Participants: Joseph Warren, Karen Thomas
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000031
00:30 Welcome to another edition of Issues and Answers
00:32 It's a blessing to have you here
00:34 today. We have a very special
00:35 program planned for you. Today we have the president and
00:38 director of Spring Hope Ministries. He is none other
00:41 that Dr. Joseph Warren, professor of English at
00:44 Andrews University. Dr. Warren has been a professor at Andrews
00:48 University, which is a Christian school in Michigan, for many,
00:53 many years. He has been instrumental in training 100s
00:57 of young people to go all around the world to proclaim the gospel
01:01 of Jesus Christ in their various professions. In addition to his
01:04 teaching responsibilities, he is a Bible teacher, a family life
01:08 coordinator, youth leader, men's ministry leader and deacon.
01:12 If you go to his church you'll know him as Deacon Warren.
01:15 In addition to these things, he is, as part of his ministry for
01:20 Spring Hope Ministries, he conducts family ministry
01:23 seminars, men's ministry special services, women's ministry,
01:28 unmarried adult ministry, weekend church revival,
01:32 renewal ministry. He is just on fire for the Lord and we are so
01:36 happy to have him. Dr. Warren it is certainly a pleasure to
01:40 have you here with us today.
01:41 Thank you and good morning. It's a pleasure to be here. As my
01:44 custom I'd like to begin with a
01:45 formal invitation to the Holy
01:47 Spirit. Very simply we say Holy
01:49 Spirit, Thou art welcome in this
01:51 place and all that transpires
01:53 for the next few moments should be directed by his presence and
01:56 by his anointing. So it's a very good pleasure to be here.
01:58 Thank you for having me.
01:59 So what is going to be our topic today? I know we're talking
02:02 about the Holy Spirit. Yes, our first topic in the
02:06 series is receiving the Holy Spirit as a Child and my
02:09 specific audience is of course for men for this series. We're
02:12 talking to men receiving the Holy Spirit but first we must
02:16 receive the Holy Spirit as a child, which means that men
02:20 will have to unlearn a great deal of what we know of
02:24 masculinity, machismo, testosterone levels and all the
02:28 traditional items of manhood, they cannot be received by God
02:33 for he can only receive us as men, as males, as we come as a
02:37 child so the first session today is about unlearning some of the
02:42 very destructive things that men do trying to be male in a
02:45 worldly sense. We want to be from a biblical position and
02:48 heaven is his throne and earth is his footstool and we can only
02:50 approach him as a child.
02:52 What a blessing to know that we have that kind of God.
02:55 Now ladies I want to say to you at home who are watching this
02:59 program, this is really a men's directed program. So all of you
03:03 men who are watching this program stay tuned. And for the
03:06 ladies we have the blessing of tuning in to a real men's
03:09 ministry. Thank you. Karen, please turn to
03:14 Matthew 18:1-6 and let's base this program on scripture. Okay
03:20 Read those verses for us please.
03:22 18:1-6: At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus saying
03:27 who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and Jesus
03:31 called a little child unto him and set him in the midst of
03:35 them and said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted
03:39 and become as little children ye shall not enter into the
03:42 kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself
03:46 as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of
03:51 heaven and whoso shall receive one such little child in my name
03:55 receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones
03:59 which believe in my, it were better for him that a millstone
04:03 were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the
04:07 depth of the sea. Excellent. To add to that text
04:10 I have a quote here from Ellen White which says when I feel my
04:15 utter nothingness it is only then that Christ sees it time to
04:20 give me his Spirit. He will clothe me with his salvation,
04:23 strength and prosperity when I give him the whole credit and
04:27 glory for his work. And that adds a few words to my own
04:31 adaptation there. But in this text, verse three, the word
04:35 converted. We have to realize that like a child we can only
04:39 come to God and receive his power once we repent of our
04:42 behaviors and conduct that are not like his character.
04:46 The very first thing Christ said in the Bible was repent; that is
04:49 change your way of thinking and for a man that's very hard.
04:53 The central part of manhood is knowing that a man is right.
