Creflo Dollar - The Cross: The Defining Line of the Gospel
I'm noticing what's going on in the world today. I'm noticing what's going on with believers today. I'm noticing even what's going on with the Bible today, how people think about the Bible and how it, you know, is becoming a book that people are keeping closed and dust is gathering on that book. And yet it is the only book that gives us information about heaven and hell. It's the only book that gives us information about spiritual things and how to conduct ourselves in the physical world. It is the wisdom of heaven being released into our lives. This book that men are keeping closed and not paying attention to, it is the only information by which we can gain of understanding of how to live successfully in this world.
This book, men have tried to get rid of. They've tried to, during the Dark Ages, burn it. They try to go against it. Now people are saying it shouldn't be read because it's just written by a bunch of, you know, weird men, and this book, it contradicts itself. All of the attacks against this one book, and yet it still remains. Without this book a lot of us would've lost our mind a long time ago. This book, this Bible, is going to be the difference between a journey down a path of great success, or we'll continue to submit ourselves to the wisdom of men and we'll submit ourselves to wisdom that has been passed down from one generation of men to another generation of men as we ignore the answers that's in the book.
I heard somebody say one time if you wanna keep something a secret, put it in a book. And it seems like the enemy has taken ahold of that, that human philosophy, in saying, "You know what? All of the answers pertaining to life and godliness are in this book, and now people don't wanna read it". They come to church and they're listening for a performance. They come to church and they're looking for someone to stir their emotions up. They come to church and they're looking for something on what they can agree on, and it seems like the Bible is not even being opened in church. What's on the line? What's happening?
And so, today I wanna begin this series, and I call it "The Cross: The Defining Line of the Gospel". "The Cross: The Defining Line of the Gospel". I've even seen human beings take truth from the Word of God and turn it into a tradition, and then twist it, and then play with it, and then decorate it up and, all of a sudden, it loses its meaning. Christmas used to be a celebration of the Lord Jesus Christ. How in the world do you get a Santa Claus and reindeers in there? Only to try to distract people from the truth of the gospel. There must be something amazing in this book that the enemy is working overtime to try to keep from humans, because if we're going to rise to that level where God wants us to rise, I believe we gotta open the book, and we gotta look and look and we got to just go and search of what the enemy is diligently fighting to try to stop us from understanding and knowing.
Let me begin by saying this, if you'll go to Hebrews chapter 9, verse 16 and 17, as we deal with this issue: the cross, the defining line of the gospel. One of the things I want you to understand is that the new covenant, the new covenant, or the New Testament, now, throughout the series I will use the word "covenant" and "testament" interchangeably because that's what a testament is. A testament is a covenant. A covenant is a testament. A covenant is a promise between two or more parties, that they will come together in agreement on something, and it will never be broken. It's a powerful, powerful, powerful promise. And so, the new covenant did not begin from Matthew.
Now, if you open your Bibles up and you look in your Bible and you get to the end of Malachi, and once you get to the end of Malachi, you know, you see this big ol' page, and it says "The New Covenant of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ". And everybody is used to that, and I'm telling you right now that the new covenant does not begin with Matthew. Some of you say, "What are you saying, man"? Here it is right here. We turn to the book, and it says "The New Testament of Jesus Christ," and I'm telling you right now that the New Testament does not begin with Matthew. The new covenant does not begin with Matthew. It begins after Christ rose from the dead. The new covenant doesn't begin with Matthew. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, those are books where we see Jesus coming in on the earth realm to fulfill the old covenant.
You know, the Bible makes it very clear that God's not gonna destroy the law. Jesus didn't come to destroy the law, but to fulfill the law. And so, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is an account of Jesus showing up to fulfill the law because nobody else could. He didn't destroy it, but he says, "I'm gonna fulfill every jot and tittle, and not one bit of this old covenant is gonna pass away until it all be fulfilled". And Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is Jesus fulfilling all of this covenant, the old covenant, and at the same time, making a way for this new covenant. But the New Testament, the new covenant, did not, or does not, begin in the book of Matthew.
