AUDIOTAPE OF "THE PASTOR" SERMON, DATED 9/16/89, SUNDAY MORNING, BY HAROLD KERN
NOTE: THE TAPE SEEMS TO BEGIN AFTER THE SERMON STARTED. ALSO, THE RECORDING ENDS ON SIDE A WITH SEVERAL MINUTES OF TAPE LEFT, AND CONTINUES WHEN FLIPPED TO SIDE B AT THAT POINT.
I HAVE MARKED CERTAIN PASSAGES WITH ASTERISKS TO INDICATE THAT THEY ARE IMPORTANT QUOTES TO THE OVERALL THEME.
Amen, there's a lot to that. There's a lot of things that he could be talking about. But the overall general feeling is that you need to have a realization in your heart, is that you are now a child of God, and you don't have any business fooling with the things of the world. They don't need to be a part of your life - the way that they talk, the way that they act, the way that they dress, the way that they live - you do not need to embrace the things of the world. To do so, you become an enemy of God.
Now it doesn't just say that you and him are having hard feelings. It says that you are now an enemy of God. You're an enemy of God.
[I want] you to notice a little bit whenever Moses went back down to Egypt, God had called him, sent him back there to do a work for God. And whenever he was on the way to go back down to the house of God, he was stopped by the way. And he spent the night there, and while he was there (you read in the word of the Lord) the scripture says that the Lord sought to kill him. Now why in the world would God attempt to kill the man that He had just sent to do a job for Him?
The reason He sought to kill him was because Moses had let the world influence him by way of his wife so that he did not obey the law in the Word of God, and circumcise his two sons. And as a result of that the Lord sought to kill him.
Now you picture that any way you want, but friend whenever God starts sneaking around through the shadows looking you... However it was, I don't know. But I want you to know that the very fact is that God sought him for a little while, and let him know "I'm looking for you," was mercy. Amen. I don't know if He came into that room and grabbed him by the throat and gave him three minutes to live. But in that time he knew his life was on the line. Whatever space in time was involved, he knew it was. His wife grabbed a knife and circumcised those boys just like that. God said "You go on back to Egypt now."
I'm telling you, God sought to kill him! God means business. He is not fooling around. If you have an attitude that you can just kind of forget the things of God, and just kind of let the world influence you to forget the things of God, God has said you are an enemy of God. It's just not that your philosophy is different, and that your little old ideas are different. Whenever you differentiate yourself from obedience to the word of the Lord, you are an enemy with God. I think I'd rather be His friend than His enemy. Amen. I'd rather be His friend any day. I think if God comes to my house I want to make sure that I've got everything according to the word of the Lord and my house is clean, and my place is like it ought to be, and my family's like it ought to be, because I'm telling you if it says circumcise those boys they're going to be circumcised. If it says to cleanse your house of this, that and the other, I'm telling you you'd better cleanse your house. Because, if God catches you - and He will - he might seek to kill you before it's over with.
Now we can find a whole lot more pleasant things to talk about, but we are talking about Truth, are we not? Amen. Matthew chapter 13 verse number 28 He said, in the parable He said unto them "an enemy has done this." Done what? Sowed tares. Don't know when it happened, Don't know what took place. But I just know sometime an enemy came in and sowed tares in the field that we had so carefully carefully carefully carefully tilled, weeded, got it all right, got it all ready, sowed our good seed of the wheat in it, and somewhere along the line, some stinking enemy snuck in and sowed tares when we weren't even looking. He said "an enemy hath done this." I want you to notice the use of the word "an enemy hath done this." You might just say, well, that's just a little mischief. I mean, the neighbor comes by and he throws some tares out there when you weren't looking. He's just not a good guy. Be better off if he'd stay on his own property. The scripture says he's an enemy. He's not just a disagreeable neighbor, he's an enemy.
