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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Tony Evans » Tony Evans - The Realm of The Spirit

Tony Evans - The Realm of The Spirit

Tony Evans - The Realm of The Spirit

Our series is "Reclaiming Your Spiritual Authority". Getting back what is rightfully yours in the book that has been written about you. We've seen the spiritual grifter take our dignity, take our minds, take our relationships, take our peace. And there's some folk here that want it back. You want back what has been designed by God for you to have. Now none of us have been designed to have everything, but all of us have been designed to have something that is within the will of God. But in order for you to get back, me to get back, us collectively to get back what is rightfully ours, you must be operating in the right location.

In Hebrews chapter 12, the issue of location comes up by a major contrast. The author of Hebrews says in verse 18 of Hebrews 12, "For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind". He says in verse 22, "But you have come to Mount Zion". He says, "You haven't come to this mountain, you have come to this mountain". He is saying that because many of the Hebrew saints were operating on the wrong mountain.

That is, they were functioning from the wrong sphere. The wrong sphere was Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai was the mountain where Moses gave the Ten Commandments for how Israel was to operate as a nation, as a people. And the thunder roared, and the earthquake came, and the fire blazed as God came to that mountain. People ran in terror and fear. They ran in insecurity and uncertainty, they ran because God's awesomeness so disturbed them that they couldn't rest in that place. Mount Sinai, where you have not come to if you are a Christian, is the earthly perspective. It's the physical world. It is the world of the five senses where laws had to be given to govern people's actions and hold them at bay.

One of the worst things in the world is to be in one place and operate from another place. They were operating from Sinai because they didn't understand what it meant to have come to Mount Zion. So I wanna let everybody know here that if you have come to Christ, if you have accepted Christ, and if you wanna get back what the enemy has stolen from you, we'll tell you next week how he steals it, but if you want it back, you must shift locations. You must leave this mountain and come to this mountain. And he calls this mountain Mount Zion, and he says, "You have come". In other words, you're already in the location.

Let's talk a little bit about Mount Zion. First of all, when David brought the ark, he brought it to Zion in 2 Samuel chapter 6 verses 16 and 17, and he danced and danced and danced as the ark was brought to Zion, and he instituted worship in the city of God. The first thing you need to know about Zion is it is the location of God's presence for the purpose of worship. Zion is the worship of the presence of God, okay? If there is no worship, you're not functioning in Zion because Zion was the place where God's presence for the purpose of worship was instituted. It was called his dwelling place. It was where he hangs out. The Bible says that God seeks worshipers.

Now, God doesn't seek worship, he has plenty of worship. Angels are worshiping him, saints in heaven are worshiping him, now he got worship. He's trying to find out if he can locate worshipers. See, you can come to church for worship but not be a worshiper. He says he is seeking worshipers. So if you come in the door and all you do is come to sit, soak, and sour, you're not a worshiper even though you come to worship. So if you want to reclaim, follow me, if you wanna reclaim what the enemy has stolen, you must become a worshiper and not only an attender to worship. When David brought the ark, it says he shouted, he jumped. He didn't mumble, he didn't just sit quiet, he was a worshiper. If you are not a worshiper, then you are not operating in the place you've come to, and therefore you have blocked the involvement of God.

Let's go to the courtroom. The first thing that is said when the judge comes in is, "Would you all stand"? What does that mean? In other words, we're gonna pay homage to your honor. We're gonna recognize that your honor has entered the courtroom. Now, you can sit down if you want to, but if you do, what you've done is you've insulted the court, and you've insulted the judge. Do you know, on many-a Sunday morning God is insulted, he's insulted. Your neighbor will sing, but you won't sing. Your neighbor will pray, but you won't pray. Your neighbor will praise, but you won't praise. You're not a worshiper even though you in worship. You must be a worshiper to be functioning in Zion, for Zion was set up for the recognition of God, for who he is, what he has done, and what you're trusting him to do, the biblical definition of worship.

So it's a big deal. Some people think, "Well, I'm just singing, I'm just listening to the preacher". No, no, no, no, no, you know, you're getting the order in the court, why? Because the second reason for Zion is governance. Psalm 110. I'll let you follow me on a couple of these key scriptures. Psalm 110 verses 1 and 2 says, "The Lord says to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.' The Lord will stretch forth your strong scepter from Zion, saying, 'Rule in the midst of your enemies.'" So Zion involves rule, and watch this, it involves rule where the enemies look like they're in charge. He says, "Rule from Zion in the place of your enemy".

