Genesis 18: 24-33

Sunday, February 25, 2018, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Rev. Billy Graham was a righteous man.  The Lord revealed him through awesome deeds of righteousness (Psa. 65: 4-5).   Through the gift of righteousness given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ; he received and operated supernaturally in two giftings direct from Jesus:  righteousness and salvation.  Through the power of these two gifts, he led millions to Jesus Christ.  (This is not to imply these were his only gifts.  I know he was also gifted by the Holy Spirit.)  However, gifts of righteousness and salvation come direct from Jesus Himself. (Ro. 5: 17-18)


Psalm 65: 4-5: Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!  We are filled with the good things of your house of your holy temple.  You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness.


Before the Lord judged Sodom and Gomorrah, He appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre.  This was the visitation of his covenant with Abraham and Sarah setting the time of Isaac’s birth.  However, the visitation was two fold. After eating with Abraham,  the LORD and three angels were leaving for Sodom.  Abraham walked with them part of the way.  The Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? (18:17).


Here God shares his intents with his Covenant Friend.  In the covenant relationship, Abraham has dominion and the power of intercession.  The Lord says because Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.  I know him that he will command his children and his household after him.  They shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him.  Abraham because the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done as wickedly as the outcry of it, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.


Abraham upon learning its fate interceded for the family of Lot, and hence the famous bargaining with God.   God changed from 50 to 45 to 30 to 20 to 10 righteous men in Sodom.  Not even ten righteous could be found in Sodom’s gates.


However, in that agreement God made with Abraham, He established an agreement seal with Abraham. It is established.  When God establishes something, it cannot be disestablished; until the seal is opened.  Today, if the LORD finds ten (10) righteous men in a city or nation, he will not destroy it because of his agreement with Abraham.   


   Sodom was so corrupt in homosexuality that the two daughters of Lot who had married men of Sodom were still virgins.


We know one righteous man has been taken to Heaven.  I asked myself LORD how many righteous are there on the earth?  The hunt for men of righteousness in certain areas of the world may not yield better numbers today than they did in Abraham’s day.   The difference between salvation and decimation always turns on the presence or absence of righteousness.


 We are righteous by the Gift of righteousness and through faith/righteousness of the Blood of Jesus.  Jesus said,  when I return will I find faith on the earth? (Lk. 18:8)


Elijah felt he was the last man standing for God.  God revealed He had special cadres of souls, who lived holy and righteous lives, and He knew the address of each of them. 


God said to him.  I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.


At this very hour, there are thousands of just men and women who have now bowed their knee to Ball.  We are the “remnant.”  These have been torn from society, ripped from the flesh, cut from the throws of religion, severed from mediocrity of apostasy and progressive religion.   


We are considered “odd” by the world.  They cannot understand us because we are of another Spirit.  We are known by the Spirit, even though we may be unknown to men.  Pockets of spiritual power are hidden to the world and strategically scattered about the globe.  We seek only the Father’s will.  The Father knows us well.


We are bent upon serving only God and dedicated to be used exclusively by the LORD and led by the Holy Spirit.


God’s seven thousand in every generation form a corporate body, an army of battlers, a Congregation of Light and a reservoir of spiritual understanding in a world of darkness and ignorance.  These are repositories of power in an exhausted generation.


Their lives are the equivalent of Noah and Lot in Peter’s writings.  They are the ones who are the owners of holiness and righteousness amid a world having lost all sense of those qualities.


“Noah and Lot---who would have imagined their linkage, but Simon (under the guidance of the Spirit) placed them together as examples of righteousness dwelling in worlds gone mad.  In their societies, they were the only ones “in step” with God.  Each was dubbed “righteous,” though living in places sold out to unrighteousness.


From my earthly vantage point, Lot’s righteousness is not visible to my understanding.  Thank goodness, by faith, we do not lean on our own understanding.  The issue must not be “Why did God call them righteous?” but “What did they possess that made them righteous?”


Righteous Noah is discussed in Hebrews.  I get it about Noah.  He was a preacher of righteousness bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly through his faith and obedience in God.


Heb. 11: 6-7: Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.


1 Peter 3:18-22: Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the sprits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine long suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared in which a few that is, eight souls were saved through water.


Peter joined together Noah and Lot:


2 Peter 2: 4-13: If God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was vexed by the filthy conducts of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeking and hearing their lawless deeds)---then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.  Especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority.  They are presumptuous, self-willed.  They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord, But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness. (N.K.J.V.)


