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Character development is said to be the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. During the next hour, we will explore both our privilege and our responsibility to become Christ-like in character. Join us now for this powerful time of personal renewal as Pastor Stephen Wallace takes us “From Glory to Glory.”

Welcome back, my dear friends. Thank you for staying by. Thank you for committing so much time these last two weeks to the study of God’s Word. Your consistent attendance, and some of you have been very, very faithful. I don’t know you by name, but I know you by face, and you have been faithfully here and I deeply appreciate that. I praise God for that because that is a clear indication that the Holy Spirit is working in your hearts and lives; clear indication.

You see, there’s nothing attractive to the carnal man about what we’ve been studying and sharing here, nothing. {Rom 8:7} Nothing sensational, nothing entertaining. It’s just been straightforward study of “what saith the Lord” {PH167 26.1} on becoming Christ-like in character. So the fact that you have chosen to come, is a clear indication that the Holy Spirit is doing something supernatural in your life, giving you a hungering and thirsting {Mat 5:6} for the Word of God. {Am 8:12} I praise God for that, and I just plead with you to let Him bring to completion {Col 1:28} what He has begun. Okay? Keep coming to the Word and studying, and you will find that it will set you free {Jn 8:32}, and it will sanctify you because Jesus is the Word. {Jn 17:17} Amen? {Amen} That’s what He’s all about, is liberating us from our natural bondage to sin, self and Satan, and bringing us back under the benign, benevolent Lordship of Love, and transforming us from the naturally selfish people that we are into loving and lovable Christians. {LDE 191.4} You’ve got to love a Lord like that, amen? {Amen} You do, you do.

Well, we are to our last study together this time. This is not typically where, you know, the series would be culminated, but it’s where we need to come to an end because we’re out of time. But I want to look once more at this law of reciprocal influence, and I want to encourage you to recognize with me that because of the reciprocal influence between our thoughts and our words, our words are very helpful when it comes to examining our hearts. {GW92 109.3} I repeat that: A careful, objective consideration of what comes out of our mouths, is very helpful to us to know what’s going on truly in our hearts; and is it important to examine yourself and to know what’s going on in your heart? Is it? My dear friends, I cannot possibly overemphasize the importance of that, especially in light of the fact that we are evidently so prevalently self-deceived that it is the identifying characteristic of this end-time church. We think that we’re, what? “…rich and increased in goods and have need of nothing,” and we don’t even know that we’re, what? “…wretched, poor, blind, miserable and naked.” {Rev 3:17} Why? Well, as we’ve noted before, it’s because we have a form of godliness. {2 Tim 3:5} We are keeping the letter of the law comparatively better than just about anyone else. {DA 173.6-174.2} So what do we conclude? God’s remnant people, just ready and waiting for Jesus to come.

Be careful. You may not be what you think you are; but what you think, you are. “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he.” {Prov 23:7} But it’s not easy, because of the fact that what goes on in the heart, is not seen to the natural eye. It requires, what? …spiritual discernment. {1 Cor 2:13-14} It’s not easy then to recognize the way it really is with our souls, unless our eyes are, what? …anointed with eye salve. {Rev 3:18} But one of the best ways to help us understand how it is with our souls, is to listen what comes out of our hearts through our mouths, to listen to that. It can tell us a lot. I want to challenge you to learn to do that, and again, this… This may not be all that comfortable for you, bless your hearts, but it’s necessary, it’s necessary. The Spirit may have me do a little probing, little probing. Don’t resent me for that, please. I just… I don’t want anyone to go on in self-righteous, self-deception until it’s too late to do something about it. See, I’m not accusing anybody here of being a hypocrite. But I do know, by virtue of the verdict of the True Witness {Rev 3:14}, that there’s a lot of hypocrisy amongst us. So I just want to challenge you as I challenge myself, we need to do a little heart searching. Amen? We need to do a little heart-searching, so let’s be willing to do that. But let’s begin by asking for the anointing of the eye salve. The True Witness wants to give it to us, doesn’t He? He specifically says to Laodicea to ask Him for it. {Rev 3:18} Let’s do so now.

