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2nd Sunday, Journey to Pentecost – From Death to LifeApril 19, 2020Call to Worship: Isaiah 33:5 “The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Zion with His justice and righteousness. 6 He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.”Songs: King of Glory - Passion & Kristian StanfillSing to the King - Umobile WorshipI Will Bless the Lord - Steve GreenScripture: - Deuteronomy 30Song:While I'm Waiting - Travis GreeneHaven't Seen It Yet - Danny GokeyAwake My Soul - Hillsong WorshipYou Are / You Are Lord - HillsongSermon:- “Journey to Pentecost – From Death to Life”Closing Song: Send the Fire Nashville SingersBenediction: Jude 7 “Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. 24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
------------------------------------------------------------------Sermon: “Journey to Pentecost – From Death to Life”During our Lenten journey we saw our need as a church to repent before God and by church I mean every single church on this planet. Like this pandemic, the apathetic and powerless church has also spread around the world. The church as we know it is not the church Jesus Christ founded in the New Testament. While it may look and sound like the church; it is not. Upon closer look the words of God have been changed, which is why there is no power. Power has been removed because we have not adhered to the word of God and have gone our own ways. While in captivity Daniel Daniel 9:4 “prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.” The church still continues to turn away and refuses to listen. This removal of God’s power in the church because of disobedience has been seen all through scripture.The results of disobedience have been seen since the beginning of time and before. First, satan and his angels were hurled down to the earth. Revelation 12:7 “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Then we saw Adam and Eve deceived by satan and then removed from the garden God had created for them. Their sin ushered in death but God’s grace began the way back from death to life from the point they were removed from the garden. As God brought his people back, He promised them a land like no other. Genesis 12:1 “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” Deuteronomy 34:4 “Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it. (This is why. Numbers 20:12 “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”) 9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.” Joshua is told to get ready to cross the Jordon and take the land. God then took them to the Promised Land and again God told them to obey His words and if they didn’t obey they would be vomited out of the land that drinks rain from heaven and taken into captivity leaving only a remnant to survive. 2 Chronicles 7:19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.”Then Jesus came to offer us a life far greater than the Garden of Eden and the Promised Land. Revelation 21:2 “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.” Paul said 1 Corinthians 15:54 “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”Death that came to be in the garden was defeated when Jesus rose from the dead. John 11:5 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Romans 5:16 “The death Adam and Eve brought in because of their sin Jesus conquered with by rising from the dead. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” Paul also said Romans 5:9 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”Easter represents for us this pivotal point in history where we were finally freed from death. This journey from death to life is not just for this life but also for eternity to come. John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” The amazing part of this journey is that God loves us so much he gives us a choice as to whether we will obey or not. He told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but they did not obey and brought death just as they were told. Genesis 2:16 “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Israel was also told to obey or they would be cast out of the land. This also applies to the church. Deuteronomy 4:25 “After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”So here we are roughly 2000 years after Jesus was crucified, died and rose from the dead and just like the Jews, the church has turned away from God’s word to follow their own ways. Acts 13:46 “Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” Now the Gentiles do not consider themselves worthy either because they have also refused to obey. The church and its teachers prompted by satan have made the masses believe that they are safe and secure because Jesus died for their sins, rose from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit yet 2000 years later the church looks nothing like Jesus but everything like disobedient Israel. Deuteronomy 29:19 “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.” These false teachers are leading the church astray that say, no matter what, no matter how you live, no matter who you follow, you are sealed for heaven. Nowhere in the bible are God’s people safe when they refused to obey. Going our own way always leads to disaster.The problem today is that the church has fallen because of its rebellion yet people are still praising God in their disobedience thinking all is well because someone told them all was well. 2 kings 17:33 “They worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought. 34 To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35 When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. 36 But the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. 37 You must always be careful to keep the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. 38 Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. 39 Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.” The church continues generation after generation to do this and refuse to listen as Paul said in Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.Yes satan was defeated and the church was given power to continue to defeat him just as Jesus told Paul. If satan had been defeated for good, Jesus would not have appeared to Paul to send him out to defeat satan. Acts 26:17 “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Easter was supposed to be followed by the return of Jesus to take us home, which is why the disciples taught with urgency about His return. I have even heard people teach the disciples were wrong about the return of Jesus. The disciples were not wrong because each of us has only their lifespan to repent and most do not know how ling that is therefore we too must be urgent. 