Now, I don't know what's coming out against you, but Zion is the place to overrule it. But if he can't get you to worship, why should he trust you to rule? Zion is the place where God overrules things that are trying to overrule you on your job, in your family, with your finances, in your mind, in your circumstance. He says the scepter of God's rule is in Zion. Look at Psalm 132, verse 13, he says these words. "For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his habitation". So he hangs out where he's getting worship from worshipers. "This is my resting place forever. Here I will dwell, for I have desired it".

Oh, watch this now. Zion starts off as the place where God is worshipped. Your honor, we're giving you the praise to your name. Zion is the place where God rules, and he overrules even in the midst of your enemies. Zion is also the place, according to Psalm 132, where you find rest. The question now is, what is rest? I'm not talking about sleep, I'm talking about rest. And he explains it even in the book of Hebrews chapter 4, because in Hebrews chapter 4 he says these words, verse 9, "So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest, has himself also rested from his work, as God did from his. Therefore, let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall through following the same example of disobedience".

So let me tell you about rest. Rest, it says his rest is when God takes over a situation on your behalf, okay? Rest is when you don't have to force it 'cause God handles it. Rest is when God took them to the Promised Land, and he says, "When you arrive there, you'll have wells that you did not dig. You'll have land that you did not farm. You'll have cattle that you did not raise. You'll have houses that you did not build". I will already have what he calls the promised land rest. In other words, you are going to get in the place I have said. Do you know God has already set up some stuff for you, he's already put some things in place for you, he's already worked out the road for you? But if he can't get no worship, and you won't submit to his rule, then you won't arrive at the promised land of your rest.

The idea of kingdom authority is when God brings heaven into history, eternity into time. This is how kingdom authority works. It is how God wants you to operate. Now he's moving you from one system to a whole 'nother system. I love, I love Isaiah chapter 2. "The Word of the Lord Isaiah came to Amoz, saying", Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, "'Now will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go to the Mount of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us concerning his ways, that we may walk in his paths. For the law will go forth from Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he will judge between the nations. He will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.'"

Now, notice what he says. In Zion is a mountain, he calls it the mountain. In the Bible mountains refer to kingdoms, kingdoms are called mountains, and kingdoms are rules of authority, they're systems of authority. And he says this mountain of Zion where you learn God's perspective, he calls it God's law, where you learn God's rules, he says in this mountain it is higher than all the other hills, which means that if you're operating on Mount Zion, it can overrule the hills that look like it's controlling you.

And there's nothing like seeing God overrule a ruler, overrule somebody who think they're all that and a bag of chips, overrule a set of circumstances that looks like it has the final say. It says the mountain of Zion, when his law, when his rules, when his governance, when his guidelines come into play and you and I are consistent with it, becomes the chief mountain of your life, or the chief kingdom of your experience. It becomes the abiding, overriding authority in his court. But if all you are is a Sinai saint, if all you are is an earthbound Christian, if you are heavenly on Sunday but you go to earth on Monday, then you're gonna get earth, whatever earth can give you, good, bad, indifferent.

Most people think they've come to church if they get there in time for the preaching. "Long as I get there for the sermon, I've been to church". If that's your thinking, you've already canceled out Zion 'cause you're not a worshiper, you are a listener, you're a hearer, you're not a worshiper. 'Cause a worshiper is gonna do what David did when he brought the ark to Zion. He's going to recognize, celebrate, glorify God even in your personal experience and personal devotions. Back to Hebrews chapter 12, he is gonna go a little deeper. He wants you to know about the location New Jerusalem, heavenly city, you have come. Well, what's up there, what's up there? Since I'm there right now tell me what's there 'cause I'm there, we have come. He says well there at the end of verse 22, he says, "There is a myriad of angels".

Every believer has been assigned an angel, okay? So every believer has an angel whose job it is to assist in working out God's will and plan. There is a myriad of angels who are carrying out God's plan. He goes on, let me tell you what else. He says, "To the general assembly, and the church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven". Oh, okay, wait a minute now. We have come, so we're already there. We're not physically there, 'cause we are still physically on earth. But he says, "We are spiritually connected there, with the general assembly". Those are saints from all times, and then his specific group, "The Church of the Living God who are enrolled in heaven".

When you look at saints in the book of Revelation, they are worshiping God in heaven, okay? They are very much alive. Soon as you die, you go to heaven, okay? God says, "I'm not the God of the dead, I'm the God of the living". You are very much alive when you die. So you are with them worshiping God in heaven. So here is the key as I walk through this. Your ability to experience God's authority on earth is to the degree to which you are connected to what they're doing in heaven. See, if you are not connected to what they're doing up there, then they're not gonna join you down here. There must be that link with heaven, the heavenly Jerusalem, and what the company is doing, what the church of the firstborn, those believers are doing who have already arrived ahead of us in glory who are enrolled there.

