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sermon 8

John 11:38-45, "Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.  Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.  And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.  Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him."

The text above is taken from the story of Lazarus, how he became ill, even unto death. Mary and Martha; Lazarus' sisters sent for Jesus to come and minister to their brother. But by the time Jesus gets there, Lazarus is already dead; and this is where we begin with the text above.

Now first of all; it is written that Jesus is groaning in Himself. This is because of the unblief of those who are around Him. In it is written John 11:37, "And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" They surely have seen Jesus do many miracles before, but when this circumstance arose, they all forgot the power that was working in Jesus before this had arose. It seems that Christians can come into the same situation as these. We have seen Jesus do miracles in the past, and have seen Him bless people and been blessed from Him themselves. But when a trial comes their way, they seem to forget what God has done for them in the past, and not able to take them out of the trouble that they are in at the time. When a believer first receives Jesus into their lives, they can believe for just about anything. But once they began to go through the fiery trials, their faith begans to wither away, and cause them to question the Word which is given to us from heaven. Have you ever been in a place of such, where you question God. I can honestly tell you I have. Some of the statements that might come out of a persons mouth at the time might be; "Lord, I see others blessed but never me", "I must have some sin working in my life because God does not hear me", God loves and favors those who are blessed than He does me".  But I can assure you friend, that every person must go through the wilderness and fiery trials before they can receive the promise. Acts 10:34-35, "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."

But we must keep believing God and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him. When we doubt Him [ His Word - Jesus ], then we begin to grieve Him. Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him:" Just like Jesus was grieved at the unblief of the people who were standing by.

There are promises in which God has given you that may seem to be dead. These promises seem to be placed in their own tomb as was Lazarus. Satan has lied to you and told you it was over. But I send you a Word from God today, telling you that it is not over; and for you to COME FORTH from your unblief and death which seems  to be all around you. God is  CREATOR, and He desires to work with nothing. He created all things by the Word of His mouth when there was nothing in existance: Genesis 1:1-2, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Before any of the promises that God's Word speaks of come to pass in your life; He must strip you of all things. He must break you from that old man and the way the old man thought and his philosophies. The Lord must bring you into a place of death so you can have LIFE and Life more abundant: John 12:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."It is hard to the flesh, but it is necessary if you are going to receive the promises in your life.

The first commandment Jesus made to those around Him was: "Take ye away the stone". The word stone in the Greek text means [ stumbling stone ]. Something which cause a person to stumble. Jesus never spoke into the grave until the stone was removed. You must first remove anything in your life that may cause the Word of God from coming to you. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. But if there is any sin in a persons life, then that will cause a blockage from that person hearing the Word of God coming in unto them. Confession and Repentance must be done before any person can hear the voice of God. Once Repentance is made, than a person can have assurance that he is pure before God and the Lord is now able to speak to them: Hebrews 10:22, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."

Once the stone was rolled away, then Jesus spoke: Lazarus, come forth. When Jesus speaks even the dead must obey. That means even those things which seem to be dead in your life. After His Word went forth into the grave, then it is written that the dead came walking out. Now the word COME , here in this text means in the Greek [ Follow me or it also means disciple ]. The Word  FORTH [ means leave behind or forsake those things that are behind ]. First when the Word of God comes to us, we must make up our minds that His Word and His Word alone is final authority in our lives and no matter what; we will follow after His Word and so fulfill the Will of God. We must have the faith where we do not follow after our fillings, or what we may see at the time of the circumstances nor do we walk after what man may say. Second, we must leave those things behind that may hinder our walk with Christ. You must believe that the promise you are believing for are yours and nothing in the past has any power over that. Lazarus had to come to the understanding that although he was dead, that was of the past and now he lives because of the Word of Jesus. You must deny your present circumstance and begin to believe the Word of God. If it is a promise of healing in your body that seems not to come to past, but God's Word has come to you: 1 Peter 2:24, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." You must deny what your body is telling you and began to believe what the Word of God says about your body of your present state. Romans 3:3-4, "For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." This scripture even means to let even your own body be a liar.

Until you began to follow after the Word of God and put the past behind, you will never see the promises of God be fulfilled in your life. Now notice, although the Word of God came into the tomb of Lazarus, he never seen anything yet. His eyes were still blindfolded with the hankerchief. All Lazarus did was what the Word of God said to do. He did not walk according to what he seen but that which he heard. You too, when the Word of God comes to you concerning His promises to you, will not see anything to confirm that which is promise. The confirmation comes after we believe and obey. That is why it is called Faith; Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Once the Word comes to you, begin to be obedient to it, and it will come to past eventually. You may not see your healing, or your calling or your finances or what ever God might have spoken to you about your circumstance, coming to past. But once Lazarus obeyed the Word of the Lord and came forth out of the tomb, then was the blindfold taken away and he began to see. Once we obey the Word of God and do as He commands us; although we may not see or understand all of the circumstance right away; our eyes and understanding will be opened once we do as God commands.

So I want to encourage you; although it might be frightening to the flesh sometimes of the things that we do not see nor understand; God is a Loving, Caring Father Who will never allow us to be tempted above than that which we cannot handle. Begin today to receive all the promises that God has for you, and begin to rejoice in the life that Jesus has set before you; and persue after the vision which He has revealed to you in the past.

Guy Manuel

These are previous sermons and teachings of the past :

Becoming Sensitive to Hearing God :By Guy M. Manuel

From Mothers Milk to Choice Cuts of Lamb : By Guy M. Manuel

Jesus: Our Supplier : By Guy M. Manuel

Who You Are In Christ: By Guy Manuel

The Holy Ghost : By D.L. Moody

Increasing Faith:  By Smith Wigglesworth

A Dog's Life: By Guy M. Manuel

Come Forth: By Guy M. Manuel

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