My Father in heaven, again in the name of Jesus, I come in my behalf and in behalf of my brothers and sisters. I come in confidence because of our Elder Brother and His worthiness. I come, first of all to praise You and to give You thanks. We don’t do that as much as we should. We do a lot of asking, but we don’t do a lot of thanking. You have been blessing us in the study of the Word, and we are so grateful. We pray that You would bless us again. Please, Father, help us to take a close look at the simple truth that, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” Since that’s the case, we can learn a lot about our hearts, just by listening to our mouths. Help us to be real honest and objective with ourselves in this self-examination, and discover, if necessary, any hypocrisy, please, while there’s still time to flee to the cross and get a new heart and get real. Guide and direct my every thought and word as I lead out in this study, is my prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

As you might have noticed, as has happened before, we didn’t get clear through the last lesson. But that’s all right, because it’s closely related to the topic of the last one. I hope that we have all seen the tremendous blessing that can be ours if we learn to govern the tongue. {2T 315.2} Have we seen that? {Yes} I hope we’ve all seen as well, the tremendous damage that we can inflict on ourselves if we don’t control the tongue. How imperative it is, then, if we hope to become Christ-like in character and to mature in our Christian experience, to experience true revival, how imperative it is to learn how to tame the tongue. Amen? But James has something to say in that regard, and at first reading, it’s a little discouraging. James 3:8 and following, verse 8: “But no man can,” what? “…tame the tongue.” Does that mean that we can only inflict harm and havoc in our Christian experience by a tongue that’s out of control? Does that mean that we’ll never be able to reap the blessings inherent in praising God with our tongues? {There is One who can tame the tongue.} Thank you. It says, “No man can tame the tongue.” Without Him we can do, what? …nothing. {Jn 15:5} But with Him, we can do all things. Amen? {Amen} “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” {Phil 4:13} including taming the tongue. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Good, good.

But please note with me the source of the problem, the problem of an untamed tongue. What is the source of the problem? Let’s read a little further: “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?” The answer, of course, is implied, but it’s “no.” But please notice, James has identified for us the source of the problem. It’s the spring. Okay? The mouth is the opening of the spring, and that which issues forth is our words, but that which directly determines what kind of words come out, is what goes on in the mind. Are we clear? Therefore, if we are going to tame the tongue, if we are going to learn to bring every word into captivity to the obedience of Christ, we must learn to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. {2 Cor 10:5} Can we do that ourselves? {No} Not even one thought can you bring into captivity yourself. But with a new heart, motivated by love and empowered by the Holy Spirit, you can bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. You can! I promise you, you can. His biddings are enablings. {COL 333.1} The very fact that He’s exhorted us to is in itself a promise that He will enable us to. It is. Every thought; and my dear friends, when we bring every thought into captivity, we will captivate every word as well. Why? “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” {Mat 12:34} “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.”

You see, Testimonies, Volume 5, page 176: “The sin of evil speaking begins with the cherishing of evil thoughts.” There you have it. My dear friends, we have got to trace the problem back to its source, and by God’s grace, learn to bring our thoughts into captivity. Then we will, by that same grace, bring our tongue into captivity. We will tame the tongue. We will be able to tame the tongue.

Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it,” are the, what? “…issues of life.” If you are to learn to govern the tongue, you must learn to govern the heart. Review and Herald, June 12, 1888. This, by the way, is commenting on David’s verse there in Psalm 19:14, I believe. “Let the words of my mouth and,” what? “…the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” You see, it’s only in the strength of Christ that we can have the meditations of our heart acceptable, or the words of our mouth acceptable. But in His strength we can have both acceptable. And if one’s going to be acceptable, the other has to be acceptable because of the, what? The law of reciprocal influence. Now listen to the comment that the Spirit of Prophecy makes on that verse. Review and Herald, June 12, 1888: “We should discipline the mind to think in a healthful channel, and not permit it to dwell upon things that are evil. The psalmist exclaims, ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.’ As God works upon the heart by His Holy Spirit, man must cooperate with Him.” There we’re back to that key concept. “As God works upon the heart by His Holy Spirit, man must cooperate with Him. The thoughts must be bound about…” What does that sound like? Peter, “gird up the loins of your mind,” yes. {1 Pet 1:13} “The thoughts must be bound about, restricted, withdrawn from branching out and contemplating things that will only weaken and defile the soul. The thoughts must be pure, the meditation of the heart must be clean, if the words of the mouth are to be words acceptable to Heaven, and helpful to your associates.” You see how we gain the victory over a loose tongue? We learn to keep the heart with all diligence. {Prov 4:23} We learn to bind up the thoughts, bring them captive to Jesus Christ. Gird up the loins of our mind. That’s the secret, my friends, that’s the secret.

