The Choice of Two Trees | 12May2024

The Choice of Two Trees | 12May2024
2024.05.12 the choice of two trees FRMP3
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Pastor West: [00:00:00] Good morning. Well, let me add to that. On that note also, um, I called this before and you might have heard it before, but I think about sometimes Abraham Lincoln, when he says all that I am and all that I ever hoped to be, I feel like I owe it to my mother. And, uh, and I was blessed to have one of those kind of mothers. And she's in heaven. And, you know, most of us here probably today are our natural mother is in heaven. So we we hold fond memories. And but how many know? For the believer there's no sorrow that that concern. You know the world. You know, they're just like it's lost. Lost grief, grief. Well, we you know, there's certain things that, uh, you know, that remind us sometimes if they've been gone a long time or whatever. But, um, what we do here on earth is going to be the briefest thing that you ever do in eternity. Amen. You know, I always say it this way. You say, well, he lived to be 110. And I always said, well, God's got shoe laces. If he got shoe laces older than someone 120 years old. So 120 years of age probably doesn't impress God a whole lot if a thousand years a day. And you know, vice versa. And so we have all of eternity to catch up. So I want to also say thank you, mothers, and we want to honor you this morning.


Pastor West: [00:01:16] We thank you for I mean, there's due diligence in the room. And most of what you do is not always seen, actually very seldom seen. And you really couldn't pay a mother her value or her worth. Uh, maybe if she's Rockefeller in the frame, you might can make a dent at it. But, uh, you know, I stay home, mom. Seems like, you know, like a stay at home mom. Seems like. Well, that's just the easiest way. Well, most of them sometimes would rather go hit the clock and get away for a little while or for a long while. And. And so, uh, my wife had four and me two. Actually, I didn't have any of them, but I was there all, you know, all for all for, uh. I told her when she got the hospital, she, you know, she got to lay down. But I stood up the whole time. They didn't bring me anything. And, uh, we went to. I think they called it Lamaze class. I don't know if they even do that anymore. And I'm supposed to be her coach and help her when he gets to breathing, and, uh, they they gave me some advice and tended to be really good advice. They said, you know, the first time for sure. Uh, for a new mother and, uh, using labor for how many hours the first time? Ten. Ten hours. It seemed like three days.


Pastor West: [00:02:31] Yeah. And, uh, I said, this is where I'm supposed to come in and help her breathe. And I said, and and I forgot what the instruction was. They said, you know, it gets near the end. Don't get too close to her because her, you know, her emotions and her feelings towards you may not always be that great or that kind. In other words, if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be doing this. So I got down there and I said, you need to breathe. And she said, you need to get out of my face. And she said, it feels like this. And I said, I'm going to go get a Coke. But anyway, so I actually I didn't have any of them. So, um, I was blessed to have a wonderful mother and a grandma and grandparents, but more, more blessed. Uh, because the Bible says when a man leaves his mother and father, he's to cleave to his wife and the two become one. And let that not let not that that God puts together ever be put asunder. So I've been very blessed to have a wife and a godly mother who has shaped and who has spoken and who has been the example not just of her own children, but to the people that God puts us in contact with. And so we're just blessed. I know you feel that same way, too. I'm not really good at at doing, uh uh, I don't know why I don't do it.


Pastor West: [00:03:43] I mean, I have preached Mother's Day sermons. It's not my favorite thing to do. I think a mother could cover it better than a man. And, uh, so this morning, we're not going to go. I'm not going to preach a mother's day sermon. We're in the middle of a series, but we're going to we're going to we're going to get out because you may get to a restaurant, or you might have a roast beef in the oven, and I'm not going to let you burn the roast beef. Amen. So we're going to start this morning. So we're we're here but we're also we're already up and going. So we want to welcome in our our audience who watches live or at some other time after that. And so if you want to go with me this morning, if you will, if you have your Bible, go to the book of Genesis, that should of chapter two. That should be really, really easy to find. Uh, someone says go south and hang right there on the seashore. I used to have a friend of mine, and he's in heaven now, and he, uh, he pastored in Blount County and, uh, some of his people that was with him for years. And they said, oh, any time pastor goes to Genesis, uh, we know what's in store. And I said, what do you mean? They said, if he ever goes in Genesis, it's a story, and it will not end until he gets to the Book of Maps.


Pastor West: [00:04:59] And and then she says, but and when he does that, you know, she's a book of maps that that rhymes with maps. She said, because you before you get to maps, you might need a nap. Well, we won't do that to you this morning, but Genesis chapter two, if you want to, if you want a title, what I do the choice of two trees, the choice of two trees. And so, uh, Genesis chapter two, uh, I'm reading from different translations. This one, I'm in the NIV and I'm going to read from verse, I got a brand new Bible. It's not trained. You ever had a new Bible that you're trying to train and, uh, you know, I don't it's just going to take a moment in verse nine, it says out of the ground. Well, let me read the NIV. Now the Lord God planted a garden in the East. This is verse eight. So he's not trained. Can I start over one more time? I get I get too jerky back start. Verse nine. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground. Trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. And in the middle of the garden were the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge, of good and of evil. Then if you go to verse chapter three, we'll make some commentary.


Pastor West: [00:06:16] But let's read a few scriptures first. I'm still in the NIV Genesis chapter three. I'm going to read verses one, two and three. It says, now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals, and the Lord God that the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, Did God really say, you must not eat from any tree in the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. But God did say. But God did say you must not eat the fruit. Or eat fruit from this tree that's in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it or you will die. So we we see in verse, we saw in verse nine, in chapter two it says, in the middle of the garden was the tree of life and the tree of good and evil. Most of the time our focus is on the tree of the forbidden fruit, and rightfully so. This is where everything went. Went sideways, wasn't it? But in that same verse that we just read in Genesis chapter two, it mentions there's two trees, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge and good and evil. And it was there. People say, well, why would God do that? Well, God didn't want robots. He wanted people who loved him by choice.


