TD Jakes - Branded
What does it mean to be branded? I'm glad you asked me that. All kinds of soup is coming off of the shelves right now in the factories, they're passing down the line, but they'll never let 'em go out the door without putting a label on it, because the label is the brand that tells who owns the content, so that you know that it's Campbell's and not Kroger's, so that you know that it's Kroger's and not AmPm or Big Bear. They put a brand on it to authenticate who it belongs to. Jesus was branded.
The word "branded" is interchangeable with "seal". To be sealed or to be branded is to authenticate or to keep in its original form. To put a brand on something is for... you know what a brand is. They put a brand on cattle so that they don't wander off and get taken into somebody else's domain. They put a brand on it so that anybody will readily see, "Oh, no, that didn't come from this ranch, that came from that ranch over there". You pick up the phone and call, "One of your cattle has gotten over in our fence". "How do you know"? "'Cause I checked the brand". How do you know it's Campbell's soup? Because I checked the brand. How do you know that you're at KFC? Because I checked the brand. The brand authenticates the identity of the product, whether it is a company, a soup, a restaurant, cattle, or a man. The brand authenticates the authenticity of the product.
He now says to suffering, "Stay with me till I'm branded". I cannot come as a slave and not have a brand, because a brand authenticates the identity of the slave. Who owns you, where did you come from, what are you, what do you belong to? I need that brand. Can I go deeper with this? Now, we must then begin to realize that not only is a brand a sign of ownership and authenticity, a brand is also a warning to those who would steal it. Don't bother that, that belongs to So-and-so. Don't bother him, he belongs to So-and-so. Don't whip that child, that one belongs to So-and-so. Don't do this one this kind of way, that belongs to So-and-so.
A brand lets you know where the limits are because you're fooling with something that's not your own. And Christ himself had to be branded. He could not be branded in his preincarnate state. He could only be branded once he had something to brand: carnality, flesh, incarnation. You brand that which is brandable. You cannot brand a spirit. Can I go deeper? I wanted to see how I could show you how to understand the sensitivity of the brand, and then I thought to myself, I need to make you understand that in the course of this text, he takes us from pre-incarnation to incarnation to exultation, but God hath highly exalted him and given him a name, wherefore, that's right, wherefore God hath highly exalted... wherefore, whyfore? Because of how he became a slave, because of how he died, because of how he faced death.
Now, God hath highly exalted him and given him a name above every name. In other words, the resurrection was not to negate the crucifixion. The resurrection was not in spite of the crucifixion. It was because of the crucifixion. It did not nullify the crucifixion, it rewarded the crucifixion. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. Can I go deeper with this? I need to go just a little bit deeper with it. You need to understand so you can stop separating your pain from your power, your sorrow from your success. You've got to understand the interconnectivity. You cannot have a resurrection until you have a crucifixion, it's cause and effect. It's what went wrong that made what went right.
Somebody asked me, did I regret my life? I said no, I don't regret my successes and I sure don't regret my failures, because if I hadn't have failed like I did, I wouldn't have succeeded like I did. My cross and my crown are inextricably connected. Y'all don't hear what I'm saying to you. So then, if we don't understand this, then we get these foolish statements coming back at us, talking about, "When is my resurrection coming? I've been down long enough, I'm waiting on my change to come. It's not fair, it's not right". Shut up! You must understand that until you learn to recognize God on the cross, you will never recognize him in resurrection. And till you stop trying to get away from it and come out of your garden of Gethsemane, your place of compromise and frustration, and become obedient and submissive unto death and say, "Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit, my money, my finances, my situation, my marriage, my children, my job, my career, I turn it all to you".
And I am not gonna put my praise on hold and wait till I get out to give God the praise, but I am going to praise him in the midst of my affliction. There you go, devil. If you thought you were gonna take my praise, you're crazy. I'm going to praise him when my stomach is full, I'm going to praise him when my stomach is empty. I'm going to praise him when things are going right, I'm going to praise him when things are going wrong. I'm gonna praise him at my wedding, I'm going to praise him at my divorce. I've learned whatever state I'm in, therewith to be content. I want somebody who's going through hell and the devil don't think you're going to praise him. He thinks he shut down your mouth.
I want you to open your mouth in defiance and give him 30 seconds of absolute Holy Ghost, supernatural, divine, I dare you to praise him. I dare you to praise him. I dare you to praise him, I dare you. You got to see God, you gotta see God in it. You gotta see God in your pain, you got to see God in your problem, you got to see God in your storm, you gotta see God on your cross. Jesus is talking to God while he's bleeding. While he is bleeding, he is yet honoring him. "Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit," while he's bleeding. He is yet serving, he is a slave. "Forgive them, for they know not what they do". "Woman, behold thy son; son, behold thy mother". Hey, Jesus, how do you have time to worry about anybody else? You the one dying. But he has taken on the form of a servant.
