The ROCK
Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 

 


Here you will find service outlines,

sermon manuscript

and additional writings.

 Sermons



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 

View RSS Feed

Archives

  •             On the Jewish calendar we see that Passover started last night and today is called Palm Sunday as seen on the calendar of the Christian year. Yesterday I talked about how these special days have become rituals and traditions and how powerless they have become. This powerlessness of these days represents the lack of daily power of the church. Every year the same thing happens over and over again and now like the Jews, a veil is over the church also. 2 Corinthians 3:14 “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 “Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” As soon as we reject the words of Jesus we become like the Jews who rejected Jesus. We were supposed to be free not taken into captivity but the church turned away. Paul continues to talk about this veil in 2 Corinthians 4:1 “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
                In a moment I will talk about an article with the testimony of someone blinded by the god of this age who refused to fix their eyes on Jesus and how poor teaching left this person and their family ruined. Now that this person’s life has been ruined, they are now ruining other households. Paul said to Titus, Titus 1:11 “They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach.” Jesus said, Matthew 15:6 “Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” 12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” 13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Titus 1:10 “For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception. 13 Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” Amos 2:4 “Because they have rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed, 5 I will send fire on Judah that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem.” The church must learn to fear God once again. Deuteronomy 31:12 “Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
                On this Palm Sunday, we remember some of the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. John 12:1 “Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.” There must have been some amazing conversations take place. Lazarus reminds us of the power that is supposed to be available to all who believe. Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
                Jesus then goes to Jerusalem. Jesus said, Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Jerusalem now represents the church and now the church has been left desolate. Revelation 21:1 “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.” Once again we must say blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord so that God turns His face back to the church.
                As Jesus made His way to Jerusalem, John 12:12 “The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. 17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
                Palm Sunday was not supposed to be a ritual on the calendar every year but it is about praising Jesus our King everyday, praising our Messiah who came to set us free. The word spread about Jesus just as the word should still be spreading today. The whole world still should be coming after Him but for many who are coming after Jesus they have been deceived into following the wrong Jesus and the wrong words about Him. If the words have been changed it is not Jesus you are following. Today many are shouting Hosanna but have no idea who Jesus is or even why they are shouting. By shouting Hosanna you believe Jesus is the Messiah and you believe all of His words. Revelation 12:10 “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.” Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” By proclaiming Hosanna you are saying Jesus is worthy. Revelation 5:9 “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever! ” Revelation 4:8 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” The person in this article has rejected this God! Are you willing to honor Jesus with your life and lay your crown before Him?  Luke 14:25 “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
                Matthew tells us Matthew 21:8 “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Then we see what the church was supposed to be. Jesus would do the same today. Matthew 21:12 “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” 14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.” The church is supposed to be a house of prayer where the blind and lame are healed and children shout Hosanna to the Son of David and people calling out to be healed are set free from the hold of satan. Matthew 9:27 “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David! 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored.” Matthew 12:22 “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” Matthew 20:29 “As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” 34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” Are you calling out for Jesus to heal you and do you believe that He will?
                This is what the house of prayer, the church Jesus is the head of should have continued to be. James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Healing didn’t stop because God doesn’t do that anymore; the church stopped crying out, calling out and shouting Lord Son of David have mercy on us and believing He would. The church turned away from His word. The shouts of Hosanna changed when people starting questioning whether Jesus was actually the Messiah. They questioned His words John 7:37 “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 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. (Pentecost) Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. 40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him. 46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied. 47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
                Scripture makes it clear there should have been no confusion. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Matthew 1:1 “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Luke 2:4 “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 4:8 “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” John 7:25 “At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” Matthew 13:54 “Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.” Mark 6:4 “Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.”
