Creflo Dollar - The Cross: The Defining Line of the Gospel - Part 2
Notice what the Spirit of God calls the New Testament. This so ministered to me. Notice what the Spirit of God... go to Hebrews chapter 8:6. Notice what the Spirit of God calls the New Testament, which Jesus is the mediator of. Notice what the Spirit of God calls the New Testament, which Jesus is the mediator of. Are you ready? He said, "But now hath he obtained a more", what? "Excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of", watch this, "a better covenant," or testament, "which was established upon better promises". You see? Look at what he said. The Spirit of God said that this is a better covenant. It is a better testament. He said it. He said, all right, so put it together. This is better. This New Testament is better than the Old one. This New Covenant is better than the Old one. He said, "This New Testament got better promises in it than the Old one".
I'm just convinced that when you hear certain teachings, that some people just not reading the Bible or don't understand that the cross is the defining line, and you got to know where that line is. It's kind of like football. The goal line on the other side, you score. On the other side, I don't care how close you get to the line. If you don't make it on the other side of the line, it's better on the other side of the goal line than it is on one side, amen. So why is it better? Oh, I wanna get precise with this. Why is it better? Because Jesus is our daysman. It's better because we have a mediator. It's better because we have a go-between. It's better 'cause we have someone that will cause peace to be made happen. This New Testament is better 'cause I have Jesus.
In the Old Testament, I had a promise of him, but he wasn't there yet. There was a prophecy of him, but he wasn't there yet. There was a talk of a Sabbath, but they thought it was a day, but we know that Jesus is our Sabbath. It is a better covenant because we have what Job didn't have: a mediator. We have what Job didn't have: a daysman, hallelujah. Boy, I feel like shouting in this place. I made my mind up that, I don't know, whatever you didn't get, I don't know, nine, eight, ten years ago, I'm going around, and I wanna get so much precision. And it's up to you. You gotta decide whether you're gonna believe it. I'm gonna lay it out as best the Holy Ghost let me lay it out. You gotta decide whether or not you're gonna believe it. But I'mma tell you, if you can get an understanding of this Word of life, your whole life gonna change. Your whole life gonna change.
I don't know about you, but I'm fed up with people trying to be like God without him, trying to understand God without the Bible, trying to think they know God and don't even know these basic, simple truths of the Bible, that once you apply them, you'll see simply that what you were saying was just not right. Look at 2nd Timothy chapter 2, and verse 15. Let's keep going. So I have the Bible. That's not good enough. But now we need to talk about the importance of studying the Bible. I have it, but with the importance of studying it, the importance of getting in that Bible that I don't have a Bible just to keep my birth certificates in it or to just hide money so nobody won't find it 'cause I know don't nobody ever open the Bible. But as a Christian, I need to know how to study it.
"Well, you know, I ain't the preacher". I ain't talking about being no preacher. If you're gonna live by it, you need to know how to study it. "What you mean 'know how to study it'? Just open it up, and just read it". Naw, it ain't that simple. That's why you're confused now. Man, I don't know what's going on. How do you expect to be a successful Christian, and you still don't think that studying the Bible is important? "Well, I don't understand". Well, that's what you're here for today. You're with me. Stick with me. I'll go with it, and I'll help you study the Bible. Get on the 24-hour network. We have a 24-hour network that preaches the Word 24 hours a day, Changing Your World Network, 24 hours a day, to help you to figure out how to get in this Word and study it. But nobody can make you pick the Bible up. Nobody can make you turn on the 24-hour network. Nobody can make you get involved Grace Life Academy. Nobody can make you do that stuff.
You've got to be something that I hadn't seen in a long time: hungry for God. More hungry for God than you are your career. More hungry for God than you are your six figures. Hungry for God. Hungry for God, that you're rushing home so you can get in your quiet place, so you can open your Bible up, so you can speak to God and let him speak to you through the study of his Word. Where's the hunger? What happened to it? Ain't nobody hungry no more. We hungry for everything else. You pick up your telephone before you go to the bathroom when you get up in the morning. You used to take the Bible when you go use the toilet. Now you take your telephone to see what's going on in the social media instead of seeing what's going on in the Spirit.
What's happening to us, man? The devil has deceived you. The devil trying to jack you up and destroy you and look at you when you in your ditch and laugh at you and say, "I fooled you," didn't you? "I fooled you". And we are not gonna be of that denomination, we're not gonna of that reputation of being fooled. We're not gonna be of the church of being fooled. We're gonna say, "No, devil, you the fool. Well, you not gonna fool us". The devil think he having a good time right now, and yet in the middle of all of this, the glory of the Lord is about to hit this place: your house, our life, your family. More people come to the Lord than you've ever seen. You watch what I say. They dog us out, talk about us right now. All that's gonna change. All that's gonna change. Something happens when hell visits your house. Something happens when you done tried everything you could try and it didn't work. Something happens when they tell you that there's no hope in this world.