Now, why am I talking about this? Unless you understand how the Bible is set up, you'll continue to read it wrong, and if you continue to read it wrong, you'll understand wrong things, and you'll live the wrong way, and you'll continue to be in the dark on what God's trying to show you. And most Christians are just satisfied with, "Oh, I ain't got time to hear none of that. How come you just can't pick the Bible up and close your eyes and say, 'Eeny, meeny, miney, moe,' and just wherever your finger land, that's God speaking to you"? Well, you ever thought about this? What if you try that, and you close your eyes, and your finger lands, and it says, "Cut your hand off"? You say, "No, let's do that again". It says, "Pluck your eye out". "No, let's do it again". No, we gotta get rid of these fables about this.
And you know, I know I'm not in a seminary school, and I know I'm not at a Bible college, but if you're going to live by the Word of God, it is of necessity that I back up from trying to preach a message that you'll give me a ten on and say, "Bless God, the major problem today is that nobody is reading the Bible". And then, when they read it, they don't know how to read it. They don't know how to rightly divide it. And so, we just pick stuff up, and then we make up a fable around it, and we mislead a whole lot of people. And now people are saying, "I tried that. It doesn't work. I quit". That's what this is about.
So, the new covenant, the New Testament, does not begin from Matthew. It began after Christ rose from the dead. It is a covenant. It is an irrevocable pledge, or promise, that begins. The new covenant begins after the death of Christ Jesus, so the cross changed everything. The cross is the defining line between what used to be without Christ and what is now with Christ. The cross is the defining line, and if you don't know that defining line, you will take what used to be before Christ, and you'll continue to try to make it what it is today and not understanding that the cross of Jesus Christ is the defining line.
Everything changed with the cross of Jesus Christ. Everything changed with the cross of Jesus Christ. Everything changed, and you have to know that. I mean, listen, what does this whole thing mean, Jesus coming, dying on the cross, shedding his blood? What does it mean if everything stays the same? Everything changed because of the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross of Jesus is the defining line of the whole message of the New Testament. It starts at the cross of Jesus.
Let me show you this. Hebrews chapter 9, verse 16 and 17. Let's look at this. He says, "For where a testament is". Now, a testament, we know about the Old Testament, or covenant, but he's talking about, "Where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator". Now, let's say, for example, I leave a last will and testament, okay? And I leave a will and in that will there are a whole lot of blessings for my family. But now understand this: there must first of all be the death of the person that wrote that testament in order for that testament to be available to all of those who it was left for.
So, if, you know, in my last will and testament I said, "I leave all the grand-babies a million dollars," they can't get it until I die. As long as I'm alive, there is no force or ability to be able to take what's in the testament. There must first of all be the death of the testator, the guy who wrote the testament, the last will of the guy who wrote the testament. He says in verse 17, "For a testament is of force," when? "After men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth". So, you get what's in that will after I die, but while I'm still living, there is no strength to that testament, because I'm still alive. If you understand that in your house, say, "Amen".
So, you've got to understand something. This is so powerful. Jesus was the testator of the New Testament. Glory be to God. But he had to show up, glory to God, and he had to die so that you could get what was in the testament. He had to die. Somebody says, "Well, why? What sense does that make? Well, why was Jesus born just to die"? He was born to die so that you can get what's in the will, what's in the testament. And without his death, glory to God, you would not be able to get what's in the testament. But he took it a step further. Jesus was born, died, so now you can get everything in the testament. You can get righteousness. You can get redemption. You can get wisdom. You can get holiness. You can get sanctification. You can get everything he left in the testament. But then, he, on the third day, rose from the dead to make sure that everything he promised, he will be your helper and your guide and your leader, to show you how to obtain what's in that testament.
That's powerful. That's powerful. That's information that every Christian needs to know. That's information that every Christian needs to understand. And you wouldn't believe the number of Christians that have no knowledge of what I just shared with you, and they go around talking about, "Stay woke". You got to get some understanding before you can stay woke. How you gonna stay woke and you've been asleep the whole time? Talking about stay woke, wake up. That's what I'm saying. The Bible says awake to righteousness, and so understand this: in the Old Testament, in the Old Testament... so, you see that the New Testament started after the death of Jesus Christ. That's when it started. It didn't start after Matthew.
