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1This morning we am going to teach something about our Christian heritage that is hardly taught in most churches today. Most Christians think and teach that their relationship with God is a sort of free Gift from God. It's free of charge. Just hop on the welfare wagon and ask, ask, ask, and you'll receive.
2Time tested memorials of God 57-0818 P:35 God's able of the stones to rise children to Abraham. Truly, He will do it. And when I think of that, and think of the great price that He had to pay. Now, good... Everybody wants everything free, wants every... That's the American way of life today: get everything you can for nothing. Brother, you get nothing that's worth anything for nothing; you pay for what you get. That's right. You have to pay for it, and it comes dear. And your salvation comes dear to God. It cost His only begotten Son to give Eternal Life to every man and make him happy tonight and live for things that's worthwhile living for. Not for to leave something to our children, no inheritance can be left greater than the salvation of our Lord Jesus. Certainly, it's not.
3The Pentecostals think I spoke in tongues so I got the Holy Ghost and now we can perform miracles, and call on the name of the Lord and God must answer our requests because he promised "whatsoever you ask in my name I will do it.".
But Eternal Life is not a one sided affair. It is not a God giving and you receiving sort of proposition. In fact no true relationship is built on a one sided effort, and no efforts on the other party.
7Now, many who read this think, "Whoah, whoah, whoah!!! What's going on here Jesus? I thought that your Grace if Free, and salvation is free for the asking. What's this about hating anyone in order to be your disciple. I thought God is a God of Love, not a God of hate. I don't understand these words, these are very hard words to understand?"
8Let's continue with our text... 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
10Now, this first parable Jesus tells concerns the thought of our counting the cost to follow Jesus. We know by many, many Scriptures the reward, but how often do we know going in what the cost will be, and when we find out are we willing to pay the price.
11We know that Jesus paid the price of His life, but do we understand that we must also pay the price of our own Life? After all, Jesus died that we might live, and now God in return asks us to die to self that the Life of His fist born son might live again in us.
13Jesus said, "if you wish to follow Me, then you must deny yourself, take up his cross and follow Me." That means you've got to be willing to die to self, for the cross represents the harshest form of death).
14Jesus tells us there is a price to pay to follow Him. And He lays out the terms and conditions of this discipleship. We all know there were great crowds following Him as long as he passed out the freebies like the fishes and loaves. But then one day he says, the freebies are over, if you want to continue to follow me and be my disciple you must take up your cross and die to self.
16In modern language we might say Jesus was the talk of the town, the latest fad to follow. But He knew their hearts. He knew they desired the benefits of what He did, the freebies he handed out, rather than a willingness to die to self and become what He was. So they loved His free gifts, but they did not love the life He was calling them to.
17And so Jesus explained to them what it will to become one of His disciples: He said in Luke 14:26-33 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple"
18Jesus said a whole lot in those few verse, and He quickly put an end to the idea that He offered some kind of welfare program. Although the gift of eternal life is free to anyone who asks John 3:16, yet eternal life is not living for self, but for others. So what he is asking is this: Are you willing to die to self and self centered living, and put others lives before your own. Because that is what eternal Life is all about.
19If you want what He has, Eternal Life, then you've got to be willing to give up what you have, and that's your own life in order to get it. You're talking about a transfer of ownership, his life for your own. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
20We hear Jesus in Luke chapter 9 tell us of His rejection and suffering, and then how we musty also walk in his footsteps as well. Luke 9:23 22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
27In fact Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. And so we can not follow the world and the word at the same time.
30John 6:59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
In fact Jesus tells us in Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
31When God's way conflicts with your way, do you let go and let God, or do you stop walking in the light with Him. If you do not count the cost of being His son or daughter, you will run away at the first threat, or trial of your faith, or the first time he pulls at your heart to turn and go His way instead of the way of sin.
32Mark 4:16-17 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
33In Jesus’ earthly ministry, there came a time when the free food stopped and public opinion turned ugly. The cheering became jeering and the crowds became the few. And as Jesus knew the what would happen ahead of time, so do we.
36Counting the cost not only mean that we are called upon sometimes to give up something physically, but more often it is more likely that we are to let go emotionally of some things so that what we do possess, no longer possesses us.
39The message Version says it this way, "Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
40And we are told in 1 John 2:15-17 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
42Matthew 6:24 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
46Luke 18:18-25 18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? 27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. 28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. 29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
47Many who call themselves Christians love the idea of eternal life after they die physically, because they like the idea of living forever. But eternal life is to be lived now. And if you are not willing to leave your life now, and begin letting him live your life for you, then you do not have eternal life.
