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So He Arose and Went

A Call to the Nation / Carter Conlon
The Truth Network Radio
July 17, 2022 1:00 am

So He Arose and Went

A Call to the Nation / Carter Conlon

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July 17, 2022 1:00 am

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So He Arose and Went

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Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. Now Philip was a man that God could speak to, and when he would speak to him, he would simply just do what God was asking him to do. And so my question, I guess, to you and to my own heart is, are we like that? Can God speak to you? Can God move you from where you are today, and can He take you to where He wants you to go? We're so glad you've joined us for this week's edition of A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon. The question Carter asks us to consider today comes from a story in the book of Acts. Here we learn about a man named Philip the Evangelist. Not only was Philip willing to serve God obediently, he was miraculously transported from one place to another. Let's join Carter now with his message titled, He Rose and Went. We're living in obviously very perilous times now, times that we have been warned about for 35 years in this particular congregation, and I wish I could say things in the world are going to get better, but I don't think so.

I think it's going to get more difficult. According to the Word of God, the deceptions are going to get deeper, the wars are going to go farther, there's going to be famines and pestilences and earthquakes as Jesus said, but He also said this gospel will be preached in all the world before the end comes. This gospel will be preached, and God is a God of justice, but He's a God of mercy, and He will enable us, all of us, to preach the gospel I think farther and wider than we've ever dreamed, more than we can even ask or think in this season.

The internet is the net now. John 21, remember the disciples had fished all night and they'd caught nothing. Jesus is on the shore.

He said cast the net on the right side of the boat. In other words, do it this way, do it my way, and when they cast the net, suddenly there's 153 fish that are sent by the hand of God to swim into that net, and the net in our generation is the internet. I've known that for a long time.

You've known that for a long time. This is the net that God's going to use to bring in a multitude, a harvest I think that's too numerous for any one of us to ever count. We won't ever be able to have a full tally of all the people that are going to come into the kingdom of God and be discipled and connect groups and be discipled on the internet and find fellowship and find other believers in their respective countries. It's already starting to happen folks and I'm so glad that we all get to be a part of what God is doing. You know when I was thinking about the story of Philip the evangelist and talk about what was it in this man that God could use him in a spectacular way, and there's no doubt about it, of all the people that have been used in the New Testament, there's rarely a man that's more curious than Philip or a man that had greater experiences with God.

There's nobody else in the Bible ever that was translated by the hand of God. Anybody here ever seen Star Trek? All right. I mean you can raise your hand.

It's okay. Nobody's going to. We're not turning the cameras around.

We're not taking your picture. You know in Star Trek they stand on this thing called a transporter and everybody just kind of disintegrates and then they appear in another place. Well that's what happened to Philip. Philip went into the waters of baptism. He baptized an Ethiopian man who was under Candace, a queen of the Ethiopians, and after baptizing him he was just transported by God and he appears in another town shortly after called the Zotes. There's nobody in the Bible that that ever happened. Now Elijah went up in a chariot but nobody was ever transported by God the way he was. But yet it didn't seem to ever alter his character. And I want to talk about this man Philip in Acts chapter 8 verses 26 and 27. We'll start there. It says, Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, Arise and go towards the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.

This is desert. So he arose and went. So that's what I called the message. So he arose and went. And that was the thing about Philip. The one characteristic of his life is whatever God asked him to do that's what he did. Philip was an obedient man. He went where God called him.

Not necessarily where he wanted to go. Now Philip was a man that God could speak to and when he would speak to him he would simply just do what God was asking him to do. And so my question I guess to you and to my own heart is are we like that? Can God speak to you? Can God move you from where you are today and can he take you to where he wants you to go? Can he make your life into that which he's destined it to be so that it brings glory to his name? Or do we get so entrenched in our own self-view, our own ideas maybe of what our life should be or even ministry what ministry should look like?

And we get entrenched to the point where the Lord can no longer we're speaking to God but he can't speak to us anymore. We're not willing to even consider moving outside of the comfort maybe that we've found for ourselves. You know as natural people we strive for a place where we feel accomplished and we feel comfortable and we feel like we've achieved something. Everybody wants to achieve something in life. There's not that many people that say my goal in life is to be a loser and to accomplish nothing.

There's not very many people like that. Everybody wants to do something to accomplish something and so but when we finally get to the place where we feel like we have accomplished something the tendency is to more or less build a box around ourselves and say this is what my life is. It's what it's going to be. It's what God has done. It becomes our story. It becomes our identity.