You see Jesus alive in Matthew. You see Jesus alive in John. You see Jesus alive in Mark. You see Jesus alive in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, so the testament cannot be enforced until you see him die. And the cross is the dividing line. In fact, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John would have been just fine as a part of the Old Testament with Jesus in it, because the New Testament didn't start until after the death of Jesus. Somebody says, "Why are you talking about this"? Because if we are going to walk down the path of victorious Christian living, we got to understand what's happening in the book. I am calling every World Changer to rededicate your life to the book, to open that book up and let it speak to you. This is the only Bible. This is the only book in the Library of Congress that talks. It speaks. It's alive, the Word of the living God.
I ain't trying to get deep these next couple of weeks. It's time to go back to the basic foundation, that the Bible says without a foundation, what are we gonna do without the foundation? The foundation has been cracked, crumbled, broken to pieces, and you're wondering why you're still sick. You're wondering why you die early. You're wondering why you can't stay married. You're wondering why all of these things are happen. "Where is God? Where is God"? You're wondering now why the Bible says, "In all your getting, get understanding". Trying to get everything else except understanding. Go to church. "I don't wanna hear no Bible. I didn't come here to hear no Bible. I came here so I can shout".
You done shouted and screamed and moaned and groaned, and you're still broke, busted, disgusted, miserable because you don't understand. And with all thy getting, get understanding. Understanding of what? Man's wisdom? No. Human wisdom? No. The latest tweet? No. Get an understanding of the written Word of God and how it's divided, amen? I can hear you saying amen. I can hear you saying amen or "Oh, me," praise God. Now, in the Old Testament I wanna show you something here. Let's look at Job: Job chapter 9, verse 32 and 33. In the Old Testament, Job sought for a daysman. Write that word down, D-A-Y-S-M-A-N, a daysman. Job sought for a daysman. What is a daysman? A daysman is a middleman. A daysman is a go-between person.
To put it simply, a daysman is a mediator, and Job sought for a mediator, a peacemaker, between God and man. There was not in Job's day a peacemaker between God and man. You see, when man sinned in the garden, all of a sudden that sin was enmity between God, and what stood between God and man was sin. And so, there was this big wall between God and man, and because of sin there were a lot of things that God couldn't do because he was just. And there was a lot of things that man couldn't get because of that sin that was in front of man, but, you know, we saw the grace of God even operating in that particular time. But a mediator, someone that could be the peacemaker between God and man, someone that could be the go-between, someone that could be the intercessor. Not that Jesus is in heaven right now. No, he's an intercessor because he's between. He stands between God and man. He's an intercessor because he is the mediator, glory be to God, between God and man.
Look at this in Job chapter 9, verse 32 and 33. He says, "For he is not a man, as I am," talking about God, "that I should answer him". "He's not a man like I am," Job said, "that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment". Verse 33, "Neither is there any daysman," or mediator, "between us, that might lay his hands upon us both". He says there's nobody that stands between God and man that can have access to both man and God. There's not a mediator, so Job is letting us know something here: there's no mediator. Job, in his own words, acknowledged the missing link between man and God, and Job said the missing link between man and God, there's no mediator. There's no daysman, the absence of a daysman, the absence of a go-between, the absence of a mediator between God and man during his own days.
Job said, "We didn't have one in this testament, in this Old Testament". There was no daysman in this Old Testament. He said under the New Testament... you know, I'm sure somebody will say, "Well, what was Moses"? Moses wasn't Jesus. Moses wasn't a peace offer. Moses wasn't the compensation, or the payment, that would pull down the wall of sin between God and man. There was no mediator like Jesus that could touch both God and man, and under the New Testament, this is not the case. Under the New Testament, this is so important, remember, the New Testament did not start at Matthew, but it started after Christ rose from the dead. So, in the New Testament we, by the grace of God, have the person of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as our mediator. So, in the New Testament we have a mediator. We have a mediator.
You know, I can see somebody right now, "Well, the Bible says God was looking for an intercessor". He was looking for a mediator, but he found none. He found none. You see that in the Old Testament. God was looking for somebody to pray. But he found no mediator. He was looking for a mediator. He was looking for a go-between, but he found none. But in this New Testament we have Jesus, who is our mediator, so the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament, in the New Testament we have a mediator. In the Old Testament there was no mediator, or daysman. We now have a mediator, so what does that do? How does that change things now that we have a mediator in the New Testament? How does that change things from the Old Testament that had no mediator to the New Testament that now has a mediator?