04:57 He has to feel that he is right and correct, and when a man is
05:00 devalued over and over again, never been able to think he's
05:04 right, his self-esteem goes quite low. But when it comes to
05:08 God, God doesn't negotiate that. Repent, change what you're
05:11 thinking, change what you're doing, change how you operate
05:15 and work in my system, the heavenly kingdom system versus
05:19 the worldly system. So in verse three the word convert is very
05:23 important. Now, conversion is not easy. It is the supernatural
05:28 work of the Holy Spirit. Men are not changed by being talked to.
05:32 As a matter of fact, no one is. Men are changed only by the
05:36 supernatural working of the Holy Spirit in their lives and often
05:40 times God will bring men to a point of complete helplessness
05:45 and that's where Christ steps in. When men realize I cannot
05:49 do this, I am unable, I have nowhere to turn, God kind of
05:53 smiles because then they begin to be converted.
05:55 So it's a waste of time for women to want to talk over and
05:59 over and over again to the man in their life when really we
06:02 need to just back off and let the Holy Spirit have his work.
06:05 We need to talk less, as Ellen White says, and pray more.
06:08 So learn to pray these sort of prayers: Father as this time the
06:13 male in my life is out of your will. Would you send your Holy
06:17 Spirit to him to convict him of his sin and your righteousness.
06:22 In Jesus name, Amen. And then go shopping or go do something
06:26 else. Leave him alone. Don't interfere with the Holy Spirit's
06:30 work. And the more men and women do this with males, particularly
06:34 young boys for example. As young boys begin to feel their self
06:38 esteem and their self-worth and their power as a male, women
06:41 need to understand something very powerful is happening.
06:44 God is trying to make them fit souls for his kingdom, to do his
06:48 work. It's a father/son thing, it's a male thing between the
06:53 God our Father and the boy as a male and that makes a big, big
06:58 difference. Now a part of this involves crying. Crying? Yes
07:05 Karen, crying. A man needs to cry because one of the first
07:10 indications of the Holy Spirit is moving in his life is sorrow
07:15 and repentance born through tears. Crying means words like
07:20 I wrote down in my notes words like weeping, calling, appealing
07:24 with lament, hollering, waling, groaning, sniveling, spilling
07:29 the heart out before God. That's very hard for a man to do.
07:33 Men want to feel self-contained. I can do this, I'm a real man,
07:38 I don't eat quiche, you know, that sort of thing. But God
07:42 doesn't negotiate that. See God will allow no other power in his
07:47 presence but his own, none. So as a man approaches God he must
07:51 come as a child crying and when a child is crying in any
07:55 language any language anywhere in the world we know that cry
08:00 means I'm desperate, I need help will somebody please help me.
08:04 Matter of fact, I know some men who cry. Pastors as a matter of
08:09 fact and when they cry things happen. God changes things
08:12 supernaturally because he just hates to see his sons and his
08:17 daughters cry. The next thing in verse four there is humble.
08:23 Humble has a lot to do with I am nothing in contrast to you.
08:29 And I like that. Men have a phrase: The man who has the most
08:35 toys wins. I'm a self-made man, or I did this on my own. All
08:40 these are worldly accolades for manhood. In God's kingdom, they
08:45 are totally false. As a matter of fact, Satan in heaven tried
08:50 this trick with God; I will exalt myself, I will give
08:54 myself credit for what I have done. I am not impotent, I can
08:59 do this. Satan's no longer in heaven. And it has a lot to do
09:03 with God's character. God will allow you never to bless
09:06 yourself, never to enrich yourself. It's always a gift
09:10 from him. Many times men in the worldly economy have completely
09:15 missed this concept. God gives me strength but the strength is
09:19 his and he can take it back any time he wants. I have no
09:22 strength except what he has for me. So I must be humble.
09:26 That is at any time in any situation to allow God to
09:30 decide or change, as your husband says, to reroute my
09:34 life. I am humble, totally submitted, bringing nothing to
09:38 the cross except I need you every, every day.