The Bible says in Philippians 3, verse 14 and 15, that God has the church up there, and he has the church down here. And the idea is that the churches are cooperating. So that's why God will leave a church if it's not in sync with what he's doing up there. Revelation 2 and 3, "I will take out your lampstand. If you down here are not doing what I say up there, I'm out, 'cause you've insulted me, you've insulted the court". There must be a connection between the church here and the church there, the saints here and the saints here, why? Because in God's program, he is seeking to connect heaven and earth, he's seeking to connect the two. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". He's seeking to connect up there and down here, which means we have to be on their page, because their page is perfect. He says, "And to God the judge of all".

Okay, remember the courtroom? The judge, the judge makes the decisions. The judge decides yes or no. The judge decides how many years. The judge decides whether it's overruled or sustained, the objection, the judge makes all that decision. We're back in the courtroom, and the judge is making decisions about whether he's gonna cancel that thing against you, whether he's gonna cancel what Satan has against you. We'll talk about next week whether he's gonna cancel this situation you're in, whether he's gonna reverse it. The judge will make that decision, because he's the judge of all. There are no exceptions in this court. He will make that decision by how well you're linked to heaven.

So if you are earthly, if you're secular, if the spiritual has no authority in your life, then you will not be able to reclaim anything, and you're probably about to lose a lot more, because Satan now has access to you. But now he comes to a special group. He talks about the spirits of the righteous made perfect. There's another phrase for this group used at the beginning of chapter 12. "Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us". Okay, what do witnesses do? Testify, okay? Judge of all, judge is in the courtroom, witnesses give testimony. "Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses".

But let me show you about the great cloud of witnesses by backing up a couple of more verses. He says in chapter 11. He says, "In these having gained approval through their faith did not receive what was promised, because God have provided something better for us". Watch this. "They didn't receive it, because God provided something better for us". There are folk in heaven that can't be all that they can be up there, until we become all that we are supposed to be down here. So it is in their interest to help us, 'cause it helps them if they help us, it helps us if we support them, and so he asked for a character witness.

So here's my question. When the enemy has you cornered, boxed you in, has stolen from you and has ripped you off, will anybody come to the stand on your behalf? Will there be some folk up there who say, "I can testify. I know what they did, I know how they served, I know how they helped, I know, yeah, they got this blotch on their screen, but I can testify". I don't know about you, but you better find somebody somewhere. You better find some folk who can testify that all that's wrong with you, there's a whole bunch right, because it helps them to help you. And you are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. These are just men, these are righteous people, this elite group of witnesses who testify in court.

And then he comes to the big verse in verse 24. He says, "And to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel". Okay, when did the blood of Abel speak? After he died. So Abel was talking even after he died, okay? 'Cause it's righteous man made perfect. So folk in heaven have something to say. The Bible says, "There's one mediator between God and man, and that is the man Christ Jesus". 1 Timothy 2:5. Look at Hebrews chapter 8 verse 6 about the new covenant. He says in chapter 8 verse 6, "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises".

Verse 13 when he said, "A new covenant, He has made the first obsolete". That's Sinai. "But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear". He says the new covenant comes with better promises. You gonna get some stuff that will blow your mind if God can get you to work from Zion and not from Sinai. He says, "I got some stuff I wanna do to you. I got some stuff I wanna do through you, I got some stuff I wanna do for you that is within my will, but don't let the devil keep robbing you and ripping you off and stealing from you and canceling you out when I can overrule that 'cause Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant". He's the one who makes it happen.

So here's how it goes. The judge says, "I heard the witnesses. Is there anybody else in the courtroom who wants to say something before I render my judgment"? That's when your defense attorney stands up, and Jesus says, "Daddy, I got something to say. I am the mediator for Tony Evans. I'm the mediator for Martin Hawkins. I'm the mediator for Pastor G. I'm the mediator for Sister Shirley. I'm the mediator for Elizabeth. I'm the mediator for all them folk. So I know you got a right to be upset, I know you got a right to judge them, but I'm here to bring the two together. I had the witnesses, so they're my support, but now I want you to hear from me, 'cause I'm your only begotten Son". So when you get that, oh, now you done changed the courtroom, you've changed how things are being negotiated. You're changing how things are rolling. God's got a new program, but you gotta be on Mount Zion. You gotta be operating heavenly and spiritually, not humanly, earthly, and secularly.
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