And whenever you read scripturally and find out how an enemy operates, and what he's supposed to do, and how you're supposed to deal with him - I mean your attitude needs to be one is that, Hey, if I find an enemy I'm going to kill him.
Now don't, don't, don't go out and slay anybody now. Don't don't don't feel like I'm giving you license to do anything like that. But it's talking about, in your relationships in life, there's some things you need to cut off out of your life and get rid of out of your life so that you can be pleasing unto God. Amen.
So get rid of that out of your house. He said "cleanse the chamber." Amen. Everything. Get the TV Guide out too, everything that's involved, get rid of every bit of it. Everything that's not right. Cleanse your house of everything that doesn't need to be there, because if you let the enemy come in, and dwell in your house, somewhere along the line I pray that God sends a Nehemiah to you and gets rid of Tobiah out of your house. It doesn't belong. You say "well I don't know, so and so's gonna get upset." Don't you think Nehemiah was upset? Don't you think that God was upset? Don't you think God was just praying, and, as it were, that this man Nehemiah would deal with the problem?
Amen. God was rather upset. Look at verse number 10. We could go on and on in that, but I've got to hurry. I've got several areas to cover today. Verse 10 - "I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them. For the Levites and the singers that did the work were fled every one to his field." That ought to tell you some things about the condition spiritually that had happened since Nehemiah had left. They had lost the value and the understanding of the importance of the Levites in the church. They had come to the point that it was better to have Tobiah and it was better to have him in that house and get rid of all the things that used to be in that room, so that the, that the man of the enemy could be taken care of but the Levites could be pushed out the door. They fled every one to the field to hide because there was no concern or desire for the Levites to be involved in the work of God in that place.
The work of the ministry was a thing that they lost their understanding of the value of the position of the Levites. Now, quite economically, you can look at it this way; economically, and say those Levites don't own any land. They don't till any crops perhaps and they don't present, or help, in the economic structure of Israel. You look at it in scripture. All they do is to see that the House of God goes on, and that the things of God are taken care of, and that the sacrifices and all that's involved takes good care of itself and everything is in good order. That is the position. They don't contribute to the economy of Israel. All they do is take the tithes of Israel and see that the house of God is taken care of.
And Israel, in that short time when Nehemiah was gone, had lost their understanding and appreciation of the position of the Levites, so that they quit paying their tithes.
Boy, it is quiet here.
Because they lost their understanding of the value of the ministry. Economically, they looked at it, and said "I just economically can't understand what good it is to have the Levites in over there. I mean, he doesn't till that land, he doesn't bring any crops into my farm. He doesn't do anything for me. All he does is go around there and make the offerings, the sacrifices, and sings every once in a while."
Economically, it don't make an ounce of sense. But whenever it comes to the blessings of God it makes a whole lot of sense. Because whenever you rob God God turns around and puts some holes in your bag somewhere along the line, and everything you've got just kind of leaks out and before you know it - I want to tell you that the position of the Levite was a very important one. And they had lost their appreciation and they had devalued the office of the Levite until they stopped paying their tithes. The singers and all that did the work at the house of God were fled, every one to find a place to hide.
What a tragic condition they had come to. This kind of reminds you a little bit of is that the peoples' character and nature doesn't change in twelve chapters. Same kind of people were doing fantastic in chapter twelve, now they'd lost their appreciation of the ministry in chapter 13. Amen?
II Kings chapter 2, verse 23. The man of God, Elisha, went up from thence into Bethel and as he was going by the way, there came four little children out of the city, and they mocked him, and said unto him "Go up, thou bald head." "Go up thou bald head." You know what they were doing? They were making fun of the prophet. Amen. I don't want anybody saying anything about my hair around here. I'm still doing fine. But if it ever comes to that, you'd better read that verse over and over and over and over and over again.
They were standing out there making fun of the man of God. And whenever they were doing it, they thought, ha, nothing's going to happen. Everything's going to be fine, and so on. And whenever he heard what was going on, he could have said, "Oh, there just kids. Bless their hearts." Amen. They just needed to learn to talk better, act better, and hope and pray that their mom and dad teach them a little better next time, ok?
