The ROCK
Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 

 


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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  •             First of all we need to understand the dangers we are facing today in the church. Just as Israel was warned over and over, we too are warned not to be deceived. Like Israel who did not listen we too have refused to listen to God’s word and have continued on our own paths al the while expecting to be blessed. All paths in what we call the church do not lead to eternal life. God has commanded us to obey, then it would go well for us, otherwise we too will be vomited out of the land. Jesus warned us not to be lukewarm which is apathy to God’s word. Luke 10:25 “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” Deuteronomy 6:1 “These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
                If we do not obey, we cannot expect the promises of God to be with us. This is the danger of reading a verse and not obeying. Many Christians have ignored the Old Testament as it is not part of the so-called “church age” and therefore they fail to understand the teachings of Jesus. As one person said, “The Church Age is marked by the Holy Spirit’s permanent indwelling of His people.” They then refer to John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.” Yet the same people don’t believe the verse above that says, 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 15 “If you love me, keep my commands.” Nor do they look at the verses below it that says, 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”
                So when people read a verse they think that automatically applies to them whether they follow the truth or not. The bible says so, so it must be true. Now before you get upset with me for saying that, I do believe the bible is true and there is no other truth but I believe as the bible states we must obey and continue to obey for the truths to apply.  Leviticus 4:1 “The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. 3 You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. 1 John 3:4 “You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God.”7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.”
                Because we have all these false teachings throughout the church, we will not see the power of the Holy Spirit unfold. Jesus told us do not be deceived yet millions are. He told us this for a reason. That reason is it is possible for you to be deceived and fall from your secure position otherwise he would not have told us this. 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” We have been warned about the wolves in sheep’s clothing but is anyone listening. We have been warned about the narrow gate but is anyone listening. The answer is the church just continues in desolation without repentance thinking all is well. Yes Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against us but that is said in the understanding that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Matthew 16:16 “Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” What you believe about Jesus changes everything. What you believe better line up with His own words. The prophecies about the abomination that cause desolation are being fulfilled. Daniel and John were astonished at what they saw. Daniel 8:27 (KJV) “And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” The NIV and ESV say appalled. Revelation 17 talks about this astonishment to the very things that are happening now. They saw a time coming, which is now that there would be great deception in the church. When Jesus said to Peter about the gates of hades that meant having the power to destroy the devil’s work. In our disobedience of not adhering to the word of God, we are defeated by the enemy and taken captive.
                Having said this I want to go back to the statement about the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us 1 Corinthians 12:3 “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” He then proceeds to tell us what life in the power of the Spirit looks like. Oddly enough the very people that talk about the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit do not believe what Paul wrote about the manifestations of the Holy Spirit therefore they do not believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to all who believe. Again there is mass deception and delusion in the church. We are told in 2 Corinthians 1:21 “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” and Ephesians 1:11 “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” Notice it says when you believed. These verses only apply, as you believe. Ask yourself what happens when you believed the wrong gospel? So if you look back to the blog called “Marked” you will see we can be marked by either God or satan. If we disobey God’s word we are marked by satan not God. The teaching is basically saying once saved no one can take you from God’s hand.  John 10:25 “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” Again the verse within the verses says I did tell you but you did not believe. Unbelief always leads to delusion, disobedience and defeat and God turning his face from us. Obedience to your churches rules and regulations is not the same obedience to Gods’ word. You will recall that when they took the Promised Land they were told no one can stand against you and everywhere you set your feet will be yours, yet they were defeated at Ai. The same applies to today. If we do not live in obedience we have been made liable to destruction. Joshua 7:12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” It is the teachings of fools that say nothing can happen to you once you are saved. If the Holy Spirit is not present and we have been made liable to destruction how can we say we are sealed with the Holy Spirit? We are only sealed if we follow God’s word, not mans wholeheartedly. Peter said when talking about the Day of the Lord, 2 Peter 3:14 “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
                It is false security to stake your lives on the teachings of men who 2 Peter 2:17 says, “blackest darkness is reserved for them.” When Paul was teaching the church at Ephesus he told them how to live yet when we read Revelation 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place,” we see they did not remain in His teachings. Paul praised the Thessalonians for following wholeheartedly 1 Thessalonians 1:4 “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.”
