TD Jakes — Are You All In?
Now, I want you to ask your neighbor next to you a very important question, and tell 'em they better not lie. Ask 'em, "Are you all in"? "But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession and kept back part of the price". "And kept back part of the price. His wife, also being privy to it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, 'Ananias, why have Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost and to keep back part of the price of the land whiles it remained? Was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not thine own power? Why has thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou has not lied unto men, but unto God.'
And Ananias, hearing these words, fell down, and gave up the ghost, and great fear came on all of them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him". Ugh, "And it was about the space of three hours after when his wife, not knowing what was done," here she come, "And Peter answered unto her, 'Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?' And she said, 'Yea,'" that's right, I sold it for that. "Then Peter said unto her, 'How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at thy door and shall carry thee out.' Then, she fell down and straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost, and found dead, and carrying her fourth, buried her by her husband". Now, I'm gonna ask you again, are you all in?
How many of you have never heard a preacher preach on Ananias and Sapphira, hold your hand up, never heard a preacher preach on Ananias and Sapphira? How many of you have seldom heard a preacher preach on Ananias and Sapphira? Okay, let me tell you why, it's tough to explain this text. This text is in trouble. This text is in trouble because you just heard the story. Ananias and Sapphira have lied to Peter, but the Bible says you have lied to the Holy Ghost when you've lied to Peter.
This is what the deal was. Everybody was supposed to sell all their stuff, and then put it all together in a fund and we would have all things in common, and we would give with a certain economic equilibrium where we all had the same thing, and we all had the same stuff, and it was all homogenized together, and so, when they were making their reports, and trying to get it together, Ananias and Sapphira had this little scheme going, saying we gonna say we sold it all, and this is what we got, but we're gonna hide part of the money, okay. And we're gonna say that it's all, but it's not gonna be all.
In case this craziness doesn't work, we still got some cash. It's wrong, but it kinda makes sense, you know. It's like a contingency plan. And then, the reason the text is hard to explain, because they lied, God killed them, okay. It would kinda scare you, tithe should be real good this Sunday. It kinda scare you, you know. I don't mind God rebuking me, you know, convicting me, chastising me, you can even spite me, but this killing thing, a brother don't make a comeback from a killing. You can't repent or nothing, you just dead, dead and they carried him out. He died, and here come his woman right behind him, three hours later to be exact, telling the same lie, keeping the story straight, and the same men that were hidden in the back came and got her, too.
The reason this text is tough is because they lied about what the apostles were trying to build, but what the apostles was trying to build was something that God didn't want. So, why does God kill them for not being committed to something that he didn't even want? Because, because, you see, if that was what God wanted, if that was the purpose of God for the church, for us to be neutralized and have all things in common, sweetheart, that's communism. That plan will be tried over and over again and fail. What we are looking at is the apostle's struggling to find who they are in the kingdom. They are struggling because when God gives you an opportunity, the opportunity is often tainted by your history.
Work with me, now, their history is tied up in tangible expressions of God, feast of wheats, and feast of unleavened bread, things they could touch in the Promised Land was physical, and we possess the land. And so, they really wanted Jesus to set up a kingdom on earth, he didn't set up a kingdom on earth, now they're in leadership. Since Jesus said greater works than these shall you do, maybe we should finish what he started. So, we're gonna rise up in spite of us being oppressed by Rome. We're still gonna rise up and set up this kingdom not knowing that the kingdom was not meat and drink, but joy and peace in the Holy Ghost.
That the greater works weren't tangible things, but they came from a tangible religion that expressed itself through tangible artifacts, and now God is graduating them into a spiritual economy. And when he takes 'em up into a spiritual dimension, their understanding is still for physicalities, and they're trying to set up this kingdom, because, after all, hadn't John the Baptist said repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand? And aren't we tired of being oppressed by the Romans? Isn't it time for us to rise up and take over? Maybe we should finish what Jesus started. We need to pull things together, and so they were trying to... The disciples were hungry for a tangible expression of faith.