2 Peter 3:8 “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”The only way to live a blameless life is to be filled with the Holy Spirit but instead the church almost immediately went their own way as Paul was so astonished to see and is still going their own way ever since. Men and woman say they hear from God while they change his words and go their own way. The security that most think they have has been shaken to the core during this pandemic or least it should have shook you, as the church has no power to defeat their enemies. This powerlessness has been going on for ages but the church has adapted to its desolation and continues to believe God has blessed them for going their own way even though there is no power. If we had obeyed we would have gone to heaven, the place prepared for us but like Israel instead of crossing the Jordon into the Promised Land, many have died in the desert. The church also like Israel when in the Promised Land which came at Pentecost for all who believed, disobeyed and were defeated and taken captive which is how it is today though most churches just continue to adapt to their desolation as if nothing is wrong. Their teachers told them what to say and believe and they continue to tell others what to say and believe, even though it no longer lines up with scripture.Because of this rebellion the church is in desolation and satan rules just like what happened to Israel in the Promised Land. Here is a recap of how the church got to be where it is today. 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.” 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. 26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.” 27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.” Daniel 9:27 “At the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Jesus also warned us about this event that would happen and the greatest warning he gave us was do not be deceived. Matthew 24:4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 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. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” Paul said, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” This is exactly what the church looks like today.Since satan is ruling the church and most don’t even know they have been deceived, the church remains in desolation like Israel because we did not listen and obey. It is amazing how many people believe the false prophets who tell you lies and distort the words of the living God. Most preachers in the church today do not call themselves prophets but these verses apply to them as they say they are speaking for God when they promote their own doctrines and theology. Not only are people fortune telling in the church many church gurus are selling their plans and visions as if they were from God. 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. 22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. 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? 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord. 36 But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God.” Acts 20:30 “Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” 2 Peter 3:16 “He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” Jeremiah 25:2 “So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem: 3 For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. 7 “But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.” 8 Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, 9 I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. 10 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever.”satan has been able to convince the church that they are safe and nothing to fear and has led them to believe this rebellion will be down the road, way off in the future but this is the future and it has already happened and millions of church attenders have lost their lives because of this great deception. They talk of a millennial kingdom off in the futrue even though Jesus already came and set up His kingdom, died, rose and gave us his authority and power, sent His spirit to go to the ends of the earth. They say this same Jesus is going to come back to earth and do something he already did. These lies leave the church unarmed and our enemies constantly defeating us because most people think there is a kingdom coming and Jesus will once again reign on the earth, they do not seek God nor do they turn away form their own ways so that what Jesus already established would come near again. Jesus already said Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Because of the pandemic, all of a sudden the whole world knows the church is powerless and looks no different that any other religion in the world. I keep seeing comparisons of all the religions and how they are coping. They all have responded the same way. We all know in our heads that is not true but what we see and hear doesn’t tell a lie. What we see and hear is a church that looks nothing like Jesus and does not have the power He gives to those who believe so what is it that people have put their hope in if it is not Jesus. I read you the verses already where satan has taken over the church and that is what you have put your hope in.So yes we talked a lot about this rebellion during our Lenten Journey and yes it is bleak but there is great hope for us because God will do just as he promised. I trust this recap of how desolate the church is will cause you to more desperate for God’s power to return to us. We can hope because God will keep his promise to those who are faithful to his words. Easter shows us that satan has only the power God gives him but God gives us a greater power. After Jesus was arrested John 19:10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” Job also shows us the sovereignty of God. Job 1:8 “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” 9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger. Then satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” satan not only brings destruction, he will also use those close to you like Jobs wife who told job he should curse God and die and his friends who tried to convince Job he was wrong. Remember satan’s objective was to get Job to curse God.” Since the power that is available to us is greater than satan’s, we can destroy his works also but we must have the power of the Holy Spirit to continue in that work. This recap of the churches condition is to show you how naked we are and how much we need to be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit once again just as we were supposed to be from Pentecost on. Now we have antichrists teaching that God no longer empowers His people as that power ceased. There are also false teachers telling you not to wait but go.The disciples were told to wait after Jesus rose from the dead. