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A Tale of Two Empires, Part 2 (Habakkuk Sermon 5 of 9)

A Tale of Two Empires, Part 2 (Habakkuk Sermon 5 of 9)

May 12, 2002 | Andy Davis
Habakkuk 2:2-17
Glory of God, God's Purpose for the World, The Kingdom of Christ

I. Wreckage of a World of Empires

I'd like to ask if you would, take your Bibles and open to Habakkuk 2, continuing our series on Habakkuk. And this is the second time that we're looking at these verses, which culminated in one of the greatest verses, I think, in the entire Bible. Verse 14, "The Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." We are surrounded everyday by the evidence of the two great empires that are being built right in front of us. We have the empire of the glory of man, and we have the empire of the glory of God.

Now, Babylon represents the first, the empire of the glory of man. And yet, it's not just military empires that are around us. Yes, the lines are drawn on the map as a result of conquest and military action of the past, but not much of that is going on right now. It went on 55-60 years ago during World War II, but right now nations are not seeking to expand their borders. And yet there are still the effects of past conquests, military and otherwise, around us all the time, because there are other empires being built. There are, for example, financial empires.

I've been doing some research now on 100 years ago. There was a group of people called Robber Barons, these were a powerful industrialists who were sometimes called captains of industry. I guess it depends how you look on it, but they would organize an industry to its nth degree, and monopolize it so that they could gain control, complete control over that industry, because they wanted no competition. And ultimately they organized America for business. It's true, but they wielded such incredible power that they had to step up and the government had to break apart some of those trusts and those monopolies.

I'm thinking for example of Andrew Carnegie who organized the steel industry, or Cornelius Vanderbilt, the commodore who organized the railroad industry, JP Morgan who organized finances. By the way, we got a discover bill, I'm not going to tell you what was in it, but I turned over in the back and there was the word Morgan, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, The House of Morgan is still with us. We're still surrounded by the effects of these empires. And then there's perhaps the greatest of all, John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, which in its hey day controlled 90% of the oil industry in the United States, 90%. How did he do it?

Well, he had special deals with the railroad, so they gave him kickbacks and information and little by little, he was able to put smaller competitors out of business, an empire was built, step-by-step, not very different from the military conquest that we've talked about. As a matter of fact, he frequently, in his writings and his journal, compared himself to Napoleon.

And so we have the effects of empires all around us even to this very day. Ruthless men who sweep the earth, those that use their power and their strength and their intellect and their ability for their own glory. No, I'm not saying each of those did that, but I'm saying that there is building and structuring and empire building going on all the time.

Now, the same was going on in Habakkuk's day. Habakkuk looked at his own people and he saw a little mini empires, little mini emperors. There were people within Jewish society that were using their position for their own advancement. They were using their position as a judge to accept bribes, for example, and not render justice where it was due. And so they would get wealthy. Other businessmen were using unjust tactics to crush competitors and to crush the poor and they're adding

And Habakkuk looked at that and just lifted up his hands and said, "How long O Lord, is this going to go on? Why do you remain silent? Why are you doing nothing when there's just corruption and injustice among your own people? Why?" Well, God answered, and said, "Look at the nations. Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed for I'm going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own. They are a feared and dreaded people. They'll allot to themselves and promote their own honor. They're coming, Habakkuk, the Babylonians are coming, and they're going to destroy you just like they destroyed the Assyrians and the Egyptians before them, they're going to destroy you too."

Well, this was a deeper problem, wasn't it? Habakkuk said, "How can this be? I was intending that you just fix the problem, not that you erase the nation. How can it be that you're going to use this wicked pagan godless people to come in and erase the people of God, the Jews? Now, I admit we have our problems, we have our sins, but it's not that bad, is it? How can it be?" And so he asked the why question even deeper.

Habakkuk 1:13, he says, "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? Why God are you not acting on the unrighteousness in human history? Why do you hold back? Why are you quiet while these empires get built?" Habakkuk chapter two, is God's timeless answer to that question.

Now, that's a big picture question, isn't it? What is going on in human history with the rise and fall of the nations? For Habakkuk, he wanted a specific question. What is going on with the Babylonians? What are you going to do with the Babylonians? God gives a four-part answer to Habakkuk in Habakkuk chapter two.

First he says, and we talked about this last time, Babylon will be destroyed in turn. That's the first answer.

Secondly, Babylon represents a cycle of human history, so that one nation rises and then falls and the next one comes and takes its place, and all of that is going to amount to dust in the wind, all of the human labor of self-glorifying empire building will amount to nothing. It's going to be fuel for the fire, it's going to be dust in the wind.

