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October 1, 2017 - Sermon: “Spirit and Truth”October 1, 2017For some time now we have been talking about the missing power in the church but today we want to take it a step further. Not only is the power missing, truth has disappeared from the church. Isaiah 59:15 “Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice.” This is described for us in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “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.” These last few weeks give us a greater understanding of the desolation, deception and delusion we find ourselves in, which only will get worse. The church has been overrun with deceitfulness, not truth and filled with spirits, not the Holy Spirit. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” So two things: First the word became flesh. This is Jesus. John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” When we reject his word, we reject Jesus and truth disappears. So many people are waiting for the antichrist but the antichrist is already in the world. This rejection of truth is the spirit of the antichrist. As they wait for the antichrist in the form of Obama as some said or other world leaders, because of false teaching the church continues to be decimated by its enemies because they have not tested the spirit nor do they look for truth.The last three weeks we have talked about signs that came and went, but talk about perseverance in the midst of falseness. It is actually amazing to watch these men scramble. As I said, I was looking for someone to repent of the people I had watched their videos but nope, they keep going. Here is what they say. Change the prediction, change what they said, add to it, ignore they were wrong and then slam anyone who says they were wrong. Lets go with the 25th of September, giving them a couple of extra days. This is easy; they were wrong. It was changed to the 24th then October, then till the end of the year 2017. Then 5777 became 5778 and its over and they were wrong. So the two in particular I was following both refused to repent but they both did the same thing, they went after anyone who said they were wrong and called them scoffers. Well there were blatantly wrong by their own predictions. First of all they did not repent but just continued as if all was going according to plan. These false prophets just keep going but remember the enemy is so arrogant they will tell you what the problem is. So the 23th, 5777 came and went except for the asteroid that never came but that was changed too. The revelation sign was changed to the 24 and then changed to an additional sign and now we have two signs but yet nothing happens. Oh yes the rapture is coming they say. When talking about the rapture happening specifically on a certain day, you are dead wrong if it doesn’t happen. It really is that simple. But now as this false prophet Scott Clarke says “they are in a high watch window.” Pretty sad, as their whole foundation is built on something that isn’t going to happen. They will be sitting on that window seat a long, long time. Oddly in the last few days he has been shown new information. Now he says he isn’t a date setter although he was before and still watching for something to happen this year even though he himself said you can know the time of the end. After he spins another tale he sets his sights on anyone who has disagreed with him. This is what false prophets do. It is simple; nothing happened as they said it would, so people said they were wrong. He then talks about the scoffers. He said, “Don’t let the scoffers and mockers get to you. Friends there is just too much that lines up with 2017.” Except that does not coincide with the Jewish calendar and it is now 5778. The completion remains incomplete. Now he is saying “It may have just begun.” He then says, “In the last days scoffers will come. He then quotes 2 Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” So anyone who calls them wrong or false are following their evil desires. He then quotes Psalm 70:2 “May those who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. 3 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” turn back because of their shame.” He wants us to be appalled in our own shame. These people and their evil desires are against us because it might have been a little bit off. Another said our interpretation was wrong. No kidding!! But they keep going. That wasn’t repentance by the way. He said, “Some don’t see it which is because of their evil desires.” Here is where you see the arrogance of the enemy and the answer. Remember satan also quotes scripture. He then used Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” ESV says “one who sows discord among brothers.” This is exactly what they are doing. No repentance whatsoever. We saw this lack of discernment with Anne Lotz Graham and the false prophet she pointed everyone to hear, Steve Cioccolanti. He tweeted on the 24th “Technically the Revelation 12 Sign is better fulfilled on 24 September 2017 He also said, “The scoffers have a place. They also fulfill Prophecy in the end times”. He then quotes Daniel 12:10 “none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” “In these end times you meet many stubborn & proud. They don't know & act like they don't want 2 know. Leave em alone. They secretly follow.” So they both are saying “Scoffers have a place. It is another sign that the scoffers mock. Those with the Holy Spirit should not act like that. Those who say they are wrong, have zero understanding of the big picture. It is a fulfillment of prophecy they don’t even understand it. They have to be here to fulfill the prophecy. Now is a good time to watch.”Okay so why talk about this? As I said before, these are easy. 23 changes to 24th and 5777 changes to 5778; tick tock over and done. God sure is confusing according to these prophets. You do not get that picture of confusion in scripture. The deception doesn’t just stop with false prophets but false teachers also who teach false doctrines and theology. Most people in the church today do not even know they have fallen for other gospels. If it happened to people Paul preached to, it has been happening ever since. 