Jentezen Franklin - The Goats
Thank you for joining us today on Kingdom Connection. I believe that condemnation is one of the greatest weapons that Satan uses. Guilt, shame, condemnation. But Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, takes away the sins of the world. And you're gonna learn how to conquer guilt and shame and condemnation today. We're covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, and what I'm gonna teach today is gonna cause your load to be so much lighter. It's time for you to walk away from condemnation and guilt.
1 Samuel 10:3, "Then you shall go on forward from there and come to the terebinth tree of Tabor. There three men are going up to God at Bethel," they're going up to meet with God at Bethel. Bethel means house of God. They're going to church, they're gonna worship, they're gonna have an encounter with God. And you'll know it's them, because one will be: "carrying three young goats, another will be carrying three loaves of bread, and another will be carrying a skin," or a container, "of wine. And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, that you shall receive at their hands. And after, you have come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. You'll come there to the city, and you'll meet a group of prophets coming down from a high place with stringed instruments, and a flute, and a tambourine, and a harp. And they will prophesy". "And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them," I love these words: "and be turned into another man".
When Spirit comes on you, He can turn you into another person. I believe that. I believe that there's more to church, and Christianity, than just hearing talks and stuff. Even inspiration. The Gospel turns you into another person. And I wanna deal today with these goats. The Bible said that the prophet said to Saul, who was going to be the first king of Israel, "When you get to a certain place, you're gonna encounter some people, and the way you'll know that they're the people sent of God is three of them will be carrying bread, one person will be carrying three loaves of bread. The other person will be carrying a jug of wine, a container of wine. And the other person will be very noticeable, he'll be carrying," notice the wording, "three goats". And they're going to the house of God to encounter God.
Now, I want you to see the picture. One is going with bread, which represents, "This is My Body, which is broken for you," the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ. And the way that He's approaching God is He's focusing on the price that He paid through His Body, the stripes that He took, the nail prints in His hands, the crushing, the breaking of the cat of nine-tails, and so, as one person is going into Bethel, the house of God, to worship God, to encounter God, the thing that he has in his hands is three loaves of bread, reminding himself that He is the Bread of Life, and it's His sacrifice that makes me worthy. a container of wine. Wine represents, in the scripture, "This is My blood," Jesus said at the Lord's table. "This wine represents My blood, which is shed for the remission of sins".
So you've got another man who's going to meet with God, in Bethel, the house of God, and he's approaching worship through the blood. He's seeing the blood of sacrifice that covers and cleanses and protects. But there's one other guy that stands out, and he has three goats. Goats in the Bible represent sin, and shame, and condemnation. And I'll prove that to you, and he is overloaded with goats. He has three of them, and it didn't say he had 'em on a leash, or he was trying to round them up. It said he will be carrying them. I don't know how you carry three goats. I don't know how, he must've wrapped one around his neck, and took a shoestring or something, and tied his legs together. He must've had one up under one arm, kicking him, and squirming. He had another, kinda like your kids, you know, and he had one up under the other, and kicking, and screaming, what a mess, going into a church service, into Bethel, into the house of worship to meet with God, and all he's carrying is a bunch of goats.
I'm preaching, and you'll understand where I'm going in just a moment, but one of the devil's favorite weapons is condemnation, especially when you go to the house of God. This scripture involves people going to the house of God, and one of them had three goats. These were not dead animals, they were living, and it was a 20-mile journey. And he had these goats, kicking and squirming, and trying to go into the house of God, with these goats, while one was focused on the blood, and one of the men was carrying bread, and was focused on the Body and the sacrifice, and the wounds, that, "By His stripes, I'm healed," and, "He was wounded for my iniquities and sins". And he's focused on the body, and one's focused on the blood, but one is focused on the goats. Why do you say goats represent sin? I'll show you in just a moment.
When I think about goats, the first mention in the Bible is the story of Jacob, and how that his father was dying, and he wanted to steal the birthright from his older brother, Esau. And you know what the Bible said he did? Because his brother was a hairy man, and his father was blind on his deathbed? To deceive him, he took a goat, and he killed it, and he took the skin of the goat, and he put it on his arm, and put it around his neck, and he went in to his dying father, who had gone blind, and he said, "Bless me, father. I am.. this is Esau". And he said, "You don't sound like Esau. You sound like Jacob". He said, "Come here and let me feel your arms". And when he felt his arms, he fooled him, he deceived him.
So, the first goat, I wanna give you a few goats, just three. Three or four, but the goat that's first mentioned in the Bible is the goat of deception. The way that Jacob got the blessing was he deceived his father by using a goat skins and the hair of a goat, because the brother was hairy. And when he felt of him, he said, "It's you," and he gave him the blessing. And he got involved in deception. And it's hard to go to the house of God when you have the aroma of deception, and lies, and you're pretending to be something you're not, and you cheat, and you lie, and you steal. It's hard to face God without guilt and condemnation. And the goat represents deception.