Pastor West: [00:07:32] So we have choices. How many? How many? You like that you have choice. Um, I know choice. Seems like some people said, well, you know, choice. When God gave us free will, that was the. That was the mess. But but that's what family is. You know, a lot of times family, you know, this is going to sound terrible, but sometimes raising the family is a mess. There are some messy days. Um, you know, people do things. They decide things. Uh, you remember growing up and, uh, uh, and sometimes, you know, our wheel goes this way, and our parents went that way, and and, uh, my my parents determined that I was going to go their way, and, but there was a few times when they wouldn't look, and I went the other way, and I didn't always work. And my mother was the disciplinarian and she was really good at it. If she'd played baseball, she'd knocked it over the fence every time. She would have been the home run queen. And she was quite the disciplinarian. And, uh, you know, I got to the age of 16, and I knew I knew everything in the world, and I didn't. I needed no further instruction. They tell me now that starts at age 11, 11, and 12. I don't know that they come to the fullness of all knowledge. Well, we know that's not true. You know, it's kind of interesting. I don't see anywhere in the scriptures and it doesn't record anything where where the serpent and we know we're talking about Satan starts a conversation and he says, Did God actually say this? Well, there was no conversation before that about whether he did it or not.


Pastor West: [00:09:07] So the serpent was well aware of what God had instructed them. And here he is. And he's he, he's he does today what he did then. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. Now I know what the Bible says. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, but so is Satan. He was a flake. He is a flake and he'll always be a flake. Jesus said, he is a. He is the father of all lies. He's a murderer. And he's been that from the very beginning. Yeah. So his hate for you is really his hate for God. He knows that God loves you and he despises that. And so to hurt God, if he can hurt God, he does it by hurting you. And so when we fall into our hands, we'll see, you know. And you know, I say, when I get to heaven, I don't know. I don't think you're going to have a I don't think you're going to have a conversation with Adam and Eve and say, what were you thinking? I mean. Where else was I going to mess up? I mean, they couldn't have an affair. I mean, it would have been a compliment to leave.


Pastor West: [00:10:17] You are the best looking woman in the world, you know. Yeah. It's like Matt and Michelle's mother. Even. Even the night before she passed, I left the hospital, and I got to the door and she said, hey. And I turn around and she says, you know what? I says, what's that? She said, you are still my favorite son in law. I said, yes, ma'am. I knew what was coming. So I walked to the door really easily and she said, hey. I said, yes, ma'am, she said, and of course, you're my only son in law. That was her last words to me. So I was on that list. But it's like, you know, Eve, I mean, she might have been the best looking woman in the world, but she was the only looking woman. So what? We we got a lot of trouble, I guess, because of some fruit. Nibblers. Well, that's not really the truth, is what it was. But I want I just want to remind you, as we as we go through this this morning, I want you to remind you that there's two trees. A lot of times we just think about the one. But the tree of life is there. The whole time the tree of life sustained their life. In the covenant that we're in the New Covenant. We still have the Tree of Life, but his name is Jesus. At this time there was actual trees and they could partake of the tree of life, and it sustained their life well, so that life once again is Jesus.


Pastor West: [00:11:35] So. But in Genesis 217, don't go there. It says, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. For when you eat from it, you will you will certainly die. So God gave Adam a commandment, and you could talk to men about this for a moment. You know, people may say, well, I mean, Eve did this. Well, the Bible said Eve was Eve was the one who was deceived. Never said Adam was deceived. Adam knew the commandment. It doesn't look like Adam was 20 acres away. The Bible says she handed it to him. He's right there. What's he doing? I mean, he may not have picked it, but he was. Apparently he was on the limb holding it down to where she could get it. Someone said there was a. Someone said that Adam's great great grandson was walking with Adam one day. He was a great, great granddaddy says. He said, granddad. What? What is that? He said, well, that used to be our home. He says, what do you mean? He said, that was called Eden in the Garden of Eden. He said, what happened? He said, well, your great great granddaddy, he said she ate us out of house and home. Of course he was. Like I said, he was holding the limb down so she could pick it.


Pastor West: [00:12:42] Well, God gave him instructions, not her. And here's what he told him in Genesis 215. In the King James Version, I want to tell you, King James, you know, so you won't get mad at me. This is the Bible Jesus used. You know, the King James. Don't write me a letter. That was a joke. I mean, you get letters, they put a microphone on you. People want to talk back all the time. Social media. It's a wonderful thing. But Genesis 215 said, the Lord took the man and put him into the garden to dress it and to keep it. If you want to look those words up, dress and keep. Dress means to labor, to work out, to till the ground, to dress, the vineyard to serve and to till. And the word keep in the Hebrew means he was to watch it, guard it, protect it, and preserve it. Which means he wasn't doing his job. It was his job to protect his wife. Still is. It's not because she's not as smart or wise because the Lord says she's the weaker vessel. I mean, just I mean, not always. I mean, y'all have heard me tell a story. You think I'm just kidding to you? But years ago, when I was first got about 30, you know, 30 years ago, uh, when we started ministry, we had a couple. And there was this woman. She was a pretty good sized woman, and she married a husband.


