TD Jakes — Wade in the Water
When God begins to get down to the specificity of worship, he introduces the tabernacle so that they can have a place to come and worship him. It is a tent of meeting. It is a place where humanity meets divinity. I taught you last week that you come into the door and I taught about Christ being the door and the first thing you see is the bloody place of sacrifice. And today, I'm gonna focus on this next place. This is the place called the laver. We're gonna talk about that. And the reason I brought up John the Baptist is because water always proceeds worship. You must understand that anytime you're gonna come into an experience where you're gonna go from one dimension into the next dimension, there's always gonna be a watery process. Say, "Amen," somebody.
I wanna talk about this brazen laver. It is, in Moses's tabernacle, it's fairly small. It is the place where the priests came to wash their hands and feet before they went into the tent. Now, you must understand there's both a practical and a ceremonial reason for this washing. Are you all with me this morning? One of the reasons that they worshiped, they had just left the bloody place. They had just slit the throats of lambs and goats and now they're gonna get closer to going into the most holy place but before you could go into the next dimension, you have to stop by the pool and let's wash away. See, I was redeemed at the laver. The blood was shed at the laver. But when I wash here, I wash in guilt. See, some of you are saved but you're still guilty. Some of you are saved but you're still washing in shame. Some of you are saved but you've still got the residue of what happened to you still hanging on to you.
Whenever you see water, it's gonna be a cleansing, it's gonna be a preparation, it's gonna be a washing. And so the priests stopped by the laver because the water always proceeds the next dimension. Are you getting what I'm saying to you? Oh, it's gonna get good in here in a minute. I say it's gonna get good in here in a minute. So we repented. Put my other slide back up. We repented. We repented at the altar here and then we are washed at the laver here. Are you seeing what I'm saying to you? So we see blood right here. We see water right here.
The Bible says in the New Testament there are three that bear record in earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood. We got the blood right here. We got the water right here. We got the Spirit. It's coming, it's coming in a minute, it's coming in a minute. You ought to have the evidence of all three in your life. You gotta have the blood. The blood always comes before the water. I said the blood always comes before the water. Moses, the Death Angel, is going to pass by tonight but when I see the blood, so all of a sudden, all of the men and all of the priests, all of the men when they were still in Egypt, painted blood on the doorposts of the believer so that when the Death Angel passed by, when he saw the blood, he would pass over. Do you understand why?
Notice the children of Israel painted the blood on the doorpost of the believer before they went through the water. They painted the blood while they were still in Egypt and then they went through the water at the Red Sea. In the tabernacle, we shed the blood right here, we go through the water right here. Notice that when Pharaoh tried to chase the children of Israel he could only go so far. When they got down to the water, he couldn't make it through the water because this is as far as he can go.
If you would take the time, this contemporary church that we live in now, if we would stop skipping for a minute and really learn the Word of God we wouldn't need as many counselors, we wouldn't need as much therapy, we wouldn't need as much of anything as we got. The old folks didn't have anything. They get you on the altar, and get you calling on Jesus because when Jesus comes alive in your heart, and you understand that whatever I did, he died for it, he stood in my place. He paid the price for it and whatever's left on me is washed away in the watery grave that I might walk in the newness of life. Touch your neighbor and say, "I'm not just free. I'm free indeed".
Now, some of y'all, that's not gonna hit you 'til you get in the car. So don't start the car too quick 'cause you gonna have a Holy Ghost to speak right out there in the parking lot. When you understand what all that means regarding your freedom, all of those little voices that's been whispering to you at 2 o'clock in the morning, trying to drag you back into captivity, that none of them are gonna be able to chase you, that Pharaoh and all of his chariots got drowned in the Red Sea, it's gonna hit you in the parking lot. It's gonna go through your head and down your spine and you're gonna be dancing without a drum or tambourine like we used to, "Free at last"!
Now, you understand we're in the wilderness with the children of Israel. We're in the wilderness. We're a bunch of former slaves out in the wilderness and we're out there in the wilderness understanding that we did get something out of slavery. Slavery taught them how to build. You remember in the book of Exodus where the Bible said that they had to make bricks without straw? Slavery taught them how to sacrifice. So they didn't have to have a lot of conveniences in order to be able to survive 'cause they was used to a hard time. The biggest mistake rich people make with their kids is that you give 'em everything except what made you rich. It was a hard time. There's something to be said about a hard time. There's something to be said about a struggle. There's something to be said about going through the valley and the ditches and the ridges and having to crawl your way out. It makes you tough. It makes you strong. It makes you relentless. It makes you able to take a licking and keep on ticking.
So when they got out in the desert, they didn't have to have all the things they'd like to have to be able to build. They had to build this laver in the desert. And in order to build the laver, which we call the brazen laver — it really was a bronze laver — the women contributed their mirrors. The Bible calls them looking glasses. Looking glasses back then were not made of glass. They were made out of bronze. And the women gave their mirrors and they melted the mirrors down and they made sheets of bronze and shaped it into the laver and then they poured water in it and that's how the laver was built.
Footnote: you've gotta be willing to give God how you see yourself. I said they gave, the women... I don't wanna lose you. I want you to get this. The women gave their mirrors. The women gave up how they saw themselves. You will never become the woman that God called you to be until you give up your mirror. When you're talking about mirrors, you're talking about images. We were created in the image of our God, but in the Fall we lost our image. So sometimes your self-image is distorted. So you need to take your image and give it to God and let him melt it down so that you can see yourself in another light. You ought to shout me down right there.