It's hard to get blessed in the house of God, when you're dealing with the baggage of deception and lies and secrecy and secret things, and shady things that you've been doing all week long, and then you come to the house of God, and try to worship, and you don't get much out of it, because you hear the goat screaming in your head, and you feel the aroma and smell the aroma, spiritually-speaking, of the deception that you've been apart of. When I think about that, I think about Jacob and how he was involved... you know, when you make up things, and you deceive your mom, you deceive your dad, you're living, you're claiming one thing, but you're a deceiver, you're a liar, you're shady. You're hiding things, and "I don't do that, and I would never do that, and you're lying".
It's hard to come to church and get anything out of it when you're carrying that kind of condemnation, and that kind of deception, and it's just one lie after another, and you have to tell three more to cover up that one. The lingering smell of the goat of deception will come with you to God's house, and you're not able to worship, you're not able to connect. You're not able to meet with God, because the focus is not on the Body and it's not on the blood, but it's condemnation. And then, the next time that a goat is mentioned in the Bible is the goat of jealousy. In Genesis 37, the Bible said that Joseph's brothers were jealous of him.
You remember the story, he had the coat of many colors? And they ripped the coat off, threw him in a pit, and then they killed a goat, and dipped the coat of many colors in the blood of the goat, and sent it to their father, and said, "A wild beast has killed Joseph, and he is no more". The blood and the goat of jealousy. You know, when you're jealous of people, when you're envious of people. When jealousy gets in a family, and siblings are jealous of one another, and arguing, and fighting, and then, you come to the house of God. It's hard to worship the Lord when jealousy is all over you, and deception is all over you.
Jealousy is an old goat that is as cruel as the grave, the Bible said. And you still smell the after-effects of something that happened years ago, because you're so hurt and you're so jealous, and you don't like the car they've got, or the house they've got, and why don't I have it? And all of that kinda stuff, and things like that the enemy uses to hinder us when we come to God's house. It'll take your freedom in worship, it'll take your freedom in enjoying the presence of the Lord, when you have the goat of deception, and lies, and then, you have the goat of jealousy, and envy, and why in the world, why would God not bless me, and why does He bless them?
Then, there's another goat that I found in Genesis 38. This one came on Judah, the praiser. His name was Judah, and his name means praise, and you know what happened to him? He went off on a business trip, and his wife had died, and he was lonely, and he was by himself, and he was in a strange town. And, he had a weak moment, and a prostitute that he didn't know came and propositioned him, and your Bible said that the goat of immorality came in Judah's life. Because what happened is he slept with the prostitute, Judah, the man of praise. And it's champagne all night, real pain the next morning. Because she said to him, "My payment for my services rendered will be one goat". And he had to get up, he was a sheep herder, he didn't have any goat. He had to get up and go into the market, and buy one goat, your Bible said, and he came back with that goat, the aroma's all over him of what he's done now. He's the praiser.
Judah's the guy that's leading, his name means praise. But he's involved, and now, he's got the goat of immorality. It's hard to go to church and praise the Lord when you got the aroma of immorality. Sexual immorality. There's an aroma that goes with that. There's a price that you pay to the consequences to sin that's hard to shake. Adultery, fornication, sex outside of marriage. I don't care how many people are doing it. I don't care how many people say it's all right, and the times have changed, and you just don't understand. No, I don't understand, nor does the word of God understand. When the Bible... I'm a human being, too, and I'm telling you that we have to live a life that brings glory and honor to Jesus Christ.
Purity matters. Morality matters. Holiness matters. Separation matters. We are to be clean and holy vessels unto the Lord. Gimme a big amen right there. And the goat of immorality, he had to take a goat back, and when he got there, she wasn't there. Think about this. She stole his bracelets, he had left them there as collateral, till he got back. And she took his ring, his signet ring, and she took his staff that had his little family emblem on it. She just cut out. And he's left with nothing, and guess what he did with that goat? He took the goat home. Isn't that amazing? That when you do something, men or women, listen to me, you ought to read Proverbs, over and over and over. About the dangers of sexual immorality.
And then, the goat that goes home with you. The guilt, the shame, the embarrassment. And I think of one more situation with a goat. I think of Samson. The Bible said he fell in love with a Philistine, and she did not serve his God, she served other gods. And you know what he got for a marriage gift? He got a goat. He got a goat. And when you marry somebody that's not in the faith, when you marry somebody who cares nothing about God, there's gonna be an aroma to that marriage, and to that family. There's gonna be a hard situation, when you come to the house of God, and you have to come by yourself. And I just wanna say it like I wanna say it. If you're single, you have no business dating someone who does not believe strongly in Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and He's the only way to the Father.