Pastor West: [00:13:57] Net. And he called me one day, and he he was he was yelling and screaming. I didn't know who it was. And I said, who is this? And I'll just say his name's, you know, Frank. He said, pastor, he says he says, well, so and so is after me. And I said, your wife. He says, yeah. I said, what's she going to do? He says, he says she's got a stick in a belt. And he said the last time she tied me to a post and whip me, and I'm thinking that I'm getting this picture in my head. And I was like, she tied you to a post and whipped you. He said, what do I do? I said, all I could think of was run. I said, we're working out later right now. Just run. Well, here he was supposed to be protecting and keeping Eve and preserve it. He was supposed to be working and tilling the ground. I mean, he had a like SpongeBob said, you know, you got a job to do now do your job. Well, why wasn't he doing his job? So the Scripture says that Satan was a crafty serpent. He's real subtle. And it came into so doubt. Has that changed today? He knows the word. I think he knows the word better than most Christians, but he just distorts it. He he twists it because.


Pastor West: [00:15:10] What? He's a deceiver. It's deception. It can look true. The Bible says he can appear as an angel of light. But he is the but he is the ultimate kingdom of darkness. But he can appear as light. He can use voices. He can use faces. He'll use people. Well, the scripture tells us the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. But tell us. But it also tells us that your issues and my issues is not with flesh and blood, is it? But with. With what? Principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this world. So Satan uses people. Devils come to church. I always like it when devils come to church. You say? Well, what do you mean by that? Well, I just like to remind him what the word says. Jesus told the devil in the wilderness. He says, you know, even while he was being tempted, he was in a physical body, and he was physically feeling the effects of 40 days and 40 nights with no food and nothing to drink, and he, the enemy, come to him at his weakest time. See, the enemy is always looking for the weakest link. He's never going to come to you at your strength if he can't get to you. He always goes for the head. Of the family. He's after families. The enemy is always after families the church is made up of.


Pastor West: [00:16:34] It's called. We're called the family of God. God only has one family. Some of them are in heaven, some on earth. But it's just called the family of God. So Satan always comes for the head first. And if it's a general, get the general. If we get the general, all the troops may run. So if you can't get the man, he'll get the woman. If he can't heal, you know he'll go for one of the kids. What's he doing? Well, he's causing deception and lies. He's. He's there to kill and steal and destroy. There's no doubt about that. I mean, his job is simple. To steal from you, to kill from you, and to destroy your life and destroy your family. But I want to let you know. You say, well, that sounds scary. Well, it would be, except he's not. But except for this. Now get this. If you don't get nothing else, he's no match for you. You say? What do you mean? What I mean is greater. Is he that's in you than he is in the world. Amen. Amen. It's kind of interesting. And I've just noticed over the years. No one here I'm thinking about. I'm just saying, people say, well, you know, the devil told me this pastor devil told me that this week, and. And they'll end up telling me 15 things the devil told me this week. Not one thing that they heard from God.


Pastor West: [00:17:37] I'm like, how are you so highly developed and knowing what the devil says? I mean, don't pay me attention. I mean, how long do you want to listen to a liar and a thief? Right? Huh? Well, you go to revelations, verse 12. It says the devil knows his time is short. If when this was written it was short, then guess how short it is now he's on a very short lease and he's a mad man, so he doesn't have time to do anything, you know, tactics. You know, he just he's out there to do everything that he can do because he knows his time is very short, and we're supposed to understand the time that we're in. We're supposed to be like the sons of Issachar, where Jesus rebuked the, you know, the quiet religious crowd and says, how is it that you know when it's going to rain and the storm is going to come? Uh, he said, but you have no idea the seasons and time in which you live. So we need to understand those times. We need to be like Joe Morris says, you know, why are you preaching on the End Times? Why are you talking about this? Because the Bible says in the end times the scoffers will say, you know, we heard he's coming. We heard he's coming, we heard he's coming. But let me tell you something. He's coming. Let me tell you he's coming.


Pastor West: [00:18:42] And what are we supposed to watch? How are we supposed to know what's happening to the United States? No. United States is 6% of the population of the world. But it has nothing to do with population. It has nothing to do with America. How do we know the time it is? You watch Israel, you always watch Israel. To know what time it is. What's Israel doing? They're fulfilling prophecy. See, Satan doesn't know the time, so he has to always be ready. He's always had to have an Antichrist ready. I suppose he would have used Mussolini if he could have. Certainly he would have used Adolf Hitler. I mean, you would think those are very good people. But when the when the Antichrist comes, he won't come as a madman, sadistic, you know, and he seemed crazy. He'll come and he'll be the scripture says he'll be, you know, nice to look upon. In other words, he'll what some women call, you know, he's easy on the eyes. Involves. He'll be eloquent, eloquent of speech, but he'll be a liar. It'll come to. He'll come to bring peace. For those of you who believe in the rapture. I do. How many you want to go out on the first load? They asked Brother Hagan one time said. They said, uh, they said, well, you want to go to heaven? He said, no, I don't want to go to heaven. I said, you mean you don't want to go to heaven when you die? He says, oh yeah, when I die.


Pastor West: [00:20:09] He said, I thought you would get up and load to go now. No, but but with all of us missing on the earth, I mean, you can imagine the turmoil that's going to be. So someone's going to have to come in and try to explain this, or like, like Lucy and Ricky have to explain it. Well, no one's going to really be able to explain it. But Hollywood has produced enough movies now of missing people, invaders and aliens. And then we got I, you know, working here. There's a thing that was sent to me this week. It said, you're busy. Just let I do your sermon. That artificial intelligence ministered to the people of God. Um. But anyway, so this madman who won't come as a madman, he'll speak of peace. He'll have the answers. That seems like he'll never control all the all the world. Scripture says that he won't. He'll have those who oppose him. He'll never win. But that seven years. A tribulation broken into two, three and a half year periods, the tribulation and the Great Tribulation. Great just means greater in intensity that if Jesus didn't come back when he did, no, no person on the earth would survive it. I suppose it would be the greatest harvest field that ever took place. If you read the scriptures, you find out half of the remaining population will actually be saved and others won't.


