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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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  • Sep13Sun

    Once More Astounded

    September 13, 2020
                We live in perilous times and rebellion against authority has escalated to new heights. Not only do we have a global pandemic, people around the world are taking a stand for their individual beliefs. It appears that all subjects are up for protest. Individuals and masses are fighting for what they think to be right. Protests are happening everywhere and it doesn’t take much for that protest to turn into a riot. Rebellion against authority seems to be topic of the day. You have those who are rebelling against authority but you also have those with authority abusing their given authority and law and order have been trampled on. The abuse of authority taking place also sparks more rebellion. In some cases truth doesn’t seem to matter. Many today think that because they are protesting, the law does not apply to them. We see rioting and looting, vandalism, arson, and just today I read two police officers were shot while sitting in their patrol car in Los Angeles. It is amazing to me how this rebellion is promoted. These kinds of actions are the result of this rebellion though rebellion is not always to that extreme. You even have celebrities suggesting the assassination of the President. There are enough zealots out there who don’t need any suggestions. For the life of me I still do not understand why these celebrities who think because they are famous think their voice needs to be heard, yet they do and sadly people listen to them. To make matters worse you have the media who create and stir up frenzy. News with some of these mainstreams media giants is no longer the news but an attempt to validate one side and oppose the other at any cost especially in an election year. You then have political parties fighting and saying anything so they can be in control
                The word rebellion can mean “organized opposition to authority; a conflict in which one faction tries to wrest control from another.” This opposition can be from an individual to mass groups of people. We have laws in the land to keep the peace; without them chaos ensues. While you may not like them, usually most laws are there for our protection. Yes you may not like the speed limit. You may not like self-isolating or complying with any of the orders given during this pandemic. You may not like it that you just can’t take something from the store without paying. You are welcome to disobey these but in each of these cases whether you like it or not you will pay a price for your disobedience when caught. Go ahead and speed. One site said, “When you are charged for Speeding / Stunt driving over 50 km/h in Ontario, you are not given a traffic ticket with a fine, but instead receive an automatic summons to court. ... In addition to a fine between $2,000 and $10,000, your conviction will dramatically impact your insurance rates and could even mean up to 6 months jail time.” states “under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. Failure to comply with this Order is an offense under the Quarantine Act. Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.” (Note this order was placed back in March) “In Canada, theft charges fall into two categories: theft over $5000.00 and theft under $5000.00. Theft over $5000.00 is the more serious of the two charges and it is a straight indictable offence for which you can face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Theft under $5000.00 is a hybrid offence which means that the Crown will be able to choose to prosecute you either summarily or by indictment.” This list of laws and charges could go on all day but that obviously is not our focus today.
                We are seeing rebellion to authority all around us. While many protests start off with good intent they can quickly deescalate to lawlessness and destruction can also follow, as some people are primed already to rebel; they are just looking for an excuse. Even the world wants some form of law and order. Many people live in countries where there is no law and order and I would say most want it. Having said that, look at the United States now where there is supposed to be laws in place, yet people rebel anyways and don’t seem to care. We took a holiday to Chicago awhile back and walked the Magnificent Mile. Notice I said walked, not shopped! Recently vandals looted some of those stores. This mentality shows what countries are facing these days. Even here in Canada, some will even riot after a hockey game. Protesters feel they have the right to destroy things they do not agree with. Many business owners around the country have had their places damaged because of these riots. The Ten Commandments tell us don’t murder, steal, commit adultery or give false testimony. Most in our countries are good with those ones but they say don’t tell me there is one God and not to have any other gods and make other images. Jesus responded to this question Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” The church is supposed to represent order not chaos and show the world what Jesus meant. The church is supposed to come against evil not participate in it. 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 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.” The church is not to look like the world.
                In today’s society there is chaos but that is understandable because there is chaos in the church. The church has turned away from God’s word and satan has been given power. Judges 21:25 “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Ruth 1:1 “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land.” Today there is a famine of hearing the word. 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. 12 People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.” Remember teachers have been hidden. This is not talking about those outside the church but the church itself. Jesus said in Revelation 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Again Jesus is talking about the church.