                Jesus did not fit into their beliefs about the Messiah just as the words of Jesus don’t fit with the churches beliefs about Him. Jesus did not fit with the Jews understanding of scripture and as you saw above some just didn’t understand. Nothing has changed with the Jews as “many Jews believe that when the Messiah comes, he will: Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Bring about the end of war so that everyone can live in peace. Unite all people regardless of differences like religion or culture. Bring a true awareness of God to all people. Signal the end of the world.” Another site said, “Orthodox Jewish beliefs about the Messiah - The Messianic Age will only start after the Messiah’s arrival on Earth. It is therefore important for Jews to pray for the Messiah, also known as the ‘redeemer’, to come. The Messiah will be a human being descended from King David, although he will have superhuman qualities and abilities. In the Messianic Age, Jews will triumph over the enemies of Israel leading to the destruction of weapons and people living in peace. The Messianic Age will be a sign of the end of the world and the physical resurrection of the dead. The Messiah will rebuild the ancient Temple in Jerusalem and restore the authority to rule over Israel to the descendants of King David.” These are some of the reasons why Jews reject Jesus.
                As you will see, Jesus did fulfill all these requirements, just not to their liking and expectations. Oddly God’s own word doesn’t fit with the Jewish teaching about God’s word. The church has done the same with their teaching, which is why the bible has been changed. Jesus said, Mark 1:15 “The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Luke 11:20 “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” The Jews were waiting fro a kingdom like they had in the past but Jesus didn’t do it the way they thought He should. He didn’t get rid of the Romans and even right up till the end the disciples didn’t totally get it until Pentecost. Acts 1:6 “Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” Luke 2:25 “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” The world wasn’t at peace and they did not like the peace that Jesus offered them especially when Jesus said Luke 12:49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” If they truly understood the words of Jesus, they would have had peace. Luke 19:41 “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” The church has also seen these days. Psalm 81:13 “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, 14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! 15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. 16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
                They also didn’t like how Jesus was born even though they were already told. Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” 18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Luke 1:30 “The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
                The Jews have had two of their temples destroyed and are waiting for a third temple to be built but that temple has already been built and even the church is confused about that. John 2:18 “The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.” Acts 7:48 “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands.” 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” Ephesians 2:14 “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 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.”
                Jesus is the Messiah whether you believe in Him or not. You can reject His words but God is still God. The Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah and king even though as God said to Mary Luke 1:32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
                So we know the Jews have rejected Jesus but you also have some who are called Messianic Jews. They think they have not rejected Jesus but they have rejected His words and have been deceived. “Messianic Judaism, (a branch of which is “Jews for Jesus”) is a religious group that has tried to straddle the line between Judaism and Christianity. According to this group, Jesus, or Yeshua in Aramaic, was the Messiah, and he died on behalf of the world’s sins. They also believe that the Jews are the chosen people, and that the explicit laws of the Torah, such as observing Shabbat, holidays, and circumcision must be obeyed today. Because of Messianic Judaism’s identification with Jesus, all of the major denominations of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist) have rejected Messianic Judaism as a form of Judaism.” Another writer describes their end time beliefs. Like many in the church who hold these views, they too have been deceived by false teaching. “The New Testament is upheld as divinely inspired as well. Where Messianic Judaism is most similar to evangelical Christianity is in its premillennial eschatology. Prevalent in conservative evangelicalism, premillennial views of the "End Times" often orient around the historical importance of Israel and God’s continued covenant with the Jewish People. Central to this construction of premillennialism is a belief in Christ’s Second Coming, the millennial reign, and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple -- a project that evangelical Christians, Messianic Jews, and even Orthodox Jews have sometimes collaborated on, despite their theological differences.” The website for Jews for Jesus states, “We believe that Jesus the Messiah will return personally in order to consummate the prophesied purposes concerning His kingdom.” This group says they accept Jesus but hold to the beliefs of the Jews especially about the kingdom of God. They too are waiting for Jesus to return to set up His Kingdom. The one article I quoted said, “Messianic Judaism is most similar to evangelical Christianity is in its premillennial eschatology” No it is not as that teaching is false. What it is similar to are those who call themselves the church but adhere to doctrine of demons and false teaching.