The righteous of the Lord act as the basis for judgment to those who refuse to emulate their example.  Two kinds of people are in the earth, those who follow the example of righteousness and those who refuse.


Perhaps the reason Lot was called righteous is because he was more righteous than any one in Sodom.  Who am I to judge as unclean what God has called clean and righteous?  Perhaps because he obeyed and went o Zoar, his obedience was counted as righteousness?  Regardless, God deemed him righteous. Jesus deemed him righteous (Lk. 17: 26-31).  I declare him righteous!


Noah chose to hear and believe God in a world that neither heard nor regarded Him, thereby becoming the agent of “righteous” condemnation.  Sin has built-in judgment.  Righteousness has built-in justice.  Noah became, by his own faith, an “heir of righteousness.”  The building of the ark did not make him an heir.  Faith made him righteous.  Without Noah and his family acting in righteousness, those who perished would not have seen the crucified Lord of Glory when he triumphed over death.  Those condemned ones saw the “righteousness of God” in the person of Jesus Christ. Noah stood as an anti-type of redemption.  He was the righteous reason for judgment; Jesus is the righteous reason for salvation!


Noah is joined to Lot creating the righteous duo.  These two men merge in Scripture.  Noah, Job and Daniel are also examples of people joined together as examples of righteousness. (Ez. 14:14;20).


There are few preachers of righteousness even today!  Inner-core-righteousness was not received by Noah’s audience because he had no converts from his messages---the last days shall be as the days of Noah.


Genesis 6: 9-13: This is the genealogy of Noah.  Noah was a just (righteous) man, perfect in his generations.  Noah walked with God.  Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.  God said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (N.K.J.V.)


Luke 17: 26-31: As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man; they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.  Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.


Lot was  vexed by the “goings on” around him.  He found himself in a homosexual/bisexual city, where elicit sex was the character of the city.  Lot’s righteousness extended to his sons-in-law, but in the end, their own will prevailed leaving him with his two daughters. (Gen. 19:14) – His sons-in-law mocked him.


This again we can take as a principle established by God.  The blessing of our righteousness extends to our immediate family including the in-laws.  According to my idea of righteousness, his daughters were not righteous.  However, they were saved from the destruction of Sodom.    In the end, each one of us must receive the righteousness of Christ Jesus for ourselves.  Yet, here the Lord establishes the principle of “you and your household will be saved.” (Acts 16:31).


God can and will deliver the righteous ahead of judgment.  He did it then, and He will do so now.  Both Noah and Lot played a key part in their own deliverance and in standing as righteous examples. Faith-Righteousness always has a deliverer.


The righteous of today stand as living witnesses to the populace facing righteous judgment which is ongoing in the world.


Seven thousand souls were unknown to Elijah.  Romans eleven says they were reserved by God for Himself meaning they were His special possession as declared in Psalm 65: 4-5.  One of those seven thousand was named Elisha.  He like the others was God’s private possession.


Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!  We are filled with the good things of your house of your holy temple.  You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness.


Just as the Lord answers by awesome deeds of righteousness, our response to the world is to be like Jesus.  We seek to bring awesome deeds of righteousness to the earth.  These deeds are drawn from the righteous heart of God through the righteous heart of man directed to bless or curse the earth.  These directed acts of God’s Righteousness find entrance through the co-operative righteousness of the ‘holy ones’ (saints).


I believe Rev. Billy Graham was one of those through whom the LORD released awesome deeds of righteousness in salvation to millions.


Vision given to Kathie Walters two years ago:


“Someone had died that week, a well known Christian leader.  I was driving with some friends in New Zealand.  We were talking about it.  One person mentioned Billy Graham.  I asked the Lord about Billy Graham.  I was taken into a room Billy Graham was laying in bed, he seemed to be asleep. Then I saw Jesus appear in the doorway.  He walked over to Billy and touched his hand, then held up a time piece.  He touched Billy’s arm and said, “It’s time to go.”  There were Angels there too.  The next thing I saw was Billy Graham entering into what looked like a huge heavenly stadium where there were thousands and thousands of people.  As he entered I heard, cheering and cheering---it was louder than any packed stadium I’ve ever heard.  They were waiting and they were all the thousands who had been saved through Billy Graham’s ministry.” Kathie Walters.


Daniel 4:17: This matter is by the decree of the watchers (angels), and the demand by the word of the holy ones (saints/righteous ones); to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest (humble) men.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church


Scripture from K.J.V. – Dream given to Kathie Walters; I entered into the labors of The Regal Pair, Holiness and Righteousness by C. R. Oliver.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Dr. Oliver.

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