48Eternal Life is not a lifestyle change, it is not a change of habits, exchanging a bad habit for a good one, or exchanging bad works for good works, but it is an ownership change. You no longer own your vessel, he has paid for it in full and you gladly hand it over to him to live for you.
51Conference 60-1125 P:44 Let's just think. I can see Gabriel come down, His great sword standing by His side. I can see Woodworm. I can see the other great Angels lighting on the rocks around. What was it? A conference table being set. Then that Holy Spirit of God, as we see on the picture of Gethsemane, that Light, which God is Light, El Elohim, the self existing One, when He came down into His Presence. "Do you want to go through with this, Son?" What? The Angels are listening. "What's going to be the result? The whole world lays upon Your shoulder. Do You want to pay the price, or what do You want to do? You can come right on now without death. There lays Calvary before you. There they'll spit in Your face, and they'll take You to Calvary, all these things. You'll die in agony with the crown of thorns on Your head, and Your Blood will drain out. Are You willing?" Let's see what the conference. What the echo's going to be? All Angels are standing around wondering what takes place now. The decision's made. What is it? "Not My will but Thine be done." Oh the Angels unfolded their blessings and begin to minister to Him then, preparing Him for that great hour. A conference was set. A decision was made. I'm so glad of that decision.
54Church Age Book Chapter 4 - The Smyrnaean Church Age P:18 Why does He stand by? The reason is in Romans 8:17-18, "And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Unless we suffer with Him we cannot reign with Him. You have to suffer to reign. The reason for this is that character simply is never made without suffering. Character is a VICTORY, not a gift. A man without character can't reign because power apart from character is Satanic. But power with character is fit to rule. And since He wants us to share even His throne on the same basis that He overcame and is set down in His Father's throne, then we have to overcome to sit with Him. And the little temporary suffering we go through now is not worthy to be compared to the tremendous glory that will be revealed in us when He comes. Oh, what treasures are laid up for those who are willing to enter into His kingdom through much tribulation.
55When we choose to follow Christ, we are giving over control of our lives to Him. When The Holy Spirit is in the control tower of your life, you will do as He would do, because it is not you doing it, but He is doing it in you just using your body to do whatever he does through you.
561 John 3:9-10 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
581. We must consider the cost to our old man.
2. We must consider the cost of becoming His.
3. We must consider the cost of Grace, and what it means, and what disgrace means.
4. We must consider the cost of Dying to self. What does it mean to deny ourself and take up our cross?
59Just one more time Lord 63-0120E P:72 Are you willing to die? That's what's the trouble of it, you want to stay alive to Hollywood, the same time be alive with God. It won't mix. A seed... Jesus said, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone." You'll never bring forth anything. Oh, Jesus' Name church, what a glorious church, what a glorious Name, Jesus' Name. Are you ready to die? Are you Assemblies of God, General Assembly, are you ready to die? Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, are you ready to die out to your enemy? Are you willing to pay the price of sacrifice, really, sincerely? Not just come and say, "Well, I'll give it a try and see how I come out." You're not ready yet. You must be ready to pay the price, and die.
61Just one more time Lord 63-0120E P:59 That don't mean a thing. Showmanship, we got too much Hollywood, but it don't bring the Spirit and power of God down. Might bring enthusiasm, but it don't bring power of God. They're not willing to pay the price. Samson prayed right. What did he pray? In closing, I might say this, "Lord, let me die with the enemy." That's the trouble; they don't want to pay the price of dying. You got your own-self worked up into a community, into a bunch of people that you associate with and play cards, stay home and watch programs, eat "tater" chips and drink cokes. The church sets empty. That's right. Make you sign a card, you'll come six months out of the year to Sunday school. Such manmade enthusiasm. What you need is the Holy Ghost. Oh, you say, "I got It." You sure don't act like it. Yes, sir. Let the preacher preach an hour or something another like that, you're ready to call the trustee board and throw him out. That's right. Oh, you want to eat your cake and keep it too. Can't do that. No, sir. You got to surrender yourself. You got a price to pay, got a cleaning up to do. And I tell you, the whole church world needs a cleaning all the way from the pulpit to the janitor's room. That's right. It's the Truth. Not willing to pay...
627. We must consider the cost to your present life, what does it mean to die to self, die to your life, die to your thoughts.