                Jesus already came and set up His kingdom. His kingdom is available to all who would believe and turn from their wicked ways. Since the church refuses to repent the kingdom is not coming near. The church today has many who are still waiting for the kingdom of God to come in the future during His thousand year reign. They think like the Jews that Jesus will return, the temple will be built and He will reign for a thousand years and some stick the false teaching of the rapture in there. This is why so many are content to live in a powerless church because they have been taught that when Jesus returns then there will be peace and our enemies will be defeated. Meanwhile the church has been decimated. Yes you can make scripture say there is a rapture where all the Christians will be whisked away and then return to live with Jesus for a thousand years. Many will teach cessationism where there is no power available today and others will not seek the gifts of the Spirit. These are doctrines of demons and false teaching. This is a rejection of the words of Jesus. The church has become very similar to the Jews who rejected Jesus. Today the church rejects Jesus by not adhering to His words. This refusal to believe has left the church desolate and in captivity with not even enough sense to repent so that God would turn His face to shine on us once again. Jeremiah 6:13 “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. 15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord.” The only reason there is no peace is because the church and the Jews refuse to repent.
                The other day I read an article that basically describes many in the church who do not take Jesus at His word. Now this is extreme and I am sure you have heard of others who have turned away from scripture because they do not understand or refuse to believe and understand. There are many who have turned away from the church due to false teaching. The bible is not the problem; it is the church that teach falsely. This article came from CBC news and of course it comes out the week before Easter but how appropriate it is as what they are describing shows that even today people are still trying to crucify Jesus.  Hebrews 10:29 “How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” 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 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. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.” John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
                In this article from March 27, 2021, you will notice it talks about blaming organized religion, which covers pretty much everyone these days but what it is missing is belief in what the bible actually states. This article is about the complete rejection of God’s word instead of rejecting the false teaching and the lack of knowledge in the church. Like the Jews who didn’t understand about Jesus their Messiah, many Christians today still don’t understand Jesus their Messiah nor do they understand His words. Isaiah 5:13 “Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger and the common people will be parched with thirst.” Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. 16 a people without understanding will come to ruin!” Whole households are being ruined! Isaiah was sent to tell the people: Isaiah 6:9 “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. 11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?” And he answered: “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, 12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. 13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”
                This articles talks about the LGBTQ community, but it is also about the rejection of God’s word and that rejection covers much more than just LGBTQ. The article is about a woman pastor who has rejected God and become an atheist. Someone ruined her household and now she is ruining other households. In this article she said, “For decades I preached an interpretation of the Bible full of intolerance toward those in the LGBTQ community. She has since recanted those views, and taken action to atone for them. When I was younger I was very open-minded, I had no problems with gay people or homosexuality. It wasn't until after I became a Christian [that changed].” Listen carefully here to her condemnation of God’s word. She said, “When you believe that the Bible is absolutely true — every word of it — that's what your standard of morality is. I believed it hook, line and sinker about what the Bible says about homosexuality. It is a very troublesome topic. The best we can say about it [in the Bible] is that it's confusing; it's definitely not clear, and a lot of people interpret it in very negative ways. It wasn't until I started looking at things rationally that I began to examine the Bible and what it says, and I eventually deconstructed from my toxic religious beliefs. I'm now an atheist.” American Atheist defines atheist as “a lack of belief in gods. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods.”
                So here we have a person who has rejected God because she doesn’t like His words. She says she examined the bible rationally and concluded that being an atheist is better than serving God. Therefore in her eyes God was irrational so she rejected someone who doesn’t exist. Yes churches teach toxic religious beliefs but those are man’s teachings, not the bible that is the problem. First of all Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” This lack of understanding will cause her and those who listen to her to perish; her whole household ruined. Where she is wrong is the bible is very clear on this subject. The problem is a refusal to accept the clarity of scripture, as scripture does not agree with society. She said, “I'm ashamed of those things now that I see the way that life actually is, the way that the world actually is,” even though the bible says otherwise. There is nothing unclear about what the bible states about homosexuality. I would say this passage is pretty clear and yes it doesn’t line up with the worldview. Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 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 people are without excuse. 21 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. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
