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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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  • Aug21Sun

    Sermon: "Are You Frustrated Yet?"

    August 21, 2022

        The word frustrated means “feeling or expressing distress and annoyance, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.” Some synonyms are “disappointed, disillusioned, unfulfilled, discontent, displeased, dissatisfied.” There are many people who are frustrated with their lives and live a life with a sense of discouragement. Their jobs leave them disheartened and their dreams and hopes remain unfulfilled. There are others who have lived their dreams and everything around them does not have the prefix “dis” or “un” in front of words like content, fulfilled, satisfied and there is no sense of frustration whatsoever because they think all is well, even though they are eternally unsecure, the un they don’t won’t. There are also those who go through life, not frustrated because they have accepted their lot in life and they have resolved there is nothing they can do to change their place in society. 

        What most in the church and the world do not seem to understand is that everything is about submitting to God whether rich or poor or in-between. Scripture makes it clear that God wants to bless those who follow Him wholeheartedly. Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” This is about this life and the eternal life to come, not just money. Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Mark 10:29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

            Let’s say you stopped reading right here and read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts. It is always a good idea to go back to the beginning and read about Jesus showing the church what to do and then seeing the disciples doing as Jesus did but don’t read it from a denominational distinction. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” 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.” And if you read the gospels, you would see Jesus heal the sick and cast out demons, time after time. You would also see a prelude to Pentecost with the power and authority Jesus gave His disciples. 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.” Mark 6:12 “They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” Then after Pentecost, they, the church, would continue to do as Jesus did. Acts 3:6 “Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 5:12 “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 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.” Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” This power was not just for the original disciples. We saw it with Paul but we also saw an example of this power with Stephen and Philip. Acts 6:8 “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.” Acts 8:4 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Later you would read in James 5:4 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

        If you read the bible as if it was your first time or you prayed that God would open your eyes to the available power to all who believed, you would say wow, I want to be part of that power. First of all, if you already call yourself a Christian, then you would evaluate your life in light of what you read and be incredibly frustrated because you don’t see what you read happening in the church. You would then approach someone of standing in the church you go to, and they would quickly point out your naivety and encourage you to continue down an empty path and yes most will follow. The same happens for those who are searching maybe for the first time. They read the bible like the eunuch in Acts, and they are filled with questions. They would say as the eunuch did. Philip said Acts 8:30 “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” Acts 8:34 “The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.” The problem is most are not going to get someone like Philip. In this very passage you see incredible power. After Philip baptized the eunuch, Acts 8:39 “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.” Most are going to be led astray by an empty and powerless gospel which most likely will be a false / other gospel. They will teach them to be a good Baptist or Pentecostal or Catholic and so on. There will be even those who fall for cults like the mormons and jehovah’s witness. 

        The problem the church has today is that most do not know enough to be frustrated, even after reading the gospels. They just love to hear the old, old stories but never anything new. No, there is nothing new added to the gospels, but there definitely is power available if we would turn from our wicked ways. Everything we read about in the Gospels and Acts is available for today. Most people in the church have accepted the bible as a story book, even going so far as equating the bible with mythology. They read the bible as stories about Jesus, not a manual from Jesus. Jesus said very clearly, John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” This is about believing God’s at His word. It starts here. Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” I guarantee you someone in the church will tell you this is impossible, but it is about believing that God could move the mountain and not symbolically. If your faith starts there, then God will answer your prayers but since there is so little belief in the church, God is not answering prayers. Isaiah 1:15 “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!” Deuteronomy 28:15 “However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:” 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. 41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. 42 Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land. 45 All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.” The abomination that causes desolation has decimated the church because of rebellion against God’s word.

        Why has this happened? The church has not obeyed the word of the Lord and have ignored and distorted God’s word to go their own way. False prophets and priests are everywhere. Malachi 2:1 “And now, you priests, this warning is for you. 2 If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me. 3 “Because of you I will rebuke your descendants; I will smear on your faces the dung from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it. 4 And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. 5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. 7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.” Millions of people have been led astray to follow other powerless gospels. The powerless gospel has replaced the truth of God’s word. No, God’s word is still the only way, truth and life, but the way has been rejected for empty ways, so when you read the gospels and compare them to the church, they look nothing alike because they are not alike. God has turned His face from the church just like He did with Israel in the Promised Land. The church is also powerless against our enemies. 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 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.”