09:42 Is that an easy thing for men to do? No. How about any of us
09:46 for that matter. We want to have a sense of self
09:49 sufficiency. Look what I've done
09:51 Look at this ministry here. Look
09:53 what I've done this. Oftentimes I've helped this person and I've
09:59 brought my wife this and I brought my children this and
10:03 I've did this for the church. Those kind of comments are
10:06 strictly not like God's character. Christ thought
10:09 it not robbery to give up all of heaven for our salvation.
10:14 So as a man I have no right to claim any goodness at all. I am
10:19 completely humble, totally submitted to be used. So first
10:23 converted, but then humble. But then verse five talks about
10:27 receive one as a child receives. That's a very interesting text.
10:33 Men can be very clannish all. We can evaluate men on a lot of
10:37 crazy reasons: Who has the biggest house or biggest car or
10:42 who has the most money. All these are worldly evaluations of
10:46 manhood. God doesn't allow that. As a male, I am not allowed to
10:51 evaluate folks on what they have or don't have. I must receive
10:55 them as children receive one another. If you allow children
10:59 to play among themselves without adult interference they develop
11:02 friendships, they develop associations, they tend to like
11:05 one another. They don't get caught up in race, creed, color,
11:08 religions, denominationalism, background. They don't bother
11:12 with that. They receive each other as children openly.
11:15 I've certainly seen that with my kids. They can very well go in
11:18 an environment with other children and they'll come back
11:21 and I say who were you playing with. Oh I don't remember their
11:23 name. They just know that they wanted to play together.
11:28 Exactly. And as men we tend often times to equate folks on
11:32 a lot of different worldly values you know; his boat is
11:37 not as big as my boat so, I got a boat like his, or we all drive
11:41 Benz together or my house is not the same size as his house.
11:46 It's always between males; it has to do with contrasting and
11:49 comparing. Back in school the first thing men had to do was
11:53 find out who could beat one another.
11:55 This starts in elementary school.
11:57 Yeah. It's who's the toughest guy.
11:59 Yeah. And then it goes on throughout life, you know.
12:02 And men need to come out of that you know. When I come across a
12:06 fellow for example on the street whose life is totally ruined, it
12:11 is unlike Christ for me to evaluate him on what he doesn't
12:16 have. I must receive him as a child would receive him; no
12:21 standards except that he is my brother in Christ. What can I
12:25 do to bless him? So that's very, very important and men need to
12:29 come out of evaluating themselves and each other on
12:32 a worldly standard. As a matter of fact, if God is your Father,
12:36 then I'm your brother. That's it. If God is your Father, if
12:40 God is my Father, then I am your brother. So receive one another
12:44 as children. Some people would say that
12:46 competition amongst boys is a necessary part of their
12:51 development so that when they become older they can compete
12:55 in the marketplace. How does God view that?
12:57 Well competition for young boys has to do with self-competition,
13:01 improving one's self. For example I'm playing basketball
13:05 and the last game I got 22 baskets. Good. Let me perfect my
13:09 technique, my style, my ability to go 24 baskets per game; not
13:13 to make someone else look bad. Ah hey man, we really beat you.
13:17 Ah, we beat you all bad. Why don't you all just get off the
13:20 court. You're just a piece of fat bag meat. No, no, no, that's
13:25 not the spirit. Competition is always personal. How can I, with
13:30 my heavenly Father, improve my gifts, my talent, my skills and
13:33 my abilities. As a matter of fact, most of the competition
13:37 is done in secret, most of it. Not in how much money I can make
13:41 or how many cars I can buy but how I can be more loving, be
13:45 more kind, be more gentle, be more patient. All of those we
13:48 call the fruits of the Spirit. Now that's the competition
13:52 against the flesh. So while it's important that young boys be
13:56 involved in basketball and football and other kinds of
13:59 activities it is never for self supremacy. It's for team effort
14:03 and improving one's own ability. As I as a grown man
14:07 work on my finances, I'm not trying to have more money than
14:11 anybody else. I'm trying to manage my money wisely for what
14:14 I'm supposed to do under God's authority with my family. You
14:17 know the Bible says those who compare themselves with
14:20 themselves, among themselves, by themselves are not wise.