                Today there are many with depraved minds. The word of God is very clear on this subject but what is missing in the church is the power to heal. Here is a major problem the church has. The church can speak against LGBTQ but it must have the power to heal. She seemed to only know about the speaking out part but those who taught didn’t teach her truth. She says, “My negative view of it was strictly from the Bible. For a lot of religious people, the Bible is considered to be the absolute authority on life.” The bible is the authority on life and her negative view was not strictly from the bible but from how she was raised and the beliefs she adopted. She said, “In becoming a born-again Christian and pursuing a ministerial life, Roberts said her view of the Bible (it wasn’t the bible that taught her that) made no room for tolerance toward people — including two of her three children — whose very life the church considers a sin. For 24 years, I was against gay rights and gay marriage. My daughter got married, and she got married by someone other than me, even though I was a pastor at the time and could have married her; but she married a woman and so I wasn't allowed.”
                She is saying the bible is irrational because it doesn’t line up with her worldview and yes the bible does not nor is it supposed to adapt to the worlds view. Your worldview adapts to the bible, not the other way around. 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.” This has been the problem in the church down through the ages where man has placed their own reasoning, traditions and experiences above God’s word. She said, “It wasn't until I started looking at things rationally that I began to examine the Bible and what it says, and I eventually deconstructed from my toxic religious beliefs. I'm now an atheist.” So she totally rejected God instead of submitting to His words. I do realize that many will read this and say yes I agree with her and join with her in rejecting God’s word, becoming enemies of God. Hebrews 10:31 “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Many in the church instead of rejecting God by saying they are an atheist like this woman has, will try to incorporate their own beliefs into the church which most have done in the area of homosexuality. As you can see in many churches homosexuality is now acceptable. She was also asked, “What was your initial reaction to the Vatican's decision not to bless same-sex marriages? She said, “I wasn't surprised, but I was still disappointed. I should point out that I'm not Catholic, I was a Christian minister. I also am a mom of two kids, and I just felt like it didn't sit well with me.” The question was in reference to this statement. “The Vatican decreed that the Catholic Church won’t bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin,” yet they say, “The Church explicitly says gay men and women can be blessed," he said. "But that the domestic union of a gay couple should not be liturgically blessed, lest people misinterpret this blessing as a form of Catholic marriage lite." Now that’s confusing. They have actually gone down a path that leads to death. In their Catechism of the Catholic Church - “Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Homosexual persons are called to chastity.” The Catholics acknowledge the depraved mind but don’t have a solution for it.
                The bible is clear on teaching that homosexuality is an abomination to God and none of it can be blessed not even a depraved mind but this is where there must be understanding. Yes people will say speaking as scripture actually states is hatred but actually it is love. God makes it clear Revelation 21:8 “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Leviticus 18:22 “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable / abomination.” Revelation 17:3 “There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery: Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.” These abominations do not come from God. Paul tells us 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.” So if you knew someone would spend eternity in hell, would you not want to save him or her? By simply stating you do not believe in hell doesn’t negate hell. Instead this woman and many like her disagree with God and reject Him bringing damnation on themselves and their families. The solution for this woman was to deny that God exists; then that solves the problem of hell. How can you go to hell for disobeying someone who does not exist? Not only are you denying God but the bible and all that is in it. That would also mean there is no satan either. How deceived they are! Not believing in God doesn’t change anything as He is still God and His word always prevails. Whether you agree or not with the bible doesn’t change the truth of God’s word but rejecting the truth leads to eternal damnation and yes there is a hell.
                The God of love does provide a way. Now if Paul stopped at verse 1 Corinthians 6:10, there would be no hope. The lady in this article chose to reject God completely by becoming an atheist and made herself out to be god even though she now doesn’t believe in gods. Proverbs 18:2 “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing (on CBC) their own opinions.” She will then continue to use and enjoy all that God has created for her own use while rejecting Him. If she actually understood the bible and yes many organized churches are just religious and teach untruths, she would have seen that satan wants her to become an atheist and wants to take her ruined household with him. satan is still saying Did God really say that? God will say, 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.” If she had been taught correctly and if she actually read her bible, she would have understood God’s love for the lost and would have seen there is power available to heal if the church would turn from their wicked ways. She based everything on what she was not seeing but if she had based it on God’s word she would have seen that God’s ways are perfect. Deuteronomy 32:3 “I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! 4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Revelation 15:3 “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.” That means there is nothing wrong with God’s words or ways but our ways are the ones that are wicked. This article shows that 1 Corinthians 2:14 “the person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” If she had the Spirit, she would have seen there was hope for her children but now she and her children have no hope of eternal life as she has rejected God. I know most do not like to think about this but picture this lady dying and then having to stand before Jesus only to hear, Luke 13:27 “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.” (for eternity)  She comforts herself by also rejecting hell because if there is no God, there is no hell but since scripture makes it clear there hell is real and eternal, we desperately need Jesus. If she had sought the Lord with everything she had, she would have found Him. Matthew 15:22 “A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Instead she rejected God just as the Jews did.