8. We must consider the cost of bearing his name, living His life.
9. We must consider the cost of what it means to be hated by the world for His name's sake.
10. We must consider the cost of bearing His Life in our bodies.
63Once more 63-1117 P:66 Notice, Samson prayed, "Lord, let me die with the enemy," when he realized what was happening around him. His eyes were gone. His strength was gone. His fellowship was gone. But there's a possibility that a prayer meeting might spark it again. See? Then he prayed right, "Let me die with the enemy." You must die with your enemy. That's right. You must die to the enemy that's got you in this condition. That's right. Samson was willing to pay the price to get the power of God back on him again. He seen what he was raised up to do: not be a showman, but to be a servant, to have himself so that the power of God could flow through him.
65That day on Calvary 60-0925 P:38 He was just one Man, the perfect Man. He gave His life, and He made an example for you. Now, what must we do. Now, the first thing I want to say is: Jesus never lived for Himself. His Life was spent for others. That's perfectly Eternal Life. When you say you go to church and you do good things, that's fine. But when you live your life to yourself, you haven't Eternal Life. Eternal life is living for others. It proved it when He come in the Lamb of God. He lived and had Eternal Life, because He did not live for Himself. He lived for others. And you receive Eternal Life by receiving that day, and you don't live for yourself no more. You live for others.
67Leadership 65-1207 P:91 It might cost you everything you got. It might cost you your home; it might cost you your friendship; it might cost you your stitch-and-sew party; it might cost you your place at the Kiwanis. It might... I don't know what it'll cost you, but it'll cost everything that's worldly or pertains to the world. You'll have to separate yourself from everything that's worldly. You'll have to do it. Moses laid everything aside and went into the desert with a stick in his hand. Amen. Days after days passed. And wonder if he thought he made a mistake? No. Many times people start out, and they say, "Oh, I'll do it. Glory to God, I see It." And let somebody laugh at you and make fun of you, "Probably I was wrong." He said, "They that cannot stand chastisement are bastard children and not the children of God." See, they're worked up on the emotion.
69Token the 64-0308 P:25 God requires that Token, and That only. It's a sign that your way is paid. He ain't going to take your credentials or something else. He's got to have that Token. The bus driver say, "Here, wait a minute; that ain't my token." The airplane man say, "Well, you go out there now." A ticket is a token. You go out there and tell the pilot, "Here, I want to get on your plane. How much is it?" "Go in and get your token." "Oh, I'll pay you." "I can't take it, You won't get on my plane until you go pay the price and get the token. I'm looking for the token." You say, "Well, I went to school. I done this." I don't care what you done. You've got to have the Token or you don't get on. Amen and amen. Can't you see it? God requires that Token. "When I see the blood, and only will I pass over you when I see the token."
71You know we sing the song, I'm going through, and brother Branham mentions it in his sermon, God keeps His Word 57-0120E P:80 I'll pay the price what other Christians do, I'll take the way (like the Micaiah) with the Lord's despised few, I've started in with Jesus, and I'm going through. Oh, I'm going through, yes, I'm going through, I'll pay the price what other Christians do, I'll take the way with the Lord's despised few, I started in with, Jesus, and I'm going through.
74as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and Stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
7517. We must consider the cost for the power of God to work through us
Just one more time Lord 63-0120E P:61 Are you willing to pay the price? That's in a Pentecostal church, are you willing to pay the price? That's it. You see what kind of a shame we're standing in. All right. Samson, willing to pay the price to get the power of God again.
78Token the 63-0901M P:142 The token is a sign that the purchase has been made and been accepted. Now, you can't get the token from the railroad fare, until you pay the price. And the only way you're going to pay the price... Just pay it. That's right. What? Believe it; accept it. Full obedience to the whole Word of God will entitle you to the Token. Full obedience, not to part of It, as far as your denomination goes, but all of It. Full obedience to the Word, which is Christ, brings you into Christ.
80Hebrews 11:4 By Revelation Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 5 By Revelation Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without Revelation it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7 By Revelation Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by Revelation. 8 By Revelation Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By Revelation he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 Through Revelation also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 13 These all died in Revelation, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. 17 By Revelation Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. 20 By Revelation Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By Revelation Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. 22 By Revelation Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. 23 By Revelation Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 24 By Revelation Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By Revelation he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through Revelation he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By Revelation they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. 30 By Revelation the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31 By Revelation the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through Revelation subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through Revelation, receiving not yet the promise counted the cost and obeyed the revelation God gave them: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
81He had all those great attributes in Him, because the fullness of the Godhead was bodily in Him, yet he paid the price for everything you can think of: Our healing, our redemption, our Justification, our Sanctification, our Holiness, our joy, our peace, our Mercy, our Grace. He paid the price of our inheritance and our future Home. He paid the price for it all.