But we also need to pray that God will help us guard the opening of the spring as well, and He will do that, won’t He? Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” My friends, I want to encourage you to pray that prayer as you learn how to tame the tongue by divine grace combined with persevering human effort. {RH, May 6, 1890 par. 10} It’s going to take both; it’s going to take both. Please know that how well we are governing our tongues is a clear and true and valid indication of our spiritual maturity. James makes this very clear. This is precisely why listening to ourselves talk and analyzing what comes out of our mouths is so helpful in this vitally important process of self-examination {ST, February 10, 1890 par. 7} that all of us ought to be in – in the anti-typical Day of Atonement. {GC 428.1}

Please let me call you back to that point that we established earlier in this seminar. We are a people who are to give a message, and what is that special message? “Fear God and give glory to Him for the,” what? “…the hour of His judgment is come.” {Rev 14:7} You all know, I trust, that we are living in the anti-typical Day of Atonement {PH002 25.2}, the Judgment Day; and during the typical Day of Atonement, what were the children of Israel doing? They were fasting and praying. They were searching their hearts to see whether it was well with their souls {Lev 16:29-31}; and my dear friends, if it was appropriate and important to do that in the typical, don’t you think it would be appropriate, indeed all the more important, to do it in the anti-typical? Why, of course, and yet how little of this we do; how little of this we do: honest, earnest, soul-searching. {DA 650.5} And in this process of soul-searching, because of the fact that… that the words are in the tangible realm of behavior, we are especially helped to get insight into what’s going on in the intangible realm of our minds.

You see, the basic fundamental truth is stated in Luke 6:45. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth,” what? “…good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth,” what? “…evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” You see, right here we have the whole fundamental problem with the fall of man, the consequence of the fall of man. Our first parents ate of the tree of knowledge of, what? Good and evil. {Gen 3:6} Now the knowledge of good was the character of God, and that’s all that He intended the human race to know. But when they ate of the forbidden fruit, they gained the knowledge of evil, which is the character of, what? …Satan.

Now how can we know which character we have? Is it important to know which character we have? Yes, it is. Can we safely evaluate our character and its condition on the basis of our performance, our behavior? No, because you can be doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons. Remember, that’s precisely what it means to be “lukewarm”. You remember that, don’t you? “Cold” is to do all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons – outwardly godless because you’re inwardly godless. “Hot” is to be doing all the right things for all the right reasons – outwardly godly because you’re inwardly godly. “Lukewarm” is to be, what? Doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons. “Having a form of godliness, but,” what? “…denying the power thereof.” {2 Tim 3:5} So when it comes to examining our character, whether we have the knowledge of good or evil, whether we have the mind of Christ or the mind of Satan, it is not safe to do so on the basis of our outward performance. We must look deeper than that. But please know that one thing that will inevitably say to us true and valid things about our character, is what comes out of our mouth on a habitual, everyday basis. On a, what? …habitual, everyday basis. I want to underscore that. It’s possible to talk like a Christian when you are expected to do so. Come on, now. It’s possible to talk the talk when people are listening that you want to convince that you are a Christian. But my dear friend, please understand that what comes out of the mouth on a habitual everyday basis, is what really indicates what the abundance of the heart is. Are you hearing this? This is an important qualifier to keep in mind when it comes to examining self through the analysis of what comes out of your mouth. Don’t just analyze what comes out of your mouth when you’re in Sabbath school class on Sabbath morning. Are you hearing what I’m trying to explain? Examine yourself on the basis of what comes out of your mouth when you’re home with only your family, or when you’re with unconverted associates on an everyday basis. That’s where it becomes a true guide and a valid indicator of the condition of your heart. Are we clear?

Okay, Steps to Christ, page 58: We’re on the top of page 82 there: “It is true…” and we noted this before, and it wasn’t comfortable when we read it the first time and it probably won’t be comfortable when we read it this time, but that’s okay; we need to read it anyway. “It is true that there may be a,” what? “…an outward correctness of deportment without the renewing power of Christ.” You can have a form of godliness, but not have the power thereof {2 Tim 3:5} to change the, what? …the heart. You see, the true power of the gospel changes us where we’re really at. And where’s that? “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” {Prov 23:7} The true gospel changes us from the inside out. The counterfeit changes us from the outside, but never makes it in. It’s just behavior modification through ego-motivation. Okay?

