Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 


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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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  •     Yesterday we talked about the Asbury Revival. A true revival following the presence of God leads to massive change and shaken foundations, not just in individuals but in churches and institutions, cities and countries. The seminary and university, as do other institutions need to be shaken, not just the students. There have been many opinions about this event, but it appears as one writer said, “the consensus seems to be only time will tell.” That right there shows that it is not a revival. Yes, people were seeking but was the world turned upside down? Will the world be turned upside down? When Jesus moved in power, people saw that true power immediately. Either they were healed, demons were cast out and they believed. It should be the same. (Not like false revivals such as Toronto Blessing where there were false signs and wonders) Now having said that, when the apostles were teaching after being miraculously freed from jail, the Sanhedrin were furious and wanted to put them to death, there was power, signs, wonders and miracles leading up to this. God’s power was already flowing after Pentecost. Acts 5:15 “As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” It was only after this that a Pharisee stood up and said, Acts 5:38 “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” So far history shows, like the other Asbury revivals, everything will continue on the same as always, powerless and void of the true gospel and still following man. While there is lots of talk about confession and forgiveness of personal sins, God is looking for us to turn from our wicked ways, which means turning away from other gospels, doctrines of demons, man’s ways, visions and plans, not just our struggles. I don’t think they really understand the magnitude of the fallen church and the anger of God towards us. Just read the Old Testament to see God’s response to rebellion. Yes, we should seek Him but be prepared for drastic change.

        One thing I did notice was when the president of Asbury University spoke and was talking about the end of the gathering at the university, he said they and the town couldn’t handle it with all the people. Basically, he was saying if this was an outpouring, God could not handle His own outpouring. Look at Jesus and the 5000, and 4000 men, plus women and children who were fed with some bread and fish. Mark 8:17 “Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied. 20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.” 21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” Jesus even told His disciples to feed them. Matthew 14:3 “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” The lack of power definitely shows this is not a revival, but we should be seeking God for a true revival that shakes the foundations of the church where there will be true unity, not just agreeing to disagree. Where there is Ephesians 4:5 “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” 1 Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

        As I was thinking about these two schools across from one another in this very small town, I could not help but think how each school would respond to Jonah’s cry to repent. As Jonah proclaimed Jonah 2:4 “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Can you imagine if someone sent by God said to them, repent or by the end of Lent (40 days), you are finished? This college and seminary are pretty set in their ways and traditions which is basically all things Wesleyan. Other schools are the same except they might be Baptist or Pentecostal or Catholic just to name a few. I am pretty sure the response would be the same for each of them. They believe we are the way, the truth and the life; come learn about Jesus here. The problem is they all teach something different and then say we agree to disagree which is ignorant and not what scripture states. Jesus said John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We had better getter it right, because at this point the church has been obliterated because of the abomination that causes desolation. As we see in Daniel 8:12 “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.” Isaiah said Isaiah 59:15 “Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” Daniel was seeing into the future and Isaiah was showing what was presently happening and sadly still happening. 

        When Daniel saw in scripture that their desolation would last 70 years, he prayed and confessed, and God heard his cry. In his prayer he said. Daniel 9:4 “I 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.” Then he continues and said, 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.” God then saved them. The problem with these schools of higher learning and most churches is they think they are beacons of truth who are equipping God’s servants to be sent out into the world. The problem is they are being sent armed with the traditions and beliefs they were taught and their own denomination’s distinctives. Even the independents have the same distinctives, they just hide them better. We don’t know how long our desolation will last, but the church including these institutions are in desolation just as Israel was and not beacons of truth. Even after this gathering are they really willing to repent of their wicked ways. 

        With each group thinking they are right, the idea of demolishing their man-made foundations would be offensive to them just as the Pharisees thought the words of Jesus were offensive to them. Somehow churches and these institutions think they will continue with no ramifications for following other gospels. I would be amazed, and I am not saying it couldn’t happen because I do believe in the power of God, but at this point are the two presidents of these institutions going to stand at the front and risk their donors not giving or losing their accreditation to follow God’s word wholeheartedly? Would they shut it down? Would they tear down the idols? Would they take down man’s names from their buildings? Are they willing to lay it all on the line and see the power of God work or will they be like Israel and Judah and remain stubbornly obstinate? So far, the answer is no. As Amos said, “you have not returned to me. Amos 4:12 “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, Israel, prepare to meet your God.” Most in the church and these institutions are so secure in their beliefs, they don’t actually fear God. Jeremiah said Jeremiah 5:11 “The people of Israel and the people of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me, declares the Lord. 12 They have lied about the Lord; they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us. 23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. 24 They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God.” Most people do not fear God as most have been deceived into thinking their way is the way of truth, even though it doesn’t line up with scripture. 

        Today the wisdom and knowledge we need is not coming from institutions of higher learning or from churches, so we need to return to scripture. Wisdom comes by seeking God with everything we have and turning from our wicked ways. Proverbs tells us this. Proverbs 1:20 “Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; 21 on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: 22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. 24 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, 29 since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. 30 Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. 32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

        During this journey seek God with everything you have. Return to His word and set aside your doctrinal distinctives. Lots of singing isn’t really what God is looking for. Amos 5:23 “Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” Actually read what scripture states, not what your traditions tell you the bible states; there is a difference. The Asbury institutions I talked about yesterday, teach everything from a Methodist perspective. I took this from the Asbury Universities website. “Asbury University stands in the Wesleyan theological tradition—believing that an act of God’s grace can transform individual believers so that, through His mercy, they can experience holiness of life, have a heart that exhibits the love of God and become an agent of God’s grace to the needs of humanity. To that end, Asbury builds on John Wesley’s four-part method—called the “Quadrilateral” —of discovering God’s truth: Scripture – the Holy Bible, Tradition – the history of the Church spanning two millennia, Reason – rational thinking and logical reasoning, and Experience – applying lessons learned from one’s personal journey in Christ.” The problem with that is it is not a quadrilateral. Scripture is scripture and stands alone. Tradition, reason and experience are not equal with scripture and they should be changed or rejected if they do not line up with scripture which is what will happen when revival happens. Many have accepted unbiblical truths because tradition, experience and reason said it was good, even though scripture does not. Even here we see Wesley and traditions as equal to God’s word. Zechariah 14:9 “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.” Not Wesley, not Asbury, not Calvin not Darby and on and on the names could go. True repentance would set aside man and his tradition, reason and experience, and turn to God and His word, but will they? Isaiah said Isaiah 59:20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins, declares the Lord.”