        So, when we go back to those searching or those searching anew, the leaders, ministers, priests, teachers, evangelists, prophets are leading them astray. They were supposed to Ephesians 4:12 “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” Many will only hear God doesn’t do that anymore; again, not what the bible states. Others, such as the charismatics, will say God does continue to do as He did but in most cases they don’t seem to know that it is satan masquerading as an angel of light. What they are seeing looks nothing like what Jesus did. James 5 is still the test. Go to the elders and see what happens. Sure, they will pray but what we see in scripture are words like immediately and suddenly. Matthew 8:3 “Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.” Matthew 20:34 “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” Mark 5:29 “Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” Acts 12:7 “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.” Acts 8:39 “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.” Yes, you will hear people tell you, that was Jesus or God does not work that way anymore or this is how it is. People are taught not to expect God to move in power, even though most, if they were honest are desperate for God to move in power. Instead of seeking, many have just given up and turned away from the church and God. The problem is that most in the church have accepted the false teaching of those that lead them. They are not being led down a path to still waters Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake” but down a path to where the dead are. Proverbs 9:18 “But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.”

        The message of the church now for generations is empty and powerless. It should be pointing everyone back to God’s word but if that happened everyone would realize they have been led astray by whatever denomination they are in and leave and ministers would lose their jobs and gurus wouldn’t be able to sell anything. Again, there is no such thing as a Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Pentecostal Christian; we are followers of the Way. Paul said Acts 24:14 “However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets.” So, for example if you say you are a Baptist, you have been led astray; you need to repent and return to God’s word. If you say you are Reformed, Catholic, United, Brethren and the list could go on and on, you have been led astray. When people are saved into a denomination or a group, they adhere to the beliefs of that particular distinction. For example, we have talked about the false prophet John MacArthur before. Those who adhere to his teaching, whether in seminary, schools, church, radio, internet, (global ministry) learn about cessationism and the rapture and other false teaching. What they are taught does not lead to eternal life but damnation. There are so many false teachers out there today, it almost appears that God has abandoned His people but due to His promise to Abraham and David there will always be a remnant that will survive. 

        If you return to God’s word, you will see that these false teachers and prophets will not get away will it, but many who listened to them will be lost because of their teaching. 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.” Ezekiel 13:3 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. 5 You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord. 6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. 7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken? 8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign Lord. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. 10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”

        The church has become something you go to. Yes, the pandemic messed that up, but most are back to the normalcy of going to church Sunday after Sunday. The church was desperate to get back to the way things were, while week after week, still heading down an empty path and completely powerless. This pandemic should have left the church frustrated over the lack of power and hungering to be clothed with power from on High, but it did not. They were only frustrated because they couldn’t go to church. No, I don’t mean the nonsense of churches standing against the government but wondering where the power of God is. The church doesn’t realize Haggai 1:6 “You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” There is so much deception, most churches think they are emperors wearing beautiful clothes while being completely naked. Matthew 18:3 “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Revelation 3:17 “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.”

        I asked, are you frustrated yet? Sadly, most are not as they have accepted the deception that church is the way it is supposed to be. The powerless church is one of the huge deceptions of satan. satan has deceived people into believing that what we read in scripture is not available for today. Since they have accepted this deception as truth, they do not seek more as Corinthians states 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” God not answering most prayers is not how it is supposed to be. The church looks just like the world and the world gets as many answers as the church does. Yes, some people will be free from cancer but that happens across the board, but most will die. Look at all the sickness in the church from cancer to mental health. Look at the lack of medicine on the shelves or what is happening to our healthcare system. Some have had to even close for periods of time. 

        When you look at the world, all you see is chaos but what if you set your eyes on Jesus. No, not on the church because the church as we know it, is not Jesus because the church has gone their own way. Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” If we looked to Jesus, there would be no need for the medicine or worry that the emergency room is closed. Jesus is alive, therefore He still can take up our infirmities and bear our diseases.” Fixing our eyes of Jesus is a return to God’s word. Read what it says and then believe what it says. If you do, this is going to cause problems. First of all, you will start to question everything you have been taught, as you should always test the spirits. 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.” Everything about the church today should be questioned but this is where most people get off track. They ask questions and then they feel silly for asking but don’t be afraid to question. The problem is the answer you will get will be whatever the denomination or faith you go to believes. This is where you have to hold very tightly to scripture. Once you return to God’s word, it is at this point you should become very frustrated with what you have been taught and the lack of power that goes with it. You should also feel remorse for rebelling against God’s word and following other gospels. You will also be devastated to learn that many who have gone before you will not see eternal life as Jesus said Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” They think because they got baptized or said a little prayer they are eternally secure but that is just not true. Some will go to heaven but most won’t at this point in time because they followed other gospels. Luke 13:23 “Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” The thought that so many who have gone to church all their lives thinking they were secure are not going to spend eternity in heaven should leave you extremely frustrated but is it enough to get you to do something about it. Remember all you have to do is humble yourself and submit to God. Ezekiel 18:30 “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!”

