The ROCK
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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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  • Apr4Sat

    Day 39: At Wits End

    April 4, 2020

              Are you at your wits’ end yet or do you even realize you should be? To be at your wits’ end means, “to be so worried, confused, or annoyed that you do not know what to do next.” Today around the world people are struggling to keep it together. While some don’t really seem to care or are oblivious, most are doing what they have to to try and slow this virus down. This virus has affected the whole world and millions of people especially in the areas devastated by this virus are at their wits’ end. We are seeing this desperation at all stages of the viral impact, not just in areas at the height of the virus but also in areas where it is closer to the beginning stages and everything in-between. I watched a video of a young nurse here in Ontario crying out for help because they needed more equipment to be safe, worried for her children, living in fear and completely desperate because they know more case will develop rapidly. At this point at last check in Ontario 3255 cases and 67 deaths. Canada has at last check 12,375 cases and 178 deaths. On the other end of the scale is Italy where the country has been ravaged with 119,827 cases 14,681deaths, one of the infectious disease specialists said, “this is war.” With the US case numbers exploding, people are crying out for help as they are around the world. Today Premier Ford released possible numbers of cases from this COVID-19 virus. He also said our best defense is to stay home, self isolate, don’t go out, it’s a matter of life and death. Projections in the US are bleak with cases exploding across the country. Governments, hospitals, businesses and people around the world are at their wits’ end. Sure they say stay home but most need to work to pay for the dwelling place so the stress and fear is across the board, affecting almost everyone. Yes there are the oblivious and the naysayers, the conspiracy bottom feeders who do more damage than good, but overall most, if not there already are or will be at their wits’ end. 
                But is your wits’ end enough to turn back to God? By the way you don’t have to be at your wit’s end to turn to God. It would be better just to give your life to Him before crisis sets in. Psalm 107:4 “Some wandered in desert wastelands, 10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, 11 because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. 17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. 23 Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. 24 They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. 25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. 26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. 27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.” But will people cry out and turn from their wicked ways.
                As you are aware from my blogs this week I have followed some pretty crazy stuff taking place in the name of God but at the same time there are also those just trying to keep the peace and help people through this who appear perfectly normal. While I have talked about the false prophets who are really easy to see, there are also those who stand week-by-week leading people astray who are not outrageous. They just really believe the doctrines they stand on. They will help you through your time of need but will not lead you to repentance and turn from their way. There really is no difference as these teachers and prophets are bringing the way of God into disrepute by what they teach. 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories.” I listened to a little Joel Osteen and he last week shared his dream how God spoke to him and kept him safe. He made it sound like God has given him His stamp of approval. Anne Lotz Graham said “During this time, God spoke to me through His Word: "Anne, even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you will fear no evil; for I am with you" (see Ps. 23:4). "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand" She then said “It's time to pray! It's time to turn away from our sin, self-centeredness and secularism, and turn to God in faith and trust. Now. "Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents from punishing" “If we heed God's message, He can calm the storm and bring us through to a time of spiritual revival and national renewal.” But there is no repentance and turning away from their own sin, from their own teaching. At one time Graham said she was a watchman but opened the door to a false prophet and believes the rapture. She like Osteen should be leading in repentance, first with themselves but the way they talk makes it look like you should pay attention to everything they are saying. Jeremiah 23:25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” The truth is we should be at our wit’s end concerning the condition the church is really in. 
                Because churches and their leaders all around the world have delivered their messages as if from God, the church has been led astray and most have fallen for it. Jeremiah 23:21 “I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.” It really is quite amazing that while using the bible itself they nullify God’s word by their teaching. Mark 7:13 “Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” These teachers and preachers that millions are following are not standing on the walls shouting the enemy has infiltrated our walls but welcoming them. Lamentations 2:14 “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.” Nehemiah gives us a picture of the broken church as he was told, “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” The enemy has already infiltrated the church, yet most ministers want to comfort their people but this is not a time to say peace, peace when there is no peace but for repentance for following our own ways, as God is our only hope. 
                Today’s church does not have much to offer but that is not how it is supposed to be. The false prophets and teachers are springs without water. I could not help thinking as I watched Joel Osteen speak to an empty church, that is how it should be, but millions are watching and they said they have increased their viewership. 2 Peter 2:13 “They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. 17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” 
                Because of this, the church stands powerless and is in desolation. We live in a dry and thirsty land and as Peter said our springs are without water. It doesn’t matter if you talk about your dreams or your mission or values. You can even talk about the word of God but unless you are leading the church away from everything you have found secure, that is your denominational distinctives and everyone has them independent or not, you are not doing your job but continuing to lead the church astray. You are giving them a false sense of hope. Many in the church have led their people away by talking about the rapture as the blessed hope, but there is no hope in that because the rapture is a false doctrine. They talk about the tribulation and how they will be spared from it or maybe just a little of it, yet they don’t know they are already in tribulation and have already fallen from their secure positions of which they have told people they can’t do. 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.” I went though our little town and every church here has a fallen away. Yes they would never tell you that but the doctrines they hold dear tell the truth. Man-made ideas and doctrines of demons are everywhere; they just are not in the bible. Yes you can make the bible speak of them but those doctrines that divide are not the doctrines Paul taught Timothy.  Paul said to Timothy 1 Timothy 1:3 “that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer, 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” Some have even adopted doctrines contrary to what Paul taught. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