It becomes our testimony. The difference between that and Philip is that Philip was a man who could be moved from where he was to where God was sending him. Even when where he was seemed to be glorious and he was sending him to something that was unknown. He didn't have any idea where it was that he was going. Now 1 Corinthians chapter 12 and verse 18 tells us that God sets the members each one of them in the body just as he pleases.

Isn't that amazing? Like it's his choice where we are to be in the in the body of Christ. It's not our choice and when it becomes our choice we become a natural kingdom and we cease to be a supernatural kingdom. The reason that God could do the things he did through Philip is Philip was never so entrenched in his own self identity or maybe his ministry identity that he couldn't be moved to the place where God wanted to take him even when it looked like a desert. He first appears in Acts chapter 6 verses 2 to 6. Now here's where Philip's ministry starts. It says in chapter 6 of Acts verse 2 to 6 it says then the 12 summoned the multitude of the disciples and said it is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore brethren seek out from among you seven men of good reputation full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom whom we may appoint over this business. Now not just ordinary people to serve tables but people who have a good reputation. They were filled with the Spirit of God and they had wisdom but we will give ourselves verse 4 continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word and the saying pleased the whole multitude and they chose Stephen a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit and Philip and then it goes on and tells us about the rest of them whom they set before the apostles and when they had prayed they laid hands upon them. You see can you just imagine now if you had gotten to the point in the body of Christ like let's just say you're a member of Times Square Church you've been attending here and you now have a reputation. Maybe God's given you some giftings of the Spirit maybe you have words of wisdom or knowledge or maybe you're just you're just known for prayer or something you're known for something anyway you have a reputation you're filled with the Holy Ghost you know you are and you make sure everybody around you knows that you're filled with the Holy Ghost and you have wisdom at least you think you do anyway but you know you you have a wisdom that is birthed and given you of God and then suddenly somebody comes to you with all those qualifications and says we need somebody to serve tables. I want you to think about that for a moment.