“It is true that there may be an outward correctness of deportment without the renewing power of Christ. The love of influence and the desire for the esteem of others may produce a well-ordered life. Self-respect may lead us to avoid the appearance of evil. A selfish heart may perform generous actions.” Remarkable; all the right things but for all the wrong reasons; a selfish heart; selfishness is the motivation. So how can we know, then, the condition of our heart? We’ve got to ask the following questions: “Who has the heart?” Well, there’s a sentence there first: “By what means, then, shall we determine whose side we are on?” First question: “Who has the heart?” “Who has the heart?” Well, the next question helps us answer that. “With whom are our thoughts?” You see, that which we love the most is that which we think about the most. Okay? But how can we tell what we think about the most? The next question. Now all of the sudden, we’re moving out of the intangible realm of the mind into the tangible realm of the behavior. What’s the next question? “Of whom do we love to,” what? “…converse?” You see, now what is going on in the spring has issued forth from the, what? …the mouth. Now, we are helped to better see what’s going on back there in the realm of the mind. Again, we’ve got to analyze what comes out on a habitual, everyday basis. “Of whom do we love to converse?” You see, my friends, if you want to really know who you worship, listen to yourself talk.

That word “worship,” you know it’s a sloppy way of saying “worth ship.” Right? That which we worship is that to which we attach supreme worth. That which we deem worthy above everything else of our time, our energy, our resources, our all, that’s what we “worth-ship.” What do you worship? Well, listen to yourself talk. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” {Lk 6:45} What you love most, what you consider most important, most valuable in life, is inevitably what you’re going to be talking about the most. It is. As we sit down and analyze the favorite theme of our conversation, we can be tremendously helped in discovering maybe hidden idolatry in our lives.

You see, if we really love Jesus most… Follow this now; you can’t logically deny this. If we really love Jesus most, what will we like to talk about the most? Jesus. You know that. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” {Mat 12:34} Now bless your hearts, ask yourself, “What do I really like to talk about more than anything else?” Is it Jesus? You know, most of us find it really tough to talk about Jesus. We’re kind of ashamed to talk about Jesus. God forgive us. God forgive us. God help us come to love Him so much that even if we might be rejected on account of talking about Him, we just won’t be able to help ourselves because we love Him so much. Listen to yourself talk. How is it with your soul? {RH, Apr 9, 1889 par. 11} Put your ear up to the opening that is the direct channel through which what goes on in the spring issues forth, and listen, listen. Listen objectively; listen analytically. Listen honestly: what’s coming out?

Southern Watchman, December 5, 1899: “The indwelling Savior is ALWAYS revealed by the words.” Did you hear that, my friends? If Christ is dwelling within us, it will be revealed, where? {In our words.} In our words, in our words. Is Christ in you, the hope of glory? {Col 1:27} Well, what’s coming out of your mouths? Here’s a probing question I’ve got to challenge you to ask yourselves, and I must ask myself. It’s found in the Southern Watchman, November 21, 1905: “My brethren and sisters, how are you employing the gift of speech? Have you learned so to control the tongue that it shall ever obey the dictates of an enlightened conscience and holy affections? Is your conversation free from levity, pride, malice, deceit, and impurity? Are you without guile before God? Words exert a telling power. Satan will, if possible, keep the tongue active in his service. Of ourselves we cannot control the unruly member. Divine grace is our only hope. Wherever there is purity of heart and nobleness of character, it will be revealed in purity and nobleness of action and speech.” “It will be revealed.” Is what comes out of your mouth revealing purity of heart and nobleness of character? Is it? James puts it pretty bluntly in 1:26: “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.” Wow. Scripture sometimes cuts right to the core, doesn’t it? And really says it the way it is. Useless!