                The problem today is that the church has gone through and continues to go through a great rebellion against the authority of the word of God and there has been a great cost to our rebellion. Our enemies have decimated the church. As we have talked about many times God has turned His face from us and satan has ravaged the land / church. As we know this has been happening for 2000+ years. Paul said 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.” The perversion of the gospel is happening daily. Jesus warned us in Matthew 24:4 “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.” These days are described 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.” 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (Doctrines of demons) 2 Timothy 4:3 “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.” This is easy to see, as all you have to do is look around you at the church and see the false gospels and its lack of power. The power some claim they have is satan’s power as he masquerades as an angel of light.
                As we read earlier everyone does as they see fit. God said Jeremiah 8:6 “I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.” Jeremiah 5:1 “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city. 2 Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ still they are swearing falsely.” 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. 4 I thought, “These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the Lord, the requirements of their God. 5 So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the Lord, the requirements of their God.” But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds. 6 Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them, a wolf from the desert will ravage them, a leopard will lie in wait near their towns to tear to pieces any who venture out, for their rebellion is great and their backslidings many.” Jeremiah 7:24 “But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.” Again this describes the church.
                When you look at our countries, you can see the results of a rebellious church. The church today is not the church Jesus Christ is the head of. There is no power to defeat the work and deception of satan and most in the church do not even know they are being deceived. This power has been replaced with people attending church, therefore people think a full church means powerful or a powerful orator means anointed by God. They also think that because they go to church they have been powerfully changed but that is just not the case as there is no power to be changed. Most do not have enough discernment to know that where they attend a false gospel is preached. The world around us is falling apart and as this pandemic has revealed the church is powerless to do anything about it. Today the church is going in every direction except in the direction of truth. Each church has their own set of beliefs but refuses correction. Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” When you read Proverbs 1-9 you will see the difference when you follow truth as opposed to following folly, which always leads to death. When you don’t follow truth, you end up with as Jeremiah continues to describe. 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; we will never see sword or famine. 13 The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them.” 14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says: “Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes. 15 People of Israel,” declares the Lord, “I am bringing a distant nation against you— an ancient and enduring nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you do not understand. 16 Their quivers are like an open grave; all of them are mighty warriors. 17 They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees. With the sword they will destroy the fortified cities in which you trust. 18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely. 19 And when the people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.’ 20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah: 21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: 22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it. 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, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’ 25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good. 26 “Among my people are the wicked who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch people. 27 Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful 28 and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor. 29 Should I not punish them for this?” declares the Lord. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this? 30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?”
                This has happened to the church and there is only a remnant of people left. The church followed after other gospels just as Israel followed idols. Yes I know everyone will say they teach truth and speak as one with authority but as we saw last week true teachers are hidden. The thought of this alone should be enough to repent but most stubbornly continue on their way. You should be asking yourself what have I been taught and what was I actually saved into. Test the spirits! Jeremiah also tells us (This describes the church) Jeremiah 2:12 “Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the Lord. 13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. 19 Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.” The church has forsaken the Lord by following other gospels and doctrines of demons. Jeremiah 11:9 “Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape.” Jeremiah 11:2 “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. 3 Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— 4 the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. 5 Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.”10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.”
                God still commands us to obey His word yet the church failed to listen and went their own way and disaster followed. Leaders, teachers and preachers in the church have taught a powerless message, a message without the authority of Jesus. Sure they can get people to gather but what will they do in the end? Lamentations 2:14 “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.” When talking about the false prophets Jeremiah said Jeremiah 23:36 “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.” Peter said 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.” The church is filled with these people who God said Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” 10 The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. 11 “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord. 12 “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the Lord. 16 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ 18 But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? 19 See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. 20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. 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.” Jeremiah 14:13 “But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place. 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.”