Have you, or have you just taken on the form of a complainer? Are you only serving God for the last chapter of the story? "I'm just enduring the rest of it, I'm waiting on you to get me out, and as soon as you get me out, I'm gonna give you the praise", no, you're not. You're not going to get out until you learn how to praise him right now. Praise him through grief, praise him through pain, praise him through problems, praise him through heartache, praise him through discontentment, praise him through doubt, praise him through fear, praise him through anxiety. Oh, you don't hear what I'm saying to you. You gotta praise him anyway. You gotta praise him anyway, you gotta praise him anyway, you gotta praise him anyway, you gotta praise him anyway...
If you don't pass this test, you can't graduate. If you don't pass this test, you can't graduate. If you don't pass this test, you can't go to the next level. If you don't pass this test, you'll never get the breakthrough, you'll never get the joy, you'll never get the peace, you'll never get the power, you'll never get the deliverance. You're waiting on God to deliver you so you can praise him? You praise him now. He's worthy of the praise right now.
Can I go deeper with this thing? You remember with me that when Thomas, after Jesus was crucified and they told Thomas that Jesus had appeared in the upper room, and Thomas said, "Look, I'm not buying none of that. I am not buying that. Whoever y'all saw could have been an imposter. And unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were and put my hand into his side, I will not believe". Why does Thomas use the scars as the criteria of whether he believes that Jesus is authentic or not? Why didn't he say, "Unless I see his face, unless I hear his voice, unless I see his hair, unless I see the shape of his head, unless I see his feet... I washed his feet. If I see his feet, I'll recognize 'em". He said, "No, I wanna see the brand".
Jesus's wounds were the brand. So in order for God to raise him from the dead, his heart had stopped beating, his blood had congealed. It had separated until the white hemoglobins had separated from the red hemoglobins. We reported, out of his side came both blood and water, but it's really the blood congealing, white and red. Everything had stopped functioning: his kidneys had shut down, his liver had shut down, his windpipe had dried up, his lips had become parched. Everything had dried up, his eyeballs had dried up. He was dead. And God, who raises from the dead, quickened his mortal body, brought it back to life again, and all of a sudden, his heart started thumping. All of a sudden, his blood started moving. All of a sudden, his breath came back to his body. All of a sudden, his kidneys started working. All of a sudden, his digestive tract start.
How do you know it start working? 'Cause the Bible said in his resurrection, he was eating again. Now, if God could resurrect all of that, why didn't he take away the wounds? He didn't remove the wounds because your wounds are your brand. You ain't nobody until you have some wounds. You ain't no kinda preacher until you have some wounds. You're no kinda leader until you have some wounds. You're no kinda mama until you have some wounds. You're no kind of person until you have the wounds. God said, "I will change his liver, I will change his kidneys, I will change his blood flow, I will change his heartbeat. I will raise up everything, but I must not remove his brand, because the brand will remove all doubt as to the fact that he is authentically a slave of the gospel".
Not only did God not remove it in his resurrection, he still hasn't removed it, because the Bible says that in the last days when he returns, that they will look on him whom they have pierced and a nation shall be saved in a day. So God preserved, for thousands of years, his brand. Oh, my God, I feel something in this place right now. Because Paul wrote all of this to teach me how to think, and he's telling me how to think about my scars. He's telling me that my scars have worth. He's telling me that my scars have value. He's telling me that the... now people put on makeup to hide scars. People put on eye shadow to hide scars. People go to dermatologist to remove scars. And Paul is telling me the very thing that I think I should be ashamed of is the very thing that God use to prove that I am his child. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure having this seal that the Lord knoweth them that are here.
How do you know? By your brand. How do you know? By how I wounded you, by where I hit you in the hip joint, by how I humbled you, by how I brought you to your knees, by how I taught you to say yes, by how I made you to surrender, by how I broke every yoke in your life. That's how I know that you are mine and not another, and that's why nobody else can get your blessing, 'cause they don't have your brand. If they don't have your brand, they can't get your blessing. That's why Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea: he didn't have the brand, and so he could not get the blessing. Stop worrying about people trying to get your blessing. They don't have your brand, they don't have your brand. They don't have the right wounds to be eligible to pass the brand test for what God is about to do in your life.
