TD Jakes - Wait On It
Those were the choices for the disciples, either get out and have fellowship and be killed, or stay in the room. And they were locked up in the room by themselves and Jesus was crucified. And there were little rumors, there were all kinda rumors, some had said that they had stolen his body. The body was missing, the body had turned up missing, they came down there and the stone was rolled away, and the place where Jesus lay, there was no body there. And some said that they had heard from angels and others said it was a trick and a prank, and there were all kinds of rumors. And they were shut up, and in the midst of that isolation, there's a seclusion that comes, a seclusion, and Jesus comes into their seclusion.
Now, I want you to see this. Isolation and seclusion are two different things. Let me look at this a minute. Isolation and seclusion are two different things. To be isolated, they're isolated so that they might be insulated from the possibility of anything happening in their life. But the isolation gradually turns into seclusion so that Jesus can come into their seclusion because Jesus desired to have a private moment with them. He has given up on public displays, so even when Jesus rose from the dead, he did not seek the crowds, he only sought those that knew him. He only sought those that knew him because the Bible said, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he shall show them his covenant".
Now you remember, at the Last Supper, he said that the New Testament was in his blood. So he's not gonna show his covenant to the world because he has come unto his own and his own has received him not. He's already wept over that, remember? "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem... how often would I have gathered you, as a hen gathers her chicks, and ye would not"! Okay, I'm through with that, he's turned his back and he's only showing himself to the believers. As it was then, so is it now. There are certain things that God will only show people that really serve him. Yeah, he won't just show you just because you're curious, he won't just show you because you're fascinated and interested, he won't just show you because you're taking a class in religious studies, he won't show you because you think you're an intellectual and you want to understand something.
There are certain things that God will only reveal to people who believe in him. And so the God who walked amongst them every day has now started showing up in visits, and so for the next 40 days he visits them. And I thought I'd take a moment and thank God for his visits. Because I must admit, it's not that he talks to me every day, you know? It's not that he talks to me every day, it's not that I feel anointed every day, it's not that I feel his presence every day, it's not that I speak in tongues every day, it's not that I feel his power every day, but I do want to thank him because he visits. A visit from God can change your trajectory, a visit from God can change how you see your life, a visit from God can change how you deal with your children, a visit from God can change your attitude and your whole disposition.
I know there's a lot of you watching me that you say that you have breakfast with him every morning, but the truth of the matter is, every now and then God stops by and visits. He visited Abraham. Every so many years, God would visit him and it would change the trajectory of his life. He visited Moses. God has a way of visiting you and his visits made a difference. He visited the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and the visit changed the whole conversation. They were having a conversation until Jesus visited them and walked up from behind them, and they included him in their conversation and then he included them in his. And the Bible said, for the next seven miles, he unfolded himself through the Scriptures. And when the seven mile trip was over, he made as if he would go on and they invited him into the room because they wanted the visit to continue.
The only thing about Jesus visiting you is you never want him to leave. If you've ever had a visitation of the Holy Ghost, you don't want it to be over. If you've ever, I mean a real visit, I'm not talking about just goose pimples and chill bumps, but I mean a real visit from God makes you want him to linger. "Abide with us," and they invited him in. And as they broke bread, the Bible said, they saw him in the order of the breaking of bread. Some of you don't have a clue what I'm talking about because all you've ever visited was church and you've never visited Jesus. There are moments in your life that Jesus will visit you and it doesn't have to be in church. He'll come in your house and visit you, he'll come in a jail cell and visit you, you can be driving to work with tears running down your face and he'll visit you. He can wake you up at three o'clock in the morning and give you a visitation that changes how you see everything in your life.
You have to be a real Christian to know what I'm talking about, but every now and then God visits us. And when he visits us, he turns our fear and removes our doubt, and all of a sudden we go into a different state of existence; we're not in isolation just because we're in seclusion. Yeah, yeah, it's a different tenor to the word. We may be in seclusion waiting on a time to come, but we're not in isolation. So the disciples that we meet, who are locked up behind the doors for fear of the Jews, are in isolation. The disciples that end up in the upper room are not in the upper room out of fear, they're in seclusion. Yeah, they're in seclusion, there's still nobody else in the room but they're not in isolation. The reason for them being behind closed doors is no longer the fear of the Jews, but they're now waiting for the Holy Ghost. To the outward man, they're still behind closed doors, the situation is still the same, the only thing that changed was the attitude.
When we see them at first, they're behind closed doors for fear of what the world might do, but when we see him in the end, they're behind closed doors waiting to see what God is going to do. And in between these two polarities, all that changed the narrative was he visited them. If he ever visits you, the situation may still look the same but it won't be the same because the visit changes the attitude of the stay over, and all of a sudden you might be in isolation at one moment but then you go into seclusion because you're there for a different reason. Same hospital bed, different reason; living in the same house, but it's a different reason; going to the same job, but there's a different reason; married to the same person, but it's a different reason; driving the same car, but it's a different reason.