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.” Remember this is the Apostle Paul we are talking about. So here we are; the church lies in desolation just as predicted in Daniel. But disobedience and not following God’s word led to God turning his face and like Israel could not stand against our enemies, we to have been defeated. This is what has happened to the church. We are in the abomination that cause desolation. The church stands desolate. False teaching is the foundation and the people love it that way. Daniel 8:9 “Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. 10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?” 14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.” 23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. 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.” 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.”Today the church gets caught up with the numbers and tries to calculate the coming even though God says you can’t, only I know. They think they can figure out a puzzle that isn’t there. Reading the bible takes discernment through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Just because there is a number does not mean it always means that number. In one place it may be literal and the other not literal. For example. Matthew 13:9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” So much of scripture is in a parable. Luke 8:10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.” Exodus 33:11 “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” Numbers 12:4 “At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. 5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, 6 he said, “Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. 7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” So all these numbers make for good charts but if we do not know the time and date, then these numbers are not meant for knowing the end as the false prophets are doing constantly, so stop making charts. Pay more attention to the desolation of the church because of this enemy.So as we read earlier Isaiah 59:15 “Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” Anyone who opposes these false prophets will be called scoffers but they need to be opposed. Titus 1:10 “For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” Proverbs 14:25 “A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.” These people lead the church astray. When Micaiah prophesied 1 Kings 22:17 “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master.” Judges 21:25 tells us “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” This describes what is left of the church. We are not waiting for desolation; it’s here. Jeremiah 7:28 “Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.” Now we have been warned about this. Isn’t the greatest deception that the deception will come later when it fact they have already been deceived. Here is what Paul said, Acts 20:25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”So Jesus warned us, Paul warned us and Peter warned us. Yet most are waiting for this deception and desolation to happen but it already has. Everyone does their own thing and goes their own way. This is not the church of Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit leading in truth. Yes there are extremes and all kinds of variances but they are still wrong. 2 Timothy 2:14 “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” These teachings spread like gangrene. We talked after church last Sunday that a blog by Anne Lotz Graham, led all her followers to a false prophet showing her great lack of discernment. That is how easy it is to deceive the masses.2 Timothy 4:1 “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. 17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.We have talked about the lack of power but we also need to look at how truth has disappeared. Not only does the lack of power show that God has turned his face from shining on us, so does the lack of truth. The early church had false prophets and we also have them and who have caused the church great harm. This verse really describes the church. Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.” This is not the example to follow. We must seek truth. John 8:31 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 4:23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 7:18 “Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” Romans 2:8 “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. 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. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”If the church has the Holy Spirit as they say they have, how is it we have all this chaos and falseness. That is impossible. God does not lie. Titus 1:1 “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior.” So we have two choices. Seek truth and stand firm or fall for the deception and falseness. Paul said in Galatians 5:7 “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.” These men will not get away with it.2 Thessalonians 2:9 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.” He also said Ephesians 6:14 “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13 “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”In order for us to defeat our enemies we must remain in him. In order to defeat our enemies we must have the power of the Holy Spirit on us. Joshua 7:10 “The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. 13 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.” We must return to him and seek the truth. When truth returns we see results like Josiah. 2 Kings 23:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.”If we worship in Spirit and truth, the power to defeat our enemies will return but as we talked about last week, we must return to God so that he will return to us. John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” So if we are to survive this desolation, we must stand firm on the word of God in the power and truth of the Holy Spirit and do not give up. Mark 13:12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again. 20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” False prophets and teachers surround us. Do not be deceived. Stand firm to the end.