Pastor West: [00:21:41] You don't want to be here during that time. Or could you be saved? Yes, yes, you can be saved. But would you want would you want to be in those conditions? Where are we going to be? Where we're going to be in heaven? Right. We're going to go to the marriage supper of the lamb. We're going to go and they're going to have so many forks, knives and spoons, we won't even know what they're all for. Seven year feast. Wow. Non-stop eating seven years. I don't know if that actually means that, but it sounds really good. Don't eat carbs. Can't touch you. Come on somebody. I even have fried chicken. I just asked the Lord. I said, Lord, I know you are all powerful. You can do anything for for eternity. I like for you to do one thing for me, just one thing. I just want one flavor of ice cream every day for eternity. One new flavor of ice cream. You think the Lord could do that? So I'm going to have this big ice cream freezer in my mansion in heaven where it is. You know, the Bible says mansion doesn't say trailer park. And so go have this great big mansion and we'll have all the ice cream, so you just come be a part of it. Amen. And some of you, I'm going to come to your house. I'm not even going to tell you I'm coming.


Pastor West: [00:22:51] I'm just going to show up, walk through. I'm going to walk through your walls. You know, you're going to have a body just like Jesus, probably the age of 28 to 33. No one's mad at that in this room. A spirit body doesn't even know pain. What? It's about perfect recall, perfect memory. Only going to be like that forever. Only like that forever. Paul said in the book of Corinthians. He says, you can't even compare anything you're going to that you think is hard to compare it to the weight of glory that's waiting for you. Amen. He said, do you think you got it hard? He says, begin to think about something else. He says, heaven. Hell couldn't come up with something compared to what's coming for you. Well, it's not just in heaven, it is in heaven. But the Bible says you can have days of heaven on the earth, right? It's not just all we used to sing in the sweet by and by. We need something here in the nasty, here and now, don't we? Right. So we're going to go ahead and get some of that. Now we're, uh, let me get back to our messages. I got over there about the end times, but we're. But we're in end times. Amen. We're supposed to be watching and waiting and looking and telling a story. So, like Joe Maher said, it may look crazy.


Pastor West: [00:24:00] He said, but that's what it is like. He used the analogy of football. When a team is seven points down, ten points down, and there's there's ten, there's ten points behind and there's two minutes on the clock, the two minute warning, you can throw the playbook out. Yeah. If you have no timeouts left you're just making some throws and they're kind of wild. They could get intercepted but you have no other chance. But so so we're we're this is not a dress rehearsal. This is the real deal. We're at the two minute warning. Amen. The playbook is gone. We don't have time to make a five year mistake just to get back to where we were. Some of y'all don't know what I'm talking about, but if you're over 50, you do know what I'm talking about. You say, well, you know, we're not that we won't make mistakes, but we still know what not to do. Amen. Michelle asked me years ago. She said, you don't seem to be doing this anymore and telling people this no more. You don't seem to be giving advice over here. I said, the reason I don't give advice is because, you know, after being getting to the age of 60, I found out it did me no good to give advice people who wasn't asking for it. I should have figured that out way earlier. I mean, I have zero success giving information, trying to help people.


Pastor West: [00:25:08] Zero did I did I mention zero success trying to help people who's not even asking for help or information? What if they do? Then we're ready and we want to now. Uh, let's quickly look at this. So the serpent was crafty and he crashed. And Eve, he didn't he didn't question Adam concerning what God said to them. And God told Adam and Eve that there would be a result of their choices. I mean, it's going to be life or it's going to be death. It's just simple. There's no such thing as actions without consequences, is there? So after some time, we don't know how much time the serpent came to tempt Eve. But he chose the woman Eve, to tempt. And, uh, he didn't tempt Eve, necessarily, with the fruit, although he used the fruit. Not with the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That's not what he was doing. It wasn't because the Lord prohibited it so much. He tempted her with that tree, because that tree is the source of his power. Good and evil. God's not. God doesn't have good. He is good. That's right. God is good, whether anybody else is good or not. His nature. His essence is goodness. The earth is full of the what? The goodness of God. God never wanted them to know what evil was like. I mean, you can read right here in the last verse in chapter two before anything took place.


Pastor West: [00:26:42] It tells you that they become one flesh. And so they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. You read a few more verses and now, now they know they're naked. How did they know it? They knew by their senses. Those senses weren't working the way they were. How did they work? They partook of the fruit. That's where Satan gets his power. It's kind of foolish when you think about it. When he tells them, Did God really say this? The I mean, did God really say that that same tactics he uses today, he may change the words a little bit, but it's still the same tactic. Did God really say this? And then he'll point out your situation? I mean, just think about how I mean this. I'll use the word ignorant if I can. To be like God. He tells them to do what? Partake of the fruit. Because then they'll be like him. I mean, if you want to be like God, if you want to be an imitator, to be like God, then do what he told you not to. And that's how you get there. Don't do what God tells you to be like him. Do what God disobey and do what God didn't tell you. And then you can be just like God. And does that make sense on any day of the week? Do the opposite of what God says and you can be just like him.


Pastor West: [00:28:13] Where does he get that information? I mean, God had to ask him. He said, who told you that you were naked? Who told you that? Well, they already were, weren't they? And there wasn't shame. And now there is shame. So he tempted her with it. And God did not implement the restriction just to tempt Adam and Eve. He prohibited prohibited the eating of fruit because it was poisonous. To life and to the mind. And when he instructed him not to eat from the fruit, he did not say, if you eat of the tree of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. He said, he didn't say, I'll kill you. He said, but you shall. What? You shall surely die. Why? Because it either drives us to corruption or it takes us to self-righteousness. Both of those roads lead you to death. Corruption or self righteous. So it's significant that the tree of life of good and evil is found, is found in the center of the garden, not on the outskirts, not in not in the corners, but the the center. See? You. Ever heard of self-centeredness? Self-centeredness is the root of all evil. That's why anyone who's who actually is guilty in prison, why they're there. You say? Well, no, they actually, you know, grand theft auto. They hurt someone. They kill someone they robbed. Why did they do any of those actions? They wanted something for themselves.


