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Tape 1 Side B2

"Blank Pages" In Christianity

[start of tape] It was as if there was blank pages, or pages that were missing. And I thought of this thing, or this group, or this activity, or this ministry, or this here- or this, or that, or what have you.. And- ones that had this vision or this goal, or this direction- and this and, so many good things.. But I was shocked. I wondered if there was anything to do. And I just saw the flurry of Christian activity in the world. And I was shocked to- to discover.. empty. There wasn't the pages that I expected it- to discover. I was just amazed at what was missing. Then, th- the thing that shocked me the most after that- and it was kinda combined with what was missing, was what was there. It was so little.

And it was so simple. And not that there aren't, details and instructions and principles, and things that we can build and multiple and add, but it all funnelled in on one thing. To win and build. Paul, he may have had some little thing he was doing, but it all funnelled in- and it was so simple, it was so clear. He was winning everybody he could. It was all to win people, to get em' saved, anything, everything. All for that. I mean, that was it, day and night, he was possessed with that. He sacrificed his reputatation, his security, his future, his past, everything! If he could go one more mile, for one more soul, it was all for that. People, and not ourselves, but others. Exclusive, 100 percent! There were no furloughs. There was no nothing for self. It was radical. It was all to win.. and then to build. To make them love God, to follow him and do the same. 100 percent! Young, old, man, woman, grandpa, grandma, child. All at the battle fronts - spiritual - to conquer the world for Christ.

So I knew I could witness. "Is that all I gotta do?" [laughs] I'm gonna get saved! I'd look up and see what to do next. You know- baptize 'em, oh yeah, I can do that. You know the Bible just began to open up. I 'member when, the first time, begin to do some things, you weren't supposed to do it unless you wore black clothes and white collars. So I got my black clothes and my collar on tonight [audence laughs] For all the video people I missed, I'm backsliding, this is blue. But, anyhow.. you know, I was just amazed. And I thought, My goodness! Why is 90% of Christianity not doing what Paul did? Or 99%.

I don't know what the percentages are, but most of what I saw- and as I read through the Book of Acts - I want to tell you truthfully and honestly, as a young person at 19 or 20- 18 or 19 years old - I thought I was reading mythology. A fairy tale! I saw in Christianity, and the world today, elements of what was in there. I saw specks and pieces- a verse that someone might use to do their whole thing, their ministry, and- and certain little threads and lines there were in the Book of Acts- but I didn't see ones that were possessed with just that.. what what they were doing. So they would take a verse to be able to justify this and a thousand other things that got way off th- the primary target. And it was just like, it was- eh, uh- you read the Book of Acts sometime, read it in a very loose modern translation so you won't get hung up, and think, and just read it like, "Where is that?"

But it especially affected me in that day. Cause I thought.. is that supposed to be live and well and existing? Is that supposed to be Christianity? In Colorado Springs, and the United States, and the world, is that really supposed to be here, and now, and today? WHAT IS THE BOOK OF ACTS THERE FOR? Are we really supposed to be that way? What is it for? And I began to discover that if we're honest, most of us as Christians, we would have to rip page after page after page after page out - of our bible.. Most of us would only have the pages that give the Gospel - and what we think is worship. God gripped my life to show the fallacy - and I wasn't judging others, God crashed down on me. I didn't know Christianity in general enough to even be critical of others, I was just shocked.. with myself. But it excited me in this second area because I knew I could do it!

The Apostle Paul As The "Model Life"

To- say- Paul! - I didn't tell anybody for years. In fact I still tremble to say I'm doing what Paul did. But I tell you it took me about ten years before I ever told anybody - if they said, "What's really your goals in life, young man?" [audience laughs] You know, I'd always give em' some good things. And- things that were right- and you know.. and.. and- and- true.. but I wouldn't really give em' the bottom line. [laughs] I don't know why? I was afraid to. But I'm not afraid anymore, even though I sometimes say it in fear and trembling. I'm out to be just like the apostle Paul. And frankly, I think if every man and woman is not, they're - whether they know it or not - they're in sin.