                Herein lies the problem. Jeremiah 5:31 “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” Today we have false gospels everywhere. If you listened to John MacArthur’s message September 13, 2020 you would have heard great distortion of the word of God all in an effort to mock the government. The least of our worries is what the world is doing or the government yet many churches have taken a stand against the government due to this pandemic. Oddly John MacArthur made this statement "It just simply needs to be said: Why in the world would we expect the nation to repent when the church won’t even repent? There are many people today running around calling for the nation to repent who need to be calling for the church to repent.” Now strangely he is one of those people yet not leading his church to repentance. During this pandemic churches were shut down but now many have decided to rebel and open even though ordered not to. Please note they have not been ordered to stop preaching the name of Jesus as these churches suggest. These churches have created these issues and will have to live with the decisions just like when you speed. For example one church in California, IFB North Valley Baptist Church led by Jack Trieber rebelled and had been charged with over $100,000 in fines. They went back to following the rules September 9, 2020 and met in the parking lot. He said they are now working with the county. He then said they are trying as leaders within our power to do everything that is biblical in response to authority over us. God’s words command us to obey authority. God’s word says to honor and respect authority. It is our duty to be honorable witnesses.” All this comes after rebellion and serious charges were laid and further charges were coming. They should have started that way to see what God was going to do in all of this.
                Churches are not the only ones who rebel against the government and this is why the church has to be very careful, as others will do as they do and justify themselves. There are groups in the United States and other countries who say the government is not in control of them. Examples of this are the Sovereign citizen movement. “Sovereign citizens believe that they — not judges, juries, law enforcement or elected officials — get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore, and they don't think they should have to pay taxes. Sovereigns are clogging up the courts with indecipherable filings and when cornered, many of them lash out in rage, frustration and, in the most extreme cases, acts of deadly violence, usually directed against government officials.” One site stated, “Coronavirus mitigation measures, including mandatory social distancing and the wearing of masks, may also fuel the anti-government conspiracy and spread its message to a global minority who view the deadly pandemic as a hoax.” Another group is described as “a specific set of right-wing extremist movements and groups that share a conviction that part or all of the U.S. government has been taken over by a conspiracy and is therefore not legitimate.” Notice how conspiracy theories abound in these groups. I just named a few of these groups but how is it the church is now included as one of those groups who say the government has no power over them. Many churches have bought into the conspiracy theories but even worse is they have bought into the belief that the government has no authority over them. Today (Sunday) there will be churches once again defying the authority of the land and saying we will have church; you have no authority over us. Yes as a church they say they have a piece of paper called the constitution that allows them to reject all forms of authority but that is simply not the case. We must stand on God’s word only.
                I am not going to go into all the detail but John MacArthur’s church Grace Community in Los Angeles is one of those churches. The strange part of this rebellion by MacArthur is that he himself preached that Romans 13 is what the church is to follow. (Today he even preached on it again but this time left out this crucial verse He used NASB 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.) Yet now he says the government has no authority over the church because they have stepped over his line. He has even taken his disobedience a step further as recently a judge ruled against the church saying they cannot meet indoors but he says they will and they did. The LA Times said, “A megachurch that has defied Los Angeles County’s pandemic health orders must stop holding Sunday worship services indoors, under a judge’s ruling Thursday. Church officials, led by longtime leader Pastor John MacArthur, have also resisted orders requiring the congregation of thousands to wear face coverings and socially distance. MacArthur has expressed deep skepticism that there is a COVID-19 pandemic.” He actually said there was no pandemic. Like the other movements, MacArthur says they have no authority in the first place. My question is why were they even in court then? I think they thought they would win. Win or loose in the end they will face God’s condemnation. Solomon said in Proverbs 25:8 “do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame? 9 If you take your neighbor to court, do not betray another’s confidence, 10 or the one who hears it may shame you and the charge against you will stand.”  Matthew 5:25 “Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.” So they went to court again; even MacArthur has sued the county. But this time (September 4, 2020) it went differently than expected so today they will be going to church against the court order. (They did have church today (Sunday) just as MacArthur said they would in violation of the judge’s orders) The judge even said “While the court is mindful that there is no substitute for indoor worship in the ‘spiritual refuge’ of a sanctuary, the court cannot ignore the County Health Order does not dictate a ban on worship, The order allows outdoor services — which were already permitted under the county’s public health order — only if the church follows physical distancing and face covering measures.” Plus as I shared before MacArthur in an interview said (April 23, 2020) “I think last Sunday, 85 nations were connected, 60,000 separate devices, and if you had somewhere between 5 and 8 people for those you maybe have 300, 400, 500,000 people listening. I’m actually preaching to hundreds of thousands of more people in an empty auditorium. I know that, but I’m not thinking about that, I’m thinking about what it is that I’m trying to draw out of the Word of God and make clear to whoever’s listening. PHIL: It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the pandemic, though it’s emptied the auditorium has actually increased the size of the audience of people who are listening to you live.” They proved they could have church differently as the world figures this pandemic out.