Pastor West: [00:29:48] Self-centeredness. Same thing with anything relationships, divorce, anything. I'm not happy. So I'm going to go find happy. Okay? I hope you find happy. See, the problem with going to go find happy in someone else is, is you can't find happiness in somebody else's head. If someone's carrying around your happiness, that's a miserable life. And here's the thing is, until we actually fix the problem, which is us here, here's the problem here. Here's the main problem. Wherever you go, there you are. So you need to learn how to be happy in you, in your relationship with God, with you. If you have that with someone else, it's just a bonus. It's a plus. But you can be happy and you write. Y'all not doing much talking. Do you even think it, or are you bored or what? Amen. I know, somewhat instructive, but that's my job, right? Yeah. I mean, I'm not called to evangelize and, you know, run the aisles, and, I mean, I like I like all that, but sometimes we need we need to learn something. You know, when you went to school and they they were teaching you algebra and, you know, and, you know, and calculus and trigonometry, they wouldn't say, man, you take four. I asked for each one time. I said, you know, that's kind of exciting. I said, but do you feel like, oh, yeah, God has me do that? I said, really? He said, he just called me to all the people of the world.


Pastor West: [00:31:22] I said, well, are you sure? He said, well, I'd say, I said, well, when you go to the drive through, because he calls all the people and said, I'll take number three, hold the onions and hold. He said, I never thought about that. I said, well, you ought to stop it because we don't know half of what you're saying, but we know we're excited. We just don't know what we're excited about. So I said we had a good service today. Boy, it was good. What do you think? Well, I'm not really sure what he thought, but this show was a good service. I need some information. I need some help. The word says people are destroyed for the lack of what? Screaming and hollering and running around. No knowledge. So there were two trees in the garden. See, it wasn't just the disobedience that brought death to the world. It was. It was the fruit of that tree. It's the. It's the fruit of what? Good and evil. That tree of knowledge of good and evil is actually the power. Is the biblical example of the law. That's really what it is. See, the Bible says through the law that we derive our knowledge of good and evil. Is the law evil? No, the law is good. Is. The law is righteous. It's holy. It tells us the holiness of God.


Pastor West: [00:32:33] What's the problem? No man's ever been able to keep him. Oh, they tried. Some tried. But no one's ever kept it except Jesus. He came as an Old Testament prophet. He didn't come to do away with the law. He came to fulfill it. But he did it for you, and you did it for I. As if you kept all the law to the jot and tittle. Now you know that we haven't kept the law to jot and tittle. Actually, like I said last week, are you Jewish? Well, most people I would say here say no, I'm not Jewish. So the law was never actually given to you anyway. It's funny to watch Gentiles trying to keep a law that's never given to them. So what we work on is we work on behavior modification to be better, to do better. Why? Because we've been taught that there is a law and there's a righteous standard, and we all want to go to heaven, right? You know, sometimes the reason why we want to go to heaven. Mine was when I was in fourth grade. I guess I came into the that place, and I was old enough to know the difference between right and wrong accountability, I suppose you'd call it. And I walked up in the fourth grade and I just knew Jesus was coming that day. But. But it was on a Wednesday. Thank God it was on a Wednesday. We were going to have church Wednesday night, but I knew my pastor was there was not going to be any visitors there, so he wasn't going to preach on anything of salvation.


Pastor West: [00:33:54] So I had no idea that I could ask Jesus into my heart. I thought you had to be in church because I saw it. You had to be in church. They had to sing some songs, pastor had to preach, and he had to give. And that's the only way you could be saved. I don't know what Miss Bird taught in the fourth grade that day. I was terrified because I knew you had to be in church. And I kept looking at my watch and said, Oh God, please don't come to about 745 on Wednesday night because you got to be in church. I said, don't take. So it was the most merciful day in my life. My mother wouldn't pay much attention. When I got home, I was surprised he hadn't come and said, mom, go, go, go. We got ready for church, she said. I said, make sure you tell Brother Cleckler to give an altar call. I need to get saved. She just got me saved right then. But you know, I was in the fourth grade and I was like Paul Revere. I was telling everybody, Jesus is coming. I tell all my friends at school, if I left school, I said, Jesus is coming. And I said, I know you're going to hell.


Pastor West: [00:34:49] Because you stole my marbles last week. You know, you're supposed to be going with that girl, but you wrote that over the note. You're a liar and a thief. So I was evangelizing. Oh, well. He got pastor collected, he preached, and she told him and he said, and I just knew I mean, the sand dial, I mean, it was gone. There couldn't have been two grains left. He said, is there anyone here? And I was like, Roadrunner and the coyote. I was like, beep, beep. I don't know what he preached. I don't know what he said. I don't have a clue what he said. I got up there so fast and I'm like, come on, come on, come on. So I can say yes. I mean, it's like filling the blank. It's like, say it so I can respond. He said, Will you accept? I say, yes, he saved me. So I said, okay. And they was all laughing, but I was terrified. Because he'd all had to be real legalistic. There was rules to how this thing worked. And this is. I'm not exaggerating, but to me, I had so much anxiousness and fear that he would come before that time of night and that when I was saved, it was such a relief. I felt like the Hallelujah choir. I could hear it in my head. Oh, hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. And I went, I mean, I was only 10 or 11 years old, but I was wore out and I went home and my dad, which never went to church with us until later on he went a few times.


