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May19TueMay 19, 2020Yesterday we saw that Jesus did not do many miracles in His hometown. Luke 4:24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.” After they tried to kill him, Jesus Luke 4:31 “then went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. 36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.”Did you know that the demons knew who the Messiah was? Does the church get this kind of response? Mark 3:11 “Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” Mark 5:6 “When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.” They wanted Jesus to leave because their pigs ended up dead meanwhile the Son of God was in their presence yet they wanted him to go. They really did not want their lives to be changed.Before I go on, as I’m writing this blog, I have to admit I have the song we sang on Sunday called “Jesus Is” cranked. As I am reading these next sections of scripture, I was overwhelmed with the power that Jesus gave to His disciples, the power that was supposed to continue but today the church is filled with false teachers and prophets and the truth has been thrown down and we are powerless. That should infuriate you as it does me. Instead of casting out evil and impure spirits, they reign instead and are not afraid of those who call themselves the church. Our enemies do not fear the church and the answer why is easy; the church is no longer anointed with power. Most of the church doesn’t even believe there are evil spirits let alone cast them out. These passages you are about to read are so foreign to the church they seem an impossibility. The deception is great in the church. Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” The enemy has laid a beating on the church because we are using the name of Jesus but he has taken the authority away and there is no power.Paul on the other hand had the power available. Acts 16:16 “Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. 19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” 29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.”Jesus is the Truth, the Life and the Way. He is Prince of Peace, King of kings, Lord of lords, Everything, Mighty God, Son of Man, Holy One, The Great I Am! Those were a few of the words of the song I am listening to. I hope you understand that when the church turns away from God’s word, we end up powerless, weak and pathetic. Sunday mornings may be uplifting just as this song is but what you should be looking for on Sunday is the power and authority of Jesus Christ, not the organizational or motivational skills of men and woman or the enthusiasm of the worship team. Is your church leading you to repentance and to wait on the return of God’s power? This is what should be happening; casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead regular events, repentance and the kingdom of God coming near? If there is power in the name of Jesus, then the evil one will be afraid.Since the demons are still here, they still know who the Messiah is and the power available to those who believe. They also know that Jesus gave authority over these evil spirits to His disciples. This is why they fight so hard to get us to turn from the authority of Gods word, as they know there is no power that can defeat them other than the power and authority of Jesus name. Why would anyone think that the power is no longer available to us if the demons are still here, of which they are? Those teaching there is no power or you really can’t expect this kind of power are deceiving you. This is Jesus the head of the church. Luke 6:17 “He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.” Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” Acts 8:6 “When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.”Yes there are a lot of people in church praising and singing about Jesus Christ. They love to hear the stories week after week. They love to hear about Jesus healing and casting out demons and are even amazed, they don’t see it but love to hear about it. Luke 4:36 “All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.” But that is as far as it goes because those who lead do not have the power and they teach others that the power is no longer available. But after an uplifting service, or an arousing concert they leave unchanged and powerless only to return and do it again. They refuse to repent and turn from their wicked ways. Jeremiah 5:30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” People no longer should stand for this form of godliness and denying the power. There should be an uprising against satan who has set up His kingdom in the church. Nehemiah 2:17 “Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” By the way God allowed this defeat to happen just as He used Babylon to attack Israel. The only way to defeat satan is to be clothed with power from on high. Can you honestly say when you read scriptures or even just the passages above that the church looks anything like this? If there were power, there would also be discernment to know the truth from the false.The town that God performed miracles in were all amazed at the power just as the church is amazed at the stories they read in God’s word but it does nothing for them because they refuse to repent. Matthew 11:20 “Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” You do not want to hear those words. Turn from your wicked ways and return to the word of the Lord. 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”