God knows how to get everybody back to their knees, hallelujah. God knows how to get everybody back to their knees. And I'm telling you, it's happening, church. It's happening. 2 Timothy chapter 2, verse 15, God knows how. God knows how. He does. Even you who say, "I'm a atheist, and I don't believe," God knows how to get you. God knows how to get your attention, bro. You ain't the first atheist that God has saved. You ain't the first atheist that God had to turn his heart. And you know what God's gonna use to get you to change your mind? His goodness. He gonna be so good to you that you know you didn't deserve it. You know you didn't earn it, but he's just gonna show up and do something. You know it had to be God. And that by itself will put you on a journey to say, "I've got to. I gotta get this thing right with God".
I saw a youth sing in a Baptist Church, "Get Right with God and Do It Now". And I'm saying that right now: get your house in order. Get your house in order. This is the only time that mankind will ever have the opportunity to be saved without works, the only time. But the only time you have the opportunity to get saved without having to deserve it, to get served without having to earn it. You better take advantage of it now because there's coming a time where men will be judged by their works, but right now you can get saved, amen.
Look at this, 2 Timothy chapter 2, in verse 15, he says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed", what? "Rightly dividing the word of truth". Rightly dividing the word of truth. He says, "Correctly analyzing," in one version, "rightly dividing", the cross is a dividing line, rightly dividing between what is the Old Testament and what is the New, rightly dividing between what was talked about without a daysman, or a mediator, and what is talked about with a mediator. "Rightly dividing," he says, "And study to shown yourself approved unto God". You're a workman that needeth not to be ashamed because you're rightly dividing. You're correctly analyzing the Word of truth. What is true under the New Testament, with Jesus as the mediator, may not be what is true in the Old Testament without a mediator.
So, you see, you can't go to the Old Testament, throw it out, and tell everybody to see it, and ignore the dividing line 'cause that was true without a mediator. You see, under the Old Covenant, fire feel down and killed 100-and-something men. Elijah, remember that? Fire. He prayed fire would fall down, and it fell down and killed him, those leaders, but in the New Testament, Jesus was warning them. He said, one of his disciples said, "Lord, should we ask God to rain fire down like Elijah did"? And Jesus said, "You don't know what spirit you are of," and rebuked them. What happened? Why didn't Jesus just say, "Yeah, that's what they did in Elijah day. Do it now". Jesus was trying to show 'em, "This is a new day, bro. I'm here. I'm about the mediate a New Testament".
That was without a mediator. That's why they wanted a mediator. That's why they needed a mediator. So the fire wouldn't fall down from heaven and burn people up no more. But now it's different in this testament because Jesus is now there to save men and to be the peace offering and don't need no fire to come down and burn 'em up. See, there are people do the same thing. It might not be able with a fire, but it might be other Scriptures that you'll take out of Old Testament setting and try to work it in the New Testament setting, and it's just like taking old wine and putting it in a new wineskin'. What happens? It bursts, and you don't get the benefit of the wine or the container. That's where we've been. That's where we've been.
And so the big problem we've gotta deal with is the immaturity in the pulpit and the spiritual illiteracy in the pulpit. But you just can't get in the pulpit and just start preaching stuff because people are listening to you! And then I become the fool because I'm telling something that's true, but they're so used to listening to that fable, false stuff, that when the true stuff come around, just like the Bible say, they'll call a lie the truth, and then the truth a lie. 'Cause they don't know. Look at Matthew 22:29, Matthew 22:29. This is cool: Matthew 22:29, hallelujah. He says, "Jesus answered and said unto them, 'You do err'", why? Why did you err, or error? "You do err". Why? "'Cause you don't know the Scriptures". And he says, "If you don't know the Scriptures, you don't know the power of God". He says, "You're in error 'cause you don't know the Scripture".
You're not in error, 'cause you, you know, you didn't pray long enough. You're not in error because you didn't fast last Friday. "You're in error because you don't know the Scripture". Think of that. You're not in error because, "Oh, I laid hands on 'em too sick, and that's why they didn't get healed". You're in error because you don't know the Scriptures. Think of that. Ignorance is the reason why we err. We are in error 'cause we don't know the Scriptures. Spiritual error is the result of the absence of scriptural knowledge. And as long as you have an absence of scriptural knowledge, you will continue to make spiritual errors. And what can be worse than that? What can be worse than that is you'll think that error is truth, and you think that your error, you know, is truth to the point where you defend it, and you'll think you're in error is truth, but now you become an enemy to the cross, trying to protect what's error, but spiritual ignorance has you in error, and spiritual error is a result of the absence of spiritual, scriptural knowledge.
Colossians 2:8, in the NLT, let's look at that. He says, "Don't let anyone capture you will empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking", human thinking, "and from the spiritual powers of this world and rather than from Christ". He says there are some things that come that don't come from Christ. There are some things that come, he calls them "empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that comes from human thinking". Human thinking that's passed down from one human to another human.