                Now their argument for rebellion is based on the constitution and the pandemic being a hoax. They then also believe that God is for them even though they have totally flip-flopped and are in full rebellion against the rulings of the judge and the government and God’s word. MacArthur said on Fox news after the judges finding, there is no reason not to have church as far as safety goes,” At this point the big reason is the order of the judge. He then goes on to share his statistics and “says it doesn’t make sense.” He then says, “We are under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and he says have church so we are going to have it.” There are other churches doing this but none as public and global as MacArthur’s church. So why share this. I realize that they truly believe they are in the right even though scripture says they are not. Most people comment by saying what a great leader yet few are saying this is rebellion. One person did point out that by registering as a charity you are submitting to the state. Today’s sermon by MacArthur was a sermon against the government (most specifically California) and another time MacArthur states that you cannot vote democrat as a Christian. Other churches are also doing this. In the Unites States the IRS states “Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.” From the videos I have seen, either churches don’t know this or are disregarding this order also. Not only are they in rebellion, they want everyone to join them and condemn them for not joining them as most churches are doing the best they can to abide by the rules. These pandemic rules differ from place to place.
                As I make this next statement I realize this is extreme but the country is filled with extremists who could fly off the handle at any point. As I read the article about the police officers being shot, I could not help but compare to the world what these churches are doing in their rebellion and the message they are sending, especially to those who are already in rebellion and disagree with the government. This rebellion by the church leads to other rebellion even though it may not be this extreme as officers being shot. This church says we will not obey and other extremists are saying the same. Then you end up with this. LA County Sheriffs tweeted after the shooting “To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling "We hope they die" referring to 2 LA Sheriff's ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL. People's lives are at stake when ambulances can't get through.” Meanwhile like other protestors they say the rules do not apply to us and we will do as we please. When someone who maybe is unstable or stable watches John MacArthur on the news saying we will disregard to the judges orders, that opens a whole lot of issues. They cease to be teachers of truth and leaders of rebellion.
                This rebellion is against God, not the government. They call this tyranny yet have no idea what tyranny really is. God’s word is clear to us about this. It must be very confusing to anyone listening to MacArthur as he changes his message often. He says no matter what, you do not go against the government, then he says no matter what we will not listen. I wanted to finish today by talking about Egypt. Today churches have been caught up in taking the government to court. They have taken it upon themselves to correct what they feel is wrong. So they gather their lawyers and go to court instead of waiting on God. Isaiah 31:1 “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord. 6 Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against.” An example of this is concerning the remnant who wanted to go to Egypt. The people approached Jeremiah to ask for guidance. Jeremiah 42:2 “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. 3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 4 “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.” 5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. 6 Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.”
                Then the answer came. Jeremiah 42:7 “Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8 So he called together Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people from the least to the greatest. 9 He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: 10 ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. 12 I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’ 13 “However, if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land,’ and so disobey the Lord your God, 14 and if you say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread,’ 15 then hear the word of the Lord, you remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, 16 then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die. 17 Indeed, all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague; not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 18 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘As my anger and wrath have been poured out on those who lived in Jerusalem, so will my wrath be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You will be a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach; you will never see this place again.”
