Jentezen Franklin - The Seventh Sneeze
Turn with me real quick to 2 Kings 4, let's begin reading with 2 Kings 4:32. "When Elisha came into the house, there was a child lying dead on the bed. He went in therefore, and shut the door between the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. He went up and laid on the child". This is so strange: "Put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes", notice the detail of the scripture: "His hands on the dead child's hands. Stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned, walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself on him. Then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes".
I want to talk to you about this amazing story. Life was not there in this child, until the seventh sneeze. Life did not come until the child sneezed, not one time, not three times, not five times, but seven times. You know this story, if you've ever read the Bible much. Let me remind you of what I didn't have time to read. This child was working in the field with his father, reaping the harvest. He was working for the father, in the field, reaping the harvest. And it was the heat of the day, the Bible said. And the child had something happen mentally to him, many believe the sun caused a sun-stroke, probably is what happened.
And when the child had an issue, because of the heat or the pressure of the day, working in the field for his father, he cries out suddenly to the father, "My head, my head". And the father said, "Take him to his mother". She takes him and it feels lifeless. But taken to the seed of his origin. Taken back where the child in him can be resurrected. A lot of Christians are crying, "My head, my head". The pressures of life, the irritants of life, the sun, so-to-speak, beating down on them. But the child's miracle happened when this mother laid him in the bed, and the Bible said she had made a bed for the supernatural in her house, and she lays this child, and when she lays him in the bed, she's putting him in miracle territory.
And the Bible said she sent for the prophet, and the prophet came. And the first thing that the prophet does is the Bible said this prophet, symbolic of the Holy Spirit, laid on top of him, and said, "Are you ready for a miracle, dead boy"? Then it begins when you start stretching for it. And when he started stretching him, the next thing the Bible said he did is he put his hands on the boy's hands. And he put his mouth on the boy's mouth. And he put his eyes, it's very specific, on the boy's eyes. A resurrection of the hands represents a resurrection of the work. A resurrection of the eyes represents a resurrection of the vision. A resurrection of the mouth represents a resurrection of the Word.
And he lays his hands on the boy's hands, his mouth on the boy's mouth, his eyes on the boy's eyes, and he's saying, "I'm going to resurrect the work, I'm going to resurrect not only the work, but I'm going to resurrect the vision, and I'm going to resurrect the Word of God in your mouth". I'm telling you that when we get down and we feel weary, and we feel like we're caving in mentally, the Holy Spirit wants to walk into our life, and put His hands on our hands, and say, "The work is not going down, it's coming back up. And the word that I gave you is not going to fall to the ground. I'm going to make it come alive again".
There's power in the Word. "And that vision that seems closed off and shut off and dead, I'm going to open those eyes again, and I'm going to revive and resurrect the vision that I gave you when I called you". Somebody praise Him for the resurrection of the Word, the work, and the vision. Hallelujah. The whole key to it is the woman said, "I got to get that boy back to the original power". The original power of the Holy Spirit, who can resurrect the work, he can resurrect the vision, he can resurrect not only the work and the vision, but the Word.
The scripture said that when he laid on him, the King James says: "He waxed warm". I like that. He's dead, he's not resurrected yet, but the first time he laid on him, he waxed warm. The word waxed means slowly. Slowly warming up. It didn't happen all at once. He laid down, and the prophet felt the boy warming up. He wasn't alive yet, but things were getting warmer. You may not have your whole miracle yet, but you got to learn to rejoice when things get warmer. You may not see everything you're believing for, and have it all, but I'll tell you, it's getting hot in here. And you have to learn to go with God when you don't see the fullness of the miracle, but at least it's getting warmer.
I can feel a warming trend. Things are getting better. Come on, talk like that. Things are getting better. It's getting better. It's getting better. It's getting better. Doesn't that sound crazy? Feed your faith, not your fears. Get a good image of victory and stick with it, hallelujah. It's warming up. It's getting better. The marriage is getting better. The children are getting better. The finances are getting better. Talk the Word of God, let Him resurrect your words. Let Him resurrect your vision. Let Him resurrect your work. It's getting better. Somebody shout, "It's getting better". The Bible said when he did that, the boy started sneezing seven times.
If you look up sneeze in the dictionary, it says an involuntary catching of breath, and expelling it violently. Usually, because something irritating is caught in the nasal passage. And what you're saying is, "Get out". You're hindering my breath. You're hindering my life. Get out. And there were seven sneezes in the Book of Acts. The church started out powerful, on fire, winning thousands and thousands of souls, turning cities in the world upside down. Signs and wonders and miracles and power and glory. But then, something started hurting the Body of Christ, and it's ability to breathe in the wind of the Holy Spirit. And they had to sneeze, we have to sneeze the seven sneezes.