Do you know what he did? He cursed them. He turned around, looked at that group of young people, and he cursed them. So, why, he's pretty touchy, isn't he? I mean, he must be a little insecure. I mean you know they were just talking about his hair. He turned around and cursed them. Say, I'll tell you what, I'd rather have someone a little more long suffering than that. I'd rather have somebody that'll at least, you know, could put up with my kids.
You all doing ok today?
Amen. He turned around and cursed them. And you know what happened? 2 bears come out of the woods, and killed 42 young people. You see, what he cursed was not just kids that didn't know any better. He cursed kids because of their attitude around the ministry. And you'd say, did God honor it? You'd better believe God honored it. That's why He got those bears, wherever they were, brought them over and brought judgment on all of those who were against this particular thing. Amen.
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I Chronicles chapter 16 verse 22 says "touch not mine anointed, do my prophets no harm." That needs to be something that you put into the hearts of your children. That needs to be something that you put into the hearts of your children. Some of you were not raised in the church, some of you have been, you've come to God in later years and that's great and fine. But there needs to be an understanding in you and in your spirit and in your heart that some things are not for you to judge, some things are not for you to touch. The undershepherd is not in your position in your hands to do with whatever you will. It's not the position of a church board to do whatever. It is in God's time and God's way - He is the Shepherd, He will take care of the flock. He will see to it that things go right. Amen. And He will bring judgment if it needs to be.
But don't you ever, ever get yourself in a position that you rail upon the man of God. Don't you ever, ever allow yourself to get into a position that you begin to criticize the man of God. Amen. Be very careful in everything you say. Any judgment that happens, you need to back away from it. Let God handle it. I said, let God handle it. He will handle it. He's not stupid, He's not blind. He knows what He's doing in His time he'll take any care of any problem that needs to be taken care of. But in the meantime, you teach them respect for the people of God. You teach them respect for the ministry.
I'll tell you what - in my house, we have a lot to do with ministers from a lot of places. There's a lot of folks that come through our home. And it is a fact that missionaries come through. We have evangelists come through, and in our relationships with men from the other parts of the district, and other districts and so on, we have a lot of relationships with other ministers from other places. And it cannot be helped. I know it cannot be helped, that there are negative things that come through occasionally, and it just happens because that is life. But we have constantly done our absolute best to tell our children in every circumstance - "I want you to understand that you are understand that you are to honor the ministry, love the ministry, and let God take care of any problems that takes place. They don't know anymore than they have to know. I do my very dead level best to keep them ignorant of everything I can, so that they don't hear anything that they don't have to hear. And I cant stop everything, but I try.
I want them to love the ministry. I want them to love the man of God. And it doesn't matter whoever's preaching the word of the Lord, I want them to sit up in church and listen to what's being preached, and hear the word of the Lord and give heed to what's being preached. Hallelujah.
There are men who are in positions of authority over me. And those men are not always men that I particularly like the way they do things. But nevertheless, anyway it happens. I have tried to live in such a way is that they will see in me a respect for the ministry that I want to see that it's in them for a respect for the ministry. If they don't see it in me, they're not gonna have it in themselves.
And so it's just a fact that it ought to be in everyone of our hearts. These people lost that appreciation. They lost it. And the men that used to do the work of the Lord are running for their lives, because we have put other things in the way. (My Lord, I've got so much to do and so little time to do it.)