The women gave their mirrors. The women said, "You're not gonna build this tabernacle without us being invested in it. So here's my image. Here's how I see myself. I'm giving it over to you. I will not be defined by what I've been through. I will not look in this looking glass and see a bond woman ever again. This looking glass has been lying to me. I am not a bond woman. I am a free woman and until I get the image right, I'm turning it over to God. I am who God says I am. I can do what God says I can do. I can have what God says I can have. Somebody ought to give God your mirror this morning. My God, somebody ought to give God your mirror this morning. Your mirror's been lying to you. Your mirror's defining you by what you've been through, not what you're going to, and you need to give your mirror over to God and let him melt it and beat it and change it and alter it.
They took their mirrors and they beat the mirrors, they beat the mirrors. He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed so that we could be created in Christ Jesus in a brand new image. "Beat it down, Lord, beat it down. Beat it down, Lord. Beat it down, Lord. Beat it down, Lord. Beat it down, Jesus. Beat it". "Until I start walking like the queen I am. Until I start thinking like the queen I am. Until I learn that I don't have to obey every command that comes my way, beat it down, Lord. Beat it down. Beat it down". It's changed image. We're talking about images. When you talk about the looking glass, you are talking about images. When you talk about the laver, you are also talking about images.
I wanna show you something. I'm going to James. Let me see. Yeah, James 1:23-24: "For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was". That's what the Word does. But the Bible says if you hear it and don't do it, it doesn't do you any good to go to the potter's house. The Bible says if you hear the Word and don't do it, you're like a man who walks over and looks into the... you look into the laver and you walk away and you forget what you saw. You see, when the priests looked into the laver, it changed how they saw themselves.
There is a correlation I'm trying to show you between water and Word. "Ye are cleaned," the Bible said, "by the washing of the water," by the Word. The Word bathes you. The Word baptizes you. The Word cleanses your inner man. The Bible says: "Having been left these mighty and precious promises, let us cleanse ourselves of the filthiness of the flesh and of the Spirit". Well, I can cleanse myself of the filthiness of the flesh but what kind of soap do I get to cleanse myself from having a filthy Spirit? The Word of God is what washes your Spirit, my God. Do you understand? That's why you come to church. That's why you get the Word of God. You can take a bath at home, but in order to wash your Spirit, the Word of God washes your Spirit. Jesus said, "Ye are clean, Paul, by the washing of the water of the Word". Go to Ephesians 5:26 and write that down. God is getting ready to baptize somebody, cleanse somebody. You're getting ready to take a shower in your Spirit and wash off all the dust of your servitude that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.
Real good Word will either make you clean up or get out. Nobody wants to say that kind of stuff anymore but I'm old school. Real good Word will either make you clean up or get out. It'll either make you change or it'll start getting on your nerves and you'll start running away. Some people who run out of the church - don't chase them. Everybody's not to be chased. Paul said, "They came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not of us for had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us". Let me tell you, when you are really of us, there is no running away. There is no going back. I don't care what anybody said; you've got to stay.
You remember when Jesus said, "Unless you drink my blood and eat my flesh, you'll have no part with me"? And the Bible said: "Many departed and walked away". And Jesus looked at Peter and said, "Wilt thou leave me also"? He said, "Wither shall I go, Lord"? In your hands are the words of eternal life. I'm gonna stay when I like it. I'm gonna stay when I don't like it. I'm gonna stay when it makes me happy. I'm gonna stay when it makes me cry. I'm not going anywhere. Touch ten people and say, "Let's go to the laver". Let's go to the laver 'til we get a new image, 'til we get a new name, 'til we get a new attitude. Let's go to the laver. You've been up all night. You've been upset. You've been in unrest. You've been deceived. You've been aggravated. Let's go to the laver. Let's go to the Word. Let's go to the washing place. Let's go to the cleansing place. C'mon, let's go to the laver. For where God's getting ready to take you, you need to go to the laver.
Oh my God, hallelujah. You need to go to the laver. All stressed out, you've got more stuff but you're less happy than you've ever been in your life. C'mon, let's go to the laver. Buying the new couch won't do it. Buying the new house won't do it. Buying the new car won't do it. Getting the new boyfriend won't do it. You need to go to the laver. Touch three people and say, "Let's go to the laver". Whoo! My God, I feel the Holy Ghost about to hit this place and knock it plumb out in the floor. If you've been around a little while you sense when God is about to do something in a place. Look at Psalms 119:9: "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word". Not by willpower, not by restraint, not by New Year's resolution. The Bible said, "The young man will cleanse his way by taking heed to the Word". That's why we can't have a bunch of young preachers preaching gimmicks and tricks and ideas and trying to compete with hip hop. I don't need hip hop. I need Jesus! I don't need to see how cute you are. I don't need to see how modern you are. I need the old-fashioned Word of God to scrub my image and wash my soul.
I feel like running in here. I don't mind you being young. I don't care what you got on. I care what you say. "Speak the Word in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, with all long-suffering for the time will come that man will not endure sound doctrine; having itchy ears, they will heap to themselves teachers with famous. I'm tired of you preaching Beyoncé's stuff and I'm not mad at Beyoncé. I like her music but when my my soul need so bad... I want it! Oh, I feel the power of the Holy Ghost, that old Resurrection power, that old devil-chasing power, that old cancer-rebuking power. Let's take three minutes and give God a crazy praise! You've got a minute and a half to open your mouth. If you got a pulse you ought to have a praise. If your heart is beating you ought to have a praise. Touch your neighbor and say, "Don't bother me, I'm bathing right now". And go back to praising him! Don't bother me. I got some stuff I need to wash. I got some stuff I need to wash!