14:24 So competition is primarily an internal function with Christ
14:28 to be more like him. That, by the way, is the work of a
14:31 lifetime. The Work of a Lifetime 101. And when a man has taken
14:36 the time to work on his inner self, the fruits of the Spirit,
14:40 the whole world will know it. And by the way, the Bible says
14:44 seek ye first the kingdom and all this stuff will be added to
14:48 you, all these things. So as a man goes out to acquire things,
14:54 and acquire stuff, he is going in absolute contradistinction
14:59 to what Jesus Christ is. Christ says, man come over in here and
15:03 let me work with you personally one on one. And as you are doing
15:07 my work trying to be like me, by the way, I'll throw the house
15:11 in, I'll throw in the job, I'll throw in this. It just comes
15:15 along the way. We are not to ever seek to get worldly things
15:18 except that we're to love the Lord, obey the Lord, serve him,
15:22 be with him, then he gives us stuff. Now the stuff he gives us
15:27 once again for a male, I get all I can and can all I keep. No, no
15:32 no, no, no. We ought to share, see? So I don't fear building a
15:37 five bedroom house. He told me. I'm building a house to have
15:41 others over. That's the Spirit of Christ.
15:44 So then it's not I'm going to hoard, I'm going to sit on what
15:48 I have. It's sharing. Precisely. Okay, to be a channel of
15:51 blessing. You know I was on the plane
15:52 talking to a fellow who's a stock broker. He said, I've got
15:56 about ten million dollars and then I can retire. I'm going to
16:00 retire in Italy in a villa up on the hills. He was talking about
16:03 it and I said wait a minute. You are kind of unpleasing to
16:07 me. You've got ten million dollars. Where in your life have
16:11 you factored in service to others? I said, I am not even
16:15 impressed with you. Did you say that?
16:19 No, this is male confrontation now. You remember I'm a
16:21 Christian male leader. I said when you die you're going to die
16:25 with ten million dollars. So what? So you're tombstone will
16:29 read I died with ten million dollars. So I challenged him on
16:33 the plane and he finally committed that part of his
16:36 wealth would be used for providing sight dogs for the
16:39 blind. I said, now you've got my attention. With you ten million
16:42 dollars, just on some of the interest you could provide maybe
16:47 two dogs per month to the end of the world. Now your life has
16:51 meaning, okay. We talk about folks who are multibillionaires,
16:55 folks who own large corporations I am not the least impressed
16:59 at all with who's worth 90 billion dollars in America
17:01 today. What impresses me is when this individual gives 20 billion
17:06 dollars or 20 million or whatever it may be for
17:09 scholarships. Then I get impressed for that is the work
17:13 of the Holy Spirit, not to hoard but to bless. One thing I like
17:17 about this ministry here, 3ABN, is there seems to be no end of
17:22 God's blessings to it because it has structured itself to
17:25 bless others. It's an open-ended tube, the blessings come in one
17:29 side and go out the other. And what happens the tube's getting
17:32 larger and larger and larger and God has to fill it with more and
17:35 more material possessions to do his work. That's the work of the
17:39 Holy Spirit. So when the head of this ministry comes to the end
17:42 of his life it will not be measured about the size of the
17:46 ministry. It will be measured by how large was the tube that
17:50 God put his blessings through in his lifetime and that is
17:53 totally opposite the world's point of view, see, totally
17:57 opposite. Down in verse six in the same text: Whosoever shall
18:01 offend one of these little ones, and that has really gotten my
18:06 attention. As a male, I'm concerned about protecting what
18:11 is mine and holding onto what's mine and not losing what's mine
18:16 and that sort of thing. As you know among males in the world
18:20 there's the war impulse. We have wars to take stuff.
18:24 We have wars to take stuff.
18:26 I don't think I've ever heard
18:28 it put quite that way but it is
18:30 true. We take lands, we take dominion,
18:32 we take power, industry. You know, we take stuff. Hitler took
18:35 a bunch of stuff. God's not like
18:37 that. In this verse, verse six,
18:39 it talks about a man is fully protected by God's power
18:44 whenever he is converted, humble and accepts other people as
18:48 Christians or like Christ would. Now this text has really helped
18:53 me not to become anxious about what God has blessed me with.