Look at verse 15. "And in those days, saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the Sabbath, bringing in sheaths and leading asses as well as wines, grapes, figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I testified against them in the day wherein they sold food, victuals, (viddles... Amen) in the marketplace on the Sabbath day." Now, understand, the Sabbath day is a very very honored thing in the Old Testament. It had a very wonderful meaning and purpose. I thought perhaps the reason God put in the Sabbath day was so that people would learn to understand the value of whatever God has sanctified and physically see with their eyes when they have violated that. That's why it said do no work on the Sabbath day. And whenever a man was caught picking up sticks the Lord said "stone him." Because they needed to see with their physical eyes some things so that it could be absorbed into their spirit and make them in their spirit to be comprehensive of the fact is that some things are righteous, holy, spiritual, and need to be given reverence.
See, the law is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. The keeping of the Sabbath day was to teach us something. Teach us that whatever God says is holy is holy. And our attitude needs to be to keep it holy, to defend it and make sure it stays holy. And in that short time, they had lost their reverence and keeping of the Sabbath. It was just another day. It was another day to go to the marketplace, another day to trade. It was another day to go down and visit and have all this going on and so forth and so on. And in just that short time that Nehemiah was gone he come back and they were already having wine marketplaces just going like crazy on the Sabbath day.
And look at this. He said "I testified against them." He said "I stood up and I let my voice be heard." I think perhaps you need to do the same thing. If things aren't going well in your home, then you need to stand up and be heard. You need to testify against anything that needs to be testified against. Anything that's going on that's not sanctified, is not holy, you need to make your opinion known. You need to testify against such as that.
Verse 19; "It came to pass that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, he said 'I commanded that the gates should be shut. And I put somebody in charge of the gates so that nobody would bring a burden into the city on the Sabbath day.'" We locked the gate to keep it out. And he said "I looked over the wall, and when I looked over the wall all the merchants and the sellers, they were lodged right outside the wall." They were just waiting to get in, at the very first opportunity they had to get into the city and resume all that was going on in that particular place. Amen.
Verse 20 said "So the merchants and sellers of all kind that were lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them. And I said unto them, 'Why are you standing around here? Why are you lodging outside the wall? (he said) If I find you here again, I will lay hands on you.'" And that is not with the hands of blessing. I will lay hands on you, and let you know that's not where you belong. From that time forth came they no more to the Sabbath day. Amen. They did not spend any more time around the walls of the city. There needs to be something that comes into the hearts of every father, whenever he looks around and he sees worldliness around and he sees worldliness trying to creep into his home - be it by a neighbor kid, be it by whatever that goes on - I'm telling you you don't want to have fellowship with some things. There needs to be a father in Israel that rises up and say this is my house. You get, or I'm going to throw you out. You keep fooling around, and I'm telling you I'm gonna lay hands on you and you're not gonna be here anymore.
It is a very critical thing - very important thing - I count it a very valuable thing on what goes on in the lives of our families, in the lives of all of our children, wherever they may be. I think your children are very valuable things. My children are very valuable things. And when I see the enemy camping around outside of where my children are, I don't want that enemy that close to me. I don't want him that close to my family. There are times in the growing up is that we had to say you are not going to that house. You are not going to those people. They are not coming in this house. They are not gonna be involved with you, and they didn't quite understand it, but we laid hands on them once or twice, and they got the point. Hallelujah.
Amen. My wife is a little hard to get along with sometimes with some of the people that call our house. Especially whenever they're girls. And she taught me a lot through the years about some of those kind of things, and I never really realized it because I wasn't raised in the church like she was. I hear her get on the phone, and she finds out it's a young girl who'd like to call my son and talk to him. She says I'm sorry, you don't call our house. You don't call our house. If my son wants to talk to you, he'll call you. You say why? Because any girl that's spends all of her time trying to be forward with a boy, and trying to be involved in that situation - I'm telling you that's not right, and you need to make sure that things are done right in your house.
Somewhere along the line you can say so-and-so's got a bad attitude. Well, I'm telling you, it's my house. My family. It means more to me than anything else. And you get away from my wall or we'll just lay hands on you and settle this thing once and for all. Amen.