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:4 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” They waited and were filled with the Spirit of God.The problem for the church is they think that because the disciples waited, that same power would automatically be theirs even if they went their own way and followed other gospels. Remember the church has turned away and has been deceived so this power that was to be available will only be available again when God turns his face to us. The promise of this power applies to all who believe the truth, not the lies and deception brought on by satan because of the rebellion. Remember satan’s plan is to bring death; the plan of Jesus is to bring life. He has given us a choice to go with His plan or satan’s, so choose wisely.Another deception is that most think that if they got baptized, they were filled with the Spirit of God. In most case they just got wet because the power of God did not follow the event or was at the event. Paul describes this in Acts 19:2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” So now we have churches filled with people thinking they have the Holy Spirit while following other gospels and believing they will spend eternity in heaven, but what gospel have they been saved into? This is the delusion and deception taking place in the church today.In spite of this there is good news in the midst of this desolation; God will never break his promise to David. Down through the ages, God has always redeemed his people by bringing them from death to life. Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.” Because of this rebellion against God in the church, we must turn from our wicked ways and return to God so He will return to us and we must wait until he does. Ezekiel 11:17 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.” We wait because we trust God’s word. Isaiah 8:17 “I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.” Isaiah 54:7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.” Isaiah 30:18 “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! 19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Just because someone says this is the way walk in it, does not mean that it is. The voice must be God’s words not mans. Remember to test the spirits.So we wait with great anticipation that God will do as He has promised. Today there is only a remnant of the church left. Hezekiah said 2 Chronicles 30:19 “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” If we return to God He will return to us and just as Babylon came to an end, so will satan’s reign in the church come to an end.” Until that final day for satan God has empower us to defeat him. Isaiah 14:12 “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” Revelation 20:10 “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” 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.”That is not where we want to end up. Hell was not made for us as Jesus came to give us life. Proverbs 23:18 “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 1 Peter 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” Romans 4:25 “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Romans 5:10 “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.”That offer of life is still available to us but we must turn to the true Jesus and repent from our wicked ways. We then wholeheartedly follow His ways. Wicked ways are other gospels that the church has followed. These gospels are everywhere in the church as are the false teachers and preachers who teach them. The deception and delusion is so great men and women keep spreading the lies without a clue that they are false. One of the biggest lies is that everyone can believe something totally different about Jesus and the end times and still be one. Jesus said he would send us the Spirit of truth so there can only be one way, one truth and one life. John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” Not only will the Holy Spirit guide us into truth, the power of truth will go into the whole world. Paul said Romans 15:17 “Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” Mark 16:19 “After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” 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 is supposed to be what the church looks like yet we have gurus and their followers around the country building churches with what their hands have made, yet their ministries are totally void of this kind of power. Acts 2:22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. John 21:25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. Acts 2:43 “Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.” 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.” Acts 6:8 “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.” When Jesus called his disciples Luke 9:1 “He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 10:1 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.” 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.” This offer was not only given to the 11 disciples but to all who would believe. Peter said Acts 2:38 “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.” This is the church and why we are on our way to Pentecost as this is what we are supposed to continue to do.These are supernatural and cannot be done in your own strength. Anyone can build a building and some do it better than others but that is not the church, so what exactly are people doing. The building is not the end result of the plan. Europe built its cathedrals and America tried to follow with the cathedrals of the mega churches. One even called theirs a Crystal Cathedral but in the end it’s not about the building. It is easy to see the results of a building plan but that is not the plan for God’s temple as He already gave us the plan. Ephesians 2:19 “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.” Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” In these great cathedrals where is the healing and casting out of demons? The new definition of church became a place where you go not a place where God dwells which is you by the way. These buildings are just whitewashed walls. Ezekiel 13:10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall.” Jesus said, Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” There is lots of talk but no power. The answer is the church is being deceived by satan. He knows that if there is no power he will continue to reign. If he can keep your focus on the things like buildings and programs you will miss the fact that there is no power because some are very successful. We must also know that while he is reigning there will also be signs and wonders and you need to know the difference. Mark 13:22 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” That has already happened and continues to happen. If you do not know the difference you will be deceived.When Sennacherib attacked Jerusalem he said to the people 2 Kings 18:31 “Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, 32 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death!” “Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.” If you listen to the wrong voice you will surely die! 36 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.Jesus came to give us eternal life and the ability to live a blameless life before him. Jude 7 “Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. 24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”