You see, my dear friends, if our relationship with Jesus Christ isn’t sufficient to enable us to govern the tongue, then we don’t really have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul doesn’t say, “I can do everything but tame my tongue through Christ who strengthens me.” He says, “I can do,” what? “…all things through Christ who strengthens me.” {Phil 4:13} So if we really have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, we will have power sufficient, grace sufficient to govern our tongues. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} You can’t possibly deny that, because to deny that would suggest that Christ has insufficient power to enable you to govern your tongue. Are you ready to say that? I can’t. You see, the problem is not with His lack of power. The problem is with our lack of dependence upon it. We must come to the place where we are constantly and desperately dependant upon Jesus Christ. In His power we can govern not only every thought, but every word. We can. Please, you’ve got to believe it if you’re ever going to experience it. You’ve got to believe it; His grace is sufficient. {2 Cor 12:9} You see, our Christian maturity, our growth in Christ, will always be manifested in our gaining more and more consistent and constant control of our tongues until finally we have complete and consistent control of what comes out of our mouths. Again, James makes this clear, chapter 3, verse 2: “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” You see, we can be perfect, we can be mature in Christ; and if we grow to the stature of fullness in Christ {Eph 4:13}, a full man, a full woman, in Jesus Christ, that will be evidenced in the consistent governance of the tongue. We will learn to bridle, to tame, the tongue.

By the way, the reason that the tongue is the member of the body that James uses to indicate whether or not we’ve gotten control over the whole body, is because the tongue is the toughest one to control. Isn’t it? It’s the slipperiest, and it’s got the closest and most immediate connection to the brain. It’s oh, so easy to just, you know, instantly lose control of it. But my dear friends, when we learn how, by the grace of Christ, and for the love of Christ, to govern the tongue, we can govern, what? The whole body, the whole body, that’s what James says. “Bringing every thought into captivity.” {2 Cor 10:5} Bringing every word into captivity, that is true Christian maturity. Listen to how the Spirit of Prophecy brings these together. In Heavenly Places, page 270: “When we are brought into adverse circumstances, when our natural feelings are stirred, and we want to give vent to them, then our faith is tried; then we are to manifest the meekness and gentleness of Christ. Not by one word…” Not by what, my friends? {one word} “Not by one word are we to give expression to the feelings of the natural heart.” That’s a high standard, isn’t it? But bless your hearts, don’t settle for any lower one. Please! “Not by one word are we to give expression to the feelings of the natural heart.” And then she quotes our text: “‘If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body,’ (James 3:2) – the whole man. What we want is to be under the control of Jesus…” I want to hear more than one “amen.” I’ll give you a second chance. “What we want is to be under the control of Jesus…” {Amen} Yes. “Lay hold upon the arm of Infinite Power, saying, “I will come to God just as I am, and plead with Christ to give me the victory. I shall be more than conqueror through Him that loved me.”

I’ve got to have you say it with me again. “In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.” {TMK 16.5} Now that you know we’re going to say it, I want you to say it like you really mean it. “In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror.” Yes. My friends, His strength is sufficient. You can conquer your thoughts and your words in the strength of Jesus Christ. Without Him you can do nothing, {Jn 15:5} but “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” {Phil 4:13} I can govern my every thought; I can govern my every word. Do you believe it? {Yes}

Now, remember, faith without works is dead. {Jas 2:20} May God help us evidence our faith by taming the tongue. Some might be rather dismayed with the prospect that they must rein up the tongue consistently to the point of keeping it from giving vent even by one word to our natural feelings. Some might really be a little distressed by that prospect. Testimonies, Volume 1, page 307: “Some have asked the question, ‘Must I be on guard and feel a restraint upon me continually?’ I have been shown,” she says in response, “…that we have a great work before us to search our own hearts, and watch ourselves with jealous care. We should learn wherein we fail, and then guard ourselves upon that point. We must have perfect control over our own spirit. ‘If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.'” My dear friends, please press on towards that mark. {Phil 3:14} It’s a high standard, bless your hearts. It’s a holy standard. But for the love of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we must reach that standard if we hope to be among the 144,000. {Mar 241.8} What’s one of the key identifying characteristics of the 144,000? Revelation 14:5, “And in their mouth was found no guile.” No guile; “…for they are without fault before the throne of God.” God help us. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} God help us.

I want to acknowledge to you publicly, I have not attained nor am I perfect. {Phil 3:12} But I want to assure you that for the love of Christ, I am pressing on towards the mark. {Phil 3:14} {Amen} Are you with me on this? {Amen} For the love of Christ may we come to the place where we would never misrepresent Him by a single word. Amen? God help us. God help us. You see, if we are truly Christ’s, He is the Lord our Righteousness {Jer 23:6}, remember? And His Lordship will inevitably be manifested in the governance of our tongues. Right? If you claim to be under the Lordship of Christ and your tongue is completely out of control, your claim is denied by your own tongue. Do you see that?