What? Me? Me? Me with my reputation? Me full of the Holy Ghost? Me with all the wisdom that I have the knowledge of the scriptures and you want me to serve tables because you want to give yourself to the study of God's Word into prayer and you want me to be the one that's bringing trays of food with all my wisdom and anointing and all the things that I have yes you you see the thing about Philip Philippians let me just read it to you Philippians chapter two now it's amazing we we preach sometimes as preachers even with such eloquence and live with such mediocrity because here's what Paul said to the Philippians let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God but made himself of what no reputation and taking the form of a bond servant and coming in the likeness of men so you don't get any bigger than God you don't get any smarter than God you don't get any more anointed than God but yet even though he was God and could consider him God and could actually portray himself as God instead of that he took on himself no reputation let this mind be in you see this mind was in Philip this is why God could use him the way he could be used this was a test in a sense you know Philip was a man who did not consider any form of service appointed by God beneath him that's the point you see any form of service you know as leaders in the body of Christ for example if if there's a piece of paper stuck on the platform we shouldn't stand here and wait for somebody to pick it up we should pick it up ourselves now in Acts chapter 8 we first saw Philip in Acts chapter 6 then in Acts chapter 8 we see a persecution a man called Saul was consenting to the death of Stephen and a great persecution arose against the church and they were all scattered so suddenly just as can happen in our society a persecution arises and it's a violent persecution Saul is a lunatic he's almost like the Vladimir Putin of his time he's just a lunatic he just wants to conquer he wants to destroy everything unlike himself he's got letters of authority to bring people into out of their homes take them to prison and torture them and by his own confession he caused people to even blaspheme the name of God under torture he's he's driven everything unlike himself has to be destroyed that's the Saul of Tarsus of that particular time and because of him the church was scattered suddenly people whatever ministry Philip found himself in serving tables suddenly had to leave he had to get out of town because the alternative was not too pleasant and the Bible says in verse 4 of Acts chapter 8 says therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them and the multitudes with one accord he did the thing spoken by Philip hearing and seeing the miracles with Jesus now now Philip has gone from serving tables to doing miracles well God's actually doing it through him we're talking miracles here we're not talking about somebody with a stiff knee suddenly you know feeling better we're talking about somebody with a stiff knee seeing like miracles are starting to happen here for unclean spirits crying out with a loud voice came out of many who were possessed and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed and there was great joy in that city so suddenly he starts out serving tables now he's in Samaria because he's been scattered because of a persecution and miracles are happening I mean bonafide miracles and people who are lame are being are being healed and people are demon possessed are being set free and joy is breaking on all kinds of people are starting to come to Christ as it is and the prominent leaders now take notice of his ministry in Acts chapter 8 and verse 14 says now when the apostles were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent Peter and John to them it's amazing you know so suddenly the big boys come to town and so Philip you know Philip could be I made it I'm in the big town now you know like I mean I mean miracles are happening healings are happening demons are fleeing people are getting saved joy is joy is everywhere and and the big boys come to town like it doesn't get any bigger than than uh than Peter and John showing up in town so now suddenly the the general executive assistant to the general executive you know in our word has taken notice of me now now I've hit the big time and they come and they lay hands on people they start receiving the Holy Spirit and the revival is just the revival is is one of the greater ones actually in the book of Acts and then suddenly a messenger of God shows up to Philip one day and in chapter 8 and verse 26 and he says an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying arise and go towards the south along the road which goes down to Jerusalem from Jerusalem to Gaza this is desert so he arose and went can you just see the people Philip in heaven's name what are you doing where are you going felt Philip you're the man I mean the kingdom of God has come down to you Philip miracles are happening Philip demons are fleeing Philip there's great joy in the city there's a revival happening here the big boys have come down to even look at your ministry and that you can just see he's got his little he's got a stick over his shoulder with a bag with his clothes in it and he's heading out of town where are you going Philip I don't to the desert what's there I have no idea but God is speaking to me that I should go you see the point being that God could speak to this man he could he was never so entrenched in what he was doing that God couldn't speak to him and I have to wonder sometimes is it possible that he's the only one that God could speak to is it possible that everybody's so caught in what they're doing in this great revival in Samaria that that the Lord is actually trying to speak to various people maybe didn't want to take the key man out you don't know that for a fact I'm only speculating but is it possible he didn't want to take this the key player out of there but nobody else could hear God's kingdom was about to move into Africa he needed somebody to meet up with an Ethiopian eunuch in the desert who was going to be converted and he was going to bring the gospel the very first record of the gospel going into Africa and he couldn't find anybody but Philip still could hear from God it wasn't all about largess it wasn't all about ministry it wasn't all about look what's happening in my life and look what's happening through my life it was God could still speak to him and and just as in the beginning nothing was too small for him you see God has a long-term view we have a short-term view we tend to see everything in the here and the now and because of it it limits our vision but when we're willing to hear from God has a long-term view he sees the pastor's conference in Kenya two years ago he sees the gospel going into all Africa he sees the millions of people that are going to come to Christ and he needs somebody to meet the man that's going to bring the message of Christ there and Philip could hear him don't ever get so big that you can't hear from God don't ever get so big that something that is small looks like it's too small oh no not for me no I'm the miracle man Peter and John have taken notice of me man I'm on the way up this is my career is set I'm gonna I'm gonna put my name in lights I'm gonna have a brochure with my picture on the front like well however they did it back then oh no everybody's gonna know my name and suddenly he's leaving town hey guys look after the revival God be with you I'm heading off to the desert and so he meets the Ethiopian eunuch in the desert and leads him to Christ takes him down into the water and baptizes him I love this story and then it says in chapter 8 and verse 39 when they came up out of the water the spirit of the Lord caught Philip away so that the eunuch saw him no more and he went on his way rejoicing but Philip was found at Azotus and passing