John Hagee - The Winning Edge
This conscience series exposes the threefold nature of man. If you'll look on the chart, start to the right. You are body, soul, and spirit. Say that with me, body, soul, and spirit. In the body, you can communicate with sight, smell, hearing, taste, and feeling. The soul where decisions are made is emotion, mind, and will. In the spirit, is your conscience.
There are several different kinds of conscience we'll talk about next week. But the one we're after is a pure conscience. Through the body, you relate to the world through the five senses. It's very important you hear this. You will live in deception if you allow the spiritual man to be controlled by the physical body. Don't do that. Illustration of the war between the body and the spirit, the Bible says: we walk by faith and not by sight. Say that with me, we walk by faith and not by sight. Faith is spirit. Sight is physical. It's the body.
In the physical world, we say, "Seeing is believing". How many of you've ever heard that? "Well, I'll believe it when I see it". How many of you ever hear that? "I'll believe it when I see it". So seeing is believing in the physical world. But in the spiritual world, we say, "I don't see it (physically), but with the eyes of faith, I do see it. I receive it by faith".
This is demonstrated in the life of doubting Thomas. Doubting Thomas was a disciple of Jesus Christ. He had a very good spiritual leader for three and a half years. And after three and a half years, he still had not been able to get the spirit and the physical properly aligned. And he said: I will not believe that Jesus has risen from the dead unless I can touch him. That's the physical. Jesus allowed him to touch him. But then he said: blessed is he who believes without seeing. Say that with me, blessed is he who believes without seeing.
Through the spirit, you relate to God through his anointing. Through the spirit, you relate to God and his presence. You relate to God and his guidance. You relate to God and his love. You relate to God and his power. God is a spirit, the Bible says, and they that worship him in spirit and in truth. So you are not really there until you're in the spirit. Let me say this: you can sing a horse a song. You can sing it loud and clap loud. That does not mean you're in the spirit. It means you are physically doing something. You are in the spirit when you feel yourself elevated into the supernatural presence of God and your very nature is melted and merged in the divine joy that God is there. And let me tell you something. If you've never felt that, you are not living until you've walked into the presence of God and felt the Lord in the room where you are.
There have been times in my life when I was going through a great battle sitting in a room by myself talking to the Lord, and I suddenly felt myself enveloped with the power and the presence of God. I knew that the angels of God were in that room. For he will give his angels charge over you to protect you in all of your way. Until you know and learn how to walk and live in the supernatural, Christianity will be boring to you all of your life. I want you to hear this from the throne of grace today. God wants you to be in his presence. He wants you to enjoy him. He wants you to know his power. He wants you to know how to walk through the water of difficulty, for doors that are locked to be opened, for adversity that's in front of you to be defeated. Because when you are in the supernatural, the natural world is under the power of the living God and the Kingdom of God. Give the Lord praise in the house of God.
Through the soul, which is midway through the body and spirit, you decide which world you're going to obey. That's where the decisions are made. In Genesis 2:7, the threefold nature of man is revealed. God formed man in the dust of the earth (that's body), and breathed into his nostrils, the Hebrew word is "Ruach," meaning "The breath," which is spirit (the breath of man), and man became a living soul. In that one verse, you have the manifestations of the human body. Now think about this. Angels are all spirit. The Bible says that. Angels are spiritual beings. Animals are all flesh. When you walk in the spirit, you're an angel almost. When you walk in the flesh, you're more like an animal than you know.
Have you ever seen human beings treat another person, you say, I can't imagine on earth how they could do such a thing like that. It's because they turned off the spiritual and they are consumed by a spirit that will destroy them. Man's trilogy is spirit. That's your highest potential. That's when you walk with God. Adam and Eve walked with God. Can you imagine being able to say, "It's time for us to go out and have a little chat with the Lord," and you just walk with God? And they had that close relationship. But they broke the law of God and they were kicked out of paradise.
You say, pastor, people don't walk with God like that beyond that one case. That's not true. Enoch walked with God. Enoch walked with the Lord. And the Bible says that Enoch walked with God, and he was not because God took him. They were just out having a walk one day with the Lord. And God said, hey, you're closer to my house than I am yours: why don't you come home for supper? And he's been there for 3500 years.
"Conscience" is a God-given instrument of discernment so we can determine right from wrong in a spiritual matter. Did you hear that last phrase? That we can decipher right from wrong in a spiritual matter. "Conscience" is the lamp of God saying, this is the way: walk in it. Milton wrote in Paradise Lost, "Conscience is God's umpire within the heart of men". I like that definition better than all the theology you've ever had. Conscience is God's umpire in the heart of man. An umpire is someone who says what's right and what's wrong, what's acceptable and what's not acceptable. And once that umpire has made that call, you can throw dirt, you can kick dirt, you can scream, you can argue, you can kick, and say ugly things: you're still out of the game. Boom.