Because thirdly, God is building his own empire. And it will last forever and ever. You see the two juxtaposed in Verses 13 and 14, look again at them. "Has not the Lord Almighty determined that the people's labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." Do you see it? You see the human empire building and it's going to amount to fuel for the fire. You see God filling the whole world with His own glory, just as the waters cover the sea. That's the third answer.

And then fourthly, it's really the first one he covers, but logically the fourth. We've got the big picture all of the empires rising and following God's glory.

Well, what about the individual, what about the lowly person? What about the single prophet for example, like Habakkuk? What about the righteous in the land? What about individual people? He answers that in Habakkuk 2:4 look again at it, he says there, "The righteous will live by his faith." By faith alone do you survive the ebbs and flows of human history. By faith alone do you enter that Kingdom of God's glory. By faith in Jesus Christ has God's redemptive plan unfolded. By faith in Christ alone, will you survive history and ultimately judgement day. That's the four part answer that he gives.

II. The Law of the Boomerang: Babylon Will Be Destroyed in Turn

Now, last time, we talked about the first of these, that is that Babylon will be destroyed in turn. Now, recently, my children and I were listening to a Patch The Pirate tape, we love Patch The Pirate. Some of you that are younger parents have heard it. He's great and he talks about... He takes these biblical principles and weaves them into an interesting story. And this particular one was said in Australia. And he taught what he called the Law of the boomerang. The law of the boomerang. How many of you've ever seen a boomerang? It's a curved pieces of stick with a twist on one side and a twist on the other, and if you throw it in a certain way, it flies through the air and if you're good at it, it ends back in your hand. If you're not good at it, it ends in the neighbor's window. So you need to be very, very careful. You need a huge yard or don't use it.

Well, the aborigines out in the outback know exactly how to throw it so that it goes around accomplishes its task, or it comes back into their hand. Now what, according to Patch The Pirate is the law of the boomerang? Well, it's got to do with the golden rule, do to others as you would have them do you. And the flip side of that is however you do to others, it's going to come back on you.

Jesus put it this way in Matthew 7:12. "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." Matthew 7:2 says, "The measure you use is the measure that will be measured to you." This is a consistent biblical principle, isn't it? Consistent warning, look at, listen to Psalm 7:15-16, it says, "He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on Himself, his violence comes down on his own head." Proverbs 26:27, says, "If A man digs a pit, he'll fall into it. If a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him." The schemes that you make, the way you treat others, that's what's going to come back on you. If you dig a pit you're going to fall into it.

Concerning military conquest, Jesus put it this way. He said to Peter, "Put your sword away for whoever draws the sword will die by the sword." If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword. That's the law of the boomerang. Common everyday way of speaking is what goes around comes around, right?

And so if you are a Babylonian empire builder and you sweep in and conquer your neighbors, what are they going to do when the time is right and your time has finished on the world stage? The empire that you have built will crumble because the people you have dominated will come back, and will conquer you. Babylon will get there’s too.

Look at verses 7-8. It says "Will not your debtors suddenly arise, will they not wake-up and make you tremble then you will become their victim because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you, for you have shed man's blood, you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them." Then again, look at Verse 15-17, it says "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunks so that he can gaze on their naked bodies." He's talking there about conquest, about the wine of conquering. And He says, "You poured it out for your neighbors, guess what? The cup from the Lord's right hand is coming around to you." It's the law of the boomerang. You gave it out, now it's coming back on your head, "Drink and be exposed. The cup from the Lord's right hand is coming around to you and disgrace will cover your glory. The violence you've done to Lebanon will overwhelm you and your destruction of animals will terrify you, for you have shed man's blood, you've destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them."

It's the law, isn't it? The law of the boomerang. The way you treat others is the way it's going to be treated back on you. The measure you use is the measure you'll receive. Well, Habakkuk says, "Sounds good. Babylon will be destroyed in turn. They'll get it." And so in chapter 3:16, he says, "Okay, that's worth waiting for." He says, "I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us." I'm waiting now for Babylon to get theirs. But you know something, it goes a lot deeper than that, doesn't it?

III. All Human Empires Are Fuel for the Fire

The second point is that, you know something, Babylon is going to get there is by another empire that's going to rise, it's the empire of the Medes and the Persians. And they're going to ride it for a while, aren't they? They're going to be on the crest of the wave for a while. And so on and so on. "Nation will rise against nation," Jesus said, "and kingdom against kingdom, until the end comes."