Somebody says, "Bruh, we need to see some Scriptures. You're saying a lot of stuff I've never heard before". Well, thank God that's why we're talking about this, so let's go look at some Scriptures before I go on: 1 Timothy chapter 2:5. 1 Timothy chapter 2:5, and then Hebrews chapter 9:15. We'll look at it in the King James and the New Living Translation. 1 Timothy chapter 2:5 said, "For there is one God". How many? One God. How many? One God. Somebody says, "Oh, there are many gods". No, baby, there's just one God. Somebody says, "Well, I got five more". Well, they fake. There's one God. There's one. You ever heard of fake news? Fake god. There's only one God. "For there's one God," and so he says, "and there's one mediator between God and man".
So, who is that mediator between God and man? "The man Christ Jesus". The man Christ Jesus. Jesus is that mediator, that go-between, that peacemaker between God and men. That's in the Scripture. It's in the Scripture. Come on, look at Hebrews chapter 9:15. Let's look at the King James first and then the NLT. Hebrews chapter 9:15, all right, now watch this. Verse 15, "And for this cause he," Jesus, "is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption," or the deliverance, "of the transgression that were under the first testament"... See, there was a first testament. That's that old covenant. "They which are called might receive the promise of," what? "Eternal inheritance".
Now look at this in the New Living Translation. This is so powerful, because what he is saying is there is something that happened in the New Testament, where Jesus is the mediator that did not happen in that first testament, where they did not have a mediator. He said, "That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant," he mediates a new covenant, "between God and people, so that all who are called". So, here's what he said: Jesus is the one that's responsible for this new covenant so that everybody that's called can receive eternal inheritance, the eternal inheritance God has promised them.
So, God's made some promises that Jesus said, "We gonna need a new testament so you can get what he promised," because, obviously, you're not gonna be able to get what he promised based on the Old Testament, because you ain't got nobody to mediate it. You have no mediator between God and man, but in this new covenant, this New Testament, you have a mediator. You have somebody between God and man, so now you can get this inheritance that God promised. And Jesus says, "And I'll guarantee it because I will mediate it". Glory be to God.
There can be no coming to the Father in the absence of Jesus, none. Forget it. Forget it. You ain't getting to God without Jesus. "Well, I'm gonna go through Muhammad". You ain't gonna get there. You've gotta make up something. You'll have to pretend like you got there and then come back and tell a lie about it 'cause you ain't getting to the Father without, you know, without Jesus. It ain't happening. It ain't happenin'. And some of y'all gonna be so shocked. "Well, I'm gonna to heaven. There's gonna be a bunch of virgins". You gonna be shocked. I don't know where you got that from, from the Book. You gonna be shocked. You gonna be shocked.
See, I don't have to be concerned about defending and working real hard to prove this to you. Let me say, prove this to y'all, I'll defend the gospel, but I ain't gotta work hard to prove it to you because everybody gonna die. And the Bible says, "Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess". You gonna die, and you remember Gomer Pyle? Used to be a little comedy about this Marine from Mayberry. His name was Gomer, Gomer Pyle. And Gomer Pyle used to come up and say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise". That's what's gonna happen to a whole lot of people. When they die, then they thinking one way, and they didn't get it from Word, "Surprise, surprise, surprise". Those of you who think, "Well, I'm just going to heaven", oh, now, those of you who think, "Well, I just believe, when you die, you just fall asleep". You gonna die and be like, "Ooh, it's hot"! "Surprise, surprise, surprise".
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 excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of 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. How do I study it, and what is the importance of studying the Bible? You would be shocked of the number of Christian people who come to church who haven't studied their Bible. There's a pandemic going on, and there are some people who lead you to think that their Bible's in the middle of a pandemic too 'cause they won't open it up. They treat their Bible like it got COVID-19: "We can't touch the Bible, or we might get contaminated". No, you get in that Bible, and you'll get contaminated all right. You'll get some Holy Ghost pandemic going on in your life.
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. 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 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.