18:57 I don't have to go through superhuman, unkind, mean avenues
19:02 to protect what God has given me. He is my provider. He is my
19:07 supporter, he is my helper, he is my defense, he is my shield,
19:11 he is my protector. And God has promised in this text for the
19:15 men. This ministry here for example, 3ABN. As the leader of
19:19 this ministry stays under God's anointing, may I say this with
19:23 all due respect, no demon in hades can take it. No weapon
19:27 formed against it can prosper.
19:29 And that's for anybody who is in Christ.
19:31 Anybody. And as a male, you know, I walk around with my
19:35 shotgun and my bazooka and my tanks and all of this sort of
19:39 male things, or tools or weapons God can't deal with that.
19:44 Furthermore, our warfare is not carnal, you see. If you have
19:48 money in the stock market now in technology, what are you
19:52 going to do? It's a really rocky time. How can you protect it?
19:56 When you become sick and ill, when your health is failing,
20:00 what can you do? This text reminds me, informs me, that God
20:05 is saying to me clearly: Man I'm going to give it to you.
20:09 I will protect it and then one day I'll require it of you.
20:13 Think about Job for instance. Job was the wealthiest man in
20:18 the east. He had it all, huh? And in a split second, in a
20:23 split second, it was all gone. And over in Job 42 at the end
20:28 Job finally began to pray for his friends and God gave Job
20:33 double, not because Job was such a great person but because all
20:37 these blessings come from God and if God doesn't protect it
20:41 what you going to do about it? So the stock market, mutual
20:44 funds, annuities, retirement, all these things that men worry
20:48 about having enough, huh. That text in the Bible about the
20:52 fellow who had the barns, he built bigger barns, and I shall
20:56 rest. The Bible says tonight, this night, thy soul is required
21:00 of you. Now who's going to eat it? So the whole concept of
21:04 permanence and doing something that will last forever and this
21:08 is my legacy. King Solomon had a problem with that. King
21:12 Solomon realized that when he was dead, when you're dead
21:15 your dead and that's the end of it. It's all going away. So
21:18 realize that a man does not have to go out of his way to
21:21 protect or to hold on. Of course he should wisely manage it for
21:26 the future. He should not be wasteful and gamble away, but
21:29 so far as what I am going to do do this forever, or this is mine
21:34 Here's a friendly joke: A fellow was dying. He said I want a
21:39 million dollars in my casket. I like this joke. They put a
21:43 check for a million dollars in the casket with him. He died
21:48 a millionaire. See? Now what an un-Christlike position to take.
21:53 The fellow I like best says when you die all your money should
21:58 be given away and you should die broke. I like that. Everything
22:03 God has entrusted to you should return to him in service and
22:07 when you die, you leave the way you came, empty. That sounds
22:10 about right to me. So for a man to try and protect his position,
22:14 his stuff, his job, his career, his ministry; the answer is no.
22:18 God will not allow that. We must allow him to protect.
22:22 Now keep in mind that in life when God takes something from
22:27 you, his children, nine times out of ten, he wants to give
22:31 you something larger for greater service. If he takes you out of
22:35 a small house into a larger house it's for greater service.
22:38 If he takes you out of a Metro, little car, to a minivan, it's
22:42 for greater service. If he increases your health, it's for
22:46 greater service. So as we serve God then he gets all the glory
22:50 and the honor and the praise. So this text here, Matthew 18:1-6
22:55 talks about the required attitude that every male, every
22:59 man, must have before God for God is on his throne and we are
23:03 at his footstool and he will allow no other position in his
23:08 presence than that of a child, a childlike attitude.