Pastor West: [00:36:15] I knocked on his door. He just didn't go in that door. You want such a relationship? I knocked on that door, he said. What do you want? I was like, oh gosh. I said, I need to talk to you. He said, come on in. And I said, I don't know how to tell you this, dad. I said, But Jesus is coming before the light. He's coming tonight, and I know you ain't ready. And I know if he comes when he comes. He says, I said, you'll die and go to hell. And I don't want you to go to hell. You need to be saved tonight. Now, I didn't know what else to say. So there it is. Goodbye. I close the door. Well, he did get saved. And he did go to heaven. Amen. Amen. Amen. Well, we ought to have some of that in us now. We ought to have a lot of this in us now. If you knew this. If you knew today was the last day that Jesus was going to come at 8:00. We just get out here now. We just run the streets. I mean, if it'd help, I'd put a gun to their head, but that really wouldn't be the heart. Say this. Well, see, but it's not, it's not.


Pastor West: [00:37:15] It's not believing the heart. Say with the mouth. I mean, you don't. Do you want a relationship with your wife? Well, you just write something on postcards. Good morning. Honey. Gee, you look oh nice today. Is that a new dress? Of course you've got to have this one. What's for? What's for supper? Does that sound like a relationship? How do you have a relationship with two tablets of stone that says thou shalt not? That's not relationship. So that's not life. You can't have a relationship with Stone. So Jesus came to fulfill the law. Uh, the Tree of Life today, as I said a while ago, is Jesus. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and evil calls us to focus our attention. Upon ourselves. That's where we miss it when we put our focus on us instead of him. The Scripture says sin is empowered by the law. When I read that years ago. First time I thought sin gets its strength from the law which is righteous and holy. I mean, your automobile, gas or diesel is fueled by the by that gas. But the law gets or sin gets its ability and strength from the the law which is righteous and holy. What is this? What does the law do? It condemns. It's called the ministry of Paul said the law is called the Ministry of condemnation. Is there to condemn man. It's not. It's not bad.


Pastor West: [00:39:03] It's it's good. It's God's righteous, holy standard. Once again, just no man can keep it. The law never perfected anyone. The law doesn't build you up. It tears you down. Why? It's supposed to show you that you need help. It's supposed to show you that you need a Savior. It's pointing to Jesus the the whole time. Amen. Who's the high priest in the new covenant of better promises? Yes. Jesus kept all of it and laid it down to your credit. Pastor Buzzer, you say Jesus went and he put it like football. He said, Jesus put on your jersey and got a touchdown for you. And they wrote it down for your credit. That means in your spirit. Spirit. I understand what I'm about to say in your spirit which is righteous, clean and holy. You've never missed it since you've been born again. Why? Because your spirit is sealed off. The Bible says your spirit, after being born again, is a new creation. Is is sealed, and in your spirit you're just as righteous and holy and blameless as God is. Why? Because you've been made righteous with the righteousness of God. With God you are right. Because of Jesus's righteousness, he imputed that to you. You couldn't earn it, right? I wasn't there in the garden was, you know, but that that sin that fell upon them fell upon all mankind. Why? Because Adam and Eve was the federal head of all who would come.


Pastor West: [00:40:28] So every one born would be born with a sin nature. And Jesus had to come, born of a woman. In this world. But he couldn't be born a man who was sin. But from his father. And he had to die as a man. He couldn't die as deity, as God. He had to die as a man to pay the payment for all mankind. Amen. So if you couldn't. Is said by one Roman, five said by one man's disobedience we all became sinners. But it says. In other words, one man got us into trouble, but another man got us out. Amen. By one man's disobedience, we all became unrighteous, unholy, corrupt. But then it says. But by one by one other man, we all became the righteousness of God. Did you do what Adam did? No, you wasn't there. Someone said, well, that doesn't even seem fair that Adam did this and we're all guilty. Well, the good news is you didn't do anything to become righteous. Amen. Can you send your righteousness away? Was you guilty of the sin that Adam was? No. Could. Could you do enough good deeds to be righteous? No. We know, we know it couldn't. So. So how do you make mistakes or fail and lose it? See, that's all the law. It's legalism. Is the knowledge of good and evil. It works through your five senses. It's what brings condemnation and guilt to people. It's why most Christians are very ineffective and they're on the sidelines.


Pastor West: [00:42:13] Is that it's not that they don't believe in praying for people, but they don't think they have any power to do it because they're looking at themselves. And what happened Thursday and how they failed and did the same miserable thing that they asked God to forgive them for 1500 times. But the Lord doesn't have any record of your 1500 times because he dealt with sin once and for all, for all people, for all time. So when you talk to him about, he has no remembrance of what you're talking about. It's people on the earth who does that. They got plenty of remembrance and they'll tell you about it. The easiest way for Satan to keep us from the tree of life is to have us focus our attention on ourself. That's what the law accomplishes, and that's why Paul called it the ministry of condemnation. Let me finish earlier today because our time is getting away. The choice of two trees, the meaning of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil can can greatly be understood through the serpent's promise. By eating from that tree, he said, you'll be able to make your own decisions. You'll be just like him. He knows that you'll be like him if you just eat this. He said you can see. Doesn't that look good? She said. It says that she saw that it looked good and it was good for food.