Now we're still talking about pastoring. We haven't really gotten too far away from that. Amen. All right. Verse 23 - "In that day, those days, also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod of Amon, and of Moab." And if you remember, verse 1 in that chapter, and 2 and 3, they talked about the Ammonites and the Moabites, and the law said they're not to be allowed in the congregation. I mean the law said they're not to be allowed in the congregation, and the young people had went out and married them wives of the Ashdods and the Moabites and the Ammonites, and brought them into family of God. And notice the very unusual result. Now there's enough time that had gone by that the children were now walking and talking. And verse 24 said that the children spake half in the speech of Ashdod and could not speak in the Jews' language. And here Nehemiah walks in their house, and they don't even know how to say Shalom.
You know, they speak the language of the enemy. They speak the language of those that are around about them. They speak the language of the world around about them rather than the language of the things of God. They don't know how to speak the Jews' language but they speak according to the language of each people.
I do believe it's important what kind of language our kids speak. It has been a source of irritation to me over the years whenever the world starts to say stupid little phrases that don't mean a whole lot of anything, and just - it's kind of hip to say it that way, and it's cool and it's this, that, and the other, and bringing all of that language into the church. It turns something over inside of me. You say it's a small thing. It may be small, but what they're doing is they're speaking the wrong language, which shows they're having too much association with the world. They're learning the wrong words. Their vocabulary's not right. And they learn to talk about the things of the world when they ought to talk about the things of God. They learn to talk about hate, and killing, and strife, and contention, and immorality, and ungodliness, and they talk about this, that, and the other. The only thing they can talk about is, what's going on in the sports world, what happened with so and so, and who won last night, and their language is constantly on all of those kinds of things. Some of you wonder why I get upset whenever some of the language comes on like it does. I know it's not curse words. I know it's not words that would literally be classified that way, but it bothers me whenever I hear the wrong kind of language being spoken. Whenever young people or older folks regardless of age, all they can do is talk the latest lingo of the day. Whatever's colloquial at the time. Whatever might happen today, the street language of this world that is around about us. I thing it oughta be real nice that people learn to be kind one to another and speak words of love and kindness and compassion, rather than the kinds of words that put somebody down, and cuts somebody, and destroy them, and do their very best to hurt because of their language. Amen.
I don't know if there's any way that you can keep everything out. I suppose we could try to be like the folks back east that drive their horse and buggies, and live way back yonder somewhere, and refuse to have anything to do with the modern day world. And I suppose that if you came to the point that if you say that's the way we're gonna live. No, that's not the way we're gonna live. Jesus did not say take them out of the world. He said I pray that you keep them in the world. There's evil in the world, he said, but I pray you keep them from the evil that is in the world. It is the will of God that you live in this world and that you mingle with this world, but don't be influenced of this world, so that their way of doing things doesn't become your way of doing things. You live in this world because they're lost and the only hope they've got is you. Amen.
Praise God. I'll tell you what. The world around us influences us so easy. And it's amazing. You get something in this world that they show it on TV and before you know it everybody's doing it. I mean they are so geared that they put millions of dollars into advertisements, they make people to be such heroes in the minds of people. I've never seen most of the things that go on 'cause I don't watch it, but I know that the things that go on, the styles and everything that is promoted on it, that whatever is promoted on TV or even just lived on TV people want to emulate that and put it in their life.
I heard a little bit about a man by the name of Don Johnson, and I guess, but if my memory serves me right from what I read, is that he's on Miami Vice. Now, whatever that is, I'm not really sure, but I know that his trademark is to unbutton his tie, and let it go like that and wear a beard that happens and 3 o'clock in the afternoon. And isn't it amazing, how easily that you look around and even in pentecostal ranks where they don't even have it - the world does it, they start doing the same kind of thing. Because it's cool. It's neat. You know what's happening? The wrong kind of language is going on in that home. The children of the Ashdod people, the Ammonites and the Moabites have brought their language into our home.