So really Habakkuk two echoes through all of human history. Look again at chapter 2:2-3, "Then the Lord replied, 'write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets, so that a Herald may run with it.'" Look at verse 3, "For the revelation awaits an appointed time. It speaks of the end." Do you see that" it's speaking of the end. The end of what? Well, the end of the Babylonians but it speaks to the end of history, doesn't it? Because this cycle just keeps on going and going. One Nation rises and another falls.

If you look throughout chapter two, you don't see the word Babylon anywhere, do you? Woe to him who... Woe to the one who does this. If the shoe fits, wear it. If this is what you have done to your neighbor, then the woes of Habakkuk two come down on you. It's universal language written to any military conqueror who rides out with wicked motives, even perhaps to the owner of a monopoly or a trust that uses their power to squelch or to push out other smaller businesses so that they alone stand as the dominator.

Look at Verse Six, it says, "Woe to him who piles up stolen goods, and makes himself wealthy by extortion." You see how it works. It's not just military conquerors but anyone who deals in this way with his neighbor. And so the Lord gives us general language in Verse 13, "Has not the Lord Almighty determined that the people's labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing." It literally says, "Is it not from the Lord? It is from the Lord that the people's labor ends up to nothing, it is God's decree because God will have no competition. In the end, his glory will stand alone.

It's not an accident that the empires have come and gone and there's very little show for them. It's not an accident that there's almost nothing to show of Napoleon's empire. It's not an accident that there's very little to show of Genghis Khan's empire, by the way, the biggest that the world has ever seen, in terms of land mass, and nothing to show for it except for records in history.

The reason is that Babylon itself is a symbol of human glory, and God opposes human glory with all of His being. He hates it. Well, you glorify yourself, if you elevate yourself arrogantly pridefully, you will be cast down. He who exalts himself will be humbled, the Bible says so. Now Babylon has a past, an ancient past. Babylon, it also says in Scripture, has a future. Very interesting. Where did Babylon come from? It was founded by a man named Nimrod. Genesis Chapter 10 refers to him. He was, I believe, probably the first military conqueror potentate type.

Genesis 10. It says that Cush, Noah's grandson was the father of Nimrod and he grew to be a mighty warrior on the Earth, He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. The first centers of His kingdom, Genesis 10:10, were Babylon, Eruch, Akkad, Calneh and Shinar. From there he went on to Assyria and built Nineveh. So he built Babylon and he built Nineveh. And so he was a world-conquering guy. This is Nimrod. It wasn't long after that in Genesis 11 that the people that inhabited Babylon built the tower of Babel for their own glory. They built a tower, and it rose higher and higher, for their own glory. And God came down and confused the languages and cast them down, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

In New Testament times however the mantle of Babylon had passed to the Romans. And so in 1 Peter 5:13, it says this, Peter writing, I believe church tradition places him in Rome at the time of his death. He died in Rome. And Peter said this, "She who is in Babylon, [the church] chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son, Mark." Babylon meant Rome.

You see the mantle of Babylon had passed to the Roman Empire at that point. They'd wear it for a while and then they'd pass Babylon on to the next conquering nation, and so it went on and on. Well, Babylon also has a future. It's mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 14:8, "a second angel followed and said, 'Fallen fallen is Babylon the great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.'" And then in Revelation 18:1-2, "After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority and the Earth was illuminated by his splendor, with a mighty voice, he shouted, 'Fallen fallen is Babylon, the great. All the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.'" and so in the end, Babylon the symbol of human glory, gets judged by the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Jesus comes back and destroys Babylon. He destroys the city of human glory. And in Revelation 18:9 and following, this is what it says this is the lament of the Earth over Babylon the Great. "When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry, 'woe, woe, oh great city, oh Babylon, City of power, in one hour your doom has come, the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes, anymore. Cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen, purple silk and scarlet cloth, every sort of citron wood and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble, cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and carriages, and bodies and souls of men."

What is that? That is the truck and trade of Babylon the great. It is the stuff of this earth. It is human glory and all of the human comforts that that glory brings. The final incarnation of Babylon the great is the rule of anti-Christ on the Earth. He. 2 Thessalonians 2, sets himself up in God's temple, make himself equal to God whom Jesus Christ, it says, will overthrow with his breath and with the glory of His second coming. Jesus will come back with his glory.

So in summary of the second point, Babylon represents all of human glory and in the end God fights against human glory and overthrows it.