It's not a little Jesus and a little Buddha and a little Mohammad, and a little New Age, and a little new this, and a little that, and a little this. It's Jesus, only. There is neither no other name given unto man where we can be saved. And if you don't want a goat in your marriage, don't date and marry somebody who is of another faith. All these goats. And, here these people are, and they're going to the house of God. And when you've touched and handled these goats, the aroma and the shame and the guilt, they represent guilt, they represent condemnation. The blood of Jesus Christ was not just a down payment on our sin.
See, what I'm trying to preach is this. When we approach God, we can't be approaching God in our own righteousness, and walking into the throne room with a bunch of goats, 'cause that's what you look like if you don't have those goats under the blood. But what you're supposed to do is bring those goats, and I'm not making light of sin, but there's a difference between condemnation, which comes from the devil, it's his chief weapon against the Christian, and conviction, which comes from the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit will convict you of those goats, and when He does, it's not to condemn you, it's to get you to take those goats, and hitch them up to the cross.
Just tie 'em up to the cross, and back up, and grab you some wine, the blood, and grab you some bread, and when you stand there, your focus is not to be on your own guilt and shame, but He took our guilt, He took our shame, and the Bible said in Romans 8: "Now, therefore, there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit". No condemnation. When I approach God, I approach Him through the blood. When I approach God, I approach Him through the sacrifice of His Son on the Cross, bleeding and dying. And I don't have to be tormented and condemned with guilt, and shame, and condemnation. The Bible put it like this. "Whom the Son sets free is free, indeed".
And some of you are sitting there, real quiet, right now. And you know why? 'Cause you got a herd of goats tied at the end of your row. But I invite you this morning, this is good news, to divest yourself of the goats and tie them up around the cross, and then throw your hands up, and take a jug of Holy Ghost wine, the blood of Jesus, and take the Body which is the bread, and eat the bread, and drink the wine, and rejoice, and say, "To God be the glory". I was lost, but now I'm found. I was blind, but now I can see. I was bound, but now I'm free, and whom the Son sets free... are you free from the guilt?
See, we don't understand how free we are. The blood of Jesus Christ did not just pay the down payment for your sins. And now, you have to make monthly payments. The blood of Jesus has cleansed me of all my sins. Past, present, and future. I can't fall outta God's hands. He has me in the hollow of His hand, and if I fall, I fall into more grace, and more grace, and more grace. And that's not a license to sin. There are terrible consequences to sin, but don't you ever let the devil make you think that God doesn't love you and you're too condemned to approach the throne of God.
The reason Jesus came was to die on the cross and shed His blood, and let His Body be beaten and tortured, because He took your sins in His flesh. And the devil doesn't want you to feel forgiveness, because he knows that when you feel forgiven, it turns up your love for God. You don't know like I know what He's done for me. And when I begin to think about what He's done for me, and how He's helped me, and how He's taken the goat of guilt and shame and condemnation, and immorality, and everything. If you had an abortion, if you had an affair, if you had adultery, if you had someone abuse you, or you abused someone, I'm telling you that you can bring those goats and tie 'em to an old, rugged Cross, and if this isn't good for everybody, it's not good for anybody. But this is good news, that you don't carry the goats of shame and guilt the rest of your life when you come to Jesus.
Hallelujah. It's time for you to get ahold of a jug of wine, and don't misinterpret my sermon. And grab ahold of a loaf of bread, that's the communion meal. And focus on that. Focus on His goodness. Focus on His great love for you. Focus on the price He paid, and He took your sin, and He took your shame. God doesn't want anybody to carry shame the rest of your life. There's nothing I can't stand more than self-righteous Christians who kick people when they're down, and they're broken, and they're trying to... my goodness, that's not the Spirit of Jesus. He's the Spirit that says, "Get up". He's the Spirit that says, "Be restored". He's the Spirit that says, "Go, and sin no more. Neither do I condemn you".
The devil has been beating up on people long enough. When we go to God's house, we're not carrying the goats of condemnation and guilt. The Bible said we're to enter His gates with thanksgiving. What's that mean? I'm focusing on the blood, and I'm giving God thanks. I'm focusing on the cross and Jesus' Body that paid the price for my redemption, and He said enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
I'm telling you, when you understand how forgiven you are, I'm telling you, there's herds of goats all over this building, and you don't have to have those goats all around you during the whole church service. "He's talking to you". "He's talking to you". I am talking to you, but it's not a voice of condemnation, it's a voice of conviction, and if you want to lighten your load, if you're tired of carrying those old, squirmy, smelly goats, all you gotta do is come to the cross and take the blood in the great exchange. Hallelujah. I said, hallelujah.