Pastor West: [00:43:31] Who said it was good for food? Who told her that? In other words, you can determine for yourself what's right or what's wrong. You can determine the path. I mean, leave God and His will and his way become self-absorbed, and then that road will lead you to be just like him. Okay, can I have another bite? Leave God's instructions. I'm beating this one point in the ground to leave. To leave God's instructions in order to be like him. If you're mentoring someone in a business or whatever it is or school, you're teaching them what they need to learn so that they'll be successful in that career. You wouldn't teach them the opposite. If you want to be like that person to emulate that was Jesus successful? Was he successful? Well to consider some of his words. We won't turn to him, but I'll give you the reference. Why was Jesus successful if he was successful? John 524 Jesus said, most assuredly, I say unto you this he says, The Son can do nothing of himself. That means no thing right? John 530 he says, I can of myself do nothing. Matthew 1916 and 17 he said, now behold, one came and said unto him, good teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? So he said to him, why do you call me good? No one is good but one. And that is God.


Pastor West: [00:45:04] Is Jesus self-absorbed? No. Is he here to do his thing? Is he here to please himself? How is he successful? He is your example. How? How did someone we talked about last week, how is someone who was born in human flesh, who was tempted in every way like you are, but yet didn't sin? How was he able to do that? He couldn't do it as deity. I know that sounds like a tall order, but Jesus came as a man. And defeated the devil because he was empowered by what the Holy Spirit. Do you still have that? Do you have the full word? Yes, absolutely. So is it. Is it that we have to sin? He is our example. Was he tempted? I asked you last week, remember? It was a fake temptation. Maybe saving Satan just gave him a pass. Do any of us believe that? No. So why was he successful? He says I do nothing to myself. He says, why are you calling me good. There's only one good. That's God. How did he live without sin? How was he successful? His own statement clearly, was that he could not do anything in his own energy. How did Jesus live flawlessly. What was his secret? Is it a secret? His answer is this in John 519, whatever the father does, the son does also. I judge only as I hear. My judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself, but him who sent me.


Pastor West: [00:46:38] John 530 says, I can do nothing on my own but speak just what the father has taught me. John 1411 says, don't you believe that I'm in the father, and the father is in me? The words I say unto you are not my own. Rather, it is the father living in me, doing his work. Was he successful? How did he do it? What was his foundation? What was his principles? How did he. Is he your example? People said, well, I'm just human. That's a lie. Who told you? He's just human. Did you know that you're born again? That's right. Old things passed away. All things come true. You think that that born again person living on inside you is saying. Yeah, I'm just human too. No. You have the life in the nature of God on the inside of you. Greater is he that's in you and the greater in you is not human. Oh, we have flesh. We understand that, but we have something even greater than that. We have the greater one, not the lesser one, not the equal to the greater one. In other words, we're going to have to become a little bit more God inside minded. Amen. Amen. Amen. Now, real quickly. Uh. Let me say it this way. You can't just look at the fruit of Jesus's life. And so yes, he was acceptable. You can't just look at the fruit of his life and ignore the root.


Pastor West: [00:48:03] See, we talked about the routes, why he was successful. I only do those things. I only say those things my father said. Whatever, I see him. I didn't come to judge you. I'm not here to judge you. Well, if he didn't come to judge, do you think he made that our job? Now. But we are fruit inspectors. He said, you'll know the fruit of the tree by the bears. You can't say this on this, this and this, but you never have any fruit. I mean, you live in a county that produces 70% of the state's peaches. It used to be. I don't know whether that's true statistics, but I heard Chilton County produces 70% of the Alabama's peaches. And I worked in the orchards from the time I was 12 years old. I liked peaches, but not a whole lot. I've seen more peaches. Eight more peaches. Uh, sprayed them, pulled up. Planted, pruned. Sold them off the back of a pickup truck. 12 year 13. I went back there years later and she says, aren't are you that little boy? You just come in and say, yeah, I'm that little boy. She said, you were so cute. I said, well, what about now? She said, well, uh, so yeah, just but I think I knew what a peach looked like. I could inspect the fruit. Right? See? But we're not called the judge. You say? Well, they just did that because of this.


Pastor West: [00:49:27] Well, you don't know that because you can't see their heart. You could be right, but you might be wrong. So we're not allowed to judge why someone did something. See we're here. We're here to give mercy. You always want to give mercy because you may need someone one day. The day is coming when you might need mercy yourself. Well, I must be preaching really good. I mean, this must be awesome. I might even listen to it myself. So we can't just look at the fruit of Jesus. We have to look at the the root. And now, today, Christ is living in you. Or so. We're taking it to you now, right? The same fullness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell in Jesus. And now the fullness of the Godhead is pleased to dwell in you. The Bible says, you are complete in Him of his fullness you have received. It didn't say you got 64%. I mean, how righteous are you? Well, you know, today I feel like I'm about 32% righteous. I mean, the last week it was near 80%. Who told you you were 64%? No, you're 100% righteous. See, if you wait till you feel anointed. Boy, the devil loves that until you have the feelings of anointing. Unlike that joke that you've heard before. You know, the wife or the mother is trying to wake up the son or the husband says, you got to go at Sunday.


Pastor West: [00:51:00] Let's say you got to go. I don't want to go. I don't want to go. I don't want to go there, she said. But you have to. You're the pastor. I mean, I got flesh just like you. There's times it's like, well, this pedal and these, I mean, it's comfortable. I preach happy, glad, sad, sick and in pain and everything. But most people have had to stay home from my preach, Tim. I've been to the hospital sicker in my own body than people I was laying hands on. I was like Brother Hagan. Sometimes I was so sick I'd have to get better to die. And I walked the halls. It's a great day. And I'm thinking, oh, I'm here to help you and let me lay hands on you. No, don't put your hands on me when I speak the word only. Amen. So you can give in to all that if you want to. Don't let me finish right here. This is the last door of the sermon, and it closes. Hebrews says, he who has entered into Christ. Has entered into rest. Are you resting today in Jesus finished work? Are you resting or are you wrestling? Are you resting in what he did and is doing in your life? Or are you wrestling and you're helping him? You see, if you're standing up doing all the work, he's sitting down. This is just general wisdom. Look, by now, if you could have fixed it, you already would have.