Holler at somebody and say, "Something is about to happen". Holler at somebody else and say, "Something's about to happen". Type it on a line, "Something's about to happen". Something's about to happen, something's about to happen, something's about to happen. God wouldn't brand me if he didn't have something in store for me. Something is about to happen in my life. Wherefore God hath highly exalted him. Look at your neighbor and say, "You're getting ready to go up". You're getting ready to go up, you're getting ready to go up, you're getting ready to go up. You can't go up if you ain't been down, but if you've been down, you're gonna go up. If you don't have a brand, you can't get the blessing. If you got a scar, you can have the success. Get ready to go up.
Wherefore God hath highly exalted him and given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. God said, "I'm getting ready to move stuff out of your way," stuff that wouldn't bow. God said, "I'm gonna bring it to its knees," stuff that wouldn't honor him. God said, "I'm gonna lay it prostrate in the floor," stuff that wouldn't recognize what God has done in your life. Not just things in Earth, but things under the Earth. The spell will be broken, the curse will be broken, the yoke will be broken, the demonic attack that's been over your house for generations - no more, it breaks right now.
Somebody take no more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more. Cancer, no more, no more, no more, no more. Diabetes, no more, no more, no more, no more. Divorce, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more. How do you know? 'Cause I got the brand, and when I got the brand, it controls the outcome. When I got the brand, it controls the outcome. Cain thought, after he killed Abel then was sent to the land of Nod, that he was gonna be destroyed, and God said to Cain, "Don't worry about it, I'mma put a brand on you. And I'mma brand you so that anybody who thinks to take your life, I will kill them because of this brand I put on your life". Do you hear what I'm saying there?
Are some folks that are listening to me right now, there's a reason the gun didn't go off. There's a reason the haters didn't kill you. There's a reason that the witch couldn't hex you. God put a mark on your head. All the demons know that God has branded you. The demons are talking to God, said, "Have you considered my servant Job"? "You know we can't touch Job, you got a hedge all around him". Do you not know God's got you covered?
As I come to the close of this text, suddenly I begin to expect a different expectation when I walk. Now, when I walk, I'm expecting obstacles to bow. Now, when I get ready to go into new places, I'm expecting tongues to confess. I'm not gonna have to brag on myself, God's gonna send somebody else to brag for me, 'cause every tongue is gonna have to confess and every knee is going to have to bow, because Paul says this is how I ought to think of myself. This is not just how I'm supposed to think of my God, this is how I'm supposed to think of myself. You got to bow, yeah, you got to bow, yeah, you got to bow. I see you, but you got to bow. You got to get up out of here. I don't know where you going, but you've got to bow, death; you've got to bow, sickness; you've got to bow, pain; you got to bow.
Don't you see these, don't you see this, reach your hand, touch me right here. Don't you know who you fooling? My body belongs to God. My whole body belongs to God, from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. My body belongs to God. My hands belong to God, my feet belong to God, my voice belongs to God, my walk belongs to God, my talk belongs to God. "How do you know, Jakes"? 'Cause I've been branded. Somewhere in your life, you've been branded. Paul said, "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ". Some test, some storm, some trial, some pain, some heartache, some blemish in your life, something that you try to put makeup on and cover up and you don't want nobody to see that that was really you... take the makeup off.
That's your brand, that's your brand. That's how God's gonna recognize you, that's how God's gonna bless you, that's how God's gonna make a way for you, that's how God's gonna feed you, that's how God's gonna bring you through the storm, because of, not in spite of your brand, because. Wherefore God hath highly exalted him. Because of this, because of how they abused you, because of how they mistreated you, because of how they hurt you. Not in spite of, because of how you cried, because of how you did without, because of how you worship me when your heart was in pain, because of what happened to you when you were a child, because of what happened to you on your last job. "Because of that," God said, "I am going to be the equalizer. I'm going to highly exalt you, and I will move everything out of your way except your scars". Because your scars...
Hey, I feel like preaching up in here. Somebody better come get me, 'cause I feel something about to break loose in here. Somebody that's been bound is about to get loose. Somebody that was tied up is about to be set free. Somebody that's been in a state of depression, something just broke. Say it seven times: "I've been branded, I've been branded". Type it, "I've been branded". Tweet it, "I've been branded". Tell your neighbor, "I've been branded, I've been branded". You can't touch this, I've been branded. You can't kill this, I've been branded. You can't put me down, I've been branded. Get outta my way, I've been branded. Bow your knee, I've been branded. Now prepare to bring to the end the text that the Lord have laid before me. Now I realize why I should glory in tribulation. Now I realize why I should be happy about what hurt me, because if I had not been hurt, I would have no evidence to show the doubting Thomases in my life.