I want something I can see. I wanna build something. But, here's the other problem, when Jesus was alive, there were a group of women that supported him. Okay, but Jesus is now dead, and people support who they believe in. There is no guarantee that the people who supported Jesus will support them. So, there's an economic factor here, and here's something I want you to see.
Can I go a little deeper with this? Here's something I want you to see. Before, when God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, he also brought them out with an economic strategy. He had them to borrow all the gold and the silver from the Egyptians. And so, when they went through the Red Sea, the reason Pharaoh was chasing them, he wanted that gold back. He could get some more slaves, but the problem was the slaves, the slaves got the money, and they had so much money that later, when Moses got ready to build the tabernacle in the wilderness, and to make the gold and artifacts, he had to stop them from giving 'cause they had so much of that Egyptian gold, and the tabernacle was made out of the gold of the Egyptians. Whoo, you didn't hear that. The tabernacle was made out of the gold of the Egyptians.
Here is where we first begin to understand that the wealth of the unjust is laid up for the just. I'm gonna say it again, the tabernacle was made out of the gold of the Egyptians. God had an economic system to start the first kingdom, now all he had to do was set up bylaws, Ten Commandments, judgments, and ceremonial washings, cleansings, and they begin to understand that they were not just a family, that they came out of Egypt a nation, okay. So, now in the New Testament, this is happening again. We have been called out of darkness, we have been called out of sin, we have been called into the marvelous light, but the difference is, our Moses has gone and left the reigns in the hands of the disciples. And suddenly, they recognize they have a kingdom to set up, and no gold.
So, it seemed good to them that now is a good time to set up the system, what I call a Hagar moment, whereby they... Hagar is a moment when it doesn't look like God did everything he was supposed to do and you have to come up with a backup plan to cover for God, because you've gone so long without a baby that maybe he meant for my nurse to have the baby. That's a Hagar moment, when men try to cover for God.
So, they come up with this Hagar moment of an idea, and they say we're gonna make this work, and we're gonna do this thing, because we gotta have some kind of economy, and they're still struggling to understand, because they're trying to build something, but they don't even really know what they're doing. It was not Jesus' plan that you would take all you have, lose all of your individual wealth and uniqueness, and turn it all over to the church. That was never his plan. His plan was, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness, and then all these things shall be" ...come on, go with me, added, added, somebody say, "Added," unto you.
So, God is saying if you seek the Kingdom first, it's not that I'm not going to bless you, I just want you to know, I want you to express that I am a priority. Once you seek me, I'm gonna seek your vision. If you underwrite what I'm doing, I'll underwrite what you're doing. If you've got my back, I've got your back. If you try to bless me, I'll try to bless you. I just want you to go first, but not only.
The Bible says they took part and they hid a part. They said we can do this with a part of us and not all of us. We can be partially in and get by, and God killed 'em. 'Cause you can't give God part and expect all. Most people have never fully thrown themselves at anything. They've been sliding by all of their life, throwing part of yourself, hitting at it, slapping the devil, throwing half of your heart, half of your commitment, half of your focus. You can't throw half and sit with the people who gave whole. You understand what I'm saying to you?
Now, it occurs to me that Peter and them are trying to discover what later Paul would pick up on and talk about the hidden mysteries of God. They will eventually figure out that the kingdom is not meat and drink but it's joy and peace in the Holy Ghost, and that the kingdom that Jesus is talking about is not the kingdom of this world, but that is a progressive revelation that was hidden at that time. Later, the Apostle Paul would come by and begin to say, "Behold, I show you a mystery. Behold, I show you a mystery," therefore, the mystery of Godliness. He's talking about five different things that are mysteries that the early church didn't understand until the Apostle Paul unveiled them. So, they're seeing through a glass darkly, and they're tying to figure out God, kind of like us.
When God shows you something but he don't show you everything, like he tells you to go somewhere but he doesn't say where to go, or he says when you get there I'm gonna show you what to do, and you gotta kinda grope at it, and you kinda feel at it, because that's why God is trying to increase your faith. If he explained it, it wouldn't require faith,' cause faith don't let you see everything. For you walk not by sight, but by faith. So, God will put you in a faith situation so you don't see everything, yet you gotta throw everything at something that you only see partially.