The first sneeze is found in Acts, when they had to sneeze out getting it done without the supernatural. We have become a bunch of professionals in the church. We think that if we're smart enough and we're programmed enough and we're pretty enough, and we're cute enough, and our lights are good enough, and our musicians are cool enough, and our buildings are big enough, and pretty enough, and prestigious enough, that we can get the job done, but we can't get the job done without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. You'll notice this.
The second sneeze is found in Acts 4, when they said, "Don't you preach in that name anymore". And I think it boils down to this, that you have to decide if you're going to be totally accepted in this day and time. Because if you're a true born again believer who's doing everything you can to obey that book and live right, you don't fit in with this world. And you will not be totally accepted by people in the world. They will talk about you. They will make fun of you.
Then, we see another sneeze, the sneeze of green. The kingdom of thing-dom. Money, material possessions. Get so blessed you can't even tithe anymore, 'cause you're making so much money, and you're afraid you'd give God too much. Give God a portion of your tithe, lest He be displeased with you, and give you a tithe in proportion of your giving. And vice-versa. I had a preacher friend who has a... flare for the dramatic, I guess you could say. And he took crime tape and roped off, this was back in the days when they used to have those communion tables and they had the offering plates on 'em? Anybody know what I'm talkin' aboout? And he took crime tape and taped off the whole front part of his church one Sunday. Got up and preached, "Ladies and gentlemen, gaurd your purses. There's a theif in the house and if a man'll rob God, he'll rob anybody".
The fourth sneeze is murmuring. The Bible said the people started murmuring in the Book of Acts, I think it's Acts 6. 'Cause some of the Jewish widows were getting treated better than the Gentiles, and they had this thing going on, and they were murmuring. Just complaining. Talking down. You want to get the life of God back in you? Stop murmuring. Stop complaining. Stop whining. Would you like some cheese with your whine? Stop whining. Whine-o's in the church. Just whine all the time. God don't want to hear it, He left a long time ago. Come on, church. Let's quit whining. Let's sneeze that out.
We've all had hard times. We've all gone through struggles. It may be dark, it may be tough, it may be hurtful, but you know what? You don't start talking and murmuring and complaining and finding fault, you throw your hands up and you praise the God who can change things. Focus on the good. Paul said, "I think myself happy". Isn't that a great verse? "I think myself happy". You keep on murmuring, you're going to think yourself depressed, fearful, discouraged. Tore up from the floor up. Quit murmuring, and start being thankful for what you do have.
The fifth one is fear. The Bible said that they were persecuted, and they were fearful. We have to sneeze out the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of people. Well, when God shuts one door, He opens another, but it's Hell in the hallway. And, when you have God shut the door, and you don't have a job anymore, and you're waitin' on God to open the door, you're in the hallway. And in the hallway, when you're in between the breakthrough, and in between the miracle, fear will come, but God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Fear will paralyze you, fear will torment you, fear will tell you that, "You can't do it". I hate fear. I've had to fight it my whole life. I do every time I walk to the pulpit. But I have found that fear is never, ever going to encourage me if I give a voice to it and listen to it. You have to shake it off, and you have to go in confidence and in faith, knowing the Lord is with you.
Let me give you another one, in Acts 10. It's the sixth sneeze. You know what it is? Prejudice. Cornelius is praying, and he's a Gentile, and Peter says, "I can't associate with certain people who are not of my nationality". Prejudice had gotten in the church, but God gave Peter a dream. And he saw all of the things that were supposed to be unclean, and God said, "Kill 'em and eat". And he had to have that dream several times, and by the time that God got through with him, he understood, because somebody was knocking on his door, saying, "There's somebody that has seen an angel, and they sent me to tell you to come to my house". He's perceived this is of the Lord, what God calls clean, let no man call unclean.
We got to sneeze prejudice out of the church. We got to sneeze this, you are not superior to anyone because of the color of your skin. You are not inferior to anyone because of the color of your skin. You've heard me. I've told you before. I went and preached for a large church in Atlanta one time, and I'll never forget walking in. And just me being white, all my life, being raised in... I can't help it. And I walk into this church, and you know, all I've ever seen is white Jesus's. You know, on the little picture frames and sweet, blond-headed, blue-eyed Jesus, in sandals hippy Jesus, you know the one. You know the one I'm talking about. That's all I've ever seen.
