The ROCK
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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

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

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        The English language is said to be one of the hardest languages to learn. I was raised speaking and writing English and I still struggle with correct spelling of words and proper grammer (sp) and punctuation. One writer gave these examples of confusion. “The teacher taught. But the preacher never praught. One goose, two geese. One moose, two mooses (not meece) “Look” and “see” have similar meanings, but “overlook” and “oversee” mean completely different things. One mouse, two mice. One house, two houses.” Their, I mean there are times I can stare at a word and think that is not spelled right or is it spelt. I am Canadian but I have given up on cheque or check, colour or color as spellcheck is always checking the spelling. My fingers when typing often mix up form and from and my spellcheck does not always pick that up. It is amazing how one letter in the wrong spot can totally change the meaning of the word. 

        If the title caught your attention, you may have thought this was going to be a sermon about the right to have guns. Even the spellcheck thought so! You might have said yes, I believe that but at the same time if you caught it, you would have said Paul you spelt that wrong, it should be spelled bear. Then I would have said, no I am not talking about having arms the size of a grizzly bear to which you would say, no bear means to carry, not a bear in the woods. Wow I actually can’t bear the thought of someone having to learn the English language. Ok I’ll stop. The word I am actually using is bare, which means to uncover. One grammar instructor gave these examples: “as in "bare your shoulders" and "a dog baring its teeth." All other uses of the verb are for bear: "bearing children," "the right to bear arms," "bearing up under the stress/weight," "can't bear the thought," Obviously this is not a sermon about grammar, and I am probably not the person you want teaching grammar. I really don’t know why sentences are formed the way they are; I just go with how it sounds. Commas go where there is a pause and I have no idea why spellcheck is constantly wanting me to put commas where I don’t think they need to be. I wouldn’t know if I mixed my participles, or my modifier was ambiguous. I actually don’t know what that means. What I do know is that God is sovereign and all powerful. Why? Because the b-i-b-l-e tells me so.

        Yesterday I talked about our Sovereign God. When you understand God is sovereign, you understand that God is all powerful and you have nothing to fear as there is no other god. We need only to fear when we disobey. Unfortunately, that is where the church is now because we have not followed wholeheartedly. We were told Deuteronomy 4:39 “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.” If you fear God, the fear of the Lord leads to understanding. Instead, there is a lack of fear of God in the church which has led to destruction and desolation. Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” It is because the church has not followed God’s commands that we are feeling His wrath. 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.” 

        Yesterday we saw that God created the universe and everything that goes on in it is under His control. Jeremiah 27:5 “With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please.” As Daniel said Daniel 2:21 “He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others.” We saw what God did with Nebuchadnezzar. He also did the same with Manasseh. 2 Chronicles 33:11 “So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.” Even though he was one of the worst kings, Manasseh actually repented.

             For most people in the church, they will say that is not the God I have been taught to believe in. They will say I follow a God of love. In fact, if you have been falsely taught dispensationalism, you will believe God no longer acts in the way He did in the Old Testament. You then will have a lot of confusion as to who God is. They say God is a God of love and falsely think God will never be true to His own words. God’s word has been ignored which is why they add to and subtract from His word. This is why it is so important to actually read the bible, not just books about the bible. Just like the world today, satan has been using a disinformation and misinformation campaign against the church for generations; this is not a new method of warfare. It is at this point you will probably hear the question most people who refuse to bow before God, even in the church, who do not believe in a sovereign God ask. They will say what kind of a God would let someone like Hitler or Putin have so much power and cause so much suffering and devastation? How in the world would God let a person like Donald Trump become president of the United States? Why would a loving God allow so much suffering and evil in the world? And on and on the questions go. You will notice that the questions always point to God and blame Him, not yourself. These are actually the wrong questions to ask. The questions you should be asking are why are you disobeying the words of our sovereign God and going your own way? Why would God let you live when you rebel against Him? Why do you refuse to believe the words of our savior Jesus? Disobedience always leads to destruction as we see in scripture. So, if you have to ask what kind of a god would allow, then I suggest reading the bible, as that is how we know the ways of God and His attributes and yes God will allow you to disagree with Him but there will be eternal consequences due to your rejection. 

