Kenneth Copeland - How to Build Your House on the Rock
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Father, we thank You today. Oh, we're so thrilled at the things that are happening all over this world, and the meetings that we just came from in Nigeria. And the things that are happening all over the continent of Africa is just stunning. It's so wonderful. And we give You the praise for it in Jesus' name. Amen.
Glory to God. Now, I preached in Canaanland, Nigeria, at Faith Tabernacle, pastored by Bishop David and Faith Oyedepo. They began their ministry many years ago with four people. Oh, brother, and now he's having five services on Sunday, and he seats over 50,000, plus overflow. The last Sunday count was something like 325,000 people came to church on Sunday morning. I was blessed to get to preach to two services, so I only preached to 100,000. But I didn't feel slighted in the bit, I call tell you that. And the entire thing was a Ministers' Conference. And the pastors that were there, we had over 4,000 ministers in that room, but they came from all over Africa, there are some friends I know came from India and all over this world and pastors in there that pastored big, huge churches, 20-, 30-, 40,000 people, and just marvelous. I want you to be a part of it.
Let's open our Bibles first, once again, to Matthew 16, our golden text for these services that I have been privileged to minister. Are you enjoying the conference? I've never been to this conference, not one time, that there was not a very special anointing to receive insight, concept, and ideas concerning ministry, concerning the supernatural ministry. We're not natural people. Have you ever heard anyone say, "Well, after all, I'm only human". You are not only human! You are the born-again human. You're a God human. You're like Jesus. Hallelujah. You are not just a man. You are not just a woman. No. You're a God-bought, blood-bought, healed, indwelt man or woman, and you have the seed of greatness inside you. Every born-again child of God can be great in spiritual stature. Thank You, Lord. Oh-oh-oh, thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen. There's a super man living on the inside of you. And His name is Jesus. Can I get an "Amen"? Hallelujah. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord.
All right. Matthew 16, and look at the 13th Verse. "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? They said, Some say that you're John the Baptist: some, Elias; others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. And he said unto them, Whom say ye that I am? Simon Peter answered and said". Now, when you come to know Peter, and you come to understand this man, you know he didn't hold up his hand and say, "Uh, thou art the Christ, Son of the living God"? No. He said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God"! Peter got excited. He's the one that got out of the boat. Huh? He's the one that wouldn't stay in the boat. "Lord, if it's You, bid me, Come"!
Well, what's the Lord going to do? Say, "It's not me". No. He said, "Come". I mean, Peter got out of the boat. And did you ever notice that "beginning to sink, Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught him". Step up here. Step up here. Now, had Peter been there, and Jesus here, He couldn't have caught him. One more step, and he would have been there. If he had just said, "I'm not sinking. I'm taking one more step here". He was that close. Just one more step.Oh, come on. Hallelujah. And that day that you got up, and you said, "I don't think I can go another step," yes, you can. "Oh, I don't have any more money". Who cares? Go another step. Hallelujah. "But I'm so tired". Ah, get up and take another step. Hallelujah. Amen.
Quit crying about it and get up and do it. You still love me? All right. Hallelujah. Thank You, Lord. Now, "Whom do the men say that I am"? And Peter said, "Thou are the Christ, You are the anointed One, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". On the rock of revelation knowledge, Jesus has built and is building His church. That's what makes it built to last.
Now turn to the 127th Psalm with me this morning. Psalm 127. Thank You, Lord. This is an amazing statement: "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it". Now, notice, they built the house, but it was a vain house. It didn't say that they couldn't build the house. They built the house. I've seen ministries that people built, and they don't last. The thing that is void when people build a ministry, a people personality, church gains, religious ideas that build a ministry, you will not see the supernatural.
A Holy Spirit-led pastor, a Holy Spirit-led shepherd is a shepherd that divinely knows where the green pastures are for the flock. The shepherd that is led by the Spirit of God knows where the still waters are where the flock can rest. The shepherd that is led of the Spirit and walks by faith and lives the life of the love of God, no wolf, no demon, can get hold of that flock and destroy it. We're supernatural people. When the Lord builds the house, you have signs and wonders and gifts of healings and miracles and special faith, you have discerning of spirits, you have the word of knowledge, word of wisdom, tongues, and interpretations of tongues. Glory to God.
You have people that pray. Bishop, talking about prayer this morning, all Christian failure is a prayer failure. It's not a faith failure, it's a prayer failure. Amen. Of course, if you're a failure at prayer, you will be a failure at faith. Amen. I mean, that's just the way it is. Now, here's another thing I want you to notice, "It is vain," or worthless, "for you to rise up early". Now, I used to read that first part of that sentence and just stop there, ha-ha-ha, because I didn't like to get up early. "It is vain for you to raise up early, and sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrow".
Now, the word translated "sorrow" here is "toil," hard, toiling work. Amen. If you're building a ministry on toil and hard work, it will fail. Now, we work. Amen. "You don't work, you don't eat". Amen. Isn't that what the Scripture said? But if you're building your ministry on hard work instead of prayer, you're building your ministry on toiling at the ministry instead of resting in Jesus in His ministry, the house will collapse.
