Kenneth Copeland - Prepare for the Goodness of God
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Open your Bibles for this message tonight. First of all, in the Book of James chapter two, James chapter two, begin reading with the 14th verse. "What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith and has not works? Can faith save him"? Now the Weymouth translation of the New Testament, it was originally called the New Testament in Modern English. It was out of print, so KCM put it back in print. So it's KCM publication now. You've heard me use this phrase. That's where I got it. "What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith and has not action? Can faith save him"? Has not corresponding action. "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto him, 'Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, notwithstanding,' you give them not those things, which are needful to the body, what does it profit"? Even so faith, if it has not corresponding action, it is dead being alone. Corresponding action. That clears it up.
Now, people many years ago got confused with works and bent out of shape, but that's not really what he was saying. It's action that corresponds to what you believe in your heart and say with your mouth. For instance, a woman with the issue of blood, believed it in her heart, she said it and she got out there and did it. That's corresponding action to what she believed and what she said. Now, this is the way faith works. Now, that corresponding action doesn't necessarily have to be after the fact. It can be before. Now, go to Mark's gospel chapter five. Mark chapter five, the great faith chapter. In fact, Jairus, leader of the synagogue that the centurion built, same centurion that recognized Jesus as a prophet and authority, same centurion at the crucifixion, and said, "This must have been the Son of God. I thought He was just a prophet, but He's the Son of God".
And then we found out who he was and he lived at Caesarea, his name is Cornelius. He was the centurion of that whole district. And Caesarea is right there where Pilate's headquarter was. And you remember Pilate, checked with the centurion and see that he's really already dead. So this was of the Italian band and was commander of that whole area. And all of this is right here in this fifth chapter. It's an amazing... Anyway, verse 1. "They came over under the other side of the sea into the country of the Gadarenes. And he was come out of the ship, immediately, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit".
Now in the sixth chapter of the Book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul gives us the rank and file of Satan's command, from the lowest to the highest, principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world. Those are the ones that possessed people. Now, a demon-possessed person is someone that that demon controls them, spirit and soul and body completely. That's demon possession. That's not oppression. That's demon possession. And you haven't seen many. I have. You haven't seen many. There's not many in this country because of the gospel that's preached in this country. And you'll see something about that right here in this chapter. Very interesting.
Now, look at it again. "A man with an unclean spirit, one spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs. No man could bind him, no, not with chains, because that he had been often bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him and the shackles broken in pieces, neither could any man tame him". Now, notice this. If you'll permit me to use this for explanation purposes, this is Samson in reverse. The power of God would come on Samson. It's obvious that Samson was not a big, strong looking man, because they couldn't figure out what made him so strong. But the power of God would come on him, and you couldn't bind him. The power of the devil came on this man, because he's skin and bones. Doesn't sleep, he's a cutter, but that demon was the one breaking the chains and the shackles. No man could tame him.
Now that's extremely important information. Not only in this case, but there's information in this chapter that explains a lot of things. And you'll understand a lot that's going on today about what you learn here. Now always means always, day and night. So he didn't sleep. He was in the mountains and in the tombs crying and cutting himself with stones. He's a cutter. Now, there are people that do this today, that cut themselves, trying to get some kind of relief cutting themselves. Well, you can be delivered from that. That is a spirit. I didn't say you're possessed. Could possibly be that you are. But if you're possessed, that means spirit, soul, and body. You could be a cutter and not be possessed, just obsessed the same way that you can be obsessed and a lot of pressure put on you by the devil and be a born again believer. You say something long enough for it to get into your heart it'll control your life.
I want you to see something else about this. Cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus, afar off... Say "afar off". He saw Him afar off. And he ran and worshiped Him. If there could ever have been a person that the devil had complete control of and could have stopped him from worshiping God, it would have been this man, but he had no control over him. And the minute he saw Jesus, he lost his deal right there. He ran and he worshiped Him. The devil is still in him. And he ran and worshiped Him.
Now notice this. Now I have been in the presence and been talked to by demon-possessed people. So I'm going to attempt to use the same kind of voice that I heard. And particularly two incidents and then I'll tell you about a third one. "And cried with a loud voice, 'What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, you torment me not.'" For he had said, "Come out of that man, you unclean spirit". And he asked, "What is thy name"? And he answered, "My name is Legion, for we are many. And don't send me away out of this country". Now that's amazing, isn't it? His assignment was right there. "Don't send me away out of this country". "Now there was nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, 'Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.'"
