment we start questioning the deity and the person of Jesus, and he becomes another among many, you don't have to say amen to this, but I'm telling you right now, guard your soul. "Oh, this sounds like the end of the world, pastor." I'm telling you there's a spirit loose in the Earth trying to turn hearts from Jesus, and I just want to say to hell with the spirit, to hell with that demon spirit that is of antichrist that trying to turn us away from the Lord. Somebody today has got to say, "You have the words of eternal life, Lord and I couldn't go anywhere else to find what I found in you." Heads bowed. Taken longer than I need to but today God wants to remove the if. If you are the son of God, if you are a daughter of God. God is saying the day to be reminded even in the wilderness you're in, you are who he said you are. Keep believing, don't lose the faith. I don't care how weak your faith feels right now, God's fixing to strengthen it. Everyone in this room who's trusting him as Lord and who needs God to strengthen their faith, and I'm not talking about your falling away, I'm talking about you don't want to. You want to get closer to Jesus than you've ever been. In fact, you lift both hands right now, Jesus thank you. Jesus thank you. Every hand that's lifted, strengthen their faith right now. Every heart that is asking you for more strength, you give strength after strength. I am thankful Father that those who continue to believe are those who will see the salvation of our God, and I thank you Father God that faith that is on trial and being tested when it comes out of the wilderness. The wilderness, listen to me carefully. The wilderness was not about God trying to get you to fail, the wilderness was about Jesus understanding that he really was who the Father said he was. You will come out of the wilderness stronger than you went into it and hell will wish it never messed with you in the first place.
Audience: [inaudible 00:54:00]
Kevin Wallace: "For I remind you," says the Lord, "that in this day some will give heed and give ear to seducing the spirits, doctrines of devils. Those things that would tear you away from my heart," says the Lord. "But I call you this day to stand fast in the liberty that I have created you to live in. I will strengthen you this day," says the Lord, "in your faith for I'm the God who will help you overcome. This is how you overcome," says the spirit of grace to the church, "even your faith in God." So today the Lord says, "Not to rely on your own strength, but to seek me," says the Lord and "I will give you strength for this journey. It will not overcome you but you have been declared to be an overcomer," sayeth the Lord. "And you shall overcome both in this life and in that one which is to come for you are born of me," says the spirit. "And because you are born of me victory belongs to my children. I am the God who promised it and I shall perform victory in your life," says the spirit of grace to the church today. Somebody thank him for victory all over this room. I want to say this and I'm going to release you. If what I heard in prayer is from the Lord, you have not seen the end of this publicity stunt called apostasy. There will be more famous people who will come out and say, "I no longer believe in Jesus." You keep your eyes on the risen Christ, you ignore that garbage and don't listen to the grandiose reports how many are falling away. Yes, people will walk away but in China while we are worshiping this morning, in foreign countries in huts, under huts and in villages there are people by the millions who are coming to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I'm telling you today the best is still yet to come for the church of the Living God. If you believe then give him praise all over this room right now. If you believe we have victory give the Lord praise. I love you. I want you to go into peace in the strength of God today. May the Lord bless you and your family. We will see you Wednesday night in the house of the Lord. Go in his peace. God bless you. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. (silence)