I was in a city a number of years ago, and I was invited to the home of one of the pastors of one of the largest church in the city. And he didn't much like the Word of faith. You know, "Believe it in your heart and say it with your mouth" and all that, he didn't like that much. But he was nice about it, you know. I had dinner with him and his wife and Gloria and me and one of my partners and his wife. And he had asked me some questions. And, you know, you have that sense and feeling, "I'm just not quite wanted here". Ha-ha-ha. Amen. I know you've been there, you know, where the fellow shakes hands with you, and instead of shaking hands, he goes, you know, drop it like it's hot. Ha-ha-ha. And it was a pleasant evening, but it wasn't just running over with joy.
And so the evening was over, and we were walking out for the door of his home. Suddenly, he just dropped to his knees right in front of me. It took me back for a moment. I wasn't expecting this to happen. He just dropped to his knees, and he caught my hand and put it on his head. My, he began to weep. And he said, "Oh, pray for me, Preacher". He said, "I've substituted hard work for prayer and faith, and I'm failing". Now, he had a big church, so where is he failing? He's failing in his spirit, failing in his heart. He's not pleasing God, and he's not pleasing himself, and he's not pleasing anybody. And he knows it. And he already knew what the problem was.
Listen to what he said, "I traded hard work for prayer and faith". Now, that's what upset him about the Word of faith message, because he wasn't doing it, and he knew it. And every time he heard it, it put him under conviction. It should have because he was in that category right there, getting up early, staying up late, worrying, toiling in your mind, feeding on the bread of sorrow. My, what a terrible, terrible existence. That's not what our loving Father had planned for you. That's not what He planned for your congregation because, I'm telling you right now, if you're toiling and you're worrying and full of fear, guess what?
So are the people in your ministry because they are an image and picture and offspring of you. Amen. That's just inescapable. You can't get away from that. And it won't last. So "Except they that the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it". Getting up early is in vain. Sitting up late is in vain, lying awake at night worrying and sorrowing. Ha. And you're lying there, "Let's see. What is the answer to that"? And you're searching your mind instead of sleeping, instead of resting, searching your mind. My brother and sister, the answers to ministry don't come from the mind. They come from the Holy Spirit revealing knowledge to your spirit. That is the rock upon which Jesus has built His church.
But you're lying there questioning. Ha-ha. You're like a person standing in front of a file drawer, and you open the drawer, look at every file, then you take them all out, put them on the floor, put them back one at a time. It isn't in there. Do you realize that? That file you're looking for isn't in that drawer. So it is in vain for you to keep digging in the same drawer. That's a vain action. And about the 50th time you've been through that drawer, your lightning-fast mind should realize it isn't in there! Ha-ha. It's not there.
So where am I going to find it out? In the Spirit. Thank God for praying in tongues. "A man that speaks in an unknown tongue", meaning unknown to you, "speaks not unto men, but unto God: howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries". The Greek text literally says, "divine secrets". Well, who are they secrets from? The devil! It's not hidden from you, it's hidden for you. "Well, if it's a mystery, then how am I supposed to find out what it is"? Well, you just continue reading in the I Corinthians 14 and it'll tell you. "I will pray with my spirit, and I will pray with my understanding". There it is. "I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also".
Now, here it is, "Let him pray also that he interpret". What does that mean? Well, you're praying in the Spirit. Your mind is unfruitful. But if you pray, "Lord, reveal to me what I'm praying in the Spirit, then my mind can be fruitful". Huh? Now, don't forget Mark 11:24. "Therefore," Jesus said, "I say unto you, What soever thing you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them". As long as your praying in a language you can understand. No. That last part wasn't in there. It didn't say, "As long as you're praying in a", He just said, "When you pray, believe that you receive them".
Thank You, Father. And I pray also that I interpret, and, according to Mark 11:24, I receive what I prayed in the Spirit. I receive the interpretation. I receive that mystery while it's still a mystery. It's my mystery. It belongs to me. It had to be good because the Spirit of love gave it to me. Huh?
This is when you have faith in the love. Oh, yeah, He loves me. Say, "God loves me". God loves Kenneth. I got the joy again this morning. Glory to God. Amen. While I'm praying in the Spirit, I believe I receive in the Spirit. This is where the answers are. This is where your strength is. Because you pray in the Spirit, you edify yourself, building yourself up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Right?
What does "edify" mean? Well, that Greek word means to build, to charge. If you were a Greek-speaking person, and you said, "I need to charge the battery in my car," he would use that word translated "edify," to charge up, to build up. So what do you do when you build up a building, or you build up the battery in your car? You're building up your spirit man, the real you. And the Scripture says, "The strong spirit of a man will sustain him in times of trouble and bodily pains". So how do you get a strong spirit? You spend time in the Word. You spend time at prayer both in your understanding, but most of all in the Spirit.