Mind, Character and Personality, Volume 2, page 579: “You cannot be too careful of what you say, for the words you utter show what power is controlling your mind and heart. If Christ rules in your heart, your words will reveal the purity, beauty, and fragrance of a character molded and fashioned by His will. But since his fall, Satan has been an accuser of the brethren, and you must be on guard lest you reveal the same spirit.” My dear friends, this is why I get so desperate when I see how much criticizing and fault-finding there is amongst us as a people. We are absolutely denying any claim that we might make to be under the Lordship of Christ. If we are criticizing and fault-finding, we are manifesting that we are under the tyranny of sin, self and Satan because we are manifesting his spirit. He is the accuser of the brethren. {Rev 12:10} Right? Bless your hearts, please. I have a tremendous burden here again, because, as we noted earlier, it’s an earmark of a self-righteous experience to criticize and fault-find, because you always have to try to assure yourself that you are righteous, and you do that by pointing out that you’re doing so much better than everyone else, and you do that by pointing out all their faults. It’s precisely because we have this terrible self-righteous, self-deception as a people that we have this plague of criticizing and fault-finding as a people.

My friends, I exhort you in behalf of Christ, with the words that have been commissioned to us to proclaim to the world: “Fear God, and give glory to Him” especially with your tongue, “for the hour of His judgment is come.” {Rev 14:7} Please know, please know the part that our words play in the judgment. Listen, listen to Jesus Himself, Matthew 12:36-37, “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” That is a solemn statement, and it comes directly from Jesus. Some of you might be saying at this point, “Whoa, that sounds like righteousness by words… Righteousness by the works of my tongue, which are words.” Is Jesus really telling us that when it’s all said and done, finally we will be justified on the basis of our words? Is that what He’s telling us? Be careful; please understand: We are righteous, my dear friends, only by faith in the Word and what He’s done for us {Amen}, but faith in The Word will always manifest itself in our words. {Amen} Faith without words is dead, and I’m not just misquoting Scripture there, I’m talking about the works of the tongue; “Faith without works is dead,” {Jas 2:20} but the works of the tongue are our words… Are you with me? So if we have true saving faith in The Word, our words will give evidence of it. If our words give no evidence of it, then we don’t have faith in Jesus, and if we don’t have faith in Jesus, we can’t be justified by faith. Are you following this?

This is precisely why, bless your hearts, in the judgment our works are called into question: not because we are thereby justified, but because our works ratify the genuineness of our faith in Christ’s works. Did you see your way through that? That’s a very important point to understand. There are so many that accuse us as a people with our understanding of the investigative judgment, of being legalists who teach that we are justified by works. No, not ours… His. His works save us, and our faith in His works alone save us. But the faith that saves is never alone. {Amen} It always, what? …works; it always manifests itself, and it will manifest itself especially in the works of our tongue, our words. Are you with me? {Amen} This is precisely why our words are particularly called into examination at the judgment, because what comes out of your mouth either validates or denies your claim to have a saving faith in Jesus.

I have a question for you. Does Jesus have enough evidence, in that absolutely flawless record of anything and everything that has ever come out of your mouth, does He have adequate evidence to ratify your claim to have faith in Him? You don’t have to answer that publicly, but please answer it privately. Take courage, my dear friends, in the precious assurance that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to,” what? “…forgive us.” {1 Jn 1:9} His blood will cover the record of the wrong words that have come out of our mouths, but please understand that true repentance will inevitably lead to reformation. {Amen} Are you following this? You can’t just go on repenting and repenting and not, by the same grace that forgives you, overcome an unruly tongue. Are you hearing me? {Amen}

You see, if you truly believe that His grace is sufficient to free you from the penalty of sin, you will also believe that His grace is sufficient to free you from the power of sin. {2 Cor 12:9} It’s the same grace. The same grace that frees you from the condemnation will free you from the control. Amen? {Amen} My friends, if we don’t evidence in our words the fact that we have believed in and received His enabling grace, we are giving evidence that we haven’t believed in and received His forgiving grace either. {That’s right.} You can’t argue against that. You can’t have forgiving grace without enabling grace. It’s the same grace. James 2:17, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” We’re saved by faith, not by works, but the faith that saves always works. {Amen} Thus in judgment, the genuineness of your faith must be ratified by your works. Not that you are thereby justified by them, but they ratify your claim to be justified by faith in His works. Are you all clear on that? I want that to be very clearly understood.