IV. God’s Eternal Empire

Well, what does he overthrow it with? Well, with the kingdom of His own glory, the glory of Jesus Christ who will reign forever and ever. Somebody say, Amen. The glory of Jesus Christ and he comes and establishes a kingdom and the world-wide scope of that kingdom is laid out in Verse 14. Look at it again. For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. This is a prophecy, is it not? It's speaking of the future, it speaks of the end. It's not been fully fulfilled at this point. It's going on, it's advancing but it's not complete yet. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Now, look at the first word in Verse 14. It says, "For the Earth will be filled," what is that? It's a connection to verse 13. Well, all of the labor of human glory is going to be fuel for the fire. What is that? At the clearing of the building site, you got to remove just like What's going on down at ground zero of 911, they've got to remove all of that twisted melted wreckage and get it out of there, if they want to build something else. And so it is with human glory, it must be removed, utterly removed if the kingdom of God is going to stand in all of its glory. You've got to remove it for the earth will be filled instead with the glory of God, the knowledge of the glory of God. You've got to remove all of that human glory.

What is Glory?

Now, what is his glory? Well, let me tell you something. The Glory of God already fills the earth. Did you know that? We've talked about it before, but this is what it says in Isaiah 6, The prophet Isaiah in his call, it says "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple," this is Isaiah seeing Jesus glory. "Above him there were seraphs, each with six wings. With two wings, they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is filled with His glory now.'" It's already here.

Well, how did it get there? Well, He wove it into creation. It was there at the start. He made this world glorious. He put his fingerprints on everything he did. But he had a higher plan. He intended not only that the Earth be filled with His glory, but according to Habakkuk 2:14, that the Earth be filled with the knowledge of His glory. And for that, you need people, don't you? Worms and eagles and trees and babbling brooks and clouds cannot know God.

And so, he said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…" Male and female, He created them in the image of God, that they would know His glory, that they would be creatures after his own mind so that they could see a babbling brook or a worm or an eagle or a cloud or a forest and say, "God made that, to God be the glory." But something happened, didn't it? Sin entered the world and perverted everything. And so the mind of man was twisted and perverted, and instead of seeing glory of God everywhere, it saw instead, things to be worshipped.

Romans 1:20-23, "For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man, and birds, and animals and reptiles." They exchanged the glory of God for something created, God therefore cursed the world. And we had therefore diminished glory.

He subjected the created world to futility, to frustration. And we were born with darkened minds so that we could not see the glory of God in creation. But all that's going to change. All that is changing now, and why? Because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Christ reverses that whole thing, and why? Because the Holy Spirit comes with the Gospel of God's glory and changes your mind. We did pretty well, biologically filling the world, didn't we? There are people everywhere, even the most remotest places are filled with people. But is the world filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea?

Have you ever been down to the sea? Have you seen how completely the waters cover that territory? Do you realize that in some parts of the ocean it's six miles deep? Do people know God's glory that much? Is the earth filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord now that way? No. But it's changing, isn't it? The kingdom of God is advancing step-by-step through missionary endeavor, through you going out and sharing the gospel with your neighbors and co-workers with other people, and what happens. Well, I'll tell you what happens.

You share that powerful gospel, the apostle Paul said, "I'm not ashamed of the Gospel because it's got power…" it's got power to put it back the way it used to be, the way it was meant to be, that we would know God's glory. It's got power. The gospel comes through your lips and an unbeliever hears and their hearts are changed. In 2 Corinthians 4:6, it says, "For God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness…'" that's glory, in Creation, isn't it? The same God who did that "made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." That's called conversion, folks, and it comes by believing the Gospel. So you hear the Gospel and your heart is changed. Immediately, you start seeing the world differently, don't you?

Look at an unbeliever in Irian Jaya, Stone-Age tribe. He has been an idle worshiper all his life. The missionaries come, Don Richardson, let's say, shares the Gospel and they come to faith in Christ. They repent and the light of the knowledge of the glory of God comes into their mind. Everything's different. The next morning the sun comes up like it always has. But it's different now, isn't it, for that individual? What does he see in the sun rays as they go across in the pink early morning sky? Does he just see a sunrise? Does he believe that his god of stone did it? No, he understands this is my Father's world. God made that. God made it. It changes everything.

It changes it for a scientist. Scientist goes into the laboratory and sees some principle of scientific technique. Does he say, "Oh, how smart I am," no that's idolatry. Instead he says, "God made it that way. Everything changes." The Earth starts getting filled more and more with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea

The kingdom of Jesus Christ is spreading. But it's got a future, doesn't it? We're not going to see it completed in this world. Forces of darkness are still strong and there's still a future for Babylon isn't there? But when Jesus Christ comes back, he's going to destroy this present world, everything not built for the glory of God will go. All of it. Everything will go. And he will create, it says in Revelation 21:1, "A new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and there was no longer any sea." Isn't that interesting? Why is there no longer any sea?