        Jesus came to save the world and destroy the work of the devil but just like Israel rejected the commands of God, the church has done the same by rejecting Jesus the way, truth and life and going our own way. Habakkuk was told what was going to happen because of Israel’s rebellion. Habakkuk 1:5 “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. 6 I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own. 7 They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor.” Habakkuk knew that God was sovereign and later said Habakkuk 3:16 “I heard and my heart pounded, (because of God’s power, not the enemy) my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Isaiah 10:5 “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath! 6 I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. 12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.” Malachi tells us Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”

        This tells us that God will allow powerful forces against us remembering “our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” He will put into power whomever He pleases to serve His purposes but they will in the end be brought down because of their arrogance. We saw yesterday Isaiah 46:9 “I am God, and there is none like me. 10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ 11 From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.”Isaiah 10:20 “In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of Jacob, will no longer rely on him     who struck them down but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. 22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. 23 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land. 24 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:“My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did. 25 Very soon my anger against you will end and my wrath will be directed to their destruction.” Jeremiah continued Jeremiah 27:6 “Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. 7 All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him. 8 “If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague, declares the Lord, until I destroy it by his hand. 9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10 They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish. 11 But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live there, declares the Lord.” 12 I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, “Bow your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live. 13 Why will you and your people die by the sword, famine and plague with which the Lord has threatened any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who say to you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying lies to you. 15 ‘I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord. ‘They are prophesying lies in my name. Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish, both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.’” God is in control of everything.

        Israel and Judah were defeated by Babylon because of their rebellion. Jeremiah 50:17“Israel is a scattered flock that lions have chased away. The first to devour them was the king of Assyria; the last to crush their bones was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.” As we are seeing now there is much evil in this world. As they say war is hell. The false message of the pre-tribulation rapture preaching is not going to sell well in Ukraine right now. Jesus warned us there would be wars but then told us there would be something far worse. The church would be deceived and the abomination that causes desolation would be set up in the temple. This meant that for generations men and women who thought they were saved will not see eternal life because they were deceived. We were told 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “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.” We have been at war, but it is spiritual warfare and the church has been decimated because of our rebellion against God’s word. God has allowed satan to prevail over the church even though we were told Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” satan has overcome the church just like Babylon overcame Israel and Judah. When Jesus said the gates of hades will not overcome it only applies when we confess “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” If we confess that Jesus is the Messiah, then we obey His words, not man’s words. It means we turn away from other gospels not to other gospels and we will know the difference. Since the church has followed other gospels, the church has been defeated just like Israel and Judah. Isaiah 59:1 “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. 3 For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things. It is not God’s fault we have been defeated; it is our own. Isaiah 65:1 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ 2 All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations— 3 a people who continually provoke me to my very face.” The church has continued in this way. I trust you can see why satan has deceived so many into believing the Old Testament does not apply to them today. 

        If we want to win this war, we must return to God’s word. Paul told us this war is not about flesh and blood. With all that is going on today it looks like it is flesh and blood, but it is not. Yes, there are evil men and women in the world, but our war is with satan. Ephesians 4:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm!” As we saw with Babylon and Israel, God allowed the enemy to destroy them and even the remnant went into captivity. 2 Chronicles 36:15 “The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there. 20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah. 

        The same has happened to the church. God has allowed satan to decimate the church because of rebellion. If we want to win this war against satan, we must submit to God because we cannot win this battle on our own. Since God is in charge of everything, it makes sense that we would beg for mercy and submit to Him and plead with Him to destroy our enemies. Amos 5:15 “Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph. Daniel prayed Daniel 9:17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

        Today the church is a desolate sanctuary, just as it was when Daniel prayed. We are asking God to bare His arm once again in power. Isaiah 52:10 “The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.” This is the only power that will defeat our enemies. We saw that power when Israel came out of Egypt. Deuteronomy 4:34 “Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?” Deuteronomy 7:19 “You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear.” Isaiah 40:10 “See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense (compensation or reward) accompanies him.” We also saw that same power with Jesus. Mary was told Luke 1:31 “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.” Mary said Luke 1:46 “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