23:11 Dr. Warren, let me ask you something. Yes. Let's say the
23:15 man who may be listening to this program has heard these things
23:19 and is saying yes you know I am ready to do what God's bidding
23:22 is in my life. I'm willing to allow the Holy Spirit to just
23:25 come in and help me to have the right perspective. But what
23:30 about the fact that maybe the woman of his dreams is very
23:34 materialistic? A lot of men can be put into a situation of great
23:38 pressure because we women put them in such straits. We have to
23:42 have our dresses, we have to have a certain house, we have to
23:46 be in a certain neighborhood. How does a man address those
23:49 types of issues, those demands that may be placed upon him by
23:53 his wife and children or other colleagues or whatever?
23:56 That's an excellent question and the answer is so profoundly
23:59 simple. This man should tell his wife that she is a daughter of
24:03 God and as God's daughter she has an inheritance, a daughry
24:07 if you will. This man should not fight his wife or resist his
24:11 wife. He should go with his wife to the throne and say, Father,
24:15 as husband I come with my wife to you. She has claimed this
24:19 house and this lifestyle and this... she's claimed it. You
24:24 are able, I am not. I don't have it. According to your mercies
24:27 and grace allow her to see your manifold grace in her life.
24:31 And Father I will love her and support her and take care of
24:35 her and do all I can based on what you give me. Now the
24:38 argument comes in when he tells the wife what she can't have.
24:42 Bad news. She is God's daughter. And remember this text, whatever
24:46 two touch and agree on. The reason the wife has this house
24:51 is because they've agreed on it. God loves agreement. So rather
24:56 that resisting the spouse for a lifestyle. Now at the same time
25:00 this wife, this woman, this family must also be in the Holy
25:03 Spirit's power. If she's asking for a 300,000 square foot house,
25:10 you know, okay. But the reason couples fail in this area is
25:15 that don't get together and agree. Now remember they should
25:20 always ask God for something larger than they can do
25:22 themselves. If you can do it on your own power then you don't
25:27 need God. If you can do it all by yourself, then you don't need
25:31 God. So many times even what that wife is asking for is too
25:35 small based on what God wants the marriage to do. While I'm
25:39 here let me say this for those folks who are married. Marriage
25:43 is to accomplish a purpose. What are you married for, what's the
25:47 agenda, what's it all about? And the male leads in that;
25:51 giving the marriage purpose and direction. My suggestion is if
25:55 the wife wants it, she truly wants it, let the family come
26:00 together and ask God for it who is liable to give you more than
26:04 you ever thought or asked. That's how he operates.
26:07 Amen. It has been such a pleasure to have you on our
26:10 program today, Dr. Warren. The word of knowledge that you've
26:14 shared with us even though I'm not a man and those women who
26:17 are watching are not either, it has been a blessing to men
26:20 and to women today just to know these key principles and steps,
26:24 that we don't have to compete with other people. We don't have
26:27 to feel like we need to keep up. We have a great God who loves
26:31 and cares about and wishes to develop us as individuals to his
26:35 name and to his glory. For those of you at home who feel the same
26:40 way as I do that you'd like to have the Lord really come into
26:44 your life and to use you to his name and his glory and yet
26:48 you'd like to have the strength and the power in your life to do
26:52 that why right now ask the Lord Jesus to come into your heart
26:56 and to help you in every aspect of your life. We're going to ask
26:59 Dr. Warren to pray for us right now. Will you do that please,
27:02 Dr. Warren. Father in heaven: We anoint
27:06 your name with power for there is no god like you. I pray on
27:11 behalf of all men everywhere that each of us will recognize
27:15 that you are God and that we can only approach you in a childlike
27:21 attitude, a position of helplessness, a position of need
27:26 a position of not being able to take care of ourselves, and then
27:30 the power of Christ is released. In the name of Jesus send forth
27:35 thy Spirit now to convert the hearts and minds of men
27:40 everywhere to ask for Jesus humbly through repentance.
27:44 Amen. Amen. Again thank you so much
27:48 for coming to our program. Thank you for blessing us. I'd like to
27:53 share with you again how you can reach Dr. Warren if you're
27:56 interested in receiving tapes or video tapes or booklets that he
28:00 may have available to you. You can reach him at Dr. Joseph
28:03 and Cynthia Warren, he works in
28:05 partnership with his wife...
28:27 Until next time, may God bless you.