Pastor West: [00:52:34] Amen. So that's obvious that we can't. Now when you tell the Lord that it's not information to him, so you can't. Okay, well, I was wondering. And he'll never do it the way that you thought. He'll do it. We've all had miracles take place. I mean, it was amazing. And then we get in trouble again and we think the Lord's going to do it that way. He hardly ever does it that way twice. I mean, have you ever saw the Red sea split 2 or 3 more times? Never did it that way. Mean, Joshua had some of that, but the Red sea was the major deal. You see, I don't even know. I don't know, I don't know a one way in the world to fix this. The Lord only knows 10 million that ain't thought about it yet. Mm. You said well, he won't affect people's will. He doesn't he does not he, he gives them free will but he can move situations to where it seems favorable to go this way. I'll put it that way. So sometimes you have trouble with not because of what you did. It's because who you're with. If two guys are in a foxhole and one pulls the pin. Didn't mean to on the grenade, you're both in the hole. You didn't do it. But we got trouble for both guys sometimes because of doing this or this or raising kids or whatever it is, you've had trouble not because of your decision, because of theirs.


Pastor West: [00:53:52] Joshua and Caleb didn't get to go in the promised Land, not because of what they did. It was the 2.5 million thumbsucking pinheads that kept them out of there. But Joshua, he says, now we're going in. 40 years later, 40 years later, he said, I was barely over 40 years old when we started this campaign, and I've been walking with these people around doing 1500 funerals a day. He said, now I'm ready to go in, he said. I'm 85 years old. He said, I'm a strong day as I was 40 years ago. You don't hear that? Nowhere. They're like, oh, nailed. He's 85 years old. He didn't have any pills. He didn't have any supplements. He didn't know this was good to eat, wasn't good to eat. What was he doing? He just living, trusting God. Amen. Did you know? I mean, I mean, I'm not against nutrition. You ought to have nutrition. But did you know that I studied it every year? Now, if I'm wrong, you just tell me, because I don't want to give off false information. There's not been in America. One nutritionist who ever lived to be 100. So when I say walk this way, I don't know. I mean, they tell you everything that you can eat. I said, what's left? Cardboard. Well, can I put ketchup on? No ketchup. Okay. I said, well, what's in the cardboard? When they processed it. Well, we're still figuring on that. Huh?


Pastor West: [00:55:20] Good. So the last door has closed, and so are you. Rested in Jesus. So the Hebrews said about God from creation. He said he has ceased from his works and entered into rest. God has quit working. He thinks Jesus is a finished work and he thinks you're in him, resting in Jesus. Now that's a struggle because the Bible says you have to labor to rest, because the flesh wants to get up like legalism and do something about the situation to perfect it. In other words, I can't just leave this situation like this and not do anything about it. Well, sometimes he'll tell you what to go do about it. But if he's not telling you, just. Rest. Labor to rest. I'll say it this way. Allow the Lord while you're resting. Allow him to do the heavy lifting. Laziness is no more. No more way to follow Jesus than than business. But remember, first Thessalonians said, he who calls you is faithful will also do it. He'll do it. He'll bring it to completion. February the 3rd. I had a word from God in prayer before the church, and it came with a very serious tone to me. It wasn't he wasn't mad. He wasn't angry. He was just saying, you don't know the hour that you're in. He said, you don't even know the things that are ahead. He says, so bring prayer back to the forefront. It slipped, even though the the prayers that I called the prayers there in heaven, it's like, well, they're all gone. They're in heaven. But there's there's people here. We're all called to pray. Begin to talk to me. Just. We're just back there 10 or 15 minutes, February 3rd and said, this building is not even ready. You're not ready for the harvest that will come here, he said.


Pastor West: [00:57:27] Now fix that. Then tell me other things. That's the way you mean. Fix it, he said. Get this thing fixed and remodel. Well, I got to get in prices to do this. And I said, that's going to be 60, $70,000. In February 3rd. So I spoke to the hundreds of people that are here in the overflow room today. You know this. This room didn't look like this two weeks ago, did it? Now this week and next week. More air conditioning will be brought in this week and next week, and some things in the parking lot and some more electrical do here and there, but with no loan whatsoever. The 60 plus thousand dollars is done. See, I had a need that I didn't even know I had a need. Look how smart I am. I didn't even know I had the problem. And the Lord said, this will be a problem. Now fix it. Well, I said, I don't know how to fix that. I said, well, where in the world did we get $60,000 from? I mean, I didn't say it that way. I mean, I need to believe God. But it didn't make sense. Generally, if you want to raise $60,000 in a hurry, you're speaking to about 500 people or more, not 50 and down. For the Lord is good and his mercy endures. Till next week. Oh, forever. Say that with me will close. For the Lord is good. And his mercy endureth forever. One more time. Just like you mean it. For the Lord is good. And his mercy endureth forever. Now tell your neighbor, and I really I'll let you go. For the Lord is good, and his mercy endureth forever. Now tell him, say now you pay attention.


Congregation: [00:59:18] You pay attention.


Pastor West: [00:59:20] You pay attention. Amen. We bless you mothers. We love you. We appreciate you. We thank God for you. I mean, I mean, this applies to everyone. How many was born of a mother? Uh, I still didn't get 100% participation. I just I've never in 30 years had 100% participation unless we was going to eat something. Well, Jesus said, feed my sheep. I guess it's scriptural. It's like the guy said, where would you be without a mother? I said. You wouldn't be nowhere. You wouldn't be. Amen said, we bless you. God bless you. Look forward to seeing you at prayer if you can be here. Tuesday 630. Amen. God bless.

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