        When Jesus came, 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.” Revelation 12:10 “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.” Jesus came to destroy our enemies; our enemies were not supposed to destroy us. 1 John 3:8 “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Jesus gave the church power and authority to continue in His work, but the church rejected that power and our enemies have destroyed everything but a remnant of the church. We saw Jesus defeat our enemies. Jesus came not fight against flesh and blood which is why the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah. They were looking for a different king, one who looked like the world, but Jesus came as light in this dark world. John 19:14 “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.” Matthew 27:25 “All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” Instead of being saved, the Jews crucified their Savior. They rejected the One who had all power and authority to defeat their enemies. Jesus showed them right before their eyes that He was the Messiah. Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Matthew 9:35 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” We were supposed to continue in that work. Paul was told Acts 26:17 “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.” Mark 16:15 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 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.” 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 said believe and be saved or whoever does not believe will be condemned. John 3:18 “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.”It really is amazing but even when Jesus walked this earth, people did not believe. John 12:37 “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” The arm of the Lord was revealed but man said I am good with what my own hands and arms have made even though Deuteronomy 26:8 “the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.” 

        This rebellion results in the opposite happening. Instead of fighting for us, God fights against us. Jeremiah 21:5 “I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath.” When the people were supposed to go into the Promised Land and take it, they rebelled against God and grumbled. Deuteronomy 1:4 “When the Lord heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: 35 “No one from this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh (and Joshua). He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly. 39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it. 40 But as for you, turn around and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea” Then they decided okay we will go up and fight. 41 Then you replied, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God commanded us.” So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country. 42 But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’” 43 So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the Lord’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah. 45 You came back and wept before the Lord, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you.” This is what is happening now. The church in their arrogance thinks they can follow other gospels, use their own hands and arms and go up against our enemies, but God has turned His face and the church continues to be defeated.

        If the church would return, God will once again lay bare His holy arm and our enemies will be defeated. Nahum 1:2 “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies. 3 The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. 7 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, 8 but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.” Earlier in the days of Jonah, Nineveh was given a chance to repent, and they did. Jonah 3:4 “Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.” God was merciful even though Jonah thought He shouldn’t be. Jonah 4:11 “And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” But this time Nineveh was destroyed. 

        We have hope because in Revelation we see that the church wins the spiritual battle with Babylon. Revelation 14:8 “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” Revelation 17:5 “The name written on her forehead was a mystery: Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. 6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.” Revelation 18:2 “With a mighty voice he shouted: “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal. 21 “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. 24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people, of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.”Revelation 19:1 “After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants. “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!” 6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah!    For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!” 

        Just as Babylon was defeated in the Old Testament, the church will once again defeat our enemies just as we were supposed to do. This is war against satan, not against men and the only way to win is by the strong arm of the Lord. So, we call out to God to bare His arm. Psalm 77:13 “Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? 14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. 15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.” There is hope if we turn from our wicked ways. Jeremiah was told Jeremiah 36:2 “Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now. 3 Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, they will each turn from their wicked ways; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.” Scripture has laid out those disasters right before us. We have been warned repeatedly. We saw what happened to Israel and Judah and just like Israel ignored the prophets, the church has ignored the word of the Lord. Today there is a famine of hearing the word of the Lord just as we were told would be. Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” In the midst of this sever famine God has given us hope. 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, (that has already happened) 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” When the church returns to God, God returns to us. Malachi 3:7 “Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.” Nehemiah 1:8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.” 

        When the church repents and returns, power will return to the church and our enemies will be defeated. Mark 9:1 “And Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.” We saw what that power looked like. Jesus told us Mark 1:15 “The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” As we wait, know that the church again will be filled with power from on High and Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Zechariah 12:8 “On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.” 1 Chronicles 12:22 “Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God.” Malachi 1:14 “I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.”We pray Psalm 80:19 “Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”