I didn't know it at the time, and he that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin, so.. there's a lot we don't know in the Bible. You see, he was, for our time - Jesus was going to Israel, Paul was to go to the world. And so, certainly Jesus is our model in so many areas. But Paul could carry it out in the fullest extent and that's why God raised up a model, and isn't it good that God raised up a model that wasn't the Savior, the son of God? In many ways there's more about Paul - many books that related to him - why? Because we'd say, "Well, he's the savior, we can't- we shouldn't do what he did." But you know now what Christians have done? They've raised Paul up, just like Peter did with Moses and Elijah, "Oh! Let's - Moses and Elijah" - No. There's only one savior. Well he's [undecipherable] Paul.

We've done the same thing with Paul, and when people follow Paul, then comes along other men that have done great things, and we raise- up an- "Well you're not a- you're not a Martin Luther, who do you think you are, John Wesley?" [laughter in audience] You know. We have in all our hymnology, "Be like Jesus. Be like Paul," you know, we have all the words. We've sung em' and said em for so many years, nobody believes we're to do it.

And that day in time - and I don't know, there may have been millions around the world, but I didn't know one. I knew- uh.. Christians. But I didn't know one that was really, 100 percent. I knew ones that would take verses, and would take shreds, or parts, or pieces, but I didn't know one that said, "lock stock and barrell!" I don't want to do more and I don't want to do less! And that's what God begin to grip me with. I Corinthians chapter 4, "Don't exceed what is written." We're always afraid of being unscriptural, what about being extra-scriptural? And th- God began to grip me in that! When I fulfill doing everything in the mission and the purpose that I see in the New Testament, I'll start up a lot of other good ministries. And so far I haven't accomplished this one yet. And neither have you. That's what hit me, is to not get dissipated. The devil tries to stop everyone from running. Once they run, he's tries to- "Run brother run!" and swearves us off and gets us involved in a lot of good things. And God really hit me in that area, too. To concentrate on what was primary.

You may do a lot- Paul said by any and every means! He had a lot of things but they were all focused in one thing. One- trest- wasn't interested in just a feeding program. But he helped bring food to people. Why? For the Gospel. The impact it made when he collected money around the world and took it in to Judea. To bridge the love and the bond of the people of God around the world. Can you imagine those heathen that were starving to death, and all of a' sudden all of the Christians were being fed? Everything he did was for one purpose! And the devil, deceives Christians to give millions and billions, that aren't- dir- directly or indirectly winning people to Christ.

Verse I thought of earlier, we shared with some of the elders. When the lame man fel- came down out of the roof - Jesus said, "Your sins are forgiven!" And here this lame man was there- leaving him right there. And this idea of the scriptures there, gives the idea that Jesus.. [sigh] we're so concerned about leg, but look, you're gonna get new legs someday. I mean, what's a few years? I mean, it's peanuts. And he only heals that man for one reason it says, so that they would know he has the authority to forgive sins. God wants to do these things for what really counts. That's the only reason. That's the only way we can eat and drink and do it to the glory of God. He's not interested in tickling your pallette. He wants you to breath for Christ. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. To this end, we live or die- for- to this end, he dies, that he might be Lord, both of the living and the dead. He's to be Lord. Whether we live, whether we die. Ah- that doesn't matter. We don't have to live!

And you know how many times I've heard myself, "I do that- I can't do that!" What do you mean you can't do that, really? The- you- can't.. what do you mean you can't do it? "Well I'll run out of this, run out of that" - the worst excuse that I've ever heard is, "It'll kill me." So what? Do it! [audience laughter] If obeying God kills you that's the way God wants you to go out. I'd rather go up that way, than, you know, rot in a hospital bed with cancer or some other way. God may want us to go one way or another, but, he wants us to go obeying God. And God gripped me that nothing is more important - not life - than obeying the bible! Not reputation!

Oh that God would raise up, in us, as many of the leaders that are here, where we would stop fearing what Christians.. leaders think! You will not be used like Moses! You will not be used like Elijah! You will not be used like John Wesley, George Whitfield, Martin Luther. I was challenging one of the brothers earlier tonight- we have a heap of history to encourage us!

And some of you, I've challenged you to read the history of John Wesley, and you still never have. And George Whitfield. And Martin Luther. And John Knox. And Wingley and Calvin. And I thought I knew a little bit about these men until I discovered.. that if you hear my testimony it's like hearing their testimonies. We need to hear their testimonies! I suggest you read less books on theology and devotionals and all that sort of stuff - I never read that unless all the Christians are reading it, to find out what they're reading. [end of tape]

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