through he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea imagine imagine you could be used of God in such a way that you baptize a man then you disappear and you end up in a city and you're walking around saying okay you tell me where this is where am I and and your whole ministry is not about your you're translated you know today all we do is get translated into Spanish we don't get translated the way they did it back in the book of Acts you know just like and so so his whole his whole ministry is not about the fact I was translated or I was a miracle man Philip is is just preaching the gospel again as he's always done and it doesn't become all about this miracle that happened in his life it's just about Christ he's just an ordinary guy that God could get a hold of that started serving tables and now the Lord is the Lord has such control of this man that he can just take him from one spot and put him in another oh God oh God that's the cry of my heart now Lord would you just open my ears to your voice would you help me not to get stuck in the self-view or stuck in what I'm doing or stuck in what I'm not doing would you just help me to be able to hear you you know did it make a difference winning one man in the desert that's all he could see that's all his natural eye could see but something much bigger than that was happening the plan the pattern of God was beginning to be made known it was beginning to move into another part of the world that had never known this message of Christ and it brings me to point two which is Philip was a man who trusted that where God calls God will prosper we don't have to understand it just have to obey it what he asks us to do just do that here's the point God's calling in Philip's life was never about himself but always about others if your calling is about yourself your ears you might as well stick your fingers in your ears you're never going to hear from God if it's about you but if it turns to being about others if one person means as much to you as the crowds once did in Samaria then God can use you in a miraculous way God can take you God can take me where to places that only he can because our focus is not on ourselves and in the American church God help us in America but we've been so self-focused as a nation for so long that I fear that our ears are close to the voice of God and much of God's house now let me take it right to the conclusion now in Acts chapter 21 the last mention of Philip and I just love this in Acts chapter 21 verses 8 and 9 now the writer of Acts says on the next day we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea remember that's where that's where Philip ends up after he's translated and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist who was one of the seven this is the seven that initially served tables and stayed with him and this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied and Luke says and we stayed there many days and this is this is what I love about this is the the man who scattered him early on the book of Acts is now welcome in his home don't you just love that and Philip now has four daughters and his last ministry now is to pass on this ability that God gave him to hear his voice to his family and he didn't consider that too small either you know after Samaria after being translated after preaching in Caesarea after all the stuff that he did he's now at home and it's as if it's his reward may I put it that way he's got four daughters that have the same heart that he has you know prophesying is the ability to hear what God is speaking and to be and to move with it that's what prophesying is remember Jesus said when the spirit of truth comes he will show you things to come and so here he's got four daughters and they're prophesying about what God's about to do maybe through them or through others who I don't know what it is but they are moving in unison as their father has with the spirit of God and I love the fact that Philip does not consider being hospitable and raising a godly family beneath his calling in God hallelujah to the lamb of God and here's the promise when we live for God when we're willing to be used by God when God can take us from one place to another and it always doesn't have to be bigger and better we will have the privilege of passing this on to our children and in my case our grandchildren will have the privilege of being able to speak into their lives and you see Philip lived kind of a life that became desirable when he would tell the stories to his tell us again dad about how God lifted you you were in the water and the next thing you know you're in a place called zotus tell us how did that feel and Philip would just because his focus was on just obeying God and being used for the sake of others the Lord was able to pass on that vision that he had in his heart to his family oh God help us I was tucking in through my grandsons in the summertime and put in the bed when they were younger and and one of them just out of nowhere says to me papa tell us again what kind of a man you were before God came into your life you know that you love that so I'm telling them the story and I shared the scripture that says if anyone being men is in Christ he's a new creation the old things in his life pass away and then landed who was the oldest at the time he was about seven his brother Liam was four and he says well Liam's not saved and I said why do you say that he said well as long as I've known him I've never seen any change in his life so I'm trying to tell him you know Landon you shouldn't judge your brother and you know you should and and as I'm starting to talk Liam is leaning against the wall and he starts to cry tears come down he says it's true papa it's true it's true and before I had a chance to even speak he goes Jesus forgive me for my sin and God I opened my heart I asked you to come into my life it was amazing and it all started with papa tell us what kind of man you used to be before Jesus came into your life see when you've walked with God when you've just obeyed God when your life has been lived it becomes attractive to your family they want to hear about it you're not there just hammering scriptures and you're going to this is another memory verse for you tonight is as good as all that is when a life has been lived for God there's a there's a legacy that passes on and you know if I was to live the rest of my life just passing the journey that I've had with God onto my grandchildren that's good enough for me it was good enough for Philip so it's good enough for me God is he's not obliged to do anything more through any of us that he's our names are in the lamb's book of life that's good enough after that he owes us nothing everything else is gravy after that and if just raising a godly family is what he wants me to do I'm okay with it thank God for that and it's not a demotion folks it's not a demotion and so I just want to tell you tonight that God is has something special for you as Pastor David Wilkerson used to say if you want to know the power of God Carter take a lower seat and if you want to know more power take a lower seat and if you want to know the power of God after that take a lower seat when you go into a house find the lowest seat and take that seat and the power of God will be your portion all the days of your life and to pray for you and to wish you God's speed because this is about the kingdom of God and we don't have to understand where you're going we just have to know that God is leading you to go there you've been listening to Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York City for more information and resources to help you in your walk in Christ log on to tsc.nyc that's tsc.nyc and be sure to be with us next week for A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-23 12:25:20 / 2023-03-23 12:35:23 / 10

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