And Nehemiah was upset. Not a little bit. He was greatly upset. About all of it. Here you've let these things come into the house and you let these kids start talking this - I guess I'm pastoring today. Look at verse 25. He said "I contended with them and I cursed them." He said "I cursed them." He said "I contended with them." Amen. Now I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for a church that's got all kind of junk in it and the pastor is being very very mediocre and very sweet and very kind.
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There is a need for some things to get violent occasionally, and it just happened that way in Nehemiah's day. He cursed them. Amen. And he smote certain of them. He walked up and slapped them. Hit them on the head. Get with it. He said "I pulled their hair out." I'm reading to you from the scripture, really. Now I mean, he said "I cursed them, I contended with them, I smote some of them, and I plucked off their hair." Said old boy, you gonna line up and you gonna swear to God that you're never gonna let it happen again. And they had patches of hair out of their head, blood there, some of them had bruises on them, some of them had their spirit whipped like a dog, and when it was all said and done he said to them you're not leaving this place till you swear before God that you're never gonna let that happen again. You're gonna swear before God that you're not gonna give your daughters unto their sons, you're not gonna take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. You're gonna swear before God you'll live right.
I don't know if I want a pastor like that or not. I like my hair.
But that's the kind of man Nehemiah was, because there was sin in Israel, and problems that needed to be dealt with, and that's the kind of way he dealt with it. You say well I'm sure glad you're not that way.
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I'm getting that way. More all the time. The older I get the meaner I get. And, uh I feel meaner all the time. I'm serious. You look at Nehemiah chapter 1 he started out weeping for Jerusalem, chapter 13 he's slapping them around. After a few years that's what pastoring does to you. Amen.
That's what happened. Because they knew better. They knew better. What God had cursed they brought into their house. What God had cursed, they married. They set their sons and their daughters up to marry them. And they brought it in, and they had grandkids that couldn't talk Jewish. And as a result of it, he got real fierce. Cursed them, smote them, plucked off their hair - I want you to underline those verses. I want you to underline those verses. Amen. Put it on the mirror in your house. Amen, and say that's never happened to me yet, but it could. Made them swear by God, he said didn't Solomon, didn't he sin like this? Didn't it take him away from the things of God? Shall we then harken unto you to do all this great evil and transgress against our God and marry strange wives? And one of the sons of Jehu the son of Elisha the high priest was son in law to Sanbalat the Horonite - he said therefore I chased him from me. Amen.
Get all of these relationships together. Son in law to Sanbalat. Sanbalat was a friend of Tobiah. He married, and they had grandchildren, and everything was doing fine, it seemed like. But whenever Nehemiah saw that he had married the daughter of Sanbalat the Horonite, he said "I chased him from me." Now I'll tell you, I'd run from guys a little bit when I was a boy. Sometimes I had some kids run from me. Kinda balance it out, you know? You can always find somebody smaller than you and make things even. Makes you feel better. But I never ran from anybody that I was scared of -was not scared of. I mean, if they was bigger than me, I'd run. I mean, there's a time to fight and a time to run. And hallelujah, -
Whenever you look at this particular situation here, I mean,
SWITCH TO SIDE B
...so now here comes the man of God after me. And he chased him out. He ran for his life. I'm gonna tell you that keeping the house of God clean is such of importance that there sometimes has to be drastic measures taken and the thing you want to understand is that God has set it up in His kingdom that if you need it, it'll happen. And thank God for the protection that God has given into the church.
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Now you need not worry. I'm not going to slap anybody today. I'm not gonna pull anybody's hair out today. Amen. I hope I never have to. Amen. But understand that he was doing it for one particular reason, and that is so that the house of God might be clean. That it might be clean like it ought to be, and serve the Lord with gladness in their heart. I Corinthians chapter 10 verse 20 - "But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to devils and not to God. And I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils." II Corinthians 6 and 14 - "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath the light with darkness?" Ephesians 5 and 11 says "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather reprove them." Reprove them. You need to make your stand known, your position clear, so that everybody around you knows where you stand, and what you're gonna do and how you're gonna live for God and how you're gonna keep your house clean.