How do I know that? Several years ago when our church was over on Loop 410, our church had a great softball team. And we played in the city league. And we were playing for the city championship. When I was 46, I made the all-city softball team as a pitcher. And it was in that year, and we were playing for the championship and we had the winning run on second base. And I was getting ready to bat. I knew I could hit that ball into the center field, get this guy scored, and we win the championship. The ball came right where I wanted it to go. Whack! I hit it. Into center field it went. I went flying down to first.
When I rounded first, I hear this female umpire, "You're out"! I thought she was talking to the guy running around the bases. I said, you mean me? She said, I mean exactly you. I said, you're wrong. She said, no, you're out. I said, you're out of your mind. And I start walking toward home base. She starts walking toward me. I said, why am I out? She said, because you stepped on the chalk line. I said, then come out here and show me the dust on my shoe. And I said, now show me my cleat marks in the sand. She couldn't. But you know what? I was still out of the game.
You have an umpire. It's your conscience. And when you start doing something wrong, your conscience says, you're wrong, you're wrong, you're wrong. Stop. Stop it! Stop it! And it'll just keeps screaming until you either obey, or you become more like an animal, and turn it off. And you turn it off, and you turn it off, and finally you have what the Bible calls "A seared conscience" that no longer hears from God. And you become more like an animal than a human being.
That's very, very possible for you to sit in a church house and for that to happen. Conscience is that inner voice that you have. You've heard it a hundred, you've heard it a thousand times. It can make you unhappy in a room full of happy people. Conscience can make your bed a bed of coals. Conscience can make your night a sleepless torment. When your conduct goes one way and your conscience goes another, conscience will throw a flag. I almost hit myself. A quiet conscience can sleep in thunder. A clear conscience is like a mighty fortress in the day of battle. Conscience destroys your appetite when the table is loaded with good food. Conscience makes you ache with a pain that no physician can remove with a secret prescription.
What made Adam and Eve hide from God in the garden? Conscience. What made king David cry out after he had committed great sin with Bathsheba and murdered her husband? He said: have mercy on me, o God. Take not your Holy Spirit from me. Did you hear that phrase? Don't take your Holy Spirit from me. I must hear the spiritual voice. What did that? Conscience did that. What made Pilate's wife say, concerning Jesus, "Have nothing to do with that just man"? Conscience did that. What made Felix, the Roman ruler, tremble on the throne? When Paul, a prisoner in handcuffs, standing before him, preaching the Gospel, Felix trembled with fear as Paul preached the Gospel. What was that? It was the conscience of Felix being challenged by the Word of God. Carnal logic is at war with conscience. It is the Holy Spirit versus the flesh.
And let me give you several illustrations that are not so churchy and theological. Are you listening? Get ready to suck on your oxygen bottle. It used to take a bale of cotton to make a woman's dress. Now a silk worm can do it on his lunch break. You're walking down the beach, and you see a woman wearing a scanty bathing suit coming down. Hoo-wee. You've seen more cotton in the top of an aspirin bottle than that. Your flesh says, look at that. Wow. Thank you Jesus for making something that pretty. She's a ten. No, that's at least a twelve. Your mind says, do you see how she's dressed? Conscience says, you really should not even be looking, Jerry, George, Larry. Your mind replies, yes! But do you see how she's dressed? And you start arguing. You ever see a guy on the beach talking to himself? That's what he's talking about.
Reason will justify what conscience condemns. God came to Adam in the Garden of Eden, and said, why did you break my law? Adam looked right at God, and said, this woman you gave me. He was blaming God for what he had done. You go to the supermarket. You check out. You get too much money back. What are you going to do? Keep it? Or take the money back? Your conscience screams, take it back, take it back, take it back, take it back. Reason said, hey, get real! You've just spent a hundred dollars on a sack of groceries that you can throw into the glove compartment of a Toyota: keep it! Take it back. Keep it. Take it back. Keep it. Take it back. Keep it. What are you going to do? You ever see somebody in the parking lot at heb going... That's what they're talking about. If your life is ruled by the Holy Spirit, you'll take it back. If you're ruled by your mind, you'll keep it, and eat rolaids all night long. The best tranquilizer on earth is a clear conscience. Give the Lord praise in the house.
Conscience never surrenders to an outside opinion, never. Conscience is not determined by a Gallup Poll. Conscience does not surrender to anyone no matter their numbers. It does not surrender to a pagan society that mocks the church, that slanders Christianity, that attacks righteousness like packs of wild wolves. Conscience stands on the solid rock, because it's built on the solid rock. Conscience does not go along to get along.