Hallelujah, while man looks on the outward appearance and says, "It's all the same thing," you know it's not the same thing because you have a different expectation. Before, I was locked up in here because of what I was afraid of, but now I'm in here because of what I'm waiting on, something else is going to happen. If I stay in here a little while longer, something is going to happen. And the Bible said that, "He led them out," in the book of Luke 24, verse 47, that, He led them out as far as Bethany, and he blessed them. And it is the oddest thing in the world, because, can you imagine what it is to be in love with Jesus to the point that John has laid his head on his breast, to the point that they've given up everything to serve him, to the point that they spent the last three years serving him, to the point that they put their lives at risk to serve him? And they loved him and they loved him and now he's leaving, the visitation period is over.
There's 40 days of visitation and then it's over, and they know that they will not see him anymore until they see him in clouds of glory. It's like taking a loved one down to the airport and you know that they're going away, and it's one thing for you to be gone a couple of weeks, but when you know that, "I may not ever see you again in this life," that's a whole different kind of feeling. It's the kind of feeling you get when you close the casket on somebody you love.
Now, if you haven't done that, you don't know what I'm talking about, but if you ever done that, the closing of that cabinet, the coffin, there's a finality to it. There's a pain to it, there's an ache to it because you know that you won't see them anymore on this side. And I can remember wanting to bend my head down and peek in for one final look. It was at this point that Jesus leads them out as far as Bethany and lays hands on them and blesses them and gave them joy at a time that they should have had utter pain. How can God give us joy at a time we oughtta have utter pain? It's a place of separation, this is the circumcision of the disciples, it is the cutting away. It's a separation, it's a cutting loose, and yet he anesthetized their pain with joy.
Have you ever had God give you joy at a painful place? Have you ever had God give you joy when you had every right to be bleeding but he gave me a joy, unspeakable joy? That's what we're looking at in our text, and there is no difference between Luke and Acts, they are written by the same people. Luke wrote Luke, but he also wrote Acts, so Acts is just a continuation of the conversation of Luke. So Luke 24:47, when, "He led them out as far as Bethany, and laid hands on them and blessed them," and told them to go on to Jerusalem; when he picks up in Acts chapter 1, it's the same writer writing about the same group of people, and says, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach," he's still talking. He just changed things but he's still talking like he turned the page and named the chapter something different but it's the same guy talking.
These guys have left the presence of Jesus with great joy, they've seen him go up in chariots of glory, they've seen him come and be escorted on a cloud service. And he's been standing up in the air, gazing at him, and the angel said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here, gazing at him? This same Jesus, that you see ascend, shall descend in like manner". And whatever happened to them filled them with such joy that they didn't have time to ache over what they lost because they were so excited about what was about to happen. When you stop focusing on what you lost and get excited about what is about to happen, everything will change in your life. "Well, how do I change my attitude, Preacher? I tried to change my attitude, I tried to think differently about it, I tried to feel good about it, but every time I try to feel good about it I keep thinking about what I lost". The only reason, the only way that you can survive what you lost and start getting excited about what you're about to receive, is that you need visitation.
Now we must understand something, these are particular men. There are 11 men left, one of them has committed suicide, his entrails has spilt out in the potter's field, his name is Judas. The unity has been broken by a suicide. So their Lord has been crucified, their comrade has committed suicide, they're trying to hold the ranks together in the absence of the physical presence of Jesus. They're trying to figure out who's going to replace Judas, they started casting lots because men will do men things trying to fix God problems, but men things won't fix God problems. In order to fix a God problem you need a God thing, you can't do a man thing and fix a God problem, you got to turn it over to God. While they were casting lots for a boy named Matthias, God was looking for a guy named Saul. They picked Matthias, God picked Saul.
Good God Almighty, I don't want who you pick, I want who God picks. That's what's wrong with your life now, you've been picking who you pick, but the next one who comes in your life, you want it to be who God picks, hey! Now I want to admit that Matthias looked like a better deal, Matthias had been around, Matthias was on the right side of the track, and the guy that God picked had been an enemy of the church. It didn't look like a good deal, it didn't look like a good decision, but when God makes up his mind, he'll take wrong and make it right, he'll take down and make it up, he'll take loose and make it strong, he'll take weak and give it power. Some of you are in this room because God picked you, nobody else would've thought you to ever been where you are right now but God picked you out.
If you ever had God pick you out, it'll put running in your feet and clapping in your hands. They picked Matthias, God picked Paul; Paul wrote more of the New Testament then Matthias was ever heard of, we'd never hear of him again. Historians said, "He built a church somewhere," but he didn't write an epistle, not one book was added, not one miracle was written, not one revelation was given, not one dead man was raised, not one sick man was healed. But the stone the builders rejected was the one that the miracles came through, the doors were opened, blind eyes were opened, the lame began to walk. Never despise being God's man, I'd rather be God's man than to be your man, I'd rather be on God's side than to be on your side. Somebody who has been rejected, give God a little bit of praise right now. So that now they're trying to figure out what to do. The last thing they've said in the text with Jesus, even after all of his visits and all of his speaking and all of his revelation, they still were not clear of his direction.