And I walked into this black bishop's office, and he had a black Jesus. Big ol', the biggest picture of Jesus I've ever seen, almost as big as that screen. And it was a black Jesus, with jerry curls. And it threw me for a loop. I tried to, you know, I tried not to, but freaked me out a little bit. Then, I went on a mission trip one time to Mexico and preached, and this Hispanic pastor had a Jesus with a sombrero on in his office. I'm like, well, would the real Jesus please stand up? He's all of 'em. He's all of 'em. He's all of 'em. He died for all of us. And prejudice has no place in the Body of Christ, in the church, in the Kingdom, and in our nation. Hallelujah.
There's one more sneeze. You know, it's called doubt. And the Bible said that when Peter left the house, he left doubting nothing in the vision. When he sneezed that doubt out, when we sneeze doubt out, Paul said in Corinthians, "I will come to vision. I don't hope so, I don't wonder". He said, "I will, I shall come to vision". There comes a place, if you walk with God, and He's giving you a vision, it goes through death. You don't have a vision if your vision hasn't died. It goes through death, it goes through burial, and that's where most people give up, walk away, and say, "I missed God".
But if you've really got a vision, something in you holds on. Because it doesn't just go through death and burial, but it will come to resurrection. And when it comes up and you finally are standing in that place, you're not enthralled, and you're not impressed with that place, like you would've been had God given it to you on a platter. It's something about the fact that when you do stand in your place of destiny, it's not the place that you're amazed by, it's the God who put you there that you're amazed by. He doesn't want you caught up in your stuff, He wants you caught up in Him for His glory.
And I'm praying for the seventh sneeze, that you would leave this room doubting nothing. I'm walking by faith, not by sight. I'm not doubting, God has spoken to me, and He will bring it to pass. My children will be saved. My body will be healed. My life will be blessed and purposeful. I will be free, I will know God's plan for my life. I walk by faith, doubting nothing. Everybody say that, "Doubting nothing".
The Holy Spirit right now is laying His hands on your hands, to resurrect the work. You can't do it on your own, it's not by might, nor by power. It's by My Spirit, so I lay My hand on you. And He's laying His mouth on your mouth, that original prophecy. There's a prophecy over your life, and you can't die until it's fulfilled. It's time to go back to it. Go back to the original source of power. The Holy Spirit. Let Him put His mouth on your mouth, His hand on your hand, His eyes on your eyes. So that you'll have the vision again, for what God's called you to do. You'll have clarity. You'll understand now. I see it. I see it. Raise your hands toward Heaven.
Lord, here's my hands, here's my mouth, here's my eyes. Come on, lay Your, stretch me, stretch me. I've been comfortable. I've been a little comfortable in my Christianity, so stretch me again. Take me where I've never been. Stretch me, Holy Spirit. Take me into Your power, into Your will. Show me, touch my eyes, and let me see. Touch my hands and let me do the work. Touch my mouth and let me speak the Word. Oh God, I give You my will, I give You my plans, I give You everything. I surrender them to You. Come, Holy Spirit, and resurrect the child in me. I want to go back to that original innocence, when I first got born again, how much I wanted to please You. How careful I was, and what I looked at, and what I talked, and what I said. I want to go back like that child, when I first got born again. How I love Your Word and loved to worship.
I don't want to be tired and old, I want to be fresh and young, spiritually. So come, Holy Spirit. Let's stand to our feet, all over this room. Throw those hands up, and for the next 30 seconds, turn the volume up on your voice. Turn it up. You're at a one turn it up to a seven. Just turn the volume up on your voice box. And open your mouth and begin to go after God.
The Holy Spirit is looking, like antennas, for hands that are raised, saying, "Come, Holy Spirit. Come into my house. Come into my business. Put Your hand on my hand. Touch me, in my workplace. Oh, God, I need to see some things happen. And I know I need the power of the Holy Spirit. I'm going back to the original power. When I started that business, I didn't have anything. Put Your hand back on me. Put Your mouth on my mouth. Put Your eyes on my eyes. Anoint me, again. Use me, again. Raise me, again. I sneeze out everything that's hindered. I sneeze it out".
Come on. Sneeze out that doubt. Sneeze out that fear. Sneeze out that murmuring and complaining, and thought-finding. Get it out of your system. So that you can breathe again. The Holy Spirit says it's time to breathe again. It's time to breathe again. It's time to live again. It's time to dream again. Hallelujah.