        When you read scripture, you will see how it is supposed to be. Peter said Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Today we live in a corrupt church and do not see these gifts as seen in 1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues (not the charismatic babble) and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” Your journey of frustration starts with believing. Most of those underlined words cause most churches problems. Actually, most of the gifts do. There are also huge distortions as to what the gifts actually mean. All you have to do is look to Jesus and Pentecost to see what they mean. Jesus said 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.” His word is not being confirmed, so it is not His word being taught in the church. This is why we must repent so that God will turn His face back to the church and clothe us with power once again. Again, most have trouble with this, but if you are frustrated enough, you will reject what is being taught and turn away and return to following the way truth and life. 

        Returning to God’s word and then comparing God’s word to the church should frustrate you enough to do something about it. When you realize the desolate state you are in and realize as I did that I would not have seen eternal life based on what I was taught and believed, you will be like the prodigal son coming to his senses. Luke 15:13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.” It wasn’t until the son realized his desolation that he returned to the father. This is not just a story about a family but the people of God coming to their senses and returning to God. Luke 15:17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” His father was looking for him! Re-read Deuteronomy 28 from above but there is hope. Zechariah 8:3 “This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain. 7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. 8 I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.” Isaiah 43:5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” we also saw this with King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 4:32 “Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. 34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom.” That is good news for the church but we must realize our desolation. If we want to see the kingdom of God that came with Jesus, the church must repent. Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” When you read the Gospels and Acts, you see the kingdom of God in action. Luke 11:20 “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Driving out demons and healing the sick will return if the church returns to God. Again, are you frustrated enough to return to Him.

        Will you come to your senses and return? We saw frustration occurs “especially because of inability to change or achieve something.” There is something we can do. We need to get angry (not at God but with ourselves) about our desolation and humble ourselves before God. No, we don’t try to fix things with our own hands; we submit ourselves to God. The only way we can change is to be frustrated enough to submit to God. We cannot stand against our enemies on our own, but God can. It’s okay to be angry in the right context. We see that God is slow to anger but it doesn’t mean He does not get angry. Judges 2:12 “They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger.” Mark 11:15 “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.” The church today is a den of robbers. Jeremiah 5:30 “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?” Before the end comes and it is too late, get frustrated. Malachi 1:10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” 

        Our frustration will lead to change because God will hear your cry, but it doesn’t mean people are going to acknowledge your frustration in a good way. The odds are most are not going to be happy about it, but don’t be afraid. Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” Jesus warned us John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.” Mark 13:20 “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.”

        We are also warned in Timothy. 2 Timothy 3:1 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.” At this point most do not want to hear they have been deceived, as most have not come to their senses. If you have come to your senses and are searching, do not be afraid to search with everything you have. God said Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” You have a choice and there is only one right answer. Jesus said Revelation 1:15 “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.” The right choice is hot, which means you are serving God with everything you have. Sure, there are lots of people who think they are serving wholeheartedly but in fact they are only serving a man-made church instead. Lukewarm are those who do not want to rock the boat. They have accepted the pathetic and powerless church and are content wallowing in the mud. They are deceived and disillusioned. 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.” Millions have been deceived and are under delusion but refuse to seek truth.

        Again I ask; are you frustrated? If the answer is yes, then how much are you frustrated? How desperate are you to see the power of God return to the church? Are you willing to humble yourself before God and submit to His word? Are you willing to wait for God to turn His face to you? Will you persevere no matter what, even if following God cost you everything? Don’t be like Luke 8:13 “those on the rocky ground who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.” Hebrews 3:7 “So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” 12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” 16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” James 5:1 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

        We are told 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.” That is a promise. We are also told 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, 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.” Scripture is very clear that the church was supposed to go out in the same power and authority as Jesus. Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” They waited and were clothed with power from on High. Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Reading the bible should leave you frustrated with the empty way of life you have been given. The church is nowhere even close to the church Jesus is the head of but there is a remnant that will rise up once again and do as Jesus did. Be frustrated and persevere and do not give up! Hebrews 10:35 “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” Ezekiel 33:11 “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel (church)?”