So they asked him, "When are you going to set up your kingdom"? Because once people get something in their head, no matter how they shout, no matter how they dance, it's still in the back of their mind. I've counseled people till my tongue turned blue, and once people get something in their mind it's still in their mind all the way down to the end. They was asking him, "Oh yeah, that's good. Thank you, we're gonna have the Holy Ghost, thank you for the dead you raise, thank you for the sick you heal, thank you for turning water into wine, thank you for cleansing the lepers, setting first the captives free, but when are you going to set up your kingdom? When you going to set up your kingdom"?
The reason they wanted the kingdom is that, if Jesus set up the kingdom, they were gonna be on the board. Lord, have mercy, everybody has a reason why they follow you. But Jesus kept on walking, and said, "It's not given to you to know when the kingdom is going to be set up, but ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Judea and Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth". Good God Almighty, I said to myself, they shall be witnesses to you. Were they not already witnesses to you? They were there on that night when the wind was whispering through the air and the lightning was flashing and you were walking on water, they saw you walk on water like a ghost. They were there when the storm began to rise and you were asleep in the bottom of the boat. You wiped sleep out of your eye, arrested the winds, and commanded the waves to be still.
They were there when you stopped the widow at Nain's funeral, ran down and touched the casket and the boy got out the casket and started walking all around. They were there when you stopped by the blind man and spat in his eye and he washed in the pool of Siloam and he came out seeing. They were there when Lazarus was down in the tomb and you didn't even go in the tomb, you stood outside at the door, stood on the front porch and said, "Lazarus, come forth," and the dead man came walking out of the tomb. They were there, they were there, they were there when the woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of his garment and she was made whole. They were there when the crowd sought you, and you disappeared out of their midst. They were there when you took two fish and five loaves of bread and fed 5.000 people. They were there when they cut a hole in the roof and a lame man came down and you healed him and he picked up his bed and began to walk.
They were there when they took you from judgment hall to judgment hall. They were there when they had hung you high and stretched you wide. They were there when the stone was rolled away and you stood up again. They were there when you walked. through a solid door, ghost enough to walk through the door but man enough to eat fish when you got on the inside. They were there, how could they not be witnesses since they were there? He said, Oh no, Jakes, that ain't the witness I'm talking about. Everything you're talking about is on earth, but in order to be a witness unto me, you had to be there when I was in the portals of glory and I rolled up my divinity and threw it from eternity, down into time, wrapped up in the dressing room of a womb called Mary and came walking out in the flesh.
You had to be there when I said, "Let there be light," and there was light, and it was good. You had to be there when I wrestled Jacob in the middle of the night. You had to be there when I appeared in the fiery furnace. You had to be there. Y'all don't hear what I'm saying to you. You said be witnesses. You're not a witness yet, you got a good memory but you're not a witness yet, you're not a witness till the witness comes. You're not a witness till the witness comes, you're not a witness till the witness comes, you're not a witness to the witness comes. I said, "How can that be? I saw some stuff". He said, "Yeah, you saw some stuff". I said, "I got evidence". He said, "Yeah, you got evidence, but you're not a witness till the witness comes, a witness witness".
Who is the witness? Witness witness, who is the witness? The Holy Ghost is the witness, and that's why he said, "You shall be witnesses unto me". When the Holy Ghost has come upon you, he can witness things that you never got to see and that you never got to do. He said, "Go to Jerusalem". What the young people say? Wait for it, wait for it, you got to wait in Jerusalem till you be endued with power that comes from on high. I feel my old school stuff kicking in right now. The problem with the church today is they want everything instant, they want it quick, they want it in a hurry, and anything you get in a hurry you'll lose in a hurry. But I remember the old school where you had to get around the altar and wait for it. Good God Almighty, if you waited around the altar, you didn't let nobody talk you out of that. If you tarried around the altar, you didn't let nobody get you drunk out of that. There's something about waiting on it; when you get it, you appreciate it. What you need to do is wait till you get an encounter with God, a real encounter with God. I'm not asking you to give God your heart and shake my hand, it's not in my hand.
I'm asking you to get in the presence of God and wait on the anointing of the Holy Ghost. There is a power that comes from the Holy Ghost that'll shake your dry bones out of the valley. There is a power that'll come from the Holy Ghost, that'll drive cancer out of your flesh. There is a power that comes from God that'll save everybody in your house. There is a power that will deliver you from crack and cocaine. There is a power that will loose the shackles that are in your life. You want it? Wait for it. There is a power that'll set the captive free. There is a power that'll open up prison doors, wait for it. There is a power that'll bring you out of the dungeon. There is a power that the witch can't hex. There is a power that'll break every curse over your life, what your grand momma did, what your granddaddy did. There is a power that'll loose you and set you free, wait for it. There is a power that'll bring you off a ventilator. There is a power that'll bring COVID out of your system. There is a power that will set the captive free. Somebody somewhere give God a praise right now.