Now notice how faith and the tongue are inseparable if faith is going to become saving faith. This is a fascinating insight; don’t miss it. Romans 10:9: “If…” “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be,” what? “…saved.” Please notice the two things though: “If you,” what? “…confess with your mouth,” and what else? “…believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Is it enough to just believe in your heart? No. Why? “Faith without works is,” what? “…is dead.” {Jas 2:20} What is the first work that saving faith will perform? A confession of the mouth. {Hallelujah} Are you following this? This is why the next verse says, verse 10, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto,” what? “…salvation.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} You see, you believe with your heart that Christ is the Lord your Righteousness. {Jer 23:6} But if that faith is genuine, your mouth is going to evidence His Lordship, and you’re going to confess it with your mouth.

My friends, this is precisely why the thief on the cross is going to be in heaven; think about that! Is the thief on the cross going to be in heaven? Yes. Jesus said, “I say to you today, you will be with Me in paradise.” {Lk 23:43} What kind of works are there on his record to ratify his faith? What did he call Jesus while He hung on the cross? “Lord… remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” {Lk 23:42} He was the only one in the whole crowd that called Him Lord. Not even the disciples were prepared to do that. {DA 750.3} His faith was real, wasn’t it? It was real. It was manifested by the confession of His mouth. He confessed Jesus as Lord. He confessed Him as the Messiah. “Remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” That was tremendous faith. In spite of all appearances, here was a man despised and rejected of men {Is 53:3}, and apparently even rejected of God {Is 53:4}, battered and bruised and bleeding, and by faith, the thief sees through all of those appearances and recognizes that that is the Messiah; that’s the Son of God next to him, {Praise the Lord, Hallelujah} and he calls him “Lord.”

My dear friends, no one of us is going to be saved unless we call Him “Lord,” and our tongues manifest His Lordship. {Amen} Please know that. This is not optional. This is not optional. Matthew 10:32, “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.” Do you hear how solemn this truth is, my friends? If our mouths don’t confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ, His mouth can’t confess us before the Father. Why? Because we have not permitted Him to. Why? Because He can’t be our Righteousness before the Father unless He is our Lord here on earth. And His Lordship will be manifest in what comes out of our mouth. My dear friends, this is… Please hear me, fellow Laodiceans. This is precisely why Jesus says that if things don’t change, He’s going to have to, what? …spew us out of His mouth. {Rev 3:16} He’s going to have to cease to confess us before the Father as His people if we don’t start confessing Him before the human race. Please understand how important what we’re talking about is.

I beg of you! Jesus is coming, my friends. {Amen} “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” {Rev 14:7} Learn to confess Him with your tongue. When He comes, what will happen? Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. {Phil 2:10, 11} Every tongue will confess it when He comes. But my dear friends, the tragic thing is that the vast majority of tongues will make that confession with agonizing remorse. {Mar 346.1} God grant that we make it with ecstatic rejoicing. {Mar 346.2} {Amen} We will be able to do so only as we learn to confess Him with our tongues here and now.

My brothers, my sisters, I plead with you. Know the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Know Him as your righteousness that you might be justified. Know Him as your Lord that you might be sanctified. Know His Lordship so fully that He is able not only to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ {2 Cor 10:5}, but every word as well. {Amen} That’s your goal. For the love of Christ, press on towards the mark. {Phil 3:14} {Amen} Shall we stand for prayer?

Father God, Your grace is sufficient. In the strength of Jesus Christ, we will be conquerors. {Amen} Without You we can do nothing. But for the love of Christ, and by the Spirit of Christ, we can do whatever You ask us to do. You’ve asked us to be bringing every thought into captivity and to conquer and tame our tongues. We believe that Your grace is sufficient to enable us to do that. Lord, help Thou our unbelief, and help us to ratify the genuineness of our faith by letting You speak Your words through our mouths, that in the judgment, You will have sufficient evidence to ratify the genuineness of our faith in the Word made flesh, whose righteousness alone can justify us. Father, we are in the judgment hour; help us to make sure that our tongues ratify our claim to believe in Jesus. This is our prayer in His name and for His sake, and everyone said, “Amen.”


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