That's not only just what every father has to do for his family, but that's what every young man and every young woman has got to come to the point that in their own house, in their own temple, they make up their mind "I am gonna keep my house clean. I am gonna live right. I am not gonna have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. I do not want to be an enemy of God. I do not want to fight against God. I do not want to marry into the wrong family. I don't want Tobias having any representation in this place. Sanbalat is my enemy. I'm not gonna marry his daughter. I'm not gonna marry anything that's involved in it. I wanna marry right, live right, live holy." Serve God with all of our heart.
It just took some real stern measures to keep the church like it ought to be. Whenever he said obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls. Amen. There needs to be a simple understanding that comes over everybody is that hey, tell me what I need to do to live for God. I'm not gonna fight that. I'm not gonna struggle against it. You're not gonna see me talking against it. You're gonna see me living for God doing whatever. Amen.
Give me the best advice you can - don't do this, do that, whatever - fine, I'll do it. Count it done. Amen. Those kind of attitudes are attitudes of where somebody can be a winner. Amen. I mentioned something to somebody one day, about such a thing, and he said "count it done." And I never had to speak to him about it again. It was done. It was done. He went out and took care of the problem, solved it. Amen. There's some things that you need to realize is that whatever - those who have the rule over you, give you direction, you don't need to try to push it and get by with everything you can. You don't need to try to live on the fringes of it. You need to just say, "right on.
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That's God's man, I'll do what God said. I will obey them that have the rule over me, and I will submit my spirit, my soul, because I know that they're gonna give an account for my soul someday. I know that someday they're gonna stand before God, and they're gonna open their little book where they've been writing down things all of those years, and they're gonna give God a report on me. I said, they're gonna give God a report on me."
That's right! You better be careful how that you take instruction. Whenever you sit in the office and you're told things that you don't like, and things that you don't appreciate - Amen - mark it down. It's in the book. And there's gonna come a day that the man of God stands before God and says I talked to the so-and-so and such-and-such to so-and-so on such-and-such a day, and his attitude/ her attitude was "who are you to tell me what to do," or whatever. There will be a report given to every man - about every man - to God concerning their attitude and their spirit. He said let that account be given with joy and not with grief. Well, I'll tell you what I told so-and-so and so-and-so about such-and-such and they shook their head and said "yeah" and walked out, and still continued to live the same kind of way they did before, do the same kinds of things they did before. It's all written down. It's all written down.
Amen. I appreciated the times when my pastor talked to me and there were not many things really that he had to talk to me about, but I appreciated the times that he talked to me and simply gave me direction. I never argued with him one time. I never argued with him one time. Whatever he said, I did it. I'll tell you before God that's the way it was.
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Just something about it, that if you have a heart to do the will of God and what's right, you're gonna love authority and love submission, because it is of God. Amen.
Let's stand. Amen. And feed the flock of God, which is among you, taking the oversight, not by constraint but willingly. Not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Amen. Take your position, do it right, do it like it oughtta be. Amen. Don't back up, don't quail. Just take it all and do it right and that's the way it oughtta be. And if that kind of situation operates, the church will do right, the world will stay out in the world, holiness will stay in the church, righteousness will stay here. Amen.
I'll tell you the most dangerous thing that a church will ever experience, is when a pastor gets tired of fighting. I've seen it happen and I have dreaded the day that I ever said, well, I'm tired of the fighting. There are some things that have to be contended for on a regular basis. There has to be a fight go on, and I have seen men - literally seen men - get tired of fighting against sin. And they have simply stopped preaching what they preached years ago, because they got tired. They got tired. It's the most detrimental thing that can happen to a church. It's worse than a church split because it makes a church die. It makes the blessings of God move off to the horizon and they're gone. It's worse than a wolf coming in and taking part of the flock, and them backsliding and losing out with God. Because when a pastor gets tired, and doesn't want to fight anymore, he loses the whole ball of wax. The whole church will settle down into complacency. Indifference and the world will come in. And only by the grace of God will anybody rise up and say I'm gonna go find me a pastor that's not tired of fighting. A pastor that's not tired of fighting. A pastor that's willing to keep on the firing line. Amen.