                The problem is the church isn’t talking about what happens if we don’t follow God’s word wholeheartedly. Just saying the Old testament is not relevant to today doesn’t remove our responsibility to know what happens if we disobey as laid out in the Old. The New Testament makes it very clear that obedience is the only way. Many just say nothing can take the Spirit away from us but scripture shows us a totally different picture. Our guaranteed deposit is in direct correlation with our obedience to God’s word. 2 Timothy 1:14 “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” There would be no need to guard it if it couldn’t be taken away. After Paul talks about being “marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance, he says in Ephesians 2:9 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” To be a dwelling for God we must understand that we must be pure and blameless. 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 at the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” We need to understand that for God to dwell we cannot continue unrepentant. Right after this God says to Isaiah Isaiah 6:9 “He said, “Go and tell this people: “ ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
                We desperately need to have a greater understanding of who God is. Paul prays for the Ephesians 3:14 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
                Paul then tells us we cannot continue in our previous way of life. Ephesians 4:20 “That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Many people who call themselves Christians, have not repented nor have they changed, they just go to church. This is mainly because we are missing the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”  As time continues to draw near the end, people still are not listening. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.”
                Many have been taught that it’s okay to stay in your sinful life, God loves you anyways. Paul then says Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” So like Samson when he cut his hair,  “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free. But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” Also Hebrews wouldn’t tell us Hebrews 6:4 “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” We saw this very thing when Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit. 1 Samuel 10:6 “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. 8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.” 9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.” Then Saul did not wait, disobeyed and he lost everything. Now we see in 2 Samuel 7:15-16 where many have misinterpreted God’s love for us. In God’s promise to David many only read this verse. Again it is dangerous to pick and choose verses to fit your theology. 2 Samuel 7:15 “But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” You can’t just read that verse and say God will never take his love away from us. You have to read the following verse with it. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’” It is because God loves us that he remains true to His character. God has not changed. So as you continue to read about the evil the Kings of Israel who did in the eyes of the Lord and finally Judah also, they were destroyed by the Assyrians and taken into captivity and only a remnant returned. So be very careful saying you can’t be snatched form God’s hand and live however you want. I truly believe no man can stand against us and everywhere we set our feet will be ours but only in obedience and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Most do not know they have grieved the Holy Spirit because they have followed false doctrines. They failed to guard the deposit closely and someone stole right before their eyes.
                To take a verse and stake your life on it is one thing but to take a verse out of context and listen to false teaching is another. Yes right now we have churches who approve of homosexuality even though the bible says no. Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. You can’t stay the same but you need God’s power to change. This goes for another abomination called gossip. Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable (an abomination) to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.) Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
                We cannot stay the same and have a guarantee of eternal life. We only have the guarantee by standing firm on God’s word. 2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” Deuteronomy 30:15 Jeshurun (poetic Israel, upright) grew fat and kicked; filled with food, they became heavy and sleek. They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. 16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. 17 They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear. 18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 The LORD saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.” Isaiah 63:10 “Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them. Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
                The bottom line is in order for us to stand on the promises of God, we must obey. We cannot go our own way, listen to false teachers and preachers, be part of false gospels and be guaranteed eternal life. That’s simply not what scripture states. But as Paul said “That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.” Sadly we cannot say that, as we have not been taught the truth but we are all accountable as we have the truth of his word before us. So that is why we have repented and have gone back to the beginning to wait for the same power to come upon us as it did at Pentecost. Jesus said in Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” We cannot say we are sealed for the day of redemption, if we have grieved the Holy Spirit and refuse to obey the words of Jesus Christ. Like Israel we will not have the power to defeat our enemies and we will be destroyed. If we want that deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption, we must be God’s possession. That means we submit ourselves as a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We cannot be a friend of the world and a friend of God and expect the promises to apply. James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
                So if we want that beautiful promise of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the deposit guaranteeing eternal life, we must be wholehearted followers of the way, the truth and the life otherwise there is no way to defeat our enemy satan. If we want God to turn His face to shine on us once again we must humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways. To repent means to turn around and turn away. If you continue on the wrong path you will find yourselves where the dead are. Read Proverbs 1-9. As we return to the truth I leave you with 2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”