Think about that. What if you are a victim of a religious way of thinking that has been passed down from one human to another human? It happens. I can go back to the 1800s, and I see this guy said this, and then he come down, he passed it down, and that guy said what he said, and he passed it down, and that guy said, "Well, he said that he said", and it just keeps passing down, and it he gets into church, and it becomes this mark, that it must be so, why? 'Cause that's what they always said. And that's what I ran into. I started saying things differently that was going against what was being passed down from one human to another human and that religious philosophy, and when you start going against that human philosophy, then all of a sudden, it's a conspiracy.
All of a sudden, you know, it's like, "Oh my God, what is this guy saying? That's not what we've always heard". I'll never forget, man, you know, "We've always heard". It was passed down from human thinking to human thinking. God is in control, huh? And you always heard that. God is in control. And I'll never forget, man, I got rebuke for that and I had to go and study it. And I looked in the book of Genesis and the Bible says that God gave all the control over the earth to man, that if something crazy is going on, it's 'cause man's in control, and he won't use his authority.
"No, but Brother Dollar, God is in control". Yeah, that's a philosophy that's been passed down from human being to human being, but if you read the Scripture, God made it very clear, "I have given authority to man over all the works of my hands". Yeah, but God is still in control, see? You won't submit to what the Word says, because you have been captured by empty philosophy and a high-sounding nonsense that comes from human thinking passed down from human to human. And it's a lot easier to put the blame on God than to accept the authority that God has given you. And you know what? When you don't accept that authority in that area, you won't accept the authority to cast out devils, to rebuke sickness, to handle all that other stuff because it's easier for you to say "God's in control" than for you to say "I lay hold of the authority that God has given to me as a man in the earth, to execute this authority".
Yup, mm-hmmm, and some of y'all freakin out fight now. "Oh, now, wait a minute now. My grandmama told me that God was in control". I don't care what your grandma would say. You ain't gonna find it nowhere in the New Testament, baby. It's gonna be tight and right. It's gonna be hard, but it's gonna be God. And if you can hang in here with me, if you ain't too scared, if you ain't no little spiritual punk, if you can hang in here with me over the next several months, your life is gonna change, and things that should be working right will begin to work right because you are free from the fables and the philosophies of this world. Look at Isaiah 8:20 in the NLT.
This Isaiah, you know, you can see prophetic things in the Old Testament as it begins to talk about stuff, and there's a lot of truth in the Old Testament. The Bible said this about the Old Testament. Those things that were written a foretime were written for our learning, not for our living but for our learning. We live by that New Testament, but we can look at the things in the Old Testament, and we could learn some stuff, and we can grab hold of some stuff, amen, written for our learning. We keep thinking that it was written for our living. We live under the New Testament. We learn based on what was written a foretime. Look what he says here. He said, "Look to God's instructions and teachings. People who contradict his word are completely in the dark".
And that's something I can learn from Isaiah. I learned that from Isaiah. Look at God's instructions! Look at his teachings! People who contradict his Word are completely in the dark. So be careful that you don't reveal to us that you're the one that's completely in the dark. So you gotta ready and study the Bible for yourself. This is the will of God for you. Really quickly, Ephesians 4:14, Acts 20:32, 2 Timothy 3:16, let's look at these real quick. Read and study the Bible for yourself. This is the will of God for you. We're so busy asking God, "What's your will for me"? And he has a path for you. He has an anointing for you, but we're not even doing first-base will of God. We want ultimate will of God, and you don't understand that first-base will of God, which is studying and getting in the Word is gonna lead you to ultimate will of God.
And there are so many people that are ignoring first-base will of God. Well, I mean, how is it that you get saved, get a Christian teacher that says. "I'm a Christian," and you don't study the Word? First-base will of God, get in the Word and study it. And he said, "That we henceforth be no more children", so he don't want you to be children all your Christian life, "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind", watch this, "of doctrine", some guy comes up with a new teaching, and you go for it. Somebody goes, coming up, then you go for it. So, you know, you get tired of the truth of the Word of God, and you're looking for different winds of teaching.
"Oh, I like him. He teaching on that. I never heard it like that before. I really like that". It ain't gotta be the truth. It's just a new wind. That's what children do. Children just like candy. They don't wanna keep eating their vegetables. Honey, over the next few months, we gonna prepare some spiritual food for your boys: Collard greens and okra, you understand? Some of that real crackling corn bread. You gotta see what I'm talking about now. 'Tato salad would shut your mouth up. So, you understand what I'm saying? We gonna do that. You gonna eat something that's gonna be nourishing. He says, "Don't be children cast to a fro with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and the cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive".
Look at the next scripture. Ephesians chapter 4:14, going over to Acts 20:32, real quick. Acts 20:32. He says, "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, I commend you to God, I commend you to God, and I commend you to the word of what? Of his grace. I commend you to the word of his grace," why? It's able to build you up, why? It's able to give you the inheritance among all of them which are what? Sanctified, he says, "I'm turning you over to the word of his grace". What are we preaching? He says, "I'm turning you over to the word of his grace".