And I know I'm young. I really know I am. I've been pastoring for 20 years, that's not a long time, I know. But it's long enough that I have felt even now, I have felt even now in my flesh, what's the use. Every time I feel it, I live in it for a few hours or whatever. And something gets a hold of me, and says I am not going to stop. I am not going to quit. If I ever quit, God take me out of this place. Whatever, God, don't let me give up! Don't let me give up!
Hallelujah... [praying and crying)
Some years ago, probably 7, 8, 9 years ago, I heard a man that I know preach a message. And Brother Murray Lane preached a message. And in that message he preached - it was in a conference in Walla Walla - and he told of a vision that he had. (I've known Brother Lane for 20 years. And I've known him very well, and pastored near to him. A good pastor. This was in Texas now) And he told a vision that he'd had. A dream. And in that dream he saw his youngest girl tied to a cross, slumped, tired. That may sound a little grotesque, but he said "I saw a snake that was in her mouth hanging out of her mouth." He said "in my vision, in my dream, I was so tired, that before I knew it I just said, 'if you want it, go ahead and eat it.'" And when she did, she died. And he said "I woke up and realized what God was telling me, that the devil's doing his very best to get into the heart of my child. And when I got weary and tired I said go ahead, I'm tired of fighting it." And whenever he did, she died. And so on. He said "I've got to fight. I've got to fight. I've got to struggle. I've got to keep the serpent out of those lives and those hearts. And I cannot ever give up and say go ahead."
You know, it would be so great, it would seem so great, if the church ever came to the place that everybody in the church just did everything they should do, live like they should do, or just exactly what they needed to be and the church just didn't need anymore preaching. But you know what? After watching for several years and seeing some churches that are very large - and some very small - the only way you keep that church like it ought to be is constantly doing the same thing over and over again. Any time Tobiah comes in you kick him out.
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Any time somebody marries the wrong daughter, you get rid of them. I mean, it's just the way it is. Anybody, somebody doesn't line up, you just pull out some hair here, slap somebody there. Amen. You say, oh, now, we got the Holy Ghost. That's right, you're supposed to have the Holy Ghost. But it's them that don't have it or don't have very much of it the ones you gotta slap. Hallelujah...
...whenever you get people like Nehemiah and whenever he starts doing whatever he's doing, people get to talking about you, saying "did you know, that over in that church that that guy - look at the way he does and look at the way he acts. I mean, folks go over there and get their hair pulled out (if) they don't do right." And before long you get a reputation. Hallelujah. I don't think we've got that kind of reputation, but I'd rather be known for doing right and upholding the standards of truth than to be known for being a compromiser. Wouldn't you?
(past this is admonition to come to church and act correctly. I did not continue because I felt the above was the main context of the sermon)
In order to demonstrate that the above sermon is not a fluke of Pastor Kern's teachings, below is an exerpt from 4/23/89 Sunday Evening entitled "Athalia Must Die," side B.
Who told you the pastor's supposed to be sweet? It's not right. It's not right. Pastors have to reprove and rebuke. Amen. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah. Do you want me to elaborate on that? Sincerely, a pastor has a heart of a shepherd, and thank God for that, but there's sometimes he's got to break some legs, and there's sometimes he's got to get that crook or that staff and reach out and grab somebody around the neck and jerk them back out of the briars. Amen? Come on, son, if you want to live for God you gotta stay out of the briars. You gonna make it, you gotta follow me. You gotta do right, you gotta live right. Amen.