Well, in the Book of Revelation, where do all the beasts come from that rule over the earth? They come up out of the sea, don't they? The churning mass of pagan nations, all of this churning mass of rise and fall of the world, rise and fall, that's gone. It's gone. There's only one kingdom now, the Kingdom of God's glory, it's the only one left.

A new heaven and a new earth are perfected in glory. And not only that, we will be perfected. We'll have new eyes to see and a new heart to understand. And we will see a glory such as we have never seen before, there'll be no sun, there'll be no moon, no need for stars, no need for a lamp, just the glory of God shining in that new place. And Jesus Christ is the lamp. That's the future. And at that point, it will be fulfilled what Habakkuk said so long ago, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

VI. Review and Application

Now, by way of review. Habakkuk asks a question, "God, how can you stand and look at history, at the rise and fall of the Nations and all these wicked people and do nothing?" Answer, "I'm not doing nothing. I'm ruling over the whole thing. I'm raising up the Babylonians and when their day is over, I'm going to raise up the Persians, and when their day is over, I'm going to raise up the Greeks, I'm running the whole thing. And in the middle of it all, I'm building a kingdom for my glory. It's hidden, only the believers can see it now, but it's coming. And righteous people will enter that Kingdom, simply by faith in Jesus Christ." That's what he says in Habakkuk 2.

What can we say then in response? I think number one, come out of Babylon. Come out. What business has the church in Babylon? What do we want to be in there anyway? This what it says in Revelation 18:4-5, "Then I heard another voice from Heaven say Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues for her sins are piled up to heaven and God has remembered her crimes. Come out of her."

Now, we can't leave the world but come out of the way of thinking. Don't do your work for your own glory, do it for God. Don't be a mother for your own glory, be a mother for the glory of God. Don't be a father for your own glory, do it for God's glory. Don't be a businessman, don't own a business, don't be an employee in a business except for the glory of God. Everything you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Come out of her also, and that don't share in her track, don't share in her stuff. What do we want with that? It's all going to pass away. The desires of this world will pass away but the one who does the will of God will last forever. So therefore do not love the world or anything in the world, for anything in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, that comes not from the Father but from the world, and it's going to disappear.

Secondly, enter and live by faith in Christ. What do I mean by enter? You enter through the narrow gate, you enter the kingdom of God through faith in Jesus Christ. We've already shared in Babylon's sins, haven't we? And therefore, we have judgment on us if we're not Christians, we will be judged by the wrath of God. The cross is God's answer. Jesus Christ came to take away our punishment for our sins. By simple faith, not by accomplishments or great achievements, but by simple faith in Christ, you enter the Kingdom of God's glory. That's all. But then you live in it, don't you?

The moment you come to faith in Christ, you go up into the kingdom of glory. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Of course, you'll be taught to be a pastor, because you've only been pastoring unbelievers all the time, right? As soon as they come to faith, they're gone. God has ordained that we stay on Earth, for a while. We've got some good deeds to do by faith in Christ, we must do them for his glory, we must live by faith, the righteous will live by faith.

Thirdly, I want to exhort you to be ambitious. There's a lot of ambition and backache too, isn't there? But it's all self-ambition, self-glory. I think God's put kingdom building in our hearts, that's why we keep perverting it into earthly kingdoms. Now, let it be sanctified and build the kingdom for the glory of God. Do you realize some of the great figures in church history have been incredibly ambitious people? Hudson Taylor threw himself on a map of China and said God give me China or I'll die. Now that's ambition. Now, I think Coca-Cola threw itself on the map but didn't say God give me China or I die. I went to Kashgar, China and there was Coca-Cola, the most remote place I've ever been. They're ambitious, but not for the glory of God.

You see Hudson Taylor was ambitious. Every bit as ambitious, but for the glory of God. C.T Studd, said this, attempt great things for God, expect great things from God. I'm calling you to be ambitious, but ambitious for the glory of God to build a kingdom for His glory. And where does it start? We have to start by conquering right at home, your own body. Control yourself and your own passions, your own lusts. That's why Paul said, "I beat my body and make it my slave." You want to conquer something? Conquer yourself, and once you've conquered yourself, keep it conquered. He said, "I beat my body and I keep it my slave, lest after I've preached to others, I myself may be disqualified."

Alright, after you've conquered yourself then move out, start with your family and with your group. And I'm talking, conquering for the glory of God. It's a whole different kind of conquer. Jesus is servant, loved conquering. That's how it works, and it goes on from there to the ends of the earth through the power of the gospel. And why? Because the Earth is going to be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. You do that labor and your work will last forever.

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