           Here is the part that she wasn’t taught. What she doesn’t seem to know is that even though we are told that “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,” there is hope of salvation. This is the power the church is missing. Because of this missing power many in the church have changed the word of God to accept the sexually immoral because they don’t know what else to do just like the Catholics and some have even gone further to accept not just the depraved mind but the act also. Many LGBTQ have a desire to be part of the church but they are being lied to when they are told come as you are and stay that way because God loves you. It is true that God loves us all but we must repent and be transformed other wise we will never see the kingdom of God. If we are not transformed into His likeness, we will not inherit the kingdom of God. Here is the powerfully amazing part she missed. Paul goes on to say 1 Corinthians 6:11And that is what some of you were. Paul had described what they were. (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.) Then he describes what God di for them. “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.” If the church actually had the power that was present when these people were washed, we would be seeing the same results today. Yes homosexuality is an abomination before God but He always provides a way. Instead most churches have accepted this lie that God is okay with homosexuality, which is a lie from satan. As Paul said do not be deceived.
                It is not just homosexuality we are talking about as per this article but any rejection of God. Yes this lady went all the way and totally rejected God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit thus crucifying and trampling Him all over again. Instead of shouting Hosanna she is shouting crucify Him on CBC news. What we see in the church are extremes from total rejection to the rejection of certain passages. There is no such thing as a lukewarm Christian. Yes there will be people who are lukewarm but they will be spewed out of Jesus mouth. Many people like this lady have been taught wrong and are ignorant of God’s word and many have been deceived. She will continue to be deceived and deceive but the bible is still truth and we must follow the commands of God. We don’t change them; we follow them wholeheartedly. The other day we talked about John 14:12 “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.” Or 1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” This question of what do you believe could go on and on but we are supposed to believe in Jesus, which means we believe in His words. This is what He said so, believe.
                On this Palm Sunday are you shouting Hosanna or crucify Him. Many who shouted Hosanna changed their minds and shouted crucify Him instead. During Passover they were told Exodus 12:7 “to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. 14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.” Listening to what God tells us to do and what we can do in the power of the Holy Spirit is as important as Israel listening to these instructions. If you didn’t listen, your firstborn would be dead.
                The Jews continue to celebrate Passover but fail to put the blood of Jesus Christ over their doors and they are perishing. The church continues to go their own way by adding to and subtracting from scripture and they too are not putting blood over their doors. The Jews and the church have paid a severe price for their disobedience as the church lies desolate and the Jews still reject their Messiah. Jeremiah 23:5 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved     and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior. 7 “So then, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 8 but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.” Those days were here but like the Jews the church rejected Jesus but refusing to adhere to His words.
                We do have hope because God did bring Israel out of Egypt and out of Babylon. Daniel told us that truth would be thrown down just as we have seen in the church. Paul said, Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” Daniel 8:11 “It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?” 14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.” 23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.” The power satan now has over the church, this abomination that causes desolation is coming to an end. Daniel 9:27 “And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Isaiah 14:3 “On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!”
                Today ask yourself are you shouting Hosanna or crucify Him based on your belief of scripture. You do not want to join with this lady, or the likes of John MacArthur and many others who are leading the world astray by their teaching. Ask yourself what parts of the bible don’t you believe? What lies and deceptions have you accepted as truth? Are you testing the spirits? 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.” Will you lay your crown down and worship Jesus with your life? Do you trust in His word? Psalm 119:89 “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” Are you willing to stand firm on the word of God even if it costs you? Mark 13:13 “Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Joshua was told when taking the land and we must follow in his footsteps. Joshua 1:7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” God had said to Joshua 1:3 “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
                Peter tells the church what to do. Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
                Save yourself from this corrupt generation and once again listen to the word of the Lord. Psalm 33:4 “For the word of the Lord is right and true.” Nehemiah 8:1 “All the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. 2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. 5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” Malachi 3:16 “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. 17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”