                That time has been here for ages, though most will tell you what they preach is sound doctrine. The blessed hope they try to give you is not sound doctrine. The blessed hope is not the rapture as in snatched away or caught up, but as Paul said Titus 11:2 “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Yes Jesus is returning but it is not set up his kingdom, as He already did that. It is not to show us what to do; He already did that. It is not to come back and empower us; He already offered that to us. It is not to defeat satan; He already did that. It is to come and take us to the place He has prepared for His faithful followers but as Jesus said Luke 18:8 “ when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” and he said Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” They will respond saying the man at the front told me I was secure.  Luke 13:23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.”
                The church of today has provided their own security, at least until something like COVID-19 happens. Then they find out they have no power and have just been meeting together. Yes the church needs to assemble but there is so much more available to us than that. So many people have settled for the trickle of water if any but either don’t believe or have no idea there are floodgates available for the believer, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. For most they are sitting in a parched and dried up land but seem to enjoy the dryness week after week comfortably numb. They have also grown accustomed to the dimness of the light so have become quite comfy and unashamed of their nakedness. While people have put their hope in something that isn’t going to happen like the rapture of the church or the second coming of Jesus to take the stagnant disobedient home, they have been deceived into thinking all is well, where as they should be at their wits end, pleading for mercy.  
                In times like this God is the only answer but that is usually about all people give. We are actually supposed to depend on God all the time, not just in times of need. From the desperate to the calm, from the sick to the healthy, from the poor to the wealthy, we all need to turn to God. The church needs to turn away from our wickedness and then those who see the church rise up in power will turn also from their own sins. As it stands now, the church really is empty and void of power. This power has been gone for a long time but it is still available if we would turn back. What you see today on the Internet or on TV or even the church you used to meet at is not the New Testament church. From churches with 3 or 4 to churches with millions, we all need to turn back and repent for following our ways over God’s way. We don’t just repent; we turn from those ways. God has told us he wants to open the floodgates of heaven but we must seek Him. Psalm 63:1 “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” The church is supposed to be the church of the living water, the church of hope but the walls are broken down and our gates have been burned with fire. 
               But there is hope. Nehemiah said Nehemiah 2:17 “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.” God is a God of grace and if we turn back to him, he will restore us just as he said. Ezra 8:22 “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” God will stay angry if we don’t turn back to him and away from our wickedness. God said in Malachi 3:9 “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.” If you can’t picture that, in Genesis we see the floodgates opened and the earth flooded. In Isaiah 24:18 “The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake.” God wants to pour out so much blessing we won’t even have room for it but we decided to bless ourselves instead. God said in Isaiah 44:3 “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. 4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.” Deuteronomy 8:6 “Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.” Deuteronomy 11:10 “The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden.11 “But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. 12 It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.”
                The hope we have presently is that God will keep his promise to David and the remnant will rise up in power and go to the end of the earth. What a beautiful day it was today as the sun and the moon did as they were commanded, so that means God’s promise to David is still in effect. The tribulation that dispensationalist talk about means people have a second chance to go to heaven after Jesus comes in the rapture. That is not biblical. But the remnant that makes it through these end times we are in, will stand before God and hear well-done good and faithful servant. Today there are only a few that have survived as there is only a remnant left. The church has been decimated. But God is faithful. Jesus himself said in Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Revelation 7:14 “And he said, These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eye.” This is what God wants to do for us. Revelation 21:3 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.” How hopeful is that?
                God wants to pour open the floodgates and give us living water. John 4:13 “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Unfortunately the water the church gives leaves you thirsty. John 7:38 “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” This means if we would do as commanded we would have living water again and be clothed with power once again. That day is coming. Zechariah 14:8 “On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. 9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. Revelation 19:6 “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.” Jesus is already the King, but does He reign in your life, in your church?
                We have been praying for the Glory of God to once again fill His temple just as He did with Solomon and just as He did at Pentecost. His Glory is coming. Ezekiel 43:2 “I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. 3 The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he came to destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. 4 The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east. 5 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” Isaiah 12:2 “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” 2 Chronicles 7:1[ The Dedication of the Temple ] When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 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. 9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart.”
                As we continue to pray for God to change our hearts; trust the word of the Lord for your salvation. Don’t feel secure just because you go to church. Turn from your wicked ways and follow the way, the truth and the life as Jesus is the only way to God. The church has been exposed for its sins. Stop trusting in man. Isaiah 2:22 “Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?” Trust in the Lord and he will make your paths straight saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 2 Chronicles 20:20 “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” There is great hope and joy ahead.