Now everybody there heard what this devil said through the man. Jesus heard all these other devils, 3,000 to 6,000 of them. Now, that ruler was in charge of the 3,000 to 6,000. There was only one spirit that possessed him and all of those others were coming and going. So, all the devils besought him saying, "Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them". Forthwith, Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out and entered into the swine. They look for a body. They have to have a body to express themselves. Their first choice is a human body. If they can't get a human body, they'll take a pig, they'll take anything they can get their hands on to keep from having to go to the dry place and seek rest and find none. Well, that didn't do them any good because all the pigs drowned. "They that fed the swine fled and told it in the city and in the country, and they went out to see that that was done. They came to Jesus and see him that was possessed with the devil and had the legion sitting and clothed, and in his right mind, and they were afraid".
Where did the clothes come from? Huh? Where did the clothes come from? Jesus was prepared. He already knew what He was going to do. He took the clothes with Him. He prepared ahead of time. Faith always prepares for what it believes and praises that will come to pass, preparing for it, sweep out the garage for the new car. Clean out the old car. Quit calling it a clunker. Don't call it a piece of trash. It's the only car you have, darling. Clean it up. Polish the ugly thing. Clean it up. I can just see Jesus. Because now, look, listen to what He said, clothed and in his right mind, and that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil and also concerning the swine, they began to pray him to depart out of their coast, "Get out of here, please". "And when he was coming to the ship, he had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with Him, 'I want to go with you, Jesus.' Howbeit, Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, 'Go home to your friends, and tell them how great things the Lord has done for thee, and has had compassion on thee. Go home and preach love.' He departed and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for them and all men did marvel".
Now you check it out, this man changed that whole area right there. And when Jesus came back, they rushed to Him. Can't you see? Jesus called the guys together. He said, "Now look, I want you to go get some nice clothes. I'm going to call this man to preach. And right now he looks nasty. I mean, he's naked. He didn't even got any clothes and he's skin and bones. But he's going to be a new man. I'm going to call him to preach. And he's going to go back home to his friends". And I'm just thinking there, they probably don't even know what happened to him. Maybe he's dead. If they were see him they wouldn't recognize him. But he's going to go back home in nice clothes. And he's going to hit the road preaching, brother, talking about this man, Jesus, that came to him. And he'll be like me, he'll say, "Do you like my new suit"? Yes, man, because Jesus called the man to preach. Thank You, Lord.
This right here is just so moving to me that Jesus already had that planned out. He knew what He was going to do. It's like it was with Philip. He knew what He was going to do with Philip. He did all of that on purpose. Because for some reason, He knew something in Philip that needed to be changed, and that this did it. He already knew. And He already knew this man in the spirit, knew He was going to call him to preach. So, He took his new clothes for him. Now that's very, very important. Jesus was prepared for him. And you know you already saw it. This man didn't want to do anything but be with Him, because for the first time, he remembered who he was. He remembered who his friends are. He remembered where his home is. His mind is back again. And now, he's a love preacher. Now, faith's motive is always love. Faith's motive is always love.
I want to read you something. In the Classic Amplified, from Ephesians chapter five verse one. Let me turn over there in the King James, because you have to study to get this out of what the King James says about it. "Be ye therefore followers of God". That doesn't say it. But the Greek word translated follower is M-I-M-E-T-E-S, mimic. "Be therefore imitators of God, copy Him. Follow His example as well-beloved children, imitate their father, and walk in love". Walk in love. "Esteeming and delighting in one another as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrificed to God for you, so that it became a sweet fragrance". Walk in love.
John 13:35, let's look at that. Now, most people don't know this. The 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th chapters of John are in the middle of the night in the covenant meal and Jesus. Of course, John records things in that meal. Some have called it the Last Supper. That kind of says it. But it was the covenant meal. When you take communion, you should see yourself there. I've learned to take communion, it says as often as you do this. And I do it a lot. Sometimes I have the time where I just take a lot of time at it. And I somehow just go there and I'm right there in that room. And there's John on the right hand of Jesus leaned up against Him. And somehow I'm just right there.
"And do this in remembrance of me," Jesus said it right here in that covenant meal, 13:35. Thirty-four, "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you're my disciples, if you have love for one another". And Mark 5:19, Jesus had compassion on that man. And then that man left and preached compassion. And it worked. Now I will show you this in closing. Praise God. First chapter of Isaiah, 18th verse. You really need to read all the way down through this.
Fifteenth verse, "When you spread forth your hands in prayer employing help, I will hide my eyes from you. Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear, your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean, put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do right, seek justice, relieve the oppressed and correct the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. 'Come now and let us reason together,' saith the Lord, 'though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow. And though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. And if you're willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.'" That's what love does, because He's so good.