                This seemed to make a lot of sense. God told them they would be protected but no they said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.” So they went to Egypt anyways. Jeremiah 44:11 “Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah. 12 I will take away the remnant of Judah who were determined to go to Egypt to settle there. They will all perish in Egypt; they will fall by the sword or die from famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by sword or famine. They will become a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach. 13 I will punish those who live in Egypt with the sword, famine and plague, as I punished Jerusalem. 14 None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.”
                Today the church does not fear God nor do they listen to His words. This pandemic is like no other and yes the world is trying to figure it out. Churches were shut down and continue to be shut down yet the gospel is still allowed to be preached. Yes we have to do things differently but who said church was going to be the same forever, that is sitting and listening to a person at the front as if they are gods. I am not sure that the entertainment of the masses for an hour on Sunday in multi million dollar facilities was really what Jesus had in mind. Most churches have turned away from the truth of God’s word and God has turned from us and we see the lack authority and power because of His turning. At what point did the church say let’s see what God is planning and wait for His plan to unfold. At what point did the church repent for turning away. As we saw with the remnant who went to Egypt, God means what he says. Romans 13:1 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” I am pretty sure President Trump has no idea what it means to be a Christian yet God has place him in this position of authority just as Governor Newsom a democrat was placed in authority in California. "MacArthur said, "Not last Sunday but the Sunday before, [President Trump] called me after the Sunday morning service, and he was very gracious, and said 'I just want to thank you for taking a stand. Church is essential, and I'm glad you're doing what you're doing.” He called to thank him for being disobedient. Interesting!
                Our most important focus should be on repentance because of the rebellion of the church. Our only hope is to do as Jesus said and repent so that the kingdom will come near. This means that His power and authority will return to the church. If we do not repent we will not see it. No we are not waiting for the rapture, tribulation and millennium to come as Jesus already sits on the throne of David. Luke 11:20 “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Jesus drove out demons, as did his disciples. This was supposed to continue but due to our rebellion the authority and power has ceased but Jesus said Luke 11:2 “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Mary was told Luke 1:30 “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Zachariah said, Luke 1:68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” As Simeon said Luke 2:9 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
                The church has rebelled against our King and Messiah and have gone their own way. Every church follows something different from the other. This is not how it was supposed to be but because truth has been thrown to the ground, false teachers and prophets have led the church astray, so much so there is only a remnant left just as Jesus had said. Matthew 24:22 “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.”  
                Today the church needs to be once again astounded by God. (overwhelming surprise or shock) Isaiah 29:13 “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. 14 Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” 15 Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” 16 You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”? 17 In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field and the fertile field seem like a forest? 18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the Lord; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down— 21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice. 22 Therefore this is what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says to the descendants of Jacob: “No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale. 23 When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction.” Isaiah 44:24 “This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:  I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, 25 who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, 26 who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ 27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ 28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’ Ezekiel 18:30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!”
                So we pray Isaiah 64:1 “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! 2 As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! 3 For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. 4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. 5 You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 7 No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins. 8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9 Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people. 10 Your sacred cities have become a wasteland; even Zion is a wasteland, Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our holy and glorious temple, where our ancestors praised you, has been burned with fire, and all that we treasured lies in ruins. 12 After all this, Lord, will you hold yourself back? Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure?”
                With all the rebellion taking place in the world and in the church, we desperately need to bow before Jesus and submit to His words once again so that true authority will be in the church once again. Mark 1:23 “Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.” Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, 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.” Matthew 10:7 “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 28:8 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mark 16:5 “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.” We will then know that real authority and power has returned to the church and then the world will know who Jesus really is. Even though many have turned away God will fulfill His promise to us. Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 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.” God said in Malachi, 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.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring  every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”