As long as your conscience is right with God, forget about your enemies. Because if God be for you, who can be against you? And God's prosperity will follow you. His angels are in front of you. They are behind you. He that keepeth Israel will keep you. He is the defender of the faithful. Walk on! Fight the good fight! Endure to the end! You will be successful because you have a clean and a clear conscience. Give the Lord praise in the house of God!
What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? It means learning to respond initially to the voice of God through your conscience. Your spiritual man, the conscience, shouts on Sunday morning, "Get up and go to church". Your carnal man says, "This bed sure feels good. I just think I'll roll over and watch it on television". Hum. What will you do?
The question is: have you ever noticed how the body and the mind are connected? That's where we get the word "Psychosomatic". How does a lie detector work? This is a good illustration. The police hook you up to a little blood pressure device. Really that's what it is. And they say, did you rob the bank? And your conscience screams, confess you did it, confess you did it, confess you did it. And reason shouts back, shut up, conscience! I'm going to jail if I say that. And your pulse rate goes, chh, chh, chh, chh, chh. And the little polygraph needle starts going up and down. And the cop says, yep, you did it. Put him in jail. Because you can tell on yourself without ever opening your mouth, because conscience is that powerful.
A guilty conscience produces remorse. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden, they were driven by angels with flaming swords because they were not allowed to re-enter the garden. Listen to what I'm saying. How many times did Adam and Eve come back to the garden and beg the angels with flaming swords to let them re-enter the paradise that God had given them, the paradise they lost because they bit into one stupid apple? They were cursed for life.
How many hundreds of times have I seen church members reject the voice of conscience and walk out of paradise, the paradise that God had given to them, to a life of remorse, regret, and ruined? Men have walked away from the paradise of a good marriage for a fling. And conscience was screaming all the way, stop! Stop! Stop! But they refused. Paradise was lost. They lived a life of remorse, regret, and ruin. How many times have I seen teenagers violate the laws of God their parents have taught them just for one night, and they went out and climbed in a car with a drunk driver? And in one night, one wild ride with one drunk driver turned a Carload of healthy, happy children into cripples, one night.
I know that every one of those children heard the voice of their mother and daddy saying, don't ever do that. I'm telling you, as an old man with white hair, listen to the voice of the conscience your parents are giving you. One snort of coCaine can destroy you. One night with one wild ride with one drunk driver can put you in the hospital for the rest of your life or in the grave yard. One sexual experience, and you can catch aids. You can live a good life for years, and one night of sin can destroy you! Stop it! Stop it!
I say this in closing. Paul says there are four kinds of conscience, and we'll pick this up next week. A good conscience, 1 Timothy 1:5: a seared conscience, 1 Timothy 4:2. How is that? You remember Saul in the Old Testament? God hath departed from me and heareth me no more. When God calls you, and you just keep walking, and keep walking, and keep walking, and keep walking, the voice gets littler, and less, and less, and then it just goes away. And you're nothing more than an animal. That's how that happens. Is it easy to do? It's very easy to do. It doesn't happen in one large leap. It just happens incrementally, as you lower the bar morally about what you will and won't accept. Until finally, when you get to the edge, it's just that much more and you're gone.
You're in this room, you're watching by television, and you know that you have violated the laws of God. And your conscience, you have trampled it. And you want to ask the Lord today to renew that relationship that you once had that was rich, and sweet, and wonderful, I want you to stand to your feet. Stand to your feet, congregation. Stand to your feet. I want you to listen to one verse of the song that matt's singing "Grace, grace, God's grace".
Listen to me. Some of you have been raised in denominations that if you commit a great sin, you're done. Let me tell you that is so wrong. That is so wrong. God wants to wrap his loving arms around you. You can never fall into a pit so deep he won't come after you. But you have to be willing to say, Father, I want to start again. Matt, sing one verse as the Holy Spirit dwells in the minds of this congregation. Sing.
You're in this room right now, and you say, pastor, I know that I have violated my conscience. And I want to ask the Lord to forgive me. And I want to begin afresh and anew today in a righteous walk with the king of glory. If that describes you, slip your hand up right where you are. Slip it high. Hundreds of people raising their hand. God bless you. God bless you. In the balcony, God bless you. Those of you watching by television, those of you who are here, join me in this prayer.
Heavenly Father, in Jesus' name, I ask you today to come into my heart as Lord and Savior. I ask you to forgive me of violating my conscience, of violating the laws of God. I want to walk with you. I want to be loved by you. I want you to be the shepherd of my life. I want to walk in paths of righteousness. And from this day forward, with a conscience that's now clean, I want to walk with the king of kings, and the chief shepherd, Jesus Christ. Amen.