Are you all in? Who's on the keyboard? Somebody get on the keyboard and just go to playing something for a minute. Not churchy, just riffs, or classicals, or anything, just play something. Now, I can play the piano, but I can't play like that. And the only reason I can't play like him is that I didn't go all in. It ain't that he a better man than me, it may not even be that he's more gifted than me, but it definitely is that he's more committed than me, because while I was acting a fool, he was sitting at the keyboard doing this.
The only reason you're not winning is not that you're not good enough, it's not that you're not anointed enough, but it's only because you keep throwing part of yourself when you gotta be all in. I'm almost done, are you getting anything out of this? Drummer, give me something. You know why? You know why he can play the drums like that? He gave himself to the drums, and they drums gave itself back to him.
When the Bible says give and it shall be given back to you again, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, whatever you give yourself to, that will give back to you. You gave yourself to medicine, medicine gave itself to you. If you had not given yourself to medicine, medicine would not have given that career to you. You know I'm a bootleg physician, you know I am. She gotta straighten out everything behind me, I'm a bootleg physician, and I get paid like a bootleg physician, they just say thank you. She gets paid on a whole another level. She get paid a lot more for her medical advice than I do for mine.
I can't reap her harvest with my investment and be talking about God is not fair. Yes, he is fair, that's what the problem is. You can't get to congregate with the committed while you are taking part. You give part of yourself to your marriage, your marriage will give part of itself to you. You give part of yourself to the kids, the kids will give part of themselves to you. You give part of yourself to your ministry, the ministry will give part of itself to you. The truth of the matter is, have you ever been all in? Have you ever been talent, heart, sweat, energy, all in, or have you always given part? Your harvest looks like your seed, baby. The Bible says if you sow sparingly, you shall reap sparingly. If you sow bountifully, you shall reap bountilly.
Now, this is why you want titles, 'cause titles are the spirit of Ananias and Sapphira. I want the title, but I don't want the work. Give me your ministry, don't give me your misery. Give me your strategy, don't give me your struggle. Ananias and Sapphira, everything you could have been will die if you're not all in. Everything you could have been. Wonder who they could have been? They are only in the Scriptures to us as a warning. They give us no revelation, they give us no consecration, they make no contribution to our theological understanding of God except they warn us of what happens when you are not all in.
That is the truth, that is the reality, and that is the problem. They hid what they should have given. They saved some for themselves. Some people have never given all of themselves to anything, not to your own relationship. You hold something back in case you get hurt. I'm gonna love you, but I'm only gonna love you a little bit, 'cause I'm gonna save some for me. In fact, it's worse than that today, they keep all of it for them, and anybody else comes after you 'cause you selfish, and as long as you are selfish, you will never be successful. Because they considered self, their future died. And this is what Peter tells 'em, wasn't it yours before? Wasn't it yours when you sold it? He says you got to take your past and throw it at your future.
When Bishop Dale Bronner said that I draw my strength from my West Virginia days, I almost did a cartwheel and a summersault. Whenever I'm in a fight, I don't fight the enemy from my mega-church self, I fight him from my storefront, chicken-frying self. I tell him you don't know who you fooling with. You don't know me. You don't know me like that. You don't know me like that. Don't let this stuff fool you, all this increase, don't let it fool you. Stripped down, I'll throw a skillet and hit you in the head, I'm all in. Somebody holler, "I'm all in".
Whatever it takes to get this miracle, whatever it takes to be free, whatever it takes to be whole, whatever it takes to unlock my destiny, somebody holler, "I'm all in". When you said that, hell got nervous. When you said that, demons began to tremble. When you said that, all your haters had to fall back, because whenever you're all in, your later day will always be greater than your former day. Whenever you're all